I drive past Karen Chijoff’s electoral office in St Mary’s most mornings and most evenings. This morning at 0905 there was no sign of anyone. Granted it is always too early for the tattoo and piercing shop next door to Karen, but usually, and certainly in the run up to the election, Karen has her posters out and the place is buzzing with activity. This photo shows her office at 1830. It had not opened all day.
Who would have thought that such an unassuming little shopfront on Queen Street in St Mary’s could deliver such a monumental gift to the Australian Labor party candidate of Lindsay- David Bradbury and perhaps a decisive win for Labor federally.
A little over a week ago John and Janette HoWARd spent two days in the seat of Lindsay as part of the coalition plan to win the election one marginal seat at a time.
“Labor was making a mistake to assume it would win Lindsay, which has a margin of 2.9 per cent. They’ve tended to say, well, this one will go into our list, simply because the very popular sitting member is retiring. The Labor Party is taking Lindsay for granted. I want to say they’re mistaken in doing that.” – John HoWARd
Our PM was uncharacteristically tetchy and ill-disciplined today with this response to questions from Michelle Grattan, regarding the unfolding evidence that the culprits behind the fake flyers of Lindsay, were the husbands of the retiring and aspiring Liberal party candidate of Lindsay.
“What more can I do? I’ve condemned it, I’ve dissociated myself from it, I think it is stupid, it’s offensive, it’s wrong, it’s untrue, I mean for heaven’s sake get a sense of proportion.”- John HoWARd
He’s right you know.
We should vote HoWARd out because he took us into- and yet keeps us in- an illegal war in Iraq.
Then, in the spirit of proportionality, we’ll next see him in The Hague.
On Friday, as a thoughtful start to the last day of my working week, I was treated to a delicious cup of coffee courtesy of the your rights at work mob.
It seems that the sitting member for the seat of Lindsay– Jackie Kelly is really angry that the Unions are active in her area and she has been forced to publish 20 four-page liftout newsletters in three Penrith newspapers featuring photographs of herself with the Liberal Party’s new candidate for Lindsay, Karen Chijoff.
“There are certain benefits of incumbency and when the unions are mounting such a dishonest campaign, as they have done on WorkChoices, I have an obligation to set the record straight. I’ve spent 12 years driving unemployment down in my electorate and I would not have voted for WorkChoices if it wasn’t continuing to contribute to full employment. I’m telling my community they are being told garbage about WorkChoices by the unions and Labor.”- Jackie Kelly
Now if Jackie had at least offered to bring back a few baguettes, I might have been more sympathetic to her protestations that she has put 12 years of hard work into the electorate.
In tonight’s Leaders debate we saw arrogance, obsequiousness and finally some assertiveness.
First the arrogance:
“Mr Howard revealed in two days time, Australian force commanders will begin discussions with their coalition partners about the evolving role for those forces.”-Source
This is supposed to be a revelation. What, after four years this is the first time that the Australian Military talk to the US military about their evolving role.
Then the obsequiousness: What have the government and the Australian force commanders been doing up until this big discussion tomorrow- reading the tea leaves, tossing a coin, whatever they were told?
Finally, some assertiveness:
After having the live feed was cut, sourced from an alternative place, cut again then sourced again, Channel Nine’s director of news and current affairs John Westacott defended using the worm live to air.
“I think it’s (the worm) an editorial decision for the Nine Network, not for the leader of the Liberal Party what we put to air. I can only agree with [News Ltd chairman] John Hartigan in his excellent Andrew Olle lecture where he said that political interference in journalism is increasing, not diminishing. And this is a perfect example – the leader of the Liberal Party trying to dictate one of the key events in the election campaign.” -Source
Image from here
For far too long now, I have been promoting harm minimisation as the only model for intervention when dealing with a person living with addiction.
NO more. Inspired by Bronwyn Bishop, who chaired The winnable war on drugs: The impact of illicit drug use on families, and throughout the hearings in April and culminating in the findings, shows us how to disregard, disrespect and dismiss not only only the person, but also the data advising of harm minimisation, I have embraced zero tolerance. Zero tolerance is just as it sounds- no excuses ever!
The very first drug addict I will be demanding zero tolerance towards is John Winston HoWARd. It is my professional opinion that our PM has a psychological addiction to power (P). For the first eleven years there was a regular supply of his drug of choice and no one really got in the way of his daily fix. Kim Beazley (twice), Simon Crean and Mark Latham were all no threat to HoWARd’s regular dose of P, but then came Kevin Rudd- Kevin07, he threatened to disrupt Johnnie’s supply of the big P with poll after poll screaming that the supply of P is slipping and will inevitably end.
Initially we only saw short term lapses, then the long-term effects of Johnnie’s addiction were becoming increasingly obvious. Two Ministers felt they had to have an intervention and confront Johnnie’s P use habit. Alas, while they were concerned, no one could actually make the call to have him placed in a detox facility, where the only option is total abstinence. I observed all the classic emotions when faced with the threat of losing a drug of choice. I saw denial:
‘’I hope people understand from observing me in 30-odd years of public life that I have never run from a fight before and I don’t intend to do so now.’’ -I will get my P Johnnie.
“Well Kerry, what matters is the party has decided that they want me to stay. I want to stay. I’ve got a lot of fight in me, there’s a lot of things I want to do, and I have resolved very much to fight this election campaign like none other. And there are a lot of things I want to accomplish, and that’s why I’m staying in politics. […] I love politics and I’m still determined to try and do the best thing for this country, and I’m still determined to give my party and the Coalition a real chance of winning what will be a very difficult election.” – I may lose my P Johnnie.
and finally the classic addicts ‘use or die’ bargaining:
“… but look, can I just say something about it. I’ve given a lot of thought to this, and my position to the next election, and this is what I’ll be telling the Australian people is, is very simple. If the Australian people are good enough and kind enough to re-elect me again, there are a lot of things I want to do, and I would want to approach those things with enormous energy.”- Please let me have my P Johnnie.
Johnnie displayed and continues to display, classic withdrawal anxiety symptoms as he faces the real possibility of abrupt discontinuation of his P.
As said, inspired by Bronwyn Bishop and her total lack of compassion or civility to anyone with an opposing view, I propose that we not give Johnnie another chance, we instead place him as far away from the big P as possible and never, ever let him get his Power back.
In the spirit of zero tolerance and with thanks to the words of the Chair:
Johnnie would have to make a case for keeping his seat, or it would be taken away. He would not be able to get the seat back even if he became drug free at a later stage. The electorate would benefit from being given “a real chance at life”, instead of living under a system with a leader who only wanted them to get a Power fix to feed his addiction.
Image from here