Message To The Right: Stop Draggin Our Hearts Around

So, JWH’s  tender and caring  side was really hidden beneath his hardened and oftentimes ruthless and deceptive exterior?  Janet A finds herself fighting hard to portray ‘superman’ as a really sweet and caring man in today’s column.

David Williamson seems to have found a soft spot.  Let the ideological wars begin.

The very last paragraph says it all and in so many ways, in my opinion:

‘When conservatives learn that good policy is about winning hearts as well as minds, they will shake off this recurring theme that to be a conservative is to lack compassion”

How true!

Tough love a hard sell

Janet Albrechtsen Blog | February 25, 2009

PLAYWRIGHT David Williamson has some advice for those of us on the conservative side of politics. In a long email exchange between us, he said conservatives lack compassion. Indeed, it is a constant refrain from critics on the Left. While much of this criticism is based on lazy and crude logic, Williamson deserves to be addressed for two critical reasons.

First, to prove wrong the progressive myth that those on the Left have a moral monopoly over compassion. And second, to remind conservatives that they are sometimes their own worst enemy in articulating why their policies produce the best outcomes.

Over to you

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54 Responses

  1. I think the truth of the matter is that too many so – called conservatives have been so caught up in the own self- importance that finding a way back to a more balanced view of life will really take some doing.

    Perhaps this is their big wake up call ‘we’ve had a gut-full’

  2. Howard’s mob did however have limitless compassion for materialistic members of the middle class, in the form of child care subsidies and home buyers’ grants and family allowances and contributions to private schools and favourable tax arrangements for investors and so on. The only ‘filter’ applied there was effectiveness in buying votes.

    Funnily enough, on the other hand, conservative compassion towards age pensioners has only become evident since they lost government.

  3. KL

    I couldn’t agree more KL.

  4. “Funnily enough, on the other hand, conservative compassion towards age pensioners has only become evident since they lost government.”

    Spot on Ken. They also seem to be GREENER than in the past.

    Had a chuckle watching 7: 30 Report last night…Kerry O’Brien broadsided him big time:

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well, Kerry, I’m sure they’re spending some money having a look at things, but it is not a part of their climate change policy. There is no strategy to harness these opportunities. And in case you think I’m a little ahead of the field, Kerry, let me tell you: the United States has been doing this for years. They were doing this under the Bush Administration, which you probably think was not very forward thinking in terms of climate change policy.

    KERRY O’BRIEN: Well, did you do it as Environment Minister?

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, Kerry, we did not. But the fact of the matter is – well, Kerry, the reality is this: we are here today, we’re going forward, we have innovative, productive, environmentally effective and economically responsible climate change policies.
    ————-
    The look on Turnbull’s face as he faltered was hilarious. He really is a pompous windbag sometimes. I keep expecting him to refer to Howard as:

    “He who must be obeyed!”

    N’

  5. Two republican governors in the US ( Arnie is one ) have sided with Obama in stating that republicans need to honour their citizens requests even if they are against the ideology of the republican party. Arnie states that Public Health for all along with schooling and better control of companies should all be implemented because that is what the public of the USA want. This is what he hears all the time, so it appears Arnie and one of the republicans other governors have finally woken up to the fact that a democracy is owned by the people not the republican party and their sole ideology and as a result policies requested by the majority of the population should be implemented for the good of all. Boy is this interesting times.

  6. Malcolm Turnbull is used to being a merchant banker CEO where those below him were employees of which he, like so many CEOs commanded the Yes Sir syndrome. Do what I say and agree with me all of the time or I will have your arse.

    Problem is he doesn’t employ those below him in the Liberal party and cannot sack them simply because they disagree, So he has some massive adjustments to make to be a negotiator not a dictator.

    Seems at times he forgets he is no longer in total control.

    According to Malcolm. Differences in the Liberal Party are healthy input. Differences in Labour are divisions of an unstable nature which shows a weak party.

    I am so sick of this double talk I doubt they will get my vote again for 20 years at this rate.

  7. The look on Turnbull’s face as he faltered was hilarious. He really is a pompous windbag sometimes. I keep expecting him to refer to Howard as:

    “He who must be obeyed!”

    N’

    It’s all falling apart quite rapidly Lol

  8. Shane

    “I am so sick of this double talk I doubt they will get my vote again for 20 years at this rate.”

    Off into the wilderness they go for a long spell, I think Shane.

  9. Martin Seligman’s work is world renowned and is based on his long time and first -class research into learned helplessness and learned optimism. $1 Million on a workshop to design programs for improving morale would be money well spent in my opinion.

