Phoney war dispatches

Another old thread title reactivated, for the want of a newer and better idea. It’s looking like the war won’t be phoney for long, with a growing sense that the Prime Minister will be forced to break the circuit next week by calling an election for late October. Keeping the faith is Christopher Pearson at The Australian, who still expects a “narrow Coalition victory”. This is based on the fact that Newspoll got it “horribly wrong” in 2004, when its final poll overstated the Labor vote by 1.4 per cent and understated the Coalition vote by 1.7 per cent.

Bass (Tas, Liberal 2.6%) and Lyons (Tas, Labor 3.7%): The Australian reports Shadow Environment Minister Peter Garrett has backtracked on suggestions the proposed West Tamar pulp mill would be subjected to an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, under a party policy covering new projects producing more than 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. According to reporter Matthew Denholm, this “apparently” followed “the intervention of Kevin Rudd’s office and a backlash by timber groups and pro-logging Labor MPs”. On the other side of the fence, the Liberal candidate for Lyons, Ben Quin, does not appear of a mind to back down after his party threatened him with disciplinary action for publicly stating his opposition to the mill.

Moreton (Qld, Liberal 2.8%) and Bonner (Qld, Liberal 0.7%): Labor has promised to commit “up to” $300 million to begin construction of an underpass at the junction of Mains and Kessels roads in Macgregor in Brisbane’s south. The junction is located just inside Moreton and near the boundary of Bonner. The Courier-Mail records the following reaction from embattled Moreton MP Gary Hardgrave, who claims the resumption of businesses in the area will cost thousands of jobs: “I couldn’t believe my luck. I was always going to win the seat but this now ensures the swing is on”.

La Trobe (Vic, Liberal 5.8%): While Labor is wanting for low-hanging fruit in Victoria, Rick Wallace of The Australian reports this outer eastern Melbourne electorate has been upgraded to target seat status, although “well-placed Labor sources say Labor has made greater gains in Queensland”.

Ballarat (Vic, Labor 2.2%): Labor member Catherine King suffered a self-inflicted wound last weekend when Kevin Rudd’s office ordered the withdrawal of a television ad which attacked Liberal candidate Samantha McIntosh for having a $2.2 million property on the market.

Newcastle (NSW, Labor 8.7%): The Daily Telegraph reports “prominent Newcastle businessman and city councillor Aaron Buman” is considering standing as an independent.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

403 comments on “Phoney war dispatches”

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    Two men (John and Kym) sign a lease on a house for 3 years. They could have known each other at university but that was a while ago now. They chose to live together for 3 years in this house for convenience more than anything else, neither not really knowing what else they could do with themselves.

    They do not particularly like each other, have very similar views on most things, but love to argue about the things they don’t, it passes the time of day in a cold winter. Not wanting to have to pay the entire lease cost themselves, they go to the local community centre and grab a couple of ‘room wanted’ notices, call them up (Bob and Andrew) and give them a room in the house at a rate higher than Kym and John so they end up paying less rent and congratulate each other on this tidy arrangement.

    Four men living together in a house is not going to work out for long where at least 2 are very opinionated, have a strong view of how the world should work and will not back down. The house fights are often over trivialities, rarely about things that really matter.

    Bob becomes tetchy about the other guys not putting recycle rubbish in the proper bin and people using his vegetables out of the garden without asking first. He often threatens to leave, but he does not, preferring to complain and police the disposal of rubbish around the house instead. Andrew, well he is hardly noticed.

    After 2 years, the house rules, official and unofficial, have been the subject of discussion many times but have not really changed much.

    One of the men (John) goes to the toilet a lot and can actually stand the smell of the bathroom afterwards, at least long enough to take a shower or trim his eye brows before going to work. When he does this, Kym goes off at him, forgetting that his deposits in the same room often stink too, but he can’t tell because they are his and he tolerates that.

    The other new tenant (Andrew) is actually a friend of home owner, but he has not told anyone about that. He even pays more than his reasonable share of the rent, just so he can live with these 2 men for awhile and see what they are really like. Are they who they say they are, or all froth and bubble ? He knows he has no real power to have both men kicked out of the house, so he decides to leave things as they are for a while and see what happens.

    Eventually, Kym moves out, mostly because he is tired of the fighting and tetchiness of the house, it is never a comfortable place to be for anyone really. Without a vote, the new tenant (Kevin) who was a mate of the one leaving, moves in and makes his presence felt almost immediately.

