Wednesday, April 23, 2014

PM's Office Spent 36 Hours Discussing 'Replace Abbott With Kitty' App

Good to know the prime minister's staff are spending their taxpayer-funded time on important things. Like writing more than 130 pages of correspondence and spending more than 36 hours discussing what to do about a popular app that replaced PM Abbott's face with a cute kitty in news stories.

From The Age:
Developers Dan Nolan and Ben Taylor made the "Stop Tony Meow" browser extension in January. Downloaded more than 50,000 times, it automatically swaps any picture of Mr Abbott encountered online with pictures of cats.
Curious as to what the Prime Minister and his staff thought of the extension, Mr Nolan submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for any correspondence that mentioned the words "Stop Tony Meow".

‘‘There was an issue where the Liberal party website and other sites were slightly modified so the extension didn’t apply there,’’ Mr Nolan said.

‘‘I had a gut feeling that maybe someone had sent an email internally saying that we need to stop this thing from working on our site, what can we do?

‘‘I don’t think there’s going to be any high-level stuff ... but it would be really interesting to see how a government department reacts to these weird new kinds of technology and culture jamming stuff, which previously they wouldn’t have had to deal with.’’

However once the Department had approved the release of 137 pages of correspondence relating to the Stop Tony Meow request, it charged Mr Nolan $720.30 in fees for access.

Charging such huge fees for Freedom On Information replies is obviously an attempt to dissuade the public from making them.

So much for "transparent government."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

AC/DC's Future Still In Doubt

In an interview with UK Daily Mirror, AC/DC's lead singer Brian Johnson makes it clear that the band's future is still in doubt, and that even a new album is not a locked-in possibility:
“I don’t know what happens next. We are just going to take it one day at a time.

"I think we are going to into the studio again anyway just to get together again after four years.
"It’ll feel nice to sit in the same room and knock a few tunes out. We’ll see where we go from there.”
 A curious comment from Johnson on the leaking of Malcolm Young's illness to Australian media. 
“I didn’t know they were going to do that because Malcolm is a very proud man. It is a debilitating disease, it’s fucking horrible and I hate it!"
 The band didn't end up holding a media conference on their future, but friends and some family members were talking about Malcolm's condition, and what might or might not happen next with the band, within hours of the news being leaked to a Perth radio station via an anonymous email. It was like a dam of emotions bursting, people who love him dearly had been living with the secret for many months, unable to discuss Malcolm or how they were feeling. Once the news got out, some wanted to talk, needed to talk.

And so they did.

On the likelihood of a new AC/DC album, if sessions do go ahead, if AC/DC members do reunite in the studio next month, and that's if, they will go in without new songs already written by Malcolm and Angus Young to work on. Malcolm is, some say, not in any condition to join the rest of AC/DC in the studio, or to even write songs anymore.

A new world for AC/DC.

AC/DC: 1973 - 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014

Okay, Now That's Old - Australia's Most Ancient Trees

Australia has some of the oldest living trees still left on Planet Earth.

Artist Rachel Sussman spent almost a decade journeying across the world and photographing 'The Oldest Living Things In The World' and has now published the results in a remarkable book.

Here's two of the world's oldest living trees, both in Australia.

The first is an eucalypt, it's location is secret, but it's somewhere in New South Wales. The tree system is believed to be an extraordinary 13,000 years old.

This is a 6000 year old Antarctic Beech, in Lamington National Park, Queensland:
'The Oldest Living Things In The World' book is here

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

AC/DC Confirms Malcolm Young Taking A Break Due To Ill Health, But Rest Of The Band Will Make New Music

Malcolm Young, Photo By Bob King

By Darryl Mason

AC/DC's lead singer Brian Johnson has said members of the band will still reunite in Canada next month to try and write songs for a new album, while founder and rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young is recovering in Sydney, but plans for a 40th anniversary tour "are still up in the air at the moment."
"We are definitely getting together in May in Vancouver," he said.

"We're going to pick up some guitars, have a plonk, and see if anybody has got any tunes or ideas. If anything happens, we'll record it." 
In the interview, Johnson denied Malcolm Young's ill health will be the end of the road for the band, but with the caveat:
"I wouldn't like to say anything either way about the future. I'm not ruling anything out. '
The idea of 40 concerts in 40 different venues, to celebrate 40 years of AC/DC, before the end of the year would be, "a wonderful way to say bye bye."
"We've stuck to our guns through the Eighties and Nineties when people were saying we should change our clothes and our style. But we didn't and people got it that we are the real deal."
That might be all we'll hear from anyone in AC/DC on the proposed new album and tour, or Malcolm Young's illness, for now.

UPDATE: Okay, cancel that. AC/DC have released an official statement on Malcolm Young and the future of AC/DC:
"After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.

"In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music."
So it sounds like AC/DC will work on new music, towards a new album, and presumably do the 40th anniversary tour, possibly with Stevie King (who filled in for Malcolm on the 1988 Blow Up Your Video tour), or another guitarist playing Malcolm's parts live.

Just to clarify, information about Malcolm Young's illness reported here in earlier posts did come from a family member, and friends of the band. At the time it was published, there was a belief that AC/DC would not continue without Malcolm Young, that they couldn't continue. Obviously, the remaining members of AC/DC have decided to try and go forward, at least for now.

Here's a brilliantly simple explanation from Malcolm Young on why AC/DC have remained so successful, for so long:
“If you look at The Beatles, they started out as a rock & roll band, playing in Hamburg. They became really successful. And then they started doing things like Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour...

“But eventually they came back to playing straightforward rock & roll like ‘Get Back’. The Stones did much the same. We’ve learned from bands like that that it’s best just to stay where you’re at; you’re going to come back there anyway, so why leave in the first place? Why not simply work better and harder at what you’ve got?”

More To Come

The Angels - "No Way, Get Fucked, Fuck Off!"

By Darryl Mason

A story I wrote for The Guardian's 'Australian Anthems' section on The Angels and one of the most famous, legendary songs in all Australian rock - "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?" The story includes a bit of an explainer on the origins of the NWGFFO crowd chant.

Excerpts from The Guardian:
It’s a song about grief, mourning, loss and the afterlife. It’s played at funerals, 21st birthdays, retirement parties – even weddings. It’s popped up in a spectrum of Australian TV shows and movies over the decades, and with the 1980s addition of an expletive-laden audience chant, this failed debut single from the Angels is now one of the most famous in Australian rock history.

Back in the 80s, Neeson told me the song began its life as a slow, acoustic ballad. The inspiration for the lyrics, he said, came from hearing a friend describe his grief following the death of a girlfriend in a motorcycle accident.

Not all Angels fans were happy with “No way, get fucked, fuck off!” becoming attached to See Your Face Again. The ones moved because the lyrics were about the death of a girlfriend to this day insist on fan forums that the chant cheapens the song and robs it of its powerful, nostalgic strength.
Leave a comment at The Guardian on what this songs means to you after you read the full story there. All comments appreciated.

The Full Story Is Here

More Rock Writing From Darryl Mason Here - Ozzy Osbourne, Jeff Buckley, Silverchair, Kyuss

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Brothers Malcolm Young, George Young and Angus Young, 2012 (photo from Facebook)

AC/DC Latest News, April 19: Brian Johnson Confirms AC/DC Future Still In Doubt - "I Don't Know What Happens Next" 

By Darryl Mason

AC/DC are ending their 41 year career on a terribly sad note.

Plans were underway for a new studio album, their first since 2008's monumental Black Ice, and a '40th Anniversary' world tour, 40 huge shows across the globe.

More than a month ago, founding member, rhythm guitarist, co-producer and co-songwriter Malcolm Young had a stroke, which left a blood clot on his brain.

When AC/DC reunited at the start of April to begin a month of rehearsals, in the lead-up to new album recording sessions, Malcolm discovered he couldn't play. At least, he couldn't play like he used to play.

