#ScoMo

Never interrupt your enemies when they’re making mistakes

How ironic that Bill Shorten is backing his failed Treasurer Chris Bowen for the leadership of the Labor Party. He can put all of their disastrous policies down to “Liberal scare campaigns” but the reality is simple. Shorten & Bowen sold their negative messages so profoundly that the electorate listened and they’re back in opposition for another 3 years.

By all means, Bill…push that thinking because if Bowen does become leader you’ll be out of office for at least 6 years.

Post election exodus to NZ? The stats

There is much humour to learn that post last Saturday’s election, 512 Aussies have apparently made applications to register for a New Zealand visa. 25x the number of May 12. Given Aussies do not require visas to work or live there, so one might question these people need to study our neighbor more closely. Perhaps speak to Jane Caro who wishes she was a New Zealander.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics there are 568,000 New Zealanders in Australia, or more than double the total 3-decades ago. Therefore more than 11% of the Kiwi population lives in Australia. At last census count 35,000 New Zealanders migrated to Australia in 2018.

According to the New Zealand Statistics Bureau, 38,700 Aussies live in New Zealand. In the January 2018 year, 24,900 migrants arrived from Australia and a similar number departed for Australia.

Stats NZ stated, “Over half of migrants arriving from Australia are actually returning Kiwis who have been living across the Tasman for more than a year…The number of migrants going back and forth to Australia in the past year almost balanced each other out – the net gain was just 40 people in the last 12 months.

Statistically, Australia has 5x NZ’s population but we have 14.7x the number of Kiwis living on our shores. Presumably because it offers more opportunity. So to the Morrison haters, NZ awaits you. CM is betting you’ll be like all those Hollywood celebrities that promised to leave the US after the 2016 election. They’re all still there.

Your ABC vs Jacinda’s TVNZ

If you want to look at why the ABC doesn’t need more money, look at the staff costs to income ratio. Despite plateauing between 2008 & 2011 it quickly exploded. It now sits at 46% of income generated. That is $524mn on staff costs per year and rising. 4,939 staff grace the ABC. Revenue per employee is $232,000. A decade ago it was $232,700. Is that what the management target for hiring? Give the ABC $2bn and presumably it will have employment costs of $1bn.

Channel 9 must fight hard for every advertising penny but still manages a 29.1% staff cost to revenue ratio. $380m in staff costs on $1.3bn revenue. 3,310 employees converts to $392,750 revenue per staff member.

Sevenwest Media raked in $1.62bn in revenue on staff costs of $395mn or 24%. Same cutthroat world of earning a living instead of expecting one. Seven West has 4,528 staff meaning it generates $357,800 in revenue per employee.

Maybe ABC should channel the New Zealand state broadcaster, TVNZ. It gets $310m of its $318m purse from advertising. It’s staff costs excluding capitalizing into programs is $72m which converts to 23% staff cost/revenues. They do with 642 FT employees. Revenue/employee is $495,000. It paid a dividend back to the government of $3.7m. i.e. it is a revenue generating asset.

In 2007, TVNZ had $339m in revenue. It employed 1,023 people. Therefore revenue per employee was $331,380. So in a decade, TVNZ efficiency improved almost 50%. A 6% cut to revenue on 63% of the staff.

Instead of the long term ratings slide at the ABC across metro and regional Australia, TVNZ’s figures keep improving. Last year, TVNZ had a 43.2% all day audience up 1.3%.

Comparing 2017/18 and 2015/16 at the ABC 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 50% reach. Hardly a stretch.

Maybe ScoMo should consider that the ABC compete and become self funding? The New Zealanders aren’t just better than us in rugby union but also in media.

Zali, best ask Lisa Wilkinson for Jacinda’s number. You might need it

Zali Steggall proclaimed she would fight for her signature campaign promise – “climate change” – and hold the government to account on the environment in her victory speech. She won her seat in CM’s own electorate of Warringah. That is democracy. No, CM did not vote for her. The result stands, despite a despicable campaign against the incumbent which included leaving faeces outside his office.

Sadly for Steggall, the broader Australian public repudiated climate change given the terrible performance of the Greens and Labor who pushed this cornerstone uncosted agenda. Climate evangelist Independent Dr Kerryn Phelps lost her seat of Wentworth despite the same endorsement from former UN climate chief Christina Figueres. Julia Banks also fell despite receiving the global warming high priestess’ praises. Climate change wasn’t the key issue for those wealthy latte-sipping constituents across the harbour in Wentworth, just as they weren’t for Warringah.

