Labor

Labour and Labour. Compare and contrast

d5fg

Ignore the frenetic media noise around party conferences and its obvious that the fundamentals haven’t changed: Labour is still likely to be the largest party or have a slim majority after the next election. But this episode is a good illustration of how the Labour leadership keep misunderstanding their intended audiences.

The Labour party leadership broadly face two problems: 1) people don’t understand what Ed Miliband stands for and seem hesitant to place their faith in him; 2) more Britons trust the economic competency of the Conservatives than Labour. In both cases the leadership has misunderstood the nature of the problem and reacted predictably. Read more »

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The toxicity of the Greens and lessons from Tasmania for Labour

Labour faces a dilemma.

They can’t win the election without some sort of formal accommodation with the Greens. They also can’t win without Winston Peters.

And thus their dilemma is apparent. The Greens are toxic. David Cunliffe knows it, Shane Jones knows it, Winston Peters knows it.

But the problem is Moira Coatsworth is shrieking at Cunliffe that the attitude tot eh Greens must end, that they are the preferred coalition partner and that Labour needs to be nicer.

Russel Norman is exerting pressure behind the scenes as well.  But the fact remains that the Greens are toxic in any support or coalition deal.

This is a position that Tasmanian’s saw only too well and punished both Labor and the Greens over in their state elections last weekend.

Labor and the Greens have blamed each other for the loss of votes in Saturday’s Tasmanian state election, while the South Australian Liberals insisted electoral boundaries prevented them from claiming a “deserved” outright win.

The simultaneous state elections resulted in a decisive Liberal win in Tasmania and a likely hung parliament in South Australia, where the focus is now turning to negotiations with two independents.

The Liberals have raised questions over the South Australian electoral system given the party could miss out on forming government despite securing about 53% of the two-party vote.  Read more »

Good on ya Rupert

via Daily Telegraph

via Daily Telegraph

A GIANT ego. A narcissist. A micro-manager. An impulsive control freak. A haphazard and secretive decision maker.

I think they missed out vain, mean and stupid.

Read more »

“Independent” Journalism

The Daily Telegraph

There are a great many moaning minnies out there talking about the loss of “independent” journalism. The crescendo is growing, particularly because fo the upheaval inside Fairfax as they realise that alienating readers doesn’t really pay in the long run.

One such whinger even maintains a blog that constantly moans about partisan bloggers because they don’t fit his world view of what “independent” journalists or commentators should be like. Every second post almost he takes aim at bloggers because they aren’t pure of thought and purpose like him.

Miranda Devine explains how it was at the Sydney Morning Herald and what “independent” journalism looks like. I imagine it isn’t too dissimilar at the NZ Herald or even TVNZ:

This column is based on my experience and on recent conversations with current and former Fairfax journalists, editors and high-ranking executives.

When I arrived at the Herald it was controlled by a handful of hard-Left enforcers who dictated how stories were covered, and undermined management at every turn.

“At one extreme, they could be likened to the KGB’s Cambridge recruits at MI6,” recalls former editor in chief Alan Revell.

“More generously, I think they saw themselves as ‘the keepers of the flame’, whose job it was to resist the approach that I (and others) had, which was to encourage a ‘broader church’ of opinion.

“In my view, the paper was not serving its market: its readership was predominantly on the north shore and in the eastern suburbs, not in Balmain and Glebe.”

Another former high-ranking executive described the newsroom collective as “sabotaging the paper and some very good journalists. It’s a crying shame”.

A former editor said: “They love acting like politicians act. To them it’s a war, to the great damage and detriment of the newspaper.”

Another former executive described the world view of the collective as, “inarguably Left-leaning, and anti-business”. It was also anti-religion – especially anti-Christian – and hostile to bourgeois family values.

“The tragedy was that (Fairfax’s) core audience was a conservative audience. You’ve never seen a paper more disengaged from its core audience. Particularly The Age.”

While editors in morning conference decided which stories should be covered, the collective decided how those stories were framed – and they were ruthless enforcers.

For example, in 2007, a journalist was assigned to write a story about the appointment as head of the NSW education department of Michael Coutts-Trotter, who had once served three years in jail for dealing heroin. To his credit, he had rehabilitated himself, but his conviction remained an important part of the story.

One former executive recalls the journalist being heavied by members of the newsroom collective to remove the fact from the article, because Coutts-Trotter’s Labor politician wife was a “particular favourite”.

“All the usual culprits just ganged up on the reporter and bullied her into changing that story, first to not include that fact at all. When she refused she was pressured to downplay the matter. The defenders of free press and independent journalism censored the story.”

He was struck by how overt the interference was: “Such was the strength of that group, and the level of confidence they had around their position. It was understandable, since they’d seen off very many editors and CEOs and directors.

“There used to be a saying that you didn’t need to worry about the current Fairfax regime because there would be another one along any minute”.

The collective, or “nomenklatura”, as one of my Fairfax colleagues described them, were not household names. They rarely had bylines because they did very little of what you might call journalism. They were too busy policing what the real journalists did.

Their tactics against me included bombarding my screen at deadline with poison messages about previous columns, or recruiting friends to lodge complaints about my work.

Great Labor Caucus Photo

Brisbane Times

The Queensland Labor caucus met yesterday….in a phone booth:

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What you get with Labour’s employment policy

Labour says that it’s employment policy is like Australia’s. So it is a logical conclusion that we will get strikes like Australia.

THE Premier, Barry O’Farrell, and his Victorian counterpart, Ted Baillieu, yesterday wrote to Julia Gillard urging her to use powers under the Fair Work Act to end the Qantas dispute.

In the latest round of industrial action against the airline, about 4000 baggage handlers and other ground crew will hold stopwork meetings today.

The stoppages will mean another day of long delays for passengers at international terminals, following yesterday’s 24-hour strike by customs staff over a pay dispute which both sides confirmed late yesterday was being resolved.

As industrial unrest swept the country, anger over stalled pay negotiations prompted more than 120,000 workers across more than two dozen federal government agencies to deliver a resounding ”no” verdict to 3 per cent pay rises.

At least nine of those agencies are now poised for industrial action or have taken action already, while at the state level more than 90,000 public school teachers will walk off the job for two hours next Wednesday.

Here piggy, piggy, piggy

If things weren’t bad enough for Julia Gillard, Australia’s independent Federal Remuneration Tribunal is looking like recommending massive pay rises for politicians.

Politicians could be in for a pay raise but the government is shying away from responsibility because the decision is in the hands of an independent tribunal.

The independent Federal Remuneration Tribunal is undertaking a comprehensive review of politicians’ pay.

It is expected to recommend MPs trade their current generous allowances for increases in base salaries.

Backbench salaries are tipped to almost double to $250,000.

And the pay packets of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, her ministers and also shadow ministers could be a whole lot fatter.

Ms Gillard, who now earns $366,366 annually, could get as much as $650,000 under any new system while Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s could go up from $260,000 to almost $480,000.

This contrasts with the pay increases currently being offered to federal public servants, which the Community and Public Sector Union has criticised as not keeping up with living costs.

A great sentiment

A great sentiment from Australia’s Finance minister Penny Wong.

”These savings will help bring the budget back to surplus in 2012-13 and show the government is determined to lead the way by tightening its own belt first,” Senator Wong said.

Why isn’t there a Labour leader in new Zealand that can say the sorts of things that are being said by top Labor politicians in Australia.

FOr that matter why aren’t there any politicians in New Zealand prepared to say what needs to be said to the New Zealand public that is used to be ing bribed with other peoples money.

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Gillard does a Taylor and Old School Repeaters get upset

Julia Gillard has done a Kevin Taylor and meddled in the employment affairs of a political enemy. Mark Latham took the fight to the street and ambushed the unctuous Gillard about her complaint to nine about employing Latham.

Mr Latham ambushed Ms Gillard without warning, asking her if she knew anything about a complaint that had been made about his working for Channel Nine.

Ms Gillard replied that she didn’t know anything about the claim, but Mr Latham persisted with his aggressive attack to the astonishment and amusement of the many supporters and journalists.

Ms Gillard told Mr Latham that any complaint should be directed at Kevin Rudd.

The Prime Minister eventually moved on from him smiling through gritted teeth, later complaining it was inappropriate.

This has all the hallmarks of Kevin Taylor’s inept bully-boy tactics over me appearing on The Nation which back-fired in him, and resulted in me quitting the National Party. What is inappropriate is meddling by politicians and their staff in the private affairs of citizens.

Predictably the fat old school lazy repeaters and churnalists are upset that someone who can’t write short-hand is muscling in on their cosy territory with the pollies and whined loudly about it all.

A top TV political editor has lashed out at his own employer for hiring a former Labour leader as a journalist.

Mark Latham, who works for Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes programme, was attacked following a very public ambush of Prime Minister Julia Gillard during a walkabout.

Nine news’ Laurie Oakes said the former Labour leader-turned-journalist was full of bile and only settling old scores.

Complaining about “full of bile and only settling old scores”? …sounds like brilliant television to me. Time the old school retired. Laurie Oakes for example has been a member of the Canberra Press Gallery since 1966. Go…already!

Gone

Kevin Rudd’s short reign as Australian PM is over. Rolled by Julia Gillard. Don’t hold out much hope for an improvement in Australia though.

Opposition figures said Ms Gillard was also tainted by cost blow-outs on the school building projects. ”Sure, they’ll get a bounce for a while but people want stability,” he said. ”This mob is a pack of amateurs.”

Labor in Australia suffers the same problem as Labour here. A talent pool as shallow as a car-park puddle.