Thursday, 28 January 2010

Preselection for Herbert - the never-ending story

You heard it online here first – about 12 hours before the Bully ran the story online.

The most interesting things in The Bulletin’s online coverage of Peter Lindsay’s abdication from the throne of Herbert are:
  • Mayor-in-waiting Crissafulli’s indication that his missus won’t let him nominate for the Lib’s preselection (as apparently won’t Kim Faithful, the V8 event manager)
  • Serial publicity seeker and failed LNP candidate for Mundingburra, Colin Dwyer, is interested in nominating - if they’ll have him (and if they believe that “somebody who understands economics” is a prerequisite for a successfully candidacy)
  • Mooney staying coy about whether he’ll nominate as the ALP candidate
I also liked this online Opinion piece (un-attributed) which doesn’t seem to appear in the hardcopy version and which rightfully points out Lindsay’s failings:
  • He has consistently lied to his electorate about his intentions of re-standing
  • His lap of honour last year, “…a global study tour to 13 different countries at a significant cost to the taxpayer.”
  • His amateurish effort to Photoshop himself into the study tour report, faking his photograph at a Beirut war cemetery.
  • His tawdry plagiarism, with huge slabs of his report lifted straight from Wikipedia and other sources.
As the piece asks: “For taxpayers, the question is; why did Peter Lindsay go on an overseas junket last year if he knew two years ago that he was getting out?

As for Lindsay’s list of achievements that he’d like recorded in the history books – everybody (the Bully, Lindsay, the Libs etc) are kidding themselves if they really think a backbencher or Parliamentary Secretary (read letter-signer and inconsequential speech maker for the Minister) can influence a decision like the transfer of a new battalion (3RAR) to Townsville is having a lend of themselves

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Herbert – the abdication

Well I was wrong! – Peter Lindsay will not be standing for the Libs in Herbert at the federal election later in the year.
But the really good news is that Barney Joyce won’t be either!
The most intriguing thing about the article announcing The Prince’s abdication is the statement that he told the party that he wouldn’t renominate some two years ago but “there was a strategic reason for not publicly announcing that until now”

So I suppose the big question now is whether Crisafulli’s missus will let him off the leash to play in Canberra or will the Libs come up with a surprise celebrity??

If you're really interested, Lindsay's retirement press release is available here.  It includes his version of his page in Australia's Political History book - don't worry - it will be edited down to a sentence before publication.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Crisafulli is gonna have to learn to do better

With all the talk around of Cr Crisafulli replacing Peter Lindsay as the Libs candidate in Herbert (if the missus agrees), it’s time that the pretender refined his political skills bit.

The gross hypocrisy he has displayed this week has been just a little too blatant, too obvious – On Monday he bashed the State for its ``blatant disregard'' for the city’s Town Plan when it comes to the location and building of social housing.  On tuesday he aggressively spins the Council’s decision to vary the Town Plan to enable the Railway Estate Boat Ramp to go ahead over-riding the wishes of local residents.

The art of successful hypocrisy is a key ingredient in political success. When it comes to hypocrisy Crisafulli is a natural, but he is a long way from mastering the art.

More broadly on the social housing issue, I thought that Housing Minister Struthers’ response to Crisafulli was excellent but not as to-the-point as this article by Paul Syvret in the Courier Mail

Monday, 18 January 2010

Pseudo-statistical arsehattery

Possum has an excellent post exposing how the Andrew Bolts' of the world use of "pseudo-statistical arsehattery that gets passed off as evidence" to support their denial of global warming here

Friday, 15 January 2010

Well I never...

Using their bloody reader's survey again, The Bulletin today “reveals” the truth about Maggie Island – Townsville punters don’t go there. And why would they – who’d pay $29 each plus on-Island transport costs to go to the beach when The Strand is free?

The only useful thing in this article is the vox pop comment (not shown online) from Daryl Holmes of Kirwan “We only went once to see what it was like. For families is not affordable”.

With Sunferries' best family day package at $160, you can see what he means.

Is he stupid or just a skilled opportunist

Full marks to Mayor-in-waiting (or is that Candidate for Herbert) Cr David Crisafulli for using The Bulletin’s rubbish readers’ survey to claim that the punters of Townsville approve of his Planning and Economic Development Committee’s approach to unit development in the city.

That is, despite 51% of them that filled out and posted back their survey feeling there were too many unit complexes in the city and only 34% of respondents feeling there was appropriate development and use of land in line with the city's lifestyle.

