1. Theresa May’s brave gambit
She didn’t need to, so why did she, especially after promising absolutely definitely that she wouldn’t?
Given a lead of about 20% in the polls, she possibly sees a chance of decimating Labour and governing virtually as a one-party state for the next five years.
However, Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight warns that the British polls are basically not worth a cracker. Their abysmal performance translates into a margin of error of 13 to 15%. Continue reading Saturday salon 22/4
1. Older Coalition voters turning to One Nation
Newspoll finds that the demographic most supportive of One Nation is the 50-plus group and it appears that the LNP is the main loser in that sector.
Meanwhile, Pauline is calling for a boycott of easter eggs that are halal-certified, ie Cadbury, Matthias Cormann has stared down a demand that the ABC’s budget be cut by $600 million and the Young Nationals have supported carbon trading, having supported same-sex marriage in 2015. Continue reading Saturday salon 15/4
1. Trump’s Syria strike puts the world on notice
Trump’s launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles to smash a Syrian airfield has put the world on notice. As Trump enters talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, suddenly it is clear that Trump is not going to be isolationist, and no-one can be sure how far he will go, in Syria, the South China Sea, North Korea, or anywhere else..
The biggest question is what comes next? There are Russian troops on the ground. The Syrians and Russians have anti-aircraft weapons capable of bringing American planes down, which have been flying freely to strike ISIS targets. Continue reading Saturday salon 8/4
This is the story about an Indian couple in Melbourne, who desperately wanted to stay in Australia. They moved to Adelaide, where the wife was offered a three-year contract as a cook in an Indian restaurant for $52,500 pa under a 457 visa.
What happened is that she ended up working for years for nothing, and sums of $30,000 and then $20,000 were extorted on threat of ending 457 sponsorship. Then the authorities cancelled the company’s right to sponsor, so their visa was cancelled. Continue reading Saturday salon 1/4
1. Service interruption
I’ve been advised by the host of Climate Plus that they will be taking time out for maintenance for about two hours from 2pm PDT (whatever that means, they are based in the USA) on Saturday March 25. It’s about MySQL and they say connectivity could be affected during that time.
2. Who pays and who gets the loot?
Laura Tingle has an interesting graph about who pays the bills and who gets cash and kind from the government:
Continue reading Saturday salon 25/3
1. Sally McManus is one to watch
Sally McManus has just become the first female secretary of the ACTU. When she went to study a bachelor of arts at university her parents said “We never knew you were good at painting.”
There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle over Leigh Sales ‘gotcha’ question about supporting the rule of law on the 7.30 Report. McManus took the bait head-on by stating that there was no obligation to obey an unjust law. Christopher Pyne called it “anarcho-Marxist claptrap”. Bill Shorten took the easy road and said “We believe in changing bad laws not breaking them.”
People should remember Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi. Continue reading Saturday salon 18/3
1. WA elections
I haven’t followed the WA election closely, but the main impression is of chaos and farce. Newspoll has Labor ahead 54-46 TPP, with Labor winning 34 of the 59 seats in the lower house on a uniform swing. One Nation has tanked from 13% to 8% over the last six weeks.
Colin Barnett’s punishment for the upper house preference swap deal with ON was having to explain the reasons to the media 35 days in a row. Continue reading Saturday salon 10/3
1. Mining invades the ABC
This report gives a factual account of four appointments, two each to the ABC and SBS boards, recently announced by the Government.
The one that raised eyebrows is Vanessa Guthrie who chairs the Minerals Council of Australia and was formerly CEO of Toro Energy. She is also the deputy chair of the Western Australia Cricket Association and an independent director of the Murlpirrmurra Connection.
She’s a woman and from WA, but there is little doubt the appointment has ideological intent. Continue reading Saturday salon 4/3
1. Millennials lack hope
I heard it on the radio, and have tracked it down, I think, to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017. It depends where you live:
Millennials in emerging markets generally expect to be both financially (71 percent) and emotionally (62 percent) better off than their parents. This is in stark contrast to mature markets, where only 36 percent of millennials predict they will be financially better off than their parents and 31 percent say they’ll be happier.
Continue reading Saturday salon 18/12
1. Royal commission into child sexual abuse
I haven’t been able to bring myself to post anything on the Royal commission into child sexual abuse so far. The sheer horror if it has been too much for words.
Now we have some numbers in relation to the Catholic Church. Continue reading Saturday salon 11/2
1. Julia Gillard gets a gong
It was a bit of a surprise, but congratulations to Julia Gillard, who was appointed a Companion in the General Division (AC) of the Order of Australia:
for her “contributions to economic and social development, particularly policy reform in the areas of education, disability care, workplace relations, health, foreign affairs and the environment, and as a role model to women”.
Having retired from politics in 2013, Ms Gillard is chairwoman of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) – a body bringing together governments, the private sector, philanthropists, teachers and students to improve education in some of the world’s poorest nations. Continue reading Saturday salon 4/2
The above article (thanks to John D for the link) explains why it’s almost impossible to have a recession when we have high migration. The economy keeps growing, because there are more people operating in it. Governments can boast about economic growth, and it’s good for business, but not necessarily for workers.
Here’s how real net disposable income (per capita income) has been going for the last 20 years: Continue reading Saturday salon 28/1