Saturday salon 18/12

1. Millennials lack hope

I heard it on the radio, and have tracked it down, I think, to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017. It depends where you live:

    Millennials in emerging markets generally expect to be both financially (71 percent) and emotionally (62 percent) better off than their parents. This is in stark contrast to mature markets, where only 36 percent of millennials predict they will be financially better off than their parents and 31 percent say they’ll be happier.

From the report:

    The perception that the previous generation enjoyed generally happier times is held most strongly within Japan, South Korea, and countries in mainland Europe (including France and Germany). Millennials in India, Colombia, China, Peru, the Philippines, and Indonesia are most convinced that they will be happier than their parents.


    the US is the only mature market where a majority of millennials expect to be better off than their parents. Indeed, the balance of millennials in France, Japan, Belgium, South Korea, Italy, and Switzerland quite clearly expect to be worse off.

There was a question about whether interviewees expect the social/political situations in their countries to improve during the next 12 months. Again 48 per cent in emerging countries do, but only 25 per cent in mature economies.

    This lack of optimism regarding “social progress” is most evident in the following markets: South Korea, Mexico, Belgium, France, Chile,
    Germany, Japan, UK, Australia, and Italy. Meanwhile, greater optimism is seen in the Philippines, Peru, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Argentina, and Canada.
    (Emphasis added)

Trumble vs Trudeau makes a big difference!

2. Trump mayhem

Trump mayhem reached a peak with an unprecedented 76-minute press conference which began with a 25-minute rant.

Late night TV hosts had a ball and Washington Post did a fact check, which was not flattering.

Earlier, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had to resign. News leaked out that he had had contact with the Russians when Trump was President-elect, telling them not to react to Obama’s sanctions for interfering in the election, because Trump would have a different view.

Now it has become clear that Trump aides had repeated contact with the Russians, and that the US spooks had been keeping a close eye on what was happening.

There is a question now as to how far congressional Republicans will go to find out what happened, and who knew what when. Certainly Trump knew about Flynn for some time and the resignation only happened when the matter became public. A special prosecutor could bring sunlight to some uncomfortable places.

John Kehoe and others have been detailing chaos and power struggles within the Trump camp.

    Trump’s relatively even-minded chief of staff, Reince Priebus, and Vice-President Pence, Republican establishment figures who observers believe have tried to install order to the Oval Office, appear to be outgunned by the disruptive forces of chief strategist Stephen Bannon, conservative crusader Stephen Miller and spinner Kellyanne Conway.

    Like Trump, the trio reputedly thrive on chaos and rallying cries that Trump whipped up on Thursday.

    Son-in-law Jared Kushner and former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn are also wielding influence in between. The White House chain of command seems vague.

There’s more, of course, but I’ll end with irrepressible David Rowe, cartoonist for the AFR:

3. One Nation arrives in the west

Barnaby Joyce says it will backfire, John Howard says it’s “sensible”, Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t care, Pauline says “They’ve got no choice but to take me seriously…”. The WANationals are outraged. I speak of the preference deal between the Liberals and One Nation in WA.

From what I’ve heard, no-one in WA seems to like the idea other than Colin Barnett, and perhaps Labor. Many Liberal voters are so outraged, they are going to vote Labor. Some local One Nation candidates seem to think the idea sucks, and was done over their heads by Pauline. William Bowe (Poll Bludger) says it’s complicated, but the deal could net Labor five seats. An Essential poll finds that 30% of Liberal voters are less likely to vote Liberal.

Elsewhere, Essential asked whether people in Oz might like to vote for Bernadi’s Australian Conservatives in a future Federal election. Some 62% said no, versus 14% said likely. That might sound encouraging, but only 3% said ‘very likely.

In Essential’s Federal Voting Intention poll only 6% intended voting independent/other, while One Nation was on 10%.

Turnbull may have been encouraged by pulling Labor back a peg to 48-52 on TPP.

Meanwhile Laurie Oakes told Buzzfeed that Turnbull was a “sad figure” because he was not his own man and would never get to do the things he wanted to do, even if he wins the next election, which he probably won’t.

4. Other stuff

I usually try to keep these items to 150 words, and the three above are more like 250. There was plenty else going on in politics this week, including Scott Morrison trying to blackmail the senate crossbench into passing his zombie social welfare cuts by linking the savings to funding the NDIS. Xenophon was outraged and gobsmacked. However, I believe he was ready to play until other members of his team said they wouldn’t join him.

There were stories of note about housing affordability, with Liberal backbencher John Anderson showing he was better in this area of policy than he was playing tennis. There was stuff about slow wages growth, a report on Closing the Gap where we are making progress on only one indicator out of seven, and attention of pollies and the media didn’t last beyond lunch-time.

Finally former Qld premier Anna Bligh is taking over as CEO of the Australian Bankers Association, presumably for her talent for defending the indefensible.

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.

41 thoughts on “Saturday salon 18/12”

  1. The main stream press is the US were committed anti Trump/pro Dem before his nomination.
    They lie and omit every day, Trump won’t change that but he can alert Americans to it. Thats how he won this time and he’ll win next time.

  2. A bit of Trumpery. Unlike Colonel Oliver North who did his political masters’ bidding in the Reagan days ( or “daze”, if you like), I think General Mike Flynn will be back sooner rather than later.

  3. Brian, you hit the nail on the head about Anna Bligh being hired by the Bankers when you said, “

    presumably for her talent for defending the indefensible.

  4. Jumpy, you’ll always put the best gloss on Trump, it seems.

    Graham, on banks, I heard someone put a good case today that it would be better for the banks if they had a royal commission, cleared the air and everyone could get on with life.

    As it is there will be continual sniping with the government on the defensive, and gradually tying to banks up in new regulations.

    Yes, Anna cut her teeth defending the Mary River dam, then privatisation which hadn’t been mentioned before the election, and finally the health pay fiasco. There may have been more, but that’s a few to start with.

  5. I omitted to mention that in WA the Nats have retaliated by preferencing the Greens. here’s an excerpt from Question Time:

    BURKE: Yesterday in question time, the Deputy Prime Minister ridiculed anyone who received preferences from the Greens political party. Given that the WA Nationals have now retaliated against the WA Liberals by cutting a deal to preference the Greens political party ahead of the Liberals, does the Deputy Prime Minister stand by the answer he gave in this place yesterday?

    JOYCE: …You are getting ready—you are lining them up. […] There are a couple of others back there—you there might come forward. The member for Whitlam never really was here, so he will go back! […] You are done and dusted…..

    BURKE: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I refer to page 505 of Practice which reads: “Although there is no specific rule set down by standing order, the House follows the practice of requiring Members’ speeches to be in English.”

  6. Thank you Jumpy for your non-partisan assessment of President Trump.
    I too decided to reject the mendacious mainstream media and went direct to the source. I can confirm Mr Trump was positively Churchillian (if Churchill had been in the habit of dropping acid).

  7. Trump does acid now?, why not.
    That will trend on vox and buzzfeed then CNN can run it, no proof needed.

    You may wonder why the media is so distrusted, not me.

  8. Brian

    Jumpy, you’ll always put the best gloss on Trump, it seems.

    Well no, if asked about his protectionist economic policies, I’ve got zero gloss. The media started this war with Trump, lets see how it goes.

  9. Trump does acid now?

    That is not what I wrote. Ask your ESL teacher to parse the comment for you. It could be a valuable learning experience.

  10. Jumpy,
    It was on US TV. He forgot his meds.
    But, All jokes aside, the man is mad, bad and dangerous to know. However, unlike Lord Byron, he is utterly without talent.

  11. Look, youse Queenslanders and NewSouthWelshpersons will just have to control your jealousy:

    The Donald chose to hold his first campaign rally in 2017 in Melbourne

    Best post-election campaign rally EVER
    Fake media will deny there were three million folks there.
    Counted them myself. Awesome. They love me everywhere I go.

    By the way, I won the popular vote too. Electoral fraud everywhere, I gotta tell you. Losers. Not just losers, folks, BAD losers. Lotta bad hombres around, but, ya know, we’re gonna deal with that. Electoral Deportation squads start in March, OK? We gotta have strong borders. That’s why I’m standing here today: won the popular vote, OK? Most popular guy ever.

    etc. etc.

  12. And this popular vote thing, only an issue when your ” side ” is on the losing end of it, not a peep on the other occasions.

  13. Apparently Bowling Green is somewhere in Sweden.
    Here’s an attack on Trump by Rupert’s definitely-not-mainstream-media.
    Obviously fake news. Almost as full of hate as CNN. Sad!

  14. Jumpy

    I accept he won the election. The Electoral College is their method. His campaign focussed on it. He won.

    I think the Dems going on about the popular vote was a very weak “poor loser” act.

    Therefore I’m astounded that the WINNER should continue to go on about it. Is he really as insecure as that.

    Or it all part of entertaining and stirring up the public???

  15. Starting to look like Trump won the election and is now losing the victory.
    Then again I remember pictures of Hitler making strange arm movements and ranting and raving at his big parades.
    Tell me I am seeing something that isn’t there. Please Please!

