Weekly salon 8/4

1. The PM has a problem or three

Grattan on Friday says Prime Minister Scott Morrison has three pressing problems:

  • the COVID vaccine rollout
  • the budget
  • the issue of women.

Bernard Keane at Crikey says Morrison continues to see everything as a political problem to manage away. Keane was referring to his tearful mea culpa and apparent change of heart on the issue of women and the intemperate attack on Sky journalist Andrew Clennell, claiming that in Clennell’s own organisation there was an incident of harassment of a woman in a women’s toilet being pursued by their own HR department.

There wasn’t.

Keane said it was a lie, that the PM has a “reflexive instinct to lie”, linking to Dennis Atkins’ article, All politicians lie, but Scott Morrison’s untruths transcend the usual.

Actually Morrison may have had something very real in mind. See Aaron Patrick at item 4 below.

In any case Keane sees Morrison as completely incapable of leading cultural change.

2. Could the Morrison government’s response to sexual assault claims cost it the next election?

Sarah Cameron cites information from the Australian Election Study of the 2019 election, which identifies a further drift away from the Liberals by women in a longer term trend:

According to Essential poll Morrison’s personal approval with women voters:

    is now down 16 points since the Higgins story broke in February, the prime minister’s standing with male voters has remained unchanged through the fracas.

Personal approval ratings are not strong indicators of electoral success, but Morrison should worry.

The Greens are distinctly feminised, with 67% more women than men voting Green.

3. Grace Tame blasts Scott Morrison, and Amanda Stoker

Samantha Maiden details how newly minted Australian of the Year Grace Tame blasts Scott Morrison’s Assistant Minister for Women Amanda Stoker.

According to Katharine Murphy:

    Tame said it was possible to respond to a pandemic with funding “but we can’t fix morals with money and masking [and] we can’t boost humanity with stunts and stimulus packages.

    “Now that our collective focus has extended beyond economic disruption to issues of morality, we are seeing leaders for who they really are.”


    Tame said on social media that Morrison appointing Stoker to the position demonstrated he either was “ignorant of the cultural issues at hand, or he understands them completely, and is making calculated moves to perpetrate them.

    “If the latter is true, then what we are seeing is further abuse of power, masterfully disguised as progress – the very same psychological manipulation at the heart of these recently exposed evils.”

I’d suggest incapable of understanding rather than ‘ignorant’.

In the Courier Mail Kylie Lang writes Petty snipe at PM does Grace Tame no favours:

    Since when did the Australian of the Year honour come with a licence to personally attack our nation’s leader?

Lang then says:

    Ms Tame, a rape survivor, was awarded her 2021 title because she is an agent of change, particularly in regards to women who’ve been sexually assaulted.

Yet Lang thinks it unseemly if she expresses an opinion about persons in high places.

4. A shift in the centre of gravity of political journalism from the male perspective to the female?

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison reacts during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING

Here is a straight factual account of what happened that day when Morrison did his mea culpa:

It happens to be by a man, Matt Coughlan, in InQueensland.

Aaron Patrick in an AFR article PM caught in crusade of women journos makes the claim that reporting on the Brittany Higgins and Charles Porter stories:

    cleaved a schism through political journalism, exposing a shift in the centre of gravity from the male perspective to the female.

He begins by highlighting the role of Samantha Maiden (the article is mostly about her) in holding the government and Morrison in particular to account on sexual harrassment. He says:

    Samantha Maiden’s run of scoops had left Morrison’s government, and the Prime Minister, in disarray.


    In taking up the stories – and causes – of women who believed they were abused by entitled men, Maiden may have done more than any other individual, journalist or otherwise, to define the Morrison government as indifferent to sexual harassment, assault and rape.

Then, about other journalists:

    Angry coverage that often strayed into unapologetic activism came forth from a new, female media leadership: Laura Tingle and Louise Milligan on the ABC, Katharine Murphy and Amy Remeikis at The Guardian, Lisa Wilkinson on Channel Ten, Karen Middleton in The Saturday Paper and a cameo by Jessica Irvine on the Nine Network.

    Maiden was probably the most influential, and restrained. Based on copious facts, rather than opinion, her copy was devastating. At every step, as the government tried to staunch the stories, it seemed Maiden was there with a new angle to propel them along.

I’d gathered a few strong commentary pieces by women in the media, such as:

Summers’ piece is particularly powerful. She runs through the record of all PMs from Whitlam up to Malcolm Turnbull, an avowed feminist, who championed women’s equality and invested in a $100 million Women’s Safety Package.

    Morrison, by contrast, utterly refuses to engage and his instinctual hostility when challenged is evidently deeply ingrained. I will leave it to the political psychologists to ponder why he is like this but the rest of us, the women who marched on Monday especially, need to understand the old rules and expectations no longer apply.

    Morrison has clearly signalled that women will get nothing from him. He needs to be told he will get nothing in return.


    routinely turns his back in Parliament when Tanya Plibersek rises to speak; he infamously said on International Women’s Day last year that he did not “want women to rise only on the basis of others doing worse”, and his office last year monstered women who dared criticise the federal budget’s ignoring of them.

    That it is hostility rather than, say, just a tin ear was indisputable on Monday.

That was when he refused to meet the thousands of women who had marched, and would not permit his Minister for Women to show her face, then gagged debate, and told the protesters, ‘At least we didn’t shoot you’.

Not surprising therefore that Patrick’s article evoked a ferocious response from Katharine Murphy in Women are not fighting a culture war when it comes to alleged rape and harassment. It’s about time some men realised this.

It’s gold, and includes this:

    If you are reading Aaron, just a few thoughts.

    Rape is a crime, and a heinous one.

    Sexual harassment is completely unacceptable.

    I don’t make these statements because I have a “female perspective”. I make them because they are factual.


    Women don’t want rape or harassment to be categorised as a matter of female perspective. We aren’t prosecuting a new front in a culture war. Women need the support of men to fix this problem. We need this to be what it is: a human problem, one we all own.

It seems to me that we would want to hear from these senior women in the media, and when we do it doesn’t mean they are taking over the joint.

Men have also been severe on Morrison. I cited Bernard Keane above. Most acerbic, I think, was Dennis Atkins in Never mind the doghouse roses, PM must do more to show women he gets it:

    Morrison’s brain, which he boasts is equal to any challenge he faces, has neural roadblocks in the pathways usually used for empathy and cultural appreciation.

    As a leader, he’s like the bloke who rolls into the local servo on the way home to buy some doghouse roses in the hope of forgiveness and redemption.


    In the longer train of events, women have been appalled and were, from the time Brittany Higgins bravely exposed the way she says she was raped in a ministerial office by a staffer colleague, hoping to hear something that would at least assuage their deep anxiety and concerns.

    They heard a tick-a-box answer, that list of what we’ve done for you and as much blather as could be mustered in the hope that political management would out run the swirling crisis.

    When women gathered in Canberra and around the country, Morrison didn’t go to meet them or listen but rather stayed in the relative safety of Parliament House.

    Even then he fumbled his lines suggesting those at the rally were lucky they weren’t shot at like people in Myanmar. It was his worst moment since he told Australia he didn’t hold a hose as fire rages along the east coast.

Atkins says:

    If he remains genuinely incapable of hearing or understanding, he will pay a heavy price at the ballot box.

He might. A week is a long time in politics, as they say. Morrison is beavering away, has just hosted the first meeting of his cabinet’s women’s taskforce as his government gears up to respond to a landmark harassment report, so we shall see.

5. What’s with Sam?

As I said, Patrick’s article was mainly about Samantha Maiden. There is a considerable back story about Maiden; she has had some bumpy patches in her life, from when her father committed suicide when she was three. In my opinion Patrick went beyond what he needed to in setting up the story.

The first point is, Morrison got his facts muddled. There was no harassment of a woman in a women’s toilet. There was a meeting in a corridor between Maiden and Jade Gailberger, a young News Corp journalist, who was running for election to the federal parliamentary press gallery committee, which liaises with Parliament House bureaucrats on behalf of journalists who work in the building.

Another News Corp journalist, Tamsin Rose, was also running. Maiden was campaigning for Rose and suggested to Gailberger that she pull out, so as not to split the New Corp vote.

The word is that Maiden came on rather strongly. Patrick says:

    Gailberger was so shaken that she felt unable to attend work for several days afterward, according to a Press Gallery source.

It is open to interpretation that Morrison was so annoyed by Maiden’s strong but accurate and fair journalism that he sought to threaten her with skeletons in her own cupboard.

You can read an account of the Maiden/Gailberger incident in the SMH if you scroll down to Water Cooler.

If it’s not pay-walled you can read AFR editor Michael Stutchberry’s defensive reply to a letter to the editor about Patrick’s article. I agree with Amanda Meade in AFR hit job on Samantha Maiden backfires spectacularly. Patrick’s article was ill-judged, and said more than it needed to about Samantha Maiden which distracted from the real story – what did the PM think he was doing, and why did he do it?

6. The real Scott Morrison

Carol Johnson compares Scott Morrison and John Howard, also asking Have the times suited them? I find this worrying:

    Morrison’s attitudes also reflect the apparent influence of the “prosperity gospel,” an American version of Christianity that sees wealth as a God-given reward and poverty as a penalty for the less deserving. Under Morrison, Howard’s mutual obligation requirements for unemployment benefit recipients have been reinforced by a “fair go for those who have a go” mantra. Morrison’s relatively early winding back of more generous Covid-19 related JobKeeper and JobSeeker benefits, along with the small size of the permanent increase to JobSeeker and its strict job search requirements, suggests that he retains his previous views.

The link is to Philip C Almond’s piece Five aspects of Pentecostalism that shed light on Scott Morrison’s politics.

Morrison truly does believe that God is on his side, that miracles happen, that only born-again Christians will gain salvation; other Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and atheists will spend an eternity in the torments of hell.

No need to worry about the world frying with global warming. Jesus will come again and all will be well.

Specifically on Prosperity theology:

    In keeping with his theology, Morrison appears to see himself as chosen by God to lead us all towards his understanding of the promised land, which as we know means, “If you have a go, you get a go”.

    This “have a go” philosophy sits squarely within Pentecostal prosperity theology. This is the view that belief in God leads to material wealth. Salvation too has a connection to material wealth – “Jesus saves those who save”. So the godly become wealthy and the wealthy are godly. And, unfortunately, the ungodly become poor and the poor are ungodly.

    This theology aligns perfectly with the neo-liberal economic views espoused by Morrison. The consequence is that it becomes a God-given task to liberate people from reliance on the welfare state.

Sorry, Jesus is not on the side of the poor and oppressed, and the rich will be welcomed with open arms as long as they are born again and believe with all their hearts.

7. Newspoll

The latest Newspoll has Labor ahead in TPP 52-48, same as the previous one, so perhaps a Labor lead consolidating.

The extended analysis (pay-walled) consolidates the last three months of polling, allowing the finer-grained demographic information to be studied.

Big surprise, there was no significant difference between male and female voting.

Young voters (18-34) were 27/43/22 for Coalition/Labor/Greens. Please note Labor is way ahead of the Greens.

The Coalition gets in front with the 50-64 group, and more so with 65+. Old Greens are rare with only 3%.

With Christians its 49/35/5, whereas with ‘no religion’ it’s 33/40/15.

The remaining important demographic is where people speak another language. They brank36/44/13, whereas English only is 36/44/13.

In terms of states (and important fore the senate) in TPP terms NSW is 50/50, Qld 53/47, WA and Victoria 47/53, and SA 45/55. So the Coalition has tanked in SA, but in Qld we might still get one each of Labor, Green and One Nation plus three LNP.

Anthony Albanese says he will have the wind behind him in the final quarter, so we’ll see.

8. Industry may give Porter a swerve

Many in industry will not comment, but some have indicated that the appointment of Christian Porter as Industry, Science and Technology is unacceptable to them. An article ‘Not prepared to meet with him’: Tech industry on Porter’s appointment appeared on the front page of the AFR on Tuesday.

    The tech sector’s engagement with the federal government may nosedive thanks to former Attorney-General Christian Porter’s appointment to the portfolio, with industry leaders saying they believe he would be unwelcome by some at events, and organisations would have to “bargain” with themselves about accepting government funding.

    Speaking to The Australian Financial Review, Microsoft director of start-ups for the Asia-Pacific, Emily Rich, said she believed Mr Porter’s appointment would deter some people in the sector from engaging with the government, “and it should”.

    Ms Rich’s comments come at a time when Australia is sliding down the rankings in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index. Last week Australia placed 50 on the index – six places lower than 2020 and down from 24 in 2014.

    Australia plummeted to 70th place from No. 12 in women’s economic participation.

    Ms Rich’s concerns were shared by technology angel investor Alan Jones, who said there would be people in the sector, including himself, who would now stop engaging with the government.

    “We’re all passionate advocates for gender diversity,” he said. “We’re not going to take calls from his advisers or be prepared to meet with him, and we won’t be getting roundtables together.

    Sarah Moran says her business will continue without government grants, but for others it’s a complicated decision. Chris Hopkins

    “We’re taking concrete steps together on gender, cognitive and age diversity and we can’t be associated with this dark cloud.”

To me this is an extraordinary development. Time we took a deep breath and thought about who we want leading us, and, well, Australian values.

9. Australian values

There is plenty more I could have included, like a discussion of the CEO of Australia Post, Christine Holgate, who, apart from being monstered by her board chair accuses Scott Morrison of ‘humiliating’ her.

However, I’ve got to go, so I’ll leave with Juice Media’s Honest Government Ad on Australian values as promulgated by the Australien Government.

494 thoughts on “Weekly salon 8/4”

  1. Old Greens are rare I see – my experience as someone who is not a party member but has helped out Greens candidates at elections is that old Greens might be rare but that till recently they tend to be disproportionately active in the campaign

  2. Doug: I am the resident old Green on this blog. However, too old to be a reliable spokesperson for Green orthodoxy.

  3. Brian: Interesting bar chart in your post. Has:
    Female vote split 52/38 in favour of Lab+Grn= female 2PP 58/42 in favour of Lab+Grns
    Male 48/43 split in favour of the conservatives= male 2PP 52.7/47.3 in favour of conservatives.
    Others got 10% of male and female.
    Other interesting item was Newspoll 2PP 52/48 in favour of Labor. Not real encouraging for Labor given all the fuss at the moment. They need to think about building up male votes.
    I am sure I am not the only grumpy old man who is sick of the current volume of female criticisms of males in general.

  4. Doug, I think you might be right. Oldies always seem to be quite noticeable in group photos.

    John, I’m afraid it’s not going away. I found what Kate Ellis had to say alarming (Australian story and a newspaper piece, I’ll try to find links) and Michelle O’Neill was just now on RN Drive saying that sexual harassment in the workplace was endemic, and that the Government had in fact only ‘noted’ some of the more important recommendations of the report they have been sitting on for over a year.

  5. Doug: “I am the resident old Green on this blog.” This wasn’t meant to come across as a statement of territory. Some more old Greenish men might lift the tone of the place.

  6. “Scott Morrison finds strong women can be tough players” https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-09/scott-morrison-strong-women-tough-players/100057276
    The article starts with reminding us that “Scott Morrison is inclined to underestimate tough women.
    He’s done this in the past, to his detriment. In 2006, when he was managing director of Tourism Australia, Morrison was sacked after falling out with the board and federal Liberal tourism minister, Fran Bailey.
    Years later, in 2018, the Australian Financial Review quoted Tim Fischer, who’d chaired Tourism Australia at the time, saying “a lot of us could see it coming as relations between Scott and Fran Bailey had deteriorated over a range of issues. But Scott didn’t seem to see it.”
    Morrison was close to then prime minister John Howard and he thought — erroneously — Howard would step in and save him from Bailey. But Howard supported his minister. ”
    The article goes on to give other examples including dumb things he has done during the current crisis.
    My take is that his problems are not limited to handling women.
    Basically he is a rather shallow autocrat who wants things done his way. An autocrat inclined to bully people who question what he is doing.

  7. Brian: Where I live our state member, federal member, premier and leader of the opposition are all women. In the party to which I belong a small majority of both federal and NSW state MP’s are women. It is also a place where some women are still demanding affirmative action in favour of women
    This doesn’t mean that there are not other places in Australia where there is a bias in favour of men. However, what it does mean is that it is time both women and men should be thinking about how we move to something that protects the interests of both women and men and does a reasonable job of sharing the power.
    A few figures on the gender voting patterns in the article:
    % of votes coming from women:
    Libs: 44%
    Nationals: 50%
    Labor: 52%
    Greens: 63%
    Are the Nationals doing something right?
    Are the Greens doing something wrong?

  8. Two news items last night.

    First, Prince Philip died, just two months short of when he would have gotten a letter from the queen, congratulating him on achieving a century.

    When they married in 1947, I thought (and I was old enough to think) that the family had scoured Europe to find a royal who wasn’t too closely related because of the inbreeding over the centuries.

    Apparently she was really smitten with him and it was a genuine love match.

    I thought he was a relatively useless appendage, given to making embarrassing remarks from time to time.

    Apparently he was central to modernising the role of the British royals and the Duke of Edinburgh Award seems worthwhile. Over 250,000 Australians have achieved the award.

    The second was that rogue Liberal pollie Andrew Laming is being investigated for setting up setting up over 30 Facebook pages.

    Seems he really is sick, and at over age 50 has not yet learnt how to be a human being.

  9. John, shallow autocrat, inclined to bully people is about right, I think.

    Plus a strange mix of religious fundamentalism, political pragmatism and advertising speak.

    Imprinted on his face most of the time is a strange mix of smile and smirk, which can morph into all sorts of emotional presentations including the angry bully.

    You can see I don’t like him.

  10. All I can say is that these days it looks like the LNP may actually be able to organize an orgy in a brothel. Still pretty doubtful for things that may help make Aus a better, fairer country.

  11. zoot, that’s why Birmingham earns the big bucks. He can write stuff.

    The end bit where he quotes Chamorro-Premuzic is worth thinking about:

      The paradoxical implication is that the same psychological characteristics that enable male managers to rise to the top of the corporate or political ladder are actually responsible for their downfall. In other words, what it takes to get the job is not just different from, but also the reverse of, what it takes to do the job well. As a result, too many incompetent people are promoted to management jobs, and promoted over more competent people.

      People like this guy.

    Laura Tingle’s article for the ABC and the AFR this week is one of the best I’ve seen from her. She gets on to bullies in newsrooms:

      This is that male journalists who behave badly, say, by bullying their junior colleagues, more often than not get promoted to solve the problem, while women who might behave that way are left to their own devices.

      Some male journalists, in fact, get promoted because they face bullying complaints in one section of a newspaper, only to be moved to a position where they could bully even more of their colleagues.

      Bullying complaints are dealt with by management as a problem that must be made to go away rather than actually dealt with, leaving career paths, often of women journalists, wrecked, while the bullies are protected and found safe harbours.

  12. Good on you, Brian. You are emerging into the light where it is understood that some people just plain lie because that is there nature, and that nature is really about power over people for power’s sake.

    The worst thing about liars is not so much the lies, but what the lies are intended to hide. Sociopaths love to control others with their lies but the lies run out when there is no purpose to them. Give a sociopath a hidden agenda and he becomes more far more dangerous. That is where Morrison is. Since his Trump boot licking visit where he kissed the ring and gave Trump the notion of separating kids and turning back immigrants, he became part of the big global “ring of liars” for Global Conservative domination, the out loud secret agenda.

    This isn’t the article about a secret meeting of power brokers buit it is from around the same time and it spells out the hidden agenda. https://www.mlive.com/politics/2010/09/glenn_beck_rupert_murdoch_and.html

    For so long it was considered “improper”, even uncouth to call politicians Narcissists and Sociopaths. It took Trump’s 31,000 proven bare faced lies to get past that hang up.

    So good on you for calling Morrison out for the low grade barely human piece of trash that he is. So now what are we going to do about it.

  13. I would suggest that Morrison’s main point of credibility was preventing large groups of illegal migrants and refugees from being smashed to death on the rocks of Xmas Island or drowning at sea which ALP/greens and the media ( BIRM ) said was impossible. Whether he did out of religious empathy or political motivation, I don’t know or care.

    There is no doubt in my mind that he will “ market” the idea that had Shorten not lost that “ unlosable election “ or if Albo wins the next that the same sort of pull factors that Biden has given will result in the same sort of unprecedented misery, murder, rape and death that the US Southern boarder is seeing right now.

    And he should, it’s the humanitarian thing to do.

  14. So good on you for calling Morrison out for the low grade barely human piece of trash that he is. So now what are we going to do about it.

    Bilb, the dilemma as I see it, is if we manage to rid ourselves of Mr Market Failure we’ll probably end up with Obergruppenfuehrer Potato Head nominally running the show.
    Our biggest problem is the descent into madness of the parties on the right and I despair of us ever reversing that.

  15. Bilb, good to see a writer who thinks a Libertarian is scarier than a right-wing Republican.

    So what are we going to do?

    Yesterday I joined a Qld LEAN meeting, which was talking about how to get their resolutions through to ALP state conference. They can lob them in directly, but they were trying to get the overt support of the ALP branches.

    Did you know that there are around 100 ALP branches in Qld?

    Democracy is hard work.

    Today I attended just one of those branch meetings.

    Tonight I have to send some emails as a result to further the message, pay some bills and then get back here.

    In the ALP we have to seriously contest most of the 151 seats at the next election, whereas the Greens have the luxury of concentrating on a handful.

    But there won’t be any ‘balance of power’ for them to gain unless the ALP does a job on Scotty’s mob across the board.

  16. jumpy, it’s refugees and asylum seekers, not illegal migrants and refugees.

    The term ‘illegal’ is offensive. How does a human being become ‘illegal’.

    That said, the problem of refugees and asylum seekers is a ‘wicked’ problem, meaning there is no good solution. And it’s going to get worse.

    I was not happy with Labor signing up to turning the boats back. I haven’t checked the platform approved a few days ago, because I can’t run down every rabbit hole.

    Today at our branch we put forward a motion for a human right bill and the prohibition of torture.

    It seems every state and territory regularly engages in practices most of which are legal, but amount to torture according to a strict definition.

    And the ALP in all its history has never considered a policy to eliminate torture and adopt human rights per se.

  17. And FWIW when Scotty gave himself a trophy it was a cut out boat with “I stopped these” written on it, not silhouettes of desperate people emblazoned with “I saved their lives”.

  18. Brian: “In the ALP we have to seriously contest most of the 151 seats at the next election, whereas the Greens have the luxury of concentrating on a handful.”
    Most Greens I know would love to have a real chance in 151 seats.

  19. zoot I think young Josh would like to be Führer.

    I thought he blew his credibility when Jay Weatherill had a piece of him.

    Please note the American AGL CEO Andrew Vesey nodding as Weatherill spoke.

    Vesey went home I think because he couldn’t do anything useful here.

    AGL is pretty much down the crapper, because electricity companies can’t operate in the commercial environment plagued with federal government interference.

    zoot, I agree with your:

      Our biggest problem is the descent into madness of the parties on the right and I despair of us ever reversing that.
    • Most Greens I know would love to have a real chance in 151 seats.

    John, it has kind of happened in much of Germany, where the major centre/right parties have moved a bit left under Mutti Merkel, and perhaps the multi-party voting system also helped.

  20. Thanks Brian. That really wasn’t a personal challenge to you as you do so so much already, it was really a cry of despair much as was zoot’s conservative’s descent into madness fear. And, yes, that Jay Weatherill rebuke was one of the best political moments of recent time, which highlights how few great moments there are in Australian politics.

    It is that thought that frames Australia’s real problem. Australia as a nation has no aspirational identity. The Netherlands has “keep the water out”, China has “raise the living standard of the regional poor”, the US has the (as with everything over-looted to the point of destruction) “American Dream”, Japan has “being a good citizen, honor, and building the nation”, What has Australia got? “Fair go mate”?? I think John Howard killed that several decades ago with the death of unions, wealth of the lucky through property value escalation, and … just so many other exploitation’s of the national wealth for the benefit of a few.

