What would you do first?

In the SMH today there is an interesting interview with the Ruddster in which he outlines his top five priorities for his first three months in office, should he win that is (though I note that even the Shamaham now thinks it’s a done deal).

So here’s a fun question for a Sunday:  If you were booting Howard out of the PM’s office next week, what would your top five goals be for the first three months in office?

Mine look something like this (though I’ve only thought about this for 10 minutes or so):

  1. Sign Kyoto (like Rudd).
  2. Launch a review of the NT intervention (and say “sorry” in the process).
  3. Begin discussions with the US about getting out of Iraq (like Rudd).
  4. Set up a charter of government accountability and look into reforming a number of government departments (especially DIMIA and the Federal Police).
  5. Abolish Workchoices.

Michael (mick) Bremner is a displaced Australian postdoctoral researcher in the field of quantum information science and an occasional blogger. I'm currently living in Hannover, Germany, though seem to spend half my life on the road.

Posted in elections, federal election '07, Howardia, politics, War
47 comments on “What would you do first?
  1. hannah's dad says:

    I’m fairly happy with Rudd’s 5, although I may have added repeal workNOchoices like you.
    And I am fairly happy with your 5, particularly #2 [the NT invasion], but not so interested in gaining immediate justice about accountability [your #4], it can wait a few weeks but I would fasttrack the investigation into the immigration debacle.
    So I guess I go with
    1. Sign Kyoto
    2. Abolish workNOchoices
    3 Leave Iraq with or without US ‘permission’.
    4. Say ‘sorry’ and review NT invasion whilst instituting a moratorium
    5 Move on the health and medical issues.

  2. hannah's dad says:

    Oh and I think I might have an immediate [say Monday pm] quiet, ‘friendly’ little chat behind closed doors with the heads, plus a few others, of most govt. depts, ABC included.

  3. Katz says:

    1. Rescind excision of Australian territory.
    2. Withdraw from Iraq.
    3. Conduct a referendum to redefine and to limit the scope of the corporation powers in the Australian Constitution.
    4. Conduct a referendum for a republic with an elected but entirely symbolic head of state.
    5. Conduct a referendum removing the race powers provisions in the Australian Constitution.

  4. mick says:

    Katz, you must really like campaigning. Staight from a Federal election into three big referendums! You’d never sleep again.

    Still, nice to see that you aren’t mucking about with the small issues.

  5. mick says:

    hannah’s dad – Funny, I thought about phrasing my “reforming government departments” goal in the same way as yours. I think one of the first things that I’d do would be to quietly get the heads into my office and to ever so gently beat them for a while with a cricket bat (metaphorically that is, maybe).

  6. hannah's dad says:

    Please write a suggested outline of that ‘chat’ for Kevin, I’m sure your creativity would enjoy the exercise.
    May I suggest an opening 2 lines of
    “Good afternoon and welcome gentlemen and Barbara and Janet……have you brought your AWA’s? Please look at the screen at the information kindly provided by the AEC….”

  7. Iain says:

    Of your five
    1. Sign Kyoto (like Rudd).
    2. Launch a review of the NT intervention (and say “sorry” in the process).
    3. Begin discussions with the US about getting out of Iraq (like Rudd).
    4. Set up a charter of government accountability and look into reforming a number of government departments (especially DIMIA and the Federal Police).
    5. Abolish Workchoices.
    Lets look at the efficacy of thses five actions
    1. entirely pointless on a number of levels, firstly as australia contributes less than 1.4% of manmade co2 even 100% reduction would do nothing. Kyeto is about to expire so why bother
    2. The intervention is just beginning and you want a bloddy review? The gro runners and the kiddie fiodl;eser will love that
    3. Rudd’s “withdrawl of troops from Iraq is all smoke and mirrors, our commitment to that threatre will not decline at all
    4. So you want to let absolutely anyone into the country?
    5. Never been that keen on “work choices “ myself but I don’t think that it is quite as bad as the lefties paint it.
    Oh yeah just remember that there is plenty a slip twixt cup and lip 😉

  8. Vee says:

    What’s the current situation with the single wheat desk? I’d probably need to know that to be able to answer the question.

  9. Priority 1: Figure out what our negotiating position should be for the next Kyoto agreement. Ian’s argument is dumb, but he’s right that signing Kyoto at this late stage is largely symbolic.

