Caught like an Abbott in the Spotlight

Just in case you didn’t notice it, there’s been a crevice that’s opened up on Tony Abbott’s long road to the Lodge.   A crevice that in just a few days has opened up to bloody great yawning credibility gap.

It was just last week, in the wake of  the Qantas fiasco, and the critisims from old stagers that he was being weak kneed on IR that Mr Abbott’s blokey swagger and chin jutting suddenly started to look phoney.    A more convincing performer would have leavened the posturing with a bit of pensive self-reflection, But for Mr. Abbott it’s pop out the chin, grit teeth to get those jaw muscled looking pumped, and adopt the pose of determined leadership.

Problem is that Mr. Abbott’s posing pouch is no longer ample enough to cover up the hideous truth.  The country’s rooted if he gets his hands on it.

Sober and respected business commentators are calling Mr. Abbott guilty of a gross failure of economic credibility,  and big-nob political journos who write for the Murdoch press are saying he’s gone feral, with outlandish ill-considered opinions on the Mining Tax, the European bail-out and a knee-jerk response on Qantas.

George Megalogenis says that “the fundamental weakness of Tony Abbot is that he’ll say anything to get his face on TV” [12:12].

Whether you’re in the Laurie Oakes camp and you reckon Abbott’s  lashing out at everything like a shark in a feeding frenzy, or whether like me (and probably George) you think the whole thing’s a  B-Grade act, by a B-Grade actor who’s learned his trade from Chuck Norris films – one things for sure – people will start to twig to Mr. Abbots fatal flaw -and maybe – just maybe – Labor is in with a shot.

Interestingly Mr Megalogenis, thinks that the best strategy for Labour in these circumstances is to lose the next election.

If I were Labour I’d be prepared to take a loss in the next election knowing that their turn will come pretty quickly if they cede power to a political party that is not interested in the big ideas. 1

The theory, I assume, being that if Mr. Abbott gets in then we’ll really get a taste of how much of a disaster a Prime Minister can be, and in our repentance we’ll push the reset button on Australian politics.

I think there might be something in that – Perhaps it calls for a Labor campaign under the slogan “We hope you get the government you deserve”.  But on second thoughts that sounds bitter and lacking the compassion that hopefully is still somewhere in the DNA – so perhaps a campaign based on the style of community awareness campaigns.  A simple direct message to the good people of Australia  “We are handing over the controls to your new pilot. please fasten your seat-belt and assume the brace position – there may not be time for last drinks”.

  1. 36
This entry was posted in Politics - national. Bookmark the permalink.

85 Responses to Caught like an Abbott in the Spotlight

  1. Persse says:

    Much as I respect George Megalogenis’ opinion, a nation is not for gaming with. The task for Labor is to do the best job they can in front of them, and then deal with the Economics for Dummies team when and if they have too.

  2. Pedro says:

    Abbott’s a worry, no doubt about it, but describing the current govt as the opposite of the economics for dummies team is a laugh. If there is a good next PM around I can’t see him or her yet.

  3. Steve X says:

    Who knows what kind of PM Abbott would make.

    Before Howard was elected large swathes of the left told people he wasn’t up to the job and so on. Why should this scare campaign be any different?

    It doesn’t affect the people drumming up the fear either. If Abbott gets in and runs a reasonably competent government everyone will just forget the past.

    Still, before Rudd got in quite a bit of the right was saying he wasn’t up to the job and that the NSW right would remove him when they saw fit and that the ALP would introduce a range of new taxes that they hadn’t campaigned on.

    Hmmm, perhaps we should worry.

  4. Geoff Honnor says:

    I think the government needs to stop being so publicly and hysterically obsessed with Abbott. It simply reinforces the impression that they don’t have the electorate’s confidence, they’re on the verge of being tossed out and they’re shit scared. “But he’ll be worse! He’ll be worse!” Whatever. Get on it with it. At this stage, there’s no obvious reason why the government shouldn’t complete its term. Govern. FFS.

  5. Catching up says:

    If you look past the media frenzy, you mught notice the government is getting on with it.

  6. KB Keynes says:

    The government has a very good record on the economy.
    such a pity they cannot sell a beer on a hot day.

    Only this ALP could put Swan as deputy PM who whilst being a good treasurer, perhaps the best we have seen, is lamentable in selling anything

    At this stage Abbott would be normally only received with fits of laughter after the Opposition’s attempt at econmic policy at the last election where their costings were so woefully inaccurate.

