Democracy

Nowhere to top in less than 4 months

Populism in Europe is thriving. Forget the notion that new parties will always lie on the fringes. The populist Dutch FvD gained the most number of new seats in the upper house after only 2 years in existence. The Italian 5 Star Movement is less than 10 years old and has a PM leading the country. Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is but 4 months old and look at the results.

A YouGov poll released yesterday ahead of the May 23rd European elections revealed the following:

The Brexit Party: 27%

The Labour Party: 22%

The Conservative Party: 15%

This is what happens when the population feels betrayed by the longest running parliamentary democracy in history. To think the Tories have been around since 1834. Mrs May has all but killed it.

This is what happens when politicians bury their judgement and allow incompetence to flourish. A self inflicted wound. Even if Farage doesn’t end up contesting the European elections, the UK elections should see a very strong result for The Brexit Party.

Note social media following on Twitter (taking into account the infancy of the Brexit Party):

The Brexit Party: 91,000

The Labour Party: 669,000

The Conservative Party: 372,000

UKIP: 210,000

Leaders

Nigel Farage: 1,200,000

Jeremy Corbyn: 1,900,000

Theresa May: 826,300

Gerard Batten: 53,100

On Facebook:

The Brexit Party: 66,200

The Labour Party: 1,034,000

The Conservative Party: 652,000

UKIP: 582,000

Leaders:

Nigel Farage: 830,000

Jeremy Corbyn: 1,425,000

Theresa May: 516,000

Gerard Batten: 734

In 4 months that is solid progress. Voter anger will only grow with the dithering in the Commons. Expect Brexit Party social media and polling figures to continue to surge.

Jonathan Pie on comparing Tories to Nazis

Expletive laden as per normal but Jonathan Pie makes valid points with respect to UK Labour MP David Lammy’s assertions that Jacob Rees-Mogg and the ERG were Nazis and Boris Johnson was a white supremacist. His answer to what Somerset is famous for is hilarious.

One reason Boston Globe hasn’t won a Pulitzer since 2016

At what point do mainstream media outlets reach peak Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS)? When will editorial departments seek common sense? The Boston Globe pulled down an opinion article that suggested waiters tamper with Trump officials’ food. Apart from encouraging staff to breach food safety laws, they show themselves to be juvenile in the extreme. Journalistic integrity? Hardly.

If the liberal left media truly believe they represent mainstream America in moral and societal values, which all of the crazy Trump supporters need to follow, tampering with food is not a great benchmark.

If you want a laugh, take a look at the Boston Globe’s stated values! What a surprise it hasn’t won a Pulitzer since 2016!

Brextension

Brexit is a total shambles. The delay timetable must be channeling British Rail. The Remainer PM Theresa May, instead of first negotiating terms with her own party and allies on a deal from the start and then taking to the EU, has repeatedly done the reverse. Then she wonders why she keeps losing support each time. Apart from the preposterous decision to rally support from Marxist Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May has asked for yet another extension to Jun 30. EC President Donald Tusk is offering a year ‘flextension’. When will she realize that she has no authority?

Tory members have been cutting membership cards in half and posting to social media. This Telegraph letters page sums up the mood. The revolt seems less and less to do with Brexit per se and more to do with the peons feeling utterly betrayed by those they voted for. MPs who have backed the PM better start filling in their P45s. Voters will not let this slide.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is rapidly gaining momentum, picking up disaffected voters. If he contests the EU elections his party should do very well.

The Tories are toast. For a party that should have its core in serving free markets and less government intervention it sure has forgotten its roots. For many Brits they didn’t leave the Tories. The Tories left them.

ABC Staff Engagement Survey – less than 50% engaged

The Morrison government is promising $44m in extra funding for the ABC for “enhanced news gathering” over 3 years. When will the Coalition realize that this treat will not make the ABC show any leniency in the lead up to the federal election? Did they even bother reading the ABC Staff Engagement Survey buried on page 94 of the 2017/18 Annual Report? Less than half are engaged.

The ABC conducted its second Corporation-wide employee engagement survey in late 2017. The previous survey was conducted in November 2015, with outcomes reported in the 2016 Annual Report.

The overall employee engagement score from the 2017 survey was 46%, down six points from the 2015 results. 6% down!!!!

This moved the ABC from the median to the bottom quartile when benchmarked with other Australian and New Zealand organisations. Bottom quartile!!!

Employees expressed the need for improvement in several areas, including:

• that the ABC Leadership Team needs to be more visible, accessible and communicate more openly.

that the ABC needs to do a better job of managing poor performance. Even the staff want to move duds on. A commercial spirit among the staff?

• that employees want to know what action is being taken to address feedback received in the survey.

The ABC management (no longer with us) conducted sessions on the back of the survey.

Three key priorities were identified from these sessions:

1. The way in which the ABC recruits, contracts, inducts, develops and manages its people needs a huge amount of work. Inefficiency!!!

2. More communication is needed between teams – employees want to know what other teams are doing, and want less top-down, hierarchical communication. Bureaucracy!!!

3. Many of the ABC’s processes, tools and technology don’t work effectively for its people. Obsolescence!!!

So instead of giving the ABC more money, perhaps an efficiency drive driven by a change manager could achieve the same outcomes desired by the market for far less cost. This reads like an organization that has too much fat.

To that effect, the annual report also noted:

Bureaucracy Stop was launched in March 2018 with the aim of creating a working environment with less bureaucracy and red tape. The program wrapped three months later with 147 ideas on simplification of processes, 55 of which were resolved by the end of the financial year. Where a simplification solution wasn’t available in response to an idea, an explanation was provided as to why that process needed to remain.

What was the dollar savings for these 55 improvements?

