Essential Research: Newstart, robodebt, social media

More evidence that voters favour social democratic policy options, right up until polling day.

The fortnightly Essential Research poll, which is still yet to resume results for voting intention, focuses largely on questions around social security. Among its findings are that the Newstart rate is deemed too low by 58%, about right by 30% and too high by 5%. Forty-four per cent expressed strong support for an increase from $280 per week to $355, a further 31% said they somewhat supported it, and only 18% said they were opposed, 7% strongly.

I don’t normally make anything out of breakdowns published in average sample polls, but it’s interesting to note that the “too low” response increases progressively across the three age cohorts to peak at 66% among the 55-and-over. There was also a relationship between age and correct answers to a question in which respondents were asked to identify the weekly Newstart payment, the overall result for which was 40%, up from 27% when it was previously asked last June. Only 29% of Coalition voters expressed strong support for an increase compared with 55% for Labor supporters, but the difference was narrower when combined with the “somewhat” response, at 84% to 68%.

On the Centrelink “robodebt” debt recovery program, 58% supported calls for it to be shut down compared with 32% opposed. Twenty-two per cent said they had heard a lot about the program and 30% a little, while 18% said they had not heard any details and 30% that they were not aware of it at all.

The one question not relating to social security covers social media companies’ collection of personal information, with 80% expressing concern about the matter and the same number wanting tighter regulation. The affirmative response for both questions progressively increased across the three age cohorts.

Also noteworthy from the poll is that Essential Research has taken to publishing “base” figures for each cohort in the breakdown, which evidently reflect their proportion of the total after weightings are applied. This is at least a step in the direction of the transparency that is the norm in British and American polling, in that it tell us how Essential is modelling the overall population, even if it doesn’t divulge how much each cohort’s responses are being weighted to produce those totals.

The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from an online sample of 1102 respondents.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

533 comments on “Essential Research: Newstart, robodebt, social media”

  1. Thanks for the summary William. Further evidence that progressive politics is not dead, as long as it is realistic.

    At this point it seems clear that the coal industry, like Big Tobacco, will not go quietly. It will fight for its right to do harm. The only solution left is to make them legally and financially liable for the harm they do. I once tried to tell a tobacco farmer smoking was harmful. Futile.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-07/coal-lobby-hopes-to-make-australians-proud-about-coal/11388830