    Australians are not manufacturers any more, Australians are not farmers any more (we’d rather by milk and potatoes from NZ and no one really wants to do harvesting work). The only things Australians really do are repair smashed cars and Build houses for property investors. I’m not sure how to frame that into a National Aspirational Identity.

    When it comes to government there is more structural integrity and performance in a single human cell than there is in the entire Australian government


    …. go to 2:54 for the organization of government and 5:10 for the election process.

    Industry …..


    ….. and you will have to look up mitochondrial molecular engines your self to see how the Treasury, the energy power house of government, works.

    My point is, what is Australia’s identity now. It’s been smashed to pieces, and it is this failure to have of just 0.3% of the Earth’s population aimlessly occupying 5% of the Earth’s land area, that makes Australia so totally vulnerable to a walk-in by some other more populous nation. And Australia doesn’t have a government with enough national determination and gravitas to prevent that. The Liberals are desperate to give away the nations mineral wealth as fast as possible as long as they get enough of a kick back to win elections, and Labour are permanently either navel gazing or too high handed to talk to actual Australians to develop any real identity after the Union whipping they got from Howard 20 years ago.

    It’s a mess. And worst of all nobody wants to actually talk to any one else in any other way than “fill out this pre defined survey”.

  21. BilB, no problems.

    Unfortunately I think you might be close to the Mark.

    I remember being proud of Australia when my sister came to visit in 1993. It’s been hard since Howard came to power.

  22. Bilb: “Australia as a nation has no aspirational identity.” What you don’t understand is that federation is a relatively new system lumbered on the states.
    If you want aspirational identity you have to look at the states to find aspirational identity.
    Since growing up and being married in NSW we have lived as family in every state except Tas and SA and I have worked in every state except Tas. All of the states except NSW are xenophobic. In the NT and Nth Qld there is a lot of xenophobia directed at people from “down south” with nth Qld actually measuring worth in terms of how far Nth you live.
    In WA you learn quickly that the logical crime suspects are “criminals from the Eastern states.”
    In their last state elections Qld and WA incumbents won on the back of their xenophobic lockdowns during the covid crisis. The WA Labor government did well enough in recent elections for the Libs to be reduced to two lower house members on the basis of the lock them out policy of the WA gov.
    Ask Brian how important winning state of origin is where he comes from.

  23. Good point, JohnD. Of all states to my mind Tasmania has the closest to an aspiration, to being the Greenest. And NT carries pride for surviving environmental hardship, “you’ve got to be tough to live here”. It’s still all relatively aimless, though.

    Australia had the opportunity to become the Golden Solar Nation, but Liberals shot that one down in preference to being a, now cancelled by China, Coal Nation, which probably sums up Australia as being an Exploiter Nation, a land of sweeping plains, … full of holes and poisoned rivers.

  24. Brian,

    jumpy, it’s refugees and asylum seekers, not illegal migrants and refugees.

    Nope. Refugees and asylum seekers are the same thing. One who migrates illegally is an illegal migrant, wether it be illegal overstaying a visa or breaching terms of a visa or indeed not even getting a visa and not fleeing specific types of persecution.

    I’m not going to stop being accurate just to fit a leftist narrative or protect someone’s feelings.

  25. jumpy, my feeling are not in play. Just so you know.

    I’m not going to spend time splitting hairs. I thought we were talking about stopping the boats, not all that other stuff.

  26. Splitting hairs was your idea Brian. Me, I’ll go with long held definitions. And yes, you’re definitionally not a refugee is you go to countries of non persecution and leave that to come here illegally by boat.

    You’re a professional librarian, definitions of words should matter to you of all people.

  27. One who migrates illegally is an illegal migrant, wether it be illegal overstaying a visa or breaching terms of a visa or indeed not even getting a visa

    I would suggest that Morrison’s main point of credibility was preventing large groups of illegal migrants … from being smashed to death on the rocks of Xmas Island or drowning at sea

    Huh?? All those people who overstayed their visa were in danger of drowning at sea?

  28. To clarify: by Jumpy’s own definition no illegal migrants were saved from drowning or being smashed on the rocks of Xmas Island.
    After all, definitions of words should matter.

  29. Zoot,

    Libertarian’s attitudes to asylum seekers has nothing to do with migration legal or otherwise. It purely to do with their preconception that such people will become to their mind “dole bludgeons” or dependents of the state.

    If such people arrived with bags full of money then Libertarians, the bastians of “freedom” (and what expresses freedom more than choosing where one wishes to live), would be “fighting” for their rights to stay.

  30. jumpy, just to remind you, what you said was this:

      I would suggest that Morrison’s main point of credibility was preventing large groups of illegal migrants and refugees from being smashed to death on the rocks of Xmas Island or drowning at sea which ALP/greens and the media ( BIRM ) said was impossible.

    Later in rebutting me you introduced new categories of people.

    That’s not how a proper debate works.

    BTW it’s not clear to me just what you claim the “ALP/greens and the media ( BIRM )” said was impossible.

  31. John, I’ll say it again.

    NSW people seem to think the rest of Australia is like them. When people from other parts point out that conditions, mores or something is different here, then they call us provincial.

    That’s why our locking of state borders was not “xenophobic”. NZ did well because they locked everyone out. They did that because there were hardly any ICUs in the country and their health system was fragile.

    Queensland does not have the same health infrastructure as NSW. We have greater distances and the ‘provincial’ population is bigger than both NSW’s and Victoria’s (separately).

    We couldn’t test and trace at the speed NSW did, even in Brisbane. We certainly couldn’t in Cains, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, the Sunny Coast etc.

    And we had some places that acted like super-spreaders, like the Gold Coast. I don’t know why people go there, I don’t, but they do. When NSW restricted movement to and from the Northern Beaches near Christmas, there was an astonishing number of them already here.

    We are better at health retrieval than NSW, people get medevacced to Brisbane quite efficiently, but that didn’t help in this case.

    We are set up differently, with different strengths and weaknesses, so our strategy needs to take account of that.

    Not treating people in northern NSW and meeting their needs was a mistake. I don’t know why, but it wasn’t xenophobia.

    Just saying, no sweat.

  32. bilb, I’ll let that go through to the keeper 🙂
    I could write heaps but it would just be another “look at me” moment for our Mackay correspondent.
    He knows nobody here agrees with his nonsensical characterisations of asylum seekers which is why he adopts his racist troll persona when the subject arises.
    It’s all rather sad really.

  33. Of interest, I found this article on how many watched State of Origin on the tellie.

    I’m not sure how they count Brisbane, but 670,000 is well under half.

    Many of the rest could not give a damn.

    Many of us do enjoy beating them for two main reasons. First, they have three times as many NRL players to pick from, so we expect them to win.

    Secondly, what they say about us from time to time, so a bit of Schadenfreude is the order of the day.

    Here’s an article of the four football codes in Oz from 2014.

    Rugby league does better than expected against AFL in terms of followership.

  34. Brian: “That’s why our locking of state borders was not “xenophobic”. NZ did well because they locked everyone out. They did that because there were hardly any ICUs in the country and their health system was fragile.” I rest my case.
    BTW I have lived more of my adult yrs (26) in Qld than any other state including NSW. Also had chances to study
    People from NSW tend to think of themselves as Australians and don’t have this obsession with the state they grew up in and comparison’s with other states.
    The places where I worked in WA and NT were multicultural communities with very few people who actually came from the state.
    Central Qld was a shock to us. Definitely not multicultural but lots from Central Qld. That is why Jumpy doesn’t surprise me.

  35. In my previous comment I may have traduced our Mackay correspondent by asserting he adopts a racist troll persona on occasion.
    Upon reflection I have realised that the persona he projects is actually that of a xenophobic troll. Therefore I offer Jumpy a full apology for any distress I may have caused him (and the observation that xenophobia is built on implicit racial bias).

  36. And what should it be that injects race into the thread, again ?
    The admitted racist of course.

    It can’t conceive that most folk don’t see everything through a racial lens.

    Immune to chiding, evidently, I assume it’ll continue.

  37. The admitted racist

    Wrong again. I admitted to implicit racial bias.
    At the time I didn’t know the term but I’m sure everybody here understood the nuance of what I was explaining – except you.
    The first obstacle was your inability to understand any but the simplest of English phrases, probably due to your preference for monstering the school teacher over learning the language.
    The second obstacle was your reliance on name calling in the apparent belief that it represents debate in some form.
    Whatever, your failure to engage in constructive discussion here has demonstrated over and over again that you only come here to pwn the libs, a task at which you have failed again and again and again.
    It’s all a bit sad really.

  38. Hahaha, the nasty flailing is amusing.
    You didn’t admit to a term you’d never known, you admitted to racism. Given your subsequent comments prove that admission and no amount of bluff, bluster or Brian running interference changes that.

    Clean up your own filthy room first would be my genuine advice.
    Confront your racism and bigotry.
    I’ve heard magic mushrooms can help dull a racist, bigoted ego but I’m not completely sure. Probably worth a try in your extreme case.

    All the best, get well.

  39. Anyone explain the real reason behind Hunt nixing the Johnson & Johnson vax ?

    That was the one I was hoping to get.

  40. Anyone explain the real reason behind Hunt nixing the Johnson & Johnson vax ?

    There’s this thing called the World Wide Web. It has billions of pages of information and a number of very good search engines to help you find the answers to questions like this.
    You should try it some day.

  41. Ouch, it’s butt hurt now.
    So much tolerance, empathy and kindness from the left….

  42. You didn’t admit to a term you’d never known,

    Two sayings spring to mind:
    1 What we have here is a failure to communicate.
    2 None so deaf as those who will not hear.

  43. So much tolerance, empathy and kindness from the left….

    So much name calling from the right….
    If you want to be spoon-fed with information I suggest an obscure corner of the blogosphere is not the place to do it.

  44. Jumpy: I take notice when you are talking about things that I think you might know something about. (Like the industry you work in.)
    By and large I ignore stuff you find in some of the crazy right blogs floating around the world these days.

  45. For example:

    Anyone explain the real reason behind Hunt nixing the Johnson & Johnson vax ?

    The obvious answer is, “The real reason is the reason Hunt gave”, however you appear to be hinting you have information which contradicts this.
    Either share it with us or shut up.

  46. John, I’ve lived in Adelaide, Brisbane and Downfall Creek (near Guluguba, between Miles and Wandoan on the Leichhardt Highway), and importantly north of the Great Dividing Range.

    However, for work and and leisure I’ve been to a lot of places, except Darwin. Furthest north was Thursday Island, where, because I was white, I was the last person the taxi driver drove from the wharf to the hotel.

    There are cultural differences all over. I have a different view of the world when I step off the plane in Rockhampton, Sydney or wherever. In Qld country I was always interested in the weather, rural produce prices, how the season was going etc.

    However, when I studied sociology I learnt that you can’t understand cultural differences unless you change somewhat your self by engaging.

    For Jumpy, in philosophy I learnt that there is not a one-to-one correspondence between words, truth and reality. Language is a social construct, generated by human beings. As such, much is reflected in language, including race. Can’t be otherwise.

    As we grow we develop our perspectives, meanings, behaviour, appearance etc affected by those around us.

    I think what zoot was saying was along those lines.

    For yourself, I suggest you contemplate your own racism and bigotry and see where change may be appropriate. None of us is perfect.

  47. Brian

    The answer is in the heading, you don’t need to read the article.

    Haha, I don’t work that way, I’d rather find the truth.
    And the truth is more blood clotting per capita is found with the Pill. I’m sure the researching genius of both zoot and yourself can confirm that.

  48. Haha, I don’t work that way, I’d rather find the truth.

    Translation: You automatically look for conspiracies.
    Don’t be coy. Tell us what the real truth is behind Australia’s and the USA’s caution towards the J & J vaccine.
    As an aside I, for one, have no intention of taking the pill instead of one of the Covid vaccines

  49. Jumpy, the title I cited was the truth. Are you saying it was wrong?

    That was the short story. If you want more, then read it and all the other article.

    The fact that the pill also causes clotting is no doubt also true.

    I think the truth is that you enjoy taking the p*ss.

  50. Like our PM I’ve been having a problem or three.

    Lost a ladder, bought a new one after a week, then found the other one two hours later.

    Any way, the new one is about 200% better.

    Mower stopped, the mechanic said it had water in the petrol.

    Happens if you are mowing in the rain.

    They fixed it up, serviced it and sent it back.

    Got three seconds out of it.

    Took it back, they said water again. So the water was in my can. Except I tipped it into a bucket and there wasn’t, and two other machines were using that petrol.

    Anyway all good now.

    Tomorrow I have to get early up in the morning to have my AstraZeneca COVID shot. I’ll tell you if I’m dead.

    The consent form was four pages. No, I’m not pregnant or breastfeeding.

  51. Here is the other molecular engine that makes our bodies work. This is one of a set of five machines embedded in the wall of Mitochondria. The full set are the sugar molecule that is the fuel that powers our cells and our muscles. This is the ATP engine, a true working machine which spins at up to 2000 revolutions per minute. As the shaft spins the five molecules at the top rock in and out to position the catalyst molecules around in the right relationship to the ADP molecule (which becomes the ATP) to cause the modification of the sugar molecule.


    In each mitochondrial cell the ar hundreds of these molecule sets, and there are many mitochondria to a basic cell.

    Isn’t that just totally awesome?

  52. Google it yourself BilB, how dare you pose a matter of interest that others may know but you haven’t taken hours to thoroughly and forensically study ?

    Any hoot, blood clots prevalence isn’t the reason the AZ or J&J vaxs are questionable due to other approved medications having higher prevalence.

    So my original question remains got a group of “ I dunno “ effectively.

    Thanks, could’ve just said that without all the bullshit malice .

  53. Any hoot, blood clots prevalence isn’t the reason the AZ or J&J vaxs are questionable due to other approved medications having higher prevalence.

    That doesn’t follow. It isn’t that simple.

    So my original question remains got a group of “ I dunno “ effectively.

    No it didn’t. It got a group “because of the reasons they’re giving”.

    Thanks, could’ve just said that without all the bullshit malice .

    Pretty rich coming from the only contributor to this forum who has ever suggested another contributor f*** themself.
    If you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.

  54. Mind you, the conspiracy theorists are on Jumpy’s side.
    But they’re upfront about it (the pandemic is a cover for government (every government of course) control), none of this vague question followed by hurt feelings when it fails to get a response deemed acceptable.

  55. Well gollee! there’s a wealth of information out there on the intertubes, most of it clear and believable.
    Or you could align yourself with Republicans like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz who seem to be intent on killing as many of their constituents as possible, or even loony Tuckkker Carlson who straight up lies about the efficacy of any of the vaccines, if you really want to. Your choice Jumpy.

    • Any hoot, blood clots prevalence isn’t the reason the AZ or J&J vaxs are questionable due to other approved medications having higher prevalence.

    If you know, Jumpy, why don’t you tell us or give us a link? You have at times provided interesting and useful links.

    Bilb, I’ll have a geek at the Aust Electoral Study, when I get a moment.

    Had COVID shot today. No effect so far. I’m told it often happens on the second day.

  56. If you know, Jumpy, why don’t you tell us or give us a link?

    A straight answer? From Jumpy?
    Not his style. He’d rather tone troll.
    It always amazes me that these independent, self sufficient, “screw your feelings” libertarians are such delicate flowers when they’re challenged

  57. zoot, they know the truth, and are not open to anything else.

    Knowing the truth binds them, so it’s not just intellectual, there is an empathy bypass.

  58. Thanks, Brian. I get very frustrated with those government layout websites. But I think the age breakup will be fairly telling. I’m curious as to which age group fell for Palmer’s flood of lies.

  59. Brian,

    If you know, Jumpy, why don’t you tell us or give us a link?

    I don’t know, that’s why I asked.

    The facts are that out of 6.8 million vaccinations only 1 has died. If a hand full of peanuts was a cure more would die, it doesn’t add up to reason. I don’t trust Hunt ( or any political actor) to tell the truth, especially when it doesn’t make sense to ban statistically harmless vaccines in a pandemic.

    Tell me how banning anything in an emergency with a failure rate of 1/6,800,00 is rational unless other things besides that are at play.

    ( stand by for 2 or 3 zoot trolls that I’ll ignore)

  60. Tell me how banning anything in an emergency with a failure rate of 1/6,800,00 is rational unless other things besides that are at play.

    Yes, there are other things in play.
    Fauci and the Surgeon General explained them rather well and they include countering the vaccine hesitancy inspired by the Republican fearmongers, a determination to ensure all doctors were made aware of the possible danger, confirming that the thrombosis was actually related to the vaccination, determining if there were any more cases which hadn’t been linked t o the vaccine etc, etc, etc.
    The fact that your mistrust of Hunt outweighs the opinions of experts speaks volumes.
    You’re welcome to your conspiracy theory but don’t get your knickers in a twist just because we disagree with you.

  61. BTW the J&J vaccine has not been “banned”.
    It’s distribution has been paused, a very common occurrence with new medications which show potential problems.

  62. Jumpy, we found with the pink batts that you couldn’t have people dying on a government-funded program.

    Prof Mary -Louise McLaws said that road deaths were 44 per million pa in Australia.

    I’ve checked and that seems to be right. We tolerate different levels of dying in different contexts.

    I believe there are many varieties of blood clotting and the one produced by the COVID vaccine is apparently not pretty.

  63. Another PSA.
    Planet America covers the pause in the J&J rollout.
    There’s a rebuttal of Tukkker Carlson’s nonsense at 22:50 and at 26:39 they interview an expert who covers pretty much all of the bases.

  64. Thanks, bilb.

    BTW here’s the ANU Election Study 2019. From page 18:

    That should gladden John’s heart, as should these two graphs:

    Not so much the older voters.

    Labor is at best flatlining this century, while the Greens seem to be on the upper, largely at the expense of the of the Liberals.

    However, the Greens vote hasn’t changed much in the last decade, so I’m not sure what is going on.

  65. On another reading, you can see how special ‘Kevin 07’ was for Labor. Even the oldies voted for him.

  66. bilb, I agree that “health and education” won’t do it.

    New thinking will produce ridicule and scare campaigns, like electric vehicles stealing your weekend, but I agree that is where they need to go.

    The only alternative is for the Morrison government to self-destruct. However, now that he has enlisted the states to help in the COVID vaccine rollout, it’s you do the work and then I’ll tell everyone “we” did it.

  67. Brian: You might remember that the baby boomers were pretty left wing when you and I were in our twenties. Now the baby boomers are all over 65 and your graphs suggest that the majority of them have suffered from brain degeneration and swung to the crazy right. So I don’t put too much hope on the figure for the 18/24 result.
    The Greens morphed from tree huggers to planet savers a bit over 12 yrs ago. People over about 36 now would have been over the age when political thoughts form when this transition took place.

  68. John, when I went to university a lecturer in the German Dept told us of a saying that if you were not a socialist when you were 20 you had no heart. If you were still a socialist at 30, then you had no head.

    The question is whether there is a tendency to conservatism as people age.

  69. Brian: “if you were not a socialist when you were 20 you had no heart. If you were still a socialist at 30, then you had no head.”
    What would you say about someone who supported the country party when 18, Democrats at 30 and the Greens at 65? Maybe some of us grow wiser with age?

  70. That first graph indicates most people do get wiser with age.
    And then there are the 2-4% that don’t.

  71. Might have something to do with the influence of school teachers meeting the reality of life.

  72. Might have something to do with the influence of school teachers meeting the reality of life.

    You seem to be surrendering a lot of parental influence to teachers.
    These are rough figures, but each year the average student is only exposed to teachers for around 1,300 hours. The rest of the year (7,460 hours) they are under the control of their parents.
    Or are you suggesting that the current crop of parents is failing in their duty to their offspring?

  73. Just out of interest zoot ( and to get the first honest answer from you) are you part of the 2% 65+ anomalies that haven’t gotten wiser ?

    I’m favouring yeah.

  74. The current crop of students don’t vote you idiot.

    OK. Are you suggesting that your parents generation failed in their duty to their offspring by not preparing them for the reality of life?

  75. … are you part of the 2% 65+ anomalies that haven’t gotten wiser ?

    On the contrary, as I have aged I have accumulated what I like to believe is wisdom. I see the world a lot more clearly now (in my dotage) and as I approach the end of my life I have a keen appreciation of what is really important.
    Which is why my voting choices haven’t changed. (Please bear in mind no political party has ever aligned completely with my values.)

  76. One more thing.
    Harking back to the influence of parents, it is very significant that both my parents were staunch Christians and spent their working lives in service to the community.
    I am an atheist but I recognise and acknowledge the profound influence they have had in shaping my values.
    And I’m grateful to them.

  77. Jumpy: What is “wise” for a self centered 18 yr old may be different than for a self centered 65 yr old:
    Some one who 18 now will be 47 in 2150, 97 by 2200.
    By contrast, the figures for a 65 yr old are 94 and 144.
    A smart, self centered 18yr would logically support the Greens for climate change reasons.

  78. So zoot won’t be honest and confess he’s a 2% anomaly green voter ( predictable) and John admits he’s a self centred 2% green anomaly ( that has always, and now ,lives off mining profits )

    Lesson: be an honest John with a justifiable guilt complex and not a lying zoot.

    Hey Brian, brilliant graph, captures a lot and flushes out the truth a bit. Thanks.

  79. So zoot won’t be honest and confess he’s a 2% anomaly green voter

    What’s “a 2% anomaly green voter”?
    You make way too many assumptions on way too little evidence, one of which is that I always vote for the same party. I don’t.
    Now Mr Grand Inquisitor, when are you going to be honest and confess who you vote for?

  80. Now, on the religious thang, if you say you’re a Theist ( convinced there is a higher power) or and an Atheist ( convinced there is no higher power ), you’re both full of shit because either is unknowable at this point in time.
    Show proof if you think I’m wrong.

  81. Zoot, I will honestly say ( hand on heart ) that I have always put the 2% loons last on every ballot I’ve cast.

  82. Now, on the religious thang,

    This is followed by an excellent example of Jumpy’s inability to recognise a category error.

  83. Zoot, I will honestly say ( hand on heart ) that I have always put the 2% loons last on every ballot I’ve cast.

    That’s who you haven’t voted for. The question was when will you honestly confess who you have voted for.

    Oh look! Another thread all about Jumpy.

  84. Hahaha, I just commented on Brian’s graph, you and John made it about me. A common Alinsky tactic 13. I’d rather you go to 4, which I pass with glowing colours.

  85. … you and John made it about me …

    I’m happy for others to decide if that is the case or not. Anyone can read the thread.

  86. Jumpy: You seem to be ignoring the bit about self centered when I talked about rational decisions vs age. A person my age who does not need to be self centered might support the Greens for their support for on the basis of the Greens support for action on environmental planet survival and social justice issues.

  87. Jumpy, we were starting to talk about the influence of parents vs the influence of teacher on kids growing up re political orientation. Then you called zoot an idiot, and started making it about him in this comment.

    zoot responded to the personal stuff but tried to take it back on topic.

    You, Jumpy, steadfastly resisted going back on topic.

    What is missing from the teachers/parents binary is peers, who are quite influential, and then from teenage on a growing child/emerging adult will often find a significant bother or others.

    The purpose of schooling to Yr 12 (you can’t do it by Yr 10) is to give emerging citizens the capacity to make up their own minds.

  88. Further to that concept of educational philosophy, Whilhelm von Humboldt believed:

      “Knowledge is power and education is liberty,” was Humboldt’s credo. When Wilhelm von Humboldt died in Berlin-Tegel on April 8, 1835, he left behind a powerful new school of thought. His ideal was to nurture educated, confident citizens, independent of their class or family background.

    Wikipedia on higher education:

      There are undeniably certain kinds of knowledge that must be of a general nature and, more importantly, a certain cultivation of the mind and character that nobody can afford to be without. People obviously cannot be good craftworkers, merchants, soldiers or businessmen unless, regardless of their occupation, they are good, upstanding and – according to their condition – well-informed human beings and citizens. If this basis is laid through schooling, vocational skills are easily acquired later on, and a person is always free to move from one occupation to another, as so often happens in life.

    I’m told that the US college system was based on his ideas.

    Not sure about German education, but there is a concept of Bildung:

      the German tradition of self-cultivation (as related to the German for: creation, image, shape), wherein philosophy and education are linked in a manner that refers to a process of both personal and cultural maturation. This maturation is described as a harmonization of the individual’s mind and heart and in a unification of selfhood and identity within the broader society, as evidenced with the literary tradition of Bildungsroman.

    Concerning Bildungsroman, in my maturation years I read Adalbert Stifter’s novel Nachsommer (Indian Summer), 900 + thrilling pages set mostly in a rose garden, but that is just BTW. In other words Germans wrote long, rather tedious novels too in the 19th century.

  89. Brian now that the US and China have made a pact to co operate on reducing the impacts of Climate Change this will obviously put pressure on Australia to lift its game. Now since labor took the “genius” position to reduce its commitment they will have far less credibility in changing to a “Green New Deal” type strategy.

  90. bilb, I can’t see how Labor is reducing its commitment.

    1. They are very firm on reaching net zero by 2050, along with 120 plus other countries.

    2. They are completely firm on having an interim target, which will be based on the science, ‘our share’. and where this government leaves the country as a starting point.

    The interim target will be taken to the election. Before then we have (a) Biden’s meeting later this week, (b) the first volume of the IPCC 6th climate assessment report, due I think late July, (c) if Morison holds off to next year, we will have the Glasgow meeting of COP, the annual UN meeting.

    3. Chris Bowen continues to emphasise that we need to transition out of coal. However, continued mining will depend on overseas demand, companies and states, but the coal will be burnt elsewhere.

    4. Every opportunity he gets, Bowen stresses that the government is missing out on opportunities for economic growth by not more actively supporting new technologies , industrial development, and transition planning for mining regions.

    5. When in government they will revamp and reconstitute the support institutions like the Climate Change Authority.

    6. Recently they have announced a couple more specific policies, form memory on EVs and community batteries.

    I think they are firming up rather than reducing commitment.

    I don’t think there is enough urgency or vision, but I think that about policies everywhere.

  91. Brian

    Jumpy, we were starting to talk about the influence of parents vs the influence of teacher on kids growing up re political orientation. Then you called zoot an idiot, and started making it about him in this comment.

    What are you on about ? No, I commented on your graph about voting age brackets. It had nothing to do with current parents of underaged students that don’t vote. All I said was, perhaps, as the influence of teachers ( overwhelmingly left wing voters ) wares off and they get wiser as their priorities and votes change. Then we have the 2-4% that don’t.

    Zoots deflection to the “ teachers v parents “ crap I avoided due to the bait and switch it was. Didn’t work on me but it did on others.

    It’s all just above for all to see.

  92. It’s all just above for all to see.

    It sure is:
    Jumpy at 3:09 pm April 18

    Might have something to do with the influence of school teachers meeting the reality of life.

    zoot at 5:01 pm April 18 (paraphrased, but definitely not a “bait and switch”)

    Each year students spend a lot less time with teachers than they do with parents. Are you saying parents have abdicated their responsibility to teachers?

    Jumpy at 5:28 pm April 18 (ignoring the subject of my comment in an attempt to land a gotcha!)

    The current crop of students don’t vote you idiot.

    Jumpy at 5:37 pm April 18

    Just out of interest zoot ( and to get the first honest answer from you) are you part of the 2% 65+ anomalies that haven’t gotten wiser ?

  93. But wait. There’s more!
    At 6:09 pm April 18 I responded honestly to Jumpy’s laughably biased question. His response was to accuse me of dishonesty (7:40 pm April 18)
    At 6:34 pm April 18 in an attempt to get back to the subject Jumpy had raised I commented on the influence my parents had on me which far outweighed that of any teacher.
    Jumpy’s response (8:05 pm) is to suggest that if I say I am a Theist “or and” an Atheist (seriously, that is what he wrote) I have to show proof if I think he is wrong in his assertion that both are unknowable. Whether they are unknowable or not has no bearing on a person’s belief, which Jumpy might realise if he ever fesses up to being a theist, a deist, an agnostic or an atheist (he’s gotta fall within that spectrum somewhere).

    What sad pathology drives this person to try and dominate discourse here? A domineering father? A distant mother? As he has repeated frequently we are just a pack of collectivists bent on establishing a Marxist dystopia while he is the sole pragmatic centrist. Does he really expect us to change our tune because he demands answers? And why does he refer to his life partner as “The Taipan”?

  94. You’re a bit sick zoot, I feel much sympathy for you and hope you get the medical advice and treatment you need for your demons.

    Nice comment editing to spin the opposite of the truth though, it’s CNNesque in quality and truthfulness.

    Oh, if you ever meet a Taipan, don’t provoke it, don’t poke it with a stick, don’t tread on it. If she does look a bit cheesed off, just back away slowly and quietly.
    Having said that you’ll probably do the opposite because I said it.

  95. Zoot, how about we make a deal you and I ?
    I won’t mention you or comment on you or your comments if you reciprocate.
    How bout that, for tranquillity’s sake ?

  96. Zoot, how about we make a deal you and I ?

    Nahhh. It’s not going to happen.
    On the other hand, for tranquility’s sake:
    How about you stop lying and start engaging honestly with us?
    How about you learn what the terms “bait and switch” and “spin” and “troll” actually mean and you use them properly instead of throwing them around willy nilly?
    How about you stop demanding everybody else answer your questions while you refuse to respond to any of ours?
    How about you stop abusing people when you have no rational reply to their comments?
    How about you stop trying to make the rules on what is Brian’s blog?

  97. Jumpy: When I was in primary school the influential teachers were rabid empire royalists. In the long term many from my generation rejected this propaganda spurred on by our opposition to the Vietnam war and our growing rejection of Pig Iron Bob.
    My German teacher in senior high school was communist. He was one of my best teachers because he opened windows to all sorts of ideas and ways of looking at things. Didn’t stop me being a Country party supporter and a theist all the time I was in high school. His influence kept me interested in opening windows, having a mind of my own and growing the sensitivity of my bullshit detector.

  98. Thanks for the link bilb. I’m rather tired tonight, but I thought Twiggy Forrest was front and centre in the solar power to Singapore project.

    Anyway, speaking of whom, here’s the Guardian on Twiggy. He reckons he’s going to make 1000GW of renewable power.

    I notice they are using big batteries for storage.

  99. Jumpy, I can’t follow you. Maybe something limited about my brain, although OTH you might not be making much sense.

    I thought the influence of teachers and parents on the growing child was quite an interesting topic, no matter how it started. Which is why I bothered to comment.

    If you think it’s “crap” then I have nothing to say to you, except that I think you are wrong.

  100. Brian: “Some of his (Twiggy’s) goals will be tested in the short-term. In a speech to a Credit Suisse investment conference on Wednesday, Forrest said that by 30 June this year the company will have developed a green iron ore train that either runs on renewable electricity or a combustion engine powered by green ammonia.”
    Twiggy’s ambitions are interesting and don’t depend on breakthroughs to implement. Renewable liquid ammonia has a lot attractions because, unlike methanol it doesn’t require extraction of CO2 from the air, can be transported using LPG tech, can be used in internal combustion engines and fuel cells and existing engines can be twigged to run on it.
    You might recall that this is what I had to say on the subject 10 yrs ago http://pragmatusj.blogspot.com/2013/03/renewable-low-impact-fuels-game-changer.html
    There is also nothing new about making steel using hydrogen. Hydrogen and CO produced from natural gas or coal is the core of many commercial direct reduction processes.

  101. Professor Mary Louise McLaws gives governments a serve in Hotel quarantine COVID transmission a “continued failure”:

      New South Wales authorities are investigating the spread of coronavirus between rooms inside the hotel quarantine system. Top epidemiologist Professor Mary-Louise McLaws describes the transmission within Sydney’s Adina quarantine hotel as part of “a continued failure”. She tells PM that governments have been slow in responding to problems in the quarantine system.

    She’s not happy with the consistent under-rating of aerosol spread.

    Also this will not be the last pandemic, and we really need to tool up by having purpose-built quarantine facilities.

    She’s always worth listening to.

    We also need to establish own own capacity to produce mRNA vaccine technology which:

      may allow for one vaccine to provide protection for multiple diseases, thus decreasing the number of shots needed for protection against common vaccine-preventable diseases. Beyond vaccines, cancer research has used mRNA to trigger the immune system to target specific cancer cells.

    Germany built theirs and had it operational within six months.

  102. Labor’s moving climate targets.

    I don’t see how my position can be contested, Brian. With Mark Butler the plan was 45% reduction by 2030, pretty much what science says should be the minimum.

    Way too much for Fitzgibbon, so he engineered to have a moderate in the role.


    “We also need to recalibrate our policy and our messaging if we are to reassure our traditional base that while we are serious on taking action on climate change — meaningful action — we will do so without risk or threat to their livelihoods.”

    So the ambitionless Labor Moderates decide to protect jobs by scaling back Climate Action Effort (parroting the Liberal platform of the last 15 years), meanwhile Singapore and Twiggy Forrest demonstrate that there is no reason why Australia can’t supply Electricity to 6 million Singaporeans, and 100 million Indonesians on the way. This whilst also Decarbonising Steel Production for good measure.

    Labor are impotent and use the “Health” and “Education” flags in the same way as Trump did “Immigration” and “Being Great Again”. It’s the same kind of incompetence.

    The one thing that should be easy for Labor, coming up with a solid social housing policy, is beyond them. They refuse to discuss potential solutions, particularly ones they didn’t think of, and they haven’t thought of anything with their own collective efforts, so they quietly shoved it off the desk into the too hard basket along with the hopes and aspirations of 40% of Australians on low incomes.

    Then they all protect themselves with their own self importance. I got a 10 minute opportunity with Michael Foley (NSW State government) on CGRPT’s prefaced with his stating that he can “take in huge mounts of information”. Shortly after he became opposition leader and lasted a big 4 months in the role. Didn’t hear boo back from that puffed up bloat fish. They’re all just scamming the public making life easy for themselves.

  103. ( as a little side note, not making it about me god forbid and not derailing . Education, Health and Public Housing are NOT Federal Governments responsibility, they’d be State Government responsibilities. But only if one recognises our Constitution, if not, forget I mentioned anything at all. Thanks )

  104. Education, Health and Public Housing are NOT Federal Governments responsibility, they’d be State Government responsibilities. But only if one recognises our Constitution

    With the greatest respect, which section or sections of the Constitution are you referring to?

  105. Apologies Jumpy, I should have looked first. But in my defence you have made this assertion so often that I assumed you would have chapter and verse to hand. As it is I think you have missed an important wrinkle in Section 51.
    I downloaded a copy of the Constitution from the Parliamentary Education Office and in an Overview the Australian Government Solicitor notes that

    The Constitution confers the power to make laws on the Commonwealth Parliament. However, the power of the Commonwealth Parliament to make laws is limited to particular subjects. Most of these subjects are listed in sections 51 and 52. They include defence; external affairs; interstate and international trade; taxation; foreign, trading and financial corporations; marriage and divorce; immigration; bankruptcy; and interstate industrial conciliation and arbitration.
    This list of powers given to the Commonwealth Parliament does not expressly refer to a number of important subjects including education, the environment, criminal law, and roads but this does not mean that those subjects are wholly outside the Parliament’s powers. For example, even though the Commonwealth Parliament has no specific power in relation to the environment, it can, under its external affairs power, prohibit the construction of a dam by a State if that is necessary to give effect to an international agreement on the environment. The legislative powers of the Commonwealth Parliament can also be expanded by the Parliaments of the States referring matters to the Commonwealth Parliament under section 51(xxxvii).

  106. Bilb, Fitzgibbon resigned because he could no longer maintain cabinet solidarity. Certainly he also wanted to have Butler replaced, but he disagreed with Labor policy.

    Albanese has indicated that he is now irrelevant to policy, which hasn’t changed after he resigned, except to become more explicit.

    It is apparent that Mark Butler was looking for a change, and in prosecuting health issues well.

    Bowen was chosen because he believes in transition out of fossil fuels into renewables and would be better at industry development and transition issues. This is proving to be the case. He was here in Qld again last week and is going to come again and again.

    He understands and has repeated that gas is neither clean nor cheap.

    Labor’s attitude to coal is that we will continue to export it while other countries buy it. Albanese said yesterday that decisions on the future of mining coal here will be made in board rooms in other countries.

    The big issue is what the IPCC report is going to say, and whether genuine urgency is going to be communicated from the science community. To date, even though we have a series of reports saying we need net zero sooner (The Australian Academy of Science has just said 2035, and the Climate Council about that too) they still have major defects by accepting that 1.5C will be OK and produce climate stability, which it won’t, and so complacent on sea level rise you’d have to think they haven’t really thought about it) there is no sense that we are actually facing an existential crisis where the chances of success are not all that good.

    The IPCC has always said there was still burnable carbon available. James Hansen raised the alarm in July 1988. We passed 350 ppm in September 1988. Hansen reckons that if we want to rescue ice sheets, which are already in play, we need 300-320 ppm.

  107. And then there is this ……


    …….. which I know to be true because i spoke with VW Australia sales managers and was told they believed Australians only wanted grungy petrol vehicles and they had no plans to import the latest hybrids. So when I bought a new vehicle for the business in Australia recently it was another petrol vehicle.

    Australian Climate policy is just disappointment after disappointment. Fifteen years of it. Australia is a poster child for the Koch brothers with Australia’s most destructive export, Rupert Murdoch being their greatest enabler.

  108. Brian, that interpretation seems not to take into account 107.

    107 Saving of power of State Parliaments
    Every power of the Parliament of a Colony which has become or becomes a State, shall, unless it is by this Constitution exclusively vested in the Parliament of the Commonwealth or withdrawn from the Parliament of the State, continue as at the establishment of the Commonwealth, or as at the admission or establishment of the State, as the case may be.

    In any event, any separation of responsibilities is routinely ignored so political blame games are the norm and no one takes any real ramifications for the failures.

    It was really only an aside as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ultimately has the legal power over all laws.
    So I blame her recalcitrance.

  109. It was really only an aside as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ultimately has the legal power over all laws.

    I think that situation changed with the Australia Act 1986 when the Commonwealth of Australia finally became “a sovereign, independent and federal nation”.
    As for your implied assertion that Parliament is ignoring the Constitution, and with no disrespect to your undoubted legal abilities, I’ll stick with the opinion of the Australian Government Solicitor.

    PS: As I read it section 107 has no conflict with section 51(xxxvii) but my experience of reading legislation is limited to interpreting awards and the dividing fences act.

  110. zoot, no link there. Was it this one?

    I think you are right about the Australia Act. HM only claims to be ‘head’ of the Commonwealth, if I heard right the other day.

  111. Yep, that’s the link. Wonder how I messed that up.
    Somewhere in my travels I saw that Her Majesty actually came to Australia in 1986 to sign away (most of) her power over us wild colonials. Can’t say I remember the occasion.

  112. Bilb, I agree. That is right and proper in the land based on the right to everyone (or is it only the deserving?) to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

  113. Bilb: “Judge in LA orders City to offer shelter to 65,000 people on skid row.”
    Wonder whether it would work in Aus?
    Also wonder how many people die because governments have not supplied basic accommodation to those who need it? Failure to do so would be grounds for manslaughter charges?
    Wonder how many women die per yr because governments don’t provide places where they are safe from violent husbands?
    The list could go on.

  114. I had another medical day. Looks like I am destined to have another eye operation in one eye, scheduled for the second week in June.

    On COVID, Hunt was boasting that 67,000 jabs were done the other day. At that rate by my calcs it will take 571 days to get the job done.

    They do seem to be getting better organised, with the help of the states, so we live in hope.

    Tony Blakely also said that Pfizer will be OK with ordinary refrigeration for up to 2 weeks, which should allow it to be taken to remote places.

  115. John, good news, but I’m betting that his replacement will have similar views on climate and coal.

  116. … politics ‘does not seem to be working’ for conservatives …

    Looks like George doesn’t understand the concept of Representative Democracy.

  117. Some people just can’t take no for an answer, zoot. I suspect there tough zoot, the real story is that these guys will have run a fund raising to pay for this “recount” and this is just another grift on gullible Trumpists. Who would have thought that there were so many available with ready cash. Maybe it is worth selling our Harbour Bridge one more time, next infrastructure week!

  118. Genuinely depressing, zoot. Homo sapiens has reached plague proportions on the planet.

    It looks to me as though there is going to be a population crash, but will the worthy survive?

  119. will the worthy survive?

    Brian, probably not if observations over my three score and ten plus are anything to go by. It’s all quite depressing.
    More and more I think Douglas Adams was right and we are the descendants of the passengers on Golgafrincham Ark Fleet, Ship B.

  120. Thanks for the links Jumpy. Unfortunately the Alaskan one is behind a paywall so there’s not really any detail but they both look to be good news.
    However, if Biden’s attempt to get the world moving rapidly to zero emissions fails they will both be too little too late.

  121. I can remembering thinking of the Repuplicans as a conservative party. The US primary voting system has allowed them to be taken over by the radical Tea Party. Something similar could happen to the Democrats.

  122. John,
    There’s a good chance Caitlyn ( Bruce ) Jenner could be the next Republican Governor of California, how does that make you feel ?

    Happy I hope.

  123. There’s a good chance Caitlyn ( Bruce ) Jenner could be the next Republican Governor of California, how does that make you feel ?

    What makes you think we care?
    If she’s as crappy as the Republican Governors of Georgia and Florida Californians will have made a huge mistake.
    If she’s as good as Arnie was they’ve probably done OK.
    Either way it means SFA to Australians.

  124. I was asking John.
    But since you’ve been encouraged to Insta-troll every one of my comments, how has DeSantis been a failure compared to Newsom ?

  125. I was asking John.

    And I commented.
    Anybody is allowed to respond to any comment.
    Replying to a comment isn’t trolling. Furthermore, I am not obliged to respond any question you ask me.
    However, I will if you let us know your personal belief regarding a higher power. Are you an Atheist and/or a Theist (your immortal construction) a Deist, an Agnostic or something else (please explain in 30 words or less in this case)?

  126. Andrew Romano from Yahoo News told ABC Nightlife last night that vaccinations were slowing in the US and they may be flat out making it to 70-75%.

    White Republicans, especially males, and people of colour are showing resistance to vaccination.

    Meanwhile in India….

  127. Jumpy: I agree with Zoot :”If she’s as crappy as the Republican Governors of Georgia and Florida Californians will have made a huge mistake.” If she’s as good as Arnie was they’ve probably done OK.”
    It is important to me in part because I have a son and grandson living there. My leftish son did have praise for some of the things that Arnie did.

  128. ““… let us know your personal belief regarding a higher power. Are you an Atheist and/or a Theist (your immortal construction) a Deist, an Agnostic or something else (please explain in 30 words or less in this case)?””

    Easy zoot, put me down as;

    A latent Deep Ecologist, otherwise relying on agnostic principles. Agnosticism is intellectually most demanding, but bears also most insights. Deep Ecology has very deep human roots, it fits with Paul Davies’ “Mind of God” and Djabugay people’s concept of “Bullurru”.

    Bit over 30 words, but there you go. Hope this is useful.

  129. Ootz, that does help – a lot.

    All my adult life I’ve thought of myself as ‘agnostic’ but don’t like the label because it’s too simplistic. You’ve got more than a label there.

  130. Ootz. Interesting one on agnosticism.
    Intellectually I am agnostic in the sense that, in the end, I believe nobody can absolutely prove anything and morality needs to be treated with caution. (The bible hints at understanding this need for caution when it describes original sin as the “knowledge of good and evil.” – The bible also records the conflict between Phariseeism with its detailed rules and the very general morality that produces “I give you one commandment, love one another.” )
    In practice I have a morality with a few general principles and specifics that are relevant to my daily life. I also have special places that I have considered with awe and a general love of the wilderness.

  131. Thank you Ootz and John. I didn’t expect my challenge to our northern correspondent to inspire such interesting responses.
    In the spirit of disclosure, I see no evidence of a supernatural being in our universe and I feel no need for such a presence. I’m probably best described as a Humanist. On the other hand my wife has experienced God in her life, leading her to become an Anglican priest, a role she fulfills admirably.
    And no, there is no conflict because neither of us feels any obligation to convert the other.

  132. Zoot, religion is a personal thing as Jesus declared it to be.

    As for function reality it is easily dismantled. For example the whole intelligent design “universe was made for us” trope is preposterous. For starters looking at the planetary system from a design perspective, the inefficiency is staggering. The amount of the sun’s energy that services the Earth’s needs is just 10^-7% ie not zero but very close to it. And the sun has been burning for 4.5 billion years before humans popped into existence with the bite of an apple.

    No matter how you look at it that is not intelligent design, and that is before you consider the other trillions of stars that burn, just for our pleasure, …… and who can see or looks at them any more?

    However, when you look at the microscopic level (as I have been sharing in visualizations) there is true wonderment there. It is one thing religion gets right, we really should respect our bodies more. That same wonderment is in all creatures, creatures which religion has zero respect for other than as substance for sacrifice.

    Sadly, in consequence, religion is an ugly manifestation of our collective mind, a mechanism based in ignorance to be used for the cynical manipulation of community.

    In my economic power factor concept, religion is a significant negative factor to economic performance.

  133. As “ religion “ goes, the way I see it, is separate in two things that may or may not coexist at the same time. And a certain amount of fluidity also could occur.
    The institutional and the faith in a Creator.

    Personally I’m not interested in any of the former ones and have no belief in the latter.

    But that’s just me and no judgment on others whatsoever.

    BilB, I believe, is correct with

    Sadly, in consequence, religion is an ugly manifestation of our collective mind, a mechanism based in ignorance to be used for the cynical manipulation of community.

    In so far as a great many collectives throughout history have used religion like ideologies as a control over individuals so the “ priests” have oversized power that’s unrelated to their practical worth.

  134. bilb, my first argument against any intelligent designer is the human body – so many design faults in such a small unit! If anyone is going to cling to the idea we were designed they will have to admit it was by a particularly cackhanded operator.
    And I share your sense of wonder at what goes on at the cellular level. Thank you for the links to the visualisations, they have completely boggled my mind.

  135. Oh dear, Jumpy has answered my question so I am now obliged to answer his:

    how has DeSantis been a failure compared to Newsom ?

    Jumpy, if you refer to the original exchange (starts 6:45 pm 24 April) you will notice that you mentioned “Republican governor” and my reply contained examples of Republican governors.
    I didn’t mention Newsom or Cuomo, (who are both crappy governors) because the topic wasn’t Democratic governors.
    Don’t presume I am welded to the Democrats the way you are welded to the Republicans. Please.

  136. Right now I’m not feeling metaphysical, but will tell a story. Apologies if you have heard it before.

    I used to mow the lawn for an old lady with whom I became quite friendly. She invited my wife and I around for a cup of tea towards the end. She had been a teacher who specialised in Year 1, so she wanted to find out from my wife how the littlies were getting on these days.

    Back in 2006 I had my prostate removed. I had to tell her and other clients that I wouldn’t be coming around for a couple of months. Back then there was no keyhole surgery, so you ended up with a 6-inch cut in your abdomen.

    I knew she was a devout Christian, but I chanced my arm and told her that the design of the lower pelvic area of men was so bad that it was evidence that God didn’t exist. Any God with half a brain would have done a better job.

    She sad, “Don’t you worry about that. The design women have to put up with is just as bad. When I get up there, the first thing I’ll tell them is how badly they messed up!”

    While I was convalescing her granddaughter called to say that Nan, who was in her 90s, had passed away in her sleep.

    Nothing has changed in the design since then, ergo God doesn’t exist.

  137. zoot, “cackhanded” pretty much nails it, I think.

      Sadly, in consequence, religion is an ugly manifestation of our collective mind, a mechanism based in ignorance to be used for the cynical manipulation of community.

    Can be and often are, I tagree. But I will allow the possibility of virtuous institutions.

  138. I didn’t mention Newsom or Cuomo, (who are both crappy governors) because the topic wasn’t Democratic governors.

    I agree, you mentioned Disantis (R) and Kemp(R) in this,

    If she’s as crappy as the Republican Governors of Georgia and Florida Californians will have made a huge mistake.

    All I asked was how was DiSatis crappy compared to who is currently being overwhelmingly recalled in California.
    A reminder of my exact question,

    …how has DeSantis been a failure compared to Newsom ?

    No mention of party at all, clearly, for all to see ( if they open their eyes to you obviously mendacious trolling )

  139. Brian, the same argument you make for the non existence of a perfect God design can be leveled at Darwinism.

    Life is unfair, illogical and hard either way.

  140. Jumpy why do you persist in being so obtuse? Is it simply your inability to master English?
    The governors of Florida, California, Georgia and New York are all crappy. I have made no comparison between them because they are all crappy. You apparently believe there are degrees of crappiness. I’m not that invested.

  141. Brian, the same argument you make for the non existence of a perfect God design can be leveled at Darwinism.

    What rubbish.
    Doubtless Jumpy the nihilist will now regale us with his profound insights into evolution (hint: Darwin died nearly one and a half centuries ago, a lot has been discovered since then).

  142. Jumpy: “Brian, the same argument you make for the non existence of a perfect God design can be leveled at Darwinism.”
    All Darwinism claims is that a “better” design for a particular set of circumstances is more likely to succeed. It is a statistical theory. There is always a chance that the better design will lose.

  143. The poor design of the human body is an argument for evolution.
    For anyone seriously interested I heartily recommend Stephen J Gould’s “Life’s Grandeur” (also published as “Full House) which demolishes the common belief that evolution is somehow directed, or tends towards “progress” – it doesn’t.
    It’s a great read.

    • Brian, the same argument you make for the non existence of a perfect God design can be leveled at Darwinism.

    No, Jumpy, pretty much what John said. Under Darwinism genetic changes are supposed to be random. How well it turns out is so functional and even beautiful that it seems to make a prima facie case for intelligent design. But obvious flaws, nevertheless.

    We won’t go there, I have other stuff to do.

  144. All I asked was how was DiSatis DeSantis (FIFY) crappy compared to who is currently being overwhelmingly recalled in California.

    Apologies, I now realise you were changing the subject (quelle surprise!) in which case you can go jump.

  145. “But I will allow the possibility of virtuous institutions.” Brian, as St Augustine said:

    “Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.”

    It ties in well with my definition of religion. Rooted way back in the Latin ‘re/ligare‘ or re-tyeing, making sense of the world by ‘tying reality’ the universe in our mind and grounding ones own existence and indeed identity.

    Evolutionary psychology gives us insight how supernatural thought develops and spreads, and how it mediates social relationships and it ends up in the usual nature/nurture conundrum. Prominent neurologists argue that animals have spiritual experiences. Social Research tells us that people who belong to a religious congregation are healthier and live longer. Cognitive science speculates on a similar effect sustaining the habit of humans adopting and reifying a supernatural ‘self’, the minds I or the ghost in the machine.

    The trouble with God, as with truth in philosophy, is that they are elusive concepts as an absolute, given by the limitation of our own thinking and adopted existential configuration. Gödel with his incompleteness theorems somewhat provided a mathematical analogue to that problem. The Buddhist, a non theist religion, preaches famously: “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him”. All we can do is adopting a working hypothesis, venturing forth with an assumed matrix of known knowns and known unknowns and hedging for unknown unknowns?

    It follows then that any moral system has got its own particular angle too. As Shakespeare put it in Hamlet: “… for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”. Secular humanism, as its name suggests has its particular focus and emphasis and as such anthropocentric morality result in a particular set of consequences and problematics to life in the 21stC.

    It is perplexing why there is such a strong dichotomy between our contemporary perception of our self and that of nature or the environment. Philosophers such as Peter Singer, Aldo Leopold and Arne Naess deconstruct our adopted superior position in our contemporary dominant value system and invite us to become part of the wider matrix. While we often speak of nature as a system of cut-throat competition, we forget sometimes that symbiosis, or interdependency of multiple species, is also the essence of nature.

    The adoption of a wider event horizon in our life is not only enriching in its utility, it also provides meaning when one considers that we are literally made up of stardust, have been given the gift of live by a quirk of nature and are sustained by cosmic entities beyond time and space. So when in judgment one should humbly consider the wider or larger extend of ourselves, the web of our existence. To avoid the fate of the sorcerers apprentice we have to escape the black hole of solipsism or as the Buddhists say, to avoid suffering one must abandon attachment.

  146. Ootz, that’s an amazing statement, way better than I could have expressed. I’m cool with all of it. Would just have a query about ‘time’ as a concept. Scientists often talk as though time exists. All I see is flux and change in the universe, and humans inventing ‘time’ as a way of dealing with it.

    Meanwhile for my sins I have to work again today, as I did on Saturday. Attended to a lot of things around the house yesterday.

    I’ve been starting posts, then something new and urgent comes up and I start another one. Right now I’m working on Biden’s summit and its significance in the scheme of things. I’ll stick with this one until it’s done.

  147. Calls to phase out fossil fuel subsidies after speculation about net-zero emissions target: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-26/scott-morrison-climate-change-fossil-fuel-subsidies-net-zero/100094506
    “Fossil fuel subsidies have cost state, territory and federal budgets roughly $10.3 billion over the past financial year, or $19,686 a minute, according to a new report from The Australia Institute.” The Libs said we can’t afford the subsidies that were once needed to support renewable energy.
    To be consistent they should stand up and say that now we cannot afford to continue subsidizing fossil fuel.

  148. JohnD, these subsidies are perfect example of PMs “the animal instinct of capitalism”. All hail the free markets!

    Brian, I hedged the time paradox by “ … cosmic entities beyond time and space”. For latest scientific insight into time see link below.


    Interestingly time in the Djabugay frame of mind is intrinsically embedded in the concept of Bulurru or what often is referred to Dreamtime. Time is an ontological tool as in the creation of things in their world, the physical order of the universe and the land/country and the place therein of its people and the individual. In other words, they do not see nor feel themselves as separated from nature/environment.

    Time also serves as a epistemological tool for the Djabugay in that it allows the creation and propagation of knowledge. For example seasons are not bound by purely temporal aspects they carry far more wider concepts and understanding of the world. So as such,‘Dreamtime’ carries entire epistemologies and is timeless or as eminent indigenous researcher W E H Stanner coined it “everywhen”. Stanner went on to observe that: “We [non-Indigenous Australians] shall not understand The Dreaming fully except as a complex of meanings”.


    Either way, it would appear time is a good example of ‘reality’ may not be as clear cut as some people may think it is. It serves as a clear reminder to hedge for unknown unknowns in the matrix of our existence and give these a special place within without being overwhelmed by them.

  149. Ootz, thank you for the Qanta link. It’s blown me away and there are more, related, links to follow up. I’m going to be busy.

  150. Ootz: Interesting links. Clearly there is a strong link to land that includes links to song lines and other stuff that extends long long ways beyond where most people normally live, although. Many of the stories talk about change with the heroes of stories travelling well beyond their land doing things like teach new ceremonies.
    A lot of culture is secret business so it is hard to tell how an individual links and feels about the whole secret business.
    Me I can understand strong links to some places and a sense of awe.

  151. Ootz, I’ve been sitting here contemplating what you said and the links you gave for an hour and a half, including checking out again what Einstein’s space-time continuum was about, plus his ‘spooky action at a distance’, aka quantum entanglement.

    I learnt that if you put a clock in an earth satellite it would gain 38 microseconds every time it circled the planet. I don’t have the faintest idea what is going on there, and I suspect no-one else does either. But they may have better theories than I can conjure up.

    There are a lot of unresolved questions.

    The first link simply posited time as a thing in itself. I can’t see it. I see it as a conceptual tool in dealing with change, so yes, it is an ‘epistemological tool’ which helps us know reality, but is not reality itself, so not an ‘ontological tool’.

    My central notion is that we are molecules in motion, and live constantly in an ever-changing present. So the past is present too in the present, only exists in the present, but is not always remembered and understood.

    Oral societies possibly do a better job than we do in some ways. The second link indicates that the Aboriginal peoples had/have a way of being a way of being that was genuinely holistic and relational, socially and in Nature.

    They say the past, often clumsily called dreamtime “is a lived daily reality, so in a sense they bring the past with them as part of their lived experience, contrasted with the European way of leaving it behind, even more so in the case of us who came here from there.

    I’ll leave gravity, the big bang, why the expansion of the universe is speeding up. Does it approach the speed of light, then rebound and crash in on itself, or do we end up lonely and cold?

    I have heard on several occasions that as the universe expands we should think of it as the space opening up between the galaxies rather that the galaxies moving through space.

    If so ‘dark energy’ is not a good metaphor.

    As the matter stands, the sun is going to fry us as it dies, if we don’t fry ourselves first.

    So now I’ve spent the rest of the night writing things and mostly deleting them.

  152. Stanwell CEO quits after falling out with Palaszczuk government over future of coal plants. https://reneweconomy.com.au/stanwell-ceo-quits-after-falling-out-with-palaszczuk-government-over-future-of-coal-plants/

    The unexpected resignation appears to have been sparked by a disagreement between Van Breda and the Queensland government about the long term prospects of Stanwell’s coal power plants.

    The resignation came just days after Van Breda gave a speech at the CQ Energy Futures Summit in Gladstone, where the outgoing CEO acknowledged the growing pressure on coal fired power stations as the market share of wind and solar continue to grow and the need to prepare the company’s workforce for a future after coal.

    “Australia is undergoing a major energy transition and it’s happening at a rapid pace,” Van Breda told the conference. “Over the coming years, Stanwell will respond to the renewable energy needs of our large commercial and industrial customers through the introduction of new low or zero emission generation technologies. We will also strive to play a central role in the emerging green hydrogen industry.”
    Not a good look for Qld Labor.

  153. All good and fine to get lost on the wallaby songlines of time. Gentlemen, what is required is more focus. Fancy that my nearest southern correspondent on C+ and our dear leader in Canberra bring up religion. Presumably to placate with morality and to claim and purvey the devine/truth.

    As an agnostic or fence sitter I have no problem with the PM’s public screening of his religiosity. Some people wear a batch others act it. Religion, formal as well as feral believe/ moral systems, philosophises or raison d’entre play an important role in people’s life and shape the state. I have no problem with that, as long the seat of the power within such systems engages in an adequate amount of reflexivity and decorum, adheres to professional standards as well as possesses the sensibility to be ecumenical.

    For example the ‘laying on’ of hands without consent is not on, as is claiming to be the sole legitimate owner or purveyor of divinity and truth. The chance of a footy team winning a game or league solely by a miracle or laying on of hands is truly an outlier on that particular bell curve of probabilities. Wholesale self righteousness never ends well and is not good for the game. Faith in anything should have integrity to be genuine.

  154. John, I think the Qld government has a bigger problem with residual fossils than the Labor governments in Victoria and WA. Certainly SA under Jay Weatherill was a good story, and I think Labor federally would be also.

    I’ve been wondering about energy and renewables Minister Mick De Brenni.

    Certainly Treasurer Cameron Dick is a fossil. I don’t recall Palaszczuk saying anything about climate except that she supports renewables, and supports coal.

    Looks like a fence sitter.

    Certainly the Greens did us no favours by knocking off Jackie Trad, who was founding patron of LEAN.

    On the bright side we now have the LNP in this article apparently facing the truth:

      Opposition energy spokesman Pat Weir said the Government appeared to have no plan about how to deal with the energy transition and predicted Queensland would face shutdowns with its coal generator fleet within a few years. He said Callide B and Tarong 1 were the most likely.

      The Government has a target of 50 per cent of energy generated by renewables by 2030.

      “There are serious concerns within the industry about how we get those targets,” Weir said.

  155. JohnD, it would appear the federal Government is placating donors with subsidies and Qld state government the polls with the animus of the market economy.

  156. Surely the only rational reply to our PM’s claim that he was called by God is to ask, “Which God?”.
    Seriously, which god hates Australia so much that in a time of severe bush fires, a climate crisis accompanied by an economic crisis and an existential threat from climate change they would install an inept, tone deaf, buck passing, bumbling fool like our failed marketing man?
    It can’t be the one that the fundies tell us wrote the New Testament. Scotty has already demonstrated by the casual cruelty of his treatment of the poor and vulnerable (robodebt, asylum seekers, the NDIS cutbacks anyone?) that he is not following that particular manual.
    So Scotty, which god?

  157. Brian: As it does, New Scientist 13 Mar 2021 had yet another article on what quantum physics is all about. This one ended with the idea that “quantum objects have no reality when they are not interacting with other objects.”
    Perhaps we could use this idea to say that humans have no reality unless they interact with other humans and objects. A few thoughts:
    Would Zoot and the Jumping One lose their reality if one of them disappeared off this post and is their sometimes banal interaction essential for their existence?
    Also thought about Aborigines who might be using the dreaming/story interaction with their environment to maintain an important part of their reality? Ditto their emphasis on precisely defining their relationships with relatives and the rules that govern these relationships? (Their reality is strengthened by knowing how relationship controls their interaction)
    When I go to to new places I try to go out into the wild woods to get a sense of a new place by this interaction. In other places I alley surf to interact with a town and its history. Then I rush back to H to confirm her reality by enthusing about what I have found and the need to come and see these wonderous things.

  158. Would Zoot and the Jumping One lose their reality if one of them disappeared off this post and is their sometimes banal interaction essential for their existence?

    As I understand it that would only happen if I had no interactions with anyone (or thing) apart from our Mackay correspondent (and he with me). As it is I have a huge number of interactions each day (many of them banal) with a number of people so I’m sure I won’t cease to exist. Until I do 🙂

    Funnily enough I was reading another Qanta article today on how entanglement creates “the arrow of time”. Very interesting.

  159. John, I moved 14 times between the age of 12 and 42. Have been in the same spot since then.

    I do experience a new world whenever I get off a plane or train anywhere. And I do think it is good to see familiar places with fresh eyes every day.

    As to “quantum objects have no reality when they are not interacting with other objects” I have difficulty with that. I know that they say you can’t observe a quantum particle without changing it. Only a fool would fall over a log, and then think it wasn’t there if they didn’t look.

    How can they be sure it’s not there when they aren’t observing?

    The answer to Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ was to declare that reality is ‘nonlocal’. Does that not mean that everything is everywhere?

  160. BTW, Scotty thinks he is doing God’s work when he lays hands on people.

    He should get their permission with full disclosure before he does that!

    He also thinks social media can be doing the Devil’s work. I guess that includes us.

  161. Brian: “As to “quantum objects have no reality when they are not interacting with other objects” I have difficulty with that.” Like me, you might have difficulty with a lot of the concepts floated in New Scientist. Some makes theology look like hard basic science. String theory anyone?

  162. Federal government set to build taxpayer-funded gas-fired power plant in Hunter region of NSW;https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-29/government-gas-fired-power-plant-nsw/100102888
    “The Federal government is set to build a taxpayer-funded gas-fired power plant in the Hunter region of New South Wales, in what would be a major intervention in the electricity market.

    Key points:
    The PM threatened to build the plant last year if the electricity sector failed to fill the gap left by the closure of the Liddell power station
    The plant is expected to be built at the site of the former Kurri Kurri aluminium smelter near Newcastle
    Mr Morrison gave the market until this Friday to make a final decision
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison last year threatened to build the plant, through its company Snowy Hydro Limited, if the electricity sector failed to fill the 1000 megawatt gap left by the closure of the Liddell power station in 2023.”
    Remember the good old days when the LNP attacked renewables because they needed subsidies?
    See also: “The Government’s backing of a new power plant is a gas-fired distraction” https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-09-19/government-backing-power-plant-gas-fired-distraction/12677222

  163. Zoot: “John, are you accusing me of living in the real world? ”
    Only for the brief moments in time when you interact with me by condescending to acknowledge my comments.
    Your alleged interactions with the lord of Jumpy World don’t count in part because these alleged interactions don’t count as interactions with me (the crucial bit) and in part because many of the other people I interact with would be reluctant to describe Jumpy World as “real.”

  164. For anybody tempted to explore more of the Quantum rabbit hole Big Ideas has a talk on quantum computing by Michelle Simmons, Professor of Quantum Physics at Sydney University.
    Her department has produced the first single atom transistor which is a big deal. A computer as we know it manipulates binary bits, each of which can have one of two values (0 or 1).
    A qbit (quantum bit) on the other hand, since it is merely a collection of probabilities, can have umpteen (I forget the actual number) possible values. It’s only when it is observed that the wave function collapses and the qbit has a definite value.
    I may have munged the description, but I found the whole presentation fascinating.

  165. Sorry, try again “another Qanta article” has < plus a plus > in front of it and < plus / plus a plus > after it. The whole apparatus that contains the URL is missing.

  166. Thanks Brian. I have no idea how that happened. I shall pay much closer attention in future.

  167. John @ 10:35, I should do a post, but this is the short story as I understand it.

    On the face of it Liddell has only been supplying about 1000MW of power, which is, I think, a quarter of its original capacity. Basically it is clapped out.

    AEMO does forecasts which it represents as a Statement of Opportunity. The AEMO process is based on telling capitalists what is needed, so they can make their decisions to supply the identified need, competing with each other.

    AEMO says only 154MW is needed in the light of other plans in the pipeline, and they see no need for special action by any government. That can be picked up by demand response, or excess power exported from Queensland, or something. Basically in context it is nothing to worry about.

    Angus isn’t getting the advice he likes from AEMO so he set up a taskforce to give him advice he likes.

    Which it did.

    AGL and Energy Australia both had plans:

      EnergyAustralia subsequently proposed a 350MW gas peaking station in the Illawarra and AGL put forward a similar-sized project near Newcastle but both companies put their plans on hold following the release of last year’s renewables-focused NSW energy infrastructure roadmap.

    Please note they backed off because the NSW government was planning to do stuff by reverse auction.

    Taylor getting Snowy Hydro to build a 750MW gas plant will now confuse everyone and doubly piss off the capitalists.

    International companies faced with this will simply take their money to another country with a sensible government.

    AGL is one of the oldest Ozzie corporations. EnergyAustralia is traditionally Australian too, although now owned I think from Hong Kong.

    Laura Tingle’s article which you linked to appeared last September, when Angus’s taskforce report was quietly dropped onto the net having been finished in April. It also appeared with the title ‘Well done, Angus!’: A truly excellent Government rescue for a crisis that isn’t happening.

    That pretty much tells the story. It’s a bugger’s muddle.

  168. Originally Taylor and company were putting forward the notion that AGL was purposely making supply scarce in NSW to push up prices.

    He still appears to be using that argument, although pushing up prices is what he will be doing by building excess gas.

    Maybe it will become an instant stranded asset!

  169. One has to wonder the Aborigines part in the extinction of fauna and flora in Australia as part of this “ human plague “, as it’s called by some.

    And what would have Australia look like to Cook, Banks and Solander if they had not.

  170. Obviously you will disagree, but I seriously doubt that the numbers 60,000 years ago could be accurately called a “plague”.
    The “human plague” as it’s called by some (including me) refers to more modern times when humans reached plague proportions.

  171. Whooosh, straight over the shallow trolls head.

    But it’s response time is impressive.

  172. Jumpy: “One has to wonder the Aborigines part in the extinction of fauna and flora in Australia as part of this “ human plague “, as it’s called by some.” I know a place where there is a rock carving of the extinct giant flat faced kangaroo, probably made extinct by Aboriginal hunting and/or the impact of firestick farming. That would have been in line with the disappearance of mega fauna, other animals and changes in the environment that appeared to have happened when humans came to other parts of the world with fire tools and weapons’.
    By the time cook arrived Aborigines had learned how to manage the land and conserve the numbers of animals they hunted.
    But yes, Aborigines were part of the human plague that had spread over the world and sent so many species to extinction.

  173. It seems to me that the Aborigines’ use of fire would have changed the landscape, but I agree with John that they developed a balance in later times before the Europeans arrived.

    My reaction too was why would they do a model that ignored the coastline as it was then?

    Seems the Aborigines moved fast. The book I read recently on the Neanderthals said that there was a population choke for homo sapiens north of the Sahara around 70,000 years ago. Apparently there is more genetic variety south of the Sahara than there is in the rest of the world.

  174. Brian: “Seems the Aborigines moved fast.”
    I get the impression that some people think that human expansion was driven by population pressure. This would have been part of the reason but it other cases it could have been a breakaway of young and adventurous or the losers in a dispute wanting to get as far away as possible. Then there are young men stealing wives and wanting to get as far away as possible from wronged husbands.
    Me I walk at 4 km/hr or about 20 km/day. (7300/yr) To put that in context “Australia is approximately 3860 kilometres long from its most northerly point to its most southerly point in Tasmania, and is almost 4000 kilometres wide, from east to west.” I am not suggesting that Aborigines occupied Australia in a flash but the expansion could have been quite fast with Aborigines looking for better places to live or get away from enemies. Coastlines and permanent rivers provide logical routes.
    The impact of fire on vegetation is interesting and unstable. for example, long grass will win against fire resistant trees if grass fires are frequent enough to kill off young trees. However, if trees get big enough to withstand fire, trees can take over from grassland.

  175. John, one of the problems is that when tribal peoples moved until relatively recently they had to carry everything, including tools, hunting weapons, containers etc. Not sure when beasts of burden entered the scene, but my impression is that the Aborigines didn’t have any.

  176. Thanks Bilb. The Whitsundays is one part of Qld I’ve never been to.

    My wife’s niece’s husband built a houseboat on a catamaran, sailed to the Whitsundays and stayed there I think about 9 months with four kids in tow, having put them on correspondence school.

    Earlier tonight I watched a train journey on SBS that went the length of Norway, which was stunning.

  177. Brian: “one of the problems is that when tribal peoples moved until relatively recently they had to carry everything,” Now they love boats and 4WD.
    Aborigines don’t carry/own much tangible property but this doesn’t stop them travelling long distances. Many of the things they do have are clever multi tools. Ex: Central Aus woomerars not only help throw spears but are also designed as small yandying dish they can use to separate out seeds when travelling without women. They also have a flint carving tool in the handle. Men have hair belts that things like axes can be carried in. They may also have small dilly bags around their necks and carry some things stuck in headbands and hair.
    Women have bigger dilly bags, baskets etc and use yandying dishes to carry water. (Grass is added to stop water sloshing.)
    Cant speak for other parts of the country where travel was more restricted.

  178. From what I can gather, push and pull factors have been the main drivers in human migration on any scale.
    In the aboriginal case it probably depended on climatic factor over the shorter time scale, say 2 bad season = push, speculation of better = pull.

    But we’re talking 10s of 1000s of seasons here and each one site specific, with no recorded evidence, so it’s impossible to say.

  179. Jumpy: “But we’re talking 10s of 1000s of seasons here and each one site specific, with no recorded evidence, so it’s impossible to say.”
    Tend to agree which means that we can indulge in speculation.
    One of my takes is that a lot of the expansion was driven by curiosity and a sense of adventure. Think for example, of the European colonial expansion. Over a period of a few hundred years Europeans had explored most of the world and established outposts and colonies all over the place.
    Aborigines can also be adventurous and curious. For example, some Aborigines from Groote Eylandt went to Makassar when the Makassarns returned to Indonesia at the start of the dry season and sometimes came back years later.
    Other Aborigines may have been forced into moving because of things like rising sea levels, climate change, big droughts or a desire to escape punishment for stealing someone’s wife.
    Many Aboriginal stories talk about some cultural hero who travelled long distances converting others and teaching them new ceremonies. Songlines are long distance routes that these “missionaries” travelled.

  180. John, no doubt you raise factors that may have contributed, totally agree.

    But a dry mouth and empty belly can motivate like no other.

  181. I heard an interview with the lead author of the study and he made it all sound more plausible.

    He said that the Australian climate/landscape was challenging when the Aborigines arrived, but more livable than now. He said their adaptation capacity was pretty awesome.

    He said that when they covered the continent they had pretty much reached the population holding point. He reckons before Cook and European diseases the population was probably about 3 million.

  182. I’m having diverse adventure and afflictions interrupting my life. Things should even out after a funeral on Wednesday, apart from a birthday bash on Thursday (mine delayed, plus our youngest son, and it may have to do for our wedding anniversary and Mothers Day as well.

    I have a granddaughter having a birthday tomorrow, so much joy all around.

  183. John, what you say about the Aborigines travelling light makes the Neanderthals look slow and cumbersome. They had a slow gate, bigger brains than us, and had tools/weapons made from stone and bone as well as wood. Because of the colder climes clothes were a big issue, and the spent a great deal of time on leather work, which involves a lot of scraping and chewing.

    Their big problem was that they needed about three times as many daily calories as homo sapiens, and were highly dependent on meat. Sapiens developed the bow and arrow around the time they met and the Neanderthals favoured thrusting rather than throwing, but the did eat birds and fish somehow.

    They depopulated the wildlife in any area pretty quickly, so had to move, also with seasons.

  184. Jumpy: “But a dry mouth and empty belly can motivate like no other.”
    Agree but not sure about “like no other.” Enemies with murderous intent might be even more motivating re going far.

  185. Well John, you may survive enemies with murderous intent but no food and water is certain death.

    But you’re correct in stating that Aborigines were not some kind of peacenik hippy types full of love, compassion and empathy for all.

  186. Jumpy: “But you’re correct in stating that Aborigines were not some kind of peacenik hippy types full of love, compassion and empathy for all.” Tend to agree but they did have processes that reduced and resolved conflict.
    To a lesser extent you could say the same about our society. In our case the deadly conflict is more widespread but less frequent.

  187. “EnergyAustralia gives green light for Australia’s first net-zero hybrid power station.” https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-04/australia-first-net-zero-hybrid-power-station/100113910
    The plan is to switch to green hydrogen fuel when it becomes available.
    “EnergyAustralia has announced plans to build a new power station that will be capable of using hydrogen and natural gas.

    Key points:
    The gas power plant could begin using green hydrogen as early as 2025

    EnergyAustralia plans to buy 200,000kg of green hydrogen a year — equivalent to five per cent of the plant’s fuel use

    The Illawarra project is expected to deliver a $300-million boost to the economy and support about 250 jobs during construction

    The New South Wales and federal governments have contributed $83 million to the 300-megawatt plant on the edge of Lake Illawarra, south of Wollongong.

    The Tallawarra B power station will sit alongside the company’s existing Tallawarra A 435-megawatt gas plant.
    The project will be fast-tracked to be operational by 2023–24 in a bid to help ensure reliable electricity supplies to the grid once the Liddell coal-fired 500-megawatt plant in the Hunter Valley closes.
    “We are leading the sector by building the first net-zero emissions hydrogen and gas capable power plant in NSW,” said Energy Australia Managing Director Catherine Tanna.”
    Sounds like a cunning way of getting approval for a fossil gas fired power plant that may keep on consuming gas for yonks.

  188. John

    In our case the deadly conflict is more widespread but less frequent.

    Could you please elaborate on that. As I read it it doesn’t make sense, we live in the most peaceful and prosperous time in the history of humanity, globally.

  189. This is interesting.
    Biden’s Covid bill included tax cuts for people earning less than $100,000 a year. The result was an immediate record breaking economic improvement. Nice to see a functioning administration.
    And Florida Republicans are starting to wonder if they’ve shot themselves in the foot.

  190. zoot, thanks for the US economy link. I’m not sure how it all fits together. I think she was talking about what had been initially, Biden made another speech the other day to mark the first 100 days where he promised a bigger injection of funds than has been seen since FDR.

    Like free early childhood education, basic wage up to $15 per hour, free college education, doubling funds for R&D. A quick search revealed this link, which has plenty.

    I gather he is going to increase taxes for those earning $400,000 or more, and going to tackle the tax haven issue. I understand he is effectively stopping the race to the bottom in company tax, which may become an international standard.

    Thing is, will he get it through the Senate?

  191. Thanks for the green hydro link, John.

    I’m still up to my navel in alligators. Hoping for a breakout over the next couple of days. There a lot going on with climate and stuff.

  192. Jumpy: Google gave these figures for the twentieth century: “At least 108 million people were killed in wars in the twentieth century. Estimates for the total number killed in wars throughout all of human history range from 150 million to 1 billion. War has several other effects on population, including decreasing the birthrate by taking men away from their wives.6 July 2003”

  193. I didn’t express myself accurately in my last comment (it was late, I was tired). Biden’s Covid relief bill kicked the economy into overdrive. Tax cuts for lower paid people were part of the bill, not the only reason for the economy’s recovery.
    I saw a meme (I can’t find it now) which pointed out that during the golden age of capitalism the top marginal tax rate in the US was 90%.
    This encouraged people in that range to reinvest the money (which they could claim as a tax deduction) resulting in a growing economy. It’s a far cry from today where all that “trickle down” money is actually locked away in tax havens.

  194. zoot, people might find this of interest:

      In 1945, when the top statutory income tax rate was 94 percent, the effective tax rate on the top 1 percent was about 40 percent.

    There is a difference between the marginal tax rate and the effective tax rate on the whole income.

    Of course rich people also avoid/minimise tax actually paid.

  195. A Sydney man with no known links to coronavirus cases in hotel quarantine has tested positive for COVID-19:

      Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the man had not recently returned from overseas, did not work in quarantine and had no contacts with the hospital system.

      Dr Chant said genome sequencing will be a crucial avenue of investigation to determine how the man caught the virus.

      She said the man had a high viral load, suggesting he was potentially highly infectious, which was cause for concern.

    He’d been around and about a bit while infected. He’d been to Event Cinemas in Bondi Junction and Figo Restaurant at Rushcutters Bay last Friday, and 6 other retail venues.

  196. Thanks Brian.
    Getting back to Rachel Maddow I think it’s significant that with the new US tax regime people on less than $100,000 per year will join billionaire corporations like Amazon in paying zero federal income tax.

  197. And here’s a hint for any reader still struggling to master written English. When I wrote, “during the golden age of capitalism the top marginal tax rate in the US was 90%” I wasn’t advocating a return to that rate.
    Just as if I had written, “In the nineteenth century before sewers became common”, I wouldn’t be arguing we return to dunny carts.

  198. Zoot: ““during the golden age of capitalism the top marginal tax rate in the US was 90%”
    Funny thing was that the US economy was growing and inequality shrinking. Then some genius came up with the idea of trickle down. The US has been trickling down ever since – and come a long way down.

  199. Some folks think that if someone pays little “ Federal Income “ tax then they pay no tax at all. Probably because Biden and the Dem propaganda machine tell them so.

    In reality there are a huge amount of taxes in America and the top 20% pay almost all of it ( nett )


    Same as here in Australia.

    And God Bless those 20%, I’d like ( as would my 80% comrades) to be one, they help us all.

  200. Some folks think that if someone pays little “ Federal Income “ tax then they pay no tax at all.

    Nobody on this forum. We’re actually all quite well informed.

  201. Funny thing was that the US economy was growing and inequality shrinking.

    Agreed John, the golden age of capitalism. Things were pretty good in Australia as well despite R G Menzies 🙂

  202. Funny thing was that the US economy was growing and inequality shrinking

    It was under Trump too, till the China Virus “ happened “.

  203. And then it grew spectacularly under Biden while the Trump plague was still “happening”.

  204. And a quick check suggests the previous president’s economic performance wasn’t as good as Obama’s. It definitely never reached the giddy heights of the 50s (the golden age of capitalism)

  205. Slight correction to Jumpy’s assertion at 7:21 pm. Yes the US economy was growing, but inequality was not shrinking – in fact it was accelerating.

  206. zoot, on First Dog, I loved the stratification of compassion. Eg:

      Compassion lite

        Sucks to be you, please die quietly.

    My prediction is that the Biloela family will be allowed to reside in the community on Christmas Island.

    It’s what you do when you want to look as though you are doing something. It is better but their substantive claim is denied.

  207. On comparing the stock market, I think you need to go to the next layer of analysis. My impression is the prices here and in the US are high at present in terms of the price/earnings ratio.

    Here I’d reckon in terms of value the All Ords should be at around 5,000 instead of higher than 7,000. The thing is there is nothing else to invest in if you want a half-decent income stream.

  208. Jumpy, the top 20% paying most of the tax is how it should be. I’d have everyone up to around the 45th percentile on a taxpayer funded basic income. A sort of half UBI (universal basic income).

    Hoping to do a post shortly, so details withheld. It’s a variation on what Garnaut is suggesting.

  209. My wife said when I complained about paying a marginal rate of 60%: “Isn’t it great that you are earning enough to be paying that marginal rate!” (Her father was a communist coal miner. Gave her a different take on the world.)
    Funny thing is that the last time I looked the government had a marginal clawback rate of 60% for people on the dole that earn quite a little bit of money. Someone who goes on the dole midway through a financial year might be paying clawback and tax on some of the money they earn.
    Rich capitalists would invest more in productive assets if low income earners.
    Brian: Glad to see you are getting closer to a UBI. I think there is a lot to be saved in admin costs once a UBI has become large enough to replace the dole, old age pension and child payments. My preference is to simplify things even further by combining a UBI with a flat tax. (Perhaps for all except very high income earners?)

  210. Brian: For what it is worth I saw this quote on climate change:
    ” The United Nation’s IPCC reported that “to provide a 93% mid-value probability of not exceeding [a dangerous post industrial increase of] 2°C, the concentration (of atmospheric greenhouse gases) would need to be stabilized at, or below, 350 ppm CO2equivalent, that is, below current levels, which means no carbon budget left for 2°C.”

  211. Brian: The conversation had this interesting article that is relevant to UBI: “What happens when you free unemployed Australians from ‘mutual obligations’ and boost their benefits? We just found out” https://theconversation.com/what-happens-when-you-free-unemployed-australians-from-mutual-obligations-and-boost-their-benefits-we-just-found-out-157506
    “During last year’s more generous approach, we conducted an online survey of JobSeeker recipients and found that (contrary to what appears to be the government’s expectation), it was helping get people into work.
    Freed of “mutual obligations”, many were able to devote time to reengaging with the workforce.
    As one respondent said,
    I was able to focus on getting myself back into the workforce. Yes, mutual obligation activities PREVENT people from being able to start a new business or re-enter the workforce as an employee.”
    Just imagine how many more people would be willing to go fruit picking once most of what they earn is lost to clawback?

  212. Hang on, this is what said in reply to zoot,

    Zoot: ““during the golden age of capitalism the top marginal tax rate in the US was 90%”
    Funny thing was that the US economy was growing and inequality shrinking. Then some genius came up with the idea of trickle down. The US has been trickling down ever since – and come a long way down.

    So the top Federal marginal tax rate of 90% was from 1949 ( Truman ) to 1963 JFK.
    This was prior to LBJ signing into law the Civil Rights Act ( 1964) and the Voting Rights Act ( 1965 )

    So no, inequality was rife in the 90% period, far worse than under Trump. In fact Trump got the highest black vote of any Republican candidate ever.

  213. Inequality in this context usually refers to economic inequality.
    John can clarify if that was what he was referring to (if he so wishes).

  214. In case it isn’t crystal clear (better safe than sorry) I was referring to economic inequality in my comment of May 5 at 9:07 pm.

  215. Your link says nothing about inequality (economic in this case). You’re quoting a growth rate in wages of $13 a year (for POC) when the top 1% shared $2 trillion just from the previous guy’s tax cuts, plus another $2 trillion or so during the pandemic.
    As a back of the envelope calculation 1% of 300 million is 3 million people who shared in $4 trillion which equals $1,333 each. Even over 4 years that is not equality; $52 != $1333.

  216. So to summarise zoot, “ I don’t care if poor black people are getting higher wages at a record rate under Trump, I just hate rich people and Trump.”

    Sounds like the Marxist attitude in a nutshell.

  217. And the metric was the top 20% if you were paying attention to the thread.

  218. And the metric was the top 20% if you were paying attention to the thread.

    $52 != $66.65

  219. Sorry, that was probably a bit too subtle.

    And the metric was the top 20% if you were paying attention to the thread.

    The subject was inequality if you were paying attention to the thread.

  220. Me, I don’t care how much money Billionaires have, they didn’t steal any from me. I care that they create millions of jobs that are freely accepted or not and products that freely accepted or not.

    Here are the tax rates in Venezuela.


    Would things improve if it were 90%, and is there poverty and what do you think the inequality level is by comparison to the US ?

    Another peaceful, beautiful, resource rich functioning capitalist Nation and its people destroyed by the same hateful Marxist envy.

  221. Jumpy, when you cite Venezuela I know you have run out of arguments.

    Zoot, thanks for the Quiggin links. I missed them.

    What he says in a short article you can find in the 831 pages of Jony Judt’s Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945.

    You can see it in his Contents page. It’s a while since I read it, but from memory he talks of a pre-war USA with a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage, accessible education and health services.

    He reckons Western Europe got there in the late 1950s through to 1970 or so.

    You can probably pick it up in things like average height of people and average life expectancy. I did hear that the latter went down under Trump.

  222. John, I did a search for this quote:

      ” The United Nation’s IPCC reported that “to provide a 93% mid-value probability of not exceeding [a dangerous post industrial increase of] 2°C, the concentration (of atmospheric greenhouse gases) would need to be stabilized at, or below, 350 ppm CO2equivalent, that is, below current levels, which means no carbon budget left for 2°C.”

    I found it here, in a post about NZ’s declaration of a climate emergency in December 2020.

    Google also gives a link to this 2016 page belonging to The Center to Climate Safety. Rummaging around the site I found Philip Sutton and Ian Dunlop, both of whom have been associated with David Spratt and Climate Code Red. They seem to be based in Geelong.

    Google didn’t link to any IPCC documents, but you can pretty much get the result from this graph:

    Stabilisation probabilities_cropped_600

    I used it first, I think in Adding to the muddle? The IPCC climate change mitigation report and then in The game is up.

    The graph comes from Malte Meinshausen et al about 2013, who was then at the Potsdam Institute, now in Melbourne. He probably did it to provide information to the IPCC report of 2014.

    I’m not surprised that there are a few people around Melbourne who understand the real deal, but actual scientists don’t often tell the real deal in public.

  223. Jumpy: “Me, I don’t care how much money Billionaires have, they didn’t steal any from me. I care that they create millions of jobs that are freely accepted or not and products that freely accepted or not.”
    My experience is that big business generally invests in response to growing markets or other opportunities. They don’t create jobs because they are worker loving idealists.
    Trump challenged the free market ideology that had cost many Americans their jobs and made China a lot more dangerous. This would have made many Afro Americans much better off. Problem was that he didn’t challenge the trickle down economics that meant that ordinary workers got less of the pile.

  224. I’ve been watching quite a bit of US commentary recently, like this, and I’m prepared to go out on a limb.
    In line with the well worn aphorism, “Everything the previous guy touches dies”, I reckon he’s going to destroy the Republican Party.
    Just as his interference handed the two Georgia Senate seats to the Democrats, his extended tantrum will ensure the Republicans don’t take back the House or Senate in the mid terms. And if he manages to stay out of prison and run for President in 2024 he will lose badly.
    There you are Jumpy, I’m giving you a chance to lord it over me and revel in my embarrassment at getting it so wrong. Take a screen shot, save the URL, do whatever you want to do and get back to us in 2022.

  225. Zoot: ““Everything the previous guy touches dies”, I reckon he’s going to destroy the Republican Party.”
    Or democracy. Too many Republicans think that the answer is to bias the system even more and sideline Republican reps who admit Biden really won.

  226. Those are the only possible outcomes I can see John. The Republicans are using the previous guy in an attempt to change the system so that they can reject the results of any election if it doesn’t suit them. (cf Georgia, Florida et al)
    I just have faith that America’s Biggest Loser will continue his unbroken record of failure.

    But I could be wrong.

  227. zoot, Scott Ludlam has just published a book Full Circle: A search for the world that comes next. You might have heard him being interviewed with Phillip Adams.

    He cites research that finds the party that spent the most has won the HoR in US elections every time since the 1980s, from memory. He thinks we are having a near scrape with neo-fascism.

    John, on climate prospects Bill Hare et al is interesting in The 1.5℃ global warming limit is not impossible – but without political action it soon will be.

    He cites UNFCCC’s Report on the structured expert dialogue on the 2013–2015 review. Back then, before Paris, it looked like a fair chance we were going to need negative emissions this century.

  228. Got the Ludlam links wrong first time. Fixed now, I think.

    Meanwhile my life becomes more bizarre. Today, ie (strictly yesterday) the good news was that I got my ute back from the panel beaters three days earlier than expected. They were ace to deal with and had a very impressive setup and MO.

    The I spent the rest of the day dealing with an ID theft challenge.

    If this site crumbles before your eyes, they have won. However, that is probably not what they are up to, They may have other ends. I think I’m winning, and if I do I may get to tell a bit about what they do.

    More to do. It sure as heck concentrates the mind.

    It’s serious stuff!

  229. Brian, thanks for the Scott Ludlum tip, I’ve downloaded the podcast.

    He thinks we are having a near scrape with neo-fascism.

    I would characterise it as a head on collision, with repercussions here because the Coalition is heavily influenced by the Republican Party.
    Ms Maddow makes some salient points.
    I think the root cause is Rupert and his Pox News but Barry Goldwater blamed the religious nutters.
    Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.
    It’s probably down to a mix of the two.

  230. I recon, in my ignorance of the details. Scots should be independent of England. Just as Englanders have benefited from being independent of the EU, so may Scots

    Disclaimer: apparently I’ve got “ Scottish blood “ in me, as if that matters.

  231. Just as Englanders have benefited from being independent of the EU …

    I must have missed the UK leaving the European Union. When did that happen? I thought they were still dithering over a few inconsequential items like the Irish border.

  232. I’ll try to clarify that a bit more.
    If the Scots vote over and over again to be independent of the UK like the UK did to be independent of the EU, then yes, go for it.

    But they haven’t. The last referendum result was to stay in.

  233. Well I’ll be! It happened on January 1.
    And in just 4 months the benefits are apparently already well and truly evident. Great news!

  234. Jumpy: “But they haven’t. The last referendum result was to stay in.”
    Things have changed re Scottish independence. The last I heard was that Scotland was going to be a loser with Brexit and voted solidly against Brexit.
    Don’t know what proportion of Scottish voters would be disadvantaged by Scotland becoming independent of the Sassenachs.

  235. John, I’m for higher power of sovereignty level from the individual and progressively reduced power at every collective above.

    Forget these stupid manipulated and manipulating polls. Hold referenda on certain issues on every Election Day like the US.

  236. Rachel Madcow

    What wit. What intellectual rigor. You must have spent hours coming up with such a devastating bon mot. If only the Algonquin Round Table still met I’m sure they would welcome you with open arms.
    But I must admit, it’s the sort of witticism that made me wet my pants when I was about four years old. As it stands it is merely an inferior copy of the verbal diarrhea employed by the Biggest Loser, who also mistook invective for argument.
    Take away the childish insults and you’re an intellectual vacuum. And you want us to take you seriously??

  237. Jumpy, those people were suckers by the stats. The poor should not be paying tax, but we need a proper case set out before we can have a meaningful discussion.

  238. zoot, Andrew Romano from Yahoo News said most Republican voters were voting with one eye on what the Republican base thinks, and Trump owns the base. They are worried about preselection next time around.

    They say the Trump is a symptom, not the cause, but take him out of play and things would be different.

    I’m hoping he ends up in jail.

  239. John, that story What will a warming East Australian Current change along the way? was on the TV news here.

    They talked about jellyfish, but not about the possibility of our main tourist beached being shared with Irukanji jellyfish.

    This video from 2019 says they have reached Fraser Island and there have been unconfirmed reports of Irukanji on the Sunshine Coast. It also talks about an unusual bluebottle swarm on the Sunny Coast.

    I guess the ABC doesn’t want to scare people.

  240. The former guy is definitely the leader of the cult that once was the Republican Party. I share your hope that he withers away behind bars.
    But I maintain he is such a loser that even if he evades imprisonment he will manage to be as successful politically as he was with casinos, steaks, vodka, airlines, the pandemic etc etc
    The only success he’s had in his misbegotten life was as a “reality” TV star and he didn’t control that (it was the directors and producers who made the decisions).
    If I’m wrong we can stand by for the US Civil War II. The people the cult is pandering to are a minority and the majority will not be happy within a fascist system.

  241. It may be nice to live in fantasy world where trump didn’t go from zero covid vaccine shots to 1 million per day when Biden took over. Biden’s vaccination trajectory after that has been lacklustre, bordering on criminal.
    But that’s totally in line with the other Democrat Governors and officials.

    The most destructive issue is the US MSM(D) that let the Democrats hit of the ladies tees, come in 50 over par, and still win on the handicap of playing to the gullible, hateful, envy crowd.

    I fully expect Biden to plunge the US into a stagflation spiral but Madcow to blame it on trump. Xi will love that along with all the totalitarian communists.

  242. Jumpy: “Hold referenda on certain issues on every Election Day like the US.” Sounds like a good idea but the US proposition system causes serious problems:
    1. Everyone wants more spent on education so lots of support for a proposition that at least X% of a states budget goes to education is passed. Passes with comfortable majority.
    2. Everyone wants taxes and charges reduced. Passes with comfortable majority.
    Combine 1 and 2 and states find it harder to balance budgets and needed expenditure on things that aren’t protected by a proposition suffer despite their importance.
    3. Campaigning for a proposition takes money. Cashed up business supports the proposition as long as it includes things that will help the business.

  243. John, I’m specifically talking about Australia if, big IF, we re-established defined areas of responsibility.
    If income taxation was put back into States hands then financing health and education gets off the Federal agenda so it can concentrate on its core responsibilities.

    We are a Federation of States, we ought act like one I think.

  244. Oh, and Venezuela is just the latest version of socialism that doesn’t, and will never, improve people’s lives.

    Yours sincerely, The Third Billygoat Gruff.

  245. “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

    Quote Quiz.
    Was it Lenin or Biden ?

  246. Jumpy, the tax accountants friend: “If income taxation was put back into States hands” the rich would find smart ways of making it appear that they made all their money in the lowest income taxing state. (Or, better still, the country with the lowest income tax.)

  247. Was it Lenin or Biden ?

    Oh that’s easy, obviously it was Biden. I believe it was in a document on Hunter’s laptop and when the former guy phoned his mate Putin, Vlad assured him it was definitely written by Biden senior.
    I’ve seen video of Q loon Marjorie Taylor Greene (currently touring with sleaze Matt Gaetz) calling Biden’s American Jobs Plan and his American Families Plan “socialism”. Since both bills have overwhelming support from the majority of Americans I can only assume the communist takeover is well under way.

  248. They do that now John, what’s your point?

    At least Australians could still live in Australia and choose the Tax and Spend regime they deem best for them. At least there’ll be different examples to choose from, and let the most popular get the most taxpayers. The least popular learn a lesson.

    That’s the most democratic way to go.
    You’re in favour of democracy you said.

  249. Haha, zoot has TDS so bad it can’t even type Donald Trumps name on its warrior keyboard.

  250. John, I’m specifically talking about Australia if, big IF, we re-established defined areas of responsibility.

    What are you talking about? The areas of responsibility are defined. Unfortunately our current excuse for a Prime Minister keeps dodging his responsibilities.

