My ‘To read’ file and the additional information I gather from week to week seems to grow enormously and I have trouble keeping up with all of it.
I continually challenge my bias but I can find little if anything to say about a government whose incompetency seems to grow in unison with their length of tenure.
So what follows is my usual collection of things you may have missed reading, and facts about things that may not have occurred to you. I want people to be informed when they vote – in fact, all the time.
When we consider the state of Australia’s politics it is easy to become downhearted, even depressed. Last week I read that only 10% of the world’s nations have compulsory voting, but of course making people vote doesn’t make them politically literate.
Which leads me to Labor’s report on why they lost the election. What wasn’t mentioned in the report was that perhaps a fair per cent of the people we make vote … are actually politically illiterate or just plain dumb.
Now, on with the week that was:
1 Tuesday’s Newspoll (with new methodology, supposedly to correct previous errors) was published with the two major parties neck and neck, and Albo improving his position.
I’m not surprised and I find the Poll Bludger gives a fair analysis of the NewsPoll findings:
“The public release of Craig Emerson and Jay Weatherill’s report into Labor’s federal election campaign has inspired a run of commentary about the way ahead for the party after its third successive defeat, to which nothing need be added here”
And Katharine Murphy in The Guardian surmised that:
Labor went into the contest with no documented election strategy that had been discussed, contested and agreed across the campaign organisation, the leadership and the wider Labor party – and there was no body empowered to discuss and settle a campaign strategy or monitor its implementation.
Given what was involved that was very sloppy indeed.
The negative noises from Labor Party supporters are thunderous at the moment, given that for the first time in a while Labor has a leader without any baggage. One who is doggedly determined to layout a step-by-step approach toward gaining government.
2 I received an email from the Leader of the Opposition, which read as follows.
“Well, the review into our election campaign is complete. For true believers, it’s not an easy read. It doesn’t brush over the hard truths – and nor should it.
In short? We got it wrong. Not everything was wrong, but enough was.
I’m not going to make excuses. We know that if you do the same thing again, you should expect the same result.
That’s why Labor will change. We will be better. And at the next election, we will offer the Australian people a real alternative: A party of growth. Of aspiration. Of social justice. A party of nation building and the natural environment. A party of the future.
This is the vision that will guide our way forward. It’s the vision I began laying out today.
I know people are angry and hurt at Labor’s loss – and so am I.
You’re itching to win next time – and so
You’re anxious to change the world – and so am I.
That’s why the project we’re about to embark upon matters so much.
Together, we will chart a new course – modernising, positive and optimistic about the future. Together, we will return Labor as the party of aspiration and the party of government.
3 Who said this about whom and why?
“Belligerent in rhetoric, authoritarian in tone, divisive in intent, unimaginative in vision, deceptive and insubstantial in content.”
Find out here.
4 It is easy to be angry with those who debate on Facebook.
Simply confess that you are an unashamed idealist concerned about equality and the common good, and you have left wing political leanings together with a strong sense of social justice. Add to that an intestinal fortitude for expressing your views.
Seems to have worked for me.
5 Dear PM, I just need to correct tone of your recent statements (lies).
Mining is not 1 in 7 jobs in Queensland. It’s 1 in 25. And coal? 1 in 100.
6 In The Guardian I read that:
“11,000 scientists state. We declare clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency.”
And there is good reason to believe that with simple observation that the frequency of weather events may be linked to Climate Change. At least you wouldn’t ignore it.
The deputy Prime Minister (sorry, I can never remember his name) when asked about the connection said:
“They don’t need the ravings of some pure, enlightened and woke capital city greenies at this time when they’re trying to save their homes.”
Greens leader Richard Di Natale and Adam Brant were also criticised for suggesting that Climate Change and events like the fires in NSW and QLD are linked. It’s to do with the timing.
And as if not to be left out of the nasty comments, Barnaby Joyce suggested the unfortunate people who lost their lives were Green voters.
And it is a sensitive issue but I don’t know why our politicians want to hide from it.
I’m sick and tired of people saying, “We need to have a conversation about this” or “There needs to be a serious debate on the issue.”
But, PM, what about future drought proofing of our nation? Have you done any work on that? It’s called planning for the future?
What is needed is more listening to the science followed by action on it. How dare they say they know more than a scientist who has made it his/her life’s work.
I will end this section with some good news. On Wednesday 6 of November the National Energy Market produced more than half of its electricity via renewable sources.
In terms of the environment I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today.
And still on the environment, The Australian (firewalled) reports that:
The Emissions Reduction Fund Set up by the Abbott government in 2015, has been re-badged recently as the Climate Solutions Fund. Former Origin Energy CEO Grant King is part of a panel that has been set up to review the fund, with the panel having received 40 submissions since it was established.
King rejects suggestions the panel was only set up because Australia was in danger of meeting its Paris climate targets, while he believes the fund can be restructured to achieve greater carbon abatement that would see Australia exceed its Paris targets.
7 Did you know that 81% of Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump?
8 The Australian (firewalled) 12 Nov, reported that the:
Parliamentary inquiry into Nationhood National Identity and Democracy had received a paper from the New Democracy Foundation, the Melbourne School of Government, and the Susan McKinnon Foundation, proposing fixed parliamentary terms, an increase in the number of ‘free’ votes, and an independent speaker.
If anyone seriously thinks that this government will forgo the slightest advantage it has over its opponent has not observed its behaviour over the past six and a half years. All worthwhile, as are the changes being considered for question time.
We dislike and resist change in the foolish assumption that we can make permanent that which makes us feel secure. Yet change is in fact part of the very fabric of our existence.
9 Some ‘prisoners’ have been on Nauru for nearly seven years. That’s a long sentence when you haven’t committed a crime.
10 A friend in retail tells me that Australia’s retail industry is doing it tougher now than at any time since the Bureau of Statistics started tracking their progress.
Some cannot even pay people what they are supposed to.
11 You can expect Energy Minister Angus Taylor to be under more pressure when the parliament sits next.
12 A fine piece by Richard Dennis from the Australia Institute worth reading. Dennis says:
“Greta Thunberg thinks we should stop building new coalmines and urgently increase investment in renewable energy. But who is she to say what’s important and what’s not? Doesn’t she know? We have parliaments, boards and a media full of older men to tell us what’s important.
That’s why diversity really matters”
You can read the article here.
13 Rupert Murdoch is in trouble with News Corporation reporting a loss of $306.7 million for the September quarter. Australia was the main contributor to the loss with “lower subscriptions from Foxtel” and “challenges in the Australian housing market.” I’m guessing revenues from newspaper advertising were also down.
14 The ABC will not broadcast the Olympic Games. Is there is a message there for the government?
I guess I had better finish here. There were other things of course, like the Auditor General’s warning about pork barrelling.
And I did want to comment on Morrison’s quiet Australians.
Of course I had to leave out Peter Dutton’s call for mandatory sentences for people who break the law while protesting, and for suggesting protesters on welfare should have their payments cancelled.
My thought for the day
At some time in the future history will record that even though they should have known better the people of Australia made, in May 2019, a monumental mistake in electing a Morrison government. Subsequently some lessons will be learned the hard way.
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