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

Advertisements

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

  1. Victorians who read The Age articles on the weekend about the 650 timber workers jobs on the line unless more logging coups are opened may find the following letter interesting

    A legitimate use

    Richard Willingham’s article on the state’s timber industry contrasts with a report on the previous two pages discussing a national survey that found a desire for more local manufacturing a “hot button” issue.

    Forest harvesting is a legitimate use of state forest. Harvested areas must be regenerated. Roads are available for use by recreational vehicles and riders. These forests continue to protect a range of values while providing value-adding manufacturing jobs, ash furniture and timber flooring, all made locally.

    There are extensive areas of mountain ash forest in Melbourne’s closed catchments and national parks and reserves that are not available for harvesting. Close down manufacturing at Heyfield. No jobs in Gippsland. No increase in public land.

    Roger Fyfe, Ivanhoe

  2. Oops, this letter
    Who’s the sap?

    When a small group of Melbourne businessmen bought the Heyfield timber mill, Australian Sustainable Hardwoods, from the collapsing Gunns, they knew the timber resource was limited (“Environment, jobs at risk in state forests”, The Age, 6/2).

    That had been clear for decades. They could have embarked on reducing capacity and created a truly sustainable industry, with secure, albeit fewer, jobs. Instead they chose to increase production and staffing levels.

    Their business plan has always been to maximise the taxpayer-funded payout they would get after the last tree is gone. That’s why they wanted an indemnified 20-year contract with the Napthine government, for a resource that wasn’t there. Maybe that’s why the contract wasn’t signed.

    Now the company is playing on their workers’ understandable fear of losing their jobs to try to bully the Andrews government to sign off on the deal, guaranteeing them a multi-million dollar payout. It’s time to call them out, Premier.

    Steve Meacher, Toolangi

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Peter Hartcher on more of Trump’s issues and his stunning ignorance of US political culture.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/donald-trump-has-given-two-great-gifts-to-china-20170206-gu6djn.html
    The SMH editorial gets stuck into Bernardi and his exploitation of the worst of populism.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/bernardi-the-opportunist-exploits-worst-of-populism-20170205-gu66xy.html
    John Birmingham goes further and writes “I might be wrong, but the newly independent Senator Bernardi seems to lose interest in most issues the further they get from the bedroom”.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/blunt-instrument/bernardi-watched-trump-thump-the-establishment-up-close-and-learnt-nothing-20170206-gu6um6.html
    Paul Bongiorno writes that he may be a delusional conservative, but South Australian Liberal dissident Cory Bernardi spells continuing big trouble for Malcolm Turnbull.
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2017/02/06/turnbull-bernardi-political-tsunami/
    Laura Tingle doesn’t think the Bernardi threat is too serious. Google.
    /news/politics/the-threat-posed-by-cory-bernardi-isnt-that-serious-20170206-gu6no8
    Michelle Grattan says Bernardi has left the party with no parliamentary followers.
    https://theconversation.com/cory-bernardi-leaving-liberal-fold-without-parliamentary-followers-72515
    Andrew Street weighs in and says that Bernardi’s defection will change nothing and everything for Turnbull.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/view-from-the-street/cory-bernardis-defection-changes-nothing-and-everything-for-malcolm-turnbull-20170206-gu69tr.html
    In all of the analysis, predictions and speculation about Cory ¬Bernardi’s Donald Trump-like political disruption of the Liberal Party there is one unequivocal, ¬inescapable conclusion: Malcolm Turnbull is the big loser writes Dennis Shanahan. Google.
    /opinion/columnists/dennis-shanahan/in-reality-malcolm-turnbull-will-be-the-biggest-loser/news-story/75c4352e845156dd7f88b9b65e9da752
    Tony Wright starts his satirical column with “The altitudinous Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, who fears a move towards bestiality if the 21st century is allowed to have its head, is striking out alone, seeking like-minded companions – a space he has inhabited for his entire political career”.
    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/sketch-cory-bernardi-and-his-mysterious-australian-majority-20170206-gu6fuo.html
    Kristina Keneally thinks that Turnbull’s only priority is keeping the lights on.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/06/is-malcolm-turnbulls-priority-really-just-keeping-the-lights-on

  4. Section 2 . . .

    A good call by the Victorian Opposition leader.
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/schools-would-be-forced-to-publish-vaccination-rates-under-coalition-plan-20170206-gu6aav.html
    Now techo corporate America is lining up to fight Trump’s travel ban.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/06/amicus-brief-trump-travel-ban
    Trump dominated last night’s Q and A.
    http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/qa-recap-dear-mr-president-do-you-even-watch-qa-20170206-gu6w11.html
    Mark Kenny on the proposed company tax cuts being even more unpopular than the Turnbull government itself.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbulls-company-tax-cut-is-even-more-unpopular-than-his-government-20170206-gu6fky.html
    A revealing look at how Trump uses his time in the White House.
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/donald-trump-and-team-sometimes-working-in-the-dark-make-stumbles-in-first-fortnight-in-white-house-20170206-gu6v5z.html
    Paul McGeough writes that there’s madness in the method of this White House. But what’s the objective – is it merely to give Donald Trump’s critics whiplash, or is it an opening blitzkrieg of orders and insults that calculatedly defines a new ‘normal,’ by which the outrageous becomes just irritating?
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/donald-trumps-showdown-with-americas-courts-on-the-horizon-20170205-gu66xb.html
    The A-G from Washington State says Trump is a bully and can’t take defeat like a man.
    http://www.politicususa.com/2017/02/06/washington-attorney-general-says-trump-bully-defeat-man.html
    This Bloomberg journalist describes the judge’s decision to overturn Trump’s travel ban as both brave and brilliant.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/judges-move-to-overturn-trumps-travel-ban-was-both-brave-and-brilliant-20170205-gu63m6.html

  5. Section 3 . . .

    How far can the vulnerable be pushed by Centrelink on bogus debt before they break?
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/centrelink-bogus-debts-how-far-can-the-vulnerable-be-pushed-before-they-break,9995
    The retired generals Mattis and Kelly will stand up to the president if he pushes them too far. Were they to resign, Congress would likely desert him too.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/06/general-mattis-kelly-donald-trump
    Three killer facts you won’t hear from Morrison regarding company tax cuts.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/06/three-killer-facts-about-corporate-tax-cuts-you-wont-hear-from-scott-morrison
    Our Chief Scientist has given Trump a hell of a serve. Good stuff.
    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/donald-trump-like-stalin-says-chief-scientist-alan-finkel-as-science–literally-under-attack-20170206-gu6f5w.html
    This is a new concept for Australia – dynamic cinema pricing. I think it is based upon the principle of throughput accounting.
    https://theconversation.com/coming-soon-to-a-cinema-near-you-ticket-prices-shaped-by-demand-72260
    Rachel Browne outlines yesterday’s CA Royal Commission hearing and the extent of abuse perpetrated by the Catholic church.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/almost-4500-claimed-abuse-in-catholic-institutions-over-35-years-royal-commission-told-20170205-gu65mq.html
    “This is criminality on a scale previously unimagined. What other organisation has bred so many sex offenders? And what other organisation would be arrogant or powerful enough to hide so many of its crimes?” asks The Australian’s crime reporter Dan Box. Google.
    /opinion/stories-still-to-emerge-from-darkness-of-sex-abuse/news-story/be8af9fe52654acac0aa5894460c81d1
    Meanwhile George Pell comes under notice again.
    http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/brief-of-evidence-against-cardinal-george-pell-returned-to-prosecutors-20170206-gu6jy8.html
    This strike action at Centrelink is timed nicely to welcome Tudge and Porter back for QT.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/06/centrelink-staff-to-strike-over-debt-scandal-budget-cuts-and-pay
    Bob Day is in a world of trouble as this article explains. And so are his creditors. Pious mongrel! Google.
    /news/south-australia/bob-day-could-lose-home-to-creditors-as-high-court-to-rule-on-senate-reelection/news-story/907d27172d0dfd7f149446ee21204621

  6. Section 4 . . .

    This is a promising development in the treatment of cancers.
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/a-decade-of-cancer-research-could-take-one-day-with-anus-new-robotic-drug-discovery-system-20170206-gu699g.html
    The Speaker of the UK parliament wants to refuse to allow Trump to make a speech in the House. Google.
    /in-depth/us-politics/trump-shouldnt-be-allowed-to-address-parliament-says-uk-speaker/news-story/447935405a23b4f6fb48e6bf2f1d4052
    David Wroe says the Trumpification of Australia has already begun and some are flirting with Putin.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/if-australian-conservatives-want-to-copy-trump-embracing-putin-is-the-worst-place-to-start-20170206-gu6dy2.html
    Mark Kenny says that rats like Bernardi will help to sink the Liberal ship.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/rats-like-cory-bernardi-will-merely-help-to-sink-the-liberal-ship-20170205-gu651q.html
    George Christensen gets all hairy chested over the prospect of a free vote on SSM.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/george-christensen-im-not-quitting-but-government-untenable-unless-it-gets-more-conservative-20170206-gu69fw.html
    All the RWNJs are scrambling to prevent a free SSM vote.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/conservative-mps-scrambling-to-stymie-samesex-marriage-push-20170205-gu653v.html
    A Nauru mother’s account of life there being “worse than death”.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/nauru-a-mothers-story,9985
    A decision on calling a new Scottish independence referendum could be made within weeks, said a Scottish Greens lawmaker whose party is a key ally of Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. This would make Brexit even more interesting.
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/scottish-independence-vote-may-be-decided-within-weeks-nicola-sturgeon-ally-20170206-gu684c.html
    Steph Peatling on how Australian politicians are adopting the term “fake news” and getting it wrong. She uses Scott Morrison as a prime example.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scott-morrison-joins-ranks-of-australian-mps-misusing-the-term-fake-news-20170206-gu697t.html
    “It’s time our government committed to nurturing the manufacturing sector, to support quality, skilled jobs that build communities and boost our economy”, says Paul Bastion of the AWU.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/its-not-trump-appeal-australians-have-always-loved-local-manufacturing-20170206-gu6hro.html