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    This week’s Guardian-Essential poll looks at attitudes towards Newstart and social media fake news.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/aug/07/vast-majority-want-google-and-facebook-held-accountable-for-fake-news-essential-poll
    The Reserve Bank has paved the way for even lower interest rates to drive down unemployment and protect Australia from an escalating US-China trade war that has wiped more than $80 billion from the nation’s share market. Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw say that global markets are facing the most dangerous financial moment since 2009.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/rba-leaves-rates-on-hold-as-global-markets-roil-on-trade-worries-20190806-p52ebw.html
    Kirsty Needham explains how as the tempo of protests increases and the police response strengthens, Australians are planning to return home from Hong Kong. The tipping point may have been reached.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/aussie-expat-in-hong-kong-says-this-is-the-tipping-point-he-s-looking-for-an-exit-20190806-p52ef9.html
    Last night Paul Keating said that Labor lost the election because it was proposing higher taxes and not because the public rejected bold policy reform and that Shorten failed to understand the middle class.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bill-shorten-failed-to-understand-the-middle-class-paul-keating-says-20190806-p52ejk.html
    Former top regulator Graeme Samuel will raise concerns in a speech today about the quality of bank directors, saying he’s been told that some members of leading bank boards are “dills” yet they are ensconced on those boards.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/dills-graeme-samuel-raises-concerns-on-bank-boards-20190806-p52egp.html
    Micheala Whitbourn cites a confidential report saying that that NSW is at risk of replicating the United Kingdom experience where lawyers have gone on strike over low legal aid fees.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/absurd-nsw-government-ignored-report-on-looming-legal-aid-crisis-20190806-p52e7t.html
    Kristina Keneally poses the question, “Whose side is Morrison on? Australians or CPAC and its pro-gun, alt-right, hate speech agenda?” She says that we can’t bury our heads when it comes to right-wing extremism.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/we-can-t-bury-our-heads-when-it-comes-to-right-wing-extremism-20190806-p52ec7.html
    More than a year after the former spy Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery were charged over the exposure of an Australian bugging operation on the tiny nation of East Timor, the pair have parted ways, with the spy to plead guilty and the lawyer to fight what he called a “contemptible” charge.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6312557/witness-k-to-plead-guilty-as-collaery-committed-to-stand-trial/?cs=14329
    It is becoming clear that the Coalition Government and NBN Co are struggling to save the NBN from a financial disaster, writes Paul Budde.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/telstra-and-the-second-rate-nbn-the-gloves-are-off,12973
    Rob Harris reports on Matt Canavan saying regional voices are “failing to be heard” over a “din of loud Australians” while warning of a growing political divide between those living in the inner city and the bush.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/busybody-politics-is-threatening-democracy-resources-minister-warns-20190806-p52edg.html
    In an interesting contribution Ross Gittins examines the dynamics and economics if population growth,
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/one-day-the-world-s-population-will-start-falling-20190806-p52eb2.html
    The AFR tells us how ASIC will begin disclosing the individual firm results of its audit inspection regime when it next reports at the end of the year, in a move to name and shame the big four consulting firms over their audit quality.
    https://outline.com/gZuqdD
    Christopher Knaus declares that there are Alcohol industry fingerprints all over Australia’s plan to tackle overdrinking.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/aug/07/alcohol-industry-fingerprints-all-over-australias-plan-to-tackle-overdrinking
    Saying that “the best form of welfare is a job” is like saying “the best form of hospitalisation is perfect health”, writes former Newstart recipient, Leisa Woodman.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/when-gaol-is-better-than-newstart,12974
    Market sentiment turns more rapidly than political sentiment. The Australian stock market is just another casualty of US-China rivalry. What’s next asks Jennifer Hewett.
    https://outline.com/L5zzts
    Public service agencies are not responding to Parliament’s reports scrutinising their work on time, leaving some unanswered for more than 100 months, a national audit has found.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6311758/aps-agencies-not-responding-to-audits-on-time-or-possibly-at-all/?cs=14350
    And bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment at Australia’s air traffic control agency, Airservices Australia, could be putting travellers’ lives at risk, a damning report has warned.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6312226/safety-risk-in-air-control-culture-report/?cs=14350
    Sam Maiden tells us how trolls have been targeting the Q&A speaker who shone light on the misery of Newstart.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/welfare/2019/08/06/ricci-bartels-qa/
    NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman and Planning Minister Rob Stokes are positioning themselves as the peacemakers in the heated debate over abortion decriminalisation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/senior-ministers-emerging-as-peacemakers-in-the-abortion-debate-20190806-p52ei6.html
    Australia’s monthly trade surplus has smashed its previous record to hit $8.04 billion, putting a current account surplus within reach for the first time since 1975.
    https://outline.com/E2t9N4
    Junior doctors at Melbourne’s Sunshine Hospital have launched legal action amid claims they are working beyond exhaustion, being underpaid and not given mandatory clinical training putting patients at risk.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/overworked-underpaid-junior-doctors-at-sunshine-hospital-launch-legal-action-20190731-p52cgr.html
    Caroline Fraser has penned a long article in which she says the anti-medical dogma of Christian Science led her father to an agonising death. Now the church itself is in decline – and it can’t happen fast enough.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/06/christian-science-church-medicine-death-horror-of-my-fathers-last-days
    The Morrison government should change tack on vehicle emission standards to better address fuel reserve shortage risks, according to a leading advocate for boosting our stockpiles.
    https://outline.com/qrKkG2
    Australia is lagging behind global leaders when it comes to affordable electricity, and big energy retailers want to keep it that way, a new report has claimed.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/consumer/2019/08/06/demand-response-electricity-australia/
    Ten months after the Berejiklian government passed laws it said would “clean up” the residential construction industry and “give confidence to the community and home buyers”, those laws have still not gone into effect reports Jacob Saulwick.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/the-berejiklian-government-s-crackdown-on-shonks-that-never-happened-20190806-p52ehv.html
    A former teacher made homeless while trying to survive on Newstart says she has been buoyed by a flood of kindness in the days since her plight was revealed in The New Daily.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/good-news/2019/08/06/newstart-karryn-smith-support/
    EnergyAustralia has slumped into the red in the first half, recording such a big write-down as a result of the federal government’s re-regulation of electricity prices that the whole parent company CLP Group was dragged into losses.
    https://outline.com/TubYAz
    Despite continuing loud outcries from professional climate deniers such as Andrew Bolt, there is no doubt that global temperatures are rising. Dr Geoff Davies reports.
    https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/why-its-a-climate-emergency,12976
    The Grattan Institute’s Tony Wood says that gas prices are set to stay high. The government’s moves, while welcome, won’t achieve much.
    https://theconversation.com/gas-prices-are-set-to-stay-high-the-governments-moves-while-welcome-wont-achieve-much-121494
    The Washington Post says that Trump is increasingly relying on himself, not his aides, in his trade war with China.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-is-increasingly-relies-on-himself-not-his-aides-in-trade-war-with-china-20190807-p52ekb.html
    China manipulates its currency, but not in the way the US says it does writes Stephen Bartholomeusz.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/china-manipulates-its-currency-but-not-in-the-way-the-us-says-it-does-20190806-p52ec1.html
    Australia and countries in Asia are much more integrated with China and will suffer more from the escalating trade war, warns former US Treasury emissary to Beijing, David Dollar.
    https://outline.com/MvaV3P
    More from the Post as it tells us how Teleprompter Trump met Twitter Trump as the President responded to the recent shootings.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/teleprompter-trump-meets-twitter-trump-as-the-president-responds-to-shooting-20190807-p52ek2.html
    The London Telegraph’s Celia Walden writes that angry young men shouldn’t be free to buy machine guns.
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/angry-young-men-shouldn-t-be-free-to-buy-machine-guns-20190806-p52ebg.html
    The China-Trump trade conflict has spread to Australia. We’re now at risk of global currency war writes Hui Feng.
    https://theconversation.com/the-china-trump-trade-conflict-has-spread-to-australia-were-now-at-risk-of-global-currency-war-121486
    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has condemned Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell after a picture on social media showed seven men in “Team Mitch” shirts appearing to grope and choke a cardboard cutout of the Democratic congresswoman, with the caption: “Break me off a piece of that.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/06/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-mitch-mcconnell-photo-cutout
    Ivanka Trump condemns white supremacy – but her actions tell another story writes Arwa Mahdawi.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/06/ivanka-trump-condemns-white-supremacy-but-her-actions-tell-another-story
    According to Carol Anderson the Republicans’ white supremacist problem is a threat to America.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/05/republicans-white-supremacist-problem-is-a-threat-to-america
    And today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week” goes to . . .
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/knox-teacher-on-child-porn-and-drug-charges-police-20190806-p52e8c.html

