Archive for April, 2013

April 30, 2013

Actually who gives a… second thought. This blog is shutting down changing management again. – PC

Email from one of Turn Left fans

Hi Penny. Firstly let me say I’m happy to see ‘Turn Left’ back in the blogosphere as it was one of the first sites I read regularly when I began posting.
Penny, I admire your passion and your dedication. If I may be so bold to offer a few suggestions and I am at pains to point out that these are suggestions and NOT criticisms.
Firstly, play the issue not the man. Don’t vilify Abbott or launch personal attacks on him. Rather concentrate on the issue (what ever it may be) and the LNP policies surrounding it. By focusing on the issue you gain more credibility as a political analyst rather than a ranter who simply wants to spray vitriol and preach to the converted. A good example of this is the rants of that semi-literate self opinionated nematode who writes ‘The Red and The Blue’. Yale Stephens simply writes for his drooling mates who agree with every word he says (a bit like the numbskulls who listen to Jones, Hadley ad nauseaum ).
Secondly, do your research before you strike the first key. Unsubstantiated statements or half truths are easily rebutted and lose credibility with your audience (see my comments on Abbott’s education in your recent post).
Thirdly and finally, don’t hand wring – ‘Oh the inhumanity!’ Rather begin your discourse with something like ‘The inhumane treatment of asylum seekers/women/workers is indicative of the LNP’s policies etc… The world has always been cruel and uncaring in many respects and will continue so long after you and I have passed from it. Try to frame your arguments as a disinterested seeker of the truth (the representation of Justice as being blind with the scales in one hand and a sword in the other is a good example of this)
As I say, these are merely suggestions and not criticisms. I enjoy your writing and your passion for social issues -keep blogging, we need more sites like ‘Turn Left’ if we are to triumph over the lies of the current version of what passes for Conservatism but which in reality is simply a modern version of Fascism.
Yours most respectfully,
Edward Eastwood M.A. B.A. (hons) Grad. Dip. Ed and editor, writer and chief cook and bottle washer at The Mugwump Post.

April 30, 2013

24 Tony Abbott quotes – 7. a dead soldier? ‘Shit happens’

Lance Corporal Jared MacKinney was shot dead in a battle with Taliban in Afghanistan. A war the Liberal party sent Australian military personnel into. Upon hearing of the death of MacKinney, Tony Abbott said “shit happens”.

What does this tell us about Tony Abbott’s character?

The man has little to no empathy for others.

He was part of a government that sent Australian soldiers into war, and the death of this is Australian is treated as Shit Happening.

The value of life will always be cheaper under a Coalition government.

This is a callous, cold, heartless, unsympathetic, unfeeling, disregard for the supreme sacrifice of others.

Tony Abbott could not care less.

Tony Abbott then blamed the media responsible for airing the footage of Tony Abbott saying ‘Shit happens’ about the dead soldier.

“Mr Abbott then went on to accuse the network of “trying to turn this into a subsequent media circus”. ( This is because Tony Abbott is never responsible for any of the sh!t that comes out of his own mouth.

Yes, Tony, this is all about what someone is doing TO you, not about the insensitive way you disregarded the death of an Australian soldier.

post added by Penny Carter

April 30, 2013

24 Tony Abbott quotes – 6. a priest accused of assualt of a child was “a beacon of humanity”

Tony Abbott says Fr Nestor a priest struck off by the Vatican was “He was … a beacon of humanity at seminary,” as he vouched for the priests character before a court.

Father John Gerard Nestor, a priest from the Wollongong area in NSW was charged with the indecent assault. Tony Abbott gave a glowing character reference.

“Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, then a federal parliamentary secretary to the employment minister, told the court Mr Nestor was an upright and virtuous man whom he had known since 1984 while studying at Sydney’s St Patrick’s Seminary to become a priest.” SMH

“An extremely upright and virtuous man. I guess one of the things that I like very much about John when I first met him was his maturity – intellectual, social, emotional. And he was, to that extent I guess, a beacon of humanity at the seminary” Tony Abbott said. The Australian

In court, the priest admitted he had – while dressed in boxer shorts and a singlet – slept on mattresses on a floor in the presbytery with the boy and his younger brother some time between June and September 1991.

