Monday, 30 August 2010

Who really won in Herbert?

Slim raises an interesting point below about the recent campaign in Herbert. 

Judging by my letterbox and my TV habits, the LNP outspent the ALP 3:1!  So who exactly stumped up for Ewin What's-his-name?

Either the developers as Slim suggests or perhaps Big Clive P (a former property developer, now coal developer - basically the same MO though)?

One thing Slim is dead right about for sure - the property developers about town would have invested enough in each campaign to ensure that there would be a return for them no matter who won!

As for No Raffles at Mooney's wake? - I reckon he's petrified that no one will turn-up so he's simply eliminating the disincentives!

And finally, I thought a lot about whether Slim uses Ned's last words appropriately...and, yep!

Slim writes:
No Raffles at an ALP function? Has he quit the party as well?
The land developers must have come up with the big green notes - sometimes referred to as a "Jolly Green Giant"
Who else is known as as "Jolly Green Giant"?  Why Ewan Jones of course.
The land developers win every which way.
Such is life.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Election 2010 in three easy graphics

Cross-posted in full from Paul Coglan at The Punch 'cause it's so good:

Eat your heart out, Antony Green. These infographic presentations explain the results of the 2010 election. Let’s start with the ratio of eggs to faces.

Next is a Venn diagram roughly illustrating the voting blocs in the new House of Representatives

The final graphic shows how the campaign has highlighted the disparity between seats held and power wielded.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Election 2010 - Murdoch wins & Katter decides the future of a nation

For what it's worth, may assessment of the Election outcome as we understand it this morning:
  • Murdoch won the contest by and easy margin with The Australian supported by Sky News a close second

  • The Rudd Factor - rubbish - he suffered a 10% swing in his own seat

  • The Rudd Leaks Factor - lethal!

  • Only Gillard has the personal skills to manage a collaboration with the Independents - the Tories' natural 'born-to-rule" world view will be an anathema to the independents

  • Bob Katter will decide who will govern Australia and how!  VERY SCARY!!!
Oh, and about Tony Mooney - well I told you so!  I only hope the ALP learns something about how and who it preselects as it's representative.

... and as for Ewen What's-his-name-see the last paragraph of this piece in today's Bully:

"...Mr Jones said one of his early priorities would be to get Townsville on the weather map and to support Free Sauce Friday"

Not as scary as Bob Katter deciding the fate of the nation, but the punters of Townsville didn't come back with much from their day at the races Saturday

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Duty done and the esky is full

The mood was very subdued at the booth on the island that I'm just back from - 3 hours and about 200 punters and no discernible preference one way or another.  Many questioning the Greens decision not to hand out cards or distribute their preferences.

So.... my guess on the outcome (for what it's worth):
  • Labor wins nationally by 3-5 seats
  • Mooney loses Herbert because he was such a dumb "choice"
We'll see (and drink much beer and eat many chips between now and when we do!)

Vote well

Some crypictic advice from Dee:

"The community of northern Queensland has been served well by its elected Senators who have had offices in Townsville since Senator Jim Keeffe in 1965 and I suppose there are many community members who will remember their favourite Senator with a great deal of fondness.  After all they do represent us in Canberra and live and work in our diverse community.

I notice two of our most recent Senators are finishing their terms of office in the very near future or near future. Only one of these Senators is standing again and only one has had an office in Townsville.

When Senator Macdonald's term of office finishes the Townsville community will no longer have that representation. But I wonder if there is a way out of this mess not of our making that we find ourselves in?

A careful scrutiny of a sample ballot for the Senate candidates in Queensland indicates there is one local only who has been placed by their Party in the No. 1 spot or the No.2 spot and thus becomes the person most likely to be willing and able to maintain a Senate Office in Townsville."
Regards - Dee

As for me - I'm off to vote

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Peter Lindsay's final rort?

Sim writes:
Well we have all been waiting such a very long time for the swan song of the Hon. Peter Lindsay.

Here it is folks.

One more run on the public purse, but for whose benefit?

This document is clearly set out to deceive the voting public during an election campaign.

The document does not have an "authorised by" nor a "printed by" acknowledgement.

The document was personally addressed using the electronic electoral roll facilities and other taxpayer-funded office equipment available to sitting members.

The document contains the idea that the Coalition candidate has the authority to decide that for the Seat of Dawson there will be two electorate offices.


Hope he doesn't let the door belt him on the arse on the way out.


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The furture of the Australian health system?

One American's $76,000 bill for an emergency appendectomy.  From the market controlled health system that Tony Abbott use as the model for Australia

Is Tony Mooney already a Serial looser?

Further to last Saturday's post about comrade Mooney's chances in Herbert, Slim writes:

How many times does it take to be a "serial loser"? He is already a three-time loser, that's a "serial" for me! He will make it to four.
The first one was the 1990's attempt at amalgamation which was only pulled because of the strength of the community comments coming from Thuringowa. The reports are still available in the JCU library. That's probably why he is campaigning out there now, although it may have been better to be campaigning in Townsville where a few may still feel sympathy.
The second was the disastrous Mundingburra by-election.
The third was the total destruction at The Amalgamation council election in 2008. Now that was a classic self-destruction!
How many "Tony Mooney" ads has anybody seen on the TV? Did they make any apart from the online meatworks one? Chasing the union vote, most unlikely to get any result.
It's not got anything to do with Rudd. Look in the direction of the competition between various land developers/real estate agents for the likely answers! Remember Rocky Springs - which means two horses from the one stable may be a close guess.
Rudd's political lifespan was a little short after all because he wouldn't play the faction game. Bligh will be next because the AWU and the SDA and the catholic right are ruthless, watch out for Lucas when Bligh gets into this ALP president appointment.
It won't be long now.
Jenny Hill has wanted Mundingburra for a long time now and she knows where all of Ludwig's and De Bruyn's bodies are buried. She knows where Tony's are, obviously.
Sabotage could not be ruled out, you know what these southern europeans are like?

'Nuff said

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Should Mooney be worried?

Although it's tactically nice to be able to claim underdog status, today's front page in The Bulletin won't make Tony Mooney happy.  The Newspoll results showing a 3.4% swing to the LNP is interesting although not particularly enlightening - the error margin is around 2.5% and the have applied a uniform swing from seven Qld marginals to Herbert.

The betting tend is much more interesting showing the LNP consistently leading - While nationally the betting markets are a good indicator, we don't know how many wagers have been made in Herbert (and therefore the strength of the betting sentiment).  I would also be very handy to know whether there have been any large bets placed yet (usually by someone with inside knowledge of party polling).

My guess of the best indicator of the outcome in Herbert? - party spending!  By my reckoning, the LNP are outspending Mooney 2:1 and, let's face it, you don't spend your money promoting a product that you know people aren't going to buy.

Tony is shaping up as a serial loser and the choice of him as candidate as another example of Rudd's poor judgement/leadership

Sunday, 8 August 2010

The voters lament

Leunig is truly a national treasure, along with Cooke and Petty and a host of others that make up the fine tradition of political cartooning (all cartooning is political):

Friday, 6 August 2010

Thursday, 5 August 2010

You wouldn’t want to be Tony right now .....

Things aren’t looking great for Tony Mooney’s second shot at the big time.

While, judging by Julia’s visits, ALP campaign polling is showing Herbert as still winnable, the Lib’s polling is presumably showing the same thing (given the Monk’s new-found fondness for the town).

Given that the seat is so tight Mooney won’t be happy to learn today that the Greens will not preference him and will not hand out how-to-votes on the day. This decision will invariably lead to the loss of green preferences on the day and is of course contrary to the Greens’ national deal with the ALP – a very open demonstration that, locally, the Greens memories are verrrry long.

But it seems that many in the ALP locally have long memories too!  I hear that a number of Branches around town are having trouble getting a booth roster together for the day - it seems that members of the left in particular just can't bring themselves to help the man they've come to loath.

The fly-in fly-out count will be interesting to watch over the next couple of weeks as the leaders time and the campaign dollars gets concentrated on the must win seats (for the ALP, read "must keep seats" of which Herbert of course isn't one) - it will be an early indicator of the likely outcome locally.

Well said

Cross-posted in full from B Sides ...because it is spot-on!

The unreflective mirror

This is a quote from a Barry Cassidy article:
This election is not about gender, or even policies; thus far, it's not even about Tony Abbott.
Social researcher, Hugh Mackay, is spot on. It's about Julia Gillard, yes or no.                                                                                       
I'm always stunned when journalists say things like this, as if what an election is "about" somehow happens in a world in which they themselves do not exist. Does it really not occur to them that what an election is "about" cannot be separated from how the election is reported?
I'm really tired of reading articles written by journalists who presume their own non-existence.
It's like when you read them saying that "Labor can't get traction" or "this story about the Coalition was buried". Those two states (traction and buried) merely reflect editorial decisions about what was covered. They are basically saying, we chose not to cover these stories. And yet they write about the lack of traction or the buried story as if it happened in a world where they are mere observers.
Truly, I'm not trying to be rude. I'm just perplexed. Do journalists really think that the lack of focus on Abbott (or policy) and the total focus on Gillard happens independently of their reporting?

The Bulletin's contribution to the election debate

Is this really necessary (or relevant)?

And the inuedno that the boy's hearing was somehow intentionally delayed until after the Election is just the sort of grubbyness we've come to expect from the Murdoch entertainment industry (which so likes to think of itself as a news organisation). 

But then, perhaps the Bully is only now starting in earnest to obey their master's voice about (as he's done so many times in elections in Oz, the US and most recently the UK) who they will support in the Election - .

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Blogger Beats Bulletin !!

I've always been bemused by the Townsville Bulletin's approach to it's web page.  Until quite recently, the only breaking local news they would post during the day (after their morning headline post which itself is invariably available later than every other newspaper's) would be the occusional short report on a fire or significant crime.

Isn't it interesting then that, after I posted this at 10:21 (with typo):

Lo-and-behold at 11:54, this appears as breaking late news on my RSS reader:

The death of Lyji Vaggs - a very familiar story

It's not often that I even read the Australian these days but when I see any piece by Tony Koch, I sit up and take notice!

This exclusive by Koch today's Oz is reprinted in full:
Security yet to face questions over asphyxia death in hospital
An Aboriginal man who was physically restrained and handcuffed after he sought treatment for mental illness suffered asphyxia, an autopsy has found.
The man was physically restrained by hospital security staff in Townsville and handcuffed by police.

But a separate police report details how detectives have so far failed to interview the six to eight security officers and orderlies who seized an agitated Lyji Vaggs, 27, and held him face-down before he suffered respiratory failure and irreversible brain damage.

"Restraint asphyxia" contributed to Vaggs's death at Townsville Hospital in April, but the pathologist who performed the post-mortem examination on his body says asphyxia may not in itself have killed him.
Despite the uncertainty, Queensland Health "had not yet provided any further information with respect to the actions of staff relating to the deceased's assessment, transport and the period of detention prior to police arrival" at the mental health unit of Townsville Hospital, the police report to the state coroner states.
Security footage of the confrontation involving Vaggs, hospital staff and security officers on April 13 either did not exist or could not be found, The Australian has been told.
The revelations will deepen outrage at his treatment at the hospital from Vaggs's family and the Aboriginal community in Townsville, and invoke comparisons with the botched handling by Queensland police of the 2004 death in custody of another indigenous man, Mulrunji Doomadgee, on nearby Palm Island.
A spokesman for the police service declined to comment last night, saying the Vaggs case was now before the coroner.
The state's Crime and Misconduct Commission has recommended that Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson consider disciplinary action against six police involved in the Doomadgee affair, but this is now subject to legal action by two of those officers.
The autopsy report for the coroner, prepared by Cairns-based forensic pathologist Paul Botterill, found that Vaggs died of the combined effects of "restraint asphyxia", obesity, schizophrenia and an aberrant coronary condition.
Dr Botterill reported he had been told Vaggs had been restrained by six to eight hospital staff, who maintained pressure on his limbs but "apparently not directly on him".
This happened after he went to the hospital seeking help, and turned on medical staff.
"He was observed to be still resisting, trying to get up," Dr Botterill reported.
"Hospital staff allegedly requested the use of handcuffs and police applied these, with the decedent's wrists situated behind his back.
"Police say that they remained at the upper torso, holding on the handcuffed arms and each placing a knee on the decedent's arms. One of the security officers was then alleged to have restrained the decedent's legs by crossing them and folding them upwards.
"The decedent was said to have continued to struggle, with his speech becoming irrational." The autopsy report notes that Vaggs sang Happy Birthday and asserted he was a woman.
He was then injected in the buttocks with an a psychotic medication, olanzapine. He continued to struggle, and may have been given further injections, at which time he was observed to go "limp and lifeless". He died on April 15 after life support was turned off.
The chief investigating police officer, Inspector Roger Lowe, said in his report to the Coroner that police had interviewed no hospital staff apart from the doctor who administered the sedative, Mushtaq Mohiuddin, due to "privacy reasons".
Others on duty at the time, or involved in the incident, were "unavailable to be spoken to" by police investigators, Inspector Lowe said.
Queensland Health acting district solicitor Shiloh Smith had advised the police that "statements for staff involved in the incident were to be provided through Queensland Health solicitors", the policeman said.
Vaggs's aunt and family spokeswoman Gracelyn Smallwood, an associate professor of nursing, said she was concerned the investigation to date had not been thorough.
"When I heard of Lyji's death, the first thing I did was pray to God that nothing was covered up because the last thing we need here is another Palm Island," she said.
"We didn't want key witnesses not interviewed, or security videos suddenly not being available -- and what do we get. It is just so disappointing for Aboriginal people seeking justice and answers that this is the result we get all the time.
In his report to the Coroner, Inspector Lowe wrote that Vaggs was a patient well known to the hospital who suffered from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.
He tried to be admitted to the hospital on April 13 as he was "hearing voices".
Other sources told The Australian that the voices were telling him to "kill somebody", so he went to the hospital seeking admission and medical help.
Vaggs rang the Mental Health Community Assessment Team and they sent a car for him. On arrival at the hospital, he allegedly struck a medical student from the unit, and the duress alarm was sounded, with hospital security staff responding, and police asked to attend.
"Four constables arrived at the Mental Health Unit at 1531 hours and they observed the deceased face-down on the floor and being physically held down by his limbs by between six to eight hospital staff, including security personnel," Inspector Lowe wrote.
"The deceased was observed to be struggling and resisting hospital staff attempting to get up whilst staff held on to him. Police observed the deceased to be a very large man and had concerns for safety of all persons involved."
Vaggs' funeral service will be held at the Assembly of God Church, Ayr, at 10am on August 20.

God is a Ranga

From the Clarence Valley Review classifieds on Wednesday 28 July 2010 via North Coast Voices

More great election commentary

and, from I'm not sure where: