Possums Pollytics

Politics, elections and piffle plinking

It’s true – they’ve gone mad and eaten Mark Textor.

Posted by Possum Comitatus on November 20, 2007


OK, let’s try to follow the logic.

We have the Coalition that is well behind in the polls and where one of the primary reasons, if not the primary reason for the thumping the electorate is giving them is the impact (real and imaginary) of Workchoices on peoples lives.

It’s electoral poison. The policy that dares not speak its name is not spoken of for a reason – very bad things happen to the Coalition vote when it starts getting mentioned.

So Howard, in his current state of madness, thinks it’s a really spiffy idea to come out and not only throw the focus back onto Workchoices, but say:

If we win on Saturday then the reforms that we have brought about will never be reversed by a future federal Labor government…. They will become part of the furniture. They will become so embedded in our business and workplace culture that no future Labor government would be able to reverse them.”


Vote for us and the policy that you hate the most will be guaranteed to exist forever?

What sort of madness is that?

It makes Howard look like he’s not only arrogant, but that he hates the part of the electorate that changed votes because of Workchoices, and is hell bent on punishing them for it.

I don’t know what drug induced focus groups that intellectual gem came out of, but I’d be asking for my money back. Even if the Coalition is cutting its losses over the Workchoices vote in the east and is just trying to shore up support in WA where they think Workchoices plays better (as well as with the nonsense conviction vote spiel) – they’re still risking a further swing away from them in their soft vote in the East. Especially from those people that don’t like Workchoices but aren’t yet convinced to vote Labor. Looking arrogant, out of touch and having the whiff of retribution about you is simply not a good look.

When we take into account the fact that the Coalition knew that their Workchoices Mk II documents were going to be raised in public as they successfully blocked FOI attempts over them, and that this would inevitably make them look devious and untrustworthy over further IR reform – why would you say what Howard said above?

Either the Liberal strategy team are complete tools, or they’ve all gone mad and eaten Mark Textor.


To add fuel to the fire, now we have Barnyard Joyce  saying he’ll support the ALP IR legislation in the Senate.

What a circus.

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51 Responses to “It’s true – they’ve gone mad and eaten Mark Textor.”

  1. kwoff.com said

    It’s true – they’ve gone mad and eaten Mark Textor. « Possums Pollytics

    OK, let’s try to follow the logic.

    We have the Coalition that is well behind in the polls and where one of the primary reasons, if not the primary reason for the thumping the electorate is giving them is the impact (real and imaginary) of Workchoice…

  2. BV said


    Score one more for B Loughnane, Liberal Party, Canberra

  3. Matthew said

    To be honest, I think the reason Howard said what he said was because not only is he certainly going to lose on Saturday, but he might want to appear as though he stuck to his principles right through to the very end, despite what the electorate decided.

    That’s the only reading I can take from his comments, because any other way makes them look more dumb than dumb itself. Certainly, Kevin Rudd could seemingly do nothing wrong this week – the LNP are handing them the election on a plate!

  4. GS said

    It MUST be a “hold on from WA” perspective. Will we really be waiting for WA results to know the outcome this time??

  5. David said

    As a long-dead Greek bloke (whose name eludes me for the moment) said, “Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.”

  6. Will of Kooyong said

    Possum: I think they’re trying to tap in to the referendum about IR. The ALP have been saying it all along, and now at the very last minute the Coalition is saying this is it, if we win, no matter how small, we will claim it as a win for IR and the ALP will have to go lick its wounds.

  7. Hotlips said

    I think that in an attempt to counter the impact of Rudd’s appearance on the commedy show “Rove”, Howard thought he would “me-too plus more” Rudd and actually START his own commedy show!

    It is known by the name “Liberal Campaign 2007” (the pilot episode was entitled “Go For Growth” but it had to be changed for some reason).

    Abbott was originally billed as the main funny man, but in this final week Howard is making his play for getting the most laughs by pitching his joke called “Workchoices rulez, ok?”.