  16. Haha, a passing , 3 second reference to a journalists story in a 45 minute speech ( that most of the present audience would have seen ) without saying a terrorist attack happened in Sweden of Friday night has seen the major ” news ” outlets ( including your ABC and Malcolm Farrs rubbish site ) prove Trump correct on their dishonesty, again.

    And yes John, it’s not there. Its likely subliminal suggestion from reading lots of things from people pushing the ” Trump is Hitler ” crap.

  17. No Jumpy, he didn’t reference a journalist’s story (why would he when journalists are the enemy of the people?) he referenced “what’s happening in Sweden last night”.

    “You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden … Sweden. Who would believe this? Sweden … They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.

    If he were referencing the journalist he would have said something along the lines of, “look at that story about Sweden Tucker Carlson ran on his show last night”. To reference a journalist you have to actually mention the journalist.
    Here endeth the lesson.

  18. No lesson, pretender of superiority speech, you are wrong.

    I believe this is the show, refute at will.

    I know the exact time in the Trump speech that Sweden was mentioned coz I watched it, and the context it was made, did you ?

    Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering my Padawan.

  19. Jumpy, I was reading about asylum seeker policy in Sweden in 2005, and the Fox News report doesn’t make any kind of sense. I’d wait for a more reliable report.

  20. I offer no assurances John, only offer perspectives.
    Take it or not, that’s up to your good self.

  21. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering my Padawan.

    But grasshopper, why allow yourself to be so fearful?
    We have nothing to fear but fear itself.

  22. Good find, zoot, why indeed should reality have a monopoly on truth?

    I have to say that I am a bit annoyed at how the grasshopper is using CP as a stage for an obvious and shameless pitch at a ministerial aid “truthiness defence” portfolio appointment in the next Abbott led government. In fairness he is making an impressive performance, but,….its the audacity (2).

  23. Last night I heard a half hour BBC radio report on refugees in Sweden, investigating the 5-minute Fox News report. As you know the BBC have reporters everywhere, and don’t have to rely on blow-ins.

    The Fox News report is basically crap.

    Remember the Iraqi minister for information, during the war?

  24. Oh, yes, what was his name, Brian? I think it was Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf also known as Baghdag Bob. Prior to him it was Tariq Aziz.

  25. Trump’s new National Security Advisoris an interesting choice.

    Donald Trump’s second pick for national security adviser — Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond ‘HR’ McMaster — is a highly regarded military officer and soldier who is known for his roles in the Gulf War, the Iraq War and the war in Afghanistan.

    General McMaster — who has called the appointment a “privilege” — follows the departure of the embattled Michael Flynn who resigned from the position after reports he misled the White House about his contacts with Russian officials.

    But the choice of 54-year-old General McMaster — who is known as the Iconoclast General — has surprised some observers who are wondering how the Trump administration would deal with a military strongman known for questioning authority.


    In Iraq, General McMaster’s approaches to battles were considered legendary.
    He trained his soldiers in Iraqi culture, detailed the differences between Sunnis, Shiites and Turkmen, and had soldiers read books on the history of the region and counterinsurgency strategy.
    It was a sharp change from the “kill and capture” tactics the United States had used in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003, and to which the Obama administration returned in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

    He is not the only Trump appointment I approve of.

  26. The Fox News report is basically crap.

    It would appear Fox News is predominantly fake news!
    Leads me to wonder why #45 takes it as gospel. Hasn’t he realised yet that Rupert Murdoch is one of his ‘enemies of the American people’?

  27. Fact checking by the Tampa Bay Times owned by the Poynter Institute, great find, run with that. lol.

  28. So a Dude uses a Memorial lecture, in the name of a journo murdered by moslem terrorists, to diss Trump about sentence construction and delivery ?!?
    Ok then.

    I’ll sign out with a song from a band called WAR, titled ” Why can’t we be friends ”

    Sometimes I don’t speak right
    But yet I know what I’m talking about

  29. So a Dude uses a Memorial lecture, in the name of a journo murdered by moslem terrorists, to diss Trump about sentence construction and delivery ?!?

    The short answer is no.
    You really need to work on your comprehension.

  30. And apparently even what Trump thought he was saying (as opposed to what everybody heard him say) was untrue. There has been no significant increase in Swedish violent crime to match the increase in immigrants.
    As Bret Stephens pointed out in the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture this won’t change the minds of #45’s true believers.

  31. At this stage, Mr Abbott has only one spiritual home remaining.

    He can join the Bernardi Party Party Party
    stay in his seat of Waringah, entertain the House with aggressive speeches, then depart with tail between legs at the next election.

    You have to be a Dudd to perform more poorly than Rudd!

Comments are closed.