    Rudd’s $1m pursuit of happiness
    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,25104435-5001021,00.html
    THE federal government has spent $1 million this year delivering positive psychology workshops to staff and teachers, a Senate hearing has heard.

    Is this an obscene waste of our money? Vote now

    The opposition says the “happiness” workshops were an extravagance that couldn’t possibly have increased productivity or well-being as intended.

    American psychologist Martin Seligman, who heads the Positive Psychology Centre at the University of Pennsylvania, ran the residential workshops at Geelong Grammar School in Victoria during January.”

  10. Two republican governors in the US ( Arnie is one ) have sided with Obama~Shane

    Shane,

    Arnold Schwarzennegger, a Republican who is more ‘progressive’ than many Democrats, has presided over the collapse of the world’s eighth-largest economy – California. Arnie is not a convincing example of why conservatives should aspire to be more liberal (small ‘l’):

    Arnie Schwarzenegger joins the ranks of the girlie men

  11. I received this from The Daily Reckoning this morning:

    THE COMMIES ARE COMING

    the commies are feeling their oats these days. Yes, the commies are back in the DR mailbox. They’re in the paper. They’re even on TV. We saw a report on them last night and how their explanation of the financial crisis validates what they’ve been saying all along.

    …a few readers stormed the barricades yesterday in response to our debunking of the Marx quote.

    –“Karl Marx did write this prediction and many communists have repeated it over and over. No really educated person believes that Capitalism can possible [sic] work, it never has. it is invented by the jews as part of Christianity. Your reckoner has almost nothing to learn from. Cancell [sic] my membership please.
    Kenneth Seaton

    –With pleasure Mr. Seaton. Had we known you thought this way, we would have done it pre-emptively a long time ago. We wouldn’t want to be a member of any club which would have you.

    — And why is it that instead of making real arguments, you simply assert that an educated person couldn’t possibly believe in capitalism? It doesn’t require belief. There’s plenty of proof around you in the global economy. Go in peace Mr. Seaton, and never come back. Please.

    –“Surely you jest the current financial crash is due entirely to the market and it’s [sic] insatiable greed, regardless of the cost to the rest of society. I’ve never heard anything so stupid as your puerile explanation of the boom bust cycle being the product of governments manipulating interests rates. Interest rates are determined by central banks and the market. The boom bust cycle has always been a characteristic of capitalism, get used to it. Whether you like it or not the cause of the financial collapse (and it will get worse before it slowly starts to recover) is the sole making of the free market and the crazies who ran the merchant banks and AIG.

    And for the record you should take the time to read Marx. The translation from German to English is nowhere near as tortuous as your Fox channel economics. Is Rupert Murdoch the new economic guru??? How about some proper analysis for a change and drop the ideological nonsense. Morons!!!!Now where did that come from.
    David Baker

    –It’s hard to imagine, having written a letter like that, that you’d ever get any enjoyment whatsoever from reading the Daily Reckoning. Why do you torture yourself?

    –It wasn’t our idea that manipulation of interest rates perverts the business cycle. It was the Austrians. We’ll have more for you on that tomorrow. As for the moron comment, you can never say often enough about politicians, even though it’s way too kind. “

  12. “The opposition says the “happiness” workshops were an extravagance that couldn’t possibly have increased productivity or well-being as intended.”

    Baah humbug…stuff paying for that “feelgood” stuff when you can train to pose an economy to death:

    Long live the Republic! And Tiger Balm muscle rub.

    N’

  13. N’..note from the clip that you provided that there are next to no pics of Arnie from the waist down. Me thinks it’s a weenie. Final scenes in the budgie smugglers tend to suggest this.

  14. What’s the world coming to when they start taxing cannabis, hey N’?

    California mulls cannabis tax
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/california-mulls-cannabis-tax-20090224-8guu.html
    SACRAMENTO, California: Could cannabis be a salvation for California’s fiscal misfortunes?

    A member of California’s state assembly is introducing legislation to do just that: make California the first state to tax and regulate recreational marijuana.

  15. Min

    I wonder what Governor Smallpecker thinks about the cannabis tax?

  16. Apologies Min, I meant ‘Arnie’

  17. John. This is just me, but I think that it’s over time that cannabis was treated the same as say tobacco.

  18. Min

    I don’t know if it’s me but I think the stuff smells like horse dung? Though apparently very soothing for those with terminal illnesses I’ve heard.

  19. I agree John. Just me again, but I think that cannabis should be freely available, maybe via prescription for those with pain issues. Cannabis is a valuable drug for pain relief.

  20. On cannabis… completely agree. Should be legalised.

  21. Joni..it’s one of those things to me. Coming down hard on tobacco but one should legalise cannabis.

    For example from: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/01/30/2150087.htm

    Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer risk, say researchers, warning of an “epidemic” of lung cancers linked to cannabis.

    And..

    Beasley says cannabis could be expected to harm the airways more than tobacco as its smoke contains twice the level of carcinogens, such as polyaromatic hydrocarbons, compared with tobacco cigarettes.

    Smoking cannabis also increases the risk, since joints are typically smoked without a proper filter and almost to the very tip, which increases the amount of smoke inhaled, he says.

    And..

    “Cannabis smokers end up with five times more carbon monoxide in their bloodstream (than tobacco smokers),” he says.

    “What is intriguing to us is there is so little work done on cannabis when there is so much done on tobacco.”

    As per previous, I am a firm believer that anyone suffering from chronic pain should have free access to this most valuable drug.

  22. Ouch Joni, walked straight into that one ya hippie (wink)

  23. Cannabis;

    de-crimimalised – yes.

    legalised – no.

    Is the stuff of a dedicated thread for discussion…?

  24. Is the stuff of a dedicated thread for discussion…?

    I vote that Jonni our hippie friend author’s it Reb(lol)

  25. “I vote that Jonni our hippie friend author’s it Reb(lol)”

    I second that.

    Unless he’s too paranoid of course….

  26. Unless he’s too paranoid of course….”

    Jonni, Jonni, are you okay. Is there anybody in there?

  27. Indeed reb… a thread on the legalisation of cannabis.

  28. You guys are freaking me out… thank diety I brang my calming medicine today (and it not weed).

  29. “What’s the world coming to when they start taxing cannabis, hey N’?”

    i’m not followin’ ya man…whatcha sayin’? No money left for pizza..???…bogus.

    “Me thinks it’s a weenie. Final scenes in the budgie smugglers tend to suggest this.”

    Hehe Min…but bigger than yer average steroid head Boo Boo.

    N’

  30. N’ I had the unfortunate experience of having a neighbor in Mt Evelyn Vic..a body builder on steroids. He tried to strangle 8 year old son.

  31. That’s why Arnie’s got a shrunken testicles and problems along with his heart problems Min ‘steroids” And roid rage is a nasty side-effect as well.

  32. “He tried to strangle 8 year old son.”

    Tragic. They’re a vicious drug if not used appropriately. In case of severe asthma attacks sometimes they’re a saviour…building muscle bulk to pose, not so healthy.

    On that UP note I shall bid you all “adieu”. My lady has just sent me a pic from the swimming carnival & informs me she’s on her way home:

    …foccacia begins the night.

    Well, the “on the way home” & foccacia bit is true…

    🙂

    N’

  33. N’ I certainly appreciate the asthma thing..intal, ventolin and quibron and this is just one of my crew.

    I think that we are all on the same track re drugs.

    Re link: N’ you haven’t previously advised that your lady is a blonde 🙂

    (trying not to gross out N’) tonight is Surf and Turf..steak, prawns with a tarragon bernaisse.

  34. Min at 4.09 says:

    “N’ I had the unfortunate experience of having a neighbor in Mt Evelyn Vic..a body builder on steroids. He tried to strangle 8 year old son….”

    I think we might be onto something here.

    Janet A reckons Conservatives like her idol, John Winston, are really just big misunderstood Warm Fuzzies. The trouble, she reckons, is that they have to make all those really hard decisions (for our own good, of course) and as a result, their cute and cuddly nature gets overwhelmed.

    I have a somwhat different take on things.

    Instead of Warm Fuzzies, I reckon they’re actually Purple Meanies who, when in Government, are so affected by power that it acts as a sort of ego-enhancing steriod that makes them completely immune to the suffering of others, being the poor bastards on the receiving-end of their decisions.

    That’s why JWH had no trouble at all sending-in the Army to locking-up the Tampa refugees, helping Gearge Bush lay waste to Iraq, etc etc.

    In reality, Min, John Winston was a bit like your neighbour, except that his ‘roid rages were not a result of a sudden spur-of the-moment loss of control. Oh no, they were always the product of cold, considered calculation and planning.

    So, in a way, Howard is a much more reprehensible character than your violent muscle-bound neighbour.

    Mr Muscles is just a deranged moron. Howard was something else again.

  35. Evan

    You’ve certainly got a way with words. Love it mate. Keep it up, just keep letting loose. I haven’t laughed that long in a while.

  36. Ta, John. Glad you enjoyed.

    I’m dead serious about Howard’s ego, though.

    He might have been a weedy little guy, but if his ego ever took physical form, I reckon it would look and behave pretty-much like the Incredible Hulk.

