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Jun 18, 2012

George Brandis: the carbon price killed Fairfax

I've seen some long bows drawn and cynical exploitation of others' misfortune in my time watching federal politics. But today's effort by Australia's finest jurist George Brandis in Sen

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I’ve seen some long bows drawn and cynical exploitation of others’ misfortune in my time watching federal politics. But today’s effort by Australia’s finest jurist George Brandis in Senate Question Time to link the Fairfax announcement to the carbon price takes some sort of prize for crass opportunism and straight stupidity by an allegedly intelligent politician. Indeed, Brandis goes further than merely linking it, he outright says in his third question that the 1900 Fairfax jobs will be destroyed by the carbon price.

“Have you ever heard of the internet?” interjects Stephen Conroy. Possibly not. Apparently a carbon price that hasn’t even begun yet is responsible for the woes of the newspaper industry. Here’s the full text of the exchange. Penny Wong gets stuck into Brandis, and rightly so. These people are going to be running the country next year?

Carbon Pricing

Senator BRANDIS (Queensland—Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:23): My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Senator Wong. I refer the minister to the announcement by Fairfax Media today that it plans to slash 1,900 jobs and close its Chullora and Tullamarine printing presses by June 2014. Is the minister aware that every significant stage of the Fairfax production chain, from the cost of power to produce newsprint to the cost of fuel to transport that newsprint, to the cost of electricity to operate the printing plants, to the cost of distribution will be directly affected by the carbon tax? Does the minister accept any responsibility for the loss of yet thousands more Australian jobs as a direct result of this toxic tax based on a lie?

Senator Conroy: Have you ever heard of the internet?

Senator WONG (South Australia—Minister for Finance and Deregulation) (14:24): That is a fairly desperately long bow, to mix my metaphors. I know that the opposition want to believe that pricing carbon is responsible for ending civilisation as we know it, but to seriously suggest that a business decision made by a media company is something to do with a carbon price is a seriously odd thing to do. I am not an expert in this issue and I suspect Senator Conroy could give you a much lengthier discussion than I could—

Senator Fifield: It would be lengthy!

Senator WONG: It would be lengthy and it would be most illuminating for you, Senator Fifield. He could give you a very lengthy discussion about the various pressures driving changes in that sector. I would have thought the internet might have something to do with it. This is just another example of the sort of overblown claims that we saw from the other side.

I saw Mr Abbott in recent times has moved away from the carbon price being a ‘wrecking ball’ to now saying that is actually going to be a ‘python squeeze rather than a cobra strike’, trying to segue away from some of the ridiculous propositions that were put out there as part of the scare campaign, including that a town in my home state of South Australia would be wiped off the map. I tell you what: I reckon it is still going to be there on 2 July.

Senator BRANDIS (Queensland—Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:26): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Given the statement made by Fairfax Media in its announcement this morning that the business is ‘already operating in very difficult times’ why has the government made those existing difficulties even worse at the cost of nearly 2,000 jobs by introducing the world’s biggest carbon tax at the worst possible time?

Senator WONG (South Australia—Minister for Finance and Deregulation) (14:26): Unless the senator has got a quote somewhere, I have not noticed anybody suggesting that the carbon price is responsible for the reconfiguration of the media landscape in this country. I suspect that might be occurring for a range of different reasons.

Senator Conroy: Could be!

Senator WONG: It just might be! I think it is another example of an increasingly desperate scare campaign where, to try to make themselves relevant today, the opposition are actually jumping on today’s story and trying to link it somehow to carbon. It is a pretty extraordinary position.

In terms of where the economy is at, because there was some implication about that in the question, I again reiterate what Senator Evans, the Leader of the Government in the Senate, has said: we have low unemployment, we have created over 800,000 jobs since we came to government, we have an economy that is over 10 per cent bigger than when we came to power, we have inflation contained and we have interest rates falling. So the sort of gloom and doom that is behind Senator Brandis’s question— (Time expired)

Senator BRANDIS (Queensland—Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:27): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. What is the government’s message to the some 1,900 Fairfax Media employees whose jobs have been destroyed by its carbon tax? Why are they faced with unemployment? Why are their families faced with hardship when Julia Gillard went to the last election promising there would be no carbon tax under the government she leads?

Senator WONG (South Australia—Minister for Finance and Deregulation) (14:28): I would say to them: do not trust Senator Brandis and the opposition in this disgraceful fear campaign. If you really cared about the loss of jobs, Senator, you would not come in here trying to link it to a political scare campaign. If you really cared about the families, you would not come into this chamber and disgracefully use people’s commercial decisions which will impact upon those families for your political purposes. So do not come in here and tell us that we do not care, because I think people who are worried about what is happening in their employment at Fairfax are not going to take too kindly to you rocking up into the Senate chamber and asking ridiculous questions in an attempt to link it to your carbon scare campaign. The reality is that we on this side do care about employment, we care about workers. That is why we put jobs first. That is why 800,000 jobs have been created since we came to government. That is why we got rid of Work Choices, something you still want to bring back. Do not come in here and talk to us about job security, Senator Brandis. (Time expired)

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91 thoughts on “George Brandis: the carbon price killed Fairfax

  1. heavylambs

    Adherance to party dictates killed Brandis’ intellect long ago. I first became aware of him when he rolled out the very tired and unoriginal ploy of linking The Greens and modern environmentalism to Nazism,filibustering away for hours. What a waste.

  2. Hamis Hill

    To the indefatigable JamesK what is a certain, notoriously anti-democratic minority religious community doing in the nation’s elected representative bodies when they
    cannot even defend their own children from their own pervert priests?
    The stooges might actually be in these places in disproportionate numbers in order to actually protect pervert priests?
    Motive and opportunties abound, even provide a reason to blog on, consistent with the clear and established pattern of protection. Look in the mirror that is being held up to you JamesK, do you see what everyone else sees when they look at your transparent posts? Are you a Real LIberal?

  3. JamesK

    It makes it hard for people to argue the Liberal National Coalition are the best tool to sweep Labor from our Parliaments and Local councils when one of their strongest politicians, dribbles such garbage! Edward James

    Actually Ed, it seems to be the polls that predict “the Liberal National Coalition are the best tool to sweep Labor from our Parliaments”

  4. Edward James

    G Brandis was pushing the same silly argument on Q&A about the carbon Tax causing 1900 Fairfax job losses. It makes it hard for people to argue the Liberal National Coalition are the best tool to sweep Labor from our Parliaments and Local councils when one of their strongest politicians, dribbles such garbage! Edward James

  5. JamesK

    You lack self-awareness, JamesK, that much is obvious.

    But not you Hamster?

    Were you fully aware let alone self-aware when you typed this?:

    Well St Peter will say to the stooges at the Pearly Gates “What did you know about children in your religious community being abused by priests and what did you do about it”. Nothing, because we wanted to get to heaven, is the wrong answer Mr Stooge

  6. Hamis Hill

    To the extent to which posters like JamesK are in fact capable of reflection he may care to reflect upon how the posts directed towards him are a reflection of his own posts against others. Extreme, unsubstantiated, personally abusive, offensive and threatening.
    Look into the mirror of your own posts, JamesK, and you will not see a Real Liberal.
    Real Liberals are dedicated to democracy and, JamesK, you are not a real Liberal.
    The “Hammy” which seems to concern you, JamesK, is a caricature of yourself.
    You lack self-awareness, JamesK, that much is obvious.

  7. JamesK

    I didn’t ask who you worshiped hammy.

    All space cadets hail from somewhere.

  8. Hamis Hill

    I don’t worship Jupiter like you Mr Stooge, you know, the child molesting god of Rome?
    Europa and Ganymede! JamesK, would the priests of Rome/Jupiter emulate their god in abusing children? or is it all the fault of the Carbon Tax?
    If you you are not for democracy, JamesK, you must be against it.
    I believe that your posts have already proven which side you are on.
    Anti-democracy and Anti-Christ. By your action you shall be known, no matter how much your evil shuns the light, you shall be known.
    Now how about a nice little public confession JamesK, are you a real Liberal?
    Come on now, it’s so good for the soul. It’s not realy a game now is it JamesK?
    Hell beckons, JamesK, Hell Beckons. Have you sold your soul JamesK?
    Need a bit of public funded chaplaincy?
    Or just chant, three times, It’s all the fault of the Carbon Tax, and you’ll be absolved.
    Right wing politico-religious dementiods,( everyone is a communist!!!), are more a parody of humanity than a parody of religion, by Jove! The god of the DLP Stooge!

  9. JamesK

    Which part of the Gallaxy do you hail from Hammy?

  10. Hamis Hill

    Yes JamesK not a real liberal, more like a Democratic Liberal Party stooge, The sort of behaviour they would use. Come on real Liberals get rid of the stooges. With the polls the way they are what have you got to lose?
    And Mr Stooge saw Malcolm and a backbencher backing away from your Fuhrer on the “Boat Terrorists”. Real Liberals one must presume.
    Still hearing the tap, tap, tap as the wedge is driven in.
    They don’t want you Mr Stooge, why not start the Democratic Liberal Party?
    Take control of the senate like the other DLP, send off some soldiers for a hopeless war
    somewhere?. History not a strong suit for the Stooges, don’t do much of it in school, can’t get infected by all that democracy stuff, souls at risk there eh Mr Stooge?
    Well St Peter will say to the stooges at the Pearly Gates “What did you know about children in your religious community being abused by priests and what did you do about it”. Nothing, because we wanted to get to heaven, is the wrong answer Mr Stooge.
    Enjoy your time in Hell. The price of only ever rendering unto Caesar or is it Jove, Mr Stooge? Now who did Peter Costello call a DLP Stooge again JamesK? You idiot.

  11. JamesK

    Do you find Fran comforting, Michael?

    Presumably she’s mainstream in the same way you’re mainstream?

    Poe’s ≠ Poes ≠ Poe

    And Michael there’s nothing humble about your opinion – stupid certainly – but not humble.

    Given that Michael has called or implied serially on this very thread that I’m irrational, that I post rubbish, that I’m a pretender, that my points make Lost look intellectual, that I’m right wing lunatic (whilst he tells us that he’s mainstream and the Age newspaper and the ABC are right-wing biased media) and Michael apparently thinks I’m “amusing” because of some supposed inconsistency saying that Michael is seemingly incapable of independent thought and is in denialist belief that the Age and the ABC are right-wing media organisations, I don’t think Michael’s latest example of his pathetic ridiculous and self-righteousness has any validity

    Michael then quite without any evidence whatsoever asserted that “For JamesK any criticism of the right proves bias to the left” and then asserted he knew that I was a troll.

    What Michael would “know” if he actually was capable of discernment is that I only ever return insults in kind.

    Moreover here’s a piece of irrelevant info for the deluded effete and cowardly Michael, I was posting on and reading Crikey long before he ever turned up on the scene and always with the same handle.

    On the plus side Michael’s posts could only fall under Poe’s Law for the completely uninitiated.

    You really are a laughably one eyed extreme effete leftist not the parody of one that may at first appear.

  12. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Poe’s Law states:

    Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.

    Now which “Poe’ do you think Fran meant?

    And JamesK – please read the Crikey moderation guidelines. IMHO your level of personal insults is reasonable grounds for Crikey to delete many of your posts.

  13. JamesK

    Noun

    poes (plural poeses)

    (South Africa, crude, slang) The female genitalia.
    (South Africa, crude, slang, derogatory) A disliked person.

  14. Fran Barlow

    JamesK’s remarks Michael are so perverse that I’ve generally assumed they are Poes — i.e. designed as lampooning strawmen of right wing positions. On the internet of course, there are so many nutbags like JamesK that it’s often hard to tell.

