The dejection election

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barney
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The dejection election

Post by barney » Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:27 pm

AS I write this the first exit polls of Britain's election seem to show a comprehensive Johnson victory. I felt there can seldom have been an election with such unpalatable alternatives. This was beautifully expressed by the New York Times below.

Can Boris Johnson Lie His Way Back Into Office?

Britons face a miserable set of choices.
Jenni Russell

By Jenni Russell

Contributing Opinion Writer

Dec. 11, 2019

LONDON — This is the dejection election. Not in my lifetime has Britain faced such a miserable choice. Two vain, incompetent, mediocre charlatans are competing to become prime minister. For the Conservatives, we have the blustering, lying, oafish puffball Boris Johnson. In the Labour corner is the querulous, wooden, sanctimonious Jeremy Corbyn.

The two candidates are so alarming that, in an unprecedented intervention, former prime ministers from each of their parties have pleaded with voters to block them. Tony Blair and John Major have urged tactical votes against Mr. Corbyn and Mr. Johnson. Everywhere, exhausted, disillusioned, skeptical voters debate who is worse. British politics has never known anything like it.

These very different men share remarkable, unflattering similarities. Each is ill briefed, hazy on the facts and implications of his policy proposals, uneasy under scrutiny and belligerent when challenged.

Both are promising rank impossibilities. Mr. Johnson tells voters he can deliver Brexit, quickly and painlessly, if they give him a majority. Mr. Corbyn claims it’s possible to drastically transform the economy for ordinary people in five years, raising productivity and living standards, ending tuition fees and nationalizing rail, water and energy — all paid for just by modestly raising taxes for businesses and top earners.
Neither man is telling the truth. Both are addressing real, acute problems — Britain’s stagnant, unequal economy and people’s sense of powerlessness and dislocation — with consoling fantasies.
Mr. Corbyn may believe, delusional though it is, that he really can restructure British capitalism overnight without damaging the economy. His stubborn moral certainty means he’s deceiving himself along with everybody else. Most politicians, of course, have ambitions beyond their competence and dreams they can’t deliver.

Mr. Johnson is playing another game entirely. Amoral and power-hungry, he’s lying with knowledge, calculation and abandon. He and his advisers have made a ruthless and sinister decision — to subvert and smash up British political culture. They have learned from the successes of the Vote Leave campaign, which Mr. Johnson fronted, and, it seems, from Team Trump.

The old assumptions — that truth matters, that lies shame the liar, that in a democracy the press and the public must have a right to interrogate those who seek the top jobs — have all been swept aside by the Tories’ conviction that in an inattentive, dissatisfied, cacophonous world, victory will go to the most compelling entertainer, the most plausible and shameless deceiver, the leader who can drill home a repetitive and seductive incantation. Facts and details will be irrelevant so long as voters feel a politician is on their side.
This strategy has hit British politics like a tornado and has left broadcasters, the opposition, commentators and voters who care about veracity floundering. Mr. Johnson and his ministers have lied fluently and persistently about everything from their fundamental and fake promise to the electorate — that Brexit can be brought to a swift, neat end by him — to its damage to jobs, its impact on Northern Ireland, the ease of new trade deals and the number of new hospitals and nurses the Tories will fund.

It gets even more shameless. The Tories falsely recut a video of an opposition politician. They brazenly rebranded their Twitter account as a fact-checking site during a crucial political debate. They persistently claim that the election had to be called because Parliament had blocked Mr. Johnson’s Brexit deal and voted down his program for government, both of which are false.

Mr. Johnson is not being exposed or embarrassed by his lies because the flood of them is overwhelming, because Britain’s powerful right-wing press is backing him and because he’s dodging any format that could sustain a challenge to him. He has skipped public questioning in favor of carefully constructed photo-ops. He has refused tough interrogations, wriggling out of a slot with the BBC’s most rigorous interviewer.

Mr. Johnson’s team has seized upon a terrifying truth: that the old media, particularly the broadcasters, and the establishment that has decided its rules of operation, are no longer the gatekeepers to communication. Cunning politicians can skip accountability, and British broadcasting’s rules on impartiality and balance, by going straight for the voters’ emotional jugular. In place of public and professional scrutiny there’s Twitter and Facebook, where millions of micro-targeted messages are flooding key voters.

These focused, ferocious evasions of democracy’s conventions and protections appear to be working. The Tories are ahead in the polls and apparently heading for a majority, though the race is tightening and the polls could be wrong. Voters in focus groups parrot Mr. Johnson’s slogans. If the Tories win, they’ll shrug off critics; the demos has approved their tactics.

I dread how a Tory victory would embolden Mr. Johnson and his strategists. Already they are threatening the futures of broadcasters who embarrass them. Already their manifesto promises to look again at the relationships among Parliament, the government and the courts, which is code for: We intend to emasculate anything that constrains us. Given greater power, they will seize more.
I wish for both of these reckless men to lose. A Johnson majority would be petrifying because his lying, bullying and dodging mean Britain has no clue what his real plans for Brexit are. The European Union has made clear he cannot reach a comprehensive trade deal with it within a year, as he claims. We could be in another crisis next December as Mr. Johnson tips us out of our current deals into the coldest, hardest Brexit there is.

Mr. Corbyn cannot win outright, and I would fear his free rein. The least worst result would be a hung Parliament: no party with a majority, but where Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party could combine just long enough to hold a second referendum on Brexit, which might yield a vote to remain.

Nothing can unite this rived country, but that could rebuild it. It is a slight and improbable prospect. I fear for Britain’s future.

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:23 pm

I'm afraid this editorial was much too kind about Corbyn; he's a hate-fuelled anti-semite who has sympathized with terrorists. His 're-nationalize Britain' program is a hark back to the 1920s. He would have loved living in the old USSR where mung-bean-chewing, sandal-wearing, cardigan communists ruled the roost. The old command-and-control model where everybody had a job and nobody was doing anything; where people were encouraged to dob in their neghbour to make sure they were saying and thinking the right thing and not deviating from the orthodoxy. (Dear me; where have I heard that before?)

I have great faith in this old democracy to sort itself out. The election result isn't even counted as I write this but we are both glued to the TV today - being the political tragics we are!! Johnson is a disrupter, like Trump. When there's a war you have to find yourself a bigger weapon. We have huge culture wars going on and this is the result.

Brendan always makes a lot of sense!!

https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/12/1 ... hing-only/

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:02 am


Holden Fourth
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Holden Fourth » Fri Dec 13, 2019 3:51 pm

A good article. This is not new of course as the election of Donald Trump, and the 'miraculous' re-election of the LNP against all odds have already shown. The Labor party here in Australia did the same thing as the Labour party in the UK has done. They didn't listen to their grass roots supporters and contemptuously ignored them. "we know better than you!" The results speak for themselves.

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:21 pm

Hello Holden!! (I note the Commodore isn't being made anymore!!)

My children all went to catholic schools with plenty of working class kids in the Lower Hunter. I've known for years that they're all very conservative and are disenchanted with modern 'labour' parties. In fact, just last week I was at a reunion with a few of these mothers and it was then that I realized just how conservative they really all are - and totally contemptuous of identity politics and its myriad, hybrid incarnations. There's nothing like having big families to give you skin in the game, and many of these women had 4 or more children (like ourselves). And to a person every one of them was hard-working and aspirational.

Boris might fizz like a damp squid; we'll soon find out. Andrew Neil on BBC TV (through Sky) yesterday asked one successful Conservative candidate whether he understood that he now had the onus to provide a real improvement in the lives of the working class - that their vote wasn't tokenism that could be taken for granted but which came with huge expectations. I wonder if he'd have asked the Labour man that same patronizing question after a similar result?!! (I wonder if I wonder?)

barney
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Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:01 am

Belle wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 4:21 pm
Hello Holden!! (I note the Commodore isn't being made anymore!!)

My children all went to catholic schools with plenty of working class kids in the Lower Hunter. I've known for years that they're all very conservative and are disenchanted with modern 'labour' parties. In fact, just last week I was at a reunion with a few of these mothers and it was then that I realized just how conservative they really all are - and totally contemptuous of identity politics and its myriad, hybrid incarnations. There's nothing like having big families to give you skin in the game, and many of these women had 4 or more children (like ourselves). And to a person every one of them was hard-working and aspirational.

Boris might fizz like a damp squid; we'll soon find out. Andrew Neil on BBC TV (through Sky) yesterday asked one successful Conservative candidate whether he understood that he now had the onus to provide a real improvement in the lives of the working class - that their vote wasn't tokenism that could be taken for granted but which came with huge expectations. I wonder if he'd have asked the Labour man that same patronizing question after a similar result?!! (I wonder if I wonder?)
It would have not been the same patronising question, but it could easily have been another patronising question, eg are you capable of looking after the economy.
Do damp squids fizz? What is the physiological process that brings about this phenomenon? Aren't all squids damp, at least while they are in the ocean? I'm always fascinated by how expressions come about.

barney
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Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:04 am

Not to worry. A moment on Google has confirmed that you meant a damp squib. It is a particularly common misconception - see below. I've never heard 3 or 8, 9, 10.

The top ten misquotes by British people are as follows:

1) A damp squid (a damp squib)

2) On tender hooks (on tenter hooks)

3) Nip it in the butt (nip it in the bud)

4) Champing at the bit (chomping at the bit)

5) A mute point (a moot point)

6) One foul swoop (one fell swoop)

7) All that glitters is not gold (all that glisters is not gold)

8) Adverse to (averse to)

9) Batting down the hatches (batten down the hatches)

10) Find a penny pick it up (find a pin pick it up)

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:09 am

Yes, mine was a typo and not a misconception. A squid is something from the ocean. And it is already damp. I make typos all the time. But not malapropisms.

The Conservatives have been running the economy for some years already. Their challenge is being inclusive of the working class - a fact I've already mentioned and that I'm sure they understand already. This constituency has been long forgotten about by the labour parties and the Left in general, in all our countries, for some years now. Since Blair really; ergo, 'new' Labour. And there have been protests already in London about the new government!! Reminds me of something...

Mark Latham, our ex Labor leader from 2004, has commented about this disenfranchisement of the working class; he said the Left grew rich and educated. I think he's onto something. Once the field is surrendered it's quite difficult to get it back. But we shall see how this all plays out; it's certain not to be dull.

lennygoran
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Re: The dejection election

Post by lennygoran » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:54 am

Belle squid-we were eating it last night in our paella here in nyc-love it! Len :lol:

Image

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:47 pm

lennygoran wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:54 am
Belle squid-we were eating it last night in our paella here in nyc-love it! Len :lol:

Image
I'm presuming this is one of your own creations?

Here's a bit more on the post mortem of the UK election:

https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/12/1 ... d-to-lose/

barney
Posts: 4186
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:25 pm

Belle wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 4:09 am

Mark Latham, our ex Labor leader from 2004, has commented about this disenfranchisement of the working class; he said the Left grew rich and educated. I think he's onto something. Once the field is surrendered it's quite difficult to get it back. But we shall see how this all plays out; it's certain not to be dull.
I agree about the Left moving away from its base. It's largely identity politics and woke stuff now. And you are right also that Australia is basically a cautious and conservative country politically, so that stuff will never be popular here.
My wife and I are divided on this. She thinks Britain will emerge stronger which it may, but only after a great deal of pain. Hard to tell this side of events - ask me in a decade when I can employ the 20/20 vision of hindsight.

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:59 pm

Ah, yes, hindsight!! One can never be sure about outcomes since human beings - particularly politicians - are fickle and untrustworthy. We must nip at their heels, holding them to account.

I take an interest in the working class for the reasons I mentioned earlier. But also, my father was an Executive at BHP - which no longer exists in Newcastle. In his day there were 12,000 or so employed on that plant. Our evening meals infrequently saw my father hold court after a particular day at the plant and the importance of the safety regime and (sometimes) recounting terrible accidents with ensued (he would often be required at coroner's court). We all grew up understanding the price working people paid and pay with industrial accidents and we now have our number 2 son employed in just such a business, contracted to the mining industry. This was serendipitious rather than planned. Anyway, in the very last year of his life my father told me things he'd never mentioned before. He was never a man in touch with his emotions but these anecdotes revolved around the grief he found himself in with executive management leading up to his final position in the company. Some workers on the plant would fall asleep during the day, others 'borrowed' tools and left them in the boot of the car; some had more days off than required. My father always always went into bat for them because they were the sole breadwinners of big families and they were going to remain in work and he wasn't going to have an argument about it with the top brass!!! He said some of his relationships at the very top of the company were soured as a consequence of this. My father had a very strong BS meter and we've often wondered how he ascended as far as he did in that huge company!! I guess he was extremely bright. And honest.

lennygoran
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Location: new york city

Re: The dejection election

Post by lennygoran » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:17 pm

Belle wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:47 pm
lennygoran wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:54 am
Belle squid-we were eating it last night in our paella here in nyc-love it! Len :lol:

Image
I'm presuming this is one of your own creations?

Here's a bit more on the post mortem of the UK election:

https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/12/1 ... d-to-lose/
Belle no it wasn't anything I cooked-it was a midtown eastside nyc restaurant. Len

https://socarratnyc.com/

absinthe
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Location: UK

Re: The dejection election

Post by absinthe » Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:59 pm

I've asked many people to tell me exactly what lies Johnson has told. I've yet to receive an answer.
I voted on the basis of Johnson's record. He successfully managed London as London Mayor for several years. What has Corbyn/McDonnell or Swinson ever managed?
.
Do people really imagine the commie Corbyn could run a country? Renationalise utilities and rail? Super-insulate about 30 million homes? free travel for the under 16s? Abolish university tuition fees? A million units of social housing? Free broadband for all? And the rest. That's the best part of £1 trillion's worth. Where's the money coming from? Answer: everyone. McDonnell's intention was to create a "more equal society". The policy? Punish the successful, the entrepreneurial, the inventive, to feed the mediocre. Oh yes, society would be more equal: more equally mediocre.
.
All those wealthy and their money would have disappeared rather quickly. There'd be no incentive to work nor strive nor achieve. Thankfully the electorate was wiser. They didn't want the UK turned into a replica USSR. They'd all come in for a tax hike...and they wanted Brexit and an end to mass migration.

Johnson, good or bad, has already restored some public trust in politics lost by Teresa May and the mud-slinging and obstruction that has confounded parliament since 2017. He's already demonstrated action in various areas.
.
Besides, can anyone name a politician who's also a saint? A few honest politicians do exist. In the Mendacity League Tables, Johnson is pretty near the bottom.
.
The only people who are dejected are the socialist/communist politicians who lost, rejected. And now they're ablaze with argument about who or what to blame and can't see the forest for trees about what went wrong. The Blairites are still fighting with the "progressives". No leader could unite the party in its current state so feel sorry for whoever takes over when Corbyn steps down.

Did you know that even under the Tories, the UK's top 3000 earners pay more tax than 20 million below them. They'd vanish if Corbyn won. About 40% of earners pay no income tax at all.

absinthe
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Re: The dejection election

Post by absinthe » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:48 pm

"Mr. Johnson is playing another game entirely. Amoral and power-hungry, he’s lying with knowledge, calculation and abandon. He and his advisers have made a ruthless and sinister decision — to subvert and smash up British political culture. They have learned from the successes of the Vote Leave campaign, which Mr. Johnson fronted, and, it seems, from Team Trump."

I don't like to rain on anyone's parade but this is utter rubbish. British political culture has been smashed up by the renegades and rebels determined to stamp on anything Tory since May lost its majority in 2017, the Mendacious Mendicant May. How she, the UK's worst Home Secretary ever, got the top job, beats me. As a Conservative member I didn't vote for her! And it was her who broke every pledge she made about Brexit negotiations. She handled them appallingly. The EU's doormat.
.
Since Johnson took over, bodies of people in parliament have tried every desperate trick to overturn the most democratic thing the UK has done since 1975, the 2016 referendum. The Speaker of the house abused his position to make sure nothing pro-Leave stood any chance in debate. And these same people involved the Supreme Court that took upon itself making political/policy decisions re the proroguing of parliament (which in no way was a legal matter). It was those Labourites - Benn and rebellious Tories like Grieve and Hammond who broke trust in the justice system....EVEN after all parties agreed to honour the outcome of the referendum.
.
There was intense pressure for a second referendum. This election WAS their second referendum.
.
So Jenni Russel ought to check what's really going on before she gives such a weird, biased opinion.

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:25 pm

Thank you for a very direct, English account of it all. I keep abreast via Brendan O'Neill on "Spiked Online". He has his finger on the pulse and has done since the 2016 referendum. Our PM in Australia is certain to be very happy with the Conservative win as it surely means a lucrative trade deal for us post Brexit.

I hear you about taxation; two of my sons pay astounding amounts of taxation. One actually says he works from 1 January to 1 June every year EXCLUSIVELY for the tax man; these are very very long and demanding hours (sans overtime) too. Family life is sacrificed as well. My second son also pays vast amounts and he's not on a particularly high salary. 49% of Australians pay NO nett Taxation. We urgently need taxation, workplace and economic reforms. Will the government touch it? They HAVE to. Not so long ago I remember somebody saying on a TV discussion program that everybody should pay some income tax; even if it's one dollar it represents their contribution to the society in which they live. We have consumption taxes here too - so those like my sons pay a further hefty impost with this.

There are things the Conservatives can do for the working class. If that was me I'd be making sure there are positions in very good schools across the UK for poor but clever kids to get the best education possible. Government could subsidize those positions and children can be given aptitude tests at 12 years of age. It's unfair when there are heaps of bright kids if they are held back because of poverty. I saw this myself when teaching; when there weren't enough books to go around in a classroom.

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:53 pm

This has just appeared in our national paper, "The Australian". Its author, Paul Kelly, usually gets things right and has written excellent books on politics in Australia. I have two of these of my bookshelves - as yet unread.

Tories, Coalition and Trump have better feel for public mood

It is vital to discern the lessons and traps for Australian politics in this Tory ­triumph, writes Paul Kelly.

The British election was domin­ated by two elements absent from Australia — the Brexit imperative and the widely loathed socialist Jeremy Corbyn — yet it is vital to discern the lessons and traps for Australian politics in this Tory ­triumph.

The similarities linking the US, Britain and Australia should not be exaggerated but there are two common trends.

The parties of the right have triumphed in better reading the public mood and recasting their policies, even their identity to win.

The parties of the left have blown their brains out by squandering the public anger towards ­financial elites, compressed living standards and the alienation of working people who feel frustrated or betrayed — an ideal framing for left election victories. The left misread the times. Its world-historic failures have created the current opening for radical conservatives. Hillary Clinton and Bill Shorten expected to win; many of Corbyn’s backers believed he might pull off victory.

The left became consumed by ideological arrogance. It listened to its true believers and the liberal media. It was misled by the post-global financial crisis decade from 2009 and the support it enjoyed from academic, media and cultural elites convinced the time had come for social transformation.

Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison mobilised people power in launching savage campaigns against their opponents from the left — and their success in each case was built upon the left’s extremism. The left made two specific mistakes — it misread culture and it misread class. It embraced contemporary progressivism in its assault on traditional values and patriotic norms while its quest for individual self-expression spilling into gender, race and queer ideology only alienated the mainstream.

Its class campaigns were crude, old-fashioned and tired revamps of big tax, big spending and big disruption as though society hadn’t changed fundamentally in the past several decades. Consider the almost inconceivable consequences — Clinton lost to Trump, the British Labour Party has lost four elections in a decade and the ALP has lost three elections in six years against a mostly divided Coalition.

Johnson champions a “One ­Nation Conservatism” — the messages are a priority on the nation-state and a conservatism that relates to the entire community. Brexit was pivotal to his victory but Brexit is a symptom of deeper ­forces that Johnson exploited. The lesson here is the power of ­resurgent nationalism.

Morrison and the ­Coalition seized this position years ago exhibited in border protection policy, but Brexit become its ultimate expression as the British people voted against sovereignty surrender to the EU, took back control of immigration and decided British, not European, institutions would decide their destiny.

The revival of English nationalism (which may yet see the UK unravel) was a rebuke to the pro-EU establishment and its belief that Britain’s EU membership was irreversible. The lesson is that nationalism retains its power into the 21st century because people link individual self-interest with national self-interest. This is the golden bridge to conservatism’s revival. Its power lies in its validity: individual destiny is chained to ­national destiny.

This strikes at one of the foundations of progressivism — its distaste for nation-state loyalty and its belief that a civilised people will accept the logic of a globalised world (think trade, capital flows, climate change and people movement) and substitute enlightened internationalism for emotive ­nationalism. The elites misjudged their own countries and the bedrock power of location, community and nation in the way people interpreted their lives. Johnson, an Oxford-educated elitist eccentric, picked the trend.

Morrison has seized the nationalism position at home. He will play this card throughout the term knowing Labor’s equivocation will be exposed at some point because its progressive wing, dominant in the rank and file, believes Australian nationalism is founded in ­racism, sexism and patriarchy and wants to pull it down from Australia Day to border protection to ­national interest climate change targets. The biggest story in Johnson’s win, however, is the transformation of conservative politics into different degrees of populist, big-spending, protectionist and one-nation aspirations. This change is opportunistic, winning and dangerous. Yet it has deep roots in social evolution.

Labour parties in Britain and Australia were creatures of the ­industrial age, and as the industrial age heads towards sunset and the labour-based vote falls to 33 per cent it is unsurprising the conservative parties are adapting and trying to sweep up the disaffected into their own columns.

Political parties adapt to the changing culture. Trump, Johnson and Morrison occupy different positions on this spectrum and their differences are likely to be more important than their similarities. Trump is the most reckless.

Morrison is the most middle-ground cautious. Johnson’s backers might enjoy the idea they have the best of Trump’s populism without having the lunatic President himself.

Forget the nonsense about permanent voter realignment. This is the age of voter volatility where voters, less loyal than before, will vote more on performance. The more the conservative parties chase, win and must retain working-class votes the more they change their identity and the more internal contradictions they face. It is the challenge of success. It is no surprise that Johnson and Morrison are fixated on delivery. Johnson now owns dozens of Labour seats; Morrison’s future depends on winning more Labor seats.

Both prime ministers know the key to holding marginal seats and the seats previously held by their opponents depends on delivery and results. These PMs are conservative expansionists looking for new voter colonies to incorporate and hold. In the process the norms of true and traditional conservatism are trashed by Trump and being reinvented by Johnson as he pledges big spending on the National Health Service, more benefits for the working class and a decisive break from Thatcherism.

It is predictable the Tories now invoke Benjamin Disraeli, 19th-century prime minister and author of the book Sybil on the plight of Britain divided between two ­nations, the working poor and the elites. This is a bid for Johnson’s historical legitimacy as he recasts the Conservative party.

Morrison channels the new populist conservatism yet seeks to retain the best of traditional conservatism. Morrison believes in cultural tradition, in the budget surplus, in markets along with ­selective state intervention.

He doesn’t believe in debt like Trump and huge spending like Johnson; unlike Trump, he is an anti-protectionist; Morrison is not an Australia-first populist; but he is a pro-immigration border protectionist. He believes the Australian public wants better, reliable, more efficient government, not radical change. Unlike Johnson, he had no Corbyn to exploit.

This brings us to a big question for the left: can parties of the left escape from their current crisis? Consider Corbyn’s response to ­defeat. He believes he won on the issues. “As socialists we seek to raise people’s expectations,” Corbyn said. “I am proud that on austerity, on corporate power, on inequality and on the climate emergency we have won the arguments.” This is progressive dogmatism at its worst. Progressivism is fused with moral conviction and this is Anthony Albanese’s problem: ­progressives will say their policies are right and popular and will prevail if just given another chance and yet another election. Joe Biden offered a predictable truism: “Look what happens when the ­Labour Party moves so far to the left.” If the Democrats endorse Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren they will be refusing to learn, and merely empower Trump.

The warnings for Australian Labor cannot be missed — don’t think winning the youth vote means you are on the right side of history; don’t let activists steal your party from under your nose because you might not get it back; don’t be fooled by repeated polls showing your individual policies are popular (say negative gearing and franking credits) if the total impact is to weaken your profile as a credible alternative; respect people, don’t lecture and, finally, listen less to your believers and more to the public.

The warnings for Morrison are obvious: with Trump still formidable and Johnson now triumphant the conservative populists will demand that Morrison be more like them. It will be tempting to see Trump, Johnson and Morrison as a trio of like-minded brothers — tempting but false. The conservatives are winning but Australia is different to Brexit Britain and Trump’s America, and Morrison needs to navigate in his own waters.

PAUL KELLY, EDITOR-AT-LARGE

barney
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Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:48 pm

I agree, Kelly is a commentator who is nearly always worth reading. He does follow the Murdoch party line, but far from slavishly. Watch him step outside, usually with a brilliant piece of original analysis, then scurry back with a couple of party-line columns immediately after. He's getting on now, and has had a major health scare, but I very much hope he continues well into the future. Few journalists have his range, authority or contacts. Greg Sheridan maybe, and Michelle Grattan. Peter Hartcher at the SMH is getting towards it.

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:55 pm

barney wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:48 pm
I agree, Kelly is a commentator who is nearly always worth reading. He does follow the Murdoch party line, but far from slavishly. Watch him step outside, usually with a brilliant piece of original analysis, then scurry back with a couple of party-line columns immediately after. He's getting on now, and has had a major health scare, but I very much hope he continues well into the future. Few journalists have his range, authority or contacts. Greg Sheridan maybe, and Michelle Grattan. Peter Hartcher at the SMH is getting towards it.
Disagree about Hartcher. I've got absolutely no time for him at all. My son in politics has had a lot to do with the press gallery and has absolute respect for Grattan as she "knows her stuff and does her homework". Greg Sheridan has his good times and not so good. I guess what you call 'party line' is a paper's editorial policy; remembering that "The Australian" vigorously supported Rudd and Labor in 2007. They at least have people from the opposite side of the political spectrum contributing to the debate.

I had no idea about Kelly's health scare. He has written some very prescient things over the years.

The SMH is carrying a headline today about how a climate activist school student "whom the PM told to stay at school" earned an ATAR of 99%. (2 of my husband's nieces and 1 nephew did the same 20 years ago - one with a fraction short of 100.) I'm not sure what the point of this story is, except to bag our PM. The student in question is sporting "Stop Adani" earrings. OK for some who'll go on to university and study medicine, vet science or law and NOT have to make a living supporting a family in a filthy coal mine (which most would prefer not to do anyway). This young woman exemplifies how a whole strata of society has lost touch with the people. The SMH still doesn't get it!! I watched Hartcher on "The Drum" recently saying Johnson would never get Brexit done; the British PM is giving a pretty poor impression of somebody in that predicament.

And, by the way, the SMH is telling a load of porkies about the temperature in the last days saying they're the hottest on record. My son works sporadically in the Pilbara where it's not unusual to have 52 degree days. When we were on our farm in the 1990s we had three days at 44 degrees in the Hunter Valley; I took my children out of school and we had real problems keeping livestock alive. We had temperature gauges on our farm. The dam levels in the Hunter in 1980 were 37% - approximately where they stand today in this drought.

I'm staggered that people are falling for this hogwash.

Holden Fourth
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Holden Fourth » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:18 am

So much news today is “fake news” because nobody challenges it.

Belle
Posts: 2453
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 am

Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:16 pm

Holden Fourth wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:18 am
So much news today is “fake news” because nobody challenges it.
Isn't that the truth. One must read widely and remain very skeptical, then draw personal conclusions. The climate discussion has gone out of control, particularly since St. Greta of Thunberg - who reminded me of another famous sainted teenager; Bernadette of Lourdes, to whom Catholics turned for a 'cure' with the laying on of hands. The cult of the teenager is complete!! :mrgreen:

We probably are experiencing 1 in 100 years bushfires because of our prolonged drought. A build-up of fuel, urbanization and a perfect storm of calamatous weather conditions is killing people and destroying property. I'm old enough to remember a drought in our are in the mid 1960s, which was just horrific. My relatives in the Riverina area tell of playing cricket on the empty river bed of the Murrumbidgee in the 1930s. Remember the drought and horrendous dust-storms in the USA which were the subject of Steinbeck's memorable "Grapes of Wrath"? Nature is vicious and unpredictable, with the emphasis on the latter.

absinthe
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Re: The dejection election

Post by absinthe » Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:31 pm

Belle, thank you for posting the Kelly article. It's far close to the mark although I can't be aware of day-to-day living under either President Trump or Mr Morrison. I tend to look on Mr Trump as an astute if a little dodgy businessman. But then, America is a business disguised as a country, isn't it?
.
"The revival of English nationalism (which may yet see the UK unravel) was a rebuke to the pro-EU establishment and its belief that Britain’s EU membership was irreversible. The lesson is that nationalism retains its power into the 21st century because people link individual self-interest with national self-interest. This is the golden bridge to conservatism’s revival. Its power lies in its validity: individual destiny is chained to ­national destiny."
.
There are other possible reasons behind British "nationalism" in this current age. Britain has almost nothing culturally or historically in common with Europe - possibly because it's an island and was invaded rather late by the Romans. It has been a thorn in the EU side in spite of Ted Heath (a Tory Prime Minister from the 60s) setting it up to eventually become a member of the EU Superstate when joining the EEC in 1972. The public were conned into believing they were just joining a common market in the 1975 referendum. A document was declassified recently that showed the extent of the deceit (FCO 30/1048). It had been top secret until now. Now we know what our politicians were up to.
.
The other reason is that, like Germany, the UK has a generous welfare state and good standard of living. It doesn't issue ID cards either. So under Merkel's/Brussels' free movement across all member states, workers from poorer accessions gravitate toward countries with higher wages, better welfare. It's an insidious brain-drain issue (that cynics like me (!) claim is Merkel's way of keeping these economies poor - because they can be chained to her/Brussels easier. The very people they need to get their economies up to speed are leaving. These countries will always need subsidy and loans). Many migrants come to the UK. Since 2004 the net migration to the UK has been around +250,000 per year, peaked in 2015. Total immigration has been around 600,000 per year (including non-EU migrants) in the past two or three years (taken from the issue of new National Insurance numbers). The result: infrastructures are under considerable strain. With existing funding they can't keep up pro rata with the increased population. Britain is the most densely populated country in the EU second only to Malta. It's Britons who suffer.
.
Immigration was top of the list of people's concerns when voting to leave the EU. Unfortunately we haven't quite as strong a government as Australia and inter alia brown ones are turning up on our Southern shores daily....to seek asylum they claim when really they're benefit shoppers. They come from France. Hardly a war-torn country right now. But in France they'd be forced to hold ID cards. Resentment comes from their getting pushed to the front of welfare queues when they successfully avoid the authorities. It's a fervent hope that they're sent back to France or their country of origin (about which they make sure things are difficult) when caught.
.
But I also think (and agree with) Britain leaving the EU simply because we get nothing from membership. We pay a £20 billion p.a. fee and all we do get is a stream of migrants and endless diktats and directives from Brussels' Law Factory, the European Commission. Some of their laws push our own cultural values aslant! Sure you'll hear them cry "But we fund (this) and (that) in the UK" when really they're just giving us a little of our money back and telling us how to spend it. Nice doing trade obviously but its what comes with that trade. And...now they're sure we're leaving up comes their list of demands before trade negotiations can even be started. They know they UK will make a go of it so they're desperate for a "level playing field." They want us in their Single Market so the UK can't strike trade deals elsewhere....which means paying large duties on Commonwealth products etc. These demands were never made of Canada or Japan. Nor will they be of the USA...imagine Mr Trump's face if the USA was expected to belong to the EU's single market and be ruled by the ECJ!
.
Johnson has a powerful negotiating hand now, bringing into law the final date we'll leave the EU: 31/12/2020. If no deal has been struck by then the EU will be far harder hit than the UK, as reported by the IMF/Reuters.
.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-brita ... KKBN1K92FN

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:40 pm

Thanks for your really interesting comments. We often get English-sourced essays and news on "The Australian" newspaper and, of course, I read "Spiked Online" - which is largely editorial. I also watch a lot of discussions on U-Tube. As we live in Australia we cannot know either the English or the American experience - but they're our 'relations' and naturally of huge concern to us all. So many relatives in both countries, distant with the exception of one or two families.

Our government has been, as you know, very dogged with illegal immigration and so-called 'asylum seekers'. Each election Australians support our government on this - and a large cohort of that voting public is immigrant as well!! Most of these illegal arrivals are country-shoppers and economic migrants who arrive here sans papers, just as in the UK. There's the case of a very celebrated Orthopedic Surgeon from Iraq living here now in Australia. He spoke about travelling right across Asia to get here by boat, only to be interned in our Curtin Detention Centre in WA. He arrived without papers and he made some lame excuse about this in a recent discussion. By rights he should have arrived by plane, with papers, and he would never have languished in the detention centre. You only ever get partial truths from many of these people. My son worked closely with the current PM when he was Immigration Minister and he and his family were subjected to death threats because of the government's stance on illegal maritime arrivals. Suffice it to say, deaths at sea ceased immediately.

The EU: you'll find not much sympathy for many of us in Australia for large supranational, dictatorial organizations like the EU and the UN. We can't wait to stitch up a trade deal with you there in the UK, very soon!! Merkel and Macron can deal with economic laggards Spain and Italy and you won't have to worry about it!! :)

Your welfare benefits have been the honey pot for illegal immigration. We call this a "pull factor". When we were in Europe a few years ago we discussed immigration with some people in Belgium and there was a huge amount of resentment about the level of welfare and support for them while the local people were working hard and paying all the taxes.

I think your assessment of Trump as a businessman is correct; otherwise, he lacks leadership skills. He's a 'transactional' President who understands making deals and all that goes with it. This can be extremely useful, but it cannot be the only tool in the toolbox. We live in fraught and shrill times and I'm hoping you now have a period of stability in the UK and get the job done. Nicola Sturgeon may have other ideas!! Watch this space.

barney
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Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:37 pm

What "hogwash" do you have in mind? Hottest temperature?
These are facts from the Bureau of Meteorology:
Australia recorded its hottest day on record on Wednesday, with an average maximum temperature of 41.9C (107.4F), beating the previous record by 1C that had been set only 24 hours earlier. Tuesday 16 December recorded an average of 40.9C across the continent, beating the previous record of 40.3C set on 7 January 2013.
How is that hogwash? The pinko-liberal Guardian, SMH and Age did not concoct those numbers. Truth is truth regardless of anyone's ideology and which papers/journalists they like and don't like.

barney
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Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:41 pm

Holden Fourth wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:18 am
So much news today is “fake news” because nobody challenges it.
Sorry, I have to ask you to expand on what you mean by this. What are you categorising as fake news? Who isn't challenging it? Normally when I hear "fake news" I want to reach for the bucket - it's usually claimed by spivs and exploiters who are trying to deny the obvious. "Alternative facts", anyone? To anyone not claiming "fake news", they are better known as "lies".

Belle
Posts: 2453
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:57 pm

barney wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:37 pm
What "hogwash" do you have in mind? Hottest temperature?
These are facts from the Bureau of Meteorology:
Australia recorded its hottest day on record on Wednesday, with an average maximum temperature of 41.9C (107.4F), beating the previous record by 1C that had been set only 24 hours earlier. Tuesday 16 December recorded an average of 40.9C across the continent, beating the previous record of 40.3C set on 7 January 2013.
How is that hogwash? The pinko-liberal Guardian, SMH and Age did not concoct those numbers. Truth is truth regardless of anyone's ideology and which papers/journalists they like and don't like.
Those of us who've experienced 44 plus degree days in a row know what hot weather and records are. A friend moved from Morphett Vale in SA because she couldn't continue tolerating 43 plus degree days one after another - and that was over 20 years ago. There are alternate views on this too: the graphs won't appear in this cut and paste exercise I've put below!! (Yesterday we were told our area would be 44; it was probably more like 39 or 40 because the haze from smoke kept the sun at bay, thus stopping the place from frying - as it also had done the previous Friday. But it WAS reported as 44. I went outside to collect the mail and returned to my husband at about 1.30pm saying "this is definitely not 44 degrees". Having lived through those kinds of conditions on our farm I can tell you it's impossible to go outside and it's actually frightening, that kind of heat.) I've told the story here before of the family from the Riverina who had the baby die on the farm in the 1922 heat only to have the weather change before a coffin was made for the child - cold enough for them to have the fuel stove burning. Christmas, 1922.)

Bureau of Meteorology ‘cooling the past to declare record heat’
Climate scientist Jennifer Marohasy.
PAUL GARVEY
SENIOR REPORTER

2 HOURS AGO DECEMBER 20, 2019
Climate scientist and author Jennifer Marohasy has challenged the methodology behind the Bureau of Meteorology’s declarations that Australia has experienced its hottest two days on record this week.

The bureau on Thursday said its preliminary analysis of data from about 700 weather stations across the country showed Wednesday was the hottest day recorded in Australia, with the nationally averaged maximum daytime temperature reaching 41.9C.

That was a degree higher than the previous record of 40.9C set on Tuesday, which itself broke the mark of 40.3C from January 2013.


Based on preliminary analysis, yesterday, Australia recorded its hottest day on record. The nationally-averaged maximum daytime temp was 41.9 °C exceeding the record set on Tuesday, 40.9 ºC. You can view the top ten highest daily maximum temps here: http://ow.ly/Jg3f50xDRyv

The record averages announced by the bureau this week are preliminary but are typically confirmed within three days once quality-control processes are completed, but a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Meteorology said there was unlikely to be any significant change.

“There is not expected to be any variance in the preliminary and final rankings, since the records have been achieved by relatively large margins,” she said.

As much of the country sweltered through extreme temperatures on Wednesday, and while bushfires destroyed homes in NSW and Sydney was once again choked in smoke, some challenged whether the widespread heat was truly unprecedented.

Dr Marohasy, who has long been critical of some of the ­bureau’s calculations, said the methodology behind the calculation was “totally flawed”.

She has criticised revisions made to historical measurements, which she said lowered average temperatures recorded in the past, and said the quality of much of the bureau’s historical data had been compromised by attempts to homogenise the information and ­adjust for changes in techniques.

“They keep fixing them up and they keep making it cooler in the past,” Dr Marohasy said.

“The more processed the data, the more removed from reality it is.”

Dr Marohasy noted that the highest temperature recorded in a so-called Stevenson screen thermometer was 51.6C at Bourke in 1909, as well as the extreme heat in Victoria ahead of the 1939 Black Friday bushfires.

Other historical records point to similar or higher temperatures elsewhere in Australia before then, although she said some of those measures would have been affected by the use of thermometers in Glashier stands and these were not as readily comparable.
“It’s been a hot few weeks and I really feel for the people who are fighting bushfires.

“But none of this is actually ­unprecedented if you look at the historical figures.”

Author and climate sceptic Joanne Nova, meanwhile, pointed to accounts of a heatwave in Jan­uary 1896.

“Newspaper reports of the day showed temperatures that month, before all our CO2 emissions, ranged from 44C to 51C all across the country.

“Hundreds of people died from heat apoplexy,” she said.

“Emergency trains were put on in outback NSW to evacuate ­people from the unbearable heat in a time when no one had an airconditioner or a fridge and freezer.

“Horses fell in the street.”

PAUL GARVEY
SENIOR REPORTER
Last edited by Belle on Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:08 pm, edited 6 times in total.

barney
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Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:02 pm

I am sorry if I appear argumentative, but I also have to challenge your assertion that it is regularly 52 in the Pilbara.

According to Wikipedia, we've never got to 52.

"The highest maximum temperature was recorded as 50.7 °C (123.3 °F) at Oodnadatta on 2 January 1960, which is the highest official temperature recorded in Australia."

The Pilbara may not have an official meteorological base - I haven't checked - but I'dbe surprised. I can certainly accept that it is horribly hot there very often. And possibly more in certain working spots. For example, at the last Australian Open tennis tournament, when the outside temperature was about 42, the commentators said the temperature on centre court was about 50 because it amplifies the heat.

barney
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:08 pm

I saw that article in the Australian just after I posted. But these are people with axes to grind as much as the climate warriors who offend you (and often me as well). What does it matter if there was a horrible heatwave in 1896? I entirely accept that. It doesn't change the facts in Australia this week. The Australian, and especially environment reporter Graham Lloyd, has always had a climate denial agenda. Not sure why.
I am sure you know what heat feels like. Nearly every Australian does. I remember walking my dogs on Melbourne's hottest day, February 9 2009, when the temperature peaked at 46.3. I wanted to know what 46 felt like. I could barely breathe.
I'm not sure I accept your assertion that you know what records feel like. Can you really tell unaided if it is 46.5 (no record) or 46.7 (new record)? Today in Melbourne it is supposed to get to 44. There will be heat deaths.

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:11 pm

barney wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:02 pm
I am sorry if I appear argumentative, but I also have to challenge your assertion that it is regularly 52 in the Pilbara.

According to Wikipedia, we've never got to 52.

"The highest maximum temperature was recorded as 50.7 °C (123.3 °F) at Oodnadatta on 2 January 1960, which is the highest official temperature recorded in Australia."

The Pilbara may not have an official meteorological base - I haven't checked - but I'dbe surprised. I can certainly accept that it is horribly hot there very often. And possibly more in certain working spots. For example, at the last Australian Open tennis tournament, when the outside temperature was about 42, the commentators said the temperature on centre court was about 50 because it amplifies the heat.
Sorry, but my son's job SPECIFICALLY is occupational health and safety - he's contracted to Rio Tinto and BHP and it's his business to know what the temperature is in the outback because the health and safety of workers is the issue. They must take urine tests every hour and have regulated amounts of water they must consume. Who writes the articles for Wiki? Maybe the company's measurement methods are wrong, but I'll ask him about this today when we speak on the phone. He also works from Parabadoo, Kunnanurra and Roxby Downs in SA. These are in frighteningly hot furnace-like conditions which are inhuman.

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:17 pm

barney wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:08 pm
I saw that article in the Australian just after I posted. But these are people with axes to grind as much as the climate warriors who offend you (and often me as well). What does it matter if there was a horrible heatwave in 1896? I entirely accept that. It doesn't change the facts in Australia this week. The Australian, and especially environment reporter Graham Lloyd, has always had a climate denial agenda. Not sure why.
I am sure you know what heat feels like. Nearly every Australian does. I remember walking my dogs on Melbourne's hottest day, February 9 2009, when the temperature peaked at 46.3. I wanted to know what 46 felt like. I could barely breathe.
I'm not sure I accept your assertion that you know what records feel like. Can you really tell unaided if it is 46.5 (no record) or 46.7 (new record)? Today in Melbourne it is supposed to get to 44. There will be heat deaths.
So, these people who write for "The Australian" have an 'ax to grind' whereas people who write for the SMH and "The Guardian" do not? Ooookay.

And, yes, I can certainly tell if it's 44 degrees, just as I can tell if it's hotter than what has been forecast - often by noon. This is the legacy of living on a farm and spending a lot of time out of doors. I'm sure there will be heat deaths, as this can happen once the temperature goes over 100 degrees in the old measurment. What you describe about 'barely breathing' is what happens once the temp hits 44, in my experience. That's when you get into your car and race to the school to bring your kids home. We had many days like that during our farming years. My aged relatives (all 3 still alive and beyond 90) from the Riverina can tell about deathly heat from their earliest years. Today - and this is part of it - we live in a command and control society where we THINK we can fix and control everything. Earlier generations never had that expectation.

I want to see the hysteria removed from climate. It has become waaaay too politicized and it has morphed, thus, just in a few, short years:

global warming/climate change/climate emergency/climate catastrophe/'the warming'.

And:

Australia contributes 1.3% (approx.) of the world's emissions...to....Australia is the highest per-capita emitter. After the debate about how we could change the world by excluding 1.3% failed to convince we've now moved, courtesy of Mark Butler, to 'highest per capita'. Again, this offers no meaningful solution. The correct approach, of course, would be to say to the people:

"You all need to change your ways if you think Australians are contributing to climate change. Turn off your a/c, get rid of your swimming pools, turn off the lights, use public transport, etc.". The onus has to be put on the people because government can only do so much.

That's my "beef". And even that contributes to "the warming". :roll:

Belle
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:53 pm

I've also had another thought about this; the wine industry is regarded as something of a canary in the coal mine. Many viticulturists and vignerons in our area say they are seeing the consequences of 'climate change' on the grape harvest. Unquestionably, the harvest (aka vintage) has been moving forward each year; where once it was mid-late February now it occurs just after Christmas in our area. I can't speak for cooler region, higher altitude, grapes, but I'll ask my winemaking son at Christmas about this because he 'imports' grapes from comparatively cooler areas in Australia to make some of his wines.

Does the early-harvest phenomenon, for instance, take account of the newer, hybrid grapes which create more and more 'boutique' wines? Does grafting and genetic manipulation of grapes lead to less tolerance for heat? These are some of the questions I'd like answered.

Here it is nearly Christmas; I have cooking to do and I'm writing about climate change. Pfft!!

barney
Posts: 4186
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:35 pm

Belle wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:17 pm
barney wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:08 pm
I saw that article in the Australian just after I posted. But these are people with axes to grind as much as the climate warriors who offend you (and often me as well). What does it matter if there was a horrible heatwave in 1896? I entirely accept that. It doesn't change the facts in Australia this week. The Australian, and especially environment reporter Graham Lloyd, has always had a climate denial agenda. Not sure why.
I am sure you know what heat feels like. Nearly every Australian does. I remember walking my dogs on Melbourne's hottest day, February 9 2009, when the temperature peaked at 46.3. I wanted to know what 46 felt like. I could barely breathe.
I'm not sure I accept your assertion that you know what records feel like. Can you really tell unaided if it is 46.5 (no record) or 46.7 (new record)? Today in Melbourne it is supposed to get to 44. There will be heat deaths.
So, these people who write for "The Australian" have an 'ax to grind' whereas people who write for the SMH and "The Guardian" do not? Ooookay.

And, yes, I can certainly tell if it's 44 degrees, just as I can tell if it's hotter than what has been forecast - often by noon. This is the legacy of living on a farm and spending a lot of time out of doors. I'm sure there will be heat deaths, as this can happen once the temperature goes over 100 degrees in the old measurment. What you describe about 'barely breathing' is what happens once the temp hits 44, in my experience. That's when you get into your car and race to the school to bring your kids home. We had many days like that during our farming years. My aged relatives (all 3 still alive and beyond 90) from the Riverina can tell about deathly heat from their earliest years. Today - and this is part of it - we live in a command and control society where we THINK we can fix and control everything. Earlier generations never had that expectation.

I want to see the hysteria removed from climate. It has become waaaay too politicized and it has morphed, thus, just in a few, short years:

global warming/climate change/climate emergency/climate catastrophe/'the warming'.

And:

Australia contributes 1.3% (approx.) of the world's emissions...to....Australia is the highest per-capita emitter. After the debate about how we could change the world by excluding 1.3% failed to convince we've now moved, courtesy of Mark Butler, to 'highest per capita'. Again, this offers no meaningful solution. The correct approach, of course, would be to say to the people:

"You all need to change your ways if you think Australians are contributing to climate change. Turn off your a/c, get rid of your swimming pools, turn off the lights, use public transport, etc.". The onus has to be put on the people because government can only do so much.

That's my "beef". And even that contributes to "the warming". :roll:
Now come on, Sue. You have to argue fairly. I explicitly said "as much as" the climate warriors who offend you. Both sides are equally guilty, in my view, which is why I did not say "more than" or "worse than". I did not defend the SMH/Age/Guardian/ABC who are equally agenda-driven. I am just open to both sides, and by reading both one gets a better picture than just following one's own ideology - a point you have made in other contexts.
Re the debate becoming way too politicised; I entirely agree. I also entirely agree that individuals have as much responsibility as governments, and the improvements that have been made so far have generally started in the wider community and been picked up by governments, left or right. For example, most of our advances in renewable energy have not been government-led but people like me installing solar panels.
In Melbourne, oddly, our hottest temperature of the day is seldom at noon but usually around 5 or 6pm. Today it will still be 37 or so at 11pm. Right now it's only 34. Thank God tomorrow will be cooler.

barney
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:37 pm

Belle wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:53 pm

Here it is nearly Christmas; I have cooking to do and I'm writing about climate change. Pfft!!
I'd be happy to feast with you and not mention climate change! :D

Belle
Posts: 2453
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Re: The dejection election

Post by Belle » Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:33 pm

Points conceded in your comments. Happy to be agreeable. The solar panels are on every second house here in our area - which can only be a wonderful thing!! We built this place 15 years ago when they were less popular and far more expensive. We use gas for most household use now.

Just to make myself less bored after washing glass-wear and John cleaning the barbeque I've been amusing myself with this, Chromecast:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMA3p33_FIc

Holden Fourth
Posts: 1496
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:47 am

Re: The dejection election

Post by Holden Fourth » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:29 am

barney wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:41 pm
Holden Fourth wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:18 am
So much news today is “fake news” because nobody challenges it.
Sorry, I have to ask you to expand on what you mean by this. What are you categorising as fake news? Who isn't challenging it? Normally when I hear "fake news" I want to reach for the bucket - it's usually claimed by spivs and exploiters who are trying to deny the obvious. "Alternative facts", anyone? To anyone not claiming "fake news", they are better known as "lies".
Belle has said much of what I would have said so I won't elaborate. To me fake news is:

News that has been deliberately made up

News that has used selective manipulation of facts and figures (and I'd query what BOM has done with this).

The media jumped on this despite the BOM saying

"The record averages announced by the bureau this week are preliminary but are typically confirmed within three days once quality-control processes are completed...." Yes, the spokes person said that they would probably be confirmed but at the stage of reporting, they hadn't.

barney
Posts: 4186
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:08 am

Holden Fourth wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:29 am
barney wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:41 pm
Holden Fourth wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:18 am
So much news today is “fake news” because nobody challenges it.
Sorry, I have to ask you to expand on what you mean by this. What are you categorising as fake news? Who isn't challenging it? Normally when I hear "fake news" I want to reach for the bucket - it's usually claimed by spivs and exploiters who are trying to deny the obvious. "Alternative facts", anyone? To anyone not claiming "fake news", they are better known as "lies".
Belle has said much of what I would have said so I won't elaborate. To me fake news is:

News that has been deliberately made up

News that has used selective manipulation of facts and figures (and I'd query what BOM has done with this).

The media jumped on this despite the BOM saying

"The record averages announced by the bureau this week are preliminary but are typically confirmed within three days once quality-control processes are completed...." Yes, the spokes person said that they would probably be confirmed but at the stage of reporting, they hadn't.
Well, thanks for the explanation, however truncated. It is not fake that the news doesn't wait the three days, that is just the news cycle. You couldn't say people are not interested in this story; they are very concerned.

For myself, I knew the writing on the wall was there for me as a journalist when I was required to file the first of four stories for the day on an inquiry because of the online demands when the report was not to be released for another hour. It was filler material, to give an impression of speed and timeliness, but it was not fake. It was a summary of how we got to here. I didn't make anything up, and in my 45 years as a journalist no one has ever asked me to. I have been offered a bribe, and many have sought to influence me, but that is not the same thing.

Selection is a tricky issue. I could never have room to write everything I know about an issue - it would require pages and pages, and the readers would not be grateful. So I do have to select, and I accept that problems can arise at this point. But it isa matter of professional pride and training to report both sides (or more) and select fairly. I think this skill has been vastly diminished in the past 10 years, and that there is much more journalistic opinion masquerading as news.

But "news that has been deliberately made up" is a serious charge. I am on the opposite political side of Chris Kenny and Andrew Bolt, at least sometimes*, but even if I think they pursue an ideological agenda I would not accuse them of making it up, and I am certain they wouldn't accuse me either. That's a really serious charge for a journalist. Can you provide any examples of where you think that has happened?

*I have written to both, and others, several times to thank them for breaking important stories and for the care they show.

Holden Fourth
Posts: 1496
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 5:47 am

Re: The dejection election

Post by Holden Fourth » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:56 pm

The making it up part tends to apply to those who write for some of those online only publications with names eerily similar to actual large media publishers. The deliberate manipulation of facts (and figures) applies to all. Much of this “distortion” comes from political or ideological agendas and tends to be biased and one sided. The true journalist publishes both sides of the story and lets the reader make up his or her own mind.


Unfortunately this is a rare occurrence nowadays. A good mate of mine was a journo for the ABC and eventually ‘retired’ as this once esteemed public broadcaster leaned more and more to the left. He has some very interesting stories to tell about what went on behind closed doors there. Watching the ABC today I can only conclude that they were true.

barney
Posts: 4186
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:12 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: The dejection election

Post by barney » Sat Dec 21, 2019 5:26 pm

I can't say what went on behind closed doors at the ABC but I can tell you what used to go on at The Age, which I left at the end of 2013 after 32.5 years. The paper did run some crusades, such as the highly successful Clean up the Yarra (River) and we did set out to uncover as much as possible about institutional cover-ups of child sex abuse, especially by the Catholic Church. But most so-called liberal agendas were never specifically promoted. It's more that they are absorbed by osmosis, just as so-called right wing agendas are absorbed at Sky and News Ltd. In other words, it's very understandable that critics see a planned agenda, but agendas are mostly unplanned. I think this is less true in the US.

I imagine Murdoch very seldom instructs journalists - he doesn't need to. For example, I read somewhere a statistic along the lines (and I am going from memory) that of 235 papers in his world-wide stable 234 adopted his pro-Iraq war line. The other one was neutral, and the editor was soon replaced.

I was never once instructed to follow a line. I was quite often asked what line I was following, and how it came about, and we might discuss that, but I was always left free to write as I saw fit. That was a very precious aspect to me of my career.

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