GIMPs voters will decide the next Australian Federal Election.

Australia has two major political parties: the ALP (Australian Labor Party) and the L/NP (Liberal/National ) party. Roughly 70% of the population although for one of these two parties.

The remainder will vote for the GIMPs: the Greens, Independents and Minor Parties. 

Like every other country in the world, Australia has a complicated voting system. On election day, Australian vote for your their first choice, then they number second, third, fourth, fifth choices, these are called “preferences” in Australia

This is why the GIMPs are so important. Roughly 30% of the population their first preference to the GIMPs but these are often not enough to get elected. You need 50% to get elected so GIMPs preferences are distributed until someone gets 50%. Usually this will be a member of the ALP or the L/NP.

In the long run, who forms government will depend on where the GIMPs preferences go. 

You can see by this latest opinion poll, the the two major parties are relatively close: L/NP 34.5% and ALP 37%. The GIMPs share the remaining 28% and the distribution amongst them is relatively stable.

However, when all the GIMPs preferences are shared out between the ALP and the L/NP, they go 2:1 to the ALP.

With the two major parties so close together this graphic shows the impact of GIMPs preferences.

The final break down is ALP 56% to L/NP 44%. This would be described as a “commanding lead”

This means while the GIMPs will not get anywhere near the 28% representation they deserve in Parliament, their second and third preferences will determine who forms the next Federal government.

These two pictures must surely give the strategists in the major parties food for thought about where they should be aiming to win the swinging, the undecided, or the disaffected voters.

GIMPs voters will decide the next Australian Federal Election.

Australia has two major political parties: the ALP (Australian Labor Party) and the L/NP (Liberal/National )vparty. Roughly 70% of the population although for one of these two parties.

The remainder will vote for the GIMPs: the Greens, Independents and Minor Parties.

Like every other country in the world, Australia has a complicated voting system. On election day, Australian vote for your their first choice, then they number second, third, fourth, fifth choices, these are called “preferences” in Australia

This is why the GIMPs are so important. Roughly 30% of the population their first preference to the GIMPs but these are often not enough to get elected. You need 50% to get elected so GIMPs preferences are distributed until someone gets 50%. Usually this will be a member of the ALP or the L/NP.

In the long run, who forms government will depend on where the GIMPs preferences go.

You can see by this latest opinion poll, the the two major parties are relatively close: L/NP 34.5% and ALP 37%. The GIMPs share the remaining 28% and the distribution amongst them is relatively stable.

However, when all the GIMPs preferences are shared out between the ALP and the L/NP, they go 2:1 to the ALP.

The final break down is ALP 56% to L/NP 44%. This would be described as a “commanding lead”

This means while the GIMPs will not get anywhere near the 28% representation they deserve in Parliament, their second and third preferences will determine who forms the next Federal government.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison eyeballs koala. Koala is unimpressed

In what must have been the most puke-worthy photo opportunity of the year for the PM, Scott Morrison has discovered koalas. The one he chose appears to like him about as much as 2021 Australian of the Year, Grace Tame.

Face-off

This is a picture of two Australian protected species: a large slow-moving and not very bright animal, who frequently exposes himself in public, the other is a wombat.

Morrison’s announcement that the Federal government will provide $50m for koala conservation comes after koala populations and habitats were devastated in the 2019 New South Wales bushfires. That would have been the time for a $50 million grant

Critics have said that this is too little, too late.

They said the same about his $1b cash splash to save the Great Barrier Reef which is be spread (uselessly) over 10 years.

Not only, according to critics too little, too late. But probably too slow delivery in its delivery. By the time the money arrives, the reef will probably be damage beyond repair.

Morrison appears to be in a desperate search for a cause to bolster his declining electoral popularity. First the Great Barrier Reef and then koalas. All in the space of about three days. He is going to cover a lot of ground before the yet-to-be-announced, Federal election.

You can only imagine what will the next beneficiary of this tax-funded generosity. He has already done all the sports clubs in marginal electorates and lots of car parks.

It wouldn’t be surprising if he started calling for suggestions.

Letter to my Grandsons. Motorcars (iv) and Houses

When your grandmother, Andrew and I arrived in Armadale in New South Wales Australia, in 1972, we needed two things. A house to live in and motorcar.

Our Ford Falcon parked out side our house in Lawrence Ave in Armidale.

Everybody had big cars in Armidale because they had to drive so far to get anywhere.

After you have lived in New Zealand, which is quite a small and hilly country, you are struck by how big and flat Australia is. The distances between places are huge, particularly if you live somewhere like Armidale. In Auckland, I could get to the surf club at Muriwai in half an hour and I thought that was quite a long drive

If we wanted to go to the beach for a day In Armidale, we had a 2 1/2 hours to get to a beautiful beach on the New South Wales coast called Sawtell.

Andrew and Simon would sleep in the back on the way home, so they missed the night when we hit a kangaroo coming home.

