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

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

  1. Section 4 . . . with a rather sparse Cartoon Corner

    Duterte now wants to employ the armed forces in his lethal games.
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/philippine-president-rodrigo-duterte-threatens-to-drop-bombs-on-rebels-20170205-gu61sv.html
    Emboldened by recent successes the ACCC’s Rod Sims has signalled that they will be seeking larger penalties as a big message for errant big business. Google.
    /news/opinion/its-healthy-to-question-the-value-of-bogus-treatments/news-story/585d5d04b3e0d18fc3d56b6b9747c7b2
    Jess Irvine on the Trump “uncertainty factor” will corrode jobs and growth. we have reason to be worried.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/uncertainty-shock-how-donald-trump-will-corrode-jobs-and-growth-20170204-gu5olm.html
    A significant proportion of students is unengaged and making things very difficult for teachers.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-hidden-problem-in-our-classrooms-unproductive-and-unengaged-sutdents-20170203-gu4skb.html
    A new research collaboration by Fairfax Media – the Political Personas Project – will reveal a fuller picture over coming days
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/how-trumplike-and-hansonite-are-australians-20170203-gu52b9.html

    Cathy Wilcox nicely illustrates Turnbull’s real problem.

    David Rowe is really going in strong on Trump.

    This is a glorious contribution from Mark Knight.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/3c833ab76db1a3fb8e4b34edf73e1e8e?width=1024

  2. “Andrew Bolt reckons Cory Bernardi might pay his Trump card as early as this week.”

    I think blot and katharine are just wishing for colour and movement.

    Beats analysis of policies (and Newspoll).

  3. The bleeding obvious.

    Seven months after an election win the PM of the day SHOULD be the preferred PM, and it should be by a much bigger vote than 42/30 and 28 to ‘I dunno’.

    Trumble’s preferred PM polling isn’t that great. More than half the country wants someone else. Half the ‘someone else’ mob don’t know who they prefer, just as long as it’s not Turnbull.

    Of course the journalists, sunny little optimists that they are, probably won’t mention that little bit of trivia. Instead we get gushing about Trumble improving his still very poor figures.

    Here’s more bleeding obvious – elections in Australia are usually won on much smaller 2PP votes than 54/46 but in 2013 the vote was 53.5/46.5. That was considered a ‘landslide’ for the Coalition. We are past that vote now, just, and I can’t see any way Trumble can pull it back to favour him.

    There is one way – allow a vote on marriage equality, close Manus and Nauru and bring the internees here. Doing both those things would make Trumble a hero. His polling would improve. We might even start spelling his name properly.

  4. BK wrote:

    Malcolm Turnbull has dismissed suggestions Australia will be indebted to US President Donald Trump if he proceeds with the refugee resettlement deal, insisting there is no quid pro quo for future military support.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/we-dont-owe-trump-turnbull-says-no-quid-pro-quo-over-refugee-deal-20170205-gu5y85.html

    Fat chance of THAT.

    Trump is nothing if not a “deal maker”, straight out of his own Reality TV show. He does nothing for nothing. His way is to torture negotiations, hesitate before signing, worm his way out of what everyone thought were done deals, read the fine print and generally frustrate his opponent – and EVERYONE is his opponent – until they sign whatever he tells them to sign out of sheer exasperation.

    As far as Trump is concerned the negotiations have only just begun. The fun is in seeing how uncomfortable he can make life for the bloke on the other side of the table before that person makes a mistake. To Trump it’s the journey as much as the outcome that gives him his satisfaction.

    The very naive, blow-by-blow reportage we are reading in the newspapers, as if the latest chapter is the last word on the subject of Trump v. Turnbull, is just what Trump wants: joy followed by despair, hope dashed by misery, Turnbull’s supporters putting impossible expectations on their man,and then seeing those expectations dashed and Turnbull a figure of fun.

    This is no cosy gentleman’s club deal, the kind where you give a few hundred thousand to the party to get a billion dollar contract in return. It’s not something that’s stitched up over lunch at The Rockpool, or done in a back room at some solicitor’s office. It’s not the kind of “deal” Turnbull is used to getting. A charming smile, a nice place in Point Piper, a leather coat on Q&A won’t cut a sliver of ice with Trump, whose whole raison d’etre is watching other people suffer and winning… winning at any cost.

  5. The other thing about Turnbull is that the whole point of elevating him was to have his personal popularity raise his party’s 2PP. He’d be a failure even if his personal popularity was still high, as long as his party was behind the ALP overall. But he hasn’t even managed that. The party is plummeting, and his personal approval figures are following them down. And the only hope they’re hanging on to now is that of relentless negativity against Shorten (which only really consists of ‘talking him down’ as there’s very little they can actually pin to him) is keeping his approval numbers lowish.

    I assume they’re trying to drum up the possibility of a change of leader in the ALP. That would be a game-changer, as they could bang on about ‘instability’ for a while. But there’s no chance of that happening. In fact, I think the ALP would be rather proud of the fact that they’re in such a strong position with a leader treated so badly by the press.

    I don’t know what the Liberals expected. It’s the entire party that’s on the nose. That’s been the case since early 2014. Turnbull was just a fresh coat of paint slapped onto the crumbling edifice. Everything that was wrong with them under Abbott is still there now, and the party show no indication that they want to sort it out.

    But, you know, if they want to pretend that 46-54 is a reasonable result so long as Turnbull has a bit better approval than Shorten, I’m not going to stop them. They can carry that comforting thought all the way to the next election if they like.

    • The constant, rather relentless attacks on Shorten are obviously designed to establish a meme: that he is unpopular, somewhat dull, uninspiring, corrupt, opportunistic and, as a result, not considered a serious contender by the Canberra political industry.

      And of course it’s worked!

      No matter WHAT Bill Shorten does – one-man Q&As in a leather jacket, Dancing With The Stars, morning breakfast shows, serious, high-production-values interviews with Oakes – he’ll always be regarded as a loser,not suited to be Prime Minister.

      If you asked the people interviewed by the latest Newspoll why they regarded Turnbull as “Better PM” by a good margin, they would probably list the opposite values to those they see in Shorten: urbane, witty, knows how to comport himself, well-dressed, used to dealing with the rich and famous etc. etc.

      If you then asked them how come Turnbull has all these traits yet he’s still only 1 point less of a dud than Shorten in their own eyes, they’d be hard-pressed to tell you. It’d probably be something like, “Oh well, he’s a dud person, I don’t like the smarmy bastard, but, I dunno, he just has ‘Prime Minister’ written all over him.”

      So there you have it: Shorten can and does get things done, for the better good, and Turnbull is all show, but “show” is what the punters think they want for the moment. Not that they’d vote for him, but y’know, Malcolm just looks the part.

  6. I feel like I’m banging the same drum, but when you have most of the msm bagging Labor and Bill Shorten, people aren’t getting to see how well he and all other Labor politicians are handling themselves. All I can say is it is their loss in more ways than one. If Labor don’t win the next election there will be no way that we will have any social safety net for health education pensions and our standard of living will be horrendous. As it is there is a lot of hard work in front of Labor if we do win the next election.

    • I think that the MSM ignoring Bill Shorten is a strategy from the Margaret Thatcher playbook.

      Thatcher demanded that there was no publicity for IRA attacks so if a bomb went off there was no comment in the newspapers etc, it was credited with bringing about peace with Sinn Fein faster as it weakened their bargaining position

      [Ctar can correct me on this]

      I think we are so poorly served by our MSM I have made a point of subscribing to my favourite outlets

  7. ABC Classic FM is featuring the music of Ludovico Einaudi, a fine living composer and performer. I’ve just heard his Elegy for the Arctic, music for a video showing the effects of global warming. Just waiting for the powers that be at Classic FM to be hauled before Rupe’s Michelle and told they must provide ‘balance’. This raises an interesting question: what piece(s) could provide that ‘balance’? De Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance?

  8. Well, the CPG will be happy when Bernardi jumps ship – might take their minds off trying to promote Poorlene and her gits into the Lodge. Could be interesting to see who Bernardi takes with him and if his ‘new’ party of fascists will inspire Turdball to begin going back to the small L place that used to prevail in the liberal party.

  9. Janice

    I don’t think I’d hold my breath on trumble going ‘back’ to small l Liberal principles. I don’t think he really ever was. It was all his way of getting the top job.

    • I agree with you Gravel, but hell the media are still waiting for turdball to turn into the bloke they thought he was! He doesn’t even have the courage to resign and get himself out from under.

  10. All the talking heads on Sky are worried about Bernardi having a six year senate term. Why? He’s going to vote with the Liberals anyway, just as Hanson does.

