Morgan: 57-43

Roy Morgan has come through with the first poll of this election year, and it’s a peculiar beast combining face-to-face results from last weekend and the distant weekend before Christmas (December 19/20). Labor’s primary vote is down 3.5 per cent to 45.5 per cent and the Coalition’s is up 1.5 per cent to 37 per cent, with the Greens up two to 10 per cent. On two-party preferred, Labor’s lead is down from 59-41 to 57-43.

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.

1,640 comments on “Morgan: 57-43”

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  1. Fair enough, Socrates. The reason I asked is that maybe the loss in productivity from switching to dry-field is so great that it becomes uneconomic in the MDB. If so, then rice cultivation in the MDB is uneconomic no matter what.

    Of course, all this assumes that farmers have already changed insane practices such as moving precious water around in shallow, unlined channels! From what I can tell (and admittedly I live perched on the east coast, and haven’t been near the Murray or Darling for about five years), these easy but destructive methods have some way to go before they are stamped out.

  2. Hmmm

    Abbott’s speech is very clever on a number of fronts.

    The big flimflam is that Abbott is trying to pretend that climate change outcomes are all ‘environmental’ outcomes rather than social and economic outcomes. This bypasses the hip-pocket nerve. This is clever stuff. It is deliberate – he has been at it for a while now. If he is ‘right’, then the negative impacts of climate change will be ‘fixed’ by Action Man’s 15,000 people along with their native plants, shovels and fencing equipment.

    The obvious questions for perceptive journos to ask Abbott are:

    1. What impact do you expect climate change to have on Australian agriculture over the next 50 years? Will the Green Army prevent this from happening?

    2. What impact do you expect rising sea levels to have on people living by the sea? Will the Green Army stop sea levels from rising?

    Another reasonable follow-up question would be:

    3. ‘Mr Abbott you routinely use words such as, ‘many scientists believe’ or ‘some scientists believe’. Does this mean that you do not? Why don’t you use the more direct phrase, ‘I believe…’? Is it because you are using welsh words to avoid having to say that you, and your main supporters inside the party, still believe that climate change is crap?

    4. Abbott’s get out of jail phrase here is the ‘precautionary principle’. This is a neat twist because he shows absolutely no interest in using the precautionary principle in any other environmental context. Normally, you only use the precautionary principle when you are uncertain of something but believe that something might occur which is so serious that you simply have to do something about it. So Abbott is using the phrase ‘precautionary principle’ to dodge having to say something direct about how likely he thinks CC is. The question for a perceptive journalist here would be:

    5. ‘Mr Abbott you often use the term ‘precautionary principle’. This could mean ‘just in case CC is real’. Mr Abbott, how likely do you think it is that CC is real?’

    Abbott also uses the term ‘lock up’ referring to national parks. This is standard National Party shorthand for we want to get access to the timber and grazing in national parks and we don’t want any more national parks, anywhere, ever. There are National Pary colleagues of Mr Abbott who would love to degazette national parks.

    So the journo should ask another question:

    6. Mr Abbott, you regularly use the phrase ‘lock up’ in relation to wild rivers. Do you support national parks and do you support the development of a national reserve system representing around 15% of all of Australia’s ecoystems?

    Then there is the really curly one for Mr Abbott, yet to be asked:

    7. ‘Mr Abbott, what in your view, will be the impact on the Australian economy of ocean acidification? How long do you think the Great Barrier Reef will survive? How long do you think Australia’s commercial fisheries will survive?

    The press questioning of Abbott so far on these issues has had all the impact of blancmange sliding off a plate onto the table. I look forward with great anticipation to an improvement.

  3. Kersebleptes

    A lot of Fed money is going into revamping the irrigation water distribution infrastructure with a view to water saving. It is necessarily slow and expensive. And we have not generally had enough rain to redeply major savings so far.

  4. Lest we minimise the damage being wreaked by the big irrigators in the M-D system, we’d better be quite clear about the fact that the level of water taken from the M-D system is untenable, and many of the crops grown are totally inappropriate – especially cotton and rice.

    From the M-D Basin Commission itself:

    In summary, the main causes of wetland degradation include:
    changes in river hydrology caused by regulation of flow and diversion of water
    • blockage of floodplain flows caused by causeways, levee banks and structures
    • disposal of stormwater, sewage and irrigation effluent into wetlands

    • excessive grazing by stock, feral and native animals
    cropping on floodplains and lake beds
    • introduced fish species and aquatic weeds
    rising saline groundwater beneath floodplains , and
    • urban and recreational developments.

