Thursday 28th of January 2021

good news

   As European nations rush headlong into lockdowns and several countries post record case numbers, it’s not all doom and gloom on the Covid front; Australia has reported no new community infections for the first time since June.

The development paves the way for a further easing of harsh lockdown restrictions that have been in place in the country, particularly in the state of Victoria, which accounts for the vast majority of Australia’s 907 deaths related to the disease.

Sunday saw Australia record no new daily infections for the first time since June 9. “Thank you to all of our amazing health & public health workers & above all else the Australian people,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Twitter, after the statistics were released.


Read more:

meanwhile at the daily telegraph...

Warren Brown, a right-wing cartoonist, is paid to hammer Labor and I think he does it with pleasure... On the day of the elections in Queensland, a couple of days ago, this SILLY cartoon was published at the Daily (Sunday) Telegraph. For those who are not initiated to the refinement of politics and sports in Australia, the endearing terms for Queenslanders are CANE TOADS and COCKROACHES for the NewSouthWelsh people.




Queensland election results reveal the winners and losers in 2020

By Kate McKenna and Jason Dasey


Updated about 3 hours ago

With millions of votes tallied, Queensland's election results are finally in, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk re-elected for a third term.

It's been an unusual election influenced by a global pandemic, with the state's borders and economy looming large and hundreds of thousands of Queenslanders voting early. 

Here is a breakdown of some of the victors — and victims — of the 2020 Queensland election.

Read more:



a second european wave...

Portugal has become the latest European state to announce new coronavirus restrictions, as Austria and England also prepare for lockdown, amid public backlash in other states forced into quarantines by the second wave of Covid-19.

In Portugal, people were ordered to stay home except for work, school or essential shopping, while companies will switch to remote working wherever possible. 

New lockdown measures are set to take effect on November 4 and will immediately impact nearly 70 percent of the population in 121 municipalities. Prime Minister Antonio Costa, however, warned that even more areas could be added to the list if the rate of coronavirus  infections continues to soar.

We have a very tough month ahead of us. It is more likely we will add more municipalities than we drop from that list next time.

While Portugal has recorded a relatively low 2,507 deaths so far, the daily number of new infections soared over 4,000 in the recent days, with a total of 1,972 people hospitalized and the country slowly running out of intensive care units.


Read more:



Read from top.

closed to the cockroaches and the vic bitteroos...

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said the state's borders will remain closed to Australia's two biggest cities, following her recent election win. 

The ban on people from greater Sydney and Victoria - which includes Melbourne - is to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Ms Palaszczuk said the measures would be reviewed at the end of the month. 

She was re-elected on Saturday, becoming the first woman to win a third term as an Australian state premier. 

However the final count has not yet been confirmed. 

Queensland's border is currently closed to all of New South Wales, but on Tuesday it is to open to all of the state's residents aside from those in greater Sydney. 

The closure of borders has caused tension with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has called for internal borders to open in order to boost the country's economy. 

Mr Morrison spent a week on the campaign trail for Ms Palaszczuk's opponent Deb Frecklington, calling for Queensland to open.



Read more:



Read from top.

a vicious frydenberg...

What’s happened to Josh Frydenberg? As many have commented, Frydenberg’s vicious attack on Victoria’s Premier, Dan Andrews, came as a surprise. It’s intensity was extraordinary. Why?

Only he would know. We can but surmise. What did you conclude?

Here’s my assessment:

First, here are his acerbic words:

”Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg labelled the premier's handling of the (COVID-19) crisis as 'the biggest public policy failure by a state government in living memory'”.


Josh Frydenberg is ambitious. He hopes one day to become PM. He knew that his very public attack on Andrews would propel him into the public limelight and portray him as a strong future leader. Was Morrison watching ? Did he feel the need to protect hisback? Or was he so sure of himself that he thought he could allow Frydenberg to go out as an attack dog to do his dirty work?

And Dan Andrews was the ideal target - a Labor figure who has been attacked from all sides of the conservative spectrum. Andrews’ daily press reports on the status of COVID -19 in Victoria have been helpful and informative. He stays put at the rostrum until every question has been addressed. You can imagine how irritating his opponents find him! Some express their distaste of him in florid terms in the social media: “I can’t stand the sight of him”. Frydenberg knew that attacking Andrews would draw enthusiastic support from his conservative colleagues. 

Frydenberg is politically smart. He knew that any attack he mounted would need to be dressed up in economic garb to give it authenticity. This was easy for him - being Treasurer, he has an abundance of economic bullets in his armoury. But his bullets we not aimed simply at wounding Andrews’ economic credentials; they were intended to wound him personally. The venom of Frydenberg’s words is testimony to that. If you’re sceptical about this assessment of his intentions, read his words again.

So why is this piece titled Frydenberg’s folly?.

Because in one fell swoop he has morphed his image as a credible commentator on the nation’s accounts into just another partisan attack dog. He has replaced his reputation in the area of finance with what we have come to despise so profoundly.

That is his folly!


Read more:



Read from top.

the end of our sniggering?

If you'd asked in 2019, no politics buff would have predicted that this year would be the year to stem the steady flow of trust away from government and politicians. 

Yet despite all the turmoil, we've seen trust in leaders surge, according to polling. Generally speaking, Australians have approved of a more evidence-based and less adversarial approach to politics.

In many ways that's been forced upon us: much of the usual cut-and-thrust of politics has to be dispensed with when you're coming to terms with the worst pandemic in a century.

But it could be that there are some parts of 2020 we'd like to hold on to. Do we have any hope of that, or will 2021 revert to business as usual?

2020: the year we learned how to trust politicians?

The Australian National University's post-election study in 2019 found just a quarter of voters believed people in government can be trusted to do the right thing nearly all the time.

Professor Mark Evans, the director of the Democracy 2025 project at the Museum of Australian Democracy, ran a survey in July comparing the views of citizens across four countries.

"We asked a representative sample a range of questions relating to the government's handling of COVID-19, and their perceptions of the quality and effectiveness of governance in our countries," Evans explains. "For the first time since 1994, Australians were very trusting in federal government."

His survey found 54 per cent of people had a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in government.

"We started to experience a political trust spike in times of COVID-19, which was very surprising, particularly after what was generally perceived to be ineffective governance in terms of the handling of the bushfires," Evans says.

"[There] was a rally around the flag phenomenon ... in other words, the rise of patriotism in Australia in times of crisis management. There's a general perception out there that in times of crisis there's a need for top down centralised authority."


Read more:


Read from top.


See also:

swimming with crocodiles in a swamp after escaping a massive bushfire crisis...

bad news...

  • NSW recorded eight new cases of community transmission from 18,923 tests. Two are household contacts of a case linked to the Avalon cluster, but five are related to the Berala cluster. One is a household contact of a known source.
  • Genomic testing on the Berala BWS cluster (now 13 cases) in western Sydney shows it is linked to the patient transport driver and not the Avalon cluster. Thousands of customers who may have been exposed at the BWS store between December 22 and December 31 are being urged to get tested and isolate for 14 days, no matter the result.
  • Masks are now mandatory in Greater Sydney, on the Central Coast, and in the Blue Mountains and Wollongong. There is a $200 fine for those who don't comply.
  • Victoria has recorded three new local cases from 22,477 tests, all of which are connected to the Black Rock cluster. The federal government is urging Victoria to help residents stranded in NSW get home as soon as possible after the Andrews government said only those with special circumstances would be allowed to return.

Read more:

Read from top. Meanwhile the PM. ScoMoo, wants consistency of borders, while another coal mine is approved contrarily to environmental and emissions regulations...

cage or border?cage or border?