Creeping greenery

The latest on federal election timing, preselections and the Greens’ big ambitions.

Sundry recent developments relevant to the next federal election, whenever that may be:

• A report by David Crowe of The Age/Herald relates that a) unidentified Liberals are “saying privately that a poll in the first months of 2022 is most likely”, and that b) the Greens are about to identify nine House of Representatives seats they will be targeting, and believe they would have won the inner Melbourne seat of Macnamara at the last election if the newly published draft boundaries had been in place. The latter propose tidying the electorate’s eastern boundary as a straight line down Williams Road and Hotham Street, which would remove Caulfield and its surrounds and add large parts of Prahran and South Yarra. My own estimates are perhaps a little less favourable for them, indicating a 2.0% boost in the Greens vote to 26.3%, still astern of Labor on 30.7% (down 1.1%) and the Liberals on 36.7% (down 0.6%). Josh Burns comfortably won the seat for Labor in 2019 after the Greens were excluded.

• Marion Scrymgour has been preselected as Labor’s candidate for Lingiari, which covers the Northern Territory outside of Darwin. Scrymgour served in the Northern Territory parliament from 2001 to 2012 and as Deputy Chief Minister from 2007 to 2009, and has more recently been chief executive of the Northern Land Council. The Northern Territory News reports other candidates for preselection included Matthew Bonson, who served in the territory parliament from 2001 to 2008; Jeanie Govan, a town planner; and Rowan Foley, chief executive of the Aboriginal Carbon Foundation.

• The New South Wales Greens have preselected David Shoebridge, who has held a seat in the state upper house since 2010, as lead Senate candidate for the next election. AAP reports Shoebridge won a ballot of 2263 party members ahead of Amanda Cohn, the deputy mayor of Albury, and Rachael Jacobs, a lecturer in creative arts education at Western Sydney University.

• Shortly after reports indicating former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson would seek preselection for the Nationals’ position on the New South Wales Coalition Senate ticket, The Australian reports Fiona Nash is keep to recover the position, which she lost in 2017 after being disqualified on grounds of dual British citizenship under Section 44. Also identified as a potential candidate is former state party director Ross Cadell.

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.

3,424 comments on “Creeping greenery”

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  1. Thanks South. How would I know if I was “hitting limits on RAM / Storage”? The resource usage page on cPanel gives me CPU usage and Physical Memory Usage (see above), Input/Output Usage, Entry Processes, Processed and Faults. There’s also a bandwidth meter — there was a somewhat unusual surge on Wednesday to around 5MB/min from a more usual daily peak of around 3MB/min, but nothing that looks hugely out of the normal to my untrained eye.

    I’m out of my depth with the other stuff you mention. There’s a facility for viewing the 300 most recent errors, which doesn’t take me back very far, but beyond that I’m told to “access the individual log files”, whatever that means. Nor do I know how to access a WordPress log.

    If any of you are touched by my damsel in distress routine, I’m happy to provide you with logins if you email me at pollbludger-at-bigpond-dot-com so you can look under the bonnet for yourself.

  2. Dandy

    Coat hangers and sticky tape?

    I do optimisation under uncertainty and game theory. Three generations ago, those traits were put to purchasing orders of newspapers and perishables without recourse, and running a (very profitable) side gig as a SP bookie.

    Gaffer tape – the universe is actually held together with gaffer tape.

    Plus decoding the signals from porn channels to work out where the radio interference is coming from. One of my friends was observing with the Effelsberg telescope, in one of my spiritual homelands, the Rhineland.

    To separate the earthly interference from the celestial signal that was the desired object of the observations, it was necessary to make TV images of the porn channel (or so my friend said).

    Anyway, a referee (Killjoy, I. A. M) of the paper reporting the interesting results of the observations showing a distant quasar with the most amazing (apparently) super-luminal jets insisted that the section in the paper explaining how the interference was traced to to a porn channel, and giving the frequency for future observers, was “immaterial to the results, and needed to be removed before the paper was published”.

