Saturday salon 24/6

1. Swear allegiance to clean coal

I got a heads-up from John D, Mark’s Facebook was onto it also. Prospective migrants would be asked questions about clean coal, according to RenewEconomy, who don’t normally do satire. They got it from The Australian, and the man from The Monthly on RN Drive says it was real, so was it?

The link was to this site, so was it real, or a spoof? Surely the latter!

So I Googled IELTS and found that Peter Dutton says the idea that an academic test is required for citizenship and migration is a load of cobblers.

    “Contrary to Labor’s false claims, the IELTS Academic test is not required for migration or citizenship purposes.

    “The General Training test is accepted.

    “Level 6 of the General stream focuses on “basic survival skills in broad social and workplace contexts.”

He looks like a trustworthy man, so we can all relax, right?

There was also a link to the IELTS site.

If you click on ‘General Training Reading’ and ‘Multiple Choice Questions’ and there it is!

No shit, that’s the real world we are living in!

2. Ministers escape contempt charges

Belatedly, the three ministers, Michael Sukkar, Greg Hunt and Alan Tudge, sent an unconditional apology to the Victorian supreme court when they realised how serious their situation was. The court was not altogether impressed, finding their actions “appalling” and a contravention of the separation of powers.

    The court accepted their apology and will not take refer the ministers for contempt of court, but Chief Justice Marilyn Warren said the comments were “fundamentally wrong” and that the delay in apologising was “regrettable and aggravated the contempt”.

The Australian did not solicit their comments. These turkeys, all lawyers, coordinated their comments and sent them off to make a splash.

3. Britain in the mire

Opinion polls are now giving Labour the lead over the Tories, enough to win the most seats, if not a majority.

Theresa May has now painted herself into a corner.

Jon Henley, European affairs editor of The Guardian, talked to Elizabeth Jackson on Late Night Live about the mess they are in.

For starters, the three matters of how much Britain will have to pay, the border in Ireland, and the rights of Europeans living in the UK and Brits in Europe will need to be resolved before they talk about trade. But the kind of trade deal they make would affect those three.

Then there is the great Repeal Bill, which will take 80,000 pieces of EU legislation and copy them onto British statutes. Then they will have to go through them all and decide which bits to keep and which to change. A complicating factor is that in many cases the Scottish parliament has devolved powers, and would have to approve any changes.

They’ll be doing little else.

Many are having second thoughts about Brexit, as the economy sags they way those stupid expert economists said it would. However, May has 70 to 80 hard-line Brexiters, the ones she wanted to sideline by a nice fat majority, who must be satisfied with any move she makes. Sounds as though she would be better off talking to Jeremy Corbyn.

There’s more here and here.

4. Guy Rundle warns that the world is about to get nastier

Guy Rundle at Crikey thinks that with the Grenfell Tower and now the Finsbury Park attack, London has changed to become a contested city. Those with jihadi inclinations are quite small in number, about one in a quarter of a million. If that became one in 10,000 we would have something like Belfast in the 1970s.

However, that is where he thinks we may be heading and not just in London. We will increasingly be called upon to say which side we are on.

He thinks Trump’s drone campaign, which is not as disciplined as Obama’s and is hitting more innocent civilians, is not helping.

Nor is Mark Latham, who has joined Rebel Media:

    The Finsbury Park truck attack is one of dozens, hundreds of attacks on UK Muslims over past years. But it’s one of the first that has been choreographed to be a spectacle of terror. In its wake English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson has called for the formation of white militias, and for the armed “defence” of whites against Muslims. Since Robinson is part of the Canadian media outfit “The Rebel”, which is now represented in Australia by Mark Latham, such fascist squaddist rhetoric is now being spread here. Since Latham is now explicitly branding his output as part of the “Rebel” stable, it would seem he is willing to be fully associated with such sentiments and urgings.

5. Manufacturing is not dying

Not by a long shot:

    Australia’s manufacturing industry could be poised for recovery, according to a new report, which says the sector is enjoying its largest improvement in employment conditions in a decade.

    It says Australian manufacturing jobs have swelled by 40,000 in the past 12 months – the second-largest number of new jobs created in any industry – and productivity has returned to near its previous peak.

The industry was in decline after 2008 and the GFC, but seems to have stabilised since 2014 and profits are up:

    Quarterly gross operating profits reached nearly $8bn in the March quarter, the highest in several years, which may soon encourage future increases in capital spending and more hiring.

    The report says the value of Australian-made manufactures sold to international markets has also grown dramatically in recent years, from a low of $80bn in 2009 to a record high of more than $100bn in the past 12 months.

