Open Thread

The UK Election

I had decided I was going to ignore the UK election. Like many others, I have been angry at the Labour Party for getting involved with Bush and the Iraq War and have found their policies to be far more conservative than I had liked. I had expected a lot more from British Labour, particularly on the European front. But what are they offering? No entry to the Euro. No entry to Schengen (borderless Europe). I see Europe as a major part of the many ways to world peace. Britain under Labour wasn’t leading.

But what was the alternative? A return to Thatcherism under the Conservative Tory Party. In other words, a lose/lose situation.

Then bingo! Out of nowhere come the Liberal Democrats. Nick Clegg grabbed world headlines for his party as a result of a very good showing in the first of three debates, and polls now show that the Labour Party may be forced into a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. They have lost a little bit of momentum since the first debate, but there is still a good chance they could form a coalition with Labour.

The mainstream media, led by arch villain Rupert Murdoch, went berserk! Throwing all sorts of bullshit at the Liberal Democrats. Most of it was contrived. So much so that most of the general public didn’t buy it. May be Britain does have a real alternative to the two parties controlled by the establishment. I don’t know. But I would certainly love the chance to find out.

Nick Clegg is also very big on Europe. On that point alone Nick has won me. Nick has also said Brown must go, as part of the coalition deal. Two out of two ain’t bad.

Latest Guardian Poll.
Nick Clegg in Wikipedia.

1,360 replies on “The UK Election”

so paddy – what’s the predicted date based on that directive?
(Didn’t see 7:30 report – sounds pretty grim Gaffers)

(As POTUS I will) close down Gauntanamo, restore habeas corpus, say no to Renditions, no to warrantless wire-taps (on US citizens)

Barack Obama, Nov 14, 2007.

Yeah right, of course Baz will. Lotta people bought his promises of Hope. Same good folk who now feel you’ve politically cuckcolded them. If those voters don’t come to the polls to support Dems in November, the next two years will bear witness to much POTUS-waddling in media grab-land.

On one level, America really deserves the spectacle of Sarah & The Dingbats hangin’out at 1600 Penn. She is the ideological spawn of The Imbecile some of whose most egregious signing statements are fully endorsed by Barry O.


Been on World Cup time for the last week. Have seen most matches live. The Circus was a bit slow to get going though Ururguay’s demolition of the hosts 3-0 was entertaining. Chile are playing hot-futbol ball. Got ’em at 80s for a lobster.

Froggies will beat Mexico in the next match. Great value on Betfair at $2.30 for a win. One doesn’t get teams to consecutive WC finals without having a well-stocked talent Dept.

Froggies will beat Mexico in the next match. Great value on Betfair at $2.30 for a win. One doesn’t get teams to consecutive WC finals without having a well-stocked talent Dept.


Red asked Kev when is the election.
Kev just passed it off with wtte don’t really know we have until March or April next year to call it.

Seems like everyone is prepared to state the worst but BP seems very reluctant to say how bad it really is.
Rob Kalls article may be a bit of overkill but then again he could be well and truly on the money.
The quantities of oil yet to be spilled in to the gulf are mind boggling.

BP has admitted in at least 3 interviews that the well casing is compromised (broken). So, when they tried the Top Kill – and then the Junk Shot – the stuff shot out the sides and didn’t go much down the hole. A REAL top kill should just take a few hours – or it’s not going to ever work.

It is 2010 and with this disaster that they are incapable of stopping i can’t stop thinking back how the belching peanut was full on wanting to let them drill for oil on the barrier reef all those years ago. Thank dog the Feds stopped it.
What hope would there have been way back then for a underwater blowout.

Every time one of these nutters makes a statement about wanting to do something stupid like that they should be immediately locked up in solitary confinement until the urge has definitely passed.

White House, DOJ Not Denying Clinton’s Statement That AZ Lawsuit On The Way.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s disclosure that the Department of Justice will be filing a suit against Arizona’s tough new immigration law is not being denied by either the White House or the Department of Justice itself.

In what appeared to be an unscripted admission, Clinton told Ecuadoran television on Thursday that DoJ, under the direction of the president, “will be bringing a lawsuit against” the Arizona act, which has been sharply criticized in Latin America.

