Month

September 2015

22
Sep
2015

Coalition TPP Up under Turnbull. Turnbill on 7.30. Environment Threats as Paris Nears. A Greek Victory?

The Coalition’s Newspoll increase from a TPP of 46/54 to 51/49 is encouraging, particularly for Turnbull supporters, although it suggests a “wait and see” picture rather than the establishment of a conclusive electoral position. More encouraging is Turnbull’s improvement in the Better PM verdict from a minus 4% net under Abbott to a plus 34% net. Even here however there is a wait and see element in the 24% who remain “uncommitted”. Roy Morgan’s index of consumer confidence also jumped but only to fractionally above the long term average.
22
Sep
2015

Some Implications of Changing Leaders

Many who support the Coalition but have serious doubts about Turnbull becoming PM have nonetheless accepted his appointment because they believe he should defeat Labor at the next election whereas the belief was that Abbott had reached the point where he could not. On the surface that certainly appears to be the case, although the latest opinion poll of an improved 51/49 TPP taken after Turnbull’s appointment still suggests a close call if an early election (which some suggest) were to be held. Similarly, the Liberal win in the Canning by-election with a swing of “only” 6-7% to Labor does not suggest a Turnbull “bounce” (a 5% swing against the party holding the seat is “normal” in a by-election).
17
Sep
2015

More Questions About Turnbull

It remains difficult to reach any firm conclusion about the implications of Turnbull’s acquisition of the Prime Ministership. As expected, the first opinion poll shows Turnbull as a Better PM than Shorten (62/38 %) - compared with the 42/58% under Abbott - and a lift in the TPP to 50/50 from 46/54 in the last Newspoll. But one might have expected an initial more favourable outcome for Turnbull.
16
Sep
2015

Turnbull as PM?

My Commentary distributed yesterday containing a section on Turnbull as PM has attracted interest and serious questioning about why the Liberal Party chose Turnbull to replace Abbott. One contact has drawn my attention to a document tracing the associations Turnbull has had with the Labor Party and the numerous criticisms he has made of Liberal Party policies and leaders up to August 2010. This document provides back-up links which have been checked and it gives rise to serious concern for those who believe in liberal policies and philosophy.
15
Sep
2015

Muslim Problem being Recognised

Yesterday’s Commentary drew attention to reports that indicated a significant proportion of the refugees to Europe (more strictly, to Germany) may be “economic” migrants using the refugee label and that opposition to an open door immigration policy appeared to be increasing there. I also referred to analyses by the non-partisan US think-tank Gatehouse Foundation suggesting the 6 million Muslims in Germany are heavily under the influence of an extremist group and that the problems arising from extensive cultural differences were not being recognised. This poses, I noted, a serious threat of a break-up of the EU and possible forcible internal resistance in Europe.
13
Sep
2015

Refugees Surge Raises Serious Problems

The difficulties being experienced by refugees from Syria, Iraq and other Middle East countries in reaching Germany are not stopping the increasing attempts by individuals to take advantage of the free inflow which that country is allowing. Some are portraying Merkel as a saviour and there is pressure on other western countries to accept increased numbers.
10
Sep
2015

Employment Grows Faster than Budget Forecast

The August ABS Labour Force figures show an encouraging growth of 2.0% s.adj in employment over the past twelve months. This is faster than the 2015-16 budget forecast (1.5%) and than the growth in the working age population of 1.5%. This means that there has been a significant increase (2.2%) in the participation rate ie the proportion of the working age population which is employed or actively looking for work.
9
Sep
2015

Policies on Refugees & Islamic Extremism

There has been universal agreement that the large numbers now fleeing from Syria, Iraq, Libya and other Middle East/African countries should either be accepted as refugees or provided with assistance in some form. Unfortunately, there is no public recognition that the primary cause of the refugee surge is the ongoing murder and destruction occurring under the terrorist activity of IS, al-Qaeda and other extremist Islamic groups. This includes the Assad regime, which is being helped by the Russians and the Iranians.
8
Sep
2015

Coalition Needs Major Policy Initiative

It is becoming increasingly difficult to see how Abbott can survive on the basis of existing policies and the way they are presented. After a period of public debate over the Royal Commission, during which Shorten and various unions were exposed as having behaved very poorly, Newspoll is still unchanged on a TPP basis (46/54) and Shorten remains Better PM (41/37). In addition, while 68% want the RC to continue, Heydon himself gets bad marks for his mishandling of the invitation to a Liberal Party function. Further, the support for the China FTA (only 43% and 22% uncommitted) indicates a failure to fully explain that it exposed virtually no risk from foreign-sourced labour ( Robb’s explanations yesterday on the ABC’s Insiders was excellent but he should have been more upfront earlier).
2
Sep
2015

RC Outcome Provides Golden Opportuinity

Apart from Heydon’s decision to continue as RC, the most important part of his rejection of the apprehended bias claim is the detailed analysis he made of the submissions by unions. That analysis can fairly be said to have left the unions standing on only one leg, at least from a legal perspective. His 67 page judgement justifying his decision sets out three reasons, argued in detail: