Weekly salon 2/9

1. Washer’s lament – the end of deliberative democracy

Dr Mal Washer was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from October 1998 to August 2013. While he was there it is said he was doctor to the house, providing medical help and personal counselling to members of parliament.

When Waleed Aly and Scot Stevens spoke to Katharine Murphy about whether the Dutton insurrection was a symptom of how we do politics in Australia, she quoted Washer inter alia. She gave a three-part answer.

First, the major parties once represented stability to the electorate. Not any more. Rather the reverse. What happened is now hard-baked into the system.

Second, what happened coincided with a disruption in the media. With social media and the 24-hour media cycle parliament is now spectacle rather than deliberation.

Third, there is now a cumulative effect of all this instability which is diabolical and extremely stressful for the human beings who play the part of politicians. This was Dr Washer’s insight when she asked him. Politicians no longer trust the system to work. The caucus room was a place where things were worked out. Now politics is hostile territory for human beings. More happens through emotion than through reason.

Murphy said that what was new in this insurrection was that people are still confused about what happened and why, and there was complete enervation and exhaustion as a result.

I’m disappointed that, once again, people were looking at the behaviour of the Liberal-Nationals and assuming it applies to “both sides”. This can be seen by their dating the beginning of the modern phenomenon constant decapitation of leaders with Malcolm Turnbull deposing Brendan Nelson.

On the Labor side we had after Keating, Beazely for a while, then in quick order we had Simon Crean, Mark Latham, Kim Beazley again, Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and again Kevin Rudd. When Rudd was defeated at election on 7 September 2013, Bill Shorten “subsequently gained 63.9% of the party caucus vote and 40.8% of the rank-and-file members’ vote, which when weighted equally gave Shorten a 52.02% victory over Albanese.”

Has anyone noticed that Labor has had the same leader for nearly five years? And have been working steadily on policy ever since?

All we need is for the Liberals to introduce democracy into their leadership election process and we can all return to sanity. If there are enough sane Liberals left.

2. Too hot in the kitchen?

Then get out. That appeared to be the official reaction to the matter from Michael Kroger of the Victorian Liberal Party.

Geoff Kennett said that if Julia Banks said she had been bullied, then she had been bullied, and it shouldn’t happen. He regretted her loss as she had skills and knowledge not possessed by other MPs.

    Victorian Liberal MP Julia Banks, the only Liberal to win a seat from Labor at the 2016 election, announced this week that she won’t contest the next election – citing bullying, intimidation and harassment generally, and particularly through last week’s leadership turmoil.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he’ll have no truck with such thuggish behaviour.

    “One of the things we are moving quickly to do is ensure we restore that strong culture in the Liberal Party and bring the party together and show the stability and unity that is necessary, that Australians are looking to me to provide,” he said.

That was from Karen Middleton at The Saturday Paper.

Wikipedia says:

    Political journalist Malcolm Farr described Banks’ announcement as a “blistering farewell” that gives “an indication of the heavy toll this week of chaos and political thuggery will have on the [Liberal] party.” He went on to state that the anti-Turnbull plotters employed “a strategy of bullying and intimidation” and have been “eventually proved to have an incompetence to match their brutality [and are] a disaster for the parliamentary party.”

Banks fingered Labor for pursuing her over her possible Greek citizenship, according to Michelle Grattan. Dutton’s lieutenants were Victorian MP Michael Sukkar, South Australian Tony Pasin, ACT senator Zed Seselja and others, who bungled the process, wrongly assumed they had the numbers and were played for mugs by Morrison’s men according to Middleton.

3. Morrison played them all for mugs

That’s the main import of the Middleton article linked above. Morrison’s moves began way back, she says. For example, Turnbull wanted to junk the corporate tax cuts because they were electoral poison. That was before the Longman bi-election. Morrison and Cormann wanted him to keep them, at least Morrison for the same reason, that they were electoral poison and would damage Turnbull.

Morrison’s tacticians also played “rope-a-dope” with home affairs minister, Dutton, or so some now believe.

Turnbull got wind of something happening, and at the party meting that Tuesday he began with his usual discursive address, then suddenly changed tack:

    “Things can’t go on like this,” he told stunned colleagues, then blindsided them further by vacating the two leadership positions and announcing a ballot on the spot.

    “People who were drinking coffee spat it out,” one MP says of the shock.

