A moral vacuum

So Jackie Kelly reckons the Libs’ leaflet was all just a “Chaser-style prank”? And the Labor people who sprung them were union thugs? Oh, and she doesn’t know any of the people who put out the sh*t sheet, except for her hubbie, who hasn’t been expelled from the Liberal Party anyway… Way to go, Jackie. Way to spin…

Trevor Cook puts it succinctly:

An absolute disgrace. A cynical manipulation of baseless fears. The Liberal Party in NSW is a bloody mess and it ought to be disbanded and re-built from the ground-up.

But let’s let Paul Keating have the last word:

The principal reason the public should take the opportunity to kill off the Howard Government has less to do with broken promises on interest rates or even its draconian Work Choices industrial laws, and everything to do with restoring a moral basis to our public life.

Posted in federal election '07
100 comments on “A moral vacuum
  1. Mindy says:

    King Paul for Overlord and Master!

  2. kimberella says:

    That’s what I said in 96!

  3. Paul Burns says:

    Watching this particular saga unbfold is fascinating. The Libs can’t seem to decide whether to heap condemnation on the perpetrators the way everybody else is doing, or to try to milk political advantage from it. In NSW itr may be the jolt that drives voters to Labor. I do9n’t know what effect it will have in other states.
    Whast is distressing is that Kelly, and the people who did it are totally incapable of seeing they have done something very wrong. And just t5o be very clear, if ALP people did it to the Libs it would still be very wrong. Its not quite up there with dead chooks on front verandahs, horses beheaded, faesces smeared on local Laber branch secretary’s letter box and various other examples of Liberal party “humour” perpetyrated in 1975, but its getting there.

  4. Gaz says:

    All the thoughts public and secret that those of us on the left have had over the years about the absolute contempt wingnuts have had for us,have been truly vindicated.

    Scratch a conservative and under that exterior of feigned morality, you always find a red neck.They have form for it for hundreds of years,they are the left overs of medevil bully boys.

  5. Enemy Combatant says:

    “His tacit endorsement of Pauline Hanson’s racism during his first government, his WASP-divined jihad against refugees; those wretched individuals who had enough faith in us to try and reach us in old tubs, while his wicked detention policy was presided over by that other psalm singer, Philip Ruddock.”

    One dessicated coconut..(check)



    Wouldn’t miss El Rodente’s ACT presser today for quids. It has a certain kind of “That’s All, Folks” appeal and promises much, much more in a Birnam Wood coming to Dunsinane kinda way.

  6. Paul Burns says:

    Actually, I’ll miss the speech, but there’s no way I’ll miss the Q&A at 1pm. The next Howard speech I watch on purpose will be the concession speech on Saturday night.

  7. Gaz says:

    Wouldn’t miss El Rodente’s ACT presser today for quids.

    Yea well I would,the man makes me ill to look at.

  8. Kymbos says:

    Just quickly on Howard’s ‘wicked detention policy’, wasn’t that policy bequeathed to Howard by Keating himself?

  9. anthony says:

    I only caught the end of the interview but was there to see Laurie Oakes genuinely filled, to the point of trembling, with rage and disgust.

  10. Sam Clifford says:

    The Liberals are trying to explain it away as a “Chaser style prank”? Well, the boys from the Chaser aren’t engaged in a political campaign to try and save their necks or trying to influence the outcome of an election in a marginal seat by putting out false campaign material. Sorry, Liberals, this is even more on the nose than anyone could claim the “Eulogy Song” was.

    This would be on par with the ALP putting out flyers as if they were the Liberals in which they talk about how they’ll happily deport anyone who looks vaguely Middle Eastern. If this were to happen the Liberals would be taking the ALP to the High Court.

    Names ought to be named in this case and a heavy fine is probably in order.

  11. David Rubie says:

    You can listen to at least one of the disgraceful interviews Jackie Kelly did on the ninemsn website.

    There is no room in public life for the kind of filthy behaviour this represents.

    The prospective Liberal candidate for Lindsay can be contacted at karen@karenchijoff.com,
    let her know how you feel.

  12. Paul Norton says:

    This sort of thing would be bad enough if it was done by a couple of too-smart-by-half 20 year old Liberal students. But those repsonsible for perpetrating and attempting to excuse this behaviour are men and women of mature years, one of the perpetrators reportedly being a member of the NSW Liberal State Executive, another being the husband of a Federal MP, and the Federal MP herself treating the whole thing as a great jape. One wonders whether Kelly will still front up on the Channel 7 panel on Saturday night or whether she’ll have died of shame in the meantime.

  13. David Rubie says:

    Paul Norton wrote:

    One wonders whether Kelly will still front up on the Channel 7 panel on Saturday night or whether she’ll have died of shame in the meantime.

    She is shameless Paul, she doesn’t think there is anything wrong with what happened. The real question is will Channel 7 be dumb or partisan enough to have a stupid, racist bitch on television on their election telecast. That’s the interesting question.

  14. gandhi says:

    The next Howard speech I watch on purpose will be the concession speech on Saturday night.

    Anyone expect it to be decent, conciliatory and magnanimous? Anyone???