Nothing has been officially confirmed, as of this writing, but friends and family members have been discussing what happened to Malcolm for the past couple of weeks. The blood clot, resulting from the stroke, is believed to be why Malcolm couldn't keep working.

Although friends have described Malcolm's condition as serious, it doesn't mean he won't recover. People do get better after strokes, and people do recover lost skills.

But friends and family of band members believe the decision was made last week to call it quits.

Media in Australia have gone ballistic today on rumours of The End Of AC/DC, and it appears the news got out ahead of a planned official announcement from the band and management.

Right now, that announcement is expected Wednesday, April 16, and a press conference has been scheduled.

Angus, Malcolm and George Young working on AC/DC songs in the mid-1970s, on piano

AC/DC won't continue playing and recording without Malcolm. It can't be done.

While Angus Young is the more famous, and more recognisable, AC/DC is most definitely Malcolm Young's band, he started AC/DC, under the guidance of big brother George Young (ex-Easybeats, and co-producer) and encouraged his younger brother Angus to join him, and take on the world.

Malcolm Young has been the quiet motivator and boss of the band for four decades, co-writing nearly all of AC/DC's classics, and making sure nothing happened to harm or damage the band's reputation, or disappoint the fans who've stuck by them for decades.

His passion for the band and its music, and integrity, were so intense, back in the 1970s he used to have fistfights with his younger brother, Angus, in the studio, when disagreements about a sound or riff couldn't be resolved. Proper punch-ups, teeth were lost, blood was drawn.

So that's it. AC/DC are coming to an end.

But what a career. AC/DC set out to conquer the world, and they did it, multiple times. Even the death of singer Bon Scott barely slowed them down, and only slightly delayed recording sessions for Back In Black.

Back In Black is still one of the biggest-selling albums in rock history, and AC/DC have easily sold more than 180 million albums, and probably half as many singles and DVDs and videos and special edition packages. They've influenced pretty much every hard rock, heavy rock and heavy metal band that has followed in their wake, including Nirvana, Metallica, you name them, they probably grew up loving AC/DC. And AC/DC are still in the record books for one of the biggest live audiences in rock history, playing to more than 1.6 million people in Moscow, in 1991. They were invited to play by the youth of Russia, who grew up on AC/DC bootlegs, after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The band have been written off by critics, numerous times, but they stuck to their guns and beliefs and never compromised their sound. They were rarely, almost never, tempted by the musical fads that came and went over the decades. They dabbled in glam rock at the start of their career, but that barely lasted through the recording sessions of their debut album. Their fans wanted rock n roll, heavy rock, they could rely on, and that's what AC/DC delivered, across more than 14 albums, and numerous live-in-concert releases.

Malcolm Young never gave up on his belief that 1950s and 1960s rock n roll was rarely bettered, and he used the riffs and rhythms of black blues players as the basis for AC/DC's sound. He's also cited The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards as a key influence, and talks about that influence in the below interview.

The secret to Malcolm's playing, as Guitar Magazine explained, was open chords with the amps turned down, not up, and mics shoved right up close to capture all the details. He didn't churn out huge rock riffs through blasting amplifiers, his playing, and magic, is much more subtle than that, despite the rawness of the early studio albums.

I still reckon AC/DC's 2008 album Black Ice was amongst the best they made, right up their with Back In Back and Highway To Hell (their last album with Bon Scott), it's absolutely killer, and filled with excellent playing, classic AC/DC songs about rock n roll and some of Brian Johnson's better vocal performances. It's also pretty much a live-in-the-studio album, with minimal overdubs, just like they did it back in the Alberts Studio days in the mid-1970s.

Malcolm's work on Black Ice, in particular, is superb, not just the detail of his playing, but also his songwriting with brother Angus. They worked on the writing of the Black Ice songs for five years, and gave themselves the time to get it right. They nailed every single one, and Black Ice became the 2nd highest selling album of 2008.

 Rock N Roll Dream, from Black Ice, is everything AC/DC was about. They wanted the rock n' roll dream, they got it, then they lived it.

"And it could be the very last time..."

Malcolm Young and his family have now returned to Australia. Everyone is hoping he makes a recovery, but close friends are saying the situation is not looking good, right now. Things may change. We can hope they change, and Malcolm recovers.

Instead of linking to an AC/DC classic, most of which you've probably heard a thousand times already, here's a rare treat instead - Malcolm Young's rhythm guitar from Let There Be Rock, way back in 1976.

Updates to follow


Mark Gable, from The Choirboys, provides another confirmation on the sad news about Malcolm Young:
"That is true, Malcolm is sick.

"From what I understand, and it's even been confirmed in part by his son Ross (Young), that it would appear Malcolm is unable to perform anymore.

"It's not just that he is unwell, it's that it is quite serious. It will constitute that he definitely won't be able to perform live.

"He will probably not be able to record."
An official comment/announcement from AC/DC management is still expected today.

Fairfax media claims the following is from a "family source":
It is understood Young returned to Sydney with his family before Christmas and was having in-home care at his house in East Balmain. He is now said to be having difficulty remembering familiar faces and having increasing problems communicating.

"His memory loss is so bad it is consistent with Alzheimers or dementia although we do not know that is what it is. There has been talk about cancer too."

The response online, and on radio, to news of Malcolm's illness has been massive. If AC/DC were in any doubt that millions of people around the world still love and respect their music, and their skills and talent at songwriting, they should wonder no more.

AC/DC are still the biggest rock band in the world, with devoted fans across three generations and from just about about country. Nobody can really believe it.

UPDATE: Brian Johnson has spoken to the UK Telegraph. He said members of the band are still planning to meet in the studio in May, "and have a plonk." On the future of AC/DC, he said:
"I wouldn't like to say anything either way about the future. I'm not ruling anything out. '
That might be the last we hear from anyone in AC/DC for now about a new album, or tour, or Malcolm Young's illness, for now. Sounds like there won't be a media conference, and the studio sessions will be to see if anyone comes up with new songs and if they're worth recording. We can only hope.

UPDATE: AC/DC have officially confirmed Malcolm Young will have to "take a break" from the band due to ill health, rest of the band will try to "make new music." Click for the full story

More Rock Writing From Darryl Mason Here - Ozzy Osbourne, Jeff Buckley, Silverchair, Kyuss

From The Orstrahyun archive:

When AC/DC Were Glam

AC/DC: The Product

AC/DC: Kings Of Father's Day

2008: AC/DC - The Musical?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cyclone Ita Prepares To Smash Far North Queensland

Cyclone Ita is now expected to hit Far North Queensland as a Category 5 storm, winds of 280kmh predicted, with a predicted path of destruction that could spread from Cooktown to Cairns.

Still a chance it can blow out a bit, and reduce, before making landfall Friday night, April 11, or lose some of its power when it starts crossing the coast. Maybe. Hopefully. But it's looking like it's going to wreak some terrible destruction and kill people before it's done.

Here's how the storm looked from satellites on Thursday afternoon:

This is the predicted path of Cyclone Ita late Thursday afternoon.

And the infrared view:

Updates to follow.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Massive Unexplained 'S' Formation Appears on WA Radar

For now, at least, the appearance on Bureau of Meteorology radar of a giant 'S' off the coast of Western Australian is unexplained.

The BoM:
There's no cloud, there's nothing to produce a rain echo, ...which we do see a lot, but not this particular shape," he said.

"They don't take on S shapes and things like that."

ABC News asked the Department of Defence if the 'S' has anything to do with them. No comment.

This isn't the first time bizarre looking things have shown up on BoM radar. Check out these giant discs from 2010. Here's just one:

If that catches your interest, check out this:

Australia's Bermuda Triangle? Or Is It Australia's Area 51?

Bizarre Discs Appear On Bureau Of Meteorology Over 3 States

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

A Remarkable, Almost Forgotten Story About Drugs Found In A Bag In Bali

The infamous boogie board bag and 4 kilos of cannabis

As Schapelle Corby gets closer to release from jail, here's a recap of one of the most extraordinary stories that emerged during Corby's trial. It was covered briefly by the media, and soon forgotten.

June, 1997.

This is a true story, but we'll call them Lisa and Colin.
Lisa and Colin lived in Melbourne. They’d been working too hard and Melbourne had been too wet and too grey. They decided they needed a holiday.
Like hundreds of thousands of other young Australians each year, Colin and Lisa decided Bali was just the ticket. A short flight there and back, cheap airfares, endless sunshine, tropical heat and all those bars and nightclubs and endless miles of white sandy beaches. They asked each other a simple question. What could be more fun and more relaxing than two weeks in paradise?
Colin and Lisa flew out of Melbourne and into Bali. They grabbed their bags off the luggage carousel at Denpasar Airport, checked through Customs and went straight to their hotel room.
Colin lifted the bags onto the bed so Lisa could start the unpacking while he headed to the toilet.
Lisa zipped open the first bag and looked inside.
She froze.
Tucked snugly between the neatly folded clothes was a fat brick of compressed cannabis, tightly bound in plastic wrap.
The brick was the size of a loaf of bread.
Oh, shit...
Lisa yelled for her husband.
“Colin? Colin!”
When Colin rushed back into the bedroom and saw what Lisa was holding in her hands he thought for a moment he might actually be dreaming.
This simply couldn’t be happening.
Colin wasn’t an idiot, he read newspapers, he watched television, he’d seen the movies about this kind of thing, he knew what the punishment was for being busted in Bali with a big fat brick of cannabis.
Drug traffickers got the death sentence. Signs all over the airport they had just passed through told him that.
It didn’t matter that Colin and Lisa had no idea where the cannabis had come from, all that mattered was that it was in this hotel room with them, it was in their possession.
The death sentence.
And Colin knew what that meant. Death by firing squad. For him and for Lisa.
Panic hit him like ice water in the face.
Colin was smart, or smart enough. He knew he had to make immediate contact with an Australian official in Bali, someone who could tell what the fuck they were supposed to do. He had to tell an Australian official what they had found in their luggage before the Indonesian police found out.
Colin located the number of the Australian Consulate and dialled with trembling fingers.
When he finally got through to someone at the Consulate and explained what had just gone down he was placed on hold, for long minutes.
An Australian consulate staff member eventually came onto the line.
"Do you want the good news or the bad news?"
"Well," Colin said, "give me the good news."
The voice laughed, "There isn't any."
Colin swallowed hard.
"What's the bad news then?"
The voice that was supposed to help fix everything then told Colin something incredible, something impossible to believe.
"You get caught with that mate,” the voice said, “and you'll be eating nasi goreng in jail here for the rest of your life."
Colin was shocked.
What the fuck is going on here?
"Here's what you do," the consulate staff member told him, "flush it down the toilet. Break it up and flush it down the toilet, now. Get it out of your possession and do not, under any circumstances at all, do not make contact with the Indonesian authorities."
So that was it. Colin hung up and told his wife. She was as dumbfounded by the advice given as Colin was.
But he had to do it. And he had to do it now.
Colin grabbed the cannabis loaf and stripped off the plastic wrap as he lurched into the bathroom. The rich smell of the tightly compressed cannabis heads hit his nose and swirled his brain.
The fumes was breathtaking.
With trembling fingers Colin broke up a third of the brick and dropped the fat clumps into the toilet bowl. Not too much at a time, he had to be careful. If he tried to flush it all it might block up the toilet, and when the plumber came and found out what had caused the blockage....
