Completely Biased

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Election 2004 | Day 38 | Roundup


$1.20 Coalition, $4.00 Labor. Ouch. Today was the biggest gap in a long time.

Thursday, Friday, then it's the big moment of truth. What kind of a nation are we? What do we care about more - people or money? We'll find out Saturday night.

I called in to work to say I won't be in Saturday, as I'm doing HTV's, and my total bitch of a manager went skitz. "Choose between your loyalty to your job or to this election stuff." A choice between doing my little bit to try and make the world better, or spending the day refunding bras. What the fuck? I work casual, they're overstaffed, I gave enough notice, and she can't fucking remember my name half the time, and now she's threatening to take away shifts if I don't rock up Saturday morning. I said I was going with the election stuff, so I'll probably be looking for a new job next week. If anyone knows of anything around here that doesn't involve me resisting urges to axe murder customers, please let me know.

Our local paper today has an absolutely ridiculous amount of pro-Liberal ads in it. Kez must have some rich friends.

So whilst I was out in the middle of nowhere, I managed to catch three main stories.

1. Family First (Yes, Again)
Danny Nalliah, a Victorian Family First candidate for the Senate has been distributing flyers to his followers, featuring awesome lines like this:
"Spot Satan's strongholds in the areas you are living in (brothels, gambling places, bottle shops, mosque, temples-Freemason/Buddhist/ Hindu etc, witchcraft)."

And as well as that, we have an FF volunteer in the Brisbane seat of Dickerson, preaching tolerance in ways only Family First can:
"...lesbians are witches and should be burned to death..."

Which followed on with Greens supporters having eggs thrown at them.

And don't forget - The Liberals are preferencing these people. Howard is also complying with the conditions they set on their preference deal too.

2. Howard Attends Opening Of Garage Door
The National Museum in Canberra had a new exhibition - the Roll-A-Door. Howard came along to get photos. This warranted a quarter page photograph + story in the Daily Telegraph, but scored about three paragraphs in a side column in the SMH.

3. Labor Gets Wood
First up, the Greens will be directing all preferences to Labor as a result of this.

The Libs have been waiting on Labor to deliver their policy first, so they could bag it then come out with their own. Well, that happened the other day. $800m or so to reskill Tasmania's old-growth loggers to other industries, and to set up a committee to investigate which forests to mark off and whatnot. The Daily Telegraph absolutely hammered the crap out of it (headline: "Money Grows On Trees") in the most biased piece of crap since that shitfight between the Teacher's Federation and Carr all those years ago. Forget those comments I said last week about the easing in News Ltd's bias; it's there and as strong as ever.

Anyway, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, and The Australian all ran negative front-page stories on it. Is it a bad policy? I don't know; I'm not an expert on Tasmanian old-growth forests, nor have I ever seen one. But doing something about it, you're either going to piss off the loggers or the environmentalists. Labor went with what appears to me to be more than fair, but it copped shit anyway.

The Liberals spent the rest of the day bagging it, prompting Latham to tell them to "put up or shut up." Today they released theirs.

Howard's plan was just plain shit (although News Ltd reported it as a positive), after all his promises to save the forests. According to Joel Fitzgibbon, ALP Forestry Spokesman:
"True to form, John Howard is lying to the Australian people about Tasmania's forests. His is a fundamentally dishonest announcement. If John Howard was saving 170,000ha of forest, he could never do it for $50 million over four years. It appears that at least 140,000ha of the forests John Howard claims he is saving already can't be logged under existing forest management."

Alec Marr from the Wilderness Society:
"Most of that 170,000 hectares is not trees and big chunks of it are the areas that were too remote and too uncommercial for the industry to log. What John Howard has done is taken scraps thrown to him by the woodchip companies and the Tasmanian Government and tried to dress it up as a conservation outcome. So what they've cynically done is take the important names like the Styx and the Tarkine and protected little bits of them, the bits that the logging industry didn't want."

Greenpeace and the Australian Conservation Foundation also cracked the shits over it. Read all about it over at the ABC's site.

And now for stuff I've only found out today...

9500 schools (public + private) are set to benefit without Howard. 67 private schools would get less funding, and 110 the same amount. The Teacher's Federation haven't been cool with the ALP's policies on education, but agree that they're a hell of a lot better than the Liberal's. They've also found that Howard's "Technical Colleges" would cost almost ten times as much per student.

Labor also wants to get rid of the HECS increases that come into place next year.

Medicare Gold
Latho is pissed off at a report that the AMA released, saying Medicare Gold wouldn't work. Costello jumped on the bandwagon, doing the gloating smarmy tool routine. I'm willing to bet he didn't even look into the details of the report. Sky News' Election channel was repeating a press conference with him all day - he was content to bag Medicare Gold and Labor, but got all jittery when pressed for statistics.

You Could Be A Winner!
The Liberals have been making with the phone-spam today, calling people and playing a recorded message of Howard urging them to vote Liberal, then take part in his zany pyramid scheme. Does this just seem downright... tacky?
"This holus-bolus importation of a US campaign robot is another dirty trick from the US Republican Party the prime minister is happy to burden Australian voters with. John Howard's electorate has already suffered an unwelcome prime ministerial email spamming campaign; it now seems that no phone message machine in the country is safe."
- Wayne Swan, ALP Family/Community Services Spokesman

Throw Him Overboard
TWO out of every three boatpeople who were intercepted during the Howard Government's Pacific solution in late 2001 were eventually found to be genuine refugees.

This strike rate, covering 1678 mainly Afghani and Iraqi asylum-seekers, conceals an even more startling number. The Iraqis who were falsely accused three years ago tomorrow of throwing their children into the water were among the most successful applicants of all.

Talk about being an utter bastard.

And The Rest...
Paul Kelly (no, not the eyebrows/guitar) of The Australian attacks Fairfax over media bias. Pot kettle black.

Piers did his literary equivalent of giving John Howard a blowjob once again, for what, the five billionth week running? I'll summarise: "Mark Latham will eat your children."

Latho did a speech at the National Press Club - easing the squeeze got mentioned twice, plus all his other memorable catchphrases ("he's ready to leave," etc).

The Herald Sun has a list of some of the things Labor wants to do within its first 100 days of government, if it gets in.

Howard hints that he won't piss off if he wins another term; just stick around like a wet fart.

Latham accused Howard of basing his entire campaign around fear-mongering and out of control spending. Bit obvious there. He also said Howard was fundamentally dishonest.

And Abbott has been sick or something with kidney stones. He went private.

Jamie Packer is endorsing the Liberals. Things he's involved in seem to have a history of crashing and burning (One.Tel, Comindico, Kate Fischer, Jodhi Mears), so this could be seen as good news.