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EYE-BALL Opinion – Journalist’s – the perils of Slow News Days –

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– 19th Feb – A ‘Sports Doping’ Update – a ploy to kill the Obeid and Thompson news cycle –


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Title:
– Journalist’s – the perils of Slow News Days –
| Author: EYE-BALL Opinion | 6th Mar 2013 |
The media is a competitive industry – not only is there the ‘scoop’ to be had, there has to be a story in a readable format that sells papers or subscriptions.’The Australian’s‘ Janet ALBRECHTSEN has a name that nobody wants to try to pronounce – AL-BRE-CHT-SEN … in my humble knowledge of elocution …

She has an attitude as her numerous appearances on Q&A has proved, no call on it being good, bad, sincere or otherwise, but a view that as an ex-lawyer, a single mum, and a 40+ cougar, she gives off the vibe that she’s not a lady to be messed with and clearly knows who she is what she’s about.

Despite the expected catclaw scars that might eventuate from a tangle with Albrechtsen, this author likes a challenge.   Albrechtsen authored two articles published in The Australian over the past week and provide the sustenance for today’s EYE-BALL Opinion blog.

Both these articles yield insight into her journalistic mindset, her political persuasions about the ALP and the Coalition, and her take on the failures of the Government, and slants on the potential superstars within the Opposition ranks.

Firstly – last week Albrechtsen wrote about the ALP Ministerial failures of the Frontbench.  The story is produced below:

Labor’s biggest losers should take a bow


| Author: Janet Albrechtsen | Date: February 27, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |


WHEN the PM put a ring around a September election date, voters started running for the hills.

This debacle calls for a line-up of those who got it so wrong. Given that the Gillard experiment never looked so dismal, here’s the first in a two-part line-up of losers and winners.

First, Labor’s top five malefactors, the men and women to blame if it loses office. Yes, the competition is fierce but the top five stand out for messing up so badly. Next week, the other side of the equation: the top five Liberal backbenchers to be promoted – the benefactors should Tony Abbott win the next federal election.

Earning a spot in Labor’s top five depends on two criteria: first, individual effort for bringing Labor to its electoral knees. Second, a consistent knack to reflect a broader problem that has brought the Labor brand into disrepute.

There is no contest for first prize. Julia Gillard’s political misjudgments are rivalled only by her policy mistakes. We know her political blunders well enough: not explaining why a serving PM was kicked out in secret; the farcical introduction of the “real Julia”; then dumping on Kevin Rudd in a manner rarely seen in Australian political history. Understandably, voters wondered why Labor made this man leader in the first place.

Add to the list the alliance with the Greens; reneging on her “no carbon tax” promise; installing Peter Slipper as Speaker; dumping a pokies deal with independent Andrew Wilkie; standing by the sexting Slipper; promising a surplus, only to dump that promise too; the clumsy “captain’s pick” for the Senate; and announcing a September 14 election.

The policy mistakes? We know them well, too: the stillborn East Timor solution; the ill-fated Malaysia solution; the humiliating return to offshore processing; the knee-jerk ban on beef exports; an emissions trading scheme that looks set to penalise Australia just as the EU carbon price falls; and a shambolic mining tax. Abstract promises about a national disability insurance scheme and “get a Gonski” education reforms are not policy achievements.

Gillard also wins the top guernsey for what she symbolises. Far from being a Labor warrior, her lack of convictions will mark her down in any history of Labor leaders where she risks being described as a politician with early promise who ultimately proved out of her depth.

Second place is also a no-brainer. Step up Wayne Swan, who earns the title of World’s Luckiest Treasurer.

Inheriting a healthy economy allowed Swan to splash money around like Keynes on steroids, degenerating into cliche with his big spending efforts. And history will forever link Swan’s name with this government’s most embarrassing policy failure: a mining tax that in six months raised just $126 million against a projected $2 billion annual tax take.

From the get-go, Swan was arrogant and reckless: refusing to consult industry and the states; removing Rudd for a failed mining tax that the Treasurer concocted; spending the proceeds before the money was in the bank; promising a surplus everyone knew was a chimera. It takes a special kind of politician to upstage the antics of Eddie Obeid and Craig Thomson. Swan managed it with the mining tax.

Swan defaulted to old-fashioned class war antics because he hadn’t a clue what modern Labor stood for.

Choosing Bruce Springsteen lyrics over Hawke-Keating reforms, he either doesn’t understand economics or is treating us like mugs when he describes new taxes as “savings”.

His CV provides a hint. A former academic and political staffer, Swan represents a clueless genre of politicians – many on the Labor side who have never worked in business or chanced their own money. They don’t understand risk because they have never taken risks. They have no experience with red tape and other workplace realities, let alone knowledge of how to grow a business.

Third place goes to Rudd, not just for his kooky references to K Rudd (though that deserves more attention from psychologists). Rudd looks good today because Gillard and Swan look so bad. But the former PM set the wheel in motion for the Labor train wreck.

As leader, he draped his ill-conceived policies in language so inflated it only served to highlight the failures when they inevitably came. Rude and unprofessional as prime minister, Rudd became a poster boy for the pitfalls of narcissism and Bertrand Russell’s observation that “fools and fanatics are so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts”. Rudd’s chutzpah changing his stripes from economic conservative to a reckless spending social democrat helped cement the conviction-less politics of convenience that continues under Gillard.

Coming in at fourth spot is Bill Shorten. The Workplace Relations Minister allowed the government to look like the lackey for the union movement when the stench of union corruption grew more pungent. When union membership no longer defines the working class, Shorten represents a group of new Labor MPs who have allowed Labor to drift from being the party of the workers to being a party for the vested interests of union leaders.

Dubbed the Bright Young Thing, Shorten no doubt will take the leadership if Labor loses the election. But a true believer, and a true leader, steps in when he is most needed to try to save the day, not to save himself for an easier ride.

As Labor is the party of collectives, fifth place goes to a group of female MPs best known as the misogyny maidens. Tanya Plibersek, Nicola Roxon, Penny Wong, Jenny Macklin and, of course, the PM – who earns two places in the top five – debased the serious issue of misogyny with cheap politics. And nothing is more certain to offend Australians than the finger-wagging culture of these trendy inner-city MPs whom the French would call “gauche caviar”. They understand little about the robust sense of humour, let alone common sense or values, of people in suburbs farther afield.

Others may want different candidates on the list of those to blame if Labor loses. But these top five are standouts. The damage they have done to the Labor brand will likely last much longer than their own short time in government.

janeta@bigpond.net.au

Having read this article last week it was always headed for a blog comment – but had to wait for the second story to get the whole picture.  There was not much to disagree with in the first article and I felt she could have gone a lot further than a top 5 …

There was no mention of Bowen [Immigration], Garrett [Environment and education],  Emerson [Trade], Ferguson [his MRRT contribution re Resources Minister],  Albanese [Transport, but his persistent childlike antics in the House deserved special mention], Smith [Defence], Bowen [Immigration], Ludwig [Live Exports], Bradbury [for being a goose as Assistant Treasurer and not telling Swan what an idiot he is], Fryer [supposed to be the smartest guy amid all the MP’s and yet he too supported Swan and the MRRT and surplus promise] and a few others …

But then Albrechtsen had a word count and had to work it down to a top five to allow her space to explain the position she took.  Nonetheless – I was looking forward to the second installment – her second article appears below:

Five Liberal golden boys who should go to the top of the class


| Author: Janet Albrechtsen| Date: arch 6th, 2013 | Link to On-Line Story. |

IT’S time to do a list of Liberal MPs who deserve to be moved to the frontbench if Tony Abbott wins the next election. Politicians detest these lists. Those on the list think it will infuriate the leader, making promotion more difficult. Those not on the list are incensed at not being there. And the deadwood on the frontbench get irate at any hint of demotion. A touchy subject for another day maybe. That aside, here are my top five Liberals.

