#QandA

Now I know my ABC

FNF Media has finally got around to updating the state of our ABC as compiled in the 2018/19 annual report.

The national broadcaster still believes we should fork over even more taxpayer dollars to keep this icon producing more of what the citizens supposedly demand, even though more of the audience believes that “efficiency/management quality” is headed south (p.158) and overall ratings continue to slide.

Despite over $1bn per annum, why do ratings in the metro and regional areas keep falling? We wrote about this last year:

Comparing 2016/17 and 2015/16 the TV audience reach for metro fell from 55.2% to 52.5% and regional slumped from 60.3% to 57.3%. 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.

In 2018/19 it fell into the mid-40s. So inside of 13 years, ABC audiences have shrunk by 10-15%. That is appalling.

We have argued for a long time that the ABC needs a complete overhaul.

In the 2018 annual report, the ABC staff survey revealed engagement was at 46%, 6% below the previous survey. This put the broadcaster in the bottom quartile of all ANZ businesses. Reform was and still is desperately needed.

ABC staff complained that management didn’t do enough to get rid of underperformers. Another clear signal that state-sponsored mediocrity was tolerated and staff didn’t like it.

In the 2018/19 annual report, Chair Ita Buttrose AC made the following comments,

Staff morale was badly shaken, and my priority has been to reinvigorate it by restoring order and enhancing good governance with the help of Managing Director, David Anderson, and his management team. Our employees, in content areas and vital support functions, need a strong sense of direction and a feeling that management has their backs. I feel we are now providing it.

Tucked away in the back pages (p.216) is an interesting subsection on the Code of Practice. There is some eye-opening content with respect to the way it conducts its business.

Take this gem to start with on complaints as to whether it constitutes a potential breach of the charter:

A complainant is entitled under section 150 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth) (“the BSA”) to take their complaint to the ACMA if, after 60 days, the ABC fails to respond to the complainant or the complainant considers the ABC’s response is inadequate.

The ACMA has a discretionary power to investigate a complaint alleging the ABC has,
in providing a national broadcasting service, breached its Code of Practice. Section 151 of the BSA provides that the ACMA may investigate the complaint if it thinks that it is desirable to do so.

The ACMA’s jurisdiction under sections 150-151 does not encompass the ABC’s print content or content disseminated by the ABC over the internet or through mobile devices.

Print and internet-based content fall out of the remit for complaints. So technically ABC can say what it pleases. ACMA is hardly wielding a big stick when it comes to the ABC.

Accuracy is a fun area which would seemingly fall foul of rarely being presented in context:

2.1 Make reasonable efforts to ensure that material facts are accurate and presented in context.
2.2 Do not present factual content in a way that will materially mislead the audience. In some cases, this may require appropriate labels or other explanatory information.

Why did the ABC report that less than 1% of burnt area in the recent bushfires had been started by arsonists? Given that most fires couldn’t be attributed to anything at the time, the ABC forgot to mention the “unknown” category so it could slice the data so it could list the smallest possible percentage. 12,000 fires had been reported since August 2019. 1,700 had been investigated with 42% reported by the NSW Police as deliberately lit.

Impartiality

…The ABC’s obligation to apply its impartiality standard as objectively as possible. In doing so, the ABC is guided by these hallmarks of impartiality:
• a balance that follows the weight of evidence;
• fair treatment;
• open-mindedness; and
• opportunities over time for principal relevant perspectives on matters of contention to be expressed.

Why did it allow a bunch of radical feminists to openly call for the murder of men, providing a platform to a convicted terrorist or happily release a tweet that said former PM Abbott liked anal sex? Or calling conservative politicians “c@nts“? Guess we’re just not open minded enough.

4.1 Gather and present news and information with due impartiality.
4.2 Present a diversity of perspectives so that, over time, no significant strand of thought or belief within the community is knowingly excluded or disproportionately represented.
4.3 Do not state or imply that any perspective is the editorial opinion of the ABC. The ABC takes no editorial stance other than its commitment to fundamental democratic
principles including the rule of law, freedom of speech and religion, parliamentary democracy and equality of opportunity.
4.4 Do not misrepresent any perspective.
4.5 Do not unduly favour one perspective over another.

