Bob Carr is a keen diarist. He kept a lively and detailed diary during his time in NSW politics, including his years as Premier.
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.
Latest 2 of 74 commentsView all comments
It is no secret that former Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and current Prime Minister Julia Gillard are not close.
Tanner of course, announced he was quitting politics on the very day Ms Gillard became prime minister.
If that gesture rubbed some the wrong way, it was nothing compared to the abrasions caused by his new book.
Latest 2 of 77 commentsView all comments
Whatever the illness was that hit her with a sudden and vengeful effect after she stepped off her plane in New York, it appeared to have passed. But just as the PM was showing stoic powers of recovery, Lindsay Tanner came along and spiked the Kool Aid again with his musings on what is wrong with the Labor Party.
While the PM and 140 word leaders were gathered at the United Nations talking about weapons of mass destruction, her colleagues back home were engaged in acts of self destruction.
As if anyone in Australia needed reminding about just how structurally dysfunctional federal Labor has become.
Latest 2 of 32 commentsView all comments
Lindsay Tanner’s book of essays will be bought by few and chatted about by many as it provides anti-Labor fodder for the Liberal election campaign beast.
The essays contained in Inside the Gang of Four make just enough sense - Labor hasn’t had a confident and composed agenda - for Mr Tanner’s own contradictions to be ignored.
But those contradictions are really big ones.
Latest 2 of 57 commentsView all comments
Lindsay Tanner isn’t happy with the mainstream media’s treatment of politics and politicians. The mainstream media is lazy, superficial, biased, banal. It has a pack mentality and a short attention span. It cooks up or makes up stories, fails to correct errors, and can be easily conned. It is unwilling or unable to examine big ideas and serious policy debate.
As for social media, well, that’s just frivolous nonsense. All those people writing their silly tweets. And politicians shouldn’t have fun or show their lighter side. Costello dancing the Macarena – what was that about? Just stupid.
With his furrowed brow, his Brylcreemed widow’s peak and his dark and dated suits, Lindsay Tanner has long had the demeanour of someone who is 50 going on 75. It befits him to have authored such a grumpy and meandering book, Sideshow: Dumbing Down Democracy. This crotchety polemic combines random anecdotes from federal politics with haphazardly-selected quotes from professional haters of mainstream journalism to bolster his thesis that politics is stuffed, and that it’s (almost) all the media’s fault.
Latest 2 of 103 commentsView all comments
Sitting around in a café the other day, one of my former colleagues bemoaned the fact that young people where not as active as him when he was studying. He raised his frustration that each generation is getting more politically lethargic and ranted about the generational changes we are seeing.
Apart from reminding him that ‘his generation’ had not done such a bang up job in solving the world’s problems, and actually delivering some new ones, the whole area of ‘generational research’ is one that is deeply flawed. That is, to clearly define a population’s attributes based on their ‘generational status’ tends to homogenise a population by their age – despite there always being significant differences within each cluster.
Despite this, we see books and papers about Boomers, X-ers and Y’s – all presented as if this is the missing ingredient in understanding the way of the world and what is going on with our society. So is this the case?
Latest 2 of 25 commentsView all comments
Lindsay Tanner was just on AM and made an observation so obvious it was almost funny. He said people only complain about the consultation process when they don’t like the outcome.
That might explain why people in the ALP are now complaining that Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan came up with the Resources Super Profits Tax all on their own, without even consulting the other half of the so-called “kitchen cabinet”, Tanner, and Julia Gillard.
Tanner denied the claims, saying as Finance Minister he’s a key part of the Budget process, but he did stop short of asserting anyone else in Rudd’s increasingly invisible cabinet was brought into the loop. If Rudd and Swan were responsible for formulating the RSPT, their back bench is now holding them responsible for stopping the bleeding it’s caused.
Latest 2 of 37 commentsView all comments
In Rudd Government-speak “hysterical” is the new “denier”, as in the mining industry is “hysterical” over the RSPT the way people who questioned the details of the ETS were climate change “deniers”.
The Rudd team is once again relying on a simplistic argument to sell a highly complex policy, and this time they’ve gone all in.
Tony Abbott keeps saying the coming election will be won and lost on the Resources Super Profits Tax, which for political watchers’ sakes I hope is an overstatement. Certainly there’s no way Rudd can afford to dump it in the same bin as the ETS.
Latest 2 of 113 commentsView all comments
This morning’s Channel 10 news debate between Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner and his Opposition counterpart Barnaby Joyce was the first time the two have gone head to head since Joyce took up the job.
The clash was a good example of how a political debate can appear one way in Canberra and unfold in another when it comes time for people to actually tune in.
To give a cricketing analogy, Tanner has won the test match of a parliamentary sitting fortnight but Joyce just won the higher rating Twenty 20.
Latest 2 of 35 commentsView all comments
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
Found a TV meteorologist on Twitter with the last name Piotrowski. There's a whole newsroom of Piotrowskis out there
RT @JoshuaWithers: Have you seen the Australian version of Breaking bad? He get's cancer and Medicare covers his costs and the series ends.
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…