    Cartoon Corner

    Great work from Mark David.

    Two beauties from David Rowe.


    Cathy Wilcox and our ideologues,

    Fiona Katauskas goes to a US gun shop.

    Alan Moir and Johnson’s Brexit efforts.

    Peter Broelman makes us think.

    Sean Leahy and the trade war.

    From Matt Golding.



    Jon Kudelka on yesterday’s RBA decision.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/c108b401193c784a8cbd06284127a4bd?width=1024

    From the US. Some powerful ones among these.











  3. ‘The fortnightly Essential Research poll, which is still yet to resume results for voting intention’

    Why the hell should they? Until they figure out how to poll the low interest, not generally politically-engaged voters, young people who just don’t answer the phone if it’s not one of their contacts, and anyone else that can’t be bothered with polls, then they are just whistling dixie with the numbers they get.

  4. Conservative columnist tells white people to ‘get a grip’

    Writing in the Washington Post, the conservative columnist Max Boot instructs white people to stop freaking out about being “replaced,” whether by immigrants, people of color or other ethnicities.

    “Get a grip, white people. We’re not the victims,” is the title of his op-ed.

    “Whites are still much better off than blacks. The poverty rate among African Americans is 21.8 percent; among whites, 8.8 percent,” he says.

    “The median wealth of black households is $17,409; among whites, $171,000. The homeownership rate for blacks is 41.2 percent; among whites, 71.1 percent. There is also manifold evidence of continuing discrimination against African Americans,” he adds.

    Nevertheless, many white people have convinced themselves they’re the victims, a philosophy fueled by Donald Trump.

    “That is the bigoted mind-set that leads Trump to spray kerosene on brushfires of racial conflict across America.”

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/08/conservative-columnist-tells-white-people-to-get-a-grip/

  5. The El Paso Terrorist’s Manifesto Is Basically A ‘Cut And Paste’ Of Trump’s Twitter Feed

    In a special report on MSNBC on Monday night, Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace and Brian Williams told a truth that very few in the media have been willing to say so plainly: The El Paso terrorist’s manifesto is essentially a xerox copy of Donald Trump’s Twitter feed.

    “Cut and paste dialogue,” Williams said, as Wallace explained how similar the disturbing manifesto is to Trump’s language at his rallies and on his Twitter page.

    https://www.politicususa.com/2019/08/05/el-paso-trump-terrorist-manifesto.html

  6. Very astute from our Lord and Master.

    More evidence that voters favour social democratic policy options, right up until polling day.

    And there lies much of the problem!

  7. Former Murdoch editor on why he is cancelling his SmearStralian subscription…

    “It started as a simple Facebook post by a former editor-in-chief of The Australian about his difficulties trying to cancel his online subscription to his old paper.

    It turned into a Pandora’s Box of online opinions about The Oz by a dizzying range of senior media figures, beginning with the moment Guardian Australia’s Amanda Meade asked David Armstrong why was he pulling the plug on his old paper.

    “Short answer, Amanda: I thought do I really need so many right-wing columnists in my life? I know I don’t have to read them all but if I subscribe, I have to pay for them.”

    The Oz has been savaged by former staff this year for its doctrinaire slant –from Tony Koch, to Rick Morton to Anthony Klan. But this must be the unkindest cut of all because it isn’t about politics: Armstrong cancelled because the paper is dull, full of earnest souls who bore for their country.

    “I’m not opposed to conservative columnists – I appointed quite a few myself,” wrote Armstrong. “But these days it is almost unrelenting (not entirely, thank goodness) and so many have been there so long. Their work, with a couple of exceptions, is predictable and boring.

    https://www.afr.com/rear-window/boring-for-their-country-why-armstrong-cancelled-on-the-oz-20190806-p52eg6

  8. A Conservative looks at the evolving of justification used for dropping the a bombs. Seems that originally they were not so shy about it being ‘vengeance’ .

    Don’t Whitewash the Hiroshima Bombing
    It reveals a dangerous strain of vengeance in U.S. foreign policy.

    The myth, the one kneaded into public consciousness, is that the bombs were dropped out of grudging military necessity, to hasten the end of the war, to avoid a land invasion of Japan, maybe to give the Soviets a good pre-Cold War scare. Nasty work, but such is war. As a result, the attacks need not provoke anything akin to introspection or national reflection. The possibility, however remote, that the bombs were tools of revenge or malice, immoral acts, was defined away. They were merely necessary.

    That is the evolved myth, but it was not the way the atomic bombings were first presented to the American people.

    Harry Truman, in his 1945 announcement of the bomb, focused on vengeance, and on the new power to destroy at a button push—“We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city,” said Mr. Truman. The plan put into play on August 6—to force the Japanese government to surrender by making it watch mass casualties of innocents—speaks to a scale of cruelty previously unseen. It was fair; they’d started it after all, and they deserved the pain.

