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Rossleigh is a writer, director and teacher. As a writer, his plays include “The Charles Manson Variety Hour”, “Pastiche”, “Snap!”, “That’s Me In The Distance”, “48 Hours (without Eddie Murphy)”, and “A King of Infinite Space”. His acting credits include “Pinor Noir Noir” for “Short and Sweet” and carrying the coffin in “The Slap”. His ten minutes play, “Y” won the 2013 Crash Test Drama Final.

The Potential Labor Landslide…

I once wrote that the Liberals would be releasing their policies closer to the election and, by closer, I mean a few weeks AFTER the election.

Of course I was being facetious and I never expected that a Liberal leader would think that it was a fantastic way to avoid scrutiny of his policy but then this is the party that’s been trying to prove lefties wrong every time they say, “Well, they can’t have a leader who’s worse than Tony Abbott/Wishywashy Turnbull/ScottyfromMarketing…”

Yes, Peter Dutton actually thinks that it’s…

I got halfway through writing that sentence and I realised that the first five words would be controversial. Let me try again.

Yes, Peter Dutton actually expects people to buy the idea that it’s entirely reasonable to go to the election with a “Don’t you worry about the detail, you can trust us on climate change!”

You know, Pete with his “Don’t Know, Vote No” on the Voice because THERE WAS NO DETAIL… according to him.

Well, I think I know what his strategy is. The first part is to retain the leadership and the surest way to do that is to not worry about the opinion polls or what people think and just please the people who elect the leader who won’t worry about the opinion polls until they realise that the most recent one put them in danger of losing their seat. While he’s not under immediate threat, Holly Hughes sort of let the cat out of the bag when she said that she’d still be around until July next year and she wouldn’t be voting for that incompetent, Angus Taylor.

This would be a strange thing to say – even for Senator Hughes – and it must make one wonder whether the Shadow Treasurer has been thinking about numbers that don’t just relate to the economy. And when I say “thinking”, I also mean sharing his thoughts…

It would seem that Dutton’s theory is that, if he can just hold onto the leadership till the election, the cost of living and the high immigration numbers will deliver some of those traditional Labor seats in the outer suburbs. He’s clearly given up on the ones lost to the “teals”. I mean, you can’t really see telling those electorates: “You thought that we weren’t doing enough on climate change, but now we have a policy that we can’t tell you about but it doesn’t involve setting targets like Labor have that we have no hope of meeting. We think it’s silly to set a target we have no intention of aiming for! Whatever you can see by the nuclear policy that we are fully committed to doing something about climate change even if the exact thing is a little vague but you can trust us to have a policy in place in due course.”

So, I guess you’re wondering why I called this the potential Labor landslide. Well, that’s because nobody seems to looking at how this is all going to play out. Let’s take things one at a time.

  1. Dutton has all but conceded certain once blue ribbon Liberal seats to the independents. (Goldstein Liberals are giving Tim Wilson another crack. Enough said.)
  2. He is therefore hoping that he’ll pick up votes from a number of areas where people are disappointed in Labor: Coal and gas approvals, Gaza, help for the unemployed, border security, inflation and housing supply.
  3. However the first items on the list would more likely result votes leaking to The Greens and independents rather than the Coalition, so that’s more like to lead to a larger cross bench. After all, can you really see people saying that Albanese should be condemning the horrific situation in Gaza more strongly, so we’re going to vote for Dutton because at least he’s fully supportive of the people doing it. At worst Albanese will lose seats to the cross bench; at best, he’ll still hold on to enough seats via preferences.
  4. However, if the inflation continues to trend down and there’s even one drop in interest rates, that will blunt Dutton’s attack. Yes, there will still be people thinking that the Liberals are better economic managers because every time Labor gets in there’s a world-wide crisis: the oil shocks of the 70s, the GFC, the current inflation, but most people will just decide that they shouldn’t rock the boat now things are getting better.
  5. While the opinion polls have gone up and down for Labor, I don’t remember too many where their vote was lower than the at the 2022 election… ok, I don’t remember any but then some smartarse is bound to tell me that there was one that appeared in “The Congupna Times” where Labor were well behind their election result. In other words – if you took polls as being 100% accurate – you’d only have two scenarios: Labor gets the same as 2022 OR Labor increases its numbers in House of Reps.
  6. Labor are facing a state election in Queensland. From what we’re told, they’re on the nose there and an LNP victory is an even bigger certainty than John Hewson was in 1993 or Bill Shorten was in 2019. While this seems like a good thing for the Liberals, it must also be remembered that Labor hold fewer Queensland seats than Scott Morrison had ministries. (FACT CHECK: It was 5 in each case so, that’s equal not fewer!!) If the LNP take over then you can imagine them a) announcing that state is in a deep financial mess which needs b) lots and lots of cuts to services and c) the end of all those bribes you were promised by Miles! All this undoubtedly will win them praise from important people like newspaper editors, and when you have their praise and a whole government term ahead of you, who cares about the people who lost their services and their fifty cent fares. They might – unfairly – think that Dutton is the sort of man to say one thing, one day and another thing, another day, when he usually says one thing and then somebody else comes out and tells us that not only did he not mean it the way we’re taking it, but he didn’t even say it all. All of which, doesn’t lead to LNP picking up any seats in the next federal election, and leaves the real possibility that Labor could end up with an increased majority.

Of course, it’s always remembering that politics is like a cricket match. A side can be batting along smoothly and a couple of wickets changes everything. On the other hand, if Dutton keeps bowling the same rubbish, he may find that the game is over before he knows it…

 

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The Strangest Things About The Liberal Party This Week!

In news this week Peter Costello was accused of knocking a journalist to the ground. Some disputed this account, arguing that Liam Mendes works for “The Australian” and therefore can’t be considered a journalist. People in the Liberal Party asserted that they knew Peter very well and, in all their experience of him, he would have the capacity to force a spill, so the poor man must have tripped up on something invisible…

And speaking of invisible, we have the imminent release of Peter Dutton’s nuclear policy. Of course, when I say “imminent”, I mean in his own good time because he won’t be rushed into an early release – or even a late one – just because Labor and the media are demanding it. No, Petey will decide on his own timeline! And then ignore that because he won’t be rushed into releasing it just because he said that he would. After all, the Liberals had nine years in government, and they didn’t allow anyone to force them into announcing an energy policy.

To be fair, that’s just a cheap shot and, in fact, the Liberals did announce an energy policy while they were in government. In fact, they announced several. It was the actual implementation of any of them that gave them trouble.

Sources tell me that Labor are considering changing their renewables target to: “We promise to have 90% renewables before Peter Dutton announces any detail on his nuclear policy.”

Whatever, Dutton has announced that he intends to pull out of Paris which, while sounding like something the Nazis would do or a video circulating on the internet, seems a rather strange way to win back the seats lost to the so-called Teals (or indeed any seats). Most people – even some lifelong Liberal voters – think that something needs to be done about climate change and the Coalition’s inability to commit to Net Zero was a big factor in people voting for other candidates.

Yes, I know that they passed legislation committing to Net Zero but they didn’t actually propose to do anything about it. They were a bit like the person who complained that they read the book they were given on losing weight and told the person who promised that it would help: “No, I’m sorry. You told me that reading this book would help but now I find that I’ve actually got to do the things the book suggested and that takes too much effort…”

The Coalition committed to Net Zero in the sort of way that Trump committed to his marriage vows.

It seems to me that Dutton’s announcement is a strange strategy. While it might appeal to his Murdoch Masters, most people would prefer a party who’s attempting to achieve a target, even if they’re not totally succeeding, rather than one who says that there’s no point in committing to something that you can’t achieve, so we’re not even going to try.

Whether that’s true or not, the fact that he added that he’d pause the rollout of wind and solar farms clearly shows that he needs to zip it because his agenda is showing. Why pause things that will actually bring us closer to a target, even if we’re not going to meet it? I mean you wouldn’t expect to hear a politician say, “We’re not going to meet our target for reducing the road toll this year, so we’re going to pause our rollout of booze buses and speed restrictions.” Every little bit helps, doesn’t it? Unless you don’t actually have any intention of even trying to…

Oh wait… yeah, that’s what he said, isn’t it? There’s no point in trying to meet a target if you’ve got no hope of achieving it.

Mm, maybe that’s what he’s decided about trying to win back seats. As he said about the government’s renewable energy target, ““There’s no sense in signing up to targets you don’t have any prospect of achieving”, so if he’s got no hope of winning back seats then why not just say whatever’s on your mind, no matter how disconnected from reality that may be.

But speaking of disconnected, someone reported that Sussan Ley said that allowing New Zealanders to join our armed forces would devalue ANZAC day… Mm, not sure that even she could be so stupid as to think that it’s AAC day and that NZ in it is silent.

Yes, lest we forget that Peter Dutton was the one who launched a spill against Turnbull but got the numbers wrong and his colleagues – who knew them both – preferred Scott Morrison.

At least he’s safe from a spill for the simple reason that nobody wants the job. And at least he can content himself that he’ll be able to run a better campaign than Rishi Sunak, who announced the election in the rain and managed to get himself photographed standing under an exit sign.

 

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What They’re Really Saying When They Talk About Trump!

Part of the trouble with the human brain is that we tend to make emotional decisions and then use our rational side to justify our position. This means that Trump supporters can scream: “Lock her up!” about Hillary Clinton before she’s been charged with a crime but turn around and complain that the case against Trump is some sort of political witch-hunt, while failing to see the contradiction. And, even if it were pointed out to them, they’d be able to mount a case to explain that there was a real difference. Hillary, for example, was involved in Pizzagate, while Trump has is the second son of Mary…

So I’d like to put Donald to one side for a moment… Actually, I’d like to put him to one side permanently, but that’s my emotional side coming out and the points I want to make have nothing to do with whether he’s actually committed any of the hundreds of crimes he’s been charged with, or whether it really is a giant conspiracy. The basic point is that what some people are saying makes no sense if you take away the emotion of the moment.

Except that it does show something about certain politicians’ value systems but I’ll get to that later.

Let’s consider a totally fictional example:

After years of investigation, the FBI have gathered enough evidence to charge Tiny Supremo# with racketeering, extortion, murder, drug importation and an overdue library book. They are interviewing him but his lawyer interrupts and tells them: “You can’t charge my client!”

“Why not?” they ask.

“My client has just announced his candidacy for President, and it’s a well established principle that we don’t jail our political opponents in this country.”

“Democrat or Republican?”

“Neither. He’ll be standing as an independent candidate, but the protection remains…”

“Damn. You’ve got us. Ok, well, you’re free to go, but don’t think you’ve got my vote.”

#(I was going to call him Tony Soprano but I was worried that I’d be sued for defamation. Yes, I know that he’s fictional but so is Donald Trump and I have to watch what I say about him…)

Yes, that sounds far-fetched and ridiculous, but isn’t that exactly what the people who suggest that prosecuting one’s political opponents would turn the USA into one of those banana republic countries which use the courts against their opposition? Aren’t they saying that your rival should be free to do what he or she likes and under no circumstances should the justice system be involved…

At this point I think that it might be helpful to consider that little thing which we call the separation of powers. In simple terms, the people making the laws aren’t responsible for enforcing the laws, so if the Whitehouse was involved in the prosecution of Trump, we’d have a breakdown of that concept and there would be a real problem. However, at no has there been a link shown between the people who have decided to charge Trump and the Biden administration. Such a link is just asserted, assumed or hinted at. In reality, if there were such a link, there would be a significant breakdown in the way justice is meant to work.

But let’s come back to what I said about what politicians value. A number of Coalition MPs and ex-MPs have said that it’s a bad idea to charge Trump with anything because that resembles some of those countries where they organise coups and then jail the opposition… Ok, they may have missed the whole attempted coup on January 6th which sort of negates their case that it’s the ones who opposed that and argued that we should accept the results of the election who are doing the wrong thing.

When I suggest that their values need examining, I’m talking more about the inferences I can draw from what they’re saying.

First, when they suggest that Trump shouldn’t be prosecuted they’re suggesting that there is no separation of power and that when they are in government, they are quite happy to decide who gets prosecuted and who doesn’t.

Second, when they say that political opponents shouldn’t be prosecuted what they’re saying is that political opponents are really people like us and that people like us shouldn’t be charged with criminal offences because rules are for other people.

Third, they seem to have forgotten the Royal Commissions that Abbott called in order to find some criminal misconduct in the Labor Party.

Perhaps one could draw a further inference that it’s only one side of politics that shouldn’t be held to account. Certainly that seems to be the view of the Murdoch Merde.

Yes, all political parties have their faults and they all should be held to account for their actions. However, there doesn’t seem to be enough balance in the media with how this works. For example, there was the recent moaning about the millions spent on jets to ferry around Federal ministers, but when it was pointed out that it was the Liberals who’d ordered them, the story sort of died.

According to some sections of the media, when Labor are in power they are responsible for every bad thing that happens. But, of course, there is a consistency because when the Coalition is returned to power, Labor are still responsible for every bad thing that happens!

 

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So When IS Dutton Going To Announce His Policy On National Service?

