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Essential Research: 50-50

Still no sign of Newspoll, but the ever-reliable Essential Research still has a two-party deadlock, and offers responses on Peter Cosgrove, unions, parental leave and intolerance.

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Essential Research has two-party preferred at 50-50, with both major parties up on the primary vote: the Coalition by a point to 43%, Labor by two to 38%. The Greens are down a point to 8%, the Palmer United Party down one to 3% and others down to two to 7%. Also covered:

• Only 4% rate Peter Cosgrove “not a good choice” for Governor-General, with 30%, 34% and 11% respectively rating the choice excellent, good and acceptable.

• Forty-three per cent are happy for the Governor-General to be appointed by the government, with 40% favouring direct election.

• Sixty-one per cent think unions “important for Australian working people today”, compared with only 30% who think them not important, with 45% thinking workers would be better off if unions were stronger compared with 27% for worse off.

• In response to a question which first explains the specifics of the government’s policy, including the $150,000 ceiling and 1.5% levy, only 23% favoured the government scheme over 36% for the current policy and 32% for neither.

• There are also questions on the prevalence on various forms of intolerance, which you can read about in the report.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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875 comments

875 thoughts on “Essential Research: 50-50

  1. meher baba

    BW@1686 in previous thread: I’ll take your word for it re Indonesia. If true, it would be disturbing some of the business backers of the Libs (although see my earlier post in which I pointed out that the Libs these days are increasingly the political party of “lazy” investors in mining and property rather than the promoters of the sort of entrepreneurial types trying to build up trade with our near neighbours.

    Re the promise to deliver 5% emissions cuts by 2020: I doubt that the Abbott Government sees that as a promise for which the constituency they pitch to will try to hold them to account.

    Leaving all of this to one side, I was never trying to set myself up to defend Abbott and his mob. I wasn’t trying to say that they were doing a great job, merely that they are coming across publicly as being far more disorganised and incompetent than they actually are.

    I think I need to choose my words more carefully next time.

  2. confessions

    [Only 4% rate Peter Cosgrove “not a good choice” for Governor-General, with 30%, 34% and 11% respectively rating the choice excellent, good and acceptable.]

    Cosgrove was always going to be a popular GG. I don’t recall polling on whether previous GGs were a good choice or not, but I guess they’ll ask about anything these days.

  3. Darn

    Good to see the unions getting a strong tick of approval. Abbott’s union bashing might not be the sure fire winner he thought it would be.

  4. mikehilliard

    Hard to see how the perception of the GG appointment is poll worthy rather than dumping crap all over the Barrier Reef.

  5. Boerwar

    mb

    One guy I know has lost all the business he was doing in Indonesia. He has been doing business over there for well over a decade. He is ropeable. The head of the Indonesian Institute based in Perth has been making very anxious but somewhat discreet noises. These are examples. There are other examples I could give you.

    I would question a general view that the Abbott Government is actually doing policy work/cum governing well but presenting awfully:

    The Gonski repeal and repent was a policy nightmare.
    They are failing utterly on climate change.
    They were all over the shop internally on Holden.
    The NBN is descending into some sort of uncertain chaos.
    Their rural debt policy is all over the shop.

    Five months in, and they have yet to do anything other than cut things, tweak things, stop things, whinge about things, criticise things, establish some bodgie debt figures, cutting world heritage, limit restrictions on recreational angling in marine parks, and set up witch hunts into other things. All these things are pre-existing. It is goverment by tinkering, cutting, chopping, undoing and hacking.

    Their various consultation processes appear to be a series of forming business focus groups that then operate entirely in secret. The findings of the Commission of Audit, essentially an outsourced policy making body on the run, will not be made public before the the Budget.

    I am not aware of a single new major policy that they have introduced from scratch. They had six years to get ready for this stuff but turned out to be a bunch of numpties.

    Even the current boats policy was largely inherited from Rudd.

  6. zoomster

    meher

    4 may be so (although the polling on this has been very muddled, and there’s little evidence they don’t want an ETS – it’s ‘the carbon tax’ which polls badly) but that doeesn’t mean the government has handled/is handling the issue well.

    There’s a difference between ‘doing what The People want’ and ‘doing what The People want competently’.

    The second is good governance.

    The Coalition created a rod for their own back on this issue. Firstly, they were stupid to stick with Direct Action, which was a bandaid measure slapped together in the context of the 2010 election, and never meant to be a permanent policy. When the ‘carbon tax’ deal was announced, they should have leapfrogged over Labor and the Greens and promised to go straight to an ETS.

    By not doing this, they’ve put themselves in a position where the policy they support is at direct odds with their core beliefs – Direct Action means ‘bigger’ government, picking winners, subsidising private companies, and so on.

    They have also made climate change an issue which will run and run. If they’d gone for an ETS, it’s likely it would be in place now (the Greens and Labor would have looked silly opposing its passage through both Houses). “How we tackle climate change’ would thus be dead as an issue, and the series of hot days we’re experiencing would reinforce that we had a sagacious government who had foreseen the problem and were already acting on it.

    As it is, every spot of peculiar weather will remind people that we don’t have effective action on climate change in place.

    And, of course, Abbott still hasn’t repealed the ‘carbon tax’ – as Sharman Stone pointed out. He’s made some big statements on this (‘Parliament will sit until this is sorted!”) which have proven to be specious. If he keeps trying to get it through with the present unco operative Senate, he keeps the issue – and his inability to do anything about it – alive. If he doesn’t, he’ll be accused of dropping the ball (as Rudd was, in the same circumstance).

    There is also very little evidence that he’s actively trying to build relationships with the incoming Senators to ensure that it’s a done deal (that would be thinking ahead; this government doesn’t do that).

    Come July, Palmer will have him over a barrel. He knows that Abbott has to get the legislation through. He knows that, for it to mean anything real, it has to go through by September (several business groups have said this). It’s in absolutely no one’s interests but the Coalition’s that this legislation sails through the Senate — so it won’t.

    It’s quite likely, therefore, that instead of action on climate change being an issue which could already be done and dusted, we’ll still be discussing it for at least the next six months.

    I’d take a punt and say ‘that’s if the government’s lucky’ — and that many a journo will be recycling their pieces on ‘by Christmas, the government will have in place the first half of the trigger they need for a double dissolution’ and changing the 2013 date to 2014.

  7. confessions

    mikeh:

    I suppose the appointment of a new GG gets blanket, widespread media coverage, and there’s a very good chance that most people would have heard about it.

  8. confessions

    [I am not aware of a single new major policy that they have introduced from scratch. ]

    As I said the other day, the coalition have no new ideas or no new thinking in response to any of the issues the country is facing. It’s quite extraordinary.

  9. zoomster

    I would have thought that p*ssing off major companies like Coca Cola, Holden, Ford and Toyota wasn’t a wise decision for a government.

  10. Boerwar

    Lordy. Cf Cosgrove.

    I am a four per center. I think it is a risky choice for a number of reasons.

    The risk will be realized if anyone who might have been bastardised, sexually assaulted or raped during the two years in which Cosgrove commanded Duntroon comes forward.

    But perhaps the thousands of allegations by thousands of ADF personnel might have skipped those particular years in that particular place.

  11. AussieAchmed

    “Tony Abbott won’t hesitate to put the boot into SPC workers earning less than $25 an hour, but he’s happy to shell out $200 an hour for vested interests to sit on his Commission of Audit,” said Mr Shorten.

    “It’s the worst type of hypocrisy – these SPC workers are slogging it out to take home average or below average incomes, only to have Tony Abbott attack their pay packets as ‘too generous’.”

  12. Boerwar

    z

    I think it goes like this.

    ‘We are open for business. Really. Now f**k off.’

  13. guytaur

    @latikambourke: You can read the Abbott Govt’s urgings to review minimum award conditions here: http://t.co/C2I6LYgzJv

  14. mexicanbeemer

    Yeah i think there has been more coverage of the appointment of the new GG, there hasn’t been as much mention of the use of the Great Barrier Reef.

    Its been mentioned on the Age website and here but hardly mentioned anywhere else.

  15. guytaur

    @KathViner: I’ll be honest – I was shocked. 11 most shameful moments from the (mostly axed) Today Tonight http://t.co/YZgTaqPzKY

  16. confessions

    Boerwar:

    I think of Cosgrove in terms of who Abbott’s mob might have recommended for GG. In that sense he’s probably the best of a very poor lot.

  17. guytaur

    A three word slogan that I think will work.

    Abbott the jobkiller

  18. Boerwar

    g
    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  19. citizen

    [Yeah i think there has been more coverage of the appointment of the new GG, there hasn’t been as much mention of the use of the Great Barrier Reef.]

    CNN has a story dated 31 Jan which paints the dumping of material on the reef in a very bad light. Above the story is a slideshow of reef coral and fish, the sort that overseas tourists come to see.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/01/31/world/asia/great-barrier-reef-dump-approved/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

    This dumping approval will cost the Australian tourist industry hugely and further tarnish Australia’s reputation overseas.

  20. victoria

    Boerwar

    I am finding the indonesian situation intriguing. As i stated this morning, it is eerily quiet at present from the Indonesian side. Could it be a case of Indonesia are giving Oz enough rope?

  21. fredex

    The COALition government, currently led by Abbott, is not doing policy it’s doing ideology.

    Which gets it into trouble when the vested interest groups to which it is beholden have different ideologies.

    For example:
    farmers vs mining companies and fracking
    wets vs dries over who gets industrial subsidies
    recreational fishers vs industrial fishing and supertrawler
    one stop government wheat board conflict between ideology and self interest

    Plus quite a few other issues.
    Hence the running around in circles squawking.

  22. Boerwar

    v

    I doubt it. They have elections to come, a volcano to deal with and, most urgently, the business of dealing with the Fed’s Taper.

    The latter will be drawing a lot of investment funds out of Indonesia back to the US.

  23. victoria

    Boerwar

    Fair enough

  24. pom

    Turnbull is doing the job Abbott asked him to do on the NBN and doing it well. By the time of the next election very few will have the (promised) upgrade and there may be a lot of expenditure locked in on the node cabinets to make sure that it will be very hard for labor when it gets in at the next election to cost effectively upgrade

  25. mexicanbeemer

    citizen

    Yes CNN, BBC and Al Jerrza have all reported it but here there has been hardly a whisper

  26. victoria

    The ABC has fired the latest shot in its increasingly bitter stoush with News Corporation Australia by hiring one of The Australian’s most senior journalists to manage its media relations.
    The Australian’s media editor Nick Leys, who wrote the paper’s media diary column for two and a half years, has resigned from the company and will begin his new job as ABC media manager in March.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/abc-poaches-news-corp-journalist-to-spin-its-message-20140204-31yuc.html#ixzz2sKKW0hVu

  27. Lynchpin

    Will Shepparton disappear off the map?

  28. rossmcg

    Just got around to watching last nights four comers on the trucking industry.
    Another ABC leftist attack on the good Aussie companies who keep this country ticking.
    But don’t worry, Labor’s road transport reforms legislation is up for review and you can expect Erica betts to give the cowboy trucking firms the green light later in the year
    My blood ran cold when the industry spokesman said there was no evidence that pay rates were linked to fatigue that caused accidents.
    We are having a royal commission into pink batts, but a couple of hundred deaths in trucking in however many years is dismissed as an occupational hazard.

  29. AussieAchmed

    Its interesting to note that prior to the election Abbott was rabbiting on about how those on $150k were struggling when Labor wanted to means test Private Health rebate.

    The anti-worker rhetoric now sees Abbot yelping about SPC workers on $50K being over paid overpaid.

    If it wasn’t for such a corrupt media these lies would be spread all over the front pages

  30. AussieAchmed

    SPC working conditions – proof Abbott lied – again

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BfmwhSQCIAAcsQ-.jpg

  31. Lynchpin

    AA, I think about 70% of the media in this country is corrupt.

  32. victoria

    [SPC Ardmona says claims made by Tony Abbott and other ministers about its industrial conditions are wrong and exaggerated.

    The government has explained its decision not to contribute $25m to the retooling the fruit processor says is essential for its survival on the grounds that its parent company, Coca Cola Amatil, is profitable and because SPC offers employees overly generous working conditions. It has called on companies to get their industrial relations “house in order” before asking for taxpayer money.]

