Wednesday, September 22, 2010
15% off The Battler's Aussie Election 2010
Offer ends October 15, 2010
The Battler's Aussie Election 2010

Get it
The Battler's Aussie Election 2010
Purchase The Battler's Aussie Election 2010 with 15% off with coupon code FALLREAD305

Disclaimer: Use coupon code FALLREAD305 at checkout and receive 15% off The Battler's Aussie Election 2010. Maximum savings with this promotion is £10. You can only use the code once per account, and you can't use this coupon in combination with other coupon codes. Sorry, self-purchases (buying books that you've published) aren't eligible. This great offer ends on 15 October 2010 at 11:59 PM so try not to procrastinate! While very unlikely we do reserve the right to change or revoke this offer at anytime, and of course we cannot offer this coupon where it is against the law to do so. Finally, Lulu incurs the cost of this discount, so it does not impact the Author's proceeds of the book.
Copyright © 2002-2010 Lulu, Inc. All Rights Reserved. | 3101 Hillsborough St. | Raleigh | NC | 27607-5436

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Even the Mighty Can Believe!

     BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers announced today that he favoured moving to a carbon tax regime as a means of placing a price on carbon. His announcement caused much consternation in both business and political circles, although it was supported by Professor Ross Garnaut. Some, however preferred the ostrich approach!

The Abbott frowned, then shook his head,
"What is that man doing?
He's sprouting forth about a carbon tax,
His reasoning suspect and seriously lax!"
The Abbott just sat there spewing!

King Brown perked up and looked around,
"I can't believe what I'm just hearing!
The BHP head is a greenie at heart
With a price on carbon he wants, now, to start!"
And King Brown commenced some stirring.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Will Return......I Have...

      I guess it is fair to say that enough is enough. After all, one cannot rest...and rest...and rest...while there is work to be done.

     Yes, the election is over, the book is out, and it would be nice to just sit a while. Alas, it cannot be so.  We are served by people who must be observed and commented upon. They are unable to simply do a job and do it well. They insist on finding the hard road; they insist on batting into the wind.  So...............

Did you really think he'd gone away,
Election over, he'd had his say?
Or did you pray he was done and dusted,
Gone for good, pen poised but rusted?

Well, it would be nice to relax and rest,
No turmoil twisting with political jest!
Yet, as politics continues with thrust and parry
Alas, poor poet, may neither linger nor tarry.

Each night, elected ones, while you hit the sack,
Someone is working, be warned, the Battler is back.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Battler's Aussie Election


The Battler's adventures during the recent Australian election is now available as a book at

The whole collection is now in one, easy to follow resource, available as a book, or as a download.

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Election 2010 - V Day Plus 17 - Closure Part 2

The Battler's commentary on the 2010 Australian Federal Election is to close.  It has been great fun and I hope it has been enjoyed by those who read the regular contributions.  I would like to thank all those who followed the campaign with a little help from the Battler, with a special thanks to the large number of followers on Twitter and their R/T's.

The Battler's Election has had its day
As it fades now into history,
A commentary of a Nation pleading,
To be noticed would be a victory.

The people have spoken and made their choice
While angered by what was served,
Determined their voice be loud at last
Blood running strong, their passion stirred.

So be it understood by those few elected
Both major parties were clearly rejected!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Election 2010 - V Day Plus 17 - Closure Part 1

Today, 7 September 2010, is the day that a decision was made by the three independents as to who would be Prime Minister.  This decision, some seventeen days following the vote, was the result of some very hard work by all participants.  They should all be commended.

Across the nation there was agitation,
You could smell it in the air.
The tension of sublime anticipation,
This day a decision to declare!

The Three Wise Men did meet again,
To frame their point of view,
One declaring for the Abbott, then
The Ranga surged ahead with two!

This is the way our Election ends, neither whimper nor banging loud,
And the patient Men of Wisdom have served the nation proud!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Election 2010 - V Day Plus 16

Why are we waiting?  I guess we know the answer to that.  There is no doubt that the Independents are doing what needs to be done.  Its a task they didn't seek or expect, but they do seem to have lifted for the game.  Pity others haven't been so obliging!

The Abbott puffed out his chest
The Three Wise Men to be abused.
"How can you contemplate that leftist lot,
When to us you should be fused!"

The Three Wise Men just shook their heads,
Moving forward without a fumble,
Ignoring the pathetic, pouting and posturing
Of Pride before its stumble.

Meanwhile, the Ranga in private forum
Lined up her ducks with quiet decorum.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Walrus On Black Holes.

Thursday the 2nd of September, 12 days after the election, continued to see Australia waiting upon a result.  However, we did have confirmed, finally, by Treasury that the Coalition election promises failed the test of accuracy when assessed by Treasury.  Further detail can be read here

"Behold" Walrus to the Abbott said,
"I speak of many things,
Of promises and budget cuts
And pigs, airborne, with wings."

The Walrus twirled his whiskers,
Shrugged, then dived into the sea.
"I'd rather chase these little fishies
Than let you on a spending spree."

The Abbott spat and cursed, his plans all in a tatter,
And sent another email to that mad, North Queesland, hatter

Friday, August 27, 2010

Election 2010 - V Day Plus 6 - Still Waiting!

The Gang of Five reduced to three,
Then back to five again,
Depending if you count the Green,
Which might make four, just then!

But number four is not quite sure
Just how to play this game,
Though, as the new chum he's keen to make
His mark within the frame.

Yet, with all this did we notice four Diggers who left the stage,
More Aussie tears to spoil the ink upon this page!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Election 2010 - V Day Plus 1 - Gang of Five.

We all know the result so far, a hung parliament.  Does that mean the people won?  Perhaps it does, we must wait to find out.

After all that happened these last five weeks
With policies, pledges and random leaks,
Comic interludes by ex PMs,
Is this how the election ends?

Its a draw, or at least, just about;
Neither party had enough clout
To clearly win the vital day
So 'tis the piper they must pay.

Now its up to the gang of five
To keep our nervous hopes alive!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Election 2010 - V Day Minus 0! Polls Closed!

Just a few minutes and the polls will close.
Who will win, nobody knows!
With bated breath the people wait
For a sign, a tweet, to reveal their fate!

The night descends and friends will gather,
Candidates, exhausted, but nerves still a lather;
Political experts poised to voice
Expert opinion on the peoples' choice.

Quietly now, tele on, we await the show,
So crack a tinny, pour a wine -get on with it, let's go!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Election 2010 - V Day Minus 1! - Liberal ID Card on Cards!

In a rare corner of the Internet it was discovered today that the Liberal/National Coalition may intend to introduce a compulsory ID card.  Joe Hockey told The Age that he deeply regretted not being able to conclude his project to introduce an Access Card when previously in government.  For Access Card read ID card.  It won't achieve what is intended if it does not share information from multiple sources, including the Tax Office, Centre-link, Medicare, your doctor (presumably) and bank.  Of course, perhaps they can't run it without high speed broadband..........

Access card! Access card, I hear you say!
With us elected there will be another ray
Of hope that we, in government, can snoop
On all your secrets and the evil to which you stoop!
We know you lot are ripping off
Our health and welfare system! No, don't scoff!
Its true, but we will catch you unprepared
When our new "Snoop-card" is declared.

Er! What happened to the Internet?
Mmmm, perhaps we have cause for deep regret!

Ex Lib Turns To Labor

In the late 1990's, I was an Electorate Chairman and State Vice President of the Liberal Party (Tasmanian Division).  I had also served as Campaign Director and Branch President.  While I ceased my involvement with the party in early 1999, due to moving interstate, I have continued to encourage and support the Liberal philosophy.  I have made this point so that the reader may appreciate the difficulty I have had in deciding that tomorrow, for the 2010 election, I will vote Labor.

The reason I will vote Labor is simple!

Australia is a large and sparsely populated country.  In terms of infrastructure development there is simply no comparison with other nations of smaller land mass or more dense populations.  The provision of national infrastructure has always been difficult and expensive.  Furthermore, Australians have always demanded equity, wherever it was possible to do so.  As a result, it has been necessary for large national infrastructure projects to be delivered by government.

The Overland Telegraph, railways, mail services, telephone, electricity, irrigation, roads and more were all, at least initially, provided by government.

The Internet is the next major tool for the future development of this nation.  Its usefulness and effectiveness depend upon speed and capacity.  High speed Internet is fundamental to the next generation of medicine, healthcare, education, small business, big business, population policy and regionalisation.  It is NOT about movies, music or Facebook!

Right now, as I write, there is a willingness and a corporate structure to enable the building of a high speed National Broadband Network (NBN).  This can only be built, as a truly nation building project, by government.  In 48 hours or less, that willingness or structure may no longer exist.

I am totally committed to the need for the NBN and its development must continue.  This is not for me, I am 62.  It is for my children and grandchildren who I do not wish to see consigned to a technological dark age.

I am voting for the NBN!  As a result, I am voting Labor.

If you agree with this, its needs to go viral now.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Election 2010 - V Day Minus 2! - Tony's Campaignathon!

After the non-debate in Brisbane last night we have spent most of today hearing how Tony Abbott is to undertake a campaignathon of 36 hours.  I guess that's fair enough!  After all, surely he can make his own choices at work?

"I'll campaign all night long," he said
"For 36 hours straight!"
"I want the people to really know
I'm ready to guide their fate."

"I tell you now I've learned a lot
And in understanding truly grown."
"I'm packed for moving to the Lodge
Smugglers, bike and tin can phone."

Whispers, "Now listen Andrew, Joe and July, tell me what you think;
Do you think we can get without a bleedin' stink?"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Election 2010 - V Day Minus 3! - Debate, Or Whatever, Done & Dusted!

The somewhat unexpected second forum, held in Brisbane, is over.  There is no doubt in this Battler's mind that both political leaders have run a gruelling race with dignity and courage.  Regardless of our political view, perhaps we should be thankful that we have leaders who have been so willing to give so much of themselves.

So, now they've had the final forum,
As the end approaches of this election race.
The leaders performing with defined decorum,
Acknowledging their public with style and grace.

Midst the hew and cry of electioneering,
They have stood above the baying crowd;
With respect from fickle foe and friends believing,
And party faithful standing proud.

We, not exposed to political fury,
Hold their fate, both judge and jury.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Election 2010 - V Day Minus 4! - Another Debate....

It would seem that another election debate is on its way.  Oh well....

Hooray! Another debate forthcoming
Or, at least, its on the cards.
More fuel for pencil and cartoonist skill,
More fun for cranky, part-time, bards.

Will we suffer just thirty minutes,
Or will we cop an hour?
Will it be a public hall discussion,
Or an economic punch-up, each the other to devour?

Bring it on folks, get it under way,
But be assured 'tis we, who have the final say!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Election 2010 - V Day Minus 5! - The NBN

During the Labor policy launch today, Prime Minister Julia Gillard offered some health policies which seriously emphasised the advantages of the National Broadband Network.  So perhaps......yeh, I know...corny!

She lay there, shivering, in constant pain,
Girl of ten, don't know her name,
Living in a town, somewhere out west,
Out there, outback, where they breed the best.
Struggling to wake from a restless dream,
Her mother approaches with a tiny screen,
And waves it over her, like a magic wand,
Listening to a voice, familiar and fond.

The Doctor's Hotline does the job again,
But only because of the NBN!

Election 2010 - V Day Minus 5!

This is the first day of the final week and already we have seen the Labor official campaign launch, together with a bundle of new promises from the major parties.  It probably won't end here.

So quiet, the breaking of the dawn;
The people innocent of the coming storm
To chase them, screaming, from their beds,
Media blaring in their heads,
Newsprint all scattered on the lawn,
"Sssh! The kids are up. I shouldn't have sworn!"
And as the sun peaks over trees and sheds
The people await the policy dregs!

But this is the week that requires some thought
Lest our vote, uncaring, is cast for nought!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Desperate Declarations and Daring Do!

The noise increases as the desperate contenders vie for attention and an upper hand.  Its desperate days, so get out the ear plugs or listen to Triple J.........

There is a moment in every election
When the fear begins to show!
That point in time when all the deception,
All the haste and policy invention,
Yields doubt, and despair begins to grow.

Its at this moment, with desperate daring,
That the voices begin to rise,
And challenges galore, no mercy sparing,
Are issued with haste and bellicose blaring,
The contenders all struggling to avoid their demise!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Final Week Approaches

The final week of this 2010 election is almost upon us.  What will it bring?  More lack of vision, or perhaps........?

So, here we are, just a week to go,
Not a time for leaders to slacken or slow.
Its onward, upward, charge for the guns,
This week the winner must score all the runs!

The people shudder and squirm about,
Their voice unheard midst the tumult and shout.
Hopes for a future of visionary style
All fallen victim to political guile!

Yet, perhaps one ray of hope, moving forward, that fits,
Could it be fibre optics, the NBN and a hundred megabits?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Financial Skill or Smoke and Mirrors

The Opposition has declared its refusal to submit its policies for scrutiny by Treasury.  And so the argy-bargy continues............

Joe claims to know what he's about,
To keep control and run this place;
How to trim the fat and keep things lean,
Make things happen at a cracking pace!
Books kept well, have no doubt.

Then Joe and Tony meet with dread,
"Don't ever send those facts and figures
To Treasury, where I'm sure they'll leak.
Mum's the word, mate, lest revelation triggers
Misunderstandings that knock us dead!"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Live at Rooty Hill!

Wednesday night saw a return to traditional campaigning, when both Gillard and Abbott appeared at a town hall style meeting in Sydney's Western Suburbs. While nothing like a debate, reports suggest that Tony Abbott won the night.

Whoopy do and tooty fruity
The guys showed up at dear old Rooty,
Hill - that is - Western Suburbs, Sydney side!

No debate but a show nonetheless,
Put through their paces under stress,
By voters - undecided, that is - and paid!

Yet, after that do we really know
Who might be best to run the show?
And surely its true that when on stage
The best actor is the one after whom we rage!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Messaging - The Opposition Way

At the risk of making a blatantly political point, we now know why the Opposition has chosen to keep Australia in the technological dark ages.  Very simply, they do not understand the importance of the internet and the importance of download speed to its use and viability.  This became abundantly clear during Tony Abbott's interview on the 7.30 Report last night.

I saw a man upon a hill
Waving arms, he looked a dill.
Nearby, smoke puffed long and short
While pigeons flew, not just for sport!
Mirrors flashed, all bright and keen
As bonfires flared and yearned to be seen;
A runner speeding with message stick
Anything to send news quick!

Meanwhile, a little boy given cans and string
Could not figure out how to work the thing!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Oh Sweet Ecstasy - A Double Dose of Delicious Policy!

At long, long last both the Opposition and Government put forward a couple of policies that touched on areas slightly more important than the usual pork barrelling.  I have become so excited with this strange duel development, that I may need to present two offerings for your edification and enjoyment.

Prime Minister Gillard offered a commitment to fully implement the Murray-Darling Basin Authority's water plan to assist in restoring the health of that ailing river system.

Like a long brown snake it wanders,
From the mountains to the sea;
Slowly now, without much zest,
Not the beast it used to be.

Mighty red-gums stand in fearsome struggle
So desperate to survive,
While wetlands wither and recede
Perhaps too shattered to survive.

So now we'll buy the water back, the river to restore
And keep our fingers crossed, in hope, the people they'll not ignore!


Meanwhile, the Opposition, having previously stated their distaste for the Government's National Broadband Network, offered their alternative plan.  This was announced as "...more than $6b....".  In actual fact, it adds up to almost double at $11.8b.

Sadly for the Opposition, their Andrew Robb had a conversation on ABC's "AM" program (transcript here) many hours before their broadband policy announcement.  In part, it went like this...

"ANDREW ROBB: There is no confusion on our side of politics on this issue. We have got savings, fully costed and presented, at $28.5 billion and we have got expenditure of $25.5 billion fully costed and fully presented. 

That is a difference, over and above the costs and expenditure, of $3 billion.

LYNDAL CURTIS: And will that gap stay or are you going to commit to spending some more money during the remainder of the campaign?

ANDREW ROBB: We're committing to both spending some more- a little amount more money and also to identify more savings. So we'll give you the final figure long before the election."

That looks to me like a total spend on promises of $37.3b, which leaves a deficiency of a mere $8.8b above their stated savings.  Oh well, its only an election after all, and I wasn't very good at maths.

While I wasn't very good at maths
I could multiply and add,
Because of which I could "take away"
And at division I was quite dab.

Now,  Andrew made it very clear he had $3b left,
After adding in their savings and deducting what they spent.
This afternoon the bill went higher, for Internet you know,
Which leaves his promised surplus battered and badly dent.

So now twelve thousand workers are heading for the sack
And we get basic broadband, with the budget deficit back!

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Populate or Perish"....."Eh?" "What?"

Both the Labor Government and Liberal/National Opposition have announced policies to "stop the boats", at the same time as making noises about restricting immigration.  Both sides also have similar policies on paid maternity/parenting leave.  I think this has something to do with population policy, although I'm not too sure....!

Both government and opposition
Will tighten up on immigration;
Student visas will hit the wall
While uni growth will slow and stall.
Migrant workers will seek in vain
For any visa they can claim,
And bosses will wail and weep,
Overworked, short-handed and too little sleep!

This is a considered policy on population
With performance pay for copulation.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Libs Launch Campaign

The Liberal Party officially launched its 2010 election campaign today amidst the usual rapturous applause of rusted on supporters.  Predictably, the usual attack was forthcoming from usual quarters.

So, now the die is cast
And all their cards are on the table.
We have been challenged to recall the past
When government was "good" and "able".

They'll stop the boats, repay the debt,
Pay mums to stay at home!
No sleepless nights, no need to fret,
When Tony ascends the throne.

Pity there's no policy costed
As we search for numbers, through glass that's frosted!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Today we have seen Rudd & Gillard bury the hatchet and Abbott make more noise about refugees and Nauru, ahead of his "campaign launch" on Sunday.  Two weeks to go....and perhaps Tony Abbott may have been thinking....

"Ruddy hell, Kev's back on the job!
Him fronting up with Julia? I wouldn't have bet two bob.
Now I'll need something new
Mmm, perhaps those reffo's and Nauru!

But hark! its Sunday looming
And I must get on with grooming
Policy, perfect in preparation
For the launch and our salvation!"

Rudd and the Ranga in Queensland sat
For photographs, coffee and to chew the fat.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Former PM"s One, Two, Three!

As week three of our little election campaign draws steadfastly to a close, former Prime Ministers are keen to regain another moment in the sun.  Howard, Rudd and Fraser have provided their 2 bobs worth.  Oh well, you get that........

Now former Prime Ministers have entered the fray.
(Who, for a moment, thought they'd stay away?)
Howard and Fraser and poor bleedin' Rudd,
No policies from them, just flinging the mud.

Old Hawkey and Keating may patch up their blue
To line up with others at the Prime Ministerial Zoo.
While Gough will be cheered in a moment of glory
Admirers rejoicing in a make-believe story.

Yet we who look on during this electoral season
May recall they're all "former" for a very good reason!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Policy Bone To Chew, At Last!

Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, today announced his $3.1 billion health plan.  Of course, many will recall Abbott's performance as Health Minister.

A policy, writ bold at last!
Abbott gives "Health" a blast!
From deep within the Liberal cavern
A plan, big ticket, for us to fathom.

The people, pulsating, paused with relief
Perhaps now, a chance to sharpen belief.

And as we study and search with glee
How the "Health" hiatus might be set free,
We might just recall a Minister for Health
Who dissected and diced his ministry by stealth!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bland Election and Fan Mail

     Its nice to receive fan mail, whatever the tone.  I mean, at least you know someone is out there, someone who cares.  Of course, sometimes one's own technical incompetence adds to the flavour of comments received, thus no surprise when the "Twitterverse" delivered this comment:
"@abattlersview You've tweeted about your meager article three times in the last fifteen minutes now".

So sorry for these ditties, meagre
With lines of ten, and not much class,
A modest reflection of an election, drearier,
Than any before that's come to pass.

No plans to inspire, or perhaps enlighten,
To provide sweet hope for the years ahead!
No plans that inspire a poet to brighten
Terse verse born of fear and looming dread!

The poet, poised, with pen and paper
With pensive purpose plans another caper.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Population Policy The Abbott Way

The news of the day today was the Opposition announcement of changes to its Parental Leave policy.  These changes were announced by Opposition Leader,Tony Abbott, who also announced the earlier version  in March.  Given Mr Abbott's interpretation of the truth, as revealed by him on the 7.30 Report, one must wonder!

Ah, Tony, Tony, Tony,
Was your first go at Parental Leave
Off the cuff and just a phoney?
Or was it intended to deceive
Midst no discussion with Liberal Cronies?

So, now we're blessed with Version Two,
Perhaps this time on paper written.
Different levy and start date new
(Business mates, not exactly smitten!).
A population policy midst the cry and hew.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Look At Me, Look At Me!

