Sunday Sanity Break, 6 August 2017 - Turnbull shivers in the wind.
Who'd be Malcolm Turnbull? Sure he's been PM and will spend the rest of his life as a former PM with all the associated perks. And he's earnt them. He 'killed' his predecessor, presides over a divided government that limits his authority and finds it impossible to fix obvious matters.
WA's ridiculously low share of the GST revenue alone will cost the Turnbull government bigtime at the next election. Dudding his Treasurer who was building the case for a higher rate of GST without exceptions was a big early mistake, and is still the best way to fix Australia's still rising Federal government debt.
But this is not Australia's greatest economic issue. The massive household bankruptcy and associated crash in housing prices when interest rates begin to rise is a far bigger problem that may kill whomever is in government when these chickens come home to roost. The RBA's inability to prevent a rising exchange rate will continue to confuse monetary policy and has already forced the central bank to reduce its forecasts of economic growth. The stupidity and greed of the Commonwealth bank in its handling of money laundering for terrorists supports Labor's plan for a Royal commission on the banks.
Most Australians I judge have stopped caring if gay people want to be married, yet the obvious solution of a free vote in parliament seems blocked by the so-called conservatives in the Coalition government. The far harder task of giving First Nations people a direct channel to parliament is a seriously difficult issue.
Bill Shorten's campaign on alleged unfairness will be very attractive to many swinging voters, as it was in the USA and UK in recent elections. So even if Australia muddles through without an economic meltdown, Labor has a good chance of winning the next general election.
Mr Turnbull's solid performance in that famous telephone call with President Trump is one positive in his time in the top job. So is the apparent success in the security forces foiling a terror threat, apparently the 13th time this has been done.
Fiona Prior visits Barcelona’s exquisite Sagrada Familia. More here
And in keeping with the theme, do not miss Gary Scarrabelotti's review of Homo Deus - 'Man as God'. Are we just complicated and slick 'algorithms' or do we have souls? That is the key point, gentle readers.
The Sporting Life
Brilliant tournament win by the Matildas. Beating the world champions 1-zero, Japan by 2-1 and Brazil by a stunning 6-1 is a fantastic result, and as usual the Aussie sheilas do better than the blokes, as in swimming, athletics, Rugby. Why is it, gentle readers?
Cricket players win the long, drawn-out negotiation to settle a cricket row that could have been settled with goodwill on both sides 10 months ago. The desire of the players to be shareholders rather than wage slaves is estimable and very modern. Now all they need to do is play well.
In footy, Caaarlton! did very well against Essendon, giving us all hope for next year. But not quite well enough to throw the Dons out of the final eight. In other weekend games, GWS have consolidated in the top four. Collingwood, Fremantle and Western Bulldogs were also winners. Looks like Buckley may have saved his coaching job. As a journo said now Collingwood needs to greatly improve their player list.
Image of the week