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Jeor

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  1. NSW is hurtling head-long into opening up, and the acceleration in plans is a little unnerving. ScoMo will be very happy with Perrottet. By opening Sydney to all the returning citizens he's basically solved that big headache for Morrison and yet Dom will probably take all the blame when it goes pear-shaped. It's a massive gamble, but for the economically-minded Dom he's obviously hoping to get all the international business and tourism for Sydney ahead of all the other states. I don't think any other Premier (maybe Andrews) is going to fall for it, but it wouldn't surprise me if the other states hang back more and wait to see how it pans out, potentially with hard borders to NSW for a while yet. Tasmania in a lockdown situation now due to one non-cooperating doofus. I think their vax rates are pretty good though so they may escape.
  2. Australia are nothing to write home about. The Test team haven't had any cricket for ages and will be rusty. Australia basically have two world-class players (Steve Smith and Pat Cummins) with some good supporting cast members added in (Labuschagne, the Home Version of Warner; Lyon and Starc). It's an okay team, in home conditions probably a solid team, but they aren't world-beaters by any means. If England weren't missing Stokes and Archer, it would probably be a very close contest. As it is, their loss means Australia will be favourites, but I don't think the gap is insurmountable.
  3. Yes, Perrottet does not look like he's 39. I would have put him at about 50 based on just the photos. Re: Coutts-Trotter, he's an old hand in the public service and a fairly sensible one. But public servants act on government orders, if they're serving an ideological leader there isn't really much they can do to moderate them.
  4. My only political hope is that with 18 months to go, Perrottet may yet flame out (especially if the COVID-19 cases explode after a very loose reopening) and there might be the slightest chance he goes before the next election - with a Rob Stokes or someone else coming in to repair the damage. But I doubt it.
  5. Yes, this was a disaster of a press conference. Perrottet has just tacked very hard to the right, renaming the COVID-19 committee the "COVID-19 and Economics Recovery Committee" and saying flat out that Kerry Chant's advice has to also be weighed against economic factors. Then doing away with a lot of restrictions all at once, including masks in office buildings. Makes me sad to see this as a self-confessed moderate Liberal voter. The state Liberal party had hit upon a winning formula with centrist, competent, non-ideological leaders like O'Farrell, Baird and Berejiklian and one would have hoped they'd learn from this. But it's clear that a number of Liberals have been chafing at the bit to get more political/ideological and Perrottet has been their standard bearer. I think this will give Labor a big opportunity at the next state election in 18 months' time.
  6. NZ certainly has more control over the virus than Sydney or Melbourne, and that counts for a lot in terms of health outcomes and hospital load etc. But the "short and sharp" lockdown for Auckland has gone for over 7 weeks now - and for some punters the lockdown and ultimately its effects are what counts, more than the case numbers. It's similar to the ACT, which has had cases in fairly controllable numbers (usually fewer than 50) but who have been stuck in lockdown for just about as long as Sydney (11 weeks or so I think). Don't get me wrong, having low case numbers (and lower than Sydney/Melbourne) is great for many reasons, but while the lockdown itself is still in place which creates a situation akin to Sydney/Melbourne for all of its residents, that's a big fly in the ointment.
  7. Jacinda Ardern has apparently now abandoned the elimination strategy with cases in Auckland still stubbornly persisting. Just goes to show you that with Delta, I think it's really just a matter of luck (QLD having been lucky so far). I know people question NSW's methods as they took a little too long to lock down, but we're seeing places like Victoria, the ACT and New Zealand all undergo 7+ weeks of strict lockdowns and they're still unable to stamp out Delta. So I think to some extent that shows how little control we have over the virus.
