Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mandate and secrecy bullshit

Abbott's been telling the incoming senators they have a duty to support him because the voters gave him a mandate.

It's what all governments claim, but rarely is it true.

The people who gave Abbott a mandate are only those who voted for him. According to the Australian Electoral Commission, the various Libs and Nats candidates got 45.55% of the total votes.

When you are elected in spite of most people voting against you, you don't have a mandate 'from the people' - you have a mandate from the minority who voted for you.

The majority of voters, 54.45%, gave a mandate to the parties they voted for to pursue their policies.

The incoming senators have a duty to the people who elected them to keep their promises.

We have reports of an asylum seeker boat in trouble, but naturally the appalling Scott Morrison is hiding behind his secrecy campaign, refusing to answer questions and tell us what's happening. He won't discuss 'operational matters' of course - except when it suits him.  He and Abbott couldn't wait to tell the world when they claimed six months of no boat arrivals.

What the country needs is for Abbott to make good on his threat and go for a double dissolution.

We still wouldn't get the government we need of course. Apart from the odd independent, Nick Xenophon comes to mind, none of them inspire any confidence. But at least we'd have a less extremist, less biased government.

The real problem is that the wrong people are going into politics for the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Not good enough

Well, not cricket scores against us by the Dutch or Spanish and a much better team performance in both matches.

What was really disappointing was that too many of our players don't seem to be able to concentrate and don't understand the basics of the game.

Against the Dutch we would have won if we'd scored the third goal - but the decision to take a side-foot shot when the ball was sitting up perfectly for a shot off the instep meant it sailed over the bar instead of into the net. And then a basic goalkeeping error allowed a stoppable shot to go in for the winning goal.

Against Spain the first fifteen minutes were good but then it all fell apart and the Spanish strolled it without ever going into top gear.

The concentration levels and basic mistakes were the main problem. Our right back was missing in action, allowing endless threats and goals to come from unmarked players on the Spanish left wing, and the opposite flank wasn't much better.

And ball-watching allowed unmarked players acres of space in which to create danger and score goals.

We have a problem with this squad of players, in that their skill levels are way below what's needed at international level. Whether they have the raw talent to learn the skills is doubtful in my opinion.

But making excuses for them being young and inexperienced at this level misses the real problems. 

The basics of marking a man, not allowing them space, stopping the crosses, are something schoolboy footballers understand so there's absolutely no excuse for these 'elite' players. Nor is there any excuse for them not to be able to concentrate and focus on their duties for ninety minutes.

And those are the really disappointing let-downs.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Treating us like mushrooms

Another classic example of a company ignoring a question, ignoring reality and instead issuing a meaningless PR message.

This time it was our Virgin airline.

An initial report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau says they continued to operate a turboprop regional aircraft on thirteen sectors after an incident Virgin later suspected "might have caused significant structural damage" to the tailplane.

In response to the report Virgin said - yes, you guessed it - the safety of its guests, (guests? Passengers you dickheads!) crew and aircraft was its No.1 priority and protocols were in place to ensure safety was maintained. 

That covers it nicely. Don't mention the incident, don't tell the traveling public what happened or what steps have been taken to make sure such things don't happen again, just photocopy the 'mission statement' and send it out. Job done.

It's becoming the norm with business and their bedfellows the politicians to ignore the question and parrot the slogan or the soundbite. They're treating us with utter contempt.

The World Cup

I've watched three World Cup matches so far and from them it's obvious the officials in charge of matches are either incompetent with little knowledge of the games'  rules or they're corrupt.

From the evidence so far they're going to ruin the tournament.

As for Australia, naive doesn't even begin to describe their defending in the first half, when they allowed Chile to score two soft goals. No idea of positioning, no marking of opposition attackers, just standing around ball watching.

The other major problem is the number of times their own progress was halted or Chile's progress wasn't, by a total lack of concentration. Far too often they were watching the play rather than being part of it, caught flat-footed or standing when they should have been moving.

And goalkeepers must either stay on their line or if they come out for the ball they must get it. Coming out and then floundering about like a fish out of water, as ours did for the vital first goal, is not an option.

Unless there's a massive improvement Spain and Holland will rack up a cricket score.

Friday, June 06, 2014

PS on housing

A PS to my last post in which I said that we treat our housing as just a commodity to buy and sell.

The local paper here on the NSW Central Coast  has a snapshot of the property market, which supports what I said.

We have just under 140,000 dwellings in the region. Currently on the market are 1,608 dwellings, a perfectly normal figure for any time.

General time on the market is 69 days so you can easily work out the absolutely massive turnover of property through a year.