Tony Abbott. Missing in Action. Pissed. Asleep.

If anyone’s been wondering what Tony Abbott’s been up to lately, we need wonder no more.

Apparently the Liberal party backbencher has been lapping up the privileges of the Parliamentary dining room and getting stuck into their top shelf tax-payer funded wine cellar.

During what must be one of the year’s most important parliamentary votes – the $42 billion stimulus package, the Member for Warringah Tony Abbott, known for his fanatical outspoken religious views, was enjoying a few too many ‘communion wines’ with recent religious convert Peter Costello joined with Kevin Andrews and Peter Dutton where “numerous” bottles of wine were consumed.

In a report published in The Sunday Telegraph, Treasurer Wayne Swan, in the midst of a speech on the Government’s response to the global economic crisis, noted the absence of high-profile Liberal MPs.

“The Member for Higgins (Mr Costello), as this vital debate in the history of the country is going on, is currently in the dining room,” he said at 10.10pm.

“He is currently in the dining room with the Member for Menzies (Mr Andrews). He is currently in the dining room with the Member for Warringah (Mr Abbott).

“That is what they think about the strategy … those on that side of the house.”

Later that evening, Mr Costello, Mr Dutton and Mr Andrews returned to the chamber to vote on other matters.

However Mr Abbott was still nowhere to be seen. Hansard records show he missed five votes that evening.

The Warringah MP was asleep in his office.

Mr Abbott told The Sunday Telegraph the group had consumed a couple of bottles of wine, but denied he had fallen asleep as a result of heavy drinking.

Mr Abbott confessed that he had fallen asleep due to ‘exhaustion.’

“I don’t get a lot of sleep in Canberra. By the time you get to bed, it’s usually after 11 and I usually get up at five or earlier,” he said.

“If you start off the week tired, it’s very hard to catch up” he said.

True to the entrenched Liberal Party “born to rule” mentality, when asked whether he was drunk, Mr Abbott said:

“That is an impertinent question. I had dinner with the gentlemen you mentioned, there’s no doubt we had a couple of bottles of wine, I wasn’t keeping count, maybe two. This is an impertinent question. I’m going to politely hang up now.”

“Impertinent?”

More like inconvenient, or potentially embarrassing, however if Mr Abbott cannot recall how many bottles of wine he had consumed then I would say it’s a fair question to ask.

Surely, we as taxpayers deserve more from our parliamentarians.

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124 Responses

  1. No wonder they oppose the increased taxes on alcopops. They are binge drinkers! What an example to set the yoof of the nation. Drunk in charge.

    And if Abbott and Andrews are the benchmark, they do it religiously.

  2. Abbott, Andrews, Costello and Dutton. Wow, what a fun group that would be.

    Hurry, don’t be late, I can hardly wait
    I said to myself when we’re old
    We’ll go dancing in the dark
    Walking through the park and reminiscing

    The sun had gone down … why hadn’t Ruddock climbed out of the crypt to join them?

  3. I can assure you that the vast majority of Canberra Public Servants are still thrilled to bits that we no longer work for that mob.

  4. Here’s this Abbott moaning about his job

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/abbott-why-are-voters-so-unkind/2007/06/05/1180809521656.html

    “They expect their MPs to be celebrities and, at the same time, just like them; to be content with a fraction of the earnings of corporate high-flyers, while working seven days a week in a hyper-responsible job,” he said. “Nothing but the best is good enough from Australian politicians and, the better it becomes, the more zealously voters reserve their right to raise their expectations.”

    Hey, Abbott! Remember the ideology of SerfChoices? If you don’t like the pay and conditions of your job, get another one. Get motivated!

  5. A new Toby Tosspot perhaps?

  6. “I wasn’t keeping count, maybe two”

    You’ve really got to wonder if Mr Abbott cannot recall whether it was one or two bottles over dinner.

    Personally I would have no problem recalling exactly whether it had been one OR two, or even three OR four, if I was having dinner with a group of friends.

    It’s when you start getting beyond that number that things might become a bit hazy..

    And if Tony Abbott was being truly honest, he’d admit that he was well and truly in the hazy zone.

    Impertinent my ass.

    Just another example of how “the born to rule” mob thing they are above reproach.

  7. Reb,

    I reckon you’re right about Abbot not being able to remember how many bottles his party had had to drink. What I’m not so sure about is whether that is a legitimate question for a reporter to ask anyone.

  8. Evan, Tosspot Toby has been remembered in history. Abbott won’t be.

  9. Convenient to forget Rudd and Swan Didn’t even bother to turn up to the vote on the first reading of the ‘Stimulation’ package.
    Why the incessent obsessing about the opposition when its the governments responsibility to guide the economy thru this ‘Cyclone’?
    Maybe its that the lies, spin and hypocracy of Rudds government are so blatantly obvious that they don’t need stating and the embarrasment of those that voted Labor is so great that they need to deflect it by attacking something – anything.

  10. Hey Miglo, maybe they were drinking Coriole Shiraz that night. That would certainly explain the reluctance to stop at 1..2..3…..bottles. But then again on their meagre salaries they probably couldn’t affort that indulgence and were ‘simply enjoying each others company’ over a cheapie!

  11. I always thought it was the whips job to round em all up and make sure they show up for the votes?

  12. Tony:

    I reckon you’re right about Abbot not being able to remember how many bottles his party had had to drink. What I’m not so sure about is whether that is a legitimate question for a reporter to ask anyone.

    Well, they are drinking on public property with subsidised services and prices when it appears they should be working.

    Reb:

    Personally I would have no problem recalling exactly whether it had been one OR two, or even three OR four, if I was having dinner with a group of friends.

    I had seven bottles of red one night a couple of years ago with one friend at dinner and I didn’t feel too well the next day. 😦

  13. Handyrab, if that were the case then I would argue that they have taste. But I just couldn’t imagine these guys having that level of class.

  14. Yes, how dare they drink at taxpayer expense? Who on earth would do such a thing?

    Now when Kevin Rudd was so drunk that he apparently couldn’t even remember whether he’d seen a naked woman in a strip club, I presume he paid his own way!

    I really love that story. We used to have a PM that held the world beer drinking record (admittedly for speed, not volume). And as I understand it, he probably would have had the stripper’s phone number (or more) by the end of the night.

    We now have a PM that cannot remember whether he saw a stripper!! The first thing he does the next day is apologise to his wife!!!! Incomprehensible behaviour, and unforgivable for any man on an overseas junket.

    How far we have fallen in our in the standards we expect of political leaders. Give me another Bob Hawke any day.

  15. So you’re allowed to drink a couple of bottles of wine in the office or the the cab of your work truck Tom during business hours?

    Nah … Bob Hawke and Keating paved the way for Howard’s atrocities and I will never forgive them for that. Imagine how fiscal policy could be controlled during the GFC if we still had ‘the People’s Bank’?

  16. I think that the point is that the bottle or several were to Abbott and cronies more important than the vote on the stimulus package. The Opposition voted against it and so Abbott et al should have been able to dragged themselves away from the bar to attend the vote.

