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Hi Adrian,
Mate, at least you picked up one guy that made sense and wasn't spouting Liberal Party bullshit platitudes. I thought it was the Indonesians who successfully pursued the Bali bombers. We provided some support, sure, but they did it, not us.
The Man of Papier Mache should adopt the 9/11 approach - invade a country that has nothing to do with the terror and bombing (but only if our great and powerful friend tells us to), then cut and run after a few weeks (leaving a token couple of hundred troops) so we don't have any casualties. Then pretend your tough on terrorists, and dopes like most of your (probably fictitious) platitude sprouting passengers will think that's strength. What a sick joke!
Mate, who has Centrebet got as favourite for the Melbourne Cup? Have they ever got that one right?

I wouldn't put the house on a conservative victory just yet, but then premature triumphalism is something you guys are pretty good at. Remember Bush claiming the "end of hostilities" in Iraq to your drooling cheers?


At least you admit you're backward...

Ymmot, You're upset...have the odds thrown you ? Damn those pesky 'freedom fighters'. And can you quote my 'drooling cheers' ?

If you get away from your cheer squad, you'll hear what I hear. Pretty obvious really, in a two-horse race. Tell you what - let's have a bet on the outcome. A days wages...?

Paul, it's the only way to leave Bondi...

On behalf of all Bondi bankers, I am sorry you had to put up with that drunken drivel.

Thanks Simon. You've reassured me the banking fraternity there has some common-sense. What I don't understand however, is how many business people can make hard, rational decisions by day, then get all soft on matters like security. In America they're called, 'bo-bo's' - bourgeois by day, bohemian by night.

Ha ha, Adrian are you so sure that businesses are run by people making hard, rational decisions?!

I couldn't get anyone to bet against Howard before the embassy bombing, not even the most drooling lefties; I could only get three to back Kerry. I'm pissed off- Ishould be quids in, but none of the lame liberals would put their money where their skip-like gobs are.

Ado, I'll put up a day's wages. Any day but Friday, ok?

Steev, are you drunk - have you seen todays odds ? Centrebet has the Coalition at $1.30 and Labor $3.20. Mate, I wouldn't take your money. Especially a fellow cabbie's money earned over a 12 hour shift with all the attendant dangers. To do so would be cruel and unfair.

The offer is only open to those earning well over $100,000, from the safety of an office. As Ymmot does. Rounded out to the nearest hundred, I'd put up $100 and he around $600. Winner take all. That's the sort of value I'm looking for.

Swanker, good point. Habib, money talks...

I'll put a monkey on Howard- any takers?

I'd bet a hundred on Latham.

If Howard wins, I'm only down a hundred.
If Latham wins, I'll need at least 300 to drown my sorrows.

Maybe I'm a pessimist, but I still see a strong possibility of Latham getting in on preferences. It will all depend on what happens in the marginals, not the nation at large.

Hey Ade,
Mate, you must have gone to the Peter Costello school of Statistics - the one that gives us the highest taxing government in our history, not to mention a doubling of our foreign debt.
So you think I should put up $600 to win $100? Mate, if I put the $600 on Centerbet at those odds I'd win about 2 grand! Thanks for the tip! Mate, the view from the sub-penthouse office would look even better then! And tax free, too, so Costello can't take his usual 51%.
I don't really get upset about politics, because in reality the two major parties are almost the same - the differences are on the edges and 95% of their policies are identical. But lets not let that spoil the fun!
I do find it ironic though that it seems (according to you and Centrebet) the more bombs that go off, the more chance Howard has of getting re-elected. Because he has made us more safe. By removing the WMD from Saddam. And by ignoring the real, local threats from terrorists! Three times now!

Habib - I'm sure Howard would love a monkey on him! Those flamin' conservatives have always had a fancy for the kinky stuff! Plastic bag on the head, orange in the mouth and carrot somewhere the Sun don't shine.

Alan, keep up the optimism - you may well be right - and most of them preferences are coming the way of the good guys.

