Bob Carr is a keen diarist. He kept a lively and detailed diary during his time in NSW politics, including his years as Premier.

Just doing a quick spell check on the book. Photo: The Australian

Extracts from it provided the basis for a revealing biography described by one reviewer as “a grand disrobing”.

As Foreign Minister, Carr is believed still to jot down every day a record of his personal thoughts on events and discussions he is involved in.

And some of his new federal colleagues are uneasy about it, worried that some or all of Carr’s federal thoughtlines might appear in book form when Julia Gillard’s government is no more and he settles back into retirement.

Carr loves books—writing as well as reading them. He also has a deep interest in history, including Labor Party history.

Which is why his bagging of former Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner for daring to produce a book dealing with some of Labor’s problems was so jarring.

“I’m sure there is terrific analysis in Lindsay’s book because Lindsay is very brainy,” Carr said patronisingly, standing outside the United Nations building in New York.

“But it’s got a bit too easy to write another book spelling out what’s wrong with the battered old Labor Party.”

He added: “We went through a stage where every galah in a pet shop had an opinion about what was wrong with the Labor Party. Now, I’m sick of that.”

Tanner is no galah. He is a substantial Labor figure. Carr’s smug put-down does the Foreign Minister no credit.

Less than a year ago Carr was happy to launch Troy Bramston’s book, “Looking for the Light on the Hill—Modern Labor’s Challenges”.

The publisher’s blurb said “ Labor is bedevilled by twin problems: the loss of its intrinsic culture of strong, bold, and innovative leadership; and an identity crisis that has emerged because Labor has failed to refresh its values, philosophy and purpose for the modern era”. 

In other words, Bramston’s book dealt with what is wrong with the modern Labor Party, expressing some concerns similar to Tanner’s.

Yet Carr heaped praise on one, scorn on the other.

He enthusiastically endorsed Bramston’s call for the ALP to distance itself from “power brokers”, for example, and said: “These types did enough damage to the party in the lead-up to the last state elections and in the lead-up to the last federal elections.”

But that was then and this is now. Then, like Tanner, Carr was retired from active politics. Now he is back in it, and willing to make a hypocrite of himself if it suits the political interests of the government.

One of Tanner’s key points in “Politics With Purpose”  is that the knifing of Kevin Rudd, a first term prime minister, was a mistake.

Another is that Labor needs “a root and branch rethink about why we exist” because the party has become “an electoral machine largely devoid of wider purpose”.

They are hardly outrageous views. Many in the Labor Party would agree with them.

In his New York news conference, Carr said that, if he had stayed in retirement, “it would have been a pushover to have polished off another book, number 20, on what’s wrong with the Labor Party”.

But Carr DID write such a book,or something close to it, with former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and former Defence Minister John Faulkner.

At the request of the ALP national executive, the trio produced a report on why the 2010 election campaign went so wrong and what should be done to rebuild the party’s support.

Their recommendations for reform were largely ignored. 

And much of the report has been kept secret, even though -in marked contrast to his attitude to the Tanner book -Carr wanted the document made public.

I find it inconceivable that Carr really believes debate about Labor and it’s future should be suppressed, given his erudite contribution to it in the past.

He penned a particularly interesting article on the subject in The Financial Review in March, on the very day Gillard announced that he would enter the senate and take up the foreign affairs portfolio.

Carr rejected calls for the party to reconnect with its base and re-embrace core principles.

“Nobody knows what ‘social inclusion’ means,” he wrote. “And I am getting weary of attempts to invoke Prime Minister Ben Chifley’s ‘light on the hill’, more being made of it than Chifley ever intended.

“Arguments that Labor has got to ‘return to its base’ ring hollow when one tries to find the base.

“There are no eternal principles to wave around, just a cranky ‘socialisation’ objective adopted by accident in 1921 that nobody understood or was prepared to implement”.

Carr said in the article that there is not much afterglow in Labor’s past because the party “was generally make-shift and improvised”.

And he suggested: “There may lie the way forward. Improvisation—smart leaders collecting the best that is around and making it up as they go along.”

Tanner on one side calling for a renewed sense of purpose, Carr on the other advocating that Labor improvise and experiment.

It sounds to me like a debate worth having.

Laurie Oakes is political editor for the Nine Network.

Comments close on this post at 8pm AEST

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74 comments

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    • Gratuitous Adviser says:

      06:36am | 29/09/12

      It’s certainly a debate worth having and has been since the Rudd tossing, however it will not happen until opposition is reached federally.  Only then can the cleansing or destruction begin and maybe expediency will take a back seat for a while because there will be nothing further that this generation of Labor pollies can lose.

