Not much longer now

Less than week out from the 2016 Presidential election Hilary Clinton was 2.8% ahead of Donald Trump in the 538 average of polls. Six days out in 2020 Joe Biden is ahead in the 538 average by 8.8%.

The RealClearPolitics average gave Clinton a 3.2% lead. Joe Biden, at the same point in 2020 has a lead of 7.1%. read more

ICAN: prophets not honoured at home

In Matthew the Bible quotes Jesus saying: “A prophet is not without honour except in his home town, and in his own home.”

The Australian winners of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) will today be celebrating the ratification by 50 countries of The Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons thus allowing the historic though symbolic text to come into force after 90 days. read more

It should have been better but it could be worse

There are two views of the current COVID Victorian situation – it is a hell of lot better than the rest of the world; or, it could and should have been so much better as evidenced by Queensland, NSW, Tasmania, SA and the Northern Territory.

Both are obviously true and incompetent mistakes in quarantine were the biggest cause as no doubt the current inquiry will show. But whatever the alleged original sin, the second wave experience of other countries is illuminating and the polls show that you would rather be in Daniel Andrews’ position than Michael O’Brien’s. By the way, if you are wondering who O’Brien is – he’s the Victorian Opposition Leader. read more

As cunning as a shit-house rat

Scotty from marketing may now be the common Scott Morrison descriptor but when it comes to climate change the colloquial Australian saying from generations ago –  as cunning as a shit house rat – might be more apposite.

He still employs glib marketing ideas – ‘technology not taxes’  – but is no longer in rhetorical climate denial mode even if he simultaneously promotes policies such as carbon capture and gas-led recoveries resembling Baldrick of Blackadder’s ‘cunning plans’. read more

Bringing Monaco to Melbourne

The City of Port Phillip is currently engaged, as other Victorian municipalities are, in local elections.

As regular readers will know the city’s Council doesn’t inspire the blog with much confidence and in an ideal world the Council wouldn’t enter its consciousness at all. But sadly elections make that difficult particularly when they are as bizarre as this with one of the candidates, Ratepayers of Port Phillip’s (RoPP) Christina Sirakoff, pledging to make the city into the Monaco of Victoria. read more

Biden at Gettysburg

Donald Trump thought about giving his campaign speech at Gettysburg but opted for the safety of the Rose Garden instead.

It is unlikely a narcissist like Trump would have baulked at following in Lincoln’s footsteps but probably the Secret Service and others said it would all be too difficult. Instead, Biden chose Gettysburg for what might be one of his most important and possibly best speeches – a tribute to whoever his speechwriter is and impressive that he managed to deliver it without looking out of his depth. read more

Poor dears

Lobbyists can be pretty shameless – from hyperbole about the ‘unintended consequences’ of some legislative or policy change they don’t like – to arguments which would shame a beginner debater.

The Association of Independent Retirees and National Seniors Association, who have both warned that self-funder retirees have been ‘forgotten’ during the pandemic, might have set new records in both categories. read more

Army and Defence PR – an ungrateful mess

Australian Army PR was once a successful system which benefitted the troops, media and the community. Now it has been subsumed into a bureaucratic corporate brand management system closely controlled by Ministers and their staff.

Relationships with media and authors are dictated by complex approval and contractual arrangements and authors seeking Army cooperation face complex restrictions with punitive penalty causes – as Chris Masters found with his SAS book. read more

Trump and COVID in a word

The news that US President, Donald Trump, has been infected by one of his staff with COVID-19 has inspired a deep emotional response from tens of millions of people around the world.

Indeed, perhaps even hundreds of millions of people.

It’s a deep and  powerful emotion but, nevertheless, an emotion which can be encapsulated in one word – schadenfreude. read more

A US Presidential polls update

Whatever anyone thought of the first Presidential debate it doesn’t seem to have yet halted Joe Biden’s gradual increases in support as measured by a variety of US polls.

His current position, in historical context, is further ahead of Trump than Hilary Clinton was at the same stage of the race and Trump is further behind Biden than any Republican candidate has been since 1996 when Bob Dole lost to Bill Clinton. read more