Liberté, égalité, fraternité

As a conversation thread starter, here are some links to help understand the recent election in France. I will avoid all but one of the obvious “This isn’t the end of Macron or France’s problems” articles, of which there seem to be at least a thousand.

Firstly, it is interesting that the polls moved to Macron between the first and second round, and his final vote slightly exceeded his best final poll, which might be partly accounted for by the fact that there is no last day polling by law. As with the 2017 election, I think some who don’t like Macron and who love to complain about the way things are, admit to themselves in the last week or even the last day that they will still vote to block the one they like even less. This 2021 post on french performative miserablism and polling on vaccination partly covers what might be a national political and polling tendancy.

The below by John Lichfield from before the vote is a good read, he argues that the old French Right-Left system has mutated into a muddled pattern of three broad tribes: the scattered Left and the Greens; a pro-European, consensual Centre; and a nationalist-populist, anti-migrant and anti-European Right. No winner will ever be really popular with more than a third of the country.

Late last year Manu Saadia wrote a series of Substack posts on the French election for the benefit of the non french, explaining the basics and background really well. He stopped well before the vote, but they are still a good read.

In particular I draw your attention to the one on why the Presidential vote matters so much, “Camembert President.” He writes “France is a monarchy that undergoes a succession crisis every five years, by way of an election. It is by design. Under France’s current constitutional arrangement, the so-called Fifth Republic, the sole real seat of power is the office of the presidency. It is therefore unsurprising that all civic and political life would revolve around it.”

Another good read, “Eric Zemmour and the long shadow of France’s defeat in Algeria”

The amazing mechanics of an election that spans the entire globe

Finally, I recommend to you the recently launched Le Monde english language edition. Why read US and UK takes on European news when you can now get the news direct? Most of the best European newspapers are only in the local language, so this is a good development for us. Some articles are subscriber only (although you can usually still read good chunks of those), but many are free to read. Worth bookmarking the site for french news.

Two articles to start…

Jean-Luc Mélenchon devises plan to become Emmanuel Macron’s main opponent

The leader of the radical left hopes to win the legislative elections in June. Labor Day protests on May 1st will be the the left’s first show of strength against President Macron.

Quarrelling French far right struggles to unite for legislative elections

Marine Le Pen has already set her sights on the June 12 and 19 elections, hoping to induct a significant far-right group to the Assemblée Nationale. Eric Zemmour called for an alliance while criticizing her defeat, fueling their rivalry.

492 thoughts on “Liberté, égalité, fraternité

  1. Seth Meyers –

    Stephen Colbert –

    Rachel Maddow –

    Chris Hayes –

    Brian Tyler Cohen –

  2. Last week Scovid refused to admit the lowest paid workers needed a pay rise. Today he says his government is “supportive of wage rises”.

    He is all over the shop on this and most other issues. The strain of dealing with a 6 week election campaign is very obvious. He says one thing one day and a few days later says the complete opposite.

    Just as well no-one believes a word he says now, except for the rusted-ons who always blindly vote Liberal (or Nats) because that is how their grandparents voted.

  3. I came home from hospital and found a stack of messages on my landline from my GP saying because of my medical history she thought I would be eligible for antivirals.

    The hospital was aware of my medical history because I told them. (Their records only go back 7 years now, I was shocked to learn.)

    Despite my medical history I was not offered antivirals or anything else apart from paracetamol the entire 11 days I had Covid.

    Now I find they give antivirals to everyone over 12 in the US. Grrrrr. What the frack is wrong with this government and this country?

    This government has been a disgrace throughout the pandemic with their lax handling of our health.

    • Leone, you must be livid, as if you weren’t going through enough. When a grandson tested a false positive, ages ago, we all isolated, I rang the clinic, and the doctor said if Razz gets it, to let them know and she would prescribe the antivirals. That was very reassuring to know.

  4. Reports on internal polling and focus groups, to be taken with a lot of salt.

  5. AND the FMD ! Drawing a Long Bow Desperation award goes to……………… wee Timmy. Timmeh!

    Putin would welcome a hung parliament, claims Tim Wilson
    Jewellery Bishop scored a ‘Commended’ from the judging panel with.

    Australia votes
    Entire future of Liberal Party at stake, warns Julie Bishop

  6. Some laboratory humor in Wikipedia. Hypergolic substances violently react when coming into contact with other substances. Popular for rocket fuels, no ignition required.
    So what about Chlorine trifluoride I hear you ask.

    Chlorine trifluoride has been investigated as a high-performance storable oxidizer in rocket propellant systems. Handling concerns, however, severely limit its use………………..It is also hypergolic with such things as cloth, wood, and test engineers, not to mention asbestos, sand, and water—with which it reacts explosively.

  7. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Here’s David Crowe’s evaluation of the Resolve poll FWIW.
    And Katherine Murphy looks at today’s Essential poll.
    James Robertson writes that Labor enters the final days of the campaign within reach of claiming a narrow majority but faces a fraught run home as its support falls and voters desert the major parties. An exclusive Roy Morgan poll finds Labor ahead of the Coalition after preferences by 53 to 47 per cent, a drop in its headline support of 1.5 points. This would represent a swing of 4.5 per cent toward the Opposition since the last election and its strongest share of the vote since the 1983 election.
    David Crowe tells us that a rare alliance of 31 former judges has entered the election row over a national integrity commission by backing the case for a stronger watchdog and warning Australians risk being exposed to the “corrupt exercise of power” if parliament does not act.
    Phil Coorey writes that shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers has confirmed Labor will unveil bigger debt and deficits before the election, saying a “a couple of billion dollars a year” is no big deal, and it is “time to flick the switch to quality”.
    Paul Kelly reckons a fighter but the thinks the revamp might be too late. Kelly believes that at the final two debates, Albanese had the superior emotional intelligence and looked more connected with people, an authentic Australian, a battler, no genius, nothing pretentious, but sincere, caring about people. The public seemed to think it enough – voting day will tell.
    The SMH editorial says that, if Morrison wins the election, he needs a new foreign minister. It gives Marise Payne a real pasting.
    Graham Richardson reckons Albanese will win with a working majority and says that in that event, the Lodge will never have had a resident with a higher character.
    And Paul Bongiorno says Albanese is poised for victory as Morrison struggles to save himself. He tells us that, according to a Liberal source, the party estimates Morrison is a 3 per cent drag on its vote.
    I have not seen an Australia so bereft of trust in its politicians, so cynical of their motives and their promises as it is today, writes Kerry O’Brien who says a strong, independent public broadcaster, with its governing board appointed at arms-length from executive government, and funded by and accountable to a healthily functioning parliament, is a gift to democracy.
    Ross Gittins explains why modern politics goads us to be greedy and forget the needy.
    Dana Daniel writes that more aged care homes are running at a financial loss as the growing home-care sector poaches workers, putting new minimum staffing standards at risk. Experts warn providers face significant challenges in meeting even the Coalition government’s new standard – which includes a minimum average 200 direct-care minutes a day per resident, including 40 minutes with an RN – let alone Labor’s policy.
    The Coalition plan to allow first home buyers to dip into their super to help pay a deposit is unlikely to help many people to get a foot on the property ladder, writes John Collett who argues that the Coalition’s first home buyer super plan is effectively just election window dressing.
    Labor and the Coalition are turning a blind eye to the fundamental problems with housing affordability with their quick-fix solutions for first home buyers, argues Karen Maley.
    Elections used to be about costings. Peter Martin explains what’s changed.
    “Has Labor timidity hobbled its right to exercise power?”, wonders Jack Waterford.
    Proposals for policy reforms in this country are most often hamstrung by the lack of government revenue required to implement them. Unless this impediment is overcome, many very worthwhile proposals for reform will continue to be ignored, says Michael Keating.
    A Coalition plan to cut $2.7 billion in public service spending over the next four years has prompted concerns of a further “hollowing out” of expertise, with thousands of jobs facing the cutting room floor, writes Sarah Basford Canales. Opponents to downsizing the public service lashed out against Tuesday’s announcement, calling it “ill-conceived” and resulting in longer wait times for services.
    The Coalition’s ability to control the Senate is under threat after it pledged to cut the public services by $2.7 billion, opening the door for former Wallaby flanker David Pocock to win a Canberra Senate seat, writes Tom Burton.
    Labor is poised to win three South Australian Senate seats for the first time in nearly two decades, putting the Coalition in major peril in the upper house, new polling shows. Internal party polling obtained by The Advertiser predicts Labor will easily sweep two Senate spots with 34 per cent of the primary vote, and would be a strong chance to secure a third after preferences are divided.
    “Is Scott Morrison so delusional, so out of touch with reality, so lacking in insight, that he actually believes some of the nonsense he says?”, asks Dave Donovan–can-he-fix-it-no-he-cant,16366
    Hamish Hastie reports that Australia’s peak lung health body has called on the Liberals’ star candidate for Swan, Kristy McSweeney, to divulge to voters the extent of her consultancy work with big tobacco organisations.
    The Greens are a chance to go big this election. More senators seem to be a cert, while in the House, the Teal independents are amplifying their message on environmental issues, if not economic ones. Australia’s third party is determined to put a ‘terrible government’ to the sword. But in their 2022 hunting ground of Brisbane, the Greens are aiming to knock out the woman who would be Labor’s environment minister, writes Mark Sawyer.
