Tony Abbott makes one more promise…

…and moans about the media…


That montage comes from Loon Pond:

The big lie:
I’ve never leaked or backgrounded against anyone. And I certainly won’t start now.

So if you wear rubber gloves and your office does it for you, you didn’t do it?
Makes the pond wonder about that other promise:

There will be no wrecking, no undermining, and no sniping.

And as for the rest of the blather:
The nature of politics has changed in the past decade. We have more polls and more commentary than ever before. Mostly sour, bitter, character assassination. Poll driven politics has produced a revolving door prime ministership which can’t be good for our country. And a febrile media culture has developed that rewards treachery.
And if there’s one piece of advice I can give to the media, it’s this: refuse to print self-serving claims that the person making them won’t put his or her name to.
Refuse to connive with dishonour by acting as the assassin’s knife…

The deeply coarsened, crude and feverish media circus that brought him to power, and now he complains about it …
So now will the persons or persons who debriefed the Terror on a weekly basis come out of the closet?

Points well noted.

Brings back memories:

Oh wow! VOTING DAY!!!!

Posted on September 7, 2013 by Neil


Here in West Wollongong people were out early to vote. As was I!  This is around twenty minutes after the polling station opened:


If you really want to see the main architect of Mr Abbott’s “assassination” look no further than his display of automatic speech on 7.30 on September 9 2015. He done himself in:

LEIGH SALES: Let’s quickly run through some other issues, Prime Minister, starting with the economy. When Labor left office, unemployment was 5.8 per cent; it’s now 6.3 per cent. Growth was 2.5 per cent; it’s now two per cent. The Australian dollar was 92 cents; it’s now around 70 cents. The budget deficit was $30 billion when you took office and now it’s $48 billion. How do you explain to the Australian people that you were elected promising, in your words, to fix the budget emergency, yet in fact, Australia’s economic position has worsened under your leadership?
TONY ABBOTT: Well I don’t accept that. The boats have stopped. The carbon tax has …
LEIGH SALES: We’re talking about the economy.
TONY ABBOTT: The boats have stopped, the carbon tax has gone, the mining tax has gone. We are now on a path to sustainable surplus and we’ve got three free trade agreements finalised. If only the Labor Party and the CMFEU weren’t trying to sabotage the Free Trade Agreement with China. And we’ve got …
LEIGH SALES: Prime Minister, I just ran you through …
TONY ABBOTT: And we’ve got 335,000 more jobs. Now, …
LEIGH SALES: I just ran you through a series …
TONY ABBOTT: … that is the one achievement of which I am most proud, if I may, the 335,000 extra jobs that are there …
LEIGH SALES: Yet unemployment is still going up.

My favourite commemorative cartoon comes from the great Leunig:


Two years of Mr Abbott…

Some images that we never quite saw the like of pre-Abbott:




Put out more flags. Dress armed public servants in strange paramilitary (almost) black shirts…. Change terminology a bit:


What a saga that nomenclature has been. I began teaching English as a Second Language in 1990, and also through M’s experience attaining citizenship – a five-six year process – saw a bit of earlier manifestations, as in:

For some reason a poem comes to mind:

An ant on the tablecloth
Ran into a dormant moth
Of many times his size.
He showed not the least surprise.
His business wasn’t with such.
He gave it scarcely a touch,
And was off on his duty run.
Yet if he encountered one
Of the hive’s enquiry squad
Whose work is to find out God
And the nature of time and space,
He would put him onto the case.
Ants are a curious race;
One crossing with hurried tread
The body of one of their dead
Isn’t given a moment’s arrest-
Seems not even impressed.
But he no doubt reports to any
With whom he crosses antennae,
And they no doubt report
To the higher-up at court.
Then word goes forth in Formic:
‘Death’s come to Jerry McCormic,
Our selfless forager Jerry.
Will the special Janizary
Whose office it is to bury
The dead of the commissary
Go bring him home to his people.
Lay him in state on a sepal.
Wrap him for shroud in a petal.
Embalm him with ichor of nettle.
This is the word of your Queen.’
And presently on the scene
Appears a solemn mortician;
And taking formal position,
With feelers calmly atwiddle,
Seizes the dead by the middle,
And heaving him high in air,
Carries him out of there.
No one stands round to stare.
It is nobody else’s affair
It couldn’t be called ungentle
But how thoroughly departmental.