    About that SP bookmaker: 3 of us in senior high school where maths-mad. We had a pentecostal teacher, who while he was OK with maths, got weird when careers were mentioned.

    One of us went to work for an SP bookmaker on leaving school, at Randwick, but quickly saw the advantage that computers would bring. Bastard was driving a Bentley by the time he was 30.

    My other good friend ended up in computing.

    And me, radio astronomy, in a slow start to a career including 4 children (would not swap it for quids).

    However, I often wonder why the pentecostal maths teacher had no interest in nurturing our interest in maths.

  3. William,
    I am not a litespeed expert or wordpress guru by any measure. But! If you’re on a managed service from a hosting provider, your changes to plugins will probably be the root cause.

    It’s probably going to be something along the lines of an upgrade to a plugin not playing nice with your wordpress version.

    It’s probably no the DB unless you’ve added a lot of new plugins. I know from drupal developers I’ve spoken to that plugins are the performance killer in that world.

    Hardware is also probably out, and you can always circle back to it.

    If you’re able to SSH to the box that hosts the word press instance, assuming it’s linux, you’d want to search around a know fault time usually logs go in /var/logs/appname so you’d have two sets of logs to look at, the light speed https access and the wordpress instance.

    But if you’ve got managed wordpress then they may put them elsewhere, I would look into grabbing the actual log files off the box if you can and having a read. Your hosting provider should have instructions or details on their doco.

    Good luck.

    I’ll personally pass on the access details. I know enough that tracking back your last changes will probably remedy the issue, but I also know I don’t want to be the helpful person that bricks your site 🙂

  4. Thanks again South, but that’s all sounds above my pay grade. I suppose what should do is disable all my plug-ins and re-enable them one by one until it becomes apparent which one’s causing the problem. That will mean waiting for a few days in each case, but it’s probably the best I can do with my skill set.

  5. Plus decoding the signals from porn channels to work out where the radio interference is coming from.

    FFTs have some good uses! I’m banking that one for the numerical methods course I occasionally teach.

  6. Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke did not say whether Labor would provide Dr Laming with a pair while he undertook medical leave, but tweeted: “We will consider all our options but Andrew Laming should not be a member of parliament.”

  7. William

    It’s probably wise to update WordPress too.

    One of the services that WordPress provides is security protection.
    They have a business reputation to uphold and keeping updated is one of the recommendations security consultants talk about.

  8. Itza and OC,

    My daughter-in-law had an emergency caesarean almost 8 years ago, and I am so grateful they got her into theatre quickly. It must be awful for all concerned, and thank goodness for anaesthetists who can be there at the drop of a hat.

    Also, at this point in time, we really need specialist obstetricians.

    I had my four babies mostly in my twenties, but by the time I had number four, I was definitely a bit older by the standards of the day. I was a bit of a hippy, and got through all four labours with weird breathing techniques.

    But, I was lucky, fit and young.

    The stories of my daughter and daughters-in-law giving birth have been far more complicated. Mid to late thirties. And my adopted daughters, my PhD students.

    I still worry that my 36-year-old daughter-in-law was allowed to go to 41 weeks with her first baby. (But it seemed like a good idea at the time to me.) Statistics is my thing, and so I told oldest son that for a first baby the most likely time to deliver is 40 weeks plus 6 days. At almost exactly that time (2300 hrs on day 6 after 40 weeks) he texted me saying you are right, labour has started, and we are heading for the hospital. Got the 9cm dilated text about 0700 hrs (our family loves data), but then heard nothing until 1200 hrs. By 1100 hrs I was frantic.

    Emergency Caesar, and all survived, but baby had passed meconium in womb some three days before birth, and had aspirated. All well in the end, but DIL and baby ended up traumatised.

    Women and babies have always died in childbirth, but with women (appropriately) giving birth in their 30s, we really need specialists who can understand the increased risks due to the increased age of women giving birth, and advise accordingly to save lives.