That raises questions about Tony Abbott’s judgement. An accusation he is so quick to fire at others, especially if they are ALP.

post added by Penny Carter
As this involves legal matters involving children, this post has relied extensively on the quotes of MSM

April 30, 2013

24 Tony Abbott quotes – 5. Maternity Leave, over his Government’s dead body

Tony Abbott: Voluntary paid maternity leave: yes; compulsory paid maternity leave: over this Government’s dead body, frankly. It just won’t happen.
Source: here

In july 2002, Tony Abbott had a few opinions on maternity leave. But, as with everything Tony Abbott says, if you wait long enough, he will have the opposite opinion.

The Coalition will be taking a Paid Parental Leave scheme to the election in 2013. This scheme, which Tony Abbott brags about on his website, “will be paid for with a modest levy of 1.5 percent levy on companies with taxable incomes in excess of $5 million”.
Source: Real Action on Paid Parental Leave

Talk about Great Big New Tax.

However, it is the Coalition, they don’t do “taxes”, they do levies, charges, fees, compulsory contributions, but not taxes.

But wait… there is less.

Tony Abbott is already hedging, wavering, back-tracking, his gold-plated scheme for women earning incomes over $150,000 is dependent on the Labor budget.

“My hope is that we’re able to introduce a paid parental leave [scheme] at the same time as we have an offsetting of the company tax cut.” Tony Abbott says
Source: Parental scheme’s timing depends on budget: Abbott

That must be the “hope” in the Liberal Party party “Hope Reward Opportunity” slogan.

“Hope”, not exactly a promise, or a policy, now is it? Tony Abbott.

Murdoch’s Daily Telegraph crunched the numbers:

Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave plan will hit more companies than the carbon tax.

Surprised? Consider the numbers.

Julia Gillard’s carbon tax will be paid by 500 of the nation’s biggest polluters. Abbott’s maternity leave tax levy of 1.5 per cent would hit an estimated 3300 businesses.

Isn’t that a great big new tax coincidence?

Source: Now Tony Abbott’s got a great big new tax

post added by Penny Carter

April 30, 2013

24 Tony Abbott quotes – 4. I’m a cruel, callow, callous, heartless bastard

Tony Abbott said “I won’t be rushing out to get my daughters vaccinated, maybe that’s because I’m a cruel, callow, callous, heartless bastard but, look, I won’t be
Source: The Australian

This comment was made in 2006, in relation to the Gardasil vaccine, use for the prevention of certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause approximately 70% of cervical cancers.

Is this because of the type of cancer this is a vaccine for?

Or is Tony Abbott sceptical of all vaccines, does anyone know his opinion / beliefs in vaccines for polio?

Is this just one more example of Tony Abbott being a science denier?

Tony Abbott would know the answer to those questions, and it would seem that Abbott’s opinion about vaccines is flexible.

Tony Abbott’s website has a press release from 2005:

The Commonwealth Government will provide free chickenpox (varicella) vaccine for all babies and for at-risk teenagers and replace oral polio vaccine (OPV) with injectable inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). These two new vaccinations will be funded under the National Immunisation Program and will commence on 1 November 2005. The Government has responded to recommendations made in late January 2005 by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) which has been reviewing the latest evidence on the effectiveness of these vaccines. The new vaccines will cost $143.2 million over five years. Chickenpox vaccine will be offered free to all children turning 18 months of age. In addition, children aged between 10-13 years who have not received chickenpox vaccine or who have not had the disease, will be eligible for free vaccine as part of a long-term catch-up program. The replacement of oral with injectable polio vaccine will allow the use of a new six-in-one combination vaccine that provides protection against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and polio. Because hepatitis B and Hib are included in this new combination vaccine, many babies will receive one less injection at 2 and 4 months of age. The Government has negotiated internationally competitive prices for these vaccines. In 1996, Commonwealth Government spending on vaccines was $13 million. With the introduction of these new vaccines, National Immunisation Program spending will reach $292 million 2005-06, a 22-fold increase.

post added by Penny Carter

April 30, 2013

24 Tony Abbott quotes – 3. Chairthing


At university when Tony Abbott lost presidency of student council to Barbara Ramjan, Tony Abbott was less than happy. As David Patch wrote in Fairfax:

As president, Ramjan chaired SRC meetings. She did not want to be called “Mr Chairman” but preferred “chairperson”. For an entire year, Abbott called Ramjan “chairthing” whenever he addressed her at SRC meetings.
Source: here

For Tony Abbott’s edification: Chair ≠ woman.

A chair can be purchased, a chair can be owned, a chair does not think for itself.

This is a chair. Currently for sale at This is still not a woman.

Tony Abbott would rather compare a woman to a piece of furniture than give her the respect she deserves.

This is Tony Abbott’s attitude to a woman who had something he wanted, a woman who had a position of power over him. Tony Abbott did not like it.

Calling someone “chairthing” once or twice, you might get away with saying you were joking (not a funny joke, but you might get away with it), but not for a year. That was no accident. That was a deliberate and sustained humiliation of a woman.

Tony Abbott dismissed what he did, for a year, as “It was silly, childish, embarrassing“. Childish? Who is Tony Abbott trying to kid. Children would not talk to each other like that, and if they did, they wouldn’t do it for a year.

Tony Abbott was no child, this event happened in 1977, Tony Abbott was born in 1957. Tony Abbott was an adult, who was, and is, incapable of accepting any responsibility for his actions. He blames the child he was.

chair imaged used without permission
Fox’s Bart Simpson image used without permission, use does not imply that Murdoch’s Fox would endorse the contents of this blog or post
post added by Penny Carter

April 30, 2013

24 Tony Abbott quotes – 2. Bad bosses are like bad husbands and fathers

TONY ABBOTT: If we’re honest, most of us would accept that a bad boss is a little bit like a bad father or a bad husband. Not withstanding all his or her faults, you find that he tends to do more good than harm. He might be a bad boss but at least he’s employing someone while he is in fact a boss.
Source: here

No, no, no.

This comment from 2002 attracted criticism at the time:
Former Western Australia Premier, Carmen Lawrence said “Well that’s not very good advice to someone if they’re in a bad relationship, for instance where there’s violence involved or abuse involved and Abbott never knows where to draw the line.”

Greg Combet, now an ALP minister, then speaking in his role with ACTU sais “Tony Abbott is supposed to even handedly look after the interests of employers and employees but now he’s saying no matter what an employer does, they’re to be forgiven and it’s okay.”

What does this quote reveal about Tony Abbott’s thinking:

1. Tony Abbott has starts his statement having trouble comprehending that women can be bosses, he compares bosses to fathers and husbands, but not mothers and wives. Only later in the quote does he say “his or her faults”.

In those three sentences, Tony Abbott uses the masculine 7 times (father, husband, his, he, He, he’s, he), always in relation to his role in power, and the feminine 1 time (her) in relation to faults.

2. Tony Abbott compares employees to children and bosses to adults. Employees are NOT children, and should not be treated as if they were children.

3. Tony Abbott compares wives to employees of male bosses, and what? if She doesn’t do as she is told He will fire her?. The relationship between a boss and an employee is an unequal power structure, this is not most people’s idea of marriage. Many people see their marriage as a partnership, not one of male=boss and female=employee.

4. What is a ‘bad’ father or husband? Someone who doesn’t take out the bins on recycling night or let their kids stay out all night? Or is this comment diminishing domestic violence and workplace abuse?

This attitude gives carte blanche for bosses to mistreat employees, if someone is under paid, or in a dangerous workplace, or abuse or mistreated, at least they are employed, regardless of pay and conditions.

post added by Penny Carter

April 30, 2013

24 Tony Abbott quotes – 1. Evolution or Creationism

When discussion evolution or creationism (now rebranded ‘intelligent design’) in 2008, Tony Abbott said that evolution was more plausible than the Eve-and-Adam explanation of the bible.

I don’t say that evolution is a complete and entirely satisfactory scientific explanation of the origin of man. Still, I think it’s more plausible than treating the Adam and Eve story as literal truth (if that’s what creationists say)
Source: here

This quote achieves four things for Tony Abbott
1. He walks the fence. It is a well-known tactic of Abbott’s and the Liberal party, to take both sides of an issue, then when questioned later, he can claim either position as his true position. If you can’t pin Wishy-Washy Abbott down on specifics, he can’t be held to account.

2. Panders to the evangelical christians, (some of who believe fossilised dinosaur bones that are millions of years old were a built-in feature when God created the world) while not quite alienating everyone else.

3. Raises questions about science. If science doesn’t know 100% the facts on something like evolution, how can they know about other things, such as climate science or whether smoking causes cancer. It’s “plausible” yes, it’s plausible no.

4. Opens up the educated to being distrusted. The war against the educated is a classic tactic of the Right against the Left. A celebration of dumbed-down people who can no longer think for themselves and have outsourced their thinking to Rupert Murdoch and his LNP minions.

Miranda Devine in Murdoch’s News Limited provides the perfect example:

A new ruling class of university-educated “progressives”, “sophisticates”, “elites” and “latte-sippers” have emerged as an un-Australian clique trying to lord it over everyone else. Controlling media, law, education and the political class, they threaten Australia’s great egalitarian democratic project
Source: here

post added by Penny Carter
image of Eve and Adam, by Lucas Cranach the Elder – ‘Adam und Eva im Paradies’ (Sündenfall) which has been digitally altered

April 29, 2013

Rachel Maddow: Rights Aren’t Meant To Be Voted On. That’s why they’re called rights

quote by Rachel Maddow: But here’s the thing about rights-they’re not actually supposed to be voted on. That’s why they’re called rights
use of Rachel Maddow’s words or image is in no way meant to suggest that she in any way supports the content of this post or this blog
post added by Penny Carter @redglitterx

April 29, 2013

Ignore what Tony Abbott says, listen to what he accuses others of, that’s the Real Tony

In poker playing it’s called a ‘tell’, a little twitch, a change in behaviour or speech that betray the hand a person is holding. The ‘tell’ could be obvious, or it could be subtle. Opposing players, if they pay attention, can read these ‘tells’.

Conservatives have their own tell. What they accuse others of doing, is their real agenda.

In this clip, US political commentator Rachel Maddow explains how this works, this can easily be applied to the Australian Liberal party under Tony Abbott:

Accusations such as class warfare frequently drip from the mouths of salivating conservatives as they see the ALP give a fair-go the some of the most disadvantaged in our society, a group that the LNP would tax into poverty.*

Tony Abbott ‘It [Wayne Swan’s budget] deliberately, coldly, calculatedly plays the class war card’
The Australian says ‘MUMS working part-time would be among the hardest hit by Tony Abbott’s plan to scrap a superannuation tax cut for 3.6 million people’

When Tony Abbott promises that he will be the best friends workers’ ever had, because Labor will betray them… Do voters actually buy that? Tony Abbott was part of the WorkChoices government. Tony Abbott is skewering he election slogans to a placate a mining billionaire who thinks workers should be happy on less than $2 a day. A Tony Abbott government will bring back WorkChoices, under a different name. *

Tony Abbott ‘The one thing that the Australian workers will find is that I am their best friend’.
Tony Abbott ‘The challenge for members opposite will be: do they back the interests of… workers, or do they back the interests of officials’.
Tony Abbott ‘The phrase WorkChoices is dead. No one will mention it again. But we do need to have a free and flexible economy’.
Gina Rinehart ‘Africans want to work, and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future’

added BY Penny Carter