Home > The EYE-BALL Opinion > EYE-BALL’s Herman on: Democrazy Part XIII – Thought Broker Conference – Battle of the Think Tanks

EYE-BALL’s Herman on: Democrazy Part XIII – Thought Broker Conference – Battle of the Think Tanks

January 30, 2012
Herman O'Hermitage
Democrazy Part XIII –
Thought Broker Conference – Battle of the Think Tanks.
By: Herman O’Hermitage
Herman O'HermitageOn September 13, 2011 I posted the article 2012 Overture A Crappy New Year linked here.

As we end the first month of 2012 it is interesting to review.

Qld is now committed to holding a state election on March 24, 2012. The USA is desperately seeking anyone to hold a candle to the incumbent president, just a flicker of hope. China has decreased the helter skelter pace of economic growth, but in the Australian mining industry you would not know it. Australia’s Federal Government is looking for a miracle, wanting to highlight the Australian economic story, rather than deal with the real hardships of every day Australians. The Christmas sales and post Christmas sales numbers slowly filter out showing little prospect of employment growth in the retail sector,more like contraction, while both headline employment and job ads are in reverse, and the resultant drop in CPI is seen as hope for further rate cuts in official interest rates.

In the previous post I highlighted how the Australian mining industry has a history of getting in front of itself. The rapacious need to extract the resource and sell as fast as possible, is at the essence of this. No real value added for the Australian community.

Early last December I met with a director of a recruitment firm, an old friend. He was telling me how the European banks based in Australia, are simply not hiring at all. They have critical specialist roles to fill, but as their appetite for risk, is nil, those positions remain unfilled. The Australian banks are saying only rationalisation can maintain their growth targets and profit share and lending figures and building stats are up marginally from relatively low bases. Auction stats are simply miserable, with real estate agents promoting price stability as a good time to upgrade, downsize etc. Tightly focused only on volumes.

In USA politics, the republican contenders are now down to 3. Romney, Gringrich and possibly Paull. Never in American history has the incumbent won a second term with such woeful economic stats against them. But this year, it looks like it will happen. Obama has achieved so little, yet the opposition have simply lost the plot. They can not find a representative of middle America amongst them.

In Australia, it is the governments who have no traction. Campbell Newman only needs to wait 54 sleeps until he is announced the new Member for Ashgrove, and the first LNP Premier of QLD. It looks like a re run of the NSW state election last March. It doesn’t really matter if Campbell is good for the job, he is the only other candidate against Anna Bligh. All attempts at trying to show Campbell as authoritarian or not transparent, do not catch such is the need to affect change. Anna Bligh can add to her resume the first Australian elected female Premier and then also elected out.

At the Federal level, Julia Gillard has similar problems, however she doesn’t go back to the polls for beyond 18 months, despite what the electorate might think or feel. The odds are against the PM being in that job when the next Federal election comes around. The Murdoch press is constantly highlighting the low popularity of Ms Gillard, and if the source was credible, of course it is a natural conclusion.

The 2 biggest stories of the last fortnight tell enough. Firstly the back-flip on mandatory pre commitment and loss of support of the government by Andrew Wilkie and the the sacking and investigation of Prime Ministerial press secretary Tony Hodges. The government has no vision, accuses the opposition of negativity, and uses only opinion polls to make policy decisions. As things stand, the opposition will have a majority of at least 40 in the House of Reps after the next election. They will struggle to get anything through the upper house. What hope is there? Another parliamentary term of playing the man and not the ball.

Anthony Albanese plagiarising a speech from a Michael Douglas movie simply sums it all up. What was I saying about dud plots? At university any student caught plagiarising so badly would receive a 6 month suspension from university for their cheating.

I have barely mentioned Europe. Nothing has really changed since last June when we saw the first civil disobedience in Athens. Germany with their Scandinavian allies will save the Union when there is a commitment to a European Government.

All of this culminates in continued excessive volatlity in financial markets. Firstly currencies suffer, then the individual stocks, that comprise the various indices. The Australian mining houses and the 4 major banks have particularly attractive price to earnings ratios on an historical basis. Moreover I wouldn’t need to look hard to find another dozen. But the uncertainty simply does not go away. What happens if the Greens get their way and a super tax is imposed on the Australian banking sector. Maybe the miracle the Prime Minister needs is widening the tax base of the mining royalty resource tax.

Today on radio there was comment on going back to the gold standard. It won’t happen because of the power imbalance that occurs between Moscow and Washington. The new standard could be capping government debt at 50% of national GDP.

Recently the Murdoch press ran a headline quoting the PM, “lend me your ideas”. Could the contributors to this web site start something special?

Believing in sanity is insanity itself.


Herman …

Categories: The EYE-BALL Opinion
  1. January 30, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Hi Herman – welcome back …

    Just a couple of things – two female Premiers in Lawerance and Kirner might stand in line before Anna Bligh and the first female Premiers … still Labour though …

    The summary of the global picture with dark and gloomy storm clouds all around is accurate – just a thought … perhaps nobody wants Obama’s job – who wants to be President when all they can deliver is bad economic data and more cuts …

    At a time when true Leadership needs to step up – the only ones standing at the podium are like fairy-floss at the town fair … and this for the top job in the world … you’re right – Obama in a close yet convincing win …

    The Gillard soap show continues – Rudd must be one of those who like to do others over slowly – who could blame him …

    I had a complete break from all thinks Australian Politics from mid-December and went hunter about something else … but I did see the PM’s security response and it took 8-10 of them to more or less carry her … that would have to be the most dangerous footage any Australian PM has been seen in … scary stuff to think that Phoney Tony stayed inside and let Duchess Julia make a run for it first … a real hero … chivalry at its best …

    On your economic synopsis – I agree but from a different perspective – the fund managers are condensing their weightings and this is pushing the Banks and major miner’s way past fair value with the A$ where it is – this to my way of thinking makes them overpriced against say a Woolworth s or Coles or other food retailers. The export of our prime produce was such a big earner – with the A$ so high this produce has come back on the Australian market pushing prices lower – my trade is to straddle the foodies against the Banks and miners – i.e. sell/short the Big 4 Banks and miners and buy the foodies and play the spread value …

    Glad you’re back …

    The EYE-BALL

  2. Herman
    January 31, 2012 at 6:28 am

    Anna Bligh actually won a mandate after assuming Premiership from Peter Beattie. I believe you will find Carmen Lawrence and Joan Kirner like Kristina Kennealy merely inherited the sinking ship.

  3. Herman
    February 1, 2012 at 12:16 am

    There are many thoughts.

    In interview, Simon Crean is saying the opposition (Tony Abbott) is talking the economy down. Yes that is true. But is the economy really as strong as the government would have anyone believe?

    Is there a greater affront, than the government trying to tell the people, what the people think?

    This is a Labor Government. They want to believe in a safety net for those who might be struggling, Yet that is what we don’t see. I see a group of people clinging to power.

    The last election was essentially a tiny mandate (split vote) to the opposition. That is the mandate. Labor formed government by doing deals with the cross benches, not the electorate. The electorate said give them a go, that is democracy. But egotists (Julia Gillard, Wayne Swan, Anthony Albanese, Simon Crean, Bill Shorten, labor frontbench et al) see this as their point of history.

    Ms Gillard disenfranchised QLD and Labor heartland by her walking over Rudd, and now wants the same heartland to believe she actually has some substance.

    This ALP government (Rudd included) do backflips far too easily.

    The opinion polls say ALP government (Gillard) is over. Simon Crean wants to say this is the fault of the opposition. The Liberal party actually won more seats at the last election than the the Labor party. What is the consensus?

    The ALP must go back to their roots. They must beleive in government by the people for the people by the people for the people. The very words a “Gillard Government” are antithesis. It is not Rudd, or Gillard or anyone else, it is egalitarianism. Just government.

    The nominal leader of the greater collective is our government. They answer to us, the collective. That is true democracy.

    It is now becoming very apparent that the USA has created a powerful enemy in Pakistan. Throughout 2011 there have been many hard to fathom uprisings against the governments. Governments in Greece, Syria, Libya, Egypt, Brixton Riots and so on.

    Until those nominal leaders check their egos, this will continue. Pakistan is far different. It will be the subject of many blogs over the coming months. Why does our government want to make an enemy out of their constituency?

    We have enemies enough!

  4. February 1, 2012 at 6:14 am

    In a word or two – “APATHY” and “MEDIOCRITY” – the Global Leadership revolves and is inhabited by everything these two words express.

    Firstly – and in Australia – APATHY – the electorate is so disillusioned by the process of Government – i.e. the continued personal attacks by both sides of politics to try and win the support of the people – that in itself is representative of a distraction that the Government is unable to rule and get out of its own way … the media coverage of these ‘personal jibes’ allows them to ‘coast’ in their responsibility … nobody is doing their job to to the demands of the people …

    Secondly – and again in Australia – MEDIOCRITY – we embrace this mediocrity in our Leadership based on out Labour/Liberal/National/Greens/other party allegiance. As a society we deserve better and it is right to have some form of belief system in our politics. But for decades now all political parties have moved to the center to generate populist policies … Party identity is difficult – radical policies for the majors is not there – they are both mainstream swimming in the same lane – it then becomes about the identities and that is where MEDIOCRITY enters the equation …

    Duchess Julia and Phoney Tony as respective Leaders of the Government and the Opposition – generate the APATHY within the electorate because they also represent the MEDIOCRITY spoken of … give us inspired Leadership and the people will follow …

    EYE-BALL …

  1. March 26, 2012 at 10:30 am
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