Why does the ABC constantly run a climate alarmist narrative? Why does Q&A attack conservatives on the panel almost every episode?

Secret recording and other types of deception

“5.8 Secret recording, misrepresentation or other types of deception must not be used by the ABC or its co-production partners to obtain or seek information, audio, pictures or an
agreement to participate except where:

(a) justified in the public interest and the material cannot reasonably be obtained
by any other means; or
(b) consent is obtained from the subject or identities are effectively obscured; or
(c) the deception is integral to an artistic work.

In cases, the potential for harm must be taken into consideration.”

Why did the ABC insert ­itself into the election campaign with a program timed to derail the election prospects of the Left’s hate ­figure, Pauline Hanson and One Nation? An Al ­Jazeera expose, How to Sell a Massacre, was a sting three years in the making, employing hidden cam­eras to ­record One Nation’s ­unsuccessful attempts to solicit foreign funding with the aid of the National Rifle Association. Why was the ABC consorting with the national broadcaster of a foreign power which has highly exceptional human rights standards which flies in the face of all the woke agenda pushed by the ABC? Double standards much?

Privacy

Privacy is necessary to human dignity and every person reasonably expects that their privacy will be respected. But privacy is not absolute. The ABC seeks to balance the public interest in respect for privacy with the public interest in disclosure of information and freedom of expression.

That is a whole can of worms. Can we trust the ABC to execute fairly in this regard?

Harm & Offence

“7.1 Content that is likely to cause harm or offence must be justified by the editorial context.
7.2 Where content is likely to cause harm or offence, having regard to the context, make
reasonable efforts to provide information about the nature of the content through the use of classification labels or other warnings or advice.”
7.6 Where there is editorial justification for content which may lead to dangerous imitation or exacerbate serious threats to individual or public health, safety or welfare, take appropriate steps to mitigate those risks, particularly by taking care with how content is expressed or presented.
7.7 Avoid the unjustified use of stereotypes or discriminatory content that could reasonably be interpreted as condoning or encouraging prejudice.”

Again, what purpose was there to get a panel of radical feminists outright calling for the murder of men? Or just use taxpayer funds on an article on how to give blow jobs?

Kids Programs

Take due care over the dignity and physical and emotional welfare of children and young people who are involved in making, participating in and presenting content produced or commissioned by the ABC…Take particular care to minimise risks
of exposure to unsuitable content…

Why did the ABC run a kids program attacking white privilege?

We have long supported a shift to the TVNZ model, where the kiwi national broadcaster is forced to raise most of its own revenue by appealing to the demands of the market.

TVNZ 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 vs half that at the ABC. 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% reduction in staff. TVNZ ratings are up too.

So instead of Ita Buttrose impersonating Oliver Twist she should be channeling Jerry Maguire and asking advertisers to “show her the money!”

The ABC needs to live in the real world of media because it provides no distinct differentiation from what is already available in the marketplace. You see our ABC should be confident that it has a sustainable audience for its type of journalism. It shouldn’t be one to fear but one to embrace.

For the ABC, it’s best not risk it. Easier to suck on the teat of the taxpayer and ask for even more money so it can try to arrest the decline in so much content that is totally unsalvageable.

Open letter to Michael Mann

Dear Professor Mann,

I saw your performance on ABC Q&A last week.

Unfortunately, you may not have been aware that this is one of Australia’s worst media platforms for balanced debate or reasoned argument. The show has been raked over the coals (excuse the pun) countless times for its shockingly poor standards whether it be inviting radical feminists hurling profanity while openly calling for the murder of men, giving platforms to convicted terrorists or allowing tweets that suggested the then sitting prime minister enjoys anal sex. Without knowing its dismal editorial history, you can be forgiven for heaping praise on the show. Don’t worry, the program has made countless promises that it will do better in the future. We’re still waiting. Forewarned is forearmed.

You said you enjoy “taking climate deniers to task” but I believe it is this type of attitude that creates the very problems that get in the way of convincing them.