    How can the Opposition then claim the moral high ground re the stimulus package when several prominent members chose bottles of a fine vintage ahead of the vote.

    Tom..I just love the Rudd, stripper thing. Rudd is such a nerd! When he got back to the hotel he immediately phoned his wife to tell her..I mean what sort of bloke is this to have immediately owned up to his wife after ending up in a high profile strip club in Manhattan. Might I add, that Rudd was ‘off duty’ whereas Abbott was ‘on duty’ during a sitting of Parliament.

  17. “Yes, how dare they drink at taxpayer expense? Who on earth would do such a thing?” – Tom M.

    Liberal politicians Tom. Liberal politicians.

    Can you imagine the penalty if a senior public servant said to his/her Rudd Minister: “I’ve been working too hard, so I hit the piss in work hours and fell asleep on the job”.

  18. No Miglo, I wouldn’t excuse anyone drinking while working. Seriously unacceptable.

    But back to the strip show exploits of Kevin. Really don’t you think it is appauling that a politician would be untruthful, rather than own up that they’d seen naked woman? Rudd expected us to swallow that BS.

  19. It seems to be blast from the past week..firstly several reruns of the Rudd/stripper thing, then Turnbull trying to justify the Liberals economic track record by saying..Hey look at Rudd’s wife Therese Rein, she got herself rich during the Howard years, huh huh didn’t she.

    http://www.livenews.com.au/Articles/2009/03/08/Turnbull_says_hes_not_attacking_Therese_Reins_wealth

    And..

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/turnbull-crossed-the-line-20090308-8sai.html

    Mind you some smarty pants pointed out that Turnbull himself has trillions more moolah than Therese Rein.

  20. “But back to the strip show exploits of Kevin. Really don’t you think it is appauling that a politician would be untruthful, rather than own up that they’d seen naked woman? Rudd expected us to swallow that BS.” – Tom.

    Tom, do you really want my opinion on that issue? Trivial. I’m surprised I even bothered to respond.

  21. “It was the policies of deregulation, and privatisation … under the Howard government, and to some extent under Paul Keating, that enabled him and his wife to build a very considerable fortune.”

    Very true! (But politically stupid). He could have added that these same neo-liberal policies allow Therese Rein’s group of companies to have extensive, current contracts in Britain, Germany and France.

    Neo-liberalism with it emphasis on ‘contracting out’ services was the ‘common sense’ of the times.

    Therere Rein simply plays by the rules as they currently exist.

  22. Tom: Firstly, get it into perspective, this was a one-of occasion in 2003.

    I think that you need to back track to the original question from the journo. Rudd said, yes he had been to the strip club and yes he had ended up there with associates including another MP and the editor of the New York Post after having a couple too many.

    The journo asked, And what did you see? Were there naked women? Umm err duh, it was a strip club. What the journo was inferring was how much and which color. Rudd according to the club’s management stayed only a short while and left. The journo was very obviously pushing the story re titilation value about how much Rudd ‘saw’.

  23. And Tom, was the strip club at Parliament House while parliament was sitting?

  24. I’d have thought that a politician deliberately giving us a BS line about their activities while overseas on official duty is about as serious as drinking.

    Rudd chose to say he couldn’t remember seeing a naked woman in a strip club – because the BS was more convenient than the truth. Of course he would have been quizzed further. Afterall – we-paid for the junket. Hawke would have owned up with a degree of pride.

    N 5 and Min – Therese made her millions out of the privatisation of the CES.

    The ALP was opposed to this policy at the very time that she was making the first couple of million. It’s a little different to making money in partnership with Nick Whitlam and Neville Wran – I think.

  25. Really don’t you think it is appauling that a politician would be untruthful, rather than own up that they’d seen naked woman? – Tom.

    Am thinking that indeed there may be very many parliamentarians who have seen a woman naked.

  26. So Joni – Lies are acceptable as long as they aren’t during parliamentary sittings? I’ve already posted that I’m opposed to attending work affected by alcohol.

  27. It’s not that Therese Rein got rich that I’ve found a problem all along, it’s how she got rich, as Tom said by the privatisation of unemployment which in it’s way was an early part of WorkChoices. It something I’ve never been able to warm to with the Rudds.

    I wish the govt had the guts to re-establish the CES (and, for that matter, a ‘people’s bank’ via the Australia Post network).

  28. And what’s with this ‘first lady’ crap in the SMH article:

    Senior Labor MPs have rounded on Malcolm Turnbull for what they claim is a personal attack on the first lady, Therese Rein.

  29. Tom..the thing about Therese Rein is that she didn’t take the easy path, she started up the business (upstairs room via a 2nd mortgage) due to inspiration from her father: From Wik: Her father, John Rein, was an RAAF navigator who had suffered severe spinal cord damage during a plane crash. He later became an aeronautical engineer and represented Australia as a paralympian..

    She is also a philanthopist (something lacking in Australia compared with the US in my opinion)…In 2007 Rein established the Rein Foundation to promote establishment of small businesses as pathways to lasting independence for long-term unemployed and disabled people..

    Oh yes indeed Ms Rein is a real Paris Hilton isn’t she, just fluffing about wasting money.

  30. Sans Blog

    Thats all well and good, but, if the opportunity arose, would you not take advantage of the rules, as they are set, and make some money.

    After all, if you didn’t take it up, an Eddie Groves look a like would just do it instead.

    Perhaps Therese should have got involved with the privatisation of looking after our children, then perhaps we would not be burdened with this additional debt.

  31. Tom of Melbourne, on March 8th, 2009 at 5:50 pm Said:

    What Lies are you referring to TomM?

  32. Tom of Melbourne, on March 8th, 2009 at 5:44 pm Said:

    “Therese made her millions out of the privatisation of the CES.”

    Far, far too simple. For a start ‘made’ suggests it’s all over. That she is passively sitting on her millions. She’s not!

    While her Australian operations have been off-loaded, she is into much bigger profit making operations in Britain, France and Germany.

    BTW, she has to compete for those contracts against some of the biggest companies in the world in that line of business. In that regard she has or (had?) the assistance of one Michael Stephenson who like Rudd himself was once a Chief of Staff to Wayne Goss and also worked for Blair.

    Nevertheless, despite her contacts she has to compete and her companies miss their fair share of contracts.

  33. “Just another example of how “the born to rule” mob thing they are above reproach.”

    In some ways. It certainly shows hypocrisy on the part of Tony A. if it’s true.

    But this is also the same kind of “tit for tat” stuff that leads to more control freak attitudes as a response, potentially more hard-line Christian politicians replacing the others who are bashed…& aspects of “prohibition” being pushed on adults in society.

    And tends to be more about a corporate media creating stories to get attention than serving the public interest. When it comes to paying the bills the media mogul has no allies.

