Abbott’s Performance, Border Controls Lift, ABC Digs Bigger Hole, Abbott On Terrorism,Climate Policy, Gt Barrier Reef OK

While the state by state Newspoll for the June quarter (published on Tuesday) showed an improvement in the Coalition’s and Abbott’s polling (with falls in Shorten’s), it would require a bigger improvement before considering any move to an early election. In particular, the Coalition is still way behind in Victoria.

Some journalists are saying that Abbott is still too “aggressive” and that this is holding back the improvement that might otherwise have come from Shorten’s continued poor performance. Some also argue that the emphasis given to the threat of terrorism is largely because it favours Abbott politically. However, those journalists may be reflecting their usual personal political inclinations and not taking sufficient account of either achievements by Abbott or further gaffes by Shorten, such as his ignorance of an important development on strengthening border controls (see Beefing Up Border Defence) even though he had received briefing on it.

The personal political inclinations of ABC journalists have certainly been well exposed by the responses to the Q&A program by Scott, Jones and (now) the director of TV programs Finlayson as well as those Andrew Bolt describes as “presenters” (see below “Remorse not in the ABC lexicon”). Equally, those commissioned by the ABC Board to conduct an inquiry, the former boss of SBS (worse than the ABC) and a former employee of the ABC itself, confirms Bolt’s conclusion that an axe is needed. There is no sign however of acceding to Abbott’s conclusion that heads should be rolled and the leads in the ABC radio news today are focussing on legalising gay marriage and Abbott’s personal opposition to that. It is not clear if the government will institute a public inquiry itself.

As to achievements by Abbott, Sheridan points to his development of an apparently much closer relationship with Singapore, largely down-played in other media. More important in a way is the speech Abbott made there on the need for more action to counter Islamic terrorism and the particular need for what Sheridan describes as much greater “American leadership” (see below “Singapore wooing is Tony Abbott’s triumph”).

I responded to the establishment of an Australian Round Table on climate change which includes business and union organisations. My letter as published in the Financial Review omitted some important points but the ART publication itself contains no supporting back-up. I have restored below the “missing” points in my letter. Bill Kininmonth also had a critical letter published in The Australian.

The “good news” is that the UN’s World Heritage Committee decided not to put the Great Barrier Reef on the “in-danger” list. This is a set-back for the supporting conservation bodies.

But bad news comes from an article by Gary Johns reporting that a primary school in Perth was attempting to have 10 year olds send a letter to Foreign Minister Bishop asking her to support action to stop global warming. A green activist persuaded the school to do this!

Publicity has also been given to “pledges” by China and Brazil to reduce emissions at a faster rate than their previous pledges. Whether these would involve anything more than improved efficiency in the production of energy, is not clear.

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