Tuesday, September 27, 2016

About Blog and more about me ...

" ... the L Party represents a view from the right, but what does this mean?"

In pre internet days, we relied on newspapers, television, radio, journals and magazines to get our news and information. Today, computers and the World Wide Web have enabled news and information to travel faster and more widely than at any time in human history. However, as is often written, the accuracy of news sources from in particular, weblogs is questionable, the claim being, that they are nothing more than second hand or rehashed news littered with personal opinion and laced with bias thus rendering them an unreliable source of information. I would add, that in part, this is an accurate assessment.

In fact, the academic view would suggest that this very site rates low in terms of reliability for a number of reasons.
  1. The L Party is not part of a recognisable institution or body with a Government (.gov), organisation (.org), education (.edu) or any other subject specific establishment with a letter extension after it.
  2. The L party is not affiliated with any media group, newspaper or online news site.
  3. The L Party does not satisfy criteria related to “reliable authors”. Here I refer to sites that include the author’s background and educational qualifications as quantified strictly in terms of the sites posting subject matter.
  4. The L Party content is accurate however; its objectivity is questionable since political, cultural, ideological and institutional biases are present. Hence, I admit that my opinion and worldview is rooted within the content of the site.
Nevertheless, does this suggest that this site is unreliable or anecdotal or worse still, superfluous? No, it does not.

Ordinarily, I would be somewhat self-effacing but given the above mentioned benchmarks, it is only fair that I provide readers with some critique.

As I stated in, “about me” on the home page:
I enjoy writing about that which interests me. To be sure, I do so to impart knowledge and understanding and to place an individual spin and my own distinctive sensibility and perception on my chosen subject matter.
But this short paragraph is inadequate; for the L Party also represents a view from the right, but what exactly do I mean by this?

It refers to a view that embraces and advocates a pro-small government and, pro-free market approach to Australian public policy. A view that rejects the contemporary notion that government is all-powerful, and that it can solve all our problems, a view that rejects the nanny state, excessive government interference in our lives, more taxes, more regulation and more public spending. A view that embraces a political philosophy, social and educational regime and/or attitude emphasizing respect for traditional institutions, distrust of government activism, and opposition to change, for change's sake to what is, a functioning and established civil order. A view that recognises and defends the connection existing between members of an ethnic group based on shared ancestry, culture, religion, history and language. A view that questions and challenges political correctness. A view that recognises and defends our masculine identity as men, or feminine identity as women, our role as fathers and mothers, or husbands and wives within a traditional family as based on a heterosexual union. A view that recognises and defends marital love and paternal & maternal love.

A view that recognises the virtues of Western Civilisation and the essential features of our free society - liberal democracy, the rule of law, individual rights, inc. freedom of speech, personal responsibility and civil society as drawn from the great thinkers of the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece and the role played by Christianity in its development. A view that understands and recognises that, for all intents and purposes, present “World Order” is stable and predictable in part due to the economic, technological, military and diplomatic superpower that is, The United States of America. Moreover, that our democratic way of life, our economies and our national security, are irrevocably tied to a secure world order - an order to which the U.S. even with its notable imperfections, is at the heartas the pre-eminent driver of internationalism. This point extends to English-speaking nations with a similar cultural heritage, based upon populations originating from the nations of the British Isles (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Ireland) – Anglosphere. 

A view that embraces freedom of speech, and defends without compromise, threats to this by a self anointed throng of cultural elites and their political and ideological cohorts. A view that rejects all forms of political censorship by those whose purpose is to remove from the political discourse and common commentariat those notions that pose offence to the prejudiced left.

A view that rejects viewing the world from the prism of advantaged and disadvantaged groups - identity politics - and the left's do's and don't's.

I unashamedly and unapologetically am compelled to assert, that all my writing incorporates these viewpoints. Additionally, I guarantee the reader of my honesty in articulating my worldview though at times, I am especially forthright even perhaps, confronting. For mine, this is what real writing is all about and to do otherwise is a betrayal of the art; an art that tutors, generates interest and with any luck, enlightens.

I am not speaking in defence of all blogs, some are ordinary at best though, strictly in terms of this blog, any applicable academic criterion does not take into account the relevance of the individual viewpoint, not that we or I, should automatically expect it. Everyone has a view, and I respect that everyone has a right to express him or herself regardless of where one resides on the ideological continuum. Of greater importance is an understanding that by view, we are also inferring an opinion, an interpretation and understanding, and no one should discount the importance of the latter as part of the construction of their own, and other readers view. As a blogger, it therefore becomes imperative, that the synopsis within my posts is, as much as possible, grounded upon accurate details, evidences, realities and information otherwise the exercise will be of little value; accordingly, and within the provisos of any or the written disclaimer, I can provide surety in terms of the content of this site.

As centred on the aforementioned, which includes the sites predisposition, the blog is reliable as a source of information, furthermore as its author and, as a thinker; I humbly acknowledge and understand that The L Party is nothing more than an additional source or channel, interpreter or filter within the modern-day information medium.

Further validation is unnecessary, as ultimately it is my preference to invite the reader to enter, appraise, comprehend and acknowledge or, if one prefers, reject. For those that do abscond with little or no contemplation, can I venture to suggest; unless one refers to the physical sciences, there may be no such thing as an impartially definitive source of information and opinion, since thankfully, there are so many of which I, through this blog, am a minuscule part within the labyrinth known as the World Wide Web. Nevertheless, somewhere within the maze the truth or, the sum of truth may rest.