Colin flushed the first lot and looked down.
Oh, shit...
Some of it had been flushed away but the rest was still there, bobbing away, and there was a ring of cannabis detritus and resin around the bowl. He flushed again, and then again, but the water wouldn’t get rid of it all. There was always something left, something obviously suspicious floating there, or glued to the porcelin.
Colin knew he couldn't take the remaining brick of cannabis downstairs, that would an act of sheer lunacy. There could be Indonesian police down in the foyer, right now, tipped off or something, waiting to bust him.
But then another thought hit Colin and the rest of the blood drained from his legs, they nearly buckled beneath him.
Worse, much worse than the cops. Right now, down in the foyer, there might be the people who owned this cannabis, asking about him and Lisa, or lying in wait. The people who missed the pick-up at the airport could have followed them back to this hotel, they could be on their way up right now....
Colin was freaking himself out with such thoughts.
The smell of cannabis resin in the room was cloying.
He dashed for the balcony. He looked around, tried to contain his panic, but there was nowhere to hide all this cannabis. He couldn’t just throw it off the balcony. What was he going to do?
Colin looked closer at the little garden that was the main feature of the balcony. He had a brainwave.
While Lisa watched on and urged him to hurry, Colin tore the fat half brick of cannabis heads into small clumps and spread them across the balcony’s garden. He sprinkled the cannabis amongst the fallen leaves, he buried long fat heads that his sticky, trembling fingers couldn’t break into pieces deep  down into the soil.
“Hurry up!” Lisa cried as she watched the door of the hotel room, thinking at any moment it would be broken down and Indonesian police would come charging in.
Colin hurried.
And then it was done.
Colin and Lisa looked the garden over carefully. Was anything suspicious still visible?
Unless someone looked real close, and dug amongst the garden's dirt, nobody was going to notice there was more than a kilo of cannabis heads buried and scattered.
That rich, pungent smell lingered still but the heat of the day and the cooler evening breeze to come would take care of that.
Colin and Lisa looked at each other, laughed nervously.
They thought they would be safe now. All the evidence that could have seen them both shot through the chest with six bullets each had been destroyed.
They were relieved the minutes of high panic were over, now their holiday could begin. And they had one hell of a travellers tale to tell once they got safely back to Melbourne.
But for years afterwards their minds were still full of questions.
How often did travellers like them find fat bricks of cannabis tucked neatly away in their luggage?
Who, with access to their luggage, would have put it there in the first place?
And why.
So many whys.
Why had the Australian consulate official been so downright casual about what Colin had told him? And why hadn’t the official come to the hotel to help them out?
How often did the Australian consulate get such phone calls from Australian travellers who had suddenly found they had become unwilling drug mules somewhere on the way to Bali?
Nobody from the Australian embassy or the government ever made contact with Lisa and Colin. Nobody ever questioned them about what had happened. There was no Australian Federal Police investigation, no phone call from the Department of Foreign Affairs to find out more.
Years later Lisa and Colin would still, occasionally, talk about their experience and ask each other, “What the hell was that all about?”
And they remained haunted by the lingering questions, the what-ifs.
What if they hadn’t found the cannabis in their luggage when they did?
What if the people who owned the drugs had come to try and get them back?
What if their hotel room had been raided by the Indonesian police?
What if someone at the Customs desk of Denpasar Airport had opened the bag after they picked it up from the luggage carousel and had found that brick of cannabis?
Would they be in a Bali jail still?
Would they now be waiting on death row, still trying to get judges to believe that they really were innocent? That they didn’t know how all that cannabis got into their luggage?
Would anyone believe them?

