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Labor stands by Embattled Slippery Pete

April 22, 2012

The Gillard government is facing another crisis with Speaker of the House Peter Slipper facing allegations he made “unwanted sexual advances” towards an openly gay male staffer.

Peter Slipper will face a parliamentary vote if he refuses to stand aside over allegations made in court documents of “unwanted sexual advances” towards a male staffer. 

Mr Slipper’s staffer James Ashby has lodged a claim in the Federal Court alleging Mr Slipper sent him sexually suggestive text messages.

SORDID SEX TEXTS!!

He alleges Mr Slipper left the door open while showering, asked him about his sexual practices with other men and punished him when he spurned his advances.

Read the text exchanges between Slipper and his aide

Coalition sources confirmed Opposition Leader Tony Abbott would seek the support of Independents to force Mr Slipper to go when Parliament resumes.

Independent Andrew Wilkie has also urged him to step aside.

However Julia Gillard has so far refused to ask Mr Slipper to step aside while investigations take place, a humiliating move that would further detabalise the already fragile Labor minority government.

Mr Slipper is also under investigation from the Australian Federal Police over allegations he misused cab charge vouchers.

DISHEVELLED!

A dishevelled Mr Slipper faced reporters at Los Angeles International Airport yesterday and denied the allegations outright.

“The allegations are denied. Have a lovely day,” he said.

Shell-shocked Gillard ministers last night said Mr Slipper’s removal from office was a matter for Parliament, not the Prime Minister.

Perhaps it’s a matter for Fair Work Australia?

Leader of the House Anthony Albanese has refused to say if the ALP would back moves to remove Mr Slipper.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has warned Mr Slipper it was “quite improper” not to step aside.

FIT OF RAGE!

James Ashby is no stranger to controversy.

Not only has the 33-year-old adviser to Peter Slipper been convicted of making threatening phone calls to a radio rival, but in March he had a fit of rage and threw a journalist’s phone into a bush during a press conference grilling over Mr Slipper’s expenses.

In 2002, Mr Ashby resigned from Newcastle radio station NX-FM and pleaded guilty to making abusive calls to a drivetime host from a rival station.

Mr Ashby, who had been working as a DJ, was convicted of using a carriage service in an offensive manner, fined $2000 and given a three-year bond.

DJ Paul Fidler said yesterday the calls “freaked me out”.

“He knew stuff about me; my real name, where I lived, that I was riding a bike to work,” Mr Fidler said.

While on air in 2002 he had three calls from Mr Ashby, posing as a mystery caller.

“A PSYCHOPATH!!!”

When Mr Morrison told the caller he was being taped, court documents reveal Mr Ashby said: “Yeah, go for it you f … . . g psychopath.

Next time I see you riding on your f … . . g bike I’ll hit you, you idiot, all over the sloppy road, you dumb p … k. F. . k it, if I was your mother, I would have drowned you at birth.”

Mr Ashby claimed later that it had been part of “a practical joke.”

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203 Comments leave one →
  1. Ephraim Zymbalist permalink
    April 22, 2012 9:32 am

    “Should Julia Gillard ask Peter Slipper to Step Aside?” – She can’t. It is a decision for the whole of parliament to make.

  2. April 22, 2012 9:45 am

    Thanks Ephraim, I have amended the poll question accordingly…

  3. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 10:08 am

    Do flirtatious texts represent “harassment”?

    In the context of the boss/subordinate relationship it does take on a more serious note, it is this context that some of Slipper’s defenders seem to miss.

  4. el gordo permalink
    April 22, 2012 10:49 am

    Good result in the poll, as you would expect from the farnham regulars.

  5. hadn of Jesus permalink
    April 22, 2012 10:54 am

    If it looks like a dog & barks like a dog…

    Although, in the Sunday Mail today is a small column claiming that the aide is a bit of a nutter (threatening call to radio station etc ) with ‘form’.

  6. April 22, 2012 11:05 am

    The question is, will Gillard have the sense of ethics and integrity to agree that the right course of action would be for the (velvet) slipper to stand aside while the allegations are investigated.

    Probably not, given the response from Swan and Albanese thus far…

    No doubt her response will be “Fair Work Australia are looking into that…”

  7. James of North Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 11:09 am

    The Coalition are drawing comparisons with the head of ADFA, who was required to step aside whilst investigated. It seems a reasonable comparison to make.

  8. el gordo permalink
    April 22, 2012 11:12 am

    The sexual harassment charges are serious and appear sound, but of greater concern are the allegations of criminal intent with bribery and corruption over the cab charges.

    Julia should consider her future.

  9. hadn of Jesus permalink
    April 22, 2012 11:26 am

    Julia’s integrity is unimpeachable. Haven’t you worked that out yet!?
    Obviously, she will do the right thing, which is cynically support all of the essential facets required to stay a step ahead of the Abbottards & cling to government by the skin of the ALP’s teeth.

    Bravo, for prudent choices made without any sense of moral compromise.

  10. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 22, 2012 12:09 pm

    Is this recent? When did it take place?

    I don’t know about their code of conduct, but in ours workplace harassment is defined as repeated behaviour (other than sexual harassment) that is intimidating, offensive, humiliating or threatening. For sexual harassment there is no requirement to have repeat of behaviour.

    James mentioned something about two people making allegations on the other thread, what is the other one?

    This would be a good time to have the MP suspended as GR mentioned on Q & A? Does ‘standing aside’ mean the same as suspension, still vote etc?

  11. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 12:52 pm

    If the speaker is stood down … as opposed to standing aside … (who does that the GG, I s’ppose) … then the Deputy Speaker would take over … can’t remember her name … and then the Second deputy becomes the Deputy …

    I can’t help wondering why its taken five months to reach the press …

    KL, like you, I’m in “two minds” … there’s a hint of a “set-up” in some of the texts by Ashby … and I can’t help thinking that Ashby knew what he was getting into (and Slipper was suspicious) … whether its a “tryst” gone wrong, or politically motivated for money (or ideaology) … lots of questions …

    And Peter Slipper certainly sounds like a slippery customer in the texts too … he was aware that one wrong word … I reckon …

  12. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 22, 2012 12:54 pm

    They ask for it really, when personal boundaries are not kept separate. It’s a wonder we don’t see much more of this sort of thing, I’m sure it happens in business too – do the complainants just get paid to go away?

    It’s not just this example it does seem these aides and personal assistants etc do more personal chores than they should in a job. Where does the line between work and personal stuff get drawn? I’m of the opinion that personal secretaries should not be sending flowers and gifts to wives/partners, shopping, running private/personal errands for their employer. Shouldn’t it be work related like filing and typing letters, keeping the appointments diary, arranging transport etc with no need to leave the office? Personal boundaries get forgotten in some jobs, and in some jobs more is expected than the job description states eg nannies also cooking, cleaning and laundering. Do they expect a personal assistant to dress them, brush their hair etc, sounds more like slave to me. Do these people in high positions forget they have arms and legs themselves, very self important/self indulgent. No-one is so important that people should be clucking around them attending to every little whim – if they need to do that I’d suggest the person is not up to the job demands or the pay packet, if they can’t organise their own life and need a ‘wife’ at work.

    What’s more does the taxpayer fund this luxury working lifestyle? For example, if tony abbott can find the time to go bike riding, surfing, swimming, running and also visiting industry [demeaning blue collar workers by playing at their jobs] campaigning in his day, he can find the time to run his own personal errands.

  13. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 22, 2012 1:03 pm

    …KL, like you, I’m in “two minds” … there’s a hint of a “set-up” in some of the texts by Ashby … and I can’t help thinking that Ashby knew what he was getting into (and Slipper was suspicious) … whether its a “tryst” gone wrong, or politically motivated for money (or ideaology) … lots of questions …

    Yes TB, surely these two people who are highly paid and supposed to be intelligent and hardworking, know exactly what they do and say, it is their life’s work for f*ck sake. We pay for these idiots who play at work.

    Too much time on their hands, too little demanded of them and too much taxpayer funded largesse [food, wine, clothing, expense accounts] which gives a lifestyle of luxury, self indulgence and self importance.

  14. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 2:29 pm

    I see some are critical of the media for reporting this issue, which is odd. Slipper holds the most senior position in the parliament that is elected by all the MPs. His behaviour is a matter of interest, particularly concerning rorting of travel expenses.

    The government knew all about his background and his inclination to misuse his expenses when they approached him. But political expedience won out, again.

    There is also a common view that the media shouldn’t have reported-
    • Gillard breaking an election commitment.
    • Rudd challenging Gillard.
    • Gillard breaking a commitment to Wilkie.
    • Thomson’s use of union funds to pay for prostitutes.

    Can you imagine the legitimate criticism of the media, if they didn’t bother to report on those matters?

  15. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 2:56 pm

    Apparently there is also some criticism levelled at the media for calling Ashby “a young man”, when he is actually 33.

    I really don’t know why ALP supporters criticise this – as Gillard was older when she described herself as “young and naïve”.

  16. el gordo permalink
    April 22, 2012 3:17 pm

    A ‘young and naive’ member of the Socialist Alliance…she plays hard ball.

  17. Pip permalink
    April 22, 2012 3:21 pm

    Come on people. Steve Lewis is the same bright spark who broke the Utegate email story, and didn’t that go well…. Godwin Grech was a big help.

    Here’s a clue Tom, mention “homosexual”, a very handy little dog-whistle don’t you think, and “young” man in the same story and it’s not beyond the imagination of any homophobe to come up with their own warped conclusion.

    This particular story isn’t actually about Gillard, much as Abbott wants it to be.
    The parliament has to remove the Speaker As for her asking him to step down, in this case it’s is an obvious attempt by the Libs and Murdoch, again, to behave in the usual way
    and bugger democracy, and only rusted on Liberals would let them get away with it.

    Abbott has used his skills to oust unwanted opponents before. Remember his efforts to remove Pauline Hanson, with the help of a benefactor whose cash stash was managed by Peter Costello’s father-in-law, Peter Coleman.

    He signed an agreement to repay the loan, then reneged, and for the record, he lied about that on Lateline.

  18. Splatterbottom permalink
    April 22, 2012 3:41 pm

    Slipper does the honourable thing.

  19. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 4:02 pm

    Then there was a PM called Whitlam who was right properly shafted by a lying and decietful Liberal Opposition leader and a piss-pot GG … and Fraser has “regretted” it ever since …

    Born ta Rule!

  20. el gordo permalink
    April 22, 2012 4:02 pm

    ‘This particular story isn’t actually about Gillard…’

    So you are saying Julia’s office didn’t contact ‘slippery’ and tell him to resign to save the government from a drubbing in the polls?

  21. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 4:07 pm

    Slipper does the honourable thing.

    Good~!

    ===============================

    So you are saying Julia’s office didn’t contact ‘slippery’ and tell him to resign to save the government from a drubbing in the polls?

    Do I detect the smell of speculation somewhere …?

    http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/speculation?q=speculation

  22. April 22, 2012 4:09 pm

    “Here’s a clue Tom, mention “homosexual”, a very handy little dog-whistle don’t you think, and “young” man in the same story and it’s not beyond the imagination of any homophobe to come up with their own warped conclusion.”

    I haven’t read anything in the media suggest this, just you in fact. So who’s the homophobe?

  23. April 22, 2012 4:12 pm

    “tony abbott can find the time to go bike riding, surfing, swimming, running and also visiting industry [demeaning blue collar workers by playing at their jobs] ”

    There was some cringeworthy footage of him packing some biscuits in some biscuit factory this morning pictured wearing hair net, white apron and gloves, and then later congratulating the workers on a job that takes “a lot of concentration..”

    FFS. They should really just all tell him to fk off…

  24. James of North Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 4:28 pm

    Just some quick responses to KL and TB.

    1. There was apparently an allegation made about Slipper back when Howard was PM. There are no available details about this allegation. Including who made it.

    2. This allegation has been reported now because documents have just (I think) been filed with the Federal Court. It’s not media speculation, it’s a genuine and serious complaint. That doesn’t make it accurate, but it does make it absolutely newsworthy.

    3. “Standing aside” just means standing down as Speaker. It doesn’t mean he’s out of Parliament, so in effect, the numbers don’t necessarily change except if Slipper decides to absent himself as he’s now an Independant and doesn’t care. Or to vote with the Coalition, which would seem doubtful.

    All eyes now to Windsor.

  25. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 4:28 pm

    haven’t read anything in the media suggest this You sure, sreb?

  26. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 4:32 pm

    All eyes now to Windsor.

    Why? He’s not budging …

    As for numbers the Deputy Speaker (Labor) will now take the Speaker’s chair …

    This allegation has been reported now because documents have just (I think) been filed with the Federal Court

    But that’s never stopped the media from headlining in the past …?

  27. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 4:34 pm

    I think Pip, you and I will disagree on this. I really don’t think the sexuality has any influence on my opinion.

    I think the sense of scandal would be quite high if an older man asked a subordinate woman, half his age, why she closed the bathroom door when she had a shower.

    A man in his 60s asking a woman in her 30s who worked for him for a massage, sending suggestive texts, would probably be considered harassment.

    A male boss would be considered predatory if he behaved in this way to a much younger female subordinate.

  28. el gordo permalink
    April 22, 2012 4:45 pm

    Tom’s correct, except that a woman subordinate would not be sharing an apartment with a male superior.

    Ashby was surprised, shocked and affronted, by the ‘inhouse’ attempt to seduce him.

  29. James of North Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 5:13 pm

    By the way, ToM, were the genders reversed in your scenario , the same would apply. Unless I was the subordinate and Kristina Keneally was the predator in which case I would shrug and play the cards I was dealt.

  30. April 22, 2012 5:19 pm

    TB, it’s been suggested that Ashby has made some intimidating phone calls in the past.

    Pip is suggesting that the media is using Ashby’s sexuality as some sort of “dog whistle,” and like I say I haven’t seen any evidence of that …

    Have you…??

  31. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 5:46 pm

    The ALP has had months to figure out their political strategy regarding Slipper, because something like this was always going to happen.

    His appointment as speaker will be seen as a political miscalculation, it’s further damaged the reputation of the government, and the extra vote didn’t last very long.

    Yet another political disaster of their own making.

  32. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 5:59 pm

    Have you…??

    The Gillard government is facing another crisis with Speaker of the House Peter Slipper facing allegations he made “unwanted sexual advances” towards an openly gay male staffer.

    Isn’t “unwanted sexual advances” by a male “towards an openely gay male” – homosexual in nature?

    And if the “Gillard government is facing another crisis” … politicised by the “media” – albeit amateur … “dog whistlin'” .. oe have I missed something …

    Just askin’ …?

  33. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 5:59 pm

    BTW, isn’t Slipper, married?

  34. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 6:01 pm

    His appointment as speaker will be seen as a political miscalculation, it’s further damaged the reputation of the government

    I’m really looking forward to your book … too, ToMMy … 😉

  35. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 6:06 pm

    I think the paragraph below (near the end of the link) is something The Farnham Shrillseekers to take on board too … particularly the last line …

    “At the same time, the presumption of innocence must be respected,” she said in a statement.

    Adam Bandt, who represents the Greens in the lower house, said he respected Mr Slipper’s decision to stand down.

    But he warned against turning Parliament into a court.

    “The separation of powers should be upheld,” he said.

    http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/national/slipper-stand-aside-is-appropriate-pm-says/story-e6frfku9-1226335578594

  36. April 22, 2012 6:06 pm

    “Isn’t “unwanted sexual advances” by a male “towards an openely gay male” – homosexual in nature?”

    Of course.

    But is it homophobic? No.

    Where’s the dog whistle in that?

  37. el gordo permalink
    April 22, 2012 6:22 pm

    ‘…he made “unwanted sexual advances” towards an openly gay male staffer.’

    Just because a fella is ‘openly gay’ doesn’t mean he’s flaunting and flirting in the office. Slipper, being the dill that he is, was too forward and failed to read the signs.

  38. Tom R permalink
    April 22, 2012 6:32 pm

    Where’s the dog whistle in that?

    True reb, there was no dog whistle.

    It was more of a trumpet blast.

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2012/04/21/putting-the-boot-into-a-slipper/

    Whilst I understand that the story has media interest, considering the nature of the accusations, it is unfortunate that the media couldn’t use a little more decorum, you know, of the type that they show they are capable of eg Mary Jo Fisher.

    Also, it becomes all consuming with them, when, the reality is, it is just another in a long line of mud thrown, and, until anything is shown one way or another, that is all it is. The media like to pretend otherwise.

  39. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 6:39 pm

    But is it homophobic? No.

    … maybe not to a gay person …

    But, I know a few homophobes … although my “friends” have reduced considerably since I started “defending” my gay friends … and they will make homophobic mileage out of it …

    I see it as “simply” a sexual harrassment issue (now) … but homophobes won’t …

    I might be wrong but I think that’s what Pip’s interpretation was too … she didn’t say it was her’s …

    … it’s not beyond the imagination of any homophobe to come up with their own warped conclusion.

    Because the bastards do (I know ’cause I was once one of ’em!) …

  40. April 22, 2012 7:05 pm

    So what will the homophobes think then? That Ashby was flirting with Slipper…??

  41. Neil of Sydney permalink
    April 22, 2012 7:11 pm

    TomR

    So you are saying it is a Murdoch beatup??

    It is amazing how touchy ALP supporters get when people do not do what they think they should be doing.

    “The left” are born totalitarians.

  42. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 7:19 pm

    Who knows what “they’ll” think, sreb, (depends on their imagination and “intellect” – I suppose)

    As for flirting … most hetero males would think that a relationship with a 67? yo bloke and a 33 yo chick was a bit OTT (good if ya can get it though, hey, Wally) … let alone two poofs!

    See what I mean ..?

    Whack it in the papers and watch them rabids run around catching their tales (sic) … and its all Julia’s fault of course … she should have had ASIO watching the pair of ’em!

    And there are female homophobes around … not generally as “vociferous” as the male of the species … but I doubt a female homophobe would post here … as Pip did …

    Just sayin’ …

    IS Slipper married?

    I’ll check …

  43. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 7:27 pm

    TomR

    So you are saying it is a Murdoch beatup??

    No, he didn’t – you did!

    It is amazing how touchy ALP supporters get when people do not do what they think they should be doing.

    You wanna check your lot out in the Liberal Party – “no, no, no, a thousand times no!”

    “The left” are born totalitarians. (discovered a new word have we?)

    Yeah, that’s why the Labor Party was born out of fighting the landed gentry, “royalty”, mining magnates, sweatshops unfair workplace conditions and pay, and innapropriate distribution of wealth … and still are …

    I don’t know of one Liberal or National Party politicain who EVER agreed with apay rise or improved working conditions …

    Yep right totalitarians … the ALP …

    I lived under Joh BP … now that was totalitarianism …

    You really need to read some IR history before making BS accusations … Noddy II …

  44. Tom R permalink
    April 22, 2012 7:36 pm

    No, he didn’t – you did!

    Thanks TB, saved me from pointing out the obvious

  45. TB Queensland permalink
    April 22, 2012 7:37 pm

    Peter Slipper is married …

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/fears-wife-may-crumble-under-pressure/story-e6freon6-1226335250428

    So, the allegations are that, Slipper, is AC/DC?

    Reading the article … while Slipper looks creepy and acts slimy (to me) is that enough … will this backfire like the Godwin Greche crap?

  46. Neil of Sydney permalink
    April 22, 2012 7:37 pm

    “So you are saying it is a Murdoch beatup??

    No, he didn’t – you did!”

    Well TomR’s Crickey link said this

    “The vicious Murdoch tabloid attack on House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper has taken an even uglier turn this morning.”

    So I am assuming TomR thinks it is a Murdoch beatup. Nothing to see here if it wasn’t for Rupert.

  47. Tom R permalink
    April 22, 2012 7:47 pm

    Nothing to see here if it wasn’t for Rupert.

    nil has been getting comprehension lessons from snacty methinks. Look up a bit nil

    Whilst I understand that the story has media interest

    Here’s a further hint nil, I don’t write for Crikey (they’re not that hard up) 😉

  48. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 7:54 pm

    I don’t wish to be unpleasant, but Tom R is hardly the oracle in his judgement about what the press should report.

    It would be negligent if the press didn’t report this.

    I haven’t seen any homophobic dog whistling, and I think the reporting would be similar if the 62 year old Speaker asked a 32 year old woman why she closed the shower door, called her a prude as a result and sent numerous suggestive texts.

    For example, Troy Buswell got a little media attention a year or 2 ago.

  49. Tom R permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:00 pm

    It would be negligent if the press didn’t report this.

    Is lack of basic English comprehension a pre-requisite for this site or what? 😯

  50. Tom R permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:01 pm

    I don’t wish to be unpleasant

    You know what they say about Leopards 😉

  51. April 22, 2012 8:06 pm

    His “doting wife…?”

    Gimme a fkn a break…!!

    In those robes and fluffy white bow tie, he just screamed ageing old queen from the hilltops….!

  52. Tony permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:23 pm

    😯

  53. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:26 pm

    As I recall, there was wall to wall, national coverage of Troy Buswell for chair sniffing, and he was only a state MP, and a WA one at that!

    Did anyone complain about the reporting? Was it “hetrophobic” coverage?

    Buswell was a dickhead. Slipper probably is too.

  54. Tom R permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:33 pm

    There is at least one minor difference there yomm, Slipper has denied the allegations, buswell admitted to them. That wasn’t mud, it was facts.

  55. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:40 pm

    The media reported Buswell’s behaviour, and he was forced to resign – for the heinous crime of sniffing a chair!!

    If the media stopped reporting “news” simply because a politician denied a scandal, well that would be a very enlightened democracy!

    A complaint has been made, it is in the public domain, the gent is our most senior parliamentarian, he’s got plenty of form for dodgy expense claims – it’s exactly the public accountability stuff that the press should report.

  56. Tom R permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:52 pm

    I’ll go real slow for you yomm, cos I can see you are not really keeping up that well.

    I understand that the story has media interest

    That doesn’t mean they need to go into full attack mode, at the expense of everything else. I’m sure that we, as readers, can keep up with more than one story at a time. Here’s one that could fill some of those spaces between the adds at ltdnews

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/australias-7-billion-euro-contributions-very-small-swan-20120422-1xens.html

    Some of us might think that trying to keep Europe from a major recession mildly interesting, although nowhere near as entertaining as blanket coverage of every possible angle on sleazy allegations that have been denied.

    The other day, the Canadians stuffed up, and put gay porn on their news site by accident.

    On the same day, ours did it on purpose.

  57. Neil of Sydney permalink
    April 22, 2012 8:59 pm

    TomR

    Don’t worry. It will not be long.

    When Abbott wins govt the media can get back to its usual job of abusing the Coalition. Most journalists are leftists and must find it hard to condemn Gillard. It is just that there is so much stuff to report. Have a look at this.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-22/100-asylum-seekers-involved-in-soccer-brawl/3964904

    “Northern Territory Police say 100 detainees where involved in a brawl at Darwin’s Wickham Point detention centre that started over a soccer match on Saturday.”

    If Howard was still in power a refugee riot in a detention center would be front page for days with the usual suspects saying how cruel and inhumane Howard is. They are strangely silent at the moment with all the suicides and attempted suicides going on.

    I do not think the media are reporting Slipper any different than if the Coalition were in power.

    You are too sensitive.

    By the way, what was the point of the Crickey link??

  58. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 22, 2012 9:03 pm

    I’ll return the compliment!!

    Stories about the sexual proclivities of politicians are of interest! Even chair sniffing!!

    That’s why it is a little disingenuous to blame “homophobia”!!

  59. JAWS permalink
    April 22, 2012 10:48 pm

    I’m bored with all the hetero and now homo sex allegations surrounding
    the government. Plus the fraud of taxpayers funds plus the theft of credit
    cards plus the theft of a mobile plus identity theft plus secret commissions
    paid to union members.

    When is someone going to serve up a bullet ridden body ?

  60. Bacchus permalink
    April 22, 2012 11:05 pm

    Watch this space Jaws – we’re descending rapidly 😦 LCD…

  61. JAWS permalink
    April 22, 2012 11:19 pm

    What ?

    Are you speaking gibberish or have I
    been away too long ?

  62. Bacchus permalink
    April 23, 2012 12:09 am

    Lowest Common Denominator – politics in this country has really plumbed the depths due the the muck-raking Coalition. It’s only a matter of time before the nutters deliver a “bullet ridden body.” The US has a long tradition of such things and our right-wing nutters seem bent on following their lead 🙄 Think Cory Bernardi, Mathias Cormann, Erica Betz, Tony Abbott 😉

  63. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 23, 2012 12:18 am

    The media reported Buswell’s behaviour, and he was forced to resign – for the heinous crime of sniffing a chair!!

    I thought Buswell refused to resign. He was being interviewed on telly the other day as WA Minister for Housing or something. I haven’t checked, I could be wrong but he was talking up the tough on neighbourhood noise thing and evicting aboriginal families into the streets.

    Isn’t Slipper a fundy christian type too?

  64. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 23, 2012 12:31 am

    The US has a long tradition of such things and our right-wing nutters seem bent on following their lead Think Cory Bernardi, Mathias Cormann, Erica Betz, Tony Abbott

    Yep, right wing nutjobs the lot of them. Add barnyard and andrews to the mix, they are all religious too, the supposed ‘force for good’ in the world that we keep hearing about.

    Well, the force for good are pure evil inside, I start to understand why these shitty types of people need religion, they need to pretend that they are decent people, need to pretend a humanity that they don’t actually possess.

  65. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 23, 2012 12:35 am

    Premier of Western Australia & Cabinet Ministers

    http://www.premier.wa.gov.au/Ministers/Troy-Buswell/Pages/Default.aspx

  66. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 23, 2012 12:59 am

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy_Buswell

    lots of form

  67. Neil of Sydney permalink
    April 23, 2012 1:14 am

    “Lowest Common Denominator – politics in this country has really plumbed the depths due the the muck-raking Coalition.”

    That really is a disgusting statement. So the govts troubles are all due to a muckracking Opposition.

    The current govt has to be the worst govt in our history.

    Julia Gillard is a person who shakes hands, verbally promises and even signs a written document promising to do something if Wilkie backs her into govt and then goes back on her word.

    And her supporters are just as bad.

    This govt is a disgrace to our nation.

  68. April 23, 2012 7:39 am

    Apparently Slipper is/was a priest…

    That says it all really…

  69. el gordo permalink
    April 23, 2012 7:50 am

    All we need now is for Thomson to come clean and stand aside….after his comprehensive statement…and we’ll almost be there.

  70. JAWS permalink
    April 23, 2012 9:30 am

    Considering the seriousness of the charges and the real threat to his parliamentary superannuation (if convicted of Commonwealth fraud) plus the fact that Slipper owes Gillard nothing I’d be surprised if he stayed on as an MP.

    If he gets charged I reckon he’ll pull the pin in order to concentrate on his defence. Nothing focuses a politician’s concentration more than a threat to their super pension/lump sum.

  71. Splatterbottom permalink
    April 23, 2012 9:58 am

    “That doesn’t mean they need to go into full attack mode, at the expense of everything else.”

    Boo-hoo-hoo. Poor widdle Wabor Party.

    How dare the press state the bleeding obvious – that this government depends for its survival on a pair of sleazy grubs.

    Labor runs the country like a shonky circus and so its minions put out the message: “It’s all the fault of the press – why are they so fixated with slo-mo close-ups of our train wreck?”.

    Well here is a clue – Labor is better off this way. If the public focused instead on the lies, the broken promises and the incompetent thought-bubble policies they would hate Labor even more.

    And don’t even start with the “AbbottAbbottAbbott – coalition is just as bad” BS. I know that. And it isn’t even a defence. It’s just a talking point. The ALP are the ones in power. They piss in our faces every day and they need to be frog-marched from office as soon as is possible. The stench is overwhelming.

    It is not the light on the hill Labor needs to rediscover. To solve their current problems they need an endoscope (and a very large sewage pit for when the accumulated shit is evacuated.)

  72. Bacchus permalink
    April 23, 2012 10:01 am

    Speaking of sleazy grubs emanating an unmistakable stench – The Libs had better hope this doesn’t turn into a “Godwin” on them 😉

    http://www.vexnews.com/2012/04/blowback-peter-slipper-saga-might-end-up-bad-news-for-the-coalition/

  73. Splatterbottom permalink
    April 23, 2012 10:37 am

    It is touching to to see the little Labor ducklings paddling so furiously. Sadly for them the sluice gates at the sewage farm are opening and they will be washed away in a tsunami of shit.

  74. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 23, 2012 11:02 am

    …Ashby, who, astonishingly enough, at the time of publication is still an employee of the Speaker, has made his claims via a high-priced Sydney law firm Harmers that is a specialist in workplace law, often representing employers but also well-known for representing the complainant against Mark McInnes, the former CEO of David Jones, who was accused of trying to screw the crew.

    It is believed that Ashby is not paying the firm himself, with some even speculating that he may be being induced and encouraged by Slipper’s foes in the LNP to make the claims, possibly with the promise of a job or some other benefit.

    It also believed that Ashby covertly assisted a number of state LNP candidates during the recent Queensland election. Sources say the Speaker became aware of it, and was perfectly relaxed about it but was merely disappointed with his staffer that he hadn’t told him about it. Certainly it’s no secret Ashby is an LNP member.

    Most probably it’s a coincidence, but it is interesting to note that HSU national secretary Kathy Jackson, on a seek-and-destroy mission against the government backbencher Craig Thomson, has very recently engaged the same Sydney-based lawyers to represent her in a typically quixotic Federal Court lawsuit calculated to seize power within her scandal-plagued HSUeast branch…

    Jackson and Ashby with the same lawyers…both not covering their own expenses…

    A little of the set-up about all of this and it has the liberal Party Dirt Unit all over it. You’d think they would have legitimate work to do as an Opposition, not spending their days trying to entrap people and dig up scandals. That is despicable and shows the kind of politics that has always been played by the “ends justifies the means” Libs. Meanwhile Abbott & Co jump in front of the cameras and pretend to be honourable and decent people – it sickens me the hypocrisy.

  75. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 23, 2012 2:01 pm

    Does anyone think the ALP has found its way yet?

    There’s apparently plenty more on Slipper and the opposition will probably hold off with it until he’s back in the speakers chair.

  76. April 23, 2012 3:32 pm

    “Does anyone think the ALP has found its way yet?”

    LOL!! 🙂

  77. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 23, 2012 5:07 pm

    There’s apparently plenty more on Slipper and the opposition will probably hold off with it until he’s back in the speakers chair…

    Links TomM?

    Or is that direct from Lib HQ?

    PRESELECTION CONTROVERSY: NSW Liberals truncate democratic process to quickly select Robertson candidate

    …NSW State Executive of the Liberal Party have endorsed Lucy Wicks as the Candidate for Robertson. No preselection was held and the executive of the Robertson Federal Electorate Conference was not notified, only told that this was under consideration today…

  78. Neil of Sydney permalink
    April 23, 2012 5:33 pm

    PRESELECTION CONTROVERSY: NSW Liberals truncate democratic process to quickly select Robertson candidate

    What has this got to d with the topic???

  79. JAWS permalink
    April 23, 2012 5:45 pm

    Seriously Kitty is that all you have ?

    What about one of your “Yesterday’s Heroes” ?

    http://education.theage.com.au/cmspage.php?intid=135&intversion=105

  80. TB Queensland permalink
    April 23, 2012 6:41 pm

    Apparently Slipper is/was a priest …

    … and what the fuck is an Anglican Catholic priest FFS!

  81. TB Queensland permalink
    April 23, 2012 6:54 pm

    That’s why it is a little disingenuous to blame “homophobia”!!

    No-one IS “blaming”, as I attempted (as did Pip) to explain earlier it will “influence” the homophobes … and I would bet a pink skivvy to a safari suit that there are more homophobes that vote Liberal than Labor or Greens … (I wonder if that’s why Tony Abbott gets around in the “budgies” … he’s “appealing” to the gay community?)

  82. TB Queensland permalink
    April 23, 2012 6:56 pm

    What has this got to d with the topic???

    Since when has that bothered you lot?

  83. April 23, 2012 7:01 pm

    Not much talk about Slipper being a long term bannerman for the Libs, even if it was folly for the ALP to cynically enlist him.

    It would be great to see this bite them in the arse, ala Godwin Grech.

    They are all guilty by opportunistic association.

    Polly tnucs.

  84. TB Queensland permalink
    April 23, 2012 7:07 pm

    *** They are all guilty by opportunistic association.

    Polly tnucs. ****

    Hear! Hear! Toillette!

  85. April 23, 2012 7:11 pm

    I wonder if that’s why Tony Abbott gets around in the “budgies” … he’s “appealing” to the gay community?”

    FMD

    so by that logic….

    Amanda Vandstone in a bikini would be “appealing” to the “straight community…?”

    Honestly. FFS. 🙄

  86. TB Queensland permalink
    April 23, 2012 7:51 pm

    Amanda Vandstone in a bikini would be “appealing” to the “straight community…?”</i.

    Only by your standards … 😉

    Maybe I should have put a sarcasm alert ************************************ 🙄

    You really are getting into the swing of Melbourne … does anyone there have a sense of humour?

    Honestly FFS 🙄

  87. Tony permalink
    April 23, 2012 7:53 pm

    “You really are getting into the swing of Melbourne … does anyone there have a sense of humour?”

    That’s hilarious, coming from Mr Grumpy of Queensland. 😉

  88. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 23, 2012 8:02 pm

    Melbourne people have a very intelligent and sophisticated sense of humour.

    Those that don’t fit in, or fail the IQ test, move to Queensland.

  89. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 23, 2012 8:09 pm

    Once Slipper returns as speaker, I think there will be a stream of salacious leaks about him.

    That may be fair or not, but if he returns to the role, he’ll be a huge distraction for a government struggling to sell its message.

    I don’t think his appointment will be seen as being worth the effort.

  90. el gordo permalink
    April 23, 2012 8:30 pm

    On her nine hour trip to Singapore the PM gave the Slipper Affair some thought.

    “Having Mr Slipper be Speaker has enabled the government to do some important things on behalf of Australian families,” she said.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/battle-for-slipper-peppers-pm-at-singapore-memorial-20120423-1xgk5.html#ixzz1srG9Slw5

    Hmmmm….

  91. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 23, 2012 8:46 pm

    Not much talk about Slipper being a long term bannerman for the Libs, even if it was folly for the ALP to cynically enlist him.

    yeah, for 18 yrs or so he fit right in with the Libs but only now is he the scum of the earth 😆

  92. Neil of Sydney permalink
    April 23, 2012 10:13 pm

    “yeah, for 18 yrs or so he fit right in with the Libs but only now is he the scum of the earth”

    Apparently there was always allegations surrounding Slipper but he was never convicted of anything. The Libs were about to get rid of him but Labor snapped him up.

    What does it say about how desperate was the ALP when they snapped up someone the Libs were about to ditch. Labor knew Slipper was about to be dumped but they still picked him up. Gillard is a fool like most of the people who vote for Labor.

    Speaking of people who fit in, Milton Orkopoulos fitted right in to the ALP for years.

  93. el gordo permalink
    April 23, 2012 11:09 pm

    ‘Gillard is a fool like most of the people who vote for Labor.’

    That’s a bit harsh Neils and patently false, the electorate was deceived at the last election, but you are correct in thinking that if anybody votes for this mob at the next election they are indeed ‘foolish’.

  94. Bacchus permalink
    April 23, 2012 11:21 pm

    OK el gordo. Make your case as to why people should vote for the Liberal / National NOalition in the next election, without mentioning climate policy 😆

  95. Neil of Sydney permalink
    April 23, 2012 11:26 pm

    Gillard is a fool. Slipper had nothing but rumours surrounding him and everybody knew the Libs were trying to get rid of Slipper. He was trouble with a capital T.

    And Gillard picked him!!!!! To a high office also. Gillard was very foolish and I can only assume her supporters are just as stupid.

  96. el gordo permalink
    April 24, 2012 7:03 am

    The people want a government with vision and a mandate to carry it out, but Julia is constantly defending her minority government and has nothing much to show for her time in office.

    If she had said to Bob Brown when forming guvmint that this CC thing is a no brainer, let’s spend the money on very fast trains instead, our Julia would be riding high in the polls and looking forward to another term.

    As it stands now she has fkn dudded my party and I’m not happy Baccy.

  97. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 24, 2012 8:57 am

    As it stands now she has fkn dudded my party and I’m not happy Baccy.

    Well I’m very pleased with the carbon tax, now I’m hoping to see $1 pokie limits get in. Loving this hung parliament 😆

  98. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 24, 2012 8:57 am

    I don’t think I know anyone who is a thrilled by the prospect of Abbott becoming Prime Minister. His capability doesn’t really seem to come up in conversation.

    But it is clear that much of the population loathe Gillard. They groan when she comes on TV, they don’t even bother to listen to her anymore. They’ve switched off because she’s seen as lacking integrity.

    Slipper’s appointment and this outcome has reinforced her reputation.