— Robert Frost

Now back to Tony Abbott. I rather enjoyed the forensic indignation of barrister Charles Waterstreet in today’s Sun-Herald.

The thing that stops Orator Abbott from becoming the Great Orator Abbott is his mouth, and the inability to control the words exiting from his mouth as his lips move. At almost exactly the same time as he was extolling Nazi secrecy against the look-at-me-propaganda-style of death cults, The New York Times editorial team were berating the Orator for passing the Border Force Act, yes, same one as last week, which provides two-year sentences on detention camp employees for talking about conditions in them, no matter how barbaric. Journalists are filtered to get on Nauru and charged $8000 for an application that might be rejected, no refunds. This is a farce of Orwellian standards

What a waste! Episode 3 of The Killing Season…

The program wasn’t a waste: it was in fact excellent.

“I always had this long shadow from the way in which I became Prime Minister and active steps were taken basically every day of my Prime Ministership to have that shadow become darker and darker and not lighter and lighter.” – Julia Gillard

With Kevin Rudd deposed, Julia Gillard became Australia’s first female Prime Minister. But the repercussions of the dramatic change of leadership cast a long shadow over her time in office.

Within weeks of taking over, Gillard called an election for late August 2010. The campaign was dominated by internal leaks damaging to Gillard; Wayne Swan called them “the greatest act of political bastardry” he had ever witnessed. Gillard secured the support of the Independents and the Greens to form a minority government. However, her continued struggle with legitimacy, a carbon “tax”, a flood of boats and the actions of Kevin Rudd and his supporters, dogged her Prime Ministership.

Facing an election wipe-out, the Labor Caucus moved again – this time to return Kevin Rudd to power. Gillard’s political career was over.

The third act was complete. Did the “original sin” of the 2010 challenge make that end inevitable? Did Gillard herself – or Rudd’s relentless will to return – bring Labor to that point?

After such a good start 2007 through to 2009, the dégringolade (a rapid decline or deterioration as in strength, position, or condition) was truly tragic.

We were reminded of early intimations of the dubious character of what was to follow. Never forget this image.


Let me recycle a couple of posts.

Neurolinguistic programming 101 – according to Tone

Posted on February 2, 2010 by Neil

big new tax great big tax great big tax on everything big new tax bloody new bloody great big bloody tax





See: Archive for the ‘climate change’ Category on Floating Life. I did a lot there in November and December 2009.

There are some commendable ideas in Tony Abbot’s policy, it seems. But none of it addresses the consensus that seems to exist that some form of carbon tax or carbon trading scheme is necessary. See for example Chapter 5: Climate Change and the Environment [PDF 144KB] from the latest Treasury Intergenerational Report.


Climate change is the largest threat to Australia’s environment and represents one of the most significant challenges to our economic sustainability. Failure to address this threat would have severe consequences for weather patterns, water availability in cities, towns and rural communities, agricultural production, tourism, infrastructure, health and Australia’s unique biodiversity. The social and economic consequences of failing to act would be severe.

As Australia will be one of the countries that are hardest and fastest hit, we must be part of an effective global response. Thirty-two countries are currently operating emissions trading schemes and others are in the process of introducing them. There is a clear global consensus that this is the best way to tackle climate change, and we need to be part of the global solution.

Early action via the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) will allow strong long-term economic growth and employment by steadily transforming the economy. Delaying action would impose on future generations the need for a sharp, more costly adjustment task.

Market-based mechanisms like the CPRS achieve large-scale reductions in greenhouse gases at least cost. The CPRS will provide businesses and consumers with the incentives to adjust their behaviours, and will include financial assistance to help them adjust. The CPRS will also be enhanced by a range of complementary measures that support the transition to a low pollution future.