Maybe the government should say to ABC management for every dollar saved, the ABC keeps 50c? For a broadcaster with over $1.1bn in funding, 10% of savings would mean they keep c.$60m. Morrison’s $44mn is easily covered.

Digging a bit deeper into the stats of the ABC reveals a big need for overhaul. Comparing 2017/18 and 2015/16 we see that TV audience reach for metro fell from 55.2% to 49.7% and regional slumped from 60.3% to 54.0%. If we go back to 2007/8 the figures were 60.1% and 62.4% respectively. For the 2017/18 period, the ABC targets a 50% reach. Hardly a stretch.

Since 2008, the average salary of ABC’s staff has risen 18% from $86,908 to $105,219. Total staff numbers have risen from 4499 to 4939. Therefore salaries as a percentage of the ABC revenues have risen from 37.1% of the budget to 50%. The ABC’s ability to generate sales from content has fallen from A$140mn in 2015/16 to A$46mn last fiscal year.

The multicultural SBS has seen its budget grow from A$259mn in 2008 to A$412mn in 2017. SBS staff numbers have grown from 844 to 1,466 over the same period with average salaries rising from A$82,689 to A$88,267 or 7.2%. Which begs the question why is the SBS able to operate at 31% of the budget in salaries while the ABC is at 50%? Surely the ABC’s economies of scale should work in its favour? Clearly not.

Australia’s largest commercial terrestrial station, Nine Network, has 3,100 employees against revenues of $1.237bn. So to put that into context, Nine can generate c. A$400,000 per employee whereas the ABC generates A$238,168 in tax dollars per employee. In a sense the ABC could be shut down, and each employee paid $108,000 in redundancy costs annually for two years simply by selling off the land, buildings and infrastructure. The SBS generates A$281,000 in tax dollars per employee. The ABC will argue it deserves $400,000/employee revenues rather than a 46% headcount reduction to be on equal terms with the efficiency in the private sector.

Stop throwing more money at the problem and get an aggressive MD who will make a real difference. Pay him/her millions to save $100s of millions. The taxpayer deserves no less. So do over half the 5,000 employees at the ABC who are dissatisfied with the very organization which is so terribly run.

Which part of failed EU don’t the UK politicians get?

Which part of the failed EU project don’t British politicians get? Why would anyone want to remain a member in a club which is so badly failing them? 40m more Europeans under the poverty line since 2007. 118 million in total or 22% of the EU population. Did they forget the Swiss handing back its free pass to enter the EU because they saw no value in joining a club anyone can join. Are the Brits wanting to ditch the pound in favour of a forced euro currency? What merits lie in remaining?

Two more clear examples emerged in the last week to show how more member states are rejecting the elites in Brussels.

League head and Italian Deputy PM Matteo Salvini has seen his party unseat the Democratic Party in Basilicata which had a strong hold on the region for 25 years. At the last election 60% of Italians voted for parties that rejected the EU. This poverty stricken area south of Italy has now endorsed League to take care of its affairs after decades of failure by the pro-EU centre-left incumbent.

Switch to The Netherlands. The anti immigration eurosceptic Forum for Democracy (FvD) Party, established only 2 years ago, took the largest number of seats (13) in the upper house election from zero. The FvD stripped the centre-right of its Senate majority, with PM Rutte’s party losing 7 seats to 31.

Throw on top that, former darling of the left, President Macron, has authorized the army to shoot unarmed yellow vest protesters who are rejecting nose bleed cost pressures for 19 straight weeks. Let’s remain in the EU to endorse such progressive behaviour.

If the board of directors of the EU Club live in denial and fail to listen to the grievances of a growing swell of disgruntled members there can only be one outcome. The club will go out of business. Best that the UK doesn’t renew its membership.

The wrecking ball reckoning

CM has said for quite some time that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) could be the best weapon the Democrats have but the lack of willingness to bring her inside the tent is causing the opposite to occur. She is nothing more than an internal wrecking ball.

As a social media darling for millennials she has reach. She’s doubled following in recent months. However her Green New Deal (GND) has just been costed by the Congressional Budget Office to the order of $93 trillion with a T. That’s more than global GDP. Nancy Pelosi slammed it as a Green Dream. The Speaker of the House was right but the problem is the less she is brought to heel the more she fractures the party message. Unity is the one thing the Democrats must show. They can’t be the party that hates Trump and show such disorder. Voters want a stable platform with sensible policies.

The other day she openly stated “I’m the boss” when referring to her GND proposals, even though it was torn down from her site. She even did a video in her kitchen about how climate change is out of control (eg bushfires – sadly 90% are accidentally lit or caused by arson) and postulated the point of being kids into this new world.

There is little time left to save her. Left to her own devices she will drag the party further and further left and alienate the middle ground. The Democrats don’t need in fighting to overthrow Trump. It’s bad enough that Kamala Harris jumped on the Jussie Smollett smear without thinking (even if it was her press officer) and Elizabeth Warren put “Native American” on her application form all those decades ago. It is such good advertising fodder into an election of how quick to judgement they are.

AOC could be mobilized really effectively. It would have been better to place AOC on the Democrats climate change panel to force her to tow the party line. Instead her devout disciples followed her lesson of several months ago by barging into Dianne Feinstein’s office with kids as young as 7 to protest inaction on climate.

These are seeds of disunity. The septa/octogenarians running the Democrats are looking at her as just an unruly step grandchild who will eventually grow up. Sadly at the rate she is going she will create growing waves of discontent supported by her 3.2 million followers (and growing) which will only hurt the chances for a 2020 Democrat win.

All the while this circus goes on, Hillary Clinton holds back until she smells the rotting carcass of the too numerous to count primary candidates and throws her Epi pen laced candidacy in the ring to challenge Trump.