Tuesday, 31 May 2022

the new ALP Cabinet

 HERE is the new cabinet. Overall it is a highly talented bunch. Most but not all have dominated their previous ministerial counterparts. There is quite a lot of ministerial experience and some who do not have that  ( such as Jim Chalmers) are showing signs of over confidence and even arrogance.

There are always failures. My guess the favourite to fail is Don Farrell  in cabinet because of his lack of talent and Anne Aly in the outer ministry as the portfolio is way outside her area of expertise.

There will also some unexpected success in Opposition. Simon Crean was like a greyhound in Opposition after the landslide loss in 1996.

We shall see.

Monday, 30 May 2022

My theory on why Flu has made a comeback

 Australia has not had a flu season for two years.

We are now experiencing a large increase in flu. Why is this? The last time I visited my cardiologist we both agreed flu might not be much of a threat because of social distancing and people staying at home when they have a mere sniffle.

Well here in Eastwood there is no social distancing. When I insist on it at the supermarket or at the fruit and veg those very people swear at me. People no longer care about covid so why would they give a toss about flu.

It is my belief the authorities should have a new education program promoting social distancing.

Sunday, 29 May 2022

The US Supreme court is mainly made up of partisan hacks

 I am forever grateful to Nick Gruen . His weekly e-mail is full of insightful articles via the links. Do yourself a favour and get it!!  This article os frorm that.

Read this and weep.


Thursday, 26 May 2022

Around the Traps 27/5/22

 it is time again for Around the Traps.


Northern America






Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)


  • nuttin

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Why was Andrew Charlton successful and Kristina Kenneally unsuccessful

 At the election the ALP parachuted two people into ALP electorates.

Andrew Charlton won the seat of Parramatta with a swing to him. Kristina Kenneally lost the very safe seat of Fowler

Some may argue there was a media attack on Kenneally whereas Charlton was ignored. however if the media attacks in 'Teal 'electorates were unsuccessful then why they they succeed in Fowler. We can write this off.

Some have said their different characters affected voters with Charlton more likable. As this is just too related to above I think we can write this off as well.

Others have said the reasons for the parachuting were different. Kenneally was already in politics and was relegated to no. s in the senate for the ALP and thus unlikely to be in parliament after the election. Allied to this a local vietnamese born solicitor was bypassed. She was highly regarded  and had community links.

Andrew Charlton on the other hand di not elbow a local candidate out of the way and also was a highly successful businessman. He was in charge of Accenture at the time. I do like this but have no data to back this up.

The ALP will need to be very thoughtful about parachuting any 'star' candidates into safe seats in the future. If the candidates are good enough then surely they would win a pre-selection ballot.

Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Dutton has a hard road to walk

 It seems as Peter Dutton will be the new Opposition leader.

He has to come to terms with the fact the-election-shows-the-conservative-culture-war-on-climate-change-could-be-nearing-its-end.

He would need a road to Damascus conversion and even then he would still find it hard to gain credibility. I cannot state how important this is to the liberal party. If Dutton cannot gain credibility on climate change he will not get any of the 'teal' seats back. If he does not win back these seats the Liberals will not win back government.

Too many people from the Liberal side think he will be an effective Opposition leader because he is aggressive. They cite Tony Abbott as an example. Wait on. Abbott only gained success when the ALP started to fight among themselves. Just remember Abbott was never popular. The Liberals won despite him not because of him.

Being aggressive in parliament can be counter productive. More so when so many women have been elected. It also leads to many snafus which Dutton made as a minister.

He has not shown any strategic nous at all and like a lot of people ( like Albo) had a poor campaign.

Opposition leaders usually get rolled after a change of government. My guess is this will occur to Dutton.

Monday, 23 May 2022

Lessons from the election

 Okay let me say it again I was wrong. Climate change was THE big issue. clearly voters thought the Liberals were not to be trusted on climate policy ( because of the National party) and the ALP were not fair dinkum. They knew both the Teals and the Greens were. Let's face it the Greens have mad policies all over the place so it only makes sense to vote greens to ensure the ALP wakes up.

The Liberals are in a terrible bind. Having Peter Dutton as leader is bad enough as he is electoral poison but does anyone imagine he can convince teal voters to come back to the Liberals because they support polices to avoid climate change or  to set up a federal ICAC. It is highly pertinent to point out the Teals almost unanimously said a vote for the Liberals was a vote for Joyce and of course Canavan helped them enormously as well. Indeed Joyce and Canavan aped Bob Brown of the last election. At least he learned his lesson and shut up after the election was over.

There are arguments in some quarters to say Dutton will be a good opposition leader as he is aggressive like Abbott. Hang on Abbott was going now where until the ALP became disunited. Indeed those 'brilliant strategist' from the NSW right though they could still win when the ALP was in civil war because Abbott was Opposition leader.

Let us assume the ALP has learned their lesson. Its front bench is clearly superior to the LNP and has been for some time. Treasury has learned lessons from the 70s as well. Thus I do not expect any repeat of Whitlam.

Climate change will only grow as an issue in three years time as more and more evidence accumulates. This does bode well for the LNP. They will become the party for luddites if they are not careful. This will not be good for democracy.

The ALP has to do two things to my mind. First be more imaginative with regard to climate change. what about adopting a NED and advocate a price on carbon for the next election.

Secondly how will they do any budget repair? They said nothing on this in the campaign. Indeed their 'savings' measures were a joke. Treasury would undoubtedly want to  be more aggressive budget repair after the CPI rose so high (and will go even higher.)

We live interesting times

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Marking my beliefs to market

 I do like the way Brad De Long marks his beliefs to market every so often. Thus the election proves the perfect time to mark mine.

  • The election campaign would be too long to help the Liberals.  I was correct. Essentially this election was like 2013 in that the polls rarely changed at all.
  • Morrison is not a great campaigner.  I was correct. He did not gain any votes in the campaign.
  • Albo would get a rails run by journos in the campaign and they would be much harder on Morrison. I was wrong. They went very hard on Albo. Sometimes they were embarrassing. Morrison rarely answered questions which in the end exacerbated concerns about him. 
  • Parachuting Charlton and Kenneally into Parramatta and fowler were two different propositions. Charlton was a high quality candidate whilst Kenneally vastly over-rated.  Lets say I was mostly right.
  • News corp , Sky after dark ( and 2GB in sydanee) would get a black eye from their blatant biased coverage.  I was right on this.
  • Climate change would not be the most important policy of the campaign. I was wrong big time on this. The climate wars are over. I hope the ALP understands this. They have won but others have gained.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Around the Traps 20/5/22

 It is time for Around the Traps again.


Northern America






Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)


Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Still no wage breakout

 The WPI came out yesterday. When we are at full employment the annual increase was a puny 2.4%. Given inflation is at 5.1% and climbing real wages are falling.


The RBA has egg all over its face and not for the first time on this very important topic. Me thinks it is because they have completely discounted the regulatory environment. THE ALP under Gillard further de-regulated the labour market rather than re-regulating it. This has led to further falls in union membership. You just aint going to get decent wage increases without increases in union membership.

Meanwhile Steve Kates, Judith Sloan and various Liberal politicians are still waiting like godot for that inevitable wages break out.  No they never mark their beliefs to market.

Given the election is in Saturday here are some interesting articles

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

We are being let down by journalists.

 What we are seeing now is pollical gossip sexed up as news by journalists. This is not NEW

How many times have I read about seat polls saying such and such. Seat polls are CRAP. People from any party leak so called internal party polling on seats which almost always complete and utter lies. Think about it why would a party conduct a seat poll which we know are crap and very expensive when it does them no good. Nah far easier to lie to journos about so called polls showing their party doing so well.

Parties do polls. They involve, usually, conducting polls into various marginal seats and compare those results to the public polls. They total the results , perhaps 500 in each electorate and then do the rest.

Why do journos write this rubbish? Possibly because they have little else to write about and they need to show they are doing something anything.

One more beef. If someone is a great campaigner then they consistently win more votes for their party in a campaign. I have yet to see this. Hawke, Howard et al never did this consistently. no-one can really say anything about the last campaign as there was a massive polling failure. 

Monday, 16 May 2022

There is NO fiscal responsibility

 Neither party has adopted a fiscal responsible position.

Australia is at full employment. By any measure this is when budget repair should be going on BUT no party has any plan to reduce the structural deficit. The improvement in the deficit has purely come frrom improvements in the cyclical deficit because we are now at full employment ( because of very low immigration.)

This is now the time to take aggressive action on the structural deficit as it does improve the growth rate for the economy. It is the public sector making room for the private sector as it should and as Keynes recommended. It is why Keynesian economics is far tougher than classical economics in good times. classical economics only desires a balanced budget. ( this is why it is expansionary in good times and contractionary in bad times. it is pro-cyclical!)

Politically I see no way for the current government to change. The only was for the ALP to change would be to sat the cupboard is bare like Abbott did way back in 2013. It was a lie then and it would be a lie now because of PEFO.

In a related matter I despair at the socalled housing policies. housing prices need to fall over an extended period of time otherwise you get a recession. NO party will own up to this at all.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Polling Accuracy

 Okay we are now in to the final week of the campaign.

Right on queue we get this great article on australian-polling-hasnt-been-getting-worse-over-time.

The blog has gone to my must read list.

I am a boof head I should have included THIS as well.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Around the Traps 13/5/22

 It is time again for Around the Traps.


Northern America






Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)


  • nuttin

Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Poll Roundup.

 The ubiquitous Kevin Bonham has his poll round up and it is essential reading if only to learn what MRP is 

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Healthy again

 A few weeks ago I visited my cardiologist. Good news my heart is as good as it was before my mild heart attack. One interesting thing was my blood pressure. Previously it was excellent. It is always done before giving blood thus my confidence.  It went haywire after the attack BUT it is now back at excellent.

Now I have to do more exercise, lose some weight and generally enjoy life.

Monday, 9 May 2022

what the 'teal' independents really mean

 There has been a lot of discussion about the 'teal' independents. In essence they are campaigning on more action on climate change and getting a federal ICAC up and running.

Some people have complained if they are successful then a number of moderate liberals wil lose their seats and Peter Dutton will end up leader.

This is completely wrong.

Firstly IF the teal independents are successful then they will show the Liberal party has to some extent lost their small l liberals supporters. They have already lost Warringah and no-one has learned any lessons from this. Whilst Big C conservatives have a loud voice they lose votes. How a big C conservative can vote against climate change or government governance merely shows us the Big C conservative are not really conservative at all.

Secondly no person in their right mind would elect Peter Dutton leader. He is a distinct electoral liability and his utterances as yet have not helped the government at all.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Bob Seger

 About 40 years ago it was a tossup who was better live Bob Seger or the Boss.

Here he is doing his best song Brave Strangers

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Around the Traps 6/5/22

 It is time again for Around the Traps.


North America






Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)


Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk