The School of Athens

The School of Athens
The School of Athens by Raphael (click on picture to view short documentary from Columbia University)

Monday, 15 October 2018

The lost love of millions: Malcolm Turnbull's honeymoon vs Scott Morrison's

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

How does the elevation of Scott Morrison to Prime Minister compare to when Malcolm Turnbull assumed the Liberal leadership?

In short: very poorly.

At the end of October 2015, six weeks following the elevation of Malcolm Turnbull, the Coalition's primary vote stood at 45.4%.

Seven week's after the elevation of Scott Morrison, the Coalition's primary vote stands at 36.7%

A difference of 8.7%, or about 1.25 million voters.

At the end of October 2015, six weeks following the elevation of Malcolm Turnbull, the ALP's primary vote stood at 31.8%.

Seven week's after the elevation of Scott Morrison, the ALP's primary vote stands at 36.8%.

A difference of 5%, or about 700,000 voters.

In Two Party Preferred terms, at the end of October 2015, six weeks following the elevation of Malcolm Turnbull, the Coalition's two party preferred vote stood at 53%.

Seven week's after the elevation of Scott Morrison, the Coalition's two party preferred vote stands at 46.7%.

A difference of 6.3% or about 900,000 voters.

Comparison Primary Votes: Turnbull October 2015 vs Morrison October 2018 %


Comparison Two Party Preferred: Turnbull October 2015 vs Morrison October 2018 %


There's not much love for Scott Morrison, certainly compared to Malcolm Turnbull.

And look who's none too unhappy about it.

Monday, 8 October 2018

The Alan Jones myth

Fellow citizens,

The much vaunted influence of Alan Jones over the people of Sydney is a myth.

Only in the feeble minds of NSW (and Federal) politicians is this fact not the case. Who the Hell knows why?

Jones's 2GB breakfast program attracts on average 15% of the Sydney audience.


That means 85% is not listening to him.


Politicians are supposed to be good at counting the numbers. It's curious that these numbers don't seem to register with them.

Here's a thought: Rather than genuflecting in the presence of this bullying thug, how about ignoring him and his infantile tantrums.

Better still, how about just telling him to:


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

For News Ltd's Herald-Sun; sorry seems to be the hardest word

Fellow citizens,

You will have no doubt heard about the Mark Knight cartoon in the Herald-Sun regarding Serena Williams.

If you haven't seen it, here it is:

I don't know what Mark Knight's intent was when he drew this, but there's no doubt the effect is a grotesque caricature of Serena Williams as being 'samboed' up in the style of Jim Crow racism.

It's clearly offensive to African Americans.

A simple apology from the cartoonist citing ignorance of the history and that there was no intent to offend should have seen an end to the matter.

Instead, News Ltd's Herald-Sun has chosen to remain ignorant of the history and insensitive to the hurt and rather than apologise has decided to go on the attack, engaging in another salvo in the tiresome culture wars and the battle against 'political correctness' and the illusion of limiting free expression.

Misunderstanding and a lack of knowledge of another culture's sensitivities is not an indictment. It is part of being human in a diverse world.

Yet, when we offend, however inadvertently the offence is caused, it is an indictment on the perpetrator to refuse to acknowledge the hurt...especially when it is racially charged.

On that point, I'd like to remind everyone of an incident that occurred live on air nearly 40 years ago at TV's Logies Awards in 1979.

Host, Bert Newton, was interviewing the guest, Muhammad Ali.

The conversation ensued as follows:

Ali was speaking about who might win the Gold Logie and said, "When you all out there find out who wins this, it'll be a shock!"

Bert Newton, with impeccable timing as always, waited for the laughter to die down, lent into the microphone and with every sign of affection said: "I like the boy!"

As offensive a term as one could say to an African American man. A condescending term that goes back to slavery days and the believed superiority of whites over blacks.

There was an immediate gasp from the American guests in the audience.

Bert later said that for a few seconds there was fire in the eyes of the heavyweight champ. Something like this, I suspect.

 Ali then asked, "Did you say Roy or boy?"

Bert replied, wary and confused, "I like the boy!"

Starting to be quite concerned Bert then looked down at the audience, quite likely not wanting to make eye contact with the 6' 3" 220 pound world champion and asked the front table of American guests "Is there something wrong with saying that?"

