December 06, 2004


The Australian Labor Party continues its entertaining self-destruction:

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie says the federal Labor leadership crisis will eventually impact on state ALP governments.

He urged the federal party to make a decision on Mark Latham's leadership before Christmas or face a nationwide popularity slump.

"This is why the federal party doesn't have the luxury to continue to play these games," he told reporters.

"The longer this goes on, every day we get a comment, every day we suffer a bit more, every day we take a bit more pain, every day we lose a few more votes, every day we lose a bit more credibility."

The warning comes after senior federal Labor MP Bob McMullan predicted the end of Mr Latham's leadership by February if he failed to perform.

Hey, maybe they'll replace him with charming Stephen Conroy. Meanwhile, the government keeps making the right decisions.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 6, 2004 11:49 AM

The longer this goes on the better, even if Latham is deposed he is going to snipe from the sidelines bringing the ALP down with him.

The goal is to reduce the ALP to 50 seats at the next election.

Posted by: klein at December 6, 2004 at 12:05 PM


Why don't you guys just do what Canada did? Just sign the damn thing and then ignore it.

Man, you people have no idea how to curry favor with world opinion...

Posted by: richard mcenroe at December 6, 2004 at 12:09 PM

It's the pretense that counts. Reality is just a random intellectual construct even with the truck bearing down....

Posted by: amortiser at December 6, 2004 at 12:20 PM

And I thought Conroy was one of the half-way decent ones. I'm almost inclined to give up trying to understand this rabble.

Posted by: C.L. at December 6, 2004 at 12:55 PM

The most noteworthy thought I took away from Bob McMullan's comments was that the only "performance" measures were going to be the polls.
We've always known the ALP is a party completely driven by the polls. This little snippet confirms it to be the case.
Come February the gang at Roy Morgan Research will no doubt have Latham as the prefered Prime Minister.

Posted by: Intellectual Gladiator at December 6, 2004 at 01:52 PM

How exactly is not signing Kyoto the "right decision"? Thats the most ridiculous thing Ive ever heard.

Posted by: Nic White at December 6, 2004 at 02:51 PM

Nic: it's possible you say that because you are merely ignorant and gullible, not stupid and hardheaded. But I won't bother to explain to you that this pretty sheaf of papers will do nothing to stop Global Warming, especially as so-called Global Warming 1) increasingly looks to be a natural weather phenomena quite disconnected with the rise in sales of Cadillac Escalades, 2) would probably not be the Bad Thing it's been made out to be (I'll bet they'd like to be able to grow grapes in England again the way they were able to during the Middle Ages), and is a smokescreen issue anyway as the real aim of the Kyoto-ites is a scheme by the wealth-redistributionists to damage the "unfair" economies of wealthy nations like the US in favor of supposedly Cute Struggling Hobbit Nations like China, whose heavily polluting industries are untouched by the Treaty.

Anyway, I look forward to not reading your long, boring, defense of this waste of paper.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 6, 2004 at 03:13 PM

I like the way the author of the SMH article remembers the first time he met Conroy in a public toilet....and then a few sentences later speaks of his 'cockiness'. :-)

Posted by: Dylan at December 6, 2004 at 03:19 PM

How exactly is not signing Kyoto the "right decision"? Thats the most ridiculous thing Ive ever heard.

Offer some proof for us to believe otherwise, Nic. It better be better than your argument that Kofi Annan had no culpability in the Oil-For-Food scam.

Posted by: Quentin George at December 6, 2004 at 03:20 PM


One point of order, it was the oil-for-palaces scam.

Refusing to sign the Kyoto accord is like the Aus government refusing to sign the ASEAN amity and co-operation treaty. It was noted in the arguments for Australia to sign this bit of paper that India AND Pakistan had both signed it. Forgive me for pointing this out but India and Pakistan have a real life shooting match going on in Kashmir at the moment, but no one is invoking that bit of paper to resolve the Kashmir issue.

I like the fact that our current government only signs bits of paper that it genuinely believes in, and will take the appropriate steps demanded. For example, invoking the ANZUS pact after 9/11.

Posted by: Pauly at December 6, 2004 at 03:50 PM

Conroy's real offence in the toilet was that he didn't wash his hands? What was he doing: jacking off?

Posted by: mr magoo at December 6, 2004 at 04:01 PM

They say a picture says 1000 words.
Witness the "No data or non-contracting party" segment of the globe to prove that the Kyoto Protocol would be more useful as toilet paper.