    We are a Federation of States, we ought act like one I think.

    How are we not acting like a federation of states?

  251. Haha, zoot has TDS so bad it can’t even won’t type Donald Trumps name on its warrior keyboard.


    I also won’t type childish insults, deluded fantasies about stolen elections or suggestions that other commenters have sexual congress with themselves. So sue me.

  252. zoot I edited that comment to close the blockquote after the first para.

    Please let me know if I did wrong, and I’ll change it back. (Jumpy is no doubt tucked up in bed.)

  253. I don’t think Jumpy realises I’m part of a world wide plot by antifa. George Soros is paying us to cancel the ex-president by never referring to him by name. For a narcissist like him, getting fewer and fewer hits when he Googles his name will drive him even crazier than he is now.

  254. At least Australians could still live in Australia and choose the Tax and Spend regime they deem best for them. At least there’ll be different examples to choose from, and let the most popular get the most taxpayers.

    Sounds like your preferred model would have the states competing against each other rather than co-operating with each other, n’est-ce pas?
    I don’t think that’s how a federation works, unless you want to call the Balkans a federation.

  255. Answer, yes, absolutely.

    I’m not a “ 1 size fits all” socialist that’s allergic to competition, freedom to choose and tolerance of alternatives.

  256. If federations of states are a “1 size fits all” socialist that’s allergic to competition, freedom to choose and tolerance of alternatives why did you say (May 9, 2021 at 6:49 pm)

    We are a Federation of States, we ought act like one I think.

    You’re sounding confused.

  257. Is it that inconceivable that members of a Federation can have differing taxation policies?

    Perhaps the confusion is your understanding of the definition of what a federation can be.

  258. One data point which conforms with my prediction regarding the Republican Party. It’s from an article in the Washington Post on Liz Cheney.
    TL:DR version – the Republicans are lying to themselves about the former guy’s support among voters.

    The refusal to accept reality, she realized, went much deeper.
    When staff from the National Republican Congressional Committee rose to explain the party’s latest polling in core battleground districts, they left out a key finding about Trump’s weakness, declining to divulge the information even when directly questioned about Trump’s support by a member of Congress, according to two people familiar with what transpired.
    Trump’s unfavorable ratings were 15 points higher than his favorable ones in the core districts, according to the full polling results, which were later obtained by The Washington Post. Nearly twice as many voters had a strongly unfavorable view of the former president as had a strongly favorable one.
    Cheney was alarmed, she later told others, in part because Republican campaign officials had also left out bad Trump polling news at a March retreat for ranking committee chairs. Both instances, she concluded, demonstrated that party leadership was willing to hide information from their own members to avoid the truth about Trump and the possible damage he could do to Republican House members, even though the NRCC denied any such agenda.

  259. Is it that inconceivable that members of a Federation can have differing taxation policies?

    Like the current situation in Australia. (eg Payroll taxes)
    Perhaps you can make it clear by expanding on what you meant when you wrote

    We are a Federation of States, we ought act like one I think.

    What would change if we started acting like a federation?
    To save you the labour of a search Wikipedia defines a federation as

    A federation is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government.

    Sounds like Australia to me.

  260. Another data point for my theory, this time from the undeniably conservative National Review. I was told Purges for Unity is behind a paywall but I had no issues reading it. It’s rather long and quite funny.
    Here’s a quote

    But, somehow, Trump has convinced McCarthy et al. that Republicans can’t win without him – even though he quite recently has demonstrated, as plainly as can be, that they cannot win with him.
    Republican leaders are living in talk-radio reality.
    In reality reality, things look a little different. When Trump was elected in 2016, Republicans already controlled the House of Representatives and the Senate. In 2021, they control the board of commissioners in Minnehaha County, S.D., and several very highly regarded hills of beans. Trump never got even to 50 percent approval, the first president in a generation to stay underwater for his entire term in office – and also the first since Herbert Hoover to see his party lose the White House and both houses of Congress in one term. Trump-aligned figures are hearing footsteps in Republican states, with Senator Ted Cruz, for example, having come within a few points of losing reelection to a callow nobody in a race in which he lost every city in Texas more populous than Lubbock.
    One in six of the people who identified as Republicans on Election Day in 2020 no longer associate themselves with the Republican party – only 25 percent of American voters do. That’s the political price of January 6 and Trump’s post-election shenanigans. Any more unity, and Republicans will be holding their next convention in a corner booth at Denny’s.

  261. Mick de Brenni, Qld Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement, says that from 2025, all new TransLink buses in the south-east will be zero emissions?

    And Clark’s Logan City Bus Service is literally leading the charge!

    New charging stations from Tritium (now in 38 countries) will power 10 new electric buses in the Clark’s fleet.

  262. I’ve had to put in an unbelievable number of hours shoring up my defences against possible identity theft. Done now, and I think I’ll be OK. Will write about it if I get a sliver of time, as it turns out ID theft is in epidemic levels right now.

    I’ve nearly finished a post on the budget, which should be done tonight or early tomorrow, as they are predicting 100% chance of rain here.

    The thing to note is that the government is doing nothing properly, and has not abandoned its longer term austerity approach, unlike the rest of the world.

    There are some half decent attempts at attending to some of Australia problems, but it is a case of sprinkling a bit of gold dust around prior to a possible election.

    At current rates of vaccination it will take 30 months, two and a half years, to finish the COVID vaccination program. At the very least we will be well into next year before it is done.

    Meanwhile there are over 2 million people who are unemployed or underemployed. At the same time there a gaping gaps not being filled for lack of skilled people.

    Tourism and hospitality are in a mess, tertiary education which was a $40 billion export industry looks like shrinking to $10 billion, and we can’t get enough agricultural workers to harvest our crops.

    Aged care may get more money, but where will the workers come from, especially in provincial areas?

    Basically it’s a mess. Morrison and Frydenberg’s big priority is to get re-elected.

    Budget needs a whole new approach, which I can’t see happening.

  263. Donald Trump critic Liz Cheney slams fellow Republicans on eve of leadership vote: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-12/liz-cheney-criticises-republicans-over-donald-trump-support/100134044
    A combative US representative Liz Cheney has lashed out at leaders of her own Republican Party, taking to the House floor on the eve of her near-certain ouster from a leadership post to warn former president Donald Trump and his GOP supporters are threatening to “undermine our democracy”.
    Key points:
    Ms Cheney was one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach former US president Donald Trump in January
    The daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney is expected to lose her leadership post on Wednesday
    Mr Trump has endorsed Congresswoman Elise Stefanik as a replacement, saying she is “a far superior choice”
    Ms Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, was one of 10 Republicans in the House who voted to impeach Mr Trump in January after he delivered a fiery January 6 speech to supporters.
    Many of Mr Trump’s supporters then stormed the US Capitol in a bid to block certification of his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, resulting in five deaths.

  264. CHERNOBYL CONCERN (New Scientist)
    Scientists monitoring the ruins of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine have seen a surge in fission reactions in an inaccessible chamber within the complex. Subreactor room 305/2 is thought to contain large amounts of fissile material from the interior of a reactor, but it hasn’t been seen by human or robotic eyes since the disaster. Neutron emissions from the room have increased around 40 per cent since the start of 2016. This points to a growing nuclear fission reaction, so researchers are trying to determine if this surge will fizzle out, as previous spikes in other parts of the ruins have done, or whether they must intervene to prevent a runaway nuclear reaction.
    Bit of a worry! (And a warning to the nuclear lobby?)

  265. Looking around the interwebs, the most Keynesian budget a liberal government has ever proposed is still harsh, cruel austerity and heartless by the left.

    And the spineless LNP has beens will probably apologise.

    Both major parties are are actively promoting economic hardship for their grandchildren for their own comfort. It’s a fucking disgrace.

  266. Jumpy: You struggle to understand when it makes sense for governments to operate differently than a small business.
    BTW some of my grandchildren are the ones who will be better off if the education and health systems work properly.

  267. John, at what point do folk stop buying debt?
    Not the supplier of debt, the purchaser.

  268. Last night I had a long talk with son Mark about the budget, political strategy, and, frankly, whether the Labor Party has a future. He thinks it won’t win the next Federal election, and if it doesn’t there are questions about its future unless it can come up with a vision that makes a real difference.

    And the balls to prosecute a real election strategy with a chance against the marketing torrents we are getting.

    Biden has vision, but would not have won without Trump’s self-destruction over COVID.

    Today he sent me this podcast from the UK, which is worth a listen – Can Labour survive Britain’s political realignment?

    In the recent Scottish elections, educated upperclass localities have voted left, and working class areas which were in favour of Brexit have voted Tory.

    John Harris thinks that a party formed in the industrial era is not necessarily fit for purpose in the post-industrial era.

    Meanwhile, now we’ve had the budget I decided to see what the reaction was. My plan had been to look at it in terms of Ross Garnaut’s ideas. Tonight I found a great article about Garnaut’s new book Reset by Tim Colebatch – Go hard, go early, go renewables.

    Much to chew on!

    Speaking of Tim Colebatch, he’s done an interesting piece on the budget, Kicking the can down the road , which tells you how the numbers fit, how the ideology of the Coalition has not changed, and what they a really up to. He got that right!

  269. In the UK it wasn’t just the Scottish election. This is from Guy Rundle in The disease knocking off social democratic parties the world over strikes again in UK:

      In the UK, with Jeremy Corbyn gone from the leadership and firm hands back on the tiller steering a sensible centrist course, the Labour Party has gone to… a new series of disastrous defeats. Last Thursday saw a grab bag of elections, from a Scottish “devolved” poll to local councils to a byelection in the northern seat of Hartlepool.

      Scotland is a headache for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (more on this later) but the other two were disasters for Labour. Local council elections are a big thing in the UK given the absence of regional governments, with a proportion of councils up for election every year. Labour lost more than 300 seats and the Tories gained 200. Given that incumbent governments are usually punished in these outings, and that the Johnson government staggers from crisis to crisis, that’s a pretty good result for the Tories.

      Even better for them was the result in Hartlepool, your classic north-east constituency: a fishing town which became a Victorian shipbuilding city, all the industries closed in the ’80s after the old town heart had been ripped out for a shopping centre in the ’70s, which is now dying too. The place apparently got a marina in the 2000s, which was meant to fix everything. During the Blair years its MP was Peter Mandelson, the co-architect of New Labour, after which the place voted 70% for “leave”. It has been Labour for all but six years since 1945.

      It’s the latest to fall of the “red wall” seats, the supposedly rock-solid north that stops Labour from being carved up. The red wall collapsed in 2019, with Labour down to 203 seats in the 650-seat Commons…

  270. Professor Quiggin rebuts Jumpy’s debt alarmism.
    He explains it clearly, and for me the money quote is:

    Because governments continue indefinitely, there is no specific point at which debt has to be repaid.

  271. My favourite is the Story Bridge, completed in 1940 at a cost of £1,492,000 ($3,227,416). First there was a toll of sixpence per car. The toll was removed in 1947, some government paid the interest and I think it was finally paid off 50 years later.

    It depends what you spend borrowed money on.

    Inflation is your friend.

  272. Inflation is your friend.

    No, increasing the cost of living in NOT your friend.

    What an insane thing to say.
    I suppose hyperinflation is super friendly.

    Good grief I read some dumb shit here, but that takes the cake.

  273. Jumpy: Back in better older days you could borrow money on a house before the kids were born and then inflation meant that the repayments as a % of income reduced over time. Helped as the family grew and began to cost more. Or you could do as we did and pay off the house sooner.
    You have to think harder mate before making statements.

  274. At the cost to who John?
    The future generations that can’t afford homes that you’ve all been bitching about ?

    Same old boomer attitude, I did great, fuck the future generations.

    You need to start thinking.

  275. Jumpy, do you realise that the second and third sentences in your comment above (6:06 pm) contradict each other?
    If the boomers have been wailing about the younger generation being unable to afford homes they are not displaying the attitude you accuse them of.
    You need to start thinking (as opposed to hurling abuse).

  276. My comments were perfectly compatible when referring to the hypocrite boomers that were the biggest beneficiaries of fossil fuels ( especially John ) but not for our grandkids, are the biggest beneficiaries of huge government debt now at the expense of out grandkids. The biggest beneficiaries of the freedoms their fathers and grandfathers fought wars to secure, but take those freedoms from their own grandkids.

    The most ungrateful, selfish, entitled hypocrite generation in history.

    Inflation is theft from your grandkids for your benefit, that’s shameful.

  277. Inflation is theft from your grandkids for your benefit, that’s shameful.

    Utter rubbish. You must be hitting the piss a bit hard tonight.

  278. The most ungrateful, selfish, entitled hypocrite generation in history.

    BTW I think you’ll find that John, like Brian and me was born before the magic year of 1946 which marks the start of the boomer generation.
    We’re actually part of the silent generation (look it up).

  279. Jumpy: “Same old boomer attitude, I did great, fuck the future generations.”
    A few facts Mr J:
    When we built our house the bank limited loans to what could be paid for by 25% of the males wage. (Women got pregnant you know.)
    Now the banks are much more generous. Some of the extra loan money might be used to build bigger and better. suspect that in many cases all the bigger loan does is allow the borrower to bid more for a house that they would have been able to buy for less if all the bidders were unable to borrow more. (Seller better off, banks better off while the mug buyer is lumbered with a bigger loan.)
    Over the past 60 years Australian homes have more than doubled in size, going from an average of around 100 square metres in 1950 to about 240 square metres today. At the same time, the average floor area per person has tripled from 30 square metres to 87 square metres. This is the largest in the world, even bigger than the Canadian and US figures.
    For our first home land was only 7% of the total cost.
    In the past people often bought a block of land and put something small and affordable on it. Extra bedrooms and verandahs were added later when some money was saved.
    Then there is the increased role of developers. How do they maximize profits? (Hint: Not by allowing people to start small.)
    Don’t blame the boomers.

  280. Zoot: “BTW I think you’ll find that John, like Brian and me was born before the magic year of 1946 ” Definitely.

  281. Jumpy disagrees with his guru Thomas Sowell.
    As he explains above, in our Mackay correspondent’s world inflation is the way we rob our descendants while in Sowell’s world it is the way politicians steal our money from us (i.e. not from our grandchildren)
    Hard to decide which is the craziest idea.

  282. Jumpy: “Inflation is theft from your grandkids for your benefit, that’s shameful.”
    My take would be that levels of inflation that benefit me will benefit my grandchildren. Particularly if the inflation is a bit high because the government is putting money into education and health.

  283. “BTW I think you’ll find that John, like Brian and me was born before the magic year of 1946 ”

    Dead set right, zoot.

    I don’t want to diss the Boomers, but one night my son and I recalled all the significant figures who made the world what it is. Most of them did their best work before the (male) boomers were out of short pants.

    Jumpy I suggest you type the phrase ‘economic consequences of deflation’ into your favourite search engine. You might find that it terrifies economists.

  284. Brian: “In the UK it wasn’t just the Scottish election. This is from Guy Rundle in The disease knocking off social democratic parties the world over strikes again in UK.”
    A number of things:
    1. A party that keeps on losing elections is going to struggle because it becomes harder and harder to get top candidates and convince people it still knows how to govern.
    2. Governments can use sports rorts and similar to help buy votes. They are also more likely to be able to convince potential donors they offer value for money.
    3. The left has often supported freeing up markets. Gough lost Tasmania when he cut protection for the Tas clothing industry. 4. Free markets supported by the Democrats in the US have strengthened China and converted well paid steelworkers into unemployed ex workers.
    5. From where I sat during the Hawke Keating reforms the workers who kept their jobs or got a big package when they left were better off but – kids trying to get a job struggled to compete against experienced workers who had taken a package. No attempt was made to share the work or reward increased productivity with reduced hours. (The deals often increased average hours.)
    6. The left has been a strong supporter of gender equality in the workplace. Doesn’t help male job security or the welfare of women whose well paid husbands are being pushed aside by other women.
    7. Labor used to be a socialist party dominated by working class men. Not very socialist any more with working class men losing out to men and women with tertiary qualifications.
    8. Labor was damaged by the split with the DLP. Now it has problems competing with the Greens.
    Your thought?

  285. John, all interesting comments. It would take many words to tangle with them.

    For example, I’m not a free-trader, nor do I believe in autarky. Back in the days when we made refrigerators, radios, TVs and just about everything some tariffs were over 200%.

    Unravelling all that would take me 5000 words, probably.

    On the split with the DLP, Labor was probably improved. Now in relation to the Greens, officially Labor seems to try to ignore them, in part because ‘Greens’ and ‘greenies’ are pejorative terms to many.

    The two changes I would like are (1) separate Labor entirely from the unions, and (2) institute a mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system.

  286. I’ve been reading a lot about the budget, about climate and other things, but have been unable to write because of work, family commitments and meetings. Another meeting tomorrow, and I haven’t read the stuff for it yet.

    The best I’ve seen on the budget by a fair stretch is Ian McAuley in Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend. I agree with most of it.

    Under-does Labor, though, and I still think Ross Garnaut’s perspective is worth putting.

  287. What the?….

    “Inflation is theft from your grandkids for your benefit, that’s shameful.”

    What kind of dumb thought is that from the guy who prefers to steal from his kids and grand kids with disproportionately inflated property prices?

    Where the “inflation” comment refers to depreciating government debt, John’s comment to that effect is indeed true. General inflation affects everyone equally but requires upward wage mobility.

    What steals from most of the population is wage stagnation, seen by business as a success, success for which business executives take regular repeated salary increases and bonuses thereby inflicting even greater injustice on those who do the actual production upon which most cash flow depends.

  288. General inflation affects everyone equally but requires upward wage mobility

    I think the Venezuelans, Zimbabwean and Sudanese folk may vehemently disagree there BilB. Also the folk from Iran, Yemen, Libya, Haiti……

    But according to the dominant view here they must now be super happy and well paid.

  289. Jumpy “I think the Venezuelans, Zimbabwean and Sudanese folk may vehemently disagree there BilB. Also the folk from Iran, Yemen, Libya, Haiti……”
    None of those countries are properly functioning democracies. Suspect that has something to do with their problems.
    In terms of unbalanced budgets I think that “printing money” to pay for some government expenditure is OK as long as inflation does not get out of control. Zimbabwe and the Weimar kept on printing money long after inflation was out of control.

  290. Brian: “For example, I’m not a free-trader, nor do I believe in autarky. Back in the days when we made refrigerators, radios, TVs and just about everything some tariffs were over 200%.”
    My list was what I thought were reasons for the decline of left wing parties, not changes I necessarily believe should be reversed.
    In terms of trade I am in favour of a system where:
    1. Imports are controlled by a market that trades import licenses.
    2. The number of licences for importing X that the government puts on the market will be a function of the overall balance of trade and the price at which the licenses for a product are traded. High average price indicates highly uncompetitive.
    3. The rate at which the government puts import licenses for X will increase slowly for uncompetitive products and reduce slowly for more competitive products.
    Makes dumping harder and gradually drives out duds.
    The old tariff system system supported duds, particularly if they were being produced in a marginal electorate.

  291. John,Venezuela was certainly a functional democracy once, resource rich with a brilliant climate and good people.

    In any event, how do you think the powers that be “ control” inflation? Increasing interest rates right ?
    And how are your prospective new entrants to the housing market going then ?

    Not to mention those that have recently purchased overinflated homes in their efforts to repay those loans.

  292. And how are your prospective new entrants to the housing market going then ?

    Inflation is at historically low levels and looks like staying there for the foreseeable future. At the moment it is the last thing barring new entrants to the housing market.

  293. And while I’m here, “because Venezuela” is not a convincing, or even valid, argument.

  294. How about Venezuela is just the most recent example of the type of destruction that Marxist ideology has reaped on a mostly successful, mostly free market democracy.

    I can understand why you’d like to erase it as evidence.
    But you can’t you empathetic humanitarian you. ( sarc)

  295. Inflation is at historically low levels and looks like staying there for the foreseeable future.

    Says who, Racist Madcow on MSNBC ?

  296. How about Venezuela is just the most recent example of the type of destruction that Marxist ideology has reaped on a mostly successful, mostly free market democracy.

    Nope. Not when you’re arguing about inflation keeping people out of the Australian housing market.
    Hint: we have a neoliberal, nominally conservative government in charge at the moment.

  297. I’m arguing that Inflation is theft, not some straw man argument you try to put in my mouth troll.
    Simple as that.

    Please explain the Marxist/Keynesian way to control inflation if you can ( without links, just your words )

  298. <blockquote It is when all you have is invective. It must suck to be you.
    Hahaha, the lack of self awareness is astonishing.

    Ok, boycotting zoot for the rest of the evening, that’s enough exposure of stupid from him. Any adult level folks I’m happy to chat.

  299. I’m arguing that Inflation is theft,

    You’re also arguing that inflation isn’t at a historically low level.
    You’re all over the shop with a pathological need to inject Marxism into your argument. According to you baby boomers are stealing their grandchildren’s futures and keeping young Australians out of the housing market through inflation (apparently you are not part of this plot).
    Debating you is a waste of time because you are incapable of forming a logical argument and supporting it with evidence. All you have is “because Venezuela” which is completely vapid.
    Get back to your barbecue and suck more piss. It’s what you do best.

  300. Jumpy: “Venezuela was certainly a functional democracy once, resource rich with a brilliant climate and good people.” There is a theory called the Gregory theory which says resource rich countries are often poor because the sale of resources pushes up the value of the currency to the point where job creators like manufacturing cannot compete. Venezuela is cursed by its rich resources.
    The prolonged mining boom in Aus which started in the sixties helped destroy much of our manufacturing and drove up unemployment to current levels that are well above what they were in the sixties.

  301. Jumpy: We built our first house in the late sixties. At that time most people expected to get a house on their own and affordable renting was not hard to find. So what changed?
    1. Developers were rare and didn’t have much say re what was built on the land.
    2 . The land we built on was only 7% of the total cost.
    3. The Commonwealth bank would only lend what could be paid back by 25% of the males wage. (Women got pregnant you know.) Now you can borrow much more. RESULT? Bigger better houses in some cases but in other cases the bigger loan only means people bid higher for a house they could have bought for much less when money was harder to borrow. Sellers and banks are better off while mug buyers are lumbered with a much bigger loan.
    4. Used to start by building something small on a block of land and extending later when you had more money. Councils and developers will try and stop that now.
    5. The average house size has doubled from 120m2 since the 1950’s even though families are smaller. M2 per occupant has tripled from 30m2/person to 87m2/person. (Highest in the world.)
    You are part of the industry. You should know all of the above.

  302. I find this worrying. Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post:

    Let’s be clear: If Republicans gain the majority, McCarthy would almost certainly be elected speaker, and if not, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) or newly selected conference chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) – who immediately signaled her loyalty to the former president – would lead the chamber. We know they take direction not from voters or the Constitution but from Mar-a-Lago. The former insurrectionist in chief could tell them not to certify any Democratic president in 2024. And it’s a good bet House Republicans would salute and comply. (They complied in 2020 but simply lacked the votes to steal the election.) If the MAGA cult leader instructed his minions to impeach Biden or Cabinet members, the likes of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) would no doubt comply.
    We have seen the havoc they wreaked on our intelligence community while they were in the minority. Now imagine Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. One can bet a GOP House majority would shut down an independent commission or other body investigating Jan. 6 if it had not completed its work. The same Republicans who shared the “sick” view, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) described it on Thursday, that the violent insurrectionists acted like orderly tourists would be in charge of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
    In short, an unredeemed and emboldened GOP, if given majority control of the House, would behave just as irresponsibly as the former president because he would still be calling the shots. It is for this reason that no one should pine for “good” Republicans to win House races in 2022 – unless a majority pledged to acknowledge the events of Jan. 6, repudiated the “big lie,” and ruled out making McCarthy, Stefanik or another Trump stooge speaker. Since the chances of that are nil, the only way to prevent a parade of horribles would be to elect a Democratic House majority.