  8. bryn said

    Workchoices to last a thousand years perhaps? Sounds familiar.

  9. steve_e said

    Malcolm from Wentworth is helping achieve the above referenced goal.

    His $11 Million dollar grant to make it rain where there are no clouds (payment of taxpayer funds is to one of his supporter’s company). This is beyond desperate, it is fool hardy. Whatever your view of the science, it is VERY hard to justify this level of financial support when support is denied to alternative ways to encourage rain.

    He has also lost about 7% of his electorate (Pink Vote) with a preference deal to the Church based Right Wing.

    Perhaps he does not really want to be in Parliament any more.

  10. John V K said

    Howard told them to challenge him, I guess specifically Costello. They had no ticker. Rudd will take some of his stuff thru, Rudd said that he will take advice from all points and mentioning Howard by name.

    There may be a game in play we dont know about. We know they have been in their fall back position all along.

    But maybe this is Howard finally taking all of the responsibility for Work Choices, trying to get some heat off the team. Very dangerous gambit. But in the end game all gambits are dangerous.

  11. John V K said

    The Bush has spoken to the nationals, finally.

    Or the Nationals have finally listened. Those national numbers must be heart breaking. The bush if it moves it does so with deadly intent and it just dont stop. They speak very softly and they mean what they say.

    I’ve been in a meeting after one of these sorting outs. Not pretty.

    Rudds been given a mandate on IR.

  12. Hotlips said

    So, is Howard trying to take the heat by embracing Workchoices while Turnbull tries to take it by buying a magic rain machine???


  13. Kina said

    Howard understands that the only way to recover is to bounce very hard off the bottom. This is a strategy to make their vote plummett so fast that it will bounce high enough to win the election [in 2016].

    I don’t which is more scary, Howard’s WorkChoices threats or the threat of guaranteed Costello take-over! AND that joint interview – brrrrrr.

  14. codger said

    “Part of my mission this week is to drive home the risk” the apologist at large & Sham-I-am inform us in a joint set piece; things must be serious.
    On the other hand Dolly is campaigning in the seat du jour of Singapore. Hmmm.

  15. Bruce said

    This is part of the Administrative Appeal tribunals judgement against the FOI application:
    ‘”The Government is currently accountable in the context of workplace relations for its acts and omissions regarding the workplace relations law that has been enacted and not for amendments to that law that it may enact in the future,” AAT deputy president Stephanie Forgie said.’

    Why do I somehow suspect the vast majority of Australians would beg to differ?

  16. johnl said

    One has to wonder how Howard and his advisers ever managed a reputation as shrewd politicians.
    First, Howard calls an election for 24 November, some three weeks after all the signs (at the time of calling the election) made an interest rate rise after Melbourne Cup Day an odds-on bet..
    Then, they don’t factor in the fact that there will be a UN climate report just before the election. And if there’s anythng designed to put the focus on climate change, that was it.
    Then, Howard goes on a spending spree just after the Reserve Bank issues a warning about more interest rate rises. This leaves the opening for Rudd to adopt a fiscally conservative attitude by only promising 25 per cent of Howard’s campaign launch spending in his campaign launch.
    Then, in what will be seen as a tactic of dubious value, Howard goes on a lightweight current affairs show with Costelllo to talk about their “happy marriage” while still stubbornly refusing to recognise the reality of gay marriages. Added to this is that even blind Freddie’s dog knows that Howard and Costello detest each other.
    Finally, we get the perversetactics of appealing to the public to vote for the Coaltion so that the Workchoice reforms can be preserved. It may move a few votes in Western Australia among mining executives, but it’s difficult to see what else this will accomplish.
    To Howard and his team, thanks.

  17. George said

    Poss, I agree with you – I’ve been trying to figure out what the hell the strategy is with respects to comments about Workchoices from the Coalition, but after reading your article above, I think the answer is that there’s been some serious nasal snorting going on, and there’s no real strategy.

    I feel a walloping coming on.

    I can’t remember whether I read it here or elsewhere, but it has been mentioned that John Howard is not a very good election campaigner:

    – The twin prime ministers
    – Go for Growth
    – Tsunami of economic downturn
    – sorry-gate
    – We’ll make workchoices part of the furniture…

    Yes, a REALLY good campaigner….

    Some people above are saying that he [Howard] might be going with Workchoices to get the heat off those who will remain behind after Saturday’s slaughter. I beg to differ. Howard is embracing HIS Workchoices, standing by them, reinforcing his ideological vision for this country, because at the end of the day “love me or loath you know where…” Whatever!

  18. Bruce said

    Re steve_e @9,
    I actually think a greater crime than Turnbull’s rain dance is this:
    Experts ignored in climate funding

    That’s $50 million misdirected to hamper Australia’s research into the impact of climate change on Australia and how we could adapt, which was the purpose of the research.

    This government is doing absolutely everything it can to sabortage the climate of this planet and our future with it.

  19. Kate Ellis for PM said

    Madness I would say Poss. This is the usual physiological response of (power) addicts when they realise that they are about to lose the supply of drugs.

  20. John V K said

    George 17

    If there is a logic to the move it’s the only logic to it that can apply.
    personally I’ve been saying he’s been nuts for over a year, ignoring treasury doing things of a major nature without budgets, rushing things.

    They should have chopped him Costello and that Minchin yonks ago. Simple.

  21. Jess said

    I just spoke to an old neighbour of mine who is ex-army, supports the war in Iraq etc, and is generally a conservative voter and he has already voted prepoll for Labor. The one reasons he gave – IR… “I just reakon this IR workchoices thing is wrong – I don’t want to be forced onto an AWA”…”it is the biggest mistake they made”

    Without a doubt Howard has gone mad!

  22. nomad3 said

    Guys, guys, guys, just some more of the issues that get up my nose with regard to the rodent

    Asylum seekers
    Children overboard
    Children in detention
    Pork Barelling
    $200 M advertising
    Anti terror laws
    Interest Rates
    Migrant tests
    Exclusive Bretheren funding
    The Republic issue ( and how he sabotaged the referendum)
    David Hicks
    Illegal deportation of aussie citizens (Solon, Alvarez)
    The Pacific Solution
    The fact he gave money to support his brothers business when it was broke.
    Flagpoles in schools (WTF ? )
    History lessons compulsory (what a visionary !!!)

    Sycophantic support for G W Bush

    Two things i wanna point out … do we blame howard for all the above ..or blame those around him for not having the guts to take him on ?

    Secondly, Have I missed anything ?

    Have I missed anything

  23. Socrates said

    I think it is the real Howard finally coming out under pressure, unlike the manufactured for public consumption version that minders served up to us in past elections. People should remember Howard’s past statements on many issues from Asian immigration to public welfare. He has always been insanely conservative and smashing unions and public health systems was his dream.

    But yes, it is funny at this time. They should rename the Liberal campaign Kevin17 because that is the result they are aiming for.

  24. ViggoP said

    David, Euripides ca 2400 years BCE (Before Current Election).

  25. Steve K said

    Good list nomad3 but there’s at least one glaring omission. What about Howard’s lack of serious ministerial standards? Some of the other things in your list are due in no small measure to ministers getting away with slack attitudes and bully boy behaviour.

  26. Cat said

    If they have eaten Mark Textor hopefully they will choke on him.
    What interests me is that no matter how much their chickens come home to roost as their luck finally deserts them the line stays rock steady. They are not gaining votes but neither are they losing masses of them! Really unless something dramatic happens both sides might as well have saved themselves the money, the public really did make up their minds in December.

    I hope the public’s clinical approach carries through the day. I am working on booths in two electorates on Saturday (my own slime bucket Ruddock plus Parramatta) and I could do with as little aggro from the punters as possible.

