107 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. @Megan

    I’m thinking about a phenomenon which may perhaps fall outside the scope of your experience so far.

    I apologise if what follows is already familiar to you, but I suspect it isn’t.

    There are some people — some of them Marxists, and perhaps some of them not — who consider themselves committed to what they consider to be the cause of the working class and who at the same time consider that the ALP does not adequately represent that cause.

    However, some of those same people — although not all of them — acknowledge the fact that at the moment the majority of the working class supports the ALP (people define ‘working class’ in different ways, but this is true no matter which definition you use) and feel, therefore, that there is a short-term need for partial cooperation with the ALP (combined, at the same time, with criticism of the ALP) even though there is also a long-term need for the ALP either to be drastically transformed or to be replaced by a better representative of the working class.

    I’m not giving my personal endorsement to this specific analysis, but I’m familiar with its existence and I’m wondering whether you, perhaps, are not.

    The reason I mention this is that although you may perhaps feel that the people I’m describing are guilty of the crassest of follies, and you may also perhaps feel that it’s important to urge them to abandon any cooperation with the ALP as utterly futile, it’s not fair to depict such people as slavishly uncritical adherents of the ALP, as you sometimes seem inclined to do.

  2. Ikonoclast :The ALP are corporate stooges. They are bought lock, stock and barrel by corporate and oligarchic capital. The only difference between LNP and ALP is that the LNP are loud and proud about being corporate stooges. The ALP pretend they are not and some few with a conscience in the ALP might even be ashamed that they are corporate stooges.

    Life is far more complicated than that.

    If you start spreading gutter analysis you will end up playing stooge for the looney’s yourself.

  3. @Julie Thomas

    Not sure I get it but I know the song.

    I put it up there in a spirit of reconciliation, given the somewhat acrimonious tone of the thread. Doesn’t seem to have made much difference, though. I agree that your choice of lyrics would have been equally appropriate. 🙂

  4. @Tim Macknay

    Oh I don’t know about it not making a difference. Seems to me that we might have turned the corner from acrimony into a performance art piece.

    I talk to myself too but I’ve stopped listening lately.

  5. Obviously there is nothing much wrong with Australia going by the wall-to-wall coverage of the Adam Goodes boo-in-a-tea cup. In a sane world the fact that an irritating footballer gets booed is a dog bites man story.

    Yet here we have Francis Leach indulging in a two-minute hate worthy of a possible resurgence of the Third Reich:

    The gutless drongos who boo Adam Goodes should have the courage to admit they’re a bunch of ugly racists.

    Of course the professional witch racist hunters claim to find a racist under-tone in the barracking. But this cannot be true there are many indigenous players on the field yet Goodes is the only indigenous player getting consistently booed. Fair dinkum racists do not exempt colored footballers from abuse merely because they are apolitical.

    The fact that a witch hunt is in full swing reassures us that there are no witches flying by night. Witches, if they do exist, tend to posess dangerous powers and can easily harm you. And the fact that there is a racist hunt on means that there are no racists brandishing pitch forks or fashioning nooses. Actual racists tend to be people like Goering or Klansmen who tend to be hunters rather than hunted.

    But logic is not the strong suit of sports writers who tend to take the conventional liberal pieties at face value. And Australian sports writers are about the dumbest sports writers in the English speaking world. They are clueless about human nature, which, when you think about it, is pretty odd since professional sports tends to select for people with natural gifts. As Steve Sailer observed:

    The basic cause of such intense crimestop among run of the mill lumpen sportswriters is that the reigning ideology is all about equality; but sports are all about inequality.

    This creates a powerful source of cognitive dissonance which can only be dampened by ritual denunciations of crime-think. This is all about a white-on-white status contest with sports writers trying to up the ante in the more-anti-racist-than-thou stakes.

  6. @Jack Strocchi

    “Of course the professional witch racist hunters claim to find a racist under-tone in the barracking. But this cannot be true there are many indigenous players on the field yet Goodes is the only indigenous player getting consistently booed. Fair dinkum racists do not exempt colored footballers from abuse merely because they are apolitical.”

    Poor you Jack. We are all having a real sad for your discomfort as these very attractive black men show you and your kind of white men what nasty little wimps you are.

