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.