Samuel’s Musician Of The Week Editorial Echoes 6/11/2007 – The silly Melbourne Cup holiday

Samuel’s Blog Weekly Poll: Labor’s Policies

November 5th, 2007 at 12:50am

On Friday at an airport in Melbourne, Labor’s environment spokesman told 2UE’s Steve Price that Labor will change their policies if elected. Channel Nine’s Richard Wilkins has confirmed that Peter Garrett said this to Price, and Charles Wooley had a similar tale to tell on his national Macquarie Regional Radioworks morning show “Across Australia” on the 8th of October:

I know what Peter (Garrett) is saying, he’s saying to blokes, to people of green persuasion or to others, or even to some journos, he’s saying, ‘Mate, what we say now and what we do then could be two different things.’ Now you know he’s been putting that out.

Peter Garrett says he was joking and that his comment to Price was “jocular”, but Price denies it was a joke, so the poll question for this week is:

Do you think Labor’s environment spokesman, Peter Garrett, was joking when he told 2UE’s Steve Price that Labor will change their policies if elected?

Total Votes: 36
Started: November 5, 2007

I personally have no doubt that Peter Garrett was serious, and I have no doubts that Labor don’t believe a number of their policy positions, and fully intend to do something quite different once elected. I suppose the other possibility is that, if Mr. Garrett was joking, then he was incredibly foolish, as that would be one of the stupidest jokes imaginable in an election campaign…and to be quite honest, I don’t know which is worse, a party which intends to dishonour its word, or a party that continues to support a fool.

Anyway, the results from last week’s poll:

If Australia must sign a climate change agreement, would you prefer Kyoto or a new agreement?

Total Votes: 22
Started: October 29, 2007

It’s hard to know what to make of that. People are clearly divided, and on this issue I think that is perfectly understandable. I would prefer that we don’t sign any agreement, but that wasn’t the question.

For a list of all previous results, see the Weekly Poll Results page.


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  • 1. Tony McLeahy  |  November 5th, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    I personally have no doubt that Peter Garrett was serious, and I have no doubts that Labor don’t believe a number of their policy positions

    No doubt? You were there were you? Usually when people have no doubt about something they have evidence to back it up.

    You conspicuously omitted from your diatribe that the only other witness confirmed Garrett made the comment in a jocular tone.

    I don’t know which is worse,

    Too right.

  • 2. Samuel  |  November 5th, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Why do I have no doubts? Well amongst other reasons, the rampant me-tooism of Labor means that a number of Labor policies go against both traditional Labor ideology, and key components of the Labor movement including unions.

    I’m not a mind-reader, so I can’t definitively say one way or the other whether Kevin Rudd intends to honour his policies, but ultimately I highly doubt it will be up to him. I think it will have more to do with the party and the unions than it will have to do with what Mr. Rudd (or any other frontbencher for that matter) wants.

    I suppose I should briefly outline another reason.

    Peter Garrett, not his statement, but the fact that for so long he was such an ardent supporter of the green movement. It just seems strange that he would stay as quiet as he has for so long on a number of issues unless there was some sort of back-room deal had been struck to get some of his ideas through.

    the only other witness confirmed Garrett made the comment in a jocular tone

    So Richard Wilkins said to Nine News, but watching the body language of both Wilkins and Price, and listening to both of their versions of the story over the last few days, I find Steve Price’s version of events to be more believable.

    And before you start with the “but Steve Price would say that about a Labor politician” nonsense. Steve Price, whilst sporting a number of conservative views, has given all sides of politics a fairly equal amount of spray and praise over the years. Price has his views, but a diehard Liberal supporter he is not.

  • 3. Samuel  |  November 5th, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    Incidentally, something went wrong in your HTML tags, it looks like you put a quote as a title in a link rather than between the tags. A partial quote came through, and there is a second link which doesn’t have any text. If you want to let me know what it was supposed to say and where the links were supposed to be, I’ll be happy to fix it up for you.

  • 4. Pen 15  |  November 6th, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    Sam, you do know that Steve Price’s wife is an advisor to Workplace Relations Minister Joe Hockey, don’t you?

    So, the facts of the issue:

    Peter Garrett said he was joking
    Witness Richerd Wilkins confirmed he was joking
    It is in Steve Price family’s interest that the Liberal Party win this election.

    Sam, I think your blind devotion to radio shock-jocks has led you astray again!

  • 5. Samuel  |  November 7th, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    I’m well aware that Steve Price’s wife is Joe Hockey’s advisor, but the fact that Steve Price has on multiple occasions criticised and praised both the Labor and Liberal parties more or less rules that out of any relevance.

    Peter Garret did say he was joking, but he has been reported as making the same comment to multiple people over the last few weeks. If he was joking then he really must have a screw loose, and if he wasn’t joking then it’s nice to see some honesty from politicians.

    I watched and listened to multiple media appearances from both Steve Price and Richard Wilkins in the days following the exchange between Mr. Garrett and Mr. Price, and I firmly believe that Steve Price’s body language and general way of approaching the issue was more believable.

    As for my “blind devotion” to “radio shock-jocks” (that really is a stupid way of describing most talkback radio presenters), you have forgotten two things:
    1. Talkback presenters disagree with each other on many issues. Blind devotion to talkback presenters would mean that I have no firm opinion on anything.
    2. Steve Price’s show doesn’t even get broadcast in Canberra…it’s a bit hard for me to be devoted to somebody that I only occasionally hear, mostly through third party reports of things he has said.

  • 6. Pen 15  |  November 7th, 2007 at 9:02 pm

    If you don’t get to hear Steve Price often, how do you know that he criticises and praises Labour and Liberal equally?

    I firmly believe he was joking. Personally, I put it down to his political inexperience on the big stage, where every comment is scrutinised. Silly, yes. Serious, no.

    Besides, if Labour really did have the intention of changing all their policies after the election, I doubt Garrett would be privy to all the details!

    re. your devotion to shock jocks…I didnt mean that you share all of their opinions, rather that your (apparent) belief that talkback radio hosts can do no wrong. In this case you take the side of Steve Price. Previously, you have refused to accept obvious racism from John Laws, and excused the on-air bullying of Stan Zemanek. Not having a go at you for one second, Sam, so please don’t think that I am. But these people usually do have an agenda – they need to be a little bit controversial or opinionated otherwise no-one would listen!

  • 7. Clayton Northcutt  |  November 9th, 2007 at 3:44 pm

    Why does someone have a screw loose if they are making a joke Samuel? I’ve heard jokes made in Question Time by the Coalition members, about their own policies, many times – do they have screws loose too?

    Does this mean you will be voting for a screw loose party too?


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