    Maybe with people expecting them to win they will actually be put under some scrutiny.

    At this stage their numbers are even worse for the budget.

  7. murph the surf. says:

    While Abbott may not be credible is he aiming his message eleswhere?
    At those who don’t understand the economy but thing moral character and ‘good’ standards of personal behaviour are an indicator of something they can relate too?
    I mean,sober, respected and influential business writers might appeal to some but how many?
    I’m not that conversant on the inner mechanics of the Liberal Party but I’d guess cabinet would get to work if elected and Abbott would hardly ever be off the bike, out of the water or standing still.

  8. Sally says:

    Abbott is both physically and politically fugly and as such is repulsive to most women voters. And this is the principal reason why Abbott will never be PM. Such are the times in which we live. And in this case, I rejoice.

    You need to understand that most women voters will never forgive the grinning, moronic, violent, malevolent ape for standing between them and Malcolm Turnbull, who is everything Abbott is not: modern, principled, caring, intellectual, canny, competent, articulate, witty, handsome, hot, someone who loves his wife and daughter, as equals, indeed as his whole world, and whose politics, unlike Abbott’s, at least marginally align with the 21st century in all its infinite complexity.

  9. Brian says:

    There ain’t nothing wrong with this government. Look at the facts: Strong employment, strong finances, stability in Cabinet, a coherent policy agenda, a sensible, assured PM who knows how to negotiate a middle path with independents and minor parties.
    The only sour note for me has been the asylum seeker issue, which both sides of politics have behaved appallingly over. My heart says process them here but my head says stop them getting on the boats (to save them from drowning), which is why I actually think the Malaysia Solution may have been an unrecognised piece of policy genius.
    Labor should increase the number of immigration officials processing paperwork in camps and increase refugee intakes from camps five-fold and make it clear anyone coming in on a boat can expect a long wait behind barbed wire, somewhere, before the paperwork gets looked at – that should hopefully serve as a disincentive.
    Of course, Abbott is an idiot and Hockey is third rate and between them they haven’t got a brain cell of economic nous. When I look at who’s lining up behind them – Corey Bernadi, Sophie Mirabella, Barnaby Joyce etc I shudder to think what this country would look like five minutes into a Coalition administration.

  10. Pedro says:

    Sally, I’m sure you relate to exactly 2% of voters. The worry is that Abbott gets the success he has.

    But Homer, where is the evidence that the current ALP is good on economics. Taking dictation from Ken Henry in the recession is one thing. Where is the rest of the vision? Even their own team is bagging them on this score, and rightly so.

  11. KB Keynes says:

    Pedro,

    Your economic illiteracy is showing up.

    The Stimulus worked par excellence.
    Now we have their fastest fiscal contraction we have ever seen.

    Both appear to have been just right.

    Those critics that said the stimulus was too large have large dollops of egg all over their face particularly given the RBA actions.

    I didn’t say they or Swan were perfect just much better than their predecessors.

    That is a relative not an absolute judgement.

    I would have thought that was obvious from the second and third sentences.

    I should say anything to say about the next election means that after the ETS . not carbon tax, is implemented. A lot of thing change.

    If a week is a long time in politics this is going to be a decade

  12. Dan says:

    “Taking dictation from Ken Henry in the recession is one thing.”

    Harder than it looks given scare campaigns on (completely manageable) debt from the honourable members opposite.

    “If fiscal stimulus was overdone, as many critics argue, it is incumbent on those critics to explain why growth of just 1.7% between September 2008 and December 2009 is too high and should have been lower. Such an explanation should also take account of the fact that unemployment rose by 1.1 percentage points over this period.” – Chris Barrett

    Re: Sally’s point – I would have no trouble at all voting for Malcolm Turnbull for PM, if he was leading a party that shared his values.

  13. Dan says:

    I guess you could call a completely hypothetical party led by Malcolm Turnbull and sharing his values something like, say, ‘the Liberal Party’.

    …Wait.

  14. whyisitso says:

    I would have no trouble at all voting for Malcolm Turnbull for PM, if he was leading a party that shared his values.

    He should be in the Labor Party or the Greens. He’s more popular in the electorate than Abbott, but his support comes from the Left. The Coalition is pretty weak on party discipline which is why people like Georgiou and Turnbull keep getting pre-selected, but you’ll notice, in the latte-set electorates.

  15. Pedro says:

    Homer, you said:

    “The government has a very good record on the economy.
    such a pity they cannot sell a beer on a hot day.