  8. Well, the NSW Coalition is changing very quickly - Gladys may have been holding it together. Constance going is not a major surprise (given he already tried to enter Federal politics before and has solid regional voter support) but the timing of it is a bit opportunistic, I guess he didn't want to get drawn into the factional fights. Barilaro going is a bit more of a surprise. Stokes is reportedly still stubbornly staying in the race so that there will be a real vote tomorrow between him and Perrottet (although it seems fairly clear that the latter has the numbers). It seems that the Liberal bench is getting thin. When O'Farrell went, there was Baird, and when Baird went, there was Gladys. All three of them were fairly competent, generally moderate and sensible, and had broad electoral appeal. However, with Perrottet they really are tacking to the right and going with a more political choice. This may be the time where the state Libs start to lose the plot. I would have much preferred they go with Rob Stokes who by all accounts is more of a moderate, but he doesn't have the numbers as the moderates are splintering whereas Perrottet has the right faction united behind him.
  9. Sydney and Melbourne were always going to be key cities (and therefore NSW/VIC key states) for opening up internationally. Both will do so before the end of the year for sure. SA has also been trialling the home quarantine, so it's possible they could open up too. WA, QLD and possibly TAS will be the slowest. I'm not sure how many international flights Tasmania has anyway - I assume most of the flights in/out of Tassie are via Sydney or Melbourne. Perth loses the London route, which is a blow for them (I did think it was a bit weird for McGowan to complain about Qantas doing that when he was keeping the border shut anyway). QLD will be interesting. Brisbane is a bona fide international route and once Sydney/Melbourne get going again, I don't know that it will be easy for Brisbane to lag behind.
  10. This is the third Liberal Premier that the NSW ICAC has taken down (Greiner in the more distant past). Despite that pretty dismal record for the Libs, you have to give credit to O'Farrell and Gladys for copping it pretty square on the chin and leaving without major angst. Both were very popular and probably would have survived in the court of public opinion - it's pretty rare in politics for people to go quietly like this. It does make me wonder whether Gladys does actually have something to hide and whether some juicier revelations are set to hit the news cycle. While I can see what previous posts mean when they say that this may have been an "easy" way out for her (given the immense workload and criticism she has copped), I don't think it's quite right. Apart from her statement which says she really didn't want to go, if you were picking a departure time and a reason to go, she could simply have left at the end of the year once the reopening had occurred and the "COVID crisis" was dealt with (at least for now). To use ICAC as an excuse to go (and therefore really stuffing your reputation) strikes me as a bit too weird. I really liked Gladys and I'll be sad to see her go, I just hope that for her sake this isn't because some actual corrupt behaviour has taken place. Taking a step back, for the Coalition in NSW I think the party as a whole has bizarrely benefited from these episodes. Unlike Labor, which had Bob Carr for 10 years and then a random succession of small-time, flash in the pan premiers who knifed each other (Iemma for three years, Rees for one, Keneally for one), the Libs have had a slightly steadier rate with "peaceful" transitions - O'Farrell for 3, Baird for 3, Gladys for 4.5. All three were considered competent and popular and left before things really soured on them, which means the Libs have had resets every election cycle. Before you know it, they've been in power for over a decade and yet things still seem pretty fresh with a new leader. In contrast to Labor all three Liberal premiers also left of their own accord and without party infighting challenges, which I think makes a big difference to the public perception. While the money seems Perrotet, I think Rob Stokes is a darkhorse. The moderate faction typically chooses the Premier which could give Stokes a leg up. Stokes also has runs on the board in a few important portfolios (Environment, Education, Planning).
  11. Hello all, I've been a bit MIA the past couple of weeks as we have just welcomed a baby into the family! I've been blessed to already have a stepdaughter and now my wife has given birth to a son. Hooray but these late night wakeups are killing me! On politics - Andrews doesn't take any prisoners, does he? Situation in Victoria looks like it could genuinely boil over. Gladys - I think is rusted on for a while yet. As has been pointed out, a while until the next state elections, I think the pandemic is still a net positive for her. The fact that Victoria and the ACT have also been in long lockdowns while going harder initially has helped save her, I think. The ICAC stuff will be the real kicker but it hasn't really stuck yet, so there would have to be new revelations for that one to really make its mark. Federal - ScoMo is in a precarious position, having been wounded on a number of fronts not least of which has been the pandemic. However, Labor hasn't really taken the fight up yet (admittedly harder to do in a pandemic) and it will be up to Albanese to really land some hits in the leadup to the election. Still, given ScoMo's "presidential" style of campaigning, you can't help but think that ultimately the election will be about himself - whether the electorate is tired of his style or whether they'll continue to buy what he's selling, and I think Labor will have to base their campaign around that.
  12. If we can pivot to a more general argument about the long-term plan with COVID-19, it sounds like there is some difference there. I certainly have some concerns about reopening, especially from a schoolteacher's point of view where the vast majority of children (under 12, under 16) aren't vaccinated. That's going to be a big problem and I imagine case rates are going to rocket through us in NSW in November - I'm actually not sure we'll make it to the end of the school year intact, there may well be another lockdown despite what Gladys is saying. Things are obviously working well for WA, so I understand why they want that to continue. But I feel they also need a long-term game plan. Now that doesn't have to necessarily involve reopening right now - a cogent argument can be made as to why reopening in the next 6 months could be too soon. But beyond pulling up the drawbridge and waiting until things get better, I think there need to be further elements in the plan. There's a lot of data out there that suggests that things aren't going to get better and this situation could continue indefinitely - vaccines weaken in efficacy, the virus mutates, delta has shown us that even a handful of cases will rapidly spiral out of control. In this circumstance, the only hope is that a more benign mutation takes over, and that's really luck of the draw. When I say long term game plan, I'm not going the full US-style rhetoric of "save the economy" and "freedom (whatever that means)". But I think we need to up our game (nationally) on a few fronts. First of all, recognise that constructing purpose-built quarantine facilities in every state is a must and should be federally funded. Second, keep getting vaccinated (including study of boosters if necessary). Third (and this is probably most controversial), I think the feds should seriously consider some restructuring of the economy to prepare us for the long haul - e.g. offering to retrain people in those industries most affected (entertainment, travel, etc) which would probably be a better and more lasting use of government money. And probably about a hundred more ideas that I hope some government committee is looking at.
  13. Casting McGowan as the altruistic person who doesn't play politics is a little disingenuous, I think. Now, I'm not saying Gladys hasn't played politics too - they all do, and yes, she was also overconfident in the contact tracing compared to other states and glad to put that out there, which hasn't won her many friends and has probably contributed to the schadenfreude here. While the WA government's hyper alert stance has certainly helped and should give them some credit, I think luck is a larger factor in their success. There is a level of confidence in the WA government's ability to control COVID-19 (and their subsequent hectoring/crowing over other states for being failures) that isn't warranted, in my view. So I think, @Stubby, we'll have to agree to disagree here. We do come from fundamentally different geographical contexts on this point, so that's not surprising in the end!
  14. True, I'd forgotten that. But McGowan's "lockdown" then was a Clayton's lockdown - schools remained open and there were no travel radius restrictions, and he eased it within days. The truth is, despite talking a big game, the lockdown wasn't as hard as other states (Victoria) and in my opinion he got a lucky break. It certainly wasn't due to the hardness of the lockdown (though I admit the speed of it probably helped). I should add to my earlier comments, I don't wish for a Perth outbreak, of course!
  15. To be fair to Gladys, NSW was the first of the three areas (NSW, VIC, NZ) to get hit by the Delta strain and I'm assuming that's why that crucial first week was too light; they were treating it like other outbreaks. And in the past, NSW had success with prior outbreaks with rigorous testing and contact tracing, having had daily case numbers in the teens and early 20s that would eventually go down without having to shut down. In effect, Gladys' success in previous outbreaks made it harder to deal with this time around. I think people are forgetting those circumstances (first to deal with Delta) and the context (previous outbreaks contained without lockdown, e.g. Northern Beaches and the Crossroads Hotel), which is easy to do if you're not in NSW. Under those circumstances, they made the best decision that seemed to at the time. We all have the benefit of hindsight now. And now we're seeing that Andrews has had his chance and blown it. Even with the advantages of seeing what happened in NSW, and not having experienced any success in a non-lockdown situation, it still hasn't worked for them. Delta is just a nasty beast and I'm not even sure that locking down harder for a week would have made much of a difference in NSW if it didn't in Victoria.
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