    Also the irrigators are causing land degradation and over-salination:

    [With the large
    quantities of water removed from the Basin’s rivers for
    irrigation and other purposes, there is less water for
    dilution and to undertake the natural transport of salts
    from the Basin to the sea. Not only has irrigation
    contributed to reduced river flows and hence increased
    salinity by intercepting the dilution flows, it has also locally
    aggravated the groundwater regime and
    induced the return of salts to the rivers.]

    The artesian basin is a fragile phenomenon that cannot be blithely plundered as an ongoing water resource or an alternative to raping the river system. Some of it is already in trouble, and other parts are unuseable from the beginning.

  5. In relation to the Federal takeover of the MDB, Mr Abbott should be made to answer the following questions:

    1. Mr Abbott, what percentage of the MDB inflows do you intend to allocate to environmental flows?
    2. Mr Abbott in relation to the thousands of dying River Red Gums, what priority would you give to immediate allocation of environmental flows to save the River Red Gum forests?
    3. Mr Abbott how soon after successfully gaining control of the MDB water would you get rid of all restraints on interstate water trading?
    4. Mr Abbott, what would be your policy on allowing a free market in MDB water to cities, in particular to Melbourne?
    5. Mr Abbott what steps would you take to prohibit water-expensive crops in the MDB?
    6. Mr Abbott what steps would you take to closing irrigation districts and irrigation channels rather than the current outcome, which is ‘dead’ irrigation farms pepperpotted in Districts and along channels?
    7. Mr Abbott what steps would you take to deal with the over-allocation issues in Queensland and in New South Wales?
    8. Mr Abbott what steps would you take to closing down irrigation districts which are most distant from inflow areas (ie all those in South Australia) and re-allocating the water to irrigation districts closer to inflow areas. This would of course enable huge savings in terms of evaporation and soakage.

    Chaning governance arrangements is the eay bit. The politically difficult bit is embedded in the above questions.

    I look forward to perceptive journalists asking Mr Abbott the hard questions about his MDB policy.

  6. Boerwar,

    Yeah. I suppose much of it is simply the difference between laying out proper infrastructure (slow, expensive, but worth it), and simply scraping a ditch with your backhoe (quick, cheap, and counter-productive).

    I look forward with great anticipation to an improvement.

    Anticipate away! But I do hope you have someone who can bring you food and water every now and then while you are on that vigil…

  7. [surmises that the telco provider has provided the Govt with her number, and someone within government has sent her the nasty text in retalliation for her anti labour stances…Mind Boggling]

    Dubbs – that’s the station we get here. It is frightening on some occasions. They are full on with ‘People Power’ and organising emails, etc. to kick Rudd out this year. Some of the callers are literally fruitcakes but what they say is taken as gospel.

    This is the mob that John Laws is apparently going to join. He will have to sign up to the Citizens Electoral Lobby mob and spout forth all the Lavache (or whatever his name is) rhetoric to survive the audience.

    I’ve had to tune out completely for fear of going ‘bananas’ myself.

    Boerwar – please send all that stuff to the responsible journos like Phil Coorey or KO’B. Tony Jones wouldn’t have the courage to ask them anymore. The questions would never be asked by the current crop of ABC journos.

    BTW – does anyone know if Joe O’Briend (ABC2 breakfast) is married or partnered. He seems awfully immature in his comments and interviewing. My 20 year old grandson asks better questions than Joe.

  8. jv

    Forty years ago I used to go fishing in the Murray and in also the Darling. We caught lots of different species of native fish including a fair share of keepers. Now, in the same places we used to fish, and pretty well excepting the put-and take- Murray Cod fishery, mostly all you get is European carp.

    Irrigation plus drought plus salinity plus water temperatures changes plus killing off most of the floods, has practically destroyed the MDB native fish fauna within a single generation.

  9. Boerwar
    Yes, sad indeed. On a brighter note I do know of one glorious stretch of the upper Namoi where Murray Cod and Yellowbelly have been successfully re-introduced and where the river is healthy with shrimps and its own local species of turtle – but that’s way up in the western slopes before any dams and before the irrigators can get at the water.

