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Archive for March, 2011

Can Do Campbell and his tilt at glory

March 25, 2011 2 comments

Just when you thought the Queensland LNP couldn’t become any more ridiculous, they raise the bar just a little bit higher.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will have heard that Brisbane’s champion Lord Mayor Campbell “Can Do” Newman will now be the leader of the Qld state Opposition WHILE NOT EVEN BEING A SITTING MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT.

If the stupidity of that statement didn’t serve to rock you back on your heels, there’s still more.  He will be seeking pre-selection in the seat of Ashgrove, an area that he doesn’t even live in.  The current member for Ashgrove is Kate Jones, who is apparently well regarded as an effective local member and who won the seat with 57% of the vote last time.  So rather than parachute Campbell into a safe seat, they put him up against a well regarded current member in a seat he doesn’t live in.

Now that this has come to light it has made some of his more recent actions make a lot more sense now.  I was among the many who wondered why he started taking a more adversarial tone in his interactions with the State and Federal governments after the initial good press he got from handling the floods, and now I can see why.  It was obviously so he could get his profile further around the country and laying the ground work for this move.

Quite frankly, this smacks of rank opportunism and attempting to cash in on his favourable handling of the floods.  There was plenty of footage of him glad-handing his way around Ashgrove two days ago with the media scrum in tow, and he then had the nerve to say he was fulfilling his duties as Lord Mayor and it had nothing to do with campaigning.  How stupid does he think the population are?

I wonder if they have even thought of the scenarios where:

1.  The LNP win but Campbell doesn’t, or

2.  Campbell wins but the LNP don’t.

Will Campbell be content to be the leader of the Opposition?  If he doesn’t win will he then immediately go back to campaigning for the Lord Mayoralty?

Any way you look at it, I think he will be pushing shit uphill.  He won’t run in his own electorate because they have been heavily affected by the Clem7 & Airport Link construction and hate him with a passion.  Anyone else with any nous would realise his solution to transport woes in roads and tunnels, and this has never fixed congestion anywhere ever.  Couple this with the fact of massive recent rate hikes and the looming financial disaster for the Brisbane City Council, and the more information that comes out the worse it will be for him.

What I wouldn’t give to have a government with some kind of vision for the future of transport in Brisbane.  In my opinion the best thing that could be done is the following.

1.   Ban non-commercial traffic from the CBD.

2.   Implement light rail from the inner suburbs through the CBD, linked to busways and train stations.

3.  Install free/cheap satellite carparks in the inner suburbs (Toowong, Kelvin Grove, West End Wooloongabba etc) also linked to the light rail.

This would allow commuters to drive to the satellite carparks and jump on a tram into the city.  It keeps traffic down and allows a lane to be taken up by the trams.

It’s a bit simplistic I know but I like the idea of it.

 

To mind, all the LNP had to do to win the next election was be the smallest of small targets and let the ALP self-combust on their own track record.  It would have meant that the Invisible Man (JPL) would be Premier, but with Springborg handling the strings it would have made no difference.  Instead we have further evidence of how completely inept and unprepared to govern this State they truly are.  we can only hope that Labor pull their socks up and continue with the good work started with the various disaster recovery efforts.

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the internet…

March 16, 2011 4 comments

Since the Government has announced the plans for a Carbon Tax (just the plans mind you, not the actual details) the right-wing troll brigade have collectively lost their minds.

They have been flooding any and all online forums with their mindless rants as much as the possibly can, not to mention spamming the various online “polls” on the subject.  Now normally this would be a massive annoyance but I’ve found it has the unexpected side affect of being able to divine the rightard methodology to a nutshell.

So here we have the guide to rightard troll activities:

1.    Outrage.  Yes I know this would be obvious, but these guys take it to a new level.  If you took them literally the object of their wrath was the worst thing to happen ever since Howard was voted out/Workchoices was repealed/Federation/we came down from the trees.  The more they rant on about it the higher the level of outrage climbs until I’m sure you could almost here an aneurism popping at the other end.

2.   unAustralian.  Hot on the heels of the outrage comes the unAustralian card.  Now this one isn’t actually played explicitly except in very rare cases, but it is implied quite heavily with comments like “that’s not what we voted for” etc.  Couple this with one of the many media “polls” and it turns to “the majority of people don’t want this”.  Ignoring the fact that it’s actually the majority of the sampled population agreed with whatever question it was regardless of the relation to the actual policy, this is one of their favourite tools.

3.   Moral superiority.  Going hand in hand with “the majority of people don’t want this” is the corollary “we are morally superior because the polls agree with us”.  Once it gets to this stage there’s really no going back…nothing on earth will divert them at this point because backing down will be seen as a huge blow to their ego.

4.   Cherry picking.  The more logical types will eschew the emotional angle and attempt the pseudo-logical approach.  In their case it is primarily done by cherry picking data and quote mining to attempt to get snippets that support their delusion.  Of course, when they are brought to heel by quotes in context they will bluster and demand sources and links (which of course they will write of as being biased or invalid) which leads to my favourite…

5.   Pedantry.  This one is really special.  At this point they are so hamstrung by the logical contortions they have put themselves through to pursue their thesis that when it is shut down they resort to nitpcking and pedantry to try to invalidate the counter argument.  A classic example is when Tony Abbott called climate change crap.  Now everyone knows that is the tenor of his statement but that’s not good enough for the pedant…he pops up with “but the actual phrase is the climate change argument is crap…that’s not the same thing”.  Of course they will then get roundly abused for their stupidity but it won’t stop them.

A good example of some of these is the carbon tax.

The pedant will turn themselves inside out in an effort not to admit that an election promise made before the advent of the minority government may not necessarily be upheld because of the negotiations required to pass legislation.

They will also cherry pick the election statement to say “she said no carbon tax” without continuing with the rest where it is said that they were going to pursue a price on carbon.

So there you have it…some of the main right-wing troll methods, as feeble as they may be.   I know it’s usually an exercise in futility trying to debate these clowns as they will never change their mids no matter what evidence they have been presented with.

The thing I found most amusing about the Carbon Tax response is that every single rightard troll has been pushing the same meme form day one…SHE LIED!.  Absolutely no mention of the plan itself or the concept, nor anything about Tony’s “direct action plan” (which is neither a plan nor contains any action)…it’s all about how the PM lied.

It just goes to show how bare the right-wing intellectual cupboard is.

Poll-mania

March 10, 2011 2 comments

Another Government policy, another negative round of polls…at least that’s the way it seems to go recently.  It’s almost to the point where the Government announces a new policy then the polling organisations fall all over themselves rushing out some dubiously framed questions to evoke the results the media are clamouring for.

Of course along with the negative polls come the keyboard warriors and journalistic circle jerk known as the political media with their proclamations that the Government is done and they may as well hand the keys to the Lodge over to Tony right now.

So as a public service to these poors souls I’d like to expose them to a touch of reality:

  1. A poll taken of 1200 people (no matter how they are demographically selected) has absolutely no relevance at all…it’s worth a big cup of jack shit.  Especially when they conveniently exclude flood affected areas that may have a more benign view of the Government.
  2. The (apparently) most accurate polls are those taken by phone, which are done via landline.  This immediately eliminates a significant portion of people who only have a mobile phone…generally the younger generation.
  3. The Independents are extremely unlikely to switch sides now, knowing that Abbott wants an immediate election.  This would effectively cost them their position of power…when have you ever seen a politician refuse power?
  4. The election is 2.5 years away.  The chances of the public even remembering this week are so remote it’s not even funny.

All the Government needs to do is keep growing its backbone, ignore the stupid polling, take it up to the media jackals at every opportunity and get on with the business of governing.

Just remember…the only poll that counts is the election.

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