  99. Bacchus permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:01 am

    » Couldn’t do it, could you? 😉
    » “has nothing much to show for her time in office.” – You haven’t been taking any notice then. Are you saying there’s nothing to show in amongst the > 300 Bills passed in this term of government?

  100. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:13 am

    But it is clear that much of the population loathe Gillard. They groan when she comes on TV, they don’t even bother to listen to her anymore.

    Really, much of the population TomM, why is it so clear?
    Are you our man everywhere now, in their homes as people [much of the population] watch telly? or is this word of mouth from people you associate with?

  101. April 24, 2012 9:17 am

    “Well I’m very pleased with the carbon tax, now I’m hoping to see $1 pokie limits get in”

    I’m not all that convinced about what the carbon tax will achieve but I’m 100% behind the mining tax, plain pack fags and $1 pokie limits..

    In fact I’d like to see pokie machines limited to just casinos. Get them out of pubs and clubs altogether..

    Pubs and Clubs survived before they had pokies and they can do so again…

    In fact, I remember when the pubs and clubs were all complaining that they would all go bust when the smoking ban became law…

    What a load of BS that turned out to be…

  102. Splatterbottom permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:32 am

    Y’know I look at the polls and wonder exactly who are the 28% who would vote 1 Labor. What kind of rusted-on long-ago-gave-up-thinking moron would do that? Sure, mental illness is on the rise, but that doesn’t really explain why so many enjoy being shat upon daily by this hideous cabal. How do people get so invested in one or other party that they suspend all judgment and common sense, completely ditch all ability to think independently, and just snap and snarl like a dog on a leash at the first scent of another dog? Barking mad is what they are.

  103. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:44 am

    Well AO, I do get out occasionally. I was out for dinner with a group a few nights ago, several were the public sector administrative types who normally flock to the ALP, and even more enthusiastically when we have our first female PM! Women who regarded Gillard as a great role model, and men who would have agreed with the “thinking man’s crumpet” description. This constituency has turned on her vehemently.

    The middle class types who loved the idea or story of Gillard, now hate the practical outcome. When people who previously admired her, now mock her, it must be nearing the end.

    …and I’d have to point out that these people are Fairfax and SBS aficionados! They wouldn’t wrap the garbage in The Australian.

  104. el gordo permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:10 am

    I agree with reb that pokies should only be in casinos, this would reduce the gambling addiction problem in the pubs and clubs.

  105. Neil of Sydney permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:44 am

    Y’know I look at the polls and wonder exactly who are the 28% who would vote 1 Labor. ”

    Public Servants

  106. Splatterbottom permalink
    April 24, 2012 12:32 pm

    At least Latham gets it:

    Just yesterday, as I was visiting the NSW industrial heartland region of the Illawarra, a Labor diehard approached me in despair at the state of the party. He had been a long-serving local branch president who confessed, in light of the Thomson and Slipper affairs, that he was “ashamed to tell people I belong to the Labor Party”. This is a common lament among the true believers.

    When I resigned the party’s leadership in 2005, I was convinced its core values were being corroded by the growth of factionalism and union control. For the next five years, whenever people challenged me about my time in Parliament, it was usually in the context of my political record. But two years ago, something changed. Like the old-timer in the Illawarra, the issue has become one of embarrassment. People regularly ask me about the humiliation I must feel for having once led a corrupted rabble like the ALP.

    ………………..

    Anyone who cares for the viability of our political system should now take an interest in reviving Labor’s fortunes. Reformers must take the party out of the soiled hands of Thomson and Slipper and return it to the values of Curtin and Chifley.

    That last point is the real issue. It is bad enough that Labor are debasing their own values and standing. It is a tragedy for Australia that a major party that actually once stood for principles and values has been brought so low by ambitious apparatchiks exclusively concerned with power for its own sake.

    This is truly post-modern politics in the sense that truth is irrelevant and power everything. And every time the Coalition comes up with another half-baked policy, and every time that arse-clown Hockey opens his mouth, they show that they are infected with the same disease. The main driver of political decision and action is spin. This applies to both major parties.

    Take the Thomson case. It seems that the government has not started from the proposition that very the credible and serious allegations raised need to be answered quickly in order to maintain public confidence in the institution of parliament, but rather it started from the need to keep Thomson in parliament to shore up the numbers. Hence the shameful circus this affair has become.

    ***

    Labor’s descent into the abyss started with the Rudd coup. As Hildebrand noted so colourfully this week, the ALP 2 party preferred vote was 52% when Rudd was knifed – who wouldn’t Labor bend over for now to get those numbers again?

    Ultimately the blame for this comes down to the anti-Rudd conspirators, especially Shorten. It is extremely convenient for Shorten that Rudd was axed. Even better that Gillard is discredited and effectively dead as a leader, and even better yet that Gillard’s loyal supporter Shorten helped kill off Rudd permanently when Rudd challenged. Now Shorten’s decision comes down to whether he pounces before the nest election or waits for Gillard’s inevitable ignominious defeat, in which case he may have to rebuild the party. He will move before the next election.

    When Rudd came to power Shorten was looking at at least two terms of Rudd, and another of Gillard by which time the people may have been ready to turf Labor out. Now Rudd is down and out, Gillard is on her last legs, and if he moves soon he will be PM for a while in this parliament and then have the opportunity to rebuild as he won’t carry the blame for the inevitable defeat. Secretly he is dreaming that he times his move so that he capitalises on the honeymoon period and scrapes in in the ensuing election. In terms of his leadership ambitions, Shorten is the big winner in all of this.

  107. James of North Melbourne permalink
    April 24, 2012 1:54 pm

    Reb.

    In fact I’d like to see pokie machines limited to just casinos. Get them out of pubs and clubs altogether..

    Pubs and Clubs survived before they had pokies and they can do so again…

    Disagree. Get them out of casinos and pubs and leave them in clubs only. At least clubs put the revenue generated to a decent social outcome.

    I could not believe when they were legalised in Victoria they didn’t follow the Bingo model (in Vic) or the pokie model (in NSW and Qld) and allowed private ownership. Now you have cnts like Mathieson making millions out of the whole thing, in a joint venture with Woolworths. He’s fcked most of the pubs in the state, and now controls many of the clubs.

    Casinos are for serious punters. Let ’em do as they will. But if people are going to blindly pour their money into these bloody offensive things, then it should be at a sports club, RSL, or some such venue which is not for profit and funds social advantage for the particular community.

  108. el gordo permalink
    April 24, 2012 3:37 pm

    I like what splatter and Latham are saying, but I’m falling out with James over pokies.

    Serious punters are addicted, the state has a responsibility in eliminating one arm bandits from pubs and clubs.

    There are countless other ways the working class can gamble away their money.

  109. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 24, 2012 4:31 pm

    I find it remarkable the way so many trivialise a case of (alleged) harassment between a boss and a subordinate.

    In any workplace unwelcome sexual advances and innuendo should be weeded out, any employer should take corrective action at even a whiff of sexaual harassement.

    Apparenty though, when the alleged perpetrator is important to the ALP, the preferred approach of their supporters is to-
    • Question the motivations of the victim.
    • Speculate about a conspiracy.
    • Give the alleged perpetrator a boost.
    • Blame the media.

    Strange indeed.

  110. April 24, 2012 6:20 pm

    “I’m not all that convinced about what the carbon tax will achieve but I’m 100% behind the mining tax, plain pack fags and $1 pokie limits..”

    Yep, me too.

  111. el gordo permalink
    April 24, 2012 6:48 pm

    The carbon tax will make us poorer for no reason, yet I support the mining tax and plain pack fags.

  112. April 24, 2012 6:56 pm

    I’m noy sure that it’s being done for ‘no reason’, but I’m very cynical that (assuming climate change is real) the carbon tax is a credible way to deal with it & not just the trimmings of a giant, unstoppable, hidden, perpetual churn which will be unstoppable by the ordinary person once entrenched.
    That’s right, if it gets up, I don’t believe that even Abbott will be ridof it in its entirety …it’s too much of a hidden hand in our pocket for any government to completely reverse it.

  113. April 24, 2012 6:57 pm

    Did I mention unstoppable? 🙄

  114. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 24, 2012 7:02 pm

    I don’t object to the carbon tax as a mechanism. My problem is the absolute dishonesty that accompanied its introduction.

  115. April 24, 2012 7:09 pm

    I also tend to agree that a majority of people would not have voted the way they did if the prospect of an increase in the cost of living for them via a carbon tax was plainly stated to them in a straightforward manner.

    It smacks of Howard’s introduction by arrogance of WorkChoices.

    None of us get to vote posthumously. They prey on that.

  116. Tony permalink
    April 24, 2012 7:35 pm

    Nanny-statists hate our freedomz. 😯

  117. April 24, 2012 7:47 pm

    I believe so.

  118. April 24, 2012 7:51 pm

    Now I’m confused. 😯

    Do you mean that hating on BigTobacco makes me a Nanny-statist? or that being cynical about a savetheworldtax is hating on Nanny-statists?

  119. Tony permalink
    April 24, 2012 8:03 pm

    I despise all incarnations of the nanny state. You seem to pick and choose, hence your confusion. 😉

  120. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 24, 2012 8:16 pm

    Laura Tingle (AFR) must be after a job with Murdoch. She’s now saying ‘Labor’s lost it’s moral authority:

    While she may be a little slow in stating the obvious, such commentary is apparently the exclusive domain of those wanting to join News Ltd.

    It is reliably reported that the list of News Ltd wannabes now also includes Tingle, Tony Jones, Emma Alberici, Heather Ewart and Michelle Grattan.

    News is certainly going to be crowded with formerly left leaning political journalists.

  121. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 24, 2012 8:52 pm

    ‘They’ must have something on Oakeshott too, given that he has said he won’t necessarily support the return of Slipper as Speaker, even if he’s cleared of criminal offenses.

  122. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 24, 2012 8:56 pm

    Nanny-statists hate our freedomz.

    If I had my way the ciggies would be made illegal [prescription only for those who already have the habit]. I can’t see what’s nanny statist about prevent future generations from being killed. The fact is that big tobacco is getting the younger generation [below the legal age] hooked onto these killing sticks when all the evidence about their harm is out there now. That’s not even getting into the enormous financial burden to the nation through smoking related illness, something the industry doesn’t count as they shovel their blood money from misery into their pockets.

    Would you say the same thing if you found out that your own kids were working in the asbestos industry because surely asbestos makers have the right to make a profit too? Why shouldn’t arsenic and guns be sold over the counter to anyone who asks for them?

    I also tend to agree that a majority of people would not have voted the way they did if the prospect of an increase in the cost of living for them via a carbon tax was plainly stated to them in a straightforward manner.

    So all they care about is cost, no nice warm glow from doing the right thing by the environment and other people? The majority are stinking human beings.
    Haven’t we been promised that we will have the increased costs reimbursed? I was reading the other day that some figures are being checked and it looks like treasury were a bit out, people will get more back than they will have to pay out.

    But if people are going to blindly pour their money into these bloody offensive things, then it should be at a sports club, RSL, or some such venue which is not for profit and funds social advantage for the particular community.

    Surely as a society, we should be funding social advantage from our taxes not the poor and needy who are the problem gamblers? Isn’t that why we do our duty as good citizens and pay tax to the government, so that they may use it for the betterment of our society? I’d rather my tax money go to social advantage than the wealthy rent seekers.

  123. Tony permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:14 pm

    “Isn’t that why we do our duty as good citizens and pay tax to the government, so that they may use it for the betterment of our society?”

    No, no, no! You’ve got it all wrong! We elect a government to perform certain functions which we have decided are better organised that way. We further agree to fund such a government through taxation to the extent needed to perform those functions. We do not elect a government to tell us how we should behave.

    At least, that’s the way it should be, anyway. ;-(

  124. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:23 pm

    ha, you didn’t come anywhere near to answering the questions tony, a wide berth 😆

    We do not elect a government to tell us how we should behave.</i.

    Then why do you want a police force?

  125. Tony permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:28 pm

    “Then why do you want a police force?”

    To enforce the laws we the people have decided we want, and have had legislated through our elected representatives. We definitely do not have a police force to tell us how to behave, or to decide what laws we should have.

  126. Tony permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:30 pm

    If government did nothing more than protect our life, liberty, and property, that would be about right.

  127. el gordo permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:30 pm

    ‘I’m very cynical that (assuming climate change is real) the carbon tax is a credible way to deal with it ….’

    The devil’s in the scientific detail, climate change is real but global warming isn’t happening… this is easy to verify.

    The political consequences for the watermelon coalition is disastrous.

  128. Tony permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:31 pm

    (Protect from others, mind you; not from ourselves.)

  129. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:48 pm

    To enforce the laws we the people have decided we want, and have had legislated through our elected representatives. We definitely do not have a police force to tell us how to behave, or to decide what laws we should have.

    The police are used by the government to beat us into behaving as they wish. The might and force of the state [defence, police] is turned against it’s own citizens to protect corporate wealth and private property interests. The government makes the laws and we the people have no say in it [otherwise no one would be bellyaching about a carbon tax]. We certainly are told how to behave. Our elected representatives are representative of the population and the process of their election is rigged.

    The lawmakers protect the interests of wealth. The voters get ignored while laws are enacted to protect wealth. Why else has citizen protest been virtually made unlawful these days? The citizens are not able to freely dissent from state rule and oppose at will, we have our privacy, our rights and our freedoms invaded and violated on a daily basis by the state.

  130. April 24, 2012 9:54 pm

    The state is a tyrant.

    The Earth is a toilet.

  131. Tony permalink
    April 24, 2012 9:54 pm

    “The citizens are not able to freely dissent from state rule and oppose at will, we have our privacy, our rights and our freedoms invaded and violated on a daily basis by the state.”

    And yet you want the state to tell you what you can do with your own body (smoking), and your own money (poker machines)? Surely, given what you just wrote, you can see how such decisions should be left to the individual, not to an all powerful state?

  132. James of North Melbourne permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:01 pm

    KL you seem to have this view that the reason your people don’t get into power is a result of some conspiracy.

    How would democracy work in your ideal?

    *I’m not setting you up, I’m really quite interested to know.

  133. Tony permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:09 pm

    Every individual should live their life as they see fit. In my opinion, they should do whatever it is that makes them happy. If that means being constantly stoned or drunk, then that’s what they should do. Or if they like the adrenaline rush of punting, good for them. Or if they want multiple sex partners, or none, then great. Or if religion makes them happy, so be it. Or if they want to accumulate as many material goods as they can before they die. Or accumulate them, then give them away to those who have none. Or to live in a cave. Or to spend their life serving others. Whatever makes them happy.

    What they cannot do, in my scheme of things, is interfere with other peoples’ right to happiness. That’s the sole reason we’ve decided to give exclusive powers of force and coercion to a government: to protect our right to happiness from others who would interfere with it.

  134. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:36 pm

    *I’m not setting you up, I’m really quite interested to know.

    I know.

    Who are my people? Democracy should work for the voters not the parties. ‘My people’ are the citizens of australia.

    First thoughts [that may well not turn out to be the best on deeper inspection].

    For starters, no conscience votes and no party allegiances. The politicians actually represent their constituency and not their party. No secret lobbying from industry, everything open and transparent. Political staffers have to work under the same rules as public servants and are accountable to the public. Much stricter rules for transparency of political funding like everything over $100 having to be declared on a public register that is immediately available. A Bill of Rights. CIR. Public funding for political parties only. All government agencies accountable to the public [ASIO, Police, Defence etc] not just the parliament. An truly frank and fearless independent public service accountable through proper transparency to the public, not the tool of the politicians.

    Some mechanism to put a brake on the power of the parliament/politicians to set themselves above the scrutiny of the people and silence dissent.

  135. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:38 pm

    What they cannot do, in my scheme of things, is interfere with other peoples’ right to happiness. That’s the sole reason we’ve decided to give exclusive powers of force and coercion to a government: to protect our right to happiness from others who would interfere with it.

    What if your right to happiness imposes upon and violates my right to happiness?

  136. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:40 pm

    The state is a tyrant. The Earth is a toilet.

    so true

    time to clean the toilet 😆

  137. Tony permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:43 pm

    “What if your right to happiness imposes upon and violates my right to happiness?”

    Didn’t I just explain that’s the (only) reason we (should) have laws, and a government to enforce them?

  138. Bacchus permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:47 pm

    Stay tuned ToM… and pray hard that your friends can hold solid to avoid Tony’s own “Godwin Grech” moment 😉 It’s looking more and more that way by the moment…

  139. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:50 pm

    do tell baccy!

  140. Tony permalink
    April 24, 2012 10:56 pm

    James of North Melbourne and ‘armchair ‘might be interested in this passage from a book whose name I shall reveal later:

    “Consider the example of Switzerland, one of the wealthiest and most successful states in Europe. . . Like the United States, but unlike almost every country in Europe, it makes regular use of referendums as a method of government. . . They know that their system of direct democracy has served to control their politicians and to constrain the growth of government.”

  141. Bacchus permalink
    April 24, 2012 11:00 pm

    Patience KL 🙂 You know these things have their own life to be played out. IF ToM’s mates are all solid I’ll end up disappointed, but in politics, these things tend to take on a life of their own – egos become involved 🙂

    I’m sure all will be revealed in the fullness of time – the problem comes in the timing…

  142. Tony permalink
    April 24, 2012 11:17 pm

    “Since 1515 Switzerland lives in peace.”

    “John Adams admired the way the Swiss had developed universal suffrage and a popular militia. Patrick Henry praised the country for maintaining its independence without a standing army or a ‘mighty and splendid President.’ ”

    “The structure of the Swiss militia system stipulates that the soldiers keep their own personal equipment, including all personally assigned weapons, at home.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Switzerland

  143. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 24, 2012 11:22 pm

    There are few things that embarrass me Bacchus. I’ve spilt a mouthful of red all over a starched dress shirt without blushing.

    Though finally the press is reporting a little of the type of news we have some interest in.

    http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/i-loved-clive-james-leanne-edelsten/story-e6frfmqi-1226336608308

    From my point of view, it is of only marginal interest – the lass is 48, and has no sister.

  144. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 25, 2012 2:02 am

    http://www.news.com.au/national/bob-katters-daughter-in-court-over-assault/story-e6frfkvr-1226337536430

    cripes!

    …Didn’t I just explain that’s the (only) reason we (should) have laws, and a government to enforce them?…

    To enforce and protect your version of happiness. Sorry, but we don’t live in the US or abide by their constitooshun. Government doesn’t exist for your protection especially as your pursuit of happiness oppresses the choices of others to have their happiness without the dictates and coercion of market forces. I don’t consider the assets and investments of business to be personal property anyway.

  145. el gordo permalink
    April 25, 2012 6:36 am

    In Tony’s world teh drug lords would go out of business.

  146. James of North Melbourne permalink
    April 25, 2012 7:05 am

    Ok, KL, mostly noble ideals with which I mostly concur.

    Now how do you democratically achieve such an outcome, whilst retaining freedom.

  147. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 7:13 am

    This is something I think we can agree on. Your version of happiness might not be my version of happiness. Laws you think are good might be laws I disagree with. It is possible that you or I could be on the losing 49.9% of an issue and be subject to the ‘tyranny of the majority’. Even in a referendum, where a double majority or even a triple majority is required, a large proportion of the population might feel aggrieved with the result.

    Part of the answer is to preserve federalism. The more issues that can be decided at a state level, or, even better, by local government, the better. Competing towns, shires, cities and states give people altenatives when they see what they believe are bad political decisions being made. The successful Swiss system mentioned above has 26 autonomous states, called cantons. The rest of Europe, on the other hand, is failing because it has tried to centralise government, leaving the people powerless, disaffected and disenfranchised.

    Better still is to leave as many decisions as possible to the individual by reducing government’s interference in so many aspects of our lives. If every single person could get their own way on important issues, no matter how many different ways that might be, wouldn’t we all be that much happier? Take the current example of the National Broadband Network. A large portion of the population think that government shoudn’t be risking taxpayers’ money on picking winners, particularly in an area where rapid technological advances could completely change the way the internet is most efficiently delivered. If each individual was left to decide in a free market whether they wish to connect to the internet, and how they have it delivered, then no-one would feel like someone else is squandering their hard worked-for money without allowing them a say in how it is spent.

  148. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 7:48 am

    Planetary Resources, Inc. announced today its plan to mine Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) for raw materials, ranging from water to precious metals. Through the development of cost-effective exploration technologies, the company is poised to initiate prospecting missions targeting resource-rich asteroids that are easily accessible.

    Resource extraction from asteroids will deliver multiple benefits to humanity and grow to be valued at tens of billions of dollars annually. The effort will tap into the high concentration of precious metals found on asteroids and provide a sustainable supply to the ever-growing population on Earth.

    A single 500-meter platinum-rich asteroid contains the equivalent of all the Platinum Group Metals mined in history. “Many of the scarce metals and minerals on Earth are in near-infinite quantities in space. As access to these materials increases, not only will the cost of everything from microelectronics to energy storage be reduced, but new applications for these abundant elements will result in important and novel applications,” said Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc.

    Additionally, water-rich NEAs will serve as “stepping stones” for deep space exploration, providing space-sourced fuel and water to orbiting depots. Accessing water resources in space will revolutionize exploration and make space travel dramatically more economical.

    “Water is perhaps the most valuable resource in space. Accessing a water-rich asteroid will greatly enable the large-scale exploration of the solar system. In addition to supporting life, water will also be separated into oxygen and hydrogen for breathable air and rocket propellant,” said Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources, Inc. . .

    http://www.planetaryresources.com/2012/04/asteroid-mining-plans-revealed-by-planetary-resources-inc/

  149. public toilet permalink
    April 25, 2012 7:59 am

    Pie, meet sky.

  150. public toilet permalink
    April 25, 2012 8:02 am

    It sounds great, in an altruistic star trekish kind of way. But they talk about it like it’s already underway…which, it isn’t.

  151. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 8:10 am

    Dark-greens would hate this because it neutralises their “we’re running out of everything” scare.

    (Apologies for putting that item on the wrong thread.)

  152. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 25, 2012 8:37 am

    But what happens when we run out of asteroids?

  153. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 8:48 am

    “Many of the scarce metals and minerals on Earth are in near-infinite quantities in space.” 😉

  154. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 25, 2012 9:02 am

    “Save the asteroid”, “We only have one asteroid (or maybe not)”

  155. April 25, 2012 9:09 am

    Jesus saves (apparently).

  156. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 25, 2012 10:32 am

    So if all this land the Speakers job for Oakeshott, wouldn’t that be just hilarious!!??

  157. public toilet permalink
    April 25, 2012 11:33 am

    I’m not a dark green…but I don’t wear rose coloured glasses either.

  158. el gordo permalink
    April 25, 2012 11:42 am

    Abbott would support Oakshott for Speaker and in a funny way its appropriate…being an independent.

  159. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 12:18 pm

    The science is settled, denier!

  160. public toilet permalink
    April 25, 2012 12:24 pm

    😯

  161. Meta permalink
    April 25, 2012 12:36 pm

    (Dada.)

  162. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 25, 2012 1:15 pm

    Now how do you democratically achieve such an outcome, whilst retaining freedom.

    Nothing in that lot curtails freedom james, it just curtails secret behind closed doors deals/funding by government and makes govt accountable to the people [as I see it].

    Part of the answer is to preserve federalism. The more issues that can be decided at a state level, or, even better, by local government, the better.

    nuh uh tony, we agree but for different reasons i suspect in regard to state/local level decision making. You want it for the opposite of what I would like to see [people power from the ground up through collective community decision making]. Your state level representation is a capital divide and conquer strategy of economic power. Nasties like ALEC think that is a good thing in the states too, where business influence the laws and the penniless state lawmakers to get around federal law. These laws are very restrictive on the rights of the citizenry to live their lives without coercion by the market. State legislators are dominated by free market racketeers.

    Local councils here are already controlled and dominated by industry groups, I wish to see the control in the hands of the local community and CIR used to oppose the vested interests of capital.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=SourceWatch

    If each individual was left to decide in a free market whether they wish to connect to the internet, and how they have it delivered, then no-one would feel like someone else is squandering their hard worked-for money without allowing them a say in how it is spent.

    The population believes in public ownership of utilities, it is cheaper and is run better [contrary to what the market fundies like to spruik] with public equity and equality at heart rather than corporate profits. If it were left to the free market, the people in outer woop-woop wouldn’t have the internet. I will happily pay taxes for an equality of shared service and collective public ownership/investment.

  163. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 25, 2012 1:22 pm

    It sounds great, in an altruistic star trekish kind of way. But they talk about it like it’s already underway…which, it isn’t.

    Also, sounds like it would mean a lot of scientific endeavour and research and the scientists haven’t got a clue have they?

    Oh I geddit, science good for everything except the natural environment of this earth 😆

  164. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 1:32 pm

    “The population believes in public ownership of utilities”

    Part of the population. The other part does not.

    BTW, what’s CIR?

    http://www.acronymfinder.com/CIR.html

    #Ihateacronyms

  165. Meta permalink
    April 25, 2012 1:35 pm

    (ICBM* = Independent Country Bank Mine?)

  166. el gordo permalink
    April 25, 2012 1:43 pm

    ‘The science is settled, denier!’

    guffaw..

  167. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 25, 2012 1:53 pm

    No Bill passed by the federal Parliament could be assented to until after a referendum, if that were demanded within three months by one-third of the members of either House, or Resolutions of both Houses of any of the local legislatures, or 20 000 qualified electors. Assent should be given or withheld according to the result of the referendum, determined by a simple majority of voters. 13

    from your link bacchus, yes I believe that all legislation should be put to the people and debated or changed if necessary, before it can be enacted.

    What better public polling could you want? And a simple majority of voters, not the majority of people in the majority of states etc which ensures that nothing changes.

  168. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 1:53 pm

    Thanks Bacchus, I’ll have a read of that paper when I can be bothered get time. 😉

    In general I’m a supporter of direct democracy. Did I mention Switzerland has refused to join the EU? They regularly use referendums. Some cantons even vote on immigration applications, on a case-by-case basis.

  169. Bacchus permalink
    April 25, 2012 2:06 pm

    AO, The major problem I see with CIR is the ability of powerful vested interests to “buy” legislation. Think MRRT, Clean Energy Act, Pokies legislation – those with the means to advertise, can buy whatever legislation they can convince enough people to vote for…

  170. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 2:10 pm

    Exclusive Features of Switzerland’s Political System

    The two chambers of Switzerland’s national parliament meet several times annually to sessions during several weeks and between them to preparing meetings in numerous commissions. But being member of parliament is not a full time job in Switzerland, contrary to most other countries today. This means that members of parliament have to practise an ordinary profession to earn their living – thereby they are closer to everyday life of their electorate.

    The really remarkable thing about Switzerland’s political system is Direct Democracy: the extraordinary amount of participation in the political process that is granted to ordinary citizens. In other words: it is not the mere existence of direct democratic instruments (federalism is widespread and referendums are not completely unknown to other democratic systems) but rather the frequent use of them, not only as encouraged bySwitzerland’s Constitution, but as practised with enthusiasm by the citizens. Frequent referendums do have a stabilizing influence on parliament, government, economy and society:

    •Referendums will increase the willingness to compromise (otherwise a party defeated in parliament will call for a referendum): This effect is not so strong, however, as we see from the fact that there are several non-mandatory referendums in Switzerland every year (and even some successful ones leaving the uncompromising majority and the goverment in the rain) despite the fact that every politician should know and “fear” them …

    •Referendums favour big coalitions: Shared power motivates compromise, exclusion from power motivates obstructive referendums.

    •Referendums increase stability: As extreme laws will mercilessly be blocked by the electorate in referendums, parties are less inclined to radical changes in laws and voters are less inclined to call for fundamental changes in elections. There is no need to dismiss the government after a lost referendum, because the referendum solves the problem – preventing an extreme law – more efficiently and also more precisely: On the very same day, three new laws may be accepted and two others rejected.

    http://www.democracy-building.info/switzerlands-political-system.html

  171. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 2:28 pm

  172. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 25, 2012 2:44 pm

    ”the ability of powerful vested interests to “buy” legislation.”