Otto Marasco
April 2011

Postscript: In relation to Australian politics, it ought to come as no surprise that I was not critical of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister per se, for there are many a consistencies between our former PM’s worldview and mine. My evaluation and critique of Abbott Government was limited to matters pertaining to execution, functioning, managing and communication issues that were in my opinion, average at best. 

Updated: March 2016

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Last post

Are you a budding novelist - writer? will be my last post at this blog.

In recognising the role this site plays in the larger ecosystem of information within blogosphere and more broadly, the World Wide Web, The L Party's content will not be deleted.  

Accordingly, it is my hope that the sites content will continue to serve as a useful archive of information pertaining to conservative interests associated with the Liberal Party of Australia.  

Anyone finding themselves here and wanting to comment, may still do so via this post or otherwise, may contact me via the email link on the profile page.

Be sure to visit my new site: Sapientia et Doctrina

Thanks to all my readers.

Otto Marasco

Friday, April 17, 2015

Are you a budding novelist … writer?

Can you espouse the ideas of, but not be definitively limited to, those of the late novelist Ayn Rand?

A public status/blog/tweet update seeking budding writers and/or novelists.

In 2009 I completed Ch. 1 of what was to be an extended piece or novel entitled "David Larkin". 

Due to time constraints and life matters Ch 2. was not commenced. The writing remains online within this blog and is copyright however, I am willing to waive my rights for anyone that wishes to continue to build upon the 4100+ words already written and call it their own but with the following with the following caveats. 
  1. That the aspirant adopt, as far as is reasonably practicable, a similar style/prose to mine. 
  2. That the writing benchmark set, be correspondingly upheld and/or commensurate with the existing work and 
  3. That if you are fortunate and derive any income/revenue from the exercise then you can look forward to keeping 90% or more for yourself, otherwise said, a small sum for yours truly.  
It was my intention that the piece espouse the ideas of, but not be definitively limited to, those of the late novelist Ayn Rand. 

Visit: http://australasianliberal.blogspot.com.au/2009/05/david-larkin.html

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Climate Change Point of View

I beg forgiveness for I had closed this blog however, a highly charged issue of the day has compelled me to revisit and submit an additional post as an addendum if you will, to the much hyped subject (and blog label) that is, climate change. The catalyst for this was an article that appeared at The Times on January 19, 2015 as written by Matt Ridley, "author of provocative books on evolution, genetics and society". In it, he argues that "the polarisation of the climate debate has gone too far" and it just so happens that I too have been lamenting this of late.

From My Life As a Lukewarmer by Matt Ridley I present an intro as it appears at Jo Nova, the acclaimed Skeptical Science blog

In the climate debate, paying obeisance to climate scaremongering is about as mandatory for a public appointment, or public funding, as being a Protestant was in 18th-century England.
Matt used to believe (like so many of us did):
I  was not always a lukewarmer. When I first started writing about the threat of global warming more than 26 years ago, as science editor of The Economist, I thought it was a genuinely dangerous threat. Like, for instance, Margaret Thatcher, I accepted the predictions being made at the time that we would see warming of a third or a half a degree (Centigrade) a decade, perhaps more, and that this would have devastating consequences.
When he initially switched there was a genuine conversation. People did try to engage him in long exchanges, but he gradually grew more and more skeptical, and the conversation just got more and more silly.
Then a funny thing happened a few years ago. Those who disagreed with me stopped pointing out politely where or why they disagreed and started calling me names. One by one, many of the most prominent people in the climate debate began to throw vitriolic playground abuse at me. I was “paranoid”, “specious”, “risible”, “self-defaming”, “daft”, “lying”, “irrational”, an “idiot”. Their letters to the editor or their blog responses asserted that I was “error-riddled” or had seriously misrepresented something, but then they not only failed to substantiate the charge but often roughly confirmed what I had written.
I cannot recommend his writing enough, you will need a subscription to read his piece at The Times but thankfully, the author has also made it available to all at his blog, click here to read....

Like Mr. Ridley, I too have a view:

A Climate Change Point of View

Climate Change is both a highly contentious and polemic issue and one, that has dominated headlines for quite some time. I have a view, but before I share it, I feel duty-bound to make a couple of points.

Firstly, I believe the subject must be addressed in terms of the Oxford dictionary definition:
“ … a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels …” 
As opposed to the Wikipedia definition:
"Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years."
Why you ask? Because the Oxford classification focuses on changes to climate post 19th century, hence it attributes climate change to modern humankind in terms of increased Carbon Dioxide emissions due to the use of fossil fuels to drive industry, motor vehicles, produce electricity etc.

The Wikipedia definition is also accurate, but present day conversation, (indeed argument), must focus on the study of modern kind’s contribution. This should be the default stance in any debate about the subject because climate change per-se has been happening since the dawn of time so the pertinent question is, has it accelerated by the use of fossil fuels since around 1900 or before that, the birth of the industrial revolution. Otherwise put, does one believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), meaning human made global warming?

The Oxford definition would be the preferred current day political view while Wiki's definition is the preferable science view.

Secondly, and though I have not stated it yet, you may wish to understand how it is that I arrived at my present view or interpretation about the subject. It has largely resulted from considerable consumption of reading material from all camps, right, left, liberal, conservative and the fringes. My interest in the subject peaked shortly after purchasing Time Magazines now famous issue dated April 3, 2006 with the cover headline, “Be worried, be very worried”.

Well I did get worried and from then on, I gravitated toward any article, op-ed piece, editorial, and documentary or radio segment on the subject. However, I went further and in 2009, launched the now redundant blog, Climate Change Views at www.climatecv.blogspot.com (link now inactive). As you will note from the business card images below, the goal was to create an on line portal to all views, ranging from the most alarmist to the most ardent deniers on the subject. In just over 18 months, I must have amassed and collated, read and presented links to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of articles on the subject of climate change and global warming combined with a short pitch of my own as a prelude to each. It was not long before something struck me, one detail stood out, that is, there is no consensus.You may think there is, when in reality there is not. If you expand your reading to all media, you will find this is the case.

Climate Change Views Business Card 2009
Rear of Climate Change Views Business Card 2009
In Australia, if one sticks to reading Fairfax media (The Age in Melbourne, Sydney Morning Herald) or listens to and/or watches SBS or ABC TV and Radio, then they can be excused for thinking that consensus exists about man made climate change. Conversely, those who read NEWS Ltd press (Herald-Sun, The Australian, and The Daily Telegraph) and tune there radio frequencies to conservative stations may be excused for thinking quite the opposite. For Americans, it is like comparing the left leaning (Liberal) MSNBC, The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Baltimore Sun or New York Times to the right leaning (Conservative) Fox News, The Washington Times or Wall Street Journal. 

Moreover, the ideology behind opinions also splits along occupational and vocational lines. Broadly speaking, teachers and those within the education establishment, motion pictures and the arts together with civil and public servants will mostly hold a views consistent with those of the left, the result being more than a natural propensity to align with alarmists. Conversely, those in finance and including accountants, construction sector, energy exploration and agriculture will hold views more consistent with the centre right and right such that they gravitate toward the true sceptics view, and even outright denialism.  

However, when one breaks out of the comfort zone, moves away from tribal thinking patterns and other ubiquitous factors and absorbs all views, sentiments and opinions from the entire ideological print and electronic media spectrum, as I did for Climate Change Views, then this notion of consensus, soon recedes. 

So where do I stand in terms of today’s conversation about climate change? I am neutral; I sit in the middle of a continuum between global warming alarmists and climate deniers. This automatically makes me a climate sceptic, which is fine by me. I attribute this to all the reading I referred to above. More precisely, how did I arrive at this interpretation after my period of being an alarmist and “worried”? Otherwise said, what drove me to the middle? Two points warrant a mention. 

Climate Modelling 

I am not convinced of the accuracy of climate models. You have heard the lines:
“The modelling tells us that …”, and “… the model suggests …” etc. 
It is not surprising that climate change proponents love the modellers, those behind the scenes mystery minds’ willing to forecast what is going to happen to our economies and climate by 2020, 2050 and beyond. 

By way of example, I draw your attention to the following past news lines:
“The Government will press ahead with its emissions trading scheme or Carbon tax for example; arguing that modelling to be released proves it is pro-growth and good for the nation's long-term economic competitiveness …” 
Or this one
“As you know, the Government released its Treasury modelling yesterday and what that modelling demonstrates …” 
Models come in various guises those based on abstractions (abstract models), those based on cause and effect (causal models), the mathematical, those based on probability distributions (statistical models) and those based on a computer program which attempt to simulate an abstract model (computer model). Indeed, there are many more, however they all have one thing in common, they are based on abstractions, concepts, and theories, though not necessarily hard truths of science, i.e. the models used to derive estimates and thus policy are based on assumptions that have in many instances gone untested.

In reviewing the book, Economic Models of Climate Change: A Critique by Stephen J. DeCanio one critic wrote: 
“ … the models used by neo-classical economists to consider climate change have so many solutions to their equations that they cannot produce information useful to policymakers without being rigged to do so … “
DeCanio rips away the fig leaf of objectivity from economists claiming to produce valid information for the climate change debate. Deconstructing their models through all their theoretical twists and turns, DeCanio reveals how their biases shape assumptions that in turn predetermine the outcomes of their analyses, a heads I win, tails you lose approach. DeCanio shows how these models, posing as application of the scientific method, with hundreds of equations that seem objective, are classic examples of, "garbage in, garbage are out'.”

Truth is, I do not like the garbage in, garbage out idiom that is now commonly used to “express the idea that in computing and other fields, incorrect or poor-quality input will produce faulty output”. Not all the input is faulty or incorrect however, I do appreciate the point made.  Climate models will remain a valuable tool to evaluate future climate but they need to improve. See: Are climate change models becoming more accurate and less reliable?

Settled Science

I abhor the phrase, “the science is settled” because science is never settled, it’s a mark that we are understanding something  in a justifiable and defensible way but the unsettling of settled science is possible, and we must be open to that possibility.

