AFP goons? tsssk tsssk, Kevin!

I-filed 12 May 2008 49

According to footage on “Insiders” on ABC this morning, Kevin Rudd’s staff are using the AFP as ‘goons’ to keep the press away, and herding them around in a most undemocratic manner. The footage shows an AFP officer threatening to block the Channel 10 camera “all day”. Add to that an account, again on Insiders, of the Rudd Government media minders having the gall to tell media reps (citizens) that they cannot ask questions of members of the public (fellow citizens) at ‘community cabinets’. Sounding chillingly “Left” I must say. Does Rudd also have a cultural understanding of North Korea that we’re seeing glimmerings of?

Then there’s Rudd refusing to be filmed during radio interviews. What the? How do you air interesting parts of a radio interview during the TV news without footage? It would serve Rudd right if all the TV channels ran “CENSORED IMAGE” across those broadcasts.

To top it all off, according to a reliable source, even his ministers are finding Rudd’s sycophantic celebrityism – he blushes and goes all coy in the company of movie stars – cringeworthy.

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49 Responses to AFP goons? tsssk tsssk, Kevin!
tap tap 10:31 am 13 May 08

I for one would never have saluted JWH. Even the thought of that is repellant.

Haven’t saluted Rudd either.

In fact, im not sure I have ever saluted anyone.

Its fine if some people want to salute some other people, but surely it shows little about a persons character in this day and age.

working Australians working Australians 10:13 am 13 May 08

It is really funny how easy the old liberal guard rise tothe bait isn’t it, how the wrap themselves in the flag “when I marched past on Anzac Day” what a joke you are, free thinking people dont give respect to liars like JWH, but I forget all the ideas they have must be approved by there leader first

careful people your old red under the beds crap is starting to show

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 9:52 am 13 May 08

Apologies, I didn’t intend to post that entire transcript. But Barrie…but Barrie!

Have a read anyway, and it’ll show you just how repetitive and unoriginal Howard was in his policies and interviews. Particularly look at the last 4 lines of the interview. He couldn’t even answer that simple question with gratitude or a humble note.

Bye Little Johnny. You won’t be missed!

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 9:44 am 13 May 08

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Broadcast: 04/11/2007

Reporter: Barrie Cassidy

With just three weeks to go before Australia votes on November 24, the Insiders panel is joined live from Sydney by Prime Minister John Howard.

BARRIE CASSIDY, PRESENTER: And now with just three weeks to go before Australia votes on November the 24th, we’re joined from our Sydney studios by the Prime Minister, John Howard.

(to John Howard) Good morning, and welcome.


BARRIE CASSIDY: Which frontbencher do you think created the most grief for their party this week? Was it Tony Abbott or Peter Garrett?

JOHN HOWARD: Well leaving aside commentary, can I just go to Mr Garrett? I’ll go to his defence that it was a joke, I’ll tell you why it wasn’t a joke, it’s not the first time evidence has emerged that he has said this. If you have a listen to an interview between Senator Bob Brown and Charles Woolley, on the 8th of October, you will find Charles Woolley saying, in effect, ‘You all know that Peter Garrett is saying to Greens and some journos, mate, don’t worry, what we say now and what we do in government will be very different things’.

Now I have, just a few moments ago, I have listened to the audio of that interview, Charles Woolley did not regard what Peter Garrett had been saying to his friends in the green movement and even to some journalists as a joke, and Charles Woolley himself said this. So you’ve got the evidence, the testimony, if you like, of two journalists, and I’ve read the Steve Price column in the Sunday Telegraph this morning, and he’s very direct and very explicit.

And what is interesting is that Peter Garrett has not denied having said it.

BARRIE CASSIDY: No, but Richard Wilkins was also there from Channel Nine, and he said he thought it was a throw-away line, and he thought he was joking.

JOHN HOWARD: Well, what do you say then about the Charles Woolley comment? I have listened to it not seven minutes ago, I listened to the audio of the interview, and it was very clear what Charles Woolley said, and no doubt some of you will now go away and listen to the audio yourself, but how do you explain that away? I mean I don’t think it was a joke, Steve Price didn’t think it was a joke, you don’t joke about things like this.

BARRIE CASSIDY: But if he has got a hidden agenda, why would he be revealing this to journalists? It doesn’t make sense.

JOHN HOWARD: But Barrie, stop trying to excuse him, and let’s concentrate on the facts. The facts are that you now have two journalists, both of whom I say enjoy a good reputation, and neither could be described as a Liberal Party or a government stooge, neither of them. They’re both as straight as gun barrels when it comes to both sides of politics, and both of them have said that Peter Garrett, in the case of Charles Woolley, he has obviously heard around the traps, and he is connected, and he would know what he was talking about, and in the case of Steve Price, he has the experience of a direct conversation.

And you do not joke about things like this.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Why would he be talking about it, if he had a hidden agenda?

JOHN HOWARD: But Barrie, that sounds like you’re struggling for an explanation. I mean I deal with the observable facts, and the observable facts are that two reputable journalists have now said, very explicitly, that Peter Garrett, who would be the Environment Minister, in a Labor Government, and would be negotiating in Bali in December, and making decisions about the future of our resource industry in the context of the Kyoto negotiations, the post-Kyoto negotiations, this man has said on now a number of occasions, not just to Steve Price but he’s said it to others on a number of occasions, ‘Look, forget about all of this me-toosim, if we get in, we’ll change it all.’

Now this is dynamite, because it reveals duplicity, it reveals a double standard, it demonstrates that the Labor Party has been saying one thing to try and calm everybody down. Peter Garrett is a radical, we all know that, the Labor Party has embraced him, he was brought into the Labor Party by John Faulkner and Mark Latham, remember in 2004, and he has spent more time at Kevin Rudd’s elbow in the last week than any other shadow minister, and he’ll be the Environment Minister in a Rudd Labor Government if he get elected.

The Australian public is front and centre on the issue of credibility for the Australian Labor Party.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Alright, let’s accept that it’s true, there is a template for this, isn’t it, because you went to the last election, you presented a policy platform and you didn’t mention WorkChoices?

JOHN HOWARD: That’s wrong. I read our policy last night, I read our policy in 2004. We committed ourselves to changing the unfair dismissal laws. We committed ourselves to making agreement making easier. We committed ourselves to pressing ahead with the creation of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. And we also committed ourselves to reducing the discrepancies between the different State jurisdictions.

So this idea that we went to the last election without saying anything about industrial relations is wrong.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Do you think that is a fair reflection of what you eventually did?

JOHN HOWARD: Well, I tell you what, the… I regard the greatest virtue of all of WorkChoices is the removal of the unfair dismissal laws. Because the removal of the unfair dismissal laws has been directly responsible for the creation of hundreds of thousands of additional jobs, and if Labor wins this election and rolls back those changes, which it undoubtedly will, that will push up unemployment and do great damage to small business.

BARRIE CASSIDY: OK. Three years ago, I asked you this question: what was the cut through issue of the 2004 campaign, and you said, ‘Undoubtedly apprenticeships and trade skills.’ Have you let the country down on that? Are trade skills demonstrably better now than they were three years ago?

JOHN HOWARD: Certainly we have a lot more apprentices now than we had when we came into power. We’ve made, in terms of practical policies for the future, we’ve made the 100 Australian technical colleges a centrepiece of this election campaign. It’s not the only issue. It’s part of our plan to keep the economy growing in more difficult economic circumstances.

BARRIE CASSIDY: You’ve done that this time; did you need to do that because you didn’t do enough in the previous three years?

JOHN HOWARD: Well, we started the surge back to technical education.