    The need to replace the justification to one of grudging military necessity, a tool for saving lives, grew out of John Hersey’s account of the human suffering in Hiroshima, first published in 1946 in the New Yorker. Owing to wartime censorship, Americans knew little of the ground truth of atomic war, and Hersey’s piece was shocking enough to the public that it required a formal response. Americans’ imagined belief that they’re a decent people needed to be reconciled with what had been done. With the Cold War getting underway, and with American leadership fully expecting to obliterate a few Russian cities in the near future, some nuclear philosophical groundwork needed to be laid.

    And so the idea that the bombing of Hiroshima was a “necessity” appeared in a 1947 article, signed by former Secretary of War Henry Stimson, though actually drafted by McGeorge Bundy (later an architect of the Vietnam War) and James Conant (a scientist who helped build the original bomb). Dr. Conant described the article’s purpose as countering Hersey’s account at the beginning of the Cold War as, “You have to get the past straight before you do much to prepare people for the future.”

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/dont-whitewash-the-hiroshima-bombing/

  9. “More evidence that voters favour social democratic policy options, right up until polling day.”

    Which mean people are two faced liars.

    And the economy tanked again thanks to Trump

  10. What women problem, ask Roseville Libs
    Myriam RobinColumnist
    Aug 7, 2019 — 12.00am

    It’s been a week since The Sydney Morning Herald splashed with the stories of several female Liberal staffers who said they’d been sexually assaulted while working for the party. The women, going public after first trying to complain internally, have since had their cause taken up by party veteran Kathryn Greiner, the ex-wife of the former premier.

    So it’s rather topical that a Liberal branch – the same one that ineffectually voted to expel Malcolm Turnbull from the Liberal Party and a year earlier hosted an event with Liberal turncoat Cory Bernardi – is hosting an event considering whether the Liberal Party has a “woman problem” [sic].

    But would you be shocked, reader, to discover that all the women invited by the upper north shore’s Roseville branch (in Paul Fletcher’s electorate) have a history of arguing it doesn’t?

    The September $95-a-head dinner fundraiser features Liberal politicians Nicolle Flint and Amanda Stoker, along with op ed columnist Gemma Tognini.

    Flint lashed claims of any such issue before the last federal election, telling The Australian that her party was “incredibly supportive of women”. Stoker was cited approvingly by Janet Albrechtsen for having remained “honourably quiet” as some female Liberal MPs spoke out about bullying. And Tognini, the moderator, is so down on people playing the gender card she reckons gender had nothing to do with ex-Labor MP Emma Husar’s resignation from Parliament.

    So, we’re sure it’ll be a robust debate. Not.

  11. Zoidlord @ #11 Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 – 7:22 am

    “More evidence that voters favour social democratic policy options, right up until polling day.”

    Which mean people are two faced liars.

    And the economy tanked again thanks to Trump

    It is also about education.
    People don’t actually know/don’t remember how much Labor governments have given them by way of schemes, reforms initiatives and the like.
    Cash can stand in parliament and say the Liberal party is the party of women and Labor says nothing. Nothing. Labor doesn’t rally around it’s remarkable legacy of policy reforms in this area and claim it as there own.
    It says nothing.
    Nothing.
    Keating last night reminded those listening that Labor created the wherewithal for middle class prosperity.
    Labor’s current team must wonder what the hell he means.

  12. Read mundo’s contribution (lacking foresight as usual that Rex Patrick is in a position in the Senate to DO things and effect meaningful change to the government’s agenda). Same old predictable pointless pablum.

  13. I have looked for (relatively) unbiased and informed commentary on Venezuela -and found that this is practically non-existent.
    The root cause of the problem appears to be the revolt by middle-class and wealthy Hispanic people against any government measures to improve the life of the native South American and mestizos.
    Thus morning the BBC World Service was completely over the top in spruiking the anti-Maduro polemic, with no balance at all!!
    “The Canary” is certainly not unbiased – but any alternative view helps.
    https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2019/08/06/trump-announces-total-economic-embargo-on-venezuela-collectively-punishing-civilian-population/

  14. Rep. Dean PhillipsVerified account@RepDeanPhillips
    23h23 hours ago
    Uruguay today issued a travel warning to its citizens visting the United States of America, citing “growing violence” fueled by “racism and discrimination” that American “authorities are unable to prevent” due to “indiscriminate” gun ownership. Let that sink in for a minute.

    :large

  15. young people who just don’t answer the phone if it’s not one of their contacts

    Not just the “young”; I’m sick to death of robo-diallers. Two rings and it’s straight through to the answering machine.

    I’d be happy to participate in their polling – at a time and place of my choosing (i.e. online.) Spamming home phones is not going to win you any friends.

  16. Conservative Jennifer Rubin in the WAPO :

    It’s increasingly obvious how just getting rid of Trump will help

    Even if we get a Democratic president Americans don’t like all that much, or whose limitations are obvious, we’ll be in a better spot than we would be with President Trump. That’s an unsurprising assumption by Democrats. But, increasingly, independents and disaffected Republicans — as seen from their praise of former president Barack Obama’s remarks on the mass murders in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio — know this to be true. “Anyone but Trump” should be the goal for all Americans, even Republicans.

    Whatever the problem, things would be better without Trump even with a president whose ideology and/or performance might not thrill most Americans.

    I don’t mean to suggest that all our problems will go away if Trump does, nor do I mean to suggest it doesn’t matter who succeeds him. However, we would eliminate a slew of Trump-created problems and inanities and make it possible rationally to address issues

    It’s not hyperbole to say Trump is a threat to our democracy, to national security and to progress on virtually any issue. We want the best possible president, but we will settle for anyone who isn’t Trump.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/06/increasingly-obvious-just-getting-rid-trump-will-help-lot/

  17. Cheryl Kernot comments that in her article on Keating, Latika Bourke has deliberately conflated Labor and Shorten.

    Cheryl Kernot @cheryl_kernot
    9h
    Deliberate conflation of Labor & Shorten.

    Just three months ago with all polls showing the opposition poised to win in a landslide, Mr Keating joined forces with his former foe Bob Hawke to endorse Labor’s economic plan and Bill Shorten as the man to run the economy.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bill-shorten-failed-to-understand-the-middle-class-paul-keating-says-20190806-p52ejk.html?btis

  18. @broomstick33
    2m
    #RNBreakfast Patricia Karvelas hammering @KKeneally for “platforming” the alt-right white nationalists and the other bigots and racists from Trump USA who will be gathering at #CPAC this weekend in Sydney .. same line ridiculing Keneally on #NewsCorpse #SAD last night #auspol

  19. Although I think I’m from the planet Crazy C@t today, and yesterday. I agreed to purchase an, admittedly lovely, Freedom Furniture cupboard, for $50 from a facebook group ‘Buy, Swap and Sell Central Coast’. Now I am taking stuff out of the 2 cupboards that it will be replacing. Then I have to hire a trailer to go and get it with. Get it into the house and into my bedroom, then figure out where to put all the stuff that used to be in the other 2 cupboards! Spring Cleaning has come early (because Spring is too dang hot these days). 😆

  20. @Shane Wright

    How good is NZ? Jobless rate at 3.9% (3.6% for men) with under-utilisation rate of 11%. This side of the Tasman – 5.2% jobless and under-utilisation rate of 13.4%

  21. Adolpho Telles, chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party, said during a television interview Tuesday that he welcomes Trump’s visit.

    “Clearly it is going to help with people healing, and this is a time of healing,” Telles said on CNN.

    He accused Democrats of “making this a political event for their benefit.”

    Projection. It’s Trump that is politicising the mass murders by forcefully injecting himself into places he isn’t welcome.

  22. Police “protection” in Darwin.

    Teela @teelareid
    11h
    I’m in Darwin & saw the #NTpol throw an Aboriginal woman in the back of a wagon. I approached & asked what is she charged with, the response was “she’s not charged, she’s protective custody for a minimum of 6hrs”. This is not ok! It’s not protective throwing women in a cell!!!

