Saturday salon 27/9


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. Jacqui Lambie blows herself up

Jacqui Lambie will be forever known as an anti-Muslim bigot after her comments on Sharia law on Insiders last weekend. She said that anyone who followed sharia law could get out of the country. Since then she has stuck to her guns, insisting it involves terorism.

Now she is being likened to Pauline Hanson. Then it was Asians, now it is Muslims.

Barrie Cassidy too could have used an explainer.

Palmer was clearly embarrassed.

2. Ebola outbreak

The ebola outbreak in West Africa ia already the worst in history, with a possibility of 20,000 cases.

The BBC reports:

While the outbreaks in Senegal and Nigeria were “pretty much contained” and the situation in Guinea had appeared to be stabilising according to the WHO, there appears no indication of a reversal in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Transmission is continuing in urban areas, with the surge in Liberia driven mainly by a sharp increase in the number of cases reported in the capital, Monrovia.

The situation in Sierra Leone also continues to deteriorate with a sharp increase in the number of newly-reported cases in the capital, Freetown, and its neighbouring districts of Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba, which are under quarantine.

Sierra Leone quarantined 1.2 million people for three days. Researchers fear there could be up to 1.4 million cases by January. I heard calls for the effort to counter the outbreak to be increased by 20 times.

A vaccine is being developed in Oxford and another in the USA. Both could be fast-tracked and used experimentally in the field in West Africa by the end of the year.

3. Polls stay roughly the same

Newspoll came out on Tuesday showing the ALP in a winning position at 51-49 TPP (two party preferred), compared to 52-48 two weeks earlier, essentially within the margin of error, with the trend starting to flatline.

Abbott has now edged ahead of Shorten as preferred PM 41-37. Abbott’s performance rating has improved from 35-54 to 41-52 for a net -11. Shorten is 38-43 for -5, but more people seem to be unsure about him.

Roy Morgan always favours Labor and has Labor up at 54.5-45.5. Morgan says they ask people about their preferences, whereas Newspoll allocate them on the basis of voting at the last election. We’re dealing with about 25% of the vote here, so the difference could be substantial.

So Morgan see no gain for Abbott from his decision to ‘send in the troops’.

Morgan’s demographics are interesting. Only the 65+ group favour the LNP whereas the 18-24yr olds favour the Labor by a staggering 76.5 to 23.5. In Qld the parties are even, Morgan has the ALP ahead everywhere else.

4. Slight medical issue

I’m having a colonoscopy early on Monday, so I’ll be having an ordinary 24 hours. Expect no posts. I think my GP is just curious but it’s been a while. I’m still traumatised from the last one!