Today, we heard of the new approach by PM Gillard to "show her real self".  We also enjoyed comments from Tony Abbott that "the real Tony Abbott had been on display for 16 years".
( )
Ah well....................

Look at me, look at me, look at meeee!
Please don't treat me with derision,
I am the prophet of revision
For a government that lost its vision.
Look at me, look at me, look at meeee!

Look at me, look at me, look at meeee!
I'm the good bloke who sets the pace,
Like a great athlete in a race,
With budgies smuggled, hmmm, and no disgrace!
Look at me, look at me, look at meeee!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

For Colour, Perhaps A Dab of Brown!

     Today, we saw former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer quoted as running former PM Kevin Rudd as a double agent, and then deny it. We then saw PM Gillard get stuck into Liberals for their "disgraceful attack" on Rudd.  All this while Liberals accuse Labor of a dirt campaign against Opposition Leader Abbott (see "disgraceful attack" report).
     Meanwhile, the Greens got on with the election with Leader Bob Brown officially launching their campaign.

A little bit of innuendo
A little bit of spite,
A touch of "oh no, it wasn't me!"
"The quoting is not quite right."

A little bit of indignation
A little bit of "shock, horror"
A touch of "how dare you, sir"
But not a scrap of honour.

Policies hardly worth a crumpet, little to call profound;
Perhaps, if we're seeking green, we'll need to try some Brown.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

White Australia & Pauline's Shadow

     "The Ethnic Communities Council of Australia says both Labor and the Coalition are fear-mongering and causing migrants to feel marginalised."

     One could be excused for thinking the current election is pandering to policies similar to those of Pauline Hanson, perhaps a resurrection of the White Australia Policy.

From a little town in Wales, she came
To lead us to election.
A pommy refugee by boat,
Practised, now, in political invention.

He was born in London Town
Of Aussie folks, overseas.
Educated at Sydney's best
While practising politics with ease.

Yet, together they seek the bigot's vote
While "White Australia" gets rewrote!  

Friday, July 30, 2010

Back To The Past, Perhaps?

     There has been much discussion during today's electioneering regarding the National Broadband Network.  The government released details of enhanced plans for the roll out of the fibre optic infrastructure, together with updated maps relating to the project.  There was also repeated reminders of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's promise to dismantle the project , should he win the forthcoming election.

     Although this subject has been mentioned in these pages already, the issue is of such national importance that it is worthy of further comment.  This will probably not be the last time!

     During today's reporting, I was reminded (somehow??) of a much earlier telecommunication service.  During the 1950's, I lived with my parents and siblings in the Sydney suburb of Brighton le Sands.  We were blessed with a telephone, the number of which I have never forgotten.....

Sydney 'phone number, 1950's, LX6180;
Black baker-lite handset, pretty flash, LX6180.
"Long distance, please," calling out of town, "This is LX6180."
"What's that? Speak up!" Calling Brissie, long distance, you know.

Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter,
Google, Yahoo, Blogspot, Flikr,
Gmail, Hotmail - its email and quicker,
Phone the world - no cost - what a ripper!

Copper lines gone, fibre on the go,
Tony gets in, we're back to LX6180!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sex, Politics and Religion

Over the last couple of days, by far the most enchanting story to emerge from this election season has been the reported attempt by the Australia First Party to seduce the Australian Sex Party.

"Hello, is this the Australian Sex Party?
I'm from Australia First and would like to have a chat.
Could we meet for a cup of coffee
To talk a little, of this and that?"

"Now, perhaps we can discuss positions,
You know, how we could get together,
Share a little of how we can help
Each other be joined in this endeavour?"

Australia First then cried in shame,
Screwed by experts, themselves to blame!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Whisper, Whisper.............

     I am not a journalist! So, I guess it is a little cheeky of me to discuss the performance of journalists.  Nevertheless, since I and many of the rest of us read the work of journalists, some critical comment does not seem unreasonable.

     A highly respected member of the Canberra Press Gallery has recently raised two issues during questioning of Prime Minister Gillard.  Most of you will be aware of the matters to which I refer (links above).  These issues related to matters that any politician, depending on their allegiance at the time, would consider confidential.  So confidential, in fact, that it would be highly unlikely to elicit any revelation in response to questioning.

     The simple fact of the matter is that there was never any possibility of the "right" answer being provided.  Why? Simply because there is no proof on the public record capable of establishing the truth, or otherwise, of the matters raised.

     The highly respected journalist posed questions that may, or may not, have been sourced from reliable and verifiable information.  The journalist proffered no follow up question that could have suggested strong evidence supporting, what amounted to, allegations.

     I have no problem, whatsoever, with a politician being "outed" for misleading or inappropriate conduct.  There must, however, be verifiable proof when such allegations are made.  The posing of questions, in truth innuendoes, without the ability to provide evidence that turns innuendo into fact, is not only unprofessional, but also profoundly political.

     This style of behaviour, from persons of immense journalistic authority, serves only to lower the standard of an already mediocre election campaign.  It also deepens, further, the public distrust of a profession upon which we so heavily depend as protectors of our democracy.

Whisper, whisper, nod and wink,
Don't look now in case you blink,
While we're watching, waiting for the tip
That little leak, the subtle drip!

This is an election and anything is just,
Revealing a fault or a policy bust;
Any little thing, to hell with the truth,
Give me something that will hit the roof!

The campaign stumbles toward the day
When the people, confused, might have their say!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Stand Up, Stand Up....For What?

