1. ScoMo on skates
He’s certainly on something. Paddy Manning in The Monthly has an article ScoMo-tion demise: The accidental PM appears accident prone:
As it limps towards the end of 2018, the Morrison government is gradually establishing its own grand narrative – one of staggering ineptitude as it lurches from one self-inflicted crisis to another. On decisions from Jerusalem to Foodbank, there is no overarching purpose here, there is no direction or strategy, there are only missteps and backdowns, seemingly born of the blinkered pursuit of base political advantage, which never materialises. For a PM schooled in marketing, these are textbook fails. For the federal Opposition, the coup against Malcolm Turnbull has proved the gift that keeps on giving.
Today we read, in a Fairfax Media report that has not been denied, that former trade minister Steve Ciobo has privately advised the Indonesian trade minister that there is only a 5 per cent chance that Australia will relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. It is hard to see how the prime minister could have made more of a mess of this: Australia will have managed to offend everybody concerned, to no end.
This week began with Newspoll which gave Labor a commanding 10-point lead over the Coalition. And Scott Morrison’s disapproval ratings jumps nine points in a month to 47%.
At the same time the Courier Mail made much of a Galaxy poll indicating the LNP 50-50 with Labor in in Queensland federally, hyping ScoMo’s competitiveness.
No-one mentioned that this five-point swing from the last election would likely cost the LNP eight seats.
Newspoll started polling immediately after Malcolm Turnbull tipped a bucket on Q&A.
Much has been made of the hair-brained idea to move our Israel embassy, following Trump and Guatemala. People are scratching their heads over this one, but it turns out to be simple. Phillip Coorey in the AFR:
Soon after Scott Morrison became Prime Minister, he was presented with a policy wish list by Liberal senator Eric Abetz and other conservatives who had helped dynamite Malcolm Turnbull.
It included abandoning the Paris climate change commitments and moving Australia’s Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
ScoMo declined the demand to exit Paris. Such a stance would have mightily upset our Pacific neighbours. So ScoMo opted for lip service instead.
On the Israel embassy he has to give it a dinky di lookover before he says “no” as signalled by Steve Ciobo.
In another AFR article Andrew Tillett points out that graziers, grain growers and citrus orchardists are among the biggest losers if the free trade agreement with Indonesia is delayed.
2. ABC: Good riddance to Guthrie and Milne
Good riddance to Guthrie and Milne. The ABC needs grown-ups in charge writes Margaret Simons after the Four Corners investigation Bitter End.
I think Michelle Guthrie had little feel for the medium, was a poor advocate, communicator and manager.
Justine Milne, instead of protecting the ABC from political interference, clearly thought that he who pays the piper calls the tune.
This is a worry:
- Meanwhile the board, stacked by the government with too many political appointees, was incapable or unwilling to manage the growing conflagration.
Insiders tell me they are astonished at the naivety of some members of the board who, having accepted appointment despite knowing they were not recommended by the arm’s-length appointment process, are now horrified to find themselves in reputation-damaging dust-up.
I believe they are all going to be hauled to front the Greens inquiry into the ABC. Keep a couple for continuity and sack the rest, I think.
3. Why can’t we beat New Zealand?
They seem to beat us in most things these days, the latest being their version of the NBN:
New Zealanders will soon be getting internet speeds 20 times faster than those enjoyed by most Australians for just a few dollars more a month, further widening an already-huge gap between the two countries’ broadband networks.
Chorus, the ASX-listed company that operates New Zealand’s broadband network, revealed on Wednesday it would slash the wholesale price of its ultra-fast one-gigabit plan.
From the middle of next year, the price of the plan will go from $NZ65 ($61) to $NZ60 ($56.30) a month. Chorus will further reduce it to $NZ56 the following year.
Internet speeds of one gigabit per second (Gbps) are 20 times faster than the most popular speed available on Australia’s national broadband network of 50 megabits per second (Mbps), the plan almost half of NBN users are on.
Thankyou, Malcolm Turnbull!
4. We have an auto industry!
Back in March the news was that Queensland had won the $5 billion defence contract to build armoured vehicles.
Actually it’s Rheinmetall. The German contractor will build 211 Boxer CRVs at Ipswich, with a future $15 billion deal also on the cards.
Now the first sod has been turned on the construction site. The intent is to establish a sovereign capability for military vehicle design and production in Australia.
Can only be good!
5. Theresa May in trouble
When I typed ‘will Theresa May’ into Google I was offered about 10 alternatives. When I typed ‘Will Therasa May last out the week?’ it suggested ‘weekend’ instead.
She and Britain are in an awful mess.
Tele readers apparently think she should get ahead of her enemies and resign.
May seems to think she can go on and on, but she’s running out of road. It will be a miracle if she lasts the week.
6. Out of town
We are heading west to see my sister on the weekend. We are due to reach the Darling Downs around the time they are predicting violent thunderstorms.
See you back here late on Monday, with a bit of luck!