Sitting at the front table was Lauren Tewes, the star of the TV series The Love Boat, who was screaming out "No! No! You said Roy! You said Roy!"

Bert then understood something was terribly wrong and backed away from Ali, placed his hands in the air and, trying to return levity to the situation, said, "Hey, hang on! Hang on! I'll change religion, I'll do anything for you. I don't care."

Ali realised Bert was completely unaware of the meaning of the deeply racial slur that he had uttered and started to smile.

Bert, still totally confused, asked the front row guests again, "What's wrong with that? I like the boy? I mean, I like the man. I'll face in the right direction, I don't care."

And then after all of that, Bert said, "I'm sorry, Muhammad" and returned to the microphone with hands shaking violently, showing his fear in a humorous manner.

You can watch an excerpt of that segment here:

Bert later explained that he had starred in a TV advertisement for KFC several years before and as Colonel Sanders he used that phrase in the ad "I like the boy!" and that's where it came from.

This was clearly a situation of cultural and historical difference.

It was only for a few seconds that Ali took offence and became incensed but when he realised that there was no intent from Bert, only ignorance, he returned to his jovial self.

Bert, once he realised what he had done, immediately apologised. He said "sorry".

A simple apology. It's not that hard.

I was taught as a child that it takes a big man to admit he was wrong and apologise.

The Herald-Sun's refusal to do so in this instance speaks volumes.

Monday, 27 August 2018

The Bastard, The Fool and The Delighted: The Liberal coup made no polling sense

Fellow citizens,

The Liberal Party coup made no sense from a polling perspective.


The Coalition had been tracking back in the polls to becoming competitive and had every reason to think that by the time of the next election it would've had a reasonable chance of being returned.

Pre-coup, only the Ipsos Poll published a week ago (with the ALP leading 55-45) found anything different, and had not been confirmed by any other research.

Pre-coup, my view was that the ALP was more likely to win the next election but that this was not certain and, in any event, would've only ended up on 78-80 seats. Not a ringing endorsement nor a strong position for a first term government.

Now, who the Hell knows?

Today's Newspoll results (56-44 to the ALP) suggests there might be something very unpleasant in store for the Coalition at the next election.

While I don't see the ALP attracting such a two party vote, if the bastardy from Tony Abbott and his foolish sycophants continues then the ALP victory at the next election might well dwarf Bob Hawke's big win in 1983 (53.2% two party preferred) and a haul of 90 or more seats.

So, fellow citizens, I give you The Bastard and The Fool.

And The Delighted:


Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Enough is enough! Back off bashing the ABC!

Fellow citizens,

As you would no doubt be aware, last weekend the Liberal Party’s peak council voted almost 2:1 to privatise the ABC. Never have the words "passed a motion" been so apt.

This is just the most recent attack, in a long line of attacks against OUR national broadcaster.

Time to say:

It's clear that it's only in the paranoid and fevered minds of the supporters of this motion that the ABC stands for Anarchists, Bolsheviks and Communists and is staffed by revolutionary fifth columnists with the express desire to undermine Australian democracy...or, in other words, to not let the Federal Coalition Government have a free run in the ABC's coverage of politics.  

Yet this is only THEIR warped perception based on THEIR political prejudices, as there is NO objective evidence that it reflects the public's view.
Exhibit A:

The "DIGITAL NEWS REPORT: AUSTRALIA 2018" by Sora Park, Caroline Fisher, Glen Fuller and Jee Young Lee NEWS & MEDIA RESEARCH CENTRE UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA (sample size 2,026) found:

"ABC News ranked the most trusted news brand overall"

"Despite strong perceptions of the ABC being left wing, [the research] shows the national broadcaster’s TV news attracts viewers evenly from across the political spectrum"

The full report can be found here

Exhibit B:

Research conducted between 27 March and 7 April 2018 by online agency Research Now (sample 1,557) concluded:

70% of respondents agreed a “strong, independent ABC is critical to a healthy democracy”.

60% of respondents agreed the ABC needs a “boost to long term funding”, including a majority of voters for all parties.

58% of respondents disagreed “The ABC and SBS should get less funding and provide fewer online and streaming services, so that they don't undermine commercial media”

The full report can be found here

Exhibit C:

Research published by Essential Research in October 2017 (sample size ~1,000) found:

"The most trusted media were ABC TV news and current affairs (63% a lot/some trust), SBS TV news and current affairs (61%) and ABC radio news and current affairs (58%)." 