    Recent data also indicate the sector allocates almost 5% of its sector value-added to new R&D expenditure, more than any other sector – including the scientific and professional services sectors.

Here’s a graph showing electricity usage, which may surprise:

That was from a report by the chief economist.

Yet a day later we get an article Unionised tax-funded health work becoming the ‘new manufacturing’ which paints an entirely different picture:

    Nurses, doctors, aged-care assistants and other social welfare professionals are rapidly becoming the backbone of the nation’s workforce, increasing the political and economic might of a union-heavy sector that relies almost exclusively on government taxation.

Go figure!

33 thoughts on “Saturday salon 24/6”

  1. Guy Rundles mendacious comments fan the flames.
    Two outright lies in that one paragraph.
    Disgraceful !
    I’m glad I can’t see the whole pile of crap.

  2. With the burnt-out shell of Grenfell Tower hanging still in the sky above west London, Cardiff father-of-four Darren Osborne took it upon himself to turn the UK back towards culture and racial division, with a van attack on worshipers at Finsbury Park mosque in east London. One person has died after the attack, and 10 were injured, the death toll may well rise. Osborne, detained by members of the crowd, was said to have been saved from serious injury by an imam, who prevented the crowd from laying into him. he was heard to yell that he wanted to “kill all Muslims” or “kill more Muslims” or possibly both.

    That’s the first paragraph of Guy Rundle’s piece.
    Two outright lies??

  3. Item 5.

    I think there is no paradox, Brian.
    One series shows electricity useage, the other shows percentages of jobs.

    My guess: job numbers (by sector) are not proportional to electrical power useage (by sector).

    For instance an aluminium smelter might use heaps of power, but if highly automated, employ relatively few workers.

    Only a guess, but.

  4. Zoot
    It is paywalled, I was going on Brians extract.
    Tommy Robinson is not a member of EDL ( long story a ” journalist ” should at least verify ) leave alone Leader.
    And he did not call for ” white militias “.

    This turd Rundle forgot to mention the Moslem on non-moslem attacks and rapes and killings, why ?

  5. This turd Rundle forgot to mention the Moslem on non-moslem attacks and rapes and killings, why ?

    How do you know he didn’t mention them? You reckon you’re glad that you can’t read the whole piece.

    Tommy Robinson is not a member of EDL

    A quick search sees him identified as the founder of the EDL. Hardly seems worth getting your knickers into such a knot (even though it may fan your flames)

    Chill out bro’.

  6. Anyway, Ive had enough of politics for one day.
    After have a rolling discussing on how Trump was wrong for driving a golf buggy on a Green (ffs ! ) and being treated as a ” Hitlery Clinton lover “, I’ll give up for a bit.

  7. If you want to see flames being fanned.
    Jeez Jumpy, sorry to hear you’re not a golfer (I thought all capitalists played golf?)

  8. Ambigulous, re item 5, I stuffed up a bit by interpolating the electricity usage graph, which I put in to show that manufacturing is healthir=er than most of us would think.

    The paradox is that we get a report one day saying we’ve had 40,000 new manufacturing jobs in the past 12 months – the second-largest number of new jobs created in any industry – then a day later we get a report that says there were 15,000 new jobs in manufacturing, and:

    Over the past 12 months, professional services generated 62,000 extra jobs, followed by accommodation (43,000 jobs), education (42,000) jobs, health (33,000) and construction (22,000).

    The 15,000 was cited as praiseworthy, as were the 3,000 new jobs in mining. It’s a question of just how well manufacturing is doing.

    There’s also an article from November last year that says manufacturing is evolving, not dying.

  9. The REnewEconomy article said

    Details of the extraordinarily complex reading material that new citizens are being asked to comprehend, in preparation for their citizenship tests, have been revealed in The Australian newspaper, which was concerned by the level of complexity in the language.

    They are certainly right about the level of language complexity which was far too high for testing immigrants and should have been concerned about some of the concepts that would many Australians.
    Then there were questionable statements about dust control and noise suppression…..

  10. Jumpy, if you want to read Rundle’s piece, try copying a sentence and his name into Google and you’ll probably get it.

    He’s certainly not ignoring Moslem jihadi violence, but he is saying that Western foreign policy can have consequences.

    Overall, though, I think he’s saying that things are getting nasty and are likely to get nastier.

    I don’t always agree with Rundle, but I think he’s worth listening to.

  11. John, yes, Dutton’s claim that it is ‘General Training Reading’, rather than ‘Academic Reading’ is small comfort, it’s ridiculously complex.