  15. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Fran,

    I noticed yesterday that JamesK (not to be confused with James K) has only posted in this blog, and posts here often. This suggests to me that he has volunteered to help the cause of the right, and whichever group it is that does this, he has been assigned this blog.

    What is sad is that I can’t imagine any reader of Crikey being influenced by the rubbish JamesK posts. For example, he didn’t even notice that the Professor Biff Bondarchuk post is a joke. And of course his insulting you and me can only be seen as childish rudeness.

    I think it is part of the Tea Party strategy which has so effectively been used by Abbott. As most readers never post, it does not take much to ensure that Crikey, The Drum, etc include lots of (as I see it looney right-wing) posts poking fun at “the left”. The idea is to give the impression that you and I are far away from mainstream thought.

    Big business and right-wing politics have realised that they not only need to dominate MSM, but they need to influence social media. JamesK is just a part of this machine.

  16. geomac62

    Very strange

  17. geomac62

    Moderation is bizarre as there is no sense to what is and is not the trigger . No logic .

  18. geomac62

    Posted June 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm | Permalink
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Either understaffed or overworked it seems . No trigger words that I can see or links , so whats the reason . A puzzle that should be explained if only to be aware of what to avoid before posting .

  19. Fran Barlow

    What’s sad JamesK is that you somehow made it through school without achieving formal literacy or even the ability to think.

    Our school system is pretty good, but you demonstrate that it’s not perfect.

  20. JamesK

    The mind numbingly boring and infamously batshit crazy leftist of so many Ozzie blogs Fran Barlow sez the medja are fer “The Mad Monk” and agin the goodly schoolteachers managing the Barlow-labelled “children” that are the Oz public.

    It’s anudder vast wight wing conspiawacy Fwan.

  21. Fran Barlow

    [ In that he seems to have been freed from any constraints regarding the need to adhere to facts, logic or common sense by his party leadership and by most of Australia’s media.]

    Indeed. It’s that last point — the lack of serious scrutiny by the media of the LNP over the entire period from the Abbott accession in late 2009 that is the foundation for this policy approach.

    The completely craven and adaptive behaviour of the ALP has of course been a predisposing factor in the way the media has traded, but in theory at least, the media is not supposed to be part of a mob of circling sharks, but a disinterested party conveying salient data in comprehensible form about governance to a wider public.

  22. Steve777

    George Brandis may a a pompous, sanctimonious, self-important bloviator but I don’t think he’s stupid. His job is to work through parliamentary processes to attack the government and work towards the Coalition attaining power any way that he can. In that he seems to have been freed from any constraints regarding the need to adhere to facts, logic or common sense by his party leadership and by most of Australia’s media.

  23. Fran Barlow

    Brandis is neither stupid nor unhinged, at least in the usual senses. He is simply doing the bidding of his party, which imagines, foolishly in my view, that saying carbon tax as often as possible will serve their purpose, whereas they’ve probably realised all of the advantage they were going to get and would be somewhat better at saving it for the next election.

    I was showing the 1980s film, “Gallipoli” in class the other day. In a tragic final scene the soldiers in the trenches leap out to go over the top knowing full well that most of them will be cut down by withering machine gun fire. The orders to make the assault remain in place however and they swallow hard and go to their doom.

    The children asked — why did they do it? Why didn’t they refuse? Were they mad? Suicidal? Stupid?

    I advised that the soldiers were not individually mad, suicidal or stupid. Rather, it was their context (notions of their identity as soldiers, as Australians, as men, as people bound to honour the sacrifice of the men who had just fallen, of the existential necessity of war) that had rendered the mad, suicidal and stupid as binding on them all.

    So what should they have done instead? the children wondered.

    They should have reflected on their context, on their actual relationships with their fellows and their community, and the actual provenance of the push for war, the nature of madculinity, or national identity. They were unable to do that of course, largely because many had known no time when they could have reflected on their lives and on their humanity.

    Brandis is a bit like that. What he might personally believe as he clears the LNP senate trench armed with nothing but a silly sign saying “the carbon tax turned Fairfax into a newt” is neither here nor there. Orders are orders, and his identity as a Liberal in this war to advance the interests of the filth merchants and boss class parasites demands nothing less than total commitment to systematic stupidity.

    Brandis and his ilk are thus best described as existentially stupid.

  24. Venise Alstergren

    STEVE777: “”George Brandis is not stupid,””” Brandis is not stupid. He is exceptionally stupid.

  25. Hamis Hill

    40 Turnbull, 41 Abbott, looks like a pretty even “Split” there Mr Stooge, AKA JamesK.
    And even then only after Abbott visited the Eminence Grise ( yes it’s John Howard you idiot)and got the keys to the Liberal Party skeleton closet and the map showing where all the bodies are buried. (It’s not literal you idiot).
    As a party outsider Turnbull couldn’t be trusted with all the dirt on the stooges could he Mr Stooge? Had to go to someone good at keeping dirty secrets, eh Mr Stooge.
    We can see you Mr Stooge and you are not a real Liberal at all are you?
    See any fault lines there Mr Stooge, tap, tap tap they go and only an idiot can’t hear them!

  26. Hamis Hill

    So you’ve been to university then JamesK? If they were White Laboratory coats I’m sure you’d be very worried Mr Stooge. A bit work shy there Mr Stooge?
    Reads like the stooges have seen Stalin’s use of psychiatric institutions for dissidents and like what they see, eh what?
    Which end of the conservative boat are you in Mr Stooge, the Quarter Deck or the Heads? The Heads going by your incontinent posts!
    Oh and yes JamesK you are a idiot, can’t hear the tap, tap, tap of the wedge driving the Great Liberal Split home.
    Those DLP Stooges do get around don’t they diddums? Tap, tap, tap, keep you up at nightdoes it? You can always seek asylum in the Cathedral but be careful The Vatican thinks Australian Bishops are too democratic.
    Come on the Real liberals your nation needs you!
    Needs you to tap a bit harder on that wedge. The Great Liberal Split! 2012 or 2013?

