The rot has stopped. The new Premier of NSW Kristina Keneally might be a long way from steering her party to a win at the next state election but she has at least stopped the rot. The Newspoll accumulation of data from its past two months of national polls shows a modest, and probably significant, improvement in the Labor primary vote of four percentage points. Certainly significant is the finding that NSW voters are giving her a handy lead on the question of whether she or the Liberals’ Barry O’Farrell would be the best Premier.
The primary vote improvement has come at the expense of the Greens, which suggests that some of the Labor Party faithful are beginning to return. That is a promising start although with the two-party preferred share still put at Coalition 57% (down from 59% at the end of last year) to Labor 43% there is a long way to go.
Will they or won’t they? Opinion is divided over whether the board of the Reserve Bank will put official interest rates up at its March meeting. The Crikey Interest Rate Indicator assesses the chances this way:
The evidence keeps coming. The US Geological Service provides us with this morning’s evidence pointing towards global warming having an impact on the globe. It shows that ice shelves are retreating in the southern section of the Antarctic Peninsula that “could result in glacier retreat and sea-level rise if warming continues, threatening coastal communities and low-lying islands worldwide.”
Garrett the survivor. It looks as if we are going to miss out on a ministerial execution. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has taken the heat out of the campaign for the dismissal of Peter Garrett by his decision to declare that the buck stops with him for the insulation mess-up. It just reinforces the truth that the question of ministerial responsibility is nothing more than whether a Prime Minister thinks his electoral interests are best served by a minister staying or going.
A friend like this. The Four Corners program on the dancing boys of Afghanistan was as sickening a piece of television as I have seen in years. If you want to depress yourself, catch it on the ABC website and see the kind of people our troops are fighting to defend in that country.