The American philosopher William James summed it up when remarking upon the views of the science establishment amongst his Harvard colleagues. I find his words so poignant that I present verbatim. 
 "Science has made such glorious leaps in the last 300 years that it is no wonder the worshippers lose their heads … I have heard more than one teacher say that all the fundamental conceptions of truths in science have been found and that the future has only the details of the picture to fill on. But the slightest reflection on the real conditions will suffice to show just how barbaric…crude…such notions are …whatever else be certain, this at least is. That the world of our present natural knowledge is enveloped in a larger world of some sort, of whose residual properties we, at present can frame no positive idea".
Well over 100 years have passed since these statements; given all the scientific advances of the past century has time not vindicated him?

Moving forward to present day, in his book, The Good Life, Hugh Mackay questions complex scientific constructs and theories (pp. 76-78 2013 edition) such that, when considered in light of today’s climate science debate, at the very least, it makes one wonder.   
“When we turn to science, we assume that here, at least, our certainties are warranted. But are they? Most of us recognise the equation E = mc2” … “We know it has something to do with Einstein’s theory of relativity and perhaps we know he revolutionised scientific thought by challenging the accepted wisdom that mass and energy were separate phenomena. Today, the theory is being tested and challenged and’ …”contrary to Einstein’s conviction, it is possible for particles to travel at speeds greater than light” …”certainty in science like certainty in everything else that relies on assumptions, interpretations and theories, is more slippery than we might care to imagine. Scientific proofs are by their nature always provisional. In Religion and Science (1935), Bertrand Russell expressed the uncertainty that empirical scientists must learn the live with. He wrote that science is always tentative, expecting that modification in its present theory will sooner or later be found necessary, and aware that its method is one which is logically incapable of arriving at a complete and final demonstration.”
“Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962) challenged the ideas that scientific truths once established are immutable and that scientific theories evolve via an orderly progression of thoughts. His point was that any scientific theory is subjective construction based on either constantly shifting data or perceptions of the data, or on occasion startling, which he called “paradigm shifts”. To assume certainty or stability at any given point in this process is to ignore the long history of science. The integrity of any theory, Kuhn argued lies in its falsifiability - that is, its openness to the possibility of repudiation in the light of more evidence, fresh insights or more creative interpretation of data whose significance was not previously understood.”
“As we moved through the twentieth century, labelled the Age of Uncertainty by many philosophers, psychologists, economists, political scientists and social analysts, we came to realise that, as Australian social analyst Richard Eckersley wrote in Well and Good (2004), “scientific knowledge is never the whole truth or an absolute, immutable truth. And what science has done, and how its results are applied, are powerfully determined by its cultural context”. Indeed, as Stephen Trombley put it in A Short History of Western Thought (2011), “Any claim to absolute knowledge is questionable, and that knowledge is dependent on the perspective of the observer”. In other words, we interpret what we see in the light of our existing knowledge, our existing convictions, or faith, and even our existing prejudices: the viewer is indeed part of the view.”   
Consider if you will, the present climate change debate in light of the last sentence.  
“According to Brian Schmidt, co-winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize for physics, scientific theories should be regarded as predictions. Much of what we regard as scientific knowledge, he says, is mere hypothesis that allows scientists to get on with their work until the hypothesis is proved right or wrong.” 
“The French philosopher of science Bruno Latour, among others, has taken the uncertainty principle one step further. In his provocative book, On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods (2011), he reiterates the conventional scientific wisdom that scientific facts are mere human constructions, just like any other human construction and claims that, like those other human constructions, scientific facts appear real and stable to us at a given time, even though they might be subject to future revision or reinterpretation on the light of new understandings’ … “these scientific constructions are not significantly different from the artefact's of a religion, in which we construct beliefs (the religious equivalent to theories), icons, fetishes and even gods out or our understanding of the world as we experience it. Embracing scientific knowledge strikes Latour as being rather like a leap of faith based on fresh revelation.”
Has it clicked for you yet? Think of how climate change alarmists construct beliefs and fetishes; indeed let us reflect on the impact of ones politics and ideology when attached to the mix. Consensus on climate change? Please … 

If we’re now questioning the accuracy and validity of some of the theories of even Time Magazines Person of the Century, then how certain are we of the role of Carbon Dioxide, by way of example, in terms of its impact or otherwise on climate change? Not least, all other variables, (known and unknown) connected with the science. 

On a final note, from my experience, when considering the issue in terms of the Oxford definition, it is clear that both camps, warmists and deniers alike, sometimes bend the known facts to their liking, as do politicians from both the left and the right, and just about everyone including writers, dare I write, like myself. But truth be known, it's the alarmists who are most guilty of this practice and once again, the alarmists who want to shut down any constructive conversation. 

Once I was worried about climate change now I am merely curious for more knowing. But curiosity alone is insufficient reason for Governments squandering billions indeed trillions of public dollars when not all, is known, models fail to predict with the accuracy one would expect, and incomplete accord  - even amongst experts - prevails. To be sure we must be wary as in watchful, we must invest in further research, and give our planet the benefit of the doubt, but in the process, it is prudent to position ourselves centrally, because it is only from that axis that we can objectively approach the complexity that is, climate and make for better public policy. 

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Last posting

This will be the last posting at The L Party, the sites content will not be deleted recognising the role it plays in a larger ecosystem of information within both blogosphere and the World Wide Web.

It is hoped that he sites content will continue to serve as a useful archive for those interested. 

Anyone finding themselves here and wanting to comment may still do so here or otherwise, may contact me via the email link on the profile page.

