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Archive for August, 2010

Cheerleading update

August 31, 2010 4 comments

Now it’s getting beyond a joke.

The latest news this morning is that the Coalition has edged ahead by 2000 votes with 20% of the vote still to be counted.

Of course Crazy Eyes Bishop was immediately wheeled out to stare the public into submission and claim that Labor now had no right to form Government. Of course being the impartial observers and reporters of news that they are, the media immediately jumped on the bandwagon and are now pushing the independents to make a decision.

A couple of things on this:

1. There is still 20% of the vote to be counted and the lead is only 2000…get a grip!
2. Funny how as soon as the LNP edges ahead the independents get the pressure ramped up massively.

Frankly the media have now lost any minor semblance of impartiality they may have retained and are now simply cheerleading for the Coalition.

UPDATE:  As of now Labor have now regained the lead in the two party preferred votes.  Funny how I don’t see any commentary about the LNP no longer being entitled to form government now that they aren’t winning the 2PP…

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Costings? We don’t need no stinking costings!

August 27, 2010 5 comments

Not that you’d know much about it from the media, but it looks like the Liberal’s “costings” are coming back to haunt them.

As you might recall, there was a”leak” of information about one of the Coalition’s policy costings being out by $800 million, which made them completely lose their minds despite the fact that:

a)  the public would have found out anyway

b)  it was correct

This led them to having a massive tanty and saying they wouldn’t submit their policies for costing by Treasury because they were all dodgy and couldn’t be trusted *cough* Godwin Grech *cough*.  It was at this point that my irony detector blew up.

They then got an external accounting firm involved (co-incidentally founded by a former Liberal pollie) how basically checked that their spreadsheet added up and explicitly stated that this was all based on the assumptions provided by the Liberals.  Turns that this firm was hired 2 MONTHS PREVIOUSLY.  Lucky that leak happened otherwise it would have just been a waste spending all that money on the accounting firm hey?

Now the worm has finally turned.  The Independents are incredibly interested in how the potential government will pay for their promises so naturally they are interested in the costings.  As you would expect Gillard happily handed everything over without any dramas, but what does Abbott do??  Refuse outright.

Not suss at all right?  Even Bob Katter has come out and said it looks like he has something to hide.  Most normal people would agree that it’s really dodgy that he doesn’t want his facts and figures checked, but he even has the nerve to trot out that Treasury can’t be trusted to tell the truth and even has his sock puppets like Mal Brough pushing the same tired old line.  This is the same Treasury department that will actually be working for him if he’s in government and he’s publicly stating that they can’t be trusted to do their job properly and with integrity.

He’s been shown up for the empty shirt that he is, but don’t expect the media to make a big deal of this…after all they are running “polls” in the Independents’ electorates saying that they MUST side with the Liberals because these 600 people think so.  Excuse me but didn’t we just have a REALLY BIG poll on the weekend, in which these people said they trusted someone not aligned with a party to represent them?

It’s just getting more and more comical.

Open letter to the Australian media

August 26, 2010 13 comments

I’d like to congratulate you on your election campaign…on the whole it was masterful.  Now most people would say that only political parties can run an election campaign, but you went against that old truism and ran an excellent campaign, albeit for one of the political parties.

It was a revelation on how campaigning should be done in the 21st century and set a benchmark for things to come.  Not only did you start your campaign early, 3 years ago in fact, but you adjusted your methods according to the ebb and flow of your audience.  Truly magical!

Here are some of the greatest hits as I saw them:

  1. Now this is only a really small thing, but it set the tone for the entire campaign…the nickname “KRudd”.  One the surface it looks really trivial, but it is open to so many interpretations not the least of which is the similarity to “crud”.  If people start to object to it, they can be accused of being precious and not being a “true Aussie who can’t take a bit of knocking”.  You managed to sweep aside objections that it was disrespectful to the leader of our nation, or that we didn’t hear terms like “J-Ho”, “PCos” floating around either.  It was a perfect example of subliminal marketing.
  2. Utegate/Grechgate.  This was almost your finest hour and your worst mistake.  It was excellent that you brought the scoop out into the public, but the dodgy email image that was obviously fake nearly did you in.  Then when you take into account Grech’s obvious instability and history as a mole, it reflected even more poorly on you…well more on Steve Lewis but you by extension.  Thankfully you managed to make it die a quiet death by abandoning all coverage as soon as it went pear shaped.  Nicely saved.
  3. Insulationgate.  This was almost the pinnacle of your campaign.  The amount of outrage and hysteria whipped up was breathtaking to behold and resulted in the demotion of a minister, so I reckon you could claim that as a scalp.  The fact that you were able to drive public nuts over a program that had so few deaths (compared to previous years) almost all of which were attributable to negligence by the employer, that had new regulations applied (that the dodgy employers ignored), that actually reduced the incidence of house fires, most of which were related to dodgy wiring and not insulation was just magic.  The significant under-reporting of the report giving the whole program the thumbs up was very well done.
  4. BERgate.  This was your finest work to date.  The fact that some of you have been able to extend it for so long is a testament to your skills.  The consistent under-reporting of the successes and the constant regurgitating of the dodgy projects was handled with consummate skill.  The comparison of house construction costs with hall construction costs (even though more stringent standards are required for school buildings) was just poetry…it sucked the punters in completely.  Even when the ANAO and Orgill reports came out you carried on regardless, completely ignoring the fact that 97% of the projects satisfied the schools involved.  It was a great example of driving your narrative home, regardless of actual reality.
  5. Tony Abbott.  This was handled so adeptly I’m surprised you weren’t engaged as public relations for the Liberal party.  That you were able to gloss over or actually turn around his numerous character defects (lack of compassion, hubris, flip-flopping, foot-in-mouth syndrome) into “Aussie bloke” characteristics is a sign of your deep understanding of your audience.  They don’t want to understand the actual character of our potential face of this nation in the world or how he might be perceived, they want to know what he would be like to have a beer with.
  6. And finally, the campaign proper.  This was just the icing on the cake.  By relentlessly highlighting the trivial and ignoring policy, and focussing entirely on Gillard and letting Abbott disappear for 3 weeks you steered everyone in the direction you wanted.  It was the best example of manipulation I have seen in a very long time.  The peak was the “news” story about Gillard’s earlobes.  That it was actually picked up by other organisations and disseminated further is a testament to your prowess.  Also the press conference for Gillard where 26 questions were about Rudd and other inconsequentials and only the very last question was about the actual policy was inspiring.  When you add in Laurie Oakes’ “leaks”, Mark Latham and the continued hounding of Kevin Rudd, it was without a doubt a thing of beauty.

Unfortunately, the public didn’t quite fully buy into your narrative and so we are stuck with a hung parliament instead of the LNP government you were after.  This means there is still a possibility the NBN will go ahead, meaning the slow death of your newspaper arms.

It’s now time to get into those wavering independents and apply the blow torch.  I see you’ve already started by saying their electorates want them to go with the LNP, but there’s a way to go yet.  Get into them as only you can, and best of luck.

***  N.B.  In case any of you think I’ve totally lost my mind, the above is satire.  ***

Election 2010: Last drinks

August 20, 2010 2 comments

With voting happening tomorrow I thought I might go over my impressions of the campaign to date:

  1. Instead of a politician’s campaign we have seen the media’s campaign.  They have gone out of their way to sensationalise the trivial and downplay the meaningful in every sense of the word.  This is either their attempt to keep the punters interested by making it a contest, or a more malicious effort to manipulate the public’s voting intentions.  I know what my money is on.
  2. The media are not only trivialising the election they are blatantly boosting the coalition at every opportunity.  As a point in case, why did a cabinet leak (most likely from a public servant) about discussions on a policy THAT HAD BEEN PASSED AND WAS CURRENTLY ACTIVE  warrant 3 days intense coverage, whereas Tony Abbott’s refusal to have a debate on economics when both leaders were in the same place at the same time sink without a whisper?  Or the fact that the accounting firm that did the Coalition’s “costings” was hired 2 months ago, making it more likely that they were never going to submit them to Treasury and that they are the likely source of the leak themselves never rate a mention?
  3. The disgusting nature of the various attack ads.  None of the parties is clean on this one, though it is somewhat interesting to note that the ALP ads all have attribution and a source for each negative comment…the Coaltion seem to be just making shit up.  You just have to look at their “$8 billion school halls rip off” to see that, in light of the Orgill report findings.
  4. Thank god for the fifth estate, i.e. the blogs.  They are the only ones doing the necessary investigative work to put the policies of all sides under the microscope, regardless of their leanings.  I’m not so sure Twitter is helping that much, especially when you have “journalists” like Latika Bourke contributing with their vacuous mind farts.  It is quite useful to get a running commentary of events from a lay perspective, especially things like the various Q&A sessions or town halls…most twitterers leave professional journos in the dust.

In all I think has been a major disappointment and only the politically engaged will have the ability to find out exactly what’s going on…everyone else will only know what they have been spoon fed by the media, giving them a level of power they no longer deserve given their blatant bias.  Even the once independent ABC has now jumped into the gutter by reporting headlines and stories from The Australian as gospel without any scrutiny.

Given the last week of the campaign I think that Labor will get over the line with a reduced majority.  I think a hung parliament is not out of the question, but looking unlikely.  Greens to have the balance of power in the Senate, hopefully to the benefit of us all.

We’ll have to wait and see tomorrow.

Ramping up the stupid

August 17, 2010 2 comments

While doing some reading on the broadband network and the overwhelming disgust anyone with any knowledge has for the Abbott plan, the “user” comments found have brought the stupid to a whole new level.

Here are some samples:

  1. “THIS PUTS THE NBN into perspective and highlights the OVERKILL and waste of money
    I was just copying 7.5 Gb from an internal hard drive to 2 other Hard drives, One is a HP personal media drive that has a special dock in the PC to plug in. The other is a 500 GB USB2.0 drive.
    In both instances I get between 9 and 12 MB /second transfer.
    ie the bottom speed of the cheaper coalitions broadband plan.
    SO WHY DO I NEED TO DOWNLOAD AT 1GB per second when i can only copy between hard drives at 9 to 11 MB per second.”
  2. “What nongs are the tech heads that want to spend aprx $2000 per person to supply the broadband, absolute craziness especially with Labor record of waste. Most people will not be using it because of the cost, what a wate of money. I can get faster internet now but am not going to update to a faster plan because of the cost.”
  3. “Fast broadband is a nice feature but I don’t need more than 6 Mbit ADSL1 gives me at the moment. This speed fulfils all my needs and would be enough for 90% so claimed benefits of the fibre network. The real problem of Internet here is slow servers and network latency when accessing overseas servers. NBN is just another commercial project so it should not be funded by government and taxpayers money. Why spend money on something that already works? Why not spend 43 billions on health system or public transport? NBN sucks.”
  4. “The only purpose super fast broadband serves is to enable users to more quickly download porn and pirated movies. No personal user needs broadband at 1gbps, except for businesses – and they are already serviced by the private networks. I skyped with my girlfriend overseas on a 512kbps connection. This is the biggest waste of money in the country’s history.”
  5. “NBN is selfish. It is for people who want faster internet, because they are selfish. 43 bn can be far better spent elsewhere.”
  6. “Let those people who need ultra fast broadband pay for it. Organisations are already doing that now. Newer, cheaper technologies will arrive soon enough. I’d bet 6 billion dollars on that. 10 years ago I was using 56k dial up. We laugh at that now. Will we be laughing at 43 billion dollars of fibre optic cable in 10 years time, or maybe crying at the huge waste of money.”

Words escape me.

The level of FAIL in these comments is just so high I don’t know how to respond, except by saying that people this STUPID should be asked to STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTERS…for the good of everyone.

Categories: Technology Tags: ,

Pulling out all the stops

August 17, 2010 Leave a comment

I nearly gagged on my lunch yesterday when I read this bit of vitriol from Paul Sheehan:

Gillard’s pork pies hard to resist

Now I’ve heard of media cheerleading before but frankly this just takes it to a whole new level.  I fully expected to see his masthead photo in an outfit with pom-poms.

Quite rightly he is being completely pwned in comments, but if this is the state of the political news media in this country, lord help us all.

And to top it all off the desiccated coconut is now rabbiting on that the GFC was a purely regional crisis and nothing to do with us…*sigh* I smell relevance deprivation syndrome once again.

What financial crisis?

Coalition broadband policy – welcome to 1990

August 12, 2010 2 comments

Being a professional computer nerd the National Broadband Network is of keen interest to me, particularly during this election campaign, so I was interested to hear what the LNP pulled out of their hat as their “better, cheaper broadband network”.

Well they didn’t fail to disappoint, with only half of their adjectives actually applying.

The basics of their policy is as follows:

  1. $6 billion “cost” instead of $43 billion
  2. 97% “broadband” coverage instead of 93%
  3. fibre backbone and hybrid fibre copper to the premises
  4. Tesltra to do it
  5. 12-100 Mbps speeds

And apparently the magical wireless fairy will make everyone else happy.

Not surprisingly anyone who has any technical knowledge at all is shouting that this is basically bullshit and a massive step backwards…after all don’t we currently get 12-24Mpbs?  that’s if you’re lucky enough to live close to an exchange.

So the upshot is, they are offering us speeds that we currently get,  on a network that is still copper and hence will need to be upgraded at some point, being installed by the company that we desperately need to have their monopoly broken, with no guarantee that those people unlucky enough to live in an area with RIM or pair-gain will ever get broadband.

Contrast this with the government’s policy of faster speeds for 93% people, with fibre connections to the home, on a network that is future-proof with technological advances only requiring updates of the transmission/reception equipment not the pipes themselves, taking the monopoly out of Telstra’s hands and breaking them up.

No contest really is it?

Here are some further links on the topic:

Election 2010: Day 25

Why the coalition telecommunications policy has failed

Liberal Party unveils it’s internet thingy

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