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Andrew Bolt

May 17, 2011

I guess he'll have to be right eventually

Andrew Bolt asks, again: Gillard finished. How many times must we say it? And the Clot Factor

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Andrew Bolt asks, again:

Gillard finished. How many times must we say it?

And the Clot Factor has the answer:

Over 23,000 times.

Is it Christmas yet? How about today? How about today?

UPDATE: The Clot Factor googled “Gillard” and “finished” on the Jester’s blog. For a more accurate result, if you google “Gillard is finished” there are over 20,000 instances, and if you google “Gillard finished”, another 4,000. That includes reader comments, but it’s still a telling result, given she’s been PM less than a year.

UPDATE #2: He might also be right, eventually, guessing at the identity of MTR talkback callers… although probably not if he keeps thinking they’re me.

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60 comments

60 thoughts on “I guess he’ll have to be right eventually

  1. confessions

    Yeah, and I was right about Rudd Removal wasn’t I? Which is why I don’t think Labor will change leaders again – that plus the subtle removal of power from the NSW mob.

    [What achievements precisely, is the Opposition in a position to deliver? ]

    1. Develop some actual policy. They don’t need to be in govt to do this.

    2. Show that they have learnt from the Howard defeat by a) developing new front bench talent instead of defaulting to the current crop who were at best ordinary ministers in the Howard years, and b) renewing their policies to be relevent in 2011, not 2007 – It’s incredibly arrogant and tempting contempt and accusations of hubris from voters to just present them with the same set of policies they rejected 4 years ago. .

    3. The last two changes of govt show that oppositions win office by broadly agreeing with the govt’s direction, while picking only minor points of difference around the edges – Rudd did this well in 2007, as did Howard in 1996. Outright ‘NO!’ is very unlikely to win the Abbott coalition govt.

    4. What does the Liberal party stand for? Abbott has defended the right of the top 17% of householders to continue receiving ‘middle class welfare’ while wanting to make it harder for the unemployed to get assistance. He says he accepts the scientific reality of AGW, yet leads a party with a very expensive and inefficient policy to reduce emissions. The other day he was also defending tobacco companies, despite claiming to accept the scientific reality of the harmful effects of smoking.

    They don’t need to be in govt to do any of these things. In fact, opposition is the best time for them to achieve them.

    [Are you saying Macolm Turnbull will lead the Coalition to the next election, or just muckraking?]

    The Liberal party are divided on climate change (and IR, but that’s another story). This is why Abbott has had to ask his MPs not to engage in debate about whether AGW is real, and has himself flipped (again) on the issue in order to avoid having the debate at the time when he’s supposed to be attacking the carbon tax.

    With that in mind, think about what Turnbull’s LL comments last night will do to the partyroom. If you don’t believe me, have a look at the front page of the OO. There are at least two stories about Turnbull’s comments on their climate non policy dividing the Libs, and one about Turnbull wanting the leadership back.

    At his presser today Abbott was forced to answer questions about Turnbull rather than attack the carbon tax. I don’t think Turnbull will lead the Libs again, but whenever he speaks out it automatically raises the prospect of division. You don’t have to be on the receiving end of leaks to work that out.

  2. Daics

    “1. Labor would be mad to change leaders now, and I don’t think they will. The ‘Gillard is gone’ rhetoric is merely wishful thinking.”

    You thought they were mad to change from Rudd, though. As you so eloquently said on the night of the leadership spill:

    “Unfuckingbelievable!

    Labor have just gifted government to Abbott.”

    Not so, of course. Quite the reverse.

    The reason the ALP’s poll numbers are an issue so far out from an election is because the party has shown that it is willing to use bad polling as the catalyst to oust a leader (a PM, no less). Gillard, having herself been catapulted into the leadership on the back of bad polls, now finds herself defending worse figures. It is a dreadful bind. Supporters such as yourself, of the “She’ll be right mate” brigade, do this government no favours.

    I completely agree that Abbott’s carping, opportunism and sloganeering is depressingly telling of the current state of politics.

    Yet you and Gillard talk of this “year of delivery” which is a slogan in itself. Fair enough. It is 19 May. The clock ticks.

    “At the end of next year, Labor will have a significant number of achievements under its belt. What will the opposition have?”

