Weekly salon 31/3

1. Christchurch changes the dynamics of the next Australian election irrevocably

That is the opinion of Peter Lewis, who conducts the Essential report poll. Two nights before the massacre of 50 worshippers in a Christchurch mosque, Lewis was with a focus group of swinging voters in suburban Brisbane, asking people to identify which politicians were responsible for a series of incendiary public comments around recently passed medical evacuation (medevac) laws:

    The propositions included the following: that the people “coming in” are paedophiles, they will clog up our hospital queues, they will end up in cultural bubbles, that western values are sacrosanct.

People thought it must be One Nation, for sure, but it wasn’t:

    there was genuine shock and some dismay when it was discovered the statements came not from the radical fringe, but from the mouths of the prime minister and his senior government ministers.

It is clear that some LNP politicians in Regional Queensland, sitting in Canberra as Nationals, will exchange preferences with One Nation. It is also clear that this risks LNP support in Brisbane, where the LNP have some seats on reasonably thin margins.

Karen Middleton in The Saturday Paper cites Rebecca Huntley and qualitative pollster Tony Mitchelmore of research company Visibility in suggesting that authenticity is required to win the election. Michael Daley’s problem was that he didn’t have an identity, then suddenly became identified as racist and lazy.

Scott Morrison is either a decent, Christian bloke, or a shallow salesman selling a product. He has more to worry about than the Lenore Taylor story about suggesting in shadow cabinet using anti-Muslim feeling as an election strategy to worry.

(Strange that no-one else at the meeting can remember anything or wants to talk about what happened, except Greg Hunt, who wasn’t there. Too bad if Malcolm Turnbull remembers and decides to tell in the last week of the campaign. Julie Bishop and Philip Ruddock opposed Morrison at that meeting, according to the SMH story.)

Paul Bongiorno reports:

    There is no doubt, as I have previously written in The Saturday Paper, that a number of Liberal MPs and ministers – not only those in the Turnbull camp – believe Morrison was no innocent bystander in the coup. Rather, as Hartcher wrote this week, they believe Morrison was a “schemer … in it right up to his neck”.

    Furthermore, Hartcher has been told by “multiple former and current ministers and officials” that in 2014 Morrison wanted close to $10 billion for a mass detention plan to take out of the community 30,000 asylum seekers who were on bridging visas. Joe Hockey, treasurer at the time, “hit the roof”; his objection was not on budgetary grounds but on humane ones. Hockey said the government was not about to start rounding people up off the streets and putting them in detention centres.

Still, Peter Lewis is right, Islamophobia will not be an election strategy available Morrison, so the budget is the main thing. Expect massive tax cuts, and promises to build roads, bridges and rail all over the country.

2. The strange story of two One Nation clowns and the NRA

After the ABC ran the Al Jazeera program How to Sell a Massacre, the two clowns involved, party operatives James Ashby and Steve Dickson, said they were on the sauce, and basically lay low for a while. However, the footage clearly showed them touting for donations from the NRA and the Koch Brothers, like $10 million or so, in return for which they were (a) going to change the voting system in unspecified ways, and (b) roll back Australian gun laws to bring them more in line with those of the USA.

Pauline Hanson was said to be indisposed with a tick bite on her face, but when she recovered she came out with all guns blazing, as it were, accusing the ABC of showing a film that showed Australian democracy being interfered with by a foreign power. Here they are:

Granted, you can see the tick bite on her face.

Damien Murphy in The Saturday Paper thinks One Nation may have shot itself in the foot politically, and made itself unacceptable to all except the most devoted followers. He thinks that Mark Latham may have struggled, had the film been broadcast before the NSW election.

I doubt that. I believe he had votes to spare, and was probably elected because he was Mark Latham, a celebrity.

On the way Bill Shorten attacked the ACTU for maintaining its position of preferring One Nation over the Coalition.

Laura Tingle says it all comes down to the balance of power in the Senate. She points out that in the Longman by-election One Nation votes rose from 9.42 per cent of the primary vote at the 2016 general election to 15.91 per cent in the by-election.

And at the by-election, 67.74 per cent of One Nation’s preferences went to the Coalition, whereas in the 2016 general election only 43.51 per cent of preferences went to the LNP.

This does raise the question as to whether Hanson’s core support is as much from Labor voters as from the LNP.

Steve Dickson is ON party leader for Queensland, whose voters should know that he served as Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing in the Campbell Newman government from 2012 to 2015. However, he fell out with the LNP in opposition over medical cannabis. People should judge him from the latest revelations and the completely atrocious and disgusting things he said about the Safe Schools program.

3. Trump was not exonerated

Below I quote three extracts from the four-page letter from William Barr, Attorney General of the USA, summarising the finding of the 300-plus page report delivered by the Robert Mueller Special Counsel investigation.

The first relates to the matter of collusion with the Russians, although it is important to note that the terms used are conspired and coordinated:

    “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Mueller is not talking in black and white everyday language, rather in legal terms as to whether what happened is legally actionable. Robert Litt at Lawfare explains the complexities in What Does the Barr Letter Actually Say About Collusion? In simple terms, Mueller appears to provide the evidence and leave possible legal action up to the powers that be. Since they were appointed by Trump, or can be sacked by him, it is important that Congress gets to see the full report.

There was a second element of the interference issue, and this is what was found:

    The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks.

How anyone can now say that there is no evidence of Russian influence on the election, beats me.

Third, there was the question as to whether Trump obstructed justice. Barr says:

    The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President most of which have been the subject of public reporting that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of?justice concerns. After making a “thorough factual investigation” into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion one way or the other as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as “difficult issues” of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction. The Special Counsel states that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

    The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. (Emphasis added)

This is explained further in Paul Rosenzweig’s article Unpacking the Obstruction of Justice Mystery in the Barr Letter.

In spite of the truth being visible in plain sight there has been a lot of wrong-headed commentary about Trump’s exoneration and how wrong the media were, for example, Chris Hedges in Mueller Report Ends a Shameful Period for the Press and Tom Switzer and company in Holding the Trump doubters to account.

4. Taylor Harris’s iconic photo goes viral around the globe

If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

Channel 7 made galahs of themselves by taking the photo down when attacked by trolls, but sanity was then restored.

Chances are that you have not seen this one:

I picked it up on Facebook. All I know is that it dates from 1921, and was put up by a site called Chicks Talking Footy – JOY 94.9.

129 thoughts on “Weekly salon 31/3”

  1. Wonder if we can talk the Yanks into re-opening their Un-American Activities Committee? And then have them invite the Koch mob and the boss-cockies of the N.R.A. come in for very, very long heart-to-heart chats with the Committee. After all, when it comes to killing decent, regular Americans – men, women and children; rich and poor; urban and rural – the gun-nuts and the gangs have killed off thousands and thousands more than were ever killed by the Commies on American soil.

    Anyway, here’s some happier news (though the abbreviated title is misleading). https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-31/tesla-australias-first-electric-car-queensland/10944402

  2. If I were accused of something, and the media and half the Country believed it true, and after 2 years of the deepest unlimited Federal investigation found Zero evidence ?

    Yeah, some would call those still “ believing “ as conspiracy theory, flat Earth nutbags.

  3. Okay, no need for preliminary trials. Taylor Harris has made it into the 2020 Australian Olympic gymnastics team with that spectacular mid-air kick – and if she can add a somersault to that she’s won the Gold Medal already. (Terrific action photo too).

    You bet Trump was not exonerated. Wouldn’t it be fitting punishment for both if the cell next to Trump’s held the failed Emperor of America, George II The Foolish, hero of Hurricane Katrina, humble servant of the Saudi royal family, accomplished victor in Iraq, conqueror of the Taliban, revivor of the American economy? They would be such lovely company for each other.

  4. Brian
    It’s not up to me to prove innocence.

    Perhaps if you have conclusive evidence of this conspiracy theory you should have given it to Meuller within the last two years, he’s been asking for it.

    Russia is always trying to divide the Western democracies, I’ve no idea why the main stream media and portions of the online media want to help them.

  5. I’m immensely grateful to our North American correspondent for his summation of the propaganda currently being trumpeted by the far right. Thank you Jumpy.
    But here’s a more balanced view of the situation.

    [Spoiler – there’s definitely evidence]

  6. Barr’s precis of the Mueller report was a bit underwhelming. How he was able to summarise a 400+ page document (plus attachments and appendices) in just a few days is pretty heroic. What eventually turns up as the Report might reveal a lot more.
    But who needed Mueller’s document to know that Trump is just the most dangerous person on earth.
    Trump has methodically undermined established norms of honesty and competence, the rule of law and regularly flouts the separation of the executive and law. He has attacked long-standing allies, demolished American leadership of the free world and surrendered primacy in SE Asia. Even more scary is that his Republican party seems unable or willing to call him to account. Nor it seems does his core voters, some 35% of Americans.
    Trump’s reckless and uninformed actions is tilting the worlds geopolitical balance. I hope Australia’s leaders have a Plan B in place when they decide that America can not be relied upon to support us in a conflict.

  7. The Age alleges that most of the “congestion busting” road projects in Melbourne to be announced by the PM are located in marginal Liberal held seats fine upstanding electorates.

    Has Ros Kelly’s infamous whiteboard re-emerged? Or is The Age simply engaged in outrageous slurring of an active Government making honest and objective decisions in the public interest?

    Meanwhile, Mr “Whatever It Takes” Richardson in The Oz says that pork barreling never works. How would he know??

  8. Be A Lert But Not A Larmed.
    April Fools are active.

    Do not report suspicious activity. People will just call you an April Fool…….

    🙂

  9. Jumpy: I think it is good that we have a serial commentator on this blog that helps us understand what is going on in the minds of Trump supporters.
    The rest of us get trapped by the idea that it is all about logic.
    Me I think Trump has done a brilliant job of diverting the Democrats from thinking about what they have to that would help Americans and win the next election in a positive way.
    I will leave it to Zoot to interpret the Jumpy mind but when it comes to Trump we need to understand more what Trump has achieved instead of concentrating on the how. for example:
    1. The economy is growing and unemployment has dropped.
    2. China has suddenly discovered that the US is not going to let the Chinese economy grow by letting them sell more and more to America.
    3. The US no longer looks as though it will support free markets at the expense of the US. AND
    Still trying to decide if Trump is a brilliant user of insanity power or simply insane. I do think that one term of Trump is enough – prolonged insanity is dangerous.

  10. Here is something out of ANU on my favourite climate solution – pumped hydro (PH).
    http://re100.eng.anu.edu.au/global/
    You will find a Global Pumped Hydro Atlas by Matt Stock in association with Andrew Blakers and others.
    There is a lot of material, but it is worth reading.
    I know there is good argument for molten salt, and maybe that will be a part of the mix. But to me, PH should have close to an infinite lifetime, save for the hardware such as generators and controls, but the reservoirs should last forever, so PH will have a clear advantage over total life cycle costs.

  11. Katherine Murphy at The Guardian posted earlier today an article headlined 50% of new cars to be electric vehicles by 2030 under Labor climate change policy. It begins with:

    Labor will set a national electric vehicles target of 50% new car sales by 2030, and 50% for the government fleet by 2025, as well as allowing business to deduct a 20% depreciation for private fleet EVs valued at more than $20,000, as part of its climate change policy to be unveiled on Monday.

    Bill Shorten will also flag a new pollution regulation on car retailers “in line with” 105g CO2/km for light vehicles, which is consistent with American emissions standards, but will consult on coverage and the timeline to phase in the change rather than impose it immediately.

    Labor’s Climate Change Action Plan Fact Sheet is available here (but I wish they would provide a date of publication on this document).

    The Coalition is beginning to attack the Labor climate and energy policies as a “carbon tax”.

    Juxtapose Labor’s energy and climate change policies with this post I found at energyskeptic.com, dated Nov 21, headlined The coming crash in 2020 from high diesel prices for cleaner emission of oceangoing ships. It includes:

    The global economy likely faces an economic crash of horrible proportions in 2020 due to a lack of low-sulfur diesel fuel for oceangoing ships when a new International Maritime Organization rule takes place January 1, 2020. Until now, ships have burned “the dregs” of crude oil, full of sulfur and other pollutants, because it was the least expensive fuel available.

    The economic collapse I predict will occur because the world’s petroleum industry lacks the capacity needed to supply additional low-sulfur fuel to the shipping industry while meeting the requirements of existing customers such as farmers, truckers, railroads, and heavy equipment operators.

    And:

    Six years ago we commented on this same blog that, of all the fuels derived from oil, diesel was the one that would probably see its production decline first. The reason why diesel production was likely to recede before that of, for example, gasoline had to do with the fall in conventional crude oil production since 2005 and the increasing weight of the so-called “unconventional oils,” bad substitutes not always suitable to produce diesel.

    I wonder whether Labor is telling the full story about why they are encouraging ramping up Australia’s EV population. Meanwhile, the Coalition and the usual suspects (i.e. Murdoch press, Macquarie Radio network, etc.) say it can’t be done – it will wreak the economy, etc.

  12. 1. The economy is growing and unemployment has dropped.

    JD, I am not an economist and I don’t follow our American cousins closely so these facts bewilder me.
    The only Trump economic measures I am aware of are his tax cut for the filthy rich (which has been proven time and time again to have little to no stimulative effect on employment) and his tariff war with various countries which has led to thousands of jobs being exported (once again, not good for employment). The coal mines and steel mills in his heartland which he promised to reopen mainly remain closed.
    Yet the national debt and deficit have ballooned alarmingly. Could this be what’s driving the growth in the economy and the fall in unemployment?

  13. The International Maritime Organisation’s fact sheet on The 2020 global sulphur limit includes:

    What are the limits on sulphur in the regulations?

    Until 31 December 2019, for ships operating outside Emission Control Areas, the limit for sulphur content of ships’ fuel oil is 3.50% m/m (mass by mass).

    The 0.50% m/m limit will apply on and after 1 January 2020.

    Can this date be changed?

    No. The date is set in the MARPOL treaty. So it can only be changed by an amendment to the MARPOL Annex VI. This would require a proposal for an amendment to be put forward by a Member State that is a Party to Annex VI, that proposal then circulated and finally adopted by MEPC. An amendment to MARPOL is required to be circulated for a minimum of six months prior to adoption and then can only enter into force a minimum of 16 months after adoption.

    Parties to MARPOL Annex VI decided in October 2016 to implement the 2020 date.

    So can there be a delay in implementation?

    No, legally, there can be no change in the 1 January 2020 implementation date, as it is too late now to amend the date and for any revised date to enter into force before 1 January
    2020.

    However, IMO Member States will work in the relevant IMO technical bodies to address any issues that might arise with regards to ensuring consistent implementation.

    Posted Oct 26 at Reuters is an article by John Kemp headlined Maritime rule change stirs fears of diesel shortage: Kemp. It begins with:

    LONDON (Reuters) – The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has so far resisted pressure to soften or postpone the implementation of new regulations requiring ships to use bunker fuels with a lower sulfur content from the start of 2020.

    That has prompted warnings from some analysts that the regulations will squeeze the availability of low-sulfur diesel and jet kerosene required by trucks, trains, aircraft, farmers and industry, resulting in big price increases.

    The regulations and any associated rise in fuel prices will occur in the run up to the next U.S. presidential election so there is considerable political sensitivity around the timing and cost of the changes.

    Why isn’t there any more widespread discussion about this issue?

  14. Here’s a takedown of the way the left wing media reports Australia’s national debt.
    Fun fact: since its election in 2013 the current rabble on the Treasury benches has managed to borrow more money than all other Australian Governments combined.

  15. Why no discussion about low sulphur fuels?
    Perhaps we don’t think of ship pollution because it’s out of sight.
    I think automotive fuels were required to have a lowered sulphur content some years ago and that caused a price hike of several cents per litre.
    I’m guessing but I suspect that for some more dollars the oil refineries will manage to clean up their bunker oil and life will go on.

  16. GH:

    I’m guessing but I suspect that for some more dollars the oil refineries will manage to clean up their bunker oil and life will go on.

    Would be a bit surprising if the technology was available and everyone was assuming that the rule would be dumped.

  17. John

    Jumpy: I think it is good that we have a serial commentator on this blog that helps us understand what is going on in the minds of Trump supporters.

    John, I don’t know what’s going on in the minds of anyone but me.

    All I’m saying is the onus of proof in this conspiracy theory rests with the accusers. At this point, after years of investigation, Mueller didn’t even indict anyone with conspiring with Russia.

    On Trumps policies I looking closely, and to be honest favourably thus far, at his Prison reforms.
    Here’s glimpse from Vox ( not to be confused with Fox, for obvious reasons )

  18. I will leave it to Zoot to interpret the Jumpy mind…

    The evidence would seem to suggest that zoot sees almost all of my written text like tea leaves and interprets it negatively.

    Being the Worlds Leading Expert in what I myself think, you’d do well to disregard zoots interpretations.

  19. On Trumps policies I looking closely, and to be honest favourably thus far, at his Prison reforms.

    Given the story of the reforms as laid out in your link and Trump’s campaign promise to be tough on crime, I think it’s a stretch to call the First Step Act a “Trump policy”.
    That said I think it’s a great initiative and I applaud President Trump for signing it into law.

  20. and as a footnote, the Act appears to have gained support from large numbers of Republican and Democrat congresspersons and to have been improved by Dem amendments.

    So it’s not all gridlock over there.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about who tries to gain the kudos, zoot.
    Policy has to come before partisanship, si?

  21. Policy has to come before partisanship, si?

    Indubitably.
    But pedantry trumps everything 🙂

  22. Jumpy:

    Being the Worlds Leading Expert in what I myself think, you’d do well to disregard zoots interpretations.

    Zoots assertions on the subject of the Jumpy mind are a lot more entertaining.

  23. John

    Zoots assertions on the subject of the Jumpy mind are a lot more entertaining.

    Well yes, fiction undoubtedly does have an entertainment value.
    On that issue in particular I’ll file it in with the Onion, Betoota Advocate and Mother Jones.

  24. John D.: Thanks for that summary of the outcomes (so far) of Trump’s actions.
    It does worry me that the Yanks still insist on having their dud kings, (Republic? What republic?) Jimmy Carter, please come back as soon as possible; all is forgiven.

    Watching ABC TV “Four Corners”. That rumbling sound I can hear up here: is that the assembled throng at ClimatePlus Central chanting “We told you so! We told you so!”?

    So, after having been so obedient to our Betters(??) in Economic Ratbaggery circles, and allowing them to abolish our local vehicle manufacturing, we are now utterly dependent on the kindness of off-shore firms for any electric vehicles they deign to sell us. The Clever Country? Of course.

  25. This week I’m fairly busy with work. I’m planning to leave posting on the budget until Labor’s reply speech and subsequent commentary. So if people want o comment, link or vent they can do it on this thread.

    There will be plenty of money sloshing around on paper, because although the economy shows signs of tightening there is plenty of apparent revenue around. However, almost every day I hear of cuts that have been made by this government which are unconscionable. Yesterday it was in a story about the night parrot. Government funding for conservation has halved in recent years, we were told. Specifically on rare species, funding had been reduced every year for the last 10 years, which would go back to the Gillard years. Now it’s around $70 million pa, which sounds a lot, excet there are something like 1900 endangered species and the real need in $1.5 billion.

    The current mob are promising a stream of eye-catching initiatives, but have been quietly stripping and squeezing essential spending on a continuous basis.

    I’m working on a post on Labor’s climate policy. It is an enormous advance that climate change, which was scarcely mentioned in the 2016 election, is now front and centre.

    Geoff M made a link yesterday to a Labor factsheet. I found this policy statement easier to read.

    In reporting, this one at The Guardian is one of the best, except it misses perhaps the most important features, and I think the energy target is 50% by 2030, not 45%.

  26. Geoff Henderson (Re: APRIL 1, 2019 AT 4:57 PM)

    Perhaps we don’t think of ship pollution because it’s out of sight.

    Except when the ships come into port – then it’s noticeable.

    I’m guessing but I suspect that for some more dollars the oil refineries will manage to clean up their bunker oil and life will go on.

    The International Energy Agency’s (IEA’s) World Energy Outlook 2018, p45:

    The production of conventional crude oil reached its peak in 2008, at 69.5 Mb / d, and since then has fallen by approximately 2.5 Mb / d. , an additional 3 Mb / d falls between 2017 and 2040, and its share of the global oil supply drops steadily from 72% today to 62% in 2040. The level of conventional resources approved to be developed in recent years it is well below the demand requirements in the New Policies scenario, creating the risk of a tension in the market in the 2020s.

    Since then, an increasing proportion of global crude oil production is derived from “unconventional oils”, light oils that are bad substitutes not always suitable to produce diesel and marine bunker fuels.

    Since 2007, the production of fuel oils has declined.

    The IEA’s World Energy Outlook-2018 notes the absence of some 2.5 Mb/d of conventional oil – more versatile for refining and therefore more suitable to produce fuel oils. The more the conventional crude oil production falls, the more petroleum-based diesel production will decline.

    A new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rule comes into effect on January 1, 2020. The IMO 2020 rule requires all oceangoing ships to use low-sulphur diesel fuel. Until now, ships have burned “the dregs” of crude oil, full of sulphur and other pollutants, because it was the least expensive fuel available.

    Ships made globalization possible, and play an essential role in our high standard of living, carrying 90% of global goods traded.

    Some energy analysts suggest the world’s petroleum industry lacks the capacity needed to supply additional low-sulphur fuels to the shipping industry while meeting the requirements of existing customers such as farmers, truckers, rail locomotive and heavy equipment operators.

    In 2020, it’s likely crude oil prices will rise, sending all fuel product prices higher. Diesel prices will lead, but gasoline and jet fuel will follow.

    High petroleum fuel product prices will have two impacts. First, prices of everything consumed in the economy will rise. Second, high prices will force consumers to spend less on other goods and services, which will depress demand for airline travel, restaurant dining, and new internal-combustion vehicles, to mention just a few. Rising fuel costs in the agricultural sector will lead to higher food prices.

    From now on, what can be expected is a real persecution against cars with an internal combustion engine (gasoline will be next, a few years after diesel). But governments (and policy-makers) probably won’t tell you that likely declining supplies of diesel and gasoline are motivators for these policies – they don’t want to frighten/alarm the punters.

  27. Ship pollution…. yep, who will monitor it in int’l waters?

    $$$$$$$

    Fine particulates, nitrogen oxides emitted by Aussie coal-fired power stations.

    “We used the Handbook and estimated 18 million. Then we measured directly and measured 36 million.”

    In some industries, that would make headline news.

    Who compiled the Handbook?

    Aren’t oxidising reactions of N2 reasonably well understood??
    Were the boiler furnaces running too hot? too cool?
    Was the fuel not oxidising completely?

    How did the fine particulate output correlate with the nitrogen oxides output??

    Who did the modelling of combustion conditions and reaction products?

  28. Jumpy: The ABS data you linked to ran from financial yr 2011/12 to 2016/17. You are right, the ABS figures show expenditure growing rather than sinking for this period. Do you have figures for the years since then?

  29. Perhaps she was referring to the expenditure the Gillard/Rudd government had budgeted and which Abbott/Hockey didn’t implement? Something to do with a budget crisis I believe. Keep that in mind as Morrison promises to spend squillions in an attempt to keep his snout in the trough after the government he now leads has borrowed more than all other Federal governments combined.

  30. John, perhaps it’ll be in tonight’s budget papers.
    I’m not sure why the ABS can’t keep up to date if they haven’t.
    Most likely my inept Googling skill are responsible so if others, as I originally asked, could someone please find the basis of Plibersek’s claim.

    Thus far no looks to be the answer.

  31. Zoot, I’m not happy at all with the Coalitions spending and borrowing.
    But I do realise the economy of a Country has momentum, sometimes jamming it in the reverse direction takes lots of fuel to start going in the correct direction.

    I hope any Surplus announced tonight is not a Swan type surplus announcement.

  32. Zoot, I’m not happy at all with the Coalitions spending and borrowing.

    And yet you never snipe at them like you have just sniped at Plibersek.

    But I do realise the economy of a Country has momentum, sometimes jamming it in the reverse direction takes lots of fuel to start going in the correct direction.

    Surely jamming it into reverse does not involve standing on the accelerator. This mob have borrowed more money than every other federal government combined. Is that really the way to reduce our debt?

  33. Zoot

    Surely jamming it into reverse does not involve standing on the accelerator.

    Obviously you’ve never Skippered a Vessel, or a business, or anything at all that I can think of.

    How about you just stick with the NPC left syntax “ my side was unlucky, their side was lucky “

  34. Wow, thanks for the advice.
    The way to reduce debt is to borrow more and more (and even more and more) money.

    [I’m sure that wasn’t your advice in 2013-2014.]

  35. Look, the annual interest on Australians debt is, in Frydenbergs own words, $18 Billion.
    With projections of max $17.5 Billion the debt will still grow.
    That’s pathetic no doubt, he should be ashamed of himself.
    Spending must be reduced but the LNP are spending as though State Governances doesn’t exits.
    Same as ALP.

    This mob have borrowed more money than every other federal government combined.

    Adjusted for inflation that’s just plain wrong.

    Some more advice you may be appreciative of, learn a bit about macroeconomic and the history of.
    Or any sort of economics would help.

  36. Some more advice you may be appreciative of, learn a bit about macroeconomic and the history of.
    Or any sort of economics would help.

    I’ll take your advice on economics when you can demonstrate that you understand averages. 😀 😀 😀
    Meanwhile, Greg Jericho has the Government’s number.

  37. “Adjusted for inflation that’s just plain wrong”

    Really and truly?

    With inflation running at 2 or 3% per annum, such an adjustment on the figures for recent years makes very little difference.

    Example: a debt of $200 billion, say. Adjust it for a year of inflation at 3%, it reduces to a debt of about $194 billion. That’s still a huge number of billions.

    Take it back three years at 3% p.a., it’s still approximately $182 billion.

    And whichever figure you choose, the 200 or the 194 or the 182, the interest payment is many billions of dollars Jumpy.

    Arithmetic can be a real b*gger sometimes!
    It just bites ya.

    I agree, a lower debt means a lower interest payment (assuming a constant interest rate). But the deficit is rising so fast, the interest bills must be rising fast also: proportionality is a b*stard.

    (You don’t need to be a student of economics to understand arithmetic, percentages, compound interest, etc.)

  38. Put it another way.

    If the national debt (not the budget deficit, my mistake) was in succeeding years:
    $200 billion
    $206 billion
    $209 billion

    at a time when inflation was around 3%, then most folk would say “it’s not increasing in real terms”, or
    “It hasn’t grown when you take inflation into account”.

    Fair enough.
    But that’s not the pattern we see.

  39. Brian. I’m patient and don’t mind waiting until a few days after you’ve examined the Opposition response to the 2019 Budget.

    Geoff Miell: The reason we have dirty ships in Australian ports is that we have weak-as-dishwater governments. We mustn’t offend the owners, must we. Doing so will chase tourist dollars away, won’t it. Wrong. Getting rid the cowboys in the cruise ship industry out of Australian ports would spread the welcome mat for the operators of clean ships. Hasn’t it sunk in yet that tourists with serious money to spend would prefer to pay a premium to travel on clean cruise ships?

  40. zoot Meister,
    You are correct, as usual.

    Pedantry must rule.
    Comedy is King, and woebetide them as thinks otherwise.

    Ambi of the Overflow
    Assembly of Pedants,
    Victorian Guild
    pro tem, ad hoc, in vitro et locum tenens

  41. Can someone please show me how Tanya Plibersek can sceach about “ $15 Billion RIPPED out of Education !! “ and still be trusted?

    Jumpy, my memory is that before the 2013 election the LNP promised to implement Gonski in full.

    They lied.

    Then when they restored Gonski 2.0 they were still $15 billion short, though whether that was over 4 years or over 10 years I don’t remember. Probably 10 years.

  42. Important news at The (Un)Australian:

    Interim Prime Minister Scott ‘ScoMo’ Morrison has announced that this year’s budget will allow funding for more public toilets to be built in and around Engadine McDonald’s.

    “Look we’ve all been there, you’re close to home when nature calls and damn it if their isn’t a line up to use the gent’s toilets at Maccas and the Servo’s closed,” said the Prime Minister. “What my Government will do is ensure this does not happen to anyone, especially a Prime Minister, again.”

    “You won’t see Bill Shorten offering to build dunnies in the Shire, that’s why he can’t be trusted.”

  43. Graham Bell (Re: APRIL 2, 2019 AT 10:25 PM)

    Geoff Miell: The reason we have dirty ships in Australian ports is that we have weak-as-dishwater governments.

    Australia is a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Australia has ratified the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL 73/78).

    MARPOL Annex VI came into force on 19 May 2005. It introduces requirements to regulate the air pollution being emitted by ships, including the emission of ozone-depleting substances, Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Sulphur Oxides (SOx), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and shipboard incineration. It also establishes requirements for reception facilities for wastes from exhaust gas cleaning systems, incinerators, fuel oil quality, for off-shore platforms and drilling rigs and for the establishment of SOx Emission Control Areas (SECAs).

    New IMO sulphur limits come into effect at the beginning of 2020.

    There’s a discussion here that looks at the risks of non-compliance, that includes (bold text my emphasis):

    Some also doubt that shipowners would comply fully with the IMO regulation. Observers in 2016 and 2018 have suggested that ten to twenty percent of owners would find ways to evade the rule. In recent months, though, the IMO has proposed strong regulations that make noncompliance a risky option. Another possible deterrent would be to deem a ship using noncompliant fuel unseaworthy, which would nullify its insurance coverage. Thus, as 2020 approaches, it appears most shipping firms intend to come into compliance by using low-sulfur fuel. They seem to be ignoring the fact that this fuel may not be available or, if available, exorbitantly costly.

    We live in interesting times!

  44. Zoot, it’s a bit creepy that you’re so obsessed with me that you have a folder of screenshots of my comments.
    I’m glad I comment anonymously given the nutbags on blogs.

    Anywho zoot ( admitted racist ), this is my comment that you’ve shown from your bizarre collection,

    Jumpy
    JANUARY 4, 2016 AT 5:14 PM
    Val, calm down.
    Unless the Australian average went up 5 degrees, and it didn’t, then somewhere someone enjoyed a 5 degree cooler average.

    You won’t see them on the news.

    Now, the temperature rise for 2016 was about 0.871 degrees above the 1961-1990 average ( don’t know why the BOM pick that )
    If you think a 5 degree rise on one day in one spot is indicative of the Australian average rise then I’m afraid your preference in commentators is irrelevant to me.

    You seem happy to lap up any nonsensical activists nonsense that suits you at the time.

    Im getting a bit concerned for your mental state zoot, are you seeing anyone for help with it ?
    I hope so, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

  45. Zoot, it’s a bit creepy that you’re so obsessed with me that you have a folder of screenshots of my comments.

    Well well, guess who’s trying to read my mind?

    [Hint: he’s way off, as usual]

  46. Time I think to remind Jumpy of his favourite part of the Comments Policy (well he has quoted it often in the past):

    Do not comment on other commenters with negative implications.

  47. GM: A friend of mine had this to say about short term food supply. Couldn’t find anything on the web that was recent enough to have a bearing on this topic. Does your systems have anything similar to say?

    Thanks to the “bomb cyclone”, plus the on-going rain events, over the Upper Mid West & the Great Plains, the United States has lost its bread basket, not just the current harvest but huge storages of grain due to be sent to China but held over due to the Trump-Xi tariff dispute. All destroyed.
    This leaves the USA dependent upon the Brazilian & Argentinian harvests & China dependent upon the Russian harvest. (Drought has wrecked the Australian harvest). The global soft commodity Supply Side is now as tight as a drum. However, Washington is also assuming that the erratic & dramatic weather events that have beset the northern hemisphere during the recent northern winter are not repeated in some way, shape or form, upon the southern hemisphere during the upcoming southern winter. Personally, I think that this assumption is misplaced. My bet is that severe flooding events will occur south of the Murray and in southern South America. This means that the United States will run short of food over the course of the northern summer.
    The irony is, of course, Ukraine. It was always assumed in The Beltway that Ukraine could recapitalise itself by squeezing Gazprom via gas transit fees. This was frustrated by Nordstream & Turkstream. The Beltway was then left with a $US200 billion recapitalization task. The Beltway then said, “Given that we are unwilling to front up with the 200 biggies, at least we can deny Ukraine to the Russians.” They don’t think that now. With the “bomb cyclone”, The Beltway is now bitterly regretting it didn’t front up with the capital to bring Ukraine’s wheat belt up to speed. Of course, with the Russian tank armies just over the border, an expensive recapitalization of Ukraine would simply be a nice Christmas present for Putin. A bitter pill is shaping up, to wit, if America wants Ukraine’s wheat, it will have to let Putin have Ukraine so that the Kremlin can recapitalise it.
    So, Donald, do you still think Climate Change is just a Chinese hoax??

  48. Geoff Miell: Thanks for that info about MARPOL Annex VI.

    The underlying problem for Australia is in failing to enforce international agreements and laws concerning marine pollution, apart from manifest, localized spills of oil . Nothing new in that: Australia is supposed to have compulsory voting too but I’m told that 9% fail to vote, so there’s fat chance of forcing compliance on ship owners, the will to do so just isn’t there.

  49. Labor’s climate policy says it is going to look at maritime and aviation fuels. Not sure what they are going to do, and doubt that they know either as of now.

    It will take me another night to complete the post on Labor’s climate policy. The CP site now has 121 unfinished posts in its gizzard. The last 15 or 20 are posts I’d really like to finish, having put work into them. Any way, when it’s finished it will be unlike anything you may have seen elsewhere.

    Meanwhile on the budget, I liked Casandra Goldie’s comment (in the Oz):

    The government confirms its vision for our country is cuts – tax cuts for people who don’t need them, guaranteeing more cuts in the future to essential services and our safety net for people who rely on them.

  50. John Davidson (Re: APRIL 3, 2019 AT 8:44 PM)

    GM: A friend of mine had this to say about short term food supply. Couldn’t find anything on the web that was recent enough to have a bearing on this topic. Does your systems have anything similar to say?

    I haven’t been looking at short-term food supply (there’s a whole subject to explore there). As you have probably observed, my focus is on energy issues – nothing happens without energy – so I see it as a “first order” issue. I’m not saying food supply is not a “first order” issue – IMO it certainly is – it’s not my primary focus at present.

    This week’s (Apr 1) Peak Oil Review by Tom Whipple includes a quote of the week:

    “In just a little more than a year, Mexico’s net oil exports fell from 314,000 barrels per day to net imports of 90,000 barrels per day in December 2018…I find it strange that this has not yet been mentioned in the news as it is a very critical factor for the future of Mexico.”

    Steve St. Angelo, oil industry commentator

    In the first time in 50 years, the data indicates Mexico has become a net oil importer.

    On US fuel, it includes:

    It should be noted, however, that along with higher crude prices, US gasoline prices have been increasing at a steady pace – up 28 cents a gallon in the last month. Prices on the US West Coast are already over $3 a gallon and Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania are in the vicinity of $2.80. While nobody is forecasting a return to $4 a gallon gasoline in the US in the immediate future, California is already at $3.61 for regular and is approaching the point where discretionary driving starts to slow.

    Rising fuel costs (for agriculture and transport) means rising food prices.

    The “bomb cyclone” in the US Midwest that set off flooding and interrupted rail movement has disrupted supplies of ethanol.

    (Drought has wrecked the Australian harvest)

    I think you mean Australia’s eastern states have had a poor harvest – WA has had a bumper harvest.

  51. Graham Bell (Re: APRIL 3, 2019 AT 10:40 PM)

    The underlying problem for Australia is in failing to enforce international agreements and laws concerning marine pollution, apart from manifest, localized spills of oil .

    It will be interesting to see what happens when 2020 begins. Will Australian authorities enforce the new International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules for low-sulphur fuels, or turn a blind eye? I suspect the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) members may highlight any breaches – there’s a portal for Reporting a Vessel Deficiency.

    It will be interesting to see if ships are declared “unseaworthy” due to non-compliant fuel usage.

  52. In a minor triumph, apparently a sitting Liberal MHR has announced three small, local grants in his electorate before the funding scheme opened.

    The FB posts have been deleted. They showed video of the MHR with the “responsible” Minister.

    You want innovation?
    We got it!!!

    whiteboard + time travel. Governance for the new age.

    source: “The Age”, Nine media juggernaut

  53. Ambigulous (Re: APRIL 4, 2019 AT 10:33 AM)

    The article by Nicole Hasham headlined Liberals announce environment grants before applications open is in the SMH, WA today, and presumably The Age. The article begins with:

    A Liberal MP has announced tens of thousands of dollars worth of grants to community groups in a highly marginal seat before applications for the program have opened, it has emerged in Senate estimates.

    Labor senator Kristina Keneally on Thursday told the hearing that the Facebook page of Dunkley Liberal MP Chris Crewther, in posts which have since been deleted, said he and Environment Minister Melissa Price had announced grants of up to $20,000 to three groups under the Communities Environment Program. The posts included videos of the pair with the three groups.

    Where would we be without Senate estimates?

  54. Senate Estimates are just bonzer.

    Over here in the State of Queen Victoria we have “The Age”, in decades long ago proudly self-described as “One of the world”s great newspapers.”

    Be that as it may, what exactly is the ‘SMH’? Have the colonists in Sydney Cove thrown off their [ahem] pasts and become publishers? Scribblers?

    I know some of them had been printers.
    It was their [ahem] printing exploits that found some of them whisked across the oceans in fine ships to help populate the settlement.

    I await your news with interest.
    God Save the Queen!!

    * * * * *

    Mr Miell, in all likelihood you are too young to remember the ‘whiteboard affair’.

    It was an affair, amongst many, in the time of PM RJL Hawke.
    Grants were announced by a Minister of the Crown.
    Questions were asked about the grant allocation decisions.

    Ultimately the Minister said no notes of the decision processes were available because everything had been worked out on a slate with chalk; the slate had been rubbed clean afterwards; and let us all praise the cleaners of slates and the drawers of water.

    Some called the slate a Whiteboard because it was purest white, indeed whitewashed.

    All decisions by Ministers must be respected, including those which are photographed; even though the photographs and glass plates may seem to disappear soon afterwards.

    Your humble & ob’t servant
    Ambi of the Overflow
    HM State of Victoria

  55. said he and Environment Minister Melissa Price had announced grants of up to $20,000 to three groups under the Communities Environment Program.

    Just another example of Federal Government intrusion into State Government affairs.
    Our governance will become so top heavy it’ll capsize the Country.

  56. Another dirty, and I’d suggest unconstitutional, item that happened is LIb/Nat and ALP passing the internet streaming laws before the Bill was even circulated .

    Almost all those that voted Yay or nay couldn’t have read the thing !!

    Wonder what scummy stuff was attached to that…..

  57. They’re always intruding Jumpy, and from memory the High Court gave them open slather, more or less, a few years ago.

    No capsizing on the horizon in Workers’ Paradise down south.

  58. Got any links to that High Court case Mr A ?
    I’m interested and will be greatly appreciative.

  59. Well here’s a side track.
    My Wife is up the hospital with her Mother and swears Charlie Pride just walked in looking unwell.
    He’s booked to do a concert in Mackay this weekend and we got in early and purchased front row seats for my Mum and Dad.

    I hope both Brenda and Charlie will be OK.

  60. Dunno about the hospital sighting but Senator F. Anning (“the flames”) has registered a Party: Conservative National Party with the AEC, and says his Party will field candidates in every State Senate contest and “most” HoR seats.

    So it’s Party, Party, Party!!

    you put your right foot in
    you pull your right foot out
    you put your best foot forward
    and you take your Party down
    you do the hokey rhet’ric
    and you turn around
    that’s what it’s all about!!

    Oh, the hokey rhet’ric
    Oh…….

    Did I mention “whiteness”?

  61. Mr A, I can’t see any justification for this jurisdictional invasion other than a twisted interpretation of both Constitutional Sections 81 and 96.

    Don’t get me started on the poor post WW2 suffers of 1946 that were suckered and passed Chifleys Section 51(xxiiiA).

  62. Breaking News just in, Charlie Pride is fine, repeat Charlie Pride is fine !!

    He actually spoke to my Wife on the way out and asked her how she was before getting on his “ Big Arse Bus “

    And Brenda is ok to, she did “ exercise class “ yesterday and we’re putting it down to an ankle sports injury.

    All’s well..

  63. Mr Shorten

    “$2.3 billion Medicare cancer plan.”

    $600 million to remove out-of-pocket costs for cancer scans.

    MRI machines to regional centres, cancer scans everywhere covered fully by Medicare.

    $233 million for specialist cancer consultations, fully covered by bulk billing.

    Suddenly he’s Dr Shorten.
    But warns that he can’t find a cure for every cancer.

    “While you are fighting your battle, you won’t have to worry about going broke.”

  64. Hahaha, Tingles tweet,
    The other night, Josh Frydenberg kept on talking about Labor’s higher taxes. Bill Shorten’s basically tried to turn that into a positive tonight.

    He’s outlined a very vast program of spending that will be funded by those taxes. Most notably, a $2.3 billion program to dramatically cut the costs of cancer treatment, which is a huge incentive.

    He’s neutralised the tax issue, by saying that Labor would, essentially, offer the same tax cuts to low to middle-income earners, but he says the Government has not done enough for people at the very bottom of the scale, and he’s offering a billion dollars’ worth of tax cuts to people earning less than a billion dollars.

    Good lord she’s an unbiased accurate journalist..not…
    Good old ABC…

  65. That (7.08pm) wasn’t an ad for Labor, it was a news flash.

    Oh, hospitals are a State responsibility, but Medicare is administered by that silly Federal govt in Canberra, Jumpy.

    Check your income tax return. Remember the “Medicare levy”?
    Same in every State.

    I think it’s a Federal scheme, funding services at the local level.

    But please correct any mistakes I’ve made.

    Ambi
    Shameless Labor Cheer Leader**
    Hopelessly Biassed Supporter of Public Health Services

    ** accolade awarded by the only truly objective commenter on this or any other blog in the Southern Hemisphere

  66. Jumpy

    Just saw Laura Tingle on “7.30”, talking about Mr Shorten’s speech.

    Her eyes were moving from side to side.
    I wondered how it was she needed an autocue?
    But the words she spoke were those you quoted at 7.25pm.

    She is sprung!
    She was reading out to the viewers her own tweet.
    Pathetic “journalism”.

    If I want to hear tweets being read out loud, I can sit next to any teenager. (Assuming they know how to read.)

    Poor show, ABC TV!

    Harrumphhhhh.

  67. Anyone else feel like joining us in this “bubble”?
    You won’t mind, will you, Mr Jumpy?

  68. Anyone else feel like joining us in this “bubble”?

    If you insist.
    I’m struggling to detect the bias in the words attributed to Ms Tingle by Jumpy. Anyone prepared to clarify (or even fix the formatting)?

  69. Hmmmm

    1. Calling the cancer treatment funding “a huge incentive”? (Does she mean a huge incentive to vote Labor?)

    2. Saying that Mr Shorten “has neutralised the tax issue”.
    (It might be better to say he “has tried to neutralise the income tax issue”?)

    Sounds to me like barracking for Labor.

    Similarly, Fran Kelly on RN on week day mornings sounds like an ALP barracker. This morning she was talking over a (female) Liberal Minister. Any listener would have been hard pressed to hear what either The Fran or The Minister was saying.

    Does Fran Kelly “have a women problem”, a deficiency she claims the Federal Liberal Party has?

    ****
    By the way, Fran’s interview with a scientist specialising in reef corals this morning on RN was a doozy. He said, “Spawning is down by 90% in areas where coral bleaching occurred.”
    Fran, “Can you put that in terms [I can understand]….?

    It almost reached the stage where the interviewee scientist had to say, “Well, Fran, when a mummy coral and a daddy coral really love each other, they do a bit of a jiggle dance called ‘spawning’ and that is how baby corals are made, and if there aren’t enough mummy and daddy corals, then there won’t be many babies.”

    I kid you not.
    He talked about “baby corals” on a national radio network that purports to be for thinking adults.

    This was not on ABC TV for Kids,
    or “Behind The News” for twelve year olds……

  70. 1. Calling the cancer treatment funding “a huge incentive”? (Does she mean a huge incentive to vote Labor?)

    Probably. But if the Treasurer had announced the same funding as part of his budget surely it would have been a huge incentive to vote Coalition?

    2. Saying that Mr Shorten “has neutralised the tax issue”.

    Sounds to me like the usual horse race reporting that infects the Press Gallery (who won today? etc etc). I’ve heard her use similar terminology with respect to the Coalition’s tactics.
    And as for Fran, I gave up on her because of her pro-Coalition bias. Life’s funny like that. 🙂

  71. Jumpy: I liked your expression, “Our governance will become so top heavy it’ll capsize the Country.“. Aren’t we upside-down already? There’s a world of difference between complying with essential, practical regulations on one hand, and on the other hand, getting into a frenzy trying to comply with regulations that exemplify the saying “Any fool can make a rule”.

    Geoff Miell: I’ve downloaded that defective vessel reporting form. Since our blessed government is unlikely to “rock the boat”, it will be up to observant citizens to do their job for them.

  72. Spotted in yesterday’s SMH paper edition was an article by Javier Blas – online version headlined Saudi mystery: World’s largest oil field is fading faster than anyone knew. It begins with:

    It was a state secret and the source of a kingdom’s riches. It was so important that US military planners once debated how to seize it by force. For oil traders, it was a source of endless speculation.

    Now the market finally knows: Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest conventional oil field, can produce a lot less than almost anyone believed.

    Ghawar is able to pump a maximum of 3.8 million barrels a day – well below the more than 5 million that had become conventional wisdom in the market.

    This statement is also interesting:

    In total, the kingdom has 226 billion barrels of reserves, enough for another 52 years of production at the maximum capacity of 12 million barrels a day.

    BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2018 indicates that Saudi Arabia (world’s second largest oil producer) at the end of 2017 had an estimated R/P (at 11.951 Mb/d) of 61.0 years. So it seems the world has less oil available than conventional wisdom.

  73. On the subject of bias.
    Here’s an article which is very critical of Donald Trump. It doesn’t claim to be news – it’s clearly marked as opinion – and as far as I can tell it is completely factual.
    For comparison here’s a story about front page “news” in the Courier Mail.

  74. I’ve finished the Labor climate policy draft, but need a few more links and need to proof-read. Unfortunately have to go out to do a job now, but this evening at earliest…

  75. zoot: Fair crack of the whip! I served with some damned fine fellows who came from the Bronx. Where you come from isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of who you are. Anyway, our own Matthias Corman who, I’m told, comes from the ethnic German minority in Belgium, must be laughing his head off at that bit of Trumpery. 🙂

    Geoff Miell: Ah, that might explain why the usurper kingdom went off half-cocked in its imperialist conquest of Yemen and the Horn Of Africa. (“Mission Accomplished”??? Well, not quite). They’re in one hell of a rush to get the job done before the oil looks like running out and their bestest, nicest friends run out on them too.

  76. Wow, congratulates zoot, you found a Thylacine.
    That must mean no animals became extinct.

    ( slow clap. . . . )

    I’ll be quiet now.

    Extremely doubtful, happy to be wrong.

  77. Zoot: The Courier Mail is so blatant at times with its headlines that it is easy to dismiss. On the other hand once you get away from the obvious crap (required for those on high?) there is lots of balanced, quality reporting. The blatancy comes across as a spoof that undermines the American owners point of view. Or is it a plot by the owner to sell papers without supporting crap. OR

  78. Could be that Fran Kelly’s superficiality is a result of “the thrill of the chase”, so when she seems to be barracking for Labor it’s mainly sloppiness; and if she repeats Liberal cliches it’s sloppiness; but ratings, ratings, ratings; “I make news, I don’t merely report it.”

    Maybe she needs a few more research assistants in the back room? On-air proofreading is more difficult to implement….

    Like your examples, zoot.
    Opinion labelled Opinion at the top.

    Similar to an ad set out like a newspaper story but with a heading Advertising material.
    Or a puff piece for a tourist destination with footnote: “Anthea’s visit to Isla Bonita was funded by AeroMax and the Sultan of Burnish”.

  79. Ambi, the ABC’s main political journalists such as Fran Kelly, Patricia Karvelis and Leigh Sales see themselves as holding politicians of all stripes to account. The result is an aggressive hectoring which wastes precious air time and modern politicians are schooled to handle.

    Others who fill in for PK, such as Damien Carrick and Jonathon Green are more polite and get more out of their guests.

    Sabra Lane (AM), Eleanor Hall (TWT) and Linda Mottram (PM) do far better.

  80. Mr A

    Could be that Fran Kelly’s superficiality is a result of “the thrill of the chase”, so when she seems to be barracking for Labor it’s mainly sloppiness; and if she repeats Liberal cliches it’s sloppiness; but ratings, ratings, ratings; “I make news, I don’t merely report it.”

    I wouldn’t think so after her celebrating the Wentworth by election with that cringe inducing singing performance on Insiders.

    Barrie ( ex Bob Hawke press secretary) looked very pleased indeed with it. Perhaps he helped write the lyrics.

  81. Ambi, my wife likes Ellen Fanning, who did RN Breakfast for years, starting I think at the young age of 26. My wife watches her in the evenings on The Drum on ABC 24.

    Recently she did a fill-in stint on the 7.30 Report and was in another league compared to Leigh Sales. For starters, listens to what guests say and bases the next question on that rather than going down the list on the prepared sheet.

  82. Here’s Laura Tingles Analysis ( not Opinion, Analysis ).

    Such fair and unbiased Journalisming.

    Give that most folk only read the headline and maybe the first couple of paragraphs, which I’m sure she’s aware, that’s some telling stuff.

  83. Give that most folk only read the headline and maybe the first couple of paragraphs, which I’m sure she’s aware, that’s some telling stuff.

    Really?

    The Coalition has painted itself into a fiscal corner, just like it has on climate change
    Members of the House of Representatives had mostly left Canberra by Friday morning, leaving their colleagues in the Senate to go through the last spasms of Estimates committee hearings about the Budget.
    There was a strong sense of time-filling around Parliament House as everyone waited for the Prime Minister to finally put the 45th Parliament out of its misery and go and see the Governor-General.
    Pragmatists in Government ranks shrugged their shoulders and predicted Labor would win by at least 10 seats.
    Some even quietly welcomed the prospect of a generational clean-out, after the bitterness that has left the Coalition struggling to govern coherently for much of its time in office since 2013.

    So that’s what you call bias. We obviously have different definitions of the term.

  84. Jumpy, in general I understand authors, even Laura Tingle, don’t write the headlines. So at the ABC we get:

    The Coalition has painted itself into a fiscal corner, just like it has on climate change

    The same article appears in the AFR:

    Bill Shorten’s biggest challenge

    Bill Shorten is promising things for the year ahead, promising a government that will do stuff, but he needs to overcome the cynicism of voters first.

    There it is opinion rather than analysis.

    Then there is yet another version of the very same article that lands on my driveway in the AFR:

    The grander the promise, the sourer the cynicism

    The budget exemplified the pledges made safely on the never-never that have stunted our political debate.

    The AFR whose sub-editors would have written the headlines can’t be accused of favouring the left if you look at their editorials. Their latest Labor is setting up for a fatal policy flaw doesn’t seem to be there yet.

  85. Why would a journalist allow such behaviour with their work ?

    The Author should own the piece from title to the credits.

    Yet another reason for the distrust of the shrinking old media institutions.

    Anyway, the first few paragraphs ( her undisputed work ) tells the tail.

  86. Yes it the tale as distinct from the tail. Tingle is intelligent, informed and compassionate. What’s not to like?

  87. Jumpy

    A journalist is an employee in a hierarchy. Her words are edited, sub-edited, sometimes sent off to a lawyer for checking. No control over placement, proximity to ads, choice of photo (if any), wording of headline. Might not get a by-line.

    If a journo doesn’t like it, that’s the door over there next to the microwave.

    On a blog, pure freedom lives.
    Thank Brian.

  88. Brian

    Thanks for your analyses and opinions at 10.45am and 11.02am.
    Noted.

    I would add Richard Fidler and Philip Adams to the list of good listeners. Though doubtless one was a comedian and the other a
    Commo/filmie/adman/Labor guy/raconteur/columnist/farmer.

    Fidler does good books too.

  89. “Analysis” is an evaluation of the raw data. It is one step removed from opinion but it is not straight reportage.
    Sub editors write the headlines because their job is to make the story fit into the page layout. Which means they may also edit parts of the journalist’s work. John Quiggin recently wrote about subbies distorting the meaning of his prose.

  90. Anyway, the first few paragraphs ( her undisputed work ) tells the tail.

    Each of those paragraphs contains factual information.
    How would you report the same facts without bias?

  91. Mr A

    Jumpy

    A journalist is an employee in a hierarchy. Her words are edited, sub-edited, sometimes sent off to a lawyer for checking. No control over placement, proximity to ads, choice of photo (if any), wording of headline. Might not get a by-line.

    Then they’re not works of the journalist

    If a journo doesn’t like it, that’s the door over there next to the microwave.

    That’s the dying media hierarchy.

    On a blog, pure freedom lives.
    Thank Brian.

    Yep, forget the legacy MSM for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. That hierarchy is corrupted beyond retrieval.

  92. So if I object to an article in a MSM paper I should criticise the journalist + sub-editor + editor + publisher + …..

    Can’t I just pick on the journo, Jumpy?

  93. Now is everyone Relaxed And Comfortable? ™ JH.
    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/australia/spy-chief-nick-warner-on-the-security-threats-facing-australia-from-terrorism-to-north-korea/ar-BBVF0TR?ocid=spartandhp

    Brian: On Ellen Fanning – “For starters, listens to what guests say and bases the next question on that rather than going down the list on the prepared sheet.”
    Yeah, that damned Pom, Parkinson, has got a lot to answer for. How can you have gladiatorial entertainment when you let intelligent listening and apt questions get in the way?

  94. Mr A

    Can’t I just pick on the journo, Jumpy?

    I think one can if the journalist involved agrees to such whorishness.
    It’s like cash for someone else’s comment.

    The ABC has become shamelessly partisan.

    Is only.natural than more taxpayer cash get more favourable comment at ALP/ABC.

  95. Relevant to another thread, Philip Coorey writes an article Labor’s emissions trading scheme.

    There it was, exactly the same on the front page of the actual paper. The curious thing is that in the article there is nothing at all being said about Labor’s emissions trading scheme.

    Phillip Coorey is Political Editor of the AFR but doesn’t get to write his own headlines. It’s just how papers work.

    Actually the headline and the first sentence or too is meant to act as a ‘hook’ to make the reader want to read more. It’s journalism 101. To be honest, I try to do it on the blog, but am having trouble inventing catchy but meaningful stuff in recent times.

  96. Under the by-line of journalist Michael Koziol, SMH reports a ‘senior Liberal source’ saying internal Party polling shows a Mr Abbott, MP, on track for a “diabolical” swing of 12% against him = his previous winning margin. But he could still be re-elected.

    (Has the ‘source’ been on the sauce???)

    Also, Mr Sharma on track to take Wentworth from Dr Phelps. And another Labor seat winnable by the Liberal Party.

    This following on after the ALP loss in the NSW election. Another story predicts that a Shorten Govt could be stymied in the Senate: Labor + Greens lacking a majority.

    Wait and see, I reckon.

  97. Ambi, the likely Labor loss is probably Herbert, which is marginal, and things have not been going well there in Townsville. However, there are 7 or 8 marginal LNP seats in Qld, and if Labor gets 50-50 (last time it was 55-45 to the LNP) then a number will go.

    However, my wife and my son Mark both think a ScoMo win is more than likely. We’ve been thinking about New Zealand, except it’s too far away from rellies and stuff.

  98. Is there an expectation (more than a hope) that we should be getting honest, factual reporting from our media? That seems to be the case but the forces marshalled against that are pretty heavy. For example how would you turn the Murdoch empire into an ethical and credible news outlet? Or overcome the powerful commercial needs of Turners CNN to provide an entertaining counter to Murdoch’s Fox.

    In Oz, we have our favourite reporters as mentioned above and some are clearly more dedicated to fact than others. But a reporter’s grist is to provide readable fodder to the newspaper that will sell copies and raise advertising revenue. Ethical codes have been pushed back that ultimately limit the voracity of news. We don’t trust it any more and for a number of reasons, and especially political reporting.
    And after all, it is up to the readers to sort the crap from the clay and that is harder for some people than others, and many don’t seem to worry.

    What to do? I guess try to read widely, be critical and look for collaboration from other sources – though that can be hard with a diminishing number of independent news sources. The internet allows say, Fox and CNN the ability to publish electronically stories that absolutely contradict each other and all within a few minutes or seconds. Hard to trust either, so hopefully other data emerges that supports the more truthful version. But really, for me at least broad TRUST in news has long gone.

  99. Every single “ journalist “ in Australia has to vote.
    The first thing that receive the cleansing of light should be that.

    I respect most the “ journalist “ that declare there political leanings.
    This tripe about “ totally unbiased “ is just that, we all lean in certain way.

    On US politics I like Tim Pool ( liberal ) and Ben Shapiro ( conservative ) because them admitting their leanings is honest from the get go. And they both ridicule the MSM when appropriate as well as praise when appropriate using their own personal insights.

    As soon as I see a variant of “ sources close to the investigation say…. “ it becomes useless to go further.

  100. SMH 6 pm reporting an Ipos poll says LNP trailing Labor 47/53 in 2 party terms, post budget, forecasts a defeat for Libs.
    1200 person sample between April 3 – April 6. And,
    election date May 18, Morrison still preferred PM

  101. On US politics I like Tim Pool ( liberal ) and Ben Shapiro ( conservative ) because them admitting their leanings is honest from the get go.

    So I guess you have no problem with Phillip Adams, who has never pretended to be anything other than a pinko lefty ex-commo.

    I would point out in passing that Late Night Live quite often has conservative commentators (David Brooks was a weekly occurrence back in the dark ages) whilst I have never heard a left leaning guest on Counterpoint on the few occasions I have been unlucky enough to hear it.

  102. One of the qualities that helps Philip Adams to stand out, is that when interviewing an author, he seems to have
    * actually read the book, or
    * been provided with an excellent summary which he has understood, and (sometimes)
    * has also read reviews of the book or different views on the topic, and
    * he or his staff have thought about interesting questions to ask

    Not bad by Aussie standards.

    Cheers

  103. Adams doesn’t ring a bell but I like Fidler and he’s obviously on the left.

    It’s the disingenuous ones like Fran Kelly that read out the the damned “ honest and unbiased “ spiels but is obviously far left.

  104. Adams doesn’t ring a bell

    Where have you been?
    Whenever the ABC’s supposed bias arises Adams is the first example cited and biggest target of the ire. For years the cry has been “Where is the right wing Phillip Adams?”

  105. And folk like Ian Verrender that it wouldn’t be surprising if he had a shrine to J.M.Keynes in his bedroom.

  106. I like Fidler and he’s obviously on the left.

    You sure about that? He always struck me as a classical liberal (not Liberal) which these days is right of centre.

  107. Where have you been?

    Apparently a more diverse array of places then sheltered folk set in their ways.
    Perhaps I’ve heard him but nothing memorable.

    Perhaps examples of

    Whenever the ABC’s supposed bias arises Adams is the first example cited and biggest target of the ire. For years the cry has been “Where is the right wing Phillip Adams?”

    would be helpful, if true.

  108. Late Night Live is on the wireless, Jumpy.
    You know, that noisy machine out in the sleepout with the bakelite knobs? Which brings us PM Curtin talking about our gallant troops, or plays us a 78 inch record of Mr Churchill??

    It’s very surprising that you aren’t really up to date.
    But Mr Adams talks a lot, and it’s well past the bedtimes of the littlies.

  109. Geoff Henderson: Your comment, “But really, for me at least broad TRUST in news has long gone.” was shared by half the people with whom I have conversed over the past several months. The attitude that has now become middle-of-the-road is that if it is on TV or in the papers on a mainstream internet site then it must be nothing but a pack of lies – and even the date and the page number are in doubt..

    Jumpy: Fran Kelly a Lefty? Surely thou kiddest!

  110. zoot: Regardless of whatever his political leanings may be, Richard Feidler is a terrific interviewer. The same goes for Jane Hutcheon in her “One Plus One” program on ABC-TV.
    Don’t despair, we still have a tiny fragment of excellent journalism left in Australia.

  111. Graham: I agree that in Australia we have some excellent journalists who, despite their personal views, manage to present a fair account of the subject they are reporting. Off the top of my head I would put Katharine Murphy, Laura Tingle, Margo Kingston and David Marr in this category.
    (Braces for outraged response from Jumpy).

  112. Fidler is well-read, well-informed, and often contributes to the subject, as Phillip Adams does. His politics is well-hidden, I think, but he’s sensible.

    I also like Sarah Kanowski, who shares his “Conversations” spot. Mostly they interview people who have written books, and they read the books themselves. Both have brilliant timing.

    Jumpy, here’s Phillip Adams. He’s on at 10 pm, when you’d be tucked up, I presume, but repeats Tues-Fri at 4pm.

    Counterpoint is meant to be on the ‘right’ as is Tom Switzer’s Between the Lines. I like some of his interviews, but I don’t like what he laughs at. He claims to be ‘liberal’ in the sense that the Democrats in the US are liberal. May be so, but his personal newsletter is crap.

    There is some hope, I think, in some of the online organs. The Guardian does not try to make a profit, not sure if it’s subsidised. The New Daily is paid for by the industry super funds, and has a left orientation. Then some of the better journalist have migrated to The Saturday Paper, The Monthly, and Inside Story.

    You can always Google them, or go to the LHS side bar in this site, click on Other Links, then on Other Sites.

  113. Heavens to betsy Jumpy what was I thinking? It was a 78 revolutions per minute record of Mr Churchill, not a 78 inch record. Bless dear Mr Edison.

    However, Brian has given you much better information about Mr Adams than I did.

    I’d like to tip my Akubra also to The Doug Anthony Allstars from decades past. Later: games show host, author, and Richard Fidler (Sagaland, Constantinople). Bl**dy rippers, boys.

Comments are closed.