1 Facing a Q&A audience on a cold winter’s night with a referee of the calibre of Tony Jones would, I imagine, be a daunting prospect. And so it was on Monday night. Shorten and Jones were in peak condition and the verbal brawling went the distance. I gave it to Shorten on points. As a counter puncher his jabs were on the mark with each question from an enthusiastic audience.
Shorten was often bemused with Jones presenting his own interpretation of the question and let the referee know it. His jab “I’m sorry to interrupt the question with an answer” was greeted with applause from the audience.
It went from moderate sparring to genuine biffo at times.
Answering a question about our right to be informed about conditions on Nauru and Manus Shorten was immediately criticised by Government Ministers Cormann and Morrison.
“Nauru and Papua New Guinea are sovereign governments, they’re the ones who actually ultimately decide what happens”.
Really? Pull the other one.
“If I was prime minister it would have to be an amazing set of circumstances where we’re not prepared to tell you what’s going on,” Mr Shorten said. “As a general rule this nation operates best if you treat people as smart and intelligent and tell them what’s going on, full stop”.
Neil McMahon put it this way in the SMH:
“A leader needs to be on song in this setting, a departure from Q&A’s normal format in which government and opposition representatives are there to keep the other honest. In the absence of this theoretical check and balance, the role of Devil’s advocate falls entirely on the host – and from early on in Monday’s proceedings, Bill Shorten wasn’t entirely happy about the host’s interpretation of his role. Nor were many on social media, where Jones’ entanglements with the Labor leader were taken as evidence that a program most commonly derided as a weekly massage for the indulgences of the left is in fact a vehicle for promoting the predilections of the right”.
Next week the Prime Minister and current champion will enter the ring with Jones and what is sure to be a lively audience looking for a bit of blood. One can only hope that Turnbull will make a contest of it and not just avoid Jones with his usual side stepping and jabbing.
Last night’s contest was a scrappy event with a few blows below the belt. Both fighters landed a few good punches and Turnbull will have a fight on his hands next Monday. What he needs to do is not avoid the questions but a bit of serious, but honest biffo into his punches.
2 How is it possible that the Government is advocating as one of its major platforms the idea that innovation will be the chief driving force of our economy yet thinks it can be achieved with internet speeds ranked 60th in the world?
3 Realistically those on the left need to remind themselves that the ALP is chasing a 4.4 % swing to gain the 231 seats it needs to govern. That’s 51% of the vote. If you look at all the polls right now its 49% and the bookies have Labor drifting.
4 The blatant murder of 50 gay people in Orlando USA once again brings into focus America’s preoccupation with guns and we find it difficult to understand why anyone would need a weapon of war to defend oneself. Sane people try to sort through the complexities in order to find answers and the insane like Trump take whatever political advantage the can in the pursuit of power and supremacy.
Here is the proof of his insanity:
“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump tweeted, though he modestly added that “I don’t want congrats.” Trump also tweeted, “I called it,” and reiterated his support for a ban on Muslims. And Trump called on Obama to “resign in disgrace” because he won’t use the words “radical Islamic terrorism”.
An observation. In memorandum.
“In the cycle of life people we care most about are taken from us too soon. We struggle to come to terms with the why of it and there is no answer. It is only by the way we conduct our living that we salute the legacy they leave behind”.
5 Tasmanian ‘’Family First’’ (linked to the Assemblies of God Church) Senate candidate Peter Madden tweeted that ‘’though Orlando is abhorrent, it doesn’t change the real present dangers of the gay marriage agenda to Aus children.’’
A fact check.
Bill Shorten says that the Coalition has added $100 billion to the National Debt. Is this correct?
Bill Shorten is correct that Australian government net debt has grown by about $100 billion under the Coalition government. But net debt to GDP remains low by international standards. It is getting high by Australian historical standards, which underlines the need to solve the structural budget deficit problem.
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