    Only this ALP could put Swan as deputy PM who whilst being a good treasurer, perhaps the best we have seen, is lamentable in selling anything

    At this stage Abbott would be normally only received with fits of laughter after the Opposition’s attempt at econmic policy at the last election where their costings were so woefully inaccurate.”

    And I asked, ignoring the response to the recession, where is the quality economic vision? You’ve answered by banging on about the stimulus. And swan is the best treasurer ever? Better than Keating? Crikey.

    Dan, the question is whether the level of debt makes sense, not whether it is managable. If less money could have achieved the same result on employment then that would be better. I see the employment effects are being much more important than the growth numbers, indeed, preserving jobs that would otherwise be unnecessarily lost is the point.

  16. JC says:

    And swan is the best treasurer ever? Better than Keating? Crikey.

    Pedro, It’s a sad sad day in mental limbo when homer finally dumped Keating. A truly sad day.

    Homes lived for PJK.

    Homer, on a serious note, if you really think Swan is a better treasurer than Keating, you need medical help and possibly assisted living.

  17. KB Keynes says:

    Pedro,
    Keating would have been as good as Swan at getting the stimulus but not as good at the fiscal consolidation which is near perfect and quick because of that.

    No-one has had to deal with a GFC yet Swan did and very well.
    for all that he is one hell of a lousy salesman.

    no JC you merely need to understand economics. you do not, never have and never wil.
    It is pretty easy to see what Swan’s plan is. A tighter than need be fiscal policy with the RBA having a looser monetary policy than need be to offset this.

    That way he gets a surplus plus lower interest rates.
    however he could get a recessed economy and even lower interest rates depending on Europe

  18. Dan says:

    [email protected]: “If less money could have achieved the same result on employment then that would be better.” No – really? When should Treasury expect your detailed submission Continuous Improvement in Fiscal Policy: Case Studies and Recommendations? Can you please CC me?

    [email protected]: “Keating would have been as good as Swan at getting the stimulus…” Not sure I agree here. The response to the recession we had to have was contractionary and Treasury lost a lot of credbility over it.

  19. KB Keynes says:

    the RBA caused the recession we had to have and it was only apparent after the fact rather than before to most although a few in the markets saw it coming.

    The fiscal response was not needed as there was no liquidity trap and cash rates were at 18%

    Everyone could see the GFC coming however few wanted to go the whole hog.
    Credit markets were completely frozen. No major bank could get funds from O/S for a considerable time after the GFC even with a government guarantee.

  20. Sacha says:

    “Just in case you didn’t notice it, there’s been a crevice that’s opened up on Tony Abbott’s long road to the Lodge. A crevice that in just a few days has opened up to bloody great yawning credibility gap.”

    How do people think that the passing of the carbon tax, has affected Abbots “credibility”?

  21. KB Keynes says:

    That probably wil not occur until next July when little happens and people realise Tonee wasl having a lend of them.

  22. Sacha says:

    ““Just in case you didn’t notice it, there’s been a crevice that’s opened up on Tony Abbott’s long road to the Lodge. A crevice that in just a few days has opened up to bloody great yawning credibility gap.”

    No sorry. You haven’t made that case. You see the real credibility gap is with the Australian economics profession. What a bunch of belligerent blockheads, malevolent natters, and wicked white-anters they are.

    First we had the proven failure of the stimulus…. Such incompetence is so hard to understand. Such wickedness. Total failure. Stagnated our living standards, and threw thousands out of work. And these people are alchemists. They turn gold into crap. Because you had the pretty good idea like the NBN, and they’ve turned it into a nightmare. You had a reasonable idea like privatisation, and thats now the most ghastly nightmare, that none of us can wake up from. Thankfully a handful of patriots has called for a moratorium on that score.

    And then now we have the carbon tax. How can these economists live with themselves? Both alleged wings are just blockheads. They cannot tell good theory from bad theory. They cannot seem to tell good theory, from the different reality in front of them. They represent a wrecking-gang. A rolling thunder of white-anting.

    And the utter utter failure of analysis of these people when it came to judging the global warming racket. My goodness. Thats the test isn’t it? If you bought into that clearly you are just a poser.

  23. Sacha says:

    It just never ends. At the moment we have this Quisling, in the Australian newspaper, called David Uren. Day in day out, he is arguing IN FAVOR OF WASTE IN GOVERNMENT. The fellow is such a blockhead, and it says something about the traitor Murdoch that he gets David Uren writing this anti-scientific rubbish for him. Why not just get Homer to write the pieces? Homers completely faithful to irrational Keynesian orthodoxy. I don’t know why people argue with Homer. If the pure irrationality of Keynesianism is correct then Homer is always right. Live with it. Either piss or get off the pot. Either reject the anti-Athenian lies of Keynes, or accept by your own wrong beliefs that Homer is correct.

    And I’ve got news for the chosen-one white supremacists around here. You and your synagogue-buddies sitting around citing each other has some ways to go as a form of reason or science. Sorry you had to hear it from me. Time to come down from your ethnocentric and bigoted cloud.

  24. Dan says:

    Sasha = Bird

  25. KB Keynes says:

    Birdy,

    The stimulus would be a failure IF it didn’t boost growth or it boosted growth too much and we ended up with much higher interest rates.

    Neither happened.

    We do not have a carbon tax we have an ETS that starts with a fixed price and then turns into a flexible price.

    By the way you cannot compare a fixed price to a floating price as permits are only traded on a floating price.

    No go away

  26. JC says:

    Everyone could see the GFC coming however few wanted to go the whole hog.

    Oh. You must be a Quazillionare now Homes, yea? Shorting every leveraged stock in 08 like a busy little gofer storing food for the winter.

  27. jtfsoon says:

    Ooh, a Homer vs Bird debate.

    This is like Hitler vs Stalin. Who to root for?

  28. JC says:

    Homer,

    So the exchange rate dropping an unprecedented 40% in a month or so had not effect. The RBA telegraphing huge drops in o/n and saying they would keep doing so allowing the market to adjust forward. No effect.

    China essentially running US monetary policy through the exchange rate thereby suddenly heating up the economy.. no effect.

    It was that hump in the stats that got us out of trouble.

  29. Sacha says:

    Look Homer. Attempt to read what I said.
    You are just restating Keynesian error.
    I’m fine about your understanding of erroneous
    Keynesian doctrine. You know nothing about economics.

    Authentic economics tells us this
    about the stimulus:

    1. It increased short-run GDP
    2. It reduced Growth.
    3. It threw people out of work, as proven by the fact that people were thrown out of work.
    4. It increased average profits.
    5. It reduced long-run GDP, but thats not important since GDP is a lame metric.

    Your ignorance of economics ought not be used as cover for the loony-toons and traitors white-anting our prospects of survival, and the good life.

  30. Sacha says:

    Good Lord Cambria spins such utter nonsense. Reminds me of when Cambria insisted that you couldn’t cut government spending during a recession. And the blockhead didn’t consider himself a Keynesian. All Australian neoclassicals and Keynesians are Keynesians. That leaves Gerry Jackson, and Steve Kates as the only non-Keynesians on the Australian scence. The rest of you have failed macro-economics 101.

  31. rog says:

    Latest headline Abbott denies he is too negative

    Abbott says No! to No?

  32. Sacha says:

    He’s not negative enough. We have serious malevolent natters running things. He’s too compromising and weak with them. Plus he comes up with dopey ideas like CO2 abatement, and getting poor people to pay so that rich chicks can breed.

  33. rog says:

    Go easy Birdy, I have found that JCs advice to be always wrong – there is much to admire in being consistent.

    Long or short he is your ever reliable contrarian indicator.

    He reserves his best advice for after the event eg “like I always said ……..”

  34. Pedro says:

    Homer, Keating drove substantial economic reforms. Swan??? You’re just embarrassing yourself.

    Dan, my point was that Barrett’s metric is not the only basis for assessing the many criticisms of the size of the stimulus. I’ve said before that I think it impossible to judge, but Homer certainly has not established that the stimulus was “just right”. That’s not even an opinion on Homer’s part, its just arse-licking the ALP and blind partisan defence. The extent of the blindness is amply demonstrated with the claim that Swan is likely our best treasurer ever.

  35. Sacha says:

    You eeeeeeedddddiiottt Pedro. Just accept you know nothing. You are a lawyer. You know nothing about economics. Stimulus throws people out of work and retards economics progress. What sort of a brain-managed mutant would then ask “Would you like that a bigger or smaller cup of arsenic?”

    How much arsenic is too much, too little or just right?

    Get the theory right you idiot. And if don’t understand something ask an honest question. Thats what I’m here for. You won’t learn economics from practicing Australian economists. They are all dummies, liars, and traitors.

    Stop talking nonsense, and start learning economics.

  36. KB Keynes says:

    Pedro, not a lot of reforms to drive in the micro side.
    on the other hand in terms of macro he was infinitely better for reasons
    i have outlined.

