All posts by Noel Turnbull

A message to the PM – this is how you do it

While Scott Morrison was saying it was fortunate no-one had died on Kangaroo Island and forcing people to shake his hand another PM quietly, and without seeking publicity, showed him how he should be behaving.

NZ  PM Jacinda Ardern and family decided to have a holiday in Australia in the south east Queensland area. She has apparently been here for a while and perhaps no-one would have known but for the proprietors of a cheese shop and a winery who recognised her when she visited their businesses. read more

The Morrison Government tries to get empathetic – really!!

The Morrison Government’s is trying a new ploy – one which is beyond even the wildest satirical imagination. It has hired an empathy consultant.

As the Federal Government slashes departmental staff, sheds policy expertise and makes it explicit that they want public servants to do what they are told rather than think there is one group of people loving it – consultants – and now the consulting hordes include an empathy specialist. read more

It’s not the marketing – it’s the marketer

The problem with Scott Morrison is not that he is a marketing man but that’s he actually not a very good one.

The Scottie from marketing criticism directed at the PM from many journalists and critics is partially based on a misunderstanding of what marketing is – simply conflating it with advertising, PR and sloganeering; partly based on a bit of hypocrisy; and partly on an inability to make a critical assessment of the marketing he actually does. read more

Taking a break part 4

This is the last of the odds and sods for the year. The blog will be back next year.

One step forward and two steps back

Cambodian Prime Minister, Hun Sen, has been alternatively releasing people, such as opposition leader Kem Sokha from house arrest, while banning him and others from participating in politics or leaving the country. read more

Taking a break part 3

The future of water in Australia

The US journalist, novelist and historian Jon Talton has been reporting on the impacts of gross over-development, corruption and right wing obsessions in the state of Arizona for many years.

In particular he has highlighted the creation of heat banks by massive suburban development; the destruction of trees, historic buildings and waterways; and, most importantly – the failures of water policy. read more

Taking a break part 2

Who will we be frightened of next?

For all of the tough talk about Australians, the ANZAC spirit and our record as brave warriors we are – as a nation – very easily scared.

A correspondent recently remarked to the blog that Muslims must now be very pleased that the Chinese have replaced them as the most to be feared in Australia. Indeed, Muslims arguably got very short shrift as Public Enemy Number compared with other Australian bogey men. read more

Innovation and inequality – not as simple as the tech titans make out

If you were told that an Australian politician had published a new book, backed by a solid evidence base, with a highly original take on a major problem the normal response would be to wonder if Barry Jones had a new book out.

If you were told it was actually by a sitting Federal MP you would probably puzzle away for a while, laugh uncontrollably or suspect it might be by the Member for Fenner, Dr Andrew Leigh. read more

Australian right wing religious fury over The Economist

The Australian right wing seem to be embarking on another cultural crusade – this time against what is probably the best weekly news magazine (which the editors insist on calling a newspaper) in the world, The Economist.

The Economist’s crime: reporting Australia and Australian politics in an objective manner. First out of the blocks was The Australian’s Paul Kelly with a ponderous piece on how The Economist didn’t understand Australia and how it was dreadfully unfair to the statesman and visionary, Scott Morrison. That’s not quite what he said but you get the gist. read more

The wrong way to make political – or any – decisions

The Morrison Government’s decision-making is about to get worse – if that’s possible – as Cabinet submissions are apparently to be replaced by PowerPoint presentations.

Presumably the full Cabinet submissions will be available and a few Ministers may read them but the reality is that the use of PowerPoint (PP) will discourage the rest from even attempting to read the executive summary. read more