The Coalition’s pledge to shrink the size of government and the reach of government regulation has hit a furrow in the wheat fields of Australia where deregulation is sometimes seen as a fad.

Do you like regulated or deregulated Weet Bix?

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott this week is determined to steer his troops away from accepting the full deregulation of the wheat market and probably will succeed with most of them.

In fact, it might not hurt Mr Abbott were a couple of his MPs to abstain or otherwise protest against the legislation. It would reinforce the “we’re not Stalanists” line he has been using on the freedom of Coalition backbenchers.

But there also is the broader question of political philosophy. Why would it be good to deregulate the labour market and expose workers to greater competition, but not OK to open up the centralised grains market?

NSW Nationals senator Fiona Nash has condemned “deregulation for deregulation’s sake” and said this can leave to “stupid decisions”.

Mr Abbott has said there should be a a transition in the changes to marketing wheat, a reasonable proposal given the potential effect on farmers. But Mr Abbott is arguing that the reason for a slow deregulation is the “record of incompetence and untrustworthiness” of the current government.

East coast Coalition MPs aren’t the only ones dubious about the Government’s move to complete the decentralisation of wheat marketing started after a scandal centred on the Australian Wheat Board’s $290 million in bribes in Iraq a decade ago.

The House of Representatives independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott and the Greens MP Adam Bandt will also be looking closely at the proposal. However, the legislation, to be introduced before the end of the year, is expected to pass the House.

It is in the Senate where the biggest fight, and the possibility of Coalition protests, is likely to erupt.

It’s not unusual to yearn for days gone by but the rural outposts of the National and Liberal parties want to revive a specific period of agrarian socialism.

Senator Nash made this clear in Parliament on September 20 while debating deregulation of wheat marketing.

“Well, I will absolutely say on record I am pining for the single desk for wheat,” she said.

“I think getting rid of the single desk for wheat was one of the most stupid decisions a government has ever made and to just philosophically go down the line of deregulation for deregulation’s sake was just simply stupid.

“I say that in the light of now we have growers who are not being paid for wheat they have sold because there is no certainty underpinning that payment for them in many of these instances and that is wrong and that is as a direct result of the deregulation of the wheat industry in many instances.”

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST.

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    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      05:14am | 09/10/12

      Expansion of the welfare state with middle class family welfare, industry subsidies in the form of private health insurance, private schooling, and first home buyers grant (which was really a subsidy to sellers and real estate agents who jacked up the home prices), yep the Coalition have been good little socialists.

    • Babylon says:

      07:11am | 09/10/12

      Creation of the long term unemployed, the mass import of overseas 457 visa workers over the Australian worker, the introduction of a carbon tax 70 percent of Australians and specially selected industrialists require ‘compensation’ to pay, the strangulation of the world envied Mining boom, yep its free spending, borrow more, bullshit bingo socialist left in power!

      Arrest of the former President of the ALP, Williamson on 20 criminal charges, the 4 year delay on Thompson answering 157 criminal charges, Slipper the Speakers sexual harrassment scandal and derogatory texts on female opposition, attorney general interceding in the Slipper sex scandal case. ...... Yep its the socialist left greeno Gillard Government!

      Introduction of a 1600 strong army of PR media specialists at $150 million a year, the estsblishment of a media watch crew at $10 million a year, the hiring of a media manipulation specialist, McTernan at $1 million a year, Roxon talks internet privacy reforms, call for a Government body to ‘Regulate’ the media and wilder talk of fines for journalists speculating on facts, spies with recording equipment at private student meetings, are we in danger of losing some freedom under an Orwellian Big Brother?

    • dovif says:

      07:19am | 09/10/12

      LOL Socialist is normally associated with state own enterprises, like the NBN. Socialist normally need to spends more then they earn, so they have to expend/or increase taxes to fund all their promises

      The Coalition balanced their budget and repaid the last $100 billion in debt of the ALP. They generally gave us back taxes. They can hardly be call socialist

      The biggest item on middle class family welfare is the Medicare, I am just wondering when the ALP will need to hit that.

