From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

McKim offers Roberts a tinfoil hat. One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts had a win yesterday. With climate change discussed as a matter of public importance in the Senate, he got the chance to talk about his views unfettered, and some senators even agreed with him. Roberts’ speech seemed to be more about Donald Trump than the science of climate change, though:

“One Nation applauds President-elect Trump’s highly moral and courageous position, yet many in this parliament still want to recklessly plough ahead with economy-killing climate policies such as ratifying the Clayton’s Paris Agreement, in stark contrast to the plans of President-elect Trump. If the honourable Prime Minister would like to reconsider his government’s stance, then my office team is in a strong position to assist, given, firstly, the presence of our team’s economic policy adviser and former Trump campaign economic policy adviser, Darren Brady Nelson, and our growing relationships with senior members of the Trump presidential team like Myron Ebell, who will reportedly lead the EPA, and David Malpass, who is under consideration to lead the Treasury. We need to use every resource at our disposal if we are to extricate ourselves from reprehensible accords such as the Paris Agreement.”

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This derailed debate somewhat, with John “Wacka” Williams also lecturing the chamber on the importance of respecting Donald Trump and the US:

“Senator Roberts mentioned Mr Trump. It is amazing how critical so many Australians are of Mr Trump. I ask you to cast your memories back to the Second World War, the Battle of Midway and the Battle of the Coral Sea. That was a turning point in the Second World War. Who was there? The Americans. Do not ever forget that.”

He went on to say that without the US, Australia would be living under a Japanese dictatorship. In the only reasonable response to a debate on such terms, Greens Senator Nick McKim offered Roberts a tinfoil hat:

“Presumably you think that NASA is trying to read your thoughts through the fillings in your teeth, that the chemtrails are impacting on your neural pathways or that maybe the lizard people are stealing your thoughts through the special implants in your brain that they put in while you were sleeping one night! It is interesting, because I found this tinfoil hat outside the Senate door that you usually come in through, Senator Roberts. I wonder: if the hat fits, would you like to wear it, Senator Roberts?”

Speaking of conspiracy theories, Ms Tips notes a study published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences in April this year, on the topic “Better the devil you know than a world you don’t? Intolerance of uncertainty and worldview explanations for belief in conspiracy theories”. The study found that people who feel socially marginalised or that they have a lack of agency are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories, such as that a cabal of international banks is controlling the world. According to the study:

“Those who believe in Conspiracy Theories tend to perceive people and the world as an essentially bad place that conspires against them as an individual.

“They tend to perceive a lack of stable moral standards and view the ‘right’ morals as ever-changing, depending on the day and situation. These individuals do not consider the world to be random, as they believe there is reason or cause behind events.”

Sound like someone we know?

Not a nation of joiners. What club would you rather join: your local political party branch or your local sports team? This week’s Essential polling shows that while 46% of people say they don’t like joining groups in general, just 2% of people are, or have been, a member of a political party, compared to the 14% who have been a member of a local sporting club. Some 12% of respondents said they were members of a union, the same percentage were an active member of a church, and just 6% of people were members of a business or industry association. On the idea of joining groups in general, the population was lukewarm. Half of the people polled said they found it impossible to give their time to things outside work and home, and 37% said they couldn’t commit because they didn’t work regular hours.


Unionist dimmies. A caller to 3AW says a union has ordered 2500 bags of South Melbourne dim sims for its Christmas do. The presenters mention CFMEU, which means we now know what food fuels thuggery. Or perhaps dim sims are the reason six times as many people have joined a union as a political party?

Getting to know all about you. Over at Domain in Melbourne, where 16 staff were made redundant last month as the company cut costs, those who remain are being dragged through “get to know you” exercises today. We got our mitts on this email from managing editor of Domain Alice Stolz:

“With the recent combining of two super-slick divisions (Domain C&A with TWR editorial and marketing) we are now primed to take this part of the business to the next level, all that’s missing is a bit of glue to help make us work as one united team.
Tomorrow’s meeting will be a kick off for us all to get to know one another better. Speedy intros will be the order of play and the aim will be to (re)introduce ourselves to as many people as possible and glean some new insights in a short space of time.

Spend a couple of minutes thinking about these questions before we all meet:

Your role @ Domain?
What time did you get up this morning?
Go-to source for news?
Favourite website/print publication?
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
What are you most passionate about?
Favourite drink?
How would your best friend describe you (three words max)?
Guilty pleasure?
What makes you happy?

– Chats go for two mins – so be efficient (we’ll able to spot the journos in the room!)
– No conversation hoggers or hiders!
– I’ll call out ‘half-time’ at which point you reverse who’s asking who the questions.
– I’ll call out SWITCH every two mins and one of the rows of people will move along so you will continually speak with different people.
– Have fun!

Please ensure you have placed a tea/coffee order by 2pm today.”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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