We went to Armidale so I could go to university and when I graduated, I got a job in Frankston. We all got in the car and drove to stay with some friends in Victoria while I found somewhere to live In Frankston.

When we first came to Victoria, there were no freeways, so to connecting to Frankston, I had to drive through the city and down the highway. The trip took three hours and I had to do it three or four times to arrange somewhere to rent.

When we originally decided to go to Frankston, we thought it was a little town by the seaside outside Melbourne. When we got there, we found it was a suburb 40 km south of the city.

But we found somewhere to live and we were close to the beach, much closer than we have been at Armidale. The house at 56 Finlay St isn’t there any longer but I have some photos of what it was like we were there.

This is the front fence, pathway, garden and pagoda I built and designed. The steps, which you can just see on the right-hand side of the picture, led to sliding doors into the living room.

This is a photo of Andrew and Simon in a small swimming pool in the backyard.

This is veggie garden. There was also a swing and a sand pit over on the right.

While we were there, we went for a holiday in the Grampians

The Frankston beach was a great place for the kids to grow up and the family spent a lot of time there.

Soon we had to get rid of the old Ford Falcon to buy newer and better Ford. This time a Fairmont. Gradually the cars were getting better.

The seats were getting more comfortable and the air-conditioning more efficient. It was also more comfortable for the kids in the back.

A large comfortable car made it possible to do day trips for cross-country skiing.

Andrew with skis
Simon all rugged up

We also decided that it was time that we needed more than one car, so we bought a little Honda Civic.

Soon we moved house to Grosvenor St.

These are a couple of shots of Nick and Simon around the fire pit in the backyard.

This is a picture of your grandfather and your uncle Nick removing the tree from the backyard at Grosvenor St

The cars and houses were getting bigger and better as time went by. They had to. The family was growing up and there was a fair amount of driving needed to be done. There were football matches and practices, Little athletics, cricket, swimming training, swimming trips to Frankston swimming pool with the kids from Mitic Court and Grosvenor Street and Road Runners all of which required a large motorcar.

Old people talk about the “Good old days”. They weren’t.

There was a post on my newsfeed recently with the usual bullshit from people about my age (I’m 77) bemoaning young people nowadays and talking about how much fun they had in the playgrounds when they were young. I’m not doubting that they did have fun. But, from my experience it was pretty limited and there were lots of downsides and lots of boredom in the 1940s and 1950s.

They posted lots of pictures of the playgrounds from the 1940s and 1950s some of which I remembered well.

The idea was big kids would get this moving at a speed that would send small kids flying off
This was standard equipment in most New Zealand schools and the source of many broken bones

The child hanging off the end of the swing falls off and on the return carry, the swing smashes her face

We had one of these in our backyard when our kids were growing up. One of the kids down the road got his leg very badly broken by one of the foot rests when the swing was travelling at speed.

Any failure to hold on tightly would have disastrous consequences.

All of the comments on the photos (made by the 70 year olds) bemoaned the fact that nowadays children didn’t know how to have fun like they did wayback when. Playgrounds nowadays had been ruined by the Occupational Health & Safety people.

Yet, with almost every photograph was a story of someone who had broken an arm or a leg or cracked their skull using this equipment or who had been thrown off the roundabout and been caught underneath it. No stories of the lasting damage done to young bodies.

One child had drunk water out out of a disused hose at the playground and was dead within15 minutes.

There is no doubt that great friendships were built during these times and that children can have fun in whatever environment they find themselves in.

But the modern playground is an immense improvement on what we had in the 1950s, a richer and more stimulating environment.

And they are safer

So what else was good about the old days?

They were a time when medical science had not yet developed vaccines for many of the diseases which killed many young children.

My grandchildren has now been inoculated against the diseases that I had as a child.

I remember having whooping cough, chickenpox, mumps, measles, diphtheria and influenza. All of which were very unpleasant experiences

Fortunately I didn’t get polio.

Winton knows much more than did at his age. He is fortunate. I didn’t have grandparents like his. His grandparents are a product of the wonderful education revolution of the 1960s when education was free.

Like most seven year olds, my grandson knows a lot about dinosaurs and what caused their extinction. He understands asteroids, the nature of black holes in the cosmos. He is an independent reader and is becoming increasingly adept at manipulating the Internet.

For all the problems of these times, I am glad that he doesn’t live in the good old days.

It is a truth universally acknowledged in systems thinking that many policies have a completely counterintuitive impact.

It is now completely obvious that his has been the case with the policies of the New South Wales, Victoria, and Federal Governments to abandon all attempts to control the Omicron variant of Covid.

The first attempts to control variants were based on a fairly simple model of containment.

In Victoria everybody endured a long period of lockdown and isolation after which the restrictions could be eased and life could return to normal. The economy began to pick up.

Then the omicron variant arrived and Prime Minister Morrison and freshly minted Premier of New South Wales Dominic Perrottet decided to reverse all previous policy. In the absence of any clear leadership, Victoria followed suit. Everybody hoped that letting what appeared to be a milder form of the virus run its course would let the economy open up faster than previously.

It proved to be a disastrous decision because of differences in dynamics came into play.

What has happened, in effect, is that a good proportion of population went into voluntary lockdown concerned about the unknown impact of the new variant and distrustful of the two crazy people in charge of the Federal and New South Wales governments. Instead of opening up the economy, they have effectively almost ground to a halt.

Seeking a way forward together

As omicron spread at a frightening rate, a large proportion of the workforce was immobilised with a virus which proved to be far more virulent than expected. This group of people has had a negative reinforcing effect on the downward spiral of fuel economy particularly in relation to the logistic chains relating to supermarkets and food supply.

National case numbers are now running at around 100,000 a day and the health systems began showing signs of collapse with covid cases being moved out of hospitals and into hotels.

With 350,000 cases a week in Victoria, it doesn’t take a mathematical genius to work out how long it will be before vital infrastructure such as hospitals, transport systems, ambulance systems, supermarkets and schools will not have staff to run them.

Did no one think of this before they decided to let a highly contagious virus loose in the community?

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

The Australian Government takes a high risk line of attack on Djokovic claiming he is a potential risk to public order.

From THE AGE: Novak Djokovic faces a three year ban from Australia after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his personal power to cancel the Serbian tennis star’s visa, as his lawyers last night challenged the decision in court.

Djokovic’s lawyers claim Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke based his decision to cancel the Serbian star’s visa on the basis his presence in Australia would stoke antivax sentiment.

But Djokovic’s lawyer, Nicholas Wood, SC, said Mr Hawke had chosen to “remove a man of good standing” from Australia and “impair” his career over comments Djokovic had made in 2020.

In effect, what the government is saying that Djokovic’s reputation as high profile advocate and anti-vaxxer in Australia has the potential to incite demonstrably violent elements of the anti-vac protest movement in the Australia.

It is easy to see the logic of this argument. Whether the Federal court sees the logic as pertinent is another question.

Nonetheless, Scott Morrison has a lot riding on this decision. He was stuck between a rock and a hard place.

If he let the tennis superstar stay, he would be seen as weak and not standing by his “rules are rules” dictum.

Having decided to cancel the visa, he must now demonstrate that his government is least able to exert some level of control over what is clearly shambolic immigration policy.

With Djokovic’s visa being cancelled, shares in Beef’s Aussie Humble Pie Company have soared in anticipation of the tennis star’s appeal against his deportation being successful and a large amount of humble pie being required.

Andrew to sell his $30m Swiss ski chalet to fund his legal fees. Poor darling.

The Royal Family removed Prince Andrew’s military links and royal patronages on Thursday and said he will no longer be known as “His Royal Highness”, as the son of Queen Elizabeth fights a US lawsuit in which he is accused of sex abuse. His honorary military titles included Honorary air commodore of RAF Lossiemouth. Colonel-in-chief of the Royal Irish Regiment. Colonel-in-chief of the Small Arms School Corps. Colonel-in-chief of The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeth’s Own)

Clearly not amused by Randy Andy’s antics

The queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his American wife Meghan quit royal duties to forge new careers in Los Angeles, later accusing the royal household of racism.

They, too, were stripped of all their patronages, the ‘His and Her Royal Highness’ titles, and Harry also lost his prized military roles. Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington in Suffolk, Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command, and Captain-General of the Royal Marines,

These are called royal patronages. The Queen gives them to her sons and grandchildren for no reason other than they are her sons and grandchildren and they are worth millions allowing these pampered children to live lifestyles well beyond their talents and abilities.

They have also enabled Andrew to live the indulgent lifestyle that is now coming to light. It has done immense reputational damage to the royal family and which would not have been possible without the resources that Andrew had bestowed on him by his indulgent mother.

Matilda reinterprets Winton’s drawing of Harry Potter

Winton bears a credible likeness to his hero, Harry Potter.

He spent a considerable amount of time drawing a portrait of Harry.

He did detailed step by step set of instructions for Matilda on how she could draw her own Harry Potter portrait.

And finally, a chart Indicating where the colours should go for the finished product.

I think for a seven-year-old this a pretty thorough effort.

This is what Matilda drew which is wonderful interpretation of instructions

Matilda’s description ” Love Heart Face with Planets going around it”

Novak Djokovic has won the first round in the Federal Court but the Minister of Immigration can cancel his Visa and it will be very difficult to appeal that decision

The reason Novak got his Visa back was that he wasn’t given enough time to prepare his case. Apparently it was a matter of procedural justice rather than anything to do with the validity of his claim for a medical exemption.

The former chair of Australia’s top vaccination body, Professor Allen Cheng, whose advice underpins Djokovic’s bid to play in the Australian Open – says prior COVID-19 infection has never been a valid reason to enter Australia as an unvaccinated person.

Apparently, the boys in blue are currently waiting outside Novak’s lawyer’s office. The Minister for Immigration may have withdrawn his visa something he has the discretionary power to do.

Novak could be on the next plane out of town