Monday, December 31, 2007
Anyway, 2007, what a year. For many of us it was a poo stain of a year. For others - meh, it was alright. It certainly was a big year for me. No study (sorry MB/Gam/Sarah/Miss P etc), got my gut cut for a life altering op, had a baby (yay!), and bought a house with the generous assist of my ever suffering parents.
Today was also a big day as well. For not only did I clamber into the attic and survey all I had left behind, agreeing there was stuff up there I could dispose of, I was inducted into a secret society.
No, not the one with the aprons, goat riding in bowler hats my grand-dad was a part of but the Cornish society of those who make pasties.
Pasties are delish. Bakery pasties are not, they use mince which is as wrong as cousin love. True Cornish pasties are the only way forward.
Yes, I know it's not a big deal as far as the world goes. But my dad taught me how to do it, and I semi-succeeded. So when I am back in Canberra land then pasties I shall make. And one day I will teach theBoy to do it too.
Anyway, and I am saying this unencumbered or fortified with drink, Happy New Year to my blogging peeps - you make life more interesting and fun for me. Indeed you put the spring in my Springfield.
Have a great one. Us? We're taking it easy in the TV room down the end of the house, perhaps engaging in a bout of drink driving as we play Playstation car games whilst imbing vanilla vodka.
For those of you whose year past was more underwear soiling I hope that '08 brings you more happiness. As a friend of mine has recently demonstrated to me things can only get better when you actively seek to make it so. So for those of you thinking about changing things for improvement of life's sake then all I can do is paraphrase Catch-22.
... Jump ...
Sunday, December 30, 2007
Downer thinks everything the then Australian government did RE Hicks was just super terriffic and anyway Hicks was a bally rotter who deserved everything he got including detention in a place where the Executive fulfilled all legal positions and where prisoners had been sent to a location chosen specifically for its removal of normal legal process, and typically via a third country that practiced torture.
What Hicks did may have been fucked. Fact is - wasn't a crime at the time. And even if it was he deserved full legal protections and not to have a large object inserted in him.
So stick that in your fucking fat pie hole Downer, you piece of distended rectal pig tissue.
Let's chalk Downers whinge up to another reason why many of us are glad the Libs lost office.
I told the security guard. He shrugged. Can't help. Didn't know where the office was. He suggested the chocolates man across the way. I told Mr Chocolate. He told me where the head office was then said helpfully no one would be there since it was a Sunday. I asked if there was an emergency mobile number for centre management - you know someone on call in the advent of say an emergency. He said no. He said the best he could do was tell them tomorrow morning when they came in.
I left. At a friend's place I rang up the centre management number. Got a voicemail with no mobile number in case of emergencies. Just a straight voicemail. So I left the details of the incident and my number.
Do I expect to get a call? No.
As I left Mr Chocolate I blithely said 'well if someone suffers a cardiac arrest on the escalator you will know why.'
His response was to shrug.
Fuck I hate apathetic people. They could have organised to at least turn the escalator off. Not that hard. There's probably a large fucking off button on it. Didn't even do that.
Unbelievable. What kind of OH&S nonpracticing arse hats are these people?
Let's hope I don't have to go before a coroner or something.
Back in the 70's then PM Fraser offered to import pop to Oz but they said no (can't find the reference however). But with climate change, their only resource gone, and the closure of the appalling Pacific solution centre of crapness, their economy is adios, and they are a magnet for dodgy bank deals anyway (as evidenced in the 90's when a huge chunk of aid money was filtered through it).
Perhaps the country should consider becoming a territory of Oz? They'd get access to welfare, social, and economic opportunities etc. That's what we should do. We should offer them to incorporate into Oz. Perhaps the same treatment as Norfolk island as far as administration goes.
Especially since the closure of the centre of unexcellence in refugee treatment is pulling a massive plank out from their economy.
I know it's a big ask for a culture and people to subsume themselves into a larger country, especially where history shows how badly it can go, but in all honesty this seems to be a good way ahead. And if this works then perhaps other micro nations of the pacific might ask for the same and the arc of instability in the region would be solved once and for all.
Another option would be to set a time limit on it, say 20 years, which would be enough time to arrange top notch education programs for islanders in admin and economics and establish good governance so by the time they are ready to go it alone once more they have the skill sets to do it.
Or perhaps I am talking out my arse. Anyway, something the Rudd government should consider. Indeed I'd hazard it would actually be cheaper doing this than the combination of aid money and intervention money when it goes to shit and we have to send in the ADF or AFP. That, and being incorporated into Oz allows their population to move within Oz and legit access work.
Anyhoo I purchased today's GLD from a servo. As I did so they ripped off a A6 sized competition pamphlet and handed it over. It's one of those SMS the following number and go into a draw and win jobbies, in this case a Heli-Boarding holiday (ie taken by helicopter to a place where you can snowboard). I didn't realise that my consumption of GLD's put me in the EXTREME demographic of 'thekids'.
So what's the catch? In order to SMS my details to go into the draw it costs me $0.55.
Now I am old enough to have experienced product promotion comps where you the consumer of the product DIDN'T HAVE TO FUCKING FORK OUT THEIR OWN FUCKING DOSH IN ORDER TO COMPETE. For example, lid or stick impregnated prizes.
Where the fuck did this marketing concept of user pays for the contest even come from? No doubt some pony tailed cocaine abusing arse clown doing a line off their Freedom Furniture supplied desk where, red eyed and drug crazed, they blurt out 'hey man, let's have a contest only the punter has to pay to be in it right? Like it will pay for itself and promote the product.'
Actually, when you think of it, it is genius. The punter paying for their own contest. It's almost I suppose a tax on stupid people.
Still at least you're getting something potentially tangible. Those that vote Idol / BB get shit all except perhaps the smug satisfaction that they gave some fame hungry tit the flick from the public arena, destining them for a short lived career as a nightclub appearer, late shift radio host, or human shield.
Anyway Dare, that contest shits me. Yes I am aware you can go to the website, fill out an online form, include the barcode but as well you know as if anyone is going to do that when they can let their thumb do the talking for them. And yes I am also aware that contests in the olden days often relied on the mail in but well OzPost got the money for the stump - they didn't split the winnings as it were with the contest originators. It also shits me that your contest details are in Font size point 2. I mean how fucking hard is it to have a winning token appear on the inside of the lid and avoid all this crap? Not hard at all. Except of course then you won't get Gen Y fuckwits texting away their money into your coffee coffers.
UPDATE: Fuck it, I went online and submitted an entry. But get this, the URL they have on the back of the comp label is WRONG! http://www.dareitsicedcoffee.com.au/ does not exist! You have to go off the http://www.dareicedcoffee.com.au/ website instead. Bastards!
UPDATE 2: I complained via the contact mechanisms. Get this. I got a call asking about it. The nice lady checked the flyer and confirmed yes there was a mistake on the back (though she did note the correct web address was on the front). She said she would tell the marketing guys. Nice to see a turn around of less than 24 hours. Dare, you've done it again and I have decided you're absolutely squiffy once more.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Holy shit! Holy, holy shit. I can only see bad shit happening for Pakistan now. She was the charasmatic leader of the PPP. The only other name brand out there is Nawaz Sharif and when he was in was an absolute shocker (especially since the reason Musharraf took power was because when he was army chief Sharif attempted to whack Musharraf via a plane crash plot).
Holy shit. The knock on for this could very well be the Army retaking control (it effectively is, but Musharraf is no longer Army boss), the ISI launching a coup within the army, hell war with India as some psycho fuckbar in a new government decides to get all Kashmir about it.
This is bad juju. Very, very bad juju.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
He said the reason why was you can't receive a knife as a present. It must be purchased. Otherwise its bad juju. I had never heard of it. A quick google shows it is not an uncommon belief.
Isn't that cute?! Great knife too.
I read in some office etiquette book about this American executive who had a bunch of Japanese businessmen around for dinner. His company made kewl knives. So he decided to give one to each guest as a present, leaving it on their table setting. When the Japanese execs unwrapped them there was an uncomfortable almost tumbleweed esq silence.
It seems in Japan presenting a blade to someone in that manner is a large hint they should commit seppuku.
Yep, me too.
But how do they know? Whose testing all these things on elephants? Is there some sort of Institute for the Testing of Elephant themed Death Metaphors I don't know about?
With the electricity one, apparently that actually happened. Edison tested the opposing current on a condemned elephant to prove his electricity current choice was the safer one - see the wiki here.
Nice one Edison.
Lunch was hard. Xmas lunch is typically about gorging yourself rotten. Except I can't do it anymore. So I had to be circumspect in my consumption. Which sucks on one level but is far better for me than on every other level.
Anyway, I hope your Xmas lunch went well as well. What did you have? HM wants to know.
Us: Rare roast beef, pork sausages, baked ham, cold chicken, salad and potato salad. Long gone are the days when the piping hot English lunch was laid on.
Anyhoo, big bro and I went to the midnight service (theWife remaining back at my parent's place with the Noo). We elected to go an hour early so we could have a pub drink before hand. After seeing half the pubs were shut we eventually found one open and headed for the beer garden. On the drive into town I mentioned how I hoped I wouldn't see anyone from high school as really all I had to say was 'I am fatter and now I am balding'.
As luck would have it someone yelled out my name. Turned out it was two guys from high school. Have not seen them I think since I left nearly 17 years ago. Wow. 17 years. Holy shit that sounds like a long time.
And it did not suck. Heard what they were up to, where their life status was at, careers, kids, relationships - all of that. And shared my own with them. And surprisingly they did not appear to merely endure my presence which is how I basically felt my last years in high school.
Then off to the midnight service. Much like last year I avoided the prayers and instead looked up Revelations for the weirdness that sets forth in that chapter (my favourite bit - and there are many favourites - includes the section about how if anyone writes any more words or subtracts words from the bible that exists as is then plagues are coming their way - uh-oh for the Mormons). I sang some hymns, avoided communion, did the whole wishing my neighbour merry xmas etc. By and large it was pretty good. The sopranos are uniformly the reedy voiced CWA old dears, but well that's how it goes in the country. No hark the herald on the way out though which is a departure from the norm.
Ended up back at my brother's house and we had some drinks and chatted. Next thing you know it's 2.30 and I've drunk too much to drive so I walked back to my parents.
All in all a good night. Except I woke theWife up and she is rightly pissed off. I'm a little tipsy I admit which isn't great but well it's Xmas.
Last year on the way home some egg nog enhanced drunken yob Santa dude waved me down then belched 'Merry fucking Christmas' at me.
So in the spirit of that quintessential Aussie Xmas well wishing, merry fucking Xmas to you all.
Monday, December 24, 2007
Ha! I now have the computing skills of an average 10 year old.
PS Above skill set estimation based on CthTechno's adaptation of BRP Chaosium mechanics.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Sigh. What a wonderful legacy Captain Dog Whistle, our former Dear Leader (long may he rule us ... oh bugger) John Howard foisted on the social fabric of Australia. Where Australians, admittedly apparently lacking in education and experience of non white non anglo Australians, are proud to stand up and admit their bigotry to news cameras and via text messages. And let's not forget Alan Jones, nasty bigoted little hyper raconteur of Sydney talkback (which consists of older Australians calling up to agree with his racist pro-anglo bullshit), and his help for the Cronulla riots back in 2005 - all made possible by the JH legacy of death to "political correctness".
Thanks John Howard. Thanks so much for this legacy. Not only did you attempt to time travel Industrial Relations to the turn of the 20th century but also race and cultural relations as well. You must be very proud.
According to Michelle Grattan in the Sun Herald Howard turned up to his old PM Office Suite as it was being cleaned out of his presence to announce to all that he was coping with the transition to irrelevance. MG noted this display of stiff upper lip by the H man, made possible by his indexed 300k plus yearly pension for life, did not sit well with those staffers whose redundancy protections consisted of zero and who had not arranged for a safe berth post election.
It's hard to feel sorry for these people, given they eagerly supported a man whose view of redundancy was exactly that - fuck off and go find another job if you can hippies - but well it's Xmas so I do feel sorry for them. Especially since with the only Lib in power in the land being the Lord Mayor of Brisbane there's no cushy slots in the State and Federal parties to rest in.
So Merry Xmas ex-Liberal staffers.
UPDATE: Gam and Sarah have likewise vented forth on this issue.
The Poky Little Puppy plot is as follows; He and four siblings dig their way to freedom and go exploring via a torturous path of bridges, rivers, hills etc. While I am aware babies etc like repetition - with three occasions of said Puppy's smelling/hearing/conceptually linking desserts being ladled into their bowls and racing home to be denied dessert for escaping only to have puppy five, aka Poky, sneak in after hours to guts the lot - it gets boring to read. Very boring. In the end I started to paraphrase, skipping entire chunks of text with the words 'they went back to the place they were at the previous day, looked for Poky, found him and went to see what he was up to'. Which I guess is the reading equiv of hitting next scene on the dvd player when the kids are watching 'insert animated adventure here' for the 106th time because as the parent holy fucking shit does having to endure the insert again shit you up the wall. It hasn't happened to me yet but every parent I know who played dvds to their kids has done it - so I suspect I will.
Anyway, Poky Little Puppy sucks arse hair. It bored me having to read it, it was awkward to hold with one hand, but the Noo seemed to like it. Which alas is the point of the whole thing I suppose.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
TheOz's editorial however took a different tack, saying that the Haneef case proved how the system was working.
Yes, I shit you not. How it was working.
It's smacks completely of a Shanahan/Sheridan denial don't it. You can find it here.
Here's a fun bit
The Weekend Australian believes he should be allowed to return and resume his work. His skills are sorely needed in his former job of caring for oncology patients. This position represents a vote of confidence in due legal processes rather than any slackening of attitude to the war on terror. On the contrary, we are concerned this botched case will undermine public confidence in the nation's severe but necessary anti-terrorism laws. As our coverage of French terrorist Willie Brigitte, Algerian Abu Sheema, David Hicks and Jack Thomas has demonstrated, this newspaper has taken a harder line than most media on issues of national security.
Aw, isn't that big of theOz? Before Thomas broke the story theOz wet itself over Haneef being arrested with the subtext practically screaming 'run the muzzies are coming'. It was only when the journalism arm of the paper pointed out all the glaring problems that theOz started to change its mind on it.
Hooray for the Oz and their making sure the terrorists aren't going to get us. Because their strident neo-con grain fed views aren't at all A) tailored towards the prevailing Murdoch view and B) terrorism issues form great copy.
Yesterday's outcome shows that the due legal processes work effectively, but the mistakes made by authorities, especially the former minister, will make it harder for governments to maintain consensus support for tough anti-terrorism laws that curb rights and freedoms. Such laws give governments sweeping powers to detain suspects and to maintain secrecy, which is why they must never be abused for political reasons, but invoked only when the available evidence makes such action essential to protect the public.
This bit is hilarious. TheOz may as well have been an adjunct of the fucking Liberal party for their coverage of Oz politics in the past 11 years. They as much as anyone beat the drum loudly on national security knowing it was a win for the conservative party in power. The laws were politically abused for most of the duration of the Howard government and theOz cheered them on the whole time. Now, only now are they whining about 'shouldn't be abused for political purpose' when their favoured government did exactly that before and after the Haneef case. The whole Hicks thing was a political fix up for the government that blew up in their face only because Gitmo gained the reputation of a recently released paedo. TheOz was there cheering them on the whole time.
TheOz is an odd creature. It's like a pushmepullyou. One head is quality journalism. The other bottom feeding opinionists hand carved in Murdoch inc to bleat the party line irrespective of the facts or damage to the fabric of Australian society by their fear engendering bilge dribble.
TheOz for years has been entwined with the law enforcement community, being drip fed helpful case building hints to contaminate the public arena with their view. It was only when Haneef's legal team proved the creative info coming out of plod land was a tad generous in the facts department that the shift even occured.
Fuck you TheAustralian. As if anyone believes your incredibly lame road to Damascus conversion regarding the politicisation of national security. You were an entire pillar of that politicisation. Don't you fucking dare attempt to try and pretend otherwise.
"It's what I do. I help all those on the board with their tiles"
To which I replied "So what, are you the Jesus of Scrabble now?"
Which offended my Christian following parents greatly.
How is that offensive?
I think they were miffed because I played GIT off a triple letter and their challenge of the word failed.
Anyway I purchased the following before I left for hols and have now started reading it; As Used on the Famous Nelson Mandela: Underground Adventures in the Arms and Torture Trade by Mark Thomas.
It is hilarious, anger inducing, and informative - like all great socially aware comedy should be. Totally worth a purchase and a read. I have been reading it to the Noo. He seems to like it.
But ... I wish they'd give the sounds of space the heave ho. I think only 2001 and Firefly have actually managed to achieve it. Come on entertainers. We know in space no one can hear you scream because there is no fucking air. So let's try for it in future eh? Even you Space Opera types.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Where now for the Howardite propagandists?
Alex Mitchell writes:
Regime change in Australia has had a wondrous impact on the conga line of Howardite commentators in the mainstream media.
In the case of Gerard Henderson of The Sydney Morning Herald the transformation has been physical. He’s shrunk. He now has the demeanour of a turnkey at some mediaeval monastry who locks up the prayer-mumblers after dark.
In a photo by-line last week Henderson appeared with a large quiff of brown flaxen hair swept across his brow but when he appeared on ABC TV it was obvious he doesn’t have more hair, but less. Is someone at The Herald air-brushing the pictures to give poor old Hendo a more youthful image as he sinks into helpless morbidity following the downfall of the Coalition along with all its evil works?
Henderson and his so-called Sydney Institute – a motley of old Cold War warriors, Groupers, rabid Zionists and superannuated Liberals - has been disconnected from the ancien regime and therefore from guest speakers and ongoing corporate financial support. If it wasn’t for the extraordinary benevolence of the SMH which continues to give him a platform, the whole show would disintegrate in much the same manner as the old Congress for Cultural Freedom which fell apart under the impact of political events in the 1960s.
The other howling right wingers among Sydney’s ink-slingers are marching forward with their heads held high as if nothing has happened. Miranda “Tilly” Devine continues to dispense her suburban imbecilities to an audience still loyal to the paper but stubbornly unable to read a word she writes or take her seriously.
Over at The Daily Telegraph, Piers Akerman is inconsolable: like Greg Sheridan of The Australian he’s taken the loss of The Great Helmsman personally. Still he soldiers on with bovine determination taking fodder from whatever reactionary source he can find and evacuating it directly into the columns of Rupert’s Sydney tabloid.
Kevin Rudd, like Tony Blair, may turn out to be a disappointing figment of the collective imagination but for the moment it’s most enjoyable watching the Howard propagandists being eased into the wards at the end of the corridor. While The Australian’s Denis Shanahan has been posted to Washington to avoid the Press Gallery’s constant hilarity, the others are stuck at home to face an uncertain future.
Never accepted by their journalistic peers because of their lunar views on politics, religion, justice and society, they have no ideas to contribute to the new era in the nation’s life. Ex-Ministers go onto the backbench: ex-propagandists should be found a place in the backroom.
Adios Shanahan. W-a-a-a-v-e good-bye.
Here they are. (it goes name, number of votes, and percentage of total votes). Yep, I'd agree with most of those.
People's Choice: The 20 most appalling people of 2007
George W Bush
Next event was the car. As you peeps know our car is a dodgy piece of crap that had its engine replaced and radiator refreshed. Except the latter didn't go so well as the temp went into the red. We were debating pulling over except there was no place to go when on a winding mountain road. Finally we managed to pull off and the engine made those horrible wheezy noises like that Asthmatic kid as he searches his bag for his puffer. Took 15 mins for it to cool down enough to restart.
Third event was theWife feeling the effects of accidentially chugging the Noo's antihistamine meds (she thought it was her cough syrup) and nearly falling asleep at the wheel. Poor tacker. In the end we pulled over and I took up the driving with a sore wrist challenge.
But ... we made it. Weeeee! Thank goodness.
Oh had one of those McDonald $1.95 chicken wrap things. Wasn't bad. Just enough size to be filling but not so much that you feel awful for eating it. Kudos McDonalds.
See the story here.
Suck shit Andrews you ghastly unChristian hyper-Catholic. It's because of arse hats like you that allow booners, bogans, and other Camden dwelling ilk to run around like Chicken Little because the Muzzies are coming.
Indeed, check out this editorial from yesterday's Crikey re why the Libs lost.
Dear Sole Subscriber,
Three moments in Conservative politics yesterday.
1. Liberal Party Federal Director Brian Loughnane faces the National Press Club and maintains the head up the a-se of the dog in the sand line that things were great, we just got a bit inward looking and didn't sell our message.
2. Brendan Nelson, Federal Leader of the Liberal Party apparently, abandons the central tenet of ideological faith that has propelled his party through the preceding three years: WorkChoices. They used to call it the industrial relations reform that was the bedrock of the country's solid economic performance. Now it's dead meat. People didn't like it apparently, so best we don't believe in it anymore.
and the clincher:
3. A year and a change of government after Terence Cole's report, ASIC brings civil actions against six former executives of the AWB, the body you will recall that under the nose of at least the Foreign Minister bribed Saddam Hussein, just before the Howard Government decided that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and should therefore be invaded forthwith.
At which point, and for the edification of Brian Loughnane at least, we should mention children overboard, Tampa, the politicisation of the public service and the board of every available qango, the subtle incitement of queasy xenophobia and a general intolerance of the Other, the denial of climate change, the perversion of national pride to political ends, the introduction of WorkChoices out of opportunism rather than coherent necessity (never mind on a mandate), the replacement of ministerial responsibility with plausible denial, lickspittle foreign policy, rampant acquisitive federalism, profligate porkbarrelling and the abandonment of any principal that stood between the Howard Government and the merest whiff of a critical vote.
In the end they stood for nothing but themselves. Sorry Brian, but there it is. Analyse that.
Indeed, analyse that. And while you're on it sit on this
(insert mental pic of large knobbly dildo)
On a side note Hicks got a control order against him. See the story here.
Sigh. I hate these control orders. Don't get me wrong, I am all for investigating would be evil doers and getting them when they plot something. Except Hicks hasn't. He will be on parole anyway, so under a control order, and when he's done his time he will still be under auto watch of the plods and have a fucking curfew. Basically he's been found guilty before he committed a crime. That does not sit well with me.
Remember when Bush and Howard bleated on about how Terrorists hate our freedoms? Guess what, it's not the terrorists who took those freedoms away. It was Howard and Bush and their fucked in the head neo-con cronies.
The only way control orders are ever going to go is when they have been mannifestly misapplied and the cops are caught red handed planting evidence etc on someone that gets chucked on them. And where does it end? The magistrate says its because Hicks has A) skills and B) subscribed at one point to violent jihad. So ... does this mean anyone who has any form of military training whose ideology is such that they may engage in political violence will now get done? What about ex plods and soldiers in the friggin' neo-nazi movements or Australia first who whatever. Shall we put them on control orders? Where will it end.
Control orders are essentially then people being found guilty of thought crimes. They make us a lesser country for their presence, not a safer one.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Greg Barns write:
Some of us have long predicted that when it comes to using anti-terrorism laws for political purposes, the Rudd government would be no better than the Howard government. It's early days but it looks as though that is the case. What other possible explanation could there be for newly minted Attorney-General Robert McClelland backing the Australian Federal Police’s move to impose a control order on former Guantanamo Bay detainee, David Hicks?
Mr Hicks is today a broken man, and he was probably always harmless. He was used as a political plaything of the Howard government for five years and when he returned to Australia, the South Australian Labor government’s chief head kicker (and apparently the man responsible for the stellar career of failed federal Labor candidate Nicole Cornes) Kevin Foley was ready with a kybosh to beat Mr Hicks around even more.
Let us remember that it is doubtful if David Hicks’ actually broke any anti-terror laws either here or in the US, despite his plea agreement with the US authorities. This is because the Guantanamo Bay regime of interrogation and detention is to put it simply, corrupt.
Over the past two weeks the CIA has admitted that it destroyed video tapes of interrogations of detainees, despite a US Federal Judge order in 2005 to "preserve and maintain all evidence and information regarding the torture, mistreatment, and abuse of detainees now at the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
The severe restrictions on detainees’ access to legal advice has been criticised by a number of US courts, and its proposed method of trial has been thrown out by the US Supreme Court – a conservative-dominated body. Prisoners are shackled and kept in solitary confinement in many cases for up to 23 hours a day.
In other words, why would anyone believe anything other than that the only reason Mr Hicks struck a plea bargain that saw him serve his last few months of imprisonment in Adelaide was because he wanted to escape life in hell?
This is why a control order is unnecessary in David Hicks’ case. He is as about as likely to go near anything associated with terrorism as he is to fly to the moon at Christmas.
So why are Mr McClelland and the Rudd government letting it happen? Because it’s good politics. This government, which supported the Howard government’s anti-terror laws when in Opposition, wants to be seen as tough on terrorism even if it means treading on a few individuals’ rights along the way.
The Rudd government seems to be conveniently forgetting that the reason John Howard cut a back room deal with US Vice-President Dick Cheney early this year to return David Hicks to Australia was because the Australian community thought Mr Hicks’ had suffered enough torture for one person.
If the Rudd government was seriously committed to human rights responsibilities then it would oppose efforts to shackle David Hicks with an order requiring him to be a captive in his own community. What a pity it has taken the cowardly way out. Plus ca change…!
Sigh... Howard poisoned the landscape so much that the ALP can't even do the moral thing and rectify some of the more sinister rights removing bullshit that Howard inflicted on us.
TheWife and I agreed the bolog had likely breathed its last gasp about three years ago, or whenever it was interred in its frozen ice tomb. You know those handy hint graphics they have on the side of the freezer with the fish cartoon and 'X months' and a chicken with 'Y months' etc? Well I think the folks treat them more as serving suggestions. Anyway theWife left hers, and I had a couple of mouthfuls of mine, but no impact on the gut thus far so it was prob okay.
The cafe has ezy listening on. They are inflicting us with Bonnie Tyler. Is she the same one who did Bettie Davis eyes before Apple's mum claimed as her own? Perhaps.
Anyway, just on swan neck. I like her. She's a good actress. She's certainly easy on the eye. She has a nice smile. I think people should leave her alone. Yes I know I shouldn't be defending those on the celeb treadmill - and I vascilate between feelings of sucked shit and unfair to snails when they get stalked by people who like like me with their long lenses penis envy style cameras as they pursue poor celebs when they're out buying a fucking milkshake so some low rent crap fame mag like Famous or NW can blow up the photo and ad some smart arse comment about how they are normal and/or pregnant because they stucka tume on themselves because they decided to cut their exercise back from one hour a day.
I am ranting here now. I think its missing the internet that there is a welter of thoughts etc coming my way.
Holiday reading snapshot; Julian May's Intervention. Its a prequal to her awesome back in time series. I forget what it's called. Now I am reading some book about how the US is an empire in almost every sense of the word and how it may not be a totally bad thing. Interesting proposal - I will examine it in interest. Theboy doesn't like it so much when I read it out to him however.
Watched Scrubs Season 6. As ever - awesome. It's gotten a little soapie in the sense its more about the trials/tribulations of the core characters with the medical stuff very much in the background. But still a top notch comedy program that has stood the test of time. Kudos to the makers. Well worth getting and watching in great lumps.