Steggall had one role – to oust the 25-year incumbent former PM Tony Abbott. She succeeded. It was a mission unlike any other seen in Aussie politics. She had 1,400 people to help her. “Vote 1 Zali Steggall” placards adorned many doors in CM’s neighbourhood. CM always thought sticking an Abbott poster outside one’s house would incite an act of hatred. On election day we got proof of that, including a stabbing. Alex Turnbull even called Abbott a “terrorist”. If there were more terrorists like him we would have fewer bushfires and fewer deaths at sea. Imagine if he accepts the Ambassador to the US role. ScoMo can hardly pick Julie Bishop especially after Bill Shorten endorsed her. CM digresses.

Although Steggall denied the role of activist group GetUp! during the campaign, she has now acknowledged its role. She said,

I think some of [GetUp!’s] aspects have been divisive … but on the other hand, they have raised the profile of climate change…They are here to raise awareness of issues and, for me, that is part of democracy. We are all the better for having­ the variety of issues and debate and opinions at the table.

GetUp! didn’t get much bang for the $13.5mn outside of Abbott. Peter Dutton in the seat of Dickson, Queensland and Christian Porter in the electorate of Pearce, Western ­Australia both increased their margin. GetUp!’s other targets – Greg Hunt, Kevin Andrews and Josh Frydenberg in Victoria as well as Nicolle­ Flint in South Australia, suffered swings against them but all kept their seats. Perhaps they may feel better knowing Clive Palmer won nothing with his $60mn advertising blitz although already Labor sooks are complaining this was indirect spending on the Libs campaign.

In 2022, if Steggall chooses to run, it is unlikely she’ll get anywhere near that level of backing. She is a one term MP. The Liberals will put forward a new candidate who isn’t Abbott. Like Sharma in Wentworth, the Liberals should retake the seat. Steggall won’t have 1,400 volunteers to support her. Nor $13.5mn in GetUp! Backing. If Morrison gets a majority then her vote will be useless in the lower house. She will have served her purpose. If she has any chance of winning she’ll need to trade in the Nissan Pathfinder.

Steggall might do her best to push climate change in parliament for her luxury SUV loving constituents but it will be to no avail. Her biggest global warming sponsors, Labor, will be desperate to find a leader to pull them back from the left. Sadly the first two candidates – Plibersek (who has now stepped away) and Albanese – are of the left and the third suggestion is Jim Chalmers, who was a principle advisor to Rudd. Even Chris Bowen has announced he might run. If they have to bring a new platform, it can’t be the politics of envy and class warfare nor loony uncosted climate change targets nor identity. A new Labor leader will have a lot of trouble reuniting such unmitigated failure in opposition.

The irony is that if Labor scales back the extent of renewable energy targets and emissions then how much of a crisis could it have been at the time of the election? It either is or it isn’t and to try to suggest to Australians that the cost of doing nothing was so high, they didn’t buy it. Who could forget when former PM Kevin Rudd said climate change “was the greatest moral challenge of our generation” in 2007? It wasn’t long after that his ETS was scrapped. Flimflam.

Steggall might say, “I think what was rejected was Labor’s economic policy“. That is true but it was also Labor’s climate change policies which were inextricably linked to people’s pocket books. She might reflect on how many seats that are now blue that weren’t decades ago. They are the aspirational voters, just like that poor chap that lost his job for asking Shorten about tax relief for those on $250,000. Those who don’t want the government in their pocket. Steggall’s electorate is highly affluent. They can weather storms far better than the average Joe.

Maybe Zali Steggall should catch up with Lisa Wilkinson at the Avenue Rd Cafe in Mosman and ask for NZ PM Jacinda Ardern’s direct line because they will both be wondering why PM Scott Morrison isn’t returning either of their calls!

Legitimate question or ABC soul searching?

This must be the most bitter pill for ABC Melbourne to swallow. In what seems to be a legitimate question to the audience, the reality is it smacks more of the taxpayer-funded corporation’s self-reflection that cuts are on the way. The ABC must be in a funereal mood. When its own MD speaks about not voting for the Coalition if taxpayers want to save the ABC, it is clear where the bias lies.

We don’t need to look very far for evidence. Whether the use of ABC Kids to talk of white privilege or calling conservative politicians c*nts. The ABC even found enough petty cash to hire Clementine Ford who proudly deals in profanity. The programming promotes all of the left’s key agendas – global warming, identity politics, class warfare and no diversity of thought. Hard left journalist Fran Kelly even sang a song bagging out the Liberal Party when Turnbull’s seat flipped to Kerryn Phelps.

PM Scott Morrison should move to hammer the ABC due to its unquestionable bias. Its inefficiency is beyond comprehension.

Since 2008, the average salary and benefits of ABC’s staff have risen 23% from $86,908 to $106,284. Total staff numbers have risen from 4,499 to 4,939 in 2018. Therefore salaries as a percentage of the ABC revenues have risen from 37.9% of the budget to over 50%. How can this be? Why should taxpayers be forking out more cash when it is not allocated wisely? Morrison’s government is right to cut $84mn from the budget.