While you might have found it necessary to appropriate the aphorism that “you should keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out,” why didn’t you just educate Senator Molan with a list of specific hard data points instead of resorting to the one size fits all ‘consensus’ line? As much as his gaffe will be replayed on a loop, I sincerely doubt those words came out as he intended.

On the subject of consensus over the science being settled, why do we still have such poor governance practices in the scientific community?

Let’s face it. There have been many controversies that have come from climatologists based on fraudulent data or lax governance in the peer-review process. Unfortunately with next to no risk of repercussions for falsifying/homogenizing data or ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours‘ endorsements, scientists can make outlandish claims at will with no lasting consequences.

Take this example.

A major scientific paper, which claimed to have found rapid warming in the oceans as a result of manmade global warming, was withdrawn after an amateur climate scientist found major errors in its statistical methodology.

The authors sheepishly said,

Shortly after publication, arising from comments from Nicholas Lewis, we realized that our reported uncertainties were underestimated owing to our treatment of certain systematic errors as random errors. In addition, we became aware of several smaller issues in our analysis of uncertainty. Although correcting these issues did not substantially change the central estimate of ocean warming, it led to a roughly fourfold increase in uncertainties, significantly weakening implications for an upward revision of ocean warming and climate sensitivity. Because of these weaker implications, the Nature editors asked for a Retraction, which we accept.”

It was pulled only because it was caught. Peer-reviewed? Have the people responsible for giving their blessing been struck off the list as gurus for future papers given the lazy approach to miss such basic errors? Surely to have the same names appear on future academic work risks diminishing potentially important content as sub-standard. There do not appear to be consistently high enough standards to ensure the studies are always top drawer, which they need to be if debt-ridden governments are to deploy more of our taxes effectively.

Nicholas Lewis said after the retraction that,

“This is just the latest example of climate scientists letting themselves down by using incorrect statistics. The climate field needs to get professional statisticians involved upfront if it is going to avoid this kind of embarrassment in future”.

At the very least, Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, said

Climatology is littered with examples of bad statistics, going back to the infamous Hockey Stick graph and beyond. Peer review is failing and it is falling to amateurs to find the errors. Scientists in the field should be embarrassed”.

It would be much better if people who possess high profiles in the scientific community such as yourself to become much more active in criticizing these shortcomings.

Put it this way. I, like many others, would like to get to the truth in climate science but because of the actions of a few bad apples, the rest of the value-added that might come from the majority of the scientific community gets diluted in the process. Fraudulent behaviour is reprehensible on any level in any industry. Yet the public have little scope to make these determinations of which science passes muster until it is exposed for failing to be up to standard. Yet they won’t roll over and accept ‘settled science’ given the levels of crony capitalism in the system.

If the climate activist movement wants to win over climate sceptics (not deniers) without shutting down the debate, start by cleaning house first. Advocate for scientific bodies to come down hard on cheaters amongst your own flock. They need to be exposed so that such works are discredited which has the added effect of improving the pool of best-in-class data and research. It would be helpful if the media helped spread the message that such bad behaviour will no longer be tolerated.

Countless people who have been non-compliant in the financial industry have faced harsh punishment in terms of fines and jail sentences. Companies have lost trading licenses and faced fines in the billions of dollars. I have yet to see any scientists face such risks when caught out for highly unethical behaviour.

Perhaps we could get far more sensible outcomes in convincing sceptics were the bad apples prosecuted. Furthermore, whistleblower protections would accelerate a cleanout of the dodgy scientists that game the system and ruin it for the rest. It has worked very successfully in your homeland with financial sector prosecutions up 16x since whistleblower laws were introduced in 2011. Better still, honest scientists have nothing to fear because such legislation acts as an insurance policy which protects their hard work.

That is how you’ll bring trust to the table.

I would be highly surprised if most scientists haven’t seen or heard of unethical practices conducted in the field of climate science.

You also mentioned that, “My view is the view of the world scientific community, every scientific institution in the world that’s weighed in on this matter – climate change is real, it’s human-caused, it’s already leading to disastrous impacts here in Australia and around the rest of the world. And it will get much worse if we don’t act.