The full table can be seen here

Monday, 18 June 2018

The State of Play, June 2018

Colleagues and scholars from coast to coast, across Bass Strait and all the ships at sea.

Dateline: Australia, Federal Politics, The State of Play June 2018.

This is how the polling numbers stand.

The key points are:

The Coalition has suffered a swing of 5.14% against its primary vote from the 2016 election to now stand at 36.9%.

The ALP has gained 1.77% on its primary vote from the 2016 election to now stand at 36.5%.

The Greens are effectively level with its primary vote from the 2016 election to stand at 10.3%.

One Nation has gained 6.7% on its primary vote to now stand at 8%

The Others Group has lost 3.4% of its primary vote from the 2016 election to now stand at 8.3%.

In Two Party Preferred terms, the Coalition has suffered a 2.9% swing against it since the 2016 election to now stand at 47.5%. In a uniform swing that would see the Coalition lose 12 seats from its notionally held 75 giving the ALP 83 seats and an election victory (this assumes 5 seats stay with non-major party candidates).

Primary Votes as at June 2018 %

2016 Election %
Current Polls %
One Nation

Two Party Preferred Votes as at June 2018 %

2016 Election %
Current Polls %

(click on image to see enlarged graph)

Friday, 15 June 2018

Donald Trump blatantly lies about Korean War dead

Fellow citizens,

This week Donald Trump displayed the key characteristic of chronic liars - they embellish their story with far too much detail.

This is not a new phenomenon for this man, it is his modus operandi. He regularly uses the same technique so often used by real estate agents and used car salespeople - bullshit, bullshit and bullshit some more.

In this instance, it also displays his historical and mathematical ignorance and the ignorance of the interviewer on FOX News who was unwilling or unable to pick him up on it.

How Surprisement!

What did the buffoon Trump say?

He was talking about the agreement with North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un to return the remains of American combatants from North Korea.

A worthy endeavour. One which the relatives and friends of the dead would greatly appreciate, not to mention the US nation at large.

To sell the agreement - as if it needed any, as it's self sold - he carries on with this bullshit:

“And we have thousands of people that have asked for that [the return of the remains], thousands and thousands of people. So many people asked when I was on the campaign, I’d say ‘Wait a minute, I don’t have any relationship…’, but they said, ‘When you can President, we’d love our son to be brought back home’. You know the remains."

Three lies:

1. Thousands and thousands of people came up to him and asked for the return of Korean War dead? Seriously? Thousands and thousands?

2. These people addressed him as "President" when he was on the campaign trail - he was a candidate, not the President.

3. This is the most damning by far - he stated these 'thousands and thousands of people' said, "We'd love our son to be brought back home."

He is claiming the PARENTS of Korean War veterans are asking for this.

Now let's do the maths:

The Korean War ended in 1953

The youngest service person would've been 18 years old in 1953

That means they would've been born in 1935 (1953 - 18)

The youngest age that the parents of the said soldier could've been at the birth of this soldier would've also been 18

This means the parents would've been born in 1917

That would make them at the very least 101 years of age right now...and a more likely scenario is that parents of Korean War combatants would be well over 110 years old.

So, yes, of course it makes perfect sense that thousands and thousands of centenarians clamoured to Trump's campaign rallies to ask him to reach an agreement with the North Korean Dictator. 

Why does this matter?

Because it goes to character.

Consider if Malcolm Turnbull had tried to pull that rubbish? How do you think it would've been received?

Of course, Trump's camp of sycophants and genuflectors (including in Australia) won't care a jot ...but that doesn't make it acceptable.

It needs to be called out and exposed at every turn.

Blog Archive

Our home

Our home
Earthrise over the moon (click on picture to view film)

The pale blue dot

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Our neighbourhood

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A sister galaxy

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Another sister galaxy

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Triangulum (click on picture to view short film clip)

The Local Group of Galaxies

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Our Galactic Neighbourhood (click on picture to view film clip).

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The virgo super cluster of galaxies

The virgo super cluster of galaxies
Galaxies within 100 million light years (click on picture to view film clip)

Galaxies within 1 billion light years

Galaxies within 1 billion light years