October 16, 2012 | Graham

Why report a line when you know it’s a line?

According to the government Tony Abbott is a “mouse“, even though he is also a “bully boy”, because he allegedly failed to raise his policy of towing back refugee boats with the Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhyono.

Given Labor’s disastrous handling of our relations with our nearest large neighbour, it’s not surprising that they don’t understand subtlety.

They should talk to some of our readers. Dr Tony Young (no relation writes):

I don’t often communicate, but this is so striking that I wanted to put my thoughts on paper.

First, the President of Indonesia does NOT normally extend a personal audience with the Leader of the Opposition, but he did with Abbott – presumably because the Indonesians look on him as the next PM of Australia.

Second, the Indonesians already know Abbott’s stance on boat people and there was no reason for him to raise the matter. There were plenty of other very important matters that needed clarification.

Third, Gillard is now becoming what I can only call neurotic and psychotic with respect to her attitude to Abbott.

If he had raised the matter of the boat people with the Indonesian President, Gillard would have called it an attempt to usurp her power; since Abbott didn’t, she now calls him a coward. In other words, he’s damned if he does and also if he doesn’t.

This is vile behaviour …

Which makes me wonder whether journalists ought to report the government lines as they are, because they are designed to deflect debate away from the things that matter.

Our relations with Indonesia are much more than a policy to tow boats back, a policy which has been implemented before, and supported in the past by both Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd.

The government is running distractions. Surely it is the job of good journalism to ignore the distractions.

When you are looking for reasons why Australian public debate is the mess it is, you need look no further than the dereliction of duty of the media gate keepers whose habitual reflex is a fast twitch to a government media release.

Posted by Graham at 10:22 pm | Comments (14) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. That’s why your site is charlatan-esque. It repeats the lines it likes and ignores those it does not. You are not fair dinkum Graham. Your site is a joke in pretending it is without bias. As a former published contributor to your site I can advise others that this is a plaything for Graham’s views.

    Comment by Darryl Snow — October 16, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

  2. The system is broke. Do not fix the system. What a joke we have allowed our spruikers of good times and bad to become.

    Not only are we derelict in our duty of good government but we have conditioned ourselves to be bad

    When will it all change?

    Comment by Peter — October 17, 2012 @ 9:06 am

  3. That’s a fairly shallow criticism Darryl. What is it that you say I have gotten wrong? Perhaps you should also put up front the fact that you are an official of a trade union.

    I see The Australian has some better than average analysis on this today http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/truth-lost-as-julia-gillard-targets-asylum-talks/story-fn9hm1gu-1226497367257.

    Comment by Graham — October 17, 2012 @ 10:02 am

  4. I agree that Gillard has become obsessed with Abbott. She and her ‘handbag cabinet’ are utterly focused on Abbott at the expense of sounding sane and logical. They pass sexist remarks about him but cry foul when anything is suggested that is less complementary of them. I don’t like Abbott but he is looking good of late, especially with Gillard’s obsession of him. Gillard, in particular, has become ‘precious’ of late. This is a reflection of desperation. I call this ‘karma’. What one sows is what one reaps. What Gillard and her “faceless men” did to Rudd and the subsequent destruction of Labor is too high a price that was paid by Labor supporters. Labor is DEAD! “From its ashes must rise a new and trustworthy Labor”. But for now and at the elections labor is DEAD. Gillard destroyed labor. Wonder what Kim Yong Shorten and Kim Yong Arbib are hatching up these days.

    Comment by Jolly — October 17, 2012 @ 10:43 am

  5. Graham,

    How is this line any worse than Howard’s “ticker” line with Beasley?
    You appear to be selective in your criticism.

    Comment by barney — October 17, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

  6. I think Graham like myself and 67% of Australians are appalled at this poor excuse for Govt.When they are this bad,you cannot but help let bias shine through.

    You don’t let paedophiles play with your children and you don’t let totally corrupt incompetents play with your country and life savings.

    Comment by Ross — October 17, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

