Burning questions

To keep things ticking over, some factless musings on the bushfire situation.

Time for a new thread. While I’m about it, two points about the bushfire crisis. To start with the obvious: it would be really interesting to see an opinion poll right now, but being what time of year it is, there are no polls to be had. Even if you remain skeptical-or-worse about the value of voting intention polling in the wake of last year’s debacle, some personal ratings on Scott Morrison would undoubtedly offer a helpful objective measure of how his image is bearing up after what has clearly been a tough couple of weeks. If you take your cues from social media, you may have concluded by now that Morrison’s career is as good as over. But if the last few years have taught us nothing else, it’s that that’s usually not a good idea. However, a News Corp pundit who generally doesn’t partake of the organisational kool-aid may have been on to something when he noted that this apprehension was “probably what tricked Morrison into thinking that all the outrage against him was confected and so he might as well go catch some rays”.

A second, less obvious point relates to an Eden-Monaro by-election that some readers of Canberra tea leaves assured us was on the cards, with one such ($) relating a view that Labor member Mike Kelly would be “gone by Christmas”. These reports asserted that the by-election would be used by state Nationals leader John Barilaro to enter federal politics with a view to deposing struggling party leader Michael McCormack. But if it’s the case that the government has suffered a bushfire-related hit to its standing, the thought of taking on a Labor-held seat at a by-election may have lost its appeal. The once-bellwether seat covers some of the worst affected areas, including the town of Cobargo, where Morrison met a hostile reception on Thursday from locals who — depending on your right-wing news source of choice — are either in no way representative of the town, or all too representative of it.

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.

3,738 comments on “Burning questions”

  1. nath,

    I’m glad you are pursuing this line of research D&M. I know you suspected me of conducting this kind of study too. Have no fear of any competition in this regard. I am a Fellow of the Academy of the Humanities, not of the Academy of the Social Sciences.

    Can I still get a talk at your conference? If you do not like my abstract, I have many more up my sleeve 😀

  2. The Sanskrit word nātha literally means “lord, protector, master”. … The term Nath or Natha, with the meaning of lord, is a term also found in Vaishnavism (e.g. Gopinath, Jagannath) and in Jainism (Adinatha, Parsvanatha).