Once again, thanks to all my readers

Otto (Ottavio) Marasco

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Election 2013 - Why did Kevin Rudd lose Pt II

A picture is worth how many words?

One still image conveying so much. This image conveys more accurately than most, why Labor sunk so low in the polls and lost the election in the manner it did. Leadership shenanigans is how I termed it in the previous post in addition to over 30 other reasons, and while it was not the only one, I suspect the post election analysis will conclude it was the chief reason.

The election result seems to have been set in stone for months, if not years. In the end, a campaign poorly executed that basically told us that most of Rudd's energies over the past 3 years were spent on how to bring down Gillard, instead of planning for an effective anti-Abbott campaign in the event of a second chance.

The party and its chief protagonists deserve the result they got ...

See also: Post of September 7

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Election 2013 - Why did Kevin Rudd lose?

Why did Kevin Rudd lose?
Was it because?
34 reasons and counting …

He largely stopped talking about emissions trading schemes (as the "the great global moral, economic and environmental challenge of our age"), he stopped talking about national desalination plants, urban water funds and solar futures.

He mostly stopped talking about "the education revolutions", “education tax refund”, childcare rebates, petrol and grocery prices and his “watch” schemes.

He stopped threatening the states about fixing hospitals with the warning that if they did not, he would take over the health system by …. Was it mid-2009?

He lived in a world of grandiose statements and white paper pronouncements that, by and large, led to nothing.

His more humane asylum seeker policy, you know the one that led to the lure of fifty thousand asylum seekers to Australia and the deaths of over a thousand in trying to arrive.

He declared, "the reckless spending must stop" and then went on spending without precedent ensuring future taxpayers will spend decades paying it off.

He declared he was an economic conservative in 2006, then after the financial crisis, a “social democrat” and then recently stated, "I am an economic nationalist". He is a man of many contradictory political personalities, contradictory depending on who he is addressing and the time at which he states it. A man with settled beliefs that keep changing! What did you ever really stand for?

As Wayne Swan claimed, he does not hold any Labor values.

The leadership shenanigans of the past 3 years. We recall your words of 2011.

“Nobody should be in doubt about who will lead the Labor Party to the next election” says Kevin Rudd
In a statement that should provide some provisional and much needed respite to Julia Gillard, the Foreign Minister firmly rejected any suggestion that he was once again seeking the Prime Minister’s job.
“Julia Gillard being one of the toughest women in politics will continue to lead us effectively with the full, unconditional and unequivocal support of the caucus”, Mr Rudd told reporters this afternoon.

Your parties (not Tony Abbott’s), empty promises about delivering a surplus

The debt, the ALP has created. The harsh reality is that this government has us in debt to the tune of nearly $300 billion and the servicing cost of this is over $15 billion a year in interest. 

Came off a commodities boom and still debt soured

Of the structural budget balance

We really didn’t know who our deputy PM was, you know, the one before “Albo”.

The one who asked, “If the 2013 Australian federal election is framed as, “Are you better off under six (6) years of Labor then Julia Gillard (now Kevin Rudd) is going to lose in no uncertain terms ….” Was right

The number of people without jobs has gone up by over 220,000 between 2007 and 2013, and the government has classified around 350,000 people receiving unemployment benefits as “non-jobseekers” so that they won’t show up in the official count.

Your Governments attack on free speech

Your predecessor in Julia Gillard contributed because like you, voters could not work her out. Her political identity, her policy substances, her true ideological convictions, values and beliefs were a mystery like Rudd’s. Many elected leaders across the world subvert effective policy creation to opportunism and pragmatism, but the degree to which our Julia has done so both during her rise and, as Prime Minister defies logic and lends itself to questions of a paradoxical nature. We distinctively knew what Hawke, Keating and Howard stood for by the time they became leaders and mostly this was reflected in their policymaking during their tenure as Prime Minister. Conversely, Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd presented as a fluid, unconstructed persona, driven only by political opportunism, pragmatism and a misleading appeal to romantic sentimentalities. More here … 

He and the party relied too heavily on unions and their workforces not realising that union density in Australia peaked in the late 1940’s and today it’s a shadow of itself with less than 20% of the workforce belonging to unions in the public sector while over in the private sector the figure is less than 10%. 

The images of federal Labor stuck in voters’ minds ... Ah yes, those images ...

The NSW branch

Just the cost of living maybe?

His Government created gender wars by setting women against men and who will forget the needless misogyny tirade against Tony Abbott.

Or maybe because former treasurer Wayne Swan launched silly class wars that Kevin Rudd attempted to sustain.

You promised a form of politic that was to be, "... a little kinder and gentler" and then broke your own rules by embarking on a fiercely personal attack on Tony Abbott's character during the campaign.

Too many thought bubbles when polls went bad, high speed rail (something spruiked by Labor at every election), and that silly proposal to move the Navy from Sydney to Brisbane at a cost of billions of dollars and the loss of thousands of jobs.

The unbelievably dishonest declaration that Treasury, the Department of Finance and the Parliamentary Budget Office had costed the Coalition's policies and found a $10 billion hole, prompting the Government's most senior economic bureaucrats to come out and say it was not the case.

He flip-flopped on the carbon tax, border protection, car subsidies, foreign investment and even gay marriage – master of populist politics.