  12. Lack of wind a big blow for Infigen and power prices

    If electricity consumers were not already being squeezed by the closure of Victoria’s coal burning Hazelwood power station, an extraordinary lack of wind in the past few months has certainly compounded the problem.

    Key points:

    Wind generation is down 40pc on this time last year and 30pc on the December quarter of 2016
    The wind stopped blowing at the same time the Hazelwood plant closed down, exacerbating price hikes
    Futures pricing points to lower prices beyond 2018 as more renewable power comes online
    The large wind-focussed generator, Infigen Energy has been forced to downgrade its full-year profit forecast due to what it says has been the least windy period it has endured put its current capacity together in 2012.

    “Production for the 4th quarter is expected to be … approximately 40 per cent below the previous corresponding period and 30 per cent below the historical 4th quarter average,” it told investors in a statement to the ASX.

    “The current quarter is expected to include two of the lowest production months for Infigen’s current Australian operating assets.”

    Infigen’s 4th quarter started on April 1, a few days after Hazelwood closed.
    “Infigen had expected its east coast wind farms to benefit from weather patterns that typically result in high wind speeds and solid production in the second half of June,” the company said.

    These customary seasonal weather patterns have passed to the south of mainland Australia, resulting in below average wind conditions at Infigen’s wind farms in South Australia and New South Wales.”

    The changing weather patterns may be related to climate change.

  13. Brian,

    He’s certainly not ignoring Moslem jihadi violence, but he is saying that Western foreign policy can have consequences.

    I just tries multiple times with no success.
    But I do know there is nothing in the snippets posted by both zoot and yourself about moslem violence or Western foreign policy.
    If you want to understand Tommy Robinsons ( not his real name ) position and what he has gone through, click here.
    Obviously Guy Rundle never has to tell such lies.

  14. The power problem is the product of sporadic and unco-ordinated and insufficient development of energy infrastructure which can be entirely sheeted home to initially the approach that Rudd took then the wreckingball tactics of Toxic Tony Abbott, and after a brief hopeful period under Gillard to the now roadblocking of the Turnbull government. All of which disguised the greed and extortion of the industry players. Any discussion that does not begin with this understanding is just navle gazing and hair splitting.

    I went to another NSW Liberal party fund raising event on Thursday evening. I go to these things because I keep getting invited to them, Labour has never invited me to anything, and if one has things to say then one must go to where an opinion can be heard, and apart from that I think Gladys Berejiklian is a good leader.

    I had a lot of interesting conversations on a broad number of subjects with the assembled faithful. I try to take a discussion theme to such events and this time it was about the need for there to be a levy on plastic bottles and other waste only to discover when talking to a Liberal organiser ahead of the gathering that this is already announced. So when I got the brief opportunity to speak with the Gladys I praised her initiative on this and we both agreed that this was the best way to get funding to councils for their waste handling burden.

    I had earlier go the opportunity to talk with the treasurer, Dominic Peritot, and made the comment that “I hope to be hearing soon of initiatives for the creation of new regional cities and a solid regional development program as this is the only way that our young people are going to get real opportunities en masse, with new community starts that can be engineered to be cost neutral for the state government”. Sadly Labour in office took the view that it was cheaper to make existing cities denser rather than create new ones, a view I resoundingly condemn as being false and short sighted. I learnt of this years ago from the Mayor of Hunters Hill as she was lamenting having to allow the demolision of beautiful old houses to make way for apartment blocks.

    In the interests of balance I rang Luke Foley’s office to express the same notion with te rider that that from what I can see Labor don’t any real answers at present and are looking ineffectual against dynamic program of the Liberals (however ill conceived many of the projects may be). So if the Liberals were to announce a dynamic regional development program which would be a good news story for the next thirty years Labor would be an also-ran for decades to come.

    I had a number of discussions about costs of infrastructure, but that is another story. However in the interests of relevence on the subject of manufacturing decline, there is no doubt that manufacturing is shrinking. At the moment there is some small rebound as some manufacturing is returned to the local field from Asian producers. As time moves on we are finding areas where we can compete as China’s costs move slowly upwards, but this is also a symptom of local demand reducing to the point where smaller production runs are of less interest to Asian producers.

  15. Jumpy, if you want to talk about what Rundle did or didn’t write you need to read him. I told you above how you can get access. I can’t test it to see if it works, because my computer knows I have a subscription. However, I can’t give all the nuance in a short summary.

    Re Tommy Robertson, I don’t have time to spend an hour listening to his stuff, so no comment.

  16. Jumpy, people who go looking for trouble will surely find it. That is your Tommy Robinson. His “I done no wrong video” is disingenuous. IMO.

  17. Brian did you notice that the IELTS “general training reading” says that the global population (humans base) is 5 billion people, rather than the over 7 billion according to the United Nations (or 7.5 billion according to Worldometer ).

    So how accurate can the rest of it be? Not very accurate!

  18. BilB, I didn’t notice that. makes you wonder where this IELTS stuff comes from.

    So I Googled and found that IELTS is the:

    International English Language Testing System,[6] or IELTS /ˈaɪ.ɛlts/, is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for non-native English language speakers. It is jointly managed by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia and Cambridge English Language Assessment,[6] and was established in 1989. IELTS is one of the major English-language tests in the world, others being the TOEFL, TOEIC, PTE:A and OPI/OPIc.

    British Council and the Cambridge elements would be quite reputable, one would think, so that leaves IDP:

    IDP Education (International Development Program (IDP)) is an international education organisation offering student placement in Australia, and to New Zealand, the USA, UK, and Canada. IDP Education has 45 years’ experience in international higher education and has successfully placed over 400,000 international students all over the world. IDP has more than 80 offices in 31 countries and 550 trained counsellors.

    So it’s probably not the government, just a money-making outfit sucking up to the government so they keep the government contract. And making it hard for ‘undesirables’ to get anywhere near the place in the fevered mind of our cultural guardians. That’s what it looks like.

    We used to have a language test where people could be given the test that only Kalahari Bushmen could pass if they looked suspicious.

    Getting back there, by degrees.

  19. BilB, your political peregrinations are interesting.

    On manufacturing, though, I think the electricity usage graph does not lie, but wait to see what the abandonment of the car industry will bring.

    I honestly think it is difficult for anyone, even people such as yourself, to gain a full picture through personal experience. I know that food processing used to be the biggest manufacturing sector by a fair margin. On local radio we keep hearing stories about niche operators that come up with ideas beyond imagination, and some of these become quite large. In Germany the keep talking about the ‘Mittelstand’ as the backbone of their industry. I think here you have to go global to get the same sort of critical mass, so the question remains as to whether all these you beaut stories amount to a hill of beans.

  20. BilB
    JUNE 25, 2017 AT 11:49 AM
    Jumpy, people who go looking for trouble will surely find it.

    He would argue trouble found him and being stubborn little bastard won’t accept being silenced.

    That is your Tommy Robinson. His “I done no wrong video” is disingenuous. IMO.

    He’s not my anything ( yet I see what you’re trying to do there ) but in what way is he being disingenuous ?
    Do you have factual info contradicting any statements he made ?

  21. Jumpy, does Robinson anywhere in your linked video condemn violence against Muslims?
    (I’m sure you hold him to the same standard you hold Guy Rundle)

  22. Jumpy, google your guy. He is all about conflict, spoiling for a fight, then chooses to be indignant when he gets one.

  23. You would know if you watched it.
    He wants less violence in England.
    He get just as many death threats aimed at his family by white supremacists as he does by moslems.
    And if you do watch it you’ll see the State persecution.

    All for telling the truth often and loud, isn’t that what we want ?

  24. BilB, I’ll start to respect your participation in conversation when you stop ignoring mine by ignoring my simple relevant questions.

    I try to show my respect by answering as best I can all questions put to me in conversation.

    ( not a call to throw 1000 ” have you stopped beating your wife yet ?” rot at me )

  25. Wow, a Huffiest by an antifa !
    She didn’t even put in the interview ffs, HERE it is.
    Fair and balanced, respect to both, who talks over who, hit job ?

  26. Just watched again.
    How anyone could regard Piers Morgan as having professional journalistic standards is beyond comprehension.
    Or Sabby Dhalu who organises masked violent rallies.

  27. Jumpy, I watched that whole interview. Completely unedifying. Sabby Dhalu is right, it should not have happened.

    Now you’ve said that Sabby Dhalu organises masked violent rallies. I Googled that and can’t find any evidence.

  28. Ben Eltham has a good article on the Centrelink “robo-debt” fiasco over at New Matilda.

  29. Just for fun Google ” google speed test ”
    Mine’s slow as but plenty good to watch a movie while my Son plays WoW.
    Down 3.52- Up 0.73 Mbps.

  30. If you share my love of typos, have a look at Sydney Morning Herald online where a video clip of an interview in Israel with Miss Mariah Carey carries a caption referring to Mr James Packers as her


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