Super-Saturday here at last

Looking forward to it being over.

I’m tired of hearing that voters are turned off by politics, that politicians don’t listen to them, that the big parties are both the same, promise everything, even the Loch Ness monster and deliver nothing.

Antony Green has the lowdown on each of the seats. Click on the icons and all is revealed.

Malcolm Turnbull, keeping up his character assessment of Bill Shorten, called him a “quitter”. Ironic then that the Liberals were a no-show in the two Western Australian seats. Perth is only held by 3.3%, so should not be unwinnable.

I suspect the Liberals think declining to run is an easy way of assisting the Greens to give Labor curry in the west, without preferencing them.

In Mayo the Liberals won the seat 12 times in a row with the Liberal Party poll 5-10% above the Liberal two-party result for South Australia as a whole. A very safe seat, until Rebekha Sharkie knocked it off for the Nick Xenophon Team in 2016.

You might remember that the previous member Jamie Briggs was forced to quit the ministry at the end of 2015 following an incident involving a DFAT staff member in a Hong Kong bar. However, Briggs stayed on to run as a candidate against Sharkie who had worked for him. Sharkie overwhelmed him with the support of more than 80% of Labor and Green preferences.

Now ReachTEL shows Sharkie ahead of Georgina Downer 62-38, with YouGov/Galaxy showing Sharkie ahead 59-41.

Georgina Downer has a brilliant record and qualifications, clearly ministerial potential, if you look at her bio in her present position as Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.

Yet Sharkie seems to have won the trust of the people, whereas Bev Pote has runs the Piccadilly Kitchen cafe in the Adelaide Hills reckons she’s not too sure what Downer stands for. Pote is seen as having her finger on the pulse, although she’s up one end of an electorate that takes in Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Victor Harbour and out to Murray Bridge. I guess she is near the centre of gravity of where people actually live.

We’ve heard that the five by-elections will show the mood of the nation in relation to the major parties prospects at the next election. Mayo, according to the spin, doesn’t mean anything. It’s all about Bill Shorten, rather than the candidates, is going to win one or both of Braddon and Longman. In Mayo it’s just a dud candidate, except the Liberals say she’s no dud, she’s brilliant.

Braddon was won by the Liberals nine elections in a row from 1975 to 1996. Since then it has been Labor five times and Liberal two.

Labor traditionally does better in Tasmania than on the mainland, but against that Antony Green says that for the last three decades, Labor’s two-party preferred vote in Braddon has always been below Labor’s result for Tasmania as a whole. In 2016 Justine Keay took the seat off Brett Whitely, who is now trying to take it back. The swing was 4.8% to achieve a margin of 2.2%, so it’s close.

Of note is independent Craig Garland, a fisherman, who has been described as “authentic”. The Oz has Turnbull “slamming” and “lashing” Garland, while The Guardian says ‘They’re going to get a hell of a shock’: the anti-politician shaking up Braddon’s byelection.

He’s an environmentalist who doesn’t like national parks, doesn’t really want to be in parliament, but wants to draw attention to his concerns about the planned expansion of the salmon farm industry into the Circular Head region.

If he gets 5% or more of the vote his preferences could determine the outcome. He has Labor behind the Shooters and Fishers, but ahead of the Liberals.

Turnbull has spent five days in the electorate, Shorten nine. Turnbull has attacked Shorten rather than the candidate.

He attacked Shorten for “hiding” in Longman on Friday, just because Turnbull happened to be there while Shorten concentrated on radio interviews. Albo was in Longman, which then can only mean that Albo wants Shorten’s job, in Turnbull’s spin. He really is a nasty piece of work.

Penny Wong was in Braddon. Shorten is in both electorates today, saturday, which is quite a trick.

In both electorate Labor is running hard on health and to a lesser extent education, versus giving $17 billion to the banks. Whitely was the local member when the horror 2014 budget hit, demonstrating that he was no use at all in protecting the locals from the idiocy of his Canberra mates.

Longman was created in 1996, and since then has been Liberal six out of eight times, falling to Labor only in 2007 and 2016.

Much has been made of the fact that only once since Federation has a government taken a seat off the opposition in a by-election. Susan Lamb ousted Wyatt Roy with a 7.7% swing to achieve a margin of 0.79%. Antony Green says Roy:

    was defeated by a 7.7% swing, the largest in any Queensland seat that finished as a two-party contest. Only Family First voters favoured him in the distribution of preferences, with One Nation recommending preferences to Labor and 56.5% of One Nation voters following the advice.

It’s curious how he got Family First preferences, because he upset One Nation by favouring same-sex marriage.

Roy also sinned in ON eyes because he was part of the plot to oust Abbott.

Green says:

    In 2016 there was 21% of the vote with non-Green minor parties and independents, and these preferences flowed to Labor at 56% on top of 81% of Green preferences.

One Nation preferences pushed Lamb over the line. Back then they had 9.4% of the vote. This time they recently polled 18% and scored 20% or more in state seats in the area last year. This time they will most definitely preference the LNP, as it is called here, but some of its support will be drawn from Labor and may nevertheless return to Labor.

Graham Young says:

    Electors thought he was too young, too aloof, too cocky, and they didn’t like him being a key plotter in toppling Tony Abbott. And there were morality issues, like his stance on gay marriage, all of which culminated in One Nation directing preferences against him.

Graham Young identified immigration as a leading issue in Longman. Immigration!! Turnbull, Dutton and a whole string of LNP ministers have been warning of “African gangs” in Melbourne. This is quite intentional, completely misleading, and utterly despicable. I’ll say more in Saturday salon.

The electorate is one of the least multicultural in the country in a near-metropolitan seat*. Young has a good description of the demographic:


    Longman is typical of the outer-ring suburban seats that decide the fate of governments in Australia: full of new families, and retirees, a feeder suburb where people leave home to go to work, trading mortgage payments against miles in the car.

    These are aspirational voters, with realism. They take modest steps towards their goals and tend to be frugal and careful.

    Nestled between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, it has two major population centres – Caboolture/Morayfield and Bribie Island – and a swathe of hinterland.

    Caboolture was a dairying centre with some small cropping and farming. Today most of Queensland’s strawberries, for example, are still grown in the area.

    Morayfield was tacked under it, and is an urban area threaded by ribbon industrial and retail development along the major roads.

    Bribie Island is a rapidly developing economy, beachside retirement area. You can buy a new house and land there for $349,900 – or for $386,000 you’ll get waterfront and a marina berth.

Only two things wrong there. Longman is not typical, it’s unique. And it’s misleading to typify the population as “aspirational”. It has a large population of retirees, and more than a few in bushland retreats.

Here’s the map:

The Sunshine Coast begins top right at Caloundra. Brisbane proper probably ends with Strathpine in the south. North Lakes is a new dormitory suburb development, which is mostly outside the electorate. Here’s Google:

I highlights the Glasshouse Mountains, because they dominate the area, although the electorate appears to wrap around to the west, taking in Woodforde, of Woodford Folk Festival fame. Australia Zoo founded by Steve Irwin is somewhere in that area.

Here’s how people voted:

Down the bottom there Kallangur East voted Labor, and the single booth in North lakes voted LNP. The strip up the middle – Kallangur, Narangba, Burpengary, Morayfield, Caboolture – is where Labor has a chance.

Big Trev (he is big), Trevor Ruthenberg, the LNP candidate, was representing the Caboolture area in the Newman government when funds were ripped out of Caboolture Hospital and 730 nurses lost their jobs. Apparently voters will be reminded of this today by Labor by means of a robo-text as they go to vote. Not sure that’s smart.

The AFR took a look at promised spending for Mayo, Longman and Braddon. Here’s the LNP:

If you think that is big, take a look at this:

Of course, we are not told how many years that will take. Labor is hitting health in a big way, but $120 million goes to a new university campus in Moreton Bay, which will benefit other electorates.

The extra Centrelink staff are not to be sneezed at. Longman has high youth unemployment.

I can’t understand the headline figures on the tables, so here are two bits from the text:

    Labor’s promises in Longman have reached $155 million in the nine-week byelection campaign, more than three times the $44.6 million for the LNP.

    In Braddon, Labor has promised more than $183.2 million, compared with the Coalition’s $122.7 million.

Chris Bowen, in an AFR piece I can’t find on the web, pointed out that Labor is fully committed to a Gonski spend of $31 billion over a decade, and an NDIS commitment of $63 billion. The LNP has not indicated where this order of funds will be found elsewhere in the budget while committing to corporate tax cuts of $80 billion and personal tax cuts of $140 billion.

This election matters, and it’s not about Bill Shorten’s leadership.

About which, if Shorten wins both, or loses one, his leadership will be secure. Turnbull will jump for joy, because then he faces Shorten at the next election and he can continue his ‘kill Bill’ strategy. If Labor loses two, chances are Turnbull will go straight to the polls to make sure Labor doesn’t have a chance to change leaders.

Here’s a bit of voter interaction Turnbull and Ruthenberg did not expect.

Ruthenberg spent six years in the RAAF, has lived overseas, and prior to entering state parliament was CEO to the Lutheran Church of Australia.

As such I’m prepared to consider him an honest bloke, although careless about how he described his army medal. More importantly, has anyone asked him about climate change. A fair swag of his electorate lives on sand barely above sea level, and vulnerable to saltwater penetration.

No need to ask Georgina Downer what she thinks about climate change. When Naomi Klein got stuck into the IPA on the matter, we got this:

    Georgina Downer, an adjunct fellow at the IPA, responded, saying: “The IPA is absolutely committed to research and discussion of the facts.” She then went on to question how settled the science of climate change is.

    Downer said: “The IPA is, we don’t have an IPA opinion on climate change per se. We have a committed line of research into the facts.”

Sounds like an intelligent person’s version of Malcolm Roberts.

Finally, here’s an image of the Glasshouse Mountains taken from Wild Horse Mountain:

It’s godzone country. For the featured image up top I’ve used Beerburrum, which looms large when you drive up that way. It’s emblematic of the mountain Susan Lamb has to climb. She actually needs a considerable swing her way, and for some reason when she explained her citizenship in terms of a personal story which was truly tragic, empathy seems a stretch too far for the people of Longman. In the Oz she was accused of lying and misleading parliament.

* Update:

    The electorate is one of the least multicultural in the country in a near-metropolitan seat.

This sentence appears to be misleading. I was trying to reflect Graham Young’s comment:

    Multiculturalism and identity politics aren’t important things in Longman. Most people are of European extraction, and they are nationalists, not cosmopolitans.

In other words it would have been more appropriate to say it is one of the least racially diverse near-metropolitan electorates.

I’m thinking that immigration is likely to be important to the electors because of high youth unemployment, and the countryside is gradually being chewed up by urban expansion. I understand that there were around 6,000 more voters added to the roll since the 2016 election. The Young article contains this photo:

Liberal lieutenants, particularly neighbouring MP Peter Dutton, have been tuned in to the wavelength, talking about immigration and security issues, and Turnbull has started talking about population. Alex Ellinghausen

Update 2: Here’s where big Trev and Malcolm get some gratuitous advice from Toni Lea:

And here’s the sign that probably won Susan Lamb the seat, and which has the LNP packing it now:

45 thoughts on “Super-Saturday here at last”

  1. This took a bit longer than I thought, but I hope y’all find it of interest

    There are plenty of trees in Longman, but an amazingly low Greens vote. Graham Young describes the people there a nationalists rather than cosmopolitans. He’s probably right.

    I have a brother in law and his wife who have retired to Bribie, and my wife’s niece lives at Mt Mee, which is a magical place in the SW corner, looks towards the sea and behind the Glasshouse Mountains. As a young bloke I nearly bought a block of land there. I say ‘nearly’ but I didn’t have the money.

  2. We all know the predictable immediate responses from both side regardless of the results.
    Referendum on Fed policies V local issues and candidate.
    History V new era.
    They were dirty campaigners V they we’re dirty campaigners.

    Same old, same old.
    But at least theye’re real polls and not faux polls.

  3. One thing I will say is all 5 seat are divided politically by a few percent, and historically this is predominantly the case.
    So we are, as citizens are, I conclude, reliant on an almost equal measure of political influence from both left and right.

    We must remember, about 50 % of people you interact with over you entire life, every day, will disagree with you politically ( unless you shelter otherwise)

    All sides must live together.

  4. In the words of the PM, the people of Longman have decided they want to vote for Bill Shorten and his higher taxes, fewer jobs, lower wages and less economic growth,

  5. Bill Shorten certainly showed up at the right place. Where was Malcolm?

    I had a feeling Labor would win both Braddon and Longman, but the result exceeded expectations. Seriously, academic pundits were saying The Super Saturday showdown in Longman could determine who runs the nation.

    Louise Yaxley said:

    Failing to win any of the three it has targeted would be a blow for the Coalition which hoped to grab at least one of the two marginal seats of Longman and Braddon back from Labor.

    They lurched to the right in Longman and lost 10% of their primary vote. Their strategy is in disarray.

    Trent Zimmerman, Liberal MP for North Sydney, on the ABC coverage reminded me of the Black Knight incident on Monty Python – It’s only a flesh wound!

    I’ve heard that Labor won every booth on Bribie Island. That couldn’t be true, best wait for postals etc.

  6. jump, I can respect people I disagree with politically, but I’m having trouble respecting their political leaders.

    Often you can respect people, but not what they do, say or believe. It goes a fair bit deeper than that with Turnbull, Dutton and company.

  7. I thought I’d Google and found LNP’s Longman candidate Trevor Ruthenberg refuses to clarify view on climate change:

    In the video, Ruthenberg is challenged by AYCC [Australian Youth Climate Coalition] campaigners who say: “You can’t mine and burn coal responsibly.”

    Ruthenberg responds: “There you and I will fundamentally disagree.”

    He refused to clarify beyond:

    “I’m saying that your understanding of science, and wherever you’re getting science, and my understanding of science, are not the same science,” Ruthenberg says.

  8. Katherine Murphy wrote on Saturday morning – It’s a sliding doors moment for Labor as curtains fall on byelection circus :

    If Labor holds both seats comfortably, the field evidence will suggest the opposition remains on track to take government at the next federal election, lessening the immediate pressure on its leader, Bill Shorten.

    Now she says – Super Saturday elections: Shorten passes test as Labor wins ‘four from four’:

    While government strategists declared on Saturday night it was the two-party preferred vote that mattered in Australian elections, the LNP’s weak primary vote in Queensland was ominous for the Coalition, given the state always plays a major role in determining the outcome of federal elections because of the large number of marginal seats.

  9. I think the result highlights the vacuity of the horse race commentary that passes for political punditry in Australia.

  10. Longman as “The electorate is one of the least multicultural in the country in a near-metropolitan seat. ?

    Don’t know how that bit of misinformation got into circulation. Unless some bright spark skulking around inside an ivory tower decided that all children of migrants and Aborigines in that electorate were magically transformed into booze-swilling, mince-&-two veg, semi-literate, dole-bludging boagans. (Funny how the loathsome boagans are excluded from any race vilification protections).

  11. So, of all the by-elections due to the dual citizen clause in the Constitution ( 44i ), exactly 0% of those electorates changed parties.

    Not really that much of a “ Constitutional Crisis!! “ after all.

    I predict Barry and the Insiders will have some extra spring in their step this Sunday.

  12. Having just watched Insiders ( as I do every week ) my prediction was spot on.
    In spite of the noticeable coughing and croaky voice from a long night of cheering about the change in nothing as victory.

    Nice editing of the Turnbull interview Barry, had im saying exactly what you wanted to attack.

    Never the less, we are in the same place we were 4 months ago. If you don’t count the political shit splatters worn by throwers and their targets.

  13. A far lefts subjective critique of a far left subjective critique does not an excellent critique make.

  14. We must remember, about 50 % of people you interact with over you entire life, every day, will disagree with you politically ( unless you shelter otherwise)
    All sides must live together.

  15. Jump, Mr Denmore is always worth reading, so thankyou zoot.

    He says much that I would state another way, and he is more negative about politicians as a class than I am. For example, I don’t agree with this:

    These are politicians, after all. Their personal ambition and vanity almost always exceed their spirit of wider public service. Everyone wants to be the leader some day.

    If something positive for the LNP could have been found in the outcome, the front page of the Courier Mail would have been onto it. However, their headline was:

    LAMB CHOPS BIG TREV

    Inside, Dennis Atkins said Turnbull would have been “shell shocked”. He really expected to win.

  16. After 98 years of precedent and everything Turncoat said you really thought Turnbuckle expected to win ?
    Amazing…

  17. Despite the hype before and the hype afterwards it is difficult to say whether the results made any difference re the relative position of the major parties both well within swing expectations for byelections that don’t threaten the government’s position.
    What is really noticeable is that the media is desperately missing the easy fix they got from the rolling leadership changes they got from the rolling leadership changes of years past.

  18. So “Georgina Downer has a brilliant record and qualifications, clearly ministerial potential, Although I am usually opposed to dynastic politics and to potential nepotism, if Georgina is truly talented then she should be put in the number one or number two position of the Liberals’ Senate ticket. Australia is desperately short of quality politicians, especially for Parliamentary Committees. The only trouble is that we have already seen a few politicians with seemingly brilliant CVs and nice family connections, like Campbell Newman – who was out of his depth as Lord Mayor of Brisbane and then, incredibly, his party put him up for State Premier! It was not the Shorten-Turnbull bun-fight that killed off Big Trev’s chances of going to Canberra, it was his association with the failed Newman government. When the King Of Tunnels funded his engineering fantasies by slashing staff everywhere, he hurt a lot of people, including former staff of the Caboolture Hospital. It is not that the disposable and disposed “units-of-production” themselves had the numbers to change an election result, but when you take into account all the families, the neighbours, the friends, of each one sacked, you have a bloc of voters who are only too happy to inflict their smouldering revenge on a candidate they see as one of the culprits. These people did not need any pestering ALP robo-text; they had seen themselves what happened in three-dimensional, wrap-around sound; robo-text may have driven potential ALP votes elsewhere, (but, not to LNP, of course). I can’t understand why the mainstream news media neglected to ask ordinary voters about what issues concerned or annoyed them. Add to that all the former military, naval and air force personnel who chose to live in Longman electorate; they were not amused by the LNP candidate having a false claim to having the Australian Service Medal on his CV, and especially since social media, in the previous fortnight, was full of gloating about the news of the Goondowindi court finding guilty a bod making a false claim to be an SAS war hero and wearing medals to which he was not entitled. .
    ((Just a personal note: I was awarded the Australian Service Medal 1945~1975 with one clasp – erroneously called a “bar” – and I’m currently engaged in a 4-year-long fight with Defence bunglers over my entitlement to a second clasp for a few somewhat “interesting” years on a later deployment. Do you think I would be urging anyone at all to vote for Big Trev????))

  19. There is no doubt at all Turnbull thought he would win Longman. He said it was a referendum on his and Shorten’s leadership.

    I think Ruthenberg was chosen to attract One Nation voters. Instead he lost 10% of the primary vote, which did not all come back to him.

    Seems a lot of ON voters are disrupters, who don’t actually agree with ON policies. In fact, don’t know and don’t care, just want to stick it up the political establishment. Many of these voters don’t then come back to the status quo in preferences.

  20. John, that would not surprise me.

    Graham, the Libs should stop selecting people with weird ideas about climate science. Unfortunately that appears to include Georgina Downer.

  21. the Libs should stop selecting people with weird ideas about climate science. Unfortunately that appears to include Georgina Downer.

    Aren’t weird ideas about climate science mandatory for members and employees of the IPA?

  22. Aren’t weird ideas about climate science mandatory for members and employees of the IPA?

    zoot, I think the short answer is, yes.

    One factor not mentioned in Longman was Catholic Education. Three catholic schools sent a note home with their students in the last days.

    I noticed Simon Birmingham was heading off to have discussions with Catholic education. It had been a matter of pride that they hadn’t done 17 (or was it 19) separate deals. Of course the people who sit just above the schools wouldn’t know anything about comparative need, it was all in the formula. Until now.

  23. Brian:
    No, no, your reply was too long; the correct answer was, “the Libs should stop selecting people “. When a beautifully crafted election campaign fails, it is always people who caused the failure; therefore, people should be abolished so that electoral success can be guaranteed. 🙂

  24. Graham

    The writer Bertolt Brecht put it very nicely in a short poem, titled “Die Loesung”, I think.

    Written after an uprising, rather than an election; its basic news is that the Leadership, having finally realised that the People are unsatisfactory, has decided to elect a new People.

    Bitter, darkly comic.

    An agonising twist for Bertolt, who had been loyal to the Communist cause, and had moved to the DDR after WW2.

    Finally, he put democracy above the ugly version of “socialism” that he saw around him.

    Can’t check right now, but I’d be surprised if his poem was published in his lifetime, let alone in the DDR.

    Samizdat was a later invention, I think.

  25. Ambi, that Brecht quote, if it was Brecht and I think it was, would be worth digging out.

    Graham it was I who said:

    The electorate is one of the least multicultural in the country in a near-metropolitan seat.

    I misfired. I’ve put an update:

    This sentence appears to be misleading. I was trying to reflect Graham Young’s comment:

      Multiculturalism and identity politics aren’t important things in Longman. Most people are of European extraction, and they are nationalists, not cosmopolitans.

    In other words it would have been more appropriate to say it is one of the least racially diverse near-metropolitan electorates.

    I’m thinking that immigration is likely to be important to the electors because of high youth unemployment, and the countryside is gradually being chewed up by urban expansion. I understand that there were around 6,000 more voters added to the roll since the 2016 election. The Young article contains this photo:

    The caption reads:

      Liberal lieutenants, particularly neighbouring MP Peter Dutton, have been tuned in to the wavelength, talking about immigration and security issues, and Turnbull has started talking about population. Alex Ellinghausen.
  26. I’ve done a second update:

    Here’s where big Trev and Malcolm get some gratuitous advice from Toni Lea:

    And here’s the sign that probably won Susan Lamb the seat, and which has the LNP packing it now:

  27. Brian:
    Thanks for that info about Berthold Brecht. By coincidence, just happen to know a fair number who live in Longman electorate, hence my comment; don’t worry about misfiring; just proves you are human too. 🙂

    Rather annoyed at marketers marketing their expensive marketing charms. Well, that’s how I saw mainstream media saying that the ALP win in Longman was due to a massive spend up by the ALP on marketing, (that implied that other factors should be ignored). A translation of that would be, “If you spend a fortune for our firm’s advertising services, we’ll get your candidate elected, even a proverbial drover’s dog”.

  28. Die Lösung:
    After the uprising of the 17th of June
    The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
    Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
    Stating that the people
    Had forfeited the confidence of the government
    And could win it back only
    By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

  29. Danke zoot.
    (Following Mr Jump’s lead, may I also say: brilliant link, zoot?)

    Now over to you, Brian……
    I’m wondering if there might be a pun in the poem’s title??
    We use “solution” to mean at least two things:
    a) answer to a problem or difficulty
    b) a liquid containing dissolved material

    So, does “Loesung” have both those meanings?
    After all, in his second last line, Mr Brecht has the people being dissolved.

    Most of us would rather see a Parliament or Politburo dissolved than a whole people, I reckon.

  30. Brilliant question, Ambi.

    My dictionary says it does. For example Lösungsmittel means ‘solvent’.

  31. Brian, zoot and Ambigulous::
    Thank you very much for Die Loessing. I shall put it next to one of my favourites: Martin Niemoeller’s biting comment on inaction:
    “In Germany, the Nazis came for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
    and I didn’t speak up because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I was a Protestant so I didn’t speak up.
    Then they came for me –
    and by that time there was nobody to speak up for anyone.

  32. That is indeed a great poem Graham.
    It could have been written by any number of folk throughout history about any jurisdictions “ authority”.
    And the never ending creep of Governments today.

  33. Graham

    The Pastor’s words also speak to the universality of human rights. Each of us needs to be looking after the rights of others.

    “No man is an island unto himself.”

    Luckily, Mr J, many of my fellow citizens have a wider view, and don’t restrict their concerns to the malign or corrupt actions of governments.

    It turns out there are (also) other foes. For example, monopolies or duopolies gouging cash, employers underpaying or overworking employees, banks rapacious, developers suborning public servants, media serving up untruths, spreaders of false hopes and quackery, “celebrities” touting for disciples, and cheating cricketers.

    Don’t get me started, Mr J.
    🙁

  34. It could have been written by any number of folk throughout history about any jurisdictions “ authority”.

    Really? Like Australia today?
    Where they imprison indefinitely and under the most inhumane conditions people seeking asylum, and we don’t protest because we are not asylum seekers?
    Where Muslims are stereotyped as terrorists and we don’t speak up because we’re not Muslims?
    Where African immigrants are falsely characterised as “gangs”, and we don’t speak up because we are not black Africans?
    Where unemployed people receive a benefit too miserly to support the search for a job, and we remain silent because we are not unemployed?
    Is that the sort of “authority” you’re referring to?

  35. MrA

    Luckily, Mr J, many of my fellow citizens have a wider view, and don’t restrict their concerns to the malign or corrupt actions of governments.

    It turns out there are (also) other foes. For example, monopolies or duopolies gouging cash, employers underpaying or overworking employees, banks rapacious, developers suborning public servants, media serving up untruths, spreaders of false hopes and quackery, “celebrities” touting for disciples, and cheating cricketers.

    Don’t get me started, Mr J.

    Let’s have a look then. Monopolies and Duopolies develop when other competitors are kept out of a certain market. I’m certain if there’s some gouging to do they’d be interested. Can you think of any Local, State or Federal “ requirements “ that may hinder such entry ?
    I can.

    employers underpaying or overworking employees

    I’m unaware of any laws concerning “ unfair resignations”, nor restrictions on overpaying or under working. Seem all stacked one way from the government. Perhaps your suggesting maximum pay scales and minimum output legislation?

    Banks, well with ex politicians on all the boards and Anna Bligh heading up the bankers union we shouldn’t be too confident they could be good with other people’s money. Amazing how politicians end up at corrupt, highly regulated banks.

    developers suborning public servants

    Or public servants soliciting money for approvals, either way it’s 50/50 blame.

    media serving up untruths

    Been saying that myself for ages.

    spreaders of false hopes and quackery,

    Sounds like politicians.

    celebrities” touting for disciples

    Sounds like election campaigns.
    As for Cricket, you got me, other than large amounts of tax dollars, free tickets for politicians and “ conferences “ that happen to coincide with Test match schedules.

  36. Anyway, back on topic, good on the ABC eventually breaking the “ greens blind eye to sexual abuse in its ranks “ expose.
    Looking into it they sat on it till after the Super Saturday by elections.
    Could have made a real difference if the truth was out before the polls open given that the vast majority of green preferences go ALP.
    But a decision was made to sit on it.

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