  27. JamesK

    George Bernard Shaw wasn’t a complete tosser like his erstwhile loony sycophant HH:

    “A fool’s brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.”

    Of course Hamis really need only worry about the men in white coats to return him from whence he escaped

  28. Hamis Hill

    Come on JamesK are you a real Liberal?
    Yes, “are you a Real Liberal”, the pointy end of “The Wedge”.
    Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap being heard right now amongst conservative ranks.
    And, yes, according to the polls the real Liberals certainly can afford to cut the “Idiots”
    loose.
    Easily recognised as a faction-the DLP Stooges?
    Definitely not the Real Liberals.
    Are you a real Liberal JamesK?

  29. JamesK

    Heh Mikey, howzbout 80% cuts of CO2 emissions on 1990 levels by 2020?

    Or howzbout either/or just one staff columnist at Fauxfact’s Phage or just one conservative presenter on ‘their’ ABC or SBS, radio or tv, news, current affairs or political analysis shows???

    C’mon Mikeeey!

  30. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    JamesK. I’m not sure whether or not you would be as insulting and rude if we were talking in real life.

    But if you were this rude in real-life I’m sure you would not be surprised if I walked away and ignored you…

    So please feel ignored.

  31. JamesK

    So if the agreed cuts were 100% on 1990 or even today’s levels by 2020 exactly what difference would you predict Michael, you dreadful clown?

    While your busy being in denial over that, let’s look at another ABC leftist with similarly insane views:

    Radio National Breakfast presenter Fran Kelly puff piece profile in the SMH

    Radio is actually Kelly’s second career. She came late to journalism, at 29, and cheerily admits to having had no training, apart from volunteering at the community radio station Triple R. “What I am really am is an activist,” she says.

    Having applied for and missed a cadetship at The Advertiser after school, Kelly studied arts at the University of Adelaide, where she became active in the women’s movement, feminist theatre and bands

    and

    Fran was quoted: “I’m usually am so exhausted by the end of the day that by the time I get home you usually don’t have the energy to pay bills”.

    Strange, then, that ‘their’ Fran finds time on occasions to front up at the ABC’s Ultimo studios to appear on The Drum at 6 pm where she invariably reverts to type and assumes the role of left-wing activist who trained on Triple R and where she recently indicated that politicians who do not support same sex marriages are irrational.

    Fran named Stephen Smith as both Liberal and Labor get not-so-equal opportunity leftist sprays from ‘their’ ABC.

    Now Michael-the-Pathetic-beta, can you name anybody who is a conservative columnist at Fauxfact’s Phage or a conservative presenter on ‘their’ ABC or SBS, radio or tv, news, current affairs or political analysis shows?

    C’mon Mikeeeeeeey

  32. geomac62

    MWH
    I stopped watching the insiders for a while because of the right wingnuts such as Bolt or the similar types like Milne or that Piers creep . Having Henderson who used to be fairly reasonable many years ago is now just a spruiker for the right . Far worse are the two column wasters at the Age , Vanstone and Costello . Gratten must have been knocked back by the PM or maybe she is besotted by Abbott , goes both ways ? , every chance Gratten gets its leadership speculation or something equally inane . Nikki Savva has replaced Bolt but more subtle so back to watching Insiders every now and again . I don,t know anybody that watches Bolt , out little aussie Afrikaaner , wonder what the ratings are ? Probably a foretaste of Fairfax readership if Gina gets editorial direction , downhill from a receding base . I saw an interview with the PM by Ulhman ? anyway Chris , that was nothing but a badgering , rude inquisition without listening or hearing out the full answers to questions . He also around the same time had a rare Abbott interview , the rabbit avoids interviews requiring answers , that was the complete opposite . I thought Chris was going to kiss the rabbits ring and you can in any way that comes to mind , both apply . The best interviewer I,ve seen of late and a pleasant surprise is the present host of Lateline , knows her stuff and always prepared with the facts rather than opinions .

  33. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    And just to stir JameK further, I’ll point out that climate change is another example of where, overall, the ABC is extremely biased.

    More often than not when the opposition say something that is just plain wrong, the error is not pointed out. And to the ABC the other side is that Labor are providing the solution to climate change.

    The reality that Australia is doing far too little far too late is hardly ever reported.

    So the bias of the ABC towards supporting the Liberal and Labor consensus of aiming for only a 5% cut on 1990 levels by 2020 to the excision of what is really needed is overwhelming.

  34. JamesK

    Reduced to the absurd a very long time ago.

    You’re pathetic Michael.

  35. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    I didn’t think that JamesK would be able to understand my point.

  36. JamesK

    I know that you are just a troll, but if you understood my last post you would know that almost every political journalist on the ABC has talked about tax cuts, and given voice to people such as the IPA and right-wing politicians who want lower taxes (such as the Liberals and Labor party) MUCH more than those promoting tax increases.

    Michael, I’m endeavouring not to be pointlessly rude but you are being quite stupid in addition to merely delusional pursuing this nonsense.

    I know “almost every political journalist” did the opposite of your frankly daft assertion.

    Particularly at the Age and the ABC programs as even half-way sensible person – whether lefty or conservative – would know.

    On the carbon tax, on the MRRT/RSPT and health insurance rebate.

    Your head is seriously scrambled.

    You have eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear and a closed mind/brain/thinking instrument that doesn’t think.

    You are deluded.

    Utterly.

    Stephen Long, the ABC’s economics reporter claimed last week that “Scott Morrison in particular as a spokesman in this area has just pushed way beyond acceptability in a way that he is willing to pander and manipulate that level of prejudice in what is essentially a racist manner. He is my local member in the electorate for Cronulla, the scene of the Cronulla riots” on The Drum on ABC News 24.

    The presenter of that program was Steve Cannane former Labor candidate for Warringah.

    Now be a star and name the conservative columnists on staff at The Phage or the conservative presenters on any of ‘their’ ABC radio or tv programs whether news, current affairs or political analysis.