Now how many lattes and chardonnays (pronounced cardonnay) can I get with that $2000? Where's Costello when you need him?


Ymmot, Are you sure Costello has doubled our foreign debt ? Last time I checked he'd reduced it by spades after the proliferate spending of the Keating/Hawke era. Indeed, he crows about it every Budget. From memory Govt. debt in '96 was approaching $200 million which the Government has since reduced by some 90% or more. I think you may be refering to personal debt...which the taxpayer has no responsibility for.

For example, a quick Google reveals from Aus. Bureau of Statistics most recent Year Book,

At 30 June 2001, the net foreign debt of the public sector (general government plus public financial and non-financial corporations) was $8.5b, which accounted for 3% of total net foreign debt. Net foreign debt levels of private financial corporations and private non-financial corporations were $235.7b (76% of total net foreign debt) and $66.7b (21%) respectively

Tellingly, I also see the figures you implied are issued by the Phantom...he must think we're stupid.

The actual dollar-value of my bet proposition is secondary to the relative worth of a days labour - the only fair way to structure what two parties on different wages are prepared to wager/lose. $100 to you is chicken-shit, and vice versa. Yet to risk a days wages is something else. I'm assuming here you'd put in a 10-12 hour day too.

The reality of terrorist bombings makes every other election issue pale into insignificance. Irrespective of whether punters cheer or not. To my mind the real issue is when are Australians collectively going to recognise we are at war and act as such. Labor wants to hobble our intelligence agencies and defence forces with inquires and insular strategies respectively. Surely a peacetime luxury.

Finally, the only people in this thread prepared to put money on Latham are from Canberra...hmmm..

Premature Triumphalism:-

Cablog Posts

April 28, 2004
"One thing’s for sure, on the current War Score - Americans and Australians are no longer as vulnerable as we once were."

December 11, 2003
"Now that relative security and stability is at hand they must be reassured that the path to freedom is well worth the torturous journey."

perfunctory Acting with indifference

Hi Adrian,

The term I used (correctly) was foreign debt - which is ALL debt (government & private). It has more than doubled since Howard came to power. It was also the term used by the Howard and Costello in 1996 with the "debt truck" stunt. Howard and Costello blamed Labor for it, and claimed they would reduce it. They didn't. They doubled it. They lied. It is now (I think - yes I should check but can't be bothered) nearly $400 billion. The government debt component was never $200B. I think from memory it was about $85B (a similar percentage of GDP to what Howard left us when he was treasurer), so that has definately been reduced, and by your claimed 90%, no argument. Another exaggeration by you, though, in the $200B figure (but what's $115B to try to win a point)??
And you agree with the highest taxing bit? Good.

You claim "labor wants to hobble our intelligence agencies" apparently because they want to hold an enquiry and reorganise the intelligence agencies. You never complained that the Libs were hobbling our intelligence agencies when they have been holding a myriad of enquiries into the various intelligence failures we have had over the last few years. It is these very intelligence failures that necessitate a reorganisation. You know how it is - when something doesn't work properly, you fix it!

When I mentioned "your drooling cheers" in reference to the premature triumphalism of the invaders and their supporters, I was using the collective "your" not the singular. You remember your bedfellows (you weren't blogging back then) claiming "the fastest land war conquest in history" and "it was over in 5 weeks", blah, blah. Luckily Howard cut and run back then, eh? Now, more than 12 months later things are even worse, more soldiers dying, more innocent children and adults dying, and parts of the country a "no go" area for the Coalition of the Willing. Real democracy is as far away now as it was when Saddam was there (and I am glad he has gone). Not even Chrenkoff can change that despite his desperate attempts at putting a positive spin on the quagmire.
Sorry I won't take up your bet, but the odds are better with Centerbet, and I'd prefer to take their money, not yours - not that I can afford to gamble with Costello taking more of my income than any previous treasurer!

Adam, thanks for those quotes from Adrian. I wonder if Adrian still agrees with them, now?
"relative security and stability is now at hand".

"Americans and Australians are no longer as vulnerable as we once were"
NO - WRONG again.


I like cheaper better imports. It save me money so I can drain the quagmire in the back yard.

Adam, you quote me,
"One thing’s for sure, on the current War Score - Americans and Australians are no longer as vulnerable as we once were." By this I mean 'no longer asleep at the wheel'-as with the Clinton administration. Our vigilance is now up to speed and appropiate for a War. As a result we're surely less vulnerable than we once were. Nothing new there.

Triumphalism is victory, a term used by Ymmot. I cannot find where I've used the term.

The full quote :
"It is important we support our brothers and sisters in Iraq, whether we support our governments action or not. The peoples of Iraq didn't start this war. For them, life was/is a terrifying rollercoaster subject to the whims of barbarians and terrorists. Now that relative security and stability is at hand they must be reassured that the path to freedom is well worth the torturous journey".

This still holds true. The operative word here is 'relative'. The majority of Iraqis now have a taste of freedom they only ever dreamed of. However full security is a long journey. Elementary.

Ymmot, I still fail to see how govt. is responsible for the doubling of private debt... However, in '95 public sector debt was approaching $180m. Now it's bugger-all. I know this irks you but check the ABS stats.

Hi Adrian,

This mornings AFR (Financial Review) has an article by Alan Mitchell which states "Costello points to the government's record in reducing the government's net debt from $96B when it came to office in 1996 to $23B now." I think that is about right.
Whilst Costello may not really have any control over foreign debt (the private component at least) it is a major part of the economy, and he is responsible for the economy. Believe me, if it had halved, Costello would be taking the credit for it, just like he takes the credit for the success of the economy (much of which he has no control over)!
It is acknowledged by most economists and balanced commentators that Costello was lucky that his predecessor (Keating mainly) did all the hard work in turning our economy around. It was Labor who floated the dollar, deregulated the banks, broadened the tax base, opened up our heavily protected manufacturing sector, and moved our trade focus to our region - where we now do most of our trade. These sort of momentous changes do come at a cost, and Keating paid it. Costello has reaped the rewards. By comparison, Costello has really only delivered the GST.

Gary, I used the term 'quagmire' to be polite. In reality the term for the current Iraq situation should be 'unmitigated disaster and total shitfight'. Does that sound more like your backyard?



Those changes came mostly near the end of the ALP being in power and Keating deserves credit for realism so does a the opposition(at the time) supporting the changes. Its been over eight years Keating's influence diminishes over time, when do you think the Coalition can take credit?. Also you contradicted your self saying "he "is[Costello] responsible for the economy" then "much of which he has no control over)!". So was Keating responsible for the economic improvement or not.

"In reality the term for the current Iraq situation should be 'unmitigated disaster and total shitfight'. Does that sound more like your backyard?"

McWars only exist in the movies.


The major reforms I mentioned were all done EARLY in Hawke's reign - 1984 to 1987. It had proven too much for the previous Liberal treasurer to achieve in 1980 - 1983 (his name was John Howard). I don't think the Liberals supported these changes when they were in opposition, either.
You are right about the contradiction, though. In reality Treasurers do not have a lot of control over the economy, but that doesn't stop them taking credit for the good times, or being blamed when things go wrong. For example, some of the recessions we have had were due entirely on external factors, over which the Treasurer had no control. But they get blamed by the opposition (on both sides).
Gary, I don't know what a McWar is. What I do know is that we (the Coalition of the Willing) badly misread the whole Iraq thing. We expected it would be over in weeks, and the invading troops would be cheered in the streets by Iraqis. There was no link between Iraq and 9/11 and there was no WMD. Colin Powell accepts this. As for democracy, you can't have that with 150,000 foreign troops occupying your country.
Gary, if we want to "get the job done" in Iraq, maybe we should be introducing conscription, and sending many thousands more troops. Our token effort of a couple of hundred troops is a joke. Howard removed most of them back about 12 months ago, when he cut and run from Iraq.

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