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/04/spc-ardmona-says-abbott-wrong

  33. victoria

    As per article, i particularly like this bit

    His statement comes as Coalition backbencher Sharman Stone, the local member for the Victorian regional seat that houses the fruit processor, upped her already strident attacks on the government’s handling of the issue to directly accuse her own government of “lying” about the issue.

  34. Diogenes

    Interest comment from the Criminology Prof at Flinders

    I’m sure he’s right about corruption in general but I really don’t think there is enough corruption in unions to warrant that approach.

    [Union and opposition calls for legal processes to take their normal course in dealing with these types of allegations appear naive. They advocate the pursuit of “rotten apples”. This is a discredited approach to corruption analysis…

    While criminal law retains an important role in attacking corruption, police investigation and prosecutions alone rarely dent the structures and cultures that sustain corruption…
    A royal commission is better resourced than standing agencies to undertake a root and branch examination… A royal commission that takes a systemic approach to the examination of the issues, rather than one mainly driven by criminal law standards, is less likely to look like a witch-hunt against either corporate or union interests. It is more likely to secure co-operation from otherwise reluctant sources holding important information about corruption and intimidation.]

  35. Lynchpin

    That’s all very well, but Stone should resign if she has a conscience.

  36. victoria

    Lynchpin

    Maybe Stone is waiting to be sacked. After all she has accused her colleagues of lying

  37. dave

    Lynchpin@35

    That’s all very well, but Stone should resign if she has a conscience.

    She can damaged abbott much more from within though – as long as she doesn’t ‘roll over’. Either way abbott won’t be going put of his way to do much for her, so no promotion in the offing.

  38. zoomster

    Are men ever described as ‘strident’?

  39. mari

    Lynchpin
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 4:08 pm | PERMALINK
    Will Shepparton disappear off the map?

    Hope you don’t mind put on twitter with suitable comment about Whyalla and is taking off at the moment

    BTW did you get my email re PB gettogether

  40. poroti

    mari

    No Whyalla Wipeout but a Shepparton Shutdown ?

  41. Diogenes

    Stone clearly has a conscience as she has really given it to Abbott.

  42. mari

    Lynchpin and Poroti

    One of the replies back to me

    The Abbott wrecking ball is about to strike at Shepparton wiping it off the map?? and missed Whyalla for now #auspoI

  43. WeWantPaul

    [I’m sure he’s right about corruption in general but I really don’t think there is enough corruption in unions to warrant that approach.
    ]

    It is accepted corruption theory – I think there is enough information for unions to look to create the right corruption intolerant culture – if they haven’t already – without a royal commission. Perhaps if the unions developed a voluntary code of practice like business have.

  44. victoria

    zoomster

    Of course, Sharman Stone is a woman scorned, so naturally she is going to be “strident”. 😀

  45. ruawake

    The SPC stuff will be miniscule compared to the Drought Assistance Barnaby Joyce and Artie Sinodinos have been telling local Mayors in is the bag.

    Barnaby told the Mayor of Gympie a $7 billion fund would be established to help struggling farmers, the Mayor believed him and told all his mates about it on ABC Radio. Artie raised the issue of a rural reconstruction bank, the Mayor liked the Artie Bank idea as well.

    Cabinet must have been a hoot today.

  46. Diogenes

    WWP

    Exactly. It might be a good idea for unions/ACTU to be proactive and announce some beefed up mandatory safeguards and standards rather than have a RC.

  47. davidwh

    Oops sorry missed the new thread and posted on the old one.

  48. poroti

    ruawake

    [Cabinet must have been a hoot today.]
    It would have made great viewing as scarlet faced Barnaby grappled surly Joe.

  49. lizzie

    I don’t quite get the picture. Companies are bribing unions and it’s entirely the unions’ fault? Bet the cost of the bribes are added to the tenders. “It’s the way we do business.”

  50. Jackol

    Union and opposition calls for legal processes to take their normal course in dealing with these types of allegations appear naive.

    This thought occurred to me as well when hearing the union/ALP response.

    I don’t think the problems described in the ABC/Fairfax investigation are all that severe, and a RC seems like an overreaction, but as I’ve said before I have serious concerns about our police and prosecutors seeming to have lost any zeal for pursuing corruption, fraud, bribery, whiter-collar crime prosecutions.

    If I had confidence that the police or various authorities were actually even trying to enforce the law, letting “legal processes take their course” would be perfectly sensible. I have no such confidence, and that, to me, is the real problem here. I would hope that a RC would have to be broad enough to work out why the existing systems have not been able (or willing?) to prevent whatever problems are identified. There is a parallel (as someone else here pointed out) to the institutional sexual abuse RC – what happened to make the police and other authorities so ineffective. Perhaps the religious affiliation/sensitivities issue got in the way in that case; I’m assuming the RC will have to make some finding on what happened there.

    Basically, I think our police/prosecutors (or maybe legislators if the law is not supportive enough) need a kick up the backside, and if a RC is the way to do this then bring it on I say.

  51. shellbell

    Workcover (NSW) prosecuted a haulage company over several weeks (across several years 2003-2005)in relation to a fatality involving a truck driver.

    The court found:

    [260 In summary, I have made the following findings beyond reasonable doubt as to the Company’s work practices: that there was no Company policy on driving hours or rest-breaks distinct from the log-book regime; that such policy as there was (“to abide by the log-book”) may not have been communicated to the drivers (and if it was, it was in a perfunctory manner at the commencement of employment); that the “policy” was not enforced or supervised; that the Company did not collect any oral information pertaining to driving hours or rest-breaks and did not conduct any review of the relevant written information (the duplicate log-book pages); and that “compliance” with the “policy” such as it was on rest-breaks and limited driving hours was left totally to the drivers in a system which provided incentives (through pay) to increase driving hours. I have further found, beyond reasonable doubt, that the Company did not take into account the effects of fatigue and sleep deprivation when preparing rosters. Finally, I have found that the Company pressured its drivers to meet delivery deadlines resulting in breaches of the log-book regime – either due to specific time slots for particular depots, as mentioned by Mr McLennan, or to Company imposed deadlines to be there early “in the morning” – and that they risked their jobs or income if they failed to comply. This pressure may have been to meet client expectations, or to manage excessive workloads, or a combination of the two; the result was the same. Needless to say, even the most superficial fatigue management system would have picked up the falsified log-books handed in by the drivers, which could not have tallied with kilometres recorded on their daily worksheets or with the deliveries they were directed to make. Clearly, the failures alleged in the particulars relating to rest-stops, driving hours, driving rosters and the Company’s system of work have been made out to the requisite criminal standard of proof.]

  52. deblonay

    US F MInister Kerry is denounced by some Israeli Ministers as “anti-semitic”|________|_____
    __________
    Well Kerry is getting the usual treatment reserved for those who are critical of Israel and its actions

    But a new development too as the Israeli are increasingly strident in their critique of Obama and Kerry and his team who show signs of being sick to death of Israeli demands
    and actions

    Obama showns even in his body langauge his real disdain for Netanyahu and the actions of the zionist Lobby in the USA
    the times are a’changing in the USA..
    .and Netanyahu has only two modes of operation’…always attack your critics…and if that fails…attack them even more violently

    and Kerry warned that Israel may face an economic boycott if it continues to obstruct a settlement with the Palestinians…,that’s very” anti-semitic” in Israeli jargon

    http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/US-National-Security-Advisor-Rice-Attacks-on-Kerry-in-Israel-

  53. Lynchpin

    That’s mari. I have always wanted to “go viral” as they say.

    Sorry, I haven’t seen the email as yet. I am a bit slack checking that account. When is the get together?

  54. Lynchpin

    Should have been “Thanks Mari”.

  55. bemused

    From previous thread.

    bemused@1701 on ReachTEL: ABC, republicanism, Cosgrove v Bryce | The Poll Bludger

    Diogenes@1686

    Why don’t the government buy $25M of shares in SPC? SPC could use the money and if it gets back on its feet the government could get its money back.

    The $25M goes to the shareholders from whom they purchase the shares on the ASX, unless there is a new issue of shares. A new issue of shares would dilute the value of existing shares.
    Also, SPC AFAIK is not listed so it would be Coca-Cola Amatil shares, part of a much larger entity.

  56. victoria

    On twitter from Margot Kingston

    [Bloody hell – @MathiasCormann says Govt KNEW #SPC latest workers conditions when made #SPC decision – confirms Abbott Hockey & Abetz LIED!]

  57. poroti

    Sorry if already posted but this could get rather interesting.

    [Two of the board members of the authority that approved the dumping of 3m cubic metres of dredging spoil in the Great Barrier Reef waters are still involved in an investigation for potential conflicts of interest, including links to mining companies.]

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/04/marine-park-directors-face-investigation

  58. mari

    Hopefully end of March ie last week in PM, will let you know in next week check that email please.

    Trying to get you “viral” at the moment

  59. Lynchpin

    Is Abbott Sharman’s “shramana?”

  60. victoria

    Poroti

    It was linked here a few days back, but well worth reposting

  61. poroti

    victoria

    Ta. The date was from today but the blighters had just updated it and reposted.

  62. Lynchpin

    Thanks Mari, will do.

  63. WeWantPaul

    [Excellent primer on the Amanda Knox travesty:
    ]

    I hadn’t been following that, it is an excellent summary. It would have been even better if it had focused on the evidence and corruption – it didn’t need to continually compare Italian criminal procedure to the US as if some how US style procedure is the perfect standard. If the article is accurate it was a dodgy case regardless of the merits of sequestration as a tool to improve jury deliberations.

  64. Jackol

    And with regards to SPCA and where “the line gets drawn”:

    I think the idea that there needs to be a systematic approach to government assistance of corporations is reasonable.

    I think that the more hard-headed economic rationalists here, in the media (eg Bernard Keane), and of course the government, are overly discounting some of the non-economic issues here.

    Business should be carried out rationally, in terms of optimizing use of resources etc etc.

    Government needs to be concerned about the health of the broader economy, of course, but also other things, like the human side of employment, the social welfare of individuals, towns and regions, etc.

    I think a consistent cost-benefit type of analysis applied to these decisions would make this a more tractable issue (although there’s no reason to believe the government isn’t simply using this as a platform to bash unions, rather than any holistic consideration).

    Meher baba alluded to an interesting point in one of his posts. I disagree with MB’s general take on SPCA, for example, but the idea that there is some desirability of us turning into an almost 100% service economy funded by resource extraction does seem to be a feature of this government, and some previous governments’ thinking. Personally I see this as a very dangerous long-term economic philosophy. Resource extraction is, by its nature, finite, and worse the commodities markets are very volatile – putting all your wealth eggs in the dig-it-up-ship-it-out basket is a recipe for future economic instability and actual poverty.

    A robust economy is, to me, like a robust ecosystem. Diversity is crucial. Good biodiversity in an ecosystem basically by definition implies that there are some species that are maladapted to current conditions and which will be tenuous marginal species at the current time – the point being that these currently maladapted species are vital to the robustness of the ecosystem as a whole because their current maladaptations form the basis for the ability to rapidly respond to changing external factors. If all the species that find it hard to survive in the current conditions die off, then when the conditions change your entire ecosystem is adapted to the old conditions and maladapted for the new conditions.

    Whether any given business is supported or not is a complex question. Letting entire sectors of the economy die off just because we’re getting good coin for digging up dirt now is, to my mind, foolishness in the extreme.

  65. victoria

    A trio of Nationals MPs have added their voices to demands for additional drought assistance to farmers, brushing aside comparisons with the multimillion-dollar packages sought for SPC Ardmona and General Motors Holden.

    In a clear sign that the junior Coalition partner is prepared to push back against the dominant economic dries in the Liberal Party, Nationals MPs Darren Chester and John “Wacka” Williams and George Christensen have all thrown their support behind Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, with Mr Christensen suggesting the time was ripe to consider a government-backed rural development bank.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/nationals-mps-push-back-against-joe-hockey-on-government-assistance-20140204-31ydn.html

  66. pedant

    On the general issue of government competence/government salesmanship, I’ve been astonished by the extent to which the federal government has focussed on issues which are not even of general interest to its base, but only to the more eccentric subset thereof: culture war stuff, Freedom Commissioners, curriculum reviews and so on. The seem to have done their level best to make sure everyone knows they are ideologues rather than pragmatists. The stuff will really hit the fan when there’s a horror budget, since I suspect people are rapidly coming to the conclusion that there will be pain not because it’s unavoidable and needs to be shared equally, but because the government likes inflicting pain.

    The contrast with Mr O’Farrell couldn’t be greater: he’s far and away the best centre-right political strategist in the country.

  67. Steve777

    It’s always safe to assume that anything said by the Prime Minister, a member of his cabinet or a senior Liberal Party spokesman consists of lies or disinformation unless it is confirmed by a reliable source (which includes the ABC, Fairfax and many other sources but excludes commercial TV and radio or any News Corporation outlet).

    Abbott is truly pathetic, now blaming workers for decisions made in line with an Industry policy he ‘forgot’ to tell the voters about before the election. He blamed the ‘carbon tax’ for other decisions, he’s blaming the ABC for the fact that’s his Government has thoroughly stuffed relations with Indonesia and whenever he can blames the previous Government when he breaks promises he never intended to keep, as with Gonski. Abbott and his Government is beneath contempt.

  68. poroti

    PM unhappy with the ABC ?

    [Keith Jackson was the ABC’s first general manager of corporate relations from 1985 to 1988

    …….”That’s all very well,” says Hawke, rolling his eyes, ”but, Ken, there are some black spots.”

    He accuses the ABC of ”bias, partiality and propaganda”, citing a Four Corners program on uranium mining. He complains about radicals dictating a left-wing, anti-government agenda for the ABC. The implication is that management is in the thrall of the staff union.]
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/ranters-against-abc-underestimate-its-ability-to-fight-back-20140203-31x6p.html

  69. ajm

    Just got polled (I live in Griffith) by Nationwide Market Research about the by election. Real person on the line (Seth Effricen eccent, not that I’m biased) and quite a lot of questions about attitudes to the candidates and the national leaders and how I thought the candidates would work for the electorate. Also how I voted at the last election and how I was going to vote on Saturday. Plus usual demographic questions, Anyone know who they usually work for?

  70. citizen

    It looks like Dr Sharman Stone is doing some toe cutting surgery on the toe cutters.

  71. kakuru

    [Bloody hell – @MathiasCormann says Govt KNEW #SPC latest workers conditions when made #SPC decision – confirms Abbott Hockey & Abetz LIED!]

    FFS!! Wait till the media gets a hold of this!

    Oh wait… they don’t do that anymore. Move on.

  72. lizzie

    Please don’t let Cormann turn out to be a goodie after all. He trots out the standard Hockeynomics lines so faithfully.

  73. Boerwar

    The Public Sector Informant has an article by Jack Waterford on Peter Cosgrove: ‘Cosgrove: the history hagiographers forget’. The article is somewhat constrained by being a book review of the biography of Cosgrove by Patrick Lindsay.

    My view is that the 4% of Australians who did not support Cosgrove’s elevation to GG might have at least doubled to 8% had they read Waterford’s article.

    Inter alia, Waterford wtte:

    (1) Howard wanted to elevate Cosgrove to GG but Janet blocked it.

    (2) Cosgrove was a full and active participant in the standard Dutroon bastardisation. a/c Waterford, Cosgrove…’was an enthusiast for the tradition and a standout in its infliction.’

    (3) There is no mention in the Waterford article of what may, or may not have, happened at Duntroon when Cosgrove was Commandant there in 1997.

    (4) a/c Waterford, (when Cosgrove was had of the ADF) ‘But a big problem – and a continuing one – is that many people, including ADF people, did not really believe that he, or the senior echelons of the services, really meant it.

    ‘While Cosgrove was chief of the defence force, its performance in this area deteriorated and so, probably, did the systems in place designed to combat it.’

    (5) Waterford reminds us that Cosgrove (a) publicly ratted on his mate Keelty in order to gain political brownie points with Howard and (b) lied in so doing.

    Hollingworth was rolled because his past caught up with him.

    Will the same happen to Cosgrove?