Only party whip Nola Marino knew and was there with ballot papers ready.

At the end of it all, Matthias Cormann has lost some skin, and his role as special minister of state overseeing electoral issues and parliamentary expenses, which went to Morrison loyalist Alex Hawke.

Dutton supporters were played for suckers, and they know it, making a happy bunch. Not.

4. Julie Bishop’s revenge

Julie Bishop, who had superior public appeal to either Dutton or Morrison, had her nose put out of joint when she attracted only 11 first round votes, none from her WA colleagues.

Her revenge so far is to stay in her seat to keep out Christian Porter, who occupies a marginal seat, and Cormann, who is in the senate. Also she may do a Bradbury – that is be the only one standing if ScoMo loses the next election.

Australian Public Affairs had done a very fine summary of her legacy as foreign minister.

In short, it’s mixed.

    While she deserves credit for last year’s Foreign Policy White Paper, which was surprisingly candid about changes in the Asia-Pacific region and the challenges posed by China’s rise, she at times clung to unrealistic hopes about US commitment to the region, and Australia’s ability to rely on it.

She cultivated good relations around the world, but must wear some of the blame for heavy cuts to Australia’s aid program.

Perhaps her most enduring legacy will be her initiative known as the New Colombo Plan which sends Australian students to work, study or learn a language in 40 countries across the region. The scheme was her idea, initiated in 2014, and has so far sent almost 30,000 students abroad. The 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper specifies support at 10,000 students a year at least.

I have an issue with Julie Bishop that I cannot forgive her for.

On 8 October 2012 Julia Gillard smashed Tony Abbott over his sexism and misogyny. (That’s the first time I’ve seen the vision.)

Abbott did reflect on his behaviour, as suggested by Gillard. After that he slobbered over every woman unfortunate to come near him.

And Julie bishop attacked Gillard without mercy over the AWU affair, pronouncing her guilty, although she knew as a lawyer that the matter had been long dealt with and had no merit. For example see:

As usual, every question asked by Julie Bishop, while Abbott sits silently by.

Throw enough muck, and some will stick.

Gillard over 2012 had fought back from 39-61 TPP in the polls to be somewhat competitive at 48-52. From that November 2012 on it was downhill all the way for Gillard.

What Bishop did was unforgivable. I haven’t, and I won’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I admire Julie Bishop for her positive qualities, and on the whole she has done well representing Australia. She is by far the best fundraiser in the Liberal Party by all accounts, and the most assiduous in supporting members in marginal seats. She may in the future bring healing to the Liberal Party in opposition, though I fear that only an actual generational change will serve.

5. The dirty words of politics didn’t used to be so vile

Laura Tingle writes that Malcolm Turnbull had the numbers on the NEG both in the party room and on the floor of parliament, if Labor had supported it, which they had signalled they were willing to do.

But bipartisanship is to be avoided at all costs, at least by the Liberal Party.

Turnbull didn’t seek consensus, he avoided it, by not showing them any legislation, then just declaring that Labor would not to support it.

Further up Katharine Murphy talks of parliament becoming theatre.

Turnbull could not countenance up to a dozen of his side of parliament sitting with Adam Bandt on one side, and everyone lese on the other.

    OMG! Being seen to vote with Labor on issue??? Could things truly get more horrifying???

How it looks is more important than the actual policy.

6. Apart from all that

Sorry about the surfeit of politics, but we need to get our heads around what is happening. I didn’t include the polls this time, where both Newspoll and Essential had Labor at 55-45. I think that’s a good outcome for the LNP, given the timing, so we’ll see how things go from here. Essential has some interesting additional polls.

Today’s Insiders on TV was excellent.

46 thoughts on “Weekly salon 2/9”

  1. Insiders made many important points, among them that the National Party had parted company with farmers, in that the NFF accepts the reality of human-caused climate change.

    Similarly, Australians generally want us to honour our Paris commitments, even if it costs us a bit, but the Liberal Party think they know better.

    I was interested in Peter van Onselen’s forecast that more marginal Liberal seat holders would follow Julia Banks out the door and pull the plug before the next election.

  2. Broncos v Dragons next week at Suncorp.
    Jamayne Isaako highest point scorer of the year, well done that lad !

  3. One of the problems with the system used by the LNP to elect the leader is that it encourages the sort of strategic voting that appeared to reduce Julie Bishop’s vote in the leadership spill. (Those that strongly opposed Dutton decided that Morrison was more likley to beat Dutton than Julie would have voted for Morrison even though they preferred Julie over both Morrison and Dutton.)
    One way of avoiding this problem is to use a “Round Robin” approach where the candidates have one on one contests with each other. The candidate with the most wins wins. In the case of candidates with the same number of wins the winning/losing margins are taken into account.
    Strategic voting can make a difference in normal elections. for example, the LNP has a bigger chance of winning if Labor beats the Greens because Labor preferences tend to favour the Greens more than Green preferences favour Labor.

  4. Whenever I look at that silly circus of vanity, brawling and back-biting that pretends to be 21st Century Australian politics, the spectre of the once-mighty but eventually defunct federated kingdom of Poland-Lithuania.

    This kingdom made Europe shake for more than a century, then just like Australia politicians and their hangers-on do now, its magnates squabbled over trifles and in so doing weakened it to such an extent that the kingdom vanished from the face of the Earth within the space of four generations.

    Thanks to the antics and the amusements of our childish Senators and to our decidedly unrepresentative Representatives, Australia is now hurtling down that same sewer-drain.

  5. Graham, I’m a bit hopeful better government will come if we have two or three terms of a Shorten Labor government. The Libs and Nats can only sort themselves out in an extended spell in opposition, and probably a passing of the present brigade.

    I don’t know much about the actual Lib and Nat parties, but what I do know does not fill me with cheer.

    Personalities can make a difference, especially on the right, going by Menzies, Bolte, Playford, Jo Bjelke, even Howard. But the likes of Michael Kroger in the background, and Gary Spence in Qld send shivers up the spine.

  6. This morning, ScoMo told 2GB’s broadcaster Alan Jones on the Paris Climate Agreement:

    “Well, I’m not convinced changing it makes any difference one way or another Alan, that’s the bottom line.”

    “That discussion isn’t going to change anybody’s electricity prices and that’s what I’m focused on.”

    “I’m not a climate warrior… what I’m about is getting people’s electricity prices down.”

    Although ScoMo says he’s “not convinced” that withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement “makes any difference” to electricity prices, it seems to me he’s not concerned at all about emissions.

  7. Geoff,

    Perhaps that’s because PM Turnbull, Minister Frydenberg and PM Morrison have made higher energy prices their main focus in their public statements?

    (This is sheer guesswork on my part.)

    Meanwhile, what have their Depts been telling them?

  8. And it is now up to the Greens, Labor, the renewable energy industries and the general public to demand that the PM pay attention to CO2 and CH4 emissions.

  9. Ambigulous (Re: SEPTEMBER 3, 2018 AT 3:32 PM):

    And it is now up to the Greens, Labor, the renewable energy industries and the general public to demand that the PM pay attention to CO2 and CH4 emissions.

    Are your state and federal parliamentary members informed? Have you phoned/emailed/written/spoken to them to “demand” that they “pay attention to CO2 and CH4 emissions“? Start the ball rolling.

  10. Ambi, our dear PM has sent the new foreign minister off to the Pacific Island conference, whereas with NZ the PM and deputy PM are there.

    The islanders will tell Ms Payne that her climate policies are crap and they don’t look forward to drowning.

    She’ll bring the message back and ScoMo where the boys will pat her on the head and say she worries too much.

  11. Ms Bishop went to an international conference and the PM sent a “minder” with her to make sure she toed the line. That annoyed her. Her annoyance became public knowledge.

    I think the PM was Mr Abbott.
    “The age of political assassination is over.”

  12. Brian: Sorry but I can’t share your optimism over the future of current political parties.

    Going through them one by one:
    Labor may have gained a bit by having 5 years of stability with Shorten but though it may come first in an election, it will never be able to run an effective government so long as everyone sees it as merely the mirror-image of the dreary Libs and as a dumping ground for unemployable ex-staffers and for failed union bosses who have never been on the tools Labor’s days as a party for ordinary Australians have gone forever, (thank you Mr Hawke), and, after the disappointments that followed all the hopes of the Kevin 07 campaign, those days can never return. Flinging trendy-lefty slogans around is no substitute at all for listening instead of telling and for having vision instead being obsessed with opinion polls.

    Nationals, now that they have abandoned rural Australia, (except for chasing donations and mugs to staff their polling places), they are merely a nuisance. It is possible they may manage to get a couple of their candidates elected but I think they will be replaced mainly by new parties, by independents and perhaps by Katter’s Australia Party in a few electorates.

    One Nation is too dependant on single personality and there is only so far she can go riding on her reputation for speaking up for the ignored and the neglected and the truly deserving; social media has given her too many competitors in that field. Besides, most people I know see her now as just another politician – perhaps she made one or two clever deals too many. I would be surprised if a single One Nation candidate made it into the next Parliament.

    The Greens should change their name to the Anti-Environment Anti-Australian Party. I do feel sorry for Richard di Natali, a really capable leader but of what? Perhaps The Greens – and Australia – would gain great benefit from having a party-wide conference in a remote locality, in a venue surrounded by barbed-wire and with mirrors galore, a conference on the theme of, “Why do people loath us so much and where did we go wrong?”; this conference could well be combined with a Grand Purge And Mass Expulsion. Australia is in desperate need of a progressive party that is concerned about our natural heritage and the future of the planet – but The Greens certainly are not it.

    The misnamed Liberals are nothing but bunglers, crooks and foreign agents who have done all of us tremendous harm. They have no redeeming features whatsoever. Not only must we all strive to keep them out of all our Parliaments – as the eastern Europeans kept the Communists out of their Parliaments after 1989 – but strive, too, to bring as many of them as possible to justice. We should also strive to recover as much as possible of their pelf from them but I’m afraid that would be like the Labours Of Hercules.

    Brian, our political situation is bleak but not hopeless – there are glimmers and flashes of light out there on the edges.

  13. Must disagree with the assessment of the Greens – I am not it must be said a party member & have differences with them on some important issues – but without them driving of renewable energy & climate change issues we would be in a much morse space – the ACT shows the benefits of a Greens presence that keeps the ALP focused

  14. Bit grumpy today GB.
    I think Shorten is the PM the country needs at the moment and will have long term benefits. His performance as a minister who gets things done was impressive and he is the man most likely to end the problem of awards being ignored and workers at all levels being screwed.
    I don’t see the Greens as an alternative government. Its job is to drag the country in desirable ways, provide a sane balance of power party and to drag the country in ways that I think is desirable by redefining what is seen as “reasonable.”
    As for the LNP perhaps it should be split up into exhibits that help us understand what “raving right wing” means.

  15. John

    I don’t believe that GM as a crop has been so modified that he has become GB.

    🙂

    Ambipedantrous
    Pedants Anon
    Eastern Victoria Chapter
    and Verse

  16. Ambigulous: Your comment has set my chlorophyll-modified ultramarine leaves aquiver; I shall now lift my roots and triffid-off elsewhere in a huff.

    John D.: I was more angry or exasperated than grumpy. My expectations of Bill Shorten are so low that if he does become PM then I shall not be greatly disappointed – but you are quite right about him, he is indeed “the man most likely to end the problem of awards being ignored and workers at all levels being screwed”. .
    Pauline’s manifest failure to address the injustices of the gig economy, of subbie-bashing, of awards being ignored, of wages being diddled, of kids being exploited, of jobs being exported, of family farms being ripped off will be one of the main reasons she will be kicked out by her former voters – and good riddance to her: she made her choices and she will have to live with the results of them.

    The Greens should be the ones who drag us kicking-and-screaming into the 21st Century – whether they are in government or not – but they don’t stand the chance of a snowball-in-Hell of doing that so long as they send out gilt-edge invitations to every two-members-and-a-slogan ratbag group to march right in and dominate them, hence my suggestion that The Greens have a soul-searching conference and a purge that would make the Night Of The Long Knives seem like hymn-singing.

    Bill Shorten was in Rockhampton today – and kicked a home-goal by promising goodies conditional upon ALP winning the next election; does anyone have an old 45 record of that ‘sixties song, “The Times They Are A-changing” that they could send him?

    You have to feel sorry for the hard-working LNP Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, based in Rockhampton, who is on a razor-thin margin. She seems to espouse traditional conservative values but when she does lose her seat it will not be because of Bill Shorten but because of the crazies, the loonies and the resurrected French aristocracy in her very own party.

    Douglas Hynd: though I do respect your justified criticism, I still think The Greens have become distracted and have lost their way; I feel that it is others who are now leading the way on renewable energy and on climate change responses.

  17. GB, pray tell how can Shorten promise anything if he doesn’t win the next election?

    BTW ScoMo was in Townsville showering goodies, when in the national interest he should have been in Nauru at the Pacific Leaders Forum.

    By cultural expectation leaders are white European males, 6’2” tall, preferably blonde and blue-eyed, with a ‘type A’ personality, and speak as though they went to a private school.

    Shorten is white and male.

    However, he delegates well, knows his policy across the board and can articulate it, has a good team, irrespective of their backgrounds, gets the best out of them, generally is calm, respectful and listens.

    I think he would break the mould of what we expect in our leaders, which is for the good – it needs breaking.

    John D is right about his negotiating skill. For example, he got almost everyone on board with Gonski except the complete recalcitrants, including the ones Peter Garrett couldn’t persuade. Made it look easy.

    He wasn’t my pick, but I think he would be a better PM than either Tanya or Albo, if we can get him elected.

    ScoMo by contrast looks like an over-confident boofhead who shoots from the hip. I hope he blows his toes off.

  18. Apologies, Graham.

    I must get my spectacles and my reading comprehension fixed up.

    Glad to hear news of the triffids, who cut rather a swathe through swooning readers in an earlier decade that I will discreetly fail to name, lest it provide a clue to my antiquity.

    Ambi the Blind,
    Ward for the Confused,
    Victoria Regina Workhouse

  19. GB: I have held positions in the Qld Greens state organization and local branch for a number of years. While I can think of some members who have radical ideas that I don’t agree with your statement

    but they don’t stand the chance of a snowball-in-Hell of doing that so long as they send out gilt-edge invitations to every two-members-and-a-slogan ratbag group to march right in and dominate them, hence my suggestion that The Greens have a soul-searching conference and a purge that would make the Night Of The Long Knives seem like hymn-singing.

    doesn’t describe what I am seeing. Qld has recently acquired their first state MP and local councillor and has some chance of getting their first house of reps member at the next election.
    Other states such as Tas and NSW have been more successful with NSW having 3 Greens Mayors the last I heard. Qld has found it harder than NSW and Tas to win elections because it has no upper house with both lower house and local councils using single member electorates.
    The Greens vary considerably from state to state because each state organization started from different positions. For example, Tas and Qld both started as environmental defenders while NSW was more influenced by socialism.

  20. I’m with GB if he’s saying ( hope I’m correct ) that the politicians on offer bear little resemblance or much in common with the citizens they make laws for.

    Take small business ( under 20 employees) that make up about 97% of all businesses in the Country, employ the vast majority of people and are the backbone of the economy.
    Our “ Honourable “ Minister is Michaelia Cash that worked for 5 minutes in a Global Law firm and our “ Honourable “ Shadow Minister is Cathy Gallagher, a social worker and union organiser.

    At least I think that’s who they are today, next week or last week may be different.

    What the hell would they know about running a small business ?

  21. Oh, and their both Senators so all they really know is how to arm wrestle their way up their Party list rather than be popular with voters.

  22. Unrepresentative indeed, though not, I think, “swill”.
    [You little Aussie charmer, PJK!]

    You have raised an important topic, Mr J.

    Do we need hordes of lawyers, union officials, Party apparatchiks, and sons of former Members, in the Chambers?

    Moss Cass had been a GP, Brian Howe a lecturer, Clyde Cameron a shearer, Pauline Hanson a small business owner,… I too wish for more variety of prior occupations or professions.

  23. Just to let you know that I had no internet access this morning before I went out to work. So new post didn’t get finished.

    Cook (and manager) now calling, be back later.

  24. I owe everyone two apologies: Firstly, for letting fly with my opinions of what has happened to our political system before I heard, just over 24 hours ago on ABC, a brilliant discussion on how to recover from the mess; practical solutions not just condemnations. Secondly, for not being able to find the link to it on the ABC website. (I shall continue searching after I have read the latest info on ClimatePlus).

    Brian: Shorten is Opposition Leader and as such he has a duty to listen to the voters, especially those whom the incumbent government ignores, and he has a duty to present and to explain, and, when given fresh information and insights, to modify the policies of the Alternative Government . He is a very intelligent man and he can do that exceptionally well without resorting to a fool’s auction of “You vote for us and we promise we’ll give you all these imaginary lollies”. It was not so much the promise of additional cardiac facilities at the state-run Rockhampton Hospital when similar facilities were already in the private Mater Hospital, (professional arrangements can be made for their use – but additional facilities in Central Queensland would be a damned fine idea); it was that Shorten presented this as yet another dodgy politician’s bribe. Rockhampton is a formerly rock-solid Labor city; now it is a city full of former Labor voters, many of them badly hurt by Labor’s actions; however, it is still possible they can be won back to Labor but only with patience, difficulty and with very careful effort – kicking home goals doesn’t help Labor’s chances.

    John D.: Good on you for getting involved in The Greens. Sorry but my criticisms of The Greens stand, even though there are many good people who have joined them or support them. People with radical views are fine, they are the ones who are likely change the world; however, little cliques that run agenda that are actually harmful to the rest of us are not so fine. John, I add a further criticism: the apparent hostility of The Greens to rural Australia; I say “apparent” because many of their policies could be beneficial to rural Australia but only if The Greens stop regarding farmers, graziers, miners and the like as The Enemy and only if they start some active “missionary” work outside selected nice suburbs – during the current drought would be a good time to start a helpful, well-planned effort.

    Ambigulous: John Stuart Mill must be turning in his grave over what has happened to representative government in Australia.

  25. Jumpy: Re past Vic Greens leader, he was replaced about a year ago .

    The settlement was reached in July 2017 after Ms Ingham threatened to commence proceedings in the Federal Court. Mr Barber, who is the brother-in-law of Federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale, quit politics two months later.
    Mr Barber said his resignation had been planned for several years and had nothing to do with the complaint.

    FYI the new leader of the Vic Greens is Samatha Ratman
    She has an impressive CV:

    MLC for Northern Metropolitan
    Leader of the Victorian Greens
    In 2017, Samantha entered the Victorian Parliament representing the Northern Metropolitan Region in the Legislative Council. As well as being the Parliamentary Leader of the Victorian Greens, she holds the portfolios of Housing, Planning, Disability, Gambling, Veterans’ Affairs, Agriculture and Regional Development.
    In her first year as an MP, Samantha has been a champion for social justice and the environment within the parliament. She has actively campaigned to save public housing, reduce gambling harm and support communities to have more control over planning decisions in their neighbourhood.
    Prior to entering the Victorian Parliament, Samantha was a social worker for over 15 years in the fields of drug and alcohol rehabilitation, international development, family services and in settlement services for newly arrived migrants from refugee backgrounds.
    Alongside her social work career, she also spent five years as a councillor at the City of Moreland, where she was elected the first Greens Mayor of Moreland in 2015. On council, Samantha worked with her fellow councillors to secure the largest funding commitment to environmental action in order to reduce Moreland’s community carbon emissions to zero. She was also integral in increasing the council’s cycling infrastructure budget by 75% in the first year, fought to protect residents’ appeal rights in planning matters and voted against more poker machines in the city.
    Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Work with Honours and a PhD in Youth Sociology.

    The sort of person I would gladly vote for.

  26. There really is some toxic stuff happening in the greens.

    Are you sure it’s not just “political correctness gone mad”?
    (The response whenever similar charges are laid against a member of the LNP)

  27. Confound it. My searching techniques must be up to putty because the only thing I could find, on the ABC website, related to that brilliant line-up of speakers on the dismal state of Australian politics – and how things can be improved – is this:
    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/drive/what-future-for-australian-democracy/10205444

    That was only 9 minutes and the program I heard was about 55 minutes. I’m pretty sure Prof. Chubb was one of the four speakers on it.

    Yes, let Centrelink manage parliamentarians travel expenses and the like; they do have expertise in fraudulent claims detection. 🙂

    John D. “She has actively campaigned to save public housing, reduce gambling harm and support communities to have more control over planning decisions in their neighbourhood.” Terrific. Now how do The Greens protect the good work of people like Samantha Ratman from the malign influences of paid saboteurs and political infiltrators?

  28. GB:

    Now how do The Greens protect the good work of people like Samantha Ratman from the malign influences of paid saboteurs and political infiltrators?

    It is a challenge for all parties.
    Sound member/candidate checking rules, branch stacking rules etc. can all help.

  29. Graham, if the program you heard was on RN I think it was most likely Big Ideas. The little I heard of this one made a lot of sense, but it’s not a panel discussion.
    This one seems to match your description more closely, but it was broadcast three weeks ago.

  30. zoot: Thanks a lot for finding those two broadcasts.

    The one by Prof. Beth Noveck I had heard before; it made a lot of sense.

    The Big Ideas one on Citizenship and Section 44 was new to me. Parts of it really annoyed me: being a Viet-Nam War veteran in Australia, I’ve had several decades experience myself of being an uncitizen so I had a chuckle at some of the little grizzles on that program; further, being able understand a couple of Asian languages has exposed me to the full blast of vicious, anti-White racism by some of the smiling multiculturalists (to which I express disagreement in their own language but I’ve never retaliated with violence). When it comes to disloyalty – and outright unconvicted treason – by our public officers: Australian-born, native English speaking, well-educated, greedy Whites are our most serious threat.

    Shall try, on the weekend, to track down that excellent broadcast I heard on solving our political mess.

    I’m grateful to you for your efforts, zoot.

  31. Graham, Heather Ridout AO, Professor Ian Chubb & Professor Anne Tiernan spoke at the National Press Club. My guess is that it was broadcast live on NewsRadio.

    My wife saw it on TV, and it’s now in Iview. She raved about it. I didn’t hear it.

    Not sure whether a trascript is available, but I’d bet it will be replayed on ABC RNs “Big Ideas” over the next few weeks.

  32. That’s the one I heard a snippet of Brian, yes it was Prof Chubb and it was on ABC News Radio. I don’t often break into cheering while driving. Almost did.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your wife’s opinion, just from the 10 minutes I heard.
    Brilliant.

    National Press Club, Canberra.

  33. Sorry Jumpy, I forgot to watch before I posted Coal power fading fast.

    Having got that off my chest, I’ll have a cuppa, do some exercise, come back and have a squizz, then dinner, footy and tackle new salon tonight.

  34. Thanks, Graham. I did actually hear that segment. As you probably know teacher-librarians uded to be my big thing. System failure happened from the 1980s when decision-making was delegated to principals of schools, who at times make research-free decisions with gay abandon, with no-one to gainsay them.

  35. Brian: Four expressions leapt into my mind as I read your comment above –
    *”It seemed like a good idea at the time”.
    *”I know how we can save a lot of money”.
    *”It’s new so it has to be better”.
    *”I know what I’m doing, that’s why I’m in charge”.

    Just think of it as a nadir.

  36. Graham, my wife was a preschool teacher for about 40 years. Creative guided imaginative play was all the rage in the 1970s.

    Recently we’ve heard that early childhood university experts are now recommending this new idea of children playing.

  37. …. an idea that most parents and grandparents have enjoyed with their little ones, by natural inclination, and out of sheer joy, without ever consulting a textbook or “the published literature”

    🙂

    [Recently an education academic told me she used to estimate that it took about 20 years for an “education fashion” to come full circle and return. But now she thinks the cycle has reduced to about 8 years.]

  38. Quite a remarkable result in a state by-election in Wagga Wagga overnight.

    “The voters always distinguish between State and Federal issues”, we will hear.

    I’m just wondering…… could the cancellation of the (Federal) NEG, and the (Federal) fuss about electricity/gas prices, and the (Feral) leadership changes, and the (Coalition) turmoil over global warming/renewables……. have had anything to do with it?

    Ummmmmm this is just idle speculation on my part, of course.

    Idle speculation has never been so enjoyable!
    Perhaps at last the Nakedness of The Emperor
    is becoming clearer and clearer?

    {Thank you, Hans Christian Andersen.}

    And thank you to blog writers who gather up facts and opinions then lay them out clearly for us.

  39. Ambi, Gladys B says she’s got the message, but I’m not sure the voters are listening any more. Newspoll is due out tomorrow, which should give us an idea of the mood of the people.

    New Weekly Salon is now up in which I largely avoided politics.

  40. And the September 2018 Prize for Imaginative Use of English, has been won by …. Ambigulous, for “and the (Feral) leadership changes, and the (Coalition) turmoil over global warming/renewables” Well done. 🙂

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