Completely Biased

Saturday, October 30, 2004

M&M's, Telstra, Senate Fun, Labor Losing The Plot?

Eminem Does His Bit
In case you haven't seen it yet, Eminem's anti-Bush music video (Mosh) is doing the rounds on the Internet (here it is in QuickTime (47MB), or in Windows Media (streaming)). This is the latest in a line of songs about the state of America, including Green Day's American Idiot, Michael Franti's Bomb The World, NOFX's Franco Un-American and shitloads others.
"Wow, you know that Eminem and I have had our differences in the past, but this video is the best thing that I've seen all year. It's an amazing song and an even more amazing video. Please go watch."

No, the song doesn't do anything for me, but I doubt this release has much to do with record sales.

I wish something like this'd happened here. Celebrities, artists, people that get looked up to - they should be trying to get people to care about their vote, to quit being apathetic and make sure it counts. Stars are telling people to vote in red carpet interviews, popstars are holding up "VOTE" shirts when they win at the VMA's, all sorts of shit. And here? I mean yes, in JJJ land everyone was talking, but over in Austereoville, there was absolutely nothing. Where was Delta's anti-Howard song? What do we have?

Speaking of being more like America, when do you reckon this'll start happening here?

Senate Seats
The Greens have scored a fourth Senate seat, from Western Australia, and Labor grabbed the final South Australian seat.

You're Fired!
The Nationals Senate leader, Ron Boswell is claiming they hold the balance of power in the Senate (he's also saying the first thing they should pass is unfair dismissal laws). Costello is telling him to shut up.

The Liberals are trying to get Labor to agree with them on their IR policy.
"The ALP said that it's reviewing its policy, its disastrous policy, on industrial relations," Mr Andrews said. "It's saying that it will be more business-friendly. This is the first test for the ALP as to whether they are going to be business-friendly. If they are, then they will get behind this legislation."
- Kevin Andrews, Workplace Relations Minister

"The long-term test here is what will the Government do after the first of July when it has unbridled power. Will it conduct itself in its traditional zealot ideological way or will it agree with Labor that the best way of getting economic growth, the best way of getting productivity in the workplace, is flexibility with fairness?"
- Stephen Smith, (new) ALP IR Spokesman

The ACTU is warning the ALP "not to suck up to businesses" as a way of scoring points.

"The Liberal Party is like your Republican Party, whereas the Labor Party is like your... Republican Party."
I think this post on LiveJournal sums up what a lot of people are thinking:
And this is certainly the time to be trying to change the Labor Party, now that it's in post-massacre freefall. My major fear is that in the attempt to beat the Liberals, Labor will become the Liberals, and that's what I want to fight.

There's an internal review on Labor's plans to get troops out of Iraq, throwing the Tasmanian forests policy out the window, and putting the tax policy in the republic box. Schools and Medicare Gold are staying though.

But why axe the forestry policy? If it was a load of shit then yes, but just because the announcement and media coverage was a disaster, doesn't mean the policy itself was. Bah.

The whole thing with Gillard pulling out of the running for treasury just to make certain factions happy was just pathetic. It seems like they've all lost sight of the big picture.

Making Life Sleazier
Full steam ahead for selling off Telstra! Privatising a monopoly is the best idea ever!

Helen Coonan (IT Minister) is already getting set to hold talks (here too) with Barnaby Joyce (the Nats guy that got the Liberals over the line in the Senate) about flogging off Telstra. The Nats don't want to sell Telstra until services in the sticks are fixed. Costello says he won't sell it unless the share price goes up, and will keep the majority Australian owned. Uh huh.

But as was pointed out to me on IRC this afternoon, the combination of wireless Internet and VoIP means that life without Telstra could well become a reality soon.

ATO Bent Over
Remember voting for a new tax system with less complexity, red tape and loopholes?

Cross-Media Ownership
Fairfax (makers of the SMH, AFR and The Age) shares have risen amidst speculation of a takeover once cross-media laws are chopped. Good for business, bad for the... bugger it, you know how it goes.

Friday, October 29, 2004

"Who Do You Trust...?"

Election Is About Trust, Says Bush:
"Who has earned the trust of the American people? Who do they believe in? Who do they believe can fight and win the war on terror and keep Americana secure?"
- George Bush

Holy shit, that sounds way too familiar.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Things I Would Do If By Some Accident I Became PM Of Australia And Had A Senate Majority

  • Get rid of HECS.
  • Tear up the FTA (in a public display).
  • Fix the disaster that is CityRail.
  • Give public service workers that deserve it a fat pay rise.
  • Ban the sale of nicotine (fine, keep smoking, but not because you're addicted).
  • Ban corporate donations to political parties.
  • Remove restrictions on free-to-air digital TV content.
  • Get the fucking republic already.
  • Reduce the voting age to 16.
  • Change water pricing so that the price per kL jumped up the more you used (after determining an average usage).
  • Fix private school funding once and for all.
  • All media outlets have to carry announcements stating their leanings (which are independently determined, and wil reside on the front page, or start of every news program).
  • Actually get Internet access in Australia up to the same standards as the rest of the world (re: pricing/speed).
  • Give Telstra a massive kick up the bum.
  • More funding for Australian movies, and base grants on how decent the idea sounds, not at random.
  • Get a good compromise between unions and employers - too much of either is a bad thing.
  • Try and introduce an independent national newspaper (ie. ABC in print).
  • Give the ABC an arseload more funding, so decent shows like Wildside can reappear.
  • Introduce a reality/half-arsed TV tax, so those shows cost more to make than regular drama.
  • Improve the standard of kids shows on TV. What happened to shows like The Girl From Tomorrow or Spellbinder? All there is now is rehashed stuff like series 67 of Round The Twist, or some shitty show based on whatever fad is at the time. HI, DECENT STORIES AND WILLINGNESS TO TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT, WHERE ARE YOU?
  • Reconciliation and looking at fixing problems the Aboriginal community faces, instead of just throwing money at them and hoping they'll go away.
  • Male or female - identical pay and conditions. Except maternity leave. Obviously.
  • Keep religion and politics far, far away from each other via legislation or whatever.
  • Ban poker machines, replace them all with Keno or a TAB outlet.
  • Build stages around rural areas and fund all-ages concerts for Australian music (annoys me because we have no local outlet now, thanks to the pub changing management).
  • Fix the unfair border problems with East Timor so they can get the hell out of poverty.
  • Let the current crop of refugees out (they've had more than their fair share of being fucked over), then review the laws.
  • Quit with all the tax cuts and actually use the money to pay for services.
  • Have a John Howard day, kind of like a Guy Fawkes day thing, where we can burn effigies of him and dance around happily.
  • Have a licensing scheme for Internet use, like the RTA has for cars and WaterWays has for boats (ie. you have to pass at least a basic IQ test and an exam on viruses/spyware/common problems etc). Just think of the reduction in spyware, virus outbreaks and everything if everybody in Australia actually had to know what they were doing before they got online.
  • Find something to get Kyle and Jackie O arrested for. Maybe Bob Carr too.
  • Go with Latham's idea of a fourth commercial TV channel with 100% Australian content.
  • Make all editorial pieces that newspapers publish online have a comments section.
  • Never, ever kiss the arse of a foreign leader.
  • Get out of Iraq, spend the money saved on aid, education, etc.
  • Legislation for gay marriage.

That's for starters. Vote 1 Completely Biased 2007.

Independent Media

Reporters Without Borders has released its third annual Press Freedom Index. It's a ranking of countries around the world, based on how much independence and lack of government interference the press in that country has.

Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland all come in at #1. New Zealand at #9. America at #22 (equal with Belgium). The UK at #28 (equal with El Salvador and Hungary).

Where's Australia? Oh there it is, at #41.

And now with Senate control, do you reckon we'll slide further down the list?

The Age has two articles on cross-media laws. The first one writes about possible combinations that could come about, and the second is an opinion piece by Gregory Hywood saying it's the best thing since sliced bread. There's an argument going on in their "Your Say" area.