  37. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    JamesK,

    I know that you are just a troll, but if you understood my last post you would know that almost every political journalist on the ABC has talked about tax cuts, and given voice to people such as the IPA and right-wing politicians who want lower taxes (such as the Liberals and Labor party) MUCH more than those promoting tax increases.

    Thus almost all are biased towards the right 🙂

  38. geomac62

    The desperation to do battle , to be acknowledged , to cast aspersions yet no response . Lack of oxygen drives trolls crazy .

  39. JamesK

    Look at da shiny object over there

    LOL…all the pack herd indignant betas with nary one single argument, rebuttal nor counter-argument among ’em.

    Can’t you oven answer a simple question Michael?

    Name one conservative columnist on staff at The notorious right-wing Phage or one conservative presenter at ‘their conservative’ ABC in any news, current affairs or political analysis shows radio or tv.

    C’mon leftists!

  40. angela sands

    When I think of Wong being replaced by the Shadow I seriously wonder where our heads are. (No don’t answer) I think a slogan of merit would be Stop Abbott he’s a waste.

  41. Hamis Hill

    Ask JamesK where he stands on Anthony Abbott’s former task of monstering the Real
    Young Liberals out of the Liberals. The problem for Howard and Abbott? Those idealistic and patriotic young Liberals objected to the branchstacking of “The Uglies”, former NAZI
    refugees, (who even wrote books boasting of their exploits) into liberal seats.
    There is a giant wedge poised to exploit this fault line in the conservative ranks.
    The RSL certainly has a lest we forget responsibility in this game for a starter.
    The cold war is over, time to burn the cold warriors and honour our heroic dead who
    saved us from fascism.
    I Know that real Liberals would, so if gillard is definitely a goner why don’t the real Liberals do us all a favour and take their party back. What say you JamesK?

  42. JamesK

    @Adam Rope: I did and you are a moron.

    Would you like to assert – like the asinine Michael above – that The Phage and ‘their’ ABC are right wing media as well?

  43. Adam Rope

    JamesK, at the risk of feeding the troll, do you have any idea how childish and pathetic your comments appear to others?

    Insult, after childish insult, after childish insult, directed at anyone who even mildly displays a viewpoint different to your own.

    It appears that you have never managed to leave the sandpit behind, and thus have to resort to simplistic name-calling (“You smell, because you’re a lefty. Ha!”) in order to cover up your apparent lack of cohesive argument.

    And no, that’s not an insult, it’s a layman’s analysis of your writings and your capabilities.

    Have you ever thought of responding to the points raised in the original article itself?

  44. JamesK

    An answer for everything but a genuine response to nothing.

    You’ve repeatedly demonstrated yourself to be incapable of debate Michael you rather sad little leftist drone

  45. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    For JamesK any criticism of the right proves bias to the left. So, for him, Bernard’s article here is biased to the left.

    For those who think that people such as Andrew Bold provide balanced coverage, pretty much all media in Australia would appear biased to the left.

    But how often do you hear the view that to balance the budget, and to provide better government services, big Australian corporations should be taxed more?

    It would be interesting to quantify, but I’m sure that both the ABC and The Age are presenting the view that corporate taxes should be reduced or are at an appropriate level ten, twenty or perhaps more times than the view of an increase in tax for big business.

    The view that taxes should be raised is a real progressive idea (which is very different from the media’s meme that Labor represent the left side of politics – as proven by the fact that Labor are proud that taxation as a percentage of GDP is the lowest it has been for 20 years).

    But the media’s failure to present balanced coverage is not just a failure to give fair coverage to a progressive viewpoint. As Possum’s post on What Australians Believe shows, 67% of people support increased taxes for big corporations.

    So the media bias (of even the ABC and The Age) is guilty of not only of failing to report the views of the progressive side of politics, but failing to adequately present the views of the majority of the population.

  46. JamesK

    And once again Michael doesn’t answer the (two simple) questions asked…………

    Name a staff conservative columnist at the ‘Right wing AGE’ ( presumably The Telegraph on the Yarra)!!!!!!!!

    Name a conservative presenter at an ABC news, current affairs or political anaysis show.

    You’re a drone Michael.

    A drone is generally understood to be incapable of independent thought.

    You have a truly pathetic delusional belief that the The Phage and ‘their’ ABC are Right wing.

  47. Steve777

    @Hamis – we used to have such a party. It was called the Australian Democrats. It was founded in the late 1970’s by a genuine liberal who believed there was a role for a real liberal party in Australia. I thought the Democrats were needed more than ever as Howard dragged the ‘Liberals’ to the right and was surprised that instead of growing they shrivelled after the turn of the century. I don’t know how real liberals (e.g. Turnbull) can bear the current leadership of their party. The attraction of power must be so great that they just hold their nose and think of the attractions of high office to come.

  48. Hamis Hill

    No, seriously, will someone please save the Liberal party!

    The Stooges appear to have blocked up all in the real Liberals in some sort of medieval
    oubliette.
    But some of us have not forgotten them, how about forming a new political party called
    New Liberals with all the self-declared idiots easily blocked from membership.
    Or the stooges could form their own political party instead of stealing it from others.
    Just defect to the DLP, better than being a stooge, more honest but no votes in it eh?

  49. Hamis Hill

    Sorry, it seems the JamesK outbreak was caused by a recognition that supporters of George Brandis are idiots when they speak outside their areas of expertise.
    JamesK as a specialist in idiocy is clearly not speaking outside his speciality and takes an
    idiotically lengthy time to prove it.
    And Abbott is an idiot as well as being an economic illiterate and a DLP stooge and “evil”.
    Showing that not all Liberals, Malcolm and Peter in the above case, are idiots.
    And yes Brandis is an idiot, supported by idiots. It is all quite idiotic isn’t it?
    Will someone please save the Liberal party?

  50. Chosen_Chaos

    @JamesK: Ok, you want debate and rebuttal, I’ll oblige.

    With regards to the first two points you raised, regarding national debt: Howard and Costello paid off Australia’s NET foreign debt. Meaning, that the government still owed money overseas, but it was balanced out by money owed to the government by other countries.

    The third and fourth points need a great big Wikipedia-style [CITATION NEEDED] stamp across them.

    Fifth point: it was a suspension of the live export trade, meaning that the trade has restarted.

    Sixth point: blame should be directed where it’s due – namely, at the dodgy contractors who sent out untrained, or only partially-trained, installers so they could score some of those lovely government contracts.

    Seventh point: I guess I should point out that an independent audit of the BER program came back with the result that 95% of schools with a BER project were happy with how it turned out and the costs of said project (source: http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/anao-report-on-ber-fact-meets-narrative.html).

    Eighth point: again, [CITATION NEEDED].

    Now let’s take a look at your “income list”:

    1. It’s not a tax in the same vein as income tax. What it is, is the graduated introduction of a pricing system – for the first three years, it’s a fixed price. For the next three years, there will be upper and lower bounds. After that, it will be completely market-driven.

    2. A levy that was put into place to help pay reconstruction costs after one of the worst natural disasters in Australian history, and which expires at the end of this month. By comparison, how many levies did the Howard government introduce? I can think of four off the top of my head – the sugar levy, the milk levy, the Ansett levy and the gun buyback levy.

    3. The private insurance rebate is still 30% – the only change is that it’s now means-tested, with generous limits.

    4. [CITATION NEEDED].

  51. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    I find it amusing that on one hand JamesK thinks my views on media bias are “near psychiatric level denial” but on the other he thinks I’m incapable of independent thought.

  52. Schnappi

    My post was meant for PB ,but ended here by mistake,but still about a dopey lib,Shrug

  53. JamesK

    Given that I think that The Age and the ABC are biased towards the right

    Wow! That’s actually very depressing.

    It’s akin to writing black is white and 2+2=3.

    It’s difficult to believe that any one free to roam in the community could be so deluded.

    It’s actually near psychiatric level denial, Michael.

    Name one conservative columnist on staff at The Age, Michael.

    After you’ve given up name one conservative presenter of a mainstream news/current events/news analysis show right across ABC or SBS radio/tv/internet international who is a conservative.

    I can think of only one possibility across those three organisations.

    In the Matrix Morpheus said “We have a rule. We never free a mind once it’s reached a certain age”

    I can see no hope for independent thought or analysis from you Michael.

    I take no pleasure in that observation.

    None.

  54. Schnappi

    Abbott and other worthless libs ,going to waste two weeks of taxpayers money on the carbon price he can do nothing about,Stop The Waste abbott.

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/abbott-plans-carbon-tax-tour-20120619-20lxt.html

  55. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Given that I think that The Age and the ABC are biased towards the right, it would be rather difficult for me to avoid the majority of my reading / viewing being biased to the right.

    As far as challenges goes, the only relevant one for this topic is whether or not the carbon tax had anything to do with the changes at Fairfax. I feel no need to justify the view that the carbon tax had nothing to do with it.

  56. JamesK

    It’s true the Right read the Left but not the other way around but answering the question doesn’t help you answer any of the challenges I’ve set for here for you and the other ideologically uniform zombies, Michael.

  57. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    So why are you reading Crikey JamesK?

    Surely most of the articles would annoy you.

  58. JamesK

    Still no rebuttal and still no counter-argument.

    No surprise as Michael is a sleepwalking zombie leftist.

    In the contest of ideas the Left have to point to the shiny object over there, cheat, fear-monger and ad hom

    They have nothing else in lieu of a rationally constructed idea or policy.

    I predict this especially for Not-so-Big Mikey: Obummer will be slaughtered in November.

    It won’t be close.

    He’s a jerk as well as an extreme leftist.

    It could happen to a a nastier guy but hopefully for a change not in our lifetime.

    Which should give a little time for the seas to rise even a teensy

  59. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Why is someone like JamesK reading Crikey?

    It is like me spending time each day reading a website about wrestling and constantly commenting that wrestling is boring cr*p.

    After Obama won the last USA presidential election with his use of the internet being an advantage for him, the conservatives have learned that they need to ensure that the web is full of their propaganda.

    I’m sure that the Murdoch websites get enough right-wing lunacy not to need much support, but I’m always amazed how many right-wing loonies post on The Drum and Crikey.

    Perhaps on The Drum their rantings influence a few ordinary readers, but I find it hard to imagine that any readers of Crikey could give be influenced by JamesK and the other usual suspects.

    Instead they just disrupt our discussions, which is probably all they are after.

    Perhaps one day we will discover the truth behind JamesK, SB, etc.

  60. JamesK

    Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been watching some of Season 4 of Lost.

    Lost is a great roller-coaster ride of ideas, but you need to suspend reality and go with the flow.

    What does it say that a political debate on Crikey makes Lost seem like a rigorous academic report in comparison.

    Can someone please tell me that they know the person behind JamesK and he really is just pretending.

    I see Michael has decided to continue with his comforter delusion and make fun of his opponent rather than face reality and actually do the work to construct a rebuttal let alone a counter-argument.

    It’s the typically inane leftist way.

    Speaking of laziness and inanity ‘The Git’ and ‘Snooty Marr’ have written a public letter to Gina Rinehart demanding editorial independence to continue their leftist rants but the WSJ headline is:

    Sydney Morning Herald, The Age Newspapers Worthless: Deutsche Bank

    ‘Why is Gina Rinehart so greedy?’ asked Marr on QANDA recently after denigrating her looks.

    Way to go.

    I suspect Gina thinks the Senator’s following question highly relevant.

    Senator BRANDIS (Queensland—Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:26): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Given the statement made by Fairfax Media in its announcement this morning that the business is ‘already operating in very difficult times’ why has the government made those existing difficulties even worse at the cost of nearly 2,000 jobs by introducing the world’s biggest carbon tax at the worst possible time?

    When the carbon tax is rescinded her investment will be worth considerably more.