It was my announcement in the last election campaign of 24 Australian technical colleges, which in a single stroke transformed the debate in this country about technical education, and since then, and I give them credit for it, a lot of the state governments have come on board, and have started to put more resources into technical education because the greatest mistake this nation made in education in my lifetime was to move away from dedicated technical schools, which happened right across the board in the 1960s and 70s. And we embraced this foolish notion that every Australian person leaving school had to go to university, when people should have the opportunity of going to university, but many don’t want to and are unsuited for it, and we are now going back to a greater emphasis on technical education and I think that is a fantastic development.

BARRIE CASSIDY: What would you regard as the cut through issue of this campaign?

JOHN HOWARD: Undoubtedly, the capacity to manage the Australian economy in a more difficult economic environment. And this goes very directly to things like interest rates, it goes very directly to things like industrial relations.

The truth is that the Australian economy is growing very strongly. And that in itself presents us with some challenges. And what is coming out of the United States has not worked its way fully through the world economy. There will be further repercussions from the subprime meltdown in the United States and what I would say to the Australian people, at a time when there are inflationary pressures in the economy which put pressure on interest rates, is this a time to hand over economic management to a party that has an inflationary industrial relations policy? That has a policy which will lead to a potential wages surge, not based on productivity, but simply based on a new industrial relations system where higher wages which are affordable in one sector of the economy flow through to other sectors of the economy where they are not affordable, and therefore will put upward pressure on inflation and then on interest rates.

BARRIE CASSIDY: BARRIE CASSIDY: You say it’s about the economy. Can your campaign survive another increase in interest rates?

JOHN HOWARD: I don’t know what will happen on Wednesday. That’s a matter for the Reserve Bank. The Reserve Bank is independent. And the Reserve Bank will do its job. But I do know this: that interest rates now are lower than they were at any time under the former Labor Government, and at 8.3 per cent they’re less than half the notorious peak of 17 per cent reached under the former Labor Government, and I also know this: that if we are in an environment where there are, through inflation pressures on interest rates, people will have to ask themselves whether, in that environment, we are better able to manage those pressures than the Labor Party, particularly with its inflationary industrial relations policy.

BARRIE CASSIDY: When they make that judgement they will be thinking more of short-term history than long-term history. There have been nine successive increases since 2002. How many successive increases does it take before you accept that there has been a policy miscalculation?

JOHN HOWARD: Barrie, since the last election, which is the most immediate time that I put myself before the Australian people, interest rates have gone up by 1.25 per cent. Now I don’t like interest rates going up, but we have to ask ourselves: in the environment in which we now live, looking to the future, and this election is about to the future, it’s not about the past, which side of politics in this more difficult environment, where some inflationary pressure is unavoidable if you have a strong economy, you have high world oil prices and you have a drought, some inflation in the system is unavoidable.

BARRIE CASSIDY: So no policy miscalculations at all?

JOHN HOWARD: No well, I don’t believe, I think our industrial relations policy, for example, has in fact contributed to downward pressure on inflation and the Reserve Bank has said in its most recent monetary policy report, the Reserve Bank has actually said that in an environment of a strongly growing economy, wages have behaved extremely well.

I get back to my point: we are living in a more difficult economic environment. We can maintain strong growth. But in that more difficult environment, with some unavoidable inflationary pressures, does Labor say that world oil prices will be lower under its government? Does Labor say that the drought is going to disappear? Is Labor saying that it wants a slower rate of growth? No, they’re not saying any of those things.

So people will have to say to themselves, ‘OK, we accept that there is a bit more inflation in the system due to these external pressures, plus the very strong economy.’ Which side of politics is better able to contain that? And we will be putting very strongly, especially in the context of Labor’s industrial relations policy, yes, there may be upward pressure on interest rates, for the reasons I’ve outlined, but who is better able to manage that over the next three years? Do you really believe that the Labor Party with its history of budget deficits is better able to manage all of that over the next three years…

BARRIE CASSIDY: You talk about the next three years. You’re going to leave politics in 18 months to two years. Why put yourself up for such a short period? What’s the point when Peter Costello was available as a long term alternative?

JOHN HOWARD: Barrie, I’m talking about policy continuity. Policy is more important than people. Costello and I have been a great team. We are a great team. And I have a lot of great colleagues, but it’s policy, it’s policy capacity. It’s policy endurance that really matters…

BARRIE CASSIDY: But you say it’s policy. Quite clearly there’s a concept coming through, a time for a change. Now, primarily, that’s your responsibility. You insisted on staying beyond 11 years.

JOHN HOWARD: Barrie, I’m not getting into political commentary. I have precious moments available on your program to talk to your viewers and talk to the Australian people about the choice, and I don’t intend to lapse into commentary. I am saying to them, on the economy, which a strong economy is central to everything.

What I’m saying to the people in these more challenging and difficult circumstances, admittedly with upward pressure on interest rates through a strong economy producing inflationary pressures, a drought and the high price of oil, do people really believe that Labor, with its track record, with its inflationary industrial relations policy, is better able to manage that environment than the coalition? That’s the choice. That’s the cut through issue.

BARRIE CASSIDY: You say it’s choice…

JOHN HOWARD: Well, I agree. It is the big issue that people will have to focus on.

BARRIE CASSIDY: OK, you say it’s choice, you had a choice, you revisited the leadership issue during APEC. Are you convinced you made the right call no, regrets?

JOHN HOWARD: Barrie, I’m focused on the future. I won’t give commentary. I’m presenting a policy continuity. I’m leading a team that’s given us a 33-year low in unemployment. I’m leading a team where interest rates now are lower than at any time in the 13 years of the Hawke and Keating Government and less than half of the peak of 17 per cent for housing interest rates. And I’m leading a team that’s laid out a plan to maintain the strength of the Australian economy and I’m saying to the Australian people that in the more difficult and challenging economic environment we now have, that team is better able to contain the inflationary pressure, keep interest rates as low as possible and certainly maintain low unemployment, because our industrial relations policy does not involve bringing back unfair dismissal laws, does not involve clobbering small business and will maintain very low unemployment.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Leadership is important too. You said on The 7.30 Report you had an agreement with Peter Costello. What are the terms of that agreement?

JOHN HOWARD: Barrie, I’ve said that well into the next term there would be a transition to Peter Costello. I’ve made that clear…

BARRIE CASSIDY: That’s it, nothing more to the agreement than that?

JOHN HOWARD: Barrie, that’s the position. Unlike others, I’m up front about what’s going to happen.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Are there any other aspects to the agreement than that? Is that all that you have agreed upon?

JOHN HOWARD: Barrie, that’s a very simple proposition, because there’s policy continuity.

Peter and I have the same view of the world when it comes to the fact that a strong economy is central to everything. We believe in a wages system based on productivity. We want high wages based on higher productivity. We can maintain or contain, rather, the inflationary interest rate pressures in this new, more challenging environment.

The Labor Party’s demonstrated in the past that it cannot.

BARRIE CASSIDY: All of this of course the transition assumes a coalition victory but if you lose the election, will you stay in Parliament for the entire term?

JOHN HOWARD: Barrie, I’m not contemplating losing the election.

BARRIE CASSIDY: No, but the voters in Bennelong are entitled to contemplate that prospect.

JOHN HOWARD: No, Barrie, I have made it very clear that I’m focused on winning this election. And I have said that if we win this election, there will be a transition well into the next term to Peter Costello.

BARRIE CASSIDY: But the question was about losing the election. Surely the voters are entitled to factor that in and what would happen to their local member, and I’m asking this question to you as a local member.

JOHN HOWARD: Yeah, well, I’m answering you as a person who wants to win, and I don’t intend to hypothesise about loss.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Surely the proposition of being in politics for 30 years, 11 years as Prime Minister would be the humiliating to spend the last three years siting in the backbenches in opposition?

JOHN HOWARD: Barrie, I intend to win.

BARRIE CASSIDY: 30 years in politics, whatever happens, you’d have to says, politics has been good to you?

JOHN HOWARD: I’m not getting into retrospection. Good try. I’m focused on the next three years.

BARRIE CASSIDY: Thanks for your time this morning.

JOHN HOWARD: You’re very welcome.

imhotep imhotep 7:10 pm 12 May 08

working Australians said :

(Working families)… “so why don’t you crawl back under your rock and wait untill someone cares about your views becaue the majority of Australia doesn’t and even the ACT showed that veiws like yours are no longer wanted

Now if you would like to debate….”

Yes, a debate with you sounds productive WF. You seem very open minded….


Thumper Thumper 6:45 pm 12 May 08

Of course people like WF wouldn’t realise that on ANZAC Day when I marched past the Prime Minister I saluted him.

That’s because I can respect the fact that he is our Prime Minister and that he was elected by the people to be so.

I wonder if WF can say that about JWH?

I doubt it as they all seem to be filled with such hate (see comments above) for anything or anyone that doesn’t subscribe to their view of the world. Sad actually, when others, obviously Labor voters, are quite happy to put forward their views without spewing vitriol and resentment.

I sometimes think that people like WF miss Howard because they no longer have anyone to hate or to vent their spleen at.

Duke Duke 6:03 pm 12 May 08

Some very selective commentary going on here and disappointing to see political loyalties and heresay getting in the way of facts.

Fact is whatever party happens to be in power is going to devote less time to the media than what the opposition will. Much time is spent by journos fending off calls from nobody independents and opposition members desparate to get their heads in the news and overcome their sense of irrelevancy since last being overlooked/voted out.

Ruddock, Lord Downer, Howard and Co all refused to appear on ABC at various points in their careers – this is not something exclusive to Rudd. Howard regularly chose 2UE over ABC because 2UE listeners are seen as easier targets…..for socio-economic reasons I won’t go in to here. JJJ radio tried for over 10 years to interview Howard so the yoof of Australia could hear his vision for young people – he refused.

Rudd uses the AFP to harrass journos – that’s not news, it’s just a different tactic to the previous government. What short memories some people have – remember those ill thought out sedition laws brought in after 911? – threatening to throw journos in jail for reporting on sensitive issues? How about the use of conclusive certificates, designed to suppress information which should be available to media and the public?

This makes an interesting thread, i-filed, but the bullying of meedja by politicians is hardly new.

tap tap 5:48 pm 12 May 08

Im not a big fan of political catchphrases. They make politics look like a stupid game. Also I don’t like that we now vote for a leader rather than the actual candidates running in our electorates (and god forbid their policies), but neither of these things seem to be going anywhere.

So im chucking them in with the two party system to make the group of things that suck, but I better learn to live with.

working Australians working Australians 5:45 pm 12 May 08

Mr Shab

It is not just this topic but every thing that our friend posts, but then again you are a like minded person whithout a original thought unless expressed by your good friend, they spent 12 years ruining a great country, so why don’t you crawl back under your rock and wait untill someone cares about your views becaue the majority of Australia doesn’t and even the ACT showed that veiws like yours are no longer wanted

Now if you would like to debate the real state of the nation after 12 years of the other lot bring out your best stuff because we all know that if it wasn’t for a mining boom the country would of been a real disaster because of the lack of forward thinking put up by the 1950s loving menzies groupy who jsut wanted to be like his hero

Thumper Thumper 5:39 pm 12 May 08

Yes, precious little things some of these fervant Rudd supporters…

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 5:10 pm 12 May 08

@Working Australians:
Good government is relatively open to critical discussion and reognises that it can improve (within reason).
“Leave the country if you don’t like the Government” is the very antithesis of good government.

Public Servants should be complying with orders from the PM because he is the representative face of Government, who they work for.

Private citizens can quite happily walk up to the man and tell him to Fuck Himself Sideways if they like, they have the right to do so.
Most people here tend to treat the PM with an ounce of respect because he’s the representative of at least 50%+1 of the preferential vote, and reflects the general mood of the public at the time he was elected.

Mr_Shab Mr_Shab 5:02 pm 12 May 08

Wow Thumper – you really got called out for those crazy, jackboot views you pull out, like, all the time…;P

Working australians – crawl back under your rock. Criticizing Rudd for being a spin-artist does not the Nazi make (at the risk of breaking Godwin’s law). Given that he’s not really had anything really embarrassing or damaging to cover up so far, I don’t think we’ve seen his true colours on Westminster responsibility. I’ll believe he’s for an independant public service when I see evidence; not a second earlier. All I’ve heard thus far is rhetoric.

amarooresident amarooresident 5:00 pm 12 May 08

Rudd may be selective about who he talks to but that isn’t anything new. Howard was notorious for only appearing on selected radio programs (Alan Jones, Howard Sattler)and rarely on ABC radio for example. He rarely spoke directly to the newspapers either.

And if you recall the election campaign we saw a whole lot more of labors team (Gillard, Swan) than we did of Costello or Mark Vaile (remember him? He was apparently the deputy prime minister).

It strikes me that a lot of the bleating is from journalists who are no longer on the drip feed. Here’s a tip – get out and do what journalists are supposed to do and find your own stories. There’s plenty out there.

Thumper Thumper 4:49 pm 12 May 08

Why should I leave? I like this country.

As for far right, you have absolutely no idea…

Spideydog Spideydog 4:40 pm 12 May 08

Whoops my bad…. lol

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 4:35 pm 12 May 08

Spideydog said :

Another way of looking at it is if “someone” so desperately didn’t want Rudd in, they wouldn’t vote for labour…

I agree, semantics yes, but true. 😉

Or Labor, even.

working Australians working Australians 4:33 pm 12 May 08


You really should go and join your mates Akerman and Bolt and help spread the word of the far right, as a matter of fact if you hate the government and the decisions of the majority of the people so much feel free to leave the country untill the next change in 10 or 12 years. It is a real shame that all the lies finally caught up with your hero Johny but they did and the people have spoken loud and clear and while rudd may contro; his press at least so far he has not caused people to lie for him to cover up his decisions

Spideydog Spideydog 4:19 pm 12 May 08

Another way of looking at it is if “someone” so desperately didn’t want Rudd in, they wouldn’t vote for labour…

I agree, semantics yes, but true. 😉

Myself, Labour had to fight hard and try something new to knock the liberals from it’s perch. I hope that they don’t shoot themselves in the foot, because if they blow it this time, I will be seriously considering who and what is on offer on the other side of the fence in the very next election. I am one of those working battling families and I will be looking closly.

Thumper Thumper 4:05 pm 12 May 08

No, if you voted ALP then you voted for McMullan or Lundy. Those votes put Lundy and McMullan in power in their respective electorates which gave the ALP a majority and thus put Rudd in power.

okay, it’s semantics 😉

Spideydog Spideydog 3:52 pm 12 May 08

Thumper said :

That is correct. No-one in Canberra voted for Kevin Rudd.

That is in-correct. If you voted labour, what ever candidate, you voted for Rudd. I was very concious of that when I voted?

On another note: Howard was not afraid to speak with the media….?? What a joke. He was just as selective. He frequently misled and lied to the public (when they were found out, there was always a scape goat…it wasn’t us, we didn’t know, ill advised etc, ect.) Labour in the lead up to the election offered and were willing to do 3 debates, what was Howards response:

Only one debate and had to be done on his terms.

Cmon, the litmus test for Howard’s performance, is the fact that he lost his own seat….There is something dramatically wrong, when as Prime Minister, you can’t even manage to hold onto your own seat ???

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