  10. Armagnac Esq says:

    I can see our half-arsed education system is right at the top of the priority list for not only Labor but many commentators.

    The symbolic stuff’s great for throwing around at dinner parties but if you want to get to the bottom of why the CUB set aren’t also tossing climate change, international relations, indigenous relations and critical appraisal of the machinery of government around over dinner, you could do worse that focus on education.

    I mean massive change, not some ridiculous foil about laptops. Anyway it’s all just opinion, I’d get to Kyoto and Iraq but mine would be:

    1) A massive injection into early education and childhood services, not by middle class welfare but by ensuring need is met. In particular (a) no service mandated by a child protection authority goes wanting due to lack of funding; (b) 100% availability of kinder. I’d be talking billions.

    This is where it all starts.

    2) A more general ramping of education and an immediate goal of every Australian staying it out until at least year 12. This also needs real and significant investment.

    3)Set a bare minimum for hospital waiting times and implement emergency measures, such as funding overflow operations in private hospitals, to effect these without delay.

    That’s coughed up some real money and effort on the basics.

    4)We can do Kyoto here.

    5)Do a strategic reappraisal of our wider involvements in the globe, including a phased withdrawal from Iraq, stepping up pressure on the EU and other parties to focus on holistic solutions (including some ongoing military support) to ensure Afghanistan doesn’t go back to gendercide, and looking at whether we;ve missed far bigger issues (whether of threat, need for aid, or diplomacy) far closer to home.

    Then I’d add a (6) which would be to permanently alter my party’s constitution so that it more broadly represented the interests of everyone from the centre to the firm left.

  11. A series of spectacular show trials, with Howard, Downer, Abbot, Andrews, Bishop and Nelson (all still showing signs of their extensive waterboarding)ratting out each other and their journalistic familiars. Perhaps Julie could be saved from buying her own bullet on the grounds of being too dim to be evil, and she can be banished forever to the gulag, (The Perth Cultural Centre). But for the rest, harvest what organs are still fit for transplanting, and we march forward together into the sunlight.

  12. The Rockstar Philosopher says:


    “1. entirely pointless on a number of levels, firstly as australia contributes less than 1.4% of manmade co2 even 100% reduction would do nothing. Kyeto is about to expire so why bother”

    It’s purely symbolic so we get a say at the Bali meetings instead of being on the outer. If we don’t ratify, the rest of the world won’t give a hoot about our needs. I’m struggling to understand why people don’t get that “symbolism” is really important in diplomatic relations.

    2. The intervention is just beginning and you want a bloddy review? The gro runners and the kiddie fiodl;eser will love that

    Huh? Wha? How would a review help the “gro” runners (?) and the kiddie fiddlers? Wouldn’t a review actually be more, you know, what should have happened BEFORE the laws were passed? If you’re worried about the kiddie fiddlers, then the review could ask why in several hundred pages of legislation the word “child” does not appear.

    3. Rudd’s “withdrawl of troops from Iraq is all smoke and mirrors, our commitment to that threatre will not decline at all

    True that, but it’s a start (see above RE: symbolism).

    4. So you want to let absolutely anyone into the country?

    A review into the feds and DIMIA (DIAC now) would let “anyone into the country”? What crazy train are you on? It doesn’t matter how tough on border control you are, having legal immigrants (Refugees are NEVER illegal immigrants until they’re cases have been reviewed and they’ve been found to not be genuine refugees) sit in detention for years is just not acceptable. I’m OK with mandatory detention, but I don’t see why it should be necessary to keep someone for more than say, six months (mainly for quarantine reasons). If the department needs more money to process things quickly, then fund it.

  13. Angharad says:

    Remembering that if I was Rudd I only have a slim chance of having control of the Senate until July 2008 – and that’s assuming something wacky happens in the Territories, then I’d be hedging my bets a bit. Not to be too pragmatic or anything, but if I said abolish workchoices, I would be setting myself up to fail.

    So I would go for things I could achieve and mostly stuff that didn’t require parliament to agree or had been agreed to by the Coalition. Oh look – that’s what he’s nominated.

    But I’d feel just that little bit sick inside – because I’m still me and not Rudd.

  14. Craig Mc says:

    1. A voucher system for education, schools to openly compete for students to get funding and merit based pay for teachers.
    2. Introduce US-style unemployment insurance in place of the dole.
    3. Override any state-based national park legislation to build dams where needed.
    4. Heavily expand apprenticeship scheme. Fully fund apprentice training and wages. Mature-age apprenticeships.
    5. Any money left over? Give it back to the taxpayers.
    6. Cancel all government funding for greenhouse research. Give it to the taxpayers.
    7. Put call blocking in the government PABXs for all NGO numbers.
    8. Introduce death penalty for spammers.
    9. Ring up George Bush and invite him to a BBQ
    10. Ring up the Kyoto committee and ask for “I P Freely”.
    11. Ring up Al Gore and invite him to a BBQ, then lock the place up and go to a BBQ at George’s ranch.

  15. Paul Burns says:

    My first 5 actions would be:
    1.Issue an apology to the Aborigines and restrict the NT intervention solely to child protection.
    3.Repeal all Howard Government legislation.
    4.Nationalise Telstra.
    5.Sign Kyoto protocol and introduce legislation that will seriously deal with climate change in every way possible. Take international leadership in dealing with global warming to the point we actually stop it.
    If I had more than 5 actions I would:
    1.Withdraw all Australian troops from Iraq and prosecute every Howard minister prosecutable for war crimes, with a mandatory life sentence if found guilty, never to be released.
    2.Send the RAN to Antarctica to stop the Japanese slaughter of whales, with instructions to blow the Japanese whaling fleet out of the water if necessary, and keep on doing it till they never came back.
    3. Initiate immediate prosecution for war crimes of all Indonesian Special Forces responsible for the murder of the Balibo Five.To hell with what the Indonesians think, these were Australians who were killed and as PM my first duty is to protect Australians overseas. If they had been Americans do you think the Americans would have tolerated it for one minute?
    Abolish the Pacific solution and grant immediate asylum to all political refugees.
    I could probably go on for pages but you get my drift.
    You can also see why I would never become Prime Minister. But its fun to fantasize.

  16. Craig Mc says:

    That Balibo decision could almost merit its own thread. As much as I’d like to see the Indons take their whack for what they did, I think the coroner has come to a dubious conclusion.

    “She found the five were killed to prevent them from revealing that Indonesian forces were involved in an attack on the town of Balibo in 1975.”

    Was the world supposed to think it was the Apaches invading ET? How fecking secret does the coroner think the invasion was meant to be? Coming up with such a ridiculous motive only alows the Indonesians to shrug off any valid evidence as being the product of a tainted process. If she’d left the motive as just sheer bastardry the report would be stronger. Some people don’t need a reason to do the wrong thing. They enjoy it.

  17. Mercurius says:

    1) National security – Check for prawn heads glued under the desk.
    2) Fiscal rectitude – eBay the Val Dooniken CDs in the 6-disc changer.
    3) Reconcilitation – set Windows wallpaper to ‘Indigenous’ theme.
    4) Re-launch the Republic campaign with national casual Fridays.
    5) Education revolution – Peel off rubber-mask to reveal…a GoughBot!

  18. […] Larvatus Prodeo already has a discussion underway about alternatives for the list. Darryl Mason anticipates a response from Dolly and perhaps some others on Team Howard, and I am inclined to agree. There is also discussion of the list at Club Troppo and Catallaxy. […]

  19. Nabakov says:

    “What would I do first?”

    – Conduct a through stocktake of the Kirribili wine cellars. Apparently the previous incumbent has built up a world class collection.
    – Invade New Zealand just for the hell of it and to keep the ADF in match practice.
    – Change the motto on the Australian Coast of Arms to read “Fuck off, It’s Happy Hour.”
    – Castrate Senator Bill Heffernan live on national television – with a blunt and very rusty cane knife. Then hand Christopher Pyne a mop and a stern look and point at the blood splattered podium.
    – Legalise something, anything, that’s currently illegal. And ban something that’s currently legal. But only one such piece of legislation per term. That’ll keep the swinging voters coming back.
    – Broadband wifi for Koalas. Those lazy fuckers will never exceed their “unlimited” download limits (Ever seen Koala porn? 20 minutes of drooling leaf juice followed by a sudden flurry of scratching – bit like Bigpond really) so we can all piggyback free web access off them.
    – Revive Australian’s biowarfare capabilities. We used to be a world leader at this stuff and why not again? Certainly scarier for our more bolshie neighbors than the Yanks flogging some rusty old W-88 nukes off on us.
    – Restructure the Australian Institute of Sport to also cover live music, eistedfords, the Ausnats and raves. AusParty!
    – And ban sports authorities from banning the Mexican Wave and ancillary activities.
    – Order the FCC and the AFI to let Peter Weir do whatever he wants with their budgets, office plants, blood relatives and domestic animals. Bruce Beresford can help out with the heavy stuff.
    – Develop and deliver a final solution for the cat question (NB: This is what is known in the trade as an ambit claim)
    – Develop and deliver a final solution for the dog question (NB: This is what is known in the trade as an ambit claim)
    – A nice sleep in.

    Well, after that first busy 24 hours, then I guess you’ll find AusBossTM – and Lord Protector of Aotearoa – kicking back with a nice Grange Hermitage from the Kirribili wine cellar, after attending Senator Heffernan’s disposal ceremony, releasing the germs of war on the AIS and now pirating KoalaFi bandwidth to follow online the cat and dog lobby going at eachother like cats and dogs.

    OK, I am have been making the funny here. Now I go serious, right?

    “What would I do first?”

    Expand Question Time by an order of magnitude. Throw the floor open to the public. Order all members of Parliament to wear tracksuits emblazoned with the logos of their main campaign contributors during Question Time.

    I’m sorta joking but not really. Yes, making Government more transparent and accountable is always a war against entropy. But that’s the very reason we should keep persevering. Like the people who spend every day…hmm…motherduckerfucker…I just realised this analogy is going nowhere.

    OK, picking on your Government is fun! And generally non-fatal in OECD countries.

    So, constantly televising/streaming all Parliamentary proceedings, including committee hearings etc, al la C-Span should be quite doable, and certainly cheaper than Big Brother, if less entertaining.

    We’re paying for the show, we’re entitled to see the rushes and the director’s cut before the director gets cut. Make the place a fucking fishbowl. Podcast the fuck out of everything that was paid for on the taxpayer dime. OS Ministerial trips blogged and flickred. If we’ve got Web 2.0, why can’t we have Parliament 2.0 as well?

    If Senator Andrew Bartlett loses his seat, he could have a new career as web-director/ringmaster of an ongoing coordinated and wired up citizen surveillance of Parliament project. Got the project title already Senator Andy – “Keep The Bastards Honest”. Mind you, I don’t agree with all his policy stances but he is one of the few people in Parliament who has both integrity and also gets how the intertubes really work and how they should work for us instead of those for up under the Hill. Shit, we hired them and pay for them. And, properly handled, this newfangled ICT allows us to keep a much better eye on our employees.

    Aha! I hear some say, “Wasn’t Brumby promising similar shit?”

    This is where the big stumbling block kicks in. Public Service IT departments. Never in the field of human endeavor have so many been fucked around by so few.

    Perhaps time to outsource the project to AusParty!

    And remember, this Saturday, vote like you’ve got one.

    ((((Written, authourised, rewritten, re-authourised, trapped in meeting hell, released, frantically recalled, rewritten and finally authourised at long fucking last (“Er… have you read that latest email from the Perth branch? They seem to have an issue with the typeface.”) and then re-re-authorised by F. Lop for the *mumble* Party.)))

  20. Nabakov says:

    Hmm, yer new built-in spell check program still suffers from the same fundamental flaw as every other. Depends on slipshop humans to male the final call.

    Change the motto on the Australian Coast of Arms

    should read:
    Change the motto on the Australian Coat of Arms

  21. joe2 says:

    Strange that nobody has mentioned Media Reform.

    Would you, for instance, have all past members of Teh Insiders sent, with two or three exceptions, to Camp Clip Clop, Wyoming for retraining?

    With special attention drawn to single minded habits that may lead to complete blindness if not nipped, very soon. Also, the importance of pissing outside your tent, once in a while.

  22. Paul Burns says:

    Decided I’d have another go at being PM.Here’s my tertiary education policy.
    1.Make all universities free for all students.
    2.Provide adeqate funding for universities so they could be free.This includes immense extra funding for all faculties, including Arts.
    3.Double academic salaries.
    4.Provide 500 top mid-career reseach grants for each university.Increase number of said grants if lobbied to do so.
    5.Instruct university admin that academics rule, OK?
    6.Do all of the above for TAFES.
    7.Hope like hell the electorate wasn’t so well-educated through the above policies they’d chuck me out of office at the next election.