    The bathroom sink suddenly beams bright and shiny when you walk into that small room of the house, the dishes appear in the rarely used dish washer, already clean, the lawns are mowed, the utility bills are paid on time and someone has brought some bathroom deodoriser for the awkward moments when “he” has been in there again.

    But the arguments begin to get nasty and the John starts to stumble over his words and doing really bizarre things like tripping over the step out the back of the house, spending hours in the bathroom trimming his eye brows and writing letters of complaint about the new tenant that no one bothers to read any more.

    These letter usually start out with something like “In my defence, [defence and security], I have no interest [interest rates] in paying more rent than I should [lower taxes] because I have been living here long enough to take leadership [strong leadership] and if you do what I say we can have a happy household [strong team], so stop going off at me about the bloody recycle bin, turn that bloody music down respect my right to use the bathroom as often and for as long as I need to, you have never had it this good”.

    He has become delusional, thinking he has been there longest so he should have veto power over the running of the house; he has forgotten his only renting the house.

    After 2 years and nine months, the son of the owner of the house has had enough of the original tenant (John) and is not sure he is happy with this new tenant (Kevin) either, so he calls for a vote to settle the conflict between the 2 dominant members of the house and convinces the original tenant to advise the real estate agent (GG) that this is happening.

    To John’s surprise, the vote ends up being 3 one against him and he packs his things and moves out in disgust, yelling something like “What are you talking about, my chitt don’t stink” as he goes out the front door. The recycle freak asks “Who brought that bathroom deodoriser, it certainly wasn’t me”.

    The friend of the home owner responds with “Wouldn’t you like to know mate” and goes to his bedroom. Through the wall he can hear his new co (Kevin) tenant playing music, his favourite seems to be “Can’t touch this”. Just quietly to himself he mutters, “We will see mate, we will see”. A few weeks later, a new tenant called Malcolm moves in.

  2. I find it very hard to believe that Ballarat is in any danger, given the size of the current margin and taking into account the Latham factor. What was the margin for this seat in 2001?

    Bendigo (neighboring) is a similar seat and has gone to Labor since I cast my first federal vote in it in 1987. I don’t think one single TV ad will hurt Catherine King. She’ll coast in easily on Rudd’s coattails.

  3. Talking about Moreton:

    Agree with Darryl – there wont be thousands of jobs lost – Hardgrave has gone into ‘LaLa land’ mode.

    Also, Labor activists were able to hold 16 information stalls across the electorate last weekend to the Liberals 3. Word is that the Libs are finding it hard to get volunteers in support of the embattled Hardgrave.

  4. Chris Pearson piece in the Australian is the most optimistic assessment of the coalition’s chance. He might be right that the polls over-state the ALP vote, the most recent Newspoll may well be at the upper end it error band.

    But this still leaves the ALP with a 2PP around 55% and the only sign of movement is towards the ALP. It may be just a series of polls and the upper end of their range but there is no evidence, at all, of the coalition’s position improving.

    It hard to see what the Coalition can do to pull this back. For most of the last six months they have dominanted the news agenda and deprived Rudd of air time – it hasn’t worked.

    When they have focused on Rudd – that hasn’t worked either. Even smear and fear has either being neutral or to Rudd’s advantage.

    So what is there plan of attack from here? Other than changing leaders (which may also send them backwards) they appear to have no means to close the gap.

  5. The opposition by a Tasmanian *Liberal* party candidate to the pulp mill down there is interesting. I’ve never been a great fan of the theory that Latham lost Bass and Braddon because he was going to stop Tasmanians chopping down trees. A vox-populi amongst my many Tasmanian friends and relatives at the time suggested that Latham lost Bass and Braddon for the same reason he lost seats everywhere else. Because, in the words of a beloved elderly widowed aunt “he was not a gentleman”.

    Of course the video of timber workers cheering Howard just before the 2004 election has seared itself into the ALP’s consciousness, so you can understand Garrett keeping as quiet as possible on the issue. But I do think it’s a lot more complicated than supporting the mill will gain Tasmanian seats while opposing it will lose them. It looks like the Liberal candidate for Wilmot, Ben Quinn has come to that conclusion and decided to ask some hard questions about the mill. I suspect he hasn’t got a lot to lose, but nonetheless, good on him. If I still lived down there it might even be enough to make me vote for him.

