The next six months are shaping as a grim time for the environment based on recent events.
While Julia Gillard and Christine Milne duke it out over jobs or the environment, Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke appears to have lost his reformist urge and has been overwhelmed by his attempts to reconcile the schizophrenic impulses of his party.
Which at times wants to be seen as the friend of the planet, or the workers, but never the same thing at any one time.
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Like most of us who make fitful attempts at losing weight, I take note of the astonishing methods celebrities choose to keep themselves trim.
Not for them the tried-and-tested methods of exercising more and eating less; when it comes to losing weight, the modern celebrity favours the exotic.
This week came an unexpected addition to the ranks of celebrity dispensers of novel lifestyle tips.
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So after months of tensions and simmering resentment, the ALP at the weekend indicated it needed some time apart to consider the future of its relationship with the Greens.
In a battle between its head and its heart, Labor’s head started calling the shots, finally admitting what outsiders have been able to see for ages, that entanglement with the Greens is not good for Labor. It’s an emotionally abusive relationship where the Greens have exerted more influence than should have been allowed.
But as divorces go, this one could turn out to be very messy. No dignified exit for this departing party. Labor is determined to air more dirty laundry than one of Charlie Sheen’s exes.
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At 12.10pm last Friday Julia Gillard strode into the Blue Room in Parliament House with Bob Carr in tow and knocked everyone’s socks off. In the hubbub one of the journos even called Carr “Senator-elect Carr”.
Then at 2pm on the same day NSW Labor emailed its members saying this:
Due to the resignation of Senator Mark Arbib, a vacancy has arisen in the Australian Senate. Under Rule N.4, the NSW Labor Party Officers have called for nominations for this position to be determined by a ballot of the NSW ALP Administrative Committee, according to the following timetable:
Nominations open: 1pm, Friday 2 March 2012
Nominations close: 5pm, Monday 5 March 2012
Nomination fee: $750
The rest of Gillard’s Cabinet movers were sworn in this morning without Carr, who is waiting for this ALP process to pan out and then a joint sitting of the NSW Parliament before being sworn in as both a Senator and the Foreign Minister. It’s all a bit weird.
Bob Carr, along with Steve Bracks and John Faulkner, authored an extensive review into the Labor Party last year, which had many, many recommendations including: “Community engagement with primaries, introducing primaries for preselections in nonheld and open seats so that Labor’s supporters have a say in their local representatives.”
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You’ve got to wonder how genuine Union boss Paul Howes’ latest headline-grabbing attempt to put himself centre-stage really is.
He’s launched the “Don’t Dump on Australia” campaign, ostensibly on behalf of his union members, to encourage people to protest Australia’s ineffective anti-dumping laws.
Fair enough. But the question is – why doesn’t he just get on the phone to the woman he installed as PM? Why doesn’t he remind Julia that he knifed Kevin to get her there and, after all, this is the year “of decision and delivery”.
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Elections are an expensive business. The last federal poll cost $170 million. That’s a lot of school books and hospital supplies. But if the cost of elections troubles you, despair not as relief is at hand.
Who needs elections anyway when you’ve got the Australian Workers Union?
For the second time in six months this union is kindly offering to step in on behalf of the voters – or more accurately, instead of the voters – to take over the hiring and firing a democratically elected government leader.
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Paul Howes chooses to damn John Howard with faint praise.
In his most recent Sunday Telegraph article Mr Howes credits John Howard as having put in place the conservative wish-list of policy changes. He would no doubt like to do the same for the left wish-list.
He writes “If you want to enact real change, you have to do it slowly. There is no point in making sweeping changes if you only get three years in which to do them”.
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