We are ZCTU

As I mentioned a while back, Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibebe, the President and General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) are facing trial on 30 July on charges trumped up by the Mugabe regime. You can help the struggle to free them by making a statement at We are ZCTU and joining a letter writing campaign.

Check out the photomosaic of these two brave men, made up of 2000 individual photos.

How to get an ETS through the Senate

After the contortions of the last few weeks, I think it’s pretty safe to draw the following conclusions
(i) The Liberal Party is all over the shop on climate change and is going to stay that way, at least as long as Brendan Nelson remains leader
(ii) Whatever legislative proposal the government comes up with, the Opposition will oppose it
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No Libationals today?

Having made the bold predictions, some time back, that neither the Nationals, nor the Liberals, would ever win another election in Queensland or nationally, I gave myself two bob each way by explaining that this was because a merger, or a completely new party, was a precondition for defeating Labor. Everything looked to be going swimmingly until last night, when the Liberals suddenly backed out of the merger they’d agreed with the Nationals. On the face of it, this didn’t look too good for my record as a political tipster (which had been improving a bit).

But the great thing about an each-way bet is that there is more than one way to win. Whatever happens now as regards the merger, the Libationals have made such a mess of things that it’s hard to see Labor losing here for another couple of terms, by which time the merger will presumably have happened. And what’s true in Queensland is almost certainly true nationally. Short of an econoic catastrophe, the next serious prospect for a Libational win is that provided by the lamentable NSW government, which is not due to face the voters until 2011, IIRC.

Update Thanks to a court order, the merger has gone ahead. Given these farcical events, my prediction looks like winning both ways. Not only have the Libs and Nats ceased to exist, but they still don’t look like a plausible alternative to Labor.

More good news (I hope)

This peace deal in Zimbabwe seems like good news, though it’s hard to be sure. I hope it is a way to bring the miserable Mugabe regime to an end without any further loss of life and general suffering. At the risk of contradicting views I expressed regarding the Sudan case, I’d welcome a deal where Mugabe lived out his remaining days in retirement, and his party handed over power to the democratically elected MDC.