  3. blog watch 8 pm 9/1/2020
    NICHOLAS KEARNS.- Bushfires. If this is the future we have no future
    Dr Strangelove warned us of a “Doomsday Machine” that would destroy the entire planet.
    NOEL TURNBULL. It’s not the marketing – it’s the marketer
    Scott Morrison has failed a fundamental marketing test-communicating authenticity.
    CAVAN HOGUE – The Trumpet shall sound, And we shall be razed!
    Australia’s response to US Trumpeting in Iraq has been muted and said nothing about whether we agree in principle that it is acceptable to assassinate foreign nationals in other countries. Russia in Britain?
    AMANDA MEADE.-The Australian newspaper downplays bushfires in favour of picnic races.( The Guardian 4.1.2020)
    And the Herald Sun relegates bushfires to page 4 while the Courier Mail brings good news via’Onion
    MIKE SCRAFTON. Crisis and the Transformation of Government Administration
    Today, there are four simultaneous and momentous crises before which modern democracies seem impotent; global warming, population growth, wealth inequality, and a dangerous geostrategic shift. This brings me to the Thodey Review.
    JOCELYN PIXLEY. Are the Liberals “born to rule”?
    Australia’s tragedy has brought a scandal about hard issues: Morrison separated politics from government too publicly.
    CHAS SAVAGE.-Global warming and action in good faith.
    Meaningful action to prevent global warming requires joint action through time. In this sense, we require a focus on outcomes—the goal of limiting warming to two degrees Celsius—and what must be done to realise this. Justice, of course, requires a sharing of the burden, because only a sharing of the burden will prompt and sustain action.
    https://johnmenadue.com/
    Dark side of Bumble Bizz: Predatory multi-level marketing
    A LACK OF REGULATION on the popular dating-buddy-networking app Bumble Bizz has allowed room for sinister multi-level marketing (MLM) strategies that mirror the pyramid schemes of the 80s. These companies have shifted, evolved and expanded into new forms of corruption.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/darkside-of-bumble-bizz–unregulated-predatory-multi-level-marketing,13386
    In the name of Australia’s future, the Morrison Government must go
    Due to political incompetence leading to the devastation of our country, Australians are becoming increasingly vocal against the Morrison Government, writes Peter Henning.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/in-the-name-of-australias-future-the-morrison-government-must-go,13473
    bThe truth behind Miranda Devine’s attack on the Greens
    News Corp columnist Miranda Devine has added to the spread of misinformation by falsely blaming the Greens for our bushfire crisis, writes Nick Goldie.
    Greens not guilty as NewsCorp. The Greens have only tryed to stop some of Labors action to deal with climate change, NewsCorp has the full house.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-truth-behind-miranda-devines-attack-on-the-greens,13470
    Slow Burn
    At the time of writing, at least fourteen people have been killed by this season’s bushfires. And with most of January and all of February still to come, the number is sure to rise. But these dramatic deaths are far outweighed by the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of deaths that will ultimately result from the toxic smoke blanketing Australian cities.
    https://johnquiggin.com/
    Recent disastrous bushfires result mainly from ignoring lessons from the past
    The messages from official inquiries into earlier bushfires had all been crystal clear and unanimous about what needed to be done..
    My ABC, some of the time
    Why so many? After all, there are about as many Buddhists as Aboriginals, and three times as many Chinese. Ah well, despite the ABC’s need to show impartiality, Reconciliation is somehow more important.
    Or I want the ABC to reflect my view.
    https://www.onlineopinion.com.au/
    NY Post nails the trailer park trash formerly known as Prince Harry and Meghan
    New boss of everything Adam Bandt with orders for the PM over “coal-fuelled bushfires”
    Michael Smith seems extremely stressed over Prince Henry
    Meghan met with Hillary Clinton before setting up sussexroyal.com

    Who do they think they are? Meghan & Harry’s SussexRoyal.com website…..
    Her Majesty The Queen said to be “livid, aghast” at Harry and Meghan
    Prince Harry and Meghan resignation and “progressive” new jobs
    https://michaelsmithnews.typepad.com/
    What the BOM don’t say: it’s not the hottest year in Australia according to satellites
    More nonsensce from JoNova, who cares one way or the other.
    http://joannenova.com.au/

  4. Douglas and Milko says:
    Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    nath,

    I’m glad you are pursuing this line of research D&M. I know you suspected me of conducting this kind of study too. Have no fear of any competition in this regard. I am a Fellow of the Academy of the Humanities, not of the Academy of the Social Sciences.

    Can I still get a talk at your conference? If you do not like my abstract, I have many more up my sleeve
    ________________
    Of course! I have you down as chairing a session on the 25th too.

  5. It seems Mr Morrison is advocating conducting a “comprehensive inquiry” into the bushfires – that carries a lot of risk from his perspective…

  6. Kronomex

    Used Kaspersky for a while, seems to get good ratings and has been no problem using. My deep deep regret was not buying it immediately after seeing it score top in an anti-virus test against all the big names. I waited a few months to see if the company was legit. Why ? It was the days of Yeltsin and you needed to send cash or a bank cheque to an address in the Kremlin !!!!!! By the time I decided the company was legit Eugene had moved out of the Kremlin offices where he had been moonlighting. What I would give to have a receipt from The Kremlin 😆

  7. Douglas and Milko
    Thursday, January 9th, 2020 – 9:04 pm
    Comment #3416

    Thank you so much for your wonderful reply.

    Please send address of your home (together with location of hidden key) – my Princesses sister will arrive pronto bearing mucho moolah.

    In the meanwhile would you be available the first weekend in February for a weekend away (at your expense).

    I am thinking of Joe Dodgy’s motel, Baylis Street, Wagga Wagga.