    JC,

    Net exports only contributed to GDP growth for a short time and that was because imports fell a lot more than exports.

    As for china Commodity prices really only took off in err 2010.

    Cash rates can fall to 1% but if credit markets are frozen it doesn’t make a damn.

    This is why first home buyers took off in housing but investors were no where to be seen and this is very unusual.

    the other thing about monetary policy is that it takes a rather long lag to have an effect yet somehow it reacts instantaneously in 2008!

    In other words JC is too lazy to even look at basic statistics

  37. KB Keynes says:

    Pedro,

    of course the stimulus was just right.
    It took effect at the right time and we avoided recession. It is now taking away from the economy thus leading to the fastest government contraction we have seen.

    you are simply blind to the obvious

  38. Sacha says:

    Pretty good post Homer. Blissfully free of Keynesian error. But I must pick you up on your terminology:

    “the other thing about monetary policy is that it takes a rather long lag to have an effect yet somehow it reacts instantaneously in 2008!”

    The interest rate subsidy that our Reserve Bank doles out to our commercial banks, does not deserve to be called “monetary policy”. It ought to be called “unjust enrichment” or “criminal give-away or resources” or the “gang-bang or society at large”.

    Authentic monetary policy, not based around banker-subsidy, works immediately. No doubt about that at all.

  39. Sacha says:

    “of course the stimulus was just right.
    It took effect at the right time and we avoided recession. ”

    Good grief you really are mentally challenged. And here I am attempting to stick up for you. Everything you say here is with the assumptions that:

    1. GDP is spending.

    2. GDP growth is GROWTH AS SUCH. And

    3 when GDP falls thats a recession.

    None of these howlers is true.

    GDP is just a metric. Not a very good one. Get that through your thick head Homer.

  40. Ken Parish says:

    “Sacha” appears to have been another stolen ID Graeme Bird sock puppet. IT has been banned too.

  41. Ken Parish says:

    At least Bird has a certain ironic sensibility (if probably unconsciously). He stole his latest ID from a State Labor candidate from the last NSW election who is also a long time blogger. The “about” page on his site starts: “My personal values are integrity, honesty and openness”. You can see why Bird would immediately identify Sacha as an appropriate avatar.

  42. rog says:

    Birdy is a cuckoo.

  43. JC says:

    Net exports only contributed to GDP growth for a short time and that was because imports fell a lot more than exports.

    Homer, so imports falling with the collapse of the exchange rate doesn’t have an expansionary effect on the domestic economy? Are you serious? What an extremely ignorant statement.

    As for china Commodity prices really only took off in err 2010.

    Homer, Coal prices troughed in August 2009 at US$ 65 bucks a ton. In January 2010 it was 104 bucks a ton. Here, take a looksee.

    You’re making crap up as you go along.

    Iron Ore troughed in April 2009 at 60 bucks a ton. By January 2010 it was trading at 126 bucks a ton. look!

    Everything, absolutely everything you say has to be checked for obvious reasons.

    This is why first home buyers took off in housing but investors were no where to be seen and this is very unusual.

    First home buyers were getting a huge deal, so of course they would go out and buy a home if they could. What’s so shocking about that? Provide enough incentives and you get the hump.

    the other thing about monetary policy is that it takes a rather long lag to have an effect yet somehow it reacts instantaneously in 2008!

    If the Central bank telegraphs its punches and tells the market what the lay of the land is for the foreseeable future the market will react immediately. If you’re suggesting that isn’t the case you are not only ignoring reality but you should return both degrees to the institution that gave them to you and apologize.

    In other words JC is too lazy to even look at basic statistics

    I did. You’re emphatically incorrect, as always Inspector Clouseau.

  44. JC says:

    “Sacha” appears to have been another stolen ID Graeme Bird sock puppet. IT has been banned too.

    It’s going to the stage where everyone posting comments here will be inadvertently banned and he’s the only one left standing.

  45. Sacha Blumen says:

    I open up my email and see I’ve been subscribed to a Club Troppo conversation! It’s been a long time (alas) since I’ve read a blog here. Work’s been too busy.

    Is Bird still campaigning against special relativity?

  46. Ken Parish says:

    Hi Sacha

    No, he moved on to the second law of thermodynamics not so long ago. He actually supports that, because he reckons it proves that global warming is false.

  47. JC says:

    Is Bird still campaigning against special relativity?

    Hi Sacha… No he’s left “science” for a little while and focusing on economics and the interplay of Jewish people/finance/ banksters. He’s on page 89 of the Protocols at the moment so you can imagine whats going on there.

    Don’t feel he’s victimizing you. In fact you’re a non-entity if he hasn’t stolen your name/moniker to go hogwild on the web.

  48. Sacha Blumen says:

    Ah – he’s in fine form. I can only imagine how readers would react to his attempted use of the concepts of entropy and states (very nice concepts).

    Nice to see Club Troppo still going – hope there are a few new contributors since a few years ago :)

  49. Sacha Blumen says:

    PS anyone here read Fukuyama’s latest tome? I’m enjoying slowly getting through it.

  50. Corin says:

    Rex, I see the odds on Labor are as much as $3.50, I think they are very good odds! I am more and more of the view that by late next year they could even be in front, in which case, November 2012 election anyone. I see that the issues are turning, the carbon package and MRRT creat major issues for Abbott as he will essentially be going to an election taking income tax cuts, company tax cuts and pension increases off people! $3.50 looks good to me …

  51. Rex says:

    They are long odds Corin, and I’m sure they’ll Shorten before the election is called.

  52. Dan says:

    I reckon there’s serious money to be made there. Abbott has to mainain the pretence of sanity for a significant period of time; precisely the same period in which the electorate discovers that the carbon price and resource rent tax haven’t rooned us.

    Of course if the Liberal leadership passes back to Turnbull, then all bets are off (figuratively speaking).

  53. jtfsoon says:

    Sigh. Another Bird infestation – note the missing apostrophe for ‘its’ and the confusion of ‘then’ and ‘than’ (I’m getting pretty good at this, aren’t I?)

  54. Steve Edney says:

    He’s signing on using my name. Not happy bird.

  55. Steve Edney says:

    Bird use your real name if you want to post this crap about Jews. Don’t post it under mine.

  56. Steve Edney says:

    Really REALLY not happy Bird. This is so embarrassing. Ken? Can you correct his spelling mistakes? I don’t want the tarnish of his spelling mistakes following me around my whole life.

  57. Steve Edney says:

    Obviously I would like it if that crazy ranting about Jews under my name was deleted thanks Ken.

  58. Graeme M Bird says:

    I am a big fat balding closet homoaexual.

  59. Ken Parish says:

    I’ll delete them Steve. I’ll also have to ban your email address for the moment. Just blocking his IP address doesn’t work, I’ve found. You’ll either need to adopt another hotmail address or something temporarily or wait until Bird moves on to another spurious ID.

    For your benefit and others, I strongly suggest that you under no circumstances ever comment at Bird’s blog (why you’d bother anyway is completely beyond me). It’s fairly clear that that is where he is harvesting the email addresses of people whose ID he hijacks.

    BTW It’s conceivable that what Bird is doing is some sort of criminal offence. It’s not my area and I have neither the time nor desire to research it. But if you’re one of the victims and can be bothered, we would certainly co-operate with any investigations necessary to gather evidence for a prosecution (or civil action). As I understand it, Bird does or did operate some sort of panelbeating business at one time, so he might conceivably be worth suing if you can be bothered.

  60. Ken Parish says:

    How do you know he’s balding, Jason? Have you actually met Bird?

  61. Ken Parish says:

    I restrained myself from asking how you knew about the second bit. Oh hang on, no I didn’t …

  62. jtfsoon says:

    Ken
    at least 4 people in the blogosphere have met Bird face to face in the past – me, JC, Helen Darville and John Humphreys. This was when he was less insane.

    As I understand it, Bird does or did operate some sort of panelbeating business at one time, so he might conceivably be worth suing if you can be bothered.

    Only if you want to be paid in liquified coal and copper wire

  63. Dan says:

    It’s identity fraud, is it not?

    The ongoing saga here assists me in better understanding what happened to me on a metal forum years back when “I” said something cruel about some local band, to whom I were indifferent to but in any event wouldn’t have been impolite enough to denigrate (at least in those days); I asked the forum moderator what IP the bogus comment came from and he said mine, and was convinced that I’d done it.

    Low as.

  64. jc says:

    BTW It’s conceivable that what Bird is doing is some sort of criminal offence. It’s not my area and I have neither the time nor desire to research it. But if you’re one of the victims and can be bothered, we would certainly co-operate with any investigations necessary to gather evidence for a prosecution (or civil action). As I understand it, Bird does or did operate some sort of panelbeating business at one time, so he might conceivably be worth suing if you can be bothered.

    A class action? Oh goodie.

  65. Sacha Blumen says:

    Bird’s longish comment appeared in my inbox. I’ve never heard of ‘synagogue-science’ before – bizarre. Science done in a synagogue?

  66. JC says:

    Sacha

    Think of yourself as special. It’s kind of similar to the Bernie Madoff heist effect. People were using the fraud as a form of pretension. If you lost money with Bernie you were one of the chose few.

    It’s like with Bird. You join an exclusive club if he heists your identity.

  67. JC says:

    How do you know he’s balding, Jason?


    Here.

  68. Ken Parish says:

    “It’s identity fraud, is it not?”

    Don’t know. Possibly defamation, given that he’s representing that those he impersonates hold the mad, toxic views he expresses. The problem is that hardly anyone here takes more than a couple of posts to realise it’s Bird and not the owner of the hijacked ID. Accordingly a plaintiff would probably be hard-pressed proving damage.

    Of course the problem with even discussing all this is that it delivers him exactly what all trolls desire, namely attention. Bearing that in mind, it’s a pretty cunning strategy because it’s just about impossible to combat it without discussing it in comment threads, first to verify that it really is Bird then to communicate with and pacify the owner of the hijacked ID. However there might be a protocol we can agree on to minimise the attention Bird gets:

    If you suspect/know Bird is commenting in some guise or another, please email us rather than posting about it on the blog. Tell us everything you can about it. We’ll proceed to get to the bottom of it, delete offending comments and block his latest ID. The only problem with this protocol is that emails from the “Contact Club Troppo” page go to Jacques Chester who would then relay them to me or Nicholas Gruen. It’s likely that Jacques doesn’t check his emails (or CT discussion threads) as often as I do. Thus if you don’t get a response within (say) an hour or so feel free to post about it on the offending thread. I usually don’t check unless I see an unusual amount of emails from a particular thread in a short space of time, which indicates there might be something heated happening. Alternatively you can ascertain my email address by going to the front page of my employer CDU’s website and using the staff search facility.

  69. Pedro says:

    I think that, in the US at least, they called it the national lampoon defence.

  70. KB Keynes says:

    Does that mean Birdy was on double secret probation?

  71. Sacha Blumen says:

    Love the photo.

  72. Corin says:

    Rex, back to the actual issue, I see i-rate being another 50 bps lower by end of 2012 and unemployment only slightly elevated, say 5.5-6%, I think that is a good sign the mortgage could come back to Labor. I think Abbott’s need for really quite drastic cuts could look wrong with rising unemployment as well. The issues are turning I think. Gillard will lead into next election, they won’t change, unless it is to Rudd and that gets unlikely as the issues improve. I hear the term ‘grudging respect’ as a likely focus group conversation …

  73. Sacha Blumen says:

    I like exclusive clubs.

    More on topic, I think it’s quite possible the polls could improve for Gillard by the election – (nearly) two years is a long time. This is different to saying it’s likely.

  74. Corin says:

    Sacha Blumen, that is fair enough, I am trying to understand the flow of events and cause of opinion and it seems to me that Labor has the better set of issues in the next 12 months. In the end it comes down to whether the ruling out of the carbon tax is so hurtful to her prospects, that this cancels out the improvements in the trend of issues. I think people will get over the carbon tax backflip but I accept that is a risk to any projection. I think the issue of falling interest rates should be a plus so-long as there is no major spike in u/e from Europe/US fall out that creates major cuts in i-rates. I think the economy will become a plus and the ‘taxes’ won’t be as unpopular in reality as they are in theory. I think people will accept tax cuts as compensation and consider that Abbott will have a hard time arguing only to return to the past. Abbott will want to frame any economic deterioration as a result of the ‘taxes’ but I think they will find that doesn’t work given the European crisis would drive the trajectory of lower global growth. I also think Abbott is vulnerable because his ‘cuts’ to offset the removal of the taxes will be the wrong direction in a time of slowing global growth. That’s my hunch …

  75. Ken Parish says:

    Sacha

    Yes but it’s not impossible (which I and others were beginning to think). I like Corin’s “grudging respect” line. I wonder how it would run in a focus group even now? Gillard has guts and tenacity. Sure things would need to go right a lot more than they have from now on, and a lot less things go wrong. But a Labor victory in 2013 is no longer unimaginable. You might have thrown your hat in the ring one election too early!!

