As it limps towards the end of 2018, the Morrison government is gradually establishing its own grand narrative – one of staggering ineptitude as it lurches from one self-inflicted crisis to another. On decisions from Jerusalem to Foodbank, there is no overarching purpose here, there is no direction or strategy, there are only missteps and backdowns, seemingly born of the blinkered pursuit of base political advantage, which never materialises. For a PM schooled in marketing, these are textbook fails. For the federal Opposition, the coup against Malcolm Turnbull has proved the gift that keeps on giving.
Today we read, in a Fairfax Media report that has not been denied, that former trade minister Steve Ciobo has privately advised the Indonesian trade minister that there is only a 5 per cent chance that Australia will relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. It is hard to see how the prime minister could have made more of a mess of this: Australia will have managed to offend everybody concerned, to no end.
PM Scott Morrison took a special bus tour up the Queensland Coast, except he flew in a plane because the bus was too slow, and the rest of the time he wanted to talk with Queenslanders, who weren’t to be found in the bus. Then he drank lots of XXXX beer and chomped on pies to show he’s a regular, fair dinkum guy bloke. Junkee has more, lots more:
On ABC RN’s The Science Show Robyn Williams spoke to Kate Hughes, Research Assistant in the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney, and Ben Selinger, Emeritus Professor at ANU (transcript available) in the light of the ABC Four Corners program The Monsanto Papers.
Kate Hughes lives in a valley in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage area. The decision is simple. Either you use glyphosate to counter the Chinese false bamboo, or you have a valley choked with the weed. Continue reading Weekly salon 28/10→
In Brazil’s first-round election on October 7, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro outperformed what polls predicted to win 46% of the vote — less than 5 points short of an outright victory. His top rival, left-leaning Fernando Haddad, earned 29%. The two will face each other in an October 28 runoff.
Cartoonist Mark David shows how Scott Morrison applied his proven skills in the Wentworth by-election:
Many commentators including Laura Tingle, talking to Phillip Adams, said the numerous own goals from the Coalition prior to the election turned enough votes away from the Liberal candidate David Sharma and towards Kerryn Phelps for the latter to win. The latest count shows Phelps ahead 51/49 two party preferred, with Phelps coming from a first preference count of 29.1% as against Sharma of 43.2%. Continue reading Wentworth a tipping point?→
The Wentworth by-election is still a thing, but interesting and perhaps important things happen elsewhere.
1. Spain lost all its men in an ancient invasion
The time was about 4500 years ago. Spain was invaded from the east by a group that stemmed from the Yamnaya herders on the steppes north of the Black Sea, the group responsible for founding the Indo-European language group. A genetic study led by David Reich of Harvard Medical School has found that the local male line disappeared instantly with that invasion (New Scientist, pay-walled), never to be seen again. After the invasion the resulting population had 40 per cent Yamnaya ancestry and 60 per cent local ancestry. However, the Y-chromosome of the male line changed completely to the Yamnaya line.
I have to work today, helping my 89 year-old and his wife in the wilds of Upper Brookfield. We’ve had rain and you can see the grass grow.
Tonight my son Mark arrives from Sydney, and tomorrow I’m scheduled to do anther largish lawn because my ute is scheduled for repairs on Monday. So this is a quickie Salon ahead of the Wentworth by-election. Continue reading Weekly salon 20/10→
That’s the message from Malcolm Turnbull’s son Alex:
“This (leadership spill) isn’t exactly a first for Australian politics, but it does lead you to the conclusion that a stable government might not be as stable as some people would like you to think,” he said.
“To me, this particular event seems to show the Liberal party has been taken over, frankly from extremists on the hard right who aren’t particularly motivated to win an election and aren’t particularly motivated to serve the general public – they just want to pursue a crazy agenda.”
Sometimes I yearn for a simpler world where the main thing we had to worry about was a nuclear holocaust – MAD (mutually assured destruction).
Now I have to warn anyone who was associated with me by email or Facebook not to open a video that is said to find me in a compromising position, apparently “looking hot” which would really be something for someone my age, caught on webcam (which I don’t have, as far as I know) and while streaming something really naughty.
I can stop this happening, it is said, by coughing up a substantial amount in Bitcoin by 3am tomorrow morning.