The Australian political debate is on a repeat cycle with a bunch of issues and themes constantly recurring, to the boredom of a significant slice of the electorate. The voters’ message, often sent via the comment sections of blogs, is, “Get back to me when something happens.”

Not a photo from this week. Picture AP

But the allegations of squalid activities by Craig Thomson and Peter Slipper; the claims Tony Abbott doesn’t like women; the continued nastiness of the Julia Gillard/Kevin Rudd relationship keep reappearing. “It’s like a tumble dryer is on in the background and occasionally you hear a thump and you ask yourself, Did I leave a shoe in there?” said one political observer.

And it’s not the same tumble dryer in every city.

In Adelaide the important issue is revival of the Murray-Darling basin; in Brisbane it’s the new Campbell Newman state government; in Sydney local (central NSW coast) boy Mr Thomson has competed with a new Packer casino for the front pages; Melbourne was more interested in Mr Abbott’s comment about Labor’s family “experience” - which Julia Gillard suspected was aimed at her - than media in other capitals.

Every so often voters lift their heads when these things get front page mention, but they then quickly return to life’s important matters such as keeping a job and raising children. It’s not that they don’t have a view about, say, Mr Slipper. They do, and they want whatever process is underway to be completed without inconclusive progress reports.

None of this is how the Government or the Coalition wants things playing out. These lingering issues quickly become distractions from policy debate. For their own self-interest, neither side wants that.

Many voters, for example, might dip into the Craig Thomson saga and then leave it. But that means they are not listening intently to anything else.

One consequence, for example, could be the Government can’t get the full attention of the electorate as it explains its incredible shrinking mining tax because there is the competing matter of former Labor MP Maxine McKew promoting a book which attacks Julia Gillard.

The McKew book does not significantly advance the accusations of an anti-Rudd ambush by Ms Gillard, but is occupying air time and newspaper space.

It also means the Government can’t put pressure on the Opposition to explain how or why it would scrap some of the measures which the mining tax and the carbon price revenue could fund.

And the Opposition might want more focus on the mining tax, too. A levy which doesn’t bring in a cent is a hot discussion point.

Only the Opposition can draw a line through all these tumble dryer issues to lead to a coherent political conclusion, and that is what Tony Abbott attempted yesterday.

The Opposition Leader’s argument is this: Julia Gillard stabbed Kevin Rudd in the back in 2010 and then promised to revive Labor by fixing the issues of asylum seekers, carbon pricing and the mining tax.

However, in her rush to justify her takeover of the Prime Minister’s office Ms Gillard bungled all three. In effect, Mr Abbott is maintaining his assertion that Ms Gillard’s ambitions have produced shoddy policy, whether it was the proposed citizens’ assembly on asylum seekers or the Timor and Malaysian solutions, to tolerance of Mr Thomson and Mr Slipper.

But he can’t be certain who is listening.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEST.

Most commented


Show oldest | newest first

    • nihonin says:

      10:52am | 26/10/12

      And yet, the political farce only really started after the last election in 2010, once who would form government, had been negotiated (or who could sell more of their arse, to paraphrase a certain politician).

    • maria says:

      01:31pm | 26/10/12

      the political farce only really started after the last election

    • Levi says:

      10:55am | 26/10/12

      My god, a Mal Farr piece that shows a hint of criticism of the ALP and comrade Gillard. Someone call the army!!! The body snatchers have clearly replaced Mal with some sort of unbiased replicant.

    • wolf says:

      11:17am | 26/10/12

      I was a bit stunned myself. More of this please Mal, a well written summary of the current goings on (and the associated media circus) at club fed.

    • Louise says:

      11:21am | 26/10/12

      Levi, I know! I actually like this one.

      (I"m listening, Tony.  Just temper the “aggression” - we already know you’re strong. Give them “statesman-like”. Don’t get drawn into petty shouting matches.)

    • PJ says:

      12:26pm | 26/10/12

      Ah no Levy, Farr’s piece serves to highlight those items critical of Liberals, whilst presenting an argument that crucially telling articles about the Gillard Government are old, boring news.

      Julia Gillard has always been careful to lay out how Rudd was betrayed and assassinated. For Julias reputation it needs to be believed to be last minute in a meeting where it because clear the Labor Party had to be rescued. There cannot be a Prime Minister acceptance speech written 2 weeks before and there certainly cannot be a sustained campaign run by Gillard to destroy Rudd. If The latter were true, it would show Julia as ungrateful, manipulative, untrustworthy and a collosal evil backstabber. Capable of anything for power.

