Daily Archives: October 21, 2008

PM lashes Opposition over bank guarantee claims – ABC News

** Updated 25 October 2008

See the report. I won’t go into it all but just give a gut reaction, and it is this: I have never before really despised Malcolm Turnbull. Today I do. Just a bit too naked in its grandstanding in the circumstances, I would have thought. Good to see Rudd on fire.

24 hours later

Nothing since I wrote that has changed my gut reaction, except that I have deepened in my revulsion, extending it way beyond Turnbull himself to the whole pack of them and their various attempts to grab headlines during the course of the day. Yes, I know it’s tough for an Opposition, but I wish they had been less hypocritical with their mealy-mouthed “bipartisanship”. See RBA backed unlimited guarantee: Treasury head. In fact he said the reports that triggered the Turnbull shark impersonation — or should that be hyena? — were “Capital W Capital R Capital O Capital N Capital G Exclamation Mark WRONG!

That’s not to say the government is perfect, but in this case they are the ones who appear responsible and honourable. Opposition: you have disgusted me, and I like to think I am FAR from alone.

Watching The 7.30 Report on ABC just now I see I have added the “capitals” to Ken Henry’s response, but his body language justifies them in spades. Rarely have I seen such ill-concealed fury on the face of such a senior public servant, appointed to his present position, I might add, by the Howard government! Particularly he bridled at that unctuous bigot Abetz. As one would. Transcript.

Turnbull is about to speak on The 7.30 Report. My response has been to turn off the TV and listen to some good jazz on 2MBS-FM. I just couldn’t stomach even the sight of Turnbull right now. Michael Brissenden on The 7.30 Report finished by saying the Opposition is determined to be noticed. Well, it has worked for me. I have noticed, but noticing and being impressed are clearly not the same. It’s one thing to point out practical or unforeseen problems with what the government has proposed in the national interest; it’s quite another to go in for the kill on the back of newspaper stories and rumours as this mob has done over the past day or so…

Here is what I couldn’t stomach watching. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 21, 2008 in Australia, Australia and Australian, current affairs, Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull, Political, politics


Daft and meaningless

1. Obama is a socialist.
2. McCain is a Nazi.

The things people will say or think in the heat of a political campaign. You may as well say:

1. Queen Elizabeth II is a socialist.
2. Kevin Rudd is a Nazi.

Well why not, if your epithets are going to be devoid of any actual content?

1. Sarah Palin is a pumpkin!
2. Malcolm Turnbull is a zucchini!
3. Obama is a radish!
4. McCain is a frozen French Fry!


Posted by on October 21, 2008 in diversions, Political


Australian poem 2008 series #22: Kenneth Mackay OBE "The Song that Men Should Sing" (1899)

mackay Here we have a deservedly forgotten lyric from late 19th century Australia, which I read in the bog this morning — an appropriate place to read it. Mackay was, among other things, a member of the NSW Parliament and a military man. He has two major claims to fame, apart from rampant Jingoism: he founded the Army Reserve, and he penned a tome called The Yellow Wave: A Romance of the Asiatic Invasion of Australia (1895). A generation of school children encountered this poem in The New Australian School Series Fourth Reader, Sydney, 1899.

The Song That Men Should Sing

Kenneth Mackay


The cohorts who fought when the world was young
Have their blood-red legends told,
For a hundred poets have bravely sung
The deeds of the days of old.

The story is writ of the men who fell
In desert and sun-scorched track:
The legions who served their country well –
The heroes who marched ‘Out Back’ …

But they tell us now, in their lifeless lays,
These knights of the stool and pen,
We must boast no more of the stirring days
When they fought and fell like men …

But the tale is best that has oft been told,
If it love of birthland bring;
And the song they sang in days of old
Is the song that I will sing …

We won the land from a nerveless race,
Too mean for their land to fight;
If we mean to hold it we too must face
The adage that ‘might is right’.

It matters nothing what dreamers say,
When they prate that wars must cease,
For the lustful war-god holds his sway
In these piping days of peace …

So our lads must learn there’s a sterner task
Than playing a well-pitched ball;
That the land we love may some day ask
For a team when the trumpets call.

A team that is ready to take the field
To bowling with balls of lead,
In a test match grim, where if one appealed,
The umpire might answer ‘dead’!

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Posted by on October 21, 2008 in Australia, Australia and Australian, awful warnings, OzLit, poets and poetry, racism


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