Call of the board: the territories

Zooming in on the federal election results for the three seats of the Australian Capital Territory and the two of the Northern Territory, all of which were won by Labor.

Wherein we finally wrap up the Call of the Board series, a slowly unfolding state-by-state round-up every seat result from last year’s federal election. Here we tie up the loose ends of the territories, where Labor achieved a clean sweep of five seats – an essentially foregone conclusion for the Australian Capital Territory (which went from two to three seats at this election), but a strong result for them in the Northern Territory (which may be set to lose its second at the next). Previous episodes of the series dealt with Sydney (here and here), regional New South Wales, Melbourne, regional Victoria, south-east Queensland, regional Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia and Tasmania.

Solomon (Labor 3.1%; 3.0% swing to CLP): The always marginal seat that covers Darwin has only gone the way of the winning party once out of the last four elections (in 2013), this time returning Luke Gosling after he gained it for Labor in 2016. Gosling’s 6.0% winning margin off a 7.4% swing in 2016 was the clearest win in the history of a highly marginal seat, the previous record having been Dave Tollner’s 2.8% win for the Country Liberal Party in 2004. This meant he had enough change to record the seat’s second-biggest margin even after a 3.0% swing back to the Country Liberals. As the map to the right illustrates, the pattern of swings in the seat reflected broader themes from the election: the affluent area around the city centre swung to Labor, but the lower-income suburbs of the north went the other way, and the more conservative new suburbia of Palmerston went further still.

Lingiari (Labor 5.5%; 2.7% swing to CLP): Warren Snowdon retained the remainder-of-NT seat of Lingiari, which he has held without interruption since 2001, his closest shave in that time being a 0.9% margin in 2013. The swings in the two Northern Territory seats have been closely matched at the last election, with a 7.5% blowout in Lingiari in 2016 followed by a 2.7% correction this time. There have been occasions in the past where swings varied widely between Alice Springs and Katherine on the one hand and the remote communities in the other, but not this time.

Bean (Labor 7.5%; 1.3% swing to Liberal): The ACT’s new third seat was created entirely from territory that was formerly in the Canberra electorate, whose member Gai Brodtmann did not seek re-election. David Smith, who had previously filled Katy Gallagher’s Senate vacancy when she fell foul of section 44 in May 2018, had no trouble holding Bean for Labor in the face of a slight swing. Left-wing independent Jamie Christie scored a creditable 8.3%, contributing to solid drops on the primary vote for both major parties.

Canberra (Labor 17.1%; 4.1% swing to Labor): The Canberra electorate covers the central third of the capital, and might be regarded as the true “new” seat since it drew territory from both of the previous electorates. Like Darwin, Canberra offered a miniature reflection of national trend in that the city’s inner area moved solidly further to the left, while the suburbs swung to the Liberals. This was reflected in a 4.6% primary vote increase for the Greens, reducing the gap with the Liberals to 27.8% to 23.3%. This is the lowest yet recorded in an ACT seat, but with the Liberal how-to-vote directing preferences to Labor ahead of the Greens, they would probably have remained out of contention if they had made up the difference. With the departure of Gai Brodtmann, its new Labor member is Alicia Payne, who dropped 2.0% on the primary vote to 40.5%.

Fenner (Labor 10.6%; 1.3% swing to Liberal): Labor’s Andrew Leigh suffered a slight swing from similar primary vote numbers to 2016, the main disturbance being the appearance of the United Australia Party with 4.1%.

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.

1,398 comments on “Call of the board: the territories”

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  1. :sigh:

    Doctors have praised preparations so far, but want an Australian national body like the European Centre for Disease Control
    Australian public health experts will be sent to Yokohama, Japan, where more than 200 Australians are quarantined on the docked Diamond Princess, amid concerns the cruise ship could be incubating the coronavirus.
    Scott Morrison’s assistant minister, Ben Morton, is associated with four clubs that won tens of thousands of dollars through a grants scheme he wields influence over.
    It is one of the biggest fraud cases in the nation’s history and is being heard three years after Julian Wright filed an explosive writ alleging that his siblings “fraudulently misrepresented” the future value of Wright Prospecting Pty Ltd (WPPL) following the unexpected death of their father, Peter Wright, in September 1985.
    Winston Peters, the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of Ardern’s coalition partner NZ First, is increasingly being called out on party practices.
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s top aide has admitted “significant shortcomings” in the program, including decisions made by ministerial advisers, but has rejected claims politics dictated who received cash.
    The New South Wales police minister has refused to comment on a secretive blacklist used disproportionately to target young Indigenous people with sometimes “coercive” tactics because it is “an operational issue”.
    ‘A moment of complete despair’: last population of Macquarie perch wiped out in NSW river carnage
    Fisheries managers arrived too late to save more of the endangered species as heavy rain washes ash into NSW rivers, robbing fish of oxygen
    A $100 million grants program, established by the government ahead of the 2019 election, was restricted to 25 preselected projects, most of them in key seats for the Coalition.
    The federal government is holding up a bid to compensate more than 60 people who allegedly suffered psychological trauma in immigration detention during the Howard years, stalling one lead case just as it was about to go to trial.
    Liberal moderates are appalled. Trent Zimmerman and Dave Sharma, who both hold inner-city seats where there is high concern about climate issues, went public, saying the government should not put taxpayers’ money towards new coal-fired generation.
    This summer’s bushfire crisis has had a profound impact on people with disabilities
    On the key issues animating public attention – an Aboriginality test and sovereignty – close reading of each judgement reveals very careful statements. There are no majority pronouncements that change the status quo.
    Respect and a little bit of fear. It has served our leaders for 200 years and made the country thoughtless, anxious and contented.

  2. KayJay @ #1904 Saturday, February 15th, 2020 – 6:48 am

    “The Australian” is in full bullshit mode today, so much so that its hard to believe that the staff have not drink taken and been moon stricken to boot.

    Evidence –

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    The swamp has spread from Washington.

    Leslie, a reader of this newspaper, wrote this on Wednesday shortly after the shocking decision by the High Court of Australia. The word swamp is an acronym for “superior wisdom alienates mere peasants”. And that is precisely what the High Court guaranteed when it decided that two violent criminals who were not born here, and are not Australian citizens, will not be deported because they attract special status as people with Australian Aboriginal descent.

    With scant regard to the law, the majority of the High Court dreamt up a legally bogus exception based on race to exclude two men from the normal application of our non-citizens laws. Four judges imagined that their personal preference to tinker with the Constitution matters more than our constitutional right to change our founding document by a referendum, and only by a referendum.

    That said, this runaway court needs fixing fast. If it can do this in a case involving section 51 (xix) of the Constitution that gives parliament power to make laws with respect to naturalisation and aliens, what will the High Court do with other clauses

    I cannot help but agree with Ms. (damn I keep forgetting her name) these tinkering incompetents should be immediately replaced by carefully selected and vetted LNP members. I understand that there are a few who missed out on those lucrative appointments (Administrative Appeals Tribunal) when the current Gummint thought that the treasury needed a good cleanout prior to an election loss.

    Also from “The Australian” –

    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    Canberra Times
    ” rel=”nofollow”>

    For BK would the Telstra four hours relate to anything in ordinary space time ❓

  3. lizzie @ #4 Saturday, February 15th, 2020 – 7:12 am


    Albrechtsen is such a reliable Murdoch writer, isn’t she!!

    There is another item in The Australian which I will have a look at a little later. One of the problems with The Austrian is that should a straight, factual, informative item appear – it could be dismissed as just another load of old BS. The item concerned is

    There’s a lot of information concerning failures, equipment, personnel -etc. However I think the article may be simply to deflect possible criticism from the Federal to the NSW Government.

    In any case – a lot of work needs to be done.

    Off to water pot plants.

  4. Bellwether @ #6 Saturday, February 15th, 2020 – 7:25 am

    Did a Bludger have a meltdown last night? The forum cop had to be called out?

    Sorry, but I refused to let being called a rat who was infesting the blog go through to the keeper. If you think people shouldn’t react to slurs like that it’s up to you but lays out your standards for all to see. Mine are obviously higher than that. Anyway, you were one of those who agreed with Mr Newbie, and you probably know it.

    And even though I wasn’t going to say any more about it, you couldn’t resist, could you?

    Now, can you just let it go, for all our sakes? Oh, and I’m sorry I have feelings, obviously you don’t.

  5. How a political party you’ve never heard of could split the government

    Let’s be clear, talk of a split is being driven only by the Nationals, and mostly by the LNP-Nationals. Frustrated by being reduced to a rural rump (completely through their own actions) and with limited opportunities for promotion within the Coalition, these agitators see a separate LNP as their ticket to the ministerial gravy train.

    Counting all the Nationals MPs and Senators as well as the Queensland LNP members who sit with the Nationals MPs, the junior member of the Coalition numbers 20, which entitles it to four cabinet positions and two in the outer ministry.

    However if the LNP cohort became a separate party within the Coalition, it would have 29 members and senators (former Liberals 21, former Nationals 8), leaving the Nationals with only 12.

    The establishment of an LNP outside Queensland would also require the election of a party leader and deputy leader, as well as the creation of leadership positions in the Senate – all with attendant pay rises.

    Matt Canavan could become leader on the expectation that he would move to the House of Representatives at the next federal election

  6. From The Guardian’s live COVID-19 blog:

    Airline passengers who have sat within two rows of a person suspected to have caught coronavirus should be quarantined, according to guidance published by the government today for transport staff.

    The guidance released by the Department for Transport states: “Any contacts of a possible case need to be isolated or quarantined. In practice for passengers who have travelled via airplane, this will include all passengers in the 2 rows in front and behind of where the possible case was sat.”

    Staff working on planes, trains or ships are recommended to cooperate with emergency medical services at airports or ports if a passenger becomes symptomatic on board.

    Meanwhile, transport staff should not wear face masks but instead stick to good hygiene to avoid the risk of coronavirus, according to the guidance. It advises staff not to wear masks as “they do not provide protection from respiratory viruses”. Instead, the best way of reducing risk is “good hygiene” and to avoid getting within two metres with a potentially infected person.


    There are no guidelines issued regarding restaurants or public transport, so I guess it’s OK to sit as close as you like to others in those situations, as long as you make sure first they are not infected. Apparently COVID-19 can tell the difference. Maybe it’s the altitude or something?

    How detecting whether someone within two rows is infected is not specified.

    Maybe Dr Wombat could give a lecture on the difference between airborne droplets and aerosols? That ought to calm the Nervous Nellies.

    A polite enquiry of the alleged infectee perhaps?

    One of those infra red thingmybobs they point at people in airports?

    Maybe we could just go out of our way to show solidarity with our fellow man, shake hands, give them a kiss and then wait 14 days to see if we develop symptoms?

    Let’s not panic, after all. Virtue trump’s a virus any day of the week. You can’t catch COVID-19 if your heart’s in the right place.

  7. As well as and also —

    The top levels of the Coalition ­expect Michael McCormack will make way for his deputy David Littleproud to take over the ­Nationals leadership in an orderly transition of power.

    Leading Nationals and Liberals now believe the Deputy Prime Minister must step down ahead of the next election to ensure the survival of the country party and maintain stability inside the ­Coalition.

    The Weekend Australian ­understands a change in Nationals leadership — following Barnaby Joyce’s failed move against Mr McCormack — would see Mr Joyce not challenge for the top job and instead work as a minister in Mr Littleproud’s team.

    So there you have it folks. Somebody knows what happening but he/she’s keeping it quiet.

  8. Thanks KayJay for wading through the muck and bile that is the Smearstralian to bring us up to speed so we don’t have to.

    What are the odds that when Rupe finally goes his pet will also be quietly put down.

  9. A thread which seems to run constantly though all reports of the Liberal/NP funding promises is that the promised money hasn’t arrived “yet”. Meanwhile, it can be employed in other promises.

    How on earth can the budget be relied on to tell the truth?

  10. ‘The Weekend Australian ­understands a change in Nationals leadership — following Barnaby Joyce’s failed move against Mr McCormack — would see Mr Joyce not challenge for the top job and instead work as a minister in Mr Littleproud’s team.’

    Aren’t they on to Barnaby yet?

    Once again, it looks like he’s going to get what he wanted all along – in this case, a return to the Ministry – to stop him wrecking the joint.

  11. It will be interesting to see how long it takes The Donald to have a, to use an Americanism, conniption fit about this –

    Do you realise that by using, “…Oh, and I’m sorry I have feelings, obviously you don’t.” that you might set off another row. If you had just finished at, “Now, can you just let it go, for all our sakes?” the matter may well have finished there.

  12. The Coalition can be counted on to lie to suit their interests. A case in point: it now looks like Angus Taylor’s wife, Louise Clegg is actually, ‘maybe’, going to run to become Lord Mayor of Sydney, after all:

    The 2020 Sydney lord mayoral race slated for September looks set to unleash more fireworks than New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour – if the signs in Bundeena, where one likely high profile contender(DR Kerryn Phelps), has a holiday house, are anything to go by.

    Five female candidates look set to contest the prized role, which for a state like NSW, with the lowest number of women in elected local government, is a good thing. But it could be a cat fight.

    On the left, deputy lord mayor Linda Scott is canvassing her community about running as a Labor Party candidate.

    On the right the Liberal Party pre-selection is not resolved. Liberal councillor Christine Forster, former PM Tony Abbott’s sister, is a likely contender. So too barrister Louise Clegg, wife of Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor. Despite her protestations that she won’t contest any Sydney-based mayoral race as she lives in Goulburn, senior Liberal Party sources say she may still throw her Akubra in the right-wing ring. Earlier this month, the Australian Federal Police dropped its investigation into her politician husband over doctored documents aimed to damage the climate change credentials of her could-be competitor lord mayor Clover Moore.

  13. The Bureau of Meteorology issued a hazard surf warning stretching from Byron to Eden near the Victorian border for Friday and Saturday. Activities to be avoided include swimming, boating and rock fishing.

    Of course we who know stuff via “The Australian” well understand that the BOM is totally unreliable and is prolly a proxy for the World Government in Waiting (United Nations) and therefore we’ll be rock fishing as usual and forget safety equipment we’re proper Strayans.

  14. Barnyard’s maxim on leadership now appears prescient….

    “It’s hard to straddle a sheep and keep both arse-cheeks in the leaders chair”. B. Joyce 2016

  15. KayJay

    Once, when exploring the South Coast with my then very young sons, I turned around to see my husband and the boys, who were standing on a cliff, being engulfed by a huge wave.

    Apparently my husband was saying to the boys, “See how wet this rock is? Well, that shows you need to be careful, because….”

  16. Sorry I can’t do the cartoons this morning as I have to go and do my weekly volunteer gig at the RSPCA Op Shop. If there is no movement on the BK internet front by the time I get back then I will do them, unless someone else has stepped up to the plate. 🙂

  17. Jeez America is becoming like a tinpot African despot nation. However some good news amongst all the crazy.

    The Justice Department will not charge former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe with lying to investigators about a media disclosure, according to people familiar with the matter and McCabe’s legal team, ending a long-running inquiry into a top law enforcement official who authorized the bureau to investigate President Trump and soon became the commander in chief’s political punching bag.

    The department revealed the decision to McCabe’s team Friday. The move was said to infuriate Trump, who has raged publicly and privately in recent months that McCabe and others he considers political enemies should be charged with crimes.

  18. Pleased to see the occasional hint of sanity in the US wrt McCabe … And the fact that Trump has lost another of his ‘lock em up!’ arguments makes it all the more comforting in a period of total insanity

  19. zoomster
    Saturday, February 15th, 2020 – 8:12 am
    Comment #21

    Apparently my husband was saying to the boys, “See how wet this rock is? Well, that shows you need to be careful, because….”

    Oh Jeez. Shudder. 😵

  20. This is a satire about the Barr-Trump Tweetbroglio and it is so funny if you are able to access all of it, do. It is written in the voice of Bill Barr:

    Just let me remind my people again, for the record: We are not corrupt! Stop resigning! Just be resigned. Don’t worry about it! That’s why I wish these tweets would stop. (Not, of course, that my wishes are more important than the president’s; his wishes are as perfect as his hands, which came from the turning lathe of the gods themselves.)

    For the record on Roger Stone, I was going to modify the sentencing recommendation anyway because — coincidentally — the president was totally right in his tweet! That is why I am so mad he sent the tweet, which makes me look like I’m not an independent actor. Look, I am going to talk while he drinks a whole glass of water.

    Also — the tweets saying that Comey should be charged with crimes? Slow down, Tiger! First U.S. Attorney John Durham has to investigate whether the FBI and CIA folks investigating Russian interference did anything wrong, so that we can help the president be reelected. This is a fine use of the Justice Department but, again, if the president tweets about it, it will look bad. So I’m warning you, buster! Don’t!

    I just hate that the public sees these tweets and thinks I’m just doing the president’s bidding without regard for the independence of the Justice Department! It really makes it difficult for me to carry out the president’s bidding without regard for the independence of the Justice Department. The tweets are the problem here! Please, stop tweeting!


  21. KayJay @ #2 Saturday, February 15th, 2020 – 4:05 am

    KayJay @ #1904 Saturday, February 15th, 2020 – 6:48 am

    “The Australian” is in full bullshit mode today, so much so that its hard to believe that the staff have not drink taken and been moon stricken to boot.

    Evidence –

    <a href="” rel=”nofollow”>” rel=”nofollow”>

    Did Janet make note of shellbell’s observation that the “activist” judges were the Coalition appointed ones, whilst the dissenting ones were the Labor appointments? 🙂

  22. Ruby O’Rourke
    Sorry #Gaetjens Im a living example of grant extortion. It was directly put to our charity that unless we help get the govt elected, funding for children’s obesity program will be stopped.
    @GregHuntMP’s advisor spoke for GH & @senbmckenzie

    Im willing to testify. #sportsrorts

  23. There’s a small typo in this article – there was a 4.1% swing towards Labor (not Liberal) in the division of Canberra.

    The NT was surprisingly good for Labor relative to the general election results (even with the small swings against Labor, they’re still more Labor-voting than they usually are). Unfortunately, that probably means the government won’t do anything to preserve the second NT seat (unlike in 2004).

  24. Rick Wilson drops the mic on ‘moral eunuch’ John Kelly for only now turning on Trump

    In a typically no-holds-barred column for the Daily Beast, GOP campaign consultant — and a thorn in Donald Trump’s side — Rick Wilson hammered former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly for finally coming forward to criticize the president, saying he could have done it much earlier but was just too “chickensh*t” to stick his neck out.

    “John Kelly’s half-assed, just-the-tip critique of Donald Trump Thursday was too little, too late, and too lame from the retired Marine Corps general turned Everything Trump Touches Dies poster boy,” Wilson began with his typical getting right-to-the-heart-of-the-matter style. “At best, the former White House Chief of Staff displayed a l’esprit de l’escalier that is insufficient for the gravity of the moment. At worst, he looked like one more ex-Trump chickenshit in a barnyard full of them.”

    Writing, “Alexander Vindman showed more balls in one day than John Kelly ever has when it comes to Trump,” Wilson added, “The ship of state is rudderless, and its crew members are fanatics, one and all, grubby little ass-kissers, balls-washers, and jock-sniffers all telling Donald Trump he is the the tallest, thinnest, smartest, and sexiest man to ever hold the Office of the President. We expect nothing more than their silence, or their lies.
    We expected more of a man like Kelly.”

  25. From lizzie’s media round up:

    A $100 million grants program, established by the government ahead of the 2019 election, was restricted to 25 preselected projects, most of them in key seats for the Coalition.

    How many of these secretive grant programs are there? They all seem to have one common theme – pour taxpayers’ money into certain electorates prior to the 2019 election. Totally corrupt.

  26. ‘Banana republic’: Judge slammed DOJ for stringing along McCabe investigation to help Trump politically

    According to federal judge Reggie Barnett Walton, President Trump’s involvement in the McCabe investigation was “disturbing,” a “mess,” and reflected a “banana republic.”

