Tuesday, 29 December 2009

An old memory from a new angle

This is where I learnt to drive!

Lake Eyre, SA as seen from space and posted a Wired Science.

Truly amazing country.

Like newspaper editorials, I’ve long argued that the only punters who read Malcolm Weatherup (The Magpie) in The Bulletin are politicians, their minders and other party hacks and of course journalists.

Although a political junkie, I just can’t bring myself to read either. Accordingly, I owe a hat-tip to The Poll Bludger for bringing to my attention this observation by Weatherup yesterday:

If the somewhat partisan Townsville Bulletin commentator Malcolm Weatherup is to be believed, aspirants for Labor preselection in Townsville-based Herbert are 2007 candidate George Colbran, former mayor and Mundingburra by-election veteran Tony Mooney …, Townsville city councillor Jenny Hill and James Cook University psychology student Primus Innes Parker.
The interesting thing about Weatherup’s piece is the apparent appearance of Primus Parker in the contest for ALP preselection for Herbert. While I suspect that his chances are slim to non-existent, the interesting question is whether his candidature (if it comes to pass) is an attempt to split the vote in a local plebiscite and, if it is, which of the three main contenders would benefit? My guess is Mooney.

Monday, 28 December 2009

So some coppers do know how to shoot

Further to my earlier post here, it's good to see that some Qld coppers do know how to shoot (as opposed to knowing how to kill).

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Someone should teach the coppers how to shoot

Fatal shootings by police when confronted by agitated (and usually mentally ill) punters are becoming a far too common occurrence.

In the latest episode, three coppers shot and killed a man wielding a knife in NSW on Christmas Day – apparently while his family looked on.

You really have to wonder why they had to shoot him three times in order to disarm him and for that matter why they couldn’t shoot to maim rather than to kill.

But it’s ok because there will be a full investigation of the shooting – by the coppers

The real economics of dinosaur racing

At last, someone has put the lie to all of the hype about the supposed economic benefits of public subsidies for mega sporting events like Townsville’s (for now) annual dinosaur racing extravaganza.

Chris Berg from the Institute of Public Affairs (not exactly my favourite think-tank) writing in nationaltimes.com, points out the shameful secret: the economic benefits of holding mega events are almost entirely fictitious.

It’s about time our local and State politicians fessed-up – public subsidies for dinosaur racing is simply about buying our love (and votes) – and with our own tax money.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

A profitable day for the Bulletin

Just under ¼ of today’s edition is taken up with full-page adverts (not including real estate) – not a bad earner is my guess.

No wonder they published this story extolling punters to get out there and consume until their wallets are empty.

Where is the justice?

Good story in today’s Bulletin about the State’s refusal to compensate Terry Irving for his wrongful jailing for five years. As Mr Irving’s legal aid lawyer Michael O'Keeffe observes of AG Cameron Dick’s decision to abandon a judicial review of the case agreed to by his predecessor, …”Queenslanders are entitled to know is what is the Government hiding”.

However, Maggie Islander Ric Thompson’s letter to the Ed on the same subject puts the issues rather more directly: (click to enlarge - no link available)

It’s interesting that the WA Government doesn’t seem to have any problems in acknowledging their mistakes – see here and here

Friday, 25 December 2009

Alan Jones and Lex Wotton - like black and white

I’ve long considered Alan Jones one of the more dangerous hate mongers in Australia, so it was heartening to see that he has been found guilty of racial vilification. No doubt he will appeal the finding.

I don’t really see the difference between the inherent violence in Jones’ words and actions and inciting a riot for which Palm Islander Lex Wotton got 7 years in jail – other than power and wealth on the one hand and skin colour on the other.

As the Tribunal noted "... Mr Jones' comments about 'Lebanese males in their vast numbers' hating Australia and raping, pillaging, and plundering the country, about 'a national security' crisis and about the undermining of Australian culture by 'vermin' were reckless hyperbole calculated to agitate and excite his audience ..."

"...calculated to agitate and excite his audience ..." - sounds like inciting a riot to me.  Thankfully his aging audience are too old to take to the streets!

You can join the Free Lex Wotton NOW group on Facebook here

You gotta wonder

Further to my earlier post here, the soldier who shot and wounded two kids in a local park appears to have been charged with one count each of dangerous conduct with a weapon, discharging a weapon in a public place, and possession of an unregistered firearm.

I’m no lawyer, but you have to wonder why the charges weren’t more serious – like malicious wounding or even attempted murder/manslaughter. As I noted before, you also have to wonder if it had been two white kids he’d shot whether he’d have been let out on bail and into the protective arms of his Army buddies.

I’m sure he’s having a lovely xmas – far more so than the parents of the wounded kids!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Rational taxation

Interesting news from Taiwan that their Bureau of Health Promotion is planning the world's first tax on junk food in a bid to encourage the public to eat healthily and cut obesity.

Makes heaps of sense to me – just like taxing polluters for the real cost of the damage to the environment and to humanity of their production (and profits). While we won’t see a carbon tax here, the government’s ETS was the next best thing.

Given their opposition to an ETS (let alone a pollution tax), I wonder what the attitude of the conservatives would be to the idea of bad health tax designed to reduce the cost to  the public purse of balooning obesity (sorry about the pun)??

Don't bother – I can guess

Spot on

By Fiona Katauskas in NewMatilda.com

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Why sell-up now ??

I see that big fish in a small pond, Cary Ramm, has the C-Bar and Riverway Cafe up for sale.  Presumably he's keeping The Brewery because the margins are more attractive??

The really interesting question though is why is he cashing-up now (surely this is not the best of times) - to pay down some debt, to prop-up his AEC Group or is it in preparation for developoments at Rocky Springs?  After all Richard Ferry's mob is handling the sales.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

An observation about Copenhagen

News yesterday that Group of 77 developing countries had walked out of the Copenhagen negotiations as part of their tactic to force a fair and real outcome, made me think - Outside of the history of organised labour, I really can't remember another instance where the poor have had real power in a negotiation with the rich.

The next few days will be fascinating

Monday, 14 December 2009

The war for the future

From "The Fire this Time: Copenhagen and the War for the Future" by Alex Steffen in WorldChanging.com:

And this is what most older observers seem to refuse to understand: The world looks dramatically different if the year 2050 is one you’re likely to be alive to see. To younger people, Copenhagen isn’t some do-gooder meeting; it’s the first major battle in a war for the future.
Their future. I’m in my middle years, in between the two groups, yet even I can see that this war is about to get a lot more heated—far more heated than anything we’ve seen in half a century. To younger people, this isn’t just policy, it’s personal.

To be young and aware today is to see your elders burning our civilization down around our ears. To hear scientists tell us we’re in the final countdown, with the risk of runaway climate change (along with the ecosystem collapses and horrific human suffering it will bring) mounting with every day we run business as usual. To hear nearly a chorus of credible voices—from doctors and scientists to retired generals and former bankers— warning that to lose this fight is to lose everything that makes our world livable and gives the future hope.
You wouldn’t think a war could start over such simple ideas.
To be young and aware is to see old people—from the U.S. Senate to Wall Street, from newspaper editorial desks to corporate boardrooms—stalling action on every front, spouting platitudes about “balance,” committing themselves wholeheartedly to actions to be undertaken long after they’ve retired and died. To be told that the world’s scientists are participating in a giant hoax; to be chided for not understanding how the real world works; to be warned that doing the right thing will bankrupt us; to be told that not wanting to melt the ice caps and circle the equator in deserts makes you too radical to take seriously.
To be young and aware is to know you’re being lied to; to know that a bright green future is possible; to know that we can reimagine the world, rebuild our cities, redesign our lives, retool our factories, distribute innovation and creativity and all live in a world that is not only better than the alternative, but much better than the world we have now.
To be young and aware is to suspect that, in the end, the debate about climate action isn’t about substance, but about rich old men trying to squeeze every last dollar, euro, and yen from their investments in outdated industries. It is to agree with the environmentalist Paul Hawken that we have an economy that steals the future, sells it in the present, and calls it GDP. It is to begin to see your elders as cannibals with golf clubs.
Myself, I worry: not that the young grow radical—hell, if I were 10 years younger, I’d be on the barricades myself—but that they grow despondent. Because what the world needs now, more than ever, is what the young have always given most: their optimism.
So if nothing else happens in Copenhagen, I pray that all of us who have years and a voice and a conscience will say at least this to the world’s youth: Your fight is ours, too. Don’t give up
It brings a tear to the eye of an old radical yoof.

Townsville Bulletin Trash Piece No. 429

What exactly is today’s front page of the Townsville Bulletin, "Hilltop Hoodlums", on about – Yoof bashing running amok and old ladies in Yarrawonga, the Hilltop Hoods assault fans at their concert? Is the sub-heading “police nab 80 in blitz on drunks” referring to the size of this hoodlum menace?

Is the headline on the full story on page two, “Wasted Youth.” Implying that the hoodlum gang are all spaced-out on crack? No the sub-heading give its way: “Kids caught boozing at music concert” – drunken 12 year olds at the Hill Top Hoods concert or was the Carols by Candlelight??

The blatant sensationalism and yoof bashing in this trash piece by Jessica Johnson really annoys me for a number of reasons:
  • My guess is that the 7 youths were in fact young people – most likely aged 17
  • None of them were drunk – just drinking under age
  • The real crime here was committed by those selling the alcohol to underage punters
  • The article fails to report on the really ugly side of the 80 alcohol related charges made by the coppers on the weekend with the only reference to the real centre of alcohol related violence in Townsville – Flinders St East, home to so many of The Bully’s regular advertisers – a small pic of a whitefella passed out in the Street.
But then, a bit of youth bashing, blackfella bashing or muslum bashing is always good for sales

Post Script: I wonder how many families slipped their 17 year old a cold one from the esky at Carols by Candlelight last night?

Post Script #2: I recommend "Grog, crops and social control" by John Passant in The National Times

Friday, 11 December 2009

Another trash front page from The Bulletin

What s shocker – pictures comparing lunchtime activity in the Malls in Brisbane (popn. 1,857,000) and Townsville (popn. 170,000) to somehow justify a claim that Ergon is “robbing the city of an extra 500 workers”

Read on and you find that Ergon are making a commercial (ie best value for their investment) property decision and (although not specifically stated), for a long-term operator, building on their own land at Garbutt rather than leasing in the CBD is the most cost effective investment over the life of that building- Business Editor, Tony Raggat of all people should know that and should certainly expect no less from a state-owned business.

The Bulletin: "Don't mention the war"

This pic on page three of today's Bully says it all really.

Peter Lindsay, the previously low-flying Prince of Herbert really is a beaten man with the Mad Monk having taken away his Parliamentary Secretary's title (along with the big fridge and extra postal, printing and travel allowance). Even though they were hamming it up for the cameras – take a close look at their body language and their eyes – they hate each other.

Isn’t it strange that the Bully made no mention of The Prince’s demotion or the lack of North Qld representation in his Ministry? In fact the Bully has barely mentioned the issue since the Mad Monk announced the members of his new band, The Deniers

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

He's gone!

The Prince has lost his title as Shadow Defence Parliamentary Secretary and the big fridge (and extra postal allowance) that goes with it. You’ve gotta pity the poor bugger, given that:

  • He committed stay on and to fight the next election in Herbert at the urging of the administrative wing of the Libs (or was it Malcolm???) who know that his incumbency is the only chance they have of holding the seat.
  • He has to fight that election with a leader that he doesn’t support and a global warming policy he doesn’t believe.
All that with a -0.4% margin and a smaller fridge!

Of course it’s a long-shot, but who knows, The Prince may yet cross the floor with Malcolm Turmoil and vote against The Mad Monk and The Deniers on the ETS.

