Weekly salon 7/7

1. NAIDOC Week 2019

It’s NAIDOC Week 2019 this week, with the theme VOICE. TREATY. TRUTH.

NITV has a timeline for the development of NAIDOC and there is more at Wikipedia. Seems that a Day of Mourning was initiated on 27 January 1937 as a protest against 150 years of callous treatment and the seizure of land through British colonisation. It was initiated by a letter written by William Cooper on behalf of the Australian Aborigines Progressive Association, an umbrella group for a number of Aboriginal justice movements. The practice developed of having a day of mourning every year on the Sunday before Australia Day.

From 1957 the date was changed from January to July and The National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (NADOC) was formed. The first Sunday in July became a day of remembrance and celebration for Aboriginal people and heritage.

Then in 1991 NADOC became NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) to recognise Torres Strait Islanders and to describe a whole week of recognition, rather than one day.

Anthony Albanese offered to work with Morrison on climate and the Uluru Statement inter alia.

According to Laura Tingle, there was a spark of optimism in the first week of Parliament:

She talks about the various ceremonies on opening day of the parliament, including welcome to country, and:

    it feels like the pressure is building for something to finally happen.

    The presence of Indigenous people in the senior ranks of both sides of the Parliament changes the dynamics. The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader are probably the best-matched twosome in terms of pragmatic politics we have seen for some time.

    The meeting of the two men on the first day of sitting to discuss possible areas of common ground on thorny issues, from Indigenous recognition to press freedom, was important.

The parliament will work better with Tony Abbott gone and Barnaby Joyce consigned to the back bench. Bipartisanship might just break out from time to time. These two might even work together:

Can’t see Angus Taylor working with anyone who doesn’t agree with him, however.

I believe ScoMo told the troops not to talk about religion, and the religious freedom/discrimination legislation in one matter he wants settled on a bipartisan basis. Good call, I think.

2. Shaking down the money tree

That was the title of the dead tree version of Andrew Tillett’s article on the great tax cut schmozzle in the AFR (no doubt pay-walled):

    Call it South Australia’s and Tasmania’s revenge. Long derided as economic laggards and political backwaters, the first week of the new Parliament demonstrated these two states are now enjoying a super-sized role in Canberra’s corridors of power and it’s one the rest of the country had better get used to.

There was no bipartisanship on this one. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation would not play, so the SA Centre Alliance’s Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff together with Jacqui Lambie from Tasmania were happy to oblige – at a price.

They are complaining about lack of influence and attention, because Tasmania has only five seats in the HRH, and SA 10. For perspective, the Gold Coast has seven, and the Sunshine Coast three.

This is what the government wanted approved:

I think earners on less than $45K pa are seen as leaners, and undeserving. The more you have, the more encouragement you get.

Lambie wanted the Commonwealth to forgive Tasmania’s $157 million debt for social housing as a way to ease the state’s homelessness crisis. All the government promised was to work through the issue with the Tasmanian state government. They may settle for waiving the interest, which costs Tasmania $15 million each year.

In the process Lambie has shown that tax breaks for the well-off trump helping people sleeping on the street in Tasmania’s winter in ScoMo land.

Patrick and Griff are focussed on gas prices, because gas supplies about half SA’s electricity, and largely determines the price. They want $7 a gigajoule. What they got was a timetable for steps the government will take, such as tightening the Domestic Gas Security Mechanism.

Not everyone thinks that will turn out well. Below a certain price gas producers find other things to do, so supply may be a problem.

Everyone seems to have a different idea about what Labor should have done. What they did was try to bring forward the first tranche of real tax cuts, not due until 2022-23, which is actually after the next election, in order to stimulate the sagging economy.

And then they waived the whole thing through when it was clear the government had the numbers, to avoid being accused of standing between a voter and a tax cut. While signalling that to promise cuts so big so far ahead was grossly irresponsible.

3. Labor begins post mortem

Journalists seem to think Labor, having lost the unlosable election, is tearing itself to bits, looking to find and remake itself into something presentable.

Certainly it has initiated a review, and National Secretary Noah Carroll has resigned, as he should after running a losing campaign.

