Missing Link – almost all over edition

What could be more appropriate on election day than to reproduce the last two of Jon Kudelka’s epic series 101 uses for a John Howard? Moreover, they’re even ideologically balanced (well, almost). Speaking for myself, the best use I can think of for John Winston is as a crotchety retired old codger living in Wollstonecraft (or wherever his long unused family home is).

It’s election day at last.  What more can I say?  Get out and vote early and often, as they say out in Jackie Kelly country (in between letterboxing racist pamphlets)..  

This is a slightly reduced edition of Missing Link because I haven’t had time either to chase up inexplicably missing contributors (Peter and Rebecca), but it still contains lots of interesting reading.  Compiled by James Farrell, Saint in a Straitjacket, Darlene Taylor and Gilmae, and lightly edited by Ken Parish.  With a bit of luck I’ll be finished marking some time on Monday, so hopefully Tuesday’s ML will be a bumper post-election extravanganza.

1. News and politics stuff

The Goon Show Squad Scripts: Ep. 38 – Lindsay Leaflet Scam. Media Relations: Jackie Kelly. Reviews by Tim, Andrew, SFW, Wog Blog, Baybers, James… lauredhel doesn’t hold back. Given the universal panning of this humourless comedy, box office polling booth returns may take a hit. There are obviously not enough lawyers in the Liberal Party to advise this was a bridge too far (although Jeremy is already making amends, having gotten to work on his pro bono defense brief for Jackie Kelly.) Expect more heads to roll. 1/2* ((I find it hard to assess this episode. Fraud, stupidity and an interesting example of how politics and the culture wars are played out in the pub Australia, especially at the local level. Not to mention intra-party fighting: the tip-off apparently came from a Liberal Party insider. ~saint))

The Liberals are out of favour with Andrew Bartlett for more reasons than Lindsay. They are as contemptuous of on-line forums as of the face-to-face variety. And he won’t be barracking for Gary ‘Tired-of-Africans’ Hardgrave in the seat of Moreton.

For those who care about more important things, Andrew explains how he got so skinny. This could be why Anna Winter would vote for Andrew if she lived in Queensland. But unfortunately she lives in WA, where she thinks it’s better to vote for a ‘progressive’ Labor candidate because:

…while the downside of party solidarity is that progressives are sometimes forced to vote for a position they dont hold, the upside is that other times theyre able to hold less progressive Labor MPs to their position. Its unlikely that Labor will win control of the Senate, and I think thats probably a good thing. Getting a more progressive Senate should be our main goal.

After Andrew Robb failed to create a sensation by claiming that ‘up to twelve’ Labor canditates were ineligible, John Quiggin judges that the government has run out of rabbits. In a similar vein, mick at LP reports that ‘a quick survey of todays broadsheets reveals that the Liberal Party dirt unit has been working overtime and is coming up with zilch.’

azza-bazoo gives advice on mechanics and tactics for voting. dr faustus chimes in with some further stratagems. ((Anecdotally I am astonished at how poorly it is understood in the community, some going so far as to tell me your vote doesn’t count if it doesn’t perfectly replicate a How To Vote card.~gilmae))

saint wonders what we can expect from the next six or so months if Rudd should win and finds nothing scarier than the same period in 1996. Andrew Elder indulges in some Find-Replacing to draw similar conclusions, that what we are seeing now is little different to the last time the drover’s dog wandered onto stage. Meanwhile, Nicholas Gruen posits what went wrong between 2004 and 2007.

The analyst contrasts the to-do lists of the Prime Ministerial hopefuls.

Some musing on Webdiary on the prospects of those Labor candidates accused of being ineligible to stand for Parliament.

Jim Belshaw, who may have missed the whole ‘economic conservative’ thing, expresses concerns that Kevin Rudd is using code words indicating he may well be planning to be economically conservative, or at the very least he might Jeff some people.

tigtog doubts that voters are not won over by ‘patronising shite’. She leans to Hugh Mackay’s view that

once voters do become more generally engaged with politics, they doubt the fear campaigns, they look beyond just the economy and beyond the short term, and thats where the progressive parties have their strength (noting that Labor is not always a progressive party).

As a contribution to political awareness, she recommends Get-up’s Guide to voting, especially their explanation on Senate preference flows.

John Quiggin thinks the parties’ starkly different attitudes to global warming make the choice easy:

Nothing sums up the governments position better than Howards response to the IPCC report. After noting the serious of the challenge, Howard observed that the world is not coming to an end tomorrow. Indeed not, but Australian voters might prefer a leader who can look a little way beyond tomorrow.

Ken Lovell wishes political reporters could just report poll results, carefully noting the margin for error, and then move onto the next story.