    And seriously, so what that Adam Goodes is only one of the many black players who gets booed, the overt tone is clearly racist and the booing and all your outraged does is show us clearly that some Australians are happy to tolerate black people as ‘winners’ as long as they don’t show that they are smarter than you, and can do more than win at sportball.

    It’s clear you are really scared of the uppity black men 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I empathise very much with Adam and the real pain he is feeling, but I’m lovin’ this kerfuffle and the way you racists can’t help but show yourselves to be such nasty irrational people; it’s working as well as the Bronnie thing to change attitudes against all the right wing stories in my neck of the woods.

    This “I’m not a racist; they are racists” story is a real hoot. You carry on Jack.

  7. @Jack Strocchi

    In a sane world nobody would try to justify the rudeness of spectators at a sporting match booing one of the players just because they don’t like him or find him ‘irritating’. Racist or not racist, there’s still no excuse for it.

  8. Like Jack Strocchi (I guess) I am white and I have not been subjected to racial abuse, verbal or otherwise. The thing is, when you have not been subjected to racial abuse, it takes an effort of imagination and empathy to understand what it would really feel like to be subjected to it. I guess Jack is not big on imagination and empathy. There is a tendency by some whites to minimise the issue of verbal racial abuse; to believe it’s not happening or if it is happening it doesn’t really matter.

    Verbal abuse is actually a classic psychological precursor to real violence; not in all cases but in a significant proportion of cases. The verbaliser is rehearsing in words for the deeds that could follow. In addition, in gang or mob situations, the verablisations cross coordinate the views and feelings of the pre-violent group and can work to escalate the situation or a latter less public situation to group physical violence. Permitting public displays of mass verbal abuse sends signals to certain sadly susceptible people in our community that violence to minorities is okay. It is not OK and its precursor, verbal abuse is not okay either.

    But then Jack has consistently expressed white (or more precisely anglo-saxon) supremacist and exclusionist views on this blog. His latest post is of a piece with this.

  9. The racists have been encouraged by Brandis telling us we have a right to be bigots. I think it was better in the olden days when our racists kept their nastiness to themselves and publicly behaved like ‘gentlemen’ or like a ‘white man’ should and refrained from this sort of public bullying.

    Now-a-days, Jack feels free to show his regrettable lack of class through support for bogans and a 13 year old girl that he would cross to the other side of the street to avoid in reality.

    In what sane world is she a heroine and someone to be protected from the consequences of that display of unconscious bigotry? Who takes responsibility for her ignorance and bad behaviour?

    Icon, clearly Jack has never experienced discrimination and I do think that some people have to actually experience the casual and deliberate racism that is always there, to understand how truly wrong it is, how it does hurt all the people involved and makes us all poorer.

    Jack always chooses to look to the people he judges to be lesser beings and find blame in them while making excuses for the people he judges to be like him.

    It is called the ‘attribution bias’.

  10. The adults on this blog may like to refer to this piece on socialism @ ALP.

    This is more important for Australia’s future than any vomit from the Trots.

    ALP Socialism

  11. It’s interesting that the Fabians put Chris Bowen’s weasel words first. What are the Australian Fabian’s aims? What is their program or manifesto? I can find nothing significant on their site which addresses this fundamental issue.

    I found only their purpose in “Section 2 – Purpose” of their constitution. This is rather vague and would need to be fleshed out in a program statement or manifesto.

  12. Ikonoclast :
    It’s interesting that the Fabians put Chris Bowen’s weasel words first.

    Yes I noticed that.

    I suppose the aim was to fight-off anti-socialism wave being floated and represented by Bowen.

    The program (such as it is) is in the 23 qualifying points that accompanies the Socialist Objective.

  13. @Julie Thomas

    I think the AFL could always look at a “Crowd Penalty” rule. There could be a provision to penalise the home team if the home crowd engages in “Unruly, riotous or racist behaviour as determined by game the officials”.

  14. Typical looney left …

    The Campaign for a General Strike to Stop Tony Abbott(Liberal Australian Prime Minister) is developing, but needs to go a lot further and a lot faster. Each day that goes by without an organised working class response is a day that Liberals harm working class people and democratic rights in Australia further, a day to destroy the environment, torture refugees, wage imperialist war in West Asia, stoke reactionary social forces and stack public offices with Right wing zealots. To wait till the next election is to concede Tony Abbott the right to commit any crime, no matter how appalling.