Anyone smell an election in the air?

more here..

The Republicans just keep on giving.

On Thursday afternoon, Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton issued an apology for telling BP CEO Tony Hayword that the Obama administration’s actions to hold the oil giant accountable in the wake of the Gulf Coast oil spill was a “shakedown” — a characterization that sparked a firestorm of criticism from Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike.

“I want the record to be absolutely clear that I think BP is responsible for this accident, should be held responsible, and should in every way do everything possible to make good on the consequences that have resulted from this accident,” Barton said later in the day during the committee hearing. “And if anything I said this morning has been misconstrued in an opposite effect, I want to apologize for that misconstruction.”

more here..

gaffy :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Never bet on the French.
ROTFLMAO How do you spell schadenfreude in Gaelic? :LOL: :LOL:

Hope EC went easy on the bookies on that one.
At $2.30 he may have smashed them with more than a redback. :mrgreen:

Absolutely no way (imho) Rudd will go to the electors in 2011.

August has sounded like the date to me since the Reserve Bank hinted that rates will remain steady for a few months. If that’s the case they will go in late August. As stated on Possums blog it is also good timing that Mining Giants profits get reported in election week.

Also Consevative Kev could and probably would rather hold till the normal Conservative full term like Howie did. We know just how Kev likes to say and do “we’re just like Howard”…pfffff

If Labor have to wait till feb/march next year it will only be because an election is unwinnable this year. In that case it won’t be Kev going to the electors at all….who knows, he mightn’t even this year.

33 to 35% Primary is pretty stinky. 😉


3rd paragraph should have read:

Alternatively Conservative Kev could and probably would rather hold till the normal Conservative full term of late Oct early Nov like Howie did.

paddy and gaffy, your deeply held charitable values are exceeded only by your local and global political acumen, notwithstanding your gentlemanly and scholarly ways 🙂

I’m afraid the bagmen are in front at this stage of the tounament.

Dying to see how the Chileans go in their next match. The kids know no fear.

You’d have to me a fanatic like Vladko Mladic to back Serbia tonight; Klose’s killer form leads me to back Germany.
Seps will slay the Sloves.
And if the Poms can’t tame the Algies they should get the fuck out of Gibraltar on the grounds that they no longer deserve the vestiges of Empire’s trappings! I refuse to back England because they are eternally cursed in this tournament and tonight’s price is lousy value.


June 18:

June 18:


I’m afraid the bagmen are in front at this stage of the tounament.

Show em no mercy mate, get em by the bag straps and pound em into ground. :mrgreen:

Say to a blind man, you’re free, open the door that was separating him from the world, Go, you are free, we tell him once more, and he does not go, he has remained motionless there in the middle of the road, he and the others, they are terrified, they do not know where to go, the fact is that there is no comparison between living in a rational labyrinth, which is, by definition, a mental asylum and venturing forth, without a guiding hand or a dog-leash, into the demented labyrinth of the city, where memory will serve no purpose, for it will merely be able to recall the images of places but not the paths whereby we might get there.

From “Blindness” by Jose Saramago

Vale, Jose.


Banner headline, homepage, Huffpo.

One will not comment on the attendant irony, however I can’t remember Soccer ever getting this kind of Sep-side publicity. Soccer grannies and mums will be going ape with righteous indignation at the slight.
The ref was clearly over-awed by the occasion, making some crackpot decisions either way. One sensed from his handling of the first few minutes of the match that major drama was on the cards. Slovenia played with heart and deserved the draw, but the Seps were definitely stiffed on their third goal.

Where else these days can one witness tragedy, spectacle, farce and co-ordinated physicality of this stature, and get to bet on it? And do your arse. 🙂 And nobody gets killed. Widespread player over-reaction to challenges and tackles is a serious joke. Italy performed best on all levels: balletic, ball-skills, thespian and co-ordinated movement last time. They are currently World Champs in a festival where reputations are about as useful as last year’s underwear.

Like the man said, “you know, Frank, it’d not just futbol. For me, it goes way beyond that.”

EC, futbol to me will forever be painful to watch. Whilst there are some wizards with spectacular ball skills and tricks and turns the game needs to make two changes to the rules then it would be really exciting.
1. You can only be offside if you are behind the last man or goalie without the ball.
2. As in basketball as soon as you pass the ball back to your side of the halfway line you forfeit posession.

The fake swan dives will not be noticed then as everyone will be watching goals being scored.
There will be less fights in the bored crowd as they will be too busy watching more goals being scored and won’t want to miss them.

Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia Presidential Candidate, Oversaw The Company Managing Elections.

Colombia – The man most likely to become Colombia’s next president this Sunday has played a previously undisclosed role as a corporate officer of the company hired to run the nation’s elections over the last decade, while he was a political leader, business records obtained by the Huffington Post Investigative Fund show.

The role of Juan Manuel Santos – a former defense minister in the government of current president Alvaro Uribe and a scion of one of the nation’s most powerful families – is not widely known in the South American country, where his family controls some of the leading news organizations and there are reports of voting irregularities.

Riding on Uribe’s coattails and backed by the massive political machine of Uribe’s party, known simply as “U,” Santos is 39 points ahead in polls over Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus, a mathematician and former Bogotá mayor who vows to banish the nation’s rampant corruption and cronyism.

What’s the problem? He just following George Bushes example.

From AMERICAblog.

Does Australia want to link Internet browsing history to passports?
by Chris in Paris on 6/17/2010 10:54:00 PM
Creepy, if true though ZDNet is not a fly-by-night source. The Rudd government is getting into some very disturbing territory. It’s even more extreme than the EU monitoring.

Last week we were duly shocked by the discovery that the government is looking into a proposal to make ISPs retain a log of every website you ever visit. Now it’s coming out that they may want ISPs to link that information to other personal data like your passport number.

Ben Grubb over at ZDNet broke the original story, and yesterday followed it up with a deeper insight into the proposed scheme. While the government is denying it would capture individual browsing histories, unnamed sources from ISPs are saying that the original data set sent to ISPs from the government said that they’d require allied personal information, including passport numbers.

World’s Mining Companies Covet Afghan Riches.

Mining companies around the world are eager to exploit Afghanistan’s newly discovered mineral wealth, but executives of Western firms caution that war, corruption and lack of roads and other infrastructure are likely to delay exploration for years.
A few high-risk investors are sufficiently intrigued by the country’s potential to take an early look. JP Morgan, for instance, has just sent a team of mining experts to Afghanistan to examine possible projects to develop.

“Afghanistan could be one of the leading producers of copper, gold, lithium and iron ore in the world,” said Ian Hannam, a London-based banker and mining expert with JP Morgan. “I believe this has the potential to be transforming for Afghanistan.”

The Chinese tend to build infrastructure as part of the deal. I am not sure what other strings are attached. I suspect the minerals do not stop at the border and cover that huge area. Side benefit, Pakistan may be able to buy a decent cricket team. 😈

The Republicans are not on your side Hotlist
by Laurence Lewis
Fri Jun 18, 2010 at 07:36:04 PM PDT

The message is simple and easy, because it happens to be true. On issue after issue, the Republicans prove that they don’t care about people, they only care about their corporate owners. Last week, they blocked an extension of unemployment benefits. This week, they killed it. They also ensured a pay cut to doctors who accept Medicare patients, ensuring that fewer doctors will, and that those on Medicare will have more trouble finding medical care. But while they’ve been busy hurting people, they’ve also been busy helping corporations

With the BP oil gusher destroying the Gulf of Mexico, Republicans are having to pretend not to be defending BP. Meanwhile, they’re criticizing President Obama for trying to protect people from BP. It’s always the same. They protected the banks from financial regulation. They protected the health insurance industry from real health care reform. They killed cramdown, which would have protected homeowners from losing their homes. The list goes on and on. Issue after issue. Year after year.

When have the Republicans supported legislation that helps people at the expense of corporate special interests? When have they proposed such legislation, on their own? Don’t hurt yourself trying to find examples. They’re rhetorical questions.

The Democrats have got more than enough material for a highly effective election campaign. (Too much really). As well as the money to do it.

Rasmussen’s rise in polling, and his Republican ties.

Given the prominence of Rasmussen Reports polls in Oregon politics, I thought it was worth passing on this profile of pollster Scott Rasmussen in The Washington Post.

It’s clear from the profile that Rasmussen – for better or worse – has built a business that wins broad attention from conservatives. He seems to be as much a regular on Fox TV as Karl Rove.
It’s also easy to find polling critics who say that Rasmussen’s surveys are suspect, whether it’s because of his likely-voter screens or his automated polling methodology.

Remarks by AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka at the City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland Ohio
June 18, 2010

Thank you, President Roller [City Club Board President Jan Roller].

Good afternoon. I am delighted to be here with you in the great city of Cleveland. I want to talk to you about the grave economic challenges we face today – and the labor movement’s vision for where we need to go.

There is no better place to have a discussion about our economic challenges than Cleveland—where business and labor built the American middle class. Cleveland embodies both the consequences of our failed economic policies of the last three decades – and our hope for a different future.

The economic crisis has hit hard here—116,000 lost jobs in the last decade in Cuyahoga County. Eighty-six thousand home foreclosures last year alone. A self-defeating attempt to address budget shortfalls by attacking school budgets and teachers.

But we can also see a glimpse of a better future in the Lake Erie wind turbine project—with turbines built here in Ohio, in the OneCommunity Project fiber optic network, and in Cleveland’s role as a global center of fuel cell development.

We’re at a turning point today. The economic course our nation started on in 1980—the effort to have a low-wage, high-consumption society that imports more and more of what it consumes—has hit the wall. We cannot afford to stay this course– of letting the private sector and the financial markets run amok, of outsourcing everything that’s not nailed to the floor, and of pushing down workers every chance we get. And last night’s vote by Republicans in the United States Senate to block a simple extension of unemployment benefits for the most hard-pressed people without jobs is just the latest shame. At some point, there is nobody left to buy the junk that we import from everywhere but here.

We now face a future of prolonged high unemployment and stagnant or falling wages—unless we do something different.

Today I am going to talk about doing something different.

We need a new national economic strategy for a global economy.

more here…

1246 megan You could substitute Democrats and Obama into quite a lot of that megan.

Oh no spaminator ate my last comment.

How far to the right does Tim Dunlop swing for him to see Labor as a party of the left?

That’s one item the mad Abbort will have to now scrub from his A4 sheet of card tricks.

He may get JoHo or Depression to announce it at the press club this week.

What I consider is a very good outcome for Australians with this NBN and Telstra agreement having been negotiated, we will now see the leader of the fuckwit opposition reported on every news medium as bad news and Australians being gouged with increasing rip off prices etc for the next week.
This weeks question time will be how are rich miners and rich lieberals expected to put uf with this great big new gouging rip off called GBNTNBN?

Merkel struggling to hold her team together.

It occurred to me this week that the football World Cup is a little bit like the German government – you get a new one every four years.

True, there are no vuvuzelas in the Bundestag, no Mexican waves winging their way around the chancellery. It’s also true that Angela Merkel lacks the charisma of a Kaka or the lightning reactions of a Ronaldo.

In fact, recently she’s seemed to have more in common with that poor England goalkeeper Robert Green. Every ball that comes her way she fumbles and then watches, despairingly, as it creeps over the line and into her own net – to the delight of her opponents and the disbelief of her own team.

In Germany the chancellor’s personal popularity is falling, support for her government has plummeted to an all-time low. In football parlance, Angela Merkel must be as sick as a parrot.

more here..

Megat at 1246

Not sure if this article was linked but thought it may provide some insight as to why Rudd is on the slippery-dip at the moment….
The willingness of the left to critically analyse our own side leaves us wide open,showing our weaknesses to an already rabid and self-righteous right.


As far as i can tell, the reason why “The Left” critically analyses Rudd is because he is NOT one of our own OR on our side.

Why is “The Left” supposed to be sweet as pie with Conservative Kev?

He openly calls himself a fiscal and social Conservative and on many many issues of concern to “The Left” he fights off attacks from the Right by bragging about being just like the previous Government and PM that “The Left” openly loathed.

To me watching on , this is always the result for Right Wing Labour outfits like the DLC Bluedog Democrats in the U.S. or Third Way Blair/Brown Labour in Britain and now stuck in no-mans land Rudd Labour in Australia.

They are so intent on taking ground off The Right that they lose sight of their considerable base in the rear mirror.

The end result is what we have now. A floundering Party that are endlessly attacked by both sides of the politically aware divide.

Because the Party is publicly based on nothing but spin. Spin to the Left. Spin to the Right. After the freshness wears off, no-one is left happy.

Now, while they are competant and reasonably trustworthy and reasonably likeable (ie they are fresh), the uneducated mass who don’t know Kev’s bonce from Tone’s ass will support them. But when the gloss inevitably comes off any Government they are left pretty much friendless by The Left and The Right….and the mass of peeps in the middle go on not caring and vote for the next guy who looks reasonably unscary.

The “reasonably unscary” part is where British Conservatives got it correct and where U.S. and Aus Conservatives have got it wrong.

In my humble opinion, the first Party to ditch either Kevin or Tony and replace them with Julia or Joe/Malcs will grab the lion share of the available 5-8% of social moderates swinging at the moment and win the election.

If they don’t change leaders, both will go to the election shitting bricks about losing ,and the Greens will hold not only the Senate B.O.P. but probably also win a couple seats. Wouldn’t a hung Parliament be fun lol

I really don’t think Australia is in any way a socially conservative or overtly religious nation as a whole. We are not America. Rudd and Abbott do not appeal to Australians base instincts.

*Hmmm that got a bit longer than the intended quote and couple sentence reply. I’ll go back to the boring soccer now 🙂

Excellent post HarryH and not even the most curmudgeonly ticster could call the football boring right now.
I mean….The Kiwis embarrassing the mighty Azzurri by holding them to a 1-1 draw.
(and damn near stealing the match with a late goal.)
Obviously they’ve introduced the secret weapon and done to Italy what the Socceroos failed to do 4 years ago.
Bring on the heavy mob from the reserve bench.
Then deal with the Azzurri and show no mercy.

Sweet schadenfreude :mrgreen:

NZ-Italy draw?
Who’d have thunk it!!
So many games, so little sleep!!
Yep, have to agree with you ,Harry….great post.
Have never quite got a handle on the strange hybrid of left and right in Labour and a similar struggle in the Libs. Would be so much easier if split on genuine left/right and suspect the only genuine shift to the left would be if the Greens do hold the B.O.P. Would like to see Lindsay Tanner and John Faulkner play more prominent roles in future and agree Malcs (feel Joe is another Rudd) on the Lib side.
For all the shortcomings you have mentioned, I think Rudd has genuinely tried to govern for all, more like a bureaucrat admittedly, but even so a relief after the previous lot. Probably spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror but sure as hell don’t want to go back to what preceded him..


well said HarryH-
Rudd is almost as “right” as Howard.
Turnbull is less socially conservative than Rudd.
the whole Old Politics game is unravelling. It will be messy no doubt, but neither “side’ (which in fact are almost indistinguishable these days) reflect progressive values.
Time they learnt.

Rahm Emanuel: Joe Barton’s BP Apology Represents Difference Between Democrats And Republicans (VIDEO).

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s chief of staff is warning about what might happen if Republicans — who have defended BP over the Gulf oil spill — were to run Congress after the fall election.

Rahm Emanuel says the GOP philosophy is to paint BP as the victim, pointing to Rep. Joe Barton’s apology to BP for what the congressman called a White House “shakedown.”

more here…

Ah, Paddy…was busy checking Poss in the wee hours and glad you’ve put my mind at ease.
What would we do without the furry one to keep (some of ) us sane!! 😆

Rahm. “Anyone that tells you what the results are going to be doesn’t know what politics is”.
That would inlcude me 😆

I’m starting to have doubts as to whether Julia can be Labor’s saviour. I could be wrong, but I think she may be tainted by Rudd – she’s been instrumental in his government (as has Tanner and Swan). And I get the feeling she’s also not into negotiating – this is certainly the message from people active in the Teacher’s Union.
Now maybe that’s just a view that a political tragic like me might have, and the general voting public won’t see it that way.
I keep on hearing Greg Combet’s name as a future Labor PM. And he hasn’t been tainted by Rudd. I think he’s just not well known enough to take over as leader.

As a prospective teacher, I think the Teaching Union are not dealing with reality here.

Now, this is not to say that I disagree with everything that the union says, and I fully intend on becoming a member. For example, I strongly support increased pay for teachers and I strongly believe that merit-based pay for teachers – however this supposed merit is measured – is something that is bound to cause huge problems.

However, the fact is that parents in the main want the data on schools. If the teachers believe that that data is misleading, then they need to make a better effort in communicating with parents. I get very little information about the progress of my children – 4 reports, 2 of them containing no useful information whatsoever. I have to seek it out if I want it, and when I do they are reluctant to give it to me. This is something that the union could have been doing stuff about years ago, especially as they knew that information on schools was coming – both the Liberals and Labor supported it.

The primary responsibility of an education minister is the best interests of parents and children. The best interests of teachers are the responsibility of the minister only to the end that promoting those best interests serve parents and children.

I think the Teacher’s Union main problem with “My School” is that without more information such as population demographics, a proper comparison of a school’s results can’t be made.
I thought it was interesting a few weeks ago when there were those reports of kids being told to sit out on tests so they didn’t drag the results down. Imagine the impact on that kid? I think it demonstrates some of the complaints of the Union – that just working to test results is not in the best interests of educating kids.
But I understand your point that if parents want the info, there’s not much the Unions can do about it.


I think that proper comparisons cannot be made without lots of information. However, by attempting to resist this completely, the teachers union looks as though it is opposed to parents getting *any* useful information. And my own interactions with schools tells me that there is in general a culture of silence. Teachers appear to be actively discouraged from talking with parents, and take steps to avoid doing so wherever possible. Getting a teacher to return a phone call is like plugging BP’s oil spill or getting governments to take action on climate change …

Three Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Three Australian soldiers have been killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan, just a fortnight after two other diggers died in a roadside bomb blast in the war torn country.

Ten were on board the chopper, Defence Chief Air Marshal Angus Houston told reporters.


Julia Gillard and Greg Combet look the clear and obvious future leadership candidates.

But my fear is that the Labour Right hacks that control and have stacked the Labour Party will never allow it because both Gillard and Combet are from the Left.

We’ll probably end up with a NSW Right wunderkid like Bowen or Burke as next cab off the rank. Rejoice.

Don’t get nervous Ticsters. Shamiams great big new hysteria is over and Kevin Rudd is still PM and will remain so where he will win the next election and the one after. Then Julia will get a run.
He has not even started campaigning yet and the polls have started to rise. The media murdoch shills have over egged it and it will now come back to bite them.
I must admit though that when Labor are streeting the opposition they always seem to be able to shoot themselves in the foot and bring the retards back in to the game with the help of the media propaganda machine.


My hope is – and my prediction was, prior to recent events – that Rudd will win the next two elections, and hand over to Gillard mid term three.

But I must admit to feeling very nervous – exactly as board pessimist should at be at the recent polling!

In any case, I suspect that Abbott’s dream polling run of approximately six reasonable to good polls has come to an end.

Never ceases to amaze with the mining companies crying poor while splurging $100mil to support an advertising campaign against a bit more tax.
Ask them for a couple of mil to help with safety at the mine and get told swiftly where to go.
BHP hoad more deaths in Australia than there were in the insulation scheme. The irony.

On Friday, a far too familiar news agency story popped up on computer terminals of newsrooms around Australia. It wasn’t widely reported because it is so common.

The world’s biggest miner, BHP, announced that a man had been killed in an “incident” on the rail line moving iron ore to Port Hedland, in Western Australia. There were few details, although a BHP spokeswoman said “the company’s Pilbara mines and port were operating as normal”.

That’s OK then. Phew, for a minute there I thought this might be serious.

Last August, the head of BHP iron ore, Ian Ashby, was frank about his company’s safety performance, after it totted up five deaths in 12 months.


I really think Brand Rudd is dead. Mind you, i still absolutely maintain that Abbott is unelectable, so Rudd will still win this election if Abbott remains the alternative PM.

But Rudd is in deep doodoo. He is pretty toxic in the electorate.

