Saturday salon 11/7

1. Can Bill Shorten afford to ignore Rupert Murdoch?

Rodney Tiffen thinks he can.

    Last year, the total circulation of all Australian daily newspapers was a little over 2.1 million, fully one million lower than it was at the turn of the century.

Back in 1947 fully 38.6% of the population bought a newspaper. Now it’s 7.2%. Murdoch has roughly a 60 per cent share of Australian daily circulation, so about 4 per cent of the population now buy his papers, assuming just above two people read each paper.

The suggestion is that Murdoch’s ability to influence elections is not all that large and is diminishing.

2. Barnaby Joyce can’t stop coal mine

Barnaby Joyce said ‘the world has gone mad’ when his own Government approved the highly contentious Shenhua Watermark coal mine on the highly fertile Liverpool Plains in Barnaby’s own electorate.

Tony Windsor is considering running for parliament again.

As Minister for Agriculture Barnaby has been ineffectual.

Jacqui Lambie has mocked Joyce in what the SMH calls a bizarre video, calling his “the Liberals’ lap dog” and telling him to “stop licking the dirt off the Liberals’ boots”. He should resign from Cabinet, she says.

Labor has said Joyce is either ‘incompetent or lacks influence in cabinet’.

Joyce has been reduced to lobbying the NSW State Government to block the lease.

I understand the mine is on ridge lands, not suitable for cropping. There are worries, though, about the water table and dust contaminating nearby crops.

3. Q&A boycott

Joyce was also not impressed when Tony Abbott pulled the plug on ministers appearing on Q&A while the program was being reviewed.

Abbott has also said that ministers will appear again on Q&A if and when the program is brought under its news and current affairs umbrella, where there would be stricter controls on the program in terms of balance.

It looks as though the ABC will roll over on this one:

    ABC chairman Jim Spigelman, in a letter to Abbott on Thursday, said a transfer to the News Division had “merit” and was being considered.

4. State of Origin massacre

Turning to more serious matters, have you ever seen a better 80-minute performance than Queensland put on NSW on Wednesday night?

Fox Sports thinks it was simply the best. 52-6 was a record margin, beating the 56-16 thrashing we got in 2000. NSW were in the match for the first five minutes and actually led 2-0. Then rookie Danew Gagai scored and it became a procession. All 17 players played well, but Thurston was outstanding:

    There’s a reason this bloke is most people’s pick as the nearest challenger to the Eighth Immortal’s title as the greatest halfback in history — his three try assists, a hand in no less than five line breaks plus nine goals from nine attempts, gives him fair claim to one of the most dominant individual performances in the interstate arena.

I suspect, though, that a critical difference was the return of Cooper Kronk for Daly Cherry Evans, who confuses everyone and at Origin level fools no-one.

For the NSW players, the whole thing must have seemed unreal There was silence on the bus on the way back to the hotel:

    Halfback Trent Hodkinson added that the bus ride was a “strange feeling”.

    “It was more of a feeling that [the way we played] wasn’t who we are,” Hodkinson said.

Coach Mal Meninga thinks defence was the key. I thought the QLD line speed in defence was amazing. QLD had 70% of possession and made 1531 metres in attack to NSW’s 731.

We’ll never see its like again.


5. Bob Katter may boycott Akubra hats


Even more serious, Akubra will no longer use Australian rabbit fur, because they can import processed fur more cheaply from France.

Bob Katter says it’s not about price:

    He said there would not be a person in Australia that would buy an Akubra hat because it was cheaper than some other hat.

    “They buy it for style, they buy it for image, they buy it for who they are and for who they want to be,” he said.

Akubra have in fact been importing some fur since the 1990s and will still employ 85 people to make the hats.

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.

19 thoughts on “Saturday salon 11/7”

  1. I saw the Origin game. Armed with wine and popcorn it was fantastic playing and viewing.
    I thought the commentary was lacking in quality. During important passages of play the former ” greats” waxed on with anecdotes of past glories or other irrelevant banter. I was needing an explanation of why (say) a penalty was given and a few words on the applicable rule. Some years back we had British commentators for a Union game (World Cup?) and they were really good, stayed with the play and explained the dynamics as the game went on. Maybe I should have used radio broadcast instead of the televised sound.

    I might as well ask, what is the point of rugby league scrums? There is no contest for the ball.

    I am also a bit mystified that little has been said of Billy Slater’s absence. Perhaps that Queensland’s performance was so good there is little to be said about any difference Slater might have made.

  2. The ABC is independent, isn’t it?
    Too many people are rolling over for this evil government.

  3. Then rookie Dean Gagai scored and it became a procession.

    That’d be Dane Gagai, Brian, another in a long list of Mackay and District boys to Star in Origin. 🙂
    I think the argument for keeping the scrum is to reduce the defensive line by removing the Forwards for that play.
    I’m not convinced. Scrums just give em a rest.
    A simple turn-over would see more gaps appear.

  4. Thanks, Jumpy, corrected.

    Geoff, I agree about the commentary. I too would like to know what the penalties are for, because it’s often not apparent.

    I have my ear plug pocket radio at hand, but only listen during ad breaks. The TV is on 7-second delay and it screws up the experience.

    I think there is not a struck match between Slater and Inglis as fullbacks – different, but both good. They say that Billy does a lot of talking, organising the defence, whereas Inglis is the silent type. They organised the defence pretty well without Billy this time.

  5. Paul, I think the ABC are terrified about having their funding cut, with good reason. Sucking up to this mob does you no good, however, because they are so ideologically driven.

  6. Also good to see, in the US, denunciation of the Democrat Party flag and what it stands for.
    Banning it would be ridiculous because widespread public condemnation is more effective.

  7. Do tell Jumpy.
    Who’s denouncing the Democratic (but you knew that, didn’t you?) Party’s flag?
    Has somebody decided donkeys are halal or something?

  8. Its the Confederate flag, Jumpy, as opposed to the Union flag. In the 1860s the US had this thing called the Civil War.

  9. Jumpy,
    as a general rule I ignore US Republican Right Wing Nut Jobs like Bill Whittle.

  10. Paul Burns

    as a general rule I ignore US Republican Right Wing Nut Jobs like Bill Whittle.

    I’m sure you do Paul.
    But having viewed the clip ( if you have ), what would be your opinion of the accuracy of what he said?
    Do you disagree on any points, and if so, how so ?

    Perhaps I shouldn’t use sporting analogies, how about ” What of the message rather than the messenger ? “

  11. So Jumpy has finally learned that prior to the Southern Realignment during the 1960s, white racists voted Democrat. In other exciting news on the Remedial Education Channel, it has been announced that the windmills in Holland were built to pump water for drainage. On the next amazing episode, a panel of idiots from the Tea Party will discuss whether the claim that two plus two equals four is the biggest hoax ever seen in maths. Stay tuned with crayons and butcher’s paper.

  12. Karen
    Is GM food your only trick ?
    I haven’t seen anything interesting from you since then.
    Bile is not interesting.

  13. Jumpy

    If you spend your weekends being ploughed and teabagged by Dixiecrats and Tea Party Republicans then turn up here without even washing your face, bile should be the least of your concerns.

  14. Look, Karen, if your gunna push the Alinsky line, try No. 12 and I’ll listen.
    Even if Karen hit any winners at all, she’s only had 2 serves.
    How is that 40 ? ( chortle ! )

  15. a. Poor Barnaby Joyce. If you lay down with dogs, you’ll catch fleas. He knows that since FTA Surrender Day (17th June) he, like the rest of the Nationals, has become an ornament without any real political power.

    b. No Paul. the ABC is no longer independent; it is doomed. The LNP extremists and loonies still believe it is a hotbed of Socialism (though they haven’t a shmick what Socialism – or any other “ism” – really means). They know it is the home of Satan himself.

    c. Did everyone like Abbott crowing about how fiscally-responsible WE are and how irresponsible the Greeks have been? Obviously overlooked all the balance-of-trade deficits that Menzies used to stay in power and which ruined our futures. Seems to have forgotten all the disguised borrowings in the form of privatizations – at least Chiang Kai-shek had an excuse in “trading space for time” when faced with the military might of the Japanese Empire, what are Howard and Abbott’s excuses in peacetime? By the way, were the stances taken by the former Finance Minister of Greece against the Creditor-Predators based on what he saw happen to the formerly prosperous country of Australia – and his intense desire to see the country of his birth avoid suffering a similar fate?

  16. On the edge of my seat waiting for the Pluto flyby pictures to come through.

Comments are closed.