    Other members of the committee are Linda White, an official of the Australian Services Union; Queensland Senator Anthony Chisholm, a former state secretary; John Graham, a member of the NSW upper house and a former state assistant general secretary, and Lenda Oshalem, formerly an official in the Western Australian branch of the party.

However, the party still has a good team, and has a National Platform which runs to 310 pages, which has a chapter on climate change, energy and the environment. Mark Butler has recently said this to members:

    Labor’s approach to climate change policy will continue to be guided by the best science available, and be underpinned by Labor values of equity and fairness. Our approach will focus on the development of policies that will not only cut pollution, but ensure we maximise the jobs and economic opportunities of modernising our economy.

    In contrast, the Liberal and National parties have paid nothing more than lip service to real climate action. Their approach to climate change is best demonstrated not by their rhetoric, but by their actions, including a commitment to provide taxpayer funding support for coal fired power.

So what that means for policy remains to be seen.

Peter Lewis thinks, it’s the economy stupid, and the way back for Labor is through children’s rights.

4. Brexit and Corbyn killed the Labour Party!

The latest YouGov poll shows that, for the first time ever, Labour has fallen into fourth place with just 18% of the vote. The Conservative’s lead on 24%, with the Brexit party on 23%, the Lib Dems on 20%, Labour on 18% and the Green’s on 9%:

    In the most recent poll 57% of Labour 2017 voters now say they would vote for another party, with 28% going to the Lib Dems, 15% moving to the Greens and 10% moving to the Brexit party.

    Meanwhile 47% of Conservative 2017 voters also now say they will vote for another party, with most of that (38%) going to the Brexit party and a further 6% moving to the Lib Dems.

    However, this most recent poll could be the first sign of a recovery for the Conservatives. They are now on their highest share of the vote since before the European Parliament election, possibly due to their pending transition to a new leader.

If the UK had preferential voting, it’s worth noting that Brexit and the Conservatives have a combined 47%, the same as the combined next three. In our system the 6% Other could determine who wins, which is one reason why the Brits will stick with first past the post.

Only 19% now have a favourable view of Corbyn, compared to 70% who don’t. Boris Johnson takes the cake with a 34/57 split.

I have heard it said that if Johnson becomes PM, expect Britain to crash out of the EU without a deal, then an election will be called the next day to deal with the emergency.

5. Dalai Lama blooper?

You probably heard the story The Dalai Lama Still Thinks a Woman Successor Would Need to Be Hot and wondered why his holiness had taken leave of his senses.

There was a discussion about this on Mark’s Facebook with some people who seriously knew stuff about Eastern thought and Buddhism.

First up, the Dalai Lama does not speak for all Tibetan Buddhists, let alone all Buddhists.

However, sexuality is considered differently in Buddhist thought compared to modern Western ideas. Put simply, whatever their stripe, they missed out on the narrowing of Victorian attitudes to sex, and consider sexuality as permeating life in general. It would be quite normal to talk about the sexual attractiveness and characteristics of leaders of whatever gender.

So it was not a slip of the tongue.

People might like to have a listen to Esther Perel: finding the erotic in everyday life. I found it thought-provoking, to say the least.

41 thoughts on “Weekly salon 7/7”

  1. Brian: Your tax savings table has someone on $200,000 getting a total tax cut of $275/week. About the same as the Newstart allowance that Labor and the LNP think doesn’t need increasing.

  2. John, during the election campaign, everyone admitted Newstart was too low. Labor said they would look at it, but had made no provision in their budget projections. They were waiting for another inquiry.

    Simon Birmingham made a virtue of promising not to increase it.

  3. So that $200000 will pay for about 5 Newstarters for a year instead of 6.
    If she smokes and drinks like a concreter then no.6 is covered.

  4. Robodebt !!
    The saga still has a way to run.

    Isn’t Newstart a trifle Orwellian, like “Ministry of Truth” etc.

    It can’t provide most reipients with a Start, let alone a New one.

    BTW, that was urine poor of Labor to promise only “to look into the level of Newstart payments”, where by contrast they were certain to raise the wages** of childcare workers (but no promises for nurses, kinder teachers, waitresses or checkout ladies….)

    Not hypocritical, just very clearly inconsistent……
    Many folk see that** as a ‘low income problem’ rather than an ‘educating young working two year olds’ problem.

  5. John

    Jumpy: Figures from Brian’s table above gave (135+2565+11640)/52=275.76

    I don’t think the adding together of the 3 figures ( it’s actually 4 years ) is what’s shown.
    I read it as $11640 for the FY 24/25 compared to FY17/18.
    If to add every years savings together you’d need to divide it by years encompassed for an average.

    That just how I read it, I could be wrong.

  6. Brexit and Corbyn killed the Labour Party!

    These may all be intertwined.
    PM Cameron, facing internal anti-EU pressures, called tbe referendum to lance the boil; an unbelievably close result left 90% of voters twitchy; PM Cameron took the hint, fed a hospital pass to his successor; she spilled the poison chalice; Oppo Leader Corbyn made gains against her; almost a well-and-truly hung Parlt.; Mr Corbyn meanwhile refusing to state a Brexit position; Mr Corbyn with his very own Abbott problem; then antisemitism (always a lurking danger when Palestine/Israel is brought into the spotlight); Trots and ex-Commos swimming in the Labour waters; Mrs May Exits; Boris rises; Boris flails and crashes about; still Jeremy can’t land a blow; Farage floats to the surface…..

    Makes our pollies look gentle and decisive.
    Which is a big ask.

  7. Jumpy, John, all I did was copy a table from the AFR which was sourced to the “Budget”.

    I heard a bloke on the radio who said the offset was to be dribbled out over three years. Said his accountant said so. I can’t believe it.

    Alan Kohler said tonight it had improved consumer sentiment, which means, I think, people are easy to please.

  8. Ambi, I’d like to hear more about the anti-semitism charge against Corbyn. You are usually well-informed, but all I’ve read, which isn’t much, says the charge is untrue.

    The Brits are unfathomable to me at present.

  9. Brian: Some good may come out of the Brexit fiasco. If Labor and the Conservatives combine forces they could might reduce some of the threat of an impending disappearance for both of them by introducing Aus style preference voting. But I guess that is being a bit too smart for the POMS.

  10. From what I’ve read about Mr Corbyn and antisemitism, the problem is a Labour Party problem more than a Corbyn problem.

    He has a long history of being fiercely critical of Israel’s policies and actions (e.g. in the occupied territories) and has made common cause with some Palestinian groups.

    Antisemitism is of course a distinct position.
    As I understand it, some British antisemites attach themselves to any group which criticises Israel, and/or speaks in favour of Palestinian rights.

    Some Jewish Labour MPs in Britain have claimed there is lurking antisemitism in parts of their Party, especially (I think) amongst the influx of new members, many of whom flocked to join to support Jeremy for the leadership. Some of those resemble the entrist Trots of the early 1980s in my view.

    I have no inside dope.
    I trust the Jewish MPs and Jewish Party members who have spoken out this year and last; I can’t see any good reason to doubt their accounts of what it’s been like for them in British Labour since Jeremy was elected.

    It seems he lacks authority in the Party and is slow to act on difficult matters.

    A year ago he looked like PM in waiting. Now his Party runs 4th. What a rapid decline!


  11. Anyone got any tears left?

    Taliban agrees not to bomb schools and hospitals in fragile deal

    Headline in Nine newspapers online 10th July 2019.

  12. 8 – 8 and a wind storm here. Rain coming. Power blackout.*

    All horses on short tethers.
    Quill geese have all been moved under shelter.

    Over and out.

    * causes: closure of Hazelwood, take-up of rooftop solar; election of Shorten Govt.; Bob Brown.

  13. Ambi, the one I read who said Corbyn was not anti-semite was a Jew.

    I asked Mark about Corbyn and Labour, as he actually follows events there.

    He said (1) Corbyn has never controlled the Labour Party, and they never controlled him.

    (2) Corbyn sat on the fence over Brexit, and is still on the fence. people just got sick of his posturing.

    (3) Over there a similar thing happened to what happened here. Well off middle-class people moved to Labour, but more workers and disadvantaged folk moved out to the Conservatives of Brexiteers.

    He says Corbyn is done for and should just move on. Not sure if Labour can be rescued, but the class analysis doesn’t work any more.

    People just want secure jobs.

    He says Corbyn is not an anti-semite, but some nutters moved in with Corbyn’s initial popularity, and it wasn’t handled well. Corbyn can take some blame for that.