Australia: Property of John Howard

Blogger is crap. This is the second time I've written this post now.

barnaby joyce, looking... disturbingWho is Barnaby Joyce?

He is the guy that won the last Senate seat.

It was unclear (although highly likely) whether or not the Liberals were going to get control of the Senate. Now we know for sure. At 11AM today, the AEC flipped the switch on the doomsday vote-counting machine and it started sorting preferences for the final Senate seat. Greens vs Nationals.

And Barnaby Joyce won.

From the National party.

Awesome. Now it has been made official that we're the most backwards nation on earth. *plays national anthem proudly, marries sister*

Around the grounds:

Nomes sent an email this morning regarding London exit polls. A small bit of good news:
Hello bloggers!

Remember the positive London exit polls? Proof positive arrives. This is via
Scott, my London UK Campaign Director friend! He has a friend of a friend
who was scrutineering for Steve Georgiannas (sp?) in Hindmarsh ...

"it was a roller coaster! our lead kept getting smaller, then it would grow
a little. on the last day we were only 45 votes in front, with 349 to count.
half of these were London pre polls. we were very concerned about these as
previously the London postal votes had slaughtered us but we won them
convincingly and ended up winning by 113!! the Iraq war was what saved us

A small consolation in dark days of lost Senate majorities.

regards, Naomi

I'll write more when I get home.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Completely Biased, yesterday:
Rudd would be my next choice [for treasurer after Gillard]. But it'll probably go to some other fucker, thanks to the long happy tradition of Labor shooting itself in the foot.

The Age, early today:
Labor's "glimmer twins" - Wayne Swan and Stephen Smith - are set to get front-line economic jobs today as the Opposition battles to boost its economic credentials.

Mr Swan is favourite to become shadow treasurer, while Mr Smith is expected to go into a mega-portfolio focused on micro-economic reform. This would include responsibility for industry and industrial relations.

Monday, October 25, 2004

The Australian Communications Authority (ACA) is conducting an inquiry into why silent phone numbers were called by both the Prime Minister's and Treasurer's automated, prerecorded election phone calls.

Under a code of practice, silent numbers are not to be used or passed on for commercial purposes.

The ACA had given the Liberal Party until last Friday to provide a written explanation as to why silent numbers were used.

But a spokesman for the ACA says the Liberal Party has asked for and has been given an extension.

The Government ignored laws?! What strange world is this that we live in?!

And will Barto (blog here) keep his job? We'll find out today!

Oh bloody buggering hell. Jules has pulled out of the running (SMH, News Ltd) for shadow treasurer.

Rudd would be my next choice. But it'll probably go to some other fucker, thanks to the long happy tradition of Labor shooting itself in the foot.

The Jules Factor

Jules. So cool that she wears a suit even when at the beach. Posted by Hello

What'll happen with treasury? All is apparently revealed on Tuesday. The ABC reckons Gillard is the favourite to get it, however The Age says she's bowed out of the running for it (although she specifically doesn't say that herself). The Daily Telegraph is reporting that while she is still favourite for the position, a whispering campaign is going on inside the party to damage her chances (their editorial says Labor should quit its damn fighting). The SMH also has the same thing. The Sunday Telegraph is running a story that sounds like it has been lifted from New Idea, with the amount of "anonymous sources" it quotes.

I want to see her as treasurer because:
  • She's a leftie.
  • Second coolest person in the party should have the second highest job (how totally awesome is my flow of logic?).
  • She actually has fucking charisma (which always helps in a job the media follows heavily - hi Crean!).
  • She's been doing a good job with Health (and don't forget Costello staking his "economic credibility" on something that turned out to be completely wrong!).
  • Odds are Abbott is moving to Treasury* when Howard gets hit by a bus, and she's proven time and time again she can take him on.
* Much thanks to Clare for pointing out a stupid typo where I accidentally wrote "Health" instead of "Treasury."

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Reasons To Be Embarrassed/Scared, Part 6507

It's Time To Go...
Hi dickheads that gave the Libs a Senate majority! Glad to see your corpses aren't festering in a ditch somewhere! So, what fun things can we expect with new anti-terrorism laws?
  • Powers to strip-search and detain kids as young as 12.
  • In court, investigators don't have to reveal how they've gotten evidence ("uhh, I kidnapped and tortured his wife for information, but don't tell anyone")
  • No more having to get those pesky search warrants! Tap phones? Read people's email? SMS's? Go for it!

Sounds much like Bush's Patriot Act. Hurrah!

Russia's lower house of parilament signed off on Kyoto, so it's all good to go for them. Australia and America (Clinton helped negotiate the protocol, Bush fucked it off - wonder what Kerry's stance is?) are still the only two developed nations on the entire planet that haven't signed on to Kyoto. And both countries are run by utter twats! Who would've guessed!
"Because we're so isolated now, Australia is seen as a laggard in the set. It's not looked too good for leadership on greenhouse gas approaches and solutions, and more generally it leaves us outside the fold of the international community."
- Danny Kennedy, Greenpeace Campaign Manager

Remember - even a one percent emission reduction is still better than zero percent. So suck my balls, Ian Campbell.

Is a characteristic of the Right an inability to see into the long-term future?

PETA is getting US companies to boycott Australian wool, due to our policies of jamming live sheep into a boat and sending them overseas. Howard's hoping the boycotts won't spread.

The Rest
America wants more troops sent over to Iraq. Howard is trying to figure out how to say no (Howard saying no to Bush?!) without "causing embarrassment to Australia." The UN also wants more troops sent over to protect health workers, but the links for that have died.

Liberal MPs and pyramid schemes? Hmm.

Tanya Plibersek (one of the new frontbenchers for Labor) is having a kid.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Musical Chairs

I'm sitting here listening to JBT (and I'm also sitting home on a Friday night writing about politics of all things), when whoever this anonymous guy is mentioned that Andrew Bolt said JBT are TOTALLY EVIL. I actually laughed. Then I remembered last year at Splendour where John Butler sacrificed a virgin to voodoo gods by punching through her ribcage and pulling her heart out, then eating it (his dreads are really snakes too). Then the band threw faeces at the crowd and spoke backwards for half an hour. No, really.
John Butler is an ARIA-winning musician who says he's full of love and peace, but many of his songs have a powerful back-beat of hatred.

Funkster John Butler was this week crowned Australia's best male artist, although the smell of his sermons makes me wonder if he's just the kind of artist that helps turn the grass green.

Still, you can always learn from our faddish preachers, and from Butler I've learned that hypocrisy and hate now pass for idealism and peace among our surly young.

Personally, I think Bolt tries to find the most whacked out possible thing to argue against, then challenges himself to back it up (or maybe he just really is that desperate to stick up for people who call Howard names). I would not be surprised to see an editorial where he proclaims the world to be flat.

Anyway, time to get to the political bit.

New People
Howard and Latham both did their cabinet reshuffles today. The Libs have two new faces, and Labor has seven.

Okay, time to meet the new freaks and geeks. The following contains lots of ugly people. It helps if you squint a bit.

People you can grow to despise in the next three years:
Brand New Right Wing Death Beasts
de-anne kelly
peter dutton
De-Anne Kelly
Peter Dutton

The new ones in the shadow ministry:
All-New Defenders Of The Universe
bob sercombe
joe ludwig
joe ludwig
Chris Farley
Bob Sercombe
Joe Ludwig
Penny Wong
joe ludwig
joe ludwig
joe ludwig
Tanya Plibersek
Arch Bevis
Tony Barber Burke
joe ludwig
Jan McLucas

I think it's pretty sad that there's a big fuss made over women in parliament. If sexism was dead then having women in parliament wouldn't be a newsworthy thing (both leaders made a big deal over it). Or am I talking out of my arse?

Latham got re-elected as leader. Goddamn Jenny Macklin is still Deputy Leader - bah. If Labor lose in 2007 I blame her.

Chris Evans is the new Senate leader, replacing John Faulkner.

Positions for everyone will be announced on Monday. Here's hoping the awesome Gillard gets treasury (no mention of Rudd in that article... hrm). Crean is staying on the front bench. Please, please hide him from public view.

The House Of Representatives is more or less finalised, with the Coalition taking 87 seats, and Labor taking 60. I can see why Gough Whitlam is so pessimistic.

The Senate
Now, onto Senate control. There's a slim chance it might not happen. Family First look like they're losing that Senate seat to the Nationals, then another report said the Nationals looked to possibly be losing the seat to One Nation (whose preferences go over to the Greens, giving them the final seat). If this happens, then it looks like the Liberals will be one seat short of a majority. So there's still (a tiny bit of) hope that we might have a sane government yet (although I doubt it, even if they don't get the majority)!

...And in a major case of the Andos, the Greens are looking at a legal challenge if the QLD Senate result doesn't go their way. Hmm.

Latho said he'd take full responsibility for the election loss and answered a few questions today at a press conference (I was sad enough to watch the entire thing on the Latham channel on Sky News Active). He was very relaxed, making jokes and everything. Howard channel featured Howard being a twat. But as if I'd say anything else.

Howard's been busy making all sorts of new ministers. As Clare said, maybe there'll be a Minister For Making Shit Up soon.

Interest Rates
Economy To Steer Through Price Perils:
Provided oil prices do not spiral further, the bank believes they will not spill into a general increase in inflation in Australia. As a result, they should not force the bank to raise interest rates. The bank's analysis of the economic consequences of high oil prices, published in its monthly bulletin yesterday, is more relaxed than a report published this week by one of its directors, Warwick McKibbin.

The Rest
Michael Kirby, High Court judge, said union baggers should shut the hell up. Woo!

The ALP owns the ACT, winning the state elections last week with a big majority.

And Downer has been making a goose of himself once again, but that's not really news is it?

This post feels lacking in quality. Sorry.

The Ando Zone: Episode 6

the ando zone

Latho called for Ando to stand down today.
This week Nationals star Larry Anthony conceded he had lost his seat of Richmond to Labor.

Mr Latham promptly said Mr Anderson should "now keep his campaign promise to stand down as leader if the Nationals lost any seats".

Mr Anderson retorted that the Nationals appeared to have picked up two Senate seats and that meant a net gain of one seat in Parliament.

"(That) means the Nationals' party room will be expanding," Mr Anderson said. "Thanks to the Nationals, the Coalition is set to hold a majority in the Senate."

Bollocks! I never considered that. *shakes fist at Ando*

Ando also called Latham's campaign "the most incompetent campaign the Western world has seen since Walter Mondale's disastrous US presidential run of 1984".

*shakes fist again*

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Come along people! I'm not sure how I'm going to get there, back, if I can afford to go, or even what I'm going to do there, but I'm coming!

Point your compasses at Darpism or Ausculture for more info. Posted by Hello

Do The Hokey Pokey

Lack of updates, partly because there's less going on as it isn't election time, the next one is so far away, and lastly because all my spare time has been taken up reading the final Dark Tower book. I'm about 100 pages out from the end - feels weird to be reaching the end of a ~3800 page story I started reading 11 years ago.

So what's news then? Hrm.

Piers Akerman, the fuckstain I love to hate, has managed to hork up another 32 sentences of bile that somehow doesn't dissolve the cheap paper its printed on. It's a rare talent to be able to drool words. I hope the Libs lose in 2007, if only to see what it is that someone would write whilst their head is exploding.
"The primary problem is that, to a quite extraordinary degree, the Government really set the terms of engagement both for itself and for the Opposition. It's as if (the Government) said, 'Let's concentrate on the economy'. 'Right,' said Labor, 'don't raise the Iraq war, refugees, Aborigines - don't mention any moral issues, let's just talk about money.' Once they decided that, (the Government) really had Labor on toast."

There's big rumblings going on inside the ALP at the Federal level (although Carr is saying some major stuff too). Lots of shuffling and fighting going on.

So far there's been seven frontbenchers that have stood down. Simon Crean, Kim Beazley, Bob McMullan, Lindsay Tanner... bollocks I can't remember the others. Wait... John Faulkner, Craig Emerson and Daryl Melham maybe.

Friday is the big caucus day, and we'll find out who the new frontbenchers are.

Dems - nice knowing you.

Interest rates are likely to rise substantially in the next three years while the economy heads for a downturn, the economic forecaster BIS Shrapnel has warned.

BIS Shrapnel made the forecast in its latest Long-Term Forecasts 2004 to 2019. The report said it was a myth to think that Australia's moderate growth, low inflation and low interest rates could continue forever.

...from Interest Rates Tipped For A Substantial Rise.

I'll try and post more stuff over the next few days.

Finally - Howard Vows To Take On Unions.

Slave Labour: Get More For Your Money!

The Ando Zone: Episode 5

the ando zone

You might recall previously on The Ando Zone that the Nationals were in danger of losing a seat. You'd also recall that Ando said he'd resign if they lost any seats.

So what's happened then?
Anthony Era Ends In Richmond
An eight-decade political dynasty ended today when the Nationals' former federal frontbencher Larry Anthony conceded he had lost the northern NSW seat of Richmond to Labor.

So Ando would step down then, right? Or was it a non-core promise? I feel so used!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

FTA Fun, Fair Dismissal, Gillard Love, Miranda Devine Is An Idiot

At 12:13AM I dropped my ALP application in the postbox, finally. The sight of Bob Carr on the brochure seriously made me second-guess my decision, but I stuck with it anyway. So here's to me getting worked up enough over something to actually do something about it.

Now that odds are the Libs will own the Senate, it looks like the US pharmaceuticals companies are once again bending Howard over in regards to the FTA, and $10 says he'll easily cave in like the bitch he is, and Labor's amendments will get removed. Or will they have to wait till next July to do that? Either way, congratulations Australia. You fucking idiots. There's also a fight over copyright laws as well relating to it.

Crean has stepped down as ALP treasurer, and recommended that Jules take the job. That'd be awesome. Jules is the coolest female MP ever. Latho as leader, Jules as treasurer/deputy, and move Rudd to health. You want the most charismatic people in the roles the media heavily follows. So yes, I'd pick those three as the holy trinity. Looks like Rudd is eyeing treasurer though, so maybe Jules will stay with health. I'd like to see her move up though.

Another reason to pick Gillard for treasurer is that when Howard keels over, Costello is going to take over as leader, and Abbott will most likely end up being treasurer on the Liberal side. Jules has already shown time and time again that she can not only hold her own against Abbott, but can make him look like an utter fool over and over. All the more reason to pick her.

Some company thinks that Labor didn't give Latham enough time to build up his brand.

Unfair dismissal laws. Howard reckons there's been massive increases in productivity over the past decade (office sizes in Melbourne have also shrunk an average of 30% in the last decade). Now he wants to push this even further by giving small business employees about as many rights (or maybe less!) as McDonald's workers. Nothing increases productivity like lack of job security!

Peter Holding wrote a bit on it, in PM's Dismissal Plans Far From Family-Friendly (found via Rob's blog):
Orwellian in name, the Howard Government's "Fair Dismissal" legislation does the opposite to that which its name suggests. It allows companies that employ fewer than 20 people to unfairly dismiss its employees.

It not only removes the right to claim unfair dismissal for employees who are dismissed, it will affect the power relationship between the employer and those employees who are not dismissed. If an employer has the power to dismiss an employee unfairly, or without a valid reason, the whole context of the employment relationship changes.

The new law will be a recipe for bullying, harassment and exploitation. If a boss or supervisor gets angry and swears at a worker who then swears back, and on the spur of the moment the boss decides to sack the worker for "misconduct", there will be no right to claim unfair dismissal.

To make matters worse, if misconduct is the cause of the dismissal, the ex-employee may also be precluded from claiming social security for a period.

Unpaid overtime will increase. Under the law as it now stands, an employee may be prepared to work back occasionally for no extra pay for a boss who lets them take time off on pay when family matters come up. That is a give-and-take situation.

But under the new laws, an employer will be empowered to require an employee to work back for no extra pay, knowing that if they refuse they can be dismissed for no reason and with no questions asked.

Of course there is a productivity increase to the employer in any situation where it can derive such free labour. But is this the manner in which Australians want to see productivity increases?

Rates of involuntary casualisation of the workforce are also likely to increase. Casuals who have not been employed regularly for more than 12 months are not to be counted in determining whether the company employs 20 people. This creates an incentive against offering workers full-time employment.

Will this lead people away from working for small business though, knowing that they have less rights there than when going for corporations, etc?

The more I read on, the more I get annoyed at 52% of the population.

The SMH has done some polling and found that nearly a third of union members vote for a government that hates unions. And people say it's just wrong to call people stupid for voting Liberal?

Miranda Devine, I hate you. Although I'll give you some concessions as you want to punch concrete cowboys in the head as much as I do. I intend to counter this editorial with quotes from a few hundred blogs kept by people under the age of 24 (believe me, I have them bookmarked). Not tonight though.

Back Pages delved into the forests policies of both parties. It's a really good read. So go!

Finally, some torrents (piracy is wrong etc etc (although I can't see the harm in downloading a show that'll never get aired again and probably won't ever get a DVD release), and no, I didn't upload these):

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Don't forget - final episode of The Chaser Decides is at 9PM tonight.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Time For An Autopsy

My pants are awash in a sea of ballsweat.

How poetic.

I went out this morning, copped 38°C in the face, and realised that yes, I still live in Australia. Just over half of the voting population may be fuckwits, but I'm still proud that I can get a tan just by walking outside for 10 seconds in the middle of spring (or do we have chlorofluorocarbons to thank for this?), drive around with thongs on, and fear bushfires at the end of every single goddamn year. I will live by the values set out in the Fosters ad, even if it is a blatant ripoff of a Canadian ad for Molson Beer:
i don't have a kangaroo for a pet
i don't wrestle with crocodiles
and i don't wear a cork hat
i fight wars, but never start wars
i would rather make peace
i can wear my country's flag with pride

i am a rock
i am the ocean
i am the island continent
my brothers are the smiths
the wilsons
the santerellis
the de costis
the wongs
and the jagamarras

(unless i suspect them all of being terrorists)
i play football without a helmet
i like beetroot on my hamburger
i ride in the front seat of a taxi
i believe this is a prawn, not a shrimp
i believe the world is round
and down under is on top
i believe australia is the best address on earth
and australians brew the best beer on earth

(even if absolutely nobody drinks fosters)

Don't you just feel all patriotic/embarrassed now?

I'm surprised that so many people seem to know where the wall is. Like, other than the graffiti, there isn't any real distinguishing marks, but I've gotten 6 emails from people telling me it's in Redfern. Either word of mouth on the Internet has done its thing, or it's the most recognisable wall off a main street in Australia. And a big hello to the swarm of flying monkeys too. You've tripled my traffic.

You Can't Spell Analysis Without Anal
Piers Akerman continues his 'analysis' (no shit, that's what the front page of the Daily Telegraph called it) of the end of the election. My 'analysis' of Piers Akerman (who never makes mistakes) is that he's a smug, gloating, hateful little fuckhead whose only purpose in life is to divide his audience to sell more newspapers, and should take a look in the mirror before he calls someone self-indulgent. Even if I was right-wing, I'd still be calling him a fuckhead.

If I Ran The ALP...
I think Latham should stay on as leader. He's a kickarse politician, isn't the most bland person on the planet, and was a good, viable alternative Prime Minister. Michael Costello can go fuck himself - the entire party is to blame for the ALP's downfall, not just Latham (so listen to Crean). While he could've been more relaxed during the campaign and unleashed the mongrel a bit more, I wouldn't say he on his own did a shithouse job.

Julia Gillard should challenge for deputy leadership. She has charisma, does well in front of the cameras, and just plain fucking rocks. Plus she's good at bagging out Tony Abbott.

Crean... Maybe make him a Senator (to replace Faulkner?), or something to keep him out of the public eye. He's like Quasimodo - means well and is a good politician (well Quaisimodo was never a politician but you know what I mean), but he just scares the crap out of people. He's stepped down from doing treasury.

Kim Beazley and Kevin Rudd should have more media exposure. Fat Kim is recognisable to oldies, and Rudd - when he speaks, you listen.

The ALP should try marketing themselves as a brand. Target places that don't usually get political advertising. Make the ALP cool. Introduce a half-decent clothing line. Magazine ads. Billboards. Make people need it. Make the general masses salivate in desperation as they await approval of their applications.

"Dude, you mean you're not in the ALP?! No wonder your girlfriend won't have sex with you!"

Try and make politics cool. Not just for the realm of old farts and shitheads. Young Labor/Liberal is so not the answer for this.

There's a greater chance younger people will go left-wing, so market yourselves to them. ALP XTREME! Or not. Feature ongoing ads on the TV over the next three years, aiming to build resentment at Howard and promote the ALP. Sponsor events maybe? "The Falls Festival, brought to you by Triple J, the VAC, MusicMax, Hurley International, and the ALP." Or does the AEC prohibit stuff like this?

Disendorse Jacinta Collins. Even if she eventually wins that Senate seat. End of story.

And listen to Graham Edwards. You want the best of the best in the frontbench, not people who have got there via their associations.

Keep tinkering with Medicare Gold and whatnot; spend the next three years ironing out the bugs and try again in 2007.

This election has made it obvious that people care most about numero uno. So play on that. Explain exactly how you, as an individual, will be reamed under three years of an uncontrolled Liberal government.

Run an ongoing media campaign against Howard - not election type saturation, but say every 3 months or so put out a negative ad. Keep it at the back of people's minds.

I can imagine them now.

Black and white video dramatisation showing Egyptian slaves getting whipped by guards while pushing giant rocks to make pyramids. Voiceover: "John Howard wants to take away worker's rights and give employers more control. Are you happy to live in a world like this?"

Or radio ads:
"You're fired."
"But why?! You can't do that! I have rights!"
Cheery voice: "Not anymore you don't, Jimmy! Small business workers can now be given the sack for no reason whatsoever. So you better do everything (this plays on people's fears of sexual harrassment even though it has nothing to do with this) your boss tells you to! The Liberal Party: Governing for all of us."

Maybe a slow-mo montage of Howard, Costello, Vandstone, Ruddock, Young Liberals and others to the tune of Frenzal Rhomb's White World.

And so on and so forth.

What Went Wrong?
So now to poke around the election campaign.

While the newspapers in hindsight are saying it was completely obvious that it was a total disaster, this is as stupid as Nostrodamus being found to have magically predicted something after the event happened. The campaign went well (if it was an utter disaster you would've realised it at the time; polls would've been much different): the fact that absolutely nobody could pick a clear winner is evidence of this. Howard was scared. You saw it every day.

So with the benefit of hindsight, what could have been done differently?

Latham should've bagged the other side at every opportunity, like Howard did. Virtually his entire campaign launch speech was bagging Labor ("maybe if I repeat 'interest rates' enough times it'll become true!"), while Labor decided to go with the positive, which was drowned out.

The L plater ad could've been countered easily - stick this sign up on every billboard within 100m of the ad.

Keep Iraq, lies, refugees, and all that at the forefront of the election. Labor spent most of it countering Howard's claims instead of making them. As a result, election issues more or less entirely stayed on the economy, with everything else taking a back seat. Shouldn't have let it happen!

More negative campaigning was needed by Labor. It was a nice thing keeping it positive, but negative imagery is remembered more. Howard had no limits on how he'd go - how can you win if you refused to match him?

More ads!

Photo of Iraqi kid in World Vision style: "This is [insert name here]. She's 5. She can't go to school. She can't ride a bike outside. She can't go swimming. She can't walk down the street with her. She can't go to the toy store. She can't interact with the rest of Australia. Why? Because Howard has her and 80 other children locked up in the middle of nowhere, behind razor wire, possibly for the rest of her life. And she didn't even do anything wrong. We helped put her there by voting in the Liberals in 2001. Let's not make the same mistake twice."

Interest rates. Gah. There was one whole ad attacking it. NOT ENOUGH. His credibility could have been completely shot if this was treated right, but nowhere near enough attention was paid.

The debate was good - only problems were the rules Howard set to limit the damage caused, but Labor had no control over that so there wasn't really anything they could've done.

Victorian Senate preference deals with Family First. UGH. That was stupid. No other word for it. That was a monumental fuckup. Talk about shooting yourself + all of Australia in the foot. No deals should have been done with FF whatsoever.

The Greens preference deal I had no problem with, and I doubt it caused many people to scream, and run for their life to the safety of the Libs. I mean what the fuck, Howard does a preference deal with Family First and it has no impact on people's voting, but everyone's scared of a Labor/Greens alliance? Bullshit.

As far as Tasmanian forests goes... there really needed to be more time after the policy. An extra week or something. I partially blame News Ltd for this too - Labor's policy to actually do something gets booed (at first, but then never followed up on - hi CFMEU (which'd have a link here if their site wasn't down)), but Howard's policy of doing sweet fuck all is just brilliant! I seriously think they wouldn't have lost those two seats if there was extra time to examine the policies. Oh well. Enjoy your forests while you can, Tasmania!

And so ends my random thoughts on this outcome.

I'm wondering what will happen if Kerry wins now. Howard has spent so much time and effort doing the Monica Lewinsky thing to Bush, that I'm wondering how it'll affect international relations if Kerry wins. Maybe he'll tear up the FTA?

On a not really related note: FF = owned.

Lastly, I just watched The 7:30 Report's interview with Costello over election promises. I want to hurt him.

Monday, October 11, 2004

I found this in today's Daily Telegraph. A beautiful letter, a tribute to the quality of News Ltd, reproduced with the permission of nobody.
For me, the most exquisite aspect of John Howard's election victory was how it urinated from a great height on the blatant and at times quite vicious bias towards Labor in the political coverage of the ABC and my old alma mater, the Sydney Morning Herald.

I'm not anti-Labor, but I am anti-partisan journalism that professes to be unbiased.

It used to be the case with the Sydney Morning Herald that a journalist strove to be objective in his or her reporting and commentary on political events. But one needed only to observe how in recent times it is so consistently selected, where there was a choice, an anti-Government pitch on a story to become aware of a deliberate policy that lay behind it. This policy was reflected in the endless smearing of the Government by its gallery chief, Mike Seccombe, and the quite scurrilous rantings of its columnist, Alan Ramsey. Similarly, the ABC's coverage has been reglarly slanted by its reporter, Jim Middleton.

Please don't tell me I'm imagining things. I was too long in the business not to recognise bias when I see it, and know when a journalist is gunning for someone (and just look at the plethora of anti-Government letters in the Herald letters columns).

The ultimate responsibility in the case of the Herald must rest with its CEO, Fred Hilmer. Since he will be leaving shortly, one might hope the paper will return to its former even-handedness in political coverage.

One thing's for sure, as the election outcome demonstrates: because of their so easily identifiable political partisanship, the Sydney Morning Herald and the ABC have utterly bankrupted their capacity to materially influence public outcome.
- John O'Hara, Lindfield

This letter appeared in The Daily Telegraph of all places. Either it's satire that has gone over the heads of everyone, or this man truly is an idiot.

Can anyone confirm if this is real or a PhotoShop job? Posted by Hello

The Phillip Ruddock Blues

australians all let us rejoice
buddy, hold your horses
it's time patriotism was
exposed to market forces

the love of country may not fit
in with efficiency
costs exceeded benefits
at gallipoli

self sacrifice just cannot pass
a profit loss assessment
those anzac boys were slaughtered on
returns for investment

a government will only stop
you getting what you can
it just distorts the market if
you help your fellow man

from the cradle to the grave
let self interest be the rule
why should we help those parents who
send their kids to state schools?

i got a fuck-off job, i got a fuck-off car
i got my fuck-off girlfriend in a fuck-off bar
you want the fuck-off time, the fuck-off day
look at my fuck-off watch, i fuck-off say

to get a job that pays for fees
it's easy, all you jerks
you need to go to private schools
you see, the system works

this is my fuck-off club, this is my fuck-off crowd
the fuck-off dj trippin', get the fuck-off sound
you want to fuck-off dance, you want my fuck-off place
the answer's written on the bouncer's fuck-off face

why should we let towel-heads in
'cause their ships won't float?
what other race has ever come to australia on a boat?
and if self-interest should rule
five miles out from shore
why the hell don't it apply to those who live next door?

why should you ask me for my help
just cause you're aussie too?
what's the difference between
those boat people and you?

australians all at once rejoice
at our shared common wealth
but now if you're australian
help your fucking self


Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Ando Zone: Episode 4

the ando zone

Previously on The Ando Zone:
Anyway, latest on the Ando trail is that he's said he'll step down as leader of the Nationals if they lose seats. Why?! He could have merrily gone on his way acting like a tool and nobody would have said anything, but now he's gone and created a condition for himself that'll most likely see him looking for another job after October 9. Stupid, stupid man.

Now, the Nationals have made no seat gains at all, however with 74.2% of the vote counted, it looks like they'll lose Richmond to the ALP.

Will this be the last we see of Ando? Time will tell.

"I can't stress any of this enough. Coalition control of the senate will enable the Howard/Costello/Abbott government to veto all enquiries into its actions. They will have unrestricted power and lots of it - but zero accountability."

Half Arsed Theories

Whilst considering breaking a toaster over a customer's head at Target today, I started getting all Margo Kingston and thinking about democracy.

I feel you need three things to make it work. We'll call it The Democratic Triangle! Sort of like that heat/fuel/air thing that starts fires.

So the three points on our triangle are:
  1. Honest & Accountable Government
  2. Unbiased Media
  3. Informed Public

You need any two of those points, and the third one will appear.

At the moment we have none of them. So where do we start? Obviously not with Honest & Accountable Government; that'll never happen until 2007 at least. So that leaves us with Unbiased Media and Informed Public.

Unbiased Media
Within the next year, almost the entire Australian media will loosely become the promotional wing of the Liberal party (unless FF does the right thing - they've already said they are against selling Telstra, so maybe they'll see this too). So if you rely on traditional media for information, you're stuffed.

So where does this leave us? Internet.

We need an independent news source, updated as frequently as the regular sites. I'm thinking something like Crikey, but free, with a large advertising budget to pull in traffic. How? I don't know. I am thinking a news site where all the stories are reported with a declaration at the top stating which way they lean. Make it available to all browsers, PDA's, 3G phones, everything. If there is a way to transmit information, there should be a form of this news source available for it.

It sounds like a stupid idea that'd never work, but it's something to aim towards. Jess has been considering it too.

Informed Public
This is important. Over the next three years, make sure people around you know exactly what is going on. When someone starts talking out of their arse in a political argument, give them a bitchslap and set their facts straight. Get the message out about all the little things that don't make front page news. The more these facts are known, the better.

And if we can get these two things to happen, then we have ourselves an honest and accountable government as a result. You can't screw people over if they know exactly what you're trying to do.

Other Random Thought
Another democratic reform thought - what if elections were held at random? The GG has a draw and pulls a date out of a hat at the end of every election. He keeps this date completely secret to everyone, then, a week before that date, an election is announced. It would kill campaigning, meaning parties would be judged on their performance instead of their bullshit. But then I suppose it would always mean you're voting a government out based on what they'd done, not on what they had to offer. Blah.

Australia, This Is What You Voted For

You have voted for a foreign affairs minister that thinks it's perfectly fine for other countries to bomb us.

You have voted for an immigration minister that approves of locking children up behind razor wire indefinitely.

You have voted for an education minister who believes your parents income is the only thing that should entitle you to a decent school.

You have voted for an IT and communications minister that wants to sell the entire media to two companies that share the same viewpoint.

You have voted for a health minister who is a failed Catholic priest and introduces policies to ensure the rich benefit more from health care.

You have voted for a treasurer that makes massive mistakes on policies unless his entire office is there to hold his hand.

You have voted for a Prime Minister that will say and do absolutely anything to hold power.

And you have voted to give them a majority in the Senate, removing the one safeguard that stopped them from passing bills that should never have seen the light of day.

I hope you're happy.

"That's not the Australia that we Greens are working to see. It'll be commiserations to Labor in that case and I think commiserations to the country."
- Bob Brown

The Three D's

Yes, three D's. So put on some red/blue cellophane glasses.

I spent the late afternoon handing out How To Votes, alongside a Greens supporter called Christine, who was awesome. She'd actually read this blog, so it was really weird when she asked "are you the David Murray that has that blog?" I felt like a total celebrity.

We stood out the front discussing political issues while the sun went down, then it was 6PM and time to get counting ballots. So off home I went, with butterflies in my stomach, to see the results.

After I got home from handing out HTV's, I sat down and got stuck into the coverage.

And as minute by minute went by, I felt weirder and weirder (I even had the fleeting crazy thought that the entire Australian media was pulling a Fox News). Apparently all my assumptions about the general Australian public were completely wrong. And it just got worse and worse as the night went on. Instead of gaining seats, Labor went in the other direction! And I honestly can't get my head around why. While Latho didn't campaign as hard as I thought he should, and the last few days were a total disaster regarding Tasmanian forests and Medicare Gold costings, I thought the absolute worst result was going to be that Labor would retain all their seats and that would be it.

But they lost seats! It boggles the mind.

Even worse than this is that it looks like the Liberals will have control in the Senate too. What does this mean? It means that whatever crazy idea Howard/Costello comes up with, odds are it'll get rubber stamped without any scrutiny. Meaning that you can expect about triple as much shit to happen in the next three years than has happened in the past eight.

The strange thing is I don't know anyone other than a few that passed through to the booths that voted Liberal. Who are these people? Do they wear invisibility cloaks when going to the polls? Or are they just ashamed of who they vote for?

I became suspicious of my fellow Australians, not unlike the outcome of Howard's anti-terror campaign. How do you spot a Liberal voter? They could be everywhere!

I cried. I felt physically ill. Seriously. About three hours in. I feel like a moron saying that, but I did. It was a total feeling of helplessness, finding out that the majority of Australian people are either completely stupid or hold money/themselves as their number one concern. To find out that the majority of people I see in this country - people I see and talk to every day - are perfectly fine with a dishonest government. It felt like a sledgehammer to the face. Do I even know what defines an Australian anymore?

My mood sunk so low. I hadn't felt that bad since I found out my ex was banging my friends. We had awesome weather on one of Australia's darkest days. How ironic.

After drying my eyes and moaning about the end of the world for a bit more to people, I started to feel encouraged about the amount of irate people on aussielj. It started to cheer me up. Then I thought back. I got cheered up thinking about the huge amount of anti-Howard blogs there are. Cheered up that I've talked to so many 16 year olds that hate Howard but can't vote yet. Cheered up at the amount of people that called in to Channel [V] yesterday and said they were voting Labor. Cheered up at all the little website polls that put the Liberals in third place.

And cheered up by Jess. At first, I wanted to stab her in the head for being optimistic, but I came around. Her Children Overboard song is really catchy and took my mind off things, plus this made me smile:
Yes, Labor lost. But you know what? I’m still proud to have been supporting them. I’m proud I voted for a party that actually put forward a positive campaign. I’m proud that Latham & Co came up with ideas to better this country rather than reasons to be frightened of change. It’s the good fight we’re fighting, and I’ve got plenty more juice left in me to keep going for another three years. We won’t give up - we’ll get it together and keep working towards making this place a better country to live in. A Howard run Australia is a horrifically difficult place to be proud of, but if we abandon all hope, if we gaze at our shoes and sob and whine about being robbed for various reasons, well, then we’re not helping anyone.

Also happy that Ross Cameron lost his seat.

And while the RWDB's win this round, I'm grateful that we had a clear choice in this election. Good Guy vs Utter Bastard. You really can't get clearer than that (dreading the next state election when it'll be Utter Bastard vs Utter Bastard). I can only hope the Liberals won't change the constitution so we don't have elections anymore, or that they gain control of the AEC (*thinks back to a certain incident with Tony Abbott and Pauline Hanson*).

I was asked if I wanted to join the ALP today. I will. I want to get active.

I was going to close up shop tonight, but I'm not letting this blog finish without a happy ending, so Completely Biased will continue until the world is a better place (although posts won't be as obsessively frequent). By 2007, I feel we will be looking at a different media landscape, for better or worse. And blogging may be treated with the same respect and readership as traditional media outlets (unless the Internet gets censored).

Howard wants to take us back to the 50's and 60's. Remember the 70's and 80's came after that.

So screw this result. We can chalk it up to yet another embarrassing incident in Australian history (you do see how this looks from an international perspective, right?). Next time, the result will go our way, and I have a newfound steely-eyed non-religious determination to make it happen. For the next 1095 days, I (and many, many others) will be chipping away at the stinking mound of horse shit that is the Liberal party.

Yes, I'm optimistic at the moment, but make no mistake that there is sadness and rage seething behind that.

This country is totally fucked, but I'm going to help fix it.

Like Dr Claw says: next time, Gadget, next time.

Saturday, October 09, 2004


most people don't like
to think they're a whore
what else can we be
when we still ask for more?

- from "John Howard's Bitches" by Eddie Perfect

The Australia I was brought up to believe in isn't the Australia that I live in.

So now for a new experiment in the next three years. How far to the right can you push society until it collapses?

20% counted.

What does this say about our country?

I feel ill.

How Low Can You Go?

Greens See Red Over Libs How-To-Vote Cards:
The Australian Greens have accused the Liberal Party of election day dirty tricks, including how-to-vote cards similar to the Greens' own cards.

A Liberal candidate in the marginal seat of Melbourne Ports has also been accused of hiring young people to dress like Greens supporters and hand out cards for him.

Greens volunteers have reported the cards in the Labor-held seat of Melbourne Ports, the Liberal seat of Deakin and in the suburb of Mill Park, which is part of the electorate of Scullin.

Vote him out. Posted by Hello

After a six week campaign it is finally time to award the "Hack of 2004" trophy to the journalist who has done the least for fair and balanced coverage.

And the winner is...

Bring it. Posted by Hello

Election 2004 | Day 40 | Final Roundup

$1.20 Coalition, $4.00 Labor. It was at $1.25 to $3.75 during the day, but has since gone back to that.

And now for polls.

All the papers have been shrieking that the Liberals are in front (note that I have never, ever heard of a Galaxy poll being mentioned before in this campaign). AC Neilson says 54/46. Newspoll has them on 50/50. Contrary to the stories that are saying Howard will win easily, this is still anyone's game. The sky hasn't fallen just yet.

The Sky News poll tonight said 47% of people would give their second preference to Family First. This is in no way a proper poll (you do it via remote control and can go as many times as you want), but makes me wonder what the fuck the demographic of Foxtel Digital subscribers are.

Medicare Gold
Treasury says it's underfunded by $725m, due to higher hospital administrative costs than expected.
"Even if they are correct, Labor could meet its commitment to deliver free hospital care to the elderly because it is ahead on other policy costings," she (Julia Gillard) said.

She also says the department's analysis falls far short of the $4 billion price tag which Prime Minister John Howard tried to put on it.

"There's been wild claims in the last week about the costs and sustainability of Medicare Gold," Ms Gillard said.

"Mr Howard said as recently as yesterday that it was $4 billion underfunded.

"That's not true and Mr Howard can't answer the simple point that across Labor's policies we can fully fund all of them and deliver a bigger budget surplus than the Howard Government," she said.

