All the cocks a’crowing, each on their own dunghill

Sally Baxter, Girl Reporter, has consulted her favourite Chinese astrologers to find out what may happen to the movers and shakers in this new Year of the Rooster. As always, Sally, thank you for your permission to republish here.

Kung Hei Fat Choi! Welcome to the Year of the Rooster and Your Girl Reporter’s first post for 2017. In honour of the Lunar New Year I thought we’d kick off with a look at the prospects of some of the leading lights in our political firmament with a little help from the ancient Chinese zodiac. It makes as much sense as anything else that’s going on in this crazy old world.

According to the principles of Chinese astrology, the way to determine your prospects is to see how your sign matches up with the characteristics of the animal in charge of the next 12 lunar months.

How would the two animals interact? And what qualities does the ruling animal possess that you could learn from to improve your chances of a good year?

I think we can all agree that the Year of the Monkey lived up to its reputation for chaos and confusion. The Rooster is so different he’s an astrological backlash, a home bird for all his crowing, happy to be master of his own dunghill.

Where Monkey is more likely to reward agility and risk taking, the Rooster prefers loyalty, hard work and the family values that keep the hens in line and order in the barnyard.

Appearances count. A lot. Nuances and complexities are under-appreciated in the Year of the Rooster who prefers plain speaking and clear intentions. It is not a time for new ideas or the addressing of complex problems. Which sounds bad, I know, but let’s press on.

The Rooster requires hard work and diligence for success, a willingness to play the longer game without the gratification of instant results. The Rooster is related to the harvest and reminds us that we reap what we sow.

Your Girl Reporter’s favourite online astrologer Master Tsai says the Fire Rooster is related to gold and precious gems, suggesting financial events will be uppermost in the year ahead.

According to the folk at the Astrology Club, the Year of the Rooster will be a powerful one, with no middle of the road. Since the times appear to be suiting a certain kind of politician, let’s check out a few horoscopes, starting with the Man of the Hour.

Donald Trump – Year of the Dog

Master Tsai at Chinese Fortune Calendar presciently observes that Dog will happily receive the wealth which Rooster brings with it. He then goes on to say that the generous Dog will also be making donations.

The Dog is the enduring symbol of loyalty and honesty and people born in the Year of the Dog, at their best, are faithful, smart, straightforward and responsible.

Not all of this sounds particularly pertinent to our subject, but Water Dragon at Online Chinese Astrology has a darker view of a certain kind of Dog:

The Overly Pessimistic Dog is always barking up a storm about doom and gloom. The evil Dog sees things in black and white, which kind of makes sense as in real life dogs are actually colour-blind.

This Dog also has fears and anxieties of being not loved or not liked enough. Instead of seeking reassurances, the Overly Pessimistic Dog would rather sulk by itself stewing in its own state of depression.

And, in the case of Top Dog Trump, feverishly tweeting about it.

Master Tsai warns that the Rooster is connected to fog, which can bring confusion to the Dog making it difficult to prioritise and make decisions. The wise Dog will relax and enjoy the comforts of the hearth in a Rooster year, avoiding challenges and risks and certainly not taking on a new job.

Oops! Too late! Good luck, Humanity.

Malcolm Turnbull, Pauline Hanson and George Christensen – Year of the Horse

Back on home shores and Australia has a few politicians seizing their moment in the wake of the Trump presidency. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is being a bit half-hearted about it, as he is about most things, but the commentariat has been in furious agreement that Pauline Hanson’s set for a great year.

Hanson was returned to the Australian Senate in 2016, thanks to Malcolm’s brilliant plan to get rid of some difficult senators in a bold double-dissolution strategy that, to put it mildly, backfired spectacularly. Anyone else hear a Monkey laughing?

So, thanks to Malcolm, Hanson’s openly racist One Nation party holds, at last count (One Nation politicians are slippery), three Senate seats. She’s also picked up a spot in the Queensland State Parliament with a defection of an MP from the opposition Liberal National Party, and is seeking to gain ground in state elections this year in Western Australia and Queensland.

George Christensen, another Horse senator, currently lives on the outer right fringes of Malcolm’s Liberal-National Party coalition government. He’s a National who doesn’t like a lot of the same things Hanson doesn’t like and he’s pretty much declared open war on his prime minister.

If he breaks away, will he join his fellow Horse Hanson? Or will he prefer the company of another Australian right-wing warrior, Rooster Cory Bernardi?

Whatever this disparate mob of brumbies does this year, if they are to achieve their goals in the Year of the Rooster they will need to put in the hard yards.

Master Tsai advises that as long as the Horse maintains its passion and continuously sets higher goals, career success should follow. If the Horse is offered a job change, accept the challenge.

“Horse needs to run and compete. They will see victory,” says Master Tsai.

Of course, victories can be hollow. Ask Malcolm.

Cory Bernardi, Tony Abbott – Year of the Rooster

So many senators in our sights and here’s another. Cory Bernardi has been playing coy about his political plans for some time now. If he really is planning his own political party – and speculation is mounting that he is – what are the prospects?

According to Chinese astrology, the year of your birth animal is not regarded as a time for rejoicing. In the case of the Rooster it’s easy to see why, because cockfighting’s a thing. So Roosters by their nature will be in opposition to the prevailing fortune.

Master Tsai warns Roosters seeking a job change that there is no sign that you’re ahead of the people around you. The Venerable Tsai goes so far as to recommend that if you receive a job offer you should think twice about accepting.

He recommends a humble and polite attitude, good advice for Cory and possibly for that other Rooster, former prime minister Tony Abbott, the Banquo’s Ghost of Australia’s 45th Parliament.

If Cory does strike out on his own, he should expect competition. And indeed that’s exactly the situation he would be pondering if he is indeed harbouring such plans. Pauline Hanson has already helpfully suggested that he might like to join One Nation but Cory strikes me as the kind of guy who dreams of his very own dunghill.

And, while the challenges will be many, Master Tsai reckons the Rooster that can face the competition and work hard for his goal could yet yield a good result.

But is a good result for Cory a good result for Australia? While Cory probably thinks so, judging by his Make Australia Great Again hat, it’s hard to see how a move would do anything other than splinter the vote still further.

Get the popcorn in. It hasn’t got off to a great start, with the steel gates slamming down on America, but nevertheless I wish you all a happy and prosperous Year of the Rooster.

© Sally Baxter 2017

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889 thoughts on “All the cocks a’crowing, each on their own dunghill

  1. http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/for-christs-sake-miranda-andrew-bolt-threatens-to-hang-up-on-miranda-devine-during-heated-radio-clash-20170206-gu6y47.html

    http://www.essentialvision.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Essential-Report_170207.pdf

    https://www.rba.gov.au/media-releases/2017/mr-17-02.html

  2. Thanks for the video, Ducky. Still hasn’t really changed my opinion that he’s a pompous fop without anything original to offer. Where he might be damaging is that he has focused on the very point of Fizza’s failure: that he doesn’t stand for anything. Penny nailed Fizza even more effectively.

    I don’t know how much longer the Press Gallery can go on papering over the cracks in Fizza’s PM-ship, but bits will get through, whatever they do to hide them or shift focus to Bill.

  3. I’m thinking of a devious scheme. Is it possible that Cory went his own way with the approval of the LNP? Reason: to gain all the Hanson votes.

    • Possible. Very possible.

      Here’s something to add to that.

      I’ve been thinking about the timing of Bernardi’s announcement. His defection has certainly killed all the headlines about Turnbull’s phone call, Centrelink, rorts and all the other bad news for the government.

      I know first day back could be a good time to resign, but why now? Why not wait until later this year? Why not wait until closer to an election? Bernardi has been flirting with this for ages, why the rush? Especially when it’s not going to make any difference to the government because he will always vote with the Liberals, unless they go for a vote on marriage equality.

      Could this government be that desperate to kill off the One Nation threat?

      This government is turning me into a conspiracy theorist, they can’t do a thing without me thinking there must be more to it.

  4. This situation with Bernardi could get interesting down the track if a Conservative party separate to the Liberals shows gains in the polls. If someone like Christensen thinks he can hold his seat after joining he’ll hop on board (and probably break it, but that’s a bit of a cheap shot, hoho)

    I don’t expect it will though. I expect Bernardi’s party will have a crack at the SA 2018 election and lose miserably with less than 5% of the vote, then Bernardi can just run down the clock until 2022 and finally get booted out of the senate.

    This conservative experiment was tried in New Zealand, now the NZ Conservative Party is in ruins, having never won a single seat.

    • I expect Bernardi’s party will have a crack at the SA 2018 election and lose miserably

      Agree. It’ll be hard going for Cory with Xenephons mob and PHON.

  5. Fun times ahead

    Labor and the Greens have proposed a wide-ranging Senate inquiry into the Centrelink debt scandal, which would examine how the system went “so dismally wrong at the expense of struggling Australians”.

    The Labor senator Doug Cameron and the Greens senator Rachel Siewert gave notice of their proposed inquiry to the Senate on Tuesday afternoon and it is likely to pass a vote on Wednesday, with One Nation and the Nick Xenophon Team previously expressing support.

    The proposed terms of reference give the inquiry until May to report on a range of issues, including the impact of the system on vulnerable Australians, the scale of errors being made, the capacity of Centrelink’s phone, online and physical offices to deal with surges of demand, and the adequacy of complaint and review processes.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/07/centrelink-scandal-labor-and-greens-likely-to-force-inquiry-into-debt-recovery-system

  6. Big things happening away from our tiny lives

    Astronomers have concluded that supermassive black holes can grow, from tidal disruption events (TDEs) and perhaps other means, at rates above those corresponding to the Eddington limit has important implications. Such rapid growth may help explain how supermassive black holes were able to reach masses about a billion times higher than the sun when the universe was only about a billion years old.

    A giant black hole ripped apart a nearby star and then continued to feed off its remains for close to a decade, according to research led by the University of New Hampshire. This black hole meal is more than 10 times longer than any other previous episode of a star’s death.

    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2017/02/new-supermassive-black-hole-observation-reveals-how-they-were-able-to-grow-a-billion-times-larger-th.html

  7. Her Indoors just asked me for a toothpick.

    “Got some food stuck?”

    “No. I want to poke myself in the eardrum so I don’t have to listen to Scott Morrison.”

    Who said that this guy had calmed down over Christmas? He’s got a turbo charger attached to his mouth.

  8. I kind of wonder what would happen if Labor starts trying to use some of Trump’s tactics against the Liberals.

    No not the vicious little manchild thing with policy, just if the Liberals start whining “Waah it’s all Labor’s fault”, I wonder how effective it would be to just say something blunt and ‘strong’ (or just aggressive) like “Oh my god, can you just believe these losers?”

    Then while the journalist interviewing them is startled, the person saying that would then go into a point-by-point smackdown into how the Liberal person whining about them is wrong.

    Politics seems to be about perception these days and Labor politicians getting more aggressive about what they believe is right might assist things later down the track if this lead they have in the polls doesn’t hold up.

  9. @2gravel

    Yeah, thanks for that.

    Clarifying more on my point about strategy, when a journalist starts issuing Coalition talking points against a Labor interviewee instead of going into a long pre-prepared speech, the Labor politician should immediately challenge these points aggressively.

    Yes it’d probably take a lot of practice to get right if the Labor politician doesn’t want pie in their face, but done right, it’s certainly put a stop to those in Australian journalism that hold the line of “Look, Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberals just want to make the country work again, why won’t you just lay down and let them?” and respond in an instant way of commanding respect and putting forth the alternative Labor way.

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