  10. I see that Abbott is going to allocate $750,000,000 a year on the 15,000 Green Army. that is $50,000 a pop.

    I can think of some better ways of spending $750,000,000 on the environment.

  11. Boerwar – From the 50s -70s we used to go on fishing holidays at Renmark and Mildura. The cod used to be terrific. We’d sit up on the roots of the big river gums where they stood out of the water and have a great time.

    Went back there a few years ago and it looked like most of the old trees were gone and the river was full of carp. Drought is a lousy thing and the irrigators haven’t helped themselves. They used to have the water running almost 24/7 for years.

    A cousin recently had to get out of orange crops and sell because it all became too hard.

    OH now uses carp fertiliser on the garden and it’s great. Perhaps if we all start using it we might get rid of some of the monsters.

  12. Boerwar – #1553

    Great questions.

    In the spirit of fairness, all those questions should be asked of Mr Rudd, replacing “green army” with “your 5% ETS”.

  13. BH

    It is amazing the shattering amount of damage that has been done in our lifetime to the Murray Darling.

    The only sort of thing that will really knock European Carp around will be something like the daughterless carp stuff, I think, that CSIRO is working on. But I tend to think of them as symptoms of a destroyed system rather than as perps – although no doubt they have contributed as well.

  14. PY

    On second thoughts, perhaps not quite fair enough. I think the questions should apply in the context of each party’s total environmental offerings.

  15. [I think the questions should apply in the context of each party’s total environmental offerings.]

    Hear, hear. No point in letting Abbott get away with his past mutterings or inaction.

    He is already blaming this Federal Govt. for Peter Spencer’s problems and that of other farmers. The MDB has happened in the last 2.3 years and the hospitals were perfect before Rudd got his hands on them.

    The ‘great big tax’ is a charge but Jim Middleton this morning on ABC2 did not refute Abbott’s claims.

    So we can’t let him off the hook with his very expensive Green Army.

    Of course, as said earlier today, he is probably looking to the young semiretired to form his Army because many of them already exist in rural Land Care groups.
    He’ll entice them with some form of payment no doubt.

  16. I believe Newspoll will do their first Federal poll for the year this weekend.

    My predictions

    Liberal 35, National 4, (Coalition 39) – Labor 41, Green 12, Others 8
    TPP : Coalition 46 – 54 Labor
    Preferred PM : Rudd 57 : Abbott 25

    “The Australian” will love it!

  17. BH

    If he is clever, he will outsource management of the Green Army to environment groups. They will then have a stake in his $750,000,000.

    Politically astute.

    Remember how the Salvos went after they helped hyena the corpse of the old CES? Remember how the Salvos got themselves involved in Howard’s war on drugs? (Until there were so many complaints about the politicisation of the Salvos that the Brig (or whatever) concerned had to pull his head in?

    That’s how you ‘buy’ influence and get good public feedback and support. Abbott would be well aware of this tried and tested Howard model.

    The Greens Party, incidentally, is absolutely right to pick out the bits of Abbott’s environment policies they like and publicly support them. They would like nothing better going into the forthcoming election than a bidding war between Labor and the Coalition for their preferences. Makes sense to me.

  18. Socrates, rice crops are suited to the Ord River Irrigation Scheme area

    The Research Station grew crops of rice, cotton, safflower, flax and sugarcane with results encouraging enough for the Western Australian government to develop an irrigation scheme on the Ord River. Commercial farming began in 1963.

    Although rice isn’t listed as one of the area’s current main crops, it is possible to shift rice-growing out of the MIA to the Ord. With the right incentives, rice growers might move – although The Ord is isolated & essential services limited.

    Cotton may again be grown in the Ord

    During 2004 and 2005 …. trial cotton was grown during the dry season (March to October) to avoid the main insect pests. Using genetically modified varieties and careful pest management, insecticide usage was reduced to less than five sprays per season with acceptable fibre quality and yields similar to the Australian average

    Shifting cotton – & closing down any sort of SWQ/ N-NSW properties in the Upper Darling Catchment (as SA & some Green groups advocate) – presents a much greater human & ethical dilemma than shifting rice, as such moves deprive those who live there – inc. relatively large Indigenous populations, many living on Tribal lands – of any chance of earning an income if pastoral & grain properties, and cotton growing are closed down.