- This is a chapter from a book draft I wrote in 2006 about the Schapelle Corby saga. I'll be publishing excerpts from it here over the next few weeks.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Murdoch Media Not Pro-Murdoch Claims Murdoch Editor

Nick Cater, senior editor at The Australian, went on ABC's QandA panel last night and made hilarious claim about Rupert Murdoch's The Australian:
"...some may think the editorial judgement may be affected by the company's commercial interest. In my 24 years at (Murdoch newspapers) that was never the case."
He's saying Murdoch's The Australian has never let the commercial interests of Murdoch's NewsCorp (formerly News Limited) impact on the stories its editors publish, or the editorial line taken when publishing stories.

No, that would never happen.

Not once in the past 24 years, according to Nick Cater.

Here's just two examples of The Australian crowding its front pages with 'editorial judgements' that clearly push and promote pro-Murdoch commercial interests, or strike back against those that don't.

An absurd hyping of Murdoch media's new business model from a few years ago, while they were also firing hundreds of journalists and staff:

And the absolute bitterness of The Australian on clear display when Murdoch co-owned Foxtel didn't win a $250 million government contract for the Australia Network: 

Nope, no pushing of, or defending, Murdoch's commercial interests there. None at all.

Nick Cater said so.

How he managed to make that claim without giggling, or blushing, is remarkable.

Must be those decades of working for Rupert Murdoch.

And to further his claims that the Murdoch media are not biased, Nick Cater took a moment in the same QandA episode to threaten a Labor politician with "war" :

image via @KieraGorden

Sunday, February 02, 2014

You Don't Commission A Poll When You Don't Want To Hear The Results

Rupert Murdoch's The Australian newspaper couldn't commission Newspolls fast enough when Tony Abbott and the Liberal/Nationals coalition were riding high. Once a fortnight was standard. But when they got really excited, it was every week, sometimes twice a week.

But as the reality of Tony Abbott as prime minister settles over Australia, and unsettles Australians, The Australian newspaper has decided it really don't want to know what Australians think, anymore.

Below is the last Newspoll commissioned by The Australian newspaper, eight whole whole weeks ago. Since then nothing. Did The Australian's editor Chris Mitchell see something in the last Newspoll results he didn't like? Let's take a look:

Oh. The Australian Labor Party was leading the Abbott government by a healthy 2PP margin.


And here's a snapshot of how the Abbott government has delivered for Australian families, after just five months of government. Image via @GeeksRulz

PM Abbott's 'Promises Delivered' Video Banned By YouTube For "Deceptive Content", His Channel Suspended

By Darryl Mason

In the world of Social Media Fails, and in politics there has been plenty, it's pretty hard to top this.

Here's what happened.

The Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, posts a video to YouTube boasting of how "we've delivered on our promises" and spends a lot of the time pretty much calm-ranting about "illegal" asylum seekers.

YouTube decides the video is "deceptive content" and blocks anyone from viewing it. For hours, the boast about 'promises delivered' and YouTube's denial sits there on the linked video right on PM Abbott's Twitter feed, while the below image is tweeted and Facebooked across the planet, to much amusement and mockery.

Is YouTube calling PM Abbott a liar for claiming he's delivered on his promises, or did they can the vid because in the vid he called aslyum seekers "illegals" when international law decrees they are most certainly not?

This screengrab originally posted on Twitter by @Mumbrella
The above tweet is then deleted from PM Tony Abbott's Twitter feed. Meanwhile, YouTube suspends Tony Abbott's entire YouTube channel.

Screengrab via Reddit

That's right. The Australian prime minister has had his YouTube channel removed, after a review by YouTube.

And it's not like YouTube does such things on a whim, anymore. They're very clear in guidelines about why they would take such drastic action:
"When a video gets flagged as inappropriate, we review the video to determine whether it violates our Terms of Use—flagged videos are not automatically taken down by the system. If we remove your video after reviewing it, you can assume that we removed it purposefully, and you should take our warning notification seriously."

Someone, or presumably more than one person, at YouTube looked at Tony Abbott's 'Achievements' video, decided it was "deceptive" and made a decision to have it removed and the prime minister's account suspended.


Keep up the "good work", Tony.

 Tony Abbott: 'May I Compare John Howard To The Lord?'

2008: Tony Abbott - The Secret Of Great Comedy

2009: Tony Abbott on 'Those Damned Kids'

When Tony Abbott Lifted A Good Line From This Blog

Tony Abbott: Bible Classes Should Be Compulsory For All Students