    And after the inane inept leftist crew of Marr, Gittens, Hartcher, Coorey, Grattan, Carleton, Bandana Man, Gordon, Flitton, Katherine Murphy, Horin, La Tingles, the complete ditz Jessica Irvine etc after nauseating etc get their marching orders Fauxfacts will be potentially a viable and worthwhile asset.

  61. geomac

    Apologies for responding to jamie but some assertions are so vile they need a response . I usually limit it to one response if at all . Never get a reasonable or logical rebuttal just some snide remark or a flight off to another off topic theme , Thats why if I feel the need I only do it once , useless to post further with people like jamie , SB et al .

  62. Steve777

    Perhaps we should stop feeding the trolls.

  63. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    I’ve just been watching some of Season 4 of Lost.

    Lost is a great roller-coaster ride of ideas, but you need to suspend reality and go with the flow.

    What does it say that a political debate on Crikey makes Lost seem like a rigorous academic report in comparison.

    Can someone please tell me that they know the person behind JamesK and he really is just pretending.

  64. JamesK

    How are the last four posts related to Carbon Pricing and Fairfax?

    A lying incompetent ideologically perverse government whose prime policy has been delivered on the back of an outrageously dishonest fear campaign championed by the MSM leftist regime complex and whose insane ideological intransigence and arrogance has layed the foundation for many noncombatant deaths.

    It’s not difficult.

  65. AJH

    How are the last four posts related to Carbon Pricing and Fairfax?

    I propose we tow any off-topic posters out to sea, or send them to Nauru.

  66. Julia

    Congratulations JamesK, you just proved Geomac’s point.

  67. JamesK

    What have you to say for Gillard and Rudd’s responsibility in the death of 800 at sea (by the governments own calculations) illegal immigrants/ innocent refugees of life threatening oppression?

  68. JamesK

    geomac you and your woefully thought out ramblings are beneath contempt.

  69. geomac

    JamesK
    I see you , like Abbott , lack the integrity required to assess a situation that involves death . To use work related deaths to push a political spin is beyond contempt and requires a mind devoid of compassion or rationality . No mention of firms failing to observe both state and federal laws regarding health and safety or said firms being prosecuted . Of course if mention of industrial manslaughter laws are mentioned for breaking H&S laws its beyond the pale for people of your ilk . I see you fail to mention the asset sales of 240 billion to repay an alleged 90 billion debt . What happened to the remaining 150 billion ? Funny thing that the school halls are claimed by you to be unneeded yet I hear and read in the media the exact opposite . Even my local federal member who is a lib relished the chance for photo ops to be shown in front of them . You must represent the 3% that were dissatisfied I take it . Finally it comes as no surprise that you apparently resent a one off flood levy to assist fellow Australians when they need assistance the most . Perhaps like Abbott you would prefer that levy not be used so as to allow coalition voters to tip in to lib party donations ? A one off tax to assist rather than a business tax of unknown length to pay extravagant wages for six months lost pay to someone earning 150 K a year . Doesn,t that strike you as odd ? A person on a healthy wage and presumably of reasonable intelligence is unable to budget for a birth that is expected . Isn,t that the mantra of taking responsibility that is used for people on the dole that your type like to spout , work for the dole etc ? You really are a piece of work and other posters are being quite kind to you .

  70. JamesK

    Reading comments from those pushing the Liberal line, such as JamesK above, always leave me puzzled.

    Are they written by people who:

    1 – are paid to post such rubbish? (the cost of this would be very low compared to running the IPA or buying 20% of Fairfax)
    2 – know that what they write is rubbish but feel that by pushing the party line this will help change the government, or
    3 – the most scary option – there really are people who are no so far removed from reality that they really believe that the carbon price killed fairfax.

    Reading comments from leftists like Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH) reinforces the observation that the Left have only the ad-hominem tactics of Alinsky c/f identify, isolate, freeze and escalate in lieu of debate.

    Does the carbon tax make the Fauxfacts bottom line worse or better?

    Let’s look at this disgusting government:

    1.Used up the Howard/Costello $42B liquid assets

    2.Borrowed $230B+

    3.Took money from the future fund for nuffnuff

    4.Genuflected to the power of the Unions

    5.Destroyed the live cattle industry and thousands of jobs in a region and by people including the aboriginal community that badly need them

    6.Killed people in the infamous Pink Batts scheme

    7.Paid monstrously rorted prices for unneeded school halls and roof insulation

    8.Paid thousands for $20 set top boxes

    On the ‘income’ side:

    1.Introduced a “Carbon” Tax

    2.Brought in a flood levy

    3.Reduced health care rebates.

    4.Introduced an MRRT and immediately spent more than the projected tax take

    There isn’t anybody else but leftists in this echo chamber Michael but me.

    So no need for the inane “those pushing the Liberal line, such as JamesK” drivel

    You’re heavily blinkered, marinated in your own ideological nonsensical kind and overdosed on the Matrix blue pills, Michael.

    If you were an adult, I ‘d suggest you stop being a child

  71. Recalcitrant.Rick

    Lying, lazy, stupid. All good words used above, and the sum up the opposition perfectly!

  72. AJH

    It might be idiotic from the perspective of truth and logic, but it works.

    If you keep repeating something, no matter how untrue, it will sow the seeds of doubt in voters’ minds.

    Brandis should be congratulated. He’s playing the game perfectly, and the Liberals will win as a result of their perfectly-executed fear campaign.

  73. ShowsOn

    [ I can only assume that he is making stuff up for sound bites on the evening news. We should always call this for what it is. Making stuff up and propagating stuff that you know is not true is lying.]
    He is deputy leader in the senate, which gives him responsibility for coming up with some questions for question time. They broad theme yesterday was to concentrate on the carbon tax, so Brandis came up with whatever he could to talk about that issue, and jumped on job loses.

    It was more a sign of Brandis’ laziness rather than his stupidity.

  74. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Reading comments from those pushing the Liberal line, such as JamesK above, always leave me puzzled.