    A large number of candidates standing for Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party at Saturday’s election have faced criminal proceedings in the nation’s courts. More than 20 of the UAP’s 173 candidates have faced court in the past, or face ongoing matters, raising questions about the internal vetting process used to select them, writes Brad Norrington.
    Scott Morrison has promised change if re-elected, but it’s an empty promise after bulldozing Australia to ruin over the last three years, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.,16367
    John Collett reports that the Australian Taxation Office intends to put more than your run-of-the-mill work expenses and rental income under the microscope this year. As well as more data matching with the digital economy and what people declare in their tax returns, it will also target undeclared profits on cryptocurrency trading and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
    John Lord sums up his marathon effort of daily campaign reports with, “Imagine, if you will, another three years of Coalition governance or even another decade. The Prime Minister has promised a more friendly, softer, cuddlier version of himself. As I recall, it was around this time seven years ago that Tony Abbott said that “good government starts today.” It never did and still hasn’t.”
    Labor’s health package won’t ‘strengthen’ Medicare unless it includes three things, argues Anthony Scott.
    “The NDIS was a beacon of hope, now it’s this ‘dark, complex thing’”, writes Lisa Bryant who says that when the NDIS – which is a lifeline for people like my severely disabled daughter – hires lawyers to fight mothers trying to get support for their children with a disability, you know the system is broken.
    If John Menadue were to be Minister for Health, he would progressively wind back and eliminate the $14b pa taxpayer subsidy for Private Health Insurance and use that very large sum to fund the inclusion of dental care within Medicare and increase the funding to the states for expanded specialist services in outpatient clinics at public hospitals.
    The 29,000 younger Australians living with dementia are getting lost between disability services and aged care, reveals Monica Cations.
    The prime minister’s office has blocked the release of text messages that comprised Barnaby Joyce’s reports to Scott Morrison in his time as drought envoy, claiming the texts are not documents of a minister despite Joyce having staff and travel expenses paid for by taxpayers while in the role. Words fail me!
    There has been justified criticism of journalists’ fondness for gotcha questions. But there is a broader and more costly crisis in the way that election campaigns are structured and covered by media, argues Gordon Gregory.
    Julie Szego opines that the Liberals have ‘boganised’ as their base has gone progressive.
    Australia has fared better than many countries throughout much of the pandemic, but despite high vaccination rates and the availability of antiviral treatments, people are still dying every day and case numbers are rising. Vaccination means few people are becoming significantly unwell, but the virus can still take a toll, and ongoing outbreaks mean health and other essential services, and businesses are struggling to find staff. Melissa Davey explores why Australia’s case numbers are so high.
    Toby Priest, who has worked as a casual tutor for almost 16 years, lost his right to convert to a permanent employee in a test case for the industrial relations change – the only IR reform introduced by the Morrison government.
    Before and after school care providers fear the NSW government’s trial of extended school hours will undermine their commercial viability, warning it will create uncertainty in an already strained industry. The sector wants assurances that existing services won’t be financially worse off and that trial participants will have to meet the same regulatory requirements.
    Mary Ward writes that a popular weight loss tablet will be banned from sale after the medicines regulator determined its creators had provided no evidence it could lead to weight loss. On Monday, the Therapeutic Goods Administration cancelled complementary medicine FatBlaster Max from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, after its sponsor, Cat Media, registered the medicine with no mention of weight loss properties. Most of the stuff on supermarket and pharmacy “natural health” shelves would fall into this category!
    Joe Biden has condemned those who spread white supremacist lies “for power, political gain and for profit” during a visit to Buffalo, New York, where 10 people were killed in a racist shooting last Saturday. The US president was close to tears as he recalled the victims’ lives, then became angry as he described forces of hatred that have haunted his administration. “In America, evil will not win, I promise you,” Biden said. “Hate will not prevail and white supremacy will not have the last word.”
    A China Eastern Airlines plane that crashed in March, killing 132 people, appears to have been intentionally flown into the mountainside below by someone at the controls, according to reports. Analysis by US officials of the black box flight recorders found amid the wreckage suggests deliberate input from the cockpit forced the Boeing 737-800 plane into its catastrophic dive.
    A leading Australian corporate lawyer is set to be grilled in court alongside casino giants Crown and The Star over their alleged links to one of Australia’s biggest ponzi schemes. The attempt by corporate investigators to force well-known lawyer and businessman John Landerer and representatives of Star and Crown to attend court examinations is the most serious escalation yet in the probe by liquidators into the spectacular $600 million collapse of the iProsperity property group. This guy is building up to be nominated for “Arsehole of the Week”.
    But this guy DOES get one! A British MP from Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has been arrested on suspicion of rape and other sexual offences committed over a seven-year period. London’s Metropolitan Police said a man, aged in his 50s, had been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault, sexual assault, rape, abuse of position of trust, and misconduct in public office. He remained in custody.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    David Rowe

    Matt Golding

    Cathy Wilcox

    John Shakespeare

    Fiona Katauskas

    Peter Broelman

    Glen Le Lievre – also with a gif

    Mark Knight

    Andrew Dyson

    Simon Letch

    Michael O’Sullivan


    From the US

  8. So who do we believe? The right-wing media who are all trumpeting an alleged “narrowing of the Labor lead” based on a very dubious Resolve poll (which Nine commissioned and paid for, so of course they got the numbers they asked for) or TGA whose Essential poll is conducted in the worst possible way and does not even contain 2PP numbers.

    In case you don’t know – Essential farm their polling out to online survey sites which pay their respondents a few cents for each poll they complete. Anyone can join these sites and honesty is not a requirement. I did these polls for a while, I always said I was 39 because they rarely want to talk to anyone over 50. Say you are over 70 and it’s instant screen-out.

    Would you trust any poll that relies on pensioners and others on social security who lie about their income, age and everything else for responses? I wouldn’t. Usually these sites do surveys on banking, cars, where you shop and what you buy. Politics rarely feature, unless you luck into an Essential or something similar.

    Beware of any poll that says it is based on online responses – they will be following the same dubious system.

  9. Aimed at overseas countries, but you can bet it will also happen here sooner rather than later. Or is it already happening and we are not being told?

  10. I just watched the Tracy Grimshaw interview of PM Scott Morrison.

    If that is now considered a tough interview then standards have dropped to the bottom of a very deep well and we have lost all sense of proportion.

    Yes, Grisham did ask a very few tough questions and challenged Morrison a few times. However, she also let him ramble on making excuses or giving long-winded statements as answers. She had no statistics nor any references to facts as a followup to his statements.

    It seemed like this was set up so Grimshaw voiced the criticisms voters might be holding in their minds and Morrison gave it his best to pour oil on troubled waters.

    It was, to me, just another style of propaganda served up in a last ditch attempt to change doubtful voter’s minds. It was imho just another vote harvest in the closing days of the campaign.

    If that was Morrison getting a grilling, then I am Mary Poppins!

    • Thanks for watching Tracey Grimshaw and providing your analysis so we don’t have to

  11. The main election pages of the deadwood version of The Worst Australian newspaper here in Da Cave surprisingly positive for Albo. A double page spread on page 6-7 dominated by a picture of Albo and a v large headline

    Climate &
    My Mate
    Pro business Albanese in final pitch
    for voters in WA before polling day

    The ‘pro business’ bit a bigly surprise from a paper like this is.

  12. A follow-on from my post earlier today –

    The right-wing controlled media will do all they can to ensure the re-election of Scovid and his useless band of crooks. If that requires posting fake polling then so be it.

  13. Despite the last couple of polls Mordor Media’s ‘editor at large’, his holiness Paul the Pontificator, is not sounding confident.

    PM a fighter but revamp may be too late

    Scott Morrison’s focus is hard power – economics, finance, security – but the country has embraced a soft power in which the norms of acceptability, ethics and virtue shifted.

  14. So much for the claim by Murpharoo that “the polls are narrowing”.

    Here are the actual Essential results. Scroll down to “Party expected to win the election” and you will find since the last poll Labor has increased in favour and the Libs decreased 59/42.

    Take a look at the approval/disapproval questions for both leaders – Scovid’s approval in in decline, Albo’s is slightly up.

    Then there is the question on “Views towards re-electing the federal Coalition government” – 49% of respondents thought it was time to give someone else a go compared to only 34% who wanted to keep the current government.

    I have no idea which poll Murpharoo looked at, but it certainly wasn’t this one.

    Not that it matters anyway – it is a rubbish poll for the reasons I gave this morning.

  15. A journalist asks Deves: “Have you met a transgender person in your life?”. Deves says:

    I have gay and lesbian and trans people… trans women and trans men in my friendship group.

    Not with views like you have, bozo!