      The trouble is that this generation of Labor pollies and AWU hangers on may leave us with a legacy of conservative, heat affected, Queensland style Governments for many, many years.

      I’m waiting for those great Australians, Eddie Obeid and Mark Arbib, to bring their book out and Bob Carr to give a critique.

    • Advance Australia Fair says:

      08:10am | 29/09/12

      Julia Gillard is carrying on a fine tradition and moving Australia forward in the face of a luddite conservative opposition,  which is lead by a carping aggressive, negative bully boy.  Despite the continual requirement to negotiate with the other parties making up the majority, she has achieved the passage of many progerssive bills through parliament ! :
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqA4fGmlXz8&feature=youtu.be

    • Aitch B says:

      09:16am | 29/09/12

      @AAF (acotrel in dusguise?)

      And if you think Labor weren’t carping and aggressive when they were in opposition then you need to take your blinkers off.

      You might want to have a look at Anthony Albanese in action in the chamber too. Bully boys aren’t just limited to the Opposition, you know!

    • Chris L says:

      09:47am | 29/09/12

      Thank you for posting that link AAF. It gives a fair account of the leadership we received within a specific timeframe which is a refreshing change from the attitude of some modern commentators who only see benefit through the eyes of their party affiliation.

      Your comments about Gillard probably won’t be too popular here though.

    • Stan says:

      09:53am | 29/09/12

      It’s certainly a debate worth having ..... what debate!
      when the the people are superseded by the political parties absolute power.

    • ZSRenn says:

      10:00am | 29/09/12

      @ AAF you must mean bills like the Carbon Tax, that we would never have, that taxes local governments for waste disposal to save 0.0% of global carbon emissions. Or do you mean the plethora of other bills that cant be implimented until 3012 because we just can’t afford them Make no mistake this is the worst government in AU history and the best bunch of bullshit artists ever to walk the floors of Parliament.

    • Get rid of both parties says:

      11:37am | 29/09/12

      @Advance Australia Fair

      Advancing us where?

      Progressive? You’re joking right?

      We’ll be a third world nation by the time most voters work out what’s going on.

      We’re globalised, we “compete” with countries that earn a tenth what we do, we’ve sold most of our producing assets, our personal debt is the highest in the world. We continue to populate a country that has the highest species extinctions on the planet.

      If you think we’re advancing under these circumstances, well, you’re not thinking.

      It’s infuriating watching fluffy left people run Australia into oblivion because they just don’t see what’s coming.

    • Christian Real says:

      03:43pm | 29/09/12

      Aitch B
      Having met with Anthony Albanese, I don’t see him as a bully boy,he says what he thinks and he does not try to intimidate his opponents by punching the wall each side of their head like some well known Opposition Leader did.

    • Gregg says:

      07:12am | 29/09/12

      So many interesting concepts and possible interpretations there Laurie one finds it hard to know where to start!

      ” One of Tanner’s key points in “Politics With Purpose”  is that the knifing of Kevin Rudd, a first term prime minister, was a mistake. “
      I suppose as far as Labor’s current set of problems go, that is not such a bad starting point and ironically enough is what opened the side door for Carr to get the stage he had only previously ever dreamed of.

      When you read of some of his past comments you have quoted, it would seem that there are many dreams best forgotten or not to be revealed until later and that is the nightmare for his colleagues to feel so uncomfortable about.

      A reading of his current comments is hardly too comforting for any Labor supporter:
      ” In his New York news conference, Carr said that, if he had stayed in retirement, “it would have been a pushover to have polished off another book, number 20, on what’s wrong with the Labor Party”. “
      That kind of saying there must be considerable wrong with Labor and I’m not too sure just how many galahs are in pet shops but there’s heaps to be found outside of them, perhaps even Carr having something in his genes!; are the facial characteristics reminiscent?
      The cartoonists should let us know soon enough I’d think.

      And then there’s that secret report!
      It might have been so short ” It should have been Tony Abbott that you stuck knives into “

      And so classical is with Ben lighting the way or not we have
      ” “Arguments that Labor has got to ‘return to its base’ ring hollow when one tries to find the base. ”  ......and

      ” ....because the party “was generally make-shift and improvised”.

      And he suggested: “There may lie the way forward. Improvisation—smart leaders collecting the best that is around and making it up as they go along.”
      This near seems to be straight out of the Kruddy 101 handbook so no small wonder Labor lardheads have their problems for it’d seem that not only is it unknown where the road is but they cannot quite work out where the central train station is!

      Another is that Labor needs “a root and branch rethink about why we exist” because the party has become “an electoral machine largely devoid of wider purpose”.
      Maybe Julia will be able to agree the roots bit.

      ” Tanner on one side calling for a renewed sense of purpose, Carr on the other advocating that Labor improvise and experiment.
      It sounds to me like a debate worth having. “

      I’d certainly think so Laurie and our joy may only be exceeded by Kevin salivating over some more rooting.

      Bring it on I say, it can do the best for Australia.

    • craig2 says:

      07:18am | 29/09/12

      Why did Carr decide to come back to politics? His smug and dismissive attitude has not changed since state politics and since when does Carr think his opinion is worthy of public notice? Then again, the truth does hurt doesn’t it Laurie, Labor is simply crap.

    • Alfie says:

      08:27am | 29/09/12

      Carr is just another galah in the pet shop with an opinion about why Labor stinks. Never mind, they will have plenty of years in opposition to muse over their shortcomings.

    • acotrel says:

      08:37am | 29/09/12

      Yeah !, and Keating was arrogant, and look at the devastating effect he had on our current economy.

    • craig2 says:

      09:19am | 29/09/12

      I’m sorry Acrotel, Keating… Keating….Keating….nope don’t know him, anybody else does? What did he do, was he the parliament cleaner? Is he even relevant to today’s politics?

    • persephone says:

      09:31am | 29/09/12

      Carr thinks his opinion is worthy of public notice because journalists ask him for it and then print it.

      They don’t have to, you know.

    • Luke says:

      11:59am | 29/09/12

      persephone - you saying journalists don’t have to print Carr’s opinion? That’s what Journalists do. Why should his opinion not be printed? That sort of attitude is what makes me suspicious of Labor.

    • persephone says:

      12:35pm | 29/09/12

      Luke

      I think it’s your comprehension skills which are the problem, not Labor.

    • Chris L says:

      05:09pm | 29/09/12

      Good grief! Oakes has just taken a shot at a standing Labor pollie and at the party in whole… but you still hate him because he doesn’t support your team enough.

      PS. Craig2, Keating is the reason you have superannuation to look forward to, and why our position with China is so strong, and why our currency is globally… forget it, you don’t want to hear it.

      PS. I like Fraser as well. I say this so you know I’m not just being team Labor.

    • DOB says:

      06:32pm | 29/09/12

      Craig2, Keating is the reason why you are enjoying an economy thats not dead like it is in Europe. Youre either just reaching puberty or your brain has been switched off for quite some time..

    • Aitch B says:

      07:36am | 29/09/12

      Obviously Carr studied ‘Hipocrisy 101’ in his retirement. I wonder if he even has an inkling of how much of a tool he’s making himself look. However I suppose that once you become part of the ‘machine’ you have to stay in line with all the other parts.

      I think all but the hardened Labor supporters will now block their ears and turn the other way….. if they hadn’t already done so.

    • iansand says:

      07:37am | 29/09/12

      There is something wrong with the Labor Party.  Any fool can see that. Having Party apparatchiks denying it, or not actively trying to change it, will only perpetuate the problem.

      The real problem with the Labor Party is that its traditional blue collar base has moved on into prosperity.  Their ties to troglodyte unions (not all unions are troglodyte) is an anchor holding them to a vision that has passed the Party by. They need to re-invent themselves and haven’t quite worked out what form that re-invention should take.

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      08:33am | 29/09/12

      Modern Labor is a living, breathing anachronism.
      Antagonism, sanctimony, belligerence, hypocrisy, and an inflated idea of their own contributions to the grand scheme of things have most recently highlighted the entrenched ALP modus operandi.
      The snivelling, deceitful two-stepping around the ALP-Union Movement political alliance that has been exposed as mainly a conduit for self-serving and corruption, that nothing short of a complete and transparent overhaul of the entire arrangement would allow all but the deluded true-believer to regain confidence in Labor as a political entity worthy of wider support.
       
      Offering five dollar memberships, whilst ignoring the well documented issues of probity an genuine public accountability is the most potent sign that those charting the course for Labor still don’t get it.

    • JoniM says:

      09:13am | 29/09/12

      The problem I see with the Party is that it is dominated by self serving individuals like Carr, whose only vision for the Party and for the electorate, is the erection of a personal grandstand or a feathered nest for themselves. In the case of Carr he has all the integrity and transparency of a gossamer shield. The man exists only to stroke his own ego, whether by espousing his considerable academic opinions on everything or playing the political games so well. He really gives himself a buzz ! Nothing of substance that would provide any good for the people, but certainly so self satisfying when you can deliver such clever retorts to doting reporters with a beautifully timbred voice !
      Carr represents everything that is wrong with the Labor Party !
      He represents himself, not the electorate !

    • JoniM says:

      09:21am | 29/09/12

      The problem I see with the Party is that it is dominated by self serving individuals like Carr, whose only vision for the Party and for the electorate, is the erection of a personal grandstand or a feathered nest for themselves. In the case of Carr he has all the integrity and transparency of a gossamer shield. The man exists only to stroke his own ego, whether by espousing his considerable academic opinions on everything or playing the political games so well. He really gives himself a buzz ! Nothing of substance that would provide any good for the people, but certainly so self satisfying when you can deliver such clever retorts to doting reporters with a beautifully timbred voice !
      Carr represents everything that is wrong with the Labor Party !
      He represents himself, not the electorate !

    • acotrel says:

      09:30am | 29/09/12

      But they build INFRASTRUCTURE !  And have a VISION !

    • persephone says:

      09:50am | 29/09/12

      Labor actually understands that it’s base has changed, which is why the kind of reforms it delivers are at odds with some of its ‘traditional’ stances.

      Its problem is a misunderstanding of this by outsiders - it’s the media, for example, who run most of the appeals for Labor to reconnect with its ‘base’.

      If Labor focuses on its traditional ‘base’ - low paid, blue collar workers - it risks focussing on a declining demographic, and losing touch with not only the mainstream voters, but its main supporters, who are more and more the kind of progressive professionals who want the party they support to be progressive and forward thinking.

      Policies such as the NBN, carbon pricing, reforming the educational system, demonstrate Labor’s core values - a commitment to providing equality of opportunity, and to foresee and prevent potential problems.

      No party on earth (with any history at all) caters to its original base. The policies of fifty years ago aren’t appropriate to the modern world. To suggest that Labor is somehow ‘betraying its base’ by keeping pace with the modern world is simply ignoring reality.

    • honesty prevails says:

      09:53am | 29/09/12

      Thanks for the heads up with your handle. The rolling false report has been delivered by rolls.
      Modern conservatives, hell even old conservatives are far more open about their living, breathing anachronism, antagonism, sanctimony, belligerence, hypocrisy, and their inflated idea of their own contributions.
      They just run pork barrels full of money to their mates and business partners at the Bain capitals of the world, practice environmental vandalism and care little for anything or anyone but the almighty dollar.

      This is why they must never be allowed to rob Australia blind again.

    • marley says:

      11:48am | 29/09/12

      @Persephone - it is probably true that the working man no longer constitutes the ALP’s base, and that urban professionals do.  Unfortunately, the party is dominated by unions and therefore there is a disconnect between the ALP and its new “base.”  And one of the things that came out of the Carr/Bracks/Faulkner review was the other disconnect - between the party elite and the grassroots members.  Basically, the ALP is no longer connected to anybody, old base or new.

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      11:43am | 29/09/12

      honesty, that really is quite funny.
      The irony dripping from YOUR handle was the cleverest part of the whole post. Ignorance, and misguided hatred of people talking sense are baseline character traits lurking within your average true believer, and it appears in those areas you might just be over qualified.

    • NESLIHAN KUROSAWA says:

      07:38am | 29/09/12

      Hi Laurie,

      So would this actually mean that those little notes on Mr Carr’s well kept diaries are intended for personal use or the public eyes?  Would Mr Bob Carr share the secrets of his trade willingly or candidly on this occasion?  Would all his biographies or autobiographies be bound to be best sellers all around the world or is this all about his five minutes of fame? It all seems a bit strange that such a politicians be would only remembered for some things he wrote down rather than how the Australian public would actually remember them ! I would presume that they should be remembered for all the wonderful and outstanding things they may have done truly in their public lives, for all Australians, most naturally!  I would like to believe that being a leader and a politician should never be about personal gain!

      Because after all that happens to be the actual promise made and the position they were elected to fulfil in the first place!  I personally can’t stand the idea of all those employed by Australian Government to represent Australians such as politicians should be in search of any more fame or fortune than they truly deserve!  Meaning unless they may expect these so called memoires to be the best or moderate sellers after they retire from Australian Politics. However I don’t truly see any point in anyone publishing some personal details while they are still in public office and public eye! Like most people I would normally judge all people employed in public office, by their over all performance and integrity above all.  The rest is history!

      All the rest will be up to and written in the history books, simply because those books never lie, right!  Al those outstanding people who can make it in to the history books, will be judged in good time by the good people of Australia!  Because only the truly remarkable people in the Australian politics could actually change the course of history by all the mile stones they might have achieved in their life time. But after all said and done they should only be judged and critiqued by others and not themselves. Kind regards to your editors.

