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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

News &Views, No 12, April 9-10 to 14, ‘PM targets city fringes, region seats’.

Updated: Apr 17, 2022

The Oz, Geoff Chambers, Greg Brown, ‘RBA warns rising inflation and rates will hit borrowers’.

‘With the PM expected to call the election on Sunday, Mr Morrison will replicate the frantic pace of his winning 2019 over the next five to six weeks to appeal to undecided voters considering supporting minor parties and independents whose preferences will be decisive’.

I must say, many people I speak to who say they usually vote for the Liberals say they are switching their vote.

Paul Kelly, P 17, ‘New ‘independents’ push dubious reality in a fog of moralism’.

‘There are many delusions in election 2022 but few match the ambition of Climate 200 founder and funder Simon Holmes a Court with his claim that “the shortest and surest path to good government is a minority government with a quality backbench”.’

Read all of Paul Kelly’s article. It may move you to giving your first vote to the Coalition or Labor. If neither of those groups can find solace with an uncertain bunch of ‘independents’ or Green people it will be a very poor government.

AFR, P 18-19, Matthew Cranston, ‘Talk of the town in Washington.’

‘The US is going out of its way to strengthen military, diplomatic and geopolitical tensions in the Indo-Pacific’.

In the past week there have also been updates about the AUKAS partnership. ‘That arrangement now has 17 separate groups of Americans and Australians working together working together to hammer out how the two countries can share and use critical information and technology in nuclear submarines, quantum computing, missiles and cyber security to name but a few.

Another interesting issue is the arrival as the US Ambassador, Caroline Kennedy. She will be a wonderful addition to Australia’s Ambassadors, and surely a great way to remain engaged with US matters relevant to us.

Sport. Caaarlton! Lost their forth game with injury to their Captain Cripps, damaged and seemed listless and less than keen. Only Melbourne left with four wins, and seems heading to another top of the league position.

TV news. 11 April, comment by Mr Albanese when asked ‘What is the current number of unemployed workers?’ Answer, 5.4 %. Great Man Slips! Ouch! What a potential Prime Minister. (Correct answer is 4.0 % and falling.)

The Oz. Paul Kelly, P1, ‘Unknown Albanese v a scrapping underdog’.

‘This election is Anthony Albanese’s to lose. The polls, an aggrieved public, a pandemic-battered community, a divided Liberal Party and damage to Scott Morrison’s standing are powerful signals to a change of government.

‘Yet the dark shadow still falls over Labor’s prospects. Doubts remain about Albanese’s profile and credibility’.

Geoff Chambers, P1, ‘The ultimate test of character’.

Both stories are worth reading. Only 40 days to go!

AFR, P1, ‘Phillp Coorey, ‘Contenders come out firing.’

‘Scott Morrison has launched a come-from-behind bis for victory by urging disgruntled voters to put self-interest ahead of any personal dislike of him, as he pulled the trigger for a May 21 election’.

‘Anthony Albanese, in a bid to become just the forth Labor leader since World War II to win a federal election from opposition, has implored voters to lift their ambitions for themselves and the nation and discard a tired, three-term government seeking seeking a “second decade in office’.

Again, Hanna Wootton and Tess Bennett, ‘Havoc as absentee rates surge’,

‘Growing omicron outbreaks are wreaking havoc with workforce numbers as employers grapple with absentee rates 33 per cent higher than long-term analysis of MYOB’s payroll data reveals.’

‘It comes as Sydney and Melbourne airports buckle under the strain of their busiest days in two years at the weekend, with high rates of absenteeism among airline, security and ground staff causing passenger queues to stretch out terminals and flight delays and cancellations.’

The Oz, Albo’s blunder, 12 April, P1, ‘Economics not so Albanese’.

It was so silly that I confess I felt just a bit sorry for Albo.

How can a man running to be PM, not know two of the most important economic numbers going about? And instead of saying something disarming, he tries to guess.

Albo has said he studied economics at university. Clearly it must have been microeconomics, not macroeconomics. In my 75-year-old retirement, even I can recall the blessed numbers – near zero for the RBA’s favourite interest rate and Scomo’s encouraging 4.0 % and falling rate of unemployment.

Next official ranking numbers will be interesting.

Simon Bensen says: ‘Two easy numbers for Albo to recall: 1-nil. That’s the score’.

And there is a lovely cartoon by John Spooner’ A baffled Albo is besieged by journos. The questions are: ‘What is the unemployment rate and what is the Reserve Bank current rate’. Albo responds: ‘Did someone say KFC?’

AFR, 12 April, P38, Editorial Opinion, ‘Albos ‘insecure’ work scare just doesn’t add up’.

‘The Australian Financial Review has exposed the first big policy lie of the 2022 federal election campaign. In the lead-up to the election, Anthony Albanese has repeatedly echoed the Australian Council of Trade Union’s campaign against “insecure” work by claiming an increasingly casualised workforce has festered under nine years on Coalition rule. Yet the image conjured up of an uncontrolled expansion of workers toiling on some modern-day “hungry mile” at the whim of capricious bosses is not matched by the facts. As economics editor John Kehoe reports today, the Australian bureau of Statistics time series that has tracked working arrangements since 1988 shows that the share of workers in casual employment has remained flat or declined slightly over the past 20 years, at about one quarter of the workforce’.

Wow! Facts replace bullshit!

And here is a lovely article by

Ed Shann, P 39, ‘A commodity boom is coming, and we are not ready’.

‘The Reserve Bank is wrong. The next government is going to be showered with commodity cash, and will need a plan to manage it’.

And in summary: ‘We ought to be discussing how to boost mining output and how best to spread the boom. Instead, the budget pretends the boom is about to end and underestimates budget revenue’.

The Oz, Editorial, April 13, ‘Investment in technology, skills to lift jobs, prosperity’.

‘Judging by the National Australia Bank’s latest business survey, just released, the strong jobs market is beginning to drive wages growth’.

‘Ultimately, economic growth is the only effective solution to “insecure” jobs and flat wage levels’.

However, we still do not seem to find a formula for productivity growth. Unless and until productivity is firing, extra people will increase extra GDP, but prosperity requires productivity’.

Paul Kelly, April 13, P 13, ‘Economic mindset vital for Labor’s success’.

‘The only explanation [for Albo’s blunder] is that Albanese has been somewhere else – targeting Scott Morrison’s character, exploiting the public’s cost-of living woes, pledging to be a caring and uniting prime minister. But he missed his prime task as the alternative PM – proving his command of economic policy’.

AFR, P42, Editorial, ‘Is the real Albo up to managing the economy?

‘The biggest worry about Anthony Albanese’s inability to [recall the vital economic numbers] is that it confirms his lack of engagement with the core job of managing the economy’.

In conclusion: ‘None of this excuses the Coalition for wasting a decade not delivering reforms it says it believes in. But the idea that Mr Albanese is a well-prepared man with a plan to replace the Coalition has suffered a grievous, self-inflicted blow.’

Steven Hamilton, P 42, ‘ALP’s economic credibility problem’.

‘Anthony Albanese has just demonstrated Labor’s loss of economic vision and discipline.

Setting out a budget repair plan would be a good start in getting it back’.

The Oz, Stephen Loosley, ‘Putin has breathed new life into the Western alliance’, P 11, April 14.

‘Australia is absolutely right to stand firmly and openly with Ukraine, and Bushmaster vehicles are impressive capability. Twenty Bushmasters have been specified to date and some have been dispatched, but a better and more symbolic place to start would be 38, representing a protected vehicle for every Australian citizen and resident murdered by the Kremlin’s drunken thugs when they shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. …’

‘Fittingly, the first Bushmasters being sent to the war zone have been marked with ‘United with Ukraine’. The Ukrainian ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, made the simple but telling observation, “This is mateship that we now understand, and support we can appreciate’. …

‘The end of the war remains uncertain. However, Ukrainian resistance continues to be magnificent, and the mobilisation of NATO now acts as a guarantee against Russian aggression.’ …

‘Disaster does not adequately describe the consequences for Moscow that this potential NATO expansion represents. And the Great Dictator did it all by himself.’

AFR, P1, April 14-18, Phillip Coorey, ‘Better the devil you know’: undecideds lean towards PM.

‘This time Labor is not exposed on policy, but at the end of week one, for the ALP there are eerie similarities with 2019.’ …

‘Focus group research conducted exclusively for the Australian Financial Review finds views towards Mr Morrison are largely, but not entirely, negative. But Labor leader Anthony Albanese is regarded as dull, uninspiring and too negative.’


We wish readers a happy Easter. Our next contribution will emerge after the Easter break

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