    Yeah, right, ‘cos our political parties are so very immune from such influence.

  173. el gordo permalink
    April 25, 2012 2:50 pm

    ‘Any citizen may challenge a law that has been passed by parliament. If that person is able to gather 50,000 signatures against the law within 100 days, a national vote has to be scheduled where voters decide by a simple majority of the voters whether to accept or reject the law.’

    I’m assuming they mean Bills passed and in that case the CO2 tax would be history.

  174. Meta permalink
    April 25, 2012 2:56 pm

    I’m assuming they mean Bills passed and in that case the CO2 tax would be history.

    Yes.

  175. el gordo permalink
    April 25, 2012 3:16 pm

    The Levenson inquiry in London (on the role of media in government) has been going on for months and this gem just turned up.

    ‘Proposition for News Corp to attend a ministerial Climate Change meeting with Chris Huhne and No 10 to present our strategy so far.’

    I thought Rupert and James were on the Denialati’s side, but obviously not.

  176. Bacchus permalink
    April 25, 2012 3:20 pm

    Exactly ToM – Clive owns the Qld government, Gina, Twiggy & Clive (amongst many others) own Tony Abbott & the opposition, ACTU affiliated Unions own Labor, etc.

    CIR though, goes to individual pieces of legislation. We’ve already seen how these powerful vested interests exercise their power – Clubs Australia with the pokies legislation, The Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia with the alcopops, sections of the mining industry with MRRT, Unions with Workchoices…

    It’s much easier to convince the sheeple to believe something based on limited information, rather than bureaucrats and politicians who have access to a much greater range of information before making their decisions.

    For CIR to work properly, we would need a much more informed and engaged electorate, and an MSM that is not part of one side of the ideological equation. All valid points of view would need to be presented to the people in a balanced manner to enable considered decisions which are really in their best interests to be made.

    We would also probably need to do away with our present adversarial political system – government would need to be formed by all parties, based on a true reflection of the proportion of votes received.

    For example, based on first preferences at the 2010 election, the current HOR would have:
    Labor x 57
    LNP x 65
    Greens x 18
    FF x 3
    Independents x 4
    Other Minor parties x 3

    All playing a role in government…

  177. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 3:27 pm

    I like the Swiss idea that members of parliament are part-timers, and have to have a real job to earn a living.

  178. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 25, 2012 4:01 pm

    Fine with me Bacchus. The main problem with the current parliament is the stupidity of a couple of the independents & Greens.

    The first Bracks government in Victoria was a good government, with the independents moderating the excesses of the factions & unions.

    I’m not bothered by multiparty parliaments, they’re not all as disfunctional as this one.

  179. Bacchus permalink
    April 25, 2012 4:06 pm

    This parliament is actually functioning extremely well. The disfunctional part of it sits to the left-hand side of the speaker. ‘Tisn’t so just because Tony Abbott says so ToM 😉

  180. April 25, 2012 4:07 pm

    “Armed, Safe & Freedomz”

    Yeah, that’s the idea. Arm the population. What a great plan. 🙄

  181. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 4:23 pm

    It seems to work for them: “Guns are deeply rooted within Swiss culture – but the gun crime rate is so low that statistics are not even kept.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1566715.stm

  182. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 4:36 pm

    “It might work very well in practice, minister, but it doesn’t work in theory.” 😯

  183. April 25, 2012 4:43 pm

    That’s just great. Weapons are awesome. Everyone should have one on their hip. Only softcocks don’t wanna tote weaponz. 🙄

    The world is a better place with weapons. There should be more of them. Send the old ones to Africa & give us all shiny, new weapons.

  184. Neil of Sydney permalink
    April 25, 2012 4:55 pm

    Yeah, that’s the idea. Arm the population. What a great plan.”

    Actually that used to be part of our history. Standing armies are expensive so England was defended by militia groups.

    http://constitution.org/mil/maltrad.htm

    During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, for example, every family was commanded to provide a bow and two shafts for each son between the ages of seven and seventeen and to train them in their use or be subject to a fine. [43] To promote proficiency in arms, Henry VIII and his successors ordered every village to maintain targets on its green at which local men were to practice shooting “in holy days and other times convenient.” [44]

    Apparently we did not get a proper standing army in Australia until 1947. Before 1947 the vast bulk of of the army was part-time militia.

    In Britain the right to bear arms was curtailed late one night by the British Parliament. Soldiers came home from WW1 with guns rather than bow and arrows so the authorities were worried about this and passed laws limiting the right to bear arms.

    And as we know Martin Bryant purchased a semi-automaitic weapon in Tasmania. Howard further legislated away the right to bear arms.

    It was news to me that the right to bear arms was a common-law right that had been legislated away.

  185. April 25, 2012 5:20 pm

    Smartest thing Howard ever did, Neil.

    Props to the little cunt.

  186. April 25, 2012 5:21 pm

    * sorry, tnuc.

  187. April 25, 2012 5:23 pm

    Not on topic at all, sorry again…but I should add that everything else you’ve put up about Switzerland seems commendable to me.
    I’m not just being a wanker, fact is I have grave doubts about the wisdom of putting firearms in the hands of every average person.

  188. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 5:32 pm

    “I’m not just being a wanker, fact is I have grave doubts about the wisdom of putting firearms in the hands of every average person.”

    I know that. I think most people would share your concern. I used to feel the same way until I started looking into it. On the face of it, you’d expect places with ‘liberal’ gun laws to have higher rates of gun crime, but in most cases they don’t; and in some the rates are lower. Rates of other violent crimes, like assault and home invasion, are often lower, too. Not actually knowing if the potential victim is a gun owner surely has a restraining influence on the potential perpetrator.

  189. April 25, 2012 5:40 pm

    I am dubious.

    I see arms proliferation as an escalation, rather than a neutralisation, of threat.

    The human condition is too erratic, prone to lapses of impulsive emotion & lack of self control to trust everyone with responsible use of the potential to wield lethal force.

    Maybe you don’t know as many unhinged dickheads as I do. 😉

  190. April 25, 2012 5:43 pm

    To me, it’s a bit like the death penalty.

    Wrongful slaying of an innocent person, through misidentification, adrenaline blindness, skittish trigger finger etc. , isn’t worth the supposed ‘restraining influence’ mooted by a perception of general toting.

  191. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 5:44 pm

    “to trust everyone with responsible use of the potential to wield lethal force.”

    Naturally you’d have licencing conditions, so not everyone would qualify. Plus a 72 hour delay so someone couldn’t buy and use a gun in a fit of rage. But yes, there are plenty of unhinged dickheads out there, and I know my fair share. 😉

  192. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 5:47 pm

    At least in Switzerland everyone is trained in their proper use, and there is a general mindset that the weapons are there to protect against an invasion.

  193. Tony permalink
    April 25, 2012 5:50 pm

    Remarkably, in all the wars Germany and France fought against each other, the trouble never spilled over into neighbouring Switzerland. Nor did Swiss German-speakers clash with Swiss French-speakers.

  194. April 25, 2012 6:10 pm

    Maybe we should take this to the weekend thread? 😯

  195. el gordo permalink
    April 25, 2012 7:52 pm

    ‘It seems weird that a private limo service would be substantially less than Comcar but we are reliably told that is the case and that some MPs prefer private operators as a result. This seems to be particularly the case with Queensland MPs.

    ‘Sources say that all Slipper did, which might have prompted concern from Ashby who wasn’t familiar with the Speaker’s arrangement with a Sydney limo operator was provide the driver with Cabcharges for payment, which they insist tally up with official, and documented and diarised, engagements he had.’

    Vexnews

  196. Bacchus permalink
    April 25, 2012 10:00 pm

    At least they’ve got top legal representation for Mr Ashby early – a mistake they made with Mr Grech 😉 Will the dirty politics be successful this time? It cost the previous LOTO dearly. The stakes are very high…

  197. armchair opinionator permalink
    April 25, 2012 11:52 pm

    It cost the previous LOTO dearly. The stakes are very high…

    The previous one was a bit naive, this one is well versed in the dark art of subterfuge and self preservation.

  198. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    April 26, 2012 9:00 am

    Do people still congratulate Oakeshott and Windsor on their great judgment? While the government still tries to salvage the Speakership of Slipper, the independents have turned on him.

    The appointment of Slipper has been a disaster, whether he returns to the chair for a further instalment, or whether he slinks off. Does anyone suggest that this outcome has been worth the effort?

    Of course every aspect of the controversy was entirely predictable, but the government blundered in anyway. It’s incompetence combined with duplicity.

  199. Splatterbottom permalink
    April 26, 2012 9:22 am

    “It cost the previous LOTO dearly. The stakes are very high…”

    Dream on.

  200. el gordo permalink
    April 27, 2012 8:25 am

    Picked up at the Bolter…

    ‘Independent MP Andrew Wilkie on ABC radio this morning warns Peter Slipper not to resume his duties as Speaker before all allegations against him are dealt with. Or else…’

    “I will either move or support a no confidence motion against him.”

    And he adds:

    “The majority of Australians are disgusted with the conduct of this government.”

  201. April 27, 2012 2:08 pm

    Labor wants Slippery Pete to return to the Speaker’s Chair despite sexual harrassment allegations…

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/slipper-has-govts-backing-on-dockets-20120427-1xorj.html

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