I was going to call this: “You’re being divisive by not agreeing with me!” but I worried that it may just be lost with all the similar suggestions floating round the planet at the moment…

I’ve been very careful not to comment on the problems in the Middle East… And when I say problems in the Middle East, I’ve very careful not to use words like slaughter and innocent civilians and innocent aid workers and innocent Jewish hostages who were shot by innocent IDF soldiers who mistook them for guilty people because they were walking towards them bare-shirted with their hands in the air…

But the recent complaints from people that Bibi can’t be charged by the International Criminal Court can’t charge him AND the Hamas terrorists because of “moral equivalence”… On a point of pure logic this is ridiculous. It’s like saying that, “Officer, you can’t charge me with being over the legal limit because I believe that driver over there is not only over the limit, but he’s also driving a stolen car…”

Ok, I know that some people will immediately accuse me of being antisemitic even if I protest that I still watch Woody Allen films from time to time, but that’s what it’s like in Australia with that whole terrible political correctness 18C thing where you can’t be a bigot and offend people based on their religion, race or… Hey, weren’t the Liberals going to repeal that so we could all offend people left, right and centre? Or was it only left?

Poor Laura Tingle is in trouble because she had the temerity to suggest that a policy from Peter Dutton which blamed immigrants for our housing problem was somehow racist and may lead to people blaming immigrants for a lot of our problems. Doesn’t she know that people on the ABC should just stick to the facts like all those ones who suggest that Labor has stuffed up or that The Greens are too extreme or that all those Independents are really part of the same Teal party which has no constitution, rules or members…

Oh, I seem to strayed from my original point by trying to argue that we should all be equal under the law, even if we happen to be the leader of a country or President of the USA, and that basic human decency is a fine thing and any propaganda which says that it’s ok to treat people in a way that would have you universally condemned if you treated a puppy the same way should be put in the bin along with anyone who thinks that it’s forgivable because I’m only Goebbels and not the guy turning on the gas.

It seems like a rather inopportune moment to turn back to the topic I was originally going to talk about but there ya go!

Richie Sunak has got the winning formula for the Conservatives in the UK: National Service!

Ok, I don’t expect Labor to win Queensland but in my humble opinion, the Queensland Premier’s 50c public transport fare is more likely to win votes, even if not enough to win him an election… but it could get him a free ticket to the 50 Cent rapper’s next concert…

So, of course, Costello media immediately runs a poll about National Service in Australia… Not that Petey Costello has any connection to the current Liberal Party but one has to wonder if this is their way of finding out what we think because if they asked a polling company to do it, then someone would leak the idea that they were considering it.

Of course, you may point out that Peter Dutton has said nothing on National Service, which means that he undoubtedly has a policy on it that he’s not releasing. Or else he doesn’t have a policy on it but he’ll release one if the polls suggest that it might raise his polling enough that rising sea levels won’t drown him.

Sort of like his nuclear policy which is going in an electorate somewhere not near you… wherever you live!

 

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Streisand Effect To Be Renamed After Gina Rinehart

Gina Rinehart…

We’re often asked to believe that she’s an intelligent woman, but I do have to ask has she not heard of the Streisand effect…

Which is – to quote Wikipedia – “The Streisand effect is an unintended consequence of attempts to hide, remove, or censor information, where the effort instead increases public awareness of the information.” When Barb tried to suppress a photo of her clifftop mansion it only led to more exposure than if she’d simply ignored the photo… significantly more exposure… so much exposure that the wikipedia entry I quoted actually has the photo.

So, while I haven’t been to the gallery where this portrait is hung, I have seen about thirty memes reproducing the portrait in themes such as Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” and Munch’s “The Scream”… And if it weren’t for the complaints from Gina and the swimming team she sponsors who I assume all did it voluntarily and not because they thought that she’d remove sponsorship because Gina ain’t the sort of person who behaves in a vindictive way… she has politicians and newspaper editors who do that for her.

Given that Ms. Rinehart has managed to accumulate wealth due to her canny knack of investing well and having a rich parent who gave her the wealth to invest… two things her children seem to lack, we must assume that she knows what she’s doing…

Therefore I must conclude that she’s heard of the Streisand effect and that her complaints about the painting are just her way of ensuring that it’s shared far and wide.

Of course, we shouldn’t be mocking Gina because of her appearance… We should be mocking Peter Dutton because of his. Not what he looks like. Because of his appearance at her party even though he spent more time travelling than actually being there!

 

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Jane Hume: The Best Of The LNP…

Ok, to be clear here, Jane Hume is one of the most articulate Liberals and possibly one of the most intelligent…

This, of course, is one of the reasons that one cannot seriously entertain voting for the Liberal Party any time in the foreseeable future…

It’s a great phrase, isn’t it? “The foreseeable future”… I mean, all Phil Lowe had to do was use it when he was predicting future interest rate rises instead of his silly prediction that they wouldn’t go up before 2024 and he’s have been completely in the clear. After all, if you say foreseeable future and something happens, then clearly it WASN’T foreseeable!!

Actually, even if he’d said that he couldn’t see interest rates going up IN 2024, he’d still have a chance of being right.

Yes, and as I pointed out a couple of weeks ago, being wrong never matters to media people who are more likely to interview someone who’s been wrong on the grounds that they are one of those INSIDERS who gets it wrong but with the best of the sort of knowledge that enabled them to get in wrong in ways that an uninformed person would have been so lacking in knowledge that they may have got it right…

Yes, one article I read was still telling us that Phil Lowe’s prediction was that inflation wasn’t tamed and we may need another interest rate or two… And we should listen to Phil because he was once the RBA head who told us something that was so completely inaccurate that some people felt like he was taking the blame for getting his prediction so wrong when – after all – it was only the fact that circumstances turned out differently, otherwise he’d have been correct in his call.

Anyway, I find the commentary around the future of interest rates fascinating in the same way that I find horoscopes that tell some star signs to go to the races and put money on certain numbers while telling other star signs to put money on different horses… I mean, surely it’s going to be a particular number that gives you the best return on investment and the fact that I’m a Gemini shouldn’t bar me from getting some of that $37 from that winner you told Scorpio to back…

To sum up the interest rate and political situation as simply as I can:

  • A few days ago, the RBA told us that they had no idea what would happen with interest rates because they didn’t know lots of things including what would happen with the Federal Budget so the next rate move could be up or down and they weren’t ruling anything IN or OUT… which – after Lucky Phil’s: no rate rises before 2024; oh, whoops 13, that’s unlucky – seems prudent!
  • Various economists announced that this confirmed their prediction that their latest prediction was much better than their previous completely opposite prediction.
  • The Treasury announced/leaked that they did know what was in the Budget so their prediction was that inflation would come down much quicker than forecast by the RBA who didn’t know what they were going to do and so this is one time when we can get it right… Ha ha!
  • Financial markets – and Jane Hume – are concerned that the Budget may fuel inflation by giving money to people and the Coalition are all about putting money back into people’s pockets unless it’s inflationary or if Labor is suggesting doing it. Reducing the cost of prescriptions or childcare or something else will add to inflation in the long term because people will have money to pay their mortgage and we won’t have a fire sale of properties reducing the cost of houses thanks to people living in their cars or the streets.
  • Finding all the hidden “Back in Black” mugs and selling them may reduce inflation because they’ll have to be sold cheaply owing to the Liberals inability to deliver a surplus. On the other hand, they may be a collector’s item which would make them more expensive and do nothing for inflation which Labor should have known about before enticing us to find them in ScoMoses’ garage.
  • Angus Taylor went on “Insiders” and suggested that Jim Chalmers should adopt the fiscal strategies of Peter Costello, which begs the question – even from David Speers – “Why not any of the Liberal Treasurers since, such as Hockey, Morrison or Fryenberg?”

All of which leads me to remind everyone yet again that Jane Hume is one of the best media performers that the Liberals have. This, and the fact that Dutton and that woman who changed her name because of numerology and who bought an apartment on a whim, Suss Ley, are leader and deputy are the reasons that nobody could possibly entertain a vote for them…

Yes, Labor aren’t perfect and it was certainly true that being better than Coalition government was a low bar to get over, and yes, it’s so low that they may have tripped on it occasionally, but I don’t see that you can’t say that they’re no better than the Opposition… to be perfectly honest, I tend to think that the Abbott front bench had more quality than the current shadow cabinet. I mean, at least you knew the Mysoginist For Women (Tony himself) was just going to do nothing, while the current shadow minister for women, Sussan Ley, can’t even spell her first name properly…

I’d be a fool to try and predict the next election this far out, but it’s hard to see Dutton winning!

Then again, I thought that about more unelectable bastards than I care to remember…

 

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Bettina Arndt And You Just Don’t Know How Hard It Is To Be A Man!

Now when I say that it’s very difficult to write about certain topics because I’m a white male, it makes it sound like I don’t know how privileged I am… which, of course, is the point. I end up sounding like I’m mansplaining and that’s upsets just about everyone. Lots of men get upset because they don’t like the term and lots of women get upset because I sound like I’m being patronising.

(And for those of you who don’t know the etymology of the word “patronise” it means to talk down to someone like a father would. Interesting that “matronise” isn’t a word as far as spellcheck is concerned because every time I tried to write it, the computer helpfully changed it to “patronise”.)

Ok, having clearly stated my reservations about expressing my opinion on anything owing to the fact that I’m a privileged, white male and we don’t get to express our opinions on anything these days without someone oppressing us by pointing out that we may not actually be correct, I’m going to dip my toe into the water here and explain things in a clear, logical way that’s liable to upset enough people, just like all those Murdoch columnists who make their living by upsetting enough people that just about everyone reads them in order to disagree.

When a Bettina Arndt column first appeared in the 1980s, I read it and thought that it made some sort of sense. It talked about the difficulty of being a man at the time and, well, I was, and it was.

Don’t misunderstand, I don’t mean that it was easy to be a woman. I mean, I wasn’t, so I have no idea, but from what women were telling me, there were a lot of barriers to women doing just about anything and I agreed that nearly all of them were ridiculous and should be removed. In fact, I can’t think of any where I said, “No, that’s very important because if we let women do that, then it’ll just show how incompetent men have been all these years, so let’s make that a male only thing.”

By the 1980s, any male with an ounce of awareness knew that, when it came to relationships, it was no longer the case that the man needed to be in charge and that it was up to the woman to make her man happy. It was a far cry from the words of that 1963 song, “Wives and Lovers”:

“Hey, little girl
Comb your hair, fix your make-up
Soon he will open the door
Don’t think because
There’s a ring on your finger
You needn’t try anymore
For wives should always be lovers too
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you
I’m warning you
Day after day
There are girls at the office
And men will always be men
Don’t send him off with your hair still in curlers
You may not see him again”

But even if males had moved on from the sexism of earlier generations, people still weren’t happy with them and a new acronym SNAG, was applied to any male who was leaving the old stereotype behind. SNAG being Sensitive New Age Guy.

These males weren’t as popular as you might expect and to be called a SNAG wasn’t something that people generally aspired to… unless one was truly a SNAG, which is one of those paradoxes of human existence.

Anyway, the first couple of times I read Bettina, I thought, “Mm, this is it. Here’s a woman who understands that being a man in 80s is no bed of roses,” which immediately made me wonder about the term “bed of roses” which is not something that would be all that comfortable owing to the thorns…

Then she wrote something, and I thought, “This woman has no idea. Yes, it’s a hard being a man, but it’s not easy being a woman and while progress has been made in things like equal pay and we now have female pilots and female jockeys, there’s still a long way to go and… god, I am a SNAG… Damn you, Bettina, you’ve turned me into a figure of fun and I’ll never forgive you…”

Strangely my realisation that I’d developed empathy for the position of women didn’t seem to be noticeable to all the women in my life who tended to be more concerned about the mundane things like whether I’d done the dishes and vacuumed and the fact that I was developing a higher consciousness about the oppression of women seemed to have escaped them. By I guess that’s the thing: When it’s all said and done, women just are more practical than men.

 

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The Economy Is A Mess And Other Obvious Things…

Economists and sporting commentators have two things in common: They frequently make predictions about the future and they’re right about as often as a monkey with a dartboard…

Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that both groups have more expertise in their chosen area than I do, but when it comes to predicting the future, the problem is that it hasn’t happened yet so the only way to do it is to presume that what happened in the past will be what happens in the future unless something changes and that’s where it becomes problematic.

Take predictions about interest rates, for example. The RBA can leave them where they are, lower them or raise them. Of course an economist can’t go on some program and say, “Look, I don’t see a change until we get some more data because, at the moment, it’s really hard to predict but when we get an indication of some change, then interest rates will either go up or down, and until then, I’m predicting that one of those three things will happen…”

No, it’s far better to make some outrageous prediction even if you’re wrong because – and here’s the really interesting bit – it doesn’t seem to matter that you’re wrong because the same program will probably interview you again next month and completely ignore that you told them a completely different story and accept the idea that you would have been right if it weren’t for the simple fact that you weren’t. But only because things didn’t happen the way they would have if you’d been right. Even racehorse tipsters don’t usually tell us that the horse they tipped would have won except there were a lot of horses in the race who all ran faster.

Recently in Australia, we had the surprise of the inflation rate being slightly lower than expected and a number of economists suggested that this would mean that an interest rate cut was likely in the second half of the year. Unfortunately, the next set of figures showed a slightly higher figure than expected which led them to all suggest that the next interest rate move would be up, with one respected figure suggesting that there would be three rate rises before than end of the year.

Like I said, I’m not an expert in the area but I would have thought that with the figures bouncing around like that then we have no way of really knowing whether next month’s figures will be what we expect or what we don’t expect or, indeed, something so unexpected that we didn’t expect it even though we were saying that we had no idea what to expect.

Still, as I’ve always said, there’s no such thing as good economic news.

  • Unemployment has remained steady! Oh no, that means that we aren’t doing enough to get people into work…
  • Unemployment has gone up! Oh no, this means that we could be heading for a recession…
  • Unemployment has gone down! Oh no, this means that an interest rate rise is more likely...

Part of the difficulty is that media companies often have a particular agenda to push so they’ll put on the guests that help them push that agenda. It’s always intrigued me that people with vested interests are often given a soft interview, as though they’re a neutral expert. You know the sort of thing. “Good morning, Mr McGillicuddy, you’re telling us that the government’s proposal to hold you responsible for all the pollution your company is causing will be counterproductive and lead to the end of a profitable industry in this country. Would you like to expand on that uninterrupted for the next three minutes while I make notes of the things you’re saying so that I can harangue the relevant minister when I get them on the program?”

Speaking of agendas, I particularly liked the headline about an opinion poll which announced that Dutton was preferred PM in Queensland. While I didn’t read the article, I did find it interesting that this was the takeaway from the poll and not that the LNP were leading the Labor Party on a two-party preferred vote federally, which leads me to presume that this wasn’t the case or else the headline would have been just that.

Part of the problem is the media’s determination to find an answer to questions that would be better not asked until somebody actually knew something definite. Whether it’s interest rates or the opinion polls, some bits of the future are too far away to do more than take an educated guess. And when I say “educated” I’m not using the word in the sense of a formal qualification; more like you’ve been educated not to open your big mouth and to make a bold statement when it’s far too early to be sure of anything.

I’ve often pointed out that when people have written off an upcoming election that not a single vote has been cast yet. While some governments are extremely popular and others are on the nose, this can change quickly with an unexpected event. Howard, for example, may have lost in 2001 if not for the Tampa and 9/11.

So when people are saying that the best that Labor could hope for is a minority government, I have to wonder whether they’ve actually thought about it deeply or whether that just seems likely because the opinion polls showed them slipping, before the opinion polls showed them getting back to where they were before they slipped and then one poll showed that they were slipping, so Dutton may be PM before we know it and… whoops, this poll shows that he’s going to lose his seat to an Independent.

Yes, I guess no program is going to invite me on to explain that, not only do most people not know what’s going to happen, but I have even less idea than them!

 

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Our Woke King Is A Marxist!

Even if one doesn’t frequent that cause of so much misinformation, social media, and merely relies on the reliable sources such as Sky After Dark, one will undoubtedly have learned that our society has been overrun by woke communists and Marxists. While those of you who haven’t read “Das Kapital” – and even those of you who have – may not be familiar with Karl Marx’s ideas on feminism, LGBTI+ rights, Black Lives Matter protests, the Middle East and a whole range of other things that seem to define a Marxist these days.

Yes, our teachers are Marxist, the media are socialists, and the Albanese government are a bunch of communists. The evidence for this is clear: Bronwyn Bishop told us so and if you can’t believe someone who understands that a helicopter gets you places a whole lot faster than a car and only those left wing types who think that the money could be better spent on poor people don’t understand that we live in a capitalist system that relies on people like her spending money so that it trickles down from chartered flights to the average person in the street… Maybe not the people who are actually living in the streets but those who walk it everyday, which they wouldn’t need to do if only they didn’t rely on the government for handouts and made something of themselves by working harder; they too could be taking helicopter rides instead of walking!

All of which brings me to taxation. We know that Labor governments are all socialists because they insist on taxing us more. At this point, I’m sure that someone will use some tricky statistic such as the fact that it was the Howard government that had the highest ratio of tax to GDP, or the fact that if a government is delivering surpluses then that means that they’re taking more revenue than they’re spending which is just fine if they’re a believer in the capitalist system, but evidence of them crushing our initiative if they’re a Labor one. As everyone knows, it’s only the tax system that stops your average person from taking on an extra shift and with the help of some sensible investment, they could be as rich as Elon Musk in just a few short years.

In order to write this piece, I thought that a should do a bit of research into the history of taxation in an effort to discover which communist government invented the whole idea and what I found was one of those surprising things like the fact that money doesn’t make people happy. A good example of this is when you listen to people like Alan Jones who was paid millions to talk to us on radio and most of the time, he was angrily complaining about how terrible everything was.

Taxes were, in fact, introduced by rulers such as kings and emperors! Amazing, I know. Apparently, the idea was that they were giving people protection by allowing them to live in their own country and that in return for this, the rulers would extract a certain amount of what the peasants produced in order to have the funds to raise an army should the need arise. Of course, in many cases the army consisted of the peasants themselves but this is just how the whole capitalist system benefits everybody. The rulers would take stuff from the peasants which they would turn into gold and such, and then they’d stamp their heads on the gold and call it money and then they’d use the money to pay some of the peasants to join the defence forces, as well as sometimes hiring foreign mercenaries in case the peasants realised that they actually outnumbered all the kings and the people he’d given land and titles to. Naturally, because so few people could read and write, there was very little chance of this happening. This is another reason that today’s schools can be considered Marxist because, as well as reading and writing, some of them also encourage critical thinking which can lead to them questioning why some people get to ride in expensive cars, while others don’t even have a car to sleep in.

All of this leads to the inescapable conclusion that if it’s Marxist to impose taxes, does that mean that all those rulers who invented the taxation idea were socialists? And, if they were socialists, should we be swearing allegiance to a King who descends from such people, and who perpetuates the system to this day? Should we instead insist that Australia break with the monarchy and remove all taxation?

Yes I realise that this would mean that there was no way to pay for government services but if we weren’t taxed then after a few generations, we’d all have enough money to pay for our own security and build our own roads. All right there’s a bit of a problem in the meantime, but Rome wasn’t built in a day even though all roads apparently lead to it, in spite of that one near my house which insists that it’s a dead end and doesn’t lead anywhere.

Whatever, it’s worth remembering the next time that one of those monarchists complains about government spending that it was thanks to those communist kings and emperors that we have this whole system where the person in charge thinks that they have a right to take a portion of what we earn in return for some sort of collective good. How much more socialist can you get than that?

 

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Why I’m Confused By Peter Dutton And Other Strange Things…

I just realised that the title could be a little ambiguous. It could mean that I’m confused by strange things as well as Peter Dutton. Or it could mean that I’m confused by strange things, of which the main one is Peter Dutton.

Whatever, I suspect that all thinking people will know exactly what I meant and it’s only a certain predictable section who insist on taking the wrong meaning!!

As strange things go, I must confess that one of the strangest lately is the fact that Peter “There’s no detail, so vote No” Dutton has been able to get away with asserting a nuclear policy with absolutely no detail apart from the idea that it’s a policy and they have support it and they’ll release the detail at some future date before the Budget or after it or during the Budget or at some time before the next election, or failing all that, sometime after the next election.

It’s also strange that number seems to be pointing out the obvious flaw in the “Australia’s got plenty of uranium so why not use it for power because we could have a power station up and running in under ten years.”

I’m not talking about the fact that the nuclear plan is being pushed by the same people who couldn’t get Snowy 2.0 up and running in the predicted time frame, or build the carparks they promised or deliver the surplus in their “first year and every year after”.

No, I’m pointing out the very obvious fact that you don’t just dig uranium up and put it in a power station any more than you strike crude oil and stick it in your car. In both case they need to be processed, and we don’t currently have a processing plant to enrich uranium. It could be worth pointing out that we might have had one if Rex Connor had got his way and we’d borrowed all that money from the Arabs back in the days of Whitlam but that would start a whole argument about Labor wasting money building infrastructure when it’s better just to ship our resources overseas and just rely on the taxes that the companies don’t pay, or the jobs they generously provide our workers. Of course, in the colonial days it was customary for the great powers of Europe to enter a country and take their resources without paying taxes and expecting the original occupants of the country to be grateful for being provided with work… Although in those days, it was done under a sort of Centrelink type mutual obligation where the obligation of the workers was to work for food and shelter in return for not being shot by the colonial powers.

So before we start our nuclear plants we need to decide if we’re going to refine our own uranium or simply dig it up and sent it overseas so we can buy it back at an inflated price… which sort of defeats the argument that we’ve got the uranium so therefore nuclear power will be cheaper than other countries.

Of course that’s not the only thing that confuses me. There are a large number of people who are concerned about misinformation and disinformation laws.

On one hand, I can understand their concerns. If we have one body who decides what is true and right and no other points of view can be entered into, it’s rather like a religious dogma or an Andrew Bolt column. However, there many times that a free society needs to walk the tightrope between the alligators on one side and the lions on the other and it’s always worth considering a ban on ridiculous metaphors that make no sense.

On the other hand, if something is clearly false and can be demonstrated as such, it seems strange that that’s the hill that Elon Musk died on in 2017 and he is now being impersonated by a robot developed as part of Tesla’s self-driving car. (This is not true: I’m just trying to show how silly it is if I’m allowed to spread such absurdity without the possibility that someone can shut me down before someone reads and takes it seriously. I know that writing that it’s not true should be enough, but so many people respond to accounts marked “Parody” as though they were real that I feel that even saying Elon Musk is still alive won’t be enough because between the time I wrote the two sentences, it’s obvious that Deep State has got to me and… sh, they’re listening…pretend you didn’t read this!!)

Ok, a certain level of paranoia is healthy. I mean you should suspect the phone call you get about a transaction that wasn’t authorised from a bank account you don’t have; giving your details so that the transaction can’t go ahead would just be the sort of foolishness that enables people to believe that Trump is good, Christian man who has every right to pay a porn star money to forget she ever slept with him… which is surely something most people be prepared to forget for free if they only could.

But there’s a moment when the paranoia is taken too far and you decide that every action by any individual who has a slightly different world view than you have to be viewed through the prism of you being one of the ones who’s taken the red pill in the Matrix… On a side note, how did Neo know that the ones offering the pills were the ones he could trust and not just some dealer offering him drugs with a suggestion about what sort of trip he could go on while under them?

Anyway, there’s heaps more strange things like Tony Abbott being Minister for Women or Peter Dutton having perfect eyesight until he lost his hair but there’s a limit to how much strangeness you can have in a day… It’s true: the communist Albanese government has imposed it and I read it on X!

 

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A Lot Has Happened While I’ve Been Away…

Ok, some of you may have noticed that I’ve been on holiday…

Just in case that seems a little egocentric, I’m sorry. It’s just that someone commented about one of my recent contributions that they’d been waiting to see what I made of it and it sort of made me think that there were people out there who wait to see what I make of the world… Of course I do have to balance that against the fact that most people didn’t notice when our PM, Scott Morrison, disappeared for days…

Whatever, every time I checked the Australian news I thought that I should write about what was happening, but as I was in Malaysia I couldn’t access a number of sites including this one, so by the time I’d made a few notes and had a few paragraphs, there’s usually be a whole new development in Australian politics that made everything I’d written seem like yesterday’s news, and the only thing staler than yesterday’s news is a policy announcement from Tony Abbott. After all, if you look at the policies that he took to both elections, you’d find that even he doesn’t pretend that he ever believed in them. Most politicians have the decency to at least pretend that they meant what they said and that it was the circumstances that changed. Not dear old Tony. Nah, for Tony it was: “Climate change is crap!!” morphing into “I never said that… and anyway, people are taking what I didn’t say out of context, so it’s not fair to judge me on that you need to look at the policies we’ll be releasing closer to the election…” morphing into, “Now I’m no longer in Parliament I can tell you that I never believed half the things I said and that I only said them because I had to keep people happy, particularly Rupert because without him I wouldn’t have this great job now!”

But enough about the past. I spent a large part of Monday thinking about the Bruce Lehrmann verdict…

There were a number of people on social media who were attempting to undermine Judge Lee’s conclusion on the grounds that sex took place and how do we know it wasn’t consensual. My reaction to that was to try to put myself in Bruce’s shoes and if I’d managed to to that, I certainly wouldn’t have gone back for my hat…

Before I make the obvious point that if you swear under oath that sex did not take place then it’s pretty hard to go back and say, “All right, it did, but trust me, it was something that we both agreed to and she’s just changed her mind and you can’t trust someone who changes their mind… apart from me, who has now just admitted to perjury…” This point is general in nature and doesn’t refer to anyone in case anybody gets an idea that I may be the one holding their hat.

Anyway, before I make that obvious point… oh wait, I just made it…

The other strange takeaway from the Lee ruling was some media outlets were asking that a rather strange question about whether Brittany Higgins would have to repay the money after the judge ruled that there was no evidence of a coverup. This is strange because my understanding was that the payout was to do with her workplace causing issues. If we remember that a certain other female Liberal staffer was granted $600,000 without much investigation because the investigation may have named someone who harassed her and who wasn’t Alan Tudge which could have been more embarrassing for the government than merely handing over money to make her go away.

Apart from all the terrorist and non-terrorist attacks, there’s been a bit of chatter about the introduction of disinformation and misinformation laws. The concern has been that media companies and politicians are concerned that there’s a lot of incorrect stuff being posted on social media, and they feel that it’s their job to spread misinformation. Like when social media named the wrong person as the Bondi attacker and Channel 7 just assumed that it was correct and went with it. It was social media to blame and not Channel 7 who can’t be expected to have the resources to do a simple check when so much of their resourcing goes to getting important stories which cost a lot in terms of Thai massages and steak dinners…

 

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Monarchists Demand Say In GG Appointment

Ok, this may not be exactly accurate, but doesn’t it strike anyone else as ironic that many of the people who argued that we shouldn’t have a republic where we get to vote on who the head of state are now saying that they don’t like Albanese’s choice of Governor-General and that it should be someone “more mainstream”.