  7. For twelve months Tony shouted from the roof tops, he would turn the boats back, all whilst effectively blocking labour’s plans for a regional solution.
    When and or after all those people drowned and we witnessed the heartfelt sorrow of a few survivors at that funeral! It really was time for inherently decent human beings, to set aside the extremely pernicious partisan politics and come to a bipartisan position! The Malaysian solution couldn’t ever work, because it was never ever tried! It was never ever tried because of a patently mendacious coalition’s recalcitrant intransigence?
    Yes sure Rudd was unceremoniously dumped, with around a dozen caucus members declaring, they would rather retire than continue to serve under him!
    Gillard was subsequently elected unopposed! Consequently Labour electoral prospects rose and rose!
    Until a Benedict Arnold betrayed the once sacred trust of cabinet confidentially by leaking like a sieve, and almost destroyed a once powerful and revered party, in the process!
    What’s the point of an official secrets act, if it can be simply set aside for mere political purpose, or the whim or caprice, of personalities, who patently get into politics simply for themselves, or the wielding of PERSONAL POWER?
    Even if that means joining party completely at odds with your own inner convictions?
    I mean, how can a Multi millionaire ever genuinely empathise with the less well off?
    Tony seems to have the courage of extremely strong convictions here at home, but appears more than willing to jettison them, when abroad?
    An interesting juxtaposition?
    A mouse that roars perhaps?
    Democracy is never ever served by single party politics! Whenever Gillard seems to be getting some sort of lift in the polls, who do we see, but former politician Linsey Tanner, publishing more of his mixed message memoirs?
    When the real Julia stood up and gave Tony a piece of her mind. [She needs to be careful with that, she may not have all that much left to spare?]
    Who should emerge at a press conference, but backbencher Rudd, all bright eyed and bushy tailed, telling the rest of us, he doesn’t think, that we think, that gender issues are very important, and he thinks, we need to refocus on bread and butter issues?
    With Friends like Rudd and Tanner, Julia doesn’t need any enemies!
    Say what you like about Rudds sacking, and its timing. And yes Julia could have simply ignored the Man’s then seemingly, “very fragile” state of health; and been like Tony, and brought on a proper spill, when, [return bill,] Turnbull was deposed!
    The results would have likely been much more conclusive and probably robbed Rudd of any real chance to heal or retain anything remotely like a political career?
    Tony seems to have plenty of ticker when confronting women, but very little when talking to a former fighting man or general?
    I believe the Indonesian invitation was extended, to give him a chance to put his turn the boats back position?
    A chance that he clearly whimped?
    Then he comes back here and tries once again to sway public opinion with his broken record rhetoric?
    I mean Whyalla hasn’t been wiped off the map, and global NG prices and demand have almost guaranteed higher coal prices and more coal mining?
    Perhaps he could ask, what do we gain by locking up a dead or dying reef, possibly endowed with comparatively clean hydrocarbon product to rival or even eclipse all known Middle Eastern reserves? Even as the Middle East seems to be engaged I a Whyalla style, [knocking me right outa my brain,] melt down?
    Perhaps its time for a different tack and the release of some properly costed policy?
    And how he is going to pay for it, even though he is handing back the carbon tax and the mining tax!
    [And good luck getting that through a hostile Senate Tony!]

    Had it been Howard over in Indonesia, love him or hate him, he would’ve stayed true to the courage of his convictions, even when the whole world disagreed with him?
    [I mean, he rammed through his GST, in the face of an 87% public disapproval!]
    In conclusion, don’t you just love people who think that you think, whatever it is they want you to believe, or think you think as your own opinion? I think you should think about it? Don’t you think so?
    Without bias, Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — October 18, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

  8. What Abbott says or doesn’t say makes no difference. Every word that Gillard utters is questioned, ridiculed or not believed. Aussies have become increasingly cynical about politicians, especially the present Government. Labor has lost credibility and that is why Abbott is still leader of the Opposition. I am sick of this govt and some of the corrupt Unions (my sympathy to the few genuine good ones if any) to the point that Abbott or any one will do. Even Howard is looking good. Labor has lost big time. Am I bias? Perhaps but happy to remain bias in this situation. Have not forgotten the mud raking, treachery, class war, selling out to the Greens, etc, etc. Labor has lost its soul.

    Comment by Jolly — October 18, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

  9. Hi, the excuses don’t stack up. If there was no need to discuss the top political issue of the day, why bother with ‘other very important matters that needed clarification’? Regards

    Comment by john santolin — October 18, 2012 @ 9:55 pm

  10. Most of the comments above mirror political discourse we see every day.Venom and vitriol,sarcasm and a lack of thought with depth. Sarcasm is simply wit for the witless.Come on people,lift your game.

    Comment by gazza — October 22, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  11. Good governaqnce depends on a good opposition and Abbott has not provided a good oppostion. All he has done is try to degate the last election and demand a re election at every policy suggestion made by the reigning government.He has tried to gain control by attacking personalities to force an election and has failed. His band of incompetant front benchers follow him like sheep. Turnbbull only lostleadership by one vote, would he have provided a better oppostion? I think so.

    Comment by Mary J — October 23, 2012 @ 10:05 am

  12. Dr Tony Young ( see 1st comment) has diagnosed our PM Gillard as becoming neurotic and psychotic with respect to her attitude to Abbott? I would like to comment that PM Gillard called a spade a spade. I listen to parliament often and cringe at the negativity in Mr Abbott’s debate. Our PM is mostly called ‘she'(who has no name), Mr Tony Abbott’s actions past and present shows who he really is. I don’t know what it takes to push someone over the edge but he has tried his darn nest They call him the leader of the opposition! Lead by example Sir, the Nation,young and old is watching.

    Comment by Betty K — October 24, 2012 @ 8:56 am

  13. I agree with Betty and so do many women who are aware of the way women are treated not only in politics but in community in general. A few token women that broke through the glass ceiling does not make it better for most women especially women at the bottom of the social structure. Single women, widowed women and those left alone to bring up the children when their man takes on a younger model (just like his car) all these women suffer poverty continually. Today many elderly women live in poverty to no fault of their own. The rise in living costs have hit these women hard.
    Class and gender issues are alive but not often discussed in the open in Australia. The “I’m all right Jack” brigade would like to ignnre the class and gender issues. It was the same when the suffragettes fought for the vote, many women were aginst it then they sided with the misoginists.

    Comment by Mary J — October 24, 2012 @ 10:57 am

  14. @Mary J
    Class war, gender war? And Gillard is our role model? A a misogamist crying about a ‘misogynist’ and we get conned into supporting this agenda? Gillard and her obsessive greed for power at any cost saw to the destruction of Labor. Let’s think back….. who destroyed the Democrats? Who is about to destroyed the Greens? Hmmm.

    Comment by Jolly — October 28, 2012 @ 12:39 am

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