What determines a spot is not a mystery. It requires qualities absent from those on last week’s roll call of Labor MPs to blame if Labor loses office in September. Those Labor politicians lack political convictions, decent political judgment and have an even poorer understanding of policy implementation. Most importantly, they have never known what it means to run an enterprise, small or large. They are clueless about the risks, the red-tape frustrations, the staffing problems, the daily stress of budgets. Ergo, today’s candidates must understand these real-life dilemmas.

Unfortunately, none of the top five Liberals appears to have John Howard’s deeply intuitive understanding of small business. They have mostly worked in big businesses. Howard, the son of a garage owner, recalls in his biography working the petrol bowser on weekends, watching the exhaustion of his father and the effect of no penalty rates, no overtime, no guaranteed market share. As Howard wrote in Lazarus Rising: “The qualitative difference between owning and operating a genuinely small business and working, even at a senior level, in a large corporation is immense and rarely understood by those involved in it.”

“Years later Paul Keating would sneeringly refer to the ‘bowser boy from Canterbury (sic)’. To me it was a badge of honour,” wrote Howard.

That said, today’s five MPs offer real-life skills largely absent from Labor’s frontbench.

With the Howard legacy looking stronger and more sensible by the day, the natural heirs to this inheritance necessarily pick up the top spots. They understand the importance of the Howard-Costello economic story whereas so many senior Labor ministers have fatally ignored the Hawke-Keating legacy.

**Arthur Sinodinos takes out No 1 spot. Notwithstanding his recent clumsy failure to disclose some directorships, the NSW senator deserves a high-ranking frontbench role. Howard’s longstanding chief-of-staff sat in the engine room of the Howard government’s economic reforms. He is a former economist who held senior positions in the federal Treasury and will add policy gravitas to an Abbott government.

An economic rationalist, but not flint-dry, as one senior Liberal described him, Sinodinos understands the importance of finding the right policy balance. He is the epitome – perhaps the drafter – of the Howard rule that it is better to be 80 per cent pure in government than 120 per cent pure in opposition. And Sinodinos has the right political instincts, a blessed relief from the blunders of the Gillard government, whose five-day Contiki tour of western Sydney is surely politics at its worst.

**Josh Frydenberg, the young gun from Victoria, is in second place. Petty political and factional rivalries aside, it is impossible to find a person who is not mightily impressed with the 42-year-old MP elected to parliament in 2010. Yes, Frydenberg is a former staffer of a federal attorney-general (Daryl Williams), a foreign minister (Alexander Downer) and, of course, a prime minister (Howard). He is also a former lawyer and director of Deutsche Bank with degrees from Monash University, Oxford University and Harvard.

And more than any other younger member of the Liberal caucus, Frydenberg is the flag-bearer of the Howard legacy, not just on economic matters, but stretching from foreign policy and other big policy debates all the way through to fighting the history wars. Representing Robert Menzies’ seat of Kooyong, Frydenberg understands the importance of respecting the party’s traditions. But he is not too respectful. After all, he took on Liberal icon Petro Georgiou, who had the support of Ted Baillieu, Jeff Kennett and Peter Costello, in a 2006 preselection battle.

“Never underestimate Josh Frydenberg,” Downer told The Australian last week. “I look for passion,” said the former foreign minister. Frydenberg fits that bill.

So does **Alan Tudge, who sits third and also deserves a frontbench position. A man with quiet determination, the member for Aston in Victoria has spent most of his working life in business and as deputy director of Noel Pearson’s Cape York Institute where he was at the forefront of welfare policy reform. He also co-founded Teach for Australia, a non-profit organisation that draws upon the country’s best graduates to teach in disadvantaged schools. Tudge’s passion and determination are beyond question. Whether that translates into ministerial ability remains to be seen but Tudge’s calm common sense is missing from today’s government.

Fourth spot goes to **Paul Fletcher, the member for Bradfield in NSW, whose meticulous grasp of policy is likely to stand him in good stead on the frontbench. Fletcher also has a CV you won’t find among Labor frontbenchers.