Just as a small anecdote….i spent most of Saturday sitting in the waiting room at a public hospital. The T.V. was stuck on SBS, probably still stuck there from the soccer the previous night lol.

As is typical in waiting rooms, everyone was sitting in silence. No conversations were taking place.

Then Rudd appeared on the screen during a news break. It was pretty strange. Immediately he appeared 2 people groaned and mumbled and then conversations started. Not a good word for Rudd. These were working class people of all ages and race, men and women. One bloke said Rudd made his skin crawl….a middle aged woman agreed.

I was a bit taken aback….but then again i wasn’t.

I can’t see a way back for Brand Rudd. People will say … but Howard went through a rough patch and became popular again … but Howard did that on the back of a one off event. 9/11.

Rudd has already had his 9/11 moment in the GFC. Yet it has done him absolutely no good. Keeping Oz out of a recession and unemployment down should have him riding high.

But the punters have gone right off him. They still don’t want Abbott, but they don’t want or like Rudd either.

Well, to be fair, the GFC did do Rudd a lot of good – it kept his approval rating at abnormally high levels for an equally abnormal amount of time. But you are correct: it has not done him any good in the long term.

I think that changing leaders at this point would be a bad idea for either party. If the Liberals dumped Abbott, they would just look divided; if Labor dumped Rudd, they would look frightened. (Of course, if they both dumped leaders the negative effects would cancel out.)

As to people going off Rudd and brand Rudd being finished, you may be right. The smart money is likely on Labor limping over the line at the election with Rudd being replaced soon afterwards.

As to whether they replaced Rudd with Gillard, well, while factions have a lot of power, the biggest power is ‘electability’. This is why Rudd and Gillard were able to form a team and do an end round around the factions to a very large degree. If Gillard is seen as electable and no-one else is then she will get the leadership. There is plenty of talent in Labor. I like Penny Wong, Tanner and Combet – and Bowen, personally.

I also do not think that Rudd has done badly policy wise, stupidity like the ISP filter and morally bad choices on refugees notwithstanding. Politically, he has done poorly in the last little while, however.

As to Rudd being an economic conservative, well, sure. But given the vast amount of money being funnelled into hospitals and schools by this government, he still demonstrates the socialist heart that has beaten in every Labor government over the century. The mining tax, superannuation reform and paid maternity leave are other example that demonstrates that socialism is at the core of Rudd’s thinking.

However, socialist most certainly does not equal progressive and definitely not on the environmental and social issues that are close to my heart, such as climate change and gay rights. But at the very least Rudd was the first Australian Prime Minister to try to do something about climate change. And he was truly committed to it; still is, I believe, but disllusioned by a failure that was not of his making.

As to gay rights, I never expected anything on that from this Labor government.

the ABC ( Australian story) obviously wants Julia as leader.
kevin (redundant person) must be furious.

I wonder what people think that Julia would do differently policy wise? She would have a different style, certainly. But she has had a lot of input into Labor policy over the last five years. I think that she would make a fine Prime Minister. But she is not really going to be noticeably more progressive than Rudd (although I do hold out some hope that she would be more willing to step out of the way on the gay rights issue, not having a religious mental problem that I am aware of …)

David 1284

I reckon the Mining tax is a good thing and a benefit electorally to Labour….although i admittedly don’t know the intricate details of it…but who does lol.

But considering that much of this tax is going to cut company tax, i think it’s a little rich to say Rudd is showing his socialist heart.

Mind you, i’m not arguing that Labour should be socialist. I’m just of the mind they should be a bit more Labourish and throw off the ghost of Howardism that Rudd seems to cling to. But i think it’s obvious he can’t…because he is a self confessed proud Conservative.


Company tax is going to drop by a total of 2 per cent over the next five years. Superannuation payments will rise from 9 per cent to 12 per cent. Companies will be using their tax savings to give their employees a better retirement – this is the whole point behind the coupling of the mining tax to the cut in company tax. This is the government directing the profits of mining companies to workers for their retirement. The mechanism by which they are ensuring that businesses do not pay for this is a cut in tax.

As you said, you do not understand the tax. And this is a problem: Labor are just not selling what they are doing very well.