There are real doubts among scientists about the time-frame and long-term effectiveness of some of the carbon sequestration measures central to Tony Abbot’s package, though they certainly have a place. Wikipedia does summarise this well – and yes, though no expert I have looked beyond Wikipedia – but jump to tree-planting especially.

See as an example of papers around the topic this one: “Quantifying the effectiveness of climate change mitigation through forest plantations and carbon sequestration with an integrated land-use model” (2007-8) in Carbon Balance and Management Journal.

Carbon Balance and Management is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal that encompasses all aspects of research aimed at developing a comprehensive, policy relevant to understanding of the global carbon cycle.

The global carbon cycle involves important couplings between climate, atmospheric CO2 and the terrestrial and oceanic biospheres. The current transformation of the carbon cycle due to changes in climate and atmospheric composition is widely recognized as potentially dangerous for the biosphere and for the well-being of humankind, and therefore monitoring, understanding and predicting the evolution of the carbon cycle in the context of the whole biosphere (both terrestrial and marine) is a challenge to the scientific community.

This demands interdisciplinary research and new approaches for studying geographical and temporal distributions of carbon pools and fluxes, control and feedback mechanisms of the carbon-climate system, points of intervention and windows of opportunity for managing the carbon-climate-human system.

Carbon Balance and Management is a medium for researchers in the field to convey the results of their research across disciplinary boundaries. Through this dissemination of research, the journal aims to support the work of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and to provide governmental and non-governmental organizations with instantaneous access to continually emerging knowledge, including paradigm shifts and consensual views.


See How climate change came to tax us all.

So what’s it going to be? The Greatest Moral Challenge Of Our Generation (GMCOOG) or a Great Big New Tax On Everything (GBNTOE)?

Gentlemen, start your acronyms.

We are getting a sense now, thanks to yesterday’s release of Tony Abbott’s climate policy and the afternoon’s testy parliamentary exchanges, of how the climate issue will be framed in the weeks and months before the year’s political climax – the next federal election.

If one thing is clear from the detail Abbott announced it is that the balance in the Liberal Party between those who see climate change as an urgent, looming and potentially catastrophic possibility and those who deny its very existence, has shifted to favour the latter. As much was flagged in Abbott’s election but now we know for sure.

To accept that climate change is profound, entrenched, man-made and potentially disastrous on the other hand – the Government’s professed position – is to accept the necessity of some sort of solution that involves fundamental changes in human behaviour, here and everywhere else. The Government has taken the line that this might best be achieved through market mechanisms, placing a price on carbon to drive sweeping grass-roots change toward a quickly achieved lower carbon future.

The Opposition sees climate change as a milder, possibly purely political, phenomenon that can be addressed through a range of ‘direct action’ palliatives…


Repeat after me: BIG, NEW, but NOT A TAX

Look who’s at the rally along with A Jones and A Anderson… With friends like these

Posted on July 2, 2011 by Neil


Yep, The Skull – live and loud. I thought it was him when I caught Channel Seven’s account of the “people power” AKA “highly vested interests” rally against the Carbon Tax in Martin Place yesterday.

He does seem committed to the cause.

You may recall seeing him with Lord Monckton:


See Where are the loons of yesteryear? and Documentaries to make you think, cringe, cry, or wonder.. 2.

Meanwhile Tony Abbott may have made a few more friends – or not:

The opposition leader told a Melbourne conference that “market enthusiasts” should remember that the revenue raised from the carbon tax would go directly into the federal government’s coffers.

“It may well be that most Australian economists think that a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme is the way to go,” Mr Abbott said on Friday.

“(But) maybe that’s a comment on the quality of our economists rather than the merits of the argument.”

Prominent economist Saul Eslake was quick to return fire.

The Grattan Institute director said Mr Abbott only delivered the “cheap shot” because he couldn’t find a single economist to support his direct action policy.