    Interesting phrase “friendship group”. Sounds like a manufactured object, which it probably is.

  16. While I’ve been a bit nervous about the narrowing of polls this week, I’ve also thought back to state elections in recent times where Labor only narrowly won government from opposition and then proceeded to be enthusiastically re-elected in the next term.

    Elections like Victoria in 2014 and 1999, Queensland in 2015 and 1998, SA in 2002, NSW in 1995 and Tasmania in 1998.

    It has yet to happen federally, I’ll admit, but it did happen in New Zealand when Adern won her first term.

  17. Anthony Albanese has flagged a new national strategy to minimise Covid-related deaths if he wins Saturday’s election, and says looming opposition election costings will book a $750m saving from paring back grants programs.

    The Labor leader’s signal of a public health reboot during an appearance at the National Press Club on Wednesday followed Scott Morrison declaring earlier in the day the country needed to move on from the pandemic despite Australia recording 5,633 deaths this year and battling the highest Covid transmission rates per capita in the world.

  18. Simon Holmes a Court has started defamation proceedings against the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.

    An interesting thread –

    I hope he also sues Dave Sharma.

  19. Nein Fax giving it a big final push for Bullshit Man and his ‘woman problem’
    Served up to us Croods we have…

    Scott Morrison
    ‘She’s just lovely’: Jenny Morrison joins PM on the campaign trail

    While Sin City folk get

    Scott Morrison
    The Scott Morrison I know is a good friend, who wants a better life for women

    • White supremacist and QAnon believer Jenny was so “lonely” at Kirribilli House that WE had to pay for her QAnon bestie to become her (alleged) PA. Apparently Lynelle Stewart’s only duty involved making lots of cups of tea for the PM’s wife. and chatting to her. We paid for a friend for Jenny, who is so toxic even her bestie had to be paid to be with her.

      Jenny has never taken on any charity work or patronage, which is what partners of PMs usually do, she preferred to stay at “home” and whine.

      Then there was her mysterious disappearance last year, from late May, after an official visit to NZ until December, when she condescended to appear at official functions. The girls vanished for an entire year, late January 2021 until Australia Day this year, causing Scovid to recycle old family photos on social media to keep up the false image of a happy family. The daughters have vanished again after appearing at the infamous ukulele/curry dinner. That unexplained disappearance makes me believe that marriage is over and after the election she will divorce him.

      There is nothing “lovely” or decent about that female. She is a disgrace to her gender..

      Remember this? A photo taken with Prince Harry who happens to be married to a woman of colour. Note Jenny’s white supremacist hand signal. This tells us so much about this vile woman.

  20. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Another monster for you!

    Niki Savva says that dislike of Morrison remains the dominant factor in this campaign.
    The Guardian’s editorial puts it position on supporting Labor for the election, saying that, based on his record, and his threadbare re-election agenda, Scott Morrison has forfeited the right to another term.
    The tightening of the election race was evident in Anthony Albanese’s swing back to making an attack on Scott Morrison his primary message at the National Press Club, in his last speech of the campaign. And he looked pretty comfortable in doing that, writes Greg Sheridan who goes on to criticise him over defence and national security.
    “On the final manic drive to the ballot box, we approach the national crossroads with justified trepidation: are we heading towards the light or is that another runaway train coming to plough us down? We pollsters and pundits (and we progressives in general) are all experiencing our own form of PTSD after the car crash that was the 2019 election, where we misread the warning signs and plunged off an electoral cliff”, writes Peter Lewis.
    According to David Crowe, Australians have backed an increase in the minimum wage after an election row over the impact of inflation on household earnings, with 67 per cent of voters supporting a higher base pay despite government warnings about a chain reaction that could hurt the economy.
    Workers face losing up to $4000 in a real cut to their pay packets this year after new figures showed the biggest fall in the after-inflation value of wages this century, bringing cost of living issues back to the centre of the federal election just days out from polling day.
    The AFR reckons the Fair Work Commission has raised the prospect of a two-tiered minimum wage scheme that would deliver higher pay rises to the lowest paid while moderating the increase for millions of higher-paid workers to avoid a wage-price spike.
    Former competition watchdog Rod Sims says political leaders have failed to link weak wages growth to the stronger market power of companies in banking, beer, groceries, mobile phones, aviation, rail freight, energy retailing, internet search and mobile apps. In his first major speech since departing the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in March, Mr Sims said market concentration was high in Australia, which contributed to higher prices for consumers and lower wages for workers, writes John Kehoe.
    The latest wage price index figures confirm that when Australians go to the polls this Saturday, their real wages will be lower than at the last federal election. Not only that, but so bad has been the fall that real wages are now essentially no different from what they were when Tony Abbott took office in 2013, explains Gref Jericho in an article replete with his usual factual information.
    ‘Savings’ from Australia’s public service efficiency dividend don’t add up – we should scrap it, argues John Quiggin.
    ‘A lazy cost-saving measure’: the Coalition’s efficiency dividend hike may mean longer wait times and reduced services, argues the ANU’s Andrew Podger.
    As far as bipartisan compliments go, Dominic Perrottet gave high praise to both sides in the final days of the federal election campaign. While he backed Scott Morrison’s signature policy, he also indicated that life under Anthony Albanese could be useful for NSW, writes Alexandra Smith.
    National polls are tightening but the level of female antagonism to Scott Morrison as Prime Minister is a drag on the Coalition’s ability to fight back, opines Jennifer Hewett who says, “If the Coalition loses Saturday, a key reason will be the hyper allergic reaction and antagonism so many women now feel towards Morrison himself. No matter how desperately he tries to reshape that sentiment, it seems set in political cement.”
    Troy Bramston writes that Anthony Albanese believes he will preside over a fundamental change in the mind and mood of Australia with a new style of leadership and approach to governing, beginning with an ambitious 100-day plan if he wins the election. In an exclusive final-week interview, the Labor leader outlined key aspects of his priority agenda and sought to reassure undecided voters that he had “a plan for a better future” and leads ”the most experienced incoming team” that Labor has taken to an election.
    “Anthony Albanese’s announced plan for a two-person Albanese-Wong interim government is administratively untenable, politically flawed and unwise to be revealed pre-election. The remark is an embarrassment. It suggests Albanese has failed to think through the transition to office of any Labor government. The ludicrous feature of the Albanese plan is that only two ministers would be sworn in, and both would then immediately leave the country for the Quad meeting in Japan”, pontificates Paul Kelly.
    Jordan Baker, James Massola and Matthew Knott write about faith, politics and Australia’s ‘run of religious PMs’.
    Prepare to be disappointed. Whoever wins government on Saturday, it will take transformative policy courage to fix Australia’s housing mess, writes Emily Sims who laments the shortage of supply of affordable housing.
    GPs have been sounding the alarm over rising costs of providing care – compounded by the pandemic and more complex demands. Many have said they are abandoning bulk billing, the Medicare scheme that pays doctors a flat rate for providing consultations, writes David King.
    The Australian housing crisis has entered the catastrophe stage for the third of Australians not already in their own home, yet it has taken until the last week of the official campaign for the politicians and most media to get a little excited about it. And what they are excited about is a relative distraction, a sideshow that will have marginal impact of debatable worth and go nowhere towards solving the underlying problem, says Michael Pascoe.
    Phil Coorey writes that Anthony Albanese has pledged an industrial relations reform agenda that includes simplifying the impenetrable award system for small business and removing the impediments that discourage the use of enterprise bargaining.
    Unless the self-proclaimed “fixer” Prime Minister actually fixes the election, the chances of a Morrison Government being returned on Saturday appear slim, writes Michelle Pini who gives us twelve reasons why the Morrison Government should be ‘toast’.,16376
    Peter Credlin has a whine about superannuation.
    With severe staffing cuts, pressures for instant productivity and a priority on producing clickbait, few would think we are in a golden age for journalism. Few, either, would think that the media have distinguished themselves in this election campaign, writes Rodney Tiffin.
    Aged care providers have reported more than 350 Covid deaths since the election campaign began and continue to grapple with at least 60 deaths a week, government data shows. Christopher Knaus reports that an analysis of government data, conducted by the United Workers Union and confirmed by the Guardian, shows that Covid deaths in aged care facilities are now occurring at rates unseen in the first two years of the pandemic.
    Katina Curtis tells us that NDIA staff have been directed to use an internal practice guide for determining how many hours of therapy children need, often ignoring expert assessments. Staff have been gagged talking about it.
    Dana Daniel reports that the federal health department has referred Liberal election campaign adverts using its website to attack Labor to the Australian Electoral Commission as the major parties accuse each other of misappropriating official materials.
    Queensland forests are being cleared at almost twice the rate reflected in national greenhouse gas emissions, new analysis suggests, prompting questions about the climate data that Australia reports to the United Nations. The study of data from Queensland’s statewide landcover and tree study (Slats) shows 455,756 hectares of forests were cleared across the state in 2018-19. It is at odds with the amount of deforestation recorded under the national carbon accounting system that informs greenhouse gas emissions accounts. The national system found on average 245,767 hectares were cleared each year across 2018 and 2019.
    Less than a week before the federal election, the assistant minister for women, Amanda Stoker, sat down for a video interview with Warwick Marsh, a conservative Christian and men’s rights activist. Marsh was sacked as a federal government men’s health ambassador in 2008 after he refused to distance himself from some of the claims in a report he co-authored that claimed “homosexuality is a mental disorder”. He has denied being homophobic and said previously there is a “war on men” and that the gender pay gap is “a myth”. Showing her true colours?
    A hydrogen project proposed as a green solution for Victoria’s dying coal industry will likely increase emissions rather than meet its claimed reductions, documents obtained via freedom of information have revealed. The state and federally backed project to turn hydrogen into coal for export to Japan could increase emissions by up to 3.8 million tonnes, the Australia Institute said in a report.
    A landmark bill to legalise voluntary assisted dying in New South Wales remains on track to pass through the state’s upper house, after a marathon debate which lasted until midnight on Wednesday night and will resume on Thursday. The legislation is set to reach a final vote in the upper house this week, after members debated 92 late amendments for 12 hours yesterday.
    Pam Belluck writes about a study which provides concerning findings into so-called long Covid.
    Healthcare staff working in rural New South Wales hospitals say disillusionment, rising costs and burnout are driving them from a system let down by state and federal buck-passing.
    Paul Sakkal writes that climate change activist Simon Holmes a Court has launched a defamation action against The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail and is considering suing Liberal MP Dave Sharma, who accused the wealthy backer of independent candidates of using a “sickening” Holocaust slur.
    Kate Burke reports that smaller houses have taken the biggest hit to property prices in the cooling Sydney and Melbourne markets, with buyers less willing to compromise on the size or quality of their next home. House prices in Melbourne dropped a marginal 0.7 per cent last quarter to about $1.09 million, Domain data shows. However, the median price for smaller two-bedroom houses fell 10.5 per cent, falling more than $83,000 in three months to a median of $710,000.
    Last week Defence Minister Peter Dutton announced that, what he called a Chinese spy ship, had been discovered off the Western Australian coast farther south than any similar vessel had ever previously been seen. He didn’t inform his public that it had been observed 250 kilometres offshore and therefore 50 kilometres outside Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone and in international waters, writes Henry Reynolds who reckons Dutton is urging war with China.
    Nick Deane tells us what he would do if he were to be Minister for Defence in the incoming government.
    Ita Buttrose has been a stalwart defender of ABC independence, so why is she wresting control of complaints from its management, wonders Jonathan Holmes.
    The tunnel at Whiskey 108 – and whether there were any people hiding in it – continues to dominate and divide the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation trial, with an SAS soldier accusing a comrade of cowardice over a raid on the compound in the Afghan village of Kakarak. Ben Doherty tells us that the argument has split the Australian SAS troops who were there: Roberts-Smith and five other soldiers have said there were no men in the tunnel. A further five have said there were men pulled from the tunnel.
    Abul Rizvi tells us that on the 160,000 migration program in 2021-22, the Australian Financial Review reports that Morrison said “we’re not even going to get close to that cap (sic) in the short term because we are seeking to rebuild the program, re-open the lines of people being able to come to Australia”. Rizvi calls BS on Morrison who he says is misleading us again.
    Almost nine out of 10 principals say student or parent misuse of social media is having an impact on their wellbeing and workload, with parents who disagree with their decisions using online forums to run hate campaigns.
    The latest ruling in the trial of the former ACT attorney-general effectively liberates Australia’s intelligence agencies from judicial oversight, writes Bernard Keane.
    Greg Norman opened our eyes to Saudi plans. Now all sports need to make a stand, declares Peter FitzSimons.
    Joe Biden’s repudiation of white supremacy comes as mainstream Republican Senate candidates have embraced the “great replacement” conspiracy theory to court voters this campaign season. The Republican candidates are promoting the baseless notion, once confined to the far-right fringes of US politics, that there is a plot to diminish the influence of white people in America.
    The Republican primaries are a tug-of-war between rightwing and even-righter-wing, explains Lloyd Green.
    Johnson is so short of answers, he can no longer form complete sentences, writes John Crace in his inimitable style.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope

    David Rowe

    Andrew Dyson

    Matt Golding

    Cathy Wilcox

    Glen Le Lievre (including a gif)

    Mark David

    Dionne Gain

    Mark Knight


    From the US

  21. Did Scovid totally forget there is no tackling in soccer, or did he deliberately tackle that child? Or was he copying Boris?

  22. In relation to Morrison almost squashing that child in the soccer game, contrast the media coverage of that with the media coverage of PM Julia Gillard breaking the heel of her shoe. The former is barely mentioned, Heel-gate was treated akin to Gillard pushing the button to start a nuclear war.

    • Yes, the media are treating it as something amusing, despite the fact soccer does not allow tackling and despite all the evidence showing it was a deliberate assault.

  23. The first week of the election campaign felt the longest 8 weeks of my life. Fortunately the last week has flashed by. Roll on Saturday. The last decision to make. Drop into polling booth on the way to doing the groceries or drop in on the way back from doing the groceries. The variation in the timing of peak ‘early rush’ crowd makes it an important decision. Now there is a First World problem 😆

    • Ms. Hanson is a public figure who chose not to be vaccinated against Covid19 and in my opinion this gave an example to the Anti-Vax and conspiracy theory movements. The Anti Vaccination movement, and conspiracy theory spouters, (again in my opinion) convinced Australians to refuse Covid19 vaccinations. I suspect many of those people got sick and some died.

      I will leave you all to mind -read what I think of Poorleen getting Covid and the extent of my compassion. I hope Ms Hanson recovers but other than that, let your speculation run wild.

  24. Beware! You will need at least 2 barf bags on hand before watching this vid. Also a box of tissues to dry up the tears as you realise how far we have fallen under this mob of absolute bar stewards.

    friendlyjordies –

  25. Falling fast. The Libs have seen us down down down in the rankings of Transparency International 7th – 18th. Bullshit Man’s government is so corrupt that 4 of the 12 points we dropped since the Coalition came to power were lost in just 1 year 2020 –> 2021 . How good are coloured spreadsheets !!! Keep it up and we’ll matching the UAE in about 18 months.

  26. The first Russian soldier on trial for war crimes committed in Ukraine has entered a Guilty plea in the Ukraine court holding his trial. He is alleged to have shot an unarmed civilian in an Ukrainian village.

    This may have an effect on Russia’s willingness to exchange the Prisoners of War who surrendered from the steelworks of Mariupol. Some Russian politicians are calling for their designation as a terrorists and declaring their regiment, the Asov Unit, a terrorist organisation. However, the Asov unit fights under the command of the Ukrainian defence force. There are no private military groups in Ukraine.

    Meanwhile, residents of the areas under Russian control Ukrainian people are being forcibly relocated to Russia after being put into Assignment Camps for processing. It looks like Russia has been learning from our Stop the Boats campaign, only for Russia it is Stop the Residents.

    Putin may even award himself a glass trophy etched with a design of an Ukrainain house with a child playing in the garden, and bearing the slogan ‘I Stopped These.’

  27. “Morrison also urged attendees to put the pandemic behind them”

    National Covid-19 update

    Here are the latest coronavirus case numbers from around Australia on Thursday, as the country records at least 52 deaths from Covid-19:


    Deaths: 1
    Cases: 997
    In hospital: 82 (with 4 people in ICU)

    Deaths: 22
    Cases: 10,964
    In hospital: 1,283 (with 46 people in ICU)

    Deaths: 2
    Cases: 6,448
    In hospital: 493 (with 12 people in ICU)
    South Australia

    Deaths: 5
    Cases: 4,395
    In hospital: 246 (with 11 people in ICU)

    Deaths: 2
    Cases: 1,076
    In hospital: 43 (with 2 people in ICU)

    Deaths: 14
    Cases: 13,201
    In hospital: 512 (with 32 people in ICU)
    Western Australia

    Deaths: 6
    Cases: 17,105
    In hospital: 300 (with 10 people in ICU)

  28. Its surprising how many intelligent people, well university graduates, think covid is nearly over

    • If you are getting your information from the MSM then of course the pandemic is ‘over’ .

  29. I just watched a youtube video about the latest missile being developed by Russia.

    It is obvious Russia and the USA are still in an arms race. It is Russia that needs demilitarisation and ridding of extremists, not Ukraine. I do not know who they think is interested in Russia, the people are poor, and it’s as corrupt as any Western democracy, like the USA or more so, and invading it would be costly, futile, and stupid. I cannot see any European country going to the time and expense to invade it. Stoking paranoia to gain and keep power is a time-worn political strategy used everywhere. Keeping Russian people scared of outsiders keeps Putin in power, Russians poor, and the country stuck in an endless armaments merry-go-round.

    Without Russia’s threat to be waved around in the USA there is less reason for the USA to make more weapons, although China would be enough of an excuse I suppose.

    Humans are intelligent animals but really stupid.

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