Monday, November 25, 2013

No surprise poll

The first Neilsen-Fairfax poll since the election has been published and it says people think the government is a big disappointment.

No surprise there then.

Primary vote is down 5% for the government, up 4% for Labor. Two-party preferred has Labor leading 52% to 48% (at the election it was the other way round, 46.5% Labor, 53.5% Coalition).

Governments are in the image of their leader. Tony Abbott was consistently unpopular before the election and people voted not for him, his attitude, his policies but against Labor.

Labor made such a hash of it with the Rudd/Gillard musical chairs and inability to communicate that they had to go.

The problem was an alternative people didn't really want either.

As I said before the election, Abbott wouldn't, couldn't, change his personality. He's belligerent, confrontational, aggressive, dismissive, stubborn. It did the job in opposition but it's far from what's needed in government.

The poll says people have realised that.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Viewless lookouts

Another example of how bureaucrats think and act differently from the rest of us is the lookout contradiction.

I've seen it in many places around the country - councils use our money to build lookouts where there are spectacular views. Then they allow the vegetation to grow to obscure the view.

So they actually use our money to give us lookouts with no views.

We have two in Terrigal, overlooking the bay, beaches and headland:

Well, they would overlook the bay, beaches and headland if the bloody trees were removed, or at least regularly pruned.

It's what you and I and the rest of the non-bureaucrat world would do.

Only if you're a bureaucrat do you think a lookout with no view is a good way to spend ratepayers' money.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Arrogance and ineptitude

It's not the problem that's the problem, how you deal with it is the problem.

The problem isn't that our security services hacked into the Indonesian President's personal phone, and amazingly into his wife's too. The problem is the arrogantly inept way our government is handling his complaints.

Dismissively, Abbott says "all governments gather information", and even worse, that we did it for the benefit of the Indonesians, resulting in the Indonesians recalling their ambassador, ceasing co-operating with us, and a full blown crisis.

It isn't the phone-tapping that's the cause of their fury, it's the way Abbott has handled it since it became public knowledge.

What a bunch of arrogant amateurs Abbot & Co are.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kindy's back

The kindergarten's open for business again, with the infantile name calling stupidity that we've come to expect from this crop of politicians.

Instead of getting on with the serious business of running the country they're still acting like badly behaved children. They fall about like five year olds as they call each other the sort of names that five year olds come up with. 'Electricity Bill', 'Typhoon Tony' is the level they manage.

What a poor example and embarrassment they are to the country.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Secret, arrogant government

As expected, the government is reflecting PM Abbott's persona with its aggressive arrogance.  

To make it worse, it's all being done with as much secrecy as they can muster, apparently under tight control from the PM's office.

No-one's saying anything about anything. Parliament still hasn't opened for business more than two months after the election, there are virtually no press conferences, no statements from Ministers.

We have the ongoing saga of senior government figures, including the PM and a quarter of his cabinet, ripping taxpayers off by claiming expenses for private activities such as attending friends' weddings and footy finals.

There's public outrage and demands for tighter rules - maybe something akin to the way the tax office deals with the rest of us when we claim for business expenses. In an acknowledgement of the rorting, some of them have repaid some of the money, although only a fraction of it.

True to his arrogant nature Abbott declared: "I am not proposing to change the system. You don't want members of Parliament to be prisoners in their offices".

The clamour continued so suddenly he's announced 'reforms'  which he says "...will help to restore public confidence".
In fact that's all they're designed to do, they certainly aren't designed to stop the rorting. More arrogance, treating us with contempt.

We also have the fast deteriorating relationship with Indonesia caused by belligerence and arrogance.

As soon as he became PM we had the usual political platitudes from Abbott about how important the relationship was, we wanted to be warm, close friends co-operating on a range of regional problems.

When it was revealed publicly that our Embassy in Jakarta had been and was being used to spy on Indonesia the Indonesians were furious, not surprisingly.

They got the same contemptuous treatment that we're getting. 'We don't discuss security matters' they were told.

Surprise, surprise, that put them in an even worse mood.