  15. Jack Robertson says:

    There’s an apt symmetry to this. Kelly’s win in Lindsay became talismanic to the whole bogus “anti-Keating, anti-elitist, Howard Battler’ grand narrative that has been central to rendering the grubby JH era both coherent and ‘respectable’, in Paul Kelly pundit terms, at the national pundit-bubble level. The knockabout soccer mum Kelly image and the Lindsay aspirational-battler narrative was key to JH eventually transcending his early Pauline Hanson springboarding – the race-baiting bits, especially. The myth developed very quickly in the wake of an overcooked reaction to Hanson (which never-the-less still looks morally preferable to what followed).: suddenly it wasn’t dog-whistle appeals to nasty sentiment that made him so popular among voters who ought really have recognised the Howard Libs’ regressive, anti-battler true nature – oh no. It was the way the likes of plucky aspirational-battler icon Jackie was ‘in tune’ with the ‘peeble’. It was plausible. It was timely. It was reassuring to a lazy punditry in Canberra (who otherwise might have had to get into electorates to see the complexity and contradiction in what was really driving the pro-Howard swings, ie like Margo Kingston did). It melded in nicely with the business communities’ increasingly unchecked gleeful gambol back towards 19th century exploitation, and it allowed vast swathes in the decent middle class to ‘wish away’ shabby and unprecedented political immoralities that began cropping up with alacrity – Tampa, Pacific Solution, Iraq, ‘terror war’ civil rights erosion, government corruption – by situating each speficic tawdry step down the path-of-least-electoral resistance towards the gutter into the prophylactic context of an (egregious, contrived – but plausible) ‘ameliorating’ Greater Moral Meta-narrative: the oldest democratic con in the book, staking a claim to moral respectibility through mere electoral popularity. This naturally involves – in the end, coming soon – the greatest of all democratic betrayals, blaming the ‘peeble’ themselves for the gutter predicament into which you’ve cynically led them. And, of course, abandoning them there. (Bye bye, John – have a good time on the global Conservative Hero cicuit. Thanks for everything. C**t.)

    The Howard’s Battler riff – and all the anti-intellectual usuals that flowed there-from – was always bullshit. Howard won Lindsay – and all the others – because its voters were increasingly bewildered by the pace and scale of economic restructuring, and the social changes that came with that. The Howardistas, aping the republicans’ take-over of the South’s democrat heartland in the US in the 80’s, channelled that anxiety into the Culture Wars, blaming darkies, poofs, feminists, unions, cultural elites, blah blah blah…for social and civic cracks in the post-friedman western world that should long ago have be sheeted home to the same old greed and short-termism capitalism’s economic elites will always – always – slither towards, sooner or later. Channelling voter angst in exactly the wrong direction in ’96 was hardly a challenge given Paul Keating’s admirable -and deeply respectul-of-the-battler – but imprudent refusal to kiss their ass and condescend them into stupid lemming oblivion and impotence with snake oil slogans and populist grievance-boosting. But doing just that has been the nauseating blueblood tactic of choice for locking the lower scum into servitude in this dishonest, self-deluding ‘egalitarian’ country since John Macarthur suckholed to the ‘peeble’ the better to render the ‘peeble’s’ real best hope – HM government – impotent, the better to leave the ‘peeble’ naked and ripe or exploitation. The rich will always reach around and stroke your cock with platitudes about ‘aspiration’ and various economic isms when they’re giving you a good fucking. Alas, it’s almost always the pig-stupid, morally-preening middle classes – most Australians now – who buy it.

    Well, it’s those same mugs who’ll have to cop the truth about Their Hero sweet now – about ourselves, our nation, who we really are, who we’ve become as a people. It’s not pretty. And I don’t give a fuck who objects to being told it’s – we’e – not pforetty. We’re an ugly type of ‘peeble’ now, my fellow Australians. We’ve surrendered to our ugly side. The ugly, ugly truth we’re all gunna be lumped with in the Howard hangover years, once JH is gone and can no longer huff and puff out the sanitising fragrances of high office – nor hide his base true nature behind the media suckholery that comes with it – is this: the Howard-haters were pretty much right, after all. Not that that excuses us, either. We’re all in this together, folks. We’ve made The Little C**t our second-longest PM – maybe even the longest, I am not at all sure he won’t win again on the same old basis, 2-6 seats short, I fear, not least because nasty defensive spoiler tactics like this one will have been going on all over the marginal shop for weeks now) – basically because he’s proved willing to do all the nasty things our better angels won’t countenance, but in times of anxiety we’d rather jolly well like someone do on our prissy behalves, quietly but ruthlessly: keep out the nigger, bomb the ay-rab, keep the creepy faggot away from our kiddies, lock up the disquieting dissenter and lob away the key, silence the noisy yobs, keep the peace, hold the scary line, lock ’em up, punch the Other, kick, scratch, block, fence out, control, control, control…keep the scary world of our own selfish making away the fuck from us.

    Chickens, roost, etc. I hope nobody feels remotely proud of ourselves on 25th. Whatever happens, it’s far too late to claim that luxury for any Australians. We’re not a nice nation anymore. Suck it up and deal.

  16. Beppie says:

    The Liberal Party has gone beyond shooting themselves in the foot. They are now voluntarily amputating their own legs…

  17. Kackie Jelly taking her cue from Ovaringtone

  18. jape says:

    Call me a conspiracy theorist, but…

    What’s the takeout among the undecideds who by definition are not that interested in politics but who can be spooked by notions of Muslim hordes putting mosques in their backyards and invading “their” beaches? Regardless of author, that’s the impression – and it’s deliberate. All within an envelope of plausible deniability. And every denial reinforces the intended message. Rather than blowing the whistle and spreading the racist message nationally, Labor would have been wiser to ignore the bait until after the election.

  19. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    It’s unfolding all right: Ken Higgs, ex-Liberal Party worker revealed on ABC’s The World Today a history of bogus how-to-vote material engineered by Jackie Kelly’s “team” to create fraudulent electorate material in the last campaign.

  20. anthony says:

    I think jape, that Cronulla was the national equivalent of being taken out the back and forced to smoke a packet of Malborough Reds. A few crafty puffs of racist lites just aren’t going to quite so smooth any more.

  21. Su says:

    Andrew Robb was beyond disgusting last night on Lateline; assuming faux outrage and demanding an apology from Penny Wong.

    What is it with the libs and their fucked up notion of who has to apologize to whom. Gaah!

  22. Mindy says:

    John Howard’s speech is on now.

  23. joe2 says:

    I missed some of it Sir Henry but some suggestion that the husband of Karen Chijoff, the new liberal candidate, has involvement in this as well. If I heard it right. If so, that makes it a very big deal.

  24. mick says:

    Why does John Howard insist on telling us what it is that we want and believe in? I already know what I want and believe in, I don’t need to be lectured about it.

  25. mick says:

    He’s most proud of his record on unemployment? Really?

  26. mick says:

    Oh, cool he’s playing the union card again!

  27. David Rubie says:

    Shanahan asked an actual question instead of offering his tongue to the PM’s behind. F*cking amazing.

  28. Peterc says:

    I was amazed at Shamahams question too. Howard has rubbed his nose, mentioned “broad generalities” many times at attempted to talk UP the NT intervention as “good change”. I think him playing the “don’t risk a change of government card” is ill advised – as this is the mood of the electorate. AT LAST a question on climate change. Waiting for the answer.

  29. Peterc says:

    He thinks that we must to something on climate change, but thinks the highlight is Garrett and Rudd supporting “his” policy on climate change. Go long on smoke and mirrors. No real answer of substance, because they are doing nothing.

  30. Peterc says:

    More on the flyer – this is really sucking oxygen out of Howard’s pitch. Could be the last nail in his coffin? Howard “look look look” “what more can I do . . ” clapping – who the f*ck is clapping?

  31. Peterc says:

    Grattan asked an incisive question about the husband (leaflets) working on the wife’s campaign – so he is not “separate” as claimed by Howard. He is fudging the answer. 2nd question – is Rudd a national security risks? Howard: Rudd is an economic risk, and “better than Latham” on national security. But there are still “unreformed views” about ASIO and the US govt.

  32. Peterc says:

    Another question on succession to Costello – Howard says there will be “broad continuity” on policies – this was dorothy dixer.

  33. Peterc says:

    Brissendon said that Keating made a similar statement about “changing the govt changes the country”. Howard agreed. But “this is not an angry election campaign, and not a dirty one”. According to him “people don’t want a change” and “won’t speculate about defeat”.

    Glen Milne asking question about race relations – building bridges to Muslim community.

    Howard doesn’t believe racism is a Liberal attitude of mind (hasn’t noticed Andrew’s recent pronouncements about Sudanese apparently). Islamic extremism is a problem, but don’t blame Islam as a whole (first time he has said this?)

  34. David Rubie says:

    The last set piece of JHo’s election campaign, totally rooted by his good luck talisman (thanks jack robertson). This is the sweetest NPC speech of all, every second question about leaflets in Lindsay.

  35. Kymbos says:

    Is that Janet Albrechtsen in the background saying ‘hear, hear’ after every sentence from Howard?

  36. Peterc says:

    Must be, there is a cheer squad there. Howard was given a “short term memento” – a bottle of wine. Most questions about leadership and the leaflet. These won’t play well for them.

  37. Jack Robertson says:

    No, that presser made me just….ill. My wife, who’s from Ipswich, has said all along that Howard will win again, on the same old nasty tactics. I think she’s right, now. I really think that even such ugly and obvious (and sprung) spoiler tactics will do more the Libs – in the crucial handful of marginals that will see Labor fall short – than not in the current political and ethical climes.

    Sorry, by the way, for the rant. This whole ‘ALP supports Bali bombers’ thing brings back lousy memories of the way even Bob Carr used this trope for cynical political ends, against Margo K. That’s what meant to get at when I said that Howard has led us all down the gutter…post 9/11 in Oz, it’s now scarcely blink-worthy, as a tactic, when anyone starts to slag off opponents on such unconscionable grounds; in ways that, even in Keating’s most vitriolic moments under pressure, he would have held back on: race, terror ‘appeasement’, weakness in the face of national threats…when both sides start to see such ugly ‘terms of debate’ as acceptable, and a press gallery that attacks it from a perspective that is also largely ‘political-tactical’ rather moral or ethical…you know you’ve got a ‘changed’ national vibe that’s going to transcend a change of government. I think, anyway.

    There are really major soul-searching days ahead. Sorry again for excess of rant (even for me).

  38. Sans Blog says:

    More on th e leaflet: it’s just been announced on the radio news that another senior Liberal party member, the husband of the Liberal candidate for Lindsay, is also involved as is the husband of the current Liberal MP.

  39. amused says:

    Well it’s a bit late for the Press Gallery to wax indignant now isn’t it? I mean this tactic is simply the ‘below the radar’ version of Howard’s whole political style and approach since he was elected. Where was the Press Gallery when exactly the same tactic was employed in western Sydney in 2001 and 2004?

    I am so over these overpaid layabouts, plucking up their courage, all ‘going Howard’ like the ‘mob’ they really are, once they think it is safe to do so. Talk about unionists and ‘collectives’. I have never seen a ‘hive’ as tight as a bunch of well paid, well fed and well watered journos. Makes a mass meeting look like a bunch of libertarians-come to think of it….

    And yes, one of the thugs involved in this little caper is indeed the hubby of the current candidate. She was a policewoman, and Jackie Kelly was in the Air Force. Oh dear.

  40. Mr Denmore says:

    Great rant, Jack Robertson.

    The lie at the heart of the Howard era was that he had a direct connection to the native wisdom of the “volk”. And his cheerleaders ran with this line to skewer any protest as the voice of a effete and over-educated “elite”.

    Now, finally, the public can see that his “aspirationals” were a nasty, vicious and vocal minority prepared to defraud the electoral system in their desparation to stay relevant when neo-con global tide of fear started to recede.

    The beast Howard created has now been washed up unprotected on the shore and it is a particularly ugly sight. The nation now needs to have a long, hard look at itself.

    If the Libs are somehow re-elected after all this, we really have no excuses left.

  41. Debbie (aussie) says:

    Wow! Absolutely great rant Jack. I am from Ipswich, and gawd I hope your wife is wrong.
    ‘If the Libs are somehow re-elected after all this, we really have no excuses left.’ so true, and so sad. I really don’t understand a great many of my fellow Australians and their very unfounded fears.