    Sometimes the focus on individual politician’s lives is too intense. They must feel like they’re in a straight-jacket. Still, i’m no saint when it comes to scrutinising them. What a dreadful game politics is…and I guess Abbott has been one of it’s HARDBALL players.

    reb, not a criticism of you BTW in any way shape or form…The Sunday Telegraph wil do what the Sunday Telegraph will do.

    Good points about Therese Rein Min.
    N’

  34. I like to think I have principles, Tom, which is probably why I’m not rich.

    Privatising and making profit from social problems such as unemployment is anathema to me as is the current NSW govt’s move to privatise some of the state’s prisons.

    Whether Rein to advantage of the law or govt policies at the time is neither here nor there for me; it involved making money out of other people’s misery.

  35. Tom, while you’re digging up the past maybe you forgot about your hero drinking while on the job.
    http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,22131208-5001021,00.html

  36. Sans..I think that you should consider that who else at the time was looking after the interests of the disabled and trying to help them into real employment?

    There was no one. Ms Rein started her business from scratch from the belief that the long term unemployed and the disabled should have meaningful employment.

    When it was the CES, assistance for the disabled was zip, zilch and zero.

  37. Sans Blog, on March 8th, 2009 at 6:30 pm Said:

    “involved making money out of other people’s misery.”

    Right!. Silly me, and I thought she was making money out of finding jobs for people so that their misery might be ended.

    Howard ends CES and Rein should do absolutely nothing but spectate. Strange. It would be a lot like Doctors who won’t treat soldiers because they disagree with war.

    Surely she would be condemned if she didn’t use her much needed skills.

    Just sayin …

  38. Lets get down to the facts, these bludgers, repeat bludgers were happily eating and drinking, apparently to excess and getting paid wages and allowances for ‘hardship’ being away from ‘home’ , then treating the whole thing as a tax payer grant, their entitlement.
    Ask a truckie who sleeps in the cab , to obey the law, a shearer who sweats over cranky old ewes, nurses on nights , coppers sorting out the 3 am domestic, ambos picking up the remains, and these bludgers were too busy getting self absorbed at the expense of the above and others(that all deserve a mention) to even wonder why someone had the decency to ask why!.
    They make me want to puke.

  39. Nature 5..back in them thar days front up to the desk at the CES and you were told to pick a card, any card, in fact all the cards that you could. Every CES office had a board chokka of pieces of white cardboard and written there upon were the job descriptions and contact numbers.

    And so one dutifully collected the appropriate pieces of cardboard and..again stood in line where one was told whether you could contact this employer.

    And likewise for the disabled, just collect those pieces of cardboard to be told which jobs you could apply for. That is, unless you were awarded ‘special assistance’ in which case a Case Manager would gather those pieces of cardboard on your behalf.

    Believe me..it was a nightmare.

  40. “Howard ends CES and Rein should do absolutely nothing but spectate.”

    Speculate you mean don’t you?

    I’m resisting invoking a degree of Godwin’s Law here.

  41. Malcolm Turncoat praised Ms Rein (Mrs Rudd) for her enterprise.

    He criticised Kevin Rudd for hypocrisy.

    The policy of privatising recruitment for the jobless was always flawed…just as someone (Tom R?) earlier mentioned Eddie Groves and ABC Learning (Learning?…shakes head) taking advantage of child care privatisation…another flawed policy…

    Neo-liberalism with it emphasis on ‘contracting out’ services was the ‘common sense’ of the times. Here we go again…common sense doesn’t exist…it is a willo’ the wisp…

    …and many of us disagreed with the “common sense”
    of the times

    Contracting out = abrogating responsibility!

    …and “contracting out services’ has been a disaster around the world…and particularly in Australia…because we watched the disasters unfold overseas and then implemented the same “commonsense” here…

    …Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turncoat? Who cares – just a bunch of self serving millionaire politicians, in the pocket of The Robber Barons making money hand over fist at the expense of the serfs and peasants….STILL

    …and everyone here defending their “champions” – they are f***ing thieves ALL of them…

    …its just that Turncoat can’t act as well as Rudd…surely you can all see that? It’s common-sense…isn’t it?

    Turncoat has dug his grave and Costello’s Funeral Parlour will gladly fill in the grave…

    …what he said was politically naive and that’s why he should be removed…technically he was correct…

    …who cares? Bring on Costello – now that will be fun…

  42. Sans Blog, on March 8th, 2009 at 7:07 pm Said:

    “Speculate you mean don’t you?”

    Eh, No! ‘Spectate’ and ‘speculate’ can almost be considered as antonyms in certain contexts.

    As for:

    “I’m resisting invoking a degree of Godwin’s Law here.”

    Really? I wasn’t aware of Godwin’s Law. Lol. But from your link, can I draw you attention to the following.

    “However, Godwin’s Law itself can be abused, as a distraction or diversion, that fallaciously miscasts an opponent’s argument as hyperbole, especially if the comparisons made by the argument are actually appropriate.”

    Rein was providing much needed services to the disabled as min points out.

  43. You must feel relieved Min through you a lifebelt, Nature.

    A central goverment-run CES is better option than privatised social services.

    TB – best post on this thread today.

  44. Sans Blog, on March 8th, 2009 at 7:47 pm Said:

    “You must feel relieved Min through you a lifebelt, Nature.”

    Lifebelt? Really? No. I assumed that the treatment (or lack of same) by the CES was widely understood. What no more Godwin’s Law? As for:

    “A central goverment-run CES is better option than privatised social services.”

    I agree! I personally don’t agree with a whole range of government services that have been outsourced. But what happens when governments actually vacate the field as Howard did? Do they sit back, spectate and ‘tut’ ‘tut’ or do they fill the void?

    Rein acted.

  45. “Lets get down to the facts, these bludgers, repeat bludgers were happily eating and drinking, apparently to excess and getting paid wages and allowances for ‘hardship’ being away from ‘home’ , then treating the whole thing as a tax payer grant, their entitlement.”

    When you put it that way LM, it’s hard to disagree.

    They sure kick the little guy & gal enuff over so called “entitlements”.

    But I still think the media is full of wily snakes.
    🙂
    N’

  46. TB Queensland, on March 8th, 2009 at 7:13 pm Said:

    “common sense doesn’t exist…it is a willo’ the wisp…”

    And then:

    “many of us disagreed with the “common sense”
    of the times”

    Further:

    “implemented the same “commonsense” here:

    Finally:

    ” It’s common-sense…isn’t it?”

    TB if it doesn’t ‘exist’ why make reference to it on so many occasions in one post? Lol.

    The fact is that the ‘concept’ of ‘common sense’ is alive and well in the social sciences and in everyday discourse. While one can’t touch it, feel it, smell it or taste it, the concept underpins much research.

    To deny its existence is the equivalent of denying the existence of concepts such as: ‘power’, ‘influence’, ‘class’, ‘culture’, ‘society’, ‘authority’ and the like.

    Whether the concept of ‘common sense’ has the predictive or explanatory power that many of its users claim is problematic nevertheless. But it is a useful concept and I suspect its usage will continue for some time.

  47. Min – “Therese Rein is that she didn’t take the easy path”

    When a spouse successfully makes money out of a decision that the other half opposes, this obviously is riddled with conflict and possibly hypocrisy. My spouse wouldn’t consider making her living out of an enterprise so absolutely and diametrically opposed by me. Would you?

    Tom R – when an adult man goes to a strip club and advises that he was too drunk to recall whether a naked woman was gyrating in front of him, I would humbly suggest that he is lying.

    I’ve been incredibly drunk on occasions, but I’ve never been that drunk. I think he found untruthfulness easier than owning up, and answering the “titillating” questions. It is lying nonetheless.

    Nature 5 – “despite her contacts she has to compete and her companies miss their fair share of contracts”

    So she should, and the issue isn’t that she’s been a successful businesswoman. It is that the ALP opposed the privatisation, she made her money out of successfully exploiting contestability. When this level of conflict occurs in most is is deeply divisive.

    Ms Rein made her money out of a policy that the ALP vehemently opposed. I find it quite amazing that it is so easily excused by the ALP.

    Sans Blog – “I like to think I have principles, Tom, which is probably why I’m not rich.”

    I also don’t covet wealth, just enough to sleep at night. I think distaining the consumerism and expediency of the major political parties is always the safe path.

    Sure Miglo, how easy it is to use the trite “hero” language. I was critical of this at the time, and my criticism remains. Did he see a stripper as well, but deny it?

    By the way, please excuse the spelling; blame a very nice Taltani Heathcote 2004 Shiraz.

  48. Miglo says:
    ““Yes, how dare they drink at taxpayer expense? Who on earth would do such a thing?” – Tom M.

    Liberal politicians Tom. Liberal politicians.”

    Well, to be fair about it its not just the Libs who hit the bottle, much as it sucks to admit it.

    John Curtin of blessed memory was known to like a drink or three. Mind you, he was trying to cope with a rather desperate war in which our very survival was thought to be at stake at the time.

  49. Tom of Melbourne, on March 8th, 2009 at 10:26 pm Said:

    “By the way, please excuse the spelling; blame a very nice Taltani Heathcote 2004 Shiraz.”

    What? Only one? Are you sure? Did you consume it alone? Can you remember?

    So many questions? Or am I being ‘impertinent’? Lol.

    As for Rudd and the ‘strip club’, Col Allan is still laughing. In a sense Rudd was sucked in, chewed up and spat out. But only in a metaphorical sense. Lol

    But to be serious. Your claim that she:

    “made her money out of successfully exploiting contestability”

    is also contestable and indeed subject to other meaning attribution. True, her wealth came via the neo-liberal ideology that out-sourcing was the best way to deliver services but it’s not a policy she advocated. Rather it’s a REALITY she accepted and, in the initial phase at least, it was a REALITY she was prepared to confront.

    What should she have done Tom? Organised a secondary boycott? Ignored the ‘problem’?

    What? Over to you and your fellow inebriates.

  50. N5 – it was only the one bottle of the Taltani, I shared another Penfolds 128.

    I find that it is in this condition that I make the most sense, at least to me. Very lucid, and always articulate. If only I was at a nightclub, the womenfolk would swoon.

    Therese Rein, I think she supported her spouse for political office, supported his and the ALP’s policy platform.

    She made lots of money out of a policy diametrically opposed by the ALP. Call me simple if you must, but I do tend to think that there is a high degree of inconsistency here.

    Can you imagine a conservative spouse suggesting – “please vote for Peter, though I must admit that I prefer the nationalisation of the manufacturing industry”

  51. Tom of Melbourne, on March 8th, 2009 at 11:13 pm Said:

    “it was only the one bottle of the Taltani, I shared another Penfolds 128.”

    The plot thickens. ‘One’ has now become ‘two’. A one hundred percent increase! As for:

    ” find that it is in this condition that I make the most sense, at least to me.”

    I think we are in furious agreement! Lol.

    “Therese Rein, I think she supported her spouse for political office, supported his and the ALP’s policy platform.”

    I think that assertion is ‘uncontestable’. But to be fair she inherited a ‘reality’ – the ‘outsourcing of government services’. Not a REALITY she or her husband created but one she had to confront. And BTW, she almost ‘fell’ into that position.

    Still waiting for advice on what she should have done re helping the disadvantaged and the disabled. Care to respond, given your current ‘lucid’ condition? Lol.

  52. Hypocrisy – feigned high principles.

    The rear vision mirror of retrospective justification is always the refuge of the hypocrite. Ms Rein was opposed in principle, but had to make lots and lots of money, just to help the poor people.

    Does she pronounce it “poo-ah”?

    Memorable. Hilarious. The contortions of logic, I love it.

    2 bottles of good red. That’s when I do my best work. But I’d never own up to this.

  53. Tom of Melbourne says of Therese Rein: “She made lots of money out of a policy diametrically opposed by the ALP. Call me simple if you must, but I do tend to think that there is a high degree of inconsistency here….”

    Actually Tom, I rather thought you conservatives would approve of someone making a pile of dosh on a Government contract. After all, you mates in Boeing and BAE Systems have been doing so for years.

    As for Jobs Network, that’s just another conservative wet dream become reality. Privatised delivery of social services selivery.You little beauty. It would bring a smile to even Maggie Thatcher’s stony old dial.

    And just because Labor can’t unscramble the egg and has decided to hang onto something you lot blessed us with, you’re critical because some woman (and Labor woman at that) makes a go of it.

    Exactly what is it you don’t like? The fact Labor has kept your Jobs Network system or the fact Rein made money out of it?

    I reckon you’d be critical either way.

    If they’d ditched Jobs Network and reseurrected the old CES you’d no doubt be rabbiting-on about Labor restoring a giant inefficient Government bureaucracy and how bad such a decision it would be. If Rein had failed and lost her investment, you’d no doubt be basting her as a lousy business woman.

    So what’s it to be?

    Just repeat after me (like you need the encouragement): Prviate Good, Public Bad and you’ll get the hang of it.

  54. Tom of Melbourne, on March 8th, 2009 at 11:46 pm Said:

    “Does she pronounce it “poo-ah”?”

    No Tom she leaves that to Downer. Lol. As for:

    “The rear vision mirror of retrospective justification is always the refuge of the hypocrite. ”

    So are those who pretend to know the future and what that prevailing ‘morality’ might be.

    As for:

    “2 bottles of good red.”

    Are you sure? An earlier comment suggested one was shared. Tom are you now coming clean?

  55. Note the conservatives here are keen to avoid talking about Abbott.

    Let’s talk about .. the Prime Minister’s wife instead!

  56. I reckon Rein’s a star.

    She’s run a good efficient Jobs Network provider that’s clearly met its key performance indicators over a very long period ot time (otherwise they’d have pulled her contract yonks ago) and still we get conservatives belting her for it.

    You just can’t win with these guys.

    If you’re a Lefty or a woman they hate your guts if you succeed and they hate you even more if you fail.