    Are they written by people who:

    1 – are paid to post such rubbish? (the cost of this would be very low compared to running the IPA or buying 20% of Fairfax)
    2 – know that what they write is rubbish but feel that by pushing the party line this will help change the government, or
    3 – the most scary option – there really are people who are no so far removed from reality that they really believe that the carbon price killed fairfax.

  75. Burgey

    Brandis is a dolt of the highest order. Just a hack. Truly a monstrous lightweight.

    Always be wary of the lawyer who gets the “SC” appellation eight years after they’ve left practice.

  76. JamesK

    Apparently Hamis Hill hasn’t the first clue what a total political pillock GBS made of himself for posterity.

    It’s what stupid leftists have done from time in memorial.

    GBS was the Sean Penn of his day except he had some genuine talent

  77. Dalesman54

    Senator Brandis is probably unaware that all industries are vulnerable to the rising culture of new technologies that require less labour to operate while increasing profits. Does this mean that the CT is retrospectively responsible for the loss of the natural rubber industry (there used to be many rubber plantations), for the loss of jobs in the car industry (robots weld faster and more efficiently than humans), the farming industry (harvesting used to be hugely labour intensive till the introduction of such technological developments as say, combine harvesters). Yes, all historical changes in industry practices can be directly linked to this evil CT!
    Wake up George! The print media is going through a natural evolutionary process aided and abetted by the rapacious greed of people like Rinehart and Murdoch! Profit is God!

  78. geomac

    Makes one wonder how Fairfax survived the introduction of the GST doesn,t it ? I also wonder if Brandis can explain the demise of long standing newspapers outside Australia that have disappeared because of the internet taking revenue and readership ? Black is white and white is black for the mixed bad of libs , nationals , libnats and the WA nat who is in then out but now in again . Whats a minority government consist of again ?

  79. Seriously E

    This ridiculous irrational outburst from Sen Brandis is precisely why the Libs have no electoral credibility.
    They should be romping away at present with the Labor Party missing no opportunities to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory , but they arent because the Libs have been uncontrollably feral since they could not successful bribe the Independents and will clearly stop at nothing to bring public discourse to the degenerate, born to rule schoolboy level at which they operate.

  80. lindsayb

    Brandis is not stupid, but knows that his “true believers” will accept what he says without question. So he is a liar, and those who believe his crap do so willingly, because it suits their world view.

  81. Jake

    JamesK,

    Brandis is not a Queen’s Counsel.

    I prefer old-fashioned pompous conservatives with a true belief in their inherited class ascendency. I’m afraid you, JamesK, are the modern type – attached to the Tories like a slave to a cart.

  82. John64

    Senator Brandis? The stupidity is strong with this one.

  83. Hamis Hill

    Senator George Brandis, given his narrow area of expertise, mainly words, would be aware of the
    superior intellectof the late author and playwright George Bernard Shaw, who argued quote: that “The specialist is, in the truest sense, an idiot”.
    Out of his own mouth a QC, with a previous successful practice and now a recognised, experienced and astute senior politician is an idiot.
    Brandis is such an idiot as described above, but he is not as idiotic as those ignorami for whose unquestioning consumption his idiotic statements are made.
    They specialise in ignorance.
    Go on, ask Mr Brandis and his ilk if they know who GBS is.
    You idiots.

  84. Steve777

    No wonder Australians are losing respect for the Parliament and politicians when you get this sort of nonsense passing as national debate. George Brandis is not stupid, he can’t possibly believe that carbon pricing caused the need for the restructure of Fairfax. I can only assume that he is making stuff up for sound bites on the evening news. We should always call this for what it is. Making stuff up and propagating stuff that you know is not true is lying.

  85. Zarathrusta

    It just goes to show that if lawyers were what we needed to lead our country, we’d be in nirvana now and we are not. I want more diversity and different kinds of brains in the parliament.

    As for this Turkey, I want to get rid of Julia Gillard but I will not vote for a government containing such a vile embicile. So he’s just saved Julia from me.

  86. JamesK

    Apparently BH agrees with Keane who agrees with Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH) who agrees with CliffG that a Queens Counsel barrister with a previous successful practice and now a recognised , experience and astute senior politician is an idiot.

    The idiots are plain to see.

    This carbon tax was shoved down the craw of an unwilling electorate without a mandate and all economic ills will be rightly slated to this utterly depraved administration.

    Moreover Fauxfacts business expenses have been negatively impacted by the carbon tax uncertainty and stupid renewable energy policy all from this inept cowboy government.

    Excellent questions from Senator Brandis.

    Fair or unfair we’ll hear plenty more where that came from – most often from the electorate themselves who are busy slapping their baseball bats into their palms itching for the opportunity to swing at this malignant crew and the sickening excuse for journalism that barrack for them.

  87. CliffG

    It is quite clear that the price on carbon (a tax on a very few polluting companies) has addled Brandis’s exhausted brain (partly from being convoluted on the asylum seeker issue) and taken him down the path of his demented Leader! They’re not fit to sit in parliament let alone one day govern. BH is right. It’s time the media stopped the assumption they’re going to win and occasionally risked mentioning “quite undeservedly”.
    And was the carbon tax responsible for Slippergate?
    See #Brandislogic!

  88. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Though I hold progressive political views, I understand that there are people who have different values from me and thus support conservative views.

    What I can’t understand is how any rational person can support politicians such as Brandis.

  89. Ootz

    Thank you Bernard for posting this, well spotted. It deserves wider exposure, as it is symptomatic of a lingering malaise in our parlament.

    Senator Fifield obviously assumes complex issues can be addressed with just simple slogans. Hang on – his party thinks you can run a country on just slogans and it’s people are cannon fodder to their political ambitions. What a disgrace!

  90. BH

    Bernard – thanks for that transcript but one point is clear. The Oppn do not deserve to win the next election. How about you change your posts from intimating that they will win to ‘they shouldn’t win’.

    The media has aided Abbott in his campaign to destroy the Govt. so now is the time to turn it back on him and the likes of Brandis. They are not fit to be running the country.

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