The most disappointing find of the day (because of the timing and lack of people there to cover it) comes from Margo Kingston, who has been hanging around the National Press Club all night.
Update 9.06pm, October 8: The press gallery is basically empty except for me and the SMH's COS Gabrielle Hooton when the Department of Finance wanders in to 'box' its latest costings assessments. They're about the government's new policies, and they show that the Coalition has underfunded some of ITS promises. Perfect timing.

Gah! Too late for newspapers to run. But would they run it anyway? Hrm hrm.

This just makes me want to punch him.
"To those Australians who are listening to this program who haven't made up their mind, this is not a time to experiment with the theory of kick him but he'll still be in office. Please don't do that because if you kick hard enough and enough of you kick, I won't be in office."
- Howard


They could become a third major party in the future. I'm sure I speculated on this a few weeks ago, but can't remember.

Full Circle
Howard ended the campaign as he started it, cynically speaking about trust.
"It is a question of who do you better trust to manage Australia, both economically and Australia's national security and defence, and nothing has happened during the election campaign to shake my belief that is the central issue in this campaign."

Latham finished it in his original primary school (where he first started handing out HTV's for the ALP) , having a press conference in his old classroom.
"It's where I started my activism, my service for the Labor party and to be back here today as the parliamentary leader makes me proud, honoured and privileged."

The Rest...
The Age has a roundup of the entire election, if you've only just tuned in now.

The AEC site has a section where you can get stats on how many people screwed up their voting papers last election. Interesting!

Navel Gazing
Unless there's some ongoing scandal over/after the election, or I somehow figure out how to do this full-time, Completely Biased will either end or get scaled back heaps.

Forgotten News
Now to tie up loose ends (or leave them loose yet bring them to the front of your mind):

Tony Windsor (guy offered diplomatic posting to stand down) - There has been absolutely no news whatsoever reported about him after September 28th. I can't find anything.

Ralph Hahnheuser (guy running for Senate that went on a hunger strike for the past three weeks) - No idea what happened to him either. Once again, no news past September 28th.

Stuff I Wish I'd Done
  • I was going to rewrite the National's interest rate calculator, and adjust it for actual values from reality instead of Andoworld, but never got around to finishing it. No point now.
  • Creatively insulted Piers Akerman/Andrew Bolt heaps more. They're utter fuckwits that don't deserve to be recognised within the industry at all, let alone have positions above the guy that scrubs the toilets at News Ltd. Is being a shitstick all you need to do to get a decent position in the media?
  • Tim Blair too. His blog is crap, he can't write jokes for shit, acts like a smug fuckstain, omits facts that differs from what he's trying to push, and reminds me of Beavis & Butthead sitting on a couch going "hur hur hur, Latham sucks or something, hur hur hur," with no actual decent reasoning.
  • Started the Ando Zone earlier. The majority of times he made a goose of himself was in the start of the campaign, so it feels like I just left it too late. Could've developed a cult following, and gotten a TV show with celebrity endorsements.
  • Pimped this blog more. Didn't want to feel like I was spamming though. Oh well.

This is your chance to make a difference, and all it requires is numbering boxes properly. Make it count.

My gut feeling is good (well my lower intestines are a different story altogether at the moment, but that's related to dinner) about tomorrow, despite nearly every media outlet in Australia siding themselves with the Coalition. I'm just hoping my gut is accurate.

Fingers crossed tomorrow is a good night.

Friday, October 08, 2004

After seeing all the crap this week about the CFMEU all happy with Howard when it came to Tasmanian logging, I found it really weird that this half page ad was taken out on page 35 of the Telegraph. But apparently they've been misrepresented! Wish I found this out sooner. Their website is carrying a press release on Howard's policy. I'm pissed at myself for not looking into this harder at the start of the week.

Good to see they actually had the balls to say which organisation authorised it too. Posted by Hello

Last Words From Internet Land

This post will be full of quotes from various blogs. Final pitches, if you will.

There is a definition of insanity which goes something like this: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. It's time for a change, Australia.

six months off for bad behaviour:
36 hours until polling starts. This feels like a referendum on the sanity of the Australian people.

What the fuck is wrong with our country? How do we counter the stupid perception people have that Labor will make interest rates go up and that we need Howard to manage the economy?

Latham's fake blog:
So kids, if you care about the future of this country like your Uncle Latho does, vote for me, knuckleheads, and if you don't, I'm sure there's a nerf bat with your name on it around here somewhere.

Greens blog:
Now that everybody who counts has released a forest policy, how about we talk about it? I'll start: the Liberal Party sucks.

There Ain't No Sanity Clause:
Some in the blogosphere are gnashing teeth, weeping, wailing and sighing as they contemplate the polls. (No names. No pack-drill. But you know who you are, and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves - the whole lot of you!)

All is not doom and gloom for the forces of enlightenment and milk and honey flowing in the streets. Nor is it all plain sailing for the forces of darkness and bread and circuses.

She Sells Sanctuary:
No, it's not about "choice". Nor is it about "the philosophy of free will" as the Herald's sub put it in the headline of the edited version of the transcript. (Though, in fairness, it's Howard who talks about "the philosophical divide".) The philosophy of free will, huh? When was it ever about that? Non-Liberal voting Australians can still believe in free will, surely.

I've said it before and I'll say it yet again. Labor isn't perfect. Mark Latham isn’t perfect. But he hasn't blatantly lied to the country yet. He hasn't led us into a war based on false information. He hasn’t tried to manipulate the public with fear. He hasn't insulted us with the notion of "core" and "non-core" promises. Is it worth risking the country's "interest rates" on L-plater Latham? You're damn right it is. To me, it's a safer bet than risking the country's morality (and no, I don’t mean "morality" in the same way Family First, Fred Nile & Co mean it) and conscience on John Howard.

I know I sound like a naive, impractical, over-eager preacher and the above is devoid of all possible laugh value, but sometimes this gal just needs to get serious.

Web Diary:
There is a much better world and a much better country within our grasp. All the elements are there. We just need to work at it. Occasionally, as Robert Frost did, we need to take the road less travelled. Let's face it, the old ways aren't working. Believe otherwise and you are kidding yourself.

Australia and the world are at the crossroads. Do we do as we always have, or do we take the road less travelled?

That's going to be the difference. As individuals, as a country and as a world.

The Daily Flute:
We are told to be alert, not afraid while the government is frightening the bejesus out of us. Howard wants us to feel secure as Australians while sticking a fire cracker up our clackers. The only reason I can think of is that the fear of America has spread here just as all other cultural exports, I wish I could offer something more intelligent. But then I wish the government could too.

I have been feeling that Labor will not make it. I feel they may improve on their last efforts but Little Johnny rat will make it to a fourth term and a sizable chunk of the population will move to New Zealand. I have been overwhelmed into submission by the Coalition bias shown by the News Ltd media, as comicstriphero earlier mentioned. Little Johnboy has constantly aimed at the lowest common denominator both in his time as PM and in this election campaign and it is hard to struggle against the feeling that this country has become the lowest common denominator. That this denominator is valued and questioning, intelligent public discussion is dismissed as elite. As such, idiotic and blatantly untrue platforms like "higher interest rates under Labor" are believed without question. Teflon-John is going to get away with it again.

Well, this is how I was feeling until about 1pm this afternoon. A chat with a colleague revealed some high-level research she had been doing this week. Every cab she got into she asked the cab driver their opinion on the election. And the answers? Overwhelming in favour of a Labor win. Perhaps there is just a shred of hope...

Suki Has An Opinion:
Let's care about truth...

Truth about why we are in Iraq.
Truth about the mental health of people in detention centres.
Truth about Medicare from the perspective of health care providers.
Truth about the dangerous stupidity of Ministers.
Truth about renewable energy projects.

Is It Wrong To Wish On Space Hardware?:
See you all the other side of the Howard-ite era. I've got a strong gut feeling that this is it. By midnight on Saturday, we'll all be pissing away the last eight years into the dustbin of history. When the hang-over dies off, we'll get stuck into correcting some very serious wrongs committed in our name.

As Liam Gallagher sang upon the demise of the British Tories: Some might say, we will find a brighter day.

Let's hope Mark Latham doesn't become another Tony Blair.

Stay beautiful, stay strong (Kia Kaha) and as Michael Franti says, stay human.

It's time people!

It's time.

Reasons You Will Hate Me:
And you know what, you fuckers? I would still not vote for John Howard. Because despite whatever either party can offer me personally, I give a fucking shit about this country and its social and emotional growth. And I would deal with losing my fucking job and would just campaign and bitch to whoever was in power to get my industry back on track. And I would do that knowing that I hadn't thrown my weight behind the racist scum-sucking conservatives set to screw us into the ground.

Hello? Is This Thing Switched On?:
Don’t forget the Tampa. Don’t forget the mandatory detention of legitimate refugees escaping human rights violating atrocities. Don’t forget equal rights for our gay and lesbian communities. Don’t forget that apologising to a race of indigenous Australians has been too difficult for our current government. Don’t forget the cultural identity of this country is being bartered around like a valueless 5 of Diamonds in the Free Trade Agreements. Don't forget all the lies.

I can’t go on. Please, please, please but Liberal as your last preference!

The Road To Surfdom:
Honestly, do you want to wake up on Sunday morning resigned to another three years of the perpetual dullness of the clotted mind or would you prefer to be looking forward to what the future might hold as Latham and Costello battle it out?

This is an historic election not least because a change of government now is going to be more than a change of who controls the treasury benches. It is going to bring a complete turnover of personnel in the liberal Party too, and God, don't they need it?

So we face the prospect of two relatively young, reinvigorated parties vying for our attention and our votes. It'll do us all good.

I know a prime minister Latham is a risk, but so is bloody life.

It's a time for a change. It's time for a system overhaul. It's time to face the threats and challenges of the future with the confidence that comes from renewal. It's time to slip out of the straightjacket, as snug and secure as that might be, pull on the Speedos and catch the next big wave.

Young and free, girt by sea, here comes a Latham victory!

Back Pages:
First, '04 is not, and does not feel like, '01. There has not been a horrific terrorist attack on New York City on the eve of the campaign. There was no Tampa during the campaign. Nor has Labor made itself into a small target. After beginning this campaign in an anti-Howardian stance, Back Pages has moved more and more into a positive stance for Latham and the ALP. Heading a list of useful promises, the schools policy, Medicare Gold and saving Australia's ancient forests are three big positive reasons to vote Labor. In sum, measured in terms of campaign composure, substance and atmospherics, this is not '01. I therefore expect the Labor vote will be more than a mere two points above the last national vote. Two points is all Labor needs.

If you want an Australia that looks outward toward the future, as opposed to an idealised impression of social conservatism expressed by John Howard, the decision on October 9 is clear.

Australia is at a crossroads.

That's all for now.

I hope that the past 127 or so posts on Completely Biased have made you care enough to do something, have helped swing an undecided mind, or have helped you destroy any blind Liberal Party arguments.

Yes, argue. Kick and scream. Challenge uniformed viewpoints. Don't sit there quietly.

Money is not everything.

Tomorrow will be one of the most important days in Australia's history.

Don't be apathetic.

Appeared on Oxford St, Sydney. Has since been replaced with a beer ad. Posted by Hello

The stupidity and selfishness of people really gets to me sometimes.
Our educational institutions are going under!

But the other guy is inexperienced!

We've participated in an illegal war and decimated a country for a reason that wasn't even true.

Strong economy!

81 innocent children are locked up behind razor wire indefinitely, and could possibly spend their entire lives there.

But interest rates were high over a decade ago!

Our government consistently lies to us.

But... umm... interest rates!

You know that's a total lie, right?

Shut up shut up! I don't care! Plus he's giving me money.

Make sure you know what you're voting for.

The Ando Zone: Episode 3

the ando zone

Ando today said he'd look at taking the election to court if the ALP won in a tight race.
"I will not rule out looking at it (a court challenge) if it were close."

To his credit though, he has a point, even if his comments make him sound like an utter dickhead (which is what this segment is all about). Half the postal vote papers to be sent out to some marginal Nationals seats have, well, gone missing. The AEC is currently examining its options.

Election 2004 | Day 39 | Roundup


Friday, then it's crunch time.

$1.20 Liberal, $4.00 Labor. Haven't moved since yesterday. My take is that the odds have blown out so far because bets of several thousand (and hundred thousand) dollars have been put on the Liberals ($200,000 was the biggest single one so far). Now who in the community would happily throw huge amounts of cash on bets? People with more money than sense? See where I'm going here?

I am feeling like Labor will win; they've definitely crapped all over the Liberals for the past six weeks. However, I've been following the news so closely this past month I've got no perspective, I have no idea what the general non-obsessed population are thinking. I'm just hoping like hell they're not as dumb as Howard thinks they are.

Costello: Goose
Okay, this is about the ALP tax package turning out to cost $500m less than expected. Now, here's what Costello said over a fortnight ago:
"It's a dodgy document, the whole thing is dodgy. The tables are dodgy, the costings are dodgy, the participation dividends are dodgy. Labor is letting the days click down hoping that they can stick this in too late for the Treasury to analyse it and too late for the public to have the facts. I hang my reputation on the independent costings of Treasury and Finance and I say: Let's get an independent assessment."

I wrote a tiny bit about this back on Day 24.
This, the so-called knock out punch for Peter Costello, all he's done is knock himself out."
- Simon Crean, all those weeks ago

Costello's office will now be arguing that Treasury are wrong.
Mr Costello's claim of a $700 million hole was based on his belief that Labor had not included the cost of paying a $235 annual rebate to 3.5 million low-income earners for 2004-05 before Labor's alternative working tax bonus kicks in next year.

But Treasury said the low income tax offset had been taken into account by Labor.

Comment was being sought from Mr Costello.

A spokesman for Mr Costello said the Government stood by its claim that Labor's tax and family policy was not revenue neutral and was under funded and under costed.

Howard is refusing to say sorry. Wow, where have I heard that before? You participated in the fucking over of a country, for reasons that weren't even true, yet you have no intention of apologising. Good example to set the kids.
"He needs to take responsibility. It's not a time for blaming his staff, public servants or the intelligence agencies. The buck stops with him and if he was big enough and a good leader, he would actually stand up and take responsibility for the mistake."
- Latho

TV and News
Helen Coonan says the Liberals will once again try to get rid of cross-media ownership laws if they get re-elected. Wow. Imagine ten years down the track, if every newspaper was owned by either Kerry Packer or Rupert Murdoch. Then if they both owned TV networks each (Murdoch could go buy 7 or 10 if he wanted, Packer could keep 9). Right. Got that situation in your head? Now what stops any news at all about stuff they don't agree with ever getting reported? The ABC maybe, but the Liberals are constantly complaining about them being biased, even after stacking the board with right wingers, so what's to stop them meddling around there more? So do you have a nice picture of this utopian society in your head, where our opinions are formed based on what two people + the government decide what they want us to think? Sounds awesome!

Read more over at Web Diary's old cross-media section, or at

Coonan is also all for Australian FTA networks to be owned by foreign corporations. So instead of rich Australian bastards pushing their views, we can have rich American bastards pushing them instead. I'm sure this has nothing to do with News moving off to Delaware.

And the less said about the joke that digital TV has become under the Liberal party, the better (hint: placing restrictions on almost every cool feature digital TV has, in order to give a certain pay TV operator an edge, is probably not the best way to go about things if you want to increase uptake).

The policy is here.

And The Rest...
Time for an overseas perspective:

Howard did his National Press Club address today.

Nic has worked his guts out putting together a story titled Why I Will Be Voting Labor In The 2004 Election, And Why You Should Too.

The SMH has run a bit stating that they will not be advocating any political party. Unfortunately, their counterpart in Melbourne, The Age, has been instructed by management to go pro-Liberal.