While that would take balls bigger than I think the Prince has, it could well be the one strategy that saves his bacon.

God, Climate Change and those emails

I've often wondered about the relative silence of religions' power structures in the Global Warming debate and about how those who have a literal belief in the creation fable and the omnipotence of their god could ever reconcile that belief with the reality that man could so fundamentally threaten their god's creation.

Today comes the explanation. In an excellent piece, The holy war on climate change, Paul Coglan at The Punch details the role of a range of ultra-conservative Christian groups in the email and phone "campaign" that (we are told) deluged opposition MPs offices in the lead-up to the right-wing take-over of the Parliamentary Party and the accession of the Mad Monk to their leadership.

Within the article, is this quote from The Shakers, a Christian Ethics Group with links to Catch the Fire Ministries and (would you believe) the National Civic Council, which explains it all:

We cannot ‘save’ the planet. Only God can. This world will not be wiped out until Christ returns.
So it’s ok folks - we don't have to do anything!  Scary.

Surely this is no better than a jihadist’s rational for mass murder?

Monday, 7 December 2009

What will Peter The Prince do...?

The big question in the federal kingdom of Herbert is whether Peter The Prince will stick to his guns and cross the floor with Malcolm Turmoil to support the ETS or will he fall into lock-step with The Mad Monk and the Denialists?

Saturday, 5 December 2009

The definative account of The Mad Monk's accession

Not to be confused with The definitive commentary on the accession of The Mad Monk

Peter Harcher at The National Times:
The accidental leader: how Abbott won
The Liberal Party shocked itself when it elected Tony Abbott as leader this week.
The man who had masterminded the coup to destroy Malcolm Turnbull was Nick Minchin, the godfather of the Liberals’ conservative wing.

As soon as the results were announced – Hockey was eliminated in the first round of voting, and the final ballot was won by Abbott over Turnbull by a single vote – Minchin walked across to a shocked Joe Hockey.

They had not even left the party room. Astonished members were milling about. A gang of reporters was waiting outside. ‘‘If I’d known how it was going to go,’’ Minchin told him, ‘‘I would have slung you another 10 votes.’’

Minchin was in partly in jest. He was rebuking Hockey for failing to do his numbers, for bungling his run at the party leadership.

But he was also partly serious. Minchin had not expected Abbott to win. Nobody had expected Abbott to win. Not even Abbott. Contrary to widespread impressions in the media, Minchin did not even want Abbott to win.

Although the pair are both stalwarts of the conservative group in the party, Minchin knew very well what everyone else in the room knew – that of the three leadership candidates, Abbott was the most unpopular.

The parliamentary members of the Liberal Party had just chosen to elect a leader that most of them considered to be unelectable.

Now they had replaced Turnbull, a man nominated as preferred Liberal leader by 32 per cent of voters in the Herald’s Nielsen poll, with a man preferred by only 20 per cent.

Minchin’s main aim was to dump the Liberal Party’s support for an emissions trading scheme. He had been adamantly opposed to an ETS ever since he took the job of industry minister in the Howard government in 1998.

His voice had been dismissed in the cabinet when Howard decided to support an ETS in 2007. Now he was getting his way.

He would have allowed Malcolm Turnbull to stay in place if he had yielded. He had delivered his ultimatum to Turnbull five days earlier.

Minchin and Abbott had gone to see Turnbull in the Opposition leader’s office in Parliament House. There was a huge reaction against the ETS from the grassroots of the party, they said. They pleaded with him to oppose the ETS or, at the very least, to defer it.

Turnbull was unmoved. ‘‘I’ve got a partyroom decision in favour of the policy and a spill [motion to declare the leader’s position vacant] against me failed just yesterday. Why would I back down on something I believe in?’’

The two then said that they had no option but to resign from the frontbench, and they detonated a series of orchestrated explosions along it as well, as one after another, other shadow ministers resigned. By the end of the process, Turnbull had lost 14 of his frontbench. He could not limp on. Another spill motion was to come.