  15. J-D @ #62 said:

    In a sane world nobody would try to justify the rudeness of spectators at a sporting match booing one of the players just because they don’t like him or find him ‘irritating’. Racist or not racist, there’s still no excuse for it.

    I did not try to “justify the rudeness of spectators booing one of the players…just because they find him irritating”. I merely said that the crowd “booing an irritating player…was..a dog bites man story” which did not justify “wall-to-wall coverage” and the triggering of a nationwide witch hunt for “racists” (an epithet which has now, like “fascist”, cognitively useless) lurking in the outer.

    FWIW I don’t like crowds picking on any player, black white or brindle, week after week. In general I don’t care for lynch-mob mentality whether bullying irritating players or spewing out two-minute hates denouncing alleged “racists”. I personally find Goodes on- and off-field antics kind of irritating. He dobbed in a 13 year old who didn’t know what she was doing, he games the umpires and he peddles a shop-worn and discredited version of pre-Intervention “blacktivism”. But irritating behaviour does not justify mass bullying. So, FTR I exhort the nation to not boo Goodes, unless he kicks a goal against Collingwood.

    What is passingly strange is the liberal media-academia complex going into an ideological full court press about the temporary mental distress of a 194 cm, Sydney-residing multi-millionaire pro athlete. I lost count of the number of Fairfax op-eds in favour of Goodes (10 +?), outraged Social Justice Warriors going viral on social media and the usual suspects celebrities and billionaires presenting as conspicuously compassionate. For a cringe-inducing example of digital holier-than-thouness you can’t do better than #IstandwithAdam

    Talk about protesth too much. This is displacement activity on a monumental scale.

    Its pretty obvious that the Culutral Left’s “model” of Reconciliation is not working out as its supposed to. To take one example the A&TS incarceration rate, already on a high base, has shot skyward in the midst of a long boom (focused in rural and regional AUS) during a period of massive public support for A&TS causes:

    From 2000-2013, the imprisonment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults increased 57 per cent while the non-Indigenous rate remained fairly stable.

    Rather than re-examining underlying assumptions and changing course the Cultural Left prefers to renew the hunt for “wreckers” and indulge in its favourite in-door pursuit of racist-hunting. This has the added bonnus of allowing them to pose in front of the moral vanity mirror whilst punching-down on the sections of the white middle-class and working-class who might be inclined to blow rasberries from the side-lines.

    This is bad enough in itself – Pharasaic behaviour was condemned by Jesus. But it is unforgiveable given that the Left appears to have squandered its post-GFC opportunity to take down the oligarchs who should be the real focus of hate. This is how political movements fail.

  16. @Jack Strocchi

    “He dobbed in a 13 year old who didn’t know what she was doing.”

    It’s 3 year olds who don’t know what they are doing. Thirteen year olds, who are reasonably well brought up and supervised, know what they are doing or very soon have it pointed out to them. In context, Adam Goodes was pointing out to nearby white adults and elders that one of their group, a young adolescent, was behaving badly and it was their responsibility to act. He wouldn’t have needed to point that out if the surrounding adults had been responsible people. Who was the supervising adult of the adolescent in question? That person should have acted much sooner.

    Minimising racist behaviour is dog-whistling. It’s snickering behind the hand, agreeing with the racist epithets and snidely calling on like-minded racists to agree.

    I too happen to believe that elite professional athletes are overpaid. But that is a separate issue. On the issue of being big and tough physically, that counts for little to nothing when vilification, ostracisation and shunning are involved. Anyone with a modicum of understanding of psychology would know that.

  17. @Jack Strocchi

    The cultural left have actually spent the past few decades examining the underlying assumptions of the racism and other right wing inclinations that have blighted our culture and we have the best narrative now. Can you not see that?

    There is no way this political movement will fail because we the cultural left are taking all the peeps with us on our journey to truth justice and the Australian way, while you old culture warriors can only howl at the moon.

    The cultural left have found the wreckers and the wreckers are like you Jack; it is racism that wrecks things. It is really not good for any one to live with a racist person, especially when this racist person is their own self.

    As a country I am pretty sure that we are on the way to moving into the ethical light and coming out from the conservative darkness in which you like to dwell and nurture your sick fantasies of superiority.

    I see that the Bolter has done it again and is telling lies about the stolen generation. Ben Eltham is making a complaint to the Press Council about this despicable lying.

    A link to the Bolter article and a link to the form for making a complaint to the Press Council is available at Dorothy Parkers Loonpond site.

  18. This is what Goodes said about the 13 year old after he pointed her out.

    “I just hope that people give the 13-year-old girl the same sort of support because she needs it, her family needs it, and the people around them need it,” he said. “It’s not a witch-hunt, I don’t want people to go after this young girl. We’ve just got to help educate society better so it doesn’t happen again. It’s not her fault, she’s 13, she’s still so innocent, I don’t put any blame on her.”

    Meanwhile, her mother affirmed this week she has been entirely unaffected by the episode.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/sport/the-fitz-files/please-alan-jones-get-the-facts-right-about-adam-goodes-20150731-giogd0.html#ixzz3hVXqY1Cg

    Bandana man sometimes tells it well.

  19. @Jack Strocchi

    Yes, obviously booing is entirely acceptable in the right context. I don’t know why some looneys claim otherwise.

    Similarly, displaying the Australian flag is entirely acceptable in the right context.

    However Australian hoons and their right wing cultural warriors (eg Bolt and Jones) are venting pure unadulterated racism – an entirely different and noxious context.

    Booing Goodes, because of his display of Aboriginality, must be rejected by a counter cultural offensive in the nature of “#IstandwithAdam” and etc.

    The 13 year old is not the key issue – she was only following the mob around her.

    Fascism and racism go hand in hand – that’s the problem.

  20. @alfred venison

    No, it hasn’t failed. I think all of that is just posturing.

    Hope I’m wrong, but “officially” it’s just going into overtime as everyone drives a hard bargain (or at least gives that appearance before rolling over and giving the 1% everything they’ve always wanted).

  21. i’m not so sure, Megan. did you read the g&m article? the south americans & mexico are bucking up at biological patents, the japanese at something about autos and the canadians are as far away as ever from satisfaction over access to american markets for their cheese.

    additionally, the canadian gov’t goes into caretaker mode this weekend for the 2nd longest election campaign in their history. they will be in caretaker mode for something like 2 months. unless harper wants to buck over a century of parliamentary convention (not saying he wouldn’t) he must not negotiate anything binding on a future government. so a country with a major sticking point will be unable to negotiate it until christmas or later. on playpen they concerned themselves with talk about the effect of this news on the perception of obama as a lame duck. even the guardian has missed this point. as i know from long observation if it doesn’t directly affect australia, old dart or the imperial master its not news in australia.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/aug/01/australia-walks-away-from-trans-pacific-partnership-trade-deal-talks

  22. Just to make it very clear….

    The booing of Goodes was not sporting-booing but

    Booing Goodes “because he’s black” is not this.

    Here is a clear example – Video

    How on earth would a young girl come to associate the word ‘ape’ with Goodes if it was not racism???? She did not yell out “tiger” or “lion” or “eagle” or “bulldog” or “shark”.

    Bolt, McGuire, Jones and etc should hang their heads in shame. They are exploiting her, making her a victim, to facilitate such booing.

  23. I think the TPP will come in, in some form, and that this form will be very good for corporations and capitalist oligarchs and very bad for everyone else. IMO, our economic system is headed for a catastrophic disaster because it ignores the needs of the natural world, it ignores our dependence on the natural world and it ignores (more and more now) the needs of the great majority of ordinary people. This is a recipe for a catastrophic implosion of the economic system.

  24. @alfred venison

    I didn’t know about the “caretaker” angle for Canada. That could be interesting, but as you point out Harper could easily ignore convention.

    I was only going on the “official” version (which could be wishful thinking of course):

    Joint Statement by TPP Ministers

    Lahaina, HI – We, the trade ministers of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam announce that, after more than a week of productive meetings, we have made significant progress and will continue work on resolving a limited number of remaining issues, paving the way for the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

    Ministers and negotiators leave Hawaii committed to build on the momentum of this meeting by staying in close contact as negotiators continue their intensive engagement to find common ground. Negotiators will also continue to work to formalize the achievements that have been made this week.

    In this last stage of negotiations, we are more confident than ever that TPP is within reach and will support jobs and economic growth.

    The progress made this week reflects our longstanding commitment to deliver an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard TPP agreement that will support jobs and economic growth across the Asia Pacific region.

  25. PS: If the Canadian NDP is anything like Australia’s ALP, the TPP is essentially a done deal from a local bipartisan viewpoint. The TPP negotiations haven’t missed a beat as national elections have gone on here. The baton was passed very smoothly from Emerson to Robb at the 2013 federal election.

  26. @Jack Strocchi

    You appear to be suggesting that you don’t think it’s worth discussing so much, which appears to be inconsistent with the fact that you’re discussing it so much. Vehement insistence that something does not matter much is an indicator of how much it does matter, at least to the people doing the insisting.

  27. @Megan

    The Canadian NDP resemble the ALP in some ways and is different from it in some ways. However, more importantly, your reference to ‘a local bipartisan viewpoint’ would only make sense if Canadian politics had only two sides, in the sense of plausible contenders to win an election and form government. That is not the case (although it was the case for much of Canadian history). In Canada currently there are three different parties each of which can plausibly be seen as a potential winner of the forthcoming election: that is, each of them has been in first place in the opinion polls at some point within the last six months.

    Historically, Canada has alternated between Liberal and Conservative governments; at the 2011 election, for the first time ever, the NDP received more votes and won more seats than the Liberals and became the official Opposition; in early 2012 the Conservatives and the NDP were on similar levels in the opinion polls, but after that the polls started to show the NDP falling and the Liberals rising, and through much of 2013 and 2014 the Liberals were in front. Then the Liberals started trending down again and the NDP up again, and, as I mentioned, all three parties have held first place in the opinion polls at some point in the last six months.

    The point is that any speculation about what might happen as a result of the Canadian election has to consider not just two possibilities, but three: what a Conservative government might do, what a Liberal government might do, and what an NDP government might do. Anybody who’s only looking at two of those is missing something.

    I don’t know what position any of them might end up taking on the TPP, but I do know the difference between ‘is there bipartisan support?’ and ‘is there tripartisan support?’ .

  28. well, we all know about official versions, eh. i’m reading they’re set to resume in novemeber. i say it will be anything but easy for harper to defend any concessions he argues are needed to achieve this treaty during a two month election campaign. he is not just up against the trudeau & the liberals who are neo-liberal economic clones, but he is also up against the ndp whose leader mulcair is popular & who are not neo-liberal clones, but a party with unashamedly strong historic trade union ties, the party that invented universal medical care which is still hugely popular in a canada, and a party that speaks fluent national economic protection without an accent.

    if harper is perceived at any time in the next two months to be willing to sell canadian exporters short while the ndp are not, he will be utterly creamed in ontario & quebec which produce a lot of dairy for export & where for demographic reasons canadian elections are usually decided. whether he would get creamed in beef exporting alberta (his heartland) too, is an open question. alberta beef exporters have been very adversely affected by unfair american trade practices for over 10 years & harbour a lot of resentment about it. remember also the last alberta election is when jim prentice, harper’s handpicked lieutenant & former federal cabinet colleague, parachuted in with a couple of crack conservative campaign managers & pollsters, lost his own seat & led the provincial conservatives to minor party status in an unprecedented total wipe out by rachel notely’s provincial ndp. crowning 43 years of uninterrupted conservative rule with the achievement of minor party status for the conservatives, a whopping ndp majority and the rump of the decimated libertarians they toyed with & double crossed entrenched in official opposition.

    and whoever thinks the canadian polls have been all over the place should look at this site. btw, i think the graphics are very impressive & instructive. as is the candor about survey technique and statistical extrapolation is exemplary & could well be emulated by australian media who seem to me chronically unable to be simply the reporters of polls:- http://www.cbc.ca/news2/interactives/poll-tracker/2015/index.html

  29. @alfred venison

    Thanks for that information and ‘local’ insight.

    All power to you (Canadians) and the NDP at these elections.

    PS: I really hope I’m wrong about the TPP. I see that the G&M article has the conservative guy saying something like “we’d love to fight this election on trade if that’s what NDP wants, bring it on” – which sounds like badly misplaced bravado from what you say.

  30. J-D said @ #83:

    You appear to be suggesting that you don’t think it’s worth discussing so much, which appears to be inconsistent with the fact that you’re discussing it so much. Vehement insistence that something does not matter much is an indicator of how much it does matter, at least to the people doing the insisting.

    No, again you appear to be deliberately mis-comprehending, again.

    I am saying the original incident, the whole Adam Goodes “vilifying”-dobbing-booing saga is a storm-in-a-tea-cup, hardly worth either expelling the 13 year old girl or crowd bullying Goodes.

    But the massive over-reaction of the liberal media-academia complex is definitely worth commenting on. Their “vehement insistence” over this affair is a form of them ” doth protesteth too much”.

    Not because of the gravity of the original probelm, a tremendous trifle if ever there was one. But because it is diagnostic of Left-liberal underlying uneasiness about both the validity of their (some-what discredited) world-model and its concommitant decline in public popularity.

    Thus the need for liberal MSM to carefully engineer Soviet-style “spontaneous demonstrations” of public support for Goodes, and by implication its cultural world-model. As Dalrymple observes, the purpose of such expressions is not to information but a subtle for of subjugation whereby the perpetrator implicates the victim in their own web of deceit:

    Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.

  31. well, conservatives are such tools. its the old canard that ndp are raving union corrupted socialists who will stifle trade & business & ruin the canadian way of life with their soviet style five year plans, &c.. &c., &c. well may he rue his hubris, they – conservatives – sure do in alberta.
    on the one hand, the old alberta conservative gov’t had a “plan”: lobby hard with public money for keystone & the export of alberta crude to 100,000 jobs in texas; business as usual the conservative way.

    on the other hand, the new alberta ndp “plan” is: cancel public funds for keystone lobbying and lobby instead for an west-east pipeline to export alberta crude to entrepreneurial people who want to reactivate mothballed refineries in ontario & quebec to sell canadian workers’ value-added product to markets in the atlantic states using existing pipeline networks. now that sounds like a “plan”: a national energy & employment & industry bloody plan.

    thank goodness for tommy douglas and the ndp, i say, it is at least interesting times in the old royal people’s republic of canadia. though my late mother was rusted on liberal and my late father was rusted on social credit, my once arch conservative brother, a staunch newt gingrich man in the ’90s, now votes & door-knocks for ndp and can’t wait to get their signs on his front lawn again. albertans have had a fatalistic streak: i.e., nothing ever changes in alberta, sigh, might as well stick with the conservatives at least they have the ear of big oil. turns out, after premier stelmach’s dismissal over daring to review the royalty payments (circa the time of rudd’s dismissal over coal royalties), it was clear they didn’t even have that and the voters finally had enough and threw them out for the ndp. i think it is by no means an easy run for harper & the adjournment of this trade negotiation at this time over, among other things, issues of great interest to many canadians complicates things for him. and that is a good thing; i am beside myself with overjoy. -a.v.

  32. @Jack Strocchi

    If I am mis-comprehending you then either

    A. you would like to reduce my mis-comprehension

    or

    B. you don’t care.

    If it’s A, and you’d like to reduce my mis-comprehension, you are making poor choices about how to achieve that result.

  33. @alfred venison

    and whoever thinks the canadian polls have been all over the place should look at this site. btw, i think the graphics are very impressive & instructive.

    It confirms what I wrote: that at different times within the last six months each of the three parties (Conservatives, Liberals, and NDP) has been first in the polls.

    For whatever reasons, elections with huge changes in the party distribution of seats won are much more common in Canada than in Australia; the examples you mention illustrate this more general point. This may be another reason for greater caution in guessing/estimating Canadian election results.

  34. Given that PM Tony Abbott explained how catching a helicopter was within entitlements, how it wasn’t the person but the system that was broken, I am patiently waiting for his apology to Peter Slipper for mistakenly assuming Slipper’s travel expenses were outside of entitlements and were a fault of Slipper and not the system itself.

    Meanwhile, in reality-based world, the Dept of Finance staff who oversee the administration of travel expenses are caught in a bind: it is patently obvious that they should refer the Bishop expenses to the AFP for their consideration, based on the data already publicly available, and let the AFP come to an opinion on the legality or otherwise of those expense claims; if they do this though, the LNP will put the blowtorch to the bellies of those public servants, because that is what the LNP does. If they don’t see a problem with helicopter jaunts as a travel expense entitlement, then why has the speaker apologised, repaid the money plus penalty, and resigned as speaker? Why was Slipper’s offer to repay the money refused? Why didn’t the AFP refer the matter straight back to the Dept of Finance, just as they recently did in the case of the speaker Bronwyn Bishop?

  35. TRUMP TOWERS

    Trump could well follow Berlusconi and Putin as another billionaire crony capitalist President who channels the national masculine Id to the highest office of executive power. That is, Silvio appealed to Italian playboy fantasies, Vladimir appeals to Russian He-man fantasies and The Donald appeals to American businessman fantasies. Sad, but true.

    Donald Trump continues to power towards the REP nomination, just receiving a Palin turbocharge. HR Clinton appears to believe that the DEM nomination is simply a matter of her turning up to her own dynastic successor coronation, So it looks like the 2016 Presidential election could be a bizarre contest between an ageing Right-wing blowhard and an ageing Left-wing diehard.

    My Five P (Pecuniary, Periodicity, Policy, Personality.Party) theory of the Supply side of politics predicts the REPs as slight favourites. The Pecuniary economy is only so-so, it’s the third Period of a DEM presidency, the candidates Personality is hard to love, the DEM party is fractious, the DEM establishment has not set the world alight with Policy proposals.

    Of course the Supply side is only one side of the equation, the Demand side of politics is driven by slow changes in demography. These are tending to favour the DEMs over the long run, so long as the Rainbow Coalition of minorities can hang together to form an effective majority – no small ask given its fractious nature.

    By contrast Trump can rely on white majority ethnic solidarity to get out his Base. He is very cleverly making a strong Right-wing populist appeal to the White majority, exactly the kind of strategy that won Nixon two elections. He makes Jeb Bush the other dynastic successor look kind of milquetoast by comparison.

    Of course Trump is quite unpopular outside the REP base. But the REP base is potentially Very Big and Solid.

    It’s too early for me to make a firm prediction. Trump represents a good value bet at 20/1 odd, firming up from 40/1 odds a month or so ago. Also Bernie Sanders, a Left-wing nationalist populist, is worth thinking about at 14/1.

    The political Establishment, represented by the dynastic duo of Clinton and Bush, is looking very uninspiring at the moment. So we should be grateful to The Donald and Bernie for putting some old cats amongst the pigeons. Let the fun and games begin!

  36. Got to love the art of doublespeak^fn1—the ABC board press release on the shift of Q&A into the News Division:

    In a statement the board pointed to factors in its decision making including an update on the independent review being undertaken by Shaun Brown and Ray Martin and a briefing “separately by management on the editorial processes surrounding the program”.

    It said: “Based on the information provided, the board considers both the program and the wider ABC would benefit by an orderly shift of Q&A into the ABC news division. Q&A is a significant feature in Australia’s news and current affairs cycle.”

    “Such relocation should provide the program with greater operational and cultural alignment.”

    (My use of bold in the quote.)

    Cultural alignment? That is straight out of the Totalitarian’s Handbook.

    Footnote 1: Doublespeak is a contraction of doublethink and newspeak, the latter two words occur in “1984”, George Orwell (1948). I don’t recall doublespeak actually appearing in the novel.

  37. @Jack Strocchi

    Just exactly how the poor and ordinary people think that a billionaire will represent their interests is beyond me.

    I think that to become a politician you should need to take a vow of (relative) poverty so that you can understand the needs of the people. Politicians always claim to want to “serve the people”. Let us see them put their money where their mouth is. It should be a constitutional requirement that to become a serving politician you;

    (a) accept the minimum basic wage;
    (b) divest yourself of all business assets and investments;
    (c) donate the proceeds to the poor; and
    (d) accept no job offers for up to 10 years after parliamentary service which pay more than the minimum wage.

