1. Made in Australia by the Turnbull government
The Liberal Party Has Overwhelmingly Decided To Keep Its Plebiscite Policy, so because the Senate again failed to pass the necessary legislation, we are off to a $122 million postal vote, which is really a voluntary survey to be conducted by the ABS, if the High Court lets them.
Except, we already know what the people think, because they’ve already been surveyed, and people who know about these things say that the proposed survey is incompetent as a survey, lacking proper sampling. Of course, the opponents of same sex-marriage see this as their best chance of getting a “no” vote and kicking the can down the road.
Peter FitzSimons asks, How did the Liberal Party get into such a mess? Continue reading Saturday salon 12/8
1. Turnbull’s Kim Jong-un moment
One of two big stories this week, from the SMH, Peter Dutton to head merged ASIO, AFP and Border Force super security department. However, Paula Matthewson at The New Daily captured the spirit of the thing by focussing on the optics in Hilarious and menacing at the same time: Turnbull’s Kim Jong-un moment. When Abbott made a national security announcement, this is what we got:
Continue reading Saturday salon 22/7
1. Electric shock
The big story in Australian politics this week was the shocking state of the political debate on electricity. Giles Parkinson says, when you thought it couldn’t get any dumber, it did.
‘People will die due to renewables’, said Turnbull government MP Craig Kelly.
Commentators who don’t understand the grid should butt out of the battery debate, said Ketan Joshi, a communications consultant for the renewable energy industry. Continue reading Saturday salon 15/7
Malcolm Turnbull took the press gallery to Cooma for an update on Snowy Hydro 2.0 (they are drilling the rocks to see whether the tunnelling is feasible) but all the press was interested in was whether it was time to sack Christopher Pyne and, of course, in Tony Abbott.
It was supposed to be the winter recess, with politics on the backburner. On Friday night Pyne, in a Sydney bar with some of his ‘moderate’ Liberal mates, indulged in a bit of triumphalism about how with Malcolm at the helm the moderates now control the agenda. He also said what everyone probably knew, that he’s voted for Turnbull over Abbott every chance he got, and said same-sex marriage may come sooner than we think. Continue reading Pollie follies
Ray Hadley reckons that if Turnbull can’t lead Bill Shorten by 20 points he doesn’t deserve to be prime minister. According to the latest Newspoll in the ‘Better PM’ stakes Shorten has taken ground off Turnbull. Turnbull is now only 9 in front compared to 14 last time.
As to how well they are doing their job, 32% approve of Shorten compared to 30% for Turnbull. And it’s not new. Shorten was 2% ahead back in November, and has tended to shade him ever since (three times out of four). Of course both are in net negative territory.
In ‘Two Party’ terms it’s 53-47 to Labor, compared to 52-48 last time. Here are the individual party votes: Continue reading Malcolm’s malaise
The dominant media narrative has been that the voters continue to desert the main parties, especially the LNP, in droves, mainly to One Nation. Reality is a bit more complex, and recent polls have thrown up other interesting results, like 64% of people overall, and 56% of LNP voters, support a royal commission into banking.
Let’s look at Newspoll first, where Labor has opened up a yawning two-party preferred gap of 55-45, up from 54-46:
Continue reading Poll stuff: the redhead on the surge
Michelle Grattan makes the case that the WA preference deal, (putting One Nation ahead of the Nationals in the upper house regional seats in return for One Nation preferencing against Labor in the lower house, which they probably would have done any way), has ‘normalised’ Pauline Hanson in the Liberal firmament.
The question now is whether One Nation has matured, whether the Liberal Party has moved towards them politically, and whether ON is actually working in the interests of the battlers Pauline Hanson claims to represent.
Continue reading Pauline Hanson now normalised in the Liberal firmament
I can’t make up my mind whether Malcolm Turnbull’s brains have fried, or whether he is just plain evil. I think of Godwin Grech, and think the former. My wife is convinced it’s the latter, and she’s usually right about people.
Anyway politics reached a new level of absurdity last week, as Scott Morrison brought a lump of coal into the parliament, which ended up between a crazed Barnaby Joyce’s legs, while in Question Time Turnbull’s answer to every question about the omnibus bill to change social security entitlements (and save a heap of cash) was to rant about Bill Shorten, blackouts and dreaded renewable energy in South Australia.
All the while, fossil fuel generators are gaming the system, to extract more from electricity consumers, while the market regulator ends up splitting the profits.
Two politicians from South Australia, Premier Jay Weatherill and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis, are very angry, and they’ve had enough. Continue reading Politicians lie, while corporates game the electricity system
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
According to Newspoll if an election were held on 6 February this year, Labor would have 85 seats, the LNP 60 and there would be five others:
As Michelle Grattan said, the seventh loss in a row, and the worst since Turnbull became PM. Something happened last September, and it’s been looking uglier for Turnbull ever since. Continue reading Poll stuff: politics as usual resumes in 2017
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull addressing the National Press Club last week, described energy as a “defining debate of this parliament”.
His speech set out Turnbull’s vision for Australia’s energy future – covering renewable energy, “clean” coal, gas, power prices and electricity security. He talked up coal, saying Australia as a big exporter needs to show we are using state-of-the-art clean coal-fired technology.
The Climate Council ran a Fact Check and found clean coal is NOT A THING.
Large-scale wind and solar plants are already cheaper than new “more efficient” coal plants, and waaaay cheaper than coal plants with CCS.
You might expect that from the Climate Council, but Ben Potter in the Australian Financial Review reports that just about everyone is saying the same thing. Continue reading Electricity prices: Turnbull’s central
policy scare campaign
On a superficial level I agree with President Trump that it was a “dumb deal” for the US to accept asylum seekers warehoused by Australia in Nauru and Manus Island. We should have brought them to Australia long ago.
What is scary is how Trump and his administration handled the whole thing. Via Bloomberg, this is the scene in his office:
Continue reading Dumb deal