1. Australia trails only Switzerland in wealth table (pay-walled)
- AUSTRALIA’S lofty status as the world’s second richest nation remains intact, new figures reveal, despite household wealth stalling this year.
In the seventh annual Global Wealth Report from Swiss bank Credit Suisse, the “lucky country” posted an average wealth of $US375,600 ($508,900) for every Australian, second only to banking hotbed Switzerland, with an average net worth of $US562,000.
It seems Australia suffered a 0.2 per cent retreat to $US6.4 trillion, trailing the modest global growth rate of 1.4 per cent.
So we should all be happy, right?
According to the HILDA survey reported in July, wealth and income stalled pretty much after the GFC:
Pretty much, the older you are the better you are doing, but poverty and inequality have not changed markedly.
That’s what Paul Keating thinks, who continues to be in fine form. He says if you want to know what is going on in the world, watch SBS.
- “What you get on the ABC is: ‘A truck has just overturned on the Pacific Highway’.
If you want to know what’s happening in Iraq, in the US election, or with Donald Trump, watch SBS, he says.
3. White Ribbon Day
Donations are needed, because in NSW at least government help has been shredded. Anne Summers tells us that deaths from domestic violence have increased by 40% this year, while homicide rates have fallen by 33%.
- As a result of its catastrophic 2013 Going Home Staying Home “reforms”, there are now only 14 refuges in the entire state that specialise in dealing with domestic violence, according to an audit of every refuge conducted by SOS Women’s Services a year ago. Before the “reforms” there were 78.
A third of them are not contactable outside business hours.
Nina Funnell gives 10 reasons why she will ignore White Ribbon Day (pay-walled). Basically she says it’s vacuous, gives the wrong messages and makes no real difference.
4. Hard Brexit coming up
European leaders are warning that a hard Brexit will be Britain’s lot. They don’t want to encourage anyone else top leave, so Britain has to be a lesson for the rest.
In Britain, however, things are going very strange. Tony Blair is said to be launching an organisation to examine why the “centre left” has been overwhelmed by the forces of populism.
The man is clearly delusional. Another view, which I find attractive, is that Donald Trump’s success is built on the ruins of the Third Way.
Meanwhile The Independent reports that Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is helping to bankroll a secret campaign set up by ex-Blairite ministers and advisors to stop Brexit.
Most think the French presidential elections could be the next anti-establishment win following Brexit and Trump. However, Italy’s upcoming referendum could be a game-changer in Europe.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi thought it would be a good idea to have a referendum to change the senate, making it easier to get legislation through. He said he would resign if the people voted “no”.
That seemed to turn the whole thing to a vote of confidence in him.
He’s now said he’ll stay, but most think he’ll go.
Political instability could lead to new elections, and the possibility that the Five Star Movimiento (FSM) promising a referendum on Euro membership could form the next government.
The referendum is on 5 December, and looks like going down.
6. Political games continue
Meanwhile here in Oz our politicians are doing an excellent job of keeping us entertained.
Nick Xenophon plays hardball with the Government on Murray Darling Basin flows (pay-walled). He’s threatened to hold up government legislation if it doesn’t act decisively to re-instate the extra 450 billion litres to the Murray Darling Basin flows promised under the plan, and Barnaby Joyce says won’t happen.
This puts the kybosh on getting ABCC through this year, I think. The Government should still be able to put backpacker tax changes through by doing a deal with Labor.
- A number of senior Nationals MPs have staged a revolt in the Parliament over the importation of the Adler shotgun, with two backbench senators crossing the floor and four others, including three cabinet ministers, abstaining from a vote to lift the ban on the firearm.
I believe Joyce refused to say what his position was.
George Brandis continues to be a human headline. First he called his LNP mates in Queensland state politics “very, very mediocre” and foreshadowed a split in the LNP combined party to meet the One Nation challenge.
Then came claims that he has acted corruptly in a WA case. It’s complicated – follow the story at News.com.au.
- If accurate, the combined claims expose a secret agreement to divert $300 million owed to the federal taxpayer to the state taxpayers of WA.
And it would be seen as an attempt to manipulate the Constitution and the High Court to achieve this sneaky backhander.
Mr Gleeson followed the law rather than what could be seen as political directives.
From what Andrew Probyn and Shane Wright from The West Australian told Patricia Karvelas, former solicitor-general Justin Gleeson saved Brandis’s skin, by ignoring him and not acting illegally. For that he was hounded out of office.
There is talk of Brandis leaving politics, which would save Turnbull growing a spine and sacking him.
Meanwhile Kristina Keneally asks, when is the ‘real’ Malcolm Turnbull going to show up?
- Can you name one issue Malcolm Turnbull is passionate about that he is acting on now he is prime minister? Nope, nope, nope.
Just a hollow man who wants to be king, I’m afraid.
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.