He worked for years in private enterprise and has seen the pointy end of regulation from the other side. The only Labor minister with business experience is former Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett.

The other deserving candidate for promotion is **Jamie Briggs from South Australia. A former adviser to Howard, what Briggs lacks in experience outside parliament he makes up with his astute political skills and passion for economic reform. The member for Mayo also gets points for courage for raising IR reform. If Briggs can temper his reform impatience with a honed skill of knowing when and how far to push, he will likely make a fine minister.

Others deserving honourable mentions include Angus Taylor, the impressive candidate in Hume, and Christian Porter, the brilliant young treasurer from Western Australia. However, they are unproven in federal politics. Of those in federal parliament, Kelly O’Dwyer from Victoria and Simon Birmingham from South Australia are notable. So too is Ken Wyatt in Western Australia.

But the top five are in a different league. Long conversations with the most senior current and former Liberal MPs confirm that. And, Lord knows, we need a hefty skills boost in the next government after the disorder that comes from being governed by imported spin doctors and political opportunists.

janeta@bigpond.net.au

** Note: Links are to APH profile page.  MP Images and APH links were not provided in original published story.

It’s so true and the rumours are accurate – Albrechtsen is such a tease …

I was very let down – after having tasted saliva dribbles reading the first article, I was expecting so much more from a positive and futuristic perspective.

The list above reads like a list of men in an Albrechtsen ‘lust’ novel.  Perhaps the cougar title is misplaced … perhaps all Albrechtsen wants is to settle down with a like aged man who is intelligent and shows promise … what a misjudgment that would be from earlier thoughts and beliefs …

This list is a single persons view on men who she thinks could make a difference.

From a research perspective – was she relying on Party gossip, personal experiences and/or interviews, or was the aim all along to set alight the oil covered ALP as they face their fate, and then enjoy the watch as the flames licked and completed her mental images of a an ALP ship burning and going down?

Was the first story prompted by a slow news day after the month of Obeid, Thompson and ALP poll disasters … did Albrechtsen come up with the theme – the vanquished and the ‘to be anointed’ – and then lose the second story focus in translation somewhere?

I rated the first story 8/10 and thought is was well researched and fact based.  The second I rate 3/10 for the same reasons  – the readership can’t confirm the story through research or facts, the names she is promoting are not known, the APH bio on all the men confirm the basis of Albrechtsen’s data … where was the personal touch, the opinion based on real journalistic attachment.

Perhaps I misread the purpose – I was in part looking for an appraisal of the Opposition front bench for comparisons …

But then this was Albrechtsen’s brief and her choice … the Opposition team she critiqued above are not known and she is safe from widespread criticism for a while until they get the opportunity to prove otherwise.

One ponders whether Albrechtsen has motive to spruik the credentials of unknowns outside the party knowledge base. Even Kelly Dwyer’s elevation to the reserves list gives insight …

Dwyer would look comfortable amidst the labeled ‘misogyny maidens’ on the first story and a part of the Gillard ‘handbag brigade’ … no other female made Albrechtsen’s list … can anything be read into that …

The Opposition has three female front benchers – Bishop, Bishop, and Mirabella … that is of course if you could prove Mirabella was female – she looks like a Slavic mud wrestler … and she certainly hurls abuse in the House as good as any male … Bronwyn of course is the Grandmother to them all, and Julie – well as cougars go she’s given up the ghost after meeting Hugh Jackman and going ga-ga on ‘Today’ about the guy.

No … the second article by Albrechtsen was an abject failure … that is not to say that the names on the list are not superstars in the making – but they will not be front and centre when the Opposition campaigns against Gillard.

If Albrechtsen was really honest with herself she could have done the same ‘abject failure’ test on the Opposition front-bench and been equally objective – to name a few,

  1. Andrew Robb and Joe Hockey’s Albert and Costello performances on Government finances,
  2. the Morrison failures to puncture the Government over immigration,
  3. Turnbull’s absence and aloofness on Communications i.e. NBN, Media Laws – free speech and rights of the press, when his counterpart Conroy is no more than a caged monkey and by far the dumbest Minister in Gillard’s Cabinet –
  4. The failure of Greg Hunt to punish Burke over the Trawler and the Murray Darling basin stuff-ups –
  5. Then there is the Opposition spokesperson for Trade to put Trade Minister Emerson and his melancholy for Gillard into perspective.  Who is the Opposition Spokesperson for Trade?  I spent 20 min searching the Wikipedia list of Shadow Cabinet names for ‘Spokesperson on Trade’ – none there. Then I undertook a general ‘Google’ search for ‘Opposition Spokesperson on Trade’, and again that also turned up empty … I then rang my local Federal ‘National’ member … his office never answered the phone after three attempts. I then rang Tony Abbott’s Parliamentary office and was initially told it was the Deputy PM Julie Bishop, and I queried it, and then was told it was Senator Fiona Nash, a National’s Senator from NSW.   Well – no wonder Craig Emerson has been allowed to behave and carry on like a goose on steroids all this time.

Who is Fiona Nash?

When the measure of all the Opposition Front Bench failures noted above is counted – perhaps it is possible that Albrechtsen was forced to avoid a like comparison with the ALP – hence the ‘Golden Boys’ slant.

Albrechtsen applied different criteria when making her judgements and worked from a profile resume perspective.   This was a journalistic error – when she came to write the second part of her story she assessed the Opposition, then went looking for hopefuls and nobody’s – and measured them in a safe way given that none of them are known to the public.

It was an interesting concept and gave the electorate a refresher course in the Gillard Government failures – these things happen on ‘slow news days’ and journalists are left to develop and conjure up stories – [learnt from my mistake] … nah … disappointed Janet …


The EYE-BALL Opinion plea for action:

Gillard’s Government is poison to this Nation … how do we get rid of her now?

The message has to be sent – there are some 14 million registered voters represented by 150 MP’s – 72 of which are ALP.    If each of these 72 ALP MP’s received an e-mail, a fax, a phone call, or a letter from all the people who want her gone with a simple message like the one below –  :

This is a protest message …
GET RID OF GILLARD

… do you think it might motivate caucus …

Please – send this message to as many and as often as you can – bombard the Caucus Members with a message so clear and with weight of numbers that it will force them to act.

You could also think about sending it to the Independents, Oakeshott, Windsor, Wilkie, and Brandt,  as well … Katter already votes with the Coalition, and Slipper and Thompson are a lost cause and their fate already sealed.

Links to every MP e-mail can be found using the Australian Parliamentary Website Members and Senator links below … pick your an ALP MP or Senator, or send it to all – voice your opinion now.

Please – if you found this story to your liking and would like to promote it to your social media contacts – i.e. Twitter, Facebook, or other icon linked account below – please use/click on your favoured Icon(s) to promote the story.  Thankyou.


Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.

Links to Australian Parliamentary Website – MP’s


The EYE-BALL Opinion …

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  1. March 6, 2013 at 11:53 am

    Oh – I failed to mention that Albrechtsen’s ‘failure’ opinion on Swan was attached to the MRRT failure to produce taxes revenues – she should have gone with the mismanagement of the value of the A$ as his greatest failing – this failing has cost this nation a $trillion dollars in export revenues, Industry shutdowns, tourism trade losses, manufacturing and so many other industries, agriculture, mining, and the like …

  2. Gerry Hatrick
    March 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I couldn’t be bothered reading an opinion which is is unable to find objective analysis. If government is all bad why does she need to revert to slang “shambolic” to prove her point. If the Opposition is all good then why are they in opposition?

    This is hardly investigative journalism, more like space filler not worth reading.

  3. BuddaBalls
    March 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Spot on Ginger …

  4. Barr M
    March 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Eye ball…..you mention she may just want to settle down with 1 if the 5 Libs she praised instead of being a cougar. I think Kroger has his finger in that pie.

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