    Little Delilah (grandchild 5 – I am old), who was born last Tuesday, was induced at 39 weeks plus 1 day. Mother and baby are both alive and thriving, after a short labour. Mother sensibly opted for an epidural before induction.

    I use to be a great fan of “natural” childbirth, and worked as a volunteer for the Childbirth Education Association.

    Now I think they were just nuts (probably too strong, but they were only appropriate for when the birth of the first child mostly happened to women under the age of 25).

    I do not go to the dentist unless I get pain relief and my advice to all women having their first baby is to get the epidural.

  9. Dandy M

    FFTs have some good uses! I’m banking that one for the numerical methods course I occasionally teach.

    I too have taught numerical methods and FFTs. The students never found it as interesting as I did.

    Now I realise the problem. Rather than decoding a porn channel, I was asking them to show, on paper, in three pages, how you could transform a sine wave into a delta function.

  10. Updates to WP itself should be installed immediately. Whenever they happen.

    So, do I have this right? You’ve been running a bunch of plugins, and updating them regularly on an ancient version of WP?

    Hmm. Pay grades be damned! This is janitorial staff level knowledge.

    Your steps are now
    1 Hang head in shame.
    2 Uninstall all plugins
    3 UPDATE FUCKING WORDPRESS, AND DO IT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    4 Re-install plugins and where available, update them. Remember these plugins will be built based on whatever the current version of WP is.
    5 Hang head in shame.

  11. William,

    Thanks again South, but that’s all sounds above my pay grade. I suppose what should do is disable all my plug-ins and re-enable them one by one until it becomes apparent which one’s causing the problem. That will mean waiting for a few days in each case, but it’s probably the best I can do with my skill set.

    For what it is worth, I think this the only solution even a WordPress guru could suggest.

    I have worked with my awesome IT gurus at work to enable WordPress sites for work stuff. We decided that WordPress is definitely the best platform, but it is very complex, and the only way to work with it is the empirical approach – as you say – disable all plugins (give notice to users that you are doing this), and then re-establish one-by-one.

  12. William Bowe @ #3396 Saturday, March 27th, 2021 – 10:42 pm

    It does seem to bear at least some relationship to site traffic, in that the lulls between the various peaks happened overnight.

    Not just that, but to my eye at least it seems that any time the CPU usage exceeds about 40% of the quota (denoted by the red line) is when the faults start triggering. No idea why that would be the case, and is probably something provider specific.

    But the more recent graph definitely shows a notable increase in average CPU usage, to the point where even having the provider double the quota won’t necessarily avoid outages.

    However, the problem has clearly emerged too suddenly for high traffic to explain it, and I’d have thought the same would be true of excessive thread length.

    What DisplayName said. It’s not always a linear relationship. It can be more like jumping off a cliff; perfectly fine up to a point, and then the bottom drops out.

    Could it possibly have something to do with me not having updated my version of WordPress since forever?

    Maybe, though the sudden onset tends to argue otherwise (if the old version has bugs, those bugs have existed for as long as it has). Would more likely be a plugin that was installed/modified recently, unless the outdated WordPress instance has a security flaw that a malicious actor/botnet has recently exploited.

    Yeah, I’ll do that overnight (with some trepidation).

    Worth a shot. Create a backup first. Just in case.

  13. ….. Would more likely be a plugin that was installed/modified recently, unless the outdated WordPress instance has a security flaw that a malicious actor/botnet has recently exploited….

    William, we know there are shadow bludgers – nyms of FF, for example, and maybe others too. They would be motivated to try to hack the site. I know nothing at all about this stuff, but maybe there is a malicious bot jamming things…maybe this is far-fetched too.

  14. William Bowe:

    Thanks again South, but that’s all sounds above my pay grade. I suppose what should do is disable all my plug-ins and re-enable them one by one until it becomes apparent which one’s causing the problem. That will mean waiting for a few days in each case, but it’s probably the best I can do with my skill set.

    Recursive binary split:
    – disable all plugins
    – check problem absent…
    – enable half of them
    – if problem persists, disable half of the half you enabled (leaving quarter of the total), and so on until you find the problem (in the set of plugins you last disabled to make it go away…)
    – if no problem, enable half the still disabled ones (quarter of the total), and so on until you find the problem (in the set of plugins you last enabled to make it appear…)
    Keep doing the splits as you as you like, but the first two splits reduce your search space to a quarter, making most of the hard yards.
    Possible that it’s a combination of two (or more) plugins but the search process should help with that two

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. This is a rather pathetic effort!

    James Massola tells us, from a leaked recording, about what Morrison said to a large gathering of Liberal MPs and staffers on the mess they are in after the last five weeks.
    Jamila Rizvi says that a PM who’s had his quota of mistakes should be man enough to admit them.
    The Smage reckons Lamming is hanging on by a thread after another pointer to his character and behaviour comes to light.
    James Massola lays out the history of sex scandals that are plaguing the Coalition.
    New Zealand’s housing market is even worse than Australia, but at least their government is taking action, writes Greg Jericho. He says that the Ardern government is taking on speculators and investors, but there seems little chance of such changes here
    A woman who won the right to use her national disability insurance scheme funds on sex worker services has issued a blistering criticism of the minister, Stuart Robert, accusing him of embarking on a personal “crusade” to bypass a landmark decision of the federal court, reports Luke Henriques-Gomes.
    Poor Gerard Henderson is upset about “disloyal Liberal defectors showing their true colours”.
    Here’s Peter FitzSimons’ Sunday column.

    Cartoon Corner

    Matt Golding

    Matt Davidson

    Mark Knight

    Reg Lynch

    From the US

  16. The DRANZCOG (diploma of obstetrics and gynaecology) was often undertaken by those in or planning to do rural and semi-rural general practice. Laming apparently did a bit of the latter back in the day, and when you’re 800km from a level 2 or 3 hospital and caring for a distressed woman in labour, and there’s a thunderstorm over the ranges, the flying ambulance are otherwise engaged and the flying obstetrician is on leave … well, it’s useful to have someone around who has some formal competencies. Even more useful if there’s also a GP anaesthetist who can fix the connections on an old Boyle’s machine with duct tape. (I was neither hero, but the terrified resident serving out a state government scholarship bond on a tour of duty in Western Qld, and I have never been so pleased to see anyone in my life. For those in the know – Chester and Bob.)

    Laming’s medical career arc is interesting. He seems to have preferred isolated work where there is less back up but also more independence and, for what it is worth, less scrutiny, at least back in the day.

  17. Honestly, I reckon Laming has an alcohol problem. Every leaked video of him has him consuming alcohol in some way to excess. It’s a disinhibitor, hence the behaviour attributed to him.

    I could be wrong, of course, and he could just be a natural-born dickhead. 🙂

  18. D&M

    Yes, the nurses who took my antenatal class seemed to focus much of their energy on persuading us not to have pain relief under any circumstances…by the time I left hospital, I was asking whether I had enough with me.

    Second birth the doctors promised me a Caesar and had even booked it in. Then the doctors at the regional base went on strike, so I was transferred to another hospital, where the specialists (there was a team) insisted I was going to give birth naturally. When I said that I was terrified at the idea, they promised me pain relief and guaranteed that if the labour went more than eight hours I’d have the Caesar.

    Arrived at the hospital (an hour from home) at midnight. Doctor walks in at eight. “Can I have the Caesar?” “No.” “But I’ve been in labour for over eight hours.” “I decide when labour begins, not you.” “Can I have pain relief?” “No.” “Why not?” “Well, you’ve had a Caesar in the past, and we need to know exactly how much pain you’re in…”

    At one stage, he went and sat outside the ward so that my husband couldn’t find him to insist on the Caesar.

    Baby was born at 8 pm.

    Next morning, the doctor bounced in at 8, took a cursory look at the baby, then plumped himself down on the end of my bed and began, “Now, I’m sure you’re interested in the political situation of this hospital…”

    No, I really wasn’t.

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