On the subject of...

Australian Economy

25
Oct
2018

Morrison’s Poor Attempts at Compromise

If you are going to “do a deal”, and start from a weak position, you will doubtless have to compromise. But not so that you undermine the essentials of your position. But that is what Morrison is in fact doing with his energy policy: he says that his prime aim is to reduce power prices but at the same time he sticks to the emissions reduction policies and does nothing to reduce subsidies for renewable. This is a contradiction and lower power prices will not be achieved in any degree if the joint energy policy statement by Taylor, Morrison and Frydenberg is realised.
22
Oct
2018

Interpreting Wentworth Result

It is now well known that Turnbull initially sought to join the Labor party and it was recently reported that it was the then PM Bob Hawke who knocked him back. Turnbull then tried the Liberal party and succeeded in twice being elected leader and, after succeeding in forcing out Abbott as PM, he became PM himself. But he was only there for a short period before Newspoll put the Coalition behind Labor on a TPP basis and that continued to be the case for 40 successive polls. On 24 August he lost his position as PM and resigned from Parliament and his seat in Wentworth after Scott Morrison was elected.
21
Oct
2018

Wentworth Loss Requires Policy Revisions

In Friday’s Commentary I said that it was ‘almost certain’ that the Wentworth seat would be lost – but not by as much as actually happened, with the swing against the Liberal Party being around 20 percent. It is not appropriate here to repeat all the problems now faced by the Coalition with a hung Parliament (see Friday’s Commentary on Wentworth Almost Certainly Lost now on my website www.ipe.net.au). Nor to repeat what many recommended some time ago, viz that Turnbull should have then been dumped. But it is not only Wentworth that poses serious problems: the next Newspoll, presumably tomorrow, will send bad news too.
15
Oct
2018

Polls, Lindzen & Abbott

Yesterday’s Commentary focussed on the lecture given in London by Professor Richard Lindzen and his ridiculing of Australian (read Morrison government) comments about the IPCC report and his denunciation of the report itself (see Lindzen Slams IPCC Report). Lindzen is not any old professor: he has written over 200 articles on climate change an meteorology and would provide enlightenment if brought to Australia, more so than Monckton because of his background. That Commentary suggested that the government should invite Lindzen.
12
Oct
2018

Morrison on Energy Policy & IPCC Report

The IPCC has published what it describes as a “Special Report” whose press release astonishingly claims it has been “approved by governments”. There is no sign of any such approval and the only Australian on the drafting committee is a professor of Danish origin from Queensland who is a believer in climate change problems and would be highly unlikely to have secured government approval. The Chair is a South Korean economist who seems to have no publishing record. These activists are, we are told, assisted by 91 authors, 133 contributing authors, and a total of 42,001 expert and government review comments.
6
Oct
2018

Morrison Becoming a Hasty Decision-Maker

Yesterday’s Commentary referred to a number of policy decisions and comments on policy positions made by PM Morrison which raised concern about the directions being taken by him and, in particular, whether his government is differentiating itself from the leftish Turnbull government to a substantive degree. The publication of an article in Spectator of 6 October by John Stone (see Stone on Morrison), and other developments, suggest the Morrison government does not seem at present to have the capacity to handle issues in a way conducive to attracting the electorate to the Coalition.
1
Oct
2018

Morrison Off Tracks

Comments now emanating from the PM and Treasurer are alarming. They imply that the Coalition is following a line that is not dissimilar to that adopted by Turnbull and most of the ministers he appointed (some of which have in fact been re-appointed by Morrison). It would not be surprising if Turnbull himself has been consulted on some issues which have emerged since he lost his PM position (Morrison indicated last week that he had been speaking to Turnbull “pretty frequently”). True, some have responded well to Morrison’s more acceptable mannerisms than those attributed to Turnbull, but what counts is the substance of decision-making.
24
Sep
2018

Newspoll

It is now a month since the overthrow of Turnbull as Coalition leader and PM on August 24. Yet the latest Newspoll shows the Coalition now led by Scott Morrison (thanks to the initial challenge by Dutton) has lifted its two party preferred vote by only two percentage points, which still leaves it well behind Labor on 46/54 and behind its rating of 49/51 in mid-August prior to the spill. And less than on its July 2016 election win by one seat.
16
Sep
2018

Morrison Still Short on Leadership

We ended last week’s session of Federal Parliament with Morrison still in a precarious position and with another week in parliament to come. He has received some favourable publicity from his energetic en tour of some electorates and from his aggressive handling of parliament. However, his request for support from parliamentary colleagues on Thursday night by the raising of hands to a song left a good deal to be desired and he subsequently acknowledged that “the full lyrics … were just not OK” (see report published in today’s Sunday Fairfax and reproduced above in Morrison’s Performance in Parliament) . And the message he (and others) received from Turnbull from New York , which suggested that Dutton’s position as an MP should be checked by the High Court, did not help, all the more so as reports also suggest Turnbull has been leaking about his (Morrison’s) behaviour.
14
Sep
2018

Morrison on Two Horses (14/9)

My suggestion yesterday that Morrison needs to “get over Turnbull” and adopt his own policies was followed by Turnbull’s message from New York to his (?) “friends” (including Morrison) to have Dutton’s legitimacy as an MP checked by the High Court. For obvious reasons, Morrison rejected that but it remains a threat to Dutton because one or two of his “friends” (including former deputy Bishop) could resign and bring on a federal election, which would make it difficult for Dutton (and others) to win his seat in current circumstances.