Dewey defeats Truman A big week or two of elections always brings out the best in the media. Compare, for example, the following trio:
Good Weekend, October 11: “Jacinda Ardern’s leadership wowed the world: So why are New Zealanders not as impressed?”
The Courier-Mail, October 17: “Jacinda Ardern is battling it out to gain a second term as New Zealand Prime Minister after Kiwis went to the polls today”.
And finally, CNN on October 17:
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Jacinda Ardern has won a second term as New Zealand’s Prime Minister after her success at handling the country’s coronavirus outbreak helped secure a landslide victory.
Preliminary results show that Ardern’s center-left Labour Party has won 49% of the vote, meaning her party looks likely to score the highest result that any party has achieved since the current political system was introduced in 1996.
Concerned Citizens Watch Let’s check back in with our completely apolitical “caring Victorians”, who just want the state opened up again to save small business.
Following leader Andrew Abercrombie’s disclosure-free cameo on Channel Seven, the group has continued to run full-page ads like the following in Sunday’s edition of The Age:
There’s certainly a great deal to criticise about the Victorian government response to COVID-19, but we’d also question the small business credentials of some of the signatories listed at the bottom of the page…
Aside from Abercrombie, who has extensive links to the Liberal Party, that list includes Martyn Myer of the Myer family — currently president of The Myer Foundation.
There’s also James Fazzino, a chairman of Manufacturing Australia and current director of APA Group (a gas infrastructure group that “owns or operates $20 billion worth of energy assets”), and a member of Andrew Liveris’ gassed up COVID-19 manufacturing taskforce.
Property developer and Liberal party donor Michael Yates also makes an appearance; as does David Smorgon of the Smorgon family (a steel dynasty worth millions).
Have we missed any? Let us know.
Police Story Last week we reported on the University of Sydney’s curious choice to recruit for the Hong Kong police force on its careers hub. It seems we were not the only ones taken aback.
In emails to vice chancellor Michael Spence, seen by Crikey, a USyd student has expressed their shock at the hub running an ad for a police force implicated in serious human rights violations (particularly towards students) and point out that other universities have taken similar ads down.
Spence told the student that the ad was briefly taken down and then reinstated with a disclaimer that USyd did not automatically endorse any organisation it ran job ads for. He then helpfully points out, “it is important to note that employment opportunities overseas are subject to different employment and occupational health and safety laws and requirements”.
The other election The Perth mayoral race was understandably lost in the news around Jacinda Ardern’s historic majority in New Zealand and the return of the ALP in the ACT. But it’s worth noting the election of media figure and conflict magnet Basil Zempilas.
One upside from his conflicted position — called out by Crikey, and by his colleague Gareth Parker — is that we have a long list of policy objectives via the column he writes in WA’s only daily newspaper. And like a lot of populism, to the extent it’s comprehensible, it’s all faintly sinister.
Take a look at this one from December last year:
Minority groups must be treated with respect and kindness, that’s what we do in a civilised society — but we’ve over-corrected too far much and common sense has been the biggest casualty.
In November 2019, he also made an explicit election promise to remove homeless people from the centre of Perth, “forcibly, if that’s what it takes”:
Watch this space.