  303. Oh dear.

    I’ve said before, Jumpy, when you go to Venezuela you’ve lost the argument.

    Ditto ‘Marxism’.

    If inflation is theft, who is the thief?

  304. Jument at 12.00

    I think Jumpy’s brain snapped and a jumble of words fell out.

    Looking back in time, remember those Climate Change denialists, , Jumpy here heading up those “thoughts”, just those few years ago claiming that the Arctic ice wasn’t reducing, there would be an ice rebound, and a new ice age?

    Well this is the conversation now


  305. Credit where credit is due, I see Albo has committed Labor to spending $10 Billion on affordable properties, if Labor ever wins government again. Without reading the proposal I guess this will yield between 4000 and 9000 properties, and the management and future of those will require significant thought and effort.

    If Labor were to commit that same amount of money to facilitating CGRPT properties the yield would be nearer 30,000 new occupier owner properties with no ongoing requirement from government for their up keep, and the stock would be indefinitely available affordable housing.

    Having said that, good start. It only took them 8 years out of office to discover the aching need for affordable accommodation in Australia, and that it might attract voter interest, Federal and State.

  306. There are a lot of long stay liveaboard couples having babies in the last few years, including friends of ours in WA, all girls I pointed out. That’ll mean a strong contingent of girl sailors in the future. Sailors like Wind Hippie Sailing who grew up sailing with her parents. But there is La Vagabond (a boy), some one pointed out, to keep some balance. To which the thought came back, … “but isn’t La Vagabond a catamaran? …. you know …… shaken …. not stirred?”

  307. bilb, you are right about the absolute urgency of climate change action. Sea level rise in particular looms as a threat to society as we know it.

    On property, the Reserve Bank and the budget have fuelled an even greater bubble in house prices. This must end in tears. Labor has proposed setting up a housing authority to build public housing, with a brief to give certain priorities, for example to women suffering domestic violence and older women who find themselves out of work and alone.

    They are saying 20,000 houses, but that may be over 4 years. It will be set up as an off-budget authority, along with some of their other big spending item.

    I think CGRPT has a better chance of being sold to such an authority as an idea, who would then approach governments to set up the necessary land title law.

    For Labor to taker it up as an idea before an election would invite a Coalition scare campaign.

    I haven’t forgotten the idea, but just now I’m in the process of changing branches, and also, as is very obvious on this blog, having trouble completing any writing tasks.

    However, I think it is worth feeding into the works within Labor policy formation and will do so when I can.

    There is a high chance of an election in October, so things will go wild. Leaders were both campaigning in Qld on the weekend.

    Albo says he will have more to say about home affordability before the election.

  308. You’re a hero, Brian, i wish I had your energy.

    The other thing we were talking about, the “theory of everything” , I am still thinking through how magnetism works in this non mathematic thought experiment. The value of this is that it gives me a way of appreciating the full spectrum of particle physics science and gives me a platform on which to explore new knowledge. I have to do some illustrations to make it easier to visualize. I’ll get to it before too long.

    At 70 you’re meant to slow down, but my work load just keeps getting bigger. I’m away from the boat 13 hours a day, and that makes it harder to do the fun things. It is raining right now and the sound of it on the deck is very soothing. If I roll over I can see the drops dancing on the water, and the water hens busying about in the early morning light. I can watch all that for hours, if only there were more of them

  309. Jeez, expected to sell for 500 grand and sold for 1.6 million. That’s inflation on steroids. Somebody (I wonder who?) has really mugged our grandchildren.

  310. D’oh! Silly me. It was the baby boomers wasn’t it. Damn you boomers, damn you to hell!!!

  311. bilb, I’ll be all eyes and ears when you can throw light on a ‘theory of everything’ through magnetism. It’s a blind spot for me.

    zoot, I tend to blame John Howard for everything. I hate to say it but he’s from our generation, being 83.

    Abbott and Turnbull are baby boomers, but the task of stuffing over the poor and dispossessed and instituting a capitalist paradise has passed to Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg, who are definitely Gen X.

    Joshie’s mum may have come as a stateless Jew, but she ended up as a university professor and his dad was a surgeon. After a private school education and university, he attended Oxford and Harvard. Now he holds the seat of Kooyong, formerly held by Andrew Peacock, Bob Menzies and a bloke called John Latham who was served as Attorney-General of Australia under Stanley Bruce and Joseph Lyons, and was Leader of the Opposition from 1929 to 1931 as the final leader of the Nationalist Party, and later a judge and Chief Justice.

    When Frydenberg failed preselection at Kooyong he was offered a run at Chisholm by Michael Kroger:

      Frydenberg declined the offer, saying, “This is where I am from, this is where I feel most comfortable and this is where I think there is real work to be done.”

    Scotty may be a partly formed human, but full-on hypocrite, evangelist and con-artist. OTH Josh is true Liberal blue.

    He said in his maiden speech that he believed in small government. He still does, because he is holding faithfully to the revenue cap of 23.9% of GDP. However, his capacity to spread cash upon the worthy voters, while keeping the unworthy out in the cold, knows no such constraints.

    The children are worried, according to Q&A the other night.

  312. More evidence we’re doomed. John Kerry in a BBC interview:

    I am told by scientists … that 50% of the reductions we have to make to get to net-zero, by 2050, or 2045, as soon as we can, 50% of those [emissions] reductions are going to come from technologies that we don’t yet have.

    I liked Greta Thunberg’s response:

    Great news! I spoke to Harry Potter and he said he will team up with Gandalf, Sherlock Holmes & The Avengers and get started right away!

  313. They can be, Brian. They … CAN.. be!

    That was an awesome piece, though, wasn’t it … and I love the director.

  314. Zoot: “Great news! I spoke to Harry Potter and he said he will team up with Gandalf, Sherlock Holmes & The Avengers and get started right away!” Beats saving the world with a gas led recovery.

  315. Zoot: Part of the problem for both the economy and housing affordability is that reserve bank moves affect both.
    Problem right now is that low interest is desirable from the point of view of the economy and the welfare of people with housing debt.
    At the same time low interest rates aren’t helping those trying to break in to the housing market. Part of the fix is to make banks more cautious in their lending like they were when we built our first house and put strong limits on the extent to which a bank can increase loan payments as as a result of rising interest rates.

  316. Brian,

    I’ve said before, Jumpy, when you go to Venezuela you’ve lost the argument.

    Whilst I do realise it’s uncomfortable for socialist to mention Venezuela nowadays ( how things change hey ?), I do think, when discussing “ inflation is your friend “, that the Country with the highest inflation IS relevant and not disqualifying.

    And to say Marxist ideology is related to economically devastating inflation is also highly relevant.

    So I reject those conclusions outright.

  317. And to say Marxist ideology is related to economically devastating inflation is also highly relevant.

    You have apparently never worked out that “free” market capitalism is also related to economically devastating inflation.
    Because Argentina.

  318. Jumpy: “And to say Marxist ideology is related to economically devastating inflation is also highly relevant.”
    Yep. China’s Marxist ideology driven economy has certainly caused devastation in parts of the US.

  319. John

    Yep. China’s Marxist ideology driven economy has certainly caused devastation in parts of the US.

    You are correct in ways that I doubt you realise. But Marxism is second to Tzun Tzu strategy with Xi and his evil bunch.

    You really should read it and realise, just a suggestion, no disrespect.

  320. London to a brick Jumpy has never read Sun Tzu.
    (He will now probably parrot something he saw on the internet in an attempt to prove he has.)

  321. Zoot: What is your bet that the Jumping One would blame communism if the Chinese economy was in trouble?
    Perhaps he should realize that Trump must have been a secret communist when it came to fighting the virus or????
    Trump certainly did his best to stop democracy preventing him to be reappointed president.

  322. Jumpy no doubt you think that your smarmy ideological baby mash is clever and gives you an ego boost, but you really are oblivious to the real issue at work in the world at present.

    The new oppressed are the young people in a high tech world that offers them no political or financial future on the one hand, but no future for the extended life of their parents due to the ideological conservative blocking of Climate Action.

    There is a new subconscious calculation being explored by those with the longest life hope that is, what right does a handful of wealthy exploiters have to jeopardize the future wellbeing of every one on earth, wild life included, just to support their egotistical greedy obsession for even more wealth, utilizing there existing wealth to buy politicians, deny Global Warming by denigrating scientists, and destroy faith in community through the normalization of perpetual lying and the destruction of truth.

    Your choice to deflect with the use of long dead economic arguments, but a core element of Marxism was the uprising of the oppressed. That is a very real prospect in the near future but not for any of the reasoning behind a Marxist uprising. The US White Supremecists just love the idea of an advancing civilian mob being mowed down by a superior fire power of Red Neck gun toting “Patriotic” Militia.

    That view fails to understand the the true nature of the grievance, and the builders of todays technologys. A modern Marxist uprising would not involve riots or mobs, it would be a quiet affair using the technology that the new oppressed developed “just for fun” but deployed in a very target oriented way. Those damn kids and their computer games, https://youtu.be/6Ipkq-BASaM , totally misunderstood for the training that it really is.

    This plot has everything you love. A Capitalist, exploiting Communists and stolen technology to distribute for profit disguised weaponry. It’s all just business. Any future revolution will be short, Global, and thorough.


  323. The only protection against this future reality is responsible government and social inclusion. It is no joke.

  324. Zoot: What is your bet that the Jumping One would blame communism if the Chinese economy was in trouble?

    John, there’s no way you could get odds on that from any bookie. It’s a certainty.

    BTW I’m still waiting for Jumpy to tell us which principles Xi is following from The Art Of War. Jumpy, of course is avidly following the principle described by Cervantes – tilting at windmills.

  325. Jumpy, every time I’ve been asked I think I have said I’m a social democrat rather than a socialist.

    When I said “inflation is your friend” I meant, in moderation, as would generally be understood.

    Raging inflation, out of control is a different matter.

    To take another example, drinking water is a necessity of life. Do I have to say every time that if you drink too much water it will kill you?

  326. I’m still struggling to get to the budget, but in simple terms Frydenberg borrowed money to provide necessary services, and to give well-off people a tax cut, while continuing to persecute the poor, the needy and the oppressed.

    While the richer get tax cuts the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset, which some argue delivers help neither when nor where it’s needed, but nevertheless delivers, is to be phased out.

    I think the budget forecast that wage increases will be less than the CPI was intentional. They want wages low, and paid at the discretion of the capitalists.

    Morrison proudly asserted that 80% of the jobs were private. I’m not sure which jobs, mind you, but he was clearly saying the private was good and implying that public was bad.

    Growth is to come from the trickle-down effect.

    He was also using COVID as an excuse to spray money around to buy votes. Indeed there will be more of that. There is $9 billion in the budget of unallocated funds which can be dispersed by ministerial discretion. In effect, rorting and boondoggling is now the new normal.

  327. Brian: ” In effect, rorting and boondoggling is now the new normal.” Doesn’t really need a comment any more.
    Morrison’s tax cuts for the rich were justified on the basis of a surplus prediction.
    Definitely not justified now.
    What is going on now reminds me of the end of the Howard era. A rush of gifts for their rich supporters while they still had the power to do so.
    Loved the water drinking example as a defense against Jumpyspeak.

  328. Jumpy, every time I’ve been asked I think I have said I’m a social democrat rather than a socialist.

    Yet Jumpy, without a thread of evidence, keeps characterising everyone here as Marxists.
    We know he is a staunch supporter of the Republican party which has now morphed into a fascist cult. So we have at least a shred of evidence that he is a fascist and I suggest we operate on that basis. We can rebut everything he posts with ‘because Chile’ or ‘because Germany’ or ‘because Italy’. We can refer him to the copy of Mein Kampf he keeps by his bed.
    So much easier than trying to deal rationally with a dishonest intellectual vacuum.

  329. Brian,

    To take another example, drinking water is a necessity of life. Do I have to say every time that if you drink too much water it will kill you?

    Now, now, no need for the zootist switcheroo.
    A parallel example would have been “ water is your friend “ to which scale and circumstance would also apply.

    Now try “ inflation is a necessity of prosperity “ to see the folly of that “ defence “.

    You fooled John thoroughly though, so good on ya for that.

  330. Brain also, in your defence, your modern meaning of what “ inflation “ is and my use based on the long known classical economics definition may differ.

    The classical theory of inflation attributes sustained price inflation to excessive growth in the quantity of money in circulation.

    Perhaps some confusion is due to the difference between textbook and colloquial understanding.

    ( fig leaf )

  331. What, so you, Jumpy are now claiming to be an expert on the economics of national cash flow and inflation?

    If you are so invested with knowledge you will be able to enlighten us on how Trump’s Treasury was able to inject trillions of dollars of printed money into the US economy without creating hyper inflation, and why when Mugabe did the same thing it devalued the Shilling to where it costs 100,000 Shillings to buy a loaf of bread and a bottle of milk.

  332. Observations of an independent bystander:
    1. Jumpy obviously hasn’t typed the phrase ‘economic consequences of deflation’ into his favourite search engine as suggested by Brian on May 15, 2021 at 12:08 am.
    2. He has also assiduously avoided the question If inflation is theft, who is the thief? posed by Brian on May 16, 2021 at 11:32 pm, though we all know his answer will be “the government” without any explanation of how the government benefits.
    3. And now he’s trying to sound like an academic. He doesn’t realise that condescension doesn’t strengthen his argument (a fact of which most academics are aware).
    4. His link doesn’t actually explain anything and the report it references is no longer there. Not much of a fig leaf.

  333. BilB, I’m not an expert at anything, not trying to be.
    I was against trumps money printing, and his tariffs, and his demeanour ( yours to btw ).
    Mugabe added restraint of free trade as well as doing away with property right, trump removed 2 restrictions for every new one thus slowly getting a bit of sand out of the gears of the US Federal engine. Thing we’re going pretty good till the China virus response by the States.

    To address the troll, money supply reduction by the Fed causing deflation is terrible also. This “ you don’t like inflation so you must love deflation “ thinking is childish.

  334. This “ you don’t like inflation so you must love deflation “ thinking is childish.

    Sure is. Why do you indulge in it?
    Nothing I have written could possibly be parsed (by anyone competent in English) to express that sentiment.

  335. <blockquote The term "inflation" originally referred to a rise in the general price level caused by an imbalance between the quantity of money and trade needs.[16] However, economists today commonly use the term "inflation" to refer to increases in the price level. An increase in the money supply may be called monetary inflation, to distinguish it from rising prices, which for clarity may be called "price inflation".[17] Economists generally agree that in the long run, price inflation is related to increases in the money supply.[18]
    From Wikipedia.

    Stop arguing with me please, it’s a waste of your time you said.
    Or did you lie again, hmmm…..

    Over and out.

  336. Stop arguing with me please

    I’m not arguing with you.
    I’m highlighting the weaknesses in your arguments. Think of it as someone commenting on a State of Origin.
    As I said up thread there is no point in debating you; so I don’t.

    BTW congratulations on finding Wikipedia, but anyone here can follow my link and read the extract you copied. Did you have some point you were making by quoting it?

  337. Here is a clue as to why the US doesn’t have hyper inflation after massive money printing.


    The short of which is that from $59 billion profit just $5.2 is spent in the economy in a way that it will circulate to drive economic throughput. The rest just goes into bank accounts, capital accumulation accounts, and trust funds. Funneling ever more money into the hands of fewer peoples hands drives deflation, as does reducing tax on wealthy people who can never spend the foregone taxation revenue that should be cycled back into the economy increasing economic activity in the process.

  338. Zoot: Satire is all about exaggerating things to get a message across. These days writing satire must be getting harder and harder as truth has morphed into something closer and closer to what would have been considered satire in a saner past. Even first dog on the moon was struggling today.

  339. I hadn’t thought of it that way John, but you’re right.
    Tom Lehrer announced the death of political satire when Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize and things have only gone downhill since.

  340. bilb, Katie Porter is a formidable operator but you’re wasting your time trying to convince the Professor of Economics at the University of Mackay. He has demonstrated time and time again on this forum that he doesn’t understand how an economy only functions when money circulates. Dynamic systems are obviously not his thing.

  341. 350.org has been alleged to have said. “BREAKING: The Morrison Government has committed $600m to build a gas plant in Kurri Kurri on land set to be owned by The McCloy Group, whose Chairman (Jeff McCloy) is a major Liberal party donor.
    This comes after the International Energy Agency released a groundbreaking report telling us that to avoid catastrophic climate change, there can be no new gas plants.
    The PM is putting people with vested interests in the fossil fuel industry above a safe climate, the community & integrity of the parliament” Good to see that the government may have a “rational” reason for building more gas.

  342. 350.org also said

    The Kurri Kurri gas plant will be built less than an hour’s drive from where an existing Commonwealth-owned gas plant uses less than 1% of its total capacity.

    For a professed Christian our Scott is quite shameless.

  343. Inflation is pretty simple, I would have thought. The price of given goods and services increases, so the value, or purchasing power of money declines.

    Here’s how the RBA calculates the CPI.

    zoot, Jumpy’s condescension is very evident when he addresses me, for some reason. I say something pretty obvious and he declares it to be the stupidest thing ever.

    It doesn’t make me angry, it’s just unhelpful and boring. I try to ignore it and address him as a human being.

  344. Thanks, zoot. Jumpy gives me a reason to think about. Things that I would otherwise not bother with. In that vein watch this from Thom Hartman in conjunction with Katie Portman’s dumping on the pharma exec. It is a problem of reality that a thousand things need to be considered all for the same historical moment.

    “A Tale of Two Monopolies”.
    Part One


  345. Brian he tries it on me as well, usually when he can’t think of anything else to change the subject to. Unhelpful and boring describes it perfectly.

  346. John, you would have seen at RenewEconomy Taylor’s latest shocker: $600m to Kurri Kurri gas in fossil fuel spending spree.

    The stupid thing will probably put prices up. As Tony Wood from Grattan said, it will increase emissions, make electricity more expensive and will discourage private investment.

    The Energy Council with 21 members representing the industry has been complaining about this thing for yonks.

    Laura Tingle gives the history and politics in The Government’s backing of a new power plant is a gas-fired distraction.

    The Government quietly dropped the report on Liddell onto their site earlier today.

    I think I found it at Modelling for the Liddell Taskforce. If you follow the links you get a 96 page report prepared by Frontier Economics back in late 2019.

    I’m completely cynical about such reports. They tell the government what it wants to hear so that they’ll get the next gig.

    Here’s the 350.org press release:

      Questions were asked in Senate Estimates about how Snowy Hydro and the Federal Government selected the site for the proposed Kurri Kurri gas-fired power station which is set to be owned by the McCloy Group and the Stevens Group. The McCloy Group Chairman is Jeff McCloy who gave evidence to ICAC that he gave “tens of thousands” in secret donations to liberal party candidates and described himself as a “walking ATM.”

    TBH though I get a bit p*ssed when they talk of ” the Government’s Energy Security Board”.

    The ESB does not belong to the Government. It was set up to answer to the COAG Energy Council, that is the states and the industry stakeholders.

    That has now been destroyed in favour of a cabinet subcommittee chaired by Angus Taylor.

    Stupidly, the premiers agreed to the arrangement.

  347. In theory peaking gas fired power that runs for 1% of the time may make sense unless there are more cost effective alternatives. That assumes that the plant would be located somewhere near the intersection of a gas pipeline and a power line and that the gas supply is not going to be shut down during the near future.
    However, it has got to the stage where anything supported by Taylor or Morrison has to be assumed to to be suss for some reason or other.

  348. John D, I think that is a safe assumption. You know full well that he would intend such a plant to run 100% of the time. He will already have a Trump of lies queued up to justify the decision.

    • However, it has got to the stage where anything supported by Taylor or Morrison has to be assumed to to be suss for some reason or other.

    Crikey looked at the suss angle in an article made available courtesy of Lethal HeatingKurri Kurri Conflicts: New Gas Plant Is A Field Day For Party Donors .

    Everything about it smells.

    On gas supply and location, they are going to run it on diesel at first, then gas from Narrabri, specially fracked for the purpose, pity about the world class farmland and the aquifers!

    A new pipeline is to be built to deliver the gas, would you believe?

    At present black coal (NSW and Qld) is ramped twice a day and the balancing comes from gas mainly from Qld and SA, plus some hydro in NSW, Vic and Tas.

    Everyone knows we need a new grid. With high voltage DC current I suspect it is easier to shift the electricity than the gas.

    If we need extra gas, I’m for importing it from Qatar, rather than new coal seam or shale. The Qataris just pump it out of the ground, liquefy it and ship it off. As the use of gas recedes they will want to sell as much as possible and will price accordingly.

    Apparently we can buy Qld LNG in Asia cheaper than we can produce it here and pipe it to NSW.

  349. BTW, the Hunter Gas Pipeline is to connect Newcastle with Narrabri in the first instance, and then to Wallumbilla near Roma, with a pipeline up to the North Bowen Basin near Jumpyland.

    Here’s a Maitland Mercury link, plus the Hunter Gas Pipeline site and a NSW planning document.

    The vision splendid is to bring gas eventually from Beetaloo, I think about 500km south of Darwin.

    All this is to be delivered at $4/Pj, or maybe $6, which some producers say is less than the wellhead cost of production.

    You can see the gleam in Angus’s eyes, in which we are meant to trust.

  350. Brian: “A massive pipeline project that will link the Hunter and Newcastle to the fertile gas fields in western NSW and Queensland is one step closer to being completed.
    And while the companies behind the construction say it will create hundreds of jobs, kick-start industry and solve the state’s looming gas crisis – it all hinges on the approval of a gas project in Narrabri.”
    Bloody hell!!! Sounds like the wet dream of someone who has been sniffing too much gas!
    The unions “Hunter Just Transition” talks about green hydrogen. Not something as short term as natural gas.

  351. ABC RN The Money this week looks as though it’s all about rugby union. In fact it is mostly a good segment about Kurri Kurri with Richard Aedy interviewing Nicki Hutley, economist, The Climate Council
    and Samantha Hepburn, Director of the Centre for Energy and Natural Resources Law, Deakin Law School, Deakin University, and well worth a listen.

    The scheme is a dud, according to them. Hutley says that the small amount of gas used could never in itself justify Narrabri. In quantity terms Kurri Kurri is simply irrelevant.

    Kurri Kurri doesn’t make any kind of sense. Things will be in really bad shape if they succeed in making money out of it.

  352. Brian: G7 agrees to stop financing coal projects by the end of 2021. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-22/g7-agrees-to-stop-financing-coal-projects/100157706
    “The world’s seven largest advanced economies have agreed to stop international financing of coal projects that emit carbon by the end of this year, and phase out such support for all fossil fuels, to meet globally agreed climate change targets.

    Key points:
    The G7 and European Union vowed to end international investment in coal
    They agreed to help boost deployment of zero emission vehicles
    The Group of Seven nations affirmed their commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement
    Stopping fossil fuel funding is seen as a major step the world can make to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, which scientists say would avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.

    Getting Japan on board to end international financing of coal projects in such a short timeframe means countries such as China that still back coal are increasingly isolated and could face more pressure to stop.

    In a communique, the Group of Seven nations — the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan — plus the European Union said “international investments in unabated coal must stop now”.

    “(We) commit to take concrete steps towards an absolute end to new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021, including through Official Development Assistance, export finance, investment, and financial and trade promotion support.”
    Coal is considered unabated when it is burned for power or heat without using technology to capture the resulting emissions, a system not yet widely used in power generation.”
    Shame our government is willing to pay for fossil plans with taxpayers money.

  353. Brian: Yep, “The scheme is a dud,” Not if it means Morrison can get more donations from the companies that will benefit?

  354. John, good on the G7. Europe and the US have been making some progress on emissions, albeit not great.

    China, India and ‘other’ have been heading the other way, and there has been push-back.

    Asia disputes IEA’s call to curb new oil, gas, coal investments.

    Woodside and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association have had a say.

    Japan appears to be walking both sides of the fence.