    Oh and Poss given a few others are suggesting songs for the last post (so to speak) can I suggest “Long time comin” by Bruce Springsteen (preferably the version off Live in Dublin). I was singing along to it the other day and was hoping to be doing the same on Saturday night!

  27. paul said

    Yep, howard is free-basing coke. Holding onto 2 seats in the west looks good when you are losing 30 in the east.

  28. Stef said

    A comprehensive list nomad3. But I would add attack dogs on the waterfront.

  29. Ronin said

    Since nothing seems to be working, John Howard is reverting to his ‘gut instincts’. John Howard won using interest rate in a scare campaign in 2003, now he’s trying to repeat the success with IR. He actually thinks the election can still be won, and he is going for a ‘double or nothing’ approach. As he’s going to retire even if the Coalition wins, there is no downside for him.

    The same cannot be said for a Coalition MP trying to hang on to their seats. This could be the trigger to an implosion.

  30. Rog said

    You get the feeling that he’s like a boxer that’s been hit too many times – in desperation he has returned to his core character and beliefs because all the pretense of fairness and empathy glued on by his handlers is gone – the civilised mask has slipped and the true nature of the beast is revealed: “I’m going to force the legislation you hate the most so far down your throats it’ll never come out…”

  31. john said

    Possum; I think we need to understand the Coalition’s underlying attitude and mindset on two important points. Firstly, they are so enamored with their own propaganda that they cannot separate reality from myth in the way in which the electorate views their policies. The damage of a paternalistic attitude and mindset of ‘ we know best’ and ‘what is good for you’, even though the public tells them that they are wrong (12 months of negative polls), cannot be understood from within their ranks, only 20 years in the wilderness will do that. Secondly, ‘the born to rule mentality’ which prevails as the only true leaders of this country has so warped their perspective they have lost the capability to think logically.

  32. Stuart said

    Howard is trying his ‘conviction’ politician act – as he said at the opening of this campaign “love me or loath me, you know where I stand”. Or the last election “How do you trust…” or the one before “We decide who comes to this country and the manner in which they come” He desperately wants a polarised fight.

  33. dylwah said

    Possum; maybe he wants to take Costello with him and trumpeting workchoises is the only way that he thinks that he can get the vote down low enough.

    My song for election night – PIL: Rise (anger is an energy)


  34. KeepingALidOnIt said

    It is all a bit odd. I put it down to lack of Arthur Sinodinos. But Crosby Textor (if they had any hand in this) don’t always get it right – didn’t Lynton Crosby go to the UK and advise the UK Tories on an immigration dog whistle campaign that backfired badly and caused their primary vote to drop?

  35. hergs said

    I still haven’t seen Rudd pulverise Howard over his remark that Workchoices will remain as part of the “furniture”. Why isn’t he taking him to task over this? I haven’t seen anything on this remark in the news anywhere besides online (has it been covered on TV news?). What I don’t get is how could he actually make that possible, would it be written into constitutional law or something? Seems very undemocratic.

  36. stevet said

    Well it looks like we are witnessing the dying days of the Howard junta. Even the betting markets are starting to go crazy. Centrebet was out to $4.95 for the Coalition but has “firmed” to about $4.50.

  37. SIEV XI said

    Who could have imagined that the LNP would get so screwy in the end of days? They are becoming epic, indeed biblical in their efforts, magic rain, work choices for ever, bashing Banton, bullshit, backstabbing, John and Pete getting married on ACA, the list goes on and on. I suspect we all knew we’d see some indiscipline in the face of these polls of deadly intent, but did we really expect to see them go to the shitter so badly (that reminds me, JWH’s 100 new shitters, another masterstroke!).

  38. PASOK said

    I’ve been tracking the Centrebet price. It has crossed $5.00 twice in the last 4 days – Saturday and early this morning.

    The only thing that keeps it returning to the sub $5 mark is the hardened gambler going for a value bet against hope that pollsters have been doing their rounds in safe Labor seats rather than the seats that batter (thanks Dolly).

