NEWS AND VIEWS
Monday, 21 April 2008
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Green speak – how can you know one before the other?
World Wildlife Fund head Greg Bourne had me puzzling with these comments as reported from the recent the carbon storage media conference: The WWF's chief executive Greg Bourne says it is important to know one way or another whether carbon sequestration can play a part in a package of measures to address global warming. "We have to find a way to clean the technologies to find the carbon sequestration solutions," he said. "If it's going to work we need to know really, really quickly, so it can be rolled out around the world. If it's not going to work we need to know even more quickly ... such is the urgency of the challenge of climate change." Can someone explain to me how we can know one before the other?
Malcolm gets courageous
Liberal leadership aspirant Malcolm Turnbull must be confident he knows something that Treasurer Wayne Swan does not about the state of the world banking system and its potential impact on the Australian economy. The shadow Treasurer has consistently down played the threat of inflation to the well being of Australians while emphasizing the dangers from the financial troubles of the United States . At the weekend he repeated his claim that Mr Swan was raising “inflationary expectations” and, he told the Sydney Morning Herald, “it is difficult to imagine a more reckless thing to say.” Central to Mr Turnbull's theme is that the Reserve Bank should not have increased interest rates back in January because “this global credit crunch would be worse than a lot of people thought”.
Chinese friends concerned
My Chinese friends might not be representative of the whole diaspora but they are certainly agitated at the way demonstrators have chosen to abuse the Chinese Government over the troubles in Tibet . Even those with some sympathy towards the lack of religious freedom for Buddhist Tibetans are angered at what they see as the demonization and bashing of China in the lead up to the Olympic Games.
A poll a minute
It sometimes seems as if there is a poll a minute in the United States where every major media organization has its own pollster out in the field. In the Australian newspapers this morning there were stories suggesting that Hillary Clinton was on the way back with that judgment based on a movement in the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll which on Saturday had her a point in front of Barack Obama. Now the Sunday version has arrived suggesting, in Gallup's words, that the “peeling away of national Democratic support for Barack Obama seen this past week may have run its course” with Obama back in the lead nationally 47% to 45% as the preferred Democratic Party candidate.
Our Owl's election indicator based on the betting markets has Obama as an 84% chance of gaining the nomination.
The Daily Reality Check
Yet another one of those mornings where a huge gap exists between what editors put on the front of their printed versions and what the people choose to read on the internet news site versions. The 2020 summit dominated on virtually all page ones with the exception of the Hobart Mercury and the Northern Territory News.
Yet only on the websites of The Australian and the ABC did a story about the weekend gathering in Canberra make it as the most read. Indeed on six of the 10 sites included in the daily Crikey survey 2020 did not make it in to the top five most popular.
The Pick of the 2020 Coverage
Michelle Grattan – Melbourne Age Mostly the summit said the obvious — which is not a bad thing if it leads to action. … The new thing is that the message may strengthen the political will. … The message of the weekend was that ideas and debate are in fashion. So is political participation.
Jessica Irvine – Sydney Morning Herald Underlying my dismay, as the 2020 Summit session on "The Future Of The Economy" descended into management-consultant-induced chaos, was the knowledge that the government body best positioned to inform rigorous, fact-based policy making, the Bureau of Statistics, is about to take a funding hit of more than $20 million in the federal budget.
Paul Kelly – The Australian Amid the dreams, showbiz and ideas of the summit weekend, the Prime Minister faces the delicate task of deciding what to embrace, hedge and dump.
Dennis Shanahan – The Australian But in attempting to show a difference in style, Rudd has been caught out politically on the substance of the summit conclusions. The Prime Minister now faces a political agenda crammed with "big ideas" with which he disagrees or which he doesn't regard as a priority: a separate treaty with indigenous people, a bill of rights and a republic.
Imre Salusinszky – The Australian "We no longer have perpetual seminars about our national identity," John Howard declared in his last major speech before last year's election, adding that his government had reversed "the overdose of political correctness" of the early 1990s. Those now loom as famous last words. Kevin Rudd's 2020 Summit was what Freudians call a "return of the repressed", a comprehensive unbottling of the banished cultural genies of the Howard era.
Piers Akerman – Sydney Daily Telegraph They were billed as the best and the brightest but at the end of the day it was disappointing to see such a mediocrity of minds.
Malcolm Farr – Sydney Daily Telegraph It's a bit late but here's the secret for success at the 2020 Summit : If you want to get ahead, get a hub. … There was the call for hubs at which teenagers could gather in safety and get entertainment and information; the hub providing career and education advice; the hub offering the disadvantaged housing, income and legal information. And of course the hub proposed by the Prime Hubster, Kevin Rudd, which would look after all child needs from birth to school age.
Peter Hartcher – Sydney Morning Herald So at the weekend he usurped the representatives of his electoral mandate, the 111 Labor MPs chosen at the polls. He shipped in his own handpicked 1000 delegates instead and they gave him what he wanted - a national consensus, or at least the appearance of one. Rudd is seeking to draw into his governing project the broadest possible sweep of Australian constituencies.
Push to overhaul tax system But republic still the crowd's favourite - Peter Martin and Andrew Fraser, Canberra Times
2020 Summit sets course for a new, republican Australia – Laura Anderson, Steve Lewis and Greg Kelton, Adelaide Advertiser
Now for the plan of action – Michelle Grattan, Melbourne Age
Beware the false economy behind Rudd's bright ideas – Jessica Irvine, Sydney Morning Herald
Summit backs Labor's agenda – Matthew Franklin, The Australian
Plan to open NT migrant borders - Nick Calacouras, Northern Territory News
The Pick of this Morning's Other Political Coverage
Melbourne property gulf grows wider – Eli Gleenbatt, Melbourne Age
State Libs and Nats reject merger moves – Paul Austin, Melbourne Age
Turnbull accuses Swan of reckless talk abroad – Anne Davies, Sydney Morning Herald
Girls to wait for 'celeb' breast implant surgery until 18 – Kate Sikora, Sydney Daily Telegraph
Tassie home haven push – Anne Mather, Hobart Mercury
The Pick of the Weekend's Political Coverage
D'Orazio rules out Labor candidacy – Robert Taylor and Stuart McKinnon, West Australian
Iemma faces ALP censure on power – Linda Silmalis, Sydney Sunday Telegraph
Property poised to bounce back – Mercedes Maguire, Sydney Sunday Telegraph
Brumby holds legal cards close in pokies row – Jason Dowling, Melbourne Sunday Age
Green light for national student rankings – Emma Macdonald, Canberra Times
We've been nobbled, cry bookies – Tom Reilly, Sunday Melbourne Age
A deal on petrol far from bagged – Glenn Milne, Sydney Sunday Telegraph