    What achievements precisely, is the Opposition in a position to deliver? Perhaps a frantic, desperately unpopular Government could be classified as an achievement, but policy-wise, the Goverment are in the driver’s seat.

    “Sounds to me as if there are moves behind the scenes in the Liberals, which I’ve been predicting would happen once Abbott’s cheap rhetoric and no answers becomes untenable. ”

    Which is exactly the type of stargazing punditry of which you accuse Bolt. Are you saying Macolm Turnbull will lead the Coalition to the next election, or just muckraking?

    And let’s not forget that an event that Bolt actually predicted, was described by you as “unfuckingbelievable,” so are you to be viewed as an analyser extroardinaire, or rather as a partisan Labor voter hoping against hope for signs of life in a goverment that has grown afraid of its own shadow?

  3. confessions

    Daics:

    Spooked, am I? I prefer facts, and the facts are these:

    1. Labor would be mad to change leaders now, and I don’t think they will. The ‘Gillard is gone’ rhetoric is merely wishful thinking.

    2. In every term of his period in govt, Howard and the coalition had similar poll numbers at this point in the electoral cycle – in fact Howard’s personal ratings were lower than the current PM’s. The excitement about the current polling is meaningless because there’s no election imminent. Look at the Rudd govt’s stratospheric polling for most of its term. And then look at the election results.

    3. The govt is playing a long game – as the PM said, this is the year of delivery. The Liberals and their shills in the msm are creating a lot of noise and movement, while the govt is incrementally getting stuff done. At the end of next year, Labor will have a significant number of achievements under its belt. What will the opposition have? Nothing except reams of fish wrappers delightfully reproducing their smart arsed slogans from the past 2 years.

    4. Every piece of legislation the opposition has opposed has passed through Parliament. What does that tell you about the effectiveness of their current strategy? How long can they keep it up before it starts to look like hollow sloganeering rather than grown up, credible alternatives?

    5. The opposition are already having to {ahem} clarify their position on various issues. We’ve heard Turnbull saying he isn’t out to destroy the NBN, and it seems the coalition would keep it if they won govt. We’ve also heard Turnbull dissing their indirect, non action on climate change. Sounds to me as if there are moves behind the scenes in the Liberals, which I’ve been predicting would happen once Abbott’s cheap rhetoric and no answers becomes untenable.

    These are the sorts of analyses I expect from paid commentators, not the repetitive, and meaningless rhetoric we get served up instead. And if you want to see “evidence”, just go back and read Bolt’s blog from 2007 onwards. Even as Costello was announcing he was going to retire from parliament, Andy was predicting he was going to move for the Lib leadership.

  4. returnedman

    Spartacus!! Gaddamit I can’t believe I didn’t think of that yesterday!

    “I’m Jeremy Sear and so is my wife …”

  5. Daics

    “Nope, not based on what I saw of the man. He had the opportunity to do a Keating and challenge, even if it meant losing and going to the backbench for a stint. He chose to go and sulk to the media instead. Gutless.”

    I agree. I said he was poised IF the the numbers fell his way, which they never did, until APEC by which time it was all too late. He failed to pursue his ambitions as rigorously or bravely as did Keating. Perhaps, like Gillard, he would have benefitted from some party apparatchiks to do the bidding for him and force his hand.

    In any event, where is your evidence that “Bolt told us for years that Costello was poised to move against Howard.”

    I’m not so sure of that.

    I agree, of course, that Bolt is not some amazingly insightful pundit, but saying that “Gillard is finished” is entirely appropriate. That the ALP haven’t moved against her doesn’t make him wrong. It simply exemplifies the parlous positon they find themselves in.

    As an ALP supporter, Confessions, like her party, is spooked by this entire issue and it shows in her reaction to this thread.

  6. confessions

    [(Or Spartacus.)]

    Tony Abbott??

  7. Jeremy Sear

    If people were to start ringing MTR and calling themselves Jeremy, I wonder how long before nobody with that name would get through at all?

    (Or Spartacus.)

  8. confessions

    [Fancy that? A journalist basing his opinion on sources close to the action, using them to shape his publicly stated opinion]

    Indeed. And what a shame we don’t get informed opinion more often from Bolt, which is kind of the point of this post. Equating the deliberate leaks to him about Rudd with this baseless, and repetitive wishful thinking about Gillard is ridiculous.

