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→
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.
“Labor has become a party of lies, negativity and grievance. They have nothing to offer but a long, dreary whinge, interrupted by falsehoods”; and for good measure: “Bill Shorten is a liar. He cannot tell the truth. There is no point being mealy-mouthed about this. He is a liar*.”
That was actually Malcolm Turnbull last July, but if you Google you get similar stuff going back to at least 2012. The asterisk was to a note saying the Turnbull had joined with Mark Latham, who had once said: Continue reading Weekly salon 7/4→
That is the opinion of Peter Lewis, who conducts the Essential report poll. Two nights before the massacre of 50 worshippers in a Christchurch mosque, Lewis was with a focus group of swinging voters in suburban Brisbane, asking people to identify which politicians were responsible for a series of incendiary public comments around recently passed medical evacuation (medevac) laws:
The propositions included the following: that the people “coming in” are paedophiles, they will clog up our hospital queues, they will end up in cultural bubbles, that western values are sacrosanct.
People thought it must be One Nation, for sure, but it wasn’t:
there was genuine shock and some dismay when it was discovered the statements came not from the radical fringe, but from the mouths of the prime minister and his senior government ministers.
Horrific, murderous attack(s) in Christchurch; to add to the horror, apparently live streamed by a gunman. An Aussie in custody. And three other people? A long “manifesto” written by one of the murderers.
Police armed all over Aotearoa, Land of the Long White Cloud.
Chaos is rife in the Coalition with Tony Abbott performing another climate change backflip, Malcolm Turnbull launching a fresh attack on those who dumped him, and Barnaby Joyce signalling he is ready to roll Nationals Leader Michael McCormack on the cusp of the election campaign.
As Scott Morrison dismissed the eruptions of past animosities as “history”, discipline in and around the Coalition was unravelling.
To me the Morrison government has brought politics to a new low in Australia. Angela Merkel’s flipping through her briefing notes to see who is PM in Australia this week spoke volumes. Continue reading Weekly salon 2/3→
Scandals, failures and blow-ups, each of which, in isolation, would have once occupied a week or more of the Parliament’s and the public’s attention, and possibly ended in someone losing their job, all came and went in a rush.
Labor won and lost on asylum seekers, Matthias Cormann and Joe Hockey (remember him?) became implicated in the HelloWorld travelgate affair, then there was:
a $423 million contract for Paladin to run Manus Island and confirmation that Small Business Minister Michaelia Cash declined to be interviewed by the Australian Federal Police who were investigating the bungled raid on AWU offices in 2017.
The police also told Senate Estimates they believed evidence may have been destroyed. Mere bagatelle.
A New South Wales Labor government would establish a state-owned renewable energy company to support the rollout of enough renewable energy to power more than three million homes across the state in the next decade.
On Monday the NSW opposition leader, Michael Daley, announced that if elected on 23 March, Labor would deliver seven gigawatts of extra renewable energy by 2030.