All posts by Brian

Brian Bahnisch, a survivor from Larvatus Prodeo, founded Climate Plus as a congenial space to continue coverage of climate change and sundry other topics. As a grandfather of more than three score years and ten, Brian is concerned about the future of the planet, and still looking for the meaning of everything.

Election follies 6: home run

1. Newspoll

The latest Newspoll, according to Twitter, so it must be right, was Federal Primary Votes: L/NP 38 (-1) ALP 37 (0) GRN 9 (0) UAP 4 (0) ON 3 (-1). Seriously, Kevin Bonham said on Twitter, that with those numbers, Labor would be unlucky to lose. The Newspoll site has Labor in front 51.5-48.5.

Bludger Track has Labor gaining 11 since 2016 to land on 80, with the LNP on 65 and Others on 6.

The suggestion is that the LNP’s primary vote of 38 going into the election is the lowest ever on Newspoll.

I think we should wait for the count. Continue reading Election follies 6: home run

Vale Bob Hawke

Known as a larrikin and the “Silver Bodgie” Bob Hawke, Australia’s 23rd prime minister, dies aged 89.

Here are Nine ways Bob Hawke’s government changed Australia.

I’ll repeat No. 3:

    Mr Hawke announced Medicare in February 1984, bringing the scheme into line with the Medibank model originally introduced by Gough Whitlam but partially dismantled by Malcolm Fraser’s government.

Continue reading Vale Bob Hawke

Election 2019 follies 5: sundry stuff

1. Update

From Buzzfeed:

    Tony Abbott has said in a newspaper interview that Labor has a much better climate change policy than the Coalition

    – The Liberal party is releasing its costings tomorrow, two days before the election

    – Supporters of Liberal senator Jim Molan are causing waves within the Coalition as he tries to overcome his unfavourable position on the party ticket

    – Bob Hawke has written a letter praising Bill Shorten’s leadership and saying he is ready to be prime minister

    – The Clive Palmer advertising blitz continues as the ad blackout looms

    – Around three million people have already voted. (Emphasis added)

Continue reading Election 2019 follies 5: sundry stuff

Shorten, ScoMo and authenticity in leadership: Election 2019 follies 4

During the weekend before last Dennis Atkins In the Courier Mail said that while authenticity in leadership was important, both our main party leaders lacked authenticity, but Scott Morrison was better than Bill Shorten at faking it. Atkins is usually on the money, but that time he was wrong. One has it, and the other doesn’t. Continue reading Shorten, ScoMo and authenticity in leadership: Election 2019 follies 4

What does Clive Palmer want? – Election 2019 follies 3

Clive Palmer wants balance of power in the senate. Why? He wants a future for coal mining, and the development of his Galilee Basin tenement. Simple as that.

So I’ll take a look at Palmer’s impact on the campaign and how the senate is likely to turn out.

Continue reading What does Clive Palmer want? – Election 2019 follies 3

Weekly salon 4/5

1. Thailand is ‘least miserable’ country in the world again

Thailand is happy about being the least miserable country in the world in the in the Bloomberg Misery Index, which is an economic indicator devised by Arthur Okun, and is derived by simply adding the forecasts of unemployment and inflation for the following year.

However, Thailand’s performance in the index is due to the Thai government’s unique way of tallying unemployment. More noteworthy are the performances of Switzerland, Japan and Singapore. For what it’s worth, here are the 10 least miserable: Continue reading Weekly salon 4/5

Election 2019 follies 2: Who won the first TV debate?

I can tell you who won the studio audience’s vote – Bill Shorten by a country mile. 48 undecided voters were selected by YouGov Galaxy who run Newspoll for The Australian. The West Australian reports:

    After the debate, 25 emerged giving their vote to Bill Shorten, with 12 giving theirs to Scott Morrison.

    11 of the audience members said they could not decide.

Continue reading Election 2019 follies 2: Who won the first TV debate?

Weekly salon 28/4

1. Any clown can lead a country!

What with our ScoMo and Donald Trump as POTUS, you might think that any clown can run a country. Now in Ukraine we have – Comedy is a tool, a trick – Ukraine will soon see that running a country is no joke. Jack Bernhardt, a comedy writer and occasional performer, takes a look at the news that:

    Volodymyr Zelenskiy, an actor and comedian with no political experience other than playing the role of president in a TV series, has won a landslide victory in Ukraine’s presidential election, with near-complete counting showing he has won over 70% of the vote.

Continue reading Weekly salon 28/4

Is religion good or bad for us?

Over Easter, apart from wondering Where is heaven? I read an article in the New Scientist Is religion good or bad for humanity? Epic analysis delivers an answer

    A scientific review of 10,000 years of history is finally revealing the unexpected truth behind religion’s role in human civilisation

The author is Harvey Whitehouse, who is chair of social anthropology and director of the Centre for the Study of Social Cohesion at the University of Oxford. Back in 2015 I took a look at Karen Armstrong, ‘the myth of religious violence’ and the secular state. Whitehouse claims his investigation is ‘scientific’. It is certainly impressive. Continue reading Is religion good or bad for us?

Where is heaven?

When I was really young there were no Easter bunnies around our place. The idea was introduced by the teacher of the small Lutheran Day School at Downfall Creak, near Guluguba, north of Miles, west of Toowoomba, when I was about seven or eight. We did have hens eggs coloured with dye, but no chocolate at all, let alone as eggs.

However, that’s not what Easter is about. It’s about the risen Christ, right? He conquered death and rose to heaven in a cloud, to sit at the right hand of God the Almighty, with a promise to return some day. So I was interested in an article What and where is heaven? The answers are at the heart of the Easter story. Continue reading Where is heaven?

Election 2019: follies 1

The Grattan Institute found that providing tax cuts in the never-never while reducing government expenditure from 24.9% of GDP in 2018-19 to 23.6% during the next decade will necessitate cutting existing programs by more than A$40 billion a year in 2029-30. That should have been the story of the week, but somehow it wasn’t.

That’s Scott Morrison saying the claim is “absolute complete rubbish”. I’ll come back to that. Worse was to come. By the end of the week Bill Shorten was accusing the Liberal Party of running a “low-rent, American-style fake news” campaign on a “ridiculous death tax scare”. Continue reading Election 2019: follies 1