    “I think it’s very unfortunate,” Judge Walton told prosecutors as the case stalled in late September. “And I think as a government and as a society we’re going to pay a price at some point for this.”

    According to CREW spokesperson Jordan Libowitz, the delayed released of the documents show that the government was “trying to cover up the fact that they were stringing this [lawsuit] along while looking for a reason to indict McCabe.”

  27. Barney in Tanjung Bunga
    Saturday, February 15th, 2020 – 8:54 am
    Comment #32

    Did Janet make note of shellbell’s observation that the “activist” judges were the Coalition appointed ones, whilst the dissenting ones were the Labor appointments?

    She did.

    Now remember that three of the four majority judges were appointed by a conservative government. Labor MPs must be laughing. If there is one thing Labor knows how to do expertly, doggedly and unashamedly, it is putting its kind of people into big jobs to shape the politics of this country well beyond parliament.

    I don’t believe the above makes any sense – but in my defence – I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee. 😵

  28. KayJay

    It’s the same old story. Labor tries to counteract the influence of more years of Liberal rule and is accused of much bigger influence. Would that it were so!

    For days, the media have been holding up Kelly’s whiteboard as evidence of the “same-same” corruption of Labor. Yet the current government hold me breathless in their arrogance and refusal to be held to account.

  29. Good job lizzie

    Should current containment measures no longer be effective and the virus spreads more widely, the government will consider “social distancing”, which means cancelling large public events, encouraging people to work from home if possible, and closing down schools if it appears children are susceptible to the virus. Public health messaging about basic measures such as hand hygiene would also be amplified.

    people to work from home

    This is another area where the NBN ballsup has let the country and economy down badly.

    I’m surprised hand hygiene isn’t / hasn’t been more widely proselytised, especially on aircraft, but it basically applies to anywhere where you can contaminate your hands in public, and that means any door you open with your hands.

    One supermarket I go to has wet wipes for wiping trolley handles – I’ve yet to see anyone other than myself use them.

  30. Katharine Murphy

    Is disunity in politics really death any more? I’m not so sure given the rolling climate conflict

    If you were a political scientist, you might wonder if some of these internal differences within the major parties are irreconcilable

    But now, I’m not so sure, because Australian voters last year re-elected a government that had burned through three prime ministers in only two terms. Rather than harbouring a grudge about political instability being out and proud, a majority of voters looked past the cycles of revenge tragedy perpetrated in full public view.
    But I do wonder whether that May result has revealed something other than the “come to Daddy because Labor will spend all your money” default in our polity. I wonder whether we are now so saturated in conflict that people in politics trying to take one another out just seems normal.

    Technology has pushed us into tribes. Our shared reality, rather than being a commons, is increasingly animated by fealty rather than agreed facts and a spirit of inquiry. Conflict has become the pulse and the respiration of our harried and hyperconnected lives.
    Another quick observation before we move on. Disunity also furnishes spectacle, which is addictive.
    Now, let’s drill down and look at climate and coal, where disunity and conflict is absolutely the core of the enterprise.

    After Tony Abbott chose to weaponise climate change to win an election he would likely have won anyway, the whole debate has become toxic.
    There are faultlines destabilising the major parties.
    If you were a political scientist, you might wonder, looking at all this, whether we are standing on the brink of a fundamental realignment. The vote of the major parties is declining, the governing class is stuck in a phase of rolling conflict rather than consensus building and, when it comes to climate, some of the internal differences within the major parties look irreconcilable. You might wonder how this holds together given the stress fractures are on full public display.
    There will be pressure on Anthony Albanese to go Morrison lite.
    Instead of glowering across the dispatch box at Albanese, and pretending that only his opponent has a problem with climate action, Morrison could acknowledge that until the Coalition stops lying and starts leading, we all have a problem.

  31. Roger Stone asks for new trial in sealed motion, one day after Trump accused jury forewoman of bias

    Defense attorneys for Roger Stone demanded a new trial Friday, one day after President Trump suggested that the forewoman in his friend’s case had “significant bias.” The legal motion could delay Stone’s Feb. 20 sentencing date on charges of witness tampering and lying to Congress.