  42. jo says:

    like you jack, i have no doubt that the dirt, lies and smears mixed together with liberal amounts of rancid pork fat is having an effect esp. in the marginals.

    but whether it will be enough to overcome the best education system in the world, fixing our hospitals, solar panels, windmills, kites flying, birds singing and children gaily skipping towards their bright global future…

    only two more sleeps to to find out.

    but as you say, the stench will remain whatever happens on Sat. the new broom being pushed by Mr Sheen will need to be working overtime for some years to dislodge the encrusted rat droppings and rodent nests which have infested the whole joint for too many years now.

    my 10 year old daughter asked me last night, if the Greens wanted children to have sex and take drugs, cause that is what a Year 6 kid had told her….we live in wentworth. as you say jack – “We’re not a nice nation anymore.”

  43. Su says:

    The far right christian groups have been really successful with pushing that message, every second person I meet says something similar and invariably I find they work with people who attend evangelical churches. My local rag, sensing this safe Nat seat could conceivably go to labor have been pushing the CDP candidate while running the usual “legalized drugs” lie about our Green candidate.

    Lo’ Jack Robertson I really hope you are wrong on this.

  44. Sir Henry Casingbroke says:

    Viewers at Home! We have flipped into the parallel universe. The Daily Telegraph front page says:

    Fair enough. But where is Akerman?

  45. David Rubie says:

    They distracted Akerman with a pie before fixing the front page story, Sir Henry.

  46. Sans Blog says:

    I’ve got to say I’m shocked and surprised by the Telegraph’s front page at the moment: the last thing I expected. Will all Murdoch papers do the same?


  47. jinmaro says:

    yes, Jack. You are right about what we have become. No-one and nothing has been immune from the contamination. How could they/we be? And for many, Australia has provided comfortable lifestyles and attractive, achievable options that make it an easy place to deceive, deny, excuse, and distract ourselves from the truth about the human, social and planetary cost of what has been going on.

    We’re not entirely or even majorly to blame, of course, individually or collectively, as I think you understand. I don’t believe we live in a genuine democracy. Perhaps this is as good as it gets.

    But we do need to acknowledge the truth about what we have become, individually and collectively in the recent past — definitely something uglier and much dimimished – and, as you say, we need to suck it up, babe, as doing so is a completely necessary *pre-condition* for getting into a headspace/place which can allow us to find the ways we can help to undo (is that too much to hope for?) some of the damage.

  48. GoTroppo says:

    “… distracted (Piers) with a pie …” – David, that made my day!

  49. Megan says:

    Unfortunately it’s out there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this dog whistling works for the Coalition. Oh come on, it was just a silly prank wasn’t it? Why get so politically correct about it?

  50. Gaz says:

    “Comment by Megan’

    Your taking the piss right?

  51. jinmaro says:

    yes, Howard’s mock-testy, almost hail-fellow-well-met rebuffs today to the journalists’ Lindsay interrogation (why did no-one ask him why wasn’t he asking the Lib candidate or Ms Kelly to repudiate the leaflet’s content and intent?) at the NPC was, on reflection, completely in character: momentarily and on the surface almost convincing, but at heart a completely inadequate and passionless repudiation of a very dark humanity that Howard epitomises to a T.

  52. Gaz says:

    “at the NPC was, on reflection, completely in character: momentarily and on the surface almost convincing, but at heart a completely inadequate and passionless repudiation of a very dark humanity that Howard epitomises to a T.’

    And the sighs from some of the jou/prostitutes was palpable,when some questions wern’t to some of their liking.

    I despair at the media in this country.

  53. CK says:

    But you really have to wonder how it will play in Bennelong…

  54. Anna Winter says:

    I think it should be also made very clear that the pamphlet appears to have been produced on a risograph machine.

    Very few people have these at home, but every federal MP in the country has one in their office.

  55. Frank Calabrese says:

    [Very few people have these at home, but every federal MP in the country has one in their office.]

    Which Ms Kelly would have access to until Saturday – or at least a sympathetic Senator who’s term hasn’t ended.

  56. CK says:

    I heard JK on AM, which was bad enough, but have just watched the interview on 9 this morning. She is a either a first-class dipstick, drunk, or both.

    Leaflet “Prompted by the right motivations”? WTF?

    It beggars belief that she may or may not have known anything about this, and, as a purely personal opinion, it sounded to me like she was lying through her teeth.

    Clearly the wheels have fallen off the Libs campaign diesel motor machine in NSW.

    Any campaign worth its salt would have had her placed on a CIA jet and whisked-off to destinations unknown at about 10.00pm EST last night.

  57. jinmaro says:

    But wasn’t it spooky too how Glenn Milne, Laura Tingle, Michelle Grattan, Dennis Shanahan et al asked questions of Howard at this last press conference that were pretend-independent-bolshie-probing-embarrassing?

    Pack animal stuff writ large.(Pack-animal behaviour is one of the most sickening legacies of the Howard’s years and you see it everywhere, fair dinkum. Though there’re always refuseniks – it’s a human thing – and more power to them, always.)

    These pathetic, bloated, talentless, insensate blowhard professional journalists have finally sniffed the wind, maybe. Or have they? Jumping ship or hedging bets? In the end, at this point, who cares.

    Lib-Lab Right clones (the Lib’s Jackie Kelly or comparable NSW ALP anti-Greens dirty tricks’ mistress, Cherie Burton (to give just one example), make our (deliberate pronoun) skin crawl.

    Naughty ABC: Did you note on the 7.30 Report, Howard’s raised, inverted, clenched fists, ( Michelangelo, where are you when we need you?) as he stated that the campaign trail had given him no reason to think that this was an angry election campaign?

    To die for, classic moment. Poignant, even.

  58. Gaz says:

    “Any campaign worth its salt would have had her placed on a CIA jet and whisked-off to destinations unknown at about 10.00pm EST last night.”

    Is that before or after water boarding?

  59. Andyc says:

    Jack Robertson (15): yes, great rant.

    I must admit, though, that my first reaction was self-righteous anger. I’ve been dealing with this crap longer than most, since I was in the UK in 1979 when Thatcher got in, while most of you were basking in the relatively benign years of Fraserdom. After 15 years, I despaired of the Brits’ ability or will to shake off Thatcher and her glove-puppet successor, left family and friends, and came here just in time for the Hewson-Downer-Howard Liberal leadership roll and restoration of Coalition electability.

    I’ve had over quarter of a century of trying to be an academic scientist in an environment of constant education cuts, being dragged into complicity with dubious wars, having civil liberties infringed in two countries. I have written, marched and spoken against the bastards throughout, as well as helping with various practical remedies (hiding people’s belongings from the bailiffs during the Poll Tax Terror, etc).

    So my reaction was: don’t lump ME in with those f*ckwit Howard voters!

    And then I thought: when did I learn to hate like I do now? When did I learn to despise like I do now? When did I become prepared to write off nearly half the country as virtually subhuman?

    You and jinmaro are right. I now have some ugly traits. I have been contaminated.

    But let’s not overdo the self-flagellation. It is uncharismatic, and won’t persuade anyone.

    But then if they still need persuading…

  60. CK says:

    No Gaz, I was thinking more like Nauru.

    And jinmaro, having just watched NPC, he knows he’s fucked. It was a defense of his career. An elegy. An appeal to history – and everyone there knew it.

    It wasn’t poignant. It was pathetic.

    He looked pathetic. His argument was pathetic, and the Ladies Who Lunch were pathetic.

    Despite the narrative about ‘no-one’s coming after us with baseball bats’, well guess what happened today: Lindsay, journos, public, baseball bats.

    He’s so comprehensively fucked that nothing will redeem him or his reputation.

  61. joe2 says:

    Just in case some have not seen the grubby work.

  62. Andyc says:

    joe2 – thanks for the link to the leaflet. What a crock. And I’d bet that the mispelt slogan at the bottom counts as sacrilege.

    These people are obviously complete idiots. Kelly’s pathetic attempt on RN this morning to simultaneously deny knowledge and defend this ‘jape’ was laughable. As is the way that they still think that we are all gullible cretins, and that they have a right to rule despite having nothing to offer except blatant lies and incompetently managed stunts.

    If they aren’t wiped out on Saturday, I’ll give up any hope of understanding mass psychology in Australia.

  63. Liam Hogan says:

    >Very few people have these at home, but every federal MP in the country has one in their office.

    It’s the grainy blue, AW. Unmistakeable.

    I just hope they had as much frustration kicking the useless fucking thing to make it work as I’ve had every time I’ve tried to fire one up. I swear (to “Ala”, who I testify is my only God) that those machines are a sight less reliable than the 1982 Corolla I once tried to drive around Tasmania with the use of only the first two gears. Crunch, curse, kick, curse, rev, clutch, curse, kick. Hell of a way to see an island, though it *was* lovely.

    I have to say I find this whole affair hilarious on a number of levels inexplicable to most of the population. Suck shit NSW Liberal Right, because win or lose next Saturday, I would put money on them being the victims of the Liberal Party’s first ever Federal intervention.

  64. Megan says:

    “Comment by Megan’

    Your taking the piss right?

    Gaz, Of course I’m taking the piss!!!!!!!!!

    You know how those Jackie Kelly types carry on? Snow White on the outside and all racist ignorance within. Actually it would surprise me greatly if she didn’t know what her husband was up to.

  65. Gaz says:

    “Gaz, Of course I’m taking the piss!!!!!!!!!”

    Thank God for that! No worries. and Sorry!

  66. Nabakov says:

    I’m genuinely intrigued by some technical graphic design issues here. Why choose a light blue that doesn’t photocopy well? Did someone’s printer run out of all colour cartridges except cyan?

    Never mind all the moral, ethical and legal issues here, the sheer shoddy execution of the project and its hapless denouement ( I mean, photographed trying to conceal your face with a copy of the material in question?) does not argue well for competence as a selling point for re-election.

    Now the Costello-Kennett “letter” carefully leaked to a panicky Ralph Willis – that was a dirty tricks masterpiece. If the Libs can’t come up with that calibre of ratfucking anymore, then they’re really not the mob with the wit and spit to manage Australia for what will be a very strange next decade or so.

    A decade that will be dominated by China and India.

    Compare and contrast the Coalition’s overwhelmingly negative black and primary colours campaign, bespattered by hamfisted smears and clumsy tripwires with the ALP’s airy, substance-free, white T-shirts and beaches, Kevin is heaven approach. It’s a macro replay of the Nixon-Kennedy debate. Grainy sweaty black and white Cartesian vs smooth and opaque shades of grey Taoist. One’s playing Bingo and the other’s paying Mahjong.

    Regardless of what I like about Howard/Costello and dislike about Rudd, I think only one of them really has the sly, subtle mandarin chops to productively navigate Australia through the coming decade where the BRIC grabs the globalisation baton from NAFTA and the EU.

    Can you name any major domestic policy issues which aren’t driven to one extent or another by our current and desired place in the big world ? Our next few PMs need to be supple yet ruthlessly focused global wheelers and dealers, able to play the table and not just the cards.

    It’s a whole new game out there and so we need new game players.

  67. Jack Robertson says:

    Nabakov, I’m no more a fan of rudd than you (seem to be). I agree with your general take on the next decade. But I think that your call for more ‘game players’ is a pretty brilliant if inadvertently so precis of why Ausralian politix – hell, the 21st century West – is in the mess it now is.

    My best hope for this election is that the ‘naive’ minor parties of that silly old Enlightenment notion – idealism – will register a massive swing, as a post-realpolitik repudiation of the too-clever-by-half, self-annointment ‘political grown-ups’ and ‘main game players’ repfresented by the unholy Canberra triumvurate: the Howardistas, the ALP backroomers who (may, MAY) have given us the empty anti-victory of Howard-lite me-tooism, and the smug condescension of Kellyesque pompous-punditry, who have been assuring me since I started voting in ’83 that I am a hickbilly fool for wanting decency, honesty, morality, idealism and fairness in public life.

    In any case, these ‘realpolitikians’ of the generation treating mine with contempt are no such thing: the best defence by the not-so-powerful (Australia) against the powerful (China, India), Nabs, will be the samee as it’s always been: artless, honest virtue. Unless you think humanity is essentially evil. It’s when you start playing games that you invite the serious game-players to game you into white trash servitude. That’s what’s fucked America these last few decades: amateur game-playing. Even a shabby, bit-part creep like bin Laden has run rings around the Kissinger wannabes we’ve been lumped with.

    As for Krudd…sorry, but give me Mark Latham in negotiation any day. Give me a head-on fighter, not a too-clever bullshit artist, for basically the reasons above. There’s no ‘loss’ in a loss with honour intact. And no win in a win with honour horsetraded – gamed – for baubles. One day the major party ‘hardheads’ will understand that that is how most of us outside their Canberra bubble vote.

    That’s the real ‘realpolitik’ of life, nabs. Coming home to roost at the polling booths this time, I hope. If not, soon.

  68. Kymbos says:

    Wow. Talk about fear and loathing on the campaign trail. Does this kind of self-flaggelation and vitriol happen every time Labor gets back in? I’m too young to remember any previous times…

  69. Liam Hogan says:

    I’m genuinely intrigued by some technical graphic design issues here.

    It’s printer nerd time.
    A risograph is a thing that resembles a photocopier only in general shape and size. It makes a screen copy of an original around a wide-diameter drum, and reproduces contact copies in fast-drying paint. It’s an order of magnitude faster than a photocopier because it doesn’t have to make a copy each pass, and because the paint just goes on without any electrostatic funny business. The tradeoff is lack of picture quality and the risk of picture displacement—both of which you can see on the copy obtained by the SMH.
    Re: colour. They’ve almost certainly used blue because they’ve used up black with ‘legitimate’ leaflets—not of course that the resources of a Federal Member of Parliament would ever be used for election campaigning, natch.
    I regard risographs as unreliable technology and wasteful of paper, but I’m still always impressed when they thump out pages faster than snares following bass in German 1980s techno. Thum-tsh, thum-tsh, thum-tsh. Why does evil always have to be so awesome?

  70. David Rubie says:

    Kymbos, by far and away the most critical and vitriolic attacks on the last two Labor governments came from the left. One in particular stands out for me: when Dawkins introduced HECS. The massive roar of “class traitors” emanated from the old left like a rolling winter thunderstorm, lightning bolts thrown from on-high with a biblical wrath of a methodist minister catching his own son dancing. Eleven years of conservatism has a lot of frustration built up in it, and Rudd will have to contend with hundreds of competing voices who want instant gratification in the righting of their particular wrongs. It won’t be pretty.

  71. Kymbos says:

    David, it’s a strange thing. I reckon most of us on the left have adopted an ‘anyone but Howard’ stance over the past 11 years. Now that we get more or less what we want, it’s not good enough. But really, when was anyone completely satisfied with a major party’s positioning across the board? My friends in the union movement were so disillusioned when Rudd didn’t announce a complete and immediate repeal of Workchoices. They felt sold out. But it was Hawke and Keating who sold them out years ago, and rightly so, because they couldn’t be a party exclusively for unions and lead the whole country. That hasn’t changed.

    I’m expecting to get some of what I want, but not all. Mandatory detention won’t change, and I find that galling but most people don’t, and I accept that.

    I guess my point is, the glass is half full – and I’ll drink to that.

  72. David Rubie says:

    Kymbos wrote:

    Now that we get more or less what we want, it’s not good enough.

    It will be good enough for me, at least for a little while. I too am interested in exactly what will happen with mandatory detention (although Rudd has made encouraging noises about dismantling the Pacific solution). Given that it was originally Labor party policy, I’m not sure I hold too much hope for a complete fix. However, I’m happy to hold back my own wrath until I see what Rudd and co. will do rather than what they’ve promised a nervous electorate.

    There is unfortunately a yawning chasm between what it’s possible to promise and what it’s possible to deliver, as long as most of the decisions lean toward a left-ish sensibility about what is fair and decent, a genuine sense of renewal should be apparent in our government. I’m hopeful, in other words. Like you perhaps, with a half full glass, but at least it now contains clear water rather than muddy sludge.

  73. Nabakov says:

    With all due respect Jack I do believe that the world we will all be living over the next few decades, which while will obviously benefiting in terms of frank and fearless interstate dialogue drawn from the kind of forthright analysis and pragmatic summations that you offer vis a vis the current geopolitical landscape, may also find additional and welcome space in which to productively maneuver over issues that are only now impinging on the radar of all still administratively coherent nationally-based economic entities that understand the hard and soft infrastructure which underpins how we collaborate on developing value-added products and services within a propriety-focused framework endorsed by responsible members of the global community. I am sure you find yourself in agreement with the principle that it is not appropriate to endorse, even through inaction, extra-national ventures that would slow our ability to effectively work with you on developing a climatically volatile and resource-rich economic zone of influence, extending from here to here (whips out iPhone displaying google earth mashup), in which we have both vested so much current and future development activities for our mutual prosperity. Another maotai Prime Minister?


    Rogue elements of our Economic Warfare Bureau have been corrupted by those Russian Business Network bastards and are threatening to collapse our entire Government intranet unless we declare Jilin Province an autonomous Free Trade Zone/Pirate Haven. Now if you quietly take out in a utterly deniable way, one of their main data servers in Vanuatu (it’s your backyard after all), we’ll back you up to the hilt against NAFTA and SAFTA over the fishing rights negotiations for Antarctic Treaty V.2 Not a word to the Japanese or the People’s Republic of Kolkata though, Ok? Another maotai Prime Minister?

