Tag

Simon Benson

10
Dec
2018

Newspoll; Chief Scientist Finkel

In yesterday’s Commentary I said that, while an early election as suggested by Terry McCrann would risk the Morrison government being portrayed as a “cut and run” attempt at winning and avoiding outstanding issues, it would have the potential to bring the Liberal party closer together and take advantage of various issues on which Morrison seems actually or potentially head of Shorten, including the now near absence of Turnbull as a policy maker. In particular, an election in March would “lock in” the likely favourable budgetary and economic forecasts in the MYEFO publication (next Monday) and prevent any significant change in the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO) which is made by Treasury before an election.
9
Dec
2018

An Early Election?

In Thursday’s Commentary I referred to the view of The Australian’s political editor (Dennis Shanahan) that Morrison still has a “last chance” of winning the election. In Weekend Australian Shanahan acknowledges that “the Liberal Party is in a mess” but also points out that “Labor finished the last week of parliament for the year on the back foot over national security and border protection, giving Morrison a reprieve from the dismal Liberal outlook. The Prime Minister was able to declare there would be a budget surplus next year, he changed Liberal leadership rules, intervened to stop a preselection brawl, asserted his authority over Turnbull and avoided an embarrassing defeat on the floor of parliament”
2
Dec
2018

US Wins at G20; Morrison Meets Trump; Germany Fails To Successfully Employ Renewables; Stone on Immigration

Although there has been a “final statement” by leaders attending the meeting of the G20 in Argentina, the text does not seem available on the web and nor does the communique. However, some media are reporting on what was agreed. The outcome on trade was expected to reveal something on the what has been described as a dispute between the US and China (but which has implications for all trading nations). It appears that the US did succeed at G20 in obtaining agreement that the present arrangements need to be changed.
21
Nov
2018

Three More Terrorists; Fairfax/Ipso Poll; Immigration Policy

In my Commentary published on 18 November I suggested the handling of the Bourke St incident indicated serious deficiencies. This has been confirmed by developments since then. Most important has been the statement by Victorian Attorney General Pakula that Victorian police had not received information from federal sources which would warrant them acting to at least monitor the now dead Muslim terrorist, Shire Ali. But Victorian police chief Ashton subsequently announced that they had in fact received the necessary federal information. This prompted me to send a letter to the press arguing that Pakula should resign but, as he has stuck to his guns and has been supported by Victorian Premier Andrews, that won’t happen a couple of days before the election (see OZ on Bourke St Terrorist Revelations and Pakula Claims Not Informed of Terrorists Passport Withdrawal).
29
Oct
2018

Newspoll & Failed Recovery Strategy

Today’s Newspoll show that the Coalition and its leader Scott Morrison are going backwards and the strategy of trying to recover through announcements of purported benefits to selected groups is missing the main game. That requires policy statements on climate change, immigration, refugees, budget etc which differ from those under Turnbull and a statement saying that mistakes were made under Turnbull. This would be timely given that Turnbull in Bali is reported as having welcomed (!) this Newspoll (see Turnbull likes Newspoll). Even the highly publicised announcements for drought stricken farmers would not produce funding before the election and the “boosts” for small businesses are still being developed by three (!) ministers.
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.
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.
30
Aug
2018

Waiting for Godot?

My Commentary on 27/8 was headed “Better Than Turnbull, but …”. This qualification reflected my concern about Morrison’s decisions on the composition of Cabinet but also about the fall in the Coalition’s 44/56 TPP in the Newspoll. This suggested that he would be unlikely to be given a honeymoon and would need to get going if the Coalition is to “sell” policies which would be accepted at the next year’s election
27
Aug
2018

Assessing Morrison

Morrison must be given what he said he stands for – “a fair go” – and for, in the end, supporting the removal of Turnbull, but only just. But it should be recognised that he did not challenge Turnbull, Dutton did; he allowed himself to be coached by T into challenging Dutton; and he put his arm around Turnbull and made sympathetic noises about his leadership. Turnbull’s main aim – to destroy the Liberal party – may not be finished: outside Parliament he may involve himself from now until the election in helping Labor whenever the chance occurred.
17
Aug
2018

Last Weekend for Turnbull?

I suggested in yesterday’s Commentary that Turnbull’s proposals on NEG policy (sic) have created a chaotic situation in which changes now seem to be made almost every day in an attempt to persuade rebel MP’s to re-think their opposition to the policy and avoid resignations by some Ministers. These rebels are particularly opposed to any legislation which seeks to lock in the 26 per cent reduction in emissions under the Paris accord. It should be noted that, while 10 rebels have been publicly identified, there appear to be others who are also unhappy with some of the existing NEG proposals. Former Major General Jim Molan (now a Senator), for example, told Sky News last night that he did not accept any legislation endorsing the 26 per cent reduction in emissions.