      If the two books recently released about the ALP are true, the Gillard Government is a clueless vote seeking junkie run by an untrustworthy backstabber.

      I for one do not believe it!

    • Latika says:

      12:44pm | 26/10/12

      Shock horror journalist Malcolm Farr. You don’t say? Surprise no other to blame but Tony Abbott.

      I bloody don’t care anymore because once we have Elections and any male PM other than a Labor female as our next PM the quicker this fighting and bickering will stop and we will get back to some kind of civility.

      Julia Gillard playing the sexist victim card from Day 1 is a curse to this nation. This woman will be remembered for exposing us to all this bickering and fighting over issues that should be debated in a civil manner. As PM she should be setting the standards and if Abbott is PM should hope that he does the same. Everyday it is fight fight fight, fight on TV, fight on the radio, fight in the books, fight on the blogs etc fight fight and more fight.

    • nihonin says:

      01:14pm | 26/10/12

      In News just to hand….............Kevin Rudd has announced (via Twitter) that much loved family cat Jasper, has passed on.  On a less serious nite, I wonder if Julia Gillard and Labor minsters sent heartfelt calls and cards of condolences to the grieving Mr Rudd and his family.

    • Brad says:

      01:20pm | 26/10/12

      Who is this and what have you done with Mal Farr???

    • maria says:

      01:38pm | 26/10/12

      Tony said in his own blog ....I’m happy and I’m supporting with all my heart our corrupted system regardless if there are many faults.

      If you want to keep the bastards than direct democracy is the answer or the same shit will happen again.

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      02:39pm | 26/10/12

      I think I can feel a condolence motion coming on.
      Go to the light, Jasper… Go to the light.

    • Rupert says:

      11:01am | 26/10/12

      Malcolm Farr if you don’t like it then stop peddling it.

    • iansand says:

      11:14am | 26/10/12

      Hear, hear.

      Journos are a bunch of headless chooks chasing the latest bit of colour and movement.  Most of them wouldn’t dare write anything until someone else has written about it first.  They make individual members of flocks of sheep look like rugged individualists.

      Can I get a sloth metaphor in here as well?

    • AdamC says:

      11:58am | 26/10/12

      Rupert, that might be a fair criticisms of journos, including Mal Farr, in general, but it is strange you would make it in response to this article. This latest missive, unlike many of his others, makes a valid point about the political cycle.

      Pollies normally try to neutralise issues so they go away. In this parliament, for a couple of reasons, that has not happened.

    • ramases says:

      11:09am | 26/10/12

      One of the failings of the whole article is that you want the Labor Party to concentrate on Policies but if the truth be known we cant afford many more Labor Policies. Look at the waste and failed Policies that have come before and ask yourself truthfully, can we really afford more of this?
        I for one and the majority in my community cringe when this Government announces a new policy, as we know from past experience that it will end up either as a complete disaster or costing four and five times the estimate or a combination of both.
        Its safer for this Government to continue to attack Abbott than to put themselves up for ridicule by actually doing anything as Abbott has enough ammunition to last 3 elections just from this Governments first term in office.

    • nihonin says:

      11:26am | 26/10/12

      ’ Its safer for this Government to continue to attack Abbott’.

      So far, this is about the only thing John McTernan has brought to the table, since he’s been employed as an ‘advisor’, that has been reasonably successful.

    • Gregg says:

      12:05pm | 26/10/12

      So you reckon paid assasssin Mc Ternan has been reasonably successful!
      I reckon the only reasonable success is that each time they engage in attempted character assassination they just tend to turn off more and more voters from themselves.

      Not even labor supporters and old comrade acotrel are so stupid they cannot recognise a farcical approach to governing, but then again for the latter!

    • nihonin says:

      12:23pm | 26/10/12

      Yes I do Gregg, reckon he has been successful with this ‘misogynist’ campaign against Tony Abbott, other wise Labor still wouldn’t be running with it and the ‘acolytes’ wouldn’t be foaming at the keyboards, continually typing it.  But it is starting to lose momentum, as more people see it as just a deflection from the real issue of competency.

    • Sergeant Schultz says:

      12:54pm | 26/10/12

      Gillard plaigiarised the ” misogynist ” speech…not exactly a masterpiece
      of her own making or John Mc Ternan’s . Why has Red Queen been allowed to get away with this farce. ?

    • Bear says:

      01:09pm | 26/10/12

      Plagiarized from who moron Schultz!? Just because you say something with no proof or evidence doesn’t make it so?

    • PJ says:

      01:19pm | 26/10/12

      McTernan has been helped by an army corp of 1600 Federal PR Agents at a cost of $150 Million. For every Journo in the Canberra press corp there are 6 Federal PR Agents telling them what to write.

      On top of that there is a further $10 Million spent on Media Regulators watching you, watching them.

      Orwellian or what Comrade?

    • maria says:

      01:48pm | 26/10/12

      Look at the waste and failed Policies that have come before and ask yourself truthfully, can we really afford more of this?

      How can you stop all that waste when you are irrelevant after each election ?

      The only solution solution is to have a direct democracy a la Switzerland as I have said so many times.

      Democracy means people power withaout any preferences or democracy become an oligarchy or a mafiacracy as it is under our phoney democracy.

    • paul says:

      02:08pm | 26/10/12

      @ Bear - “moron”. Just because your party teaches you to talk to people disrespectfully does not mean you also have to stoop to the gutter. Intelligent men wishing to engage don’t talk like that.

    • Mack says:

      03:20pm | 26/10/12

      Bear has a sore (loser) head…...

    • ChrisW says:

      11:24am | 26/10/12

      I cannot help wondering whether the electorate might take just a little more notice of McKew than Gillard and crew would like. Perhaps it might just reduce the misdirected adulation for the PM after that well planned “off the cuff” speech intended to annihilate the Opposition Leader. 
      Please note - the accusations made by Ms Gillard are yet to be repeated by her outside Parlt. Being a lawyer she is well aware of the law of libel and slander.

    • David says:

      12:38pm | 26/10/12

      Good points.

    • andye says:

      01:41pm | 26/10/12

      @ChrisW - “Perhaps it might just reduce the misdirected adulation for the PM after that well planned “off the cuff” speech intended to annihilate the Opposition Leader. “

      It really appears to be killing some people that this speech struck a chord.

    • Jenny says:

      01:44pm | 26/10/12

      Spot on. Her refusal to repeat what she said in coward castle proves that it was a vile slander for political advantage and distract people from slipper, thus she protected him.

    • AndrewMcL says:

      04:13pm | 26/10/12

      @andye her words were used for the political purpose of slandering the Opposition leader. The context in which they were used made what she had to say even more reprehensible.
      When people understand what she did and why she did it then they are not impressed - even when they agree with the more general sentiments about women.
      Abbott is not a misogynist of course - and she knows that - but it sounded good and she knew she could get away with it. It was one of the most carefully crafted “outbursts” ever seen in Parlt - yes, prepared beforehand. It was not “off the cuff”. It was planned and presented exactly as she intended.  I can’t think of anyone who has sunk that low before - on either side.

    • Joan says:

      11:26am | 26/10/12

      Thanks Maxine- my Christmas gift to friends, family , neighbours, co-workers will be your book. I will add my personal touch and use highlighter to highlight the juicy bits about Gillard. so that those not interested or into poliitics definately at least read highlights and if they pass on book to op-shop casual readers will read as well.

    • nihonin says:

      11:42am | 26/10/12

      Joan, if your going to highlight the stuff regarding Julia Gillard, you’re going to need a crap load of highlighters, as it’d be pretty much cover to cover slagging of ‘her’, you’d think.  wink

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      01:41pm | 26/10/12


      “my Christmas gift to friends, family , neighbours, co-workers will be your book.”

      Yes. Everyone loves getting political tracts from politically zealous co-workers and family members.

      Why don’t you try Amway and Scientology on them too, while you’re at it? 

      “I will add my personal touch and use highlighter to highlight the juicy bits about Gillard.”

      So it’s not enough to be a zealot. You’re also going to be a book vandal?

      Are you TRYING to alienate your family members?

    • Ted says:

      02:47pm | 26/10/12

      Buy a dictionary and check the meaning of a few words

    • Noelene says:

      11:29am | 26/10/12

      I’m not listening to Abbott or Gillard.My mind is already made up as to what party I will vote for next election.Hint.It won’t be the one who brought us the carbon tax,allowed violent people to walk into our country(asylum seekers who rioted given protection visas)hit my daughters with a loss in income through cutbacks to Centrelink even though they both work,I could go on,but you get the picture.How many people are thinking the same?
      For me it doesn’t matter who is leading either party next election,Labor has lost me for good,and I suspect the Libs will lose me for good after the next election as they are morphing into leftists like Ballieu.

    • Jack says:

      12:30pm | 26/10/12

      So, your main complaint is that your daughters both work and the mean Government took away some of their welfare money… And then proceed to ramble about ‘leftists’?

      +1 internets to you.

    • DJ says:

      12:52pm | 26/10/12

      you complain about leftist but in the same post say this “hit my daughters with a loss in income through cutbacks to Centrelink even though they both work”

      interesting ideology you have there, any chance you can explain Centrelink payments as a right wig function?

    • Alex says:

      11:40am | 26/10/12

      I’ve noticed everytime the word policy failure and please explain gets mentioned, I start hearing sexism from Labor, or some other excuse not to discuss and change the topic.
      And now with the budget hitting a speed bump or 10, policy changes are hidden in Appendix A, B and C, instead of being announced to the public…

    • dobbo says:

      11:41am | 26/10/12

      Yes. Would be good if our politicians (and some of the population) could move on and let the more serious business of governing continue . Of course as long as there’s a minority government this is unlikely.  Funnily enough in a sense some of McKew’s charges against PM come across as more of an endorsement that Gillard possesses in abundance the qualities required of a political leader these days.

      Gillard’s a tough and ambitious so charges of plotting are possible. And she had the opportunity. Rudd as PM, forever wandering around in search of fame and recognition overseas,  let go of the rudder. He was heading for a hiding having dodged making a couple of tough calls and the Opposition were well aware of his vulnerabilities. Hence the “Kevin O’Lemon” campaign. (By the way, where did all those “lemons” finish up?)
      Hard decisions were taken. The PM went on to successfully form a minority government and has successfully demolished Abbott (thank goodness for Australia)  leaving him a shell of his former self and is growing ably into the role of PM despite incredible attempts to undo her.

      Sure lying (if this is what has occurred) is wrong. For people unused to how politics work it is no doubt shocking. Acknowledged? Now it’s time to move into the real world and on with the show folks. Alternatively we the people should push for legislation to dump immediately any politician caught plotting against his/her leader or lying. Any takers to start the campaign?

    • Palzy says:

      12:14pm | 26/10/12

      What planet are you living on, dobbo? Earth to dobbo…....come in , dobbo

    • Gregg says:

      12:18pm | 26/10/12

      ” Gillard’s a tough “
      Is there such a thing and it’s not being misogynist is it?

      ” so charges of plotting are possible. And she had the opportunity. “
      It’s more than possible or even probable for after claiming no knowledge of a succession speech being prepared two weeks prior, the day following and interview she called to a halt, not looking good at all, she has even admitted that she was aware of staff working on something but gave no directions - really! and no I do not really believe that. 

      I think you might also mean Gillard is not a Bob the Builder but a destroyer and in fact a self destroyer well on the way to self destruction and taking much of Labor with her.
      She just has some of those Lance Armstrong psychopathic qualities and put them fully on display for many to see a couple of weeks back with a screaming rant that had little to do with what was being debated, just more interested in attempted further smearing of Tony Abbott.

      It is Gillard who is damaged goods courtesy of herself.

    • Mayday says:

      11:42am | 26/10/12

      “But that means they are not listening intently to anything else’

      Really Mal, patronising much? 

      I can rub my tummy and tap my head at the same time you know?!

    • Tanya says:

      11:49am | 26/10/12

      That sums it up precisely. Maxine McKew’s book doesn’t sound as though it will contain any startling revelations but it might revive some old grudges and further erode some of Julia Gillard’s credibility. Whatever side of the house you vote for, the removal of Kevin Rudd was an unorthodox and unpleasant event in politics on a purely human level and subsequent revelations on how it came about haven’t helped her public image. Half her battle has been maintaining the numbers amidst the controversy of Thomson and Slipper. Tony Abbott has milked it for all its worth but in doing so has attracted his own bad light. These are hard times for any government – every Australian is worried about the economy, rightly or wrongly the issue of asylum seekers, national security and war. It is beyond me why they’re not taking a more bi-partisan approach to policy if not in the interest of expedience, then their respective public images. They’re making voters’ choices difficult.

    • Andrew says:

      12:20pm | 26/10/12

      I guess you could call it unorthodox and unpleasant, I am sure that those invovled would say the same thing.

      In reality i don’t see it as any different to changing opposition leaders and i think in the build up to the ousting Kevin Rudd really was damaged goods. I thought he had to go when he started alledgedly taking potshots at the hat a female reporter was wearing amongst other rumoured outbursts.

      needless to say i think we can both agree that the public at the moment has very little respect for pretty much anyone sitting amongst the Parliament house benches.

    • PJ says:

      01:43pm | 26/10/12

      McKew’s new book tells us how Gillard fell out with Kevin Rudd over the intended policy for a carbon pricing scheme. Julia thought it was a killer.
      Julia Gillard joins Penny Wong in this thinking, whom In a speech at an AIG luncheon on 06 February 2008 stated, “The introduction of a carbon price ahead of effective international action can lead to perverse incentives for such industries to relocate or source production offshore. There is no point in imposing a carbon price domestically which results in emissions and production transferring internationally for no environmental gain.”
      Apparently Penny Wong was also quoted in The Australian newspaper on 23 February 2009 saying “a carbon tax does not guarantee emissions reductions.”

      Its heartening that the Gillard Government has double standards, because after AWU, HSU, Slipper and Thomson I had thought they’d no standards at all!

      You’ll never know the truth of it ....

    • Andrew says:

      11:55am | 26/10/12

      The more i think about it, the more i think that luckily for our political parties. Policies don’t really matter.

      You have the rusted on faithful of each party which probably cancel eachother out so the government is as we all know decided by the “swingers”.

      I am convinced that for these people, policy de4tail does not really matter and it is instead a vote based on sentiment. Whtether they are optimistic or fearful.

      Optimism goes with progression so in these times you will see the government handed to the ALP so they can deliver big spending projects and spend money looking after the less fortuante.

      Think 2007 with Kevin Rudd, had pretty much the same policies as John Howard but we wanted a fresh change.

      If it is fear than the votes will go to the liberals so they can in their conservative approach, use the perception of tough financial discipline to save money for a rainy day whilst enacting policies that make people feeel they are benefitting rather than those less fortunate.

      What we usually get either way is a bunch of politicians who will spend money based on how they think it will result in the most votes and most positive media reaction whether it is good or bad for the overall country and economy.

      The bi-partisan pledge to get a surplus (they have both said they would deliver a surplus if they were in charge) is one example where we should be running a defecit as the push to a surplus could harm the economic growth of the economy.

      Until we work out how to promote informed discussion on topics and policies and the media focused soundbite drivel from both major parties i think this process will continue so the ALP’s job is to make the swingers feel good and the Liberals job is to make them scared (one party has been doing this better than the other).

      Until we somehow improve the discourse and improve the knowledge of those that vote about why policies are being brought in and how they work (rather than the soundbites that make it seem so simple) we will continue to get monkeys and other countries will erode any real comparative advantage Australia has.

      That’s my rant for the day.

    • Rolls Canardly says:

      12:03pm | 26/10/12

      “The McKew book does not significantly advance the accusations of an anti-Rudd ambush by Ms Gillard…”
      What?! You mean “advanced”, from this?
      Mal, if you seriously contend that Julia Gillard has been appropriately challenged about her previously denied involvement in the white-anting of Rudd in the lead up to the leadership spill, you’re in dreamland.
      That McKew has outlined specifics, including the names of those doing Gillard’s bidding with the focus group (what is it, with the ALP and focus groups?) data, and the reaction of senior cabinet colleagues to what they saw as both an unprecedented, and unacceptable move by Gillard and her supporters against a first term PM, is certainly significant in my eyes.

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      12:05pm | 26/10/12

      And Mr Abbott’s assertions are spot on. And we’re paying these clowns!
      And now we find out about how much extra we’re paying for the Carr clown to take his wife everywhere he goes. Apparently he doesn’t have adequate qualifications to do the job himself. And that is certainly no surprise! Or does it make him or us look more multicultural because he has an Asian wife. So what? Who cares?