    11h
    She was also just the victim of a beating in public by two other people the police let walk off!

    The Aboriginal woman needed MEDICAL attention not police intervention. It took me and two guys from the American military to call it out. The police dismissed me because I my solicitor practice is in NSW! I am livid.

  23. @rainnwilson
    · Aug 4
    The metamorphosis of Jesus Christ from a humble servant of the abject poor to a symbol that stands for gun rights, prosperity theology, anti-science, limited government (that neglects the destitute) and fierce nationalism is truly the strangest transformation in human history.

  24. Barney @6:51
    “More evidence that voters favour social democratic policy options, right up until polling day.”

    Support for “social democratic policy options” is a mile wide and an inch deep. For the majority, such support doesn’t extend to bearing the smallest cost to themselves. They can be bribed or scared into voting against them.

  25. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/06/books/toni-morrison-dead.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    Her narratives mingle the voices of men, women, children and even ghosts in layered polyphony. Myth, magic and superstition are inextricably intertwined with everyday verities, a technique that caused Ms. Morrison’s novels to be likened often to those of Latin American magic realist writers like Gabriel García Márquez.

    In a 3000 word essay by Margalit Fox conveys the brilliance and humanity of Ms. Morrison. Well worth a read if you have access to the NYT.

  26. @AngryBlackLady

    SHOOTER: I was inspired by trump.

    MEDIA: what could have caused this?

    SHOOTER: look at this cool photo of the word “trump” spelled out in firearms

    MEDIA: he probably played too much fortnite

    SHOOTER: it’s like trump said, Hispanics are invading us

    MEDIA: we may never know

  27. Is Australia as corrupt as Colombia? Reposted from 2015, but still relevant, when politically influential rich look down on the poor, who ‘didn’t have a go’.

    Over 80 per cent of the wealthiest Australians have made their fortunes in property, mining, banking, superannuation and finance generally – all heavily regulated industries in which fortunes can be made by getting favourable property rezonings, planning law exemptions, mining concessions, labour law exemptions, money creation powers and mandated markets of many stripes.

    Looking in more detail at the life histories of these people, none of the 200 richest Australians in 2009 looked like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett – namely, innovators who made their money by inventing, producing, or distributing cheaper products bought by millions.

    Instead, the list abounded with mining magnates who enjoyed favourable government concessions; CEOs of superannuation funds who personally benefitted from government guarantees locking hundreds of thousands of people into doing business with them; banking and finance CEOs who received government guarantees and favourable legislation; and – the largest group of all – property developers who rely on rezoning and other favourable political decisions.

    Seeing what should be done is not the hard bit. The hard bit is the politics. Solutions like those suggested above will be bitterly resisted by the plutocrats who personally gain so much from keeping the population ignorant of their parasitic feasting.

    The first step is to get the population to wake up and realise the massive degree to which they are being fleeced, and to feel outraged because it does not have to be this way.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-26/frijters-foster-battlers-and-plutocrats/6725118?pfmredir=sm

  28. The nation’s 76 senators should be made to better represent regional and rural areas by being allocated special divisions within state borders, Nationals senator Matt Canavan said.

    In a speech to the Sydney Institute on Tuesday night, Senator Canavan said the reform would help create a greater understanding of diversity of views and create a greater culture of respect.

    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/senate-reform-will-restore-faith-in-democracy-20190806-p52e8q

  29. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has launched legal proceedings against four windfarm operators over South Australia’s 2016 statewide blackout.

    The AER said the Federal Court proceedings were against AGL, Neoen, Pacific Hydro and Tilt Renewables.

    It alleged the companies failed to comply with performance requirements to ride through major disruptions and disturbances.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-07/regulator-legal-action-against-energy-companies-over-sa-blackout/11390400

  30. Fess

    Rep. Dean PhillipsVerified account@RepDeanPhillips
    23h23 hours ago
    Uruguay today issued a travel warning to its citizens visting the United States of America, citing “growing violence” fueled by “racism and discrimination” that American “authorities are unable to prevent” due to “indiscriminate” gun ownership. Let that sink in for a minute.