    You think I’m joking Jack. Well just watch what happens over the next decade. Artless, honest virtue will buy you nothing in the next great game to be played – control of Antarctic region resources from fish to hydrocarbons. Australia’s way forward here I reckon is to be a smart, well-padded up and coyly neutral middleman a la Sweden in the Northern Hemisphere. But with better beaches and less bureaucracy.

    Howard wouldn’t where to start here and Latham wouldn’t know where to stop. On the other hand a Middle Kingdom clued up PM and Penny Wong as Foreign Minister would throw the rest of ’em for a loop.

  74. Nabakov says:

    Damn, it’s this kinda of unexpected expertise that keeps me coming back to the blogotubes.

  75. Liam Hogan says:

    My pleasure, Mister Nabakov.
    Get friendly with a Federal staffer, sweet talk ’em real good, and they might even let you in the office after hours and let you get acquainted with their amazing reproduction machines. Mmmyeah.
    Wait until you see the four-tray triple-folding envelope-stuffing and sealing folding machines though. Unbelievable until you see one going.

  76. Nabakov says:

    “Wait until you see the four-tray triple-folding envelope-stuffing and sealing folding machines though.”

    I have, and stood there in awe of human ingenuity – until I heard the wine cork go pop in the next room.

  77. Anna Winter says:

    I have, and stood there in awe of human ingenuity – until I heard the wine cork go pop in the next room.

    You say that like the two are mutually exclusive. I find both folding machines and risos work better with booze.

    Also, I think you are being way too harsh on the poor riso, Liam. It just takes a bit more effort but works of art can happen.

  78. Liam Hogan says:

    It just takes a bit more effort but works of art can happen.

    Perhaps. I reckon Andy Warhol would have given his left nut for a couple of hours in a room alone with one, but then that’s Warhol, isn’t it. Loved his tedium and numbing monotony in the service of art—that’s risography.
    I’d probably be happier giving the riso the Damien Hirst treatment: kill it, stuff it, and suspend it in a tank of water.

  79. FDB says:

    Y’know, the first word that popped into my head when I saw this pamphlet – risible.

  80. Nabakov says:

    What can I say? That’s a risoble approach to the act of creation.

    Thank you, thank you. Try the veal, it’ll be here all week.

  81. Nabakov says:

    If I hadn’t stopped to spellcheck ‘veal’, I’d have beaten you to the punch there FDB.

  82. FDB says:

    Sting like a butterfly, float like a bee, that’s me.

  83. Nabakov says:


  84. jo says:

    Surely, between Jack and Nabakov’s view of the planet, there is a seat at the table for smart, strategic AND honest and virtuous leaders.

    imvho, after 9/11, it was the golden opportunity for the UN and the entire world governing structures to be reformed and overhauled. “We are all New Yorkers now” – was thrown away like an old subway ticket in the rush to ensure a new American century. A hideous fantasy prosecuted by ugly self-interested clowns.

    And playing blackjack in rigged Macau casinos – blah!!

    I’m hoping that the GWOT will end like WW2, with an overwhelming global desire to revisit the whole United Nations thang. And for us again to reach for the stars, by ploughing through all the shit down here on earth in open, accountable and just means.

    And seeing that Australia was such a leading light back in those dark post war times, maybe again, we can provide some of the idealism that Jack is talking about.

    We* haven’t just climbed to the ‘top of the mountain and seen the other side’ – we have always lived there, halfway up Mount Olympus with the sun high in the sky, and girt by shining seas. It is our duty to tell others what the view is like up here – not to just hike down when it suits to play swappsies behind the toilet block with the school yard bullies. (we* excluding indigenous australians).

  85. Paul Burns says:

    As a Socialist I’m definitely not a big supporter of the ALP. But there is a difference between the ALP and the pack of pewling racist, poor-hating,homophic,money-worshipping Islamophobic,far right wing ideologues that now make up the Liberal party and their country clones the Nationals.
    Though, in the future I wqoll undoubtedly be making harsh criticism of the Ruddites, I still say, Give me Labor anyday, if I can’t have Socxialist Alliance or the Greens as our Government.
    The ALP seems to be among those political parties who have some inkling that economic management doesn’t mean a lot if Governments aren’t going to take action to stop the planet from dying.
    THERE IS A DIFFERENCE, and the Howard years have taught us that.
    By the way, great rave, Jack, and others. We have all been tainted but now we have a chance to wash ourselves clean. Let’s hope we take it tomorrow.

  86. Katz says:

    The Libs’ risographological* efforts ought to be acknowledged as minor masterpieces of their kind.

    Yes, the production methods are crude, but so are the use of prose, lay-out, and internal logic.

    This pamphlet was designed to look like the production of a barely literate, amateur, non-English native speaking persons. In other words, the kind of Islamic folk who:

    1. Would stir themselves to produce such a docmument.
    2. Would confirm the worries, suspicions and prejudices of the intended recipients of the pamphlet, the residents of Boronia Street.

    The document is therefore carefully constructed and is anything but a top-of-the-head stunt concocted by a couple of Canberra widowers.

    In other words, truth-seekers should dig deeper to find the true authors of this document.

    *Thanks to Liam for introducing me to the fascinating topic of risography.

  87. Liam Hogan says:

    The Risograph catalogue, for you, Katz. 180ppm: that’s faster duplication than an Alan Ramsey column.

  88. David Rubie says:

    Paul Norton’s question answered:

    Yes, the stupid racist bitch is still going to be on the telly

    What they are thinking I have no idea.

  89. joe2 says:

    Karen Chijoff is the one who should be on the telly before the election.

