Why are the Greens opposing the Voice?

As the Greens flirt with a serious loss of electoral support over its policy on the Voice to Parliament the puzzling question is why they are doing it.

The easy answer is that once again – as with carbon pricing – they persist in pursuing perfection even after they have demonstrated before that the perfect is the enemy of the good. read more

What is it with pollies and tanks?

What is with politicians and tanks and other armoured vehicles?

In 1988 Michael Dukakis doomed his already slim US presidential hopes by allowing himself to look ridiculous in a 68 tonne Abrams Main Battle Tank. Liz Truss, possibly the next Tory PM, was ridiculed for appearing in full military gig in Estonia. Kim Beazley (Bomber Beazley to colleagues) was often perched on military vehicles. read more

The state of the media

Australian news media is in a paradoxical situation – news consumption is increasing slightly while at the same time trust falls.

Moreover, the situation might be as good as it gets as younger Australians give up on the mainstream media and distrust levels grow.

The Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2022, according to Sora Park of University of Canberra – one of the Reuters supporting partners – shows the media: “Emerging from one of the worst years in media history, Australia saw signs of recovery in 2021. The advertising market grew, numbers paying for news online increased, and support systems for regional journalism are being developed. At the same time, a new regulatory framework has eased the power imbalance between news publishers and tech giants.” read more

Victoria the Saudis and the Grand Prix

Greg Norman called the Saudi’s Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and body sawing just a “mistake”.

The Age’s Greg Baum (the only Melbourne sports journalist to regularly expose the Melbourne Grand Prix’s false claims) called it murder.

Now Victoria has shown that, like Greg Norman, we’re not that regretful about linking ourselves with those who have blood on their hands. read more

PR firms and who they work for

Some years ago the prominent head of an Australian PR agency claimed that PR companies were just like barristers – cabs for hire.

It was obvious nonsense as PR firms are free to choose to represent a client or not whereas barristers are much more limited in their choices.

The dilemma is highlighted as the PR industry is involved in a series of choices about what to do with clients and potential clients when their activities make global warming worse. Some of them are no doubt using the cab for hire principle to justify their choices others are taking a more principled stance. read more

Rupert’s getting out of bed with Jerry and Donald

Rupert Murdoch is no longer in bed with either Jerry Hall of Donald Trump.

In the space of a few weeks Rupert Murdoch has dumped Jerry Hall and Donald Trump. One dumped for threatening to cost him money and one because he can no longer deliver Rupert’s other love – power.

The first sign of this was The New York Post editorial comment published on 22 July 2022. read more

What do Americans think about global warming?

What do Americans think about politics and global warming? In the last blog we looked at the Damascene conversion of Republican pollster, Frank Luntz, and his advice on how global warming should be framed and what language should be used to persuade voters on climate change issues.

Now the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University has released its latest national survey on politics and global warming – undertaken in April-May just before Supreme Court rulings on abortion, guns and the EPA; the latest in the endemic US mass shootings; and the January 6 committee hearings. read more

The devil need not have the best tunes

The ongoing success of Republicans and US right wingers might be characterised as being due to the devil having the best tunes.

Yet recently, after a road to Damascus experience, the man actually responsible for many of those tunes turned his mind to how progressives can make their messaging about climate more effective. read more

The US, faith in institutions and political violence

It is no longer completely ridiculous to ponder whether the US might be heading towards a new low level civil war.

Indeed, it is arguable that it is already in an emerging state of insurgency. The number of weapons in private hands makes the prospect at least possible although, unlike the Civil War, the division may not be a clear division geographically but would be more like a patchwork. read more

An insider’s view of how public relations really works