There is an evil in the air
As this election progresses.
An evil image of despair,
The innocent, it caresses.

It weaves its web of deep deceit
While breading on the hate,
That's born of fear and deep defeat,
The result of flawed debate.

The innocent, worn, defeated gather
To march toward their hell!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The 2010 Election - Week 1

This is the week that was!

A discourse on population became an immigration hoax,
While adding to the fear campaign over desperate folk in boats!
We heard about a deficit and the chance of growing debt,
Yet not too much of the GFC, or that it hasn't hit us, yet.
One Leader wants the NBN with web speed rated tops,
And the other will have a telephone, with calls through dear old POTS.

So, the first week ends without much ticker;
We're looking forward, but the fog is thicker.
Perhaps I'll go and just follow twitter!

GFC - Global Financial Crises
NBN - National Broadband Network
POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Great Debate - Done and Dusted

So, the great debate is finished
And, perhaps, we're not quite so diminished
For having viewed and quietly listened
To the Leaders, newly christened,
In the tradition of election-time debate.

Of course, adjudicators must surely comment
And words will flow a-torrent,
Midst the muddle and confusion all about;
Whilst we, quite humble, beset with raging doubt,
Raise a glass and humbly stumble, toward our fate!

The Great Debate - Almost

"Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott will tonight go head-to-head in the only televised debate of the election campaign.
The hour-long debate will be held at the National Press Club in Canberra with both leaders facing questions from a panel journalists after making a short opening statement."  ABC News

The Great Debate is almost here,
No doubt to enhance electoral cheer.
Will it inform, or perhaps enlighten,
Or will it work to dull and frighten
A people poised to place a vote,
A people ready to choose, or smote
Those who rule and demand more taxes
While punching "porkies" by email and faxes,
And drive us up the bleedin' wall?
Ah, we wait, excited, for our leaders to enthral!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Clunker Of An Idea

ABC News reports that Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, today announced plans to pay cash as an incentive for people to get rid of their old vehicles.

When making the announcement in Brisbane, Ms Gillard commented that "People will go to their car dealership they will negotiate, get the price that they can get for their new car, their rebate will be paid when their old car is scrapped," she said.
"The dealer will be responsible for doing that. We will have Aus Industry oversighting this."

They used to be called "rust buckets",
Now "clunker" is their name
And they are now, to one and all,
The new weapon in the climate game!

"If we get these clunkers off the road
And replaced with something new,
We'll reduce our carbon by huge amounts
(And boost new car sales, too!)."

And so, thus led by those without conviction,
We shuffle off toward extinction.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Gillard Climate Policy - Policy Free Zone

Prime Minister Gillard today announced her climate change policy for the forthcoming election.  I thought we were having an election to appoint our decision makers.  Now we add on an unelected committee of eager beavers to make "claytons" decisions our Parliament is to gutless to make.  Whoopee!
The Battler recommends this link as food for thought

A committee! That's what we'll do.
One hundred & fifty of our brave and true
Who will have twelve months to find an answer,
To come to grips with that carbon cancer.

Naturally, they'll report and recommend
While we, in Parliament, consider, then send
Our response to be reviewed
By "experts", with expertise imbued!

The people, shocked, in horror cried
And the world did nothing, while nature died!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Election Armistice - Another Fallen

Yesterday, the momentum of the Australian election campaign took a break.  By mutual consent, the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader paused their campaigns while they attended the funeral of Private Nathan Bewes, who was recently killed in Afghanistan.  This is a fairly recent tradition adopted by Australian political leaders.  It is to be commended,.

In the shadow of their humble grief
Joined by loss beyond belief
The people gather at the dawning
To remember, and do the mourning
For a life so freely given - we are beholden.

And the mighty came to share the caring
A day departed from campaign blaring
With a shoulder shared, a tear descending
Another day of tribal remembering
Of a life so freely given - or was it stolen?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Election 2010 - Homelessness A Neglected Issue? Not Many - Too Few!

Although only in its early stages, our Federal election campaign does not appear to have made an issue of mental illness and homelessness.  Perhaps it is on the horizon, who knows?  One would hope so, for it is true that elections, generally, are magnets for the big ticket items, the wow factor, the sexy issue of the day.
Perhaps there is something, waiting in the shadows, to be announced down the track, by someone who cares.  Yet, there is no doubt that, in the eyes of some, this issue is one that doesn't attract votes.

A cry for help untended, a heartless act of folly!
The homeless and the helpless, hanging on by dubious thread,
The weary, wronged and beaten - defeated but not quite dead;
Those hidden by the system, to keep them out of view,
Their votes so unimportant, not many - too few!

And all their songs of melancholy
Waif-whisper, oh so pensive,
Slipping, quietly missed, by the oh so inattentive.
Wishing, waiting, wanting  - for notice, just on cue,
Alas, so unimportant, not many - too few!

Homelessness Australia
The Australian on Mental Health
AMA - Mental Health

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Boring Election

ABC News reported on Tuesday, 20 July, that the Australian Sex Party has accused the major parties of turning Australia into a "nanny" nation.

Boring! Bland and boring, that's what it is.
The campaign now a few days old,
Nothing ventured...nothing bold,
Just a spiel devoid of choice
No-one listening to the people's voice.

