Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Prime Minister Julia Gillard loses 500,000 male voters in a month with her "blue tie" speech

Seen as hostile to men

WHEN the NSW branch of the Labor Party was told by the Prime  Minister's office they wanted to do a membership outreach for women it was seen as another part of the bigger social media push being waged in the run up to the September election.

It was organised with the help of the famed Sussex Street operation but the media for it was left to Gillard's office.

NSW officials wondered what was going on when they saw a Sunday newspaper preview of the event but didn't think too much of it.

However, when it went from what was assumed to be a narrow cast to women party  members to a national rallying cry for all women, officials were alarmed.

Within minutes of Gillard delivering what's now called the "blue tie" speech, calls  came into party offices - not just in NSW - questioning the wisdom of such a strident feminist call.

Now we've got some scientific evidence of just how cack-handed this was.

Yesterday's Nieslen survey recorded one of the biggest shifts in a gender  demographic pollsters can remember.

Gillard's vote from women was unchanged - a statistically insignificant 1 per cent  rise - while the male vote fell off a cliff.

In primary vote terms, Gillard lost 7 per cent of men which is about 500,000 males  walking away from the ALP in a month. In preferred votes it was a 10 per cent  collapse.

This is an example of the political tin ear Simon Crean said Gillard had after he was  sacked as a minister.

It's also a peek into the strategic wasteland that's put Gillard on a road to nowhere.

First, they grab an idea from the US as if that's clever in itself. They then misapply  it to Australia by thinking the critical mass the Barack Obama campaign has is replicable here.

Lastly, they introduce the trademark Three Stooges touch by falling over  themselves and then blaming each other for the failure.

You have wonder what the Prime Minister's office thinks it's doing.

They put out, with Gillard's blessing, two message in the blue tie speech: women  would be banished from political debate and abortion would be back on the agenda if Tony Abbott was PM.

Neither passed the sniff test. The person on the Ferny Grove train wouldn't think these things are likely.  The Nielsen poll says this assessment was spot on.


Coalition to deport refugees convicted of crimes

Refugees could be sent back to their countries or imprisoned indefinitely for committing most crimes in Australia under a Coalition government.

This comes despite warnings by legal experts that the changes would be illegal under international law.

The federal Coalition announced on Sunday that, if it was elected, foreigners convicted of crimes punishable by more than one year in jail would have their visas cancelled automatically, even if they were sentenced to less than a year's imprisonment.

Such people - including refugees, asylum seekers and visitors - would lose their right to appeal except in "special circumstances". They would be detained until they could be deported and would not be allowed to return to Australia for 20 years, double the present period.

This follows Bureau of Statistics figures in March that showed asylum seekers living in the community on bridging visas were about 45 times less likely to be charged with a crime than members of the general public.

The proposed changes would significantly broaden the immigration minister's power to cancel the visa of people sentenced to more than one year in prison.

Shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison said the minister would consider the circumstances of each case, but confirmed that, under the changes, refugees could be sent back to the countries they came from.

The Refugee Convention allows signatory countries to deport refugees in limited circumstances, including those who present "compelling reasons of national security" and a "danger to the security of the country in which he is" or, having been convicted of "a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the community of that country".

Mr Morrison said that foreigners could also be held in detention indefinitely in cases where it was not possible to deport them, citing examples of people who had been detained indefinitely despite having committed serious crimes in Australia.

A senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre, Daniel Webb, said it was unlawful to deport someone to a place where they were at risk of persecution.

Liberty Victoria president Jane Dixon, SC, said the changes would include most Australian crimes, and raised concerns that the Coalition was guided by "maximum sentences rather than the context of what led to the offending".


Wind protesters take fight to Canberra

CONTROVERSIAL shock jock Alan Jones will host an anti-wind farming rally in Canberra on Tuesday.

The rally is scheduled to start at 10am (AEST) on the front lawns of Parliament House and will include addresses by Independent Senator Nick Xenophon and Liberal MP Alby Schultz.

Protest organisers on the stopthesethings.com website have warned that the rally might be "spoiled" by pro-wind farming groups who my turn up with "Ditch the Witch type placards".

Labor MP Kelvin Thomson told parliament on Monday that people had nothing to fear about wind farming.


WA Government to slash 1,200 public sector jobs

The WA Opposition says the Government's decision to cut 1,200 jobs and cap its annual wages bill is an insult to public servants and the wider community.

The so-called efficiency measures have sparked fiery scenes in State Parliament.

Around 1,000 workers will be offered voluntary redundancies, while 200 others could be sacked under the public sector reforms.

The Government will also introduce a new wage policy to keep pay rises in line with the rate of inflation.

Premier Colin Barnett says the state's annual wage bill is rising by about 8.5 per cent every year and that it is not sustainable in today's tough economic climate.

"This is a responsible action, it is a necessary action and it is an early action," he said.

But Opposition Leader Mark McGowan says the move is outrageous, especially in light of recent hefty pay rises given to ministerial staffers.

"These job cuts are a rude slap in the face to the people of Western Australia after the Premier went on a hiring spree in his own office and lavished pay rises of up to 52 per cent on his favoured staffers," he said.

"What sort of example is that for the public sector and the people of WA?"

Treasurer Troy Buswell says it is not sustainable for the Government to continue spending almost 50 per cent of its budget on public wages.

He says the Government is acting early to avoid dramatic job losses, as seen in Queensland.

"I think we're reacting sensibly and one of the reasons we're reacting sensibly is exactly to avoid what the Queensland Government has had to do," he said.

"I'm not going to do that, we have to fundamentally change the way we do business."

The Premier says he does not expect the cuts to affect frontline services, but concedes teachers, nurses and police officers are likely to be among those who take voluntary redundancies.
Union says Premier ignoring reality

However, the Community and Public Sector Union has rejected the Premier's claim, with spokeswoman Toni Walkington saying Mr Barnett is ignoring reality.

"Of course it's going to affect frontline services," she said.

"Clearly the Premier has not been taking heed of messages that many in our community are sending to him about the fact that there a huge waiting times in a whole range of services."

Mr McGowan says he has no doubt the cuts will effect services.
CPSU Secretary Toni Walkington Photo: Toni Walkington says frontline services will be affected. (ABC)

"Now we're likely to see some of the most experienced nurses, teachers and police in WA leave the public service at a time we're struggling to find people to do those vital jobs," he said.

Mr Barnett says WA is the only jurisdiction in Australia that cannot make involuntary severances.

"While job security is always important, gone are the days when it was appropriate for people to regard a job in the public service as life-long tenure," he said.

Mr Barnett has also announced a cap on the salaries budgets of government agencies and a new wages policy to ensure pay increases remain in line with inflation.

The Government hopes the measures will save $2 billion over the next four years.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the reforms are proof the State Government understands the budget challenges it currently faces.

Spokesman Tim Bray says the package goes a long way towards addressing those challenges.

"There's certainly been lots of pressures on the state budget over a long period of time, not just the last term of government but the last decade," he said.

"So what we're pleased to see is that they are taking action, and this is good strong action to try to bring the budget back into check."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know I'm starting to see a vague plan behind the election race, which has become about Gillard vs Rudd. What this little charade is doing is starving Tony Abbott and the Liberals of coverage, and creating in the minds of the multitudes who vote based on media-created personalities a two horse race between Labor figures. A late lunge by Rudd, calculated to bring the election inside the new leader "honeymoon" period will give us the spectacle of Labor in effect defeating Labor, with the Liberal Party forgotten in all the drama. I don't know yet if its an unintended consequence of the Gillard/Rudd hate-fest or if its actually part of a plan. I'm now watching for the kind of synergy that suggest planning in all of this, because otherwise you couldn't make it up.