  7. Section 5 . . .

    Opening up the electricity market to competition has resulted in a big mess.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/open-energy-markets-failing-households-20170205-gu65tk.html
    US President Donald Trump’s economic honeymoon could come to an end as soon as next year, senior London fund managers have forecast, with the US at risk of plunging into recession. Thanks America!
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/warning-of-bump-for-trump-next-year-with-slide-into-recession-20170205-gu65z1.html
    The Australian Taxation Office has admitted it still does not know why its online systems crashed again last week, causing a four-day systems outage that has led accountants to call for compensation. Google.
    /technology/ato-admits-its–baffled-by-outages-but-upgrades-to-latest-hpe-hardware-anyway-20170203-gu4zjh
    Bunnings has created a bit of a storm by improving pay and conditions for its employees in the new UK venture.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/cbd/bunnings-axes-zero-hour-contracts-for-british-employees-in-10m-pay-bonanza-20170206-gu67r3.html
    The Fair Work Ombudsman collects another scalp over underpaying workers.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/tour-operator-charged-for-allegedly-trying-to-avoid-paying-back-workers-and-fines-20170206-gu6kq8.html
    Nicholas Stuart and the power of personality in politics.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/trumps-problem-and-ours-is-his-personality-20170206-gu6ekr.html
    Tim Costello opines that Australia needs to be open to the world and not turn inwards in troubled times.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/australia-needs-to-be-open-to-the-world-not-turn-inwards-in-troubled-times-20170206-gu682r.html

  8. Section 6 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir on the Trump/Turnbull refugees negotiation.

    Cathy Wilcox and Turnbull’s albatross.

    David Rowe introduces Petty Officer Bernardi leaving the Good Ship Coalition.

    Ron Tandberg introduces Turnbull’s new slogan.

    Alan Moir and the world’s policemen.

    A nice little dig at Trump from Matt Golding.

    Mark Knight has his say about yesterday’s CA Royal Commission revelations.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/22e25d804923eb3c74b0c91af4f37676?width=1024
    Bill Leak gets this one right.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/381f8358860a8a3f1dea4cce137a07c0

    • The focus groups will be telling them that bad-mouthing Labor is the only thing they have going for them now. It’s not even enough for an opposition party to work with, and it’s disastrous for the incumbent party.

      I guess it was always going to be their problem though. Back when they were in opposition under Abbott, they could make all the promises they liked, they weren’t accountable for them. So they could do all the ‘Bad Labor’ stuff while still holding an aspirational carrot out to the country. Four years later it is of course impossible for them to bang on about what they’re ‘gunna do’.

      And with not a single unambiguous policy victory for them to point to, and with a whole lot of no-go areas, it does very much restrict their field.

      They’re goners. Turnbull’s a goner. The death march will go on for quite a while yet, though.

    • OH lived in Hobart then. He was a volunteer with St John’s Ambulance. He is – remarkably for him – very quiet about the experience.

  9. Father Doyle, the CA Royal Commission witness from the US, was superb. His honesty and compassion were most evident. He gave many reasons for the behaviour of priest and the church and what needs to be changed.
    The commissioners really appreciated his testimony. Doyle was effusive with praise for the establishment and conduct of the RC and on behalf of the “good” clergy in the US he expressed heartfelt thanks for what they are doing and how they are going about it. He said that of all the similar inquiries around the world this RC stands out and its findings and deliberations will be so important in the future.
    Eat your heart out Pontificating Paul Kelly and your ilk!

  10. Fiona + Gigilene

    I remember those for what they did to the sunsets in my part of NZ. I remember hearing that all the beautiful sunsets were due to “A fire in Australia”.

  11. A Bernardi joke that was floating around the interwebs yesterday.

    What’s the difference between Jesus Christ and Cory Bernardi?
    Jesus doesn’t ponce around Parliament House thinking he’s Cory Bernardii

  12. from GA blog

    The Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) bill will be introduced in the house this week.

    IPEA will have the core functions of auditing and reporting of parliamentarians’ work expenses. It will also have a specific focus on the administration and compliance of travel and related claims from parliamentarians, including ministers, and their staff. This will ensure that taxpayer’ funds are spent appropriately and in compliance with the rules. IPEA will operate as an independent statutory body.

    A whole ‘authority’, a new agency – (I assume it will be a statutory authority?) to do what an area of Dept Finance used to do!!! would be easier to reinstate the “administrative services” part of Dept of Finance!

    Putting the word “independent” in the title doesn’t make it independent from interference.

    This is trying to dilute the support for a broader Federal ICAC…

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. @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.

Comments are closed.