The multicultural SBS has seen its budget grow from A$259mn in 2008 to A$398mn in 2018. SBS staff numbers have grown from 844 to 1,453 over the same period with average salaries rising from A$82,689 to A$94,010 or +13.7%. Which begs the question why is the SBS able to operate at 34.3% 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.

On a global basis, the BBC generates GBP 4.954bn and employs 21,000 staff. 22.7% of those revenues are spent on salaries. Average salaries have grown 17% since 2007/8. The average income per employee at the BBC is now GBP236,852 (A$428,000) thanks to the generous mandatory licensing fees. Average salaries at the Beeb are now GBP 55,651 ($A100,728).

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 were the dollar savings for these 55 improvements?

Of course the ABC can’t tell us!

Despite the ABC not having one journalist who took the side of a potential Coalition win, they may well ask how their bias couldn’t drag Labor across the line? Maybe it’s the product. Time for Morrison to appoint proper crisis managers inside the group to make it efficient.

Open letter to Lisa Wilkinson

Dear Lisa,

Oscar Wilde once said that, “the only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”

Your open letter to Australian PM Scott Morrison effectively pleads for him to ignore the election result and adopt the policies that cost Bill Shorten his job. Labor’s platform was repudiated by the Australian people.

What is it with the left that is so preoccupied with Jacinda Ardern? Her domestic policy track record is awful. Copying Australia’s gun ban does not absolve her of failures elsewhere. Yes, she is young and progressive but it would have been nice for her to understand the cultural significance of donning the hijab rather than thinking it’s just a garment to augment her virtue signaling. Maybe you should talk to Rita Panahi to get a proper perspective on what it means to wear one.

Do you really think the PM will call his counterpart across the ditch if he needs to reach out? Morrison would seemingly have the answers to win an election within 9 months of taking over the leadership after Turnbull had trashed the Liberal brand. That is what his new party is for. He has their loyalty.

Your request to push for stable government is not lost on Mr Morrison. CM hates to tell you that the Prime Minister almost single-handedly won against all the odds and that has absolutely cemented his leadership. Do not forget the cabal of duplicitous leftists (Turnbull, Pyne, Bishop, Banks etc) within the party are thankfully all gone. The LNP can now be healed under his leadership. Did you honestly miss the significance of his win?

It wouldn’t be a letter from a host of The Project if climate change wasn’t on the menu! CM is pretty sure you voted for Zali Steggall in Warringah. Her sole policy platform is climate change. She emphatically said it in her victory speech.

Sadly, the Australian people rejected foolhardy renewable targets that Steggall wants to pursue. The Labor Party can’t risk running a climate change agenda again. Steggall’s targets are more extreme than Labor. Aussies at the coal face know better than Mosmanites at the Avenue Road Cafe how their financial livelihoods could be irrevocably damaged by Labor/Green climate policies. It is now a dead issue.

Did you know that Australia contributes 0.0000156% of global CO2? That means even if we went 100% renewable our impact is zip. Nada. Zero. Your husband’s Tesla has already travelled 150,000km in CO2 terms before it left Elon Musk’s factory.

CM advises you to watch the Sir David Attenborough documentary, Climate Change: The Facts, and note it is almost completely devoid of hard numbers. Many heart string pulling pictures but it is best you put faith in the PM to hit emission targets without trashing our economy in the process. Mr Shorten couldn’t put a price on climate change and paid a huge penalty because of it.

Please do not be concerned with the hot temperatures. It was hotter in the 1890s and early 1900s. Our Bureau of Meteorology has already been in quite a bit of trouble for fiddling the temperature figures. Feel more sorry for iguanas in Florida that fell out of trees due to the bitter cold and snowfalls.

As far as poverty goes, Australia has some of the lowest rates among 1st world nations. Spare a thought for the 118mn Europeans that live below the poverty line, over twice the rate of Australia. 23.5% of Europeans live below the poverty line and 330,000 German households had their electricity cut off because they couldn’t afford to pay for the record high power prices thanks to renewable energy policies. By the way 42,000 Aussies suffered the same fate last year.

Please quit with the “gender pay gap” nonsense. If companies could hire women at 14.1% less than men for the same job then there would be no point hiring men. Your pay packet is superior to many of your Project co-stars so you’re hardly oppressed by the gender pay gap. Choice of industry has a greater bearing on pay than gender.

Childcare is an issue which is being addressed. Domestic violence is way too high but do not ignore the statistics which show female violence against men. It just goes unreported.

While your sentiments are no doubt well intentioned, Jacinda could learn far more from ScoMo on how to win an election given the NZ PM has never achieved it in her own right.

Yours sincerely,

M. Newman, Contrarian Marketplace