While, in some ways they may have a point… After all, Sam Mostyn isn’t your typical Aussie. I mean she’s a member of that minority group called women. As Andrew Bolt was quick to point out that there was no way Labor would appoint one of those poor white males who never seem to get a look in these days.

And Janet Albrechtsen did say that if someone asked her to be GG, she’d just say to shoot her. Doubly so, if it was because she was a woman!

Shame on you for thinking that it’s a shame she wasn’t asked, but moving on…

It seems that we shouldn’t be appointing people on the basis of anything other than merit and, well, Sam Mostyn is only getting the job because she’s the “wokest of the woke” and we prefer the sleepy ex-army types like David Hurley who managed to sleep through the fact that he allowed Scott Morrison to have five ministries and his meetings with several people on that future leaders group because he didn’t remember meeting them more than once or twice when it seems that it was closer to several times the number of ministries that ScoMoses managed to appoint himself to.

Yes, ex-ADF types are just fine even if they don’t represent the mainstream because most people don’t join the defence forces but at least they represent the white male brigade so there’s no reason for Bolt to complain and no reason for Albrechtsen feel like Sam was only given the job because she was a woman who supported action on climate change and campaigned for the Voice…

Although I can think of several other women who also support action on climate change and the Voice, so if that was the criteria, why didn’t Albo give it to one of the ones who would have caused an even bigger brouhaha. Maybe an trans person or someone Indigenous… Or some transgender Indigenous individual.

Whatever, it’s important to remember that GG should be mainstream, and that Sam Mostyn is far too ideologically driven. After all, she was the first female AFL commissioner so how does that make NSW feel when most of them are more interested in Rugby? Clearly, she’s not fitting in with the values of the majority there.

And let’s not forget that she’s been on the board of several radical organisations such as Beyond Blue, The Australia Council for the Arts, the GO Foundation, Transurban, Citibank, Virgin Australia and a host of others. Like how lefty is Citibank? And being on so many boards, where’s her real-world experience?

So I think we can safely say that this radical appointment is typical of Labor. The last time they got to decide who’d be our head of state they also chose a woman in Quentin Bryce, so they’ve got a history of doing things like this. I mean most people would agree that our head of state shouldn’t be a woman unless shes’ the Queen and she had a pretty good go, so isn’t it time for a man?

Ok, ok, I’ll take my tongue firmly out of my cheek and say quite clearly that I don’t believe that the head of state should just be at the whim of the PM of the day…

Of course, it should be someone who can achieve the consensus of both of the major forces driving decisions in Australia: Rupert and Gina.

P.S. Is it true that Dutton has been staying at Gina’s place in WA so that he can work out an acceptable plan for the election?

 

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Anyone Who Votes For Peter Dutton Will Die!

Ok, I did consider giving this the heading: “Anyone who confuses correlation and causation will die!”

However, that would have mean that the joke was so clearly telegraphed that only Donald Rump supporters would have missed it…

Anyway, I’ve been reading a lot lately and I’ve come to the simple conclusion that Mark Twain was right…

Of course when I say that Mark Twain was right, I’m presuming that he actually said – or wrote – what’s been attributed to him:

“There are three types of lies: Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.”

Then again, I’ve learned not to place too much store in what people assert when they write. For example, I read somewhere that Tom Hawkins was likely to kick 800 goals this season… which would be an impressive effort in any AFL season. However, I presume what they meant to say was that he’d kick his 800th goal this season…

Whether Tom does or doesn’t manage to achieve that impressive feat, I’d just like to suggest that there’s something wrong with the world when people who are being paid to produce intelligent commentary… or at the very least non-ambiguous sentences… come up with stuff like that!!

Yeah, all right, I’ve made the odd mistake myself, but that’s not the point as anyone who works for Sky News will tell you… We’re here to hold others to account and that means others so when it comes to our mistakes, how dare you?

Anyway, I have been concerned about how little people understand about correlation and causation and statistics generally. For example, when I point out that certain one of the clear indicators of academic success has to do with what postcodes students come from, so the simplest way of improving academic performance would be to change the postcodes of poorly performing students, there’s a real chance that some politicians will want me to take over as head of education…

Which brings me to the whole opinion poll thing!!

Now, it’s always hard to ignore polls but the one thing that polls should teach you is that they are about as reliable as trying to pick the result of a horse race or sporting contest by looking at who’s leading at the moment. I mean, sure, it’s better to be in the lead than so far back that we can wonder if you’re even there, but it’s no indicator that you’ll stay there.

Looking at the opinion polls over the past two years, I’d say that there are a number of things that should concern Labor. For a start, they’re regarded as just like the Liberals by a lot of lefty voters. Of course, that means that they’re regarded as just like Liberals by a lot of middle of the road voters and when I say that I mean that they’re like the Liberals only with a Budget surplus and a more competent front bench…

Having said that, I must say that nobody in the media seems to be pointing out that it’s rather unusual that a government hasn’t actually lost a poll in two party preferred terms this far into their term… Maybe there was one that I missed and, yes, there were a couple that had them 50/50 but the point remains.

Of course polls are one thing. In a sense they’re a bit like someone complaining about their partner. They may tell you that their partner is incredibly frustrating but it doesn’t mean that they’ll leave them anytime soon… What counts is when they start packing their bags and working out where they’ll stay… Reality is more important than what people say they’d like to do…

And when it comes to the reality, we need to look at actual elections:

  • Labor won Aston. Almost unprecedented.
  • Labor held Dunkley with a swing against them. Surely, surely given how bad they are, Dutton’s Duds should have picked at that one.
  • The Tasmanian Liberals suffered a 12% swing against them on the primary vote.
  • In South Australia, the Labor Government picked up a Liberal seat in a BY-ELECTION!

Yes, in the upcoming state elections, Labor will lose Queensland and the Liberals will pick up one of the biggest percentage increases in terms of seats held ever… They hold two so going to ten would be a 500% gain.

But in reality, the next election is slightly more likely to see Dutton as PM than Clive Palmer… but only slightly more likely!

 

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Why A Punch In The Face May Be Good For Civil Discourse!

Now I’m not one who believes in violence as a solution to problems. Generally it only makes things worse, whether we’re talking on a personal or on a global scale.

When I once suggested that a better way of conducting wars would be to have each country bomb its own areas, people looked at me as though I was insane, but it’s not only cheaper, it would be good for the climate because we’d reduce all those greenhouse gases involved in sending planes to another country. Simply, Country X who’s at war with Country Y would send a message saying that Country Y should bomb such and such an area, which Country Y would do, but in retaliation it would send a message back to Country X saying that it had to bomb an area of its own. After Country Y has bombed its own munitions factory, Country X bombs its own museum. Or whatever. Similarly, troops could vote on which of their comrades were shot by their own army after the other country asks for a number of soldiers to be shot. The public could be involved in a Big Brother type vote where they vote on which innocent civilians would need to be at the proposed site when it was bombed.

Someone told me that it was a ridiculous and insane idea, to which I replied that it made a lot more sense than all the time and effort and logistics involved in moving your defence forces all the way to another country. I mean how much did it cost the USA to move all those troops and equipment to Iraq? How much cheaper would it be if countries just agreed to bomb themselves?

Anyway, I do accept that the idea won’t be universally accepted and I do accept that most of my brilliant ideas are misunderstood… I guess I’m like the early years of the Abbott government where they told us that it wasn’t their policies that were making them unpopular, it was the fact that they weren’t communicating them well enough for the stupid public to understand how good they were!

Like when I suggest that the trouble with social media is that nobody gets punched in the face.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I like violence.

To explain what I mean, let’s consider the football. If I’m at the MCG, I can scream at the opposition ruckman a variety of insults and, even if he hears them and gets offended, he’s not likely to work out where they’re coming from, much less jump the fence and grab me by the collar for insulting his parentage. On the other hand, if I see him later that night at the pub, I’m unlikely to go up and say the same thing to him. Even if I was silly enough to do so, I would get the sense that I’d made a big mistake when he towered over me and asked me to repeat myself.

On social media, however, there are few consequences for abuse, particularly if one isn’t using one’s real name…

I was rather amused by some calling themselves “Stable Genius” who complained that someone else was a coward because they’d turned off comments on their post… mainly because all the Stable Geniuses were writing misogynist insults. I considered pointing out that it was easy to be brave when using a pseudonym but I was worried that they’d write back that they weren’t – they were using their iPhone…

Anyway, in real life, most people – even stable geniuses – get concerned when they see that someone is getting angry. It doesn’t always mean that they back off, but generally, people work out that there’s no point in continuing to argue if you’re no longer listening to each other or if someone looks like they’re going to turn nasty. On social media there seem to be large numbers of people who actively try to upset people.

While this isn’t confined to RWNJs, I did have trouble with a post from someone who argued that Albanese and Labor were pursuing the Marxist agenda of taking money from the middle classes and giving it to the rich the way Marxists do… I mean, was the person really that lacking in understanding of Marxism or was he just trying to upset Labor voters… Without going into the whole history of political thought, I would just suggest that they’d be very few Marxists in the current Federal government, and there’d be even less Marxists who’d be voting for Labor at the moment.

Whatever, it does strike me as strange the many of the people who referred to Twitter (sorry X) as a sewer were often guilty of the sort of abuse that they were calling out. “It’s not safe for us on this platform because of the vitriol coming from those feral, layabout dole-bludging greenie socialist inbred scum who haven’t worked a day in their lives!”

Like I said, I don’t condone violence. However when I first heard the German word, “backpfeifengesicht” meaning a face that needs to be slapped, the face of several politicians and commentators came to mind.

 

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Should I Leave My Wife For Princess Catherine And Other Pointless Debates…

Now I could start this evening’s meal by telling my wife that I’m leaving her for Kate Middleton but I’m not going to do that for a number of reasons:

  • My wife would find it annoying.
  • Kate Middleton is far too young for me.
  • I don’t know if I’d like her.
  • Even if I did meet up with her, I couldn’t be sure it was really her and not some body double.
  • No matter how much time my wife and I spent discussing it, it’s not remotely likely to happen and we’d be better off discussing plans for things that might actually happen rather than wasting our time having a pointless discussion about something that’s not going to happen.

I know that most of you will have read that last point and gone, “Well, of course, you stupid old fool, I don’t know how your wife puts up with you. Why would you even bring up something as ridiculous as this?”

To which I would simply say that I’m considering going into politics and one thing I’ve learned over the past few years is that the most important thing in politics is to ensure that people are talking about something completely irrelevant so they don’t start talking about the things that matter or the things that we can actually do something about.

Take the recent “nuclear debate”. At the 2019 election the suggestion that the Coalition was interested in nuclear power was denied by Scott Morrison who dismissed it as a “scare campaign” but now it’s apparently not scary at all and a great solution to rising energy prices and “the only way to achieve net zero”. Leaving aside everything else, the debate now centres on how long they’d take to build and the Party that found it too difficult to build all their promised car parks in three years and who promised to have Snowy Hydro 2.0 up and running by 2024, assure us that they could do it in ten. Again, leaving aside the fact that we don’t have any way of processing our raw uranium yet and leaving aside we don’t have a workforce trained to build such a power station, I can only suggest that the new LNP policy must be for immigrants to come here to do the job, which is at odds with the whole we have too many immigrants stance.

So let’s be quite clear here: Whatever the merits or otherwise of nuclear power, the simple fact remains that it’s not going to reduce anyone’s power bills in the near future and, if anything, the cost of building such plants is more likely to increase them, even though David Littleproud seemed to think that they didn’t need power lines because he asserted that the trouble with renewables was that the power lines sometimes blew over with strong winds.

So we spend time talking about something that is only slightly more plausible than my relationship with Princess Catherine, instead of things that are actually happening such as the Liberals removing a woman, Ann Ruston, from the top of their Senate ticket only to replace her with Alex Antic. While Ruston retains the number two spot and is still likely to be elected, the symbolism of replacing a woman with an anti-abortion, anti-vaccination, anti-woke Anti-Antic does tend to suggest that the South Australian Liberals see their woman problem as not knowing their place, which is apparently behind a man.

There are so many things that we could be discussing instead of nuclear power. If I were to compile a list of such things that we have managed to avoid talking about I would include:

  1. Is it time to for a Universal Basic Income and to remove all the time-wasting that goes with mutual obligation and unemployment benefits?
  2. Would a HECs style scheme where the government paid the up-front costs of roof top solar and batteries, only to have the cost repaid through the power fed back into the system or when the house was sold?
  3. Should The Greens be condemned for threatening to hold up the reduced vehicle emissions legislation or applauded for making their support conditional on Labor ditching their fast-tracking of gas approvals?
  4. Why is nobody pointing out that, apart from opposing just about everything, Dutton’s duds have declared they oppose any action on misinformation, as well as opposing an Indigenous truth telling? Do they just have an aversion to the truth?
  5. Power prices have just come down slightly. While the Coalition will make a big point of the fact that they haven’t come down by the $275 promised by Labor – or even the $500 promised by Tony Abbott – in the current inflationary times, the fact that they haven’t risen is significant.
  6. While Labor’s changes to the Stage 3 tax cuts have been generally well-received, there seems to be a focus on the fact that those on $150k will get a smaller tax cut than originally proposed. Why is nobody pointing out that they’re still getting a cut of over $100 a fortnight which is much more than someone on $60k so they’re still getting the best of the deal?

There are a great many other things that could be on the list but no, let’s discuss whether it’s really the Princess of Wales in the video or Coalition thought bubbles, rather than anything that’s actually happening.

 

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