  14. Good points, Mark.

    What I was trying to say was that British Labour has antisemitic persons in its ranks whose actions and attitudes once revealed have not resulted in expulsion. Hence the resignations of a few Jewish MPs who had been harrassed by Party antisemites. Mr Corbyn should have acted more strongly on that.

    Ambi of the Overflow

  15. John and Jumpy. There are actually 6 years in the time frame covered by the table. More importantly it is really the tax “saving” in each category times the number of people gaining that amount that relevant. For instance if there were 2 million tax payers on $80,000 then that would cover 163,000 newstart recipients (assuming 255 per week is what they receive : 1080*2000000/(255*52). So with the current 700,000 newstart recipients removing any money from taxation receipts is irresponsible.

    As far as I can see this is a cynical manipulation to starve taxation receipts to in the next phase increase GST along the tax flattening trail, while at the same time caring nothing at all for the plight of 40% of Australians on low incomes.

    Liberals should be condemned for their blind self interest, Labor also.


  16. There was movement at the Station
    For the word had got around
    That the 8.02 from Eltham
    Was about to arrive,
    Ten minutes late as usual.

    Ukelele Amberson

  17. There is some scientific dispute about that skull in Greece. It seems the fatally biased ABC only covered one side of the story.

    For some researchers, however, the claim is bolder than the evidence can bear. Experts contacted by the Guardian doubted whether the skull really belonged to a modern human, and had concerns about the dating procedure. Flaws in either could fatally undermine the scientists’ narrative.

    Eventually a consensus will be reached.

  18. Zoot: The point about the Greek find is that modern humans were living in Africa at that time. I appreciate that getting out of Africa would have involved crossing difficult country but a very good year and pressure to escape from enemies may have been enough to get out of Africa and move further afield.
    The other thing to keep in mind is that fossilization is rare and finding rare fossils takes quite a bit of luck. Given that sea levels were often lower in the past than they are now a group that traveled along a past coast would leave traces that we are most unlikely to find. (We speculate about people crossing land bridges in the past but fossil proof that the move was not made on the seas surface?)
    Lets see what else is found to rewrite early human history in our lifetime.

  19. Given that Homo erectus with a much smaller brain than H. sapiens went all over Asia and Europe I don’t find it surprising that H. Sapiens got out of Africa earlier.

    However, clearly the last word is yet to be spoken.

    Ambi, Corbyn has now come out saying whatever deal is struck must be put to a referendum, And he has finally come out against Brexit.

    However, he is probably no longer relevant.

  20. I think this latest find is exciting, and I agree that the last word is yet to be spoken (probably won’t be in my lifetime).
    But any definitive evidence that humans dispersed earlier than is currently believed makes more feasible the apparent dates of 85kya for the earliest humans in Australia.

  21. Somebody told me they had heard: approximately half of present day scientific ‘fact’ is incorrect; we just don’t know which half.

    BTW on ancient long range migration, I often wonder why the experts say it was so slow?? Considering our human walking pace. ….. Are they thinking of the time it takes to build settlements and grow food?? Or defend against dangerous wild animals? Or battle through thick forests?

    (The first historian I heard talk – on Angus McMillan “our murdering forefather ” – in Gippsland, pointed out that Aboriginals traded across boundaries between their lands. Proof? Tools made of stone found only in North West WA had been found in Victoria and NSW.)

    Archaeology: wonderful… and new techniques being used all the time…

  22. It’s important to remember that scientific knowledge isn’t a simple right/wrong binary.
    Einstein’s discoveries didn’t prove Newton wrong. We still live in a Newtonian universe, but we have to make Relativistic corrections for things like GPS.

  23. Well that a big turnabout from,

    No there couldn’t, unless you’re talking about extra terrestrials. The migrations out of Africa have been mapped and no homo sapiens reached Australia before our indigenes.

    Happy to see it, don’t get me wrong.

  24. Well that a big turnabout from,

    Really? You’ll have to explain it to me.
    I made two statements:
    On the available evidence, our indigenous people were the first modern humans to reach Australia.
    Newton wasn’t wrong when Einstein was proven right.
    Where have I contradicted myself?

  25. It’s important to remember that scientific knowledge isn’t a simple right/wrong binary.

    Any more adjacent dots you need joining ?

    Never mind, you’ve regressed again..

  26. I trust this won’t develop into an excursus to Relativity (either Special or General).

    Let’s stick with the anthropology, archaeology etc., eh?

  27. Over at Under Age Girls Corp the Epstein scandal, we have a new name to conjure with: Ms Ghislaine Maxwell.

    Ms Maxwell is a British publishing heiress, socialite, and a daughter of the late Robert Maxwell.

    He was a publisher, one-time MP, and allegedly an embezzler of his company’s employee benefits fund. He died in mysterious circumstances around 1991, falling off a yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, while beset by financial difficulties.

    A joke.
    Private Eye magazine called Mr Maxwell The Bouncing Czech.

  28. A simple right/wrong binary = things must be either right or wrong.
    The real world = some scientific theories have been proven wrong (see for example aether) and some have been proven right (see Newton and Einstein) and most scientific progress consists of constantly refining our understanding of the universe.
    The theory you referred to on another thread is transparently an attempt to draw parallels between the arrival of modern humans in Australia and the arrival tens of thousands of years later of European settlers. The logic driving it is “OK, we dispossessed them, but their ancestors wiped out a whole civilisation”.
    There is no evidence for this theory and there is much evidence (including mitochondrial) against it. If evidence is found to support it (and bear in mind conjecture is not evidence) it will become more of a possibility.
    Until then it is a fantasy, and therefore wrong.

  29. Ambi;

    BTW on ancient long range migration, I often wonder why the experts say it was so slow?? Considering our human walking pace. ….. Are they thinking of the time it takes to build settlements and grow food?? Or defend against dangerous wild animals? Or battle through thick forests?

    The assumption seems to be that people only move in response to things like population pressure, conflict and natural disasters.
    I suspect things like curiosity, religious pilgrimage and a desire to get far, far away from something nasty in the past may keep people moving quickly.
    Ancient me averages about 4 km/hr walking pace. If ancient explorers spent 2 hrs per day moving forward (and the rest hunting, gathering etc.) that works out at about 3000 km/yr! Very long journeys by groups of young people could have occurred.

  30. Thanks John the Ancient.

    Ambi the Ancient.

    PS: apart from actual land bridges, permanently dry; there must be a difference between crossing a deep ocean (ancient Greeks, Phoenicians, Vikings, Polynesians) and crossing a very shallow sea, more like a calm river…. innit?

    Some folk seem to look at the present map of lands/seas and immediately assume all the blue regions were impassable to ancient woman and her male companions.

  31. Ancient Ambi: Rafts are a fairly basic but very seaworthy vessels that may have done the trick for getting the first Australian ancestors from one Indonesian Island to another where there was never going to be a land bridge. (Like the Wallace line which goes through the strait between Lombok and Bali. (You can see Bali and its volcano quite clearly from Lombok.) The steady Monsoon winds could also blow a raft across to Australia.

  32. Just a note to say I haven’t gone away. I’ve been working on a post that brings diverse things together, thought I had it nearly done last night, but this morning went on family matters, and this afternoon I have a date with my wife!

    Tonight there will be a new post up for sure.

  33. On Item 4 (again), it’s reported from the UK that that Dianne Hayter, Labour shadow Brexit Minister, who sits in the Lords, has been sacked as Shadow Minister with immediate effect.

    She will remain Labour Deputy Leader in the House of Lords, since that’s an elected position.

    If you believe in Godwin’s Law, take a deep breath. These are the words that led to her sacking:

    Hayter, … made the remarks at a meeting of Labour First – a ­centre-left group of MPs and activists – on Tuesday. Addressing the meeting, she said: “Those of you who haven’t [read the book] will have watched the film ­Bunker, about the last days of ­Hitler, of how you stop receiving into the inner group any information which suggests that things are not going the way you want.”

    Those around Corbyn had a “bunker mentality”, she said, accusing them of refusing to give key information to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) as well as the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

    – source: Guardian online

    This is becoming truly poisonous.
    Will Jeremy Corbyn exit the leadership before Britain exits the EU??

    (Can’t think of any decent way of altering Brexit to make it refer to Jeremy.
    Jerxit just doesn’t sound right….)

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