What I can’t work out is whether he considers the Bulletin’s poll as in any way a representative survey of what the punters are feeling and/or whether he believes his own rhetoric about development and design in the city.

Is this guy Australia’s most successful loser?

I see that Lleyton Hewitt has lost again.
What I can’t work out though is whether he’s any real threat to our perennial bridesmaid but most successful loser – Greg “The Shark” Norman

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Big fish on the move?

I see the other night that The Brewery is closed for renovations – again!  Their website is also down.

It leaves you to wonder whether big fish in a small pond, Cary Ramm, is sprucing it up in preparation to putting it on the market like he’s been doing with his other major assets around town.  That in turn leads you to ask - why?

Where's the news in the Bulletin?

Taking my lead from postings at Mumbrella and Pure Poison, I see that today’s Bulletin has the news of the death of thousands in Haiti’s earthquake as its number 34 story, appearing on page 13 behind stories which include
  • A grass fire south of Ayr
  • An academic pitching for funding to investigate the aphrodisiac effects of a stinger
  • A snake hunting dog
  • A woman in Ayr who got an electric shock from a household appliance
  • 4 teenagers caught mooning motorists at Babinda on Tuesday
  • A 50th wedding anniversary
  • How to do Brisbane on the cheap
By contrast, The Australian had the story on page one – where it should have been.

Fortunately, I worked out long ago not to rely on the Bulletin for actual news.

Friday, 8 January 2010

The most sobering sentence I've read this week

Cross-posted from Andrew Leigh at Core Economics who found it in the New York Times:

“We’ve got to figure out how to break the cycle of poverty, and the way we’re doing it now isn’t working,” said Hank M. Bounds, the Mississippi commissioner of higher education and, until recently, the state superintendent of schools. “An affluent 5-year-old has about the same vocabulary as an adult living in poverty.”
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Tuesday, 5 January 2010

More speculation about Herbert

I haven’t seen my hardcopy of The Bulletin yet this morning but judging by their website, the most interesting content is on their feedback page:

Alex E. comments:
A little birdy in the LNP has told me that Peter Lindsay and the Party hierarchy will announce his retirement on 18 February …He also said that Ian McDonald has confirmed that he has no interest in a switch down to the lower house by being Lindsay's successor.
Perennial letter writer and Greens Candidate, Jenny Stirling, later comments that:
My bet is that Colin Dwyer will nominate for the Liberal Party candidacy - he previously ran for the seat of Mundingburra, is an economist and therefore well informed on local economic and development issues...
The LNP rumour about the Prince of Herbert is interesting, but I’ll be surprised if it turns out to be true – unfortunately, as the incumbent, Lindsay is the best chance they have. Although, the bit about McDonald does ring true – he’s smart enough to know that he'd stand no chance and lazy enough to know that the workload in a lower house seat is way beyond what he's used to. (Senators only ever switch to the lower house when they are offered a safe seat and have a realistic shot at the party leadership).

As for Jenny Stirling’s prediction – surely she doesn’t mean that he will nominate for the LNP in Herbert? Col Dwyer might be desperate to get his bum in the leather seats but he would be way out of his league in Federal Parliament.  But then again, I suppose he wouldn’t be the first in that regard!

As for Jenny’s assertion that, because he’s an economist, he’s therefore well informed on local economic and development issues – you have to be kidding!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The ultimate guide to all things Herbert

Ben Raue at The Tally Room has an excellent summary of the Herbert electorate here with all of the important numbers for the 2010 Federal Election.

My earlier posts about the battle for Herbert are here.

Meaningless dribble from The Bulletin

As I warned back in November, The Bulletin yesterday published the first report from their annual “survey” of readers.

Purporting to be an analysis of the standing of local politicians amongst the punters of the north, the article is of course statistically totally meaningless.

Self selecting surveys such as this have absolutely no value as a predictor of voting or any other sort of behaviour or opinion.

They do however provide easy (and cheap) copy for the juniors who are left to staff The Bully during the holiday season. Be prepared for more dribble in this vane over the coming weeks.

Any local pollies who take notice are fools.

Rational taxation #2

As the drinking season draws to a close, I was taken by this report from the UK proposing that the costs of being admitted to hospital to sleep off alcoholic excess should be met by individuals, not the National Health Service.

It makes heaps of sense to me – just like the full cost of their profits should be met by the big polluters and the purveyors if ill health and the consumers of their products