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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

News&Views, No 13, April 17 to 23

Paul Kelly, ‘Morrison’s fresh hope at onset of campaign’.

‘A PM must understand the economy, national security and service delivery’.

‘There was an insulting dimension to Albanese’s failure at his Monday media conference when he had no idea about the unemployment rate or the 0.1 per cent Reserve Bank cash rate. These markers go to the economic health of the Australian people – Labor’s core concern’.

‘The unemployment rate is mentioned daily – it was nominated by Morrison when he called the election. It was highlighted by Josh Frydenberg in his budget speech, pointing out that unemployment was the equal lowest for 48 years. The entire parliamentary term has been dominated by the global recession from the pandemic when unemployment threatened to reach as high as 15 per cent and welfare queues in 2020 became a brief reminder of the Depression’.

‘It is extraordinary that three days after his economic blunders Albanese made another blunder when asked how he would respond to efforts by people-smugglers to test a Labor government, a likely event.

‘We will turn boats back,” Albanese said. “Turning boats back means you don’t need off-shore detention’. There was no qualification. It was unambiguous. Albanese knew what he was saying. He had just announced a major change in ALP policy …

Greg Sheridan, ‘In a time of war, the teaching of Jesus still offer a vision of hope amid the despair’.

However, I cannot see why the Americans plus the UK cannot ‘fix’ Mr Putin. The apparent excuse is that Putin will drop a nuclear bomb or bombs on Ukraine and/ r NATO. Putin’s brutal approach requires a serious response. The man needs to be stopped.

AFR, 14-18, P1 and P 55, Phillip Coorey, ‘Better the devil you know: undecideds lean towards PM.’

‘Anthony Albanese wanted to be kicking with the wind in the final quarter. But he may find himself defending an early lead for too long against a scrapper like Scott Morrison’.

And: ‘All bets are off. This is going to be a sprint to the finish’.

I have been shocked to see how Mr Albanese has showed his ignorance of key economic issues (0.1 % cash interest rates, 4.0 % rate of unemployment and turning back the boats.)

The previous multiple rollover Labor PMs were Bob Hawke, with a term by Paul Keating, two successive PMs. They were an excellent duo although when Mr Keating replaced Hawkie standards fell.

Rollover Coalition leaders were Menzies and then Howard, both excellent leaders. Lately the Coalition has been lead by Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and then Scottie Morrison. All competent, though none so far have led like the earlier Coalition PMs.

ARF Review, ‘The small target is not impressing swinging voters’.

Voters are tending to back to devil they know as Phillip Coorey says.

Labor’s ‘small target’ approach seems shaky. Labor strategists thought a small target policy would ‘allow Anthony Albanese to grab the privilege of becoming prime minister following a character assassination against Scott Morrison’.

‘Mr Albanese comes with none of the record or gravitas of earlier successful Labor leaders with which to persuade those swinging voters to shift across, and no power of incumbency to help him’.

Shinzo Abe, ‘US must speak clearly on Taiwan.’

‘Washington’s calculated ambiguity ... is not a credible strategy after the invasion of Ukraine: it only encourages China’s ambitions and fosters regional instability’.

‘Russia’s invasion is not only an armed violation of Ukraine’s territorial, but also an attempt to overthrow the government of a sovereign state with missiles and shells. On this point, there is no controversy in the international community over the interpretation of international law and the UN charter. …

‘When Russia annexed Crimea, the international community ultimately acquiesced, even though Russia had violated sovereignty. Given this precedent, Chinese leaders may well expect the world to be more tolerant should they too adopt the logic of “regional” – rather than national – subjugation.’

The Oz, April 18, P1, Charlie Peel, Michael McKenna, ‘For or against: coal test for ALP’.

‘The next federal government will face the prospect of accessing approvals for three new coal mega-mines in Queensland’s massive Galilee Basin during its first term in office.’ …

‘Clive Palmer-owned Waratah coal is actively working on gaining approvals for mining tenements in the region’. …

‘The thing that has really changed things has been the significant spike in thermal coal prices’, said Ian Macfarlane,’ a former federal Coalition cabinet minister. (Not by my old mate at the RBA.)

The Oz, P10, April 18, Editorial column, ‘IR is the economic debate that must be had’.

And in conclusion: ‘Both sides must have clear plans for IR and what it would mean for wages, productivity and the economy as a whole’.

Both key sides of federal policy simply fail to attend to the issue of finding a way to boost productivity. This is a crucial requirement for fixing Australia’s economy.


Sport. The revived Blues have won their forth game out of five. As with Hawthorn, their first half was brilliant, and the second half horrible.

Still, after frittering their great lead away, their best players rallied to snatch a narrow win. The new coach, Mr Voss, says he does not know what is going wrong but he is surely going to figure that out.

Next week Freo, in Perth. Go Blues, and pretend the second half is a renewed first half.

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