  37. “Cannabis;

    de-crimimalised – yes.

    legalised – no.” reb

    It kinda works in SA.

    A VERY stupid reason to criminalise an individual.

    Definitely not for everyone however, the mental health issues can be very real for some users & at the end of the day our lungs are not designed to inhale smoke of any kind.

    But, as I’ve heard mention before….MMMMMMM, COOKIES….(recipes thread? [joking])

    Objectively, alcohol is socially acceptable, widely used (by me, yum) & does far more empirical damage to the mind & body (in excess).

    There is a fine rule of thumb I know, it has worked for 95% of my adult life.
    “All things in moderation”.

  38. [So, in a way, Howard is a much more reprehensible character than your violent muscle-bound neighbour.

    Mr Muscles is just a deranged moron. Howard was something else again]
    Howard a calculating and planning deranged moron.The worst kind of moron.

  39. Cant agree that Howard is a moron, he’s smart as hell but evil nonetheless

  40. Evan, on February 25th, 2009 at 6:00 pm Said:

    Ta, John. Glad you enjoyed.

    I know you were serious Evan, I found your take very funny.

  41. shaneinqld, on February 25th, 2009 at 11:26 am Said:

    “According to Malcolm. Differences in the Liberal Party are healthy input. Differences in Labour are divisions of an unstable nature which shows a weak party.”

    Malvolio’s been channeling Neil.

  42. Min, on February 25th, 2009 at 2:20 pm Said:

    N’..note from the clip that you provided that there are next to no pics of Arnie from the waist down. Me thinks it’s a weenie. Final scenes in the budgie smugglers tend to suggest this.

    Min, there was a shot about halfway through which had me wondering if he had a gun in his shorts or was he just pleased to see himself in the mirror?

  43. […] Albrechtsen’s reliance on the Howard Government’s record of compassionate reform is also undermined by some obvious cases where there was a distinct lack of compassion: WorkChoices, the removal of unfair dismissal protections, and the Pacific Solution, for starters. But Jason Whittaker makes a broader point about the compassion embodied in many conservative policies – it is conditional and exclusive. The Howard Government’s form of compassion was extended preferentially to those who met their criteria for being appropriate Australians – so, middle-class families were recipients of far greater rewards from the government than same-sex couples, for instance (or aged pensioners, as Ken Lovell notes). […]

  44. The Howard Government’s form of compassion was extended preferentially to those who met their criteria for being appropriate Australians…

    Called practical compassion?

  45. “Janet, John and the compassionate conservatives – Pure Poison, on February 26th, 2009 at 7:24 am Said: ”

    ‘Selective’ and ‘discriminating compassion’ are more tags that come to mind.

  46. “I certainly appreciate the asthma thing..intal, ventolin and quibron and this is just one of my crew.”

    Min, it’s a challenge. I was born and immediately put in an oxygen tent. Started on Intal, ended up in an Asthma home at 6…was lucky to survive the epidemic of asthma deaths during that year or so (seems it could be related to a problem w/ the drugs at the time, fortunately I hated the pills & used to put them in one of those bobble head dogs).

    Once the corticosteroid- based inhalers like Bricanyl & such came along my life improved vastly. Instead of 2-4 visits to the hospital every year…& fear of country travelling due to bad reaction to hay & such…I started living a fairly normal life. Travelled heaps, plenty of country trips…even lived in a cottage on a sheep farm in NSW for 2 years. I was lucky to have a step-mom in Canada who was a nurse & we had good health coverage…she introduced me to a savvy specialist who introduced me to these asthma preventatives in my early teens.

    I might add, my Mum here in Australia, who worked for David Jones for 2 decades or more (Adelaide & Brisbane) never had much money…but she always paid for the best treatment she could & I’m indebted to her for it…saved my life…when other kids I knew in the 60s sadly didn’t survive. We’ve had our differences over the years, but I know what she sacrificed to keep me breathing.

    One of the reasons I don’t smoke (cigs or weed) is due to asthma. And it I find it depresses me. And my wife dislikes it immensely. Tho we believe that if others decide to use it in moderation…& it helps them relax or assists pain, then that’s their business. Governments could tax it & help ensure the use of health screwing STRONG stuff is lessened.

    Me now, I prefer to stick to a beer or twelve on occasion.

    Had a nice night, thnks. But poor S’ was quite ill…musta picked something up in that crowded hot as sauna restaurant on Saturday. I’ve got a soar throat too.

    And yes…S’ is a blonde…:)

    Bit low today…heard my Dad, living in Canada, has been very ill. Just recovering. He’s in mid 70s.

