Monthly Archives: June 2010

Oi Twiggy, I said ‘shut the hell up’!

I am seriously starting to worry about the mental health of this guy…not only does he blame Ken Henry for Kevin Rudd’s downfall, while conveniently neglecting to mention his part in it all, but now he is claiming he and Rudd had basically worked up a solution to the tax all by themselves…in secret…the night before Rudd was challenged…and that Julia Gillard should ‘bring that solution to the table for a discussion with the whole mining industry as soon as possible’.

Hmmmm, all very convenient, Twigs…do you mind if I call you Twigs?

A couple of problems though….and bear with me here. Firstly, this ‘agreement’ was between you and Kevin Rudd…late at night…the day before he was challenged…so he might not actually have shared it with Julia…probably had other things to worry about. And secondly, I’m betting this ‘agreement’, and probably the meeting, only exists in your head. You see, you claim you were ‘making progress with Mr Rudd last Tuesday’ and this ‘is what led you to declare the tax was dead last week’. Only problem is that you declared the tax dead on Monday.

And, just to confuse the issue even further here you are saying ‘FMG would contribute to constructive and open negotiations with the Government and the rest of the Australian mining industry to achieve a sound outcome’ the day Julia Gillard became PM…which kinda doesn’t make sense now with your suggestion that Julia bring your and Kev’s solution to the table. Open negotiations?? :-S

Now I’m not sure what BHP and Rio might have to say about about you appointing yourself their spokesman and saviour but, for my part, I don’t think comments like yours are helpful to the process so can I again respectfully suggest….THAT YOU SHUT THE HELL UP! 🙂

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Loves his job!

I think one of the great shames of our society is that not enough people can honestly say that they love what they do…those who can are among the luckiest people on the planet I reckon.

Here is one guy who I think can honestly say it. I was shown this by my nephew….check out the drummer in the video.

Man, to get that kind of joy from what you do hey!:-)

Twiggy Forrest should shut the hell up!

I used to have a fair bit of time for Twiggy Forrest…he seemed one of the genuinely good guys and no doubt he has done some good things. But his performance over the Super Profits Tax has showed that he really only has one persons interests at heart!!

First there was his Billionaires Appealathon. Then there was the little porkie he told about China moving away from a Resource Profit tax

But his latest performance, blaming Ken Henry for the demise of Kevin Rudd is the best. It manages to be both hypocritical  and pathetic! This bit…

“Kevin Rudd is a decent guy who I think received very, very bad advice from Ken Henry, and I feel that if anyone has blood on his hands over Kevin Rudd’s demise it’s Ken Henry”

….is disingenuous shit! What about his part in Kevin Rudd’s downfall, what about the lies, mis-information and hysteria he spread? While the International Monetary Fund (kind of experts in this kind of thing) and a Canadian expert believe the tax is a good thing, Twiggy probably hurt Kevin Rudd and the Australian economy more with his talk than the tax will ever do. And even if Henry’s advice was crap, he didn’t force it on Rudd!

And I love his idea of negotiation…basically ‘take what I don’t like off the table and I’ll talk to you’…what you would expect from a 4 year old!

And before I get attacked by the people who thinks we owe this guy, and other miners like Clive Palmer, some kind of debt, remember, they have done everything they have for themselves, anything we gained was a side benefit. The mining companies let more people go during the Global Financial Crisis than any other industry! You notice the threat they make over the RSPT…if it comes in people will lose their jobs. Read the sub-text…’because I’m not going to threaten my personal wealth by keeping you employed’!

And as for risk…people like Twiggy and Clive Palmer take the risks they do for one reason…money. And as billionaires their risks have paid off pretty well. But if you want to talk risks let talk about soldiers or police officers or psychiatric nurses or people who work on the streets to help the homeless etc etc…people who put themselves in harms way every day for the good of others and a pretty meager pay cheque! Hell, every one of you who has taken a mortgage to buy a house to put a roof over you and your families heads has probably taken more of a personal risk than these guys!

So…in conclusion…Twiggy et al…shut the hell up!

**Just a side note. I have come back and edited this after an hour of exercise and some dinner….so you can imagine the language of the first draft!! 🙂

Who’d have thunk, hey!

Amazing hey! That we can have a person, seemingly in a bit of trouble but doing okay, as Prime Minister one day and then they are gone the next day. And amazing too how much chat it has generated on Facebook and elsewhere…and most of it by under 30’s! Whoever says they don’t care is waaaaay off the mark!

So I thought I would contribute to the discussion by telling you all exactly what happened and why…well maybe it happened like this or maybe not!:-) Its actually what I can gather from the various news articles.

There is very little around to suggest that Julia Gillard actually initiated any of this. Most articles seems to suggest that she was genuinely loyal to Rudd and that makes sense. Taking over now is much riskier than a smooth hand-over in the middle of the next term of the Government. I think what tipped it for her was that Rudd sent his adviser out to check his level of support…there is lots of stuff around to suggest that this really offended her, given her continued support for him. This seems to have been the straw that broke the camels back.