    • Bris Jack says:

      12:06pm | 26/10/12

      The more I read about Julia Eileen Gillard the more I dislike the person.

    • Jane says:

      12:36pm | 26/10/12

      I’m with you on that.
      “Tricky”, “Sneaky”, “Decieving” “Nasty” “Acid tongued”
      Labor call these characteristics “tough”
      About time she was called out on HER diatribe and ATTITUDE!

    • Fred says:

      01:47pm | 26/10/12

      Yes Jane, she needs to be called out, but by a women, otherwise she will pull the sexist card out again to silence the person that stands up to her.

    • Mack says:

      01:59pm | 26/10/12

      Well it will never be any female in the media - she is their shining light and hero. (I would normally say ‘heroine’ but then I would be called sexist by the handbag harridans).

    • nihonin says:

      02:23pm | 26/10/12

      Fred, what about if a Transgender individual (either way) called her out.  wink

    • Palzy says:

      12:07pm | 26/10/12

      FARR out!!!...You know it’s all over for the ‘Red Rover’ when Big Mal starts laying the boot into his beloved Labor party.

    • St. Michael says:

      12:13pm | 26/10/12

      Mal, get back to me when something happens.

    • Kippo says:

      12:22pm | 26/10/12

      If the Gillard Govt isn’t being nasty and hateful towards Rudd, then it’s Abbott if it’s not Abbott it’s Gina, if it’s not Gina it’s Clive, if it’s not Clive it’s News Ltd, if it’s not News Ltd it’s the Tea Party in the US and on and on they go.
      The Gillard Govt are nothing but a bunch of nasty , bitching, whinging parrotts. If they’re not at each others throats they’ll find someone else to tear apart.

    • Greg A says:

      01:52pm | 26/10/12

      And people wonder why the BLF had a chain around it, well that was untill Labor saw it’s own reflection in them and let the thugs loose.

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      12:27pm | 26/10/12

      And today we find out - not that anything was reported in the ABC or SMH online news at least and no surprises there! - that asylum seekers convicted of participating in riots that caused more than $5 million damage to the Christmas Island detention centre have been handed protection visas to stay in the country.
      And that after all Mr Bowen’s tough talk. That’s certainly sending the right message.

    • nihonin says:

      12:28pm | 26/10/12

      Popcorn, Hot Dogs, get your Popcorn, Hot Dogs and cold drinks…

    • Johnny l. says:

      01:01pm | 26/10/12

      Hot dog band coke for me.

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      01:36pm | 26/10/12

      Thanks for the laugh!  Love it. Yes, what a circus. We’re certainly (NOT) ready to cut the apron strings and become a republic.

    • St. Michael says:

      04:19pm | 26/10/12

      Only problem is that the circus has plenty of clowns and no ringmaster.

    • Gregg says:

      12:33pm | 26/10/12

      So you reckon it’s all Tony’s fault is it that the fiasco cannot be addressed!
      ” Only the Opposition can draw a line through all these tumble dryer issues to lead to a coherent political conclusion, and that is what Tony Abbott attempted yesterday. “

      I always thought a good opposition party should recognise and accept good governance and also be there to hold a government to account for making a mess of things and on attempts for both, the opposition is not averaging so badly.

      And yes, no small wonder that we have:
      “It also means the Government can’t put pressure on the Opposition to explain how or why it would scrap some of the measures which the mining tax and the carbon price revenue could fund. “

      It would seem no party would be able to fund too much at all if the miners are not doing so well and in fact some take their business elsewhere for that is what additional taxing is doing.

      Where revenue comes from is one aspect of governanance and then it is prioritising, even Gillard and Swann now using some of Tony Abbott’s language for which he has previously been caned - aspirational talk and yep it came from the treasurers mouth as late as yesterday.

      It is likely even aspirational that some debt gets repaid quicker rather than later to save good revenue being lost as interest payments and that is going to mean considerable belt tightening and doing away with a lot of wasteage that we have seen courtesy of Labor at federal and state levels.

      ” However, in her rush to justify her takeover of the Prime Minister’s office Ms Gillard bungled all three. In effect, Mr Abbott is maintaining his assertion that Ms Gillard’s ambitions have produced shoddy policy,..... “
      All too true Mal and just adding to dilemmas that commenced very quickly from late 2007

      ” But he can’t be certain who is listening. “
      Listening ain’t required Mal when the facts are out there very clear for all of us to see.

    • nihonin says:

      01:05pm | 26/10/12


      Well stated Gregg.

      Our PM, long will ‘they’ be remembered, good or bad, depending on which party song sheet you hear the ‘choir’ singing from.

    • kml says:

      01:49pm | 26/10/12


      Your right Gregg listening ain’t required.  After nearly three years of it, Mr Abbott’s mantra has developed skill within the electorate with lip reading, mimicking or paraphrasing the repeated unchanged subject matter.  A future policy would be a good idea for voters..

    • Achmed says:

      02:20pm | 26/10/12

      I’m listening but all I’m hearing is Abbott’s “bad Govt” mantra.

      I’m listening but I’m not hearing policy just plenty of one line rants.

      I know the problems with curent Govt and PM.  But I’m not hearing anything that convinces me Abbott will be any better

    • Ted says:

      03:05pm | 26/10/12

      Tony or Julia full of bullshit.
      Their aim is absolute power like any rotten politicians.

      good governance will only exist under a direct democracy in which the people are sovereign than shoddy policy,..... will be history.

      In a meantime we are all shoddy and valueless and the mob will stay worthy and superior.

    • nihonin says:

      03:21pm | 26/10/12

      True as well Achmed, but I believe the Liberals will ‘win’ the the next election, simply based on the fact, they’re not Labor.

    • P. Walker says:

      01:09pm | 26/10/12

      Could you have ever imagined Margaret Thatcher carrying on like the Red Queen?  Gillard is the greatest whimp in Western Political history.  She will go down as the back stabbing woman looking for “pity votes”.  Absolutley no substance in her any more, not that she (woops misogynisy - it) had any.

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      01:32pm | 26/10/12

      Nor was Margaret Thatcher or any other female politician as leader anywhere as embarrassing as Gillard is. Her poor performance goes without saying! But Thatcher and all the others, even non-leaders like Hilary Clinton…cannot imagine the situation coming to this. Sorry to repeat myself (so often) but this woman simply does NOT have the ‘right stuff’ and certainly not the integrity we need.
      And for all those with backwards vision, neither does Rudd. A leopard truly does not change his spots.  And none of the other clowns like Rudd, Carr, Shorten - you name it - either have the ‘right stuff’.

    • Liberal fawning says:

      01:19pm | 26/10/12

      Tony Saint Tony. The true PM. Hand it over bitch! It belongs to him, give it back!

    • nihonin says:

      01:42pm | 26/10/12

      Gotta love Labor ‘acolytes’, when they’ve nothing to say, they come out with parody (not good parody either), thanks mystery Labor acolyte.

    • Dave says:

      01:48pm | 26/10/12

      No need to be sexist.

    • nihonin says:

      03:23pm | 26/10/12

      Dave, its so hard now, maybe I should change my name to Transgender Nihonin, that way I’m covered against calls of sexism, misogyny or misandry.  wink

    • DJ says:

      03:25pm | 26/10/12

      what happened to sycophant nihonin? see if you can go a day without name calling

    • Robert says:

      01:23pm | 26/10/12

      I wonder if Julia is going to jump up and down and scream mysogynist at Maxine. Surely she can force another change of the meaning to suit Maxine.

    • Jenny says:

      01:57pm | 26/10/12

      You can be certain that she will try to redefine the mysogynist or sexist card somehow to silence Maxine. After all, it is the last line of defence for scum.

    • Ghillard's Ghost says:

      01:34pm | 26/10/12

      If everyone could cast their minds back watching Gillard at the back of the then PM Rudd, to his right.  She consistently was checking him up and down with the occasional rostered nodding.  But all the time she’s thinking, “why isn’t that me, I’ve stood in for him as Deputy PM for many months practicing the PM’s job, whilst he is overseas doing the task of the Foreign Minister”.
      ...and that was Rudd’s down fall and her chance to roll him…the rest is history, and hopefully will be again very soon…

    • Kipling says:

      02:17pm | 26/10/12

      I know this will sound like defending the PM, however, it is most definitely not intended as such, however, to all those who suggest she does not have the integrity for the job I would suggest that she has demonstrated absolutely the consistent level of integrity for the job….

      That’s not to say I like the job being done with limited (meh, perhaps no integrity), it has just been consistent for a few decades now.

    • jg says:

      02:35pm | 26/10/12

      The McKew book does not significantly advance the accusations of an anti-Rudd ambush by Ms Gillard

      Oh yes it does.

      it shows that Gilliard is actually more of scheming, lying harpy than anyone previously thought.

      Lady Macbeth has nothing on her.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      03:03pm | 26/10/12

      It also says a few things about Maxine McKew and her residual bitterness towards Labor.

      She feels that Labor let her down.  And that the voters of Bennelong let her down.  (She claimed after losing that Bennelong was always really a “Liberal seat”, in stark contrast to the claims she’d made some years earlier, in happier times.)

      What’s even more curious is McKew’s bitterness towards Gillard. She feels that Gillard slighted her; condescending, not giving McKew the respect that McKew felt she deserved. (McKew, after all, was the Golden Girl who destroyed the demonic Howard; surely golden girls deserve the golden treatment?)

      Only recently, Nicola Roxon implied that Abbott was disrespectful to her as a woman—i.e. he was sexist—because he didn’t give her the time of day.  And now we see McKew making the same claim about Gillard.

      (Maybe Roxon’s real problem is one shared by McKew:  what they had to say to Gillard or Abbott wasn’t that interesting? Maybe they just didn’t rate as politicians?)

      McKew should have remained a journalist. At least then she had some measure of respect, even from those who noted her Labor leanings.  Now she’ll just be remembered as the bitter, failed politician who tried to white-ant the Labor Party in the run up to a Federal Election.

      Oh well, there’s always the ABC.  If Auntie can give Stott Despoja a gig on-air, despite being a controversial, partisan political figure, I’m sure they’ll welcome Maxine back with open arms.  Maybe give her The 7:30 Report, on the grounds that Leigh Sales isn’t openly pro-Labor enough…

    • Christine says:

      02:43pm | 26/10/12

      Mr Farr, 
      I wish to congratulate you on an ariticle where you failed to use your favourite words ‘Abbott attacks’  Gillard or similar when Abbott is generally raising issues of concern.  I perceive your regular use of the word ‘attack’ in relation to Abbott, as an attempt to brain wash readers into thinking Abbott is overly aggressive. Good try, but I am not so easily fooled. Strange how when the PM aggressively attacks Abbott and she does, you do not write Gillard attacks.     

      Oh Oh,  I see it is now Maxine McKew who is attacking Gillard. Come on Mal, time to take the blinkers off and be fair.

    • alan says:

      02:47pm | 26/10/12

      Now thanks to the timely assistance of the staff of a famous Australian dictionary who in an act of defence-like desperation have re-defined the word “misogonist” its therefore time for some further tough decisions so that we all now better understand the aforementioned article aka:

      “Slipper” - meaning “saintly or saint-like” and
      “Thompson” - meaning “tremendous or trustworthy”

    • Fed Up says:

      02:47pm | 26/10/12

      Research recently released by ACOSS shows that 35 per cent of people 65 and over live below the poverty line on the Age Pension.

      This is what they should be talking about and taking action.

    • nihonin says:

      03:34pm | 26/10/12

      sorry Fed Up, it’s just not as important as the government pointing out sexism and misogyny when Julia Gillard sees it, also its not as conducive to harmony in Australia as the rights of Gays call themselves married.  It pales in comparison to the rights of the asylum seekers who come by boat as well.

    • maria says:

      04:20pm | 26/10/12

      When you are young and working - paying taxes for the mob without knowing that you are worseless just be happy.

      When you are getting old and stop paying taxes for the mob than it is too late because you have realised when shit really happens that you really are worseless than it time to move forward to ......with the exception of the mob and theirs cronies.

      Specially when you read that 3,000 people in Victoria. About $660 million in savings is in limbo after non-bank lender Banskia Securities Limited called in receivers yesterday.

      The mafiacracy is more healthy than I thought.

    • Carl Palmer says:

      03:46pm | 26/10/12

      “Only the Opposition can draw a line through all these tumble dryer issues to lead to a coherent political conclusion,…” You lost me with that one.
      Maybe you wanted to say
      Tony Abbott is to blame for not drawing a line through all these tumble dryer issues to lead to a coherent political conclusion,…


Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

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



Read all about it

Sign up to the free newsletter