    Entertainment by Elvis imperskinator Mr. Michael McCormack, direct from the Elvis Impersonators Festival in Parkes (that would be the gardens down the end of Baylis Street as I remember). Michael will be performing his hits including

    “Those Inner City Raving Lunatics” a favourite in down town Wagga.

    Goodnight all. 💤

  8. What is the latest with Fridays marches. Read earlier in the week that Melbournes might be a bit of a fizzer.
    Seems public opinion is settling on better land management and more hazard reduction burning as the way forward.


  9. Douglas and Milko says:
    Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    frednk,

    Thanks for your blog watch. I think it gives us here in our bubble and bit on insight into what some others think.

    Anything to avoid another round of “Labor should because the Greens can’t”

  10. ”It seems Mr Morrison is advocating conducting a “comprehensive inquiry” into the bushfires – that carries a lot of risk from his perspective…”

    Not really. He’ll choose a right wing climate denier to head it up. The terms of reference will be set up to target environmentalists, ”green tape”, Labor state governments, arsonists and so forth. They will explicitly exclude global heating. It will recommend mandatory multi-decade sentences for arsonists with the onus of proof reversed, more land clearing and the setting up of panels of miners, graziers, developers and irrigators to determine hazard reduction programs.

  11. Taylormade says:
    Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    What is the latest with Fridays marches. Read earlier in the week that Melbournes might be a bit of a fizzer.
    Seems public opinion is settling on better land management and more hazard reduction burning as the way forward.

    Think your social media campaign has been a success do you?

  12. Taylormade

    Seems public opinion is settling on better land management and more hazard reduction burning as the way forward.
    ——————
    I thought the Murdoch Press had settled on land management, more burning and more arsonists.

    You seem to have not got the latest directive.

  13. “The Nath:Nath Index: Buckley’s or none? Nath posting frequency, Collingwood match statistics and ALP poll ratings.”

    (I’m not sure which potential inverse relationship would upset me more …. 🙂 )

  14. Trump is so far following my oft-stated theory that he will not upset Putin, or any states that Putin patronizes.

    The assassination of the Iranian general was probably permitted by Putin, and who knows, by the Iranian President. I predict that one day it might well be disvovered that General Soleimani was getting too big for his boots, Iranwize, and had to be disposed of. It don’t hurt to make sure.

    We read that the Americans received a tip-off just hours before the Iranian rocket on their base. Oh really? Who tipped them off?

    And what an attack it was! A brace of ballistic missiles that managed to hit empty hangers and make holes in the grass beside the runway. Such precision!

    For a nation with not-half-bad scientists that have been working on, not only nuclear weapons, but precision guidance and telemetry systems to deliver them, getting missiles all those hundreds of kilometres from Iran to Baghdad, only to see them effectively turn into fizzers in the last couple of hundred metres looks like either carelessness or very careful planning.

    A nice little crisis: the pest, Soleimani, disposed of; Trump gets to posture as wartime President; suddenly the Iranian crowds are back on the streets chanting – this time – pro-government slogans; Putin has evidence that Trump, in attacking a Russian ally, is not his agent after all; and God knows who of Trump’s Spiv mates was tipped off early enough to short oil futures and lots of other stock too. Everyone’s a winner here.

    Iran is following the example of Syria, Venezuela, and (in an earlier, recent iteration) Iran itself: where the big stick is waved at a Russian ally (or even at Russia itself – remember the airbase that was bombed with no damage done because they were warned?), a show is made of tough action, and then nothing fucking happens afterwards, except lots of insiders get richer.

    Connect the dots.

    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/three-hours-to-attack-inside-the-race-to-protect-us-forces-from-iran-20200109-p53q6f.html

  15. C@tmomma

    Kaspersky doesn’t get top ratings for nothing and you can bet your last dollar all their rivals would have and be looking for even the slightest hint of anything funny with it.

  16. Now this is a big change from UK labour on Scotland. Clive Lewis MP for Norwich South and a contender for Labour leadership. He even advocates for a seperate Scottish Labour Party.

    “ Given the option to exit the UK, it is little wonder that so many now support independence and given the prospect of at least five years of Tory rule imposing a Brexit that Scotland did not vote for, the question of independence and a second referendum is unavoidable.”