  39. Why don’t we have rubbery figures puppets these days? Could have been a golden age. Magic rain. That’s very funny. To water the magic beans no doubt.

  40. B.L. said

    The Libs are claiming 13 ALP candidates are ineligible


    “The shock development threatens to create a major distraction for Kevin Rudd’s run to the poll.”

    Yeah, I bet it does, at least in the pages of the GG.

  41. Going, going... said

    @hergs, why should St Kevin expend the effort digging JWH’s grave when JWH is happily digging it himself?

    (Howard expects that if he gets back in, WorkChoices would become ingrained in Australian IR culture. But there would be nothing legal stopping a future Government from repealing it)

  42. Crosby Textor look like they’ll be pretty much on the nose after this. Will anyone give them work?

  43. hergs said

    Going, going…lol true

  44. Moondark said

    And Lynton Crosby is claiming that “Coalition ‘closing in on win'”. There are also some comments about what a great campaign they are having…


  45. Well no one can say that John Howard didn’t go down swinging. Fresh air swings – but swinging none the less!

    As long as the swinging voters don’t start lining up to start…swinging…

  46. dkindon said

    Andrew Robb has just alleged that a further 12 ALP Candidates’ nominations (in addition to George Newhouse) are invalid due to technicalities relating to resignation from positions of profit under the Crown prior to nominating for the election.

  47. Mark said

    Mmm… I wonder what those further workcplace reforms would be? Perhaps lowering the minimum pay and conditions for 457 visa workers.

  48. Aspirational Aspirationalist said

    I’ll have to go back and weave Barnaby into the story by having Senator Brown talk about knowing an insider that would sabotage the Workstar if defeat looked likely. And link it to the explosions prior to Lord Smirks exit…..
    See https://possumcomitatus.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/the-race-against-the-cashrate-clock/#comment-3758

    But seriously, good on him for being able to make up his own mind.

    I recently asked a candidate in my seat (who i believe will win) what they would cross the floor for. The answer i got was that they would argue in the party room and argue hard (which i believed) and they wouldnt be a sook and cross the floor if the argument was lost but crossing the floor wasnt ruled out (which is what i really wanted to hear). And there was a bit of shocked gasp from the crowd as i said the words “cross the floor for”.

    As for the policy existing forever.Perhaps someone should explain to John “If a Labor government has the numbers in the green room and the maroon room, that they can pretty much pass whatever legislation they wanted, like you did. And that they could make it even better by considering suggestions from others in the rooms, like you didn’t.”
    On the last sitting day of senate they talked about pension benefits for people in same sex relations. Greens and democrats ammendments rejected only to say they would pass it if they were re-elected. WTF?

    I thought that a government could repeal or ammend any legislation.

    My song for the night: Anastacia, “Sick and Tired” with the ammendment that the word “Love” be replaced with the word “Vote”.

  49. rossco said

    I assume Robb has checked to make sure there are no Liberal candidates who would fail his eligibility test. Seems a bit strange that only Labor candidates get caught up on this sort of trap. Would be great to find Robb has shot himself in the foot by raising this issue.

  50. AJ said

    I’m creating a Saturday evening playlist.

    This is what I’ve got so far. Can anyone add it it?

    Bruce Springsteen – Long time Coming (a good choice cited earlier)
    Cold Chisel – You’ve got nothing I want
    Tom Petty – Don’t Come around here no more
    The Angels – Am I ever gunna see your face again? (with the well known refrain)
    Queen – Another one bites the dust (as each Lib seat falls)
    Gonna – Cheatin man (for ‘Honest John’)
    John Lennon – Power to the People
    Tism – Denial works for me (about the Libs election chances)
    The Rolling Stones – Its all over now
    Metallica – For whom the Bell Tolls or Creeping Death (Can’t decide which)
    Pink Floyd – Not now John or Run Like Hell

    cheers, aj

  51. denise said

    last time A.C. Neilson where spot on i rang my labor members office who cofirmed that with me.

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