  355. The low noise low vibration 30% thermally efficient Liquid Piston Engine that will be the future household non solar period energy source for your fully sustainable house hold.


    This engine will be built into future 300 litre, and larger, Hot Water Cylinders. During solar periods Household Electricity and heat for hot water will come from Photo Voltaic Thermal Panels on your roof …


    ….. but during non solar periods ie cloudy days, the Liquid Piston Engine starts up to charge your 10 KWhr Tesla Battery, and heat the water in your water cylinder from the waste heat of the Liquid Piston Engine making this energy system up to 80% efficient.

    This particular engine is a 4 horse power engine or 2.96 Kw engine which will charge a 10 Kwhr battery in 3.5 hours while heating your 300 liters of hot water tank at the same time.

    Where does the fuel come from? Your Natural Gas gas mains which in the future will be fed into the system from your local council rubbish facility which will have a syngas conversion system to convert waste cardboard and other cellulose material into methane.

    Yes you will be paying for the gas, but it will be reducing your rates at the same time.

    Pretty cool, huh?

    This technology is nearly all available now. The LPE generators are getting much closer with an international investors seminar having been conducted a week ago.

    The engines do have a service life but this will be managed as a clip off engine exchange system where the whole engine snaps off a manifold on the water system to be replaced with an exchange snap on engine. You can see from the video how small the engine is. They will not be very expensive.

    The likes of Morrison and Taylor are completely blind sided to the power of this technology simply because they can’t imagine such a future, and the people who they talk to are the last people to tell them about it.

  356. Thanks for the technology update.

    We’ll probably have a regulation that prevents us from having an internal combustion engine in the basement.

    Can’t be too careful!

  357. We’ll probably have a regulation that prevents us from having an internal combustion engine in the basement.

    No doubt. To restrict everyone to protect those 1% so stupid that they don’t realise that an external exhaust will prevent them from sleeping the long sleep of the stupid.

    Anywho, in a truly off grid situation, I’d look to in house biogas as fuel. With the “ waste “ biochar for soil conditioning for food production.

    That said I fully endorse bulbs technological options over authoritarian dictates.

  358. Jumpy: “To restrict everyone to protect those 1% so stupid that they………………………..!
    No empathy for the stupid there. Has no-one ever tried to protect you from doing something stupid? Or are you claiming that you have never done anything stupid?

  359. Anywho, in a truly off grid situation, I’d look to in house biogas as fuel. With the “ waste “ biochar for soil conditioning for food production.

    I wonder when we will see Jumpy set that up for himself. You know, put his money where his mouth is.

  360. When it’s cheaper and easier than fossil fuels, just like everyone else on the Planet, you included.

  361. … you included

    Not me kind sir. I’m not going to buy into the hoax that is climate change. As everybody knows the planet stopped warming in 1998 (or had you forgotten?)
    And that was from people who had no reason to mislead us (remember Andrew Bolt, a paragon of virtue), unlike the scientists who have been lining their pockets with our money for the last 23 years by making ever more outlandish predictions.
    No, nobody’s going to pull the wool over my eyes.

  362. Jumpy, a single household doesn’t generate enough sewerage and food waste to make a methane system work, unless you are on a farm and have other material to add in. Exacerbating that is that most people are away from home much of the day and their business becomes some one else’s business.

    Good thought though.

    A few years ago I put up a link to a couple who built a 100% off grid micro dwelling. Go to that to see the short comings of the digester. Another problem with those sorts of systems is that if you go away for any length of time the bugs starve, and the systems have to be repopulated. This is why they don’t work on boats. Intermittency.

    The system I am designing for my boat right now is a 2 chamber micro black waste bioreactor which generates Hypochlorous Acid and Sodium hydroxide to effectively bleach the waste to make it releasable as a fine environmentally safe powder, and water. New standards became effective in January this year.

    As to noise and exhaust, you will notice from the LPE video that the engine being filmed is the 3Kw engine without a muffler. These engines really are quiet.

    I should point out that electric generators for co generation have been used in Europe for half a century. This is not a new concept. What is new is the engine size, higher thermal efficiency, suitability for embedding into water cylinders, low cost, and compatibility with Lithium Battery Systems. And of course one could also feed the exhaust into a green house to totally maximize the use of the renewable fuel.

  363. Hey John, zoot just displayed the stupid that I have no empathy for.

    BTW, BilB, still love the thinking behind your comment. Real innovative technological possibilities are were it’s always been at.

  364. BilB
    Where boats are concerned, I’ve long been interested in hull mounted, water powered trickle generators.
    Of course you’d have to moor in run.
    Copper coated to inhibit growth of barnacles and weed.

    It’s situational and highly individual as are most things.

  365. I’m on the home straight with a new post. It was meant to be simple. Just coming to terms with where we are at, given the IEA, coal, unnecessary new gas peakers.

    Then it got complicated.

    And then I had to turn off to attend to private matters.

    Should be done tonight.

  366. More distractions.

    RenewEconomy has some bottlers.

    Australia’s emissions have risen since 2005, apart from land use accounting tricks

    It’s just another scenario where reality is the opposite of what our national government is telling us.

    Then something very strange is going on in the electricity system in the NEM:

    “It’s a disgrace:” Snowy Hydro to use government subsidy for market dominance


    Energy retailer asks ACCC to probe possible “market gaming” in NSW

    It points to deliberate market manipulation, and Snowy Hydro acting as a tool for the Commonwealth government.

    I did not know that the chair of Snowy used to be head of Santos. When he came the share price was $17. When he left it was $4. In between he set up two coal seam gas trains to export at Gladstone when he only had gas for one.

    The Snowy board, apart from one, are gas people.

    The articles are interesting, but I can’t get over how southern ‘experts’ can live in a world where Tasmania and Queensland don’t exist. I watch the NEM a lot and I’ll give you some facts.

    1. Pretty much 24/7 NSW imports electricity, while pretty much 24/7 Qld exports electricity.

    2. SA is a net importer much of the time, and is quite small, about the same or a little larger than Tasmania in terms of electricity. Tasmania tends to be a net exporter, a bit.

    3. Victoria is often a small exporter, and often a small importer.

    4. Victoria produces less electricity than Qld, which sometimes produces more than NSW.

    5. I hardly ever see any gas in NSW and Victoria. It seems to have a major peaking role, but that comes from Qld and SA. Hydro is no doubt used for peaking. Apart from Tasmania, which is mainly hydro, it’s use mostly comes from NSW.

    So the arguments are interesting, but the tables are highly problematic because they don’t reflect the whole of what is happening in the NEM.

  367. Crikey major story alert:

      Tomorrow we’re going to label the prime minister something no leader would want to be called. We don’t really want to do it. But the time has come.

      (Oh, and by the way, we’d do the same to a Labor leader.)

      It’s a big story so we’ll be rolling it out over the coming days as a new series at Crikey. Plus, we’re making it free to read and sharing it with all our Crikey readers — we hope you do the same.

    I like the bit “we’d do the same to a Labor leader”. Some journos would get splinters in their posteriors rather than recognise that the COALition are in a league of their own.

  368. That sounds intriguing, Brian. My pick they will label him a Sociopath. Unless of course it is something “good”, but how can possibly be?

  369. Mark and I brainstormed on this.

    We know so much negative stuff already that people seem to accept, so we couldn’t come up with anything. So we’ll wait and see.

  370. in my softer moments I tend to label Morrison as a “Shallow Smartarse.”
    The words I would choose in more realistic moments aren’t suitable for a respectable blog.

  371. Well we know it is not …Best Leader .. because of “something no leader would want to be called”
    We know its not worst leader because Abbott holds that title.
    Mark Latham was a nearly Labor leader who could be given many labels,… non good.
    It’s also not most dishonest … Abbott again.
    It’s not most destructive …. Howard has that honor.
    It could be greatest Trump sycophant. That is a solid.
    Perhaps most ineffective. Another safe title.
    Most inept. Tough call, …. Abbott again, again.
    Most corrupt? I don’t have the numbers to make that stick.

    I’ll stick with the Sociopath possibility. Abbott was definitely there first, but they didn’t have the nous then to call Abbott out, but since Trump, calling a turd a turd is now possible.

  372. Spent the whole evening on proofing and revision, so I’ve done it again!

    Tomorrow running around in all directions, beginning with a physician who charges $480 an hour for his time.

    Why would I see a physician when I’m really quite well?

    Good question, but my GP sent me.

  373. Oooooaahh, you mean super juicy!! Wow. I love your ambition. Please let it be that.

    $480 an hour? That is criminal right there. If its about heart arrhythmia start by cutting out margarine and canola oil.

  374. Jumpy 8:23 I think that you will find boat mounted wind turbines to be far more effective, and barnacle growth is much much slower above the water line. You could probably get up to 6 D400’s on a 30 foot boat. Put a pattern of stripes on the blades like they have on the spinners of jet engines so the birds can see them as a moving object and that will add some “Sense to those wind turbine Sensibilities”.

    That way you might get 600 watts in average winds from the whole set. If it does that for 20 hours on an inclement day then that is some 12 KWhrs. And when the sun comes out a few panels around the deck and you have your very own alternative energy farm.

  375. Brian: “Upper Hunter by-election result ‘not a disaster’ for Labor but a warning for major parties” https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-25/upper-hunter-by-election-result-not-a-disaster-for-labor/100161284
    “Labor’s internal environment lobby said the by-election result shows the party cannot win elections with a pro-coal agenda.

    Co-convenor of the Labor Environment Action Network, Felicity Wade, said the message from the electorate was clear when it comes to climate change and the need to transition coal communities like the Hunter.

    “It was a devastating result for Labor, 20 per cent (of the primary vote) is fairly distressing,” she said.

    “Fundamentally I think it showed Labor cannot win by just running a very crude pro-coal story, a very crude vision of a region that isn’t going to change, that there’s not economic change coming our way.
    “Labor has to show that it is backing coal workers 100 per cent, but we have to show that we know things are on the move and have genuine, believable plans for how that transition is going to be managed.”
    Speculating but coal miners are smart enough to start seeing that “saving the coal industry” is looking more and more unlikely and it is time to engineer a relatively painless switch to renewable to a fossil carbon free future

  376. Oh my God!!!



    This is an outrage!

    Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor will be horrified and demand the end to coal power, and the rapid transfer to renewable energy sources!!! There will be pointed finger pointing in Parliament and News will be dominated for months at this horrific failure, ………. of Coal.

  377. One of the problems with coal power is that individual modules produce a lot of electricity and when one trips it can be disrupting and take time to fix.

  378. I just saw a mathematician say, if we want all electric cars by 2035 then we’ll need to build, to equal the car miles ( she’s American obviously), 1 nuclear power plant every 2 week to have enough electricity. That’s with best technology as of right now. That’s without considering the cobalt and other necessary battery ingredients.

    Could a more math savvy chap like you BilB confirm or debunk this finding please ?

    Sounded legit to me.

  379. Did she consider any other electricity sources? Like how many acres of solar cells or wind farms would be needed.
    A link would have been useful.

  380. zoot, decimals do me in, but I checked the NEM just now, and Australia’s consumption, including WA and NT, was around 25 GW.

    The USA has around 22 times our population. If you divide 1413 by 22 you get 64.

    We are going to use a lot of power in the future, but JD I think will tell you that with new technology in moving people you can do it with far less power than we use now.

    My guess is that Jumpy is right to be concerned about cobalt and all the other stuff. I think that’s why Twiggy is backing hydrogen. No batteries.

  381. Extra power capacity for electric cars will depend on what sort of cars and the changes in car useage now we have learned that working from home really works.
    If we assume Tesla muscle cars the answer will be big mobs. Given that something like 70% of B’bane commutes are driver only one can only hope that most electric cars will be lightweight narrow track cars that are suitable for one or two people. In that case it will be something like little mobs.
    If we are talking solar energy charging during the day makes sense given that most electric cars will consume less that a full charge per day.
    My guess is that not many long haul car trips will be overnight so most long trips will use daytime charging.
    Assume trucks will be running day and night. Logical charging system will be something like the overhead systems that drive electrical trains.
    Not sure what the totals will mean but would be a bit skeptical of someone who talks about extra nuclear power stations.
    The Australian energy regulator says Australian power consumption is about 200tWh. https://www.aer.gov.au/wholesale-markets/wholesale-statistics/annual-electricity-consumption-nem

  382. On Callide power failure, the lights stayed on at our place, as they usually do. We think it’s because we are between Government House and a fire station.

    I didn’t and still don’t know what a ‘turbine hall’ is. The CFMEU bloke reckons

    … hydrogen-filled generator exploding or failing mechanically, causing hydrogen leaks and then also oil leaks, is probably the worst-case scenario in a coal-fired power station.

    He’s probably right.

    From NEMWatch tonight, Qld is importing a bit of power, not much, but is using less than usual. They seem to have turned up the gas in Qld, black coal in NSW and brown coal in Victoria. Probably lucky there is a fair bit of wind down south tonight.

    A totally decarbonised system properly connected will be more decentralised, and overall more stable.

    Or so they say.

  383. On the Upper Hunter election, go Felicity Wade and Joel Fitzgibbon should just go. The media was more interested in repeating his tripe than telling what Albo said.

    Albo said Labor had not won there in over 90 years, and a few election ago it a Labor 17% in the primaries.

    He said Labor actually won the coal booths around Musselbrook, but the electorate is not all coal.

    He said Labor will look after coal workers, and stop the situation where hire company workers are working for 40 grand less than the bloke next to them.

    As Laura Tingle said, there was a large field of candidates, so the major parties were down from around a combined 60%, which is low, to 50%. Unlike the federal system, preferential voting is optional. I think it was 60% who just didn’t preference.

    Albo reckons if state elections are a guide, Scotty must be packing it after what happened in WA and Qld.

    I don’t know, but I suspect some were voting for Gladys B being able to run the government rather than go into minority.

    That said, I’m advised the Labor in NSW is broken, and there is no quick fix.

  384. What a fizzer from Crikey. TBH I haven’t looked, didn’t log on until late tonight, but the big news is that Scotty tells porkies!

    Everyone knows that!

    He told another one today when he said that his staff had been cleared of backgrounding journalists against Brittany Higgins’ partner.

    In truth all the PM’s chief of staff, John Kunkel, found was that no journalists were prepared to undertake the career-ending step of talking about it. Or put it this way:

      Mr Morrison, in tabling the report in Parliament on Tuesday, claimed Dr Kunkel had “found in the negative”. However, Dr Kunkel said he was “not in a position to make a finding that the alleged activity took place”, but did not specifically rule out that it had happened.
  385. Thanks, John. I think the crash avoidance technology that keeps vehicles apart will make a huge difference.

    zoot, coming to think of it, Twiggy was saying lithium was a particularly bad idea, but no doubt new battery technology will emerge.

  386. John as soon as you mention “tWh” I lose it completely. I have no concept of size in relation to that particular measure.

  387. BTW on the Qld power outage I really object to this:

      Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor said the AEMO was investigating.

      “Emergency events like this are matters we take very seriously, and we are working with the market operator to determine the impact and the cause of this event and restore power as quickly as possible,” Mr Taylor said.

    Angus Taylor will be doing zip, and it’s not his problem. Luckily, or it would never be fixed.

  388. Clearly I can’t be finishing posts while commenting at 11:47 PM.

    Got the appointment day wrong. Turned up a day early.

    That’s never happened before, so maybe I do need to see the doc!

    I had to do a work switcheroo, but got to have a coffee with my wife.

    BTW she was at Pilates as the news of the power outage came through.

    One of the women there said, “The Chinese will do anything to destabilise us!”

    A case of ‘I think, therefore it’s true’.

  389. Brian a terra watt hour is a billion kilowatts for a whole hour, or a kettle boiling for a billion hours. A way to appreciate a billion is that it is 10,000 times 100,000. A hundred thousand is 316 people getting $316 so a billion is 3,160,000 people getting $316

  390. Brian: More on the Callide failure: https://reneweconomy.com.au/a-new-flagship-coal-plant-failed-spectacularly-but-it-wont-be-the-last-time/
    “Yesterday, a fire at the Queensland Callide C coal plant caused the facility to suddenly snap offline. That triggered a cascade of flow-on events, including the disconnection of multiple transmission lines, and other generators, along with a huge ‘frequency excursion‘, in which the normal operating state of the grid begins to stray outside safe parameters.

    Nearly half a million customers were disconnected, including Brisbane airport, sewage pumps in the Gold Coast, Gold Coast University Hospital (which had to rely on backup generators) and traffic lights. “About 360 traffic intersections across the Brisbane metro region lost power just after 2:00pm, causing “chaos” for drivers ahead of school pick-up time”, wrote the ABC. People were briefly trapped inside a shopping centre.”
    Some coal kissers are saying the failure is justification for even more coal.
    “Two empty technological promises – of carbon capture and of increasingly fantastical criticalities, met their end at Callide. Yet, when the plant suffered a mortal wound yesterday, Nationals Senator Matt Canavan and LNP MP George Cristensen took to Twitter and Facebook to try and post through it, insisting that the disaster proves that Queensland simply needs more, newer coal-fired power stations (similar to America’s fossil fuel lobby insisting the Texas blackout means more gas plants are needed, or that a pipeline cyberattack means more pipelines are needed).

    That argument was already dead. As RenewEconomy reported last year, some of the worst outages are occurring at the newest coal plants. “Most coal power stations are big and when they break down in extreme heat with high electricity demand, it creates serious threats of blackouts”, said the Australia Institute’s Richie Merzian, in September last year. Among the worst performers was another ‘new’, supercritical plant, the Kogan Creek Queensland coal generator.

    What yesterday’s blackout shows is something new, and important: we can’t rely on coal anymore; not in the short term or the long term.”

  391. Jumpy is going to have to point to the video he “just saw” re electric cars by 2035.

    Everything I am seeing is saying easy peasy. Electric cars, 2035, not a problem.

  392. USA Republicans Are Passing Laws to Keep Teachers From Talking About Race: https://www.motherjones.com/mojo-wire/2021/05/texas-republicans-teachers-critical-race-theory/?utm_source=mj-newsletters&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-newsletter-06-01-2021
    The behaviour of some Republican states is mind boggling. for example: “The absurdity of the Republican Party’s culture wars has reached new heights. A slew of GOP-led state legislatures are enacting new laws that ban teaching “critical race theory” an academic framework that has become the latest conservative boogeyman.

    Do you want to learn about racism, discrimination and privilege? Well, Republicans are trying to make it really hard to do so with a slew of bills designed to muzzle educators. In Texas, House Bill 3979 would limit how teachers talk about current events and historic racism in their classrooms. It also bans schools from teaching the 1619 Project, a New York Times endeavor which investigates US history starting with the year the first slaves were brought to what would become the United States. After some political maneuvering, the controversial bill appears to be headed to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. ”
    “Other Republican-run states like Tennessee and Idaho have enacted similar bans. The rush to ban schools from teaching students about the realities and horrors of how race functions in this country is a response to the major upheaval of last year. Not only did the murder of George Floyd spur massive racial justice protests across the street, Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election. These events were helped, in part, by a new understanding of racism and white supremacy in America, the very ideas the Republican Party is trying to ban. The GOP is handling defeat not by moderating its views or crafting concrete policy—instead, the so-called party of freedom is trying to silence speech. ”
    Makes Australia look marvelous these days.

  393. Jumpy: Interested in your opinion on “No winners in building materials shortage as builders, rich, vulnerable all impacted.

    “A nationwide shortage of building materials is putting pressure on Queensland’s construction industry, with fears the building boom will claim several casualties.

    Key points:

    The building material shortage has put a stop to tiny homes being built for homeless people on the Sunshine Coast
    Building delays are forcing tenants to renew their rental leases, worsening the housing crisis
    Builders are under extreme pressure as they face financial and mental health implications because of delays
    The building boom was meant to be a veritable gold rush for builders but — in a cruel twist — high demand, price increases and delays have been costing them dearly.

    Sunshine Coast builder Mitch Butler thought 2021 would be one of his most profitable years, but it is turning out to be one of his worst.

    “There is going to be a lot of builders going to hurt out of this,” Mr Butler said.

    He said he was losing an average $15,000 on each house he was building.
    “I don’t think anyone saw this coming,” he said.

    “All your frames and trusses, roofs, carpenters, concrete, everything’s going up in price, but the problem for [builders] is that we’ve signed a contract, so we’re stuck at that contract price.”

  394. John, I’ve fixed the link, which wasn’t working.

    I also heard today that the increase in home construction was pretty much matched by a downturn in large-scale buildings.

    Strange stuff is going on in the economy, and society.

  395. John, to shorten a long story, another idiot Treasurer decided to stimulate the demand side of one part of the economy when a supply side catastrophe is taking place in supply chains.

    The Liberal party is a shell of its former economic self thanks to little Johnny fucking over Costello in about 2005/06.
    They, in the face of all evidence, turned Keynesian.

  396. I often quote larger jobs about 6/8 months before it’s awarded to the Principal Contractor.
    I normally get payed ( fingers crossed) about 90 days after I submit an invoice which I tend to do 60 days from my start on the job ( I’m a finishing Trade so that can be 8 months into a 12 month project)

    Add all that shit up to get an idea of what material and employee inflation may do to me in the interim.

    The olde “ Builders go Bust in the Boom Time “ saying is not a myth.

  397. The olde “ Builders go Bust in the Boom Time “ saying is not a myth.

    Good thing there’s so much work up there that you’re knocking jobs back left and right.

    From “the more things change the more they stay the same” file – my parents’ house (2 bedroom war service home completed in 1949) took more than twelve months to build because of material shortages. Probably the most ironic was the wait for guttering to arrive from Japan before the roof plumbing could be finished.

  398. Jumpy: “another idiot Treasurer decided to stimulate the demand side of one part of the economy when a supply side catastrophe is taking place in supply chains.”
    Yep: The Treasurer and Reserve Bank cut interest rates to stimulate the economy and create jobs. This may have been a relatively sensible thing to do for some parts of the economy. (Overall inflation has still remained within an acceptable range.) However, when it comes to the housing industry it has been driving housing inflation well above an acceptable level. To make matters worse the availability of very low interest rate loans has inflated the price of already built houses at very unacceptable rates. (Sellers and banks win and mug buyers are lumbered with large loans that could go very, very sour if interest rates return back to normal.)
    Low interest rates are encouraging people to borrow money to build new accommodation and modify older houses. Problem is that the government didn’t d o their homework here either. If they had they would have realized that there wasn’t the capacity to make a rapid increase in the amount of building work. Even more so when the bushfires created rebuilding work anyways and slowed down the production of timber.
    Have you got more details to offer?

  399. Zoot: My parents built their first house just after the war. At that point the government only allowed them to build a half house because of shortages.

  400. John: similar story here. There was a limit to the house size so my folks made allowances to add a sleepout later. Had to fight because the temporary closure to the back verandah, where the sleepout would eventually join it, was asbestos and they were in a brick and tile area. Ah the good old days!

  401. Our house was built in 1945, and was a very large house (24 squares, I think). Thing is, a property which adjoined ours on one end had a pine forest and a mill, so it was all local timber. I don’t think we had to submit plans to the council, probably only the bank, which was in a different shire.

    The main shortage was iron, so the roof was asbestos. I slept for years in a closed verandah with no ceiling under asbestos.

    On shortages, I recall my mother having to use rations to buy stuff, most of which was mail order, for several years after the war.

    She also bought a parachute, made shirts and sheets out of it.

    My elder bro in the 1950s bought used bomber tyres for the tractor. They didn’t have much tread, but jeez they were tough.

  402. It’s a good read, zoot.

    We conquered the swimming pool today, put it to bed for what we call ‘winter’ these days.

    Then had a yarn with my elder bro, the one who as a senior Nat encouraged a young fella called Barnaby Joyce to go into politics.

    I didn’t know that Agforce, set up to represent people on the land politically, had run out of cash and turned itself into a charity. That means the one thing it cannot do is represent people on the land politically.

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