All of the media article suggest that push came from various factions within the Labor Party (for those of you who don’t follow politics, both Labor and Liberal have factions…basically little parties within each party….like how most big groups have little group within them). Its seems that the factions (Kevin Rudd wasn’t in one) were getting worried how centralised power was within the Govenment. A lot of articles suggest that, rather than everything being discussed in the Caucus (all the elected Labor members), Kevin Rudd was very controlling and that the Government was basically being run by him and his four advisers (all about 30 yrs old). The Right faction seemingly decided they needed to change this and so they checked around for support for a change and then approached Julia Gillard to stand against him. And there does appear to be a lot of evidence that his control had been an issue for a long time and that he had ignored previous attempts to speak to him about it.

I think this and the 3-4 hour meeting between Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd yesterday support the idea that she was reluctant to challenge. She is in the Left faction so it is a not a logical thing for her to do to approach the Right for support. Articles suggest that the Right approached her because they didn’t really have an candidate of their own and she really was the logical choice. There has also been a lot written directly suggesting that she was reluctant to challenge. A leadership challenge this close to an election is generally considered a risky proposition.

I would also suggest that the meeting between them was a genuine attempt to clear the air and find a way forward.  If not there is no real reason for her to have it. Normally a leadership challenge is just announced, they don’t chat to the current leader about it. I can imagine it being a ‘I have been approached to challenge you but don’t really want to…but if we are going to stop this off then changes need to be made’ type argument…well I hope it was. As I said, she has taken a big risk by taking over now…the best option for her by far would have been to keep Kevin Rudd in but for him to release some of his control so they could win the next election. She could then have taken over at an agreed time in a couple of years. But if he indicated he wasn’t willing to make concession or bow to the factions, which, given what has been written about him, is probably the case, she was left with no alternative but to challenge.

I think that, regardless of loyalty, if she genuinely thought that he couldn’t win the election she had an obligation to do challenge. If you were in a sporting team where your captain was ruining your chances of success and they wouldn’t listen to any advice, would you replace them if you were approached to do so or would you stick by the captain even if it meant disaster for the team?

I also don’t think she has much choice for a couple of other reasons. Look at the alternatives….leave it as it was, let leadership concerns rumble on and have a good chance of losing the election or, if the Right were serious enough, have them put a candidate of their own and risk all the upheaval and disruption that might cause. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was actually ‘threatened’ with the second….’if it not you then we’ll find someone else’.

So that is my take on it. I am genuinely sorry for Kevin Rudd, I think it is tragic actually, because I think he has done a lot of very good things for this country. But in the end I think he was a victim of his own style. I also think this was not your usual factional coup but a coup done out of genuine concern for winning the next election. Political factions are very strong and very loyal to their own…and the Right would not make a person from the Left the next Prime Minister unless they really thought there was a major problem.

A final thought….some people will applaud Julia Gillard, others will no doubt question her motives and loyalty. A guy called Chaleff defined a concept called Courageous Followers where he suggests that a followers obligations revolve around the organisation’s purpose, not the leaders. Because of this courageous followers are willing to stand up, stand out, risk rejection and to initiate conflict in order to examine the actions of the leader for the good of the organisation as a whole. I’ll leave you do decide where Julia Gillard’s actions fit.

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen…

Hey, check out these links. I think this is a great idea! Basically levy a .05% transaction fee on banks, hedge funds and other finance institutions for specific transactions (foreign exchange transactions, derivatives and share deals, not those of the everyday consumer) and use the money to help the poor countries tackle poverty and fight climate change. They reckon it will raise 100’s of billions of dollars each year and the banks will scarcely notice it…they could probably do with giving something back after the Global Financial Crisis fiasco.

And, as an added bonus, there is a couple of good videos to look at on the first site….Bill Nighy is funny in any context!!:-)

http://www.oxfam.org.au/explore/millennium-development-goals/robin-hood-tax

http://robinhoodtax.org.au/

Aliens, crop circles and more bloody great holes!

Remember my searing entry about a bloody great hole appearing in Guatemala City? No? Hmmm, here is a link to it, if you visited more often you’d know this! 😦 Well, now there are bloody great holes (that is a technical term, btw) appearing all over China! Check it out here and here.

My theory? Well, the way I see it we have pissed off the aliens by denying them credit for crop circles so they have decided to up the ante…..seems a no-brainer to me. The ‘man’ is trying to say it is because of heavy rains after a long dry spell but you and I know better! 😉

Ooohh this is spooky!

Have you ever had one of this times when someone will  tell you about something you didn’t know and then suddenly you will see it all over the place? No? Hmmmm well I do all the time!

Like, yesterday I published a rant about  our obsession with economic growth (strangely via a discussion on body fat levels!) and then today I am visiting Crikey.com (a great news site btw) and what do I see but this….an article suggesting that a mindless pursuit of economic growth is basically going to be the end of us all! And here I was thinking it was just something that pissed me off! 🙂

I quite like the look of this book as well…but then I’m a bit sad like that! 🙂