    What is a worry is Gina Hancock’s alleged funding of Corgi’s little ego trip and the possibility of Sophie Mirabella leaping in as a Bernardi candidate, with Gina’s backing, of course.

    Won’t Barnaby be jealous! Gina has a new toyboy and he’s out in the cold.

  11. https://www.buzzfeed.com/markdistefano/a-cory-story

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-australia-military-idUSKBN15K05I

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-02-06/researchers-call-for-safety-tests-on-herbal-supplements/8239926

    https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2017/206/2/what-risks-do-herbal-products-pose-australian-community

  12. As if the conservative vote wasn’t split enough already. It’s not as if right-wing voters were starved for choice.

    The Liberals, the Nationals, the LNP, One Nation, Family First, the Liberal Democrats, Katter, Lambie are already in parliament and now they will be joined by whatever lunatic name Corgi decides to give his party. May I suggest’ Right Wing Nut Jobs ‘R Us’? At least it’s honest and tells it like it is.

  13. I wouldn’t usually take any notice of the Superbowl, but the ads so far are full of not very subtle subtext about acceptance..

    Also..

  14. There must be a place reserved in hell

    4,444 victims: extent of abuse in Catholic church in Australia revealed

    37% of all private sessions royal commission held with survivors related to the Catholic Church
    The average age of victims was 10.5 for girls and just over 11.5 for boys
    In one order 40% of religious brothers are believed to have abused children

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/06/4444-victims-extent-of-abuse-in-catholic-church-in-australia-revealed

  15. Should say that was Bush Snr and Barbara at the superbowl, not dubya

    He’s too busy partying about losing his status as worst President ever to Trump.

  16. George is going to stay in the Coalition and make things tough for Trumble.

    George Christensen: I’m not quitting but government ‘untenable’ unless it gets more conservative

    Outspoken Coalition MP George Christensen says he has no plans to join a new breakaway party spearheaded by Cory Bernardi, but has warned Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull the government’s position will become “untenable” unless it embraces conservative causes.

    Liberal senator Eric Abetz, a fellow conservative, also scotched suggestions he could join the new conservative party spearheaded by Senator Bernardi

    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

    Georrge says he is ‘loyal’ to Barnaby Joyce – loyal until he gets a chance to stab Barnaby in the back and become Nats leader, that is.

    George knows which side his bread is buttered on. (And his toast, and croissants, and raisin toast, and crumpets, and muffins and banana bread, and so he should, he obviously likes eating starchy carbs). Why join a break-away party and be a nothing when you can stay right where you are, maybe become a minister, help engineer the downfall of what’s-his-name – er – Trumble and possibly become party leader in your own right. one day He’s a young man, he has time to wait.

  17. Article by Katharine Murphy:

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/06/major-headache-for-malcolm-turnbull-as-minor-parties-rise?CMP=share_btn_tw

    It contains this gem:

    Gillard was defined by the coup against Rudd and never recovered. Abbott was defined by his government’s first deeply unfair budget of broken promises and never recovered, and Turnbull has fallen from stratospheric heights because he is not the person the voters thought he was.

    Uh huh. Tell us all about it, Katharine. The main reason why Turnbull was “not the person the voters thought he was” is that he was never the person voters thought he was, and the reason voters thought that way was the hundreds of articles praising the pants off his ‘progressive’ credentials.

    The media failed us badly there. But do you think any of them are going to put their hand up and take responsibility for it? Not on your nellie.

    And she’s wrong about Abbott too. He’d fallen from favour well before the first budget. He only got in on a bunch of lies the press gallery refused to scrutinise, plus rank abuse of the ALP. That’s not something you can sustain very long, no matter how many times political journalists want to describe you as ‘statesmanlike’.

  18. Fairfax has some odd ideas about what is or isn’t ‘political’ news.

    Waffle about Hanson’s plans in the event she ever becomes PM, which will never happen, is considered political news.

    Comment on Laurie Oakes’ interview with Turnbull is dumped in the ‘entertainment’ section.
    http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/laurie-oakes-roasts-malcolm-turnbull-on-60-minutes-youre-in-a-hole-20170205-gu662x.html

    Both are comment on televised interviews with politicians Both politicians are party leaders. One is the prime minister, so surely if he does an interview then that’s proper political news. The other person is a sad joke pretending to be a person of importance. Whatever she says is of little consequence, it could easily be dumped in ‘entertainment’, because everything she says is laughable. Instead we get Turnbull as entertainment and Hanson as serious news.