However, I guess that would be inconsistent with the need for colour and movement and endless dramatic developments to give pundits a subject for another 750 words of meaningless drivel.

2. Life and Other Serious Stuff

Apathetic Gam recounts his extraordinary encounter with an indignant Caroline Overington.

Barista blogs the WGA strike in the US.

Fred Argy ponders the threat of world recession.

The blonde canadian is angry that people are angry that the teachers are angry.

Two useful warnings on the downside of the information revolution: Robert Merekel reports on an astonishing security lapse in the UK, which may have resulted in a huge electronic database of confidential information getting into the wrong hands. He hopes that our government will learn the right lessons, and also think twice about introducing the ‘Access Card’; and Derek Barry makes a depressing forecast on the unstoppable growth of email spam.

John Quiggin appraises thirty years of econometric inquiry into the deterrent value of the death penalty.

3. The Yartz

Keating! continues on its merry Alexander Downer in fishnets way at the Seymour Centre in Sydney from November 7 to December 13. Lesley Chow has posted a thoughtful review of the (editorial note: brilliant) show on Spark Online:

Depending on the skits performed, the group can be a macho cohort, or a pack of cautionary angels – at any rate, they’re too mercurial to represent any one set. Does the band stand for “the people” – or are they a core demographic? Are they a young passionate constituency fired (then and now) by Keating’s idealism? Or could they be – just possibly – the dreaded “elite”?

Is that an arts policy in your pocket or are you not that happy to see me? The folks at The Art Life (TAL) have gone to the trouble of looking at the major and minor parties’ websites in search of arts policies. According to TAL:

Family First…has no policy on the arts, except if you include pornography, which they are against. They have a downloadable PDF on their website which explains what they are about, namely: “We believe Australia should be the best country in the world to raise a family.”

Now that the wondrous Summer Heights High is over (“She’s a naughty girl with a bad habit, bad habit for drugs”), the ABC is pinning its comedic hopes on a mockumentary called The Librarians. In attempting to determine the quality of the latter program, After Grog Blog (AGB) offers the views of a journalist from The Age and someone known as Professor Rosseforp. Tony the Teacher, the author of AGB, also manages to chuck* in an anti-youngsters comment, which is disconcerting for those of us who happen to still be young.

Largehearted Boy has a long list of Interweb sites that have already put together best music lists for the year. Of course, any best music list of 2007 that doesn’t include Mr. G’s song about that bad girl with a thing for dope isn’t much of a best music list of 2007.

Tim from Will Type for Food is a poet. Anyone who was in Melbourne on Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday will know exactly what his poem is about. Others may struggle with its meaning.

Sorry ladies, it seems Ned the Bear is a married man, err, bear. Ned’s wife (Mrs. Ned Bear) knows that when it comes to Julia “Ranga” Gillard the only thing that matters is her hair. It’s hard to believe Julia’s boyfriend is a hairdresser.

Teenyboppers can be a hazard at outdoor concerts, Apathetic Sarah notes in her illustrated review of the Muse concert in Brisbane:.

There was a funny moment when 3 of them popped up in front of us during ‘supermassive blackhole’ and started dancing. Or, rather, ‘dancing’.


*Rock on, a cricket reference.

4. T.S.S

(troppo sports stadium)

Tony previews the rest of the 2007/08 cricket coverage.

5. Mad, Bad, Sad and Glad

Centrebet notes that Sam (Yobbo) Ward – who is standing as the LDP candidate for Sterling – is odds on favourtie. To lose.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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Tony T.
16 years ago

I repeat: Young people! Bah!

It’s about time producers started producing shows for us, you know, like, grown ups.

I repeat: Bah!

16 years ago

Recognition – at last!

Jim Belshaw
16 years ago

I was mildly miffed by the comment on my post on Mr Rudd. I am not quite sure why, but thought that I should make two points.

First, to my mind the relationship between a Government and its public service is absolutely critical to effective performance. One of the reasons why the early period of the Hawke Government was so influential and successful is that that Government set a new tone, one that generated great public service enthusiasm.

This relationship has to be balanced.Without arguing the detail, one of the reasons why from about 1986 the Hawke and then Keating Governments lost effectiveness lay in the rising control of the central coordinating agencies.

This links to my second point, the rise of corporatism beginning with the Greiner Government in NSW. I supported the initial changes. I believed then and believe now that change was required. However, I simply did not forsee the pernicious side-effects that have stultified effective public administration.

That is why I was so saddened about Mr Rudd’s comments. They had a very strong whiff of the past.

I will try to argue some of this on my blogs. If Nick, to take an example, really wishes to develop a new approach to industry policy, then he might do well to look back to what worked, asking himself why the second half of the Button ministry delivered such poor results.