    He added: “In the words of the 1989 Scottish Constitutional Convention, supported by Labour MPs, I believe ‘in the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs.’

    “It is not for me, as an English MP for an English constituency, to dictate to Scotland what that form of government should be, and there should be no question of Labour opposing a second independence referendum if there is a mandate to hold one.”

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/18146934.clive-lewis-says-labour-must-not-oppose-indyref2/

  17. Bushfire Bill

    The Iranians told the Iraqis. The Iraqis are super pissed with the US for not telling them before their strikes recently.They did so knowing the Iraqis would tell the US. Why ? So that they could get their symbolic “slap” in with minimal risk of killing Americans. Which would mean war. Maybe, being far fetched here, but perhaps Iran would prefer not to have a war? No need for a ‘Maddow’ and find Vlad behind every rock and tree.

  18. poroti @ #3675 Thursday, January 9th, 2020 – 9:49 pm

    C@tmomma

    Kaspersky doesn’t get top ratings for nothing and you can bet your last dollar all their rivals would have and be looking for even the slightest hint of anything funny with it.

    I just remember, vaguely, reading an article that stated something along the lines of…Kaspersky has the best Russian IT brains behind it so that it may infiltrate the West. It is attractively-priced and works as well, or better, than its Western equivalents.

    The only problem is that it is a Trojan Horse.

    I think I’ll stick with my Bitdefender Pro. 🙂

  19. BB at 9.48 and poroti at 9.58

    Any and all of these propositions could be true. The idea that anything that happens in the Middle East has only one reason or cause defies everything we know about that part of the world.

  20. I’d like to be on the panel for “The pros and cons of being AnathEMA within the narcissistic power structures of the contemporary mindmelds of self-important individuals”

  21. Morrison has dismissed this very early widespread uncontrollable bush fire season as a natural disaster. Just another disaster. The LNP and the stranded coal asset brigade will portray every available, physical, social, fiscal monetary, and humbug reason to deny the existence of climate change and subsequent repercussions of climate change to maintain their hold over the disproportionate benefits to the select few.
    Morrison’s display on ths 7.30 report tonight exemplified the LNP’s determination to dismiss climate change as a concept while insisting the LNP is doing everything to honour Australia’s international commitments. A damning contradiction in itself.
    Australia’s only chance to help abate the ravages of climate change rest with a very aloof, disengaged and selfish population.
    The next few months will quickly tell the story.

  22. Good on Twiggy for stepping up. He apparently owns property on Kangaroo Is so it’s possible that motivated the donation. But the size of his and Nic’s contribution is fantastic.

  23. Steve777 @ #3663 Thursday, January 9th, 2020 – 9:32 pm

    ”It seems Mr Morrison is advocating conducting a “comprehensive inquiry” into the bushfires – that carries a lot of risk from his perspective…”

    Not really. He’ll choose a right wing climate denier to head it up. The terms of reference will be set up to target environmentalists, ”green tape”, Labor state governments, arsonists and so forth. They will explicitly exclude global heating. It will recommend mandatory multi-decade sentences for arsonists with the onus of proof reversed, more land clearing and the setting up of panels of miners, graziers, developers and irrigators to determine hazard reduction programs.

    Why don’t we just accept that the Liberal party will always be able to outsmart the rest of us including the Labor party and shit will just work out for them because that’s the way it’s rigged.
    Let’s all go grow tomatoes while the sun shines.

  24. Taylormade @ #3661 Thursday, January 9th, 2020 – 9:32 pm

    What is the latest with Fridays marches. Read earlier in the week that Melbournes might be a bit of a fizzer.
    Seems public opinion is settling on better land management and more hazard reduction burning as the way forward.

    ‘Seems public opinion is settling on better land management and more hazard reduction burning as the way forward’
    No shit.
    Mundo is gobsmacked!
    Who’da thunk it!!

    You mean Scrotty’s not ‘fucked’ as Not Sure told me?

    Can’t believe it.
    Mundo was sure he was toast!
    Toast I tells ya!!!