As an example, legislation is currently going through parliament to create national energy efficiency standards for buildings. This is a big step. Using it, future legislation can then begin to mandate energy efficiency levels. Commercial buildings create 10 per cent of our greenhouse gases. Cutting this in half – something that can easily be done over the next 20 years – would be a big step forward to acheiving an 80 to 90 per cent reduction by 2050. But no-one in the media is interested in it.

Laborish = socialist (well, capitalist with a strong socialist base).
And Laborish has traditionally equalled conservative, too – certainly on social issues. Miners and loggers and factory workers have never been friends to gays, greenies or gooks …

David, i reckon Gillard WOULD be more progressive policy wise and style wise than Rudd…because that is her and Rudd is Rudd.

It would only be subtle….but noticeable.

I just don’t see how Rudd can recover from his own rhetoric. When you invest so much in something seemingly(to the punters) so important as CC and pound them with terms like “the greatest moral challenge of our lifetime” and “deferral is denial” and “deferral is an act of political cowardice”…. and then shelve the whole thing….well , your cred is dead.

The polls and logic tell a clear story.


Can you give me a specific and noticeable policy example that you think Gillard would be more progressive on and in what way?

Yes, Rudd’s rhetoric hurt him. But so does the fact that the public does not actually understand that it was not Rudd who blocked action and that he was forced to drop it …

Logic tells me a story, too. But it is not quite the same one that it is telling you, I think. I am not denying that Rudd is in trouble. Unless there is a swing to Labor at the next election, I think that he will not last a year. But I think that the reasons that you present as to why he is in trouble do not tell the whole story.

1288 David

I did actually understand that the company tax is meant to offset the super add-ons.

I just reckon it’s a bit rich to call this demonstrating a socialist heart as Rudds core.

The whole exercise is to (rightly)prop up the capitalist system that is at breaking point as the population matures.

David, of course the public don’t understand the reasons why Rudd dropped any action (luckily for him i think)….nor do they care.

He, like any politician, lives and dies by his actions and his rhetoric.

And more and more these days it is rhetoric more important than actions.

He wedged Turnbull and double wedgied himself.

DG, raising super contributions by 3% means those who earn more will get a greater slice of the money when arguably they should have more disposable income to save for their retirement in the first place. Calling this socialism is a funny way of looking at socialism. The compulsory super scheme is all about transitioning a socialist system like the old age pension over to a market system run by the finance industry.


I agree that rhetoric is – politically – more important than action. And I agree that this is where Labor and Rudd have failed.

But my argument is that Labor and Rudd have not done all that bad a job *policy* wise. Their failures have been political ones, *not* policy ones (in the main – there are obvious exceptions that I have mentioned).


That is true – personally, I would have a flat structure and a cap.

But even so it is a major redistribution of wealth from just those who own shares in mining companies to many more people across the nation by government mandate. That seems pretty socialist to me.

Further, it does not replace the old age pension for those who need it. It does, however, move those who do not need it off it. This means that the capacity of government to support those in need increases. And this is what should happen, imo.

Well it is sort of replacing the old age pension gradually in the sense that they keep raising the retirement age for the pension. The money is being redistributed from those who own shares to those who are being forced to buy shares through the big retail super schemes which most companies put their workers on to. I think you are slightly confusing the welfare state with socialism. In a true socialist state everybody would get the pension when they retire. While capitalist concern for the poor is somewhat admirable, we shouldn’t confuse it with socialism.


Hmm. I think that government mandating that businesses give money to their workers *is* socialism. I do not think that it is capitalist concern for the poor, in that if it was up to business they would not pay this money to their workers. It is government doing it, hence it is socialism.

I understand your point about investing. However, you now have the option of investing where you choose, which could mean simply in cash. You no longer have to participate in particular schemes except in certain employment circumstances.

How would you define the welfare state as opposed to socialism?

For me, socialism is ‘to each according to their needs’. In my opinion, the welfare state distorts this, because welfare is not directed at those who need it the most but to those who are seen as the most important voter blocks.

I understand that a super system based on percentage of income distorts it, too. But I do not think that it does so as much, and when it is backed by a pension that goes to those who need it, well, again, it seems pretty socialist to me.

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