  23. phil says:

    1) Show trials as above, except not quite so show.
    2) Legislation with a three year sunset clause to reintroduce the stocks in public spaces.
    3) Back up one and make sure we have sufficient public spaces – may need to nationalise some of what’s been stolen recently.
    4) Arm citizens appropriately (tomatoes, mangoes, squashy stuff) and remind them that the economy is there to serve them, not vice versa, not matter what they have been told.
    4a) Remind citizenry who told them differently, point at stocks if necessary.
    5) Governor-General shouts “go!”, in a non-political way.
    5a) Change Governor-general if current one doesn’t quite catch the ‘vibe’ of 1-4a.

  24. Armagnac Esq says:

    Paul, I assume you’ll triple the defence budget as well…

  25. Andyc says:

    If I were PM…

    1. Resign in favour of Paul Burns, and go back to academia! 🙂

  26. David Rogers (Doesn't everyone?) says:

    1. Smoke a good spliff
    2. Draft a new Tax Act on the back of an envelope
    3. Apply a means test to all government payments
    4. Give anyone vilified over the last eleven years an enduring power of attorney over their vilifier
    5. Conduct a referendum on abolishing electorates and introducing proportional representation in the lower house

  27. Katz says:

    5. Conduct a referendum on abolishing electorates and introducing proportional representation in the lower house

    You don’t need a referendum,

    Section 29 – Electoral divisions
    Until the Parliament of the Commonwealth otherwise provides, the Parliament of any State may make laws for determining the divisions in each State for which members of the House of Representatives may be chosen, and the number of members to be chosen for each division. A division shall not be formed out of parts of different States.

    In the absence of other provision each State shall be one electorate.

  28. Paul Burns says:

    Dear Lp-ers,
    Thank you for your vote of confidence.
    Re Defence policy. Yeah, I’d probably have to quadruple it, because I guess I’d be in lots of trounle with the Japanese and the Indonesians.But who cares. JWH has already shown me that economic and moral responsibilty is no part of being PM.
    Being PM has gone to my head in a big way by now, just like it did with my predecessor, so here’s my cultural policy.
    1.Restore the Keatings.
    2.Name the PM’s History Prize the Howards.Award it to the most leftwing gay environmentalist Aboriginal Socialist Union supporting working class historian in the country and get JWH ro present on my behalf.[a joke]
    2.Restore the Public and Educational Lending Right as a lfelong grant to all published Australian authors.
    3.Ensure the performing arts are adequately funded to the point that company managers can concentrate on presentung theatre, opera, dance, music, circus etc without having to worry about money. Do the same for the film industry.
    4. Provide a living wage for all creative artists, based on the recommendation either of their peers or mentors.
    By this time I guess the country would be bankrupt, so I’d end up sacked, collect my parliamentary super and go and research some family history in Yorkshire, England, or in West Ireland, (assuming I hadn’t been justifiably locked up as a power mad mrgalomaniac, a fate my equally reprehensible predecessor has escaped, because, really, I’m an old softie at heart.)

  29. nasking says:

    Declare 25th of November a National Holiday…”Free of Fascism, Return of the Long Weegend Day”…to be taken this year on Monday. Provide on that day a free slab of beer for every citizen over 18. A free straw for over 90s. A free cd of any Aussie band/artist of your choice provided they haven’t appeared on Australian Idol, for citizens under 18. A free decent meal for anyone on a 457 visa.

    Chuck out the ABC Board. Draw up new media laws. Make Al Gore & David Suzuki honorary citizens. Set up a new investigation into the AWB scandal…& Siev-X disaster. Contact certain people in The Hague.

    Say “sorry” to the Aborigines…& to the population for being a piss weak opposition until Rudd came along (just kidding…kinda). Thank all the Truth Seeking, volunteer bloggers and commentors.

    and I like Nabokov’s ideas for Andrew Bartlett (hopefully he will win tho)…the Coat of Arms (“Change the motto on the Australian Coast of Arms to read “Fuck off, It’s Happy Hour”…sweet)…and a long, restful sleep (gawd bless you everyone).

    Rudd’s list sounds good too…as do plenty of others above, including comment #11 by Worst of Perth.

  30. 1. Nationalise ALL liquor outlets, and ALL food outlets (including cafes & coffee shops).
    2. Legislate so that each liquor/food outlet can only be run by a council of it’s employees, anyone who has held a supervisory or management role to be disqualified from being on the employee council.
    3. Prohibit the use of security guards/bouncers in licenced premises.
    4. Legislate so that prices are uniform nationwide.
    5. Legislate so that each food/liquor outlet must be self-funding. If costs exceed income, the outlet must liquidate, and the employees by awarded a minimum living wage raised by enforced public subscription from their neighbors.

  31. grace pettigrew says:

    All the above, plus:

    Increase the size of the High Court from 7 to 9 with the appointment of two more women judges.
    Appoint Michael Kirby as Governor-General and commission him to guide the transition to a Republic with a Charter of Human Rights.
    Fund and expand the ABC/SBS to provide at least three extra channels dedicated entirely to Children, the Arts, and Parliament.
    Improve history teaching by digitising and providing open internet access to all Parliamentary Hansards, High Court Decisions, BDM Registries and other public archives back to Federation, and the colonial period.
    Draw up a five year emergency plan for a fast transition to renewable energy, with major infrastructure investment including public transport systems.
    Remove all public welfare subsidies from the private sector and set corporations free to work harder and smarter.
    Free health and free education, and more and better trained teachers, childcare workers, doctors and nurses.
    Decouple foreign and military policy from the USA and refocus on regional support and capacity building.
    Restore Aboriginal dignity and land rights and invest properly in community development.
    Save the whales.

    Have to go now, my planet needs me.

  32. joe2 says:

    Grace, you would get my vote for P.M. if you could make SATP Ambassador to outer-Mongolia, for a start. Then legalise the mary-jane and flood Aunty with six random new board members, tout de suite.

  33. Outer Mongolia is handled by the Beijing embassy Joe2. I would happily go there & eat and drink at banquets to the beat of the government stroke. Who knows, I may even end up fluent in Mandarin & running for PM one day!

  34. GregM says:

    “To hell with what the Indonesians think, these were Australians who were killed and as PM my first duty is to protect Australians overseas.”

    No it is not. As PM your first duty would be to serve Australians at home. What happens to Australians overseas is a matter of their risk and their judgment. You would do what you can for them, but there are limits to what you can do.

    But in this specific case I agree with you. These were wanton murders and must not go unpunished, whatever the Indonesians think.

  35. Blackburn Bob says:

    1. Phone Peter Reith and sack him.

    2. Release all people in immigration detention, then sack everyone who kept them there.

    3. Abolish negative gearing, and tell landlords they are leeching bastards.

    4. Nationalise the Australian assests of news corp, and ring up Rupert and tell he’s a tool.

    5.Go round to Kirribili and serve eviction notice on Howard. Confiscate the wine cellar immediately, and drink Grange with my muddy feet on the coffee table until I throw up on the rug.

    I wouldn’t have to have a big splif, as I wouldn’t have come down from election night.

    My serious point is I suspect Rudd has many of the same feelings (in a sober, temperate way) but the man’s self control is uncanny. I would make a very, very bad PM.

  36. […] Larvatus Prodeo already has a discussion underway about alternatives for the list. Darryl Mason anticipates a response from Dolly and perhaps some others on Team Howard, and I am inclined to agree. There is also discussion of the list at Club Troppo and Catallaxy. […]

  37. Graham Bell says:

    Grace Pettigrew [31]:
    To really set the cat among the pigeons, why not reinstate Hollingsworth as Governor General then have a Royal Commission into the circumstances of his resignation and into several other high-level appointments and resignations? I’m sure a herd of silks would rush forth to defend the honour of ex-Prime Munister Howard, on a pro bono basis, of course, at such a royal commisssion. [[damn! can’t find an emoticon for “shock-horror” ]]

    SATP [33]:
    Errr, isn’t our Ambassador to Mongolia sitting in Tokyo, not Beijing? Let’s know if you want an off-sider for that banqueting job, will you? 🙂

    Forget about learning to speak fluent Mandarin, Steve ATP, that’s one skill that Australian business definitely does not want at all. Besides, our “Yes, Minister” public servants would be heartbroken if their tame politicians understood what was being said to them and around them.

  38. Tokyo? Wow! Much prefer it to Beijing, especially if someone else is footing the bill! My affinity for Japan runs much deeper than any for China. Have spent much more of my life in Japan than in China. Wouldn’t have to battle with learning Mandarin, and I could become to the Ginza what Don Dunstan was to the nightlife of Adelaide. Woo Hoo!

  39. mbahnisch says:

    Ah, there you have it. Everyone will get their heart’s desire under a Rudd government! 😉 I’m sure my lingering cold thingy is going to go away on Sunday. And I expect the drought to break.

  40. nasking says:

    “And I expect the drought to break.”

    I think you’re on to a winner with that prediction Mark.

    But then we have to work out why we get drought whenever John Howard is in government. Karma?…or motivating our neighbors like Indonesia & Malaysia to rape the land & create thick smoke clouds?…over-mining?…or perhaps Cheney & Halliburton have a secret underwater lab that screws with the water temperature in some areas of the Pacific…& now the Dems have power in Congress they’ve found him out & told him to stop being a nasty boy & turn off his drought making machine…?…:)

  41. Paul Burns says:

    Na, nasking. Its the Mandate of Heaven. Is withdrawn under Lib governments and restored under Labor ones.

  42. Pavlov's Cat says:

    “… and I could become to the Ginza what Don Dunstan was to the nightlife of Adelaide.”

    I wouldn’t advise it. I really wouldn’t.

  43. nasking says:

    “Its the Mandate of Heaven. Is withdrawn under Lib governments and restored under Labor ones.”

    Strange Paul, i woulda thought during this Murdoch/Packer Dynasty, John Howard on his knees kowtowing to the Chinese leadership at APEC & signing contracts to send off every valuable resource including the brick sh*t house from black stump woulda kept the Heaven’s happy. Musta thought him an unwise Ruler eh?

    Confucius say: Before Liberal embark on a journey of non-stop Leadership in-fighting, dig two graves.

    and: The superior Treasurer, when resting in hammock, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of Homeland Security he does not forget the possibility of interest rate increases. When all is prosperous thanks to smoke and mirrors, he does not forget that housing affordability crisis & oily but banana-coloured tsunami may come. Thus his Messiah-like status is not endangered, and his States and all their corporate clans are preserved without resorting to ‘blame shifting’.

  44. Graham Bell says:

    “A week is a long time in politics” so three months would seem like eternity.

    Here are my suggestions for Day One; all achievable:

    1. Slow down the haemorrhage of public money to the crooks and scoundrels by reversing the privatization of the former Commomwealth Public Service.

    2. Send in the best wheelers-&-dealers in the whole country to negotiate the return of all captured Australian military personnel following the U.S. collapse.

    3. Give the U.S. Congress the option of impeaching Bush and Cheney right now or arranging for all their diplomatic contact with the Commonwealth Of Australia to be carried out through the Lesotho High Commission in Canberra. That’s a generous choice, isn’t it?

    4. Launch full-blown investigations into Immigration and into Veterans’ Affairs.

    5. Sign Kyoto. Apologize to Aborigines for all the evil committed against them since 1-1-1901. Abolish WorkAbuses. Abolish the Pro-Terrorism laws. Ask for workable counter-terrorism laws to be drafted by the end of the week. Have morning tea. Hold first press conference as Prime Minister. Deal with Items 1~4 above. Have lunch with wife. ….

    It’s going to be a fairly busy day for Prime Minister Rudd.

  45. Graham Bell says:

    Steve at The Pub [38]:
    Ginza? You must be filthy rich. One lingering beer in Nippori or Ikebukuro would be all my wallet could handle …. but if someone else is footing the bill, I’ll have a double nip of the finest old Suntory in the house for starters thanks. Kampai! 🙂

  46. Graham Bell says:

    Oh yes, Ganbei!/Kan-pei! too 🙂

  47. David Rogers (Doesn't everyone?) says:

    Good Grace! All that and:
    1. redraft parliamentary rules to improve political discourse (making it more open, honest, respectful, genuine, accepting, on-going and creative)
    2. assign the Speaker/President roles to panels of citizens recruited like juries.

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