  32. Eva Cox’s 2020s vision: Now markets have failed, let’s talk about social wellbeing

    We need to address the distrust epidemic among voters and return to the reformist urge to offer a better vision splendid

    Addressing this distrust epidemic among voters would create major improvements in legitimating democracy, as data on the diminishing trust show too many voters feel that they are neither being heard nor are their needs being met. The past decade has seen too many royal commissions, scandals and coups that increase voter anxieties. The continuing privatisation of assets and services, the cuts to funding of public services and the growing conditionality of welfare have all contributed to government lack of positive visibility. Re-creating some social policies that affirm the role of the government is to create equity, not just facilitate GDP growth. These could reassure distrustful voters of the benefits of social democracy.
    Despite both major parties losing their “rusted-on” voters, they don’t seem concerned. They continue to woo voter self-interest and assume GDP growth and materialism are all that matters. …
    Utopian? Yes, but we need visions to unite on and the energy to act for good changes. Oscar Wilde claimed Utopia was the next island to the one we just landed on, so trust fuels the journey, as we continue to debate good goals.

  33. ItzaDream

    I’ve been using those handwipes on hands and trolley for several months now. No idea if it protects me, but when the trolley handles are hot and damp I prefer not to touch them unprotected. I am of a “vulnerable age”, I suppose. OTOH everyone who visits me has suffered from some sort of chest infection over the past few months.

    Oh gawd, perhaps I’m that symptomless carrier!

  34. Just a quick update on my post yesterday … the payment promised by Vinnies two weeks ago showed up in our account this morning. We don’t know what went wrong, but they came good on their promise to fix it.

    This should be enough to last us until the insurance company gets off their arse and finalizes our claim.

    It seems that Vinnies, along with the Salvos, are the only organizations actually offering genuine financial assistance direct to bushfire victims (don’t get me started on the Red Cross!) so they are just completely snowed under 🙁

    Just thought I’d better clear that up for the record 🙂

  35. School strikes give me hope, says head of Friends of the Earth

    Outgoing charity chief Craig Bennett says next generation ‘could not be more exciting’

    The school strikes movement will ensure an exciting and dynamic future for environmental activism for decades to come, the outgoing head of Friends of the Earth has said, as students across the globe leave classrooms on Friday to demand political action on the climate crisis.

    Speaking on the first anniversary of the movement in the UK, Craig Bennett said it was grassroots activism, not centralised politics, that was leading to change.

    “What we are seeing is a new kind of informed and exciting activism,” said Bennett. “What excites me most is seeing the awakening of communities. To see the school strikes – to see the next generation of activists coming through – could not be more exciting for the movement long term.

    “To have a whole generation coming through going on these demonstrations, where is that going to take us? What is going to happen in 10 years’ time when they start being in employment? Are they suddenly going to turn off the activism? I don’t think so, and that is what is really hopeful for the environmental movement.”

  36. The other day The Guardian had a piece about Sunrise scaremongering over the Covid-19. And fair enough too, the Sunrise program is regularly a shocker on fact checking and balanced ‘reporting’.
    However, The G might want to either do a bit of its own fact checking… or brush up on their maths…

    Current evidence suggests coronavirus has a mortality rate between 2% and 2.5%, about twice that of regular flu.
    I was under the impression the mortality rate of the flu is up and down but around 0.05%. Found this…

    Currently, the death rate of the disease is hovering around ­2.5 percent, a remarkably high level, about the rate of the 1918 flu pandemic that killed roughly ­50 million people around the world. Normal seasonal flu kills less than one-tenth of one percent of people who contract the virus.

    So, not “twice” the mortality, as the Grauniad states. More like 20 time or more.

  37. iirc, a former Obama adviser suggested Barr might be smoke screening feigning interference when all he wants is for Trump to STFU so he can do his bidding quietly. Regardless of what Barr is up to, this is post-impeachment Trump, all checks and balances are snuffed out, and autocracy has arrived.

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