    [And do you seriously think that Costello, from, say 2003-2006 or thereabouts wasn’t poised to move against Howard, in the event that the numbers fell his way?]

    Nope, not based on what I saw of the man. He had the opportunity to do a Keating and challenge, even if it meant losing and going to the backbench for a stint. He chose to go and sulk to the media instead. Gutless.

  9. jules

    This is not a Godwin.

    Goebbels repeatedly said the secret to propaganda especially outright lies was to focus on a few and repeat them.

    “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

    He was a master propagandist, but only cos he read and understood Edward Bernays and ripped all his ideas.

    Here’s Bernays on Goebbels:

    “Goebbels […] was using my book Crystallizing Public Opinion as a basis for his destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me.”

    Bernays may have been a scumfuck capitalist who invented PR and modern advertising (including viral advertising, product placements and a myriad of other stuff), but he was also Jewish and horrified by that particular application of his ideas.

    Unfortunately there aren’t many appropriate Bernays quotes online otherwise I would have used them. (Those quotes are from wikiquote and thinkexist.com’s quote pages.)

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays

    There’s a little from Propaganda there.

  10. returnedman

    Thank god he is not on Sydney radio.

    Come on, Sydney radio is the worst in the country. We’ve never had to put up with the Lawses and Joneses of the airwaves.

  11. returnedman

    That’s good enough for me.

    Irony, right? Heh … that’s why YOU don’t have your own radio show!

  12. Jeremy Sear

    “Pointing that out isn’t intellectual dishonesty. It’s an opinion. It is a view shared by Labor parliamentarians and voters alike.”

    I think the fact that he’s been saying it pretty much ad infinitum since very shortly after she became Prime Minister kind of undermines his credibility. He’s banking on his readers not remembering far enough back to realise it, though.

  13. RobJ

    Yeah, I like Penny Wong.. Unflappable and calm.. Plibersek is good at staying calm (and fluttering her eyelashes – works for me 😉 )

  14. surlysimon

    RobJ
    How about Penny Wong? The right would just about explode if we had another woman PM, one who is Gay as well.

  15. RobJ

    Oooh, I know – Tanya Plibersek.

    Except she has done a massive back flip with regard to Israel/Palestine, I fear like most politicians (in my experience) she’ll sell out her values for her career. I’d nominate myself but…. well, you know.

  16. RobJ

    [although I’m not too sure who such a replacement candidate for Labor would be]

    Me either. Can’t think of anyone off the top of my head. Paul Keating??

  17. GavinM

    I hope you’re right Rob — although I’m not too sure who such a replacement candidate for Labor would be, I’ve got a feeling that the power-brokers in the Party aren’t all that interested in their traditional support base.

  18. Brizben

    They seek him here, they seek him there, those rightards seek him everywhere! Is he in heaven or is he in hell? That darned elusive Pimpernel.

    Good to see you are making an impact on the king of spin Jeremy.

  19. Daics

    For the umpteenth time.

    Confessions @ 8 & 9:

    “He was only right about Rudd because he was getting leaked to by internal ALP MPs. It was certainly not due to any brilliant insight on his behalf.”

    Fancy that? A journalist basing his opinion on sources close to the action, using them to shape his publicly stated opinion, and subsequently being proved correct. I’d have thought you should be encouraging someone like Bolt to discover and listen to facts before using them to shape his opinion.

    “And furthermore, Bolt told us for years that Costello was poised to move against Howard.

    Did it ever happen? No.”

    I recall Bolt writing many times that Costello needed to do much more to justify ascension to the leadership, rather than simply relying on a smug, lazy inheritance argument. Even when the troops were moving against Howard during APEC, Bolt went on Lateline (with the late Matt Price) arguing that Costello wouldn’t challenge Howard, and that he needed to be handed the leadership “by acclaim,” in a bloodless coup.

    Howard, the obstinate old prick (far from being my hero, as quantize suggested before without any foundation) was having none of that.

    And do you seriously think that Costello, from, say 2003-2006 or thereabouts wasn’t poised to move against Howard, in the event that the numbers fell his way?

    I’m no Bolt apologist. This particular thread is just a nonsense, which is exemplified by the fact that most commenter’s imagination has been grabbed by the Jeremy MTR farce instead of the topic itself.

  20. revolutionary

    Would have loved to have heard the paranoid MTR exchange Jeremy, but unfortunately it was too far into the link you posted to bear. After about ten minutes of the Herald-Sin’s drug policy expert claiming there was no evidence of safe injecting rooms reducing death rates, without citing any evidence of his own, I had to turn the thing off or else pour wet cement into my ears.

    Thank god he is not on Sydney radio. To paraphrase a popular saying, he has a great broadcasting voice for newsprint.

  21. fred p

    Actually, I got the quote wrong. He calls him Jeremy (then immediately cuts him off) and then when Price calls him James, he says (with a smug laugh) “His name’s not James, heh heh heh.”

    Well, let’s review the evidence:

    1. The caller was clearly male;
    2. His first name began with the letter ‘J’; and, most tellingly
    3. He disagreed with Andrew Bolt.

    That’s good enough for me.

  22. RobJ

    [The real tragedy for Australia is that in so doing Labor has raised the very real possibility that Abbott will be our next PM.]

    That’s a very scary prospect, I’m not too pessimistic though, whilst I reckon Bole is right, she’s finished (ultimately) there’s still a couple of years for Abbott to disgrace himself and Turnbull take over. Better though would be for ALP to dump Gillard and start ‘moving’ backward to find a replacement that is prepared to represent the traditional Labor base. Thing is, for that to happen the ALP marketing/spin machine will have to admit fault, highly unlikely

  23. GavinM

    I’m not sure what the objections to Daics’ posts are, other than sheer partisanship, certainly no-one has attempted to address the reasons he gave, which sadly I fear are pretty close to the mark — this government has gone as close to committing political suicide as any I’ve ever seen.

    The real tragedy for Australia is that in so doing Labor has raised the very real possibility that Abbott will be our next PM.

    And if the carbon tax does end up being the $40 per ton figure that I saw Bob Brown and Christine Milne talking about last night, this government will almost certainly have hammered the last nail into its own coffin.

  24. calyptorhynchus

    Daics #12

    “You show a frankly astonishing ability to fit the words “Pfffff,” “Howard,” “shut the hell up” and “mining tax” into one short, poorly punctuated ramble. ”

    That’s nothing, I used to fit “Howard” and a certain bodily orifice into a four word sentence.

  25. Shinsko

    You can’t fault this analysis either,

    She’s so shrunk in the job, that she took a football to her first White House meeting with the US President.

  26. Shinsko

    On cue, Bolt’s column today,

    The fact is it’s now too obvious to ignore…that Gillard is finished.

  27. Astrobleme

    Blots favourite ‘climate non-scientist’ Anthony Watts (of Watts Up With That) fame finally published his Global warming is caused by poor weather station siting paper… And guess what? He found there was no issue with weather station siting, yet again Blot is wrong.

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2011/05/rabett-is-always-right.html#comments

    and the wonderful paper: http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/r-3671.pdf

    Apparently he had Anthony Watts on his radio show and Watts yet again said that global warming was mostly caused by Urban Heat Island effects, despite Anthony’s own paper saying this isn’t the case.

  28. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    ‘Husky Jim’ is maybe hoping his hero will recognise his voice next time he calls in to MTR.

  29. quantize

    It’s a shit sandwich of dummies….

  30. Jeremy Sear

    Published, moderator-approved comment on that post:

    “Loved the way you dealt with Jeremy Sear this morning Andrew.
    First class.
    Husky Jim (Reply)
    Tue 17 May 11 (11:36am)”

    ORLY.

  31. confessions

    Well. MTR will never increase their audience share if they treat hapless callers with such callous disregard.

    ‘James’ probably fled to 3AW where at least they don’t hang up on their callers or publicly question their identity.

  32. Jeremy Sear

    Actually, I got the quote wrong. He calls him Jeremy (then immediately cuts him off) and then when Price calls him James, he says (with a smug laugh) “His name’s not James, heh heh heh.”

  33. kedgie

    I’m just impressed that you can be in two places at once. That’s a skill that you must only use for good, Jeremy.

  34. confessions

    Next thing you’ll be offered your own TV show.

    FEEL the power!

  35. Jeremy Sear

    Yes, but I have enormous reach. He has to keep track of me, with my website and my… other website. I AM A POWERFUL PUBLIC FIGURE WHO MUST BE KEPT IN CHECK.

  36. confessions

    [Love the smug “his name’s not James, it’s Jeremy” as if he’s caught him (me?) out.]