  25. Historically, the middle-east region is singularly the most volatile area of the planet and has always been. It is like there is some kind of magnetic force there that makes groups of people continually warlike.

    If anyone has ever read the historical record deduced from archaeology (or even the old testament), you’d find constant instability and squabbling from the year dot (pre-dot?).

    Only difference now is the tentacles of those wars/squabbles stretch out to encompass the rest of the world.

  26. jenauthor
    says:
    Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 10:06 pm
    I’d like to be on the panel for “The pros and cons of being AnathEMA within the narcissistic power structures of the contemporary mindmelds of self-important individuals”
    _____________________________
    I’m thinking of putting you with a few other notables on a plenary panel: Post-Shorten Grief: coping and the blame game.

  27. TPOF @ #3678 Thursday, January 9th, 2020 – 9:02 pm

    BB at 9.48 and poroti at 9.58

    Any and all of these propositions could be true. The idea that anything that happens in the Middle East has only one reason or cause defies everything we know about that part of the world.

    I’ll take the obvious explanation. The Iranian counterattack was all about optics. They couldn’t do nothing after Trump just assassinated one of their officials and then bragged about it to the world. Neither are they stupid/suicidal enough to actually want to escalate further.

    So they need something that lets them go “see, we retaliated” without actually goading the U.S. into all-out war. An ineffective missile attack with no casualties or significant damage (because you warn your targets in advance) fits the bill just about perfectly. Leaves the U.S. an out and lets Iran save some face.

    And of course a missile that precisely misses hitting anything important demonstrates the precision of your weaponry just as well as one that precisely hits.

  28. E. G. Theodore
    says:
    Thursday, January 9, 2020 at 10:19 pm
    If at the Conference we award nath a Festschrift, will he declare victory and piss off?
    __________________________________
    Good luck. I’m in negotiations with William to buy a piece of this place. I love it.

  29. Most people have to suffer “repulsively rude indignity” at a much younger age.

    Ask the inmates of the average Australian nursing home.

  30. Why don’t we just accept that the Liberal party will always be able to outsmart the rest of us including the Labor party and shit will just work out for them because that’s the way it’s rigged.

    I don’t dispute that politics in Oz is rigged. What I dispute is your assertion that Morrison can and will talk his way out of anything: something he has shown he cannot ultimately do.

    He’s been fired from just about every important job he’s ever had… by his own side.

    That to me indicates that he’s a pest with friends in high places. But even they can’t help him in the end. And the end comes pretty quickly once they realise Scotty’s up to his old tricks again.

    It”s inconceivable that he hasn’t already upset the inner sanctum with his sneakiness zzz devious ways and outright bullshit.

    Or do you think he’s just an arsehole in public, and a saint in the Cabinet room? Please.

    The bushfire debacle has left him mightily scarred. And with him the party. Nothing surer. He might be able to get journos to be polite to him (because he can threaten them), but have you seen the public reaction? Have you spoken with a stranger lately? Heard what as lmist everyone’s saying about him?

    I’m not talking a drift if continental proportions away from the Libs, but remember they have a one seat majority and some antsy independents to deal with. They’re on the razor’s edge.

    Ready to be knocked off with a very unpopular leader.

  31. Player One @ #3687 Thursday, January 9th, 2020 – 10:18 pm

    Not sure if this has already been posted, but after watching Smirko on the ABC tonight, I think it needs to be re-posted if so.

    Almost everything he said about our C02 emissions on national TV tonight was an outright lie …

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/09/when-it-comes-to-emissions-the-too-small-to-matter-argument-is-absurd-reckless-and-morally-bankrupt

    Albo will be all over it tomorrow.
    You just wait and see.
    No way Labor’s gonna let him get away with it.
    Scrotty is toast!!
    Toast I tells ya!!!!

  32. The only hope for Australia is if the greens and labor work out their differences and decide to work together. Fighting the Murdoch media is no easy task as they have brain washed the electorate. They and other right wing media are stuck now because they have brain washed all these people and,although they know that climate change is real and man made, they can’t safely change course now.

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