The right of the party had lost that week’s gambit. On numbers compiled by the Liberal Whip, Alex Somlyay, the shadow cabinet had approved Turnbull’s position to support the ETS by 14 to 6; the Liberal party room had supported it by 47 to 32; and the Coalition party room, including the National Party, was in favour of it by 47 to 46.

But Minchin would not accept defeat. If Turnbull would not submit, he would find a more amenable leader.

Minchin wanted to install the avuncular Joe Hockey instead.

This was logical, but also perverse. Logical because Hockey was the most electable, preferred by 36 per cent of voters as Liberal leader.

And perverse because Hockey had been a solid supporter of the ETS policy. Indeed, he had urged it on the Howard government when he had been the acting industry minister in 2002, five years before Howard adopted the idea.

And Hockey was also a firm friend of Turnbull and an unwavering supporter of his leadership. To be installed as leader, Hockey would have to dump his commitment to an ETS, and his loyalty to Turnbull. Turnbull and Hockey were the Liberals’ leading moderates, as distinct from the conservatives.

Yet that was the deal that Minchin now offered him. It was the same deal that he had offered Turnbull – defer or defeat the ETS, and I will give you the crown. This was the Faustian bargain.

‘‘My whole political currency is as a straight talker,’’ Hockey agonised with supporters. ‘‘I will be destroyed.’’

Hockey was confident he would carry the numbers in a leadership ballot. He didn’t agonise over the votes. He didn’t even agonise so much over disloyalty to Turnbull; he had promised not to challenge his friend, and he would keep his word, at least in a technical sense. Hewould only stand for the party leadership if it was first declared vacant in a spill motion.

No, Hockey agonised over the ETS. Parliament resumed on Monday. The ETS bills were still pending in the Senate. A partyroom meeting was due on Tuesday. A leadership spill was a certainty. What would Hockey do?

First, he went to see his mate, the defiant leader. He told him that he didn’t think Turnbull could win. I accept that, replied Turnbull. If the leadership is vacant, said Hockey, I will stand. Well, righto, came the leader’s response. Hockey had the clear impression that Turnbull had said that, if defeated in the spill, he would not then stand in the next ballot, the vote on the leadership.

This was logical. Because a lost spill, for a leader, is effectively a motion of no confidence. What’s the point in then standing again two minutes later?

Next, Hockey convened a big meeting in his office about 4pm. It was, essentially, everyone in the leadership group except Turnbull.

Minchin and one of his close conservative allies, Eric Abetz were there. So was Abbott. So was a Hockey lieutenant, Christopher Pyne. The pro-ETS Greg Hunt was there, and so was the anti-ETS Andrew Robb. Turnbull’s deputy, Julie Bishop, was in the room. So was a conservative mooted as her replacement, Peter Dutton. Even the federal director of theLiberal Party, Brian Loughnane, waspresent.

Hockey announced that he would stand for the leadership once it was vacant. Then he announced his policy on the ETS. Hockey would not have a policy, he said to an incredulous room. It was simply too divisive. So he would allow party members a conscience vote in the chambers of the Parliament.

The group broke up to think about it, and reconvened in Hockey’s office a little after 6pm.

Hard positions had now formed. Minchin and Abetz opposed the idea of a conscience vote. Minchin said it was ‘‘crazy’’ from Hockey’s point of view, that it would look weak. ‘‘Your first decision as leader would be no decision.’’

One participant, and recollections differ over who it was, observed that under this plan, the ETS would probably pass through the Parliament – ‘‘we will have changed the leader and have the same policy!’’ he expostulated.

‘‘What does the right get out of that?’’

Hockey replied: ‘‘The right gets Dutton as deputy, me as leader, Abbott as shadow treasurer, and Julie Bishop in foreign affairs.’’ No one had broached with Bishop the idea that she would lose the deputy’s slot.

‘‘Joe,’’ said Bishop, ‘‘before you start speaking about the deputy’s job, speak to me.’’ It didn’t come up again.

Minchin argued repeatedly that Hockey’s position was ridiculous – you can’t have a policy of not having a policy, he said.

At this point, Abbott declared his hand. ‘‘This is an impossible situation for the colleagues,’’ he said. ‘‘Some want to vote for the ETS, some want to vote against it. You can’t leave it unresolved. The party has to be offered a clear choice.’’

If Hockey would not change his mind, said Abbott, he would stand as the anti-ETS candidate.

About 8pm, Minchin visited Hockey once again. Abbott joined them. Minchin tried once more to find a way to kill the ETS but install Hockey

as leader. He offered a new formula – a secret ballot on the ETS offering three options – in favour of it, against it, or in favour of a conscience vote on it.

Hockey was ready to accept this, but Abbott would not brook anything offering a conscience vote option.

That night, as the candidates counted their numbers, a Hockey lieutenant contacted Turnbull about 8.30pm to make sure of his undertaking to Hockey that he wouldn’t stand.

He told Hockey that he had received the assurance and had noted the conversation in his diary.

Yet Turnbull publicly vowed, in the strongest of terms, that he would standand fight.

At the Tuesday meeting, the leadership was declared vacant with a vote of 48 to 34, a clear dismissal of Turnbull.

Then Bishop, as deputy, called for nominations for the leadership. Turnbull was on his feet instantly, followed a second later by Abbott. Hockey rose a moment later. It was to be a three-way contest.

In the first round of voting, Abbott won 35 votes, Turnbull won 26 and Hockey won 23. With the lowest tally, Hockey was eliminated.

The moderate vote had been split between Hockey and Turnbull. Some had abandoned Hockey because of his equivocal position on the threshold issue of the ETS.

Hockey was shocked.

In the run-off, Abbott beat Turnbull by 42 votes to 41. One vote, unbelievably, was informal.

After Minchin’s crack about the 10 votes, Hockey replied incredulously: ‘‘He’s a piece of work, isn’t he?’’ indicating Turnbull. ‘‘He promised me he wouldn’t run if the spill got up.’’

Later, he bumped into Turnbull on the flight back to Sydney. ‘‘I’m too angry to talk to you,’’ said Hockey.

Turnbull is adamant that he gave Hockey no undertaking. Both men lost. Turnbull lost his leadership, Hockey lost his challenge, and neither got to keep the ETS that he had supported.

And Abbott was, truly, the accidental leader.

Friday, 4 December 2009

The definitive character assessment of The Mad Monk?

Bob Ellis on ABC Unleashed earlier this year, quoted by Annabell Crabb here...

"Though he sued me and cost me income and influence and a lot of public dignity (I wrongly alleged he listened to Tanya Costello's views on politics - a shocking thing to do, it seemed in those far-off days, to listen to a woman, for it cost my publishers a million dollars) I find him in person curiously disarming, and I find myself agreeing with him uncomfortably and often.

"The person he most resembles, I've just decided, is Scott Fitzgerald. The classic good looks, big flashing smile, easy Irish eloquence, angelic writing style, self-doubt, Catholic guilt, hot temper, Gatsby-like yearnings for past relationships long gone and luminous in remembrance, fondness for football and self-flagellation and his need for a son, all bespeak a literary genius drawn by Life and lesser pursuits into spiritual shallows and drunken remorse like Scott, poor Scott. We have lost thereby good books he might have written, and gained - what? - a cheery, self-mocking buffoon? Or the Tories' last, best hope of power?"
Found the full August '09 essay here ...

The definitive commentary on the accession of The Mad Monk

Cross posted in full from Possum Comitatus  at Pollytics.com
Abbott – The Numbers Point to Grief
This vote won’t resolve the Liberal Party conflict, it will only send it into a sequel. The vote for the spill had 82 people vote, which was passed 48/34. This caused a three way leadership race between Turnbull, Abbott and Hockey where 84 people voted – Turnbull getting 26 votes, Abbott getting 35 votes and Hockey getting 23 votes. Hockey was eliminated and in the head to head there was 83 formal votes, with Abbott winning 42/41.
Someone in that final contest voted informal – making @timwattsau on Twitter quip “maybe someone just wrote ‘kill me’ on the ballot”. Apparently they actually wrote “No” on the ballot paper. “No” – WTF?
Fran Bailey was granted special leave from the meeting as she’s in Hospital in Victoria with some ear infection and couldn’t fly– however, Bailey wanted to put in a proxy vote but wasn’t allowed (there not being a capability for that apparently in the Liberal Party), yet she would have almost certainly voted for Turnbull.
Next week, two new members enter Parliament – Kelly O’Dwyer from Higgins and Paul Fletcher from Bradfield, both almost certainly Turnbull supporters.
If the vote was held at the end of next week rather than today, the result would almost certainly have been 44/42 in favour of Turnbull – where even if the goose that wrote “No” on the ballot paper managed to borrow a few extra neurons and cast a formal vote, it wouldn’t have mattered because of the margin created by these 3 extra Turnbull votes.
Already, the moderates in the party are threatening complete dissent – the conflict in the Liberal party hasn’t been resolved, it has just started. This vote gave Abbott a win which he couldn’t have achieved a week later and every single one of the moderates know it.
More, including comments here...

Now you know my politics

This is me aparently:

See: World's Smallest Political Quiz

A brilliant observation

Prof. Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor at the Australian Catholic University and constitutional law expert, on the 7:30 Report last night, talking about the NSW Government:
"The difficulty with governments is that they age at the same rate as dogs..."
I presume that this observation is all Craven's own work.  And he's dead right - the average life of governments in Australia over the last 30 years or so has to be around the 10-year mark - about 70 years in dog years.

A profound contribution to our understanding of politics and the science of psephology.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Peter Lindsay and that fridge

My earlier prediction that the Prince of Herbert, Peter Lindsay, would be looking for a smaller fridge after supporting Malcolm Turmoil in the recent successful takeover of the parliamentary Liberal by the ultra conservatives is looking more certain every day.

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary and junior ministry positions are one of the prizes that the Mad Monk can use to reward his supporters in his recent one-point win over Turmoil. To enable him to do so, he will quietly drop Turmoil supporters from the ranks of junior ministers and Parl Secs, including The Prince, and replace them with his own.

That’s how the game is played.
The Prince will be left with a smaller fridge, a smaller postal and staffing allowance and with a party manifesto devoid of a free market solution to reducing emissions. He will have to sell a no-ETS, no pollution pricing or taxing policy while knowing full well that we can’t achieve the necessary changes to behaviour or the economy without them. And there’s every chance he’ll have to sell a nuclear energy policy to boot.

But then, he effectively admitted in today’s Oz what the next election is about for the Libs - shoring-up their core conservative (resistant to change) constituency.

"Abbott will be able to bring them back into the tent," Mr Lindsay said of the Nationals yesterday. "That will stop the political bleeding that's happened in Queensland, and we will better work together."
The problem for Peter is that, on a -0.4% margin, he has to keep that core rusted-on constituency while winning the middle ground – no wonder he needs a hug.

Perhaps he should look at getting an esky rather than a smaller fridge.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Tell me that this isn't a joke

Whether Guy Hand wrote this headline or it's the work of a sub-seditor at the SMH, this headline is a killer given the political context of theday: Late Abbott goal keeps Kookas unbeaten

Best headline of the day #1

Liberals embrace spirit of kamikaze fundamentalism...from The Age

And Murdoch wants us to pay for on-line news content??

The Prince and the Fridge

Looks like the Prince of Herbert will be getting a smaller fridge! 

Having supported Malcolm Turmoil and the ETS, the Prince may well lose his seat on the outer shadow Cabinet and the big fridge (and postal allowance) that goes with it.

...AND he has to win Herbert on a -0.4% post-redistribution margin with the Mad Monk and the Denialists campaigning on a policy he does not support.

Bizare days indeed!