    Does this mean he’s been listening to the PP podcasts if he was so certain it was your voice? Talk about an obsession.

  37. Jeremy Sear

    Listened to the MTR bit now (it’s just after halfway through). Love the smug “his name’s not James, it’s Jeremy” as if he’s caught him (me?) out. That’s hilarious.

    He hears my voice in every laugh, in every tune, in every whisper of the breeze… how touching.

  38. quantize

    [You show a frankly astonishing ability to fit the words “Pfffff,” “Howard,” “shut the hell up” and “mining tax” into one short, poorly punctuated ramble. Bravo.]

    Thankyou, I wish I could say the same for your powers of comprehension.

  39. Daics

    “Pffffff…if it was you hero Howard you’d be saying he’ll claw back.

    We had an election, shut the hell up until you get another chance to pretend the Coaltion would do any better (they already duped us out of millions of mining tax profits)”

    You show a frankly astonishing ability to fit the words “Pfffff,” “Howard,” “shut the hell up” and “mining tax” into one short, poorly punctuated ramble. Bravo.

    I respect Shinsko – I love The Clot Factor – so I’ll focus mainly on his witty rejoinder:

    “Daics – And I’ve picked 18 of the last 3 economic downturns.”

    Bolt, as well as saying that Gillard is finished (ad nauseum – I admit it’s not highbrow stuff) has also commented that Labor changing horses now is equally fraught (reasons being , inter alia, the lack of a candidate, the risk of upsetting the Independents and being seen generally as chronically unstable). So he’s not saying Gillard is finished and will be replaced tomorrow, merely that she is finished. The fact is that Labor, largely of their own doing, have painted themselves into a hellish corner.

    Pointing that out isn’t intellectual dishonesty. It’s an opinion. It is a view shared by Labor parliamentarians and voters alike.

    I suspect that the truth of the statement is really what is getting under people’s skin on this site.

    Governing credibly and coherently would be a terrific way to start righting the sinking ship. Remember that Tony Abbott is Opposition Leader – should it really be that hard to govern well?

  40. quantize

    [She does appear to be as close to finished as anybody could be.]

    Pffffff…if it was you hero Howard you’d be saying he’ll claw back.

    We had an election, shut the hell up until you get another chance to pretend the Coaltion would do any better (they already duped us out of millions of mining tax profits)

  41. Jack Sparraaggghhh

    Nah, I’m fairly certain it wasn’t Jeremy (he’ll be relieved to know). Andy’s obviously becoming somewhat paranoid. Meanwhile poor old James from Reservoir was left totally creeped out as to why this lunatic was calling him “Jeremy” and telling Price, “His name’s not James.”

    If you’re reading this James, please know that, yes, you are real.

  42. Shinsko

    Daics – And I’ve picked 18 of the last 3 economic downturns.

  43. confessions

    And furthermore, Bolt told us for years that Costello was poised to move against Howard.

    Did it ever happen? No.

  44. confessions

    For the umpteenth time.

    He was only right about Rudd because he was getting leaked to by internal ALP MPs. It was certainly not due to any brilliant insight on his behalf.

  45. couchy

    The more important question is did Bolt say Reser-vore or Reser-vwar?

  46. Daics

    “We just need to repeat back it’s bullshit..”

    Really?

    She does appear to be as close to finished as anybody could be.

    She moved against Rudd when his poll numbers were far better, alledgedly because the government “had lost its way.”

    Since then, she has gone perilously close to losing an election and is getting torn to shreds in the polls.

    Bolt is further emboldened by his (correct) early crow that “Rudd is finshed,” which ultimately turned out to be true.

  47. Jeremy Sear

    “Andrew Bolt seemed to think a talkback caller named “James from Reservoir” was actually called “Jeremy”. I’m guessing he meant you, though not sure.”

    LOL. I’ll have a listen. I’M EVERYWHERE.

  48. iancrichtonward

    Jeremy,

    Just wondering – was that you on MTR this morning?

    Andrew Bolt seemed to think a talkback caller named “James from Reservoir” was actually called “Jeremy”. I’m guessing he meant you, though not sure.

  49. quantize

    This is the ‘if we repeat it enough times it will be true’ extreme right wing attack trick..

    We just need to repeat back it’s bullshit..

  50. Cuppa

    What a desperate Liberal hack.

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