Please, give me a real policy, going forward,
One, just one, that stirs the blood,
Something more than slinging mud!
But wait, now listen, there's something hearty!
Please make welcome the Aussie Sex Party!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Abbott Bans Babies (Liberal Policy)

As the 2010 Australian election machine gets under way, Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has reiterated Liberal Party policy to place a cap on population growth. Perhaps poor Tony hasn't thought of all the consequences.

"China has a one child policy
And we will allow one, too.
One for Mum, but none for Dad,
Ah, no more, ah, one must do.

Now, you know I am of Catholic faith,
Where reproduction strongly ranks,
So it is sad that I must say it, boys,
Snip, must shoot blanks!"

Thus spoke the Abbott at election,
His policy is to ban erection!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

How To Cope With An Election

The Australian Prime Minister today announced there would be an election on August 21.  What to do, what to do........

So, now we have an election,
Which begs some introspection
While we ponder on the choices,
To face the people's voices,
And we choose ourselves a leader by popular decree.

So now we'll face the barrage,
From the election planning garage;
Unless, we quietly do a bunk
To spend five weeks calmly drunk,
Twiddling by the beach and the never-ending sea!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Political Petulance - Aussie Style

During her recent speech and Q & A session at the National Press Club, new Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, was questioned on the events of the evening prior to her elevation to the position.  The culprit who leaked the alleged details of a meeting on that night is unknown, but there were only three people present.

"Mummy, mummy, she broke my toy!"
"Mummy, mummy, she doesn't care!"
"Mummy, mummy," cried the tearful boy,
"Now she's sitting in my favourite chair!"

Now, this little boy, a child of Christ,
Believed, full well, he'd be forgiven
When he took the knife and shunned advice
Deep in her back the blade was driven!

With a silent grin he bowed his head
And prayed his prayers beside his bed.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Battler's Thought For The Day - BLOODRUST

Australia will shortly be going to a Federal election.  Like all elections, there will "mumbo jumbo", chest-thumping, polling, polling and more polling.........

Our politicians test the water
By reading another poll,
And set their plans for "moving forward"
By this method, rather droll.

Brain-stupor with power-lust!

Policies drift from birth to death
While boxes, ticked, define the slaughter.
Ah! The ebb and flow of a nation's fortunes...
"The margin's thin. Do you think we oughta!"

Intestinal atrophy - bloodrust!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Spain - Number 1

My history is a little rusty
When one thinks of grand old Spain.
Yet I know there's much more to the story
Than pirates, Columbus and the Main.

Memory drifts through Armadas' great
And Conquistadors of old,
Of Inquisitions of ferocious zeal,
Of explorers brave and bold.

There are tales, I know, of Spanish lust
To conquer far and near,
To be masters of the universe,
A power, bold, to fear.

Like all such tales, Spain rose and fell
From glorious wealth to bitter poor;
But in 2010 She rose again,
Number one, just read the football score!

2010 World Cup - Spain 1  Netherlands 0

Laurie Favelle, Canberra Australia 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Moved On!

I live in Canberra, the Australian capital.  It is the seat of our National Government and home to many national institutions.  It is a beautiful city and, as cities go, a great place to live.  It is known as "The Bush Capital" as the Australian bush encroaches to the very centre of the city.  It is this bushland, however, that provides shelter for the not so glossy resident.

These are real people.  I see them most days, or used to, until they.....Moved On!

He used to live on City Hill,
well, just to one side, actually.
Hidden deep in a cosy, bushy place
a few hundred meters from the Canberra Theatre.
A tarp for shelter
and a few bits of junk.
Not much more.
Maybe fortyish, hard to tell;
tall, thin, bedraggled - you know the look.
Haven't seen him for quite a while - not surprising.
Can't have "that" hanging around
when the "tutt-tutters" take in a show.
Moved on!

She might be forty something, too.
A handsome women, once.
Black as pitch
African, perhaps.
A supermarket trolley full of crap,
two suitcases and stuff.
Pushes her world across the bridge,
and back again.
From the shadows of Parliament
to retail paradise.
A return ticket to purgatory.
Missing of late..moved on!

I call him Jesus.
Tallish, well built,
with used-to-be blonde hair and beard
and used-to-be white clothes.
Fifty something.
He has a supermarket trolley, too,
piled high with his life.
From city outskirts to city centre
he wanders, with a passing nod at power.
Or he did...gone now...moved on!

Then there's "Carpet Top"!
Hair all matted, greasy,
under a crazy hat.
Tall, gaunt, haunted.
A battery radio for company,
different one every week, or so.
Plonks it in a doorway, music on
picking up butts.
Must have a camp near the city,
or he did.
Gone now...moved on!

And these silent ghosts,
of haunted folks,
reminders of discarded dreams,
float, quietly, across our vision
ignored, except for our derision.
Echoes of our nightmare screams!

Laurie Favelle, Canberra, July 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Miner's Dream

On the ABC's Lateline program in the late evening of July 7, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that she will not revive the government's Emission Trading Scheme until at least 2013. See

The previous week, she had announced changes to a proposed new mining tax

"Hey, Miner-Mates,
Get yerselves over here!
Boy, do I have a new tax for you."

"Oi! Prime Minister,
Do you think we're queer?
No new tax for us; what we have will do!"

"Now there, fellers
Don't be a mug!
My new tax plan you'll think is grand.
The answer is simple.
No, now don't stand and shrug!
Its a little trick called slight-of-hand."