    • Kaiser says:

      08:53am | 29/09/12

      @Neslihan Kurosawa
      I can’t help thinking about an episode of Seinfeld every time I read your posts. I have read several of your recent online comments and, with respect, can I suggest that you rethink your use of ‘!‘s.  The overuse of said punctuation somewhat takes away from the points you are making.  If you think I’m being picky, read any other post and see how often this device is used. And then stop using it so bloody much! (couldn’t help myself)

    • NESLIHAN KUROSAWA says:

      09:25am | 29/09/12

      Hi Kaiser,

      Thanks and message well received!  However are you suggesting that Seinfeld wasn’t entertaining at all?  I personally loved his shows and think that they happened to be very well written, funny and informative.  Just like the show itself it is all about getting your message across in your own special way, without insulting anyone’s intelligence!

      I suggest that you try to read between the exclamation marks and the actual lines. it is only my way of doing things and nothing more or less!  It actually makes it easier to read and digest.  Don’t you think?  I also use a lot of question marks and I am hoping that is not a a problem for you.  I have found your comments very funny and entertaining as well.  However do you have any personal thoughts or questions about the actual article written by Laurie?  That is the main thing for me!  Kind regards.

    • Fred Nerk says:

      07:45am | 29/09/12

      Of course Laurie’s strident defence of Tanner has nothing to do with Laurie’s fondness for Rudd, and exclusive leaks during the last Federal election campaign. Of course…

    • Onlooker says:

      07:49am | 29/09/12

      I vote Labor, except for the last Federal election, like many others I voted Greens out of protest for the knifing of Rudd. Since then they have come out back stabbing him, I think that shocked the country, it sure shocked my house. Like Tanner everyone I know, all Labor voters,( I come from Newcastle) feels that the spiteful bloody caucus was trying to justify themselves. Rudd can’t even scratch his bum without the press , The Liberals and The Greens jumping all over him. He has remained loyal to Labor throughout.  The more yelling and finger pointing at Rudd, the more we like him. In my house it has the reverse affect and I am sure many others feel like me.

    • craig2 says:

      09:09am | 29/09/12

      you may like him, we in QLD think very little of him and the sooner he rides off holding the UN’s hand, the happier we’ll be. Gone at the next election.

    • acotrel says:

      09:21am | 29/09/12

      Any leader who behaves like this deserves to get toppled :

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvBDlCpzP0s&feature=related

      You might think it is alright, but that sort of crap has been the downfall of our industrial system.
      LESSON #1 :  LEAD BY E XAMPLE !
      Rudd did not even know the basics !

    • youdy beaudy says:

      08:05am | 29/09/12

      Now here’s a good idea. Why don’t we get rid of the labor party completely and that would get rid of the whingers that write in here against them all the time, just deregister them, or harrass them to the point of suicide or something like that. Do what they did to Pauline, take the votes to get in and then de register, way to go.

      Then, we could install the only Political Party in the world that is any good and we know who they are, also get rid of the current system completely and then put Abbott in as first Dictator. Now, we will have to have a name for him and his mates. Maybe as we have so many Muslims in the country we could use one of their terms and call him Offendi. Now, i didn’t mean offensive but Offendi strikes a good note. We could bow to the Offendi each day and of course the Chief Offendi would dein to give us some food and things we need. We then could be a benevolent Dictatorship and wouldn’t that satisfy everyone.

      No more whinging complaining people writing on here and then the Punch could write on things like Flower Gardens and what doggie or cat you would like to have or how is your veggie garden growing. Are your broccilis going well.! Make sure you don’t spray them with Rogor 500, very serious stuff that.

      Then, with their new found powers they could get rid of books especially those written by Bob Carr who isn’t very popular with them. Yes, a good beheading or stoning would go down well with the new regime sympathizers. We could all learn to bow well to save our heads. The Chinese and North Koreans and Russians would send the new Offendi salutations with much bowing and scraping and then they would help us to sell our weapons and include us in their new world doctrine. Way to go.!
      The Offendi of course in line with true Offendisms would have to step out of the Catholic thingy which would hurt the Good catholic commentators on here or would he ban the Punch as well. I mean, no opinions are good opinions would be the order of the day. We could send all the Muslims home and close down those blasted kebab shops as if we need any more. Just think, no more Aussie belly, that would be good. Your body would thank you.

      With no dissenters against the Offendi still existing then we could all ride on into the sunset of Offendism and feel very secure indeed. Yes, God would be declared officially dead, never to arise again and as there would not be any more pubs and clubs and other types of dissenting disgusting places of debauchery and we could all die of thirst and our bodies would seize up from lack of exercise and we could all then concentrate on the new regime fully without thoughts of anything else that might distract us from the true purpose of getting that bowing right.

      Yes, bowing would be the new fitness regime and after many years when we get to bow really well then we will be fit to breathe the same air as the Offendi and his very offensive simian fellows. Yes, certainly the way to go as far as i’m concerned. Now, remember, this is just an opinion, but something has to be done as a matter of urgency, we know that don’t we. Our new mantram could be chanted as LOL and won’t that be nice.!

    • Shane says:

      11:00am | 29/09/12

      What the hell have you been smoking?

    • cheap white trash says:

      08:13am | 29/09/12

      A debate about Labor that’s actually worth having?

      Bob Carr is a keen diarist,he is also and ex Jurno for the ABC and education officer for the Labor Council of New South Wales,and there Lies the problem with Labor.
      Why not ask this question Laurie,how many in the Labor party have run a Business?
      How many have filled out a BAS statement?
      How many are ex Union Hacks?
      How many are ex Political Advisors?
      How many are ex Office hacks?and on on we go.

      When you can answer these Questions Laurie,you will find the answer to the Labor Parties Woes.

      Instead we get all this navel gazing and clap trap about some light on the hill,and lets go back to our roots,Thats a load of shit,and most ppl no it.
      Untill the Labor party moves into the 21st century,and is more relevant,it will never move forward,and having or talking about it wont change a thing.

    • Nick says:

      09:53am | 29/09/12

      There is no 21st century for Labor .Labor is the political voice of Unions which are rooted to the 1950’s when they were relevant.There is no where for them to go until they disassociate themselves from these backward thinking Union leaders who are desperately trying to hang on to their protected Lurks and Perks and realize that most Australians have moved on from the politics of envy.

    • Alfie says:

      08:12am | 29/09/12

      A Debate About Labor.

      Talk to the hand Laurie. Not interested thanks.

    • Chris L says:

      09:54am | 29/09/12

      You demonstrate why political debate has turned to smoke and soundbites. All people seem to want is their team to win, whether right or wrong.

    • sd says:

      11:44am | 29/09/12

      alfie lives in the echo chamber of ltd news.

    • Alfie says:

      05:56pm | 29/09/12

      Labor party navel gazing has nothing to do with the broad ‘political debate’. Their problem, not mine.

    • Luke says:

      08:35am | 29/09/12

      Labor always seem so sneaky and tricky, especially Gillard. They always appear to be covering something up, trying to shut someone up or silence the media. Their problem is no one trusts them, I wonder why.

    • persephone says:

      09:30am | 29/09/12

      Look at your own language, Luke -  ‘seem’ ‘appear’ - in other words, not actually doing it, but someone’s out to give you that impression.

      Now, if you want to be suspicious, you could ask yourself why someone wants to make you mistrust the government and examine their motives.

      But it ‘appears’ you’re happy to just take that on trust.

    • Nick says:

      10:32am | 29/09/12

      sneaky and tricky…..shut someone up or silence the media

      Isn’t it the true definition of tolerance.

    • Luke says:

      11:43am | 29/09/12

      Pers - Gillard gives me that impression and makes me suspicious as I said. Swan also gives me that impression. 
      “Now, if you want to be suspicious, you could ask yourself why someone wants to make you mistrust the government and examine their motives.”  Gillard and Swan do it themselves is my point.

    • Mack says:

      12:16pm | 29/09/12

      School holidays, Perse? Having a little break from brainwashing our next generation in ‘The Labor Way’?

    • Chris L says:

      05:07pm | 29/09/12

      Luke is right to be suspicious. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

      That said, I think it would be a good idea to cast an equally vigilant eye toward the other side.

      Good to see you back here Persephone. Don’t let the haters get to you.

    • Jenny says:

      09:05am | 29/09/12

      A debate about Labor that’s actually worth having.

      A debate about DEMOCRACY that’s actually worth having IS WHAT IS MISSING in our corrupted system of politocracy in which the people are irrelevant in every decision.

      If democracy means ” government of the people, by the people, for the people” it is not government of the mob, by the mob, for the mob as it is in a mafiacracy.

      Where le bloody hell are the people if we are told to be a democracy by the mob ??????

      It sounds to me like a debate worth having.

    • Martin says:

      01:46pm | 29/09/12

      The only debate who counts in a democracy is a referendum so everybody has its say without any preferences and the Swiss are the master that’s why it is the most prosperous country in the world and the least corrupted one.

      Where the bloody hell is the media to tell us the truth?

      Anything else is a lie and a fraud.

    • marley says:

      03:37pm | 29/09/12

      I’m not quite sure why you think “direct democracy” isn’t government by the mob.  After all, who’s voting, if not the mob?

    • persephone says:

      09:32am | 29/09/12

      ‘But Carr DID write such a book,or something close to it, with former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks and former Defence Minister John Faulkner. ‘

      Well, it wasn’t a book. And it wasn’t available publically. And the three writers of it didn’t use it as a springboard for countless media appearances, which they knew would be taken out of context to bash the party with, regardless of what they actually said.

      But apart from that…..

    • marley says:

      12:22pm | 29/09/12

      So, you’re advocating that the ALP remain a closed shop, holding its secrets close to its chest, and keeping prying eyes out.  Maybe that’s what got the ALP into its current plight in the first place.

    • acotrel says:

      09:31am | 29/09/12

      As I understand it Tanner is getting out of politics.  Perhaps he is firing a parting shot over his shoulder in the vain hope that his mate might be able tro crawl back and make another attempt to be a leader amongst men ?
      A waste of time ! :
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvBDlCpzP0s&feature=related

      Once I saw this video clip he became dead forever in my mind.  I’ve worked under morons like that.  He might be a highly intelligent workaholic, but if he reacts like that under stress, he is of no use to anyone !  His personal failings would simply cause the ball to be dropped in a crisis.

    • Aitch B says:

      01:35pm | 29/09/12

      @acotrel

      Mate….. keep up, will you? Tanner got out of politics in 2010!

    • youdy beaudy says:

      09:33am | 29/09/12

      I wonder why no one trusts her. Well it is obviously to do with the fact that she has not chosen to marry and have a tribe of whinging whining kids to fill the world. She has a pointy nose and a funny voice, definately not trustworthy. To make it worse she is of Welsh decent and we all know that they are no good and definately untrustworthy.

      And she has the blatently flashed around with here red hair showing, she will have to cover up i’ll tell you, redheads are definately not trustworthy, everyone knows don’t they. And the Audacity of here going overseas all the time to talk to those worthy world leaders who sit on the ununited naiions and look bored to death with the experience that is forced on the poor bastards.

      She has the temerity to act as if she is the Prime Minister of Australia the country we know as being the greatest in the world, none greater i’ll tell you. The audacity of it all. We all know that she is beyond her station and definately doesn’t have a Rhodes Scholarship and that’s because she didn’t cheat at the exam. She should know that cheating is good and being kind and nice is bad. it’s served the other side well over the years, she has to get with the programme.

      Yes, our Julia is definately not liked for many reasons, a disgrace to our mighty nation of pisspots, homos, and is trying very well to not burn the boat people and of course is not preparing for the muslim takeover that is around the corner. She is not supporting the wonderful culture of homosexuality either. Yes, certainly they don’t trust here either.

      God, poor thing, what is she going to do to get some respect from the simian dissenters. I don’t know, maybe she just needs to get a life like the other good people who have to lower their standards just to look at her image anywhere it is put

      Yes, a terrible state of affairs it really is. We will never recover from her rule and obviously will be traumatized forever. Australia is definately going down the gurgler under her horrible leadership. LOL. Hey, i just found out what LOL means, joke and everyone who dissents on here is using it. So, in true form and taking it on board because you all use it, i shall include it in my useless diatribes that offend so much. Oh God, there i go putting that word offendi in there again. Naughty, Naughty. i LOL!

    • Shane says:

      12:30pm | 29/09/12

      A little advice. Most of the people who participate on the Punch blogs, particularly those who enjoy the political or economic debates, are a lot smarter than you think (despite the fact that they rarely agree with each other).

      This particular troll persona you’re playing is not going to get you anywhere, and the game you’re playing is lost in a sea of wierdo drivel.

      Go back to the drawing board, come up with a new (less transparent) nickname and rethink your approach. At the least it will be a bit more entertaining for the rest of us.

    • persephone says:

      12:43pm | 29/09/12

      No, the debate isn’t being stifled.

      In scientific circles, it was over and done with decades ago.

      Once something has been proven to the extent climate change has, there’s little point in debating it.

    • Anthony of Wa says:

      10:40am | 29/09/12

      Congratulations Laurie, an article with out trying to bag abbott! amazing

    • The Badger says:

      11:43am | 29/09/12

      Abbott is toast.
      Why would Laurie want to flog a dead horse?

      Even the coalition faithful don’t want him anymore.

      “In the past three months, support for Mr Turnbull AMONG COALITION VOTERS has risen 4 points to 53 per cent while Mr Abbott has fallen 5 points to 45 er cent, giving Mr Turnbull an eight-point lead.”

    • Nick says:

      02:03pm | 29/09/12

      Badger..I will be watching your posts very carefully after the next newspoll comes out…50/50 at the last one and according to the Labor luvvies the love is coming back.My bet is the trend will be going south once more and many like you will need to re asses your new found confidence.

    • Daniel says:

      11:20am | 29/09/12

      The ALP has lost its way ever since the last decade. They have totally abandoned workers and the only party now that looks after workers is the Australian Greens.

    • Anjuli says:

      11:28am | 29/09/12

      Bob who ?. Another who is so in love with himself and the sound of his own voice .It shows just how void of talent there must be in the Labour party when they had to bring in a retired premier to be Foreign Minister.

    • Bruce says:

      11:43am | 29/09/12

      The Labor Party sold its soul the day it sold the Commonwealth Bank. Its much lauded Hawke/Keating reforms decimated its support base and thumbed its nose at Labors core values. It has joined the Liberal Party in selling us out and selling us off and both thumb their noses at the valid concerns of the democratic majority of Australians. We desperately need the Labor Party to return to its traditional values including a closed national economy and a withdrawal from the global economic rat race to the bottom.

    • Kathy says:

      12:01pm | 29/09/12

      The only debate worth having is whether Tony Abbott is fit to be a politician let alone a future PM. He is one sad nutter - period.

    • Angry God of Townsville says:

      12:27pm | 29/09/12

      Gee Kathy, such a cutting comment, glad it only took you 12 hours to come up with it. Any other valid contributions from our resident (half but probably less) wit.

    • Palzy says:

      12:26pm | 29/09/12

      Has Jabba been kidnapped, held hostage with a gun held to his head and forced to write this? There is no way known Jabba can write a word which does not involve slagging Tony Abbott….have the authorities been alerted yet?

    • will is says:

      01:07pm | 29/09/12

      One party sycophant Carr, calling out the other ,Tanner, for doing the very same that he did when he himself retired from party politics - Hypocrite, mean anything Carr. As for this from LO, well what can one expect from a man who has a hand in either play.  Mates with Tanners mate Rudd, but ham fisted to the party he endorses through his one sided rhetoric and bias stories and media feeds! What next, a Labor party reform booklet written in tandem by Farr and LO. Now wouldn’t that be an exciting read, or the very least fodder for the crapper.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      03:40pm | 29/09/12

      Shane, Sorry to push your buttons there ole bean. Call me an troller, at least i can write more than 1 paragraph. Got no sense of humour there i think. Wasn’t trying to be funny really just putting forward something to stick it to the hate julia people. And look mate, i know i put the word Homosexual in there. I know that you are unhappy because they won’t legalize Gay marriage, no point in blaming me.

      Now, a good suggestion a name change to make it acceptable to you and make me rise to your high standards. I’ll have to think on that one. A name that won’t offend a bloke named shane. That’s real a real cutie. I obviously will have to think a lot re that one as anything i put will offend you and my mate niholin. You’re both on to me there everytime like a couple of savage doggies. Woof, Woof. Talk about Trolls. I hope you are not one of them. LOL , rolls eyes in wonderment and wonders whether there is a God.!, realizes there isn’t and is lost forever in the sea of political vomiters. Such is our lot.!

    • nihonin says:

      05:44pm | 29/09/12

      As usual youdy, thanks for the laugh and I really do enjoy your work, never change mate. wink

      Shame though, this commentary would have possibly been more stinging (nah not really), if you had replied in the link to your original comment. lol Cheers.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      03:47pm | 29/09/12

      Shane, Sorry to push your buttons there ole bean. Call me an troller, at least i can write more than 1 paragraph. Got no sense of humour there i think. Wasn’t trying to be funny really just putting forward something to stick it to the hate julia people. And look mate, i know i put the word Homosexual in there. I know that you are unhappy because they won’t legalize Gay marriage, no point in blaming me.

      Now, a good suggestion a name change to make it acceptable to you and make me rise to your high standards. I’ll have to think on that one. A name that won’t offend a bloke named shane. That’s real a real cutie. I obviously will have to think a lot re that one as anything i put will offend you and my mate niholin. You’re both on to me there everytime like a couple of savage doggies. Woof, Woof. Talk about Trolls. I hope you are not one of them. LOL , rolls eyes in wonderment and wonders whether there is a God.!, realizes there isn’t and is lost forever in the sea of political vomiters. Such is our lot.!

 

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