  38. @Ikonoclast

    “how the poor and ordinary people think that a billionaire will represent their interests is beyond me.”

    I ask people about this; I ask why do you think Rupert Murdoch is on your side? Why do you think that his interests are the same as yours?

    The old angries I ask are like Jack and can only snort and snarl irrationally, they are not able to articulate the thought processes that have brought them to hold those beliefs. But it seems to me to be the case that they identify themselves with successful men like Murdoch and Trump and see these men as the alpha males that they could and would have been if only there were not so many stupid people in the world who brought them down. They take vicarious pleasure when these men they identify with win.

    We know that those on the right like hierarchies and so they are programmed by this belief to be rank hero worshippers of all sorts of stupidity if it means they feel like they are on top of something, anything….. they gotta be the boss of somebody or else they feel like they are nobody.

    Have you read this by Corey Robin?

    http://www.salon.com/2015/08/02/we_have_the_left_and_right_all_wrong_the_real_story_of_the_politics_of_nostalgia_and_tradition/

    “In “The Reactionary Mind,” I argued that this view of the political divide is incorrect, at least as it pertains to the right. Beginning with Burke, conservatives have been less committed to tradition or the past than to a hierarchical vision of society.

    “In Burke’s case, it was aristocrats over commoners; in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it would be masters over slaves, employers over employees, husbands and men over women and wives. And so it remains: the most consistent feature of contemporary American conservatism is the GOP’s war on reproductive freedom and worker rights.”

  39. Ikonoclast,

    previous comment in moderation cos I linked to your comment.

    “how the poor and ordinary people think that a billionaire will represent their interests is beyond me.”

    I ask people about this; I ask why do you think Rupert Murdoch is on your side? Why do you think that his interests are the same as yours?

    The old angries I ask are like Jack and can only snort and snarl irrationally, they are not able to articulate the thought processes that have brought them to hold those beliefs. But it seems to me to be the case that they identify themselves with successful men like Murdoch and Trump and see these men as the alpha males that they could and would have been if only there were not so many stupid people in the world who brought them down.

    They take vicarious pleasure when these men they identify with win.

    We know that those on the right like hierarchies and so they are programmed by this belief to be rank hero worshippers of all sorts of stupidity if it means they feel like they are on top of something, anything….. they gotta be the boss of somebody or else they feel like they are nobody.

    Have you read this by Corey Robin?

    http://www.salon.com/2015/08/02/we_have_the_left_and_right_all_wrong_the_real_story_of_the_politics_of_nostalgia_and_tradition/

    “In “The Reactionary Mind,” I argued that this view of the political divide is incorrect, at least as it pertains to the right. Beginning with Burke, conservatives have been less committed to tradition or the past than to a hierarchical vision of society.

    “In Burke’s case, it was aristocrats over commoners; in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it would be masters over slaves, employers over employees, husbands and men over women and wives. And so it remains: the most consistent feature of contemporary American conservatism is the GOP’s war on reproductive freedom and worker rights.”

  40. @alfred venison
    Thanks for the information about the Canadian election, Alfred – very interesting. The site you linked to has great graphics. The Poll Bludger site here has very clear and transparent information also, but does not have those engaging graphics.

  41. how the poor and ordinary people think that a billionaire will represent their interests is beyond me.

    It’s hardly mysterious: there’s two effects.

    1. A billionaire will be able to cut through any tangle of “checks and balances” that act to entrench a self-perpetuating oligarchy and respond to

    2. The billionaire takes some aspect of membership in an identity group that feels marginalised, and members of that identity group feel that having “one of them” in power will lead to some increased consideration of their interests.

    Both of these actually work, exactly as they’re supposed to. They aren’t big effects and there’s big — huge — downsides, but if your situation is bad enough then a “strong leader” can/does actually improve it. Better still is systemic improvement, dismantling the checks-and-balances that exclude consideration of the interests of people outside the oligarchy…

    … but you can’t get there from here; if the tangle of checks-and-balances is bad enough then the people in power are entirely dependent on it and there’s no in-system way of getting them to fix the social problems.

    [and of course a lot of people feel “marginalised” when it’s actually just the government paying attention to some other previously-marginalised group; counterrevolutionaries aren’t the most reflective people, by-and-large.]

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