He consistently made policy announcements (FBT Changes) without consultation with the industries affected even after promising a “new way” as Rudd 2.0. 

The world-beating stimulus spending that went way over the top. Indeed, why Australia, an economy highly dependent on foreign borrowing, deployed fiscal stimulus more aggressively than most other G20 economies remains a mystery. 

Your own party truly hates you and voters have come to realise this. The you tube video at the link is an embarrassment! Said James Button, Rudd's staffer and speechwriter:
The truth is, Rudd was impossible to work with. He regularly treated his staff, public servants and backbenchers with rudeness and contempt. He was vindictive, intervening to deny people appointments or preselections, often based on grudges that went back years.

He made crushing demands on his staff, and when they laboured through the night to meet those demands, they received no thanks, and often the work was not used. People who dared stand up to him were put in “the freezer” and not consulted or spoken to for months. The prodigious loyalty of his staff to him was mostly not repaid. He put them down behind their backs. He seemed to feel that everyone was always letting him down. In meetings, as I saw, he could emanate a kind of icy rage that was as mysterious as it was disturbing.

He governed by - seemed almost to thrive on - crisis. Important papers went unsigned, staff and public servants would be pulled onto flights, in at least one case halfway around the world, on the off chance that he needed to consult them. Vital decisions were held up while he struggled to make up his mind, frequently demanding more pieces of information that merely delayed the final result. The fate of the government seemed to hinge on the psychology of one man.

Maybe somebody in the know was correct when stating:
“Rudd has never understood what it means to govern. He has never understood that to accomplish something, a minister or a prime minister must design it, think of the risks and take measures to prevent them, assemble resources, map out a plan for implementation, follow through on it, and deliver results. He believes that governing mostly consists of making grand statements.”

He failed to offer a narrative, never mind a Keating-style narrative, any narrative to coherently package a message, an economic agenda or whatever.

All of the above, that's right, a myriad of reasons and suddenly, SURPRISE SURPRISE voters (maybe even the likes of David Koch!), just stopped believing him.

If by chance Penny Wong were to read the above she would probably think; that's your opinion. To which I would add:
and it appears, the opinion of voters Penny.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Australian Federal Election 2013 Two Party Preferred All Polls Average

2 Party Preferred: ALP 48.1 L/NP 51.8
The figures above represent the two party preferred average of all polls taken during since the Rudd 2.0 accession beginning 27 June to 6 September.
In total 36 polls were averaged to arrive at the figures and included ReachTel, Roy Morgan, Galaxy, Newspoll, Essential and Fairfax Neilson.

Monday, August 19, 2013

ALP back at square one

I'm not going to comment on today's Newspoll, what was it:
August 18- Campaign enters week 3, ALP back at SQUARE ONE

Newspoll: Labor 46, Coalition 54

Rather or instead, I think this fascinating image says it all ...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Who will Tony Abbott be debating

Turnbull has a say ahead of tonight's first debate ...

Monday, July 01, 2013

Why Kevin Rudd 2.0 will fail

" ... the anti-Rudd dynamisms from within ... are preordained to pounce once the official election campaign is underway ..."

The recitations that have led to the reinstalment of Rudd 2.0 are well documented; there is no need to report them here. Following his resurrection, the early opinion polls will and have, reflected an expected bounce that puts the Government near level pegging with the opposition. However, hold your horse, for this is as good as it is going to get for the ALP.
For Kevin Rudd the resurrection is most certainly about evening the score, but as the saying goes, “Revenge proves its own executioner.” In exacting justice by regaining the top job, he has done more damage to his own than the very person and cluster he is trying to exact revenge upon. Broadly speaking, own refers to the parliamentary Labor party. In the process, much ill will has been generated over 3 years resulting in a destructive undercurrent of vast proportions that will not blow over. For simplicities sake we can refer to them as Anti-Rudd forces.

The caucus is large and divided along factional lines, those within who voted for Gillard or otherwise are opposed to Kevin Rudd remember exactly who it was that sabotaged the 2010-election campaign. They also know that for all of Julia Gillard’s shortcomings – and there were many – our first female Prime Minister did not deserve to be cast aside in the manner she was. More significantly, they cannot forgive the fact that throughout the 3 years and 3 days of her prime ministership she was, essentially combating two, not one opposition leaders. Of the two, Kevin Rudd was the most damaging. His manoeuvrings were not merely orchestrated but systematic enough to starve Julia Gillard and the Prime Minister’s office of much needed oxygen. Apart from poor policy decisions, unfortunate timings, and remarkably bad advising, the polls went further south than they otherwise would, due to none other than Kevin Rudd.

