1. Mark Bahnisch in conversation with Paul Barclay
Last night I joined ABC Radio National’s Paul Barclay in conversation with Mark Bahnisch discussing his book Queensland: Everything you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask at the Avid reader bookshop.
- Bahnisch’s deep north is a beautiful hive of scum and villainy one day, a perfect storm of gothic corruption the next.
It’s about identity, politics, culture and society. The writing is very lively and I’m learning what Mark has been getting up to all these years.
The question is whether Queensland is different. The answer is yes, of course. Queensland has shifted its vote dramatically against pollies that tell them lies, sell off the farm and stuff this neoliberal austerity shite down our throats. Will Australia do the same?
2. Abbott in Paris – homophobic incident or stuff up?
- Australia’s ambassador to France offered his resignation after an incident while greeting Tony Abbott as he arrived in Paris on Anzac Day.
According to multiple sources, the ambassador, Stephen Brady, was on the airport tarmac with his partner of 32 years, Peter Stephens, waiting to meet the incoming plane around 7pm Paris time.
The prime minister’s travelling party sent an instruction that Mr Stephens should not take part in the greeting but should wait in the car.
It is understood that no explanation was given.
The ambassador, a career diplomat and formerly the official secretary to two governors-general, refused the instruction.
The resignation was not accepted.
My take is that it was probably a stuff up. Apparently protocol is that the ambassador brings his partner when the PM brings his. Apparently Margie had diverted elsewhere and this was not explained.
Equally of interest was former Labor MP Steve Gibbons’ tweet that Bill Shorten should toughen the f— up!
From memory, about $500 million was cut from Indigenous funding programs, which were then to be consolidated into five streams. Community groups had to make application through a tender process, which many of them found too complex.
Before the first round of grants about half of the $4.9 billion available was allocated to pre-existing programs. Then:
- More than half the organisations granted funding under the Indigenous advancement strategy are non-Indigenous, a Senate inquiry has been told.
4. Poll stuff
The TPP polls continue to track essentially sideways. Morgan has Labor ahead 53.5-46.5, Newspoll is 52-48, Essential 53-47.
Newspoll has Abbott’s net performance rating improving from -26 to only -19. Shorten has gone from -18 to -16, so there is not much difference now.
In the preferred PM stakes they are now dead set even, so the headline was “From near-death experience to parity”.
In other news, Newspoll as a separate venture is closing shop. In future Newspoll will continue to appear, but the polling will come from Galaxy Research.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
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.