  6. I’ve noticed a typo: “Moreton (Qld, Liberal 2.8%) and Lyons (Qld, Liberal 0.7%)” should read “Moreton (Qld, Liberal 2.8%) and Bonner (Qld, Liberal 0.7%)”

  7. What is Christopher Pearson on that is causing him to write such a desperate piece in the Government Gazette? His analysis is so extreme he makes Shanahan look like a die-hard socialist. Can it be Pearson is taking the same substances that Steven Kaye, Nostrodamus, Glen and Cerdic Conan are on?

  8. It does seem that Howard is being forced to make a choice next week. But he may not – he still has a climate card to play. APEC will get some sort of “Sydney Declaration” and this might be followed up with the much anticipated “Climate Clever” ad campain.

    Or perhaps this will be wild card focal point when he does call the election next week – as was “who do you trust on interest rates” was in the last election.

  9. Pearson is relying on voters parking their vote in polls as a a protest against Howard and is also relying on Irelands Ahern getting back in as his basis for saying Howard will get back in. He is also spreading Downers rumour that Rudd is privately saying that it will be a landslide.

    On the landslide, the labor party does not want a landslide as much as the liberal party does.

    A landslide returns power to the people and puts all pollies on notice that they can be voted out of office when the people choose.

    There is no difference between labor winning by one seat or by 50, the result is the same, a labor government, however those talking against a landslide do so in the hope that enough people wll back off to see Howard re-elected.

    However a landslide will put all governments on notice at the state and federal level, especially the state governments of QLD, NSW and Tasmania.

    It will say to them pick up your act or you too will be voted out no matter how big a swing is required, it will thus give hopes to the libs and nats at state level that if they can present a half decent opposition they can achieve the swing required to be voted back into office.

    A half assed small swing to labor will see Howard re-elected or labor government, but a small swing maintains the status quo of the politicians holding the power when it is is really the people.

  10. Having given some thought to the present poll situation, here are my thoughts. The two most recent Morgan and News polls were at the upper limit of what they would normally have produced justs as the previous ones were at the lower limit. Also, Morgan is doing its normal strange weighting that understates Nats and overstates Green/Democrat.

    The true numbers are around
    Libs 35
    Nats 4
    ALP 48
    Greens 4
    Other 9

    ALP TPP = 55%

    Rudd is being a classic small target except on IR. He is hoping to surf to victory on a wave of disatisfaction with GST…err …um I mean Work Choices. (exemplified by the Garrett support of the mill)

    As the election gets underway and other issues arise I believe it will follow a similar pattern to 2001 with Labor losing a few percentage points through the 7 weeks.

    Eventually ALP gets 52 or 53% TPP

  11. Albert F (#10) suggests there might soon be a ‘climate clever’ campaign from Howard. Could be, given that after trashing his economic credentials with all the pork-barreling he’s been doing, he hasn’t got much left to campaign on. But it would be a very foolish thing to do.

    I quite liked Possum’s analysis of the Crosby-Textor report. The basic premise is that some issues are ‘owned’ by one party or the other. Any public discussion of the issue, positive or negative, becomes a plus for the ‘owner’. There is no question as to who ‘owns’ the climate change issue. If Howard were to campaign on climate change he would be effectively campaigning for the ALP.

    Actually, I’d love to see it. “Who do you trust on climate change?” It would be hilarious.

  12. Howard’s Election Theme Song will be White Flag by Dido

    Well I will go down with this ship
    And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
    There will be no white flag above my door
    I’m in love (with power) and always will be

    I know I left too much mess
    And destruction to come back again
    And I caused but nothing but trouble
    I understand if you can’t talk to me again
    And if you live by the rules of ‘It’s over’
    Then I’m sure that that makes sense

    Well I will go down with this ship
    And I won’t put my hands up and surrender
    There will be no white flag above my door
    I’m in love (with power) and always will be

  13. libs and nats at state level that if they can present a half decent opposition

    Well that’s the nub of the problem innit? How in god’s name can a coalition of AoG/Hillsong creationists. Opus Dei activists and assorted religious fanatics as we have in NSW at least present themselves as a credible opposition?

  14. Amused – I’d agree it hard to see Howard making gains on climate change – at best he could neutralise it by making some headway in APEC. If he does choose to campain hard I can’t see it working as Rudd and labor would preform very well in any public debate.

    Still Howard’s gotta do something big. I thought last election his “who do you trust” angle worked well – but its poison this time around. I’m wondering what line they can take this time around.

  15. Albert Ross

    Part of the problem of getting a credible opposition, as others have pointed out, is getting and attracting the right sort of candidates.
    This is made harder when the party in power holds govt by a large margin and is percieved to be safe for two terms because of the large swing required to unseat it.
    It makes it hard for the oppostion to get good candidates as they most likely do not want 1, 2 or 3 terms in opposition before they can gain government and start changes.

    There are good candidates on both sides adn probably better candidates who do not run as they they do not want to sit around in opposition being frustrated by not being able to do anything.

    However, if there was a good chance the govt would fall at the next election, if there were credible and or quality candidates, then this would start attracting the right sort of people.

    Which is why a landslide would be the best result, the labor state governments of QLD and NSW would be vulnerable to a large swing if there was that half decent alternative. And is also why neither party, labor or liberal wants a landslide, it would serve notice that no government could take the electorate for granted because a large swing is required to unseat them. Would also give heart to the oppostion parties and perhaps encourage them to pick up their act.

  16. Quoting from Christopher Pearson…..

    O’Shannessy also made a few observations that flesh out the artefactual character of opinion polls and the reasons why it’s silly for politicians – or anyone else who’s interested in what’s really going on – to become mesmerised by them. He said: “It’s clear that about half of voters finally make up their minds during the official campaign period. There is another group, which is hard to estimate but is probably about 10 per cent, who make up their mind when they have their how-to-vote card in their hand on polling day.”

    This is peculiar: How does O’Shannessy know that half of voters make up their minds during the official campaign period? From his polling? Sure, some people make up their minds during the campaign: were this not so, no-one would bother campaigning. But to say- effectively – that “half” the votes are in flux on the day a poll is called defies common sense.

    He also says that 10% make up their mind at the point of voting. This sounds more plausible, though how do we know it is 10%? Where is the data? Anyway, allow that one-tenth of the voters make up their minds at the last moment.

    The next question is: what will guide these 10%. These are the ones who could basically decide the outcome, so understanding their motivations is very important.

    Who are these people? You can be sure the parties know who they are. Why are they undecided? Why them in particular? The rest of the electorate has less trouble forming a preference and expressing it. Are they just less attentive, less motivated or just plain indecisive?

    I don’t know who they are, but my intuitive guess says they will, on the whole, tend to split the same way as the rest of the electorate: it just takes them longer to get to the point of decision.

    There is no reason to suspect this slower-deciding group will prefer one side to the other, though Pearson seems to be thinking they will prefer his team. What is he saying: that slow decision-makers prefer the blue team? This is spurious. These people will most likely vote with the electorate at large.

    Pearson shold realise this campaign was kicked off a long time ago, by Kevin Rudd. People have been watching and listening and talking and making up their minds and switching their preferences ever since. Quite a few are doubtless still undecided, but in my opinion, these voters are as likely to swing to Rudd as to Howard when the moment of truth finally arrives.

    Think about this: support for Howard has been migrating to Rudd for months now. This is the phenomenon of the year. Hundreds of thousands – must be millions – of voters have felt they can release themselves from Howard, and attach their political sentiments to Rudd. Are they so confused that and whimsical that they will suddenly all change back again? Somehow I doubt it.

  17. I’m sitting here doing some study, and a Govt Workplace ad came on the Radio.

    The ad was a just silly and amerish, I suspect these ads will cost the Govt votes.

    This Govt appears to have totally lost message.

    You have a guy take a call from some Women (Presuming its his mother) starts crapping on for she hears his kids in the background and thinks they have taken his job.

    He says something reassuring about no its the Kids, and says something about being at home and having a flexible workplace

    She then says o don’t let the Govt hear about it.

    I mean what sort of message is that!! for a Govt with a strong Economy gee they have lost it.

  18. There was a sub-thread on the previous thread wondering if the GG can assent to Bills after the House of Reps is dissolved.

    The custom is he doesn’t – and why would he need to? Since he dissolves the house and issues the writs, he just needs to have the papers in the right order when he picks up the quill.

    But Bills have been enacted before after the House is dissolved, and the Court seems to accept this. You can read all about this stuff in that manual, or Odger’s Senate Practice by Harry Evans:

    The custom respects that fact that though the Crown has a separate, multiple and continuing existence, Parliament (including the Crown in Parliament) is a single entity. It is the PM who advises the GG to assent to bills – oddly since the PM is really the head of the executive, and is not meant to act in any significant executive role during the caretaker period, because with the Parlt dissolved his mandate is in question. Our separation of powers is rather muddled… But assenting to a bill can be rationalised as the act of adopting the Parliament’s will, albeit that the PM controls the timing of the request for assent.

    The real possibility of constitutional conflict is not with a PM wanting bills assented to after the House is dissolved. It is the ongoing question of the PM’s power to withhold assent, which might arise if Parlt was hung, you had a coalition govt or simply if the Cabinet changed policy after Parlt had passed a bill.

  19. Every time the Govt reminds voters of WorkChoices, even to promote it, they cost themselves votes. They would do better to shut up about it and talk about… um… something else.

  20. As of midday, Portland were still not publishing prices on Bennelong! What’s spooking them?
    I’m not familiar with the industry, but I would have thought they could have laid off any large plunge with the other bookies, yet there doesn’t seem to be any substantial change in the others’ odds.
    What do they know that we don’t???

  21. Did anybody else have a chuckle at Dennis’ analysis of the various opinion polls today?

    There is universal agreement among the credible pollsters – Newspoll, Galaxy and ACNielsen – that Rudd is well in front of Howard as preferred prime minister, and the ALP holds a commanding lead on primary vote and second preferences.

    Poor old Morgan, left out again.

  22. The latest polls have been 59-41 Newspoll, 60-40 Morgan f2f and 57-43 Galaxy. This actually indicates the true percentage is around 58-42. Possum’s 4-poll avg has it at 57.75-42.25. There was a report in the Oz today that said that internal polling had Labor’s primary at below 51, but not much below.

    As to undecided voters, most will be young people, and I think Rudd has an excellent chance of winning them over. Among young people, the swing to Labor since the last election has been heaviest.

  23. [ #23
    Adam Says:
    September 8th, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    Every time the Govt reminds voters of WorkChoices, even to promote it, they cost themselves votes. They would do better to shut up about it and talk about… um… something else. ]

    Some of the latest ads heavily suggest that Work Choices will lead to pay rises. Another attempt at a bribe.

  24. Let’s hope young people are on the electoral roll this time. These new electoral laws were designed to disenfranchise a lot of potential Labor voters.
    Christopher Pearson: easily ignored, he writes the same pro Howard crap every week.

  25. Interesting point that the millions spent by the Govt on pro Work Choices advertising has potentually only managed to keep the topic at the front of people’s mind.

    I saw one “know where you stand” poster at Flinders Street Station. The “Stand” had been crossed out and the word “kneel” put underneath. It got a laugh from a lot of people. Some very expensive adversiting undone with pen stroke.

    This is the Govt’s problem all their advertising has increased focus on the issue so when the ALP do roll out their attack adds – they will bite deep.

  26. Re 28,

    Speaking of the reporters at the Australian, the paper is still censoring blog comments on Shanahan. I posted one on his article of Thursday or Friday where he was implying that Rudd needs to copy Hillary Clinton in regards to her Iraq policy. Posted it when I saw a link that led to that comments box. The link to the comments box disappeared later in the day and never returned and my comment (and probably others) never showed either. In fact, the only article which it seems that they are accepting comments for in the Saturday list of articles is Matt Price’s story. Amazing if they think somehow that they can prevent the impending train wreck by censoring the readers comments. Do they think that people are so stupid that if they don’t read anything negative towards the government that they won’t think anything negative? Sheeesh, the electorate is smarter than that.

  27. disenfranchised Gippslander:

    Betfair still has an open market for Bennelong. ALP offered at $2.26 mind you the bet amounts are tiny so I don’t think you can take much notice.

    If someone puts a few thousand down then its worth looking at which way they are going and whether they might have some inside info.

  28. disenfranchised Gippslander,

    I think the reason why Portlandbet is not offering odds on Bennelong is that they are waiting for an announcement from JWH about whether he will step down or not.

    I don’t think they know if Howard is going to resign – if they did, they would have put the market back up again, but with the Liberals on much worse odds. It’s the uncertainty that’s forcing them to suspend the market…

  29. Graeme-

    Re GG assent to bills after Parliament is dissolved.

    This is what usually happens on the very rare occasion of approval of a constitutional amendment at a referendum held on the same day as a general election. The amendment is passed by the now-dissolved Parliament but assented to by the GG after the dissolution/election/reference. I understand this is perfectly legal and constitutional. I think it last happened in 1946.

  30. Julie I think I misled you yesterday… AC Nielsen comes out in Tuesday morning SM Herald, not Monday. Sorry about that – had it marked on the calendar, but for very late Monday night when the SMH uploads.

    Everything else I wrote yesterday is of course gold:)

  31. Albert: are you in McMillan or Gippsland? I wouldn’t say you were disfranchised in either seat. I think the combination of the Ruddsurge, WorkChoices and more sensible forest policies puts both seats in the “possible Labor gains” category, even though Labor has never won Gippsland. McGauran has never been particularly popular in Gippsland, not surprising when he lives in East Melbourne.

    WorkChoices: There is an old saying in advertising: You can only sell a crap product once – meaning that no amount of advertising will make a crap product succeed once buyers realise it is crap.

  32. Pearson:

    [Pollsters are in general agreement that the closer a poll is to the election, the more reliably it will predict the outcome. This particular poll [in 2004, soon before the election] found a Coalition primary vote of 45 per cent, with Labor on 39 per cent, but that the parties were neck and neck, each with 50 per cent of the two-party preferred vote. ]

    Can’t he see the difference between 2004 and 2007? Currently, the coalition is struggling to break 41% on the primary vote. The ALP’s primary vote is somewhere between 46 and 49. I can’t believe he can write an article and not identify the single biggest difference in the data!

  33. That’s because he’s a fool, as is widely known. It’s really quite comic seeing these intellectual hangers-on of the Howard regime trying to turn themselves into psephologists, as if they can argue it all away and make everything OK again. Poor Chrstopher faces an ignominious return to boring old Adelaide if the Howard gravy-train is derailed.

  34. “Everything else I wrote yesterday is of course gold” That’s funny Crispy.

    Swing Lowe your absolutely right about Portland. d Gippslander they prefer to organise their book that way – given some uncertainty of Howard stepping down. But IMHO it wont happen.

    Albert F, given the nature of the Betfair concept, the betting amounts are irrelevant. It’s just like a small volume of stock changing hands on the stock market. The values are not lessened. Thought I’d let you know. 🙂

  35. What an interesting week it promises to be!

    What happens if AC Nielson continues to show an improved standing for the Coalition??

    Then we’ve got Morgan on Friday and then only four sleeps to Newspoll again.

    Too much politics is barely enough, head spinning stuff.

  36. [Poor Chrstopher faces an ignominious return to boring old Adelaide if the Howard gravy-train is derailed.]

    He lives in Adelaide. He only has to go interstate for SBS board meetings once a month.

    [What happens if AC Nielson continues to show an improved standing for the Coalition?? ]

    That’s why I am hoping it is a 61/39 rogue just so it sets the back bench against the front bench.

  37. There are some extraordinary comments over there at Andrew Bolt’s blog,

    but this one below, takes the cake and the whole cake shop with it! 

    “I think that Alexander Downer – laugh as some may – would be the best hope for the Libs. I just finished talking to some Liberals on my street here in Brisbane and they are still optimistic, as I am, that the Liberals will pull through. Having Swan at the helm of treasury sends a chill down my spine and I can’t fathom the thought of Rudd as PM.”

    What can I say, what can anyone say?  You would need the whole Psychiatric profession, including Freud’s relatives, to work that one out.  It’s not denial, it’s not delusion, it’s deranged.  Downer!  They’d be better off going into the election with the leadership position vacant!

  38. Crispy and Julie, ACN has in this election year been taken Thur-Sat and published in the Age and SMH on Monday. I don’t see any reason for it to change. It’ll be out this Mon 10 Sept.

  39. I look forward to the restoration of Australia’s good name internationally under competent government. These amended lyrics for a proposed new National Anthem fell off the back of a focus group in 2001, but now the author’s on his way out, they can be published.


    Oh, aliens all let us reject,
    for we are young, gun-free.
    We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil
    though not for refugees.
    Our land abounds in nature’s gifts,
    which we refuse to share.
    Your boat goes down?
    Your children drown?
    Australia does not care!
    In spiteful strains then let us sneer:
    Advance Australian Fear.

  40. Lord D, Phillip Coorey in the SMH today is saying Tuesday for ACN… but he may well have got it wrong. Journalists have been known to mangle the facts every now and then, so I’ve been told.*

    *blog understatement

  41. Sydney’s official APEC outfit has been revealed – tailor-made, knee-length Driza-Bone coats made of the original brown material and spiced up with a contrasting colour for each of the 21 world leaders.

    Thank God they didn’t go with the Ken Done look.

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