Oh - classic holiday mistake. The lovely ladies came in to service the room after one of the worst night's sleep of my life. I had managed to make it to the big bed about 40 mins before but the gardener decided to mow the lawn just outside our window. When the lovely ladies asked how it was going I said 'Great, apart from Captain Analsore and his giant noise machine cutting grass at 9 am...'
It was a bit of a tumbleweed moment considering I had slagged off a colleague. Still on the suggestions section on the post out form I will note that perhaps they could not mow the lawn until say 10 am to preserve the sleep of those so deprived. After-all holidays are supposed to be about catching up on globs of sleep and some dude power chopping grass three feet from your open window is hardly conducive to it.
Oh apologies for typos. The cafe doesn't have the spell check in mozilla loaded, nor is there Word on this machine.
Apparently my dad had visited this blog but was put off by my potty mouth. Fair enough. He's very much of the old school non cursing generation. I can remember when I came to a state school from the wilds of the private school experience that on my first day there I got called a prick. I was deeply offended. Then I realised soon enough that cursing was rich in meaty jelly and even the dreaded C word was not such a big deal. Cursing is fun! Although now theBoy is here the sailor talk will prob be given the heave ho and removed from normal conversation - instead relegated to the 'daddy hurt himself' category.
Or when I talk about the Liberal party. Or if some inanimate object gives daddy the shits.
Well I guess that's it. No other news to report. Our friends down in Canberra are looking after our place and all is well there. And on Friday we drive back to the original hometown for Xmas and to see various friends etc that are still there.
Oh one thing about having a baby. The tendency for the parents to call each other Daddy and Mummy as a reinforcement thing for the Noo. Which also extends into conversations when theBoy isn't around. It's a little Oedipusian.
Have fun in the sun peeps. Hope all is well with y'all.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
This is the first trip with theBoy longer than 60 mins in the car. So I expect lots of stopping will be required. As ever theWife is a miracle of organisation. As I lurched around the house in my loose elastic banded PJs, which suffered more than one floor drop, she put together a lean mean going away machine of clothing, baby stuff, entertainment, and more. All whilst with low grade flu that's causing her to honk phlegm nastily.
What a champion.
This trip means no computer for the next nine days. I know, I will be climbing the walls. I suspect I will prob have to duck in to an internet cafe at some point lest I go stark raving bonkers with lack of IT access.
I am loading up the MP3 with music and the thumb drive with files to work on while away (once I get to a computer). Then to sleep before the first leg of our journey north.
Have a good one peeps. Catch in you a week and a half.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Peter Garrett is a musician. He is an activist. He is a lawyer. He led a major organisation for many years. He became a Labor politician in 2004 and just got re-elected.
All through the recent campaign he was constantly attacked for one (1) off hand comment to a right wing fuck-knuckle who didn't even bother to declare his wife worked for a senior Liberal minister when he wanked himself white on air about it. Garrett also got attacked for an unclear answer to a question on Kyoto which got clarified that same day.
Smarmy political and media commentators blasted the absolute shit out him for, get this, his failure to act like a typical politician.
The whole point of Peter Garrett being in parliament is that he is not a typical politician. He is a man of principle in a party where those principles are tested at times. But he is there to make a difference. He is not there to give waffling non answers to direct questions. He is not there to mislead. He is not there to warm a seat then pop up with a Dorothy Dixer. He is not in other words a professional politician whose entire working life was spent up to his neck in the party, where he was apprenticed as a staffer to steadily more important people before being hoisted in on the strength of not conviction but connections.
So cut the man a fucking break and be fucking glad that someone like who who has passionately advocated for those without a mainstream voice has rolled up his sleeves and agreed to sacrifice a chunk of his life in a sometimes unforgiving system to make a difference.
And I don't see anyone of his caliber, his compassion, his service to others beyond himself on the other side of the house.
Peter Garrett, we're damn glad to have you. And don't let those shit heels in the media or in the house drag you down with their petty bullshit.
Go, go, go you mighty giant killer. One of the greatest wins in Australian political history. And conversely one of the most ignoble defeats.
Suck it, you bigoted piece of shit.
Mobile phone rings. Incredibly loud ring tone. Her choice? A re-working of the Little Drummer Boy.
"I am goin' to tha pub far rump a pum pum"
"I am goin' to get real pissed far rump a pum pum"
In her defence she fled out the surgery as fast as she could.
On a side note, the evil clowns entry on Wiki has a kewl para;
It can also be said one's response to a clown might depend on where it's seen. At a circus or a party, a clown is normal and may easily be funny. The same clown knocking on one's front door at sunset is more likely to generate fear or distress than laughter or amusement. This effect is summed up in a quote often attributed to actor Lon Chaney, Sr.: "There is nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight."
I know I am not alone in hating the drawstring when it is sucked into one of the holes leaving you to somehow tease the end out like a recalcitrant turtle head.
Anyhoo said draw string on my relaxed and comfortables was half out with the DS well beyond easy reach.
I was stumped how to solve it.
So ... I googled. And yes, I found advice on how to get it back in which was to pull it out, tape it to a straightened coat hanger and push it back in. I struggled and swore but finally I succeeded.
Thank you google.
But I recognise that it is completely lame to have to google 'how do I get my drawstring back into my pants'.
JULIA PHOTI had been buying baby clothes at Burwood's Target store when she was accused of stealing a packet of razors, dragged back into the store, punched, held and strip-searched before being allowed to leave.
She was never arrested or charged. Yesterday, she was awarded $85,000 compensation for her ordeal.
A security guard, Geoffrey Parker, who was not wearing a uniform and did not identify himself, had stopped her, yelling: "Give me back my razors … I saw you steal some razors … the cops will be here soon."See the rest here.
Danoz direct. The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation of late night TV.
A Hitchhiker's quote is called for
The Sirius Cybernetics Corporation is "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes." An edition of the Encyclopaedia Galactica that had the good fortune to fall through a time warp from a thousand years in the future defined the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation as "a bunch of mindless jerks who were the first against the wall when the revolution came."
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
'John Howard protected us from Islamo-fascists by locking up boat people and showing the public that Muzzies are shiftless layabouts only interested in raping lifeguards on our pristine beaches what previous generations fought and died for,' said a defiant wan Beckie, her pale face accentuated by the nasal tube pumping oxygen into her weakened lungs. 'Anyone in uniform should be treated as a saint by other Australians, and anyone who doesn't should be bally shot in the knee caps.'
'Mr Howard, or as we call him "Dear Leader" also stopped all that silly talk about saying sorry to Aborigines,' added Jeremiah hotly, a vein in his temple throbbing dangerously. 'Why should we feel shame or sorrow or apologise for what other people did that are not directly us? That's just silly. Anyway, it was all for the best. If they had succeeded Aborigines would be Australians that were just a bit darker skinned with flatter noses and fashionable afros looking back on their silly culture and laughing good naturedly as they sipped their wines from terraces over looking the sprinklers click clacking back and forth on the lawn as kangaroos clip the grass short with their teeth.'
The twins abandoned the ambulance in the harbour after transporting their beds, medical supplies, and a tent made from privacy curtains carefully borrowed from the hospital, using their cub provided skills to make do with the things that ordinary nurses had left behind, setting up their tent before the gates of Howard world, aka Kirribilli, to provide "Dear Leader" the love and affection the Australian people felt for him.
'He didn't really lose anyway,' said Beckie. 'The Australian, the best broadsheet newspaper in this country, proved it was just 12,000 votes in marginal seats that made the difference. And we know that was because communists had employed people to Stalinistedly convert normally sensible people to support the red menace in the form of arch-Leninist deliberately childless evil needle nosed Gillard and her comrades. He needs to know we are here for him and if he decides to rightfully re-assert control of the country through armed means like the New Guard were set to do in 1932, we would be here for him and remind him that we would make terrific interrogators, having practiced waterboarding rats we lured into a disused medical waste bin in the hospital parking lot.'
The twins were last seen holding aloft lighters in their trembling fatigue ridden hands as "Dear Leader" signed his aptly named 'John Howard Forever' banner on his last walk as Prime Minister.
"I was standing out at a street stall in my own electorate on one very windy winter's morning, and when you're campaigning at a street stall you stand next to a corflute sign of yourself, you know - a big poster of yourself.
"And so there I am, windswept and looking a bit bedraggled, and this old bloke comes out of the supermarket, and he looks at me and looks at the sign, and looks at me and looks at the sign, and then finally says: "Taken on a good day, wasn't it, love?"
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sent: Monday, 10 December 2007
I think they mean Stellar.
But ... for some reason ... it made me think of this.
Then there's the picking up the vomit sausage and clearing up the little puddles of pumpkin soup like stomach juice puddles afterwards.
I really hate that.
The word Solution as applied to the movement of large numbers of people was of course last used when prefaced by the word "Final" in WW2. I don't know which tanchute in the Libs armoury thought of them name but they deserve to have one of Christmas Island's famous red crabs inserted up theirs.
Christmas Island alas will still be used as a facility but at least its part of Australia and at least, well I hope it means this, Australian lawyers and journalists will be able to access inmates while they are there.
We take a paltry 14k refugees in total a year. I hope the Labor government increases this number. I hope they restore all they lost. I hope temporary protection visas are given the arse and someone is a refugee they can fucking stay here and rebuild their lives. Its amazing what refugees can do when given the chance to do something. Witness the incredible integration and success of Vietnamese Australians in the 70s and 80's when they came here as ... illegal immigrants.
I hope so. Howard and his miserable crew of fucking arsehats poisoned many swinging Australians against the idea of sharing this country with those whose lives were made miserable or threatened in their homelands. I hope that the ALP can work past this and they don't simply make it 'a little more human' than the Libs and really work to improve the rep refugees have and the ability for any immigrant to get the maximum they can from this country for them and their families.
Multiculturalism worked. Sometimes there were hiccups. But by and large it worked. Then Howard and his no talent ass clowns got in and instead of doing the right thing, they did the political thing.
But what do you expect with bigoted cockheads like Crosby Textor in charge of their platform with the helpings of FEAR FEAR FEAR FEAR.
Thank the higher powers it didn't work this time.
So come on ALP. I am one of those lefties that are looking forward to you doing the right thing. I am ready for some disappointments given the political reality of the damage inflicted on society by herr Howard. But don't disappoint me too much.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
The brainless Downer said that Howard would have stepped down if only he hadn't been asked to step down. Kind of like Schroedinger's cat, Howard existed in a state of either stepping down or refusing to step down, asking him made one of those states reality.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
One of them is Bennelong.
Come on AEC! What's taking so long?! There's like 5% to go. I want to know once and for all that he's gone. And collect my $150 cause I had $50 on Maxine at 3 to 1.
All thanks to theWife, who in addition to baby wrangling pretty much single handedly put our house in order.
And it's great. Having your own home is great. It really does feel like our place now.
Thanks ... to theWife!
Banquet people starting eating straight away. Post surgery I can't drink within 30 mins of eating or 60 mins afterwards. So I was frikkin' hungry and couldn't stave it off with water. So I was pretty annoyed when I got mine 30 minutes later. I was actually going to call the restaurant from my table and ask where my meal was when it finally arrived.
I wouldn't have minded so much but I had made a half joking 'can I have a piece of that?' Vs one of their items when a co-worker snarkily reminded me I was ALC man. So I got a bit pissed off and sulky about it.
But hey. I've gutsed food and drink for near 25 years now and I'm having to relearn how to consume in moderation. And in the festive season too. I think I am entitled to the odd sulk when it comes to eating at the moment.
We did Secret Santa - another office tradition. Secret Santa got me a pirate shot class, a best of 1986 CD, some candy canes, and a bear for theBoy. So I did pretty well.
I didn't have any paper for wrapping mine so I stuck it in a dead envelope then mummy wrapped it with packing tape. I did the label like a girl (arty treatment of the characters, flowers, and a unicorn etc), but it was quickly worked out I was the culprit by those not in the now. Took the recipient at least three mins to unwrap too. Hah!
Oh word of advice. Don't tell the attractive but five month pregnant co-worker that she should have come as a 'sexy Christmas elf' then add 'but then people will think Santa made more than toys in his magic workshop', because it could be misconstrued.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Salary of Australian Soccer coach: $2.5 million
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Here's the answer on Reith.
YES, it was wrong. Obviously it was wrong. He was the fucking Minister for Defence then went and joined Australia's biggest Defence contractor. HELLO MCFLY, HELLO!!!
Typical fucking Liberals.
UPDATE: Here's the transcript (see below). Watch her apply the mastery of the pollie that won't fucking answer a fucking straight down the fucking line question. No wonder she wants to get back into government. I mean they got away with this shit last time so why not again. Hold her feet to the flames Tone, hold her feet to the flames.
It should be noted she did kind of answer the question sort of when pushed. See the bold section. Note she thinks Reith taking the job was not wrong. Why would she? She's a Liberal. It would imperil the free market itself if the former head of the relevant department left a government position to work for one of its biggest contractors. Boo, lousy communists.
Tony Jones talks to Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Reporter: Tony Jones
Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop joins Lateline to discuss the changes appearing in the Australian political landscape.
TONY JONES: Back now to the newly-formed contours that are appearing daily in the Australian political landscape.
If political parties had creation myths, these would be the days that true believers wrote hymns about. The once-great man cast into the shadows, fresh faces promoted into the front ranks for the coming battles and the ancient veteran promoted back into veteran's affairs. And that's just the Opposition.
Now holding power, the Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has set out his rules of engagement. So, has his accountability crusade stolen the high ground before the shadow ministry has even drawn breath?
Well, let's find out now. We're joined in Canberra by the newly-minted Deputy Leader of the Opposition. Julie Bishop, thanks for being there.
JULIE BISHOP, DEPUTY OPPOSITION LEADER: Good evening, Tony.
TONY JONES: No doubt you'll be closely monitoring the Government's new ministerial code of conduct. But would you be prepared to commit to a code as rigorous as this if you ever came to government again?
JULIE BISHOP: I support the highest standards in accountability and transparency in government. Mr Rudd has set the bar very high and we'll be holding his ministry to account. The standard has been set and we would expect them to meet these standards.
TONY JONES: You support these new standards?
JULIE BISHOP: Yes, I do.
TONY JONES: Because the classic example in your own time in government was Peter Reith quitting as Defence Minister after the 2001 election and then taking a job with Australia's biggest defence contractor Tenix. You think that was wrong, do you?
JULIE BISHOP: No, I'm not saying that, Tony. I'm saying that I support high standards in government, in terms of accountability and transparency. Mr Rudd has made it clear that ministers are not to hold shares in any companies, whether they're related to the portfolios or not.
Now whether that's necessary or not really comes down to a question of the honesty and integrity of the individual ministers. Mr Rudd has set that standard and we'll be holding his ministers to that standard.
TONY JONES: Here's the new rule that would have stopped Peter Reith. Ministers will be required to undertake that when they leave office they will not seek to have any business dealings with members of the Government or the public service or the defence forces on any matters they've dealt with in an official capacity for a period of 18 months. You agree with that?
JULIE BISHOP: Look, I think it's a question of the honesty, integrity of the person involved and I don't believe that any former minister has acted improperly. But Mr Rudd has set this standard. It's a standard that we'll be holding his ministers to.
TONY JONES: You support this new standard and will hold your own ministers in the future to it, is that what you're saying?
JULIE BISHOP: Let's see how the Government performs according to this code of conduct. Mr Rudd has set a high standard. I support high standard in accountability and transparency terms and will certainly be holding his ministers to that standard.
TONY JONES: It's a difficult one, isn't it? Because these sort of accountability measures are likely to be very popular with the public, who like to see politicians held to account?
JULIE BISHOP: But they also understand that people can hold shares in a company that is unrelated to their portfolio. We do have mechanisms in place, register of interest, people do disclose potential or perceived conflicts of interest or actual conflicts of interest. So it's not as if there isn't accountability there now, there is. But Mr Rudd has set a standard and we'll be holding his ministers to that standard.
TONY JONES: Do you agree that lobbyists should be required to register details on a public register?
JULIE BISHOP: I think lobbyists are a very essential part of government these days. Often there is no other way for an organisation or for people to have their voice heard in government unless they use a lobbyist. So I think they are a professional group and I think it's appropriate that there be a register. I wouldn't want to see it interfere in their normal commercial dealings, though. I think that a register's fine. I don't know how far Mr Rudd intends to take it.
TONY JONES: These things could have happened during your own time in government, they did not. Is there a reason for that? These measures that you now support?
JULIE BISHOP: The former Prime Minister did have a code of conduct and as I say, at the end of the day it comes down to the conduct of individual ministers, and Mr Rudd has set out a new code of conduct, much of it is replicated in the current code. It also reflects a great deal of what is already required of ministers. But he's set a standard and we'll hold his ministers to that standard.
TONY JONES: Do you support or reject Kevin Rudd's measures to avoid, as he puts it, to avoid any future politicalisation of the Reserve Bank?
JULIE BISHOP: Well, it's interesting that this is coming from the Labor Party that fought tooth and nail against the moves by the former government to make the Reserve Bank independent of government. I recall that they were actually going to take Peter Costello to court to prevent him from doing that.
But what they've done is essentially put in place what already happens. The Reserve Bank governor is now treated in a similar fashion to, say, the commissioner of taxation.
TONY JONES: Do you support and do you agree with the new arrangements for appointing the governor and the deputy governor and the new arrangements for appointing future bank board appointees?
JULIE BISHOP: I think that any clarification of appointment social security is a good thing. I don't believe there was any difficulty with the way it occurred in the past. But Mr Rudd, as part of the new government, has decided to put it on a statutory footing. It's essentially formalising what happens now.
But as I say, leopards obviously do change their spots. The Labor Party fought long and hard against the independence for the Reserve Bank, now they are taking it even further, so that's a positive sign.
TONY JONES: The important thing and one of the big differences between what happened under your own government is that the list of board appointees could not be drawn up by the Treasurer, but would have to be drawn up by the Reserve Bank governor and the head of Treasury.
So you wouldn't get, for example, appointments like people who'd been large donors to the Liberal Party as in Robert Gerard?
JULIE BISHOP: Well, I hope we still get people with talent and business, real life experience. I hope that we don't get a narrow group of people being put forward. I think Reserve Bank governors need to have a breadth of experience across the economy, across the business sector.
TONY JONES: Are you glad to see this now taken out of the hands of politician and put into the hands of public servants?
JULIE BISHOP: No, not necessarily. I don't believe that the previous practice threw up any aberrant examples. I think that we had a very good Reserve Bank Board. But the point is, what they're doing is putting it into a statutory form what essentially happens now. I just hope that we see a breadth of talent being considered for the Reserve Bank Board - not a narrowing of the talent down to bureaucrats, for example.
TONY JONES: Julie Bishop, on the shadow ministry announced today, new ideas, new faces, new skills, new abilities, says Brendan Nelson. You want to make use as best you can of the talent you've got available. So let me ask you this, did anyone ask Peter Costello to become part of this new shadow ministry?
JULIE BISHOP: Peter made it clear that he felt that his time as a leader of the Liberal Party had passed, that he wanted to take a backbench role that he wasn't putting himself forward for a leadership role or a shadow ministry. We respect that. Peter will be sorely missed. He's a great talent and huge intellect, but of course we respect his decision.
TONY JONES: He indicated to us on this program last week he would probably resign during this term. do you know when that will be?
JULIE BISHOP: No, that's a matter you'll have to ask Peter. He's been elected as the member of Higgins. He's decided not to take a leadership role in the part, and he has a great deal still to offer the party and we hope to continue to draw on his talents.
TONY JONES: He said he wanted to discuss it, has he discussed it with you? Or with anyone in the leadership group?
JULIE BISHOP: No. I haven't had that discussion with him.
TONY JONES: Do you want to see this resolved quickly? Because the longer he stays there, the more he looms as a person, and there are a few of them in fact looking over the shoulder of the leadership team, potentially there to take over if there are problems?
JULIE BISHOP: No, I believe that Peter has decided to stay as the member for Higgins. He doesn't want a leadership role. He would have been elected I believe uncontested had he wanted to take up that role. He did not and I respect that decision, as I'm sure my colleagues do. We've put together now a strong and I hope effective parliamentary team. We intend to be a positive and constructive force in Australian political life. We don't intend to be as the former Labor Opposition was, wallowing in self pity for the first few years. We're going to get on with the job of being a constructive force. We will be meeting regularly to discuss our policies. We'll be reviewing our positions. We'll be drawing on the talents, the experience and the new ideas of a cross-section of the party who have now been appointed to our shadow ministry.
TONY JONES: But do you want Peter Costello to make it clear what he's going to do? Sooner or later, and perhaps not at the whim of the party but at his personal whim, you will face a by-election if he leaves during this term. In the meantime he's occupying a safe seat that could actually be occupied by fresh blood if he has no intention of playing a further major role in the party?
JULIE BISHOP: That is a matter for Peter. He's just been elected as the member for Higgins. We've put together a new parliamentary team and we're getting on with the job of being a constructive and positive Opposition.
TONY JONES: Also looking over your shoulder, of course, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott. When he appointed Tony Abbott Brendan Nelson said, "Like all of us he's thrown the odd wide ball." Of course when Tony Abbott said he was preparing to watch and monitor very closely the performance of the leadership team and to challenge if necessary, that didn't look like a wide ball. It looked right on the stumps?
JULIE BISHOP: Tony, politics is a extremely competitive game. You have ambitious and talented people in any effective team and we have many ambitious, talented and effective people. Now Brendan has put together a team and allocated people to portfolios that will suit their qualities, suit their abilities and I believe that as a team we will be very effective and very competitive. And we will present an attractive alternative government in the lead up to the next election and I'm sure, all of the people who've been appointed to these positions are going to take up the challenge of holding the Government to account with relish.
TONY JONES: But you saw what happened with the British Conservatives after they were defeated by Tony Blair. One serious mistake down the track, and you have looking over your shoulders Peter Costello, Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, all of them potential leadership contenders. At least two of them have indicated they're prepared to look at the leadership in the future.
JULIE BISHOP: Tony, I don't deny that we've got very talented people in our party and we're blessed with a number of very experienced parliamentarians who are still in the party, who have won their seats and who have all agreed to be part of the team. Now I think we're in a wonderful position to present an effective alternative face in Australian politics and that's what we tend to do. We've got people like Tony Smith and Greg Hunt and Bruce Bilson coming into the shadow cabinet. Terrific few faces like Margaret May and Susan Lee and seasoned campaigners like Bob Baldwin who have won seats from Labor and turned margins into safe seats for the Liberal Party and we'll be drawing on their talents and qualities to present a very effective team for the parliamentary sessions leading up to the next election.
TONY JONES: You didn't mention that other Bishop, of course. Talk about a seasoned campaigner, you don't get more seasoned than that, do you?
JULIE BISHOP: Bronwyn is one of the great characters in the Parliament. She has given a lot to public life and she still has a lot more to give. She is well-versed in veterans' affairs. She knows the portfolio. She's been in a defence portfolio before. She'll do a superb job. The Labor Minister for Veterans' Affairs will surely know that Bronwyn is on the case.
TONY JONES: Christopher Pyne gets 18 votes for the deputy leadership. He ends up being shunted to the outer ministry, what did he do to earn a demotion?
JULIE BISHOP: Christopher is a very talented performer. He will be up against Bob Debus. In one sense that's no insignificant feat. He will be involved in fundamental issues for the Coalition in justice and border security. That includes things like customs and he'll assist the shadow minister in immigration and citizenship.
TONY JONES: But he was demoted having picked up 18 votes in a deputy leadership challenge?
JULIE BISHOP: No, he wasn't demoted. He was a minister in the outer ministry in the previous government and he's now a minister, sorry, a shadow minister in the outer shadow ministry in this Government, in this Opposition. I going to have to get this terminology right, Tony. (laughs) And he's most certainly been given a very significant portfolio and I'm sure he'll do it superbly.
TONY JONES: One very big loser was Kevin Andrews. Was he sidelined for punishment for being an architect of WorkChoices or his performance as immigration minister, or both?
JULIE BISHOP: No, Kevin is assisting Brendan on one of the great policy challenges of our times and that will be federal-state relations. You need somebody of Kevin's experience and understanding of the three levels of government to be able to work with us to develop a policy that we can take to the next election. It's a very significant area.
Now there were only 20 places available in Cabinet. We wanted to bring in new faces as well as combine it with some people who had Cabinet experience and Kevin's agreed to take on this other very significant role, which I'm sure he'll do very effectively.
TONY JONES: Let's move on. I'm sure you saw Julia Gillard earlier on the 7.30 Report. You're now shadowing her in part of her portfolio. What do you think the public will make of this contest between two powerful, articulate women?
JULIE BISHOP: Well, I think the Australian public will see it as a reflection of what happens in the Australian community. Women are taking on leadership roles. Women are taking on roles in business, in industry, in the public and private sector and it was only a matter of time that we would see women in leadership roles in the major parties.
TONY JONES: Leadership roles is the important thing here. I'm wondering is part of the fascination for the voting public to try and see which of you has a chance to become Prime Minister first.
JULIE BISHOP: Well, I think the focus ought to be on how we perform in our respective roles. I will be taking the game up to Julia Gillard on the question of Employment and Workplace Relations. Now this is a very significant issue for Australia going forward. The effective workplace relations reforms we've seen over the last 10 years have given rise to the economic prosperity we're enjoying today.
TONY JONES: There's also perhaps the most unpopular policy of your government and helped lead to your being thrown out of office. So the big question is, are you going to stand by everything in those workplace reforms and keep them going as they were as a big platform for the next election, or make major changes?
JULIE BISHOP: WorkChoices was a piece of legislation introduced just 18 months ago. I'm talking about the workplace reforms that have given rise to low unemployment, to a huge job creation in this country. We don't want to go back to the days of union militancy and industrial disruption and a million people unemployed. We don't want to go back to those days.
TONY JONES: But do you want to go back to WorkChoices in Opposition? Are you going to keep WorkChoices right up to the next election? That's my question.
JULIE BISHOP: WorkChoices was a piece of legislation introduced in 2005, implemented in 2006. The Australian people have made it clear what they thought of that legislation. We'll be reviewing all of our policies, including WorkChoices. But the point I'm making is that -
TONY JONES: But what changes are you compared to make? Completely overhaul it?
JULIE BISHOP: We mustn't allow the Labor Party to roll back the industrial relations reforms we've seen over the last decade or so that give rise to our current prosperity.
TONY JONES: We haven't got much time, how serious is that review going to be and how big are the changes you're prepared to make to WorkChoices?
JULIE BISHOP: Well, first we must see what the Labor Government intends to put forward by way of drafting legislation. They have said many things in the campaign leading up to the election. We now want to see what they actually mean by individual common law contracts. I mean, that's a very complex area so we want to see what they are going to put forward as the sort of workplace arrangements that employers and employees in this country can enter into. What we're saying is we will not support anything that would lead to higher unemployment, or lead to a decline in living standard or a decline in real wages.
TONY JONES: Julie Bishop, it's going to be interesting to see how that pans out is and what your review leads you to in terms of your own industrial relations policy. We will have to leave you there. We thank you for taking time to talk to us tonight. We'll see you again in 2008.
JULIE BISHOP: I hope so Tony, it's been a pleasure.