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Worst. Opposition. Ever

October 14, 2011 19 comments

Opposition.  By itself the definition of the word is pretty straight forward.  But apply it to politics and capitalise it and it has a whole other meaning.

To mind, the Opposition has a vital role in the process of Government by highlighting policies that do not benefit the nation and working to amend or defeat those policies.  They also have a duty to the populace to be seen as a credible alternative Government…this doesn’t happen by flicking a switch when the election is won, it happens by showing that they have credible alternatives to Government policy.  Now all of this should be an absolute breeze in a minority government…with several unaffiliated Independents to work with it should be a doddle to convince some of them to support your alternatives…particularly if they are of a conservative bent themselves.

Which brings us to the current Coalition opposition.

To date they have not been able to stop a single piece of legislation going through the parliament of this supposedly “do nothing” government.

On top of this they have not clearly articulated any credible alternative to government policy.  The “pay polluters not to pollute” policy has been widely discredited by anyone with any knowledge of the sector to be laughably inadequate and in the long run massively more expensive than the government policy.  Couple this with the Green Army and tree planting (which will require more arable land than we currently possess) and it’s easy to see that the Opposition’s environmental credentials are a joke.  On economic matters (traditionally the Coalition strongpoint) they haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory either.  They would have delayed the stimulus packages (if they had bothered to stay awake to vote for them…I’m looking at you TA), leading us to a worse situation than we currently have.  And despite economic gurus the world over lauding us for the state of our economy, the Opposition and their media enablers (or is it the media and their political puppets) persist in telling us that the sky is falling in and we’ve never had it so bad.  No wonder the rest of the world looks at us and shakes their heads in disbelief.  And finally let’s look at technology.  Not content with slagging off the NBN as a white elephant and stating that “no-one needs to download movies that quick” and “I’m happy with my current speed”, these Luddites try to insist that fibre to the node couple with wireless is a better solution.  Well despite the fact that wireless will never be better than fibre IN THIS PHYSICAL UNIVERSE, this is the epitome of short-sightedness and shows their complete disinterest in nation building.

In short, this Opposition has “apparently” thrived on mindless negativity, fear-mongering, empty slogans and poisonous rhetoric and in conjunction with a fawning media pack have convinced the public that the Government are useless.

But when you strip away all the spin and emotive language and focus on the facts, what have they actually achieved?  No Government ministers have been stood down, no politicians have been sacked, no legislation has been amended in their favour, no legislation has been blocked and most importantly no early election has been called.  For all Abbott’s bluster and vitriol he has yet to do anything at all in this Parliament.

What he has done is show how completely unsuited the Opposition would be to being in charge.  They have no credible policies of any note…anything they do have is simply recycled Howard era policies or total bullshit.  Abbott will promise the world to get into power but cannot afford to fund all of his policy brain farts, hence the $70 billion funding shortfall.  He has a front bench completely devoid of any talent at all…can you imagine Julie Bishop giving a speech at the UN, or Joe Hockey at the G20…my eyes bleed just thinking about it.

And now finally the Government has employed some political judo and turned Abbott’s propensity to say No to everything against him in a spectacular manner.  By dropping the Migration Act amendment legislation they have in one swoop legitimised onshore processing and given themselves a handy stick to beat Abbott around the head with i.e. “he wouldn’t agree to the legislation so that’s why all the boats are coming”.

Personally I think it’s disgusting that asylum seeker’s lives can be used as a political football and that they should embrace onshore processing wholeheartedly, but can understand why they’ve gone this route.  The hate media and Coalition racists like the despicable Morrison have whipped up the inherent racism and xenophobia of the public to such a degree that it would be suicide to go that route.  Instead this way they get to blame Tony for all the new boat arrivals to appease the rednecks, but at the same time get to backdoor in onshore processing to appease the compassionate…they could pick up the votes from both sides.

Of course, this is all dependant on the facts being aired and going by the current state of what is laughingly called journalism in this country, it’s a big ask.  After all, what was the front page lead the day after the momentous passing of the carbon tax?  The Gillard -Rudd congratulatory peck and even more speculation about leadership changes.  Even after a journalist has admitted there is no actual indication that this is a potential, they still keep peddling it out.  Their desire to inject controversy and drama into even the most mundane of things to try to generate hits/sales/ratings does the public a massive disservice.

I believe the best thing to be done is to sack every Canberra press gallery journalist (particularly those so-called doyens of the press) and get a bunch of journalism graduates on the job.  You know they’ll be hungry and out to prove themselves so who best to try to get some decent information instead of rampant speculation.  As long as you give them a thorough warning about not writing crap it could be a winner…after all it can’t be any worse than the shit we currently get.

So in summary, channeling the Comic Book Guy, the Coalition are the WORST. OPPOSITION. EVER…and hopefully doomed to stay there for a long, long time.  After all, they do need the practice.

 

UPDATE:  Excellent summary of Abbott’s “abilities” by Jessica Irvine

Conflation – the media’s new weapon of choice

July 29, 2011 11 comments

Since the News of the World hacking scandal broke the general public has increasingly aware of the depths the media will sink to in order to sell copies/get page hits/get ratings.

Now that they are becoming more aware of the usual tricks of the trade to incite sensationalism, the media appear to have fallen back onto an old standard with increasing frequence…conflation or false equivalence.

This is how it works:

  1. Find negative issue/event/angle on something.
  2. Tie it, no matter how tenuously, to the subject of your preferred narrative.
  3. Profit!

Nothing demonstrates this more clearly than the recent “NBN hacking” drama.

At first the headlines were all about how the NBN was “hacked” with the clear undertone that this new project was a joke and massively insecure.  What actually happened was that a hacker had gained access to a company’s systems and this company was going to be a provider for the NBN, and that provider did not even have any services running on the NBN.  So after delving a tiny little bit deeper we find that it has pretty much zero to do with the NBN at all.

Did the media let the facts get in the way or their barrow pushing…HELL NO!  Despite repeated confirmation from experts that it had absolutely nothing to do with NBN at all, every headline contained the words ‘NBN’ and ‘hacked’ in close conjunction.  Even the term ‘hacked’ is completely inaccurate in this situation as the NBN is the infrastructure that the services run on…you can’t “hack” a piece of fibre optic you can only hack the data running on it.  It’s like saying you are going to carjack the Pacific Motorway.

I truly despair for journalism in this country when something a basic as that is ignored in the cause of sensationalism.

 

But of course it’s only the beginning. For the next two years we can look forward to the ultimate conflation…Carbon Tax = everything bad ever.  All you have to do is look at the reports of David Jones whingeing that the Carbon Tax is causing decreased sales.  Despite the Chinese scientists proving that time travel is impossible, the CEO of David Jones has obviously blown that notion out of the water because A TAX THAT WON’T COME INTO EXISTENCE FOR 12 MONTHS has affected his bottom line.  When does he get his Nobel Prize?

Malcom Turnbull pwns himself

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

In yet another feeble attempt to damage the brand of the NBN, Malcolm Turnbull has let loose with another article aneuryism inspired fiction waste of bandwidth where he’s beating the drum that fibre = bad, wireless = good, NBN = bad yada yada yada…you get the drill.

Of course he is being royally savaged by the commenters who are pointing out his massive stupidity/hypocrisy/complete lack of a clue.

Not to be out-done, one of the loyal trolls pipes up with this pearl of wisdom:

“Want to improve your current download speed? Upgrade the processor and load a bit more memory into your computer. I did and two examples of response times using Bigpond cable. The computer which hosts my domain name is in the USA; it collects all my mail and redirects it to me at Bigpond. I sent myself a message and it went to the US and was back on my screen in 13 seconds! I also have an email account at a US site. An email to myself initiated here in Sydney went to the US email site, then to my domain host, then to Bigpond and came up on my screen in 15 seconds! Can’t figure out why the Government isn’t telling us to upgrade our home computers. Oh silly me! It would damage the case for the NBN more than a little wouldn’t it?”

I never knew it was that easy!!!  I reckon to squeeze just a little bit extra out on top of that you should paint your computer and modem red…everyone knows red stuff goes faster right?

NBN critics – final straw clutched

February 18, 2011 3 comments

I was watching Sunrise this morning (yes…I know) and was interested when I heard them touting an upcoming story regarding the NBN making us vulnerable to cyber attack, complete with dramatic music.

So with all the lead up my interest was piqued and I listened intently…what a waste of my time.

They had a cybersecurity expert on and the first question was “will the NBN make us more vulnerable”.  He tried desperately to stick to the narrative, but the upshot was that faster internet = faster browsing = more sites visited = more chance of malware/viruses….THAT’S IT.

Now call me cynical, but that’s a massive bow to draw to tie to the NBN, and doubly feeble in its execution…I mean where was all the doomsaying and sky-is-falling-we’re-all-going-to-die?  Frankly I’ve come to expect a certain standard of quality from media beat-ups and this just doesn’t quite cut the mustard.

To sum up, this says it all really.

 

NBN business plans released – Opposition implodes

December 22, 2010 1 comment

Well we can dream can’t we?  Instead they continued on their trip through fantasy land, where facts are mutable, the laws of physics no longer apply and black is white, ably supported by their lackeys in the MSM.

There have been several good articles on the NBN business plan over the past few days…here are a few of the better ones:

Crikey

Alan Kohler

The most salient points of the plan are as follows:

  1. Total cost $36 billion (down from 43 and also includes Telstra’s share)
  2. Conservative 7% rate of return
  3. Wholesale service rates include 12Mbps for $24, 50Mbps for $34, 100Mbps for $38, 1Gbps for $150

 

Now anyone with a smattering of technical knowledge (or even common sense in some parts) could determine that even though this is a wholesale rate, the fact that all providers will have to pay the same means that they are on a level playing field and there is likely to be stiff competition in the retail field, leading to some good deals for us.  Plus the rates will include line rental and telephony charges so unless you live in a city and are in an area fortunate enough to get Naked DSL, this is likely to be a much better deal.

Of course, this doesn’t prevent the Opposition trolls displaying their peculiar brand of logic (i.e. none) and immediately leaping into the fray fully armed with their best arguments.  From what I have seen so far this amounts to:

  1. 12Mbps?  They promised 100Mbps!!  (COMPREHENSION FAIL)
  2. I only pay $35 and I get 12Mbps and squillions of downloads…this will be too expensive for me (MASSIVE LIE or RAMPANT STUPIDITY)
  3. I don’t want to use the internet (ironically, posted in a blog article comment) and only want phone services.  My wireless is fine for me.  (see 2)
  4. I already get 20Mpbs and this will downgrade me for more cost.  (COMPLETE LIE…unless they live 5 metres from the exchange).
  5. I don’t want to pay $5000 to connect to it.  (POSSIBLY INBREEDING??)

So basically they have nothing…and yet they expect people to take them seriously.

So how does our fearless MSM (The Oz and ABC (Oz lite) in particular) treat the report?  By parroting Opposition talking points verbatim and ignoring the substance of the document THAT THEY HAD HANDED TO THEM.  Now if the details were difficult to locate they could be slightly forgiven as being lazy by going to an available source to get details, but to ignore the substance they have easily at hand to report innuendo and lies so they are blatantly biased and disgrace to their profession.

There is no excuse for that abandonment of their profession and it shows them for the partisan hacks that they are…LNP public relations in another form.

 

Thankfully it appears that the  majority of the public and business is fully on board with the NBN so speed on the day that it is rolled out to my area…give me some of the fibre goodness.

The new Narrative (TM) – NBN bad

October 25, 2010 4 comments

The Opposition Oracle has recently left no doubt at it’s predominant narrative for the new Parliament.

Borrowing from their “successful” tactics in the war against the BER…you know, the one where they print the first negative shit that springs to their fevered little brains regardless or the facts or reality, they have now gone boots and all into the NBN.

For some bizarre reason they think they can use this as a club to beat the Government around the head with, and I think they have totally lost the plot.  The fact is that they would really struggle to find a large group of people who are satisfied with their broadband experience (if they can manage to get it at all), and as for those poor buggers in the rural areas, well it’s back to the 80s for them technology wise.

Apart from the traditional furphys about wireless being superior to fibre (apparently in defiance of the laws of physics and contrary to actual experience), we don’t need faster right now (because we were happy with the horse and carriage as well) and why waste money so people can download movies faster (that’s right because a 21st century telecommunications infrastruture IS ALL ABOUT DOWNLOADING MOVIES…arseclowns), here are some of the latest hits:

  1. $43 billion price tag. This one constantly shits me because it’s not even close to being accurate.  As soon as Telstra agreed to sign on the price immediately dropped down because NBNCo will now be able to use Telstra’s ducts instead of digging their own…an immense saving and completely obvious to everyone expect the OO, the barrackers (to borrow a phrase), and the Minister for Demolition himself.
  2. $4000 to connect. This is a good one.  What they “neglect” to mention is that this was the cost for one person to completely wire his house for data by installing cat6 cable that was capable of handling the signal.  The standard  connection for a single port looks to be $300, and from what I have read that’s only if you don’t sign up initially because it would be free then.
  3. Only 10% have signed up. By looking at the actual figures you would find that only 10% in the very first test site in Tasmania have signed up…in the mainland sites the take-up rate is something approaching 80-90%.  But then again expecting the OO to report all of the facts instead of the ones that boost The Narrative(TM) is a bit foolish.

To sum up, I think the OO and the Coalition are on a hiding to nothing on this one.  The overwhelming majority of Australians are tech-savvy enough to realise what they are missing out on and to realise that the NBN is an investment in our future.  It’s only the rusted-ons who can’t speak unless they get the Talking Points memo from Liberal HQ or the Luddites who can’t comprehend the opportunities this will provide that don’t get it at all.

As an indicator, anyone who says “why do we need faster internet, I’m happy with what I have now” or “why do we need faster internet for downloading movies” is patently stupid or a massive troll.

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.

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