Saturday salon 14/11

1. Rocky Horror Picture Show turns 40

When it opened in 1975 The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a bit of a flop, but then it rocketed to cult status and has never been off the screens since.

    Rocky Horror is full of strange bits and bobs: literally in its props and costumes and otherwise in madcap humour, lashes of pop culture references and the behaviour of an assortment of loony sexually liberated characters. It seems to takes place in a vacuum divorced from both time and space and the conventions of cinema – a garish, swirling patchwork joyfully here and there.

Susan Sarandon, who plays Janet, says it’s like love, don’t try to understand it. Sydney-based Jim Sharman who directed it says discussing the ins and outs of the film’s cultural impact as a job best left for sociologists, but then has some interesting thoughts of his own. He’s probably right when he says “a lot of what happened was to do with a particular group of people who combusted at a particular moment in time.”


2. Jobless rate falls

In case you missed the good news, the jobless rate fell from 6.2 per cent to 5.9 per cent in October. The consensus forecast was for 15,000 new jobs. In fact there were 58,600.

The prospect of an interest rate cut this year is now zero, while a rate cut at any time in 2016, which had been at 100 per cent, has now fallen to 66 per cent.

3. OECD forecasts lower growth

The bad news is that the OECD has lowered its forecasts for global economic growth.

    The Paris-based OECD, which covers the major economies, reduced its growth forecast for the world economy to 2.9 percent this year and 3.3 percent in 2016. This compares with earlier forecasts of 3 percent and 3.6 percent respectively. The downgrade follows a similar move by the International Monetary Fund, which last month said global growth would be at its lowest level since the financial crisis of 2008–2009.

A slow-down in China is a concern.

Another negative is the prospect of rising interest rates in the US – 0.25 first with more to follow. This

    will trigger a financial crisis in so-called emerging markets which have large dollar-denominated debts. The IMF considers that these countries have over-borrowed to the extent of around $3 trillion.

The improvement in the Us economy is of course good for them, but there has been no increase in wages, which means the recovery could easily lose steam, with negative implications for the world.

Quantitative easing had been a failure, because the money had gone into speculation rather than investment.

Australia’s growth had been downgraded from 3 per cent to 2.6 for 2016.

4. China acquires Port of Darwin

A Chinese government enterprise has just bought the Port of Darwin. Actually it’s a 99-year lease, but that’s next to buying it. This same enterprise has provided logistic support for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

Geoff Wade, a visiting fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU,

    argues the port purchase will be a key link in China’s ‘maritime silk road’ which is part of a plan to realise “regional economic domination and subsequent client dependency”.

    “This in turn will facilitate contention for regional and then global primacy with the United States. The PLA sees one of its key roles as being to protect these economic initiatives offshore. The Darwin deal is thus, among other things, a key element in the PRC’s efforts to weaken the Australian alliance with the US. For these reasons there must be great security concerns about the Darwin deal.”

It seems the sale did not trigger the Foreign Investment Review Board procedures, but FIRB and Defence were consulted.

Scott Morrison says:

    “The Government is acutely aware of the sensitivities regarding foreign investment in strategic national assets and critical infrastructure.

    “The Government is assessing options to strengthen the Federal Government’s ability to protect the national interest in these cases and we will have more to say on this issue in the future.”

A decision now looms on the NSW power grid, and the fibre optic cable on which the nation’s defence system operates.

Laura Tingle reminds us that:

    Malcolm Turnbull as communications minister pushed for an end to a ban on national security grounds for another Chinese company, Huawei, to help build the national broadband network.

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.

16 thoughts on “Saturday salon 14/11”

  1. I’ve just realised that I forgot to hit the “publish” button last night.

    The Paris terror attacks came too late for this post, but I’ll do a separate post tonight.

  2. Following on the the previous Saturday Salon where you say I said what you thought I’d say re the Paris attacks, you may have noticed that political discussions are very often predictable set pieces. Your own opinions pretty follow the script of an elderly upper-middle class Greens supporter. I don’t mean that as an insult btw, that is just how things usually work and I’m in the same boat.

    The Guardian, which is reliably pro-Islamist and anti-West, says the following:

    ” [A] report by the French senate in April concluded that at least


    of the 3,000-plus known European jihadis who had then travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for Isis were French … The AFP news agency reported earlier this year that French intelligence services were monitoring another


    people who authorities believed had some kind of connection to Syrian networks, while up to


    more were considered at riskof heading down the same path … More than


    French radicals are currently serving prison sentences in France. ”

    I think the numbers pretty much tell the story and vindicate my position.

  3. In a marked departure from the Libertarian ethos, I’m opposed to open borders.
    Can we now concede that Mohammedan doctrine is the protagonist of the terrible violence we see world wide on an almost daily basis, and not the result of peaceful, back against the wall, poor retaliators protecting their turf that the the left media would have us believe ?

    If I were an peaceful islamist, I would ” take out ” the ” radicals ” for my own sake because the blowback will soon be equally extreme.

    Abbott and Morrison bought them, and us, some time.
    Use it wisely moslems.

  4. On a totally different note, i’m loving this Godzilla El Nino, its pissing down all up the East coast 🙂

  5. Jumpy: Perhaps there were too many Jumpys in France whose endless hostility to Islam made a few young Muslims easy to recruit? Then there was the problem of French colonialism and France’s determination to retain its colonies.

  6. John Davidson turns up to give an explanation for why the French had it coming. Chilling and creepy but an honest reflection of anti-Western Green thinking.

  7. Karen: Go and do some homework on France and the treatment of Muslims including wanting to force some Muslim women to dress in a way that was considered indecent. Also have a look at French colonial history in Algeria.
    On a similar themeI have also said in the past that Abbott was one of the best things ISIS recruiters had going for them in Australia.

  8. Jumpy, if you read the text and look at the graphic half way down it’s accurate and not hilarious. The heading too is in sync with the text.

    I take my cue from the Ipswich forecast, and the prospect of working three days in heat from 36-38C is not hilarious at all. I just hope they are wrong.

  9. I just hope they are wrong.

    Count on it.
    You do see the ” no heatwave ” area, right?
    But please, be my guest as I am yours, post the observed, un-homogenised data on Monday.

    And the November, Godzilla El Nino rainfall figures if you can find the BOM graphic in 3 weeks.

    ( ps. pissing down in the Central Highland and here after normal November hot humid Northerlies.)

  10. Junpy, you are obsessing about the weather, El Nino and BOM again. I can’t be bothered.

    BOM gives me good information for my purposes.

  11. Ditto here in Sydney. I’ve bought a couple of small movable air conditioners to keep my staff cool. My business partner is in Paris for a trade show. We get all the hot spots.

  12. Hey Brian, what’d ya recon chances of Mark resurrecting LP in the lead up to the 16 election as he did for the 13 ?

    Could be fun.

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