    Cheers
    N’

  47. Speaking of THE RIGHT and compassion. I don’t remember much compassion under Jo here in QLD. Closing Unis to accomodate sports games and such.

    Worries about meeting too many friends in Brisbane at once in case the police mistook it for an illegal gathering. Sigh.

    I was listening to QLD state Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg announce his emphasis on LAW & ORDER yesterday…and I got this chill down my spine. “Old time conservative policies” I thought…”creating another POLICE STATE like under Jo”.

    It’s not very imaginative. In fact he could be an American Republican the way he’s going.

    Can imagine the way his government would go out of its way to “oust” compassionate & wide thinking educators. Put them in the TRANSFER SYSTEM…”out to the rural towns or else”.

    And if teachers want to stay w/ their families & friends…or there’s a partner who can’t move due to work or illness, well too bad…”off you go to the HOLDING POOL…until you despair from being shifted from school to school & leave. I’ve seen it all before.

    Meanness & ideology triumphs over compassion & understanding the way diverse thinkers function.

    “We are THE BORG…and YOU will be ASSIMILATED.”

    N’

  48. N’ apologies for the delay in replying. Yes son was later on Bricanyl as well as Intal. Son was diagnosed with bronchiolitis age 6 weeks. They tried a number of drugs with little result as he was an exercise induced asthmatic.

    Eventually off the nebuliser then big problems with ventolin in a puffer which caused hyperactive reactions. I’ll never forget the day..little J sitting hitting his head against the wall saying Mummy, make it stop.

    Desperate I took him to a naturopath who put him on a diet minus artificial flavorings, colorings and preservatives and no wheat products. And it worked.

    So sorry to hear about your Dad..it’s so difficult when they’re such a long way away.

  49. “So sorry to hear about your Dad..it’s so difficult when they’re such a long way away.”

    Thnx Min…that’s true. The imagination can run wild…& it’s frustrating that you can’t be there to support them.
    At least we have email as well as the phone these days.

    “apologies for the delay in replying”

    No problem Min…no need to apologise for missed or delayed responses. The days time & duty demands and the rapid fire commentary can lead to such quite easily. Common courtesy is a good thing tho…oft forgotten these days. Thnx for the feedback.

    “Desperate I took him to a naturopath who put him on a diet minus artificial flavorings, colorings and preservatives and no wheat products. And it worked.”

    That’s wonderful.

    I can imagine it must be terrifying at times & highly worrying to have a chronically ill child. Good for you for perservering & achieving a positive health result for your son.

    Unfortunately, I’ve tried a number of dietary & lifestyle approaches…including that which you mentioned…but alas I’m a genetically stuffed type of asthmatic…and the only place I’ve lived in where I could reduce my medication significantly was in Austria during the winter mths…but my HAPPY HOME is here.

    C’est la vite!
    N’

  50. N’, sorry to read about your Dad being ill, but glad he’s on the road to recovery. Echoing Min, it must be awful with him being so far away. Makes it very difficult for you.

  51. N’ and Jane. Now have to choof as hubby is home. Have a lovely evening.

    N’ son was probably genetically stuffed too. Jeff’s auntie a chronic asthmatic who sadly passed away from this, my cousin a chronic asthmatic (like yourself in hospital for many years, in fact completed year 12 in hospital). Then son tells me that partner (and mother of the grandie) has allergies. Am determined not to worry about it.

  52. Thnx Jane. I was relieved to get an email from him today that told he was improving. He’s a fighter…had a triple by-pass about 15 years ago…& another op a couple of years back. Apparently he got a bad virus & an infection that hit his left hip & caused bursitis and other problems.

    His Dad, my Grandpop, passed from pneumonia (tho at 94…but he had a strong heart) so I worry when Dad picks up a cold or virus. Often happens around Christmas and lasts a month or more. Cold weather doesn’t help. He’s been talking alot about wills & such lately which is making me a bit nervy & concerned.

    N’

  53. “Am determined not to worry about it.”

    Best you don’t.

    I’m trying to keep my mind on the positives too. Sometimes it’s good to get off chest tho. No pun intended.

    Thnx for feedback.

    “Have a lovely evening.”

    You too Min. Glad yer hubby has work til Easter at least.

    N’

  54. N’ & Min, thanx and both of you have a great evening. Glad hubby’s got more work, Min. Hopefully more will turn up in the next couple of weeks. The allergies suck, Min. Fingers crossed that they won’t be a huge problem and Miss Muffett sails through life sweeping everything before her.

    N’, hope your Dad’s recovery goes full steam ahead. Luckily, they’re heading into spring and summer, so he’ll have plenty of warmth to aid his recovery. BTW, hope we get a report on the birthday dinner.

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