The ousting of Rudd and the actions of the so-called faceless men were, in the first place, bad enough, but rest assured, Kevin Rudd’s actions since, as executed with much intent were worse, and it is easy to decree why. Think Ted Baillieu and Denis Napthine in Victoria, be assured, the former did not leave voluntarily, he was forced to quit after being instructed he had lost the numbers in the party room and would face a spill if he did not. The transition then took place smoothly; however, did Ted Baillieu parade as if the alternative leader after surrendering the leadership? Did he constantly undermine the efforts of the new Premier of Victoria? Think also, Bill Hayden and Bob Hawke, it was no easy transition:
By 1982 it was evident that Fraser was manoeuvring to call an early election. Hawke began mobilising his supporters to challenge Hayden's leadership. On 16 July Hayden narrowly defeated Hawke's challenge in a party ballot, but Hawke continued to plot against Hayden. In December, Labor surprised many pundits by its failure to win the vital Flinders by-election in Victoria, further raising doubts about Hayden's ability to win an election. On 3 February 1983, in a meeting in Brisbane, Hayden's closest supporters told him that he must resign. He reluctantly accepted their advice. Hawke was then elected leader unopposed. Later that morning, unaware of the events in Brisbane, Fraser in Canberra called a snap election for 5 March. Fraser had been well aware of the infighting within Labor, and wished to call an election before the party could replace Hayden with Hawke. He only discovered later that Hayden had resigned just a few hours before the writs were issued. At a press conference, that afternoon Hayden, still chagrined, said "a drover's dog could lead the Labor Party to victory, the way the country is". Labor under Hawke won the 1983 election … “ Source
During the election campaign of 1983, I do not recall Hayden acting like a spoilt child in the face of much personal disappointment and frustration; specifically I do not recall him undermining the efforts of the new leader. Not Kevin Rudd, too much self-importance and ego ensured that his own interests were to be catered for before those of the party, hence Rudd Version 2.0 in June 2013.

Revenge, reprisal and seeking justice where one feels wronged is human nature. As we draw closer to the election date, the undercurrent I referred to earlier, will breach the surface and the damage will begin. While humans have evolved much since prehistoric time’s, our instincts to hurt when seeking justice or feel wronged remain. We are as a species flawed and touchy, easily affronted and enraged where emotions are concerned; payback is often a necessary personal release that transcends wider interests, in this case, the interests of the parliamentary Labor party. Certainly, some of us are more evolved than others, but we all remain human, and Kevin Rudd has incited and spurred and brought to the fore, the aforementioned primordial instincts within his own ranks - those very humans of his party and his narrow-mindedness will now guarantee payback or in the least, more retribution.

Thus, remember this, the anti-Rudd dynamisms from within as referred to above are preordained to pounce once the official election campaign is underway. Exactly how they will execute their actions is subject to speculation, but I would not mind betting that it will not be too dissimilar to Rudd’s actions of 2010 against Julia Gillard involving leaks to riveted journalists. In addition, there will be undermining, betrayals, scheming and ugly power plays. There is a saying, “When you begin a journey of revenge, start by digging two graves: one for your enemy, and one for yourself.”

In the end, this will be a good outcome, not just for the LNP, and not only for those contemplating a career in politics but primarily for all aspiring leaders whatever their calling, for they must understand that dishonesty, treachery and cowardice which leads to sabotaging an organisation cannot be, in the long run, rewarded. The greatest saboteur in its history now heads the party of Chifley, Curtin and Hawke and we, whatever our political and ideological underpinnings must not condone this.

For mine the Gillard –Rudd argy-bargy of the past few years has been demoralising and while traditionally politics is about right, left or centre, sometimes it must simply be about right or wrong.

I predict that the coalition will win the forthcoming election handsomely.


Therefore, it begins:

Chris Uhlmann on the ABC’s, The Drum Friday 5 July, “Labor is sinking and the captains are to blame

Now Rudd has his hand on the tiller again. His language makes it clear that he sees this as simply reassuming what is his by right. And no matter what he said or did behind closed doors to bring down Gillard, we are expected to keep a straight face when he says he won't countenance criticism of her.
The longer he waits to call an election, the more likely it is that the unseemly stench below deck will become obvious.
The level of hatred that has been the hallmark of the Rudd-Gillard years is astonishing and it has not faded. If anything, it's more entrenched. One departing Gillard government staffer asked if I had read the book Perfume, the story of a perfume apprentice in 18th-century France who murders young women to extract their aroma.

"That's Kevin Rudd," he said. "He'd kill you for your scent."

So, as Rudd ponders the election date, he should reflect on how he felt after he had been deposed and wonder if others might wish him harm. The division in his party runs marrow deep.

Blast from the past

The leadership switch may have been refreshing for some, but for many it's an unwelcome deja vu.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/blast-from-the-past-20130727-2qrh9.html#ixzz2aIUvbQy4


27 June
ReachTEL Poll: Labor 48, Coalition 52

27 June
Roy Morgan Poll: Labor 49.5, Coalition 50.5

29 June
Galaxy Poll: Labor 48 Coalition 51

8 July
Newspoll: Labor 50, Coalition 50 

14 July
Neilson Poll: Labor 50, Coalition 50 

18 July  - Post FBT changes and asylum seeker deaths at sea ...  
ReachTEL Poll: Labor 49, Coalition 51

22 July - Post PNG Asylum Seeker announcement
Newspoll: Labor 48, Coalition 52

27 July   
Galaxy: Labor 50, Coalition 50

29 July - Post PM Rudd's lightening visit to Afghanistan
Essential: Labor 49, Coalition 51

August 3 - Day prior to election date announcement   
Newspoll: Labor 48, Coalition 52

August 4 - Immediately after PM Rudd announces election date
ReachTEL: Labor 48, Coalition 52

August 5 - 1st official day of election campaign
Essential: Labor 49, Coalition 51

