Piers Akerman – Monday, May 16, 11 (07:18 am)
The North Pacific High eludes us. No matter where the assemblage of global forecasters predict she will be, she has moved just as we sail into the neighbourhood.
The NPH is an island of air, an anticyclone, moving lazily around the Pacific between the US mainland the Hawaiian islands, a will o’ the wisp, a plague to sailing ships for centuries now making a plaything of Van Diemen III and her crew as we sail onward to California.
Tim Blair – Monday, May 16, 11 (06:45 am)
Support for Julia Gillard has plunged after voters gave their lowest rating to Labor’s fourth budget, the overall worst reaction in almost 20 years, leaving the Prime Minister’s personal standing below that of Kevin Rudd when he was removed as leader …
According to the latest Newspoll survey, conducted exclusively for The Australian at the weekend, the Coalition’s primary vote rose to a six-year high of 46 per cent to Labor’s unchanged 33 per cent, giving a two-party preferred calculation of 54 to 46 per cent.
The latest Age/Nielsen poll shows Labor still trailing the coalition 44 to 56 per cent with voters deeply sceptical about the government’s plan to deter boat arrivals.
The stocks of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott continue to improve by narrowing Ms Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister to three points – the closest they have been …
The Greens vote fell two points to 10 per cent.
Last week John Scales, of JWS research, polled 2141 people in the 10 most marginal Labor seats and the 10 most marginal Coalition seats. Asked which, of the past five, had been the best government for Australia, 50 per cent nominated the Howard government, followed by 13 per cent for the Keating government, 13 per cent for the Hawke government, 12 per cent for the Rudd government, 8 per cent were unsure and, bringing up the rear, were the 4 per cent who nominated the Gillard government.
Even Labor voters were dirty on the current administration – only 10 per cent backed the Gillard government. This lagged the 23 per cent of Labor voters who backed Keating, 22 per cent Hawke, 20 per cent Rudd, 13 per cent Howard and the 12 per cent who were unsure.
Yet Labor still clings to the notion that their product is fine, if only they could sell it:
Asked yesterday why she was having such trouble getting her message through, Ms Gillard said: ‘’We get the message out there … as best we can.”
Here’s an example of Gillard’s quality messaging:
Ms Gillard said she was like an architect constructing a new building while Mr Abbott was ‘’like the kid with the baseball cap on backwards, going past, shouting a slogan and spraying some graffiti.”
That’s the very best that she can do. Incredibly, voters are somehow resistant.
Tim Blair – Monday, May 16, 11 (06:18 am)
Children – poor little children, for the love of God – are imprisoned behind barbed wire by our hateful government. Just look at them:
Some are so young that they don’t have any hair. Then again, they could be lying:
Immigration detainees are pretending to be teens to get their visa applications processed quicker and live in better conditions.
Victoria’s biggest youth immigration detention centre in Broadmeadows is filled with many asylum seekers claiming to be under 18 to escape the tougher regulations for adults, an investigation has discovered …
Immigration officials lack time and resources to investigate people’s ages so they deliver them to youth detention centres with “a wry smile”, a whistleblower said.
Checking their ages would be easier if they had any documentation. Guess the crèches lost it.
Tim Blair – Monday, May 16, 11 (06:01 am)
Unions give $20 million to the Labor party, and the Labor government gives $20 million of your taxes to unions. Couldn’t be fairer.
Tim Blair – Monday, May 16, 11 (05:55 am)
It’s an employment tax:
Mining companies have warned Julia Gillard the design of the carbon tax threatens the resources boom and could cut more than 23,500 jobs this decade.
Well, of course miners would say that. They want to destroy the planet and make us live in ovens. But look at the source of their warning:
In a submission to the government on the carbon tax, the council cites government modeling warning coalmining output would fall 35 per cent by 2020 and investment would fall 13 per cent.
Citing research conducted as analysis for Kevin Rudd’s 2009 carbon pollution reduction scheme, it warns repeating the design could cost the coal industry $18bn, the gold sector $2bn and the nickel sector $1.34bn.
Queensland would have 11,440 fewer jobs, NSW 4260 and WA would lose 3410.
Maybe those figures are inflated. Maybe only a quarter of those jobs would be lost. That’s just 2860 jobs gone in Queensland, 1065 jobs in NSW, 852 jobs in WA … what’s everyone so upset about?
Thousands of anti-carbon tax protesters have marched outside the office of Independent MP Rob Oakeshott, voicing anger over his support of the tax, the rally organisers say.
Along with federal member for New England Tony Windsor, Mr Oakeshott this week voted in parliament for a resolution in support of the carbon tax.
To combat that unholy alliance, former South Coast Labour Council secretary Paul Matters and Dr Bob Carter havejoined forces in Illawarra. Further south, good news for Victorians who enjoy reliable electricity: the state’s coal power stations vow that carbon tax or no carbon tax, they’re in the game at least until 2048.
Tim Blair – Sunday, May 15, 11 (11:15 pm)
For most of his career, David Mamet revered his fellow playwright Bertolt Brecht. But, as Andrew Ferguson reports:
The reverence came to an end when he finally noticed an incongruity between Brecht’s politics and his life. Although a cold-blooded – indeed bloody-minded – advocate for public ownership of the means of production and state confiscation of private wealth, he always took care to copyright his plays. More, he made sure the royalties were deposited in a Swiss bank account far from the clutches of East Germany, where he was nominally a citizen.
“His protestations [against capitalism] were not borne out by his actions, nor could they be,” Mamet writes. “Why, then, did he profess Communism? Because it sold …”
Please read on for further on Mamet’s conservative transformation. It’s quite a thing. (The section on Thomas Frank’sWhat’s the Matter with Kansas? may be of particular interest to Jonathan Holmes.) Mark Steyn has more.
Tim Blair – Sunday, May 15, 11 (10:22 pm)
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, May 15, 11 (09:28 pm)
Former Treasurer Peter Costello was absolutely right on The Bolt Report today:
“Gillard is dead,” Mr Costello told Network Ten. “I can’t see how she can possibly get back. I’m not saying she’s physically dead, but politically dead.
“I think the public has made up its mind, and it’s not pretty.
“So, now public interest has turned from her, we’ve taken a view on her, we’d now like to form a view on Tony Abbott.
“The question is: `Is he an alternative prime minister?’
“What he has to show over the next couple of years or sooner is… (that) he can be a statesman-like figure who can manage Australia and I thought he took the first step (towards that) in his budget reply.”
Former NSW Labor Treasurer Michael Costa did not disagree.
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, May 15, 11 (09:24 pm)
THE Gillard government’s Malaysia solution has failed its first test, with confusion over the future of a boatload of asylum seekers picked up off Scott Reef.
While talking tough on boat arrivals, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen admitted the government still has not signed any agreement with Malaysia, although it was flagged a week ago, effectively leaving the fate of the 32 Afghan and Pakistani passengers in limbo.
Mr Bowen said Australia had closed its borders to boat people but conceded the new arrivals would be taken to Christmas Island and he had no idea how long they would be kept there. ‘’I am not going to flag which country these people will be sent to, but they will be held at Christmas Island, pending removal to a third country,’’ he said.
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, May 15, 11 (09:15 pm)
Well, that’s embarrassing .. and rather career ending:
IMF chief and potential French presidential candidate Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been charged with sexual assault and attempted rape following accusations by a New York hotel maid.
The head of the International Monetary Fund was pulled from an aircraft in New York moments before he was to fly to Paris and was taken in for questioning in connection with the violent sexual assault of a hotel maid, police said.
It’s astonishing how the urge to procreate can so overwhelm the survival instinct.