    • Steve Putnam says:

      08:07am | 09/10/12

      You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Abbott can’t wait till he has the opportunity to impose his “Direct Action” scheme for bribing polluters to stop polluting. Corporate socialism on the grandest scale yet seen in this country.
      Funny how all the Coalition posters on this site implicitly support it, but none have so far come forth to explain it or defend it.

    • Zaan says:

      08:42am | 09/10/12

      Steve, I think coalition supporters, will hope it is all scrapped. As all this human induced climate change nonsense should be.

    • Tim says:

      08:45am | 09/10/12

      So it’s only Socialist when the other party does it right?
      The last time the Liberals were in they ramped up middle class welfare to unheard of levels. The ALP have continued the stupidity.

      And now we have Abbott saying he wants $75K maternity leave and taxpayers to pay for “direct action”.

      At least be consistent in your dislike of big government.

    • andye says:

      08:57am | 09/10/12

      @Babylon - “the introduction of a carbon tax 70 percent of Australians and specially selected industrialists require ‘compensation’ to pay”

      This is quite disingenuous. That is how a carbon tax works, yet you are describing it as if it were a problem. Theoretically, a Carbon Tax does not have to take any revenue - all collected money can be given to consumers. The point is to make Carbon more expensive and let the market guide the process.

    • bailey says:

      09:34am | 09/10/12

      Come on babble-on, you can do better than that.
      make it a 16,000 strong army of PR media specialists at $1.5 billion a year, the estsblishment of a media watch crew at $100 million a year, the hiring of a media manipulation specialist, McTernan at $10 million a year,
      These are the kind of made up numbers that will scare the pants off whoever it is that you think you are making them up for.
      You are a lying fraud. You have no credibility here.

    • glenm says:

      01:26pm | 09/10/12

      @ StevePutnam,
      As a coalition voter , I dont implicitly support the direct action policy, I support it because in my opinion it is a superior policy. I have on past comments explained this position. In short it can be explained very simply, think of it as purchasing an australian made product over an imported product. The carbon tax purchases cheap overseas carbon credits. Direct action costs more because the money is spent in Australia on Australian reduction schemes and research, money spent here flows through our economy to our benefit.

    • Stephen T says:

      01:51pm | 09/10/12

      @Steve Putnam: No excuse for being ill-informed, if I remember correctly didn’t Labor’s idea of Direct Action include negotiation with the brown coal power generators to pay for a switch from coal to gas, so there is a precedent .  As for direct action policies you need to look at the sum package that the Liberals have been promoting.  I think if you check you will find that their ideas are pretty much in line with what the direct action Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been promoting,  the IPCC says CCS could contribute between 10% and 55% of the cumulative worldwide carbon-mitigation effort over the next 90 years.  If you look at the example of Norway and its use of CCS,  it has cut its CO2 emissions by almost a million tons a year, or about 3% of the country’s 1990 levels. As of late 2011, the total CO2 storage capacity of all 14 projects in operation or under construction is over 33 million tonnes a year, this is broadly equivalent to preventing the emissions from more than six million cars from entering the atmosphere each year.  So just perhaps there may be something in Direct Action and engineered solutions.  Now if you want a glimpse down the path that Labor is taking, and a recommendation for the solutions that the Liberals are promoting I would suggest you read this

    • Stephen T says:

      02:38pm | 09/10/12

      Hello andye: I’d suggest that you do a tad more research, thats not the way the Carbon tax is supposed to work at all,  try researching the work of Arthur Pigou .  Under the current system there is no incentive for polluters to change their habits, if you read the material published by UBS Investment Research the system in its current iteration has cost $287 billion till 2011 with “almost zero impact” on overall emissions in European Union, that money could have resulted in an over 40% reduction had it been used in a targeted way, e.g. to upgrade power plants.  The reality is the governments fix is more economic than environmental, and example being that trading in emission permits in the City of London had a market estimated to be worth about €30 billion in 2007. Louis Redshaw, head of environmental markets at Barclays Capital, predicted that “Carbon will be the world’s biggest commodity market, and it could become the world’s biggest market overall”, windfall for banks, brokers and hypocritical governments, good for the environment, not likely.
      Suggested reading would include:

    • Steve Putnam says:

      05:12pm | 09/10/12

      @ glenm & Stephen T, In light of your entirely reasonable responses to my earlier posting about conservatives not showing much enthusiasm for the “Direct Action” policy I went to the Liberal Party website to try and learn more. Clicking on the heading “Environment” six options came up under the following headings: Water, Renewable Energy, Land Management, Emissions Trading Scheme, Dams Water Management (why two sections on water?) and Climate Change.
      I clicked on each in turn and apart from the sections dealing with water there was no explanation of policy whatsoever. The page dealing with “Emissions Trading Scheme” has three articles criticising carbon pricing. The pages for “Renewable Energy”, “Land Management” and “Climate Change” were all completely blank.
      Not exactly shouting it from the rooftops are they?

    • glenm says:

      05:52pm | 09/10/12

      @ Steve Putnam,
      It is a pity the two policies cant be discussed by the majority of labor voters without resorting to name calling ie: climate change deniers, climate sceptics etc. But I think that is also a coallition failing that they then resort to the carbon tax lie rhetoric.

    • Tim says:

      06:57pm | 09/10/12

      So you’re not a fan of the free market and prefer business subsidies? Not really a traditional Liberal position.

    • nihonin says:

      05:32am | 09/10/12

      You know Mal, the photo with this opinion piece is quiet funny and up to date, considering there are people whom feel the country is being run by the patients in the sanitarium.  wink

    • Mattb says:

      06:35am | 09/10/12


      Isn’t Sanitarium owned by the Seventh Day Adventists?

    • nihonin says:

      07:09am | 09/10/12

      Yep it is MattB, blessed be thy breakfast each and every day, hallelujah.  wink

    • Chris L says:

      07:39am | 09/10/12

      Can you use Sanitarium Weet-bix to repel vampires or do they not count as holy wafers?

    • suboticeth says:

      07:59am | 09/10/12

      Do they sell Weet-bix on the Sabbath?

      And if they do, will the LORD ® alloweth me to walk thru the valley of deep shadow to the shop to purchase Weet-bix from the money changers?

    • nihonin says:

      08:40am | 09/10/12

      Good question Chris L, if they don’t work like holy wafers, maybe they can be thrown like bricks instead at vampires.

      Dunno sub, maybe you should ask that guy Jesus who stands on the corner everyday, he might know.

    • craig2 says:

      05:52am | 09/10/12

      I would’ve thought “food security” would be high on any government agenda,

    • Mattb says:

      06:03am | 09/10/12

      “Meet the Coalition’s socialist. Well atleast with Weetbix”..

      Oh, and… Maternity leave
      ..... Nanny funding
      ..... Middle class welfare
      ..... Corporate welfare ‘Direct action’

      Anyone can add more to this list if they choose…The coalition’s list of socialist policies is just as big as the governments

      But that doesn’t stop many of there fans calling anyone who doesn’t agree with them a socialist, commie latte sipper…

    • nihonin says:

      06:35am | 09/10/12

      True MattB ‘The coalition’s list of socialist policies is just as big as the governments’, yet no one complains about the fact it is as big as the governments (kudos to ShaneFromMelbourne though, they do.  I have to agree with shane where people are using the benefits to supplement their lifestyle.

    • Nilbog says:

      06:54am | 09/10/12

      Water is wet, sky is blue. Circle of life, bro.

      Don’t be so angry all the time smile

    • Babylon says:

      07:19am | 09/10/12

      My favourite Gillard Government education reform to date, was when they removed the necessity for parents to submit receipts to show spending on books for their kids education, and instead paid the monies directly into parents accounts.