August 6
Roy Morgan: Labor 50, Coalition 50

August 6-8 - 1st poll released after end of Week 1 of campaign
Fairfax Neilson: Labor 48, Coalition 52

August 10
ReachTEL: Labor 47, Coalition 53

August 11
Galaxy: Labor 49, Coalition 51

August 12
Newspoll: Labor 48, Coalition 52

August 12
Roy Morgan: Labor 50, Coalition 50

August 17
Galaxy: Labor 48, Coalition 52

August 18 - Campaign enters week 3, ALP back at SQUARE ONE
Newspoll: Labor 46, Coalition 54

August 19 - You have to wonder about this one
Essential: Labor 50, Coalition 50

August 22 - The slow but steady rate of drift from Labor towards the Coalition continues: Abbott also closing in as preferred PM
Fairfax Neilson: Labor 47, Coalition 53

August 24
Newspoll: Labor 47, Coalition 53

August 24
Roy Morgan: Labor 48.5, Coalition 51.5

August 26
Essential: Labor 50, Coalition 50

August 27
ReachTel: Labor 47, Coalition 53

September 1
Galaxy: Labor 47, Coalition 53

September 1
Newspoll: Labor 46, Coalition 54

September 1
Roy Morgan: Labor 48, Coalition 52

September 2
Essential: Labor 48, Coalition 52

September 4
ReachTel: Labor 48, Coalition 52

September 5
ReachTel: Labor 47, Coalition 53

September 5
Essential: Labor 48, Coalition 52

September 6
Galaxy: Labor 47, Coalition 53

September 6 - This last poll confirms a Labor wipeout
Fairfax Neilson: Labor 46, Coalition 54

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Julia Gillard on delivering a surplus

Like respect, credibility is earned not given, it doesn't just come with the territory nor title, even if that title is, Prime Minister.

In all cases. it must be earned and maintained.

In August 2011, Gillard says its incredible to think she won’t give us the surplus saying,

"...the Budget’s coming back to surplus ... There’s no credible analysis on our economic plan that it won’t come back to surplus".
July 2011, she adds,
"The budget will be back in surplus in 2013 as promised".
In May 2012, within the budget papers we read:
The Government is returning the budget to surplus in 2012–13, on time and as promised, with surpluses growing over the forward estimates.
In November 2012 we were still assured it would be a surplus, but just a few short weeks later in December it was suddenly going to be a $1.1 billion deficit.

Then by late April 2013, the PM told us it would now blow out to a $12.5 billion deficit.

And following on, just three weeks later, as Treasurer Swan spells out budget 2013 and we find it's a deficit of over $19 billion!

Otherwise said, around $7,000,000,000 went astray in 3 weeks.

Julia Gillard has done little to earn anything but a loathing for her incapacity, the folly of her ways.

Credibility you ask? Please spare me ...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Little Book of Big Labor Waste

No need for me to cover anything just read the book.

Download here or go here

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Australia's Financial Situation

A prominent and highly successful financial guru wrote this short piece about budgetary plight.

You probably heard Julia Gillard’s speech yesterday saying how bad our financial situation had become, which is in stark contrast to Wayne Swan going about saying we’re doing better than everybody else. As I’ve said many times at seminars, it’s a bit like a one armed man saying I’m better off than a man with no arms at all.

The harsh reality is that this government has got us into debt of nearly $300 billion and the servicing cost of this is over $15 billion a year.

The incoming government has an horrendous task, they first have to bring the budget back to surplus and then make that surplus big enough to pay back $300 billion. It would take 50 years at $20 billion a year. Looks like our great grandchildren will be paying it.

There was one point that has not been highlighted. The government’s revenue has NOT fallen - it is simply less than they expected. The problem is that expenditure has not been cut to match the fact that receipts were less than budgeted for, even though they are more than last year’s.

Click here to find out who

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Real Cost of Government Debt

..." the cost of servicing the existing debt is nearly $14 billion annually or otherwise, the equivalent of $38 million dollars a day in interest charges..."

The level of Government debt stands at just over $274.6 billion and while it is very high, the figure does not surprise me given that last August I noted that it was just shy of $245 billion. While defenders of present debt levels will argue that it is small in terms of GDP ratios, this line of argument provides little comfort given yesterday’s deficit news.

I have several concerns; in the first case, its rate of growth is alarmingly high, having risen a confounding 75% in the past two and a half years. I am also becoming uneasy about the cost associated with servicing this debt. 

Federal borrowings come at a price in the form of interest by taking an ever-increasing slice of revenues. Even when we account for our record low rates, the cost of servicing the existing debt is nearly $14 billion annually or otherwise, the equivalent of $38 million dollars a day in interest charges.

If the Government had been more prudent (smart) and, for example, limited debt growth to half present levels, then the interest saved in just 3 years would amount to around $21 billion.

NDIS and Gonski Reforms

Now some perspective, this saving would pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) $6.8 billion and the Gonski reforms $6.5 billion and still leave around $7.5 billion in change. Moreover, the two reforms paid without any levy or money from States and Territories. I am not advocating for either of the two reforms however, the citation drives home my point.

More disturbing still, the cost of servicing the debt is on track to rise to as high as $20 billion by 2016 in line with further projected increases in debt. All the while, I am assuming -perhaps incorrectly- that existing interest rate levels will remain low indefinitely.
To think, we had zero debt as recently as 2007.