Sign of the times

Dame Emma jets in to join Extinction Rebellion climate protests

Dame Emma Thompson has joined the Extinction Rebellion (XR) protests in London. Sadly she just needed to jet in from Los Angeles to do so. Hollywood hypocrisy comes in all shapes and sizes. Surely she could have YouTubed her support from her gated mansion to do her bit!

For a group that demands we must be carbon neutral by 2025, there are always exceptions when it comes to themselves. Take the stacked coffee cups in the picture above.

Do these Einsteins realize that the majority of take away wax-lined coffee cups aren’t recycled even though they can feel good about themselves when disposing of it in the right bin? How many people elect to have their brew poured into a ceramic cup? Certainly not this lot.

The cost to recycle the 500 billion (and rising) coffee cups consumed annually is so astronomical (it is hard to separate the wax that stops the cup disintegrating because of the energy intensity involved to do so) that over 90% end up in landfill. No one talks about that 300 million tons of virgin paper used to make these cups! How many of us give it one thought when we need a shot of caffeine? Right?! Although Starbucks is trialing a 5p latte levy for those that elect to use a paper cup.

We pointed out the glaring mistakes made on the XR website earlier in the week. If only they did their homework. No doubt their proposal for citizen assemblies will be stacked with people with little knowledge of the subject matter. Perhaps they can sip on Starbucks lattes as they seek ecological justice.

While XR might claim they didn’t ask for a police presence, sadly public safety requires the Met commit already thin resources. 570 arrests have been made. Lying on the ground, according to XR, stretches the police even thinner as it requires 4 officers to carry them away.

Let’s say they win government support and hit 2025 carbon neutrality. Many industries would need to shut up shop to meet the demands of the protestors. Has XR built that into the manifesto? Of course not. Any price is worth paying when no one has bothered to work out the cost.

The ABC shows its shocking political bias

The ABC loves to say it has no political bias. Yet one of its leading journalists posted this tweet essentially encouraging people to vote Labor or Greens to ensure they get more funding.

As CM wrote at the start of the month, the ABC’s own internal staff survey showed how poorly run the corporation is. It doesn’t need more funding but better managers to improve efficiencies. Moreso the staff satisfaction is below 50%. Read on…

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 up 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 were 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.

It is a breach of charter for the ABC to be using taxpayer dollars to advertise political messages for its own purposes. If it was managed properly it could comfortably do more with less rather than ignore the realities that improvement is required across the scale rather than chucking more money at it.

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.

Shorten dodges but can Morrison prosecute?

Opposition leader Bill Shorten dodged a legitimate question numerous times on how much his climate policies would cost to implement and the impacts to GDP. Either he doesn’t know or he does know and reckons the public will not buy what he is selling.

The question is can PM Scott Morrison prosecute all these free hits? What a lay up to have a key policy platform with no costings or benefits to speak of.

Ohio Democrat suggests heartbeat bill exclude African American women

Ohio passed the “Heartbeat Bill” last week to make it illegal to abort a fetus once a heartbeat is detected. State Rep Janine Boyd (D) proposed an amendment that African American women should be exempted from the legislation. It was defeated.

Her argument?

Black slaves were once treated like cattle and put out to stud in order to create generations of more slaves…Our country is not far enough beyond our history to legislate as if it is.”

Note that 70% of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are located in low income areas. While African Americans are 13% of the population, 37% of pregnancies are terminated. In NY, more black babies are aborted than born.

Who knew that abortion should be race based?

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.

Peter Ridd wins unfair dismissal action

Congratulations to Prof Peter Ridd, who has won his court case for unfair dismissal. Ridd, who was unceremoniously dumped by James Cook University for challenging the orthodoxy about the deterioration of the Great Barrier Reef, exposed the Marxism rife within our government funded universities.

The whole point of university is to encourage new thought and fresh ideas. Not sack those who disagree. So much for mounting a credible argument to debunk Ridd’s assertions. If anything he has proved the faculty couldn’t disprove him with facts.

He has won on all counts with respect to unfair dismissal. Will the Dean move to sack/sanction/demote those who encouraged the sacking?