Then an asylum-seeker boat was stopped by one of our naval ships, which was ordered to take the asylum seekers back to Indonesia. That was one of the actions that, in Opposition, Abbott said his government would take - but they didn't bother to discuss it with Indonesia.

The Indonesians refused to take them, and after a two day standoff we've had to back down. The asylum seekers are on their way here.

The arrogance of the government is also highlighted by their secrecy on asylum seekers.

In Opposition not a day went by without them screeching about stopping the boats, about the emergency on our borders. Now they're in government the issue can't be discussed. Nothing is said other than at a weekly 'briefing' - at which nothing is said and media questions go unanswered.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Lieutenant General Angus Campbell at the last meeting were asked about the latest situation. "I will not discuss on-water operations" the General said ad nauseum.  

As the Sydney Morning Herald said: "The federal government has refused to answer the most basic questions about asylum seekers".

Have a look at some of the questions and 'answers' here:  Q & non-A

An outrage

It has to be one of the most badly botched criminal cases for years.

Kieran Loveridge, an habitual thug, well known to police with a string of previous charges including assault, malicious damage, assaulting a police officer, theft and affray, went on one of his alcohol fuelled rampages through Kings Cross. He smashed random strangers in the head as he roamed the streets

In a one hour rampage he punched his first victim, a 17-year-old youth, about 10pm. A few minutes later he  attacked Thomas Kelly, who was killed. He went on to attack Matthew Serrao, before assaulting Rhyse Saliba just after 11pm.

Quite rightly he was charged with the murder of Thomas Kelly. Inexplicably the DPP then agreed to reduce the charge to manslaughter, after Loveridge said he'd plead guilty to all the charges.

So he turned up in court, very different from his usual self. Well dressed, business shirt & tie, neat, tidy, scrubbed and polished. Crocodile tears and professed regret worked - the judge felt sorry for him and gave him four years.

An absolute outrage. A ludicrous sentencing decision from a judge completely out of touch with reality.

It's no punishment for an habitual and dangerous thug, no deterrent for other Neanderthals like him. They'll be out raising a glass to the judge this weekend. Changing to the lesser charge and the sentence are akin to aiding and abetting.

Loveridge was also sentenced for four assaults he committed on the same night that he killed Thomas Kelly. In total he got away with a sentence of seven years and two months with a non-parole period of five years and two months. For four assaults and a murder.

Predictably there's been a huge public outcry. The NSW Attorney-General has said he's asked the DPP to review the sentence and consider if there are grounds for appeal.     

Monday, November 04, 2013

More stupid food

I post every so often about stupid food that's been served up, usually with a photo or two.

This time I don't have photos because I haven't eaten at the restaurant in question - and I doubt that I ever will. Well, I say 'ever', but in reality I can't see the place lasting more than a week or two.

It's a new restaurant that opened this weekend.

They say they're a 'pizza bar & grill', strange because there are only two grilled items on the menu.

But the stupid food comes in on the pizza menu.

Now remember these are pizzas:

pulled pork knuckle, smoked tomato, preserved lemon, mushroom, sobrasada.

Worse is this one: peking duck, hoisin sauce, chilli, coriander, cucumber, fried shallots.

They're pizzas.


Sunday, November 03, 2013

We have smoke

Usually the view is something like this

But this morning it was like this

Smoke from the Blue Mountains which affected Sydney so badly yesterday arrived on the Central Coast overnight.  It's as bad as I can ever remember it, even when we lived in Sydney and had fires all around us, including in the adjacent Lane Cove National Park.


Friday, November 01, 2013

These aren't children

We have more examples of something I complain about every so often - thuggish young men committing violent crimes but being taken before the children's court.

A sixteen year old has been charged with bashing a 93 year old woman, trespass and drug possession.

Unbelievably, he was bailed to appear in the children's court.

A Jewish family of five all suffered injuries when they were attacked by a gang of young hoodlums as they walked home from dinner.

The hoodlums included two seventeen year olds, who are already on bail for assaulting a police officer. They too will be appearing before the children's court.

To say a change is long overdue is an understatement.