27 August 2010

Pakistan floods: how Australians can help

Today ABC radio is conducting an appeal for relief of the Pakistan floods devastation. The lead agency/beneficiary is UNICEF but the ABC website has links to several other charities.

Speaking of the ABC, Sally Sara and her support team have been doing an excellent job bringing the magnitude of the disaster to Australian viewers. In doing so they have justified the ABC's extensive network of foreign correspondents.

Despite some concerns about threats to western aid agencies from the Taliban Sally has reported that relief work will continue . Other Australians with links to or experience of Pakistan, for example Ian Chappell, have also lent their support.

As do I, though I've never been to Pakistan..

22 August 2010

Hung Parliament

A late night last night watching the election results come in and the media pundits attempting to draw conclusions and make predictions about the outcome.

My prediction about the result was wrong, though not too wide of the mark. Neither the ALP nor the Coalition look like getting the 76 lower house seats required to form a government in their own right. It's generally assumed that both Adam Bandt, the Green elected in Melbourne, and Andrew Wilkie, the green tinged Independent who looks to have won in Denison Tasmania, will support Labor so so the focus is now on the three re-elected rural Independents, Messrs Bob Katter from North Queensland, Rob Oakeshott from the north coast of NSW and Tony Windsor from New England NSW.

How this will pan out is anyone's guess: even Mr "Whatever it takes" Graham Richardson is reluctant to stick his neck out too far. All of which means we'll be waiting for a few more days - let's hope it's no more than this - to see who can cobble together a majority.

TV coverage

I switched between the ABC and Sky News TV coverage, with some interludes watching Pakistan edge to victory against England in the Test and the Crows just failing to hang on aganist Collingwood.

Both ABC and Sky IMO did a good job though my vote (if that's necessary) would go to the ABC, mainly because of Antony Green's computer updating and projections.

20 August 2010

Election Eve

Since I last posted I've not changed my mind about the result, which, taking my lead from the many published polls and proliferation of expert and other (set the boundaries if you wish) opinion, is that the Government will be returned, probably narrowly.

That said the coalition has held fairly firm and Mr Abbott has come across as a better leader and more plausible PM than I expected.

If the polls are to be believed support for Ms Gillard as PM has abated a little, as appears to have displeasure at the underhand means by which she took office. Kevin Rudd may have slid down the slope of ineptitude during his term of office but nobody in the ALP has plausibly denied that both the current PM and her deputy were significant parts of the problems. Whether the refashioned Labor, minus Lindsay Tanner and with Kevin Rudd awaiting his mistress' pleasure it will be interesting to see how many other ructions follow whatever happens tomorrow.

I've not yet finally decided which way I'll vote but you may get some indication of the drift f my thinking from the foregoing.