Saturday salon 5/7


An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

Here are a few bits and pieces that came to my attention last week.

1. ALP (57.5%) increases lead over L-NP (42.5%)

From Roy Morgan:

If a Federal Election were held today the ALP would win in a landslide (57.5%, up 2%) cf. L-NP (42.5%, down 2%) on a two-party preferred basis according to today’s multi-mode Morgan Poll conducted the last two weekends – June 21/22 & 28/29, 2014.

Morgan has the ALP primary vote at 36.5% and the LNP at 35%.

The Greens support is 12% (unchanged), support for the Palmer United Party (PUP) is 7% (up 1.5%) and support for Independents/Others is 9.5% (up 1.5%). PUP polled 13% in Qld.

2. Abbott falls further behind Shorten in latest Newspoll

Here’s the poll.

Shorten leads Abbott 44 to 34 as preferred prime minister.

Labor leads 55-45 TPP up from 53-47.

… the Coalition would attract 35% of the primary vote if an election were held now, compared with 37% for Labor, 13% for the Greens, and 15% for others.

3. First World War centenary

It seems we could be celebrating this one for the next four years.

Radio National has a series of special broadcasts.

Quiggin reckons we’ve learnt nothing and have been fighting ever since.

Kelly Higgins-Devine looked at some big battles held in July, mostly in Europe.

4. Battle of Leipzig

Did you know that the battle of Leipzig in 1813 which ended the Napoleonic Wars as such involved over 600,000 soldiers, making it the largest battle in Europe prior to World War I.

The French had around 160,000 soldiers along with 700 guns plus 15,000 Poles, 10,000 Italians, and 40,000 Germans belonging to the Confederation of the Rhine, totaling to 225,000 troops on the Napoleonic side. The coalition had some 380,000 troops[2] along with 1,500 guns, consisting of 145,000 Russians, 110,000 Austrians and Hungarians, 90,000 Prussians, and 30,000 Swedes. This made Leipzig the largest battle of the Napoleonic wars, surpassing all of the wars’ past battles of Borodino, Wagram, Jena and Auerstadt, Ulm and Dresden.

Bigger also than Waterloo.

Casualties on both sides were astoundingly high; estimates range from 80,000 to 110,000 total killed, wounded or missing. Napoleon lost about 45,000 killed and wounded.

Out of a total force of 430,000, the Allies suffered approximately 54,000 casualties. Schwarzenberg’s Bohemian Army lost 34,000, Blücher’s Silesian Army lost 12,000, while Bernadotte’s Army of the North and Bennigsen’s Army of Poland lost about 4,000 each.

There is every possibility that my ancestors would have fought in the battle. It was only 35 years later that my great grandfather left Silesia. Memories of the napoleonic wars would have still been very alive, and perhaps a reason for departing to safer climes after the revolutions of 1848.

From memory, the Prussian population was depleted by about 11% during the Napoleonic wars.

5. What you don’t want to read

I already knew that visitors to this site read climate posts in fewer than half the numbers reading political posts.

This week I found out that most people really don’t want to read about Gillard and Rudd any more.