1. How to win against narcisists
BilB sent me a link to a YouTube of an interview with Bill Eddy about the topic of his book Why We Elect Narcissists And Sociopaths – and How We Can Stop (summary here). The money bit for me was near the end, from about 12.47. Eddy says that the high emotion output of HCPs (high-conflict politicians) must be countered with an equal weight of information. The quantity is as important as the quality.
In other words, if you are in a shouting match, you have to shout.
I thought there were lessons from the last election. It is not for me to call Scott Morrison a narcissist, but he certainly used high emotion with a torrent of facts and figures, many of them misleading or downright wrong. ScoMo piled it on, and Bill Shorten was effectively overwhelmed.
Shorten and Labor thought it better to quietly keep talking about there own policies. In rugby league terms, their defence was threadbare and ScoMo ran through and over them. The defence needs to be robust, to put they opposition on their backs, and then skilful and planned attack is the best form of defence. Labor failed on both counts.
However, it is also important to fight the new election in three years time as a new event. ScMo looks and sounds the part as PM and is not going to be easy to dislodge.
2. Tax cut wars
Long lost is the fact that Labor was going to virtually double the tax refund offered immediately by the ScoMo government, and later provide lower taxes than the LNP for over 10 million low and medium income earners.
Now the question is whether Labor will support a tax cut tilted towards the high income earners, but to be implemented in five years time.
It is risible to suggest that making such tax cuts law now will do anything for the faltering economy. If anything it builds in risk.
Labor has come up a proposal for stages one and two to be passed immediately to help stimulate the economy. Jim Chalmers said:
- “The government should also bring forward to 2019-20 an infrastructure package and the increase in the $90,000 threshold to $120,000,” he said.
The cost of the tax cut would only be about half the forecast surplus.
The government, however, is determined to wedge Labor, and is probably succeeding. The government is winning on volume alone.
Katy Gallagher says Labor will wait and see what happens with the crossbench in the senate before deciding whether they will swing in behind the government in passing the legislation in the senate.
The government needs Cory Bernardi plus three. Centre Alliance will do cross deals on gas prices and such, without any means of enforcing them.
Bernadi will vote with the LNP, so if One Nation continues to oppose the tax cuts, that leaves Jacqui Lambie with the final call, and she won’t say until she gets to Canberra and gets some briefings.
A good illustration of how the new senate will work.
3. Building certification crisis
There are paywalled stories all over the Murdoch press. 7.30 Report focussed on Sydney’s Mascot Towers, the latest to be evacuated with structural flaws. A Canberra complex with 120 owners may have to cough up $75,000 each to get the building fixed. The federal government says it’s a state government responsibility.
As of tomorrow building certifiers may not be able to get insurance. Here’s chief executive of the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors Brett Mace saying if building surveyors are unable to get insurance because of the cladding crisis the construction industry will come to a halt.
It seems Master Builders Australia and real estate and construction leader EY disagree about the problem.
Su-Lin Tan and Michael Bleby at the AFR say Property Council of Australia are demanding that the federal government make regulatory changes.
According to the AFR, Federal Minister Karen Andrews says the states rejected her offer for the federal government to fund a dedicated, national taskforce to work in conjunction with the states to implement the Shergold-Weir recommendations. They’ll have a further chin wag at their July meeting.
- Next Tuesday, the last insurer willing to issue professional indemnity policies free of cladding exclusions will exit Australia, leaving building certifiers and surveyors, as well as fire engineers and architects no way to renew their registration and abide by state requirements for unencumbered policies to protect them and their clients.
NSW – encouraged to do so by the federal government – has stepped in to temporarily allow certifiers to keep practising without cover, which was the opposite of Victoria, which earlier in the week said it would underwrite professional indemnity for building industry consultants as a last resort.
What Queensland is doing, I don’t know, but people are definitely complaining.
Being old-fashioned, I suspect things went off the rails when building inspection was privatised.
I don’t know, but it doesn’t reflect well on our national competence.
4. Our American friends
Donald Trump reckons we’d be at war with North Korea now if they had a different POTUS. He’s probably right.
John Mearsheimer, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, and author of The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities told Tom Switzer that Australia would be forced to choose between the US and China. Whichever we chose we would be punished by the other.
Scott Morrison seemed to make a fair bit of sense, talking about this prior to the G20. I think the US and China are not stupid enough to close off relationships with each other, and as Laura Tingle pointed out on Insiders, we are far from alone in our position.
Meanwhile the Democrats are trying to sort out their field of 20 candidates. FiveThirtyEight looked at What Went Down On Night One Of The First Democratic Debates and Politics Podcast: Kamala Harris Won The Debate Narrative. What Comes Next?
Candidates were divided into two lots on a random basis. It turned out Elizabeth Warren was the only A-grader in the first lot. She shone in the first hour, then coasted, leaving several others to take advantage.
Next round the criteria for polling support and funds raised will be stiffened, so some will drop out. No bloopers, and no killer lines in this debate.
In the second debate, it seems Kamala Harris won. I’m not wishing Joe Biden well because he has too much baggage, and promises to return America to the Obama trajectory. No recognition of present realities and vision for the future.
I think Biden and Bernie Sanders will be seen as too old, strictly one-term prospects, and probably they are too old. In any case I suspect Bernie won’t win the middle.
We have no dog in the race, but IMO it matters.