  19. How’s it going, Trumble?

    Department of Human Services staff will strike over pay, budget cuts and the Centrelink “robo debt” scandal, which together form an “ideological attack” by the Turnbull government, according to the Community and Public Sector union.

    The CPSU announced the planned strike action on Monday, saying problems in the department went “far deeper” than Centrelink’s controversial automated debt recovery system, which has been criticised for its inaccuracy and unfairness.

    “The Turnbull government has rightly been condemned over the Centrelink automated debt debacle but the problems go far deeper in the Department of Human Services because of years of budget cuts and the government’s harsh and illogical public-sector bargaining policy,” the union’s national secretary, Nadine Flood, said.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/06/centrelink-staff-to-strike-over-debt-scandal-budget-cuts-and-pay#comments

  20. One to miss

    Q&A
    Monday 6th February at 9:37 pm (66 minutes)
    Daniel Andrews, Josh Frydenberg, Helen Andrews, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Daisy Cousens: Live from Melbourne Tony Jones is joined by Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, policy analyst Helen Andrews, climate activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez & journalist Daisy Cousens. #QandA

    Why does Their ABC persist with such dross?

    • Helen Andrews is less a ‘policy analyst’ than a member of the Centre for Independent Studies. And Daisy Cousens is an author for the Spectator. Both spend a good proportion of their time writing articles smacking up the Left and the ALP – from an ideological position of course. Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is an 17 year old (I think) climate activist who’s probably not going to have much of a chance to get his message out amongst that lot.

      The panel is stacked once again.

    • Oh, political journalists are never called to account for anything they’ve written in the past. For all intents and purposes they don’t have a past. They live in a perpetual present where they can criticise or praise from whatever standpoint they woke up with that morning.

  21. Lord of the Fridge,

    paul kelly is a past master of alternate facts.

    Was he ever groomed? I doubt it.

    Did he carefully turned a blind anything to anything ‘untoward’ that might have happened anywhere near him? Well, the priest/brother knows best. Men of God, and all that je-azz.

  22. Today being Waitangi Day in NZ. A reminder of what was signed in 1840. a couple of interesting snippets.

    Bonus trivia. My family’s grudge against Australia had it’s beginning at the ball held in Waitangi to celebrate the signing 🙂 My poor innocent lass ancestor that night was swept off her feet by a dastardly Australian , Captain Butler. Not long after that they were married. A year later he discovered the marriage celebrant was not legally able to have married them. He then took her and her family to court for 1 years board and lodgings !! Case was conducted in Sydney and the $#%%#$W%#W! bustard won and awarded £52 !!!!

    Article the second [Article 2]
    Her Majesty the Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the Chiefs and Tribes of New Zealand and to the respective families and individuals thereof the full exclusive and undisturbed possession of their Lands and Estates Forests Fisheries and other properties which they may collectively or individually possess so long as it is their wish and desire to retain the same in their possession;………………….

    Article the third [Article 3]
    In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

    https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/treaty/read-the-treaty/english-text

  23. http://insidestory.org.au/hes-no-donald-trump from December

  24. By the look of the Twitter feed, Q&A is about as horrible as expected.

    I think that’s the new way to go for me. Google the names prior to the show, and that’ll tell me more or less what’s going to happen. Then avoid watching it. I can’t imagine any circumstance under which Q&A can become properly relevant to politics in this country. It’s so totally out of step with public sentiment on almost everything, and so in step with Liberal messaging, that it neither reflects nor informs. It’s a pointless program.

    I am amused by tweeters still surprised at the right wing slant of the show, or sucked in by the idea that all this is happening due to the ABC’s professed striving for ‘balance’. They complain that the need for balance means too many wierdarse ideas find a home on the ABC; when what’s really happening is that ‘balance’ is just a cover for a conservative agenda.

  25. Leroy

    Interesting depiction of Corgi by the Daily Rupert in that you cannot have rats leaving a sinking ship without a ship that is sinking 🙂

    • He got the same rat treatment as Peter Slipper, and this pic is probably referencing that old pic, keeping the joke going. When Cory decided to leave, I did wonder if the various News Corp papers would go easy on Cory as a fellow traveller or something, but not the Daily Telegraph at least. All good, he deserves it.

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