Posted by: Intellectual Gladiator at December 6, 2004 at 04:19 PM

Omitting to wash the hands after using a urinal used to be - I think still is - considered the mark of an English Gentlemen: it showed he was confident that he was not infected with a loathsome disease in that area (washing the hands after using the arsenal was of course another matter).

Naturally, a member of the Labor Party is by definition not a gentleman, however.

Posted by: Sue at December 6, 2004 at 05:58 PM

That Beattie is critical of Latham is not a surprise. He was hardly a zealous supporter of his prior to his election as ALP federal leader. Although Beattie has been in a bit of strife of late, he has displayed a great ability to appeal to a broad cross-section of Queenslanders: a skill which has been defined as "inclusive populism" and less catchily, "metapopulism". Latham, on the other hand, has proven to be divisive. Personally, I think Tanner may ultimately prevail, which may please the readers because he could in no way be described as left-wing. As for Conroy, well he wouldn't be the first bloke in Australia not to wash his hands after taking a piss, but, good looks aside, he is a nasty piece of work, and I think the author is correct to see the problems in the party as bigger than Latham. Probably about the worst three hours - felt like three years - of my life was spent at an ALP faction meeting with big egos, manipulative arseholes, obnoxious wankers, yes-people and humourless gits (it was a left faction meeting, by the way - comrade): Conroy epitomises all these qualities - mate. The ALP is ossified, tired, lacking in honest self-reflection and full of itself. By the way, I want to buy an ad, but I can't access paypal because I maxed out my credit cards on ALP memberships (if anyone would like to join I have several hundred in my back pocket). Is there any other method of selling my soul and my site. Cheers.

Posted by: Darlene Taylor at December 6, 2004 at 06:21 PM

Paul Sheahan's concluding sentence in his op-ed about Conroy today was simply masterful.

Mind you I read somewhere that Frenchmen wash their hands before going to the pissoir, or was it something someone who told me. Who cares.

When the left decide to wage war amongst themselves, it is a sight to behold and read.

Posted by: Louis Hissink at December 6, 2004 at 08:15 PM

Not signing the Kyoto Protocol is, as Tim writes, correct.

The science behind it is slowly being demolished, and there are more demolitions to come.

The disquieting thing is that Senator Ian Campbell seems to have had his brain addled by the Global Warming crowd.

As I posted in the Henry Thornton site yesterday, it very looks like the surface temperature of the earth, or more correctly the temperature of the atmosphere, has been incorrectly estimated. If that proves to be the case, then the whole edifice should come crashing down except for one factor - the Goebbels one.

If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes accepted, and that seems to be what has happened.

Posted by: Louis Hissink at December 6, 2004 at 08:21 PM

You know, I used to think that Kyoto was fairly reasonable. Then I read today in Discover that:

Russia endorses the Kyoto Protocol to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Participating countries must reduce CO2 output to 5 percent of 1990 levels by 2012. The U.S. and Australia have opted out; developing countries are exempt. (emphasis added)

I reckon that if global warming/climate change is a significant risk, it can't be dealt with fiddly little reductions in CO2 emissions - rather we'll have to come up with technologies that'll do for CO2 emissions what the internal combustion engine did to urban horse manure levels.

In addition, the environmentalists seem more interested in getting countries to sign a piece of paper than getting countries to reduce CO2 emissions.

(The same page in Discover mentioned Wangari Maathai's winning the Nobel Peace Prize without anything about her whacko views on AIDS)

Posted by: Andjam at December 6, 2004 at 09:05 PM

I was once washing my hands in a public urinal, when the genial gentleman at the next basin cheerfully turned to me and asked " you piss on yout hands, too?"

Posted by: jlchydro at December 6, 2004 at 10:25 PM

I was once washing my hands in a public urinal, when the genial gentleman at the next basin cheerfully turned to me and asked " you piss on yout hands, too?"

Posted by: jlchydro at December 6, 2004 at 10:28 PM

Louis, you don't seem to be aware of how GISS calculates average surface temperatures. Perhaps you could correct your column?

Posted by: Tim Lambert at December 6, 2004 at 11:09 PM

Mr. Lambert and Mr. Hissink, since neither of you have had the common courtesy to link to the website you are arguing over could you please confine your argument to that website?

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 7, 2004 at 09:38 AM