    Uruguay is a very stable democracy these days, like Chile.

    Very sensible of them to warn their largely Hispanic population to be careful visiting the US.

  31. “The nation’s 76 senators should be made to better represent regional and rural areas by being allocated special divisions within state borders, Nationals senator Matt Canavan said.”

    Should that proposal be adopted the Senate really would become unrepresentative swill.

    A change along these lines would not require constitutional change. As long as States have equal representation and those eligible are allowed to vote, the Parliament is free to decide how Senators are elected.

  32. Zoidlord,

    The United States of Cognitive Dissonance.

    Every time there’s a mass shooting, The Onion posts another “news in brief”:

    NEWS IN BRIEF
    ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens
    Sunday 9:42AM [Ohio]

    NEWS IN BRIEF
    ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens
    Sunday 9:33AM [Texas]

    https://www.theonion.com/tag/guns

  33. lizzie,

    @broomstick33
    2m
    #RNBreakfast Patricia Karvelas hammering @KKeneally for “platforming” the alt-right white nationalists and the other bigots and racists from Trump USA who will be gathering at #CPAC this weekend in Sydney .. same line ridiculing Keneally on #NewsCorpse #SAD last night #auspol

    It is not “platforming” a fringe group – i.e. giving them more publicity than they would otherwise have – to point out that Australian Federal Government members are attending this meeting.

    These Federal government MPs will be bringing ideas back from this conference that will inform their input into legislation we will all have to love with.

  34. lizzie @ #38 Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 – 9:06 am

    The nation’s 76 senators should be made to better represent regional and rural areas by being allocated special divisions within state borders, Nationals senator Matt Canavan said.

    In a speech to the Sydney Institute on Tuesday night, Senator Canavan said the reform would help create a greater understanding of diversity of views and create a greater culture of respect.

    https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/senate-reform-will-restore-faith-in-democracy-20190806-p52e8q

    Says Canavan :

    “People are losing faith in democracy right around the Western world,” he said.
    “There are many reasons for this, but I think one is the erosion of simple respect for others and the different views that many will inevitably have in a country as large and diverse as ours.”

    I find him one of the least respectful of opinions other than his own. He is trying to increase the weight of voice of rural and conservative voters and keep meddlesome city know-alls off their back. Well, for a group who already seem demonstrably unable to manage their own affairs – dead rivers, dying towns, raped landscapes – I reckon they need all the help they can get, but refuse to take. I’d remind Canavan that the NSW Farmers recently passed a motion that formally denies man made Global Warming exists and that the first part of solving a problem involves recognising it, then acknowledging it. And he wants them to get more respect. Sorry, it’s like kindies wanting parents to keep out of playgrounds.

  35. lizzie,

    @rainnwilson
    · Aug 4
    The metamorphosis of Jesus Christ from a humble servant of the abject poor to a symbol that stands for gun rights, prosperity theology, anti-science, limited government (that neglects the destitute) and fierce nationalism is truly the strangest transformation in human history.

    Great joke from a friend on the weekend:

    Australia finally makes contact with intelligent beings from another planet. Any people want to converse with thew aliens, including a prominent evangelist.

    The evangelist asks the aliens if they have heard of Jesus. They reply “yes”, in fact he visits our planet twice a year. Really, says the evangelist. We have been waiting 2000 years for his return. What happens during his visits?

    Well, say the aliens, it is a joyous occasion. We gather all the best chocolate from all the corners of our world, and present them to him on his arrival. What did you do on your planet last time he visited?

  36. Texas police apologise after officers on horseback led black man by rope

    A police department in Galveston, Texas, has apologized after two white officers on horseback led a black man through the city’s streets on a rope.

    Photographs shared on social media show Donald Neely, 43, flanked by two mounted police officers. Neely’s hands are bound behind his back, and one of the officers is holding an attached thick blue rope.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/06/texas-police-galveston-white-officers-black-man-horse-rope

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