      Result increase in Pokie takings!

      Real progressive social reform in action.

    • Alfie says:

      08:20am | 09/10/12

      So we take it you are against conservative government having socialist policies?
      Unlike Labor, at least they don’t have to ‘compensate’ the public for their atrocious and incompetent policies.

    • Tim says:

      08:35am | 09/10/12

      yes instead they intend to use taxpayer money to fund some as yet undecided “direct action”.

      Yes that’s soooo much better than a market mechanism. Ah gotta love the party of small government. bahahahaha.

    • Rose says:

      09:00am | 09/10/12

      Babylon, I’m not exactly sure what your problem is with that. Every parent who has kids at school is going to have costs to pay, they are unavoidable. Even public schools will call in the debt collectors if those costs are not paid. So, regardless whether or not that payment is specifically set aside for education costs or not, those costs will be paid by parents out of whatever money that they have, and costs incurred will be far more than the value of those payments for the huge majority of parents.

    • Mattb says:

      09:11am | 09/10/12


      actually wasnt angry when I wrote this post, and I will admit sometimes I write posts with a little bit of steam coming from the ears.

      just my thoughts

    • Mattb says:

      09:25am | 09/10/12

      Alfie says: 08:20am | 09/10/12
      “So we take it you are against conservative government having socialist policies?”

      no, not against any government implementing a couple of socialist policies, just against ludicrous ones like middle class welfare.

      And I’m against conservatives who completely ignore the fact their party has these types of policies yet hypocritically call anyone who disagrees with them or is slightly to the left of them a socialist, commie latte sipper. 

      I mean, FFS, you discuss in favor of the carbon tax, a market based mechanism, and all of a sudden your a “wealth redistributing comrade” of the labor party. yet direct action is a hundred times more socialist and is also based on wealth redistribution.

      And don’t get me wrong here, I believe the worst part of the whole carbon tax policy is the wealth redistribution, leave it out and it’s a good policy.

      “Unlike Labor, at least they don’t have to ‘compensate’ the public for their atrocious and incompetent policies.”

      Haneef ring any bells anyone.. and he’s the tip of the iceberg for the Howard gov.

    • Alfie says:

      12:10pm | 09/10/12


      So, let me see what you are saying: socalist policies are only good if they reward under achievers and bludgers instead of working Australians?

      What was the Haneef policy - never herd of that one?

    • Tim says:

      12:29pm | 09/10/12

      I’m a working Australian, please tell me how Abbotts socialist policies are going to help me?
      Oh wait a minute, they aren’t. Just like Labors socialist policies, the Liberal ones are designed to take money out of my wallet and give it to their select ‘vote buying’ few.

      Small Government? Not from either party.

    • glenm says:

      01:45pm | 09/10/12

      @ mattb,
      your posts are quite tiresome ..
      The way I see it both parties have policies which are based on a socialist agenda, surely your not arguing against a liberal or a labour socially based policy supporting those in the community who need support. But your list of “policies” is uneducated.
      Maternity Leave…Both parties have this policy the Liberal policy has a higher payment as it crosses over from pure support levels to being a productivity policy.
      Nanny funding… this isnt a policy , it was a suggestion to investigate this issue and the issue of affordable childcare , which i might add is also a productivity issue in assuring women can rejoin the workforce.
      Middle class welfare… not a policy…. however if the labor root and branch tax review actually had any substance we might have been able to look at reducing the tax burden on the middle class which would remove the need for offsets and subsidies. An equitable tax system negates the needs for offset payments.
      Corporate welfare"direct action”.. both parties have the same emmision targets.. when significant portions of carbon tax payments get spent on companies to offset the carbon tax this sounds very much like corporate welfare. My preference for direct action is based simply on the desire not to hamstring Australian business while sending Australian dollars overseas buying cheap carbon credits.

    • Stephen T says:

      03:01pm | 09/10/12

      @Alfie: Haneef was an Australian detained subject to terrorism charges, he was subjected to a quite malicious transgression of a basic right to legal representation, presumption of innocence and humane conditions of detention.  This was done with Howards tacit support in clear contravention of the mans basic rights.

    • Alfie says:

      03:29pm | 09/10/12

      @Stephen T

      Yes, I know who Haneef was, but it has nothing to do with the comment. If you read the above, I raised the topic of Labor’s compensation for their own disasterous policies which cost $ billions, not a one-off case.

      Unless of couse, you want to change the subject and discuss child refugees illegally detained by the current government??

    • Stephen T says:

      04:16pm | 09/10/12

      @alfie: Lol, dont get you knickers in a knot.  Howard did do some pretty despicable things, some of those things were just plain wrong, like bailing his brother out of trouble with National Textiles in the Hunter valley with taxpayer funds, he cut disability funding while working under Fraser, advised business on the advantages of moving offshore and actively encouraged them to move, I was there when he addressed that little gem to the management of Cordals at Tomago.  Also there was his stupid mindless support for the invasion of Iraq, I didn’t like the man then and I have not changed my opinion of him now, he was just as much of an opportunist as Gillard,  I just wish he would keep himself out of the current Liberal oppositions business.

    • Joel B1 says:

      06:40am | 09/10/12

      Haven’t looked at The Punch for ages.

      But it wasn’t a surprise to see Farr talking about Abbott.

    • ramases says:

      07:05am | 09/10/12

      He has an Abbott complex and if he doesnt rubbish him at least once a day his head will fall off, par for the course and that goes for his partner in crime Laurie.

    • Mick S says:

      07:19am | 09/10/12

      Conservative Doublethink Rule 23 “If unable to refute an opponent’s viewpoint by logical argument or factual presentation, attack the messenger.  Claim a bias, or better a conspiracy”

    • Achmed says:

      07:25am | 09/10/12

      It would appear your Farr /Oakes complex is more obvious.

      I can’t see where Abbott gets “rubbished” in this article.

      Of course Abbott fears regulation he was a Minister in the Howard Govt that oversaw the AWB wheat scandal.  A case of once bitten twice shy.  he has every right to be worried about regulation.

    • nihonin says:

      07:30am | 09/10/12

      ‘Claim a bias, or better a conspiracy”.

      Mick S, seems to be working so/so for Labor at the moment.

    • Babylon says:

      07:48am | 09/10/12

      Lets sell 10 percent of our valuable farmland to other countries as we approach a global food crisis and smack down the critics by claiming its just ‘foreign investment’ rather than a ‘financial’ invasion of the sovereign soil of the Australian commonwealth.

      Big profits n pickins for all!

    • Tom says:

      06:15pm | 09/10/12

      “Lets sell 10 percent of our valuable farmland to other countries”
      typical conservative thing to do.

      “Big profits n pickins for all!”
      excellent demonstration of the conservatives in action. Feeding at the trough and damn everyone else.

    • Tubesteak says:

      07:04am | 09/10/12

      The last thing we need is the inefficiency and ineptitude of government bureaucrats interfering in our economy. Let the market sort the wheat from the chaff.

    • Steve Putnam says:

      08:15am | 09/10/12

      Yes, and let the market sought out carbon sequestration!

    • Rosie says:

      07:26am | 09/10/12

      “Opposition Leader Tony Abbott this week is determined to steer his troops towards accepting the full deregulation of the wheat market and probably will succeed with most of them.”

      Mr Farr honestly, what is the purpose of this article? We know how Abbott will deal with it and has his reasons to steer his troops towards accepting the full deregulation of the wheat market. It will be discussed in cabinet for the right outcome and it will be a robust discussion.

      How about an article that is very concerning to all Australians? The fact that decent people don’t want to see Peter Sleeper back in the Speaker’s chair for using obscene language in his text messages and the arrest of Williamson, once the National President of the Labor Party.

      I somehow feel this will never be published.

    • Terry2 says:

      08:10am | 09/10/12

      Rosie, It won’t warrant publishing because Peter Slipper will never return to the Speaker’s Chair.

      As regards deregulation, following Julie Bishop’s comments this morning it seems that this will become a bipartisan policy as the amendments that the coalition are looking for seem, on the surface, quite sensible and benign - watch this space.

    • Rose says:

      08:55am | 09/10/12

      I’m sorry Rosie, are you saying that a proposed change in legislation is not worth discussing because you would rather discussions on matters that are before the Courts just to score political points?
      Slipper will never be Speaker again, that is pretty much a no-brainer and Williamson is entitled to his day in Court, innocent until proven guilty and all that.
      Both men, if found to be guilty, will pay the price, but in the meantime, the rest of us are free to look at other matters of National importance.
      And look at that, you got published, as you always do, so what’s with the childish last sentence?

    • Joan says:

      09:27am | 09/10/12

      Rosie: Contrast the quick decisive action of Abbott with respect to Bernardi comments and Gillard long extended silence and inaction on disgusting Slipper mussel comments. Gillard and Roxon when faced with real misogyny by their inaction support it.

    • max fact says:

      01:53pm | 09/10/12

      agree with loan another misogynist view from a liberal member

    • Mohamad says:

      07:38am | 09/10/12

      There has been regulation of the wheat market since around 1914.  Its nothing new.  Howard had regulations in place to prevent the sale of wheat to certain countries. 
      There have been regulations in place for around 100 years regarding the export of wheat, the standard of product, fertilisers, poisons used to grow and protect the crop etc.  There is an industry Code of Practice. 
      The fact that the Liberals were in Govt when the AWB scandal was exposed might have Abbott running a scared

    • Charles says:

      07:50am | 09/10/12

      Gee Mal, bashing the coalition for having some angst on this issue is a new low point even for you.

      Let me put youy in the picture, WA and SA are the export states where nmost of the wqheat harvested goes offshore.  This is suited to a de-regulated market where com,peteition thrives and numeros players can have go.

      In the East it is a regulated market because it is pretty much all placed in the domestic market, and virtually none is sent offshore.  to ensure an orderly distribution among the Australian based processors it more ideally fits into a regulated market as serious competition in this tends to destabilise the industry along the lines of geographical and climatic advantage.

      So to blast the coalition because it has difficulty trying to manage two really diverse markets that are going to be under one policy is to ignore the damage that this could inflict on the grain production industry in Australia.  It also shows that your motivations are quite political and you have no real interest in engaging in the real issues.

    • William says:

      08:07am | 09/10/12

      Do you ever write anything about the Government?
      I think you should be lableled “Mr Negativity” Mr Farr.
      Does all your relentless bitching about Abbott and the Coalition make you a happier man or do you end your days feeling negative?

    • bailey says:

      09:48am | 09/10/12

      Dr. NO has a tendency to bring out the NO in you.
      It’s what Abbott does best… spread the. NO vibes

      Why is that hard for you to understand?

    • lostinperth says:

      01:00pm | 09/10/12

      Yah - Bailey responds by blaming Abbott for Farr’s nergativity.

      Its ALL Abbotts faulty - even the ALP incompetence is Abbott’s fault cos if he didn’t point it out we would never have noticed.


      08:20am | 09/10/12

      Hi Malcolm,

      Is this a bit like the famous deregulation in the banking sector way back?  Would deregulation of wheat industry mean that farmers will get more money for their wheat or Australian shoppers will actually pay more for a packet of Weetbix? Which ever way we choose to look at it, in the last couple of years we have been facing a genuine decline in overall wheat production in the world, especially in such places as the USA and Russia because of extremes in weather patterns and climate change.

      Somehow I feel that we should consider ourselves a bit lucky to be in Australia with such a low and less demanding population to begin with. However, when we look at other overly populated nations, there is actually very real danger of everyday essential foods such as bread and rice becoming far too expensive and scarce for everyday consumers. So when we talk about the overall wheat production in our world,  it simply happens to be a huge and tricky market. 

      Even more so I really would like to know how much more we will be paying for our favorite cereals such as Weetbix in not too distant future. Because just looking at our breakfast table is usually a good guide to what is actually going on in the country side and what is everyday reality to the Australian farmers who work so hard for all those items on our supermarket shelves we all take for granted.  Kind regards to your editors.

    • maria says:

      08:41am | 09/10/12

      The one thing I know that in Switzerland there is no opposition party because the people are sovereign and they are the opposition.

      What about that???????????????

    • Daylight Robbery says:

      08:50am | 09/10/12

      What makes me angry is countries like USA call for Free trade yet they heavily subsidise industries like wheat then dump over supply into the ocean.

      Is the answer that any country undermining Australian industry with subsidising, dumping product to destroy Australian jobs be met with penalties/tarrifs/taxes of some form?

      We all know China manipulates its currency to destroy Australian and USA industry and jobs. Obama has pledged to pressure China when it cheats.

      Turns out Australians arent that much dearer than overseas workers, currency is cheated which makes them look expensive.

      Australians just want a level fair playing field…

    • Craig says:

      10:29am | 09/10/12

      “Stalinists” not “Stalanists”. If you’re going to support or oppose an ideology at least learn how to spell it in your article.

      Learning what it stands for (a totalitarian dictatorship) would also be beneficial for people writing for News Ltd publications. Most seem to have a very weak grasp on history.

    • David V. says:

      11:51am | 09/10/12

      As you see, the Left are more subtle in the way they impose themselves. Using weasel words and calling names. So anyone who doesn’t agree with them is some kind of fascist, reactionary, Imperialist, redneck, etc.

      I wonder sometimes why I’m still here when I could be back in Europe, where people have more guts to fight the Left.

    • flora says:

      12:42pm | 09/10/12

      David V
      Go back to Europe.
      One less conservative is no great loss to Australia.
      While you’re at it, take babble-on back to England.
      He really misses the tories.

    • David V. says:

      12:55pm | 09/10/12

      It’s not the Tories I miss. It’s the sincere, patriotic people of Eastern Europe that I respect and revere. Many of them happen to have migrated to Australia too, you know, and given so much to this fine country. How can you assume someone’s nationality from reading a message board, lol?

    • jimbo says:

      11:30am | 09/10/12

      Same people, same politics, same drivel, same bias, same cut and paste and not one of the usual suspects have changed their point of view or their political leanings.  What is the point of the Punch except to publish the same drivel topics day after day to the same crowd.  Please, can we have a moratorium on political subjects until the election and then all shall be revealed. Then all those who are right shall be proved right and all those who are wrong shall be silenced and may then crawl back into their holes.

    • ausspud says:

      11:46am | 09/10/12

      I think it might be time for the Nat’s to break away from the Coalition,they might be Conservative,but they are not Capitalist’s.The only reason they give the Lib’s their vote is because they dont like Labor & not because they like the Lib’s.

    • lostinperth says:

      01:17pm | 09/10/12

      Malcolm - you could at least have attempted to discuss the merits of a centralised wheat board or food security.

      All this article is is your daily anti-coalition serve. No facts, no analysis, no breakdown of the central issues that a competent journalist would include. Just more of what one coalition said to another coalition politician. 

      Your pro-government, anti-coalition articles are becoming increasingly repetitive, biased, and vacuous.

    • Mouse says:

      02:31pm | 09/10/12

      lostinperth, to give any sort of discussion on the merits, he would have had to actually have read something on it.
      Doing his posts the way he does now, all he has to do is copy what JMcT gives him. Easy really!!  lol :o)

    • Nikki says:

      02:27pm | 09/10/12

      So is deregulation of wheat bad or good? All I gleaned from this article is ABBOTTABBOTTABBOTT


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Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more



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