Wednesday, March 16, 2016

That Australian Life - Windsor, Joyce and the New England imbroglio

The decision by Tony Windsor to re-contest the New England electorate has created a real frisson among the politerati.

In a piece on this blog on 12 February on Barnaby Joyce's election as National Party Leader (Placing Barnaby Joyce in his Northern NSW context) I mentioned the push to get Mr Windsor to run. Then in a 29 February post on my still neglected New England blog, Joyce v Windsor - a first poll, I provided the first poll results

There I noted that According to the Guardian, a Reachtel poll of 712 residents in the seat of New England conducted on 11 January found 32.2% would vote for Windsor as their first preference if he returned – compared with 39.5% for Joyce.

The poll also found 11.2% would vote for Labor and 4.6% would vote for the Greens with 6.2% nominating others including other independents with 5.1% undecided. Labor and the Greens would likely preference Mr Windsor.

The poll was conducted before Mr Windsor decided to stand. Now we have a Newspoll conducted after the announcement that shows a polarising electorate.

The poll of 518 voters shows Mr Joyce with a primary vote of 46 per cent, down eight points from the 54 per cent he polled at the 2013 election. Mr Windsor sits on 44 per cent. The poll suggests the remaining 10 per cent of the vote is shared by Labor, the Greens and others. Preference allocations give Mr Windsor a two-candidate lead of 52 to 48 per cent..

There are a few things to note about this result. I mentioned polarisation. Since Mr Windsor announced his decision, the Labor vote is down sharply, the Green vote is down too. Prominent Green politician and NSW upper-house MP Jeremy Buckingham who was apparently close to announcing a dramatic switch to the federal sphere to contest the seat.will be forced to reconsider. This is a Windsor-Joyce contest. Nobody else has a show.

Spare a thought for Rod Taber. In a piece headed Federal frenemy, Express Editor Lydia Roberts reports on the falling out between the two men.The photo shows them in happier days.

Mr Taber, owner of New England Solar Power, was part of the New England independent group and picked up the banner at the last election, scoring 13.7% of the vote. Having twice asked Mr Windsor whether or not he would run and having received  categorical no, Mr Taber had his campaign this time already geared up. He now feels betrayed.

In a discussion on Late Night Live (hat tip Evan) between Philip Adams and Frank Bongiorno, New England was described as an angry electorate. If you listen to the discussion (I'm not sure that its available internationally but try), you will understand. Regular readers of this or the New England blog will find the arguments instantly familiar.

This is going to be a very nasty and bitter campaign. It's also one where you are going to get a lot of misreporting. I will try to report on the different issues, for its going to be a fascinating contest.     


2 tanners said...

I'll be watching your close-up observations with interest. As candidates, I rate Windsor over Joyce as a local member. Especially since Joyce is bound by Cabinet solidarity rules to support Government policy. Gary Gray resigned from the Ministry to oppose the Badgery's Creek airport plan. Joyce is left to carry the can for fracking in New England farmland and has more deeply tied himself to the Coalition as DPM.

Future Thinker said...

There is stark evidence that Barnaby joyce is the most disliked politician in Australia who remains in Parliament only because of the shock retirement of Tony Windsor in 2013 for health reasons. Senator Joyce (Queensland) lost a winnable Senate ticket position because even Queenslanders recognised his mediocre talents and demanded better representation. He was rejected in Maranoa by Bruce Scott MP staying an extra term and so excluding Joyce. He became the Minister for Rinehart, sometime Minister betraying Australian voters operating agri-businesses on the Liverpool Plains, Sole Controller of Water Supplies to the international mining corporations that have subsumed the National Party and appear willing to destroy groundwater supplies to the Great Artesian Basin. His track record representing the interests of New England voters is no better. Joyce allowed Tony RAbbott to cut $80 million from the 2013 Federal Budget that was intended to upgrade the killer Bolivia Hill down to Tenterfield, supported the sale of Telstra with one of his first casting votes when a Senator so that politicians would get a better retirement scheme, even though 75% of the New England respondents to a poll wanted Telstra to remain a public corporation. His unsuccessful claims against the Parliamentary Entitlements & Allowances Scheme would likely be considered fraud in the commercial world. Then there is the failed promise to divest a 'grazing property' in the Pilliga Scrub that is purported to be over CSG deposits. new England and Australia need better representation than we are currently getting.

Bendan Savage said...

Poor Jack Arnold, hiding behind your non de plume of Future Thinker, you expose yourself as a bitter, twisted old trout with little substance in your arguements
Bolivia Hill was not contracted when Kevin Rudd handed over the keys to Treasury to Tony Abbott and Warren Truss in 2013.
Barnaby Joyce fought for it in Cabinet and now the money is being used by the RMS to get the process underway.
You say Baranby is hated, and yet, he leads Tony in two polls and it's only preferences that allows Tony to move ahead. First past the post sees Tony coming second.
Get a life Jack and find another hobby to distribute your bile.

2 tanners said...

To Future Thinker and Bendan Savage

Generally speaking a little decorum is observed in here. Facts are also welcome, rather than soapboxes and ad hominems. And pointless factoids, such as Joyce would be leading under a different electoral system than the one he was elected under and is facing again, remain just that. Pointless.

I'm sure you both have value to contribute, but save the invective for aus.politics where it always seems to be the plat du jour.

Jim Belshaw said...

Good morning, 2t. I am not sure that Future Thinker is Jack Arnold (Good morning, Jack!), but he and Bendan do capture two threads in the debate and indeed have clashed elsewhere, so I wouldn't be too hard on them. Indeed, I can use their comments in an update post!

2 tanners said...

Jim I've no difficulty with strongly held opinions, as you would know. I don't think such opinions should be silenced either. But at least here, despite our occasional pokes at each other, we've tended to avoid statements of fact that can never be proven (Joyce "allowed" $80 million to be cut...") and pointless ad hominem ("bitter, twisted old trout"). These people (and I have no idea who Jack Arnold is) are obviously politically aware and across the New England issues.

I wouldn't mind hearing more of that and less of name calling.

However, your site, your rules.

Speaking of old trout, however, the fish sellers were selling coral trout, one of the world's great eating fish, by the side of the road. As with all side of the road fish here, it was fly blown and occasionally being rinsed in the sewage stained sea to rid it of some of the smell. Reckless souls who actually buy these fish hang them off the side rear vision mirrors and wind the windows up to keep the smell out as they drive home.

But if you can get fresh Coral Trout, it is worth seeing if you can search out a banana leaf as well. Very high quality alfoil is a distant second option. Slit the belly and gut the fish. Scale it with a vegetable peeler (it's very easy) but leave the skin intact. Stuff the insides with sliced limes and any green herbs you can find (crush them into a paste first), along with bruised lemongrass and pepper. About 10 minutes on one side and 5 on the other over a BBQ of fire will do the trick. Check it's cooked by scooping out the cheek of the fish and tasting. Never let on to the others that this is by far the best part of the fish, always pretend it's a sacrifice. The meat will simply fall off the bones and whatever is left after you finish (usually just head, tail and bones)can be boiled and strained for fish stock.

Serve the fish with steamed or fried rice and steamed greens. This is one to keep close eye on, but takes less than half an hour from start to finish.

2 tanners said...

Doh! Wrap the fish as a package in the banana leaf or alfoil after stuffing and before cooking.

Anonymous said...

Belshaw and tanners
dispute blog manners
fist, former tnen latter
but - what does it matter?

A clerihew


Jim Belshaw said...

Ah, kvd, I am glad that you caught 2t's recipe, although I would join with 2t in suggesting that you get a fresh fish. I shuddered at the description!

Clerihew's indeed! For those who find that reference as confusing as me, here is the Wikipedia link - I live and learn!

On New England, one of the questions is the extent to which national issues frame the Joyce-Windsor contest. I am not saying anything profound, just the opposite in fact!, but the weaker the national coalition position, the better the chance Tony has. I need to provide a general update.