So, with cut and paste she ducked and weaved,
A new mining tax designed to deceive,
With cut-a-bit here and tuck-a-bit there,
"Ah yes, this new tax is fare."

"OK, Miner-Mates, now listen up,
At this new plate I'll think you'll sup.
I've trimmed a little and changed the name,
But here's the important piece of the game.
You remember Kevin's old ETS,
The one that became a bit of a mess?
Well, here I grant you a miner's dream
No carbon price 'till 2013!"

Laurie Favelle, Canberra, 8 July 2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Asylum Seeker - A Journey's End

On Tuesday, the Australian government announced a new policy on the handling of asylum seekers who attempt to come to Australia by illegally engaging people smugglers.  The Opposition and Greens also made statements on this subject.

Gently falling.
No panic now, no noise.
I hold her peaceful face
Against my breast,
My hand rests upon our unborn child.
This is our journey's end,
Our resting place,
Our release from war and fear.
My hand feels the gentlest kick, more

The cold embrace of an ocean tomb
Enfolds yet more within its womb,
While others gather to debate
How the lost will be dealt their fragile fate.

Laurie Favelle, Canberra 7 July 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Abbot Point Unmasked

The North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation describe The Abbot Point Coal Terminal in the following terms:

"Situated about 25 kilometres north of Bowen, the Port of Abbot Point is Australia's most northerly coal port. The Abbot Point Coal Terminal comprises a rail in-loading facility, coal handling and stockpile areas, and a single trestle jetty and conveyor connected to a berth and shiploader, located 2.75km off-shore. The terminal is being expanded with the addition of a second wharf and shiploader as well as an additional onshore stockyard and machines.

Coal is supplied to Abbot Point by rail from Newlands, Collinsville and Sonoma mines. In addition, small quantities of coal may be brought north on the coastal rail line from the Goonyella system for export. The port terminal is operated by Abbot Point Bulk Coal Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Xstrata Coal Queensland Pty Ltd.

The port is serviced by two tugs, which are based in Bowen, and pilotage is provided by Maritime Safety Queensland. NQBP is the port authority for the port, and has three staff based in Bowen who are responsible for maintaining the Bowen wharves and providing assistance at other NQBP ports.

The Port of Abbot Point is of significant strategic value to NQBP and the State, as there are very few locations along Queensland's eastern seaboard where deep water (>15m) is so close in-shore. NQBP is considering the potential for development of a breakwater protected harbour to provide additional sheltered berths.

The coal terminal at Abbot Point, which is owned by PCQ and operated by Abbot Point Bulk Coal Pty Ltd, is currently undergoing significant expansion works."

Of course, the little bit that is not clearly revealed is that Abbot Point is right smack bang in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef.

That's the Reef right there....the dark skinny bit to the right, and below  is the Terminal with the 2.5km wharf clearly visible.

You will note, on the map to the right, the wetlands just below the Terminal, and the long stretch of beach.  So, you may ask what this is about.......(just click)...........Chalco Proposal and Chalco Home.  Certainly, this proposal appears to be clear of the wetlands and beaches, but do you really think these will remain pristine?  What we don't know, however, is what has happened to this alumina refinery proposal!

On the other hand, what we do know is that the Abbot Point coal loading facility is to be expanded rapidly.  According to the Queensland Department of Transport, Abbot Point will be handling 50 million tonnes of coal by June 2011 - double the current 25 million tonnes - and possibly as much as 110 million tonnes in the not too distant future.

Now, I'm not going to get into an environmental discussion on the merits of coal mining (I am definitely not qualified to do that).  I just want you to think about one thing - the shipping.  When you climb into your fishing boat in MacKay, or pay to experience one of the many boating/diving/fishing tours and adventures along the Barrier Reef, spare a thought for the added experience of dodging a huge number of very large ships.  When you jump into the warm and inviting Reef waters, or catch a fish, consider the possibility of some of these vessels discharging waste, leaking oil or emptying their ballast tanks as they pass by.

How many ships? I hear you ask.  Well, the Pasha Bulka, which ran aground at Newcastle, appears to have a capacity of 58000 tonnes.  The Shen Neng 1, which drove itself onto the Reef near Keppel Island earlier this year, was reported to have a capacity of 65000 tonnes.  So if we assume an average capacity of 70000 tonnes, we end up with over 700 ships by June next year.  But wait, that is 700 ships in.  They also have to depart, making over 1400 movements of very large ships in a very small waterway.  If Abbot Point achieves its target of 110 million tonnes per year, we will have over 3000 ship movements every year.  Over 3000 ship movements, all in hurry, all under pressure to reduce, or at least, control costs.

Some may believe the crews of these vessels will "do the right thing" and, probably, most of them will.  However, the Shen Neng disaster was still fresh in our minds when the Japanese bulk carrier, Mimosa, decided to take a shortcut through restricted waters (just like the Shen Neng).  This incident was reported by a London based journalist, Jim Mulrenan, in the Norwegian on-line publication,  It was dealt with by a Townsville magistrate.  We didn't hear about this close call, did we?

How many ships, choosing to take short cuts and, perhaps, sun-bake on top of the Reef, will it take to destroy it?  I thought the Great Barrier Reef was one of Australia's natural gems, to be closeted and nurtured.  Instead, it will just be another congested sea lane, in all probability ruined for future generations by coal ships, rather than climate change.  At least we won't need to solve that problem, the Reef won't be there!

Further reading: