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Gillard takes a calculated risk in leaving Alan Jones adrift

The interesting part about this weekend’s kerfuffle over Alan Jones’ comments about the late John Gillard is not what Jones said. After all, we’ve known about his combative - some would say offensive…

Broadcaster Alan Jones has been embroiled in a controversy over remarks he made on Julia Gillard’s late father. AAP/Warren Clarke

The interesting part about this weekend’s kerfuffle over Alan Jones’ comments about the late John Gillard is not what Jones said.

After all, we’ve known about his combative - some would say offensive - nature since he incited ethnic violence at Cronulla in 2005, and his antipathy towards the Prime Minister has been evident since he called her “Ju-liar” to her face, live on air in 2011.

What is interesting is how the Prime Minister and politicians of all stripes (Tony Abbott notably excepted) have responded to his comments.

Although Jones says he has tried to make contact with Prime Minister Gillard to apologise, she’s not taking his calls. There’s been no public kiss-and-make up, no photo-op in which the two awkwardly share a cuppa and agree to let bygones be bygones. Some have interpreted the Prime Minister’s pointed silence as letting Jones know he’s gone too far this time, but I think it signals something much more significant.

I think the Prime Minister and the government have decided Jones just doesn’t matter that much anymore, and as a consequence, they’re no longer prepared to slavishly cultivate him in the way that all sides of politics have done for the past 15 years.

The good old days

It used to be said that Alan Jones could make or break governments — his breakfast show has enjoyed a long stretch as the number one ranking radio program in metropolitan Sydney and reaches thousands more around the country through syndication on rural and regional radio networks.

Paul Keating called Jones’ signature mix of outrage, political gossip, selectively-chosen statistics and man-on-the-street commentary “run of the mill fascism”, but for a period during the late 1990s and 2000s his was the show to be on if you wanted to be anyone in politics; his endorsement was the one you needed if you wanted to win over the taxi drivers, blue collar workers and pensioners of Australia.

The high-water mark of Jones’ influence was the latter end of the Howard years, when the Prime Minister would routinely snub “serious” media programs such as The 7:30 Report and Insiders in favour of yet another chat with Jones about how right his government was getting everything.

A changing landscape

Since the Howard government fell, Jones has attempted to maintain his influence by leading a vocal crusade against the carbon tax and other key Labor initiatives, even going so far as to support (and then serve as MC for) the embarrassing “convoy of no confidence” protest which sputtered into Canberra in August last year.

Yet for all his continued bluster from behind the microphone, Jones’ influence has steadily been eaten away by one simple fact: the ranks of those who listen to the radio are getting smaller and greyer by the year.

In 2006, Jones commanded an average daily listenership of 185,000 people in the Sydney catchment area alone. Six years later in 2012 this number is down to 151,000. His is still the number one rated show, but that’s because there are fewer people listening overall — the June 2012 Nielsen survey shows that all Sydney radio stations averaged just 469,000 listeners between them, out of a possible audience of 4.1 million.

Julia Gillard has been grieving for her late father John. AAP/Alan Porritt

It is also well known that Jones’ audience is older and more socially conservative than the general population — a 2006 study by Clive Hamilton found 68% of his regular listeners were aged 50 or older, and 65% had voted Liberal at the last election. When there were still a lot of people tuning in this didn’t matter too much, as the remainder of Jones’ audience was made up of younger blue-collar workers in outer suburban areas — the classic swing voters every party hopes to woo.

But over the past ten years many of these people have joined the ranks of the over-50s too, and they’re simply not being replaced by many new listeners. Younger people now get their news and current affairs primarily from television (both cable and free-to-air) and the internet, and there are a multitude of right-of-centre blogs, podcasts and news publications catering to those who would once have tuned in to Jones’ dulcet tones each morning.

Can Jones evolve his act?

Internationally, prominent US shock jocks such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have bridged this generational divide by becoming cross-platform media stars — streaming and podcasting shows online for the digital-savvy, appearing as commentators on like-minded cable talk shows, and maintaining their own blogs and social media profiles. Jones has done none of this (perhaps put off by his spectacularly unsuccessful 1994 talk show) and so is gradually being marginalised by the march of time and media evolution.

If nothing else, the past weekend’s events suggest that Jones’ decline as a political force is now considered sufficiently terminal for the Prime Minister to take a principled stand against his foulness.

Where her predecessors may have thrown him a lifeline in the hope of building stronger relations — and therefore guaranteeing more favourable on-air treatment — Prime Minister Gillard has chosen to leave him adrift in the media storm his comments created.

Jones may not be a totally spent political force just yet, but if one of the most risk-averse and media-sensitive leaders Australia has ever seen is no longer scared of him, others aren’t likely to be for long, either.

Join the conversation

233 Comments sorted by

  1. Mat Hardy

    Lecturer in Middle East Studies at Deakin University

    Blame Bob Carr for creating the Jones phenomenon. For years as Premier Carr let Jones call the shots and pandered to his every whim.

    But I really don't think that Jones is actually the political force he's made out to be. He is not an opinion influencer. Basically because people who listen to him already hold those opinions. I doubt many people with contrary opinions, voting intentions or even reasonable intelligence get on the Jones bandwagon and change their minds.

    And after all, he's really a Sydney phenomenon and a limited one there. In Melbourne we get the joys of Andrew Bolt.

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    1. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Mat Hardy

      Spot on Mat.

      The NSW ALP - that section of poll-driven career watchers who flourished under the patronage of Graeme Richardson - created Alan Jones ... establishing the myth of his power and influence. If Jones spluttered his fury on Tuesday, it was "fixed" by Thursday.

      They read the polls and saw that Jones was pitching his venom straight into "Labor heartland" - those western Sydney seats that were essential to the NSW ALP's system of patronage and sinecures.

      So they decided to buckle…

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    2. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Mat Hardy

      Spot on Mat.

      The NSW ALP - that section of poll-driven career watchers who flourished under the patronage of Graeme Richardson - created Alan Jones ... establishing the myth of his power and influence. If Jones spluttered his fury on Tuesday, it was "fixed" by Thursday.

      They read the polls and saw that Jones was pitching his venom straight into "Labor heartland" - those western Sydney seats that were essential to the NSW ALP's system of patronage and sinecures.

      So they decided to buckle…

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    3. Hugh Sturgess

      Student

      In reply to Mat Hardy

      I agree with you there, Mat. Who exactly has tuned into Jones raving about damn boat-people throwing their diseased foreign bodies upon our shores and thought "gee whiz, I always supported humane treatment of asylum-seekers, until Jonesy set me straight"? His manufactured outrage at women, gays, foreigners, scientists, etc., are the very things his brain-damaged followers are already outraged at. That's why they listen. Genuine "undecideds" want to be persuaded, not hectored. Any genuine "swing voters" among them are surely aware that he's a creep. The government should have ignored him years ago.

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  2. Dennis Alexander

    logged in via LinkedIn

    The so-called Jones apology was of the schoolyard bully variety - a grudging "Sorry ..." followed up by, "but they made me do it, they're out to get me ..." Of course, some might say that Tony Abbott would recognize this as legitimate because it is the only kind of apology he would ever give himself. My guess from the reported comments elsewhere, "Alan, you are a champion and you do a lot for people. These people are just attacking you because they are jealous, mate." his listeners probably agree…

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    1. James Jenkin

      EFL Teacher Trainer

      In reply to Dennis Alexander

      I think you're right, Dennis, about Jones' absurd apology.

      And I think Gillard has shown dignity by not responding.

      Jones has hanged himself. Let public opinion judge him. I worry frontbenchers' attempt to link the issue with Abbott is a little unseemly. Even on a tactical level, perhaps the ALP should try to appear 'non-political' on this issue - just dismiss it as vile, and leave it alone. (Too late now I guess.)

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    2. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to James Jenkin

      I am afraid there is nothing dignified about Julia Gillard in any aspect of her behaviour.

      Her dishonesty, complete lack of scruples and outright lies put her at no higher position than Jones.

      Neither party to this matter have anything to raise their heads about.

      After all, look at the personal smears her supporters direct at Tony Abbott as a matter of course, and the race riot her office instigated in an attempt to blame it on him?

      The woman is every bit as repugnant as Jones.

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    3. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Not in the slightest. No one deserves to be spoken of as Jones did. However, after the fact, once it has happened, I can take the outrage from her opponents as sincere, but it is difficult to take the outrage from her followers as anything but manufactured and false, given the behaviour that the progressive side of politics indulges in without a hint of objection on her part.

      That Tony Abbott has spoken up against Jones, when The Prime Minister has never spoken a word against those of her ministers who smear and defame Mr Abbott on a regular basis speaks volumes for their respective probity.

      I reiterate, Jones, at his worst, is no worse than this government in general, but they are given a pass by the mainstream media.

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    4. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to James Jenkin

      "And I think Gillard has shown dignity by not responding."

      I think that she is trying to cash in on this by not responding. If she had offered a dignified acceptance speech that said she knew her father was proud of her for er achievement s and that she knew he would laugh at the fatuousness of Jones's comments etc, etc, then she would have gone up in my opinion, but instead she's allowed it to be beaten up into the biggest story since the Dismissal. What a kerfuffle over nothing at all.

      I couldn't give two hoots about anyone saying things I know aren't true about my Mum and Dad. They both died a great deal younger than John Gillard did and I achieved a great deal less than Gillard has, I really don't understand the fuss.

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    5. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Craig Minns

      From the paper today:"Ms Gillard has repeatedly told reporters in Launceston this afternoon she did not want to comment on the matter.
      Advertisement

      "I'm just not getting into it at all," she said.

      However, in her introductory remarks, she did say at the outset that she and her family had been overwhelmed with messages of goodwill

      Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/gillard-rules-out-appearing-on-joness-program-20121003-26yn5.html#ixzz28CTxoqrI";

      Sounds like my initial response was pretty close to the mark.

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    6. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Chris Harper

      I am always confused by the phrase, 'the mainstream media'. In this context, and just about every other time I have heard it, it is being muttered as an insult by a right-wing ideologue complaining that the media is controlled by left wing elites who are always supporting the left side of politics, while criticising the right wing.

      Would that be a fair summation Chris?

      But how about you tell us who this 'mainstream' media is please? Is it all the News Limited newspapers, who have almost a monopoly on print media reporting in our capital cities? Is it talk back radio, dominated by right wing shock jocks? Is it TV news, on channels owned by Murdoch, Stokes and Packer? Is it subscription TV, also owned by Murdoch, showing Fox News?

      So as I said, I'm confused. Who is this mainstream media that is always giving a pass to the ALP, while criticising the coalition and everything right wing?

      Or is it just the ABC that you hate?

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    7. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      So which TV channel does Packer own?

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    8. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      "I am always confused by the phrase, 'the mainstream media'."

      Are you?

      You're easily confused then.

      "Is it all the News Limited newspapers, who have almost a monopoly on print media reporting "

      Truly? 38% of newspaper titles is a monopoly?

      I go into my local newsagent and there are piles of different newspapers from different publishers available. In fact, not not just my local, but every newsagent I visit is the same.

      If by monopoly you are referring to the reality that despite the choice on offer 70% of people freely, and of their own choice, select a News Limited paper as their preferred purchase rather than a Fairfax then might suggest you review the meaning of the word 'monopoly'?

      In the words of Mandy Patinkin: I do not think it means what you think it means.

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  3. William Bruce

    Artist

    Who are they trying to fool? ..Jones' comment was obviously flippant and facetious ......This childish "sympathy game" for VOTES won't help in the end because Jones is right about the lying....
    Not only is her credit is shot but she can't win in the house.

    Nobody is perfect but I personally think Mr Abbott is the most decent, credible, knowlegable and experienced Member...AND he comes with no conflicts of interest....AND HE has LONG been serving the nation and not "pursuing money" for himself like some.......

    ALSO, he is the smartest & qualified person in the Parliament BY FAR....WE are lucky to have a few people of his talent and ability!

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    1. Dan Smith

      Network Engineer

      In reply to William Bruce

      This reminds me of the (possibly apocryphal) story about John Lennon being asked if Ringo was the best drummer in the world. "I'm not sure he's even the best drummer in the Beatles", was allegedly his reply.

      I would venture that Tony Abbott may not be the smartest or most qualified person in his household. Although, like Ringo, he is distinctive ...

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    2. Dennis Alexander

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to William Bruce

      Ok William, rehash it. What was the lie: the promise made before the election and reneged on in order to form Government - the Carbon Tax that wasn't and isn't actually a tax but an emissions trading scheme with a lead in pricing period? Just because the weak-minded and gullible bought the lie propagated by the opposition and, I seem to remember, Alan Jones, that it was a tax, doesn't make JG a liar, rather the contrary: but then "promise-breaker" doesn't have the same cache and, in politics, always becomes a two-edged sword.

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    3. Laszlo O'Vari

      logged in via email @fixia.net

      In reply to William Bruce

      Since John Howard, when the question of lying comes up, we should always ask: Was that a core or a non-core promise?

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    4. William Bruce

      Artist

      In reply to Dennis Alexander

      You ask, what was "THE" Lie"?....Try watching Question Time and using some skepticism.....the lack of straightness (read LYING) and "omissions of crucial details" (read DECEIT) from Ms Gillard is a worry to me.

      It might be insightful to keep an eye on the RISING Current Account losses......and ask why & who is sucking all the wealth out of our Nation and who is BUYING it whilst we have MASSIVE industrial closures......and ask who is too stupid to remedy this.

      I suspect Labor will yet again…

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    5. William Bruce

      Artist

      In reply to Laszlo O'Vari

      You are living in the past.

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    6. Ernest Bennett

      Mr (retired)

      In reply to William Bruce

      Abbot has no interests? Only of the self cariety. I can understand how his bully-boy tactics impresses those of like inclination. When he boxed for Oxford perhaps he should have ducked more. Perhaps this goes toward explaining the Abbot-Jones souls-in-harmony duet. And surely Mrs Gillard deserves an apology, too.

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    7. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Dennis Alexander

      I call it a tax because that is what the Prime Minister called it when she announced it. Who am I to disrespect her by claiming it isn't?

      Was she lying to the Australian people when she called it a tax?

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    8. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Ernest Bennett

      What bully-boy tactics?

      Are you merely repeating the government smears knowing that they are baseless smears, or have you made the classic mistake of actually believing your own sides propaganda?

      What "Abbot-Jones souls-in-harmony duet"? More baseless smears on Tony Abbot? Not that Mr Abbot has any role in this issue, other than the standard and default government attempt to smear him further with a baseless linkage to Jones.

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    9. Ernest Bennett

      Mr (retired)

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Oh Dear! Come on, princess! Your lot didn't form government so suck it up. Baseless linkage to Jones? Does Tony have his own white knight afterall. What would Dr Spooner have done with "white knight"? Made it "nit wit" (with some phonetic drift)? And by the way, I have political awareness not affiliation. I speak for me. What I do have is a distaste for overbearing, often shrill, quasi interview techniques, a la Bill O'Reilly (of Fox). And even the Golden Tonsils agreed Jonesy was wrong..And there are the chaff bags.

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    10. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Dennis Alexander

      So Dennis, we are now expected to believe that Gillard is honorable because, even though she clearly stated before the election that there would be no carbon tax under a government she leads, you reckon she has played the edges and given us a non-tax carbon trading scheme? Are you serious? All your argument achieves is to make the PM look like an even more manipulative liar. At least Howard went to his election on a GST platform.

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    11. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Dennis Alexander

      So Dennis, we are now expected to believe that Gillard is honorable because, even though she clearly stated before the election that there would be no carbon tax under a government she leads, you reckon she has played the edges and given us a non-tax carbon trading scheme? Are you serious? All your argument achieves is to make the PM look like an even more manipulative liar. At least Howard went to his election on a GST platform.

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    12. Dennis Alexander

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Actually Chris, if you go back to the announcement, it wasn't called a tax. JG was badgered into it in an interview, I think on Lateline, where she conceded that spitting into the wind was pointless. No, she wasn't lying when she called it a tax - acceding to common usage is just how language works. If I introduce a syllogism, say, Chris Harper is not very clever and Chris Harper is an engineer, therefore all engineers are not very clever, and it catches on in general usage, the fact that it is both untrue and fallacious is not going to make it easy for engineers to deny.

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    13. Dennis Alexander

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to William Bruce

      Read the rules of question time. There is not time for detail. I've had to write question time briefs on various issues for both colours of government and they have to be very short, usually cover a lot of ground and give only highlights. I'm sorry William but I think you are rushing to judgment on insufficient detail and skewed input.

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    14. Dennis Alexander

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to John Phillip

      No John. My argument is that the promise was predicated on one set of anticipated circumstances which did not eventuate and thus subject to revision in different circumstances. The political questions, if you want to form a minority government, are which of my policies must I implement, which policies can be massaged without losing their essence to fit with the priorities of those with whom I must deal (which is where I think an ETS with a lead-in pricing period fits), and which do I just have to go back on. If you think that is dishonest, then you have never compromised in a negotiation or possibly never negotiated, and you are probably not in politics.

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    15. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to William Bruce

      Abbott, smart and qualified? For whom do you reckon David Oldfield was working before he attached himself to One Nation long enough to convince Hanson and Ettridge to set up a non-complying party structure under electoral law, so that Abbott could organise a challenge to One Nation's claim to reimbursement for electoral expenses?

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  4. Shauna Murray

    Research Fellow at University of New South Wales

    Yes, I agree about the waning influence.

    I was just wondering, if someone understands our broadcasting/media legislation, can they explain the legalities around his public incitement of violence ? Also the legalities around the "cash for comment" incidents?

    thanks

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    1. Bruce Baer Arnold

      Assistant Professor, School of Law at University of Canberra

      In reply to Shauna Murray

      Cash for Comments?

      The broadcasting regime is founded on self-regulation with 'light-touch' oversight by the regulator (was ABA, now ACMA) on the basis of complaints made to that body. 2UE was flailed with a lettuce leaf.
      overview - http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/pc=PC_91070
      reports - http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib100654/commradinq_fin.pdf
      http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/aba/newspubs/radio_tv/investigations/broadcast_operations/documents/radio/2000/2uereport.pdf

      Cronulla?

      report - http://www.acma.gov.au/webwr/_assets/main/lib101068/2gb_report1485.pdf

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    2. Shauna Murray

      Research Fellow at University of New South Wales

      In reply to Bruce Baer Arnold

      Thanks very much. I'm surprised that having been found to breach the code didn't result in revoking a license to broadcast. Whats the point in having a code if it seems to be more or less voluntary?

      Also I'm interested in point 1.3 of the code, where it states that its not permitted to vilify someone on the basis of, amongst other things, gender. How does this fit with some of the other comments mentioned that he has made, regarding "Women are ruining this country..." etc? Is this being investigated?

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    3. Meg Thornton

      Dilletante

      In reply to Shauna Murray

      Shauna, get your quotes right - women aren't ruining the country, we're "destroying the joint".

      (And loving it!)

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    4. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Shauna Murray

      What ACMA cannot do maybe ordinary people can achieve. The petition on change.org has almost as many people that have signed the petition, as Jones has listeners. More than 65 of Jones's sponsors have rescinded their support, and condemned his latest attack on the PM.

      The court of public opinion is a whole lot more powerful than a toothless government authority.

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    5. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Really, signing a petition and calling for the boycott of Jones sponsors, is a lynch mob? I would have thought that calling for someone to be put into a chaff bag and thrown out to sea more the style of a lynch mob.

      The petition is not calling for Jones to be murdered, or assaulted in any physical way, so your 'lynch mob' comment is just silly.

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    6. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Unlike the violence and race riot Ms Gillards office incited with the intention of smearing Mr Abbott as having caused it.

      Still waiting for the staff involved to be named, sacked and charges placed. Think that will ever happen? Or is the Prime Ministers office above the law instead of being subject to it?

      Malfeasance in office?

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    7. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      The what? Race riot? No that was a protest against Tony Abbott. A race riot is a somewhat different bit of gear altogether. Just because many of the protestors were Aboriginal doesn't make it a "race riot" Chris.

      Now you probably missed it Chris but the bloke who released Tony Abbott's whereabouts was actually sacked that afternoon from memory or the next day. Don't know why myself. Last time I looked telling folks where Tony Abbott is having lunch is not a crime.

      What charges would you be suggesting are appropriate Chris?

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    8. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Thanks Peter, exactly what I was going to say. I wonder how you get "riot" out of a protest where no one was hurt, and no property was damaged, and no one was arrested for any crime, unlike the riots incited by Alan Jones at Cronulla beach.

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    9. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Now now Ms Judith, let's not downplay the seriousness of this mob violence ... remember that the Prime Ministerial footwear was held to ransom for a couple of hours by the seething mob (before being ceremonially returned), and that delicate diners were subjected to a most unseemly ambience during their third course at lunch, that a window was at risk of being smashed (but wasn't) and that it could have become quite ugly and awful (but it didn't), that laws could have been broken and policemen injured (but they weren't) and that charges should have been laid (but again they weren't).

      Still for one brief moment the entire nation stood perched on the precipice of chaos and mob rule. I still lie awake at night in terror.

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    10. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Oh yes indeed ... there'd be a woman behind it of course - there always is isn't there, pulling the strings, fomenting riots and discontent ... probably the Prime Woman herself, hiding behind her front-men... they're like that, women... so I'm advised.

      And you mark my words Ms Judith - there'd be a woman behind this NBN business I'd wager. The only place safe from the intrigues of the female nature would be our dear Alan himself - a totally woman-free zone there.

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    11. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Oh no not again!!! One must be so careful in these uncertain times.

      Folks don't realise how precariously we are perched here ... that the forces of mob rule and chaos are just itching to be cut loose on all things nice and pleasant - those few that are left at least. Nice clean well-dressed young men like our Alan - a pillar of traditional Orstayan values in this swamp of Sodom into which we have been led by the Great She-Devil and her greenie hench-persons.

      If only Alan would take the next step - come out squinting into the light and stand for office - and save us all from the limp impotence of the Abbotts and the pernicious puppetry of women everywhere. I feel a convoy coming on. I'd better go and lie down.

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    12. Aleks Zablotskii

      Independent Panel Member

      In reply to Chris Harper

      "Unlike the violence and race riot Ms Gillards office incited with the intention of smearing Mr Abbott as having caused it."

      This, ladies and gentlemen, is the battlecry of the cornered neo-con. A perfectly insane interpretation of a well-documented event, coupled with a criminal accusation. Not only does Chris attribute a social action to the machinations of a single agent, he delivers this with a shameless confidence that would make the Ayatollah Khomeini blush. I say well done sir! To hell with reason!

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    13. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Judith and Peter,

      Well, no point discussing the NBN if you are going to base your criticisms not on what I said, but on what you wish I had said, but didn’t. If you are going to reverse the opinions I express, and attack these instead, I am wasting my time trying to talk about the subject. You are clearly determined to take not a blind bit of notice of what is actually said, so what is the point of speaking? seriously, what does it say that you feel you have to take that approach, rather than…

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    14. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Chris,

      You obviously have vital information regarding a conspiracy to initiate a riot ... more than just a phone call... meetings planning it out ... culprits spirited out of questioning range ... It's just shocking isn't it?

      Can I suggest you provide your information to the Federal police - or you could provide it here... but allegations, suspicions and accusations are not actually evidence are they? As to whether it was a "race riot" or not we'll let history be the judge I'd reckon…

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    15. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter,

      "is it just the NBN to which you object?"

      I am happy to discuss opinions I expressed, but I really don't feel like wasting my time defending positions I don't hold.

      If you can't criticize me on what I actually said can't you leave it at that? Why you do you find it necessary to fantasise I hold opinions I don't?

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    16. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Now Chris... elsewhere you've stated that you are not opposed to the NBN per se, but rather to the command and control model of state intervention. I'm just wondering what your objections actually are.

      But from the comment referred to above you would seem to object to any sort of public state owned investment whatsoever. Tell me if I'm wrong. Tell me what sort of public infrastructure investments you do support, if any.

      I am in fact criticising you for what you say Chris. If you have any legitimate criticisms or concerns about the NBN, its intention, its technology etc, let's have 'em. But you are saying you don't like the "failed policies" of state intervention and control ... much bigger even than the NBN.

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    17. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      "I'm just wondering what your objections actually are. "

      Try taking me at face value, might save you overanalysing and wasting your time.

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    18. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      As to the PM's office instigating a riot and no response from the Federal Police: it could just be a paranoid conspiracy theory by some nutters, or, then again, it could be malfeasance in office.

      Ms Gillard has such a history of probity after all. </snigger>

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    19. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Well I've just read your comments here again and your criticisms of the NBN seem to come down to this:

      (1) Too expensive
      (2) Too much government - not enough private sector competition and involvement
      (3) Cable to the home is unnecessary ... not sure you think that but seems implicit in your comments.
      (4) That this government in particular will be unable to manage such a project.

      That about right?

      (1) Nothing specific about the gear and technology - which I would have expected from an…

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    20. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Its interesting Peter, that being in speaking in favour of a nation building project would be considered "twaddle", but for me this sums up the attitude of a lot of conservatives these days.

      The NBN was a vote changer for many people in rural and remote areas, last election, and will be more so in the coming election IMO. Conservative politicians who do not support the NBN are losing support in their otherwise safe conservative electorates. This has certainly been the case in the electorate…

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    21. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      It's interesting isn't it how the meaning of "conservative" changed a few years back... not really conservatives at all in a historical sense, these folks regard themselves as "radicals for capitalism and markets". More Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand than Bob Menzies or even Malcolm Fraser.

      I suspect it started with Thatcher - who was decidedly not a conservative - reactionary, right-wing and all of that - but by no means a friend of the status quo or a believer in restoring some mythical golden…

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    22. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      "As to whether it was a "race riot" or not we'll let history be the judge I'd reckon."

      Absolutely not. I do not abdicate my moral responsibilities, or judgements, and leave them to others, and most certainly not to some meaningless metaphysical abstraction you choose to term 'history'.

      This is naught but a refusal on your part to face the reality of the Prime Ministers behaviour.

      Now when I look at this moral abdication on your part, and compare it with your determination to see any opinion…

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    23. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Chris,

      More foil in the beanie mate ... and not that flimsy Chinese rubbish - science proves it does not work at all ... No - to oversome these "insights" you'll be needing good Australian Alfoil - the one with the embossed diamond pattern ..., at least three layers and remember to cover the ears fully.

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    24. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      So blatant lies and smears by government ministers don't warrant criticism then?

      Initiating violence, arrant dishonesty and attempts to misinform, misrepresent and deceive are all ok then? But, I guess, only if politicians you support are doing it, right?

      Sod principle? As I said earlier, the mantra of the modern progressive : "The rules apply to thee, but not to me".

      No problems with cognitive dissonance then? Doublethink rules? Or do you recognise the conflict but just don't care?

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    25. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Please don't accuse me of supporting the Labor Government Chris ... I just don't like confected and contrived outrage, conspiracies and unsubstantiated allegations a particularly interesting or productive way of approaching life.

      Now if you'd care to address some of the questions I asked regarding your assessment of the NBN - as an engineer with a career buiding and operating ISPs - then lets do it - otherwise you are just rolling about in delusions, fantasies and conjectures for which you present no evidence, just rather feverish conclusions, suspicions and allegations.

      For those, I'd recommend the thicker foil.

      I'm quite happy to discuss the detail of the NBN - or the detail of anything else actually - provided we are disucssiong facts - if you have any.

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    26. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      "I just don't like confected and contrived outrage,"

      If this were true you would feel something of the loathing and contempt for this rotten and vindictive government that I feel.

      As to facts, what is the point of yet again presenting them if they are going to be, yet again, dismissed?

      I acknowledge, whether this government is the most repugnant in Australian history can be a matter of dispute. That it is rotten to the core in absolute terms is a statement which can only be dismissed by those who choose to be selective in the facts they examine.

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    27. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Chris,

      You are obviously having a bit of trouble distinguishing a fact from an assertion.

      You have not actually presented any facts whatsoever. Just opinion and allegation.

      Now elsewhere here I've asked you a couple of questions of a technical nature about the NBN - matters that an engineer with a career in communications and the interweb would be interested in and have a professional view. You have ignored them completely.

      You say the NBN is too expensive and flawed by not being based on a business case. Let's talk about that. Address my questions, present your facts and get specific. Then we can have a discussion.

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    28. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      "You are obviously having a bit of trouble distinguishing a fact from an assertion."

      You are familiar with the term 'projection'?

      If you are unaware of any facts I may have presented, then you have clearly failed to read previous postings. Given your demonstrated propensity to dismiss facts which are not convenient to your mindset - That the Government knowingly carried out a smear campaign blaming the Leader of the Opposition following violence instigated by the office of the Prime Minister…

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    29. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      No Chris ... Black is the absence of reflected light. White isn't. It's that simple. See these are facts. Facts settle arguments.

      Race riots, vindictive governments, conspiracies and government waste are not facts - they are assertions - opinions if you like. It helps if one has a few facts.

      In the absence of any facts from you whatsoever here, I don't think you are an engineer at all. I don't think you have ever done a business plan or know what one contains. I don't think you know what a discount rate or NPV means. I don't think you have ever designed anything remotely connected to the interweb and have no knowledge of the technical issues involved. I think you tell fibs. Foil and pills Chris.

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    30. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter,

      "Race riots, vindictive governments, conspiracies and government waste are not facts "

      So black really does = white huh?

      Well, as they say, de Nile ain't just a river in Egypt.

      If fantasy, wishful thinking and straight denial of the historical record - of reality - are the only tools you are able to deploy I don't see any point in further discussion.

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    31. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      So I can safely infer that you are indeed not an engineer, that you have no technical concerns with the NBN, that you do not understand the concept of discount rates and NPV and their critical importance in developing a business plan ... in fact none of your statements regarding yourself are true... in the same way that none of what you say about the government is true ...they are just what you believe, what you would like everyone to believe ... without facts or solid evidence.

      You are correct though to some extent - there is no basis for discussion with you. You have nothing useful or interesting to say.

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    32. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      "So I can safely infer that you are indeed not an engineer"

      Your fantasies are your own affair, but if you wish to include me in them I would rather not be informed.

      Peter, I have no plans to build a national network infrastructure. I have been ignoring you because I am under no obligation to provide you, or anyone else with a business plan or a cost justification of a project I have no intention of mounting. The government, on the other hand, is building just such an infrastructure, and is…

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    33. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Chris the government is not a business. A business has shareholders that want to see it make a profit. This means not spending money on loss making areas for social equity reasons or not spending big on infrastructure just to allow other people to benefit and make money of it etc. The government collects taxpayers money to spend for the benefit of Australians and Australia and to look at its short and long term future and prosperity and equity.

      This government has proven its merits in this regard…

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    34. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Michael,

      Government is not a business, you are right, but NBN Co is. It was set up as a business and it I being run as a business. It is a government owned business, true, but a business nonetheless. The plan is to sell it off as a fully functioning business in a few years time.

      The NBN may be government owned, but it is no less a business than Telstra. Or Optus. Or Fortesque Metals. The Government have made that clear.

      When my money is invested in a business I usually like to see some sort of business plan or prospectus beforehand. I'm funny that way, and bearing in mind that government has no money other than what it extracts from me......

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    35. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      This is absolute twaddle - this notion of the self-made man - all my own work ... born in my own hospital, schooled in my own school, driving on my own roads... what sort of money would these "self-made men" be looking at if there were not the product of the State and public investment. I wonder how they'd be going in downtown Mogadishu ... now there's a low taxing small government free market at work folks!

      In fact it is the reverse - these "self-made men" would have nothing without having been given sustenance, education (well, training in this case) on the public teat. Without laws, consumer protection, health standards, all that appalling red tape that they can now take for granted and even resent.

      As the bard puts it -
      How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
      To have a thankless child!.

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    36. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Just the notion that governments have no money other than what they extract from you Chris. What about the benefits you extract from government - from us? You reckon you pay more than you get back? Seriously?

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    37. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      ??

      Of course governments have no income other than what they extract from me, the generic taxpayer, or steal from everyone by debasing the currency.

      What a weird idea. Where else do they get it?

      Oh, tiny amounts by fining wrongdoers, or from fees for some services, but otherwise? An equally tiny bit from Telstra dividends?

      Want to show me any significant source of revenue which isn't tax based? Demonstrate I'm wrong rather than just asserting it? It will make a nice change. Wanna show me some of those fact thingies you keep pretending I don't provide?

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    38. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Well not just you actually Chris. You did not pay for the schools, the roads, the hospitals... your grandparents or great grandparents did, and the enterprises that were operating then. The stuff accumulates. It becomes assets and underpins our way of life. It's not all down to you - the generic taxpayer.

      There's a nice picture of it all here: http://www.budget.gov.au/2012-13/content/overview/html/overview_42.htm

      Now you'll notice that there's some $21 billion from "non-tax revenue…

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    39. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      So, 94.3% of revenue is from taxation. Break it down how you like, but thank you for making my case for me.

      Just to belabour the point, someone who pays tax is called a ‘taxpayer’. Doesn’t matter who they are, where they are, what is being taxed or the method by which the tax is extracted, taxpayer remains their title.

      As to assets already held, that they were financed by our parents, grandparents and great grand parents doesn’t change the reality that it was their taxes which paid for them.

      I rest my case.

      As to NBN Co, if you don't like the reality that it is a business I suggest you take it up with Ms Gillard or Senator Conroy. Having a go at me is pointless, I am just the messenger. That you don't like the message is of no interest.

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    40. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Chris,

      You were claiming that you - the generic taxpayer - is the sole source of government revenue - the pie chart I provided demonstrates this is not true. Undaunted you press on... immune to facts.

      It is really quite pointless continuing this ... you have already got all the answers you need... surrounded by plots, conspiracies, the worst most vindictive (?) government in living memory.

      Like I said Chris - foil and pills. I won't bother attempting to engage you in discussion in future ... no point.

      I'm off to get some more mates to give Alan Jones a slap. That's here by the way: http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/all-companies-which-advertise-on-2gb-get-alan-jones-to-apologise-make-a-contribution-to-gender-equality

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    41. Ron Chinchen

      Retired (ex Probation and Parole Officer)

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Michael. This is an excellent comment that the rest of Australia should be looking carefully at because it encapsulates the argument and identifies the direction of the two parties.

      I am not a true blood labor man, and in fact was raised in a right wing home. But it is this fundamental that swayed me to a more left wing side of politics, the belief that we are all here reliant on a single authority to take care of our interests and ensure the future of our people as a whole.

      I find the other side is more interested in the survival of the fittest mentality, the belief that as long as you take care of the wealthy, the rest will gain benefit from the goodies dropping from the table.

      I would like to think we are all Australian for Australians as a whole no matter our ethnic background, gender, religion, employment, education, age, physical and mental capacities. Giving the greatest benefit to the greatest number ensures the greatest returns.

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    42. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Ron Chinchen

      Ron,

      It is your reference to ‘the other side’ which is the nub. You see, there is no ‘other side’. Instead there are a plethora of sides, some of which might match your stereotyped comment about wealth and survival of the fittest, and many to which it is arrant nonsense. That you hold this dualist, almost Manichean, vision, is part of the problem in discussions like this. Opinions expressed by one opponent get mapped onto another, through lack of recognition of the extent of the diversity of the…

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    43. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Actually Chris, being right doesn't matter to Peter, it's being "progressive" (which means whatever he wants it to mean at the time) that's important t him.

      That means that whatever you say has to be "conservative" because you aren't in furious agreement with him. He's a great illustration of the way progressive political thinking has become reactionary, relying on the ideas of others to inform it, in the absence of any worthwhile ideas of its own.

      In a school debate his stuff would be marked down heavily. In the real world he's about as relevant as a broken LP.

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    44. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Craig,

      It is the homogeneity of the opinions expressed that concerns me. They are so accustomed to uniformity amongst themselves - as demonstrated here - that they don't even recognise that a difference between conservatives, liberals and libertarians (to name just three out of the dozens of possibilities that exist) can exist, let alone identify what those differences are and tailor their arguments appropriately.

      The idea that it is possible to regard Jones and Gillard both with distaste is difficult for so many progressives to grasp.

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    45. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Chris Harper

      The homogeneity is a function of the fact they are simply reactions to other people's ideas. They don't know anything much, but they know who they don't like and that person is usually someone who is making logically supported arguments that oppose someone they DO like...

      In other words, it's got nothing to do with facts and everything to do with playing to the crowd, which is why the Jones business played so well. Few of the button-clickers who dutifully clicked on the links provided by getup…

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  5. Craig Minns

    Self-employed

    I'm no supporter of Jones, but I was brought up to the view that failing to shake hands and accept the apology of the boy who had offended me was more a reflection of my own character than anything else. Nothing moves forward while someone is holding a grudge. Doing so simply breeds resentment and more anger and dischord.

    I've noticed a trend of late among a certain class of people to refuse to discuss things when they feel the conversation isn't "going the right way". They seem to think that such displays of dudgeon are somehow an example of high ethicality, instead of the petulant dummy spit that they really represent.

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    1. Adam Richards

      Teacher

      In reply to Craig Minns

      It wasn't an apology. It was a "I shouldn't have said what I said, but...". Remember this is simply the last in a long line of very personal attacks that Jones has made regarding Gillard. When is too much abuse enough in your book? Are you saying Jones can continue to say whatever he likes, regardless of how hurtful and wrong, as long as he gives some kind of half-hearted attempt at an apology afterwards?

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    2. Ben Neill

      Mobile/Web Applications Developer

      In reply to Craig Minns

      @Craig Minns On some level I agree, however in mr. Jones case, this isn't the first time he has offended the prime minister, nor the first (intentionally) offensive remark that sparked wide public outrage.

      going on the same rules of morally upright behaviour, 'fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.' An apology isn't worth the hot air it is delivered with, if there isn't an intent to change behaviours.

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    3. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Adam Richards

      I think it behooves everybody to recall that the ALP and Gillard are not the squeaky-clean innocents they'd like to have portrayed. Gillard has a long history of vilification and abusive behaviour toward those who she feels are on the opposing side.

      My mum was adamant that an argument should end, not continue endlessly and aimlessly as Gillard would prefer. It's a great distraction from the real problems that assail this country and are getting worse.

      Jones is a turd, but Gillard is supposed to be the "first among equals" and should be behaving that way, instead of like a silly school-girl playing to the "in" crowd.

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    4. Laszlo O'Vari

      logged in via email @fixia.net

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Normal, good people do and say things that are considered unacceptable all the time. The whole ritual of apology - acceptance is a mechanism to resolve these things between decent people.

      Unfortunately, Mr. Alan Jones made a career of being indecent. He says anything and everything that furthers his career/earns him money. He is already looking for a way of pushing this thing even further - that is how he makes

      The whole apology - acceptance ritual becomes a mockery if all participants know that it will happen again and again.

      At some point the repeat bully should be told: "We have had enough of you. You do not exist. Go away."

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    5. Laszlo O'Vari

      logged in via email @fixia.net

      In reply to Laszlo O'Vari

      Ooops: the end of the second paragraph should read: - that is how he makes his living.

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    6. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Craig - like to give a specific example of Gillard's "vilification and abusive behaviour".

      You sound like another "she deserved it" apologist for Jones.

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    7. Adam Richards

      Teacher

      In reply to Craig Minns

      I never said anyone is squeaky clean. It is strange, however, that on one hand you think Gillard should “...shake hands and accept the apology...”, so they can move on, yet on the other you believe past wrongs (perceived or otherwise) make current wrongs right.

      It is also quite wonderful of you to make references to the school yard. In your first post you use the example of a boy who offended you and how you would shakes hands and get over it. What if the next day, the same thing happened? He…

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    8. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Adam Richards

      "What if the next day, the same thing happened?"

      You're the PM FFS. Grow a pair.

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    9. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      I don't have an opinion on whether she "deserved it", I just reckon "it" is about as important as the sweat pimples between my buttocks (which are purely metaphorical, for the prurient).

      All I know is it's demeaning to all concerned and she's the one with the most to lose, whether she likes it or not. She needs to lead, not just allow the pity-fest to flourish.

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    10. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Laszlo O'Vari

      Ms Gillard should not be defied in comparison to Mr Jones. He is an entertainer, she is the Prime Minister.

      His interest is in making people gasp, hers should be in shutting down the distraction and getting on with running th country.

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    11. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Peter FitzSimons said
      “Every time you think the 2GB broadcaster Alan Jones has gone as low as he can go, he sets a new benchmark ever deeper in his now obviously bottomless barrel.”

      Craig Minns has decided to pick from the same barrel.

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    12. Adam Richards

      Teacher

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Ahh. Now I get it. She doesn't have 'a pair'. Think through what you just said.

      Letting someone continually abuse you with pitiful excuses and apologies afterwards does not show you ‘have a pair’ as you so eloquently put it. It just proves you are someone that others can run roughshod over. Do you want a PM like that?

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    13. William Bruce

      Artist

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Mr Minns I commend you for your clear thinking!
      "...hers should be in shutting down the distraction and getting on with running th country."

      Wolves in Sheep's clothing....and playing the "victim" card?
      A Leopard doesn't change it's spots!!
      The woman has NO sense of honouring her word and EVERYBODY KNOWS IT....and all the TAXPAYER PAID "PR" shills which I suspect have been posting here can't change that......

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    14. William Bruce

      Artist

      In reply to Craig Minns

      With all due respects to Mr Gillard & Julia...this rhetorical "smart arse" joke reflects on Jones NOT Gillard ....and if Labor clowns are not big enough to turn a deaf ear to this OBVIOUS intended JOKE and want to feign umbrage it reflects on the FALSENESS or STUPIDITY of them!

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    15. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Adam Richards

      "Letting someone continually abuse you"

      Wot? Like this government does to any and everyone who they take a dislike to?

      How about getting journalist sacked for asking questions the Prime Minister doesn't want raised? That shows true honour, integrity and probity doesn't it? Exactly what we expect from some third world autocracy, but from the government of one of the worlds leading and oldest democracies it is nauseating.

      The woman doesn't get anywhere near the abuse she would get if the press weren't such sycophants.

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    16. Anthony Ervin

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Laszlo O'Vari

      I like the sound of this. But this could cause apathy which I think could be worse. The forcing sponsors to pull out and legal actions seem far more pro active rather than just waiting for this vile character to "disappear"

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    17. William Bruce

      Artist

      In reply to Anthony Ervin

      "...waiting for this vile character to "disappear""
      You don't need to agree with him...or vilify him.

      This usual "playing the man & not the ball" stuff reflects on the accuser not Allan Jones!

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    18. Adam Richards

      Teacher

      In reply to Chris Harper

      “Wot? (sic) Like this government does to any and everyone who they take a dislike to?”
      Please give examples. Not rhetoric, not opinion, but examples backed up by fact.
      “How about getting journalist sacked for asking questions the Prime Minister doesn't want raised?”
      Who are you talking about? Glen Milne who wrote an article that needed to be retracted in full because of factual inaccuracies. Because even ‘The Australian’ acknowledged “...these assertions are untrue.”? No one could trust him anymore.
      “The woman doesn't get anywhere near the abuse she would get if the press weren't such sycophants.”
      “The woman”? How would you refer to her if she were a man? Would you honestly say “The man”? Or would you use his name? And again, what evidence do you have to back up your assertions?

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    19. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Adam Richards

      Glen Milne, Michael Smith. Or don't they count because at 33 Ms Gillard was 'young and naive" and shouldn't have had her actions questioned?

      It doesn't matter whether the articles were factually incorrect, that these people were sacked as a result of telephone call by the Prime Minister, for any reason whatsoever, is an egregious abuse of office by a small and morally crippled incumbent. That anyone would seek to defend her actions exposes them as equally morally crippled.

      As a side issue…

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    20. Adam Richards

      Teacher

      In reply to Chris Harper

      I won't waste time replying to everything said by Alan Jones, oops, I mean Chris Harper. I will chose one paragraph in the effort to remain succinct.

      “It doesn't matter whether the articles were factually incorrect..” Yep, in your mind facts don’t matter.

      “...that these people were sacked as a result of telephone call by the Prime Minister...”. Think about this comment for a second. Did the PM point out errors in fact, resulting in the employers of ‘these people’ realising these errors were so bad, that they decided to terminate employment? In this case a phone call from the PM did result in their sacking. But is it her fault, or the fault of journalists not fact checking their statements?

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    21. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Adam Richards

      Everything Michael Smith had to say was documented. He had witnesses, he had worn statements. His claims had been checked, and rechecked by the stations legal advisers and had been given the go ahead.

      I am unaware of any evidence that anything he was planning to say at the time, or has said since, is factually incorrect in any significant way. The Prime Minister nonetheless used her office to have the program pulled and Mr Smith sacked.

      The Prime Minister of Australia acted to have a report…

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    22. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to William Bruce

      This isn't abut "honour", it's about "framing the debate" as George Lakoff would have it. Gillard should, of all people, know how much she meant to her father and how proud he must have been, yet she is allowing the talkfest to proceed.

      She well understands that a woman's best political card is the white-knight syndrome that being seen to be a "victim" no matter how spuriously, provides.

      It's playing to the best instincts of men for the worst reasons and it's despicable. Jones is a grub, but she's acting like a princess with a pea under her pile of mattresses.I can't imagine any of our leaders of times past allowing this sort of rubbish to continue. They'd have acted like men by shutting it down and taking the high moral ground in doing so.

      Enough of the fauxmenism.

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    23. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Chris Harper

      "if the press weren't such sycophants"

      It must be hard for David Penberthy of News Limited, the editor of the online version of the News website to be objective when the missus is a minister in the Gillard Govt and a long-term member of Emily's List.

      The Press has a big problem in this country with credibility and part of the reason is that there is a blurring of the lines between them and the politicians. There is less and less scrutiny of political matters in the mainstream press, because they are happy to allow themselves to be an arm of the Party's publicity machines instead of enquiring, investigative reporters.

      They've been coopted.

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    24. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      And Mike hansen has chosen to be a cheerleader. I suppose we should be grateful that the Conversation doesn't include images: Mr Hansen in tights and pompoms is not something I'd like to confront over my breakfast.

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    25. Ken Swanson

      Geologist

      In reply to Ben Neill

      His apology was no better or worse than the insincere apologies politicians give in Parliament.
      No politician should or would be offended by anything.
      They dish it and they cop it.
      The rest is just politics.
      Gillard like Abbott says nothing when she cops a spray because the next day she or one of her team dishes one out in one form or another.
      And so it goes around.

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    26. Ben Neill

      Mobile/Web Applications Developer

      In reply to Ken Swanson

      That's a bit of a 'two wrongs makes a right' fallacy, isn't it.

      Doubt the PM will be up calling Alan Jones' <insert family member> a <insert offensive comment> either.

      Agreed, most apologies in Parliament are insincere dross, but doesn't mean they shouldn't be taken to task for it.

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    27. William Bruce

      Artist

      In reply to Craig Minns

      She's not "being so sensitive", at least publicly!....She hasn't whinged at all has she?.....
      It's simply being USED as an excuse to get sympathy from the great unwashed who really would imaging this being "taken to heart".

      It's a victim game....
      Seems Israel has perfected this one....and every so many weeks when they go and murder so many people in the process of stealing more of their property they claim it is "self defence" and "we are the victims"......I'd like Ms Gillard tell us what she thinks & learned when she was being entertained there a couple of yrs back.

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    28. Ben Neill

      Mobile/Web Applications Developer

      In reply to Craig Minns

      So your logic is she should have gotten used to Jones' insults and rhetoric?

      Is that the mindset you want our head of state to have?

      Personally I am glad to see some backbone on this rather than the usual pandering to the media elite - especially on the other side of politics to their respective selves.

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    29. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Ben Neill

      No, I think she should have accepted the apology and used the opportunity to both condemn the comments themselves and to perhaps eulogise her father and his pride in his daughter. She could have set a higher tone that would be exemplary, as we might hope our leaders would want to do.

      I didn't and don't see any backbone in her choice of response.

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    30. alfred venison

      records manager (public sector)

      In reply to Craig Minns

      no. i think she should have withheld acceptance of that "tactical" apology of his in the interest of crushing jones like a bug ! -a.v.

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    31. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Adam Richards

      "And again, what evidence do you have to back up your assertions?"

      Try here.
      http://www.examiner.com.au/story/373560/replay-our-live-chat-with-julia-gillard/?cs=94

      The Prime Minister was at the Launceston Examiner today, owned by Fairfax and part of the Love Media - so called to distinguish it from the Hate Media, as named by ex Senator Brown.

      Have a look at the questions elected to put to Ms Gillard, read the transcript. They could not have been more vapid. the only way they could have…

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    32. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Too funny, a nodding donkey red-ticked my correction. Obviously whoever it was is not in favour of accuracy...

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  6. Gil Hardwick

    anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

    Observing from this far away, and in the process once more fending off email requests to join some petition or other against Alan Jones, my initial reaction was, Julia, if you can't stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.

    This is not to condone Jone's comment about her father, which I personally thought was in extremely poor taste even though the point being made was perhaps valid.

    The second reaction had more to do with the idea that anyone in Labor has the hide to disparage another on the…

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    1. Michael Pulsford

      Lecturer, RMIT School Of Art

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      If you dislike The Conversation so much, Gil, why come here? You're not obliged to. Life is short, and I'm pretty sure you could find a source of commentary pretty much exactly to your taste if you actually wanted to, very likely for free. The internet age has many faults, but an absence of sources of commentary is not one of them.

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    2. Stephen Prowse

      Research Advisor at Wound CRC

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      I agree that the comment was in bad taste but speaking of drivel

      "This is not to condone Jone's comment about her father, which I personally thought was in extremely poor taste even though the point being made was perhaps valid."

      what exactly was valid?

      While I have only seen and heard Mr Jones from a distance, very little that I have seen or heard has been valid!

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  7. Scott Wallace

    Technical Analyst

    I've heard libertarian views in defence of Alan Jones from both those on the Left and the Right, as well as their qualifications on how AJ and Tony Abbott face name calling and mean attacks from the public also.

    The defenders appear to miss the gravity of this case. You can attack people all you like but keep their family out of it, especially the dead, be it a parent or a child, a sibling or spouse, it is absolutely out of bound.

    Behaviour in the public sphere cannot degrade to such degraded civility. Eventhough, Alan Jones was presenting at a private function, it is still a public occasion, it is not the same as a private joke one says in private.

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  8. Peter Evans

    Retired

    Mr Jones complains about a conspiracy to stifle legitimate debate but continues to use an old debating trick to ensure that the other side of the debate can get no traction. In this case he accusses the other side of lying, not just about the carbon tax but about asylum seekers etc. By getting this claim to resonate then any comment by the other party to the debate, no matter how sound, is devalued in the minds of the listenters. This trick is his own attempt to stifle debate without stopping the…

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  9. Dennis Alexander

    logged in via LinkedIn

    As a correction. Mr Jones latest comments are quoted elsewhere as, "... my apology is without qualification or reservation." Even I have to accept that, as reported and uttered on air, this form of words constitutes a genuine apology.

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    1. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Dennis Alexander

      Oh look, the nodding donkeys are really upset with you for mentioning a fact that doesn't suit the agenda.

      You'd best watch that unfortunate tendency to be accurate in future or you'll be kicked out of the club...

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    2. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dennis Alexander

      Yes Dennis, but as soon as you add the word 'but' at the end of that sentence, and then spend half an hour attempting to qualify your comments, then the apology is anything other than without qualification, isn't it?

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  10. Marilyn Shepherd

    pensioner

    I don't know why we have to suffer thugs like Jones anywhere but I am glad I live in South Australia.

    Why not though get stuck into Gillard for her crimes against humanity regarding aborigines, refugees, single parents and gays and lesbians whom she discriminates against in shocking ways.

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  11. William Bruce

    Artist

    CHECK THIS OUT..Has anyone else pressed a negative feedback and it has registered positive? And vice versa?
    Whats going on?

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  12. Brian Mitchell

    logged in via Facebook

    "Risk-averse" prime minister? She's stuck to the carbon tax even though it's been shit on her shoe, putting up with all sorts of vituperation for her dedication to getting it through the parliament.
    Gillard must be one of the most misread, misunderstood and most unfairly treated politicians in generations: No surprise that she's a woman, the only surprise is how slow women have been to get behind her (although I see Anne Summers and the Destroy the Joint Coalition now doing a very admirable job of shining a light on the ongoing misogyny).
    Gillard is a thoroughly decent person with a warm heart and strong Labor values in health, education and aged care (despite what her old political foe Lindsay Tanner has to say).
    Long may she reign.

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    1. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Brian Mitchell

      Prime Minister Gillard is without scruple.

      She lies as readily as she speaks, she shafted a first term Labor Prime Minister through deceit and a disinformation campaign. No assurance given by her, on any matter, is worth listening to, and her word i her bond for as long as she sees no benefit in breaking it. The claims of misogyny are twaddle, used to try and deflect the criticisms which are rightly directed towards her. They amount to no more than whines to the effect that "you can't criticise…

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    2. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Doesn't make me wrong tho. Want to demonstrate that that I am? I will always listen to people who could change my mind,

      Show me that this government isn't rotten through and through, and that it isn't led by an unprincipled rogue.

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    3. Nic Kocher

      Photographer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Do you really listen to people who could change your mind?

      Party politics doesn't really sway me either way but I have to say the NBN is he most visionary investment any government has made in decades.

      Think about the billions of meaningful conversations and business transactions made of the copper phone system. The people who installed it could never have imagined it would be so successful, let alone technology like faxing and the Internet.

      Now replace that copper network with optical fibre…

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    4. William Bruce

      Artist

      In reply to Nic Kocher

      NBN? How much BORROWED dosh (READ TAX)?
      Do we need it all?....People will go with wireless won't they? It works fine...+ What industry will really profit from it?

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    5. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to William Bruce

      The legal industry will love being able to send staff to work from home instead of paying for expensive offices. In a previous role I was involved in setting up a VPN and broadband package for many staff of one of Qld's oldest legal firms, who managed to thereby downsize their lease from two floors of a city building to one, saving millions.

      I'm sure their clients didn't notice the savings on their bills though...

      The same may well apply to other industries, including engineering and knowledge-based industries generally.

      What it won't do is provide much benefit for you and I as private citizens. I have a high-bandwidth ADSL service which I don't use to capacity now, so a higher-bandwidth service will just be overhead.

      We, as taxpayers, are subsidising firms that are well able to pay their own way. It's another example of the way this Government shifts the cost from high-income earners to the low-paid.

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    6. William Bruce

      Artist

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Even for business's & Lawyers one can already do just about all that is needed with a USB sim card broadband "plug in stick".
      Most new computers have the Sim card broadband slot inside for say, G4 broadband.
      It costs about $180 a year for Telstra to give you all this internet service and EVERYWHERE you go with your laptop, bus, train, out of town etc you have Internet....FOR a YEAR!
      How much is the NBN gona cost? Didn't they say would cost about $35 pm and now they are talking about $150pm?? (not sure about this....but who will pay this if it is not really needed?
      I concede it will be GREAT, like buying a Ferrari and genuinely good for some areas like Medical & perhaps entertainment (Perhaps the REAL agenda here?).....it will be great, but lets see how many people buy a subscriptions??

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    7. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to William Bruce

      William, some legal files can be of the order of GB in size. A high-bandwidth connection is needed to distribute them.

      Otherwise, I agree with your comments.

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    8. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to William Bruce

      "People will go with wireless won't they? It works fine...+ What industry will really profit from it?"

      To answer your first question, No. Mobile broadband wireless is useless for any significant business activity in a fully business sense. It is slower, less stable and less secure than optical fibre and always will be. Any business with say 10+ computers in an office will be spending a lot more on providing mobile wireless for every computer than it would be by getting a much faster, reliable…

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    9. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Well said Michael. There are also a significant number of Australians that do not live in cities that have mobile internet coverage, and a great number of Australians that have no access to ADSL or cable broadband at all. The only alternative is dial up, or mobile internet that is of slow and poor quality.

      This effects business and residential users in a significant way. For businesses in rural and regional areas, the lack of reliable broadband has a large effect on their ability to run an efficient business, which effects profit. Less profit means that business is less able to grow and employ more people.

      For residential internet users, in particular those that work from home, or are distance education students, a lack of reliable and fast internet means that they are at a severe disadvantage to other workers and students. Mobile internet is very expensive, and not reliable.

      Roll on the NBN.

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    10. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Worse than was Howard's mob? I wouldn't have thought that possible. However I don't see Gillard as any better than was Howard, and for very much the same reasons.

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    11. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Judith Olney

      NBN has a satellite service, or more correctly they provide the 'giant' dish, and there are more than a few service providers. The speed, both ways is equivalent to ADSL2, or at least so I am told.

      Price wise the service comparable to services available in Sydney.

      I am using such a recently installed system.

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    12. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      I agree. They are both politicians with few scruples. Howard was fortunate enough to inherit the post-Keating economy, whereas Gillard was unfortunate to inherit the post-Howard one.

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    13. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Typically short term narrow thinking. You are basing your comments on how the internet is used today and with the services you use today. What the governement is doing is what a lot of other governments are doing around the world, think ahead for the countrys future prosperity. Wha tyou should be asking is not if ADSL2 is enough for you today but what would it be like if you were still using 33k or 56k modem today with all the types of services you use today.

      Wha the government is putting in is…

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    14. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Michael, what is the "killer app" that will make fibre-level bandwidth required in the home?

      Backhaul for mobile is a separate issue which the telcos already do using fibre.

      Please do enlighten my "small mind", if you can drag yourself away from your world-shatteringly important work...

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    15. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      Hi Peter, I am aware of the "active8 me" service available for satellite in my state, but very few people are eligible for this service. No one that is less than 15kms from an telephone exchange can access this service, but with the NBN it wont be needed for people who live in or close to a town but still cannot access ADSL or cable. The satellite service is subsidised if you are eligible, the speed is not as fast as ADSL2 in most cases, it is unreliable in bad weather, even mildly bad weather…

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    16. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      The problem with the NBN is everything said here is opinion and assertion. The Gillard government refuses to provide any meaningful cost benefit analysis or usable business case. All the justifications given by the government are platitudes, empty of any real information.

      Personally, having built a career designing and running multiple Internet Service Providers, this is a Rudd vanity project which the government doesn't have the balls to scrap. Even this government acknowledges that the only…

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    17. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Judith: Perhaps you ought to get in touch with NBN. As I understand it, this is a new scheme, and eligibility depends upon lack of a workable alternative.

      The Dish is installed, cost free. The provider -- I am with Skymesh --- provides the service, which is only a little more expensive than was my in Sydney service.

      As I run my phone via Skype, I have actually cut costs as compared to in Sydney.

      Speed, these latest dishes are claimed to equal ADSL2. Usage perception is that they better ADSL, which I had in Sydney.

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    18. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      Thanks Peter, I will get in touch with them, thanks for providing the information about this service.

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    19. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Chris Harper

      In Australia, due to the vast distances involved, any solution to the lack of access to reliable, fast internet services, will be expensive. However, the NBN is an infrastructure project that will allow business in remote and rural areas, (who have no alternatives, and little access to broadband now), to be more efficient, grow, and provide more employment in those areas.

      For those living in remote and rural areas, like myself, the benefits are very obvious, benefits such as better health care access, benefits to business, benefits to students and residential users, to name just a few.

      Your political views are irrelevant to those that can see the practical benefits of the NBN, something that should be supported by both sides of politics.

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    20. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Spot on Judith... the NBN will be a game changer for us and our kids, for local businesses and jobs ... if we know how to use it with some sense of opportunity.

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    21. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      People who live in the country are generally pretty inventive, and can see opportunities, and are already getting prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that the NBN will provide.

      There will always be those of a conservative bent, that are against new ideas, and projects, particularly the ones that don't benefit them directly, but benefit the nation as a whole. In a local museum, I came across some letters to the editor for more than 100 hundred years ago, where conservatives were saying…

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    22. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Not only do I have no problem with a high speed infrastructure being built, but I am all in favour of it.

      My problem is the lies, incompetence and bumgling which has characterised the big number projects initiated by this government.

      The RuddNet was sketched on the back of an envelope by Mr Rudd, literally, and announced as costing $5 billion. Politicians, who have no expertise in the field, dictated that it would be a fibre network, without knowing anything about either that technology, or…

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    23. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Craig you demonstrate that you did not read my response. This is not about killer aps, it is about infrastructure. Infrastructure needed because the current system on copper wires has generally hit its limit and has nowhere to go. Like I said, what if you were still using a 28k modem for todays services on the internet?

      Again for your benefit, the nbn is enabling technology infrastructure. Our world like it or not revolves around connected computers, whether in the home, school or business. Like a road, cost benefit analysis makes no sense, it is about thinking ahead for what our country and society will need in the future to grow.. The internet will not stand still, just look back at how far it has come in a mere 30 years. The libs and yourself cannot see past 3 years, which is why things have gotten behind, this government is thinking about were our country is going decades from now.

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    24. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to Chris Harper

      The nbn is enabling technology infrastructure. Our world like it or not revolves around connected computers, whether in the home, school or business. Like a road, cost benefit analysis makes no sense, it is about thinking ahead for what our country and society will need in the future to grow. Business will not do the job because there is not enough money in it for them to do it properly. The NBN is also to help eradicate inequitys between the country and cities.

      The internet will not stand still…

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    25. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Chris Harper

      You have provided no evidence that the NBN is a waste of money, inefficient, or that the current government is incompetent at all. Private industry is interested in short term profit, so would never even consider providing such a vital and large infrastructure project. They like you are not interested in a vision for the nation, which will have benefits way beyond what the current system has. You are blinded by your political ideology, and perfectly entitled to express it, but I cannot take you seriously.

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    26. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Michael, when Opus and Telstra built their HFC networks (which superceded dialup), it was clear just what benefits would accrue to the user through having the extra bandwidth.

      Please tell me what benefits will accrue to me, as an average user, that justifies my support?

      Don't give me double-talk about "enabling technology". If a road is built it is because of demonstrated need, not pie in the sky, notwithstanding the Brisbane experience with tolled tunnels...

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    27. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      "The libs and yourself cannot see past 3 years,"

      Michael, would you like to re read my posting and then continue the discussion based on what I said, rather on what you would have liked me to have said?

      I suggest you take special note of the words which follow immediately after I said "Please don't waste either your or my time ..." (typing errors corrected)

      If you need to invent opinions which are the exact opposite of what I expressed in order to criticise me we will get nowhere.

      As…

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    28. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      "You have provided no evidence that the NBN is a waste of money, inefficient, or that the current government is incompetent at all. "

      HAHAHAHAHAHA....

      Wipes eyes.

      Please re read what I wrote. Pay special attention to the point about the ongoing failure to provide a business case, the takeup being 4% of what was forecast, and the extraordinary cost blow out from five billion dollars to forty four billion (so far - more to come folks - anyone really want to bet against sixty billion?).

      As to the rest, please read my response to Michael above.

      As to other issues of incompetence - Pink Batts anyone? To name but one more. Peter Slipper? To name another. Building the Education Revolution? Craig Emerson singing? HAHAHAHAHA. Craig Thomson?

      Oops, no, I guess Slipper and Thomson belong more under the category of ethics (lack thereof) than incompetence. Although, what the hell, no point being picky. I guess either category is apt.

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    29. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Again with the parroting of the liberal party play book. A business case is not required for this type of infrastructure project, the take up at this point in time is no indication of future potential, and your so called cost blow out are rubbery figures that are not at all convincing to anyone who looks closely at the funding model. The rest of your post is again just political hot wind, all blow and no substance.

      So again, I cannot take you seriously, as you lack any evidence to back up your claims, mindless parroting of the LNP line is not evidence of anything but your political bias. Yawn....

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    30. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      You ask for evidence, I demonstrate I have already provided it. Your response then is to reverse your position and claim that evidence isn't necessary because for some reason, contrary to the standard applied to infrastructure projects world wide, both public and private, this infrastructure project shouldn't be judged by the standards otherwise applied universally in order to justify the expenditure....

      Uh huh.

      So having provided you with the evidence you requested you then claim that it is all irrelevant anyway.

      Nice approach. It puts you in a win-win situation where you can never lose an argument, all you have to do is completely reverse your position and bob's your uncle. May I use it one day?

      Sigh, but am I so lacking in intellectual integrity that I could stomach trying it? Well, I'm not a progressive, so probably not.

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    31. Ron Chinchen

      Retired (ex Probation and Parole Officer)

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Waste of energy Judith. Cant teach old conservatives new tricks. That's why they are called conservative. Cant get beyond maintaining the old, except they forget that old was also once new..

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    32. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Ron Chinchen

      Me? A conservative? Now I've heard everything.

      You don't have to be a conservative to value honesty, integrity and probity. Hell, I've even known progressives to value them, although, sadly, not many on this site. Although, I guess pretending that the Gillard government isn't a complete stranger to them is an example of the homage that vice pays to virtue.

      I am afraid the world is just a tad more complex than your Manichaean worldview credits.

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    33. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to Craig Minns

      When Tim Berners Lee invented the internet at CERN in 1989 it was to fascilitate information sharing among scientists. They had no idea how fast it would grow and for what purposes it would be used. The internet has gone crazy since that time continuously surpassing expectations on how much it would infiltrate our lives.

      Your short term, it must be a proven benefit now, philiosophy is ridiculous. The internet has proved itself repeatedly and will continue to surpass and intertwine. With this…

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    34. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Give me specifics, Michael, not polemics.

      In all of that you didn't give me one new use that will be "enabled" by this "enabling technology" that you want so much.

      Not convincing, I'm afraid.

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    35. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Ron Chinchen

      Your're right Ron, much like Alan Jones so called apology all I see is party political nonsense from the neo-cons of today. Infrastructure projects, like the NBN are far more important than giving the middle and upper class handouts and tax breaks. The NBN will benefit so many people from all areas of this country, but the neo-cons can only think of their own selfish wants. Sad, but unfortunately true.

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    36. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Political spin and parroting the liberal line is not evidence, its just your opinion, or the parroting of the opinion of others. The "evidence" you think you have provided is no such thing. You then go on to try and justify your lack of evidence by trying to claim some sort of moral high ground. Its something that I've noticed Alan Jones does frequently, along with the liberal politicians you are parroting.

      Interesting exercise to watch in a clinical sense, but it has been done to death over the last few weeks.

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    37. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Fraid so Judith... not nation-builders by any stretch ... takers really. Never build anything unless they are getting a quid out of it and certainly not for the benefit of the future generations.

      Think of anything significant over the last 100 years - from the Sydney Opera House to an integrated rail or power network - and you'll find them there trotting out the same old arguments - too expensive, not the right time, unnecessary, senseless waste, leave it to the private sector ... The blinkered narrow vision of self-interest. A national curse.

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    38. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      neo-cons?

      wot neo-cons?

      There is no significant neo-con movement in Australia, or are you truly unaware that it has a specific meaning and are just using it as a smear term, shorn of that meaning?

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    39. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      I meet people from all over the world in my job, and sadly they have the same view of the political right wing in Australia. There is no vision for this nation from the right wing of politics today.

      They bang on about important infrastructure projects being too expensive, the usual blah, blah, blah, about government spending, but you don't hear a peep from them when it comes to giving tax cuts and welfare payment to the upper and middle classes to buy votes. As you say Peter, a national curse.

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    40. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Craig your not convinced because you don't want to be. Nothing I say will make a difference. People that are worried about the future of Australia and its prosperity past a couple of years will be.

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    41. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Michael, I asked for you to give me one example of a benefit that will be "enabled" by this "enabling technology". In response you give me abuse and no examples.

      I'm afraid your argument is empty, Michael.

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    42. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Craig,

      I agree with Michael on this, it is an enabling technology. If he is unable to give 'killer app' examples why would anyone be surprised? After all, who in the sixties would have been able to extrapolate Facebook from the protocol definitions of TCP/IP?

      Despite the twaddle spouted by Judith and Peter elsewhere, my objection to RuddNet is not the thing itself, but the reversion to the failed policies of state based command and control which did so much to waste resources, retard development and screw up telecoms in the past.

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    43. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Oh ... should have handed this over to the private sector then Chris? And who was going to be stumping up for that?

      You folks with this touching faith in the driving force of self interest should have a think every time you pick up the phone, flick a switch, hop in the car or pack the kids off to school, rush to a hospital or fly in a plane, about the awful failed policies of state intervention.

      Let's open our skies to the free market - or our roads! Let the market decide! What do stop signs really mean? Left hand of the road or right - you choose.

      It's religion Chris, this attachment to the so called free market - not history and certainly not economics. Natural monopolies. Markets don't do them too good.

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    44. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Facebook is emergent, but the possibility of scaling tcp/ip was inherent.

      That scaling lead to all sorts of speculations about the potential for extensive interconnectivity almost immediately. The details were sketchy, but the vision could be seen.

      I've yet to receive any answer to what the vision is that can be seen in the rollout of fibre to the home that justifies the expense. I'd really like there to be one that doesn't involve faster access to games and movies, or even enhancements to them such as 3D. What genuine benefits arise from the inherent properties of the network?

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    45. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Craig please listen to yourself. 'The details were sketchy, but the vision could be seen'. ' I agree, and the internet has proven itself to be fast moving and if available people will run and use it thinking of new ways to enhance its usability. People in the home now use it mfor much more than gaming. You have entertainment in general (as you point out, and that needs bandwidth). There is education, work, research and communication to name a few. Every new program and application expands the possibilities…

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    46. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      All that and not even a vague vision of what this "enabling techology will enable...

      A simple question that should be easily answered if $40+billion (around 10% of annual GDP) is to be spent.

      Anybody have more of a clue than Michael does?

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    47. Peter Ormonde

      Farmer

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Just to put this in context - the entire cost of the NBN - calculated out at $40 billion in NPV - is exactly equal to 15 months of tax concessions provided by taxpayers to superannuation. Yep - every 15 months a fully complete NBN. Soon it will be an NBN's worth of concessions every 12 months and the bulk of those concessions are given to the wealthy. Something to ponder folks.

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    48. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Taxpayers provide no concessions to superannuation at all, the government does.

      For the government to not take tax is not a gift or anything like it, regardless of the words used.

      Property belongs to the owner, not the government, and for the government to refrain from taking a shovel to ones possessions is a concession if, and only if, you regard all property belonging belong to the government, with us being permitted to retain some.

      This is, of course, contrary to all AngloSaxon political theory and legal practice since at least Magna Carta.

      The idea that not taking a tax is a gift of any sort is an absurdity.

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    49. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to Chris Harper

      Chris the government uses taxpayers money so I am not sure what the rest is talking about. Nobody said anything about a gift. The governemnt makes choices on what it thnks is the best use of taxpayers money for the benefit of the people of Australia. If it puts money in one direction such as super or concessions to the coal industry then it has less for other choices.

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    50. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      So your argument is that it doesn't matter whether it's needed, or whether it will provide any benefit, those "wealthy "people are getting super concessions...

      I dunno about you, but if I'm considering spending my hard-earned on something, I want to know if I'm going to be able to use it, not whether someone else has more money than me.

      You peddle the politics of envy Peter. It's naturally received well by those who think that the pea under their pile of mattresses is an intolerable irritant, but it doesn't have much relation to the real world.

      The same approach is what drives this failed Emily's :List Party Government.

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    51. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Peter? You seem to have gone quiet. Is it something I said?

      Anyone got the slightest idea of what benefits will accrue to ordinary people like me from the NBN? Anyone at all? Mr Conroy, are you there? It's a simple question.

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  13. Mike Swinbourne

    logged in via Facebook

    Perhaps the Prime Minister has come to the realisation that it is absolutely pointless having anything to do with the despicable Jones.

    She probably realises that Jones' listeners, like his apologists posting here (Chris Harper, Willam Bruce and Craig Minns et al) are such rusted on coalition supporters that they will never vote for the ALP no matter how good the economy is going, or what important social initiatives or infrastructure projects are introduced.

    Why bother trying to educate the uneducatable?

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    1. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike, I'm afraid I'm going to burst your bubble: I've never once voted for the Coalition. I've usually voted the straight ALP ticket, although I abstained at the last election because the ALP was just such a poor choice and I couldn't bring myself to vote LNP.

      I know it saves you having to actually think if you can characterise me as "the enemy", but it's not actually constructive - it's just a silly ad hom.

      Perhaps you might like to actually read what's written before coming up with your silly conspiracy theories? Being critical of the ALP is not equivalent to being an LNP supporter.

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    2. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Then I apologise if I have misconstrued your diatribes and ad hom attacks on the PM as you being a coalition supporter.

      By the same token, you may wish to take a leaf out of your own book. I did not and do not characterise anyone who votes for the coalition as 'the enemy', for I am not and never have been an ALP voter. I actually think about my vote before I cast it, and have voted for different parties depending on the circumstances. I voted Green at the last election, ALP the one before that, and for the coalition the one before that.

      It was not a 'conspiracy theory' to criticise you and the others the way I did - just a rational reading of your apologies for Jones and your ad homs against the PM.

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    3. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike, please do give me some examples of the "diatribes and ad homs" you refer to.

      I'm happy to accept your apology, but I think it might not meet the standard you demand of Jones...

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    4. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Really Craig? Are you that oblivious to your own words? How about these ad homs about the PM for a start:

      “...I think that she is trying to cash in on this by not responding....”

      “....she's allowed it to be beaten up into the biggest story since the Dismissal....”

      “...then there is no chance of moving on, which I suspect is Gillard's intent....”

      “...she doesn't care about what people like me think...”

      “...an argument should end, not continue endlessly and aimlessly as Gillard would…

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    5. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      And where is the "ad hom"?

      As you seem to be unaware of the meaning of the term, here's a link:

      http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html

      My comments are about her behaviour as PM. You seem to have missed the ones in which i make the point that she is a high-achiever and that her father was no doubt proud of her.

      Still, if that's the level of discussion that satisfies you, that's your problem.

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    6. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Thank you for proving my point about you being oblivious to your own words. If you can't see that your argument is 'against the man', then there is little I can do to convince you.

      But then, ad homs appears to be the staple of your argument on this issue, calling those who disagree with you 'nodding donkeys', etc.

      As you so aptly stated - if that's the level of discussion that satisfies you, that's your problem!

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    7. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike, I haven't offered any ad hominem - none at all. I've offered an opinion that the PM is failing to lead in allowing this silly furore to flourish. My reasoning is transparent ad doesn't require any personal flaws in the PM, just her perception of the political advantage to be gained by letting it run. She knows that people like you, who don't think about things very deeply, will be supportive and she hopes to gain additional support from people who have a misguided desire to "rescue" the "damsel…

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    8. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Craig, Craig, Craig (shaking my head in sorrow).

      Perhaps you could explain to me how phrases like "....she's acting like a princess with a pea under her pile of mattresses..." is offering an opinion that the PM is failing to lead. Looks pretty much like a personal comment and an attack on her character to me. But hey, I'm just a nodding donkey who doesn't think about things very deeply.

      You can't help it can you? But what would you expect from someone who is even embarassed to admit that he is a coaltion supporter.

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    9. Sylvia Robinson

      Archaeologist

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Craig, having read numerous posts of yours over the last few weeks, you make it pretty plain you don't like women. That dislike is colouring your thinking not just on gender issues, but everything. It really impairs your ability to have a rational discussion, and you're coming across as a ranter with a real chip on his shoulder. Anyone who doesn't share your - pretty intense - dislike of females comes in for all sorts of abuse, and they just can't talk to you in a normal fashion. I know you think…

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    10. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      The "Princess and the Pea" was an instructive parable about setting expectations high. Its protagonist wanted to choose a wife who was a genuine princess over those who merely pretended to be. The criterion chosen was that a princess was so used to being treated better than anyone else that she could detect a pea under a huge pile of feather mattresses.

      I think it's entirely illustrative of the behaviour of the PM.

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    11. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Sylvia Robinson

      Sylvia, thanks for your thoughts, but I'm afraid they're quite wrong.

      I encourage omen to contribute to the discussion, and I don't attack anybody who offers a thoughtful response. I have a low tolerance for kneejerks.

      I'm sad to observe that few women seem ableto answer the well-supported views I express in relation to gender matters. Even women who I think have a lot to offer, like Lauren Rosewarne, prefer to play a silly game that involves loudly proclaiming my words somehow unworthy of…

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    12. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Sylvia Robinson

      Sylvia, just one more small thing: you spent considerable ime formulating that response.