    So the Big Question facing decision makers – and lobby groups like the Greens – is: Is it ethical to deprive Up-stream Darling Basin populations (with relatively large Indigenous populations) of their livelihood, homes, communities, towns and services like health & education, effectively forcing them to shift or regress, to meet the needs of Down-stream populations who’ve lived in the areas less than 200 years?

    Like Qld’s Wild River legislation, removing Darling Basin agricultural & pastoral industries Up-stream of mid-NSW brings the rights of people – mostly Indigenous – into conflict with small “g” green/ conservation groups policies on land use.

    This ethical conflict is explored by Cosima Marriner in The murky waters of Queensland’s wild rivers

    The murkiness of the wild rivers issue poses an ideological conundrum for many Queenslanders.

    What’s more important, indigenous self-determination or preserving a unique unspoilt environment?…

    Greenies are usually the first on the political spectrum to sympathise with indigenous rights. But the Queensland Government’s controversial law to protect pristine waterways has pitted these traditional political bedfellows against one another.

    So, indeed, do policies on shutting down cotton, broadacre farming, and pastoral activities in the Upper Darling catchment – a dilemma the Greens won’t face!

    A dilemma which the relevant Greens “shadow” spokesperson, Senator Hanson-Young’s being a South Australian with a major conflict of interest & a very SA point-of-view in her on-web postings, isn’t helping to resolve.

  19. As for bushwalking ‘showing’ that you are environmentalist, didn’t millions of young Germans go bushwalking during the pre WW2 years?

    I suppose that some of them turned out to be interested in the environment but, really Mr Abbott, most of them then went off and trashed Europe.

  20. Totally agree re the Greens and the bidding war. And every word Abbott uttered last night was Howards.

    Has Peter Garrett done anything about Land Care groups? What would be the reaction if Labor said ‘yes – good idea’ and funded the same kind of thing.

    I can’t see how young people can sign up to a Green Army except as volunteers on weekends as per lifesaving. It’s not so exciting as a weekend pursuit. And if Abbott is basing it on the age group of rural fire service volunteers then he’s in dreamland. It’s excruciatingly hard to get enough volunteers in rural areas.

    I agree it is politically astute but his past will catch up with him.

    I think the Govt. should just give the Parks & Wildlife more money to employ people permanently to do the cleanups that Abbott is talking about. It would help all those middle/upper ages who are having difficulty getting employment (and there are a lot in that category).

  21. Boerwar: “As for bushwalking ’showing’ that you are environmentalist, didn’t millions of young Germans go bushwalking during the pre WW2 years?”

    “Rick: Well, pay attention. Mary, right, who’s that tall girl doing geoggers…
    Vyvyan: OH! You mean the one with the enormous t!ts!
    Rick: They’re minu…Vyvyan, would you stop being so sexist? they’re called breasts, and everybody has them.
    Vyvyan: Well, I don’t.
    Rick: Yes, and nor did Adolf Hitler!”

  22. OPT 1574

    I agree. If we are going to grow rice we should grow it in places like that. High rainfall areas in the QLD/NSW coast would probably also be suitable except that they can presumably make more money with sugar cane.

    I don’t agree that this shift poses an ethical dilemna though. If people on the M-D can only make a living by ruining their environment and sending others downstream broke too then they aren’t behaving ethically now. It is ethical to stop them.

  23. OPT

    I have been following this one with some interest. There has been a considerable reluctance on the part of many of the players to work off either context or principle. Here are a few observations:

    1. The folk who have trashed the MDB are now looking north. Would we trust them to get inland water resource use right in north of Australia?
    2. The folk who trashed the MDB have never supported Indigenous issues in the past. Why are they suddenly supporting Indigenous issues in relation to the wild rivers? Clearly it is because they believe they have a wedge.
    3. Most of soils in the catchment of the wild rivers concerned are useless for agriculture. That is why they are mostly still uncleared, ie ‘wild’.
    4. Point-based developments such as lodges are possible, not impossible under the legislation. Repeated statements to the contrary, by, inter alia, Abbott, are bald-faced lies.
    5. Mining will still have open slather.
    6. Some of the media presentation of the issues has been of the usual OO standard. None of the Indigenous folk who inhabit the Cape, and who support greater funding for management of Indigenous land for conservation purposes, have been either intereviewed or represented in the visuals. Not one. I know quite of a few of them.
    7. I would have preferred to see a multiple-use approach that integrates development with conservation and with a lot more direct consultation between the Queensland government and local and regional Indigenous communities and organisations. Coupled, of course, with significant investment. (After all, the WA and Federal Goverments have just allocated yet another $400 million+ for the Ord scheme expansion. I hope they end paying some taxes up there some time, the Ord Scheme has soaked enough taxpayers’ funds in its time.)
    8. I note also the consistent use of the term ‘lock up’ in the Wild Rivers debate by the conservative parties. This is shorthand for, ‘We want to pillage all of nature for our personal profit, without let or hindrance.’
    9. I have never met anybody who wants to dam rivers who has been able to explain to me what qualitative difference it would make to leave one last river free to flow to the sea. They are constitutionally incapable of stopping themselves until it is all gone.

  24. Further to 1578, I think the vast majority of cotton farms are owned by wealthy whites. If we are concerned about indigenous employment, turn them into national parks and pay local indigenous communities to rehabilitate them and act as rangers.

    Hence I really see no ethical dilema too. The change will be unpopular with those who have to change, but that does not make it unethical. If that were so we would still have slavery, becaues the slave owners would be economically harmed by ending slavery. Too bad; they are the ones causing the harm.

  25. OPT
    [So, indeed, do policies on shutting down cotton, broadacre farming, and pastoral activities in the Upper Darling catchment – a dilemma the Greens won’t face!]

    I wasn’t suggesting eliminating broad acre framing on the Murray Darling. In some places with poor soil, yes it should end there. But in most areas, we just need to get back to appropriate crops, and reducing water demands to within sustainable yields. that means rice and cotton should go. But wheat, corn etc in the right places, and orchard crops like citrus and olives are fine. Of course, those either make less money or require more work.

    However, I don’t apologise for saying that we DON”T owe all farmers a living. We are better off without those who badly manage their land. I have lived and worked in country Qld and seen far too many examples of such people.

  26. I’m not sure how it exactly happens. Whether they invite him on, or he invites himself on, Abbott is always getting soundbites on ABC Radio news bulletins.

    Yesterday, there were Abbott soundbites in TWO stories in the SAME bulletin. First, Abbott with his “commentary” on the unemployment figures. Then, less than a minute later, same bulletin, separate story, Abbott got airtime to pre-spruik for last night’s speech.

    It’s getting to the point that it’s bloody ridiculous. It’s not exaggerating too much to say, ABC Radio news bulletins are beginning to sound like ‘The Hourly Liberal Party Segment’.

    Given their ABC gives SO much airspace to this Liberal, they should be putting him under the harsh spotlight of scrutiny, not just opening the microphones to him with a “Go for it!”

    The questions proposed by Boerwar in 1553 and 1556 for “perceptive journalists” would be a very, very good start.

    Boerwar, congratulations on your questions. You’d make a far more perceptive journo than the mostly brown-nosers in the MSM.

    I hope you email the list to their ABC.

  27. OPT@1574:

    [ Although rice isn’t listed as one of the area’s current main crops, it is possible to shift rice-growing out of the MIA to the Ord. With the right incentives, rice growers might move – although The Ord is isolated & essential services limited.]

    What do you plan to do about the rats and the magpie geese?

    [Humpty Doo is best known for the failed agricultural experiment in the 1950s to grow rice on a large scale. In the 1870s and 1880s German botanist, Dr Maurice Holtze, sought to identify crops suitable for growth in the north, experimenting with a wide range of products including rubber, tea, sugar and rice. Early railway construction and gold rushes brought many Chinese to the Territory and rice was grown successfully in the area in the latter part of the nineteenth century. In 1954, after further considerable CSIRO experimentation, a joint Australia-US company, Territory Rice Ltd was established with plans to irrigate the Adelaide River plain and produce rice commercially. With 303 000 hectares of leased land on the floodplain rice fields were built but buffalo, native rats, magpie geese and other birdlife invaded and these problems combined with a lack of established markets saw the fields abandoned by 1959, forfeited to government in 1962 and ‘reinvented’ as a bird and wildlife sanctuary shortly after.]

  28. don
    [With 303 000 hectares of leased land on the floodplain rice fields were built but buffalo, native rats, magpie geese and other birdlife invaded]
    It’s OK, we’ll just have to introduce exotic buffalo-toads and rat-toads. 😆

  29. Cuppa
    Don’t forget Tony’s weekly address to the nation via their ABC’s 7’30 Report 😉
    They’ll move him to Lateline once Red Kerry comes back so he still gets a soft ride.

    On Abbotts speech
    I notice he is being ignored by Labor as the irrelevent lightweight he is. He would hate that, the being ignored, a bit of poo to be scraped off the bottom of Kev’s RMW boots

    Not surprised by anything the Greens say, Milne did come out when Labor announced it’s ETS policy and said the Libs had more enviromental credentials than labor. The Greens need a Coalition govt to be relevant, until then they will sit with and vote with Barnaby in the senate 👿

    And the MSM are letting the side down when poor Tone has to go on TV and talk up how great he is himself! Saw and ABC clip of him saying he was a greenie bushwalker, a life saver and a firerfighter!
    What a guy!!!

  30. [I believe Newspoll will do their first Federal poll for the year this weekend.]
    Explains Abbotts last 2 week promotion on 7.30 Report and his big “green” speech yesterday.

    The Haiti tragedy has stiffled his coverage

  31. [Pete Wilson-Jones writes: A summary of Tony Abbott’s speech to the Sydney Institute 14 January 2009: 35 paragraphs in order of volume:

    * 13 paragraphs talking about Kevin Rudd and Labor
    * 10 paragraphs talking about feral weeds/animals, and how Aussies need to volunteer en-masse to wander the country cleaning it up like good Boy/Girl Scouts
    * 5 paragraphs talking up the ‘little g’ Green credentials nobody knew he had
    * 3 paragraphs gushing about how he will successfully resurrect Howard’s failed offer to splash $10b to take over the Murray/Darling system from the States and save it for sure
    * 1 paragraph each:
    – Claiming shared ownership of environmental issues with the Left
    – Begging Green voters to believe him and ‘Vote 1 Abbott’ at the next election
    – An end paragraph full of meaningless hyperbole]

    Comments section of Crikey – someone has tabbed Tabbott pretty well.

  32. Could this be the reason Abbott has told us about his bushwalking skills?
    Copy cat 😛

    Kev’s been having a nice break known the country is in Julia’s safe hands 😀
    From his twitter

    [Standing on top of Cradle Mountain. Stunning. Among the best views in Oz. Climbed with Marcus and Nick.

    Sounded like a good idea until I started the ascent. Aaaaahhhh. Now totally stuffed. But worth it.

    Spent the last 3 days walking the Freycinet Peninsula in Tassie with T + boys. T caught flathead off Schouten Is. I caught nothing.

    Went snorkelling off Hazards Beach. Qlders are fussy about our beaches, but these ones definitely came up to standard.

    Walk to Wineglass Bay was great. Now to Hobart.]

  33. Vera – OH hops channels when Abbott comes on, even with the 7.30 Report which has been a religion here for yonks.

    If there is newspoll he will probably get a bit of rise just for being out there and perhaps that may be the OO’s intention for this weekend. Before Kev gets back, i.e.

    And PY – Brown had better have good intentions of reasonableness instead of just looking political gains like Abbott. If the recent Morgan poll re CC is any guide then Brown needs to make sure that Abbott does not get back the old Howard votes.

  34. BH – #1593

    The correspondence between the partys proves it all BH. Strangely, Labor wont put their position in writing.

  35. Cuppa – I saw Keenan on ABC the other day – he was actually woeful most of the time.

    It was one of the few times Joe O’Brien tried to get answers as to what the Oppn would do about AS. Of course he got nowhere but at least he tried several times. It caught Keenan flatfooted. He probably expected the usual ‘easy go for Libs’ from O’Brien.

    On the other hand – maybe O’Brien was trying to show that Keenan could toughit out!!

  36. [throw GG’s bundled socks!]

    Must ask GG to get heaps ready for distribution to us before the campaign. I won’t mind if they’ve got holes in them or saggy tops.

    BTW Vera – I think OH uses his Welsh swear words to. Something to the effect that ‘I don’t really care about politics but I don’t want my night ruined by a failed Lib’.

  37. Rudd being the political genius at the cricket, self-effacing, informed, witty, perceptive (damn! North out!). What a contrast with the tragi-comic Howard!

  38. [I saw Keenan on ABC the other day]

    Typical. Why don’t they just hand the airwaves over to the Liberals? Make it a formal thing instead of just playing footsies under the table.

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