    Moreover, 2 years is a long time for the MSM to maintain an unvarying “Labor is a dead duck” narrative”. Phoenix rising from ashes of minority has a neat ring, especially if Abbott remains a one trick pony of relentless negativity. And once he actually starts advancing something resembling a real policy he unavoidably puts himself and his own competence and integrity in the spotlight. These are interesting times.

    BTW Announcing support for pay equality for low paid and women is smart politics right now (as well as good policy). Supporting gay marriage vote not just conscience vote would be even smarter. Polls show support for it except among fundies who won’t vote Labor anyway, and it demonstrates strength and policy commitment contrasting with expedient negativity. IT’s not just a “Greens” issue, it’s basic social justice and equal opportunity which are core Labor values.

  76. Sacha Blumen says:

    Ken and Corin…good descriptions of how more than a few people likely feel.

  77. Corin says:

    Ok, I think $3.50 is worth a bet, if I had a spare $20K. At $2.20, it starts to look rash. However, I am confident Labor will be more than competitive in 12 months time. Nobody has raised the prospect of Labor calling time on the Parliament, it could be a real prospect i think if they get to 48 or 49 tpp and decide to test public opinion. In my view the Libs need at least 43 fpp, Labor will win if they get the Liberal fpp vote down below 42, I think they can. Indeed they could even win 35 fpp if they can do that and the Greens get 10 fpp or more.

    I think the polling in Essential looks a better indicator of fpp (32-35) than the others where they have been as low mid 20s. That’s a hunch too. I get the ‘feeling’ the nielsen/newspoll results are more protest noise than likely after an election. Still the states have shown that view up … still Gillard is better than NSW Labor, No?

  78. Rex says:

    Another factor playing into this might well be GFC Mark II driven from Europe. It could play either way: Abbott successfully paints any deep downturn as the government’s fault – or alternatively – the Aus economy hold up relatively well given the Infrastructure projects already locked in. The punters then being reluctantly grateful for the relative better position.

  79. Pedro says:

    Here’s your alternative scenario:
    1 more union problems driving increased concerns about the FWA, the ABC news showed someone being assaulted at a picket line
    2 economic stagnation increasing around the world and their luck not holding on the domestic economy
    3 the world-wide reversal of enthusiasm for AGW action continues to retreat, perhaps even accelerating making the carbon tax look even dumber
    4 they don’t change the deputy leader and treasurer leaving a weak back-up to the PM in place
    5 Gillard continues to have a political tin ear and make dopey decisions on the run.
    6 they support gay marriage and it ends up reinforcing the idea that Dr Bob is driving the policy bus.

    And with all that, the best you can say in favour of the carbon tax is that some people will benefit from the redistribution; most people won’t much notice the long run reduction in the growth rate shown in the govt’s own modelling; and some people will also (wrongly) think that something significant is being done for the environment.

    They’re not in the shit because of the back-flip on the ETS, or the back-flip on no carbon tax; they’re in the shit because the first guy turned out to be crazy and the solution is an embarrassing mistake-a-thon.

  80. Patrick says:

    1 and 3 are near-certainties, 2 is regrettably likely.

    3 has the most potential to be embarrassing. Even this site’s sophisticated intellectuals have no serious justification for the carbon tax beyond:
    1) accelerating the adaptation of the Australian economy to a post-manual-labour phase; and
    2) preparing us for integration into a global system or at least avoidance of penalties under some kind of EU scheme.

    1 is a short-term political killer because phase 1 of adaptation is sacking people, and 2 is a piece of sheer fantasy that soon not even John Quiggin will be able to believe.

  81. Steve Edney (the real one) says:

    Thanks for deleteing it Ken.

  82. Jackie Johnson says:

    “1) accelerating the adaptation of the Australian economy to a post-manual-labour phase; and”

    What do you mean by “post-manual-labour” phase? Do you mean post-manufacturing? Post-mining? Post-farming? There is no post-manufacturing stage. There is only final bankruptcy.

  83. KB Keynes says:

    Another Bird, where is Charlie when you need him

  84. Corin says:

    Pedro, I think you’re missing the point and that is the ‘taxes’ probably won’t greatly affect the economy (as they aren’t big enough) and people like tax cuts and pension increases. Abbott has a problem here and the longer that goes the more and more it will become obvious. I am not suggesting that the Libs aren’t favourites now, but I think if Labor gets to 48 or 49 tpp, the election campaign will break their way. I think 12 months is a long time and I have a funny feeling that the next election will be close. $3.50 is fantyastically long odds if you ask me, don’t you think??

Comments are closed.