      If my views are so wrong-headed, wouldn't it have been time better spent in saying why?

      Why didn't you?

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    13. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Actually Sylvia, I'm quite puzzled at your comments. What have I said that gives you the impression I don't like women? I have said on more than one occasion that I think women are pretty terrific. Of course, you'll say "but you would say that, you're a clever woman hater",but of course, that doesn't make you right.

      I try to confine myself to the point I'm making, or responding to the argument put before me, if one exists, which is rare, sadly. Instead, I get abuse, such as yours, which I try…

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    14. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      “She probably realises that Jones' listeners, like his apologists posting here (Chris Harper, Willam Bruce and Craig Minns et al) are such rusted on coalition supporters”

      So you are saying that one cannot dislike a deceitful and dishonest liar and smear artist, who uses her office to suppress unwelcome journalism and get people the sack, who lacks an honest bone in their body, without being an apologist for Alan Jones and a “rusted on coalition supporter”?

      Seriously?

      What a statement of…

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    15. In reply to Craig Minns

      Comment removed by moderator.

    16. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike, why would you assume I'm lying about my political affiliations? Merely because I disagree with you?

      I'm afraid that says some rather distasteful things about your character.

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    17. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Hello Sylvia? Do you have a case to make or are you satisfied with name calling. Personally, I find that pretty pointless, but you may differ.

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  14. Meg Thornton

    Dilletante

    Another reason Ms Gillard isn't responding to Mr Jones apology may be that she knows full well it isn't offered with any intention of following through. Why should she be required to perform a part in his latest publicity grab?

    A genuine apology has the following components:

    1) An acknowledgement of wrong done, and/or harm caused by the person doing the apologising. Mr Jones appears to have gone out of his way not to offer this (instead he's blaming the journalist who reported what he said…

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    1. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Meg Thornton

      Thanks for your opinion on what constitutes a "real" apology. I'm afraid I don't agree with your view that the one offering the apology has to satisfy your particular socio-political notions.

      Saying "sorry" is a way of breaking the destructive cycle of offence that can otherwise carry on endlessly. I is incumbent on both parties if they are serious about moving on to go through the motions.

      If the offended party chooses instead to stand on their offence, then there is no chance of moving on, which I suspect is Gillard's intent. She knows that people like you will see that as justified and she doesn't care about what people like me think. It's all about playing to the crowd.

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    2. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to Craig Minns

      I myself consider it distasteful to have to accept a claytons apology or to 'go through the motions'. If it isn't given genuinely then it does not, and should not, need to be accepted.

      It was a disgraceful thing to say, one of many disgraceful and abhorent things he has said about our democratically elected leader, that he seems to have made his mission to try to undemocratically bring down, and this government.

      I applaud her decision to ignore him and not give his apology any traction.

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    3. Lyn Gain

      Social science lecturer

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Yes I applaud the PM's stance too - treat Jones with the contempt he deserves. And I can't believe the cynicism of commenters who apparently will not allow that Gillard's main motivation might be not to demean her father's name and their relationship by bandying tacky words with a vicious old queen who doesn't like women.

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    4. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Yes Michael, I think we're all in furious agreement that it was a disgraceful thing to say.

      I'm not sure why his trying to bring down the government is worthy of mention, given his deep ties to the LNP? Should Ms Gillard also refuse to talk to members of the opposition because they want to bring down the Government? No doubt there are members of her own Party she can send to Coventry as well; after all some of them supported Kevin Rudd...

      Do you see the point I'm making? Refusing to talk to people is childish and non-productive. I can understand her anger,but she is not a private citizen, she is the PM and she should be able to rise above the childishness of Jones. Let's face it, it's schoolyard stuff, hardly the sort of thing that a seasoned politician couldn't give and take without blinking, especially one who has been a senior Union lawyer!

      Lyn, nice piece of homophobia there...

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    5. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Michael Fabiankovits

      A free person, in a free democracy, works within the law to bring down the government, and you label it undemocratic?

      More smear?

      It is everyone's unquestionable right to work to bring down the government, using any legal means they wish, at any and all the time.

      It's called freedom and democracy.

      In fact, without this fundamental right democracy is impossible, sorry you don't like it.

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    6. Lyn Gain

      Social science lecturer

      In reply to Craig Minns

      Oooh Craig - I'll die of shame if some underhand journalist reports my comment, made in this private forum, to any of my male or female homosexual friends Some of them are old and some of them are queens but none of them are vicious.

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    7. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Lyn Gain

      So homophobia is fine, so long as you have some homosexual friends? That gives you a pass, right?

      What's next? You going to say some of my best friends are Jews......

      Craig, she's just another hypocrite. fits well into the modern Australian left. Mantra - "The rules apply to thee, but not to me".

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    8. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Lyn Gain

      Lyn, I have no interest in your friendship circle. Your own words demonstrate homophobia.

      I say you're a hypocrite.

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    9. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to Chris Harper

      What I don't like is people like Jones, the hate media, to continuously complain thatthe government is illegitimate and to continuously call for a new election. What they are not accepting is what you are accusing me of. They do not accept that this is a democratically elected government that should be allowed to govern without the rubbish antidemocratic stance of those in the hate media.

      Disagree fine, but what he does is way more than that, he promotes violence in my opinion with his stirring of hate and his disgusting disgraceful comments and manner. He should not be given any time by either party, and to accept that kind of behaviour you are legitimising it. Ignoring it, like you would ignore a selfish temper tantrum child yelling and screaming. Their is no reasin for Gillard to communicate with him, what he said was hurtful no matter who you are.

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    10. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Jones is a member of the Liberal Party of long-standing. There are other broadcasters who are either members or affiliated with the ALP.

      Do you just object to Jones, or does your objection extend to people who support the same Party as yourself?

      Should Abbott refuse to speak to Mike Carlton or Peter Fitzsimons or David Penberthy or Leigh Sales? How does that help to improve the political discussion?

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    11. Chris Harper

      Engineer

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Michael,

      I agree about Jones, and for the exact same reason I loath the Gillard government and all who sail in it. They are a pack of abusive liars and smear artists who have a history, not of advocating violence against their opponents, but of actually instigating it, and then smearing the victim as being the cause. Jones is no worse than this shower.

      In a parliamentary democracy it is the unquestionable right of any citizen to act to oppose the government as they see fit. That this opposition, if strong enough or the government weak enough, could bring down the government is a reasonable and acceptable part of the system. That you question the exercise of this right by people you dislike is a matter of concern.

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    12. Michael Fabiankovits

      Teacher

      In reply to Craig Minns

      I object to people like Jones, who do not enhance the debate by rational argument like the other people you listed. Jones abuse and use disgusting langauge to put down attack and belittle. He continuously lies about climate change and the carbon tax and promotes hate and actual violence about members of the labor party. The libs degrade themselves by having him as a member. Can you honestly say that the other people or anyone in the labor party behave like Jones, with a straight face.

      I think that you guys supporting a person like that says a lot about the both of you.

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    13. Craig Minns

      Self-employed

      In reply to Michael Fabiankovits

      Michael, I even support the right of those who become abusive for no good reason (like you just did, but shh, let's not tell) to say their piece.

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  15. Tony P Grant

    Neo-Mort

    I listened to Philip Adams last night (LNL) his comments were around a conservation he had with Jones when they both worked for 2UE. Basically telling "Alan" yes they got along well, that he had to lighten up and be a little more compassionate.

    After Jones infamous behaviour in the London "public loo" yes, the British "bobbies" got him Adams wrote a story telling Jones to clean his act up and get back to work. On his return to Australia Jones made it a priority to go to Adams home (yes, home) and have a real go at Adams article. Adams told Jones your "sexuality" is unimportant to me but as an important broadcaster you have to "get yourself in order" Jones denied the "homosexual position" and has continued to be an angry old man...a sad one at that!

    I wouldn't attack Abbott's father (a successful businessman) when he dies. Enough though Tony Abbott has a record second to none in "anti-social behaviour" his record is there for all to view; nothing to do with his father!

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    1. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Tony P Grant

      What is Abbott's record for anti-social behaviour. Where can I find it if it's there for alol to view? Give me some links to back up your statements, Tony G.

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    2. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Tony P Grant

      Tony Grant, I find your comment about Tony Abbott one that could only come from someone remarkably uninformed and opinionated. Evidence please? Or did the mellifluous Adams merely brainwash you?

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    3. Tony P Grant

      Neo-Mort

      In reply to Philip Dowling

      You must be the only person that isn't aware of Abbott's history...do you own search!

      Maybe, I've give you a break...North Sydney court appearances by Abbott during the late 70's and 1980...the rest everybody else knows...except for you!

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  16. Philip Dowling

    IT teacher

    It would be interesting to get the statistics on which shows Julia Gillard appeared during the last election.
    My faltering memory would suggest that it was largely "froth and bubble" type shows. Ones that would reschedule Julia Gillard if a live interview with Justin Bieber or the Kardashian sisters became available.
    It would seem to me that while Alan Jones' influence has indeed faltered, he certainly can and does have an agenda setting role that exceeds even that of comments by the Canterbury Bulldogs on a Mad Monday detected by a long-distance, directional microphone.

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  17. Sean Lamb

    Science Denier

    What I find most depressing about this uninteresting saga is the attempt by the Labour party and hangers on to try and drive Alan Jones off the air - partly by a tactic successfully employed by Josef Goebbels - the economic boycott.

    Personally I listen to Fran Kelly for my breakfast radio, but I would be deeply offended and annoyed if 2GB listeners tried to get Fran Kelly taken off the air because they don't like her views. So it is only fair that 2GB radio listeners should get to listen to the person they like, without people threatening advertisers with repercussions.

    There is a group of people who say they are only intolerant of intolerance - unfortunately there definition of intolerance seems to encompass large swathes of Australians, so arguably they are the most intolerant people of all.

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  18. Ron Chinchen

    Retired (ex Probation and Parole Officer)

    I wasnt going to waste my time with this forum but I think after reading some of the items I need to.

    Jones is a silly and malicious old man who should just walk away before he does any more harm in the Australian community. Some think its entertainment. I think its just gross bigotry.

    And this is not just about the shameful remark he made in relation to the PMs father. It also applies to the manner in which he incites divisiveness between various ethnic groups in our society, how he frightens…

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  19. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    My understanding is that Alan Jones has probably been driven since adolescence by self-loathing.

    As a motivating force, this can only take you so far, and eventually fade to irrelevance.

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  20. Grahame Kay

    Self Employed IT and Services

    I seriously think that a number of the posters need to read and consider this article https://theconversation.edu.au/no-youre-not-entitled-to-your-opinion-9978 posted on this site.
    Yes, I know that you don't think that it's about you but if you think that then it probably is. :)

    "Mediawatch host Jonathan Holmes was considerably more blunt: “there’s evidence, and there’s bulldust,” and it’s no part of a reporter’s job to give bulldust equal time with serious expertise"

    I am sorry to interpose with logic into your hatefest, guys.

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