    I guess all us Lefties are supposed to just sit quietly on the Dole and only leave the garrett (wearing our Che T-shirts, of course) so that we can get ourselves beaten-up and arrested at demos.

  57. “Note the conservatives here are keen to avoid talking about Abbott. Let’s talk about .. the Prime Minister’s wife instead!”

    True Caney. Seems to me that once this type of reputation bashing of polies’ families occur it ends up being a gore fest.

    I’m sure Costello, Turnbull & certain media moguls wouldn’t want the blogosphere and other media types focusing on their spouses & families careers, tax situations, assets, previous careers and such to that degree.

    Let’s keep it a wee bit more civilised. Or we’ll all end up choking one another in the inferno of hate.

    In this era of junk food news, gossip columns & tabloid manure it would be nice to see a more refreshing approach.

    Tabloid journalism:

    United States
    This style of journalism and newspaper publishing has been exported to various other countries, including the United States. The daily tabloids in the United States—which date back to the founding of the New York Daily News in 1919—are generally much less overheated and less oriented towards scandal and sensationalism than their British counterparts. With the exception of the supermarket tabloids, which have little mainstream credibility, the word “tabloid” in the U.S. can refer more to format than to content. The tabloid format is used by a number of respected and indeed prize-winning American papers.

    However, since its initial purchase by Rupert Murdoch in 1976, the New York Post has become the exemplar of the brash British-style tabloid in the US, and its competition with the Daily News has become newspaper legend.
    (Wiki pedia)

    Let’s face it…the Neo-Libs & their allies, the Neo-Cons, screwed up. They were greedy buggers. Or enabled greedy buggers. The same can be said for some of the munchers who infiltrated the State Labor parties. Tho I don’t see QLD’s Anna Bligh that way. She seems pretty down-to-earth to me.

    N’

  58. The Libs need to get their house in order.

    Remember ‘The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism’ by Weber?:

    A major effect of this spirit, as Durkheim noted, is that the entrepreneur performs his tasks with an earnestness of purpose that places them at the center of his life, and endows them with intrinsic dignity. There is nothing degrading about them. Such an approach to monetary gain is markedly different from the sordid passion of greed, for monetary gain was not to be used for luxury or self-indulgent bodily comfort, but rather was to be saved, and accumulated. Neither could the resulting frugality be mistaken for miserliness, as the accumulated resources were to be reinvested in worthy enterprises. The spirit of capitalism constituted a sort of moral ‘’habitus’’ which burdened the possessor of money with a steward’s obligation toward his own possessions.
    (Wiki pedia)
    ———–

    Seems to me that Theresa Rein could teach these so called contemporary “Liberals” a thing or two.

    And whoever said spouses have to hold identical political, ideological positions? Balance can come in many ways, shapes & forms in a relationship.

    I do recall that Kevin Rudd is actually EARNING a wage from his job of running the good ship ‘Australia’…that has been taken far too close to the dangerous coral reefs by a previous crew that seems to have been asleep in hammocks too often…or helping local & overseas pirates RAID the coffers of all & sundry.
    N’

  59. I don’t know why they need to drink alcohol whilst at work anyway, big fat pigs with their snouts in the public trough. If they must drink, well they can pay for it themselves, like everyone else.

    Some of the pollies have serious drinking problems (Howard was one) and they get to quaff free grog as they pass laws which add extra tax to the alcoholic drinks of the public. Perhaps it’s not at all about curbing binge drinking for the rabble public, could it be extra taxes so pollies can drink more themselves – a little fundraiser?.

  60. Attempts to accuse the Rudds of hypocrisy because Therese ran her business according to the rules established by Howard’s mob are hilarious.

    No doubt the Libs and their supporters will not only return their stimulus cheques to the ATO but insist that their spouses and children do likewise. It would be totally hypocritical of them to do otherwise, given the strong principled stand they have taken against the payments.

  61. Miglo,

    You clearly earn way too much money.

    I was at a restaurant last night where the Coriole Shiraz was on the wine list for $100….!!

    Seeing as we weren’t having a tax-payer subsidised dinner, we settled for the Coriole Cab Sav at a more comfortable $30.

    (Even though the other half was paying, it was my birthday dinner treat, which happens to be tomorrow, just in case anyone wants to buy me anything)…

  62. Some of the pollies have serious drinking problems (Howard was one)

    Did he?

    Years ago in Canberra I lived in Garran and worked in Kingston and came in contact with pissed pollies quite often. The most shocking to me was Ruddock, he came into my work late at night, with 2 security people checking it out first (which I thought was strange) to buy some toilet paper of all things. He was absolutely whacked, slurring his words and quite narky commenting that “in his day, people called customers Sir, not mate”.

    Night mate I said with a smile and it really pissed him off ! lol

  63. No Ken, Ms Rein was making her millions as a consequence of a policy Kevin opposed. Kevin enjoys the wealth created by a policy he opposed.

    Now, if there isn’t some hypocrisy here, I’ll have to get a new dictionary.

    I’d also say that your comment about politicians returning their stimulus cheques is interesting. Do they qualify in your part of the world? It is regrettably also a dilemma that I won’ have to confront.

    Evan, please refer to a dictionary. Everyone is welcome to make money. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the wealth of their family.

    But Kevin enjoys the trappings of enormous wealth from a policy that he and the party he leads, opposed. What do you call this?

  64. ‘I’d also say that your comment about politicians returning their stimulus cheques is interesting. Do they qualify in your part of the world? It is regrettably also a dilemma that I won’ have to confront.’

    I’m sure many Lib MPs and their supporters have arranged their affairs so their taxable incomes qualify them for stimulus handouts.

    And please Tom, boasting about your wealth on a blog is pretty gauche, don’t you think? Perhaps like many wealthy people you believe it entitles you to be taken more seriously than others.

    Or perhaps it just illustrates the downward envy that underpins much of the opposition to the stimulus package.

  65. Nature 5, on March 8th, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    N5 – you’ve never been able to grasp the sublety of satire and sarcasm on this blog … ABBA had the same problem on Tim Dunlop’s, Blogocracy… 😉

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    reb, on March 9th, 2009 at 8:51 am

    What about a nice C&W CD? 😀 (What do you buy for a 70 year old?)

  66. That’s very thoughtful of you TB….

    70…Hmmph!!

  67. Ken – “I’m sure many Lib MPs and their supporters have arranged their affairs so their taxable incomes qualify them for stimulus handouts.”

    That’s fine, if you’re sure, then name a couple Ken. I wasn’t aware that MPs could arrange to have their parliamentary salaries paid such that their income was reduced to an eligible level.

    But then, you’re the expert on these matters.

    As to my own wealth and personal assets, it is of course common knowledge here I am huge in this area.

  68. LOL! Always thinking of my friends, sreb!

    After all the things you’ve done to, er, for me its the least I could do…

  69. Tom of Melbourne, on March 9th, 2009 at 9:35 am

    …bluddy ‘ewge…Tom and bluddy ‘ewge in many other ways…I’ll bet 😉

  70. Tom of Melbourne, on March 8th, 2009 at 10:26 pm Said:

    Tom R – when an adult man goes to a strip club and advises that he was too drunk to recall whether a naked woman was gyrating in front of him, I would humbly suggest that he is lying.

    In that case, I would use the term ‘humbly suggest’ instead of calling him a liar outright.

    Perhaps not everybody is a capable with their liquor as you obviously are.

    And I am guessing that during the last 10 years, no Labor supporter should have accepted midddle class welfare, started a business outsourced by the government, or used any one of the numerous tax shelters arranged by the government for those well off.

    No, they should all stand on principals, and simply watch the libs supporters personal wealth get ‘bluddy ‘ewge’.

    Welcome back to the real world TomM, hope you enjoy the visit.

  71. Tom M

    What has been overlooked here is that Theresa Rein is not Kevin Rudd. This suggests an assumption that Rudd is accountable for his wife’s actions, career choices, behaviours, philosophies etc. The two are independent adults. To drive the point even further Rein doesn’t even bear the same surname as the PM. Sure, married partners will influence each other’s decisions in most affairs but to suggest that Rudd is accountable for his wife’s actions is guilt by association.

    So where precisely is the hypocricy (the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behaviour does not conform)?

    And Tom, how do you know Rudd enjoys the financial benefits of his wife’s success? There are many uses for excess dollars in any family. I know loads of couples who remain financilly independent of each other to avoid conflict amongst other reasons.

    Just some thoughtd on the matter!

  72. Happy birthday reb.

    I wondered why it is a public holiday here in the ACT today. Now I know. It’s because of your birthday.

    I certainly didn’t pay that much for my Coriole Shiraz. I tend to buy wines when they cost $20 and cellar them until they’re worth $100.

  73. Whoops. It’s reb’s birthday tomorrow. Does this mean we cancel the public holiday?

  74. ‘That’s fine, if you’re sure, then name a couple Ken. I wasn’t aware that MPs could arrange to have their parliamentary salaries paid such that their income was reduced to an eligible level.’

    Gosh Tom for someone with dogmatic opinions about politics you really do live a sheltered life. Do you really not comprehend the difference between salary and taxable income?

    As for your own wealth – well you’re the one who brought it up. Maybe you should negatively gear a property or two and then you too could be planning how to spend your $900 windfall.

  75. Thank you Miglo.

    It is a public holiday here in Tassie today too.

    And the weather is picture perfect too…

    🙂

  76. As always, a balanced and thoughtful reply from RN.

    The Rudd family home is still the old queenslander with the big verandah in the Brisbane ‘burbs. And this compares with the former PM taking over Kirribilli and costing the tax payers squillions..and this is just for the tea parties.

    From good old Wik: Kirribilli House is located on the North Shore of Sydney Harbour, in the suburb of Kirribilli, with impressive views across to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and to the Sydney Opera House. Located beside Kirribilli House is Admiralty House, which is the Sydney residence of the Governor-General of Australia.

    Kirribilli was most prominent recently during the Prime Ministership of John Howard (1996-2007), who departed with tradition and used Kirribilli House as his primary residence.

  77. Good one Ken, so which MP has reduced their taxable income to the point that they are eligible?

    Or is it simply that when you say “I’m sure”, you really mean “I imagine that…”

    RN – did you see the article about the Rudds looking for a multimillion dollar holiday house? I wonder whether Kevin plans to use it? Didn’t his wife pay for some of his travel a while ago?

    I think it is disingenuous to suggest that he isn’t a beneficiary of the wealth of his wife. It is simply a matter of obtaining a benefit from a decision that Rudd originally opposed. This is generally regarded as hypocrisy.

    I don’t mind rich wives at all. In fact I have my eye out for one at the moment, and the richer the better in my opinion.

    Min, I’m sure it is also a very, very humble multimillion dollar holiday house they’re after as well.

  78. What happened to the topic? How did it get from Tony Abbott to pissed and asleep on the job .. to the Rudds? Bloody conservative goalpost shifters!

  79. Challenge for Tom: In which way and how is Rudd benefiting from his wife being a successful business person? As per your comment: I think it is disingenuous to suggest that he isn’t a beneficiary of the wealth of his wife.

    Tom..oh little Tom..you need to be there re the Rudd family home. It’s just that it’s a family home.

  80. ‘That’s fine, if you’re sure, then name a couple Ken. I wasn’t aware that MPs could arrange to have their parliamentary salaries paid such that their income was reduced to an eligible level.’

    I’d be surprised if there are no family trusts amongst our parliamentarians.

  81. Well Min – do I recall that Therese-paid for some of his travel expenses– during his lobbying for the top job?

    And holidays don’t count – Do they?

    Min do you think ‘little’ is a synonym for disdainful of double standards? Otherwise I have no idea what you are on about.

  82. Well, I reckon the Liberal Party should sack Abbott from his ministerial portfolio. If it’s good enough for employers in the wider community to sack people for being pissed while on duty, it’s good enough for the Liberals to sack one of their own for the same thing.

    The Liberals are morally obliged to do this in the spirit of WorkChoices.

  83. Kittylitter – “I’d be surprised if there are no family trusts amongst our parliamentarians.”

    I’d also be surprised if this wasn’t the case. But my point related to the contention of Ken that some would arrange their parliamentary salaries such that they would be eligible for the cash stimulus/handout/bonus.

    Ken seemed “sure” that they would have this eligibility through the structure of their financial affairs.

    I’d only add that if any do get this handout, they’d also be hypocrites.

    And back to Min, can you update me? Has Therese spent a few million on a holiday house yet? I recall she and Kevin were looking seriously. I’m sure when she does, Kevin will stay in the caravan park up the road.

  84. Tom of Melbourne, on March 9th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Absolutely no idea what you’re talking about Tom. To quote you, when the Rudd family, the kids et al buy a holiday home that Kevin will have to move into a caravan up the road. Sorry, I don’t understand this one.

  85. Tom

    You do not seem to get the notion that the policies of a political party are those of just that – the political party. And Rudd is part of that party – not his wife.

    And so we still ask – why is it hypocritcal for Rudd to be a member of a political party that does not like the outsourcing of employment services as the party platform and the actions of Rudd’s wife.

    I am sure if we tried we could drag up plenty of spousal-hypocrisies if we try on all sides of parliament.

    And just to get back on topic, this thread is about a member of parliament possibly being to drunk to function as a member of parliament whilst being at parliament house while the house was sitting and how that member missed five votes in the house.

    Do you find that acceptable?

    I certainly do not.

  86. Why don’t the conservatives want to talk about Abbott?

  87. And I just want to defend Abbott a little bit here, he does do a lot of good work fund raising for Westmead Hospital – in fact I think he was/is on a bike ride at the moment to raise money.

  88. Why have alcohol so freely available there anyway, it only encourages abuse and excess? It’s a completely unnecessary indulgence for mp’s at the expense of the not-allowed-to-drink-at-work taxpayers.

  89. Kitty..just my experience. It is supposed to be non-alcohol during sitting hours. However after sitting hours one can partake.

    I should imagine that Abbott and crew decided to take themselves off to ‘chambers’.

    Alcohol isn’t freely available, it’s only available in chambers.

  90. in fact I think he was/is on a bike ride at the moment to raise money.

    Bike riding during business hours?
    Shouldn’t he be at work – Is the guy ever doing the work he’s paid to do? He can perform his charitable deeds/fitness runs in his own time.

    min
    Alcohol isn’t freely available, it’s only available in chambers.

    Why?

  91. ‘… arrange their parliamentary salaries such that they would be eligible for the cash stimulus/handout/bonus.’

    Tom you really need to do a crash course in financial planning and the tax system. You don’t ‘arrange your salary’, you minimise your taxable income. They are totally different things. Australia is liberally supplied with people on high salaries who pay little or no income tax, all quite legitimately and according to law. The wealthier you are, the easier it is to avoid income tax. Why do you think many MPs are so coy about revealing their financial affairs?

    While I personally find this deplorable my criticism is levelled at the laws and those who have passed them, not the individuals who very sensibly arrange their affairs accordingly.

  92. Kitty. Alcohol isn’t freely available. And Why. It’s not as if there is a vending machine in parliament house.

    One goes to chambers.

    Probably the ‘why’ is so that the peasants don’t steal it.. !!

  93. Y’know what I’m getting out of all this blah blah about Therese Rein’s business affairs is that if the positions were reversed, bugger all would be said. I’m sensing a strong anti-female sentiment here.

    If the position was he’s rich and she’s on a much lower salary, hypocrisy wouldn’t be an issue. Get over it,Tom; you’re only jealous that your missus hasn’t got the readies to buy you that nice red Ferrari you saw in the shop window.

  94. Jane, on March 9th, 2009 at 3:13 pm Said: Y’know what I’m getting out of all this blah blah about Therese Rein’s business affairs is that if the positions were reversed, bugger all would be said.

    And loud cheers for Jane. Now who would have thought it.

  95. Tom of Melbourne, you’re really all over the shop old buddy. Do you mind if I refer to you as Tom of Arizona in future?

  96. Happy birthday ahead of time reb.

    All this talk about who earns what & who drinks what…& who is privileged…and I just watched a recording of the ABC book show (forgot the name) & there was Peter Cundall talking animatedly & earnestly as ever about the tears that flowed as he read Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’…a book that stunned this a young man me w/ its vivid descriptions of the dust bowl, depression & the suffering. And the perserverence of some characters, like Ma. And the greed of the well-off…the outright nastiness and mean-spiritedness of some. And how a moment of sharing and charity can go a long way for kids who will try and find HOPE in the worst of situations.

    And then I watched a Panorama episode on tax shelters.

    It’s hard to find sympathy for the asset & capital accumulators. Many of them sure did a lousy job of making sure their fellow citizens did not have to live like the Joads.

    But then, I guess they weren’t really concerned about much other than feathering their own nests and buying politicians to achieve it.

    Woody Guthrie – So long it’s been good to know you

    N’

  97. Wives know their business

    …And Lucy Turnbull is regarded as a savvy manager of the Turnbull family interests since her husband withdrew to avoid any conflict with his political career.

    Mr Turnbull has resigned the bulk of his business directorships since entering Parliament. The register lists him as a director of eight family companies. His wife is listed as a director of 13.

    Ms Rein founded a welfare-to-work business, Ingeus, in 1989 which expanded into Britain, Germany and France. Those operations are the only ones she runs, having sold her Australian operations last year for an estimated $25 million to avoid a conflict of interest with her husband’s job.

    Now tell me, which political family has lost the most in avoiding conflict of interest claims?

  98. Also Kitty, if Rudd’s wife started the company in 1989 (before the Howard government which started in 1996 – how could Rudd and her be guilty of hypocrisy if the company ran for 7 years before Howard and the changes to the outsourcing changes? To me it seems that her company would have been well and truly up and running before the changes.

    And Rudd only joined federal parliament in 1998.

    Seems like Turnbull’s attack of hypocrisy is a little, um, hypocritical.

  99. Joni – “this thread is about a member of parliament possibly being to drunk to function as a member of parliament whilst being at parliament house while the house was sitting and how that member missed five votes in the house.

    Do you find that acceptable?

    I certainly do not.”

    Is this directed to me? I’ve already said – “I wouldn’t excuse anyone drinking while working. Seriously unacceptable.”

    That was yesterday – on this thread..

    Ken, you should brush up on your use of the English language old chap. When you say you are sure, I presumed that you meant in the usual sense of the word “sure”. Little did I know that you meant “sure” in some other sense.

    As for tax minimisation, I leave that to an accountant. It’s grubby this tax business.

    When you suggested – “I’m sure many Lib MPs and their supporters have arranged their affairs so their taxable incomes qualify them for stimulus handouts.” I had no idea you were talking about politicians generally.

    Min on the other hand seems to think it is OK for a politician to be less than honest, as long as –
    • The politician is named Kevin Rudd, and
    • The purpose of the lack of honesty is intended only to avoid having to answer embarrassing questions about his personal activities or behaviour.

  100. Yes you did Tom.

    But only after you wanted to change the thread to attack Rudd over an incident before the election that did not gain any traction (Rudd in Strip Club) and then it changed to the hypocrisy of Rudd and his wife.

    Anything to avoid disucssing Abbott’s actions.

  101. Well please accept my sincere apologies for pointing out that politicians have been known to drink. I think I referred to Bob Hawke too.

    Apologies for that too.

    Now let’s all discuss something we agree on, and see how stimulating the discussion becomes.

    Joni – ‘Sensational idea.’
    Min – ‘I agree with Joni’
    Miglo – ‘me too’

    Sounds great Joni.

  102. TomM

    And which of these illustriuos politicians were known to have been drinking so much that they missed an imposrtant policy vote?

    Bob Hawke was a legendary drinker, almost as legendary as your esteemed self, but I do not recall it impacting his professional obligations. Unlike Abbotts performance.

  103. Tom your response to every successful challenge is to change the subject. You really are a one-trick pony.

    ‘”Sure”▸ adjective: having or feeling no doubt or uncertainty; confident and assured’

    And yes, I was referring to Lib MPs and their supporters, although you have studiously avoided mentioning the latter. Did I refer to politicians anywhere? Didn’t think so, it was you actually.

    You’re not having much of a day today; blanks firing all over the place, despite your hugeness. Maybe you should get your accountant to write your comments on financial threads in future :).

  104. Tom M, you’re comment at 5:12pm made little sense. Care to elaborate, in a meaningful, intelligent way.

  105. I agree entirely Tom R.

    Great point Ken. I agree. Brilliant and incisive as always.

    That’s better, isn’t it Joni?

    Far more interesting.

  106. Miglo, on March 9th, 2009 at 5:36 pm Said:

    Tom M, you’re comment at 5:12pm made little sense. Care to elaborate, in a meaningful, intelligent way.

    haha

    You almost had me there Min.

    TomM……………… meaningful, intelligent

    Good one lol

    Good entertainment perhaps, but then, the glitter fades

  107. Tom of Melbourne

    Tough being a Liberal these days.

    Gotta admire your persistence though.

  108. Good point Caney. But please do try to stay on topic – Joni gets bothered if we don’t.

  109. So Tom, while on the topic … you don’t appear to have had much to say about the topic of this thread: the Liberal Minister with a skinful asleep on duty.

    Rather, it’s been a replay (across at least a couple of threads) of today’s Liberal Talking Point about the Prime Minister’s wife.

    It’s boring. I’m almost wishing you would take it back to “Unions” or some other Liberal preoccupation.

  110. Also Kitty, if Rudd’s wife started the company in 1989 (before the Howard government which started in 1996 – how could Rudd and her be guilty of hypocrisy if the company ran for 7 years before Howard and the changes to the outsourcing changes? To me it seems that her company would have been well and truly up and running before the changes

    And Rudd only joined federal parliament in 1998…

    The libs are doing what conservatives always do, playing dirty, they don’t care whether it’s true or not, as long as they fling the shit, some of it will stick.

    Hehe, tomM must be worn out he’s been flinging up a shit-storm, but it ended up all over himself – just like ‘Tax Cuts’ Turnbull.

  111. Tom, let me rejoin the Rein affair by simply saying that it’s IRONIC that the Rudds benefitted from Howard’s ‘legitimate’ changes to the LAW but in no way were their actions illegal or immoral.

    They inherited a ‘reality’ and made the best of it.

    BTW, I think some of the criticisms you have faced on this thread haven’t been particularly constructive.

  112. labor = Unions = BOO, but Liberals = bad manners with poor work ethics = lazy toffs!

    Libs out of touch from top to tail

    We often hear Liberals calling for “new blood”, yet preselections keep perpetuating mediocrity. Liberal offices are largely staffed with people who have scant life experience and skills. Many come straight from university and immediately set their sights on preselection.

    The people who have surrounded Peter Costello, including Tony Smith and Mitch Fifield, are an example of this new culture. An MP such as Greg Hunt “mainstreams” his CV by saying he worked casually as a steelworker, fruit picker, waiter and storeman and packer. Hunt is the epitome of the professional politician. It would be interesting to know the time spent in his casual jobs. Jamie Briggs, an ex-Howard staffer aged 32 and another career politician, scored the blue-ribbon seat of Mayo in South Australia from Bob Day. Day is a self-made man in his mid-50s who started his working life as a builder, but who has since transferred his expertise and considerable financial support to Family First. Meanwhile, the usual suspects are lining up for Kooyong and Bradfield.

    The Labor Party is not immune to professional politicians, but those who got their hands dirty working in a trade and then learned their politics in a union are miles ahead of their opponents. Liberal apparatchiks spend large chunks of time phone-conferencing and stroking the diminishing number of branch members instead of pounding the bitumen and mixing with ordinary Australians…

  113. Yes, let’s also find out this author what he thinks of our immigration policies. He’s obviously an oracle on all matters political.

  114. I mean – “let’s also find out what this author thinks”

    I’m already getting pulled up for my spelling elsewhere.

  115. And the truth shall set you freeee…

    Thank you joni..

    joni, on March 9th, 2009 at 4:27 pm Said:
    Also Kitty, if Rudd’s wife started the company in 1989 (before the Howard government which started in 1996 – how could Rudd and her be guilty of hypocrisy…

    Apologies for bowing out..not a happy little vegemite due to ear problems. It was/is a very excellent debate.

  116. For Tom of Melbourne: re his statements..

    Min on the other hand seems to think it is OK for a politician to be less than honest, as long as –
    • The politician is named Kevin Rudd, and
    • The purpose of the lack of honesty is intended only to avoid having to answer embarrassing questions about his personal activities or behaviour.

    Noo Tom you were going over and over and over about an event that occurred in 2003. As we all know and it’s been gone over over and over.. Rudd went to a bar with another MP and the editor of the New York Post.

    He phoned his wife. She said that it’s ok. I figure that if it’s ok by Therese Rein then it’s ok by me as I think that she is not a woman to be trifled with.

    The ‘honesty’ that Tom keeps twittering on about relates to a junior journalist who asked in an off-hand and titilating manner ‘And what did you see…’.

    Tom seems to think that because Rudd refused to describe in lurid details at the behest of a journalist about what he saw during a 45 minute visit to a club with another MP and the editor of the New York Post that he is ‘lying’.

  117. Min said –

    Rudd according to the club’s management stayed only a short while and left. The journo was very obviously pushing the story re titilation value about how much Rudd ’saw’.

    and

    Tom..oh little Tom..

    …excusing Rudd for neglecting to be frank with the Australian public.

  118. And one last thing in relation to –

    “if Rudd’s wife started the company in 1989 (before the Howard government which started in 1996 – how could Rudd and her be guilty of hypocrisy if the company ran for 7 years before Howard and the changes to the outsourcing changes? To me it seems that her company would have been well and truly up and running before the changes.

    And Rudd only joined federal parliament in 1998.
    Seems like Turnbull’s attack of hypocrisy is a little, um, hypocritical.”

    Rudd was elected in the Oct 1998 election. The CES was outsourced in May 1998. Prior to that Ms Reins business was an entirely different structure.

    So at the very time that Kevin was getting preselection, campaigning on this and other issues, his wife as stitching together the proposals to make money out of it.

  119. How was it an “entirely different structure”?

    You do seem to not want to make a distinction between the ALP party policies and Rudd’s wife.

    And it is now changing from being a lie to being frank.

    The straws seem to be getting smaller.

  120. I think her business related to rehabilitiation and employment services for injured, disadvantaged etc.

    It a small, specialist employment service. It was not a generalist employment placement agency, until the CES was oursourced.

    Rudds comments about his own recollection are at best less than frank, probably BS intended only to avoid annoying questions about his personal behaviour.

    I trust that clarifies this issue for you.

  121. From Wik: In 1986 she worked part-time as a rehabilitation counsellor, primarily helping people get back into the workforce.[5] In 1988 she founded Thérèse Rein and Associates, later Ingeus.

    ~So at the very time that Kevin was getting preselection, campaigning on this and other issues, his wife as stitching together the proposals to make money out of it.~

    Yes that’s it Tom, Ms Rein started the company in ’88 knowing that in ’03 that Howard would choose privatise the system.

  122. “Ms Rein started the company in ‘88 knowing that in ‘03 that Howard would choose privatise the system.”

    On this occasion I will be pedantic, I don’t think it was ’03, I think the contestability/outsourcing was introduced in 1998. I’m sure you will correct me if I’m wrong.

  123. Tom..you are right, it was ’98. However, for fear of being pedantic, Ms Rein started her company ’88.

  124. “I’m sure you will correct me if I’m wrong.” Tom of Melbourne.

    Tom, when are you ever wrong?

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