    If the media aren’t chasing her they are not only failing the punters in her prospective electorate but the whole Australian voting-age population. There seems to be no law to stop this kind of thing, that is in any ways effective.

  90. Helen says:

    “Wait until you see the four-tray triple-folding envelope-stuffing and sealing folding machines though.”

    STOP TALKING DIRTY, LIAM! *heavy breathing*

    My schadenfreudometer is off the charts. Just skimmed the AGE election coverage at lunch, and Michelle Grattan’s title for her Jackie Kelly piece is: “A stupid act, even for such an airhead.” LOLZ. It couldn’t have happened to a, er, nicer woman.

    How I wish I could be a fly on the wall at the Liberal after-election booze up if they lose. The invective these people will come in for will know no bounds. Again, it couldn’t happen to etc etc.

    Sorry, I’ll be Mrs. Nice again on Sunday. Till then I just want to see blood spilt. (METAPHORICAL blood, Mr Asio lefty – web site checker-upper, Sir!)

  91. joe2 says:

    And Further…

    ” The Australian Electoral Commission said it was investigating the leaflets and had referred the matter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Federal police say they are yet to launch an investigation. “When we finish that evaluation we will then make a decision about whether there should be an investigation,” an AFP spokesman said…

    Keystone cops x 2.
    It is a bloody mockery of a modern minor democracy.

  92. Anna Winter says:

    Not to distract from the richly-deserved praise due to Liam for explaining what a riso is, but I think it’s worth making the point again that this isn’t about dodgy production values as it is about the fact that pretty much the only people in the country who have regular access to these machines are politicians who get them as a tax-payer provided entitlement.

    That is, there is no way this could be a quick “joke” executed by a couple of guys. They used a machine that almost certainly belonged in a Federal Liberal MP’s office. We all paid for this disgusting pamphlet.

  93. Liam Hogan says:

    They used a machine that almost certainly belonged in a Federal Liberal MP’s office. We all paid for this disgusting pamphlet.

    …and if they aren’t smart enough to empty it, you could prove that the pamphlet was made on a particular machine by looking through the automatic bin where the used screens go.

  94. Gaz says:

    Comment by joe2 —

    Joe I would have thought from the latest revelations of late about our law enforcement agencies, most would be unlikely to be able to track a menstruating elephant in the snow.

  95. joe2 says:

    Thanks Gaz. The image will stay with me forever.

  96. Jack Robertson says:

    I don’t understand what’s so ‘wow – talk about fear and loathing’, Kymbos. Since I returned from a long time o/s, I’ve been arguing, campaigning and writing against a range of Howard policies and political tactics: chief among them, on reffos, international policy (esp Iraq), the ‘war on terror’, civil liberties, handling of race and elite v. ‘the rest’ issues, political soft corruption, CC, and general democratic disfranchising. Despite being sidelined and dismissed as a ‘Howard Hater’ for most of that time, for me Howard has been worthy of disdain solely for the policies and general sullying of public life he has overseen. About the man I couldn’t care less.

    So if – as I see it – very little in Kevin07’s campaign and policy stances suggests any real repudiation of the bulk of Howardism – substance or style – then to do any other than express similar criticisms of him would make me a hypocrite, a fairweather idealist, a cynic, and – worst of all, since it’s a label I’ve always rejected – a genuine Howard Hater revealed only in retrospect, by the way he overlooks in the ALP what he attacked in the Lib government.

    To take one example (yours): you seem inexplicably optimistic about a possible Krudd future change to the Paciic Solution. God knows why you’re willing to give him such slack, given Labor’s sorry history on MD, and given the headline/interview quotes in today’s Oz. for example, in case you’re somehow still in some doubt re: where he/Labor stands on this.

    Look, I’m all for being ‘glass half full’ when political change is in the wind, Kymbos, but only on manifest policy substance grounds, not along mere personnel/partisan lines. I was happy to be glass half full when Howard reluctantly shifted on MD in 2005;for example; and even late in the day, ie when Howard reluctantly shifted on symbolic reconciliation only last month. I’ll gladly extend rudd the same hopeful BoD when I have more grounds on which to do so than the mere ALP logo and a riff about new leadership.

    I don’t give a shit who it ‘is’ in power, Kymbos. i’m not into labels, isms, ‘left’ or ‘right’. What guvmints”ll do with power on the things that matter to me is what….well, matters to me. And I do not remotely know what Krudd will do on most of key issues which have broken my heart over the last decade. Most of the signs aren’t great, IMHO. And I’d be a charlatan and a grubby chancer not to be honest to myself about that, Kymbos, and just as vocal as I would be if Kudd was Liberal. Sorry if that to you is ‘fear and loathing’.

    I wish all anti-JH candidates nothing but success. But I’m voting Green and Green, and will be proud to hand out HTV cards for them, too. I know where they stand, flaws and all.

  97. FDB says:

    Well said Jack, at risk of giving you some kind of kudos OD.

  98. Graham Bell says:

    Nothing really new in this sort of scumbaggery.

    Quarter centuty ago, sportsmen and sports women who wanted to compete in the Moscow Olympics were smeared as “unpatiotic’ and s “Communist sympathizers”. Similarly, Viet-Nam War veterans were slandered as being “something to do with Communism” [yeah, fought against it] and “whingers” [not “resolute”], etc. ad nauseum. As for those seeking to protect our rich natural hertage from strip-mining and erosion-making, they were on a par with Attila the Hun.

    Prime Minister Fraser at least did have the guts to come into the open by rewarding, in public, those athletes who chose to stay away from th Moscow Olympics [whether that was fair or not is a different question] …. but his party were very careful to appear unconnected to the other smear campaigns.

  99. Chui says:

    If thrashing the liberals is what it takes to dislodge the xenophobic twins Kevin Andrews and Phil Ruddock from the Liberal Party, the ‘sacrifice’ would have been worth it. Getting John Howard’s scalp is the icing on the cake.

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