Trust and unemployment:

Pollster Gary Morgan writes: Re. “What’s your professional reputation? Take the Possum test!” (Friday, item 5). On Friday Possum Comitatus published our telephone Morgan Poll result from Wed/Thurs nights which we put out last Thursday with our weekly Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating.

There was nothing in the Saturday newspapers! I was asked yesterday why the image of newspaper and TV journalists had fallen? — SIMPLE — too few Australians trust “what they say and write”. Newspaper and TV journalists need to make sure they lead with all the political news, not be biased by what they “exclude”.

The issue for the Rudd Government is how long the “good news” will continue. Michele Levine in Roy Morgan’s State of the Nation Report explained that unemployment is the “key” indicator.

If many more people become unemployed or under-employed the vote will change quickly. (Well done on the ABS now, every three months, publishing their under-employed estimate — Roy Morgan has been publishing monthly true unemployed figures for years!

Today we will release a Morgan Poll (conducted Wed/Thurs nights) on how many working Australian’s are concerned they will be come unemployed and whether they believe they can fairly quickly find another job if they do.

Factional politics:

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Pre-conference pandemonium in Brumby’s ALP” (Friday, item 3). There is no denying the future that the ALP will lose the unlosable Victorian State election in 2010. All because of the faction ridden Swiss cheese that now represents the rotting corpse of the workers party. What about the Liberals? Factionally deprived of anything but a few worn and tired middle aged men and women that are the Victorian parliamentary wing and supported by a generally fast approaching octogenarian clique that make up the not so full phone box of Liberal Party membership in the fair state of Victoria.

The fact about factions — in Victoria and elsewhere — is that across the ALP/Liberal spectrum they have well and truly denuded their respective parties of any vestige of inclusivity, relevance or value. Factions have won. We have lost.

Regardless of whether one subscribes (or used to subscribe) to the Labor or Liberal philosophy; regardless that one may have valued being a member of either of these two “tribes” the truth now is that both parties have ended and instead we have a few faceless apparatchiks in each party running things.

What a tragedy. Its a tragedy for those Australians who genuinely believe that with involvement one can add value. A tragedy for the generation of younger Australians who are deliberately frozen out and can’t be involved. A tragedy for our country where, largely, our politicians are unrepresentative, possibly fourth rate, and unable to lead. This is factionalism. This is how it ends.

How can we possibly throw up an Obama or a Churchill or a Franklin Roosevelt when all we have are a few scared little people that scrabble their way through petty power cliques to offer themselves as our representatives.

There are exceptions — we all know who they are both in State or Federal politics — but they are few and there by accident!

What do we do? I know I am tired of fighting from within. I’m now one of those tired old farts that hold on to membership because … maybe one day it will change; but it won’t.

I guess the next best thing is for concerned media such as this publication to constantly expose the rot. Gnash and gnaw at the cancer that is squashing and suffocating democratic representation in this country — until one day … things may change.

The Oz:

John Travers writes: Re. “Dishonesty, hypocrisy, stimulus and The Australian” (Friday, item 1). Now you have done it! Your story by Bernard Keane on The Australian on Friday has prompted me to finally cancel my subscription to the said paper and from now on rely totally on online news sources. This takes me back to my previous grumble about Crikey‘s daily email not working properly on my iPhone: the links don’t work and the text does not fit on the screen. Please fix quickly. I can’t go back to The Australian.

Almighty Fodder:

A farmer’s son writes: Re. “Shareholders fodder for the almighty Rodney Adler” (Friday, item 2). Former Almighty Fodder managing director, Kevin Murphy, told Crikey that Almighty had developed a system for growing enhanced animal fodder in any weather conditions.

“We developed a system for growing animal fodder in a shipping container — a 40-foot shipping container, in controlled conditions,” he said.

“You take the barley seed, and in six days, you get wheatgrass. So, one tonne of seed becomes eight tonnes of animal fodder.”

Almighty Fodder must indeed have a direct line to Heaven — turning barley into wheat grass!?!? What a wondrous technological innovation! Not only can they grow it in shipping containers but they can turn it from a $225/tonne product (barley) into a $277/tonne product (wheat). (Source: Elders, June 2009 delivery at Brisbane). Or perhaps it is why Kevin is a former employee — he doesn’t know the difference between wheat and barley.


Julian Gillespie writes: Re. “Iranian elections: of mullahs, women and Jews” (11 June, item 4). Iranian Politics 101: The Graphic Version:


Former Western Australian Premier Peter Dowding writes: Re. “Danby to Dowding: Gillard has never been duped into anything” (11 June, item 16). The member for Melbourne Ports Michael Danby protests his support for the two State solution between Israel and Palestine but cannot bring himself to criticise Israel’s annexation of the land which should form the basis for a Palestinian State nor to criticise the complete disregard for human rights by Israel in keeping 1.5 million people in Gaza in a condition of starvation and isolation with no access to the outside world.

His reserves his criticism for those who dispute Israel’s right to behave as it does which, given that it was just a personal attack should be interpreted as no more than an attempt to blur the truth. His interest in history will remind him that those who fought for the State of Israel were and behaved as terrorists — just look at the records of British soldiers in Palestine in the 1930s who suffered the attacks from the Stern Gang made up of people who became feted on the establishment of Israel.

Even terrorists may have a point.

Australia has been wrong footed by President Obama’s brushing aside the pretence that Israel respects Palestinian rights when in fact it has routinely enslaved the Palestinians in Palestine and continues to act towards them in a way not dissimilar to regimes who behaved in an unacceptable anti Semitic way in the past.

When Ms Gillard makes her trip to Israel she should be making it clear to Israel that the failure of that State to engage in real negotiations with Palestinians is unacceptable, it must withdraw to the borders as demanded by the UN, it must accord human rights to Palestinians living in Palestine and it should join in the nuclear non proliferation treaty or give up its nuclear weapons.

Its time for Israel’s honesty — and we hope Mr Danby can recognise this need.

Climate change cage match (now with its own blog):

Tamas Calderwood writes: Adam Rope’s challenge to me (Friday, comments) requires a response.

It is ridiculous for him to argue that the world is continuing to rapidly warm when the temperature has declined since 1998. Sure, 1998 was an El Nino peak, but if we were to see a 2C rise in temperature by 2100 then we need to see warming of at least 0.2C per decade. We have not. Even the websites he references argue warming is taking place at 0.1C per decade – not much above what we survived in the past 100 years. How is that a crisis?

The websites he references also peddle falsehoods. The Met office says the 17 warmest years have all occurred in the last 20 years. This ignores the medieval warm period and is therefore wrong.

Adam implies that volcanic activity can’t be a factor in climate, but the websites he points to make no mention of the fact that 85% of the world’s volcanoes are underwater and their activities are unknown and unmeasured. So that issue hasn’t been answered.

He also argues that explaining past climate change is irrelevant because humans weren’t around then. But if we don’t know what caused climate change in the past it is absurd to then assign all current climate fluctuations to a minor greenhouse gas. Maybe the same natural factors that caused past changes are at work now.

Adam also points me to a few articles that argue solar activity doesn’t have a large impact on our climate. I find these articles unconvincing given the preponderance of evidence that solar activity does have a large impact on us. And I have to add that simple common sense points to the Sun as the final arbiter of our climate.

Finally, his reference on Mars’ warming explains nothing.

Adam, you may find my arguments naïve but your blithe referencing of what’s written on a few websites ain’t all that persuasive. So I say the debate’s not over.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and c*ck-ups to [email protected]. Preference will be given to comments that are short and succinct: maximum length is 200 words (we reserve the right to edit comments for length). Please include your full name — we won’t publish comments anonymously unless there is a very good reason.