41 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. Can you believe that Greg Sheridan is still going on about the untold damage being caused by Omama’s speech at UQ? (See today’s paper)
    There must be a real shortage of foreign affairs to write about at the moment.
    Mind you, you don’t have to search too deep in Google to see that Greg’s has had equally stupid hobby-horses in the past, which have proven untrue. While it turns me off my subscription to the Australain, maybe someone thinks it sells papers.
    Everyone with any sense realises Abbott has chosen to become a climate change denier for domestic political gain. As the old Colgate ad goes, you should tell your friend if they have bad breath. And on cimate change, Australia’s currently stinks.
    Furthermore, how disingenuous is Julie Bishop. It’s an embarrassment for her to tell the world that her “best practice” will save the reef – unless she knows a way of cooling and deacidifying the Pacific Ocean!

  2. @Peter P
    Sheridan is one of several reasons why I stopped reading The Australian around a decade ago. Based on some of the second-hand exposure I’ve had to him recently, he seems to be becoming more shrill over time.

  3. @rog
    Rog, if companies can get govenments such as Queensland’s to cough up enough rail and port infrastructure and discounted royalties they may decided to go ahead and bet on coal prices increasing high enough in the future to make a profit. I don’t think that’s very likely but there may be those who would take the bet provided they can get enough free money from taxpayers to make the downside not too harsh for them. A “tails I win, heads you lose” situation. And also, if things go sour, as I believe they will, they may also be thinking they can get more taxpayers’ money from an obviously insane state goverment to compensate them for believing in their failed beautiful dream of coal soot poisoning generations of children to come.

  4. Not sure of the posting rules here, so preemptive apologies if I transgress, but I found the following in the New York Times intriguing.

  5. I just read a piece on The Grauniad:

    The ABC and SBS could save $6m a year by refusing to pay Foxtel for retransmitting their services

    Isn’t that hilarious? WE pay Murdoch $6 million a year so that idiots can pay him money to watch the ABC?

    The ABC should charge HIM for the transferred credibility the ABC gives to his crap pay-tv channel by appearing on it.

  6. @Megan

    I thought if someone took product from you, they paid you. Murdoch should pay or lose the service. Why do we keep giving subsidies to billionaires? Oh, that’s right, it’s “free enterprise” which means the state gives billions free to billionaires. Just look at the billions in public monies given to fossil fuel tycoons and negative-gearing landlords.

  7. @Ikonoclast

    Mark Scott was asked in estimates about the suggestion of cutting off that payment:

    Asked about it in Senate estimates last week, ABC managing director Mark Scott said he understood the merits of the argument, and it was backed by Turnbull, but he said if Foxtel then refused to carry the ABC, it would end up having an impact on content.

    “I think there is real merit in what Mr Lewis has argued here. But we still need to be able to think through what the content impacts are of making efficiency decisions,” he said.

    That simply doesn’t even make any sense. It couldn’t possibly affect content adversely.

    They should also stop providing a platform for IPA and Murdoch stooges to appear. I try to deliberately avoid all Murdoch content and the ABC is determined to ensure I can’t.

  8. Yes Megan, I was appalled when I heard this too. It seems totally bizarre. If anything, Murdoch should be paying the ABC for the content, not the other way around.

    It just underlines the stranglehold Murdoch has on this country’s politics and culture.

  9. @Fran Barlow
    Couldn’t agree more. Given the open access which the very conservative of the right wing have to the ABC productions, I am still amazed at the regular outpouring of rage at “the left-bias of the ABC,” to quote one already forgotten letters-to-the-editor writer. I mean, are they serious? If you subtract out all the pure entertainment content and concentrate on just the news, and the opinion-based political shows on the ABC, the IPA and the Murdoch media editors and opinion-piece writers have ample access to these vehicles. In fact, it is often the case that the same opinion-piece writers are used—in news pieces—as expert talking heads, when clearly they aren’t; they are presumably drawn upon because of familiarity with them, rather than by bothering to find who are the appropriate experts to use.

  10. Counting is well under way in the Victorian State election and it’s already been declared a defeat for the LNP. A one-term government – apparently that hasn’t happened for about 50 years.

    The results so far appear to support my prediction earlier in the year about the ALP/LNP duopoly losing ground.

    In the last parliament (counting Shaw as LNP) all 88 lower house seats were held by the duopoly. It looks like the Greens have taken 2 seats from them with a third possible.

    In the upper house it’s too early to be sure but it looks like the greens will hold the three they have and the duopoly will either lose some or at least not gain any.

  11. I just wonder when the public will realise that voting flip-flop fashion for the duopoly will never change anything.

  12. @Ikonoclast

    Still too early for final results yet, but I’d say they are showing just that realisation.

    The duopoly lost seats in both houses.

    At least 2 in the lower house and possibly 9 more in the upper house.

    Even the establishment media (if you dig deep enough into their ‘coverage’) is mumblingly admitting that the upper house will be hung with a mixture of greens and minor parties holding the balance of power.

    If we had a functioning media the headlines today should be: “Both ALP & LNP lose seats in Victorian election” – but that would give the game away.

  13. On Monday, when questioned about the recent result in Victoria, the PM Tony Abbott will say “Well, the Victorian Liberals needed an efficiency dividend…, no, that’s not a cut, it’s an efficiency dividend, all back-office efficiency gains, won’t affect the number of seats they have at all…”

    That is the alternate reality of the Federal LNP at the moment.

  14. Andrew Bolt provided some light relief on his Bolt Report today. It seems that the loss in Vic and the falling polls for both Tony Abbott and the coalition can be explained by “it’s all Labors fault”. And the accusation that Murdoch has editorial control of his press – why that’s a leftist/ABC conspiracy that lacks evidence.

  15. According to Fairfax the Nationals are angry about the Victorian election result:

    The party also appears to have lost the fifth upper house spot in the western region, potentially leaving it with just nine seats in Parliament. This would trigger the loss of party status, which requires a minimum of 11 seats.

    It would be a devastating blow, denying the rural party hundreds of thousands of dollars for staff, offices, vehicles and other resources.

    They shouldn’t be too concerned, if the Queensland experience is anything to go by.

    When the ALP fell below the statutory 10 seats required for “opposition” status, and a bunch of upstarts from the LNP joined with others and tried to claim “opposition” status, the ALP and LNP slammed through some midnight laws essentially barring any party other than the duopoly from being the official “opposition”.

    So I would expect the pattern to repeat in Victoria.

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