Every institution? Even if we were to take this as gospel, it is highly likely that the majority have distinctly different takes on the ‘extent’ of human impacts made more disperse by varying timelines. Some no doubt say there are very minuscule impacts to others that paint more extreme scenarios. Therefore to imply there is one united view seems a bit far fetched. Despite the position of more conservative scientists, the only view that is pedalled appears to be the alarmist one.

We constantly hear noise from the media, egged on by alarmists, that extreme weather events are becoming more widespread. However, the UNIPCC’s March 2018 report on weather extremes (with respect to anthropogenic induced global warming) notes:

“…There is low confidence in observed trends in small-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systemsin some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. There is limited to medium evidence available to assess climate-driven observed changes in the magnitude and frequency of floods…low confidence for the attribution of any detectable changes in tropical cyclone activity to anthropogenic influences..low confidence in projections of changes in extreme winds.. low confidence in projections of changes in monsoons…low confidence in wave height projections…overall low confidence because of inconsistent projections of drought changes…low confidence in projected future changes in dust storms…low confidence in projections of an anthropogenic effect on phenomena such as shallow landslides.”

Where is the scientific community’s transparency in pointing out that the probabilities and confidence levels about such ‘extreme weather’ claims remaining very low? Coming from a background in statistics, such low confidence levels smack more of ‘unsettled’ science. Yet the alarmists preach it as though the evidence is irrefutable when it statistically can not be. It gets worse.

Although the media never covered it, can you please explain why so many scientists trashed the IPCC for its governance practices? The public is constantly told that the UN IPCC climate bible is the gold standard which cannot be denied.

Did you see the UN Interacademy Council committee posted a questionnaire on its website and invited interested parties to respond to the processes at the IPCC? This is what they said;

some of the lead authors…are clearly not qualified to be lead authors.” (p.16)

There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter…we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent.” (p. 138)

The whole process…[is] flawed by an excessive concern for geographical balance. All decisions are political before being scientific.” (p. 554)

half of the authors are there for simply representing different parts of the world.” (p. 296)

Lest anyone think that people from less affluent countries were being unjustly stereotyped,

The team members from the developing countries (including myself) were made to feel welcome and accepted as part of the team. In reality, we were out of our intellectual depth as meaningful contributors to the process.” (p.330)

Are climate deniers, as you label them, justified in questioning the validity of the processes which are relied upon to allocate $100s of billions in taxpayer money if the scientists themselves see deep flaws? This survey wasn’t conducted by a fossil-fuel lobby group but the UN itself. This is the home team exposing its own inadequacy but the media is deathly silent.

The above survey is an utter embarrassment and I would be interested to hear your response to those claims. It is alarming to know that government policy is being based on such sub-standard procedures. It would be nice for scientific bodies to come out in unison to call out these problems to ensure that properly vetted governance practices are introduced and enforced. We all win if this happens.

You said on the Q&A program that, “If we act, if we bring our carbon emissions down by a factor of two within the next 10 years, which we can do if all partners work together, then we can avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

Do you honestly believe if Australia brings emissions from 1.3% to 0.65% that will have the slightest impact when we know that China has openly stated that its emissions (now at c.30%) won’t stop growing till at least 2030? Furthermore, Australia’s population grew by 10% since 2013. Reducing emissions in half with a growing population will mean that even more drastic measures would be required.

China will be growing an Australia every week by 2030 from every two weeks today. If we hit your target, China will still be steaming ahead at two Australia’s per week. Unfortunately, the economic pain inflicted to reach such targets is simply too steep in reality. Renewables have a very poor record in Australia despite our world-leading commitment per capita in introducing green energy.

You make the criticism about the stance taken by the Murdoch media on climate change. By that measure, The Guardian is conspicuous for its constant alarmism where it openly admits to sensationalising language.

I sincerely hope you join me in ways to close the gap between alarmists and sceptics. We live in a cancel culture society. The more this is accepted, the harder both sides dig in their heels. The only way to effectively find common ground is to tidy up the procedures, governance and practices whereby poor behaviour is summarily punished and outed so that people on all sides can have trust that investment decisions made reflect fact, not fiction.

With a heavy heart, the EU’s recent declaration of a ‘Climate Emergency’ rejected revisions to the legislation which requested, “Recalls that climate change is one of the many challenges facing humanity and that all states and stakeholders worldwide must do their utmost to measure it scientifically so that policy, and especially spending, is based on observable facts and not on apocalyptic fearmongering or unreliable models; emphasises that there is no scientific consensus on what percentage of climate change is anthropogenic and what percentage is natural.”

Surely if we are to build a sensible united front, this is a shockingly poor start. Instead of taking sceptics to task, work to put their concerns to bed via cleaning up those that muddy the waters of those with a genuine message. Questioning bad behaviour doesn’t require an open mind. Ignoring it risks one’s brains falling out.

Yours sincerely,

M. Newman

 

Smug?

This comment from Lisa Wilkinson is about as smug as it gets.

ABC Q&A’s audience, true to form, showed the exact opposite. If climate alarmists truly oozed common sense they would actively listen to the opposing view and smash it with hard evidence. The very fact they don’t tells us much.

99% of the audience wont know the statistics in the below links which bring to light the very argument of Senator Jim Molan to question the data.

Lisa Wilkinson might do well to reference these data sets on bushfires in Australia too before rattling off tweets about climate skeptics being smug. Happy to debate her on The Project anytime:

The number of times climate change is mentioned by our fire services before the crisis

NSW RFS budget – where the tax dollars go

$1bn dollars in extra Fire Service spending gone up in smoke?

VIC CFA – why does it have 3x the admin of NSWRFS to cover an area half the size?

WA DFES discusses what causes bushfires and it isn’t climate change

The Fire Services senior management act like a mafia

Volunteer Firefighters Association torches alarmist claims

BOM’s claim it was the hottest year on record in 2019 is untrue

BOM won’t release its methodology on reporting temperatures. Just believe us.

85% of BOM staff in senior management positions.

Shameless behavior at BOM over temperature measuring

Rules on fuel management permits

So the open offer stands to discuss your common sensical ooze. In order to empathize, she will need to look at the data objectively and unemotionally.

One final question, has your household signed up to Zali Steggall’s ‘Roadmap to Zero‘? I note she is up to 171 households now. 0.3% of the households in the electorate! Maybe 99.7% of Warringah residents are permanently smug?

Q&A and Kiwi Envy

Oh, the irony.  Q&A, the climate change fearing ABC program, decided to fly to Fiji, belching harmful CO2 along the way to host the show and talk about the potential for climate refugees in the Pacific from rising sea levels and Kiwi envy.

First off the bat, if the ABC want to endorse the Kiwi envy narrative, Q&A might consider the funding structure and staffing levels of TVNZ while they’re at it. Maybe that way the broadcaster could arrest the long term slump in ratings and fix the discontented workforce.

CM wrote six months ago in regards to this,

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 tax dollars appropriated. 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 is for hiring? Give the ABC $2bn and presumably, it will have employment costs of $1bn.

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.

How envious are you now ABC? Thought so.

As to rising sea levels and climate refugees. Virginie K. E. Duvat of the Institut du Littoral et de l’Environnement, University of la Rochelle-CNRS, La Rochelle sponsored by the French National Research Agency; French Ministry of Environment, Energy and Oceans (MEEM) wrote.

Analysis “using tide gauges and satellites showed 30 Pacific and Indian Ocean atolls including 709 islands, revealed that no atoll lost land area and that 88.6% of islands were either stable or increased in area, while only 11.4% contracted.

So where are these climate refugees really coming from?

Then there was the demand that Australia gives up on coal mining. Suppose we do. We should then tell our Pacific neighbours that we can’t afford to cut multi $100mn cheques every year so they can waste it like PNG did on buying 40 Maserati Quattroporte sports sedans as government cars. Give them an option – no coal and no cash or coal and cash? We know which will be selected.

Yet CM loves the garbage espoused in the SMH which continues its hard-left bent, even after being acquired. One would have hoped lessons would be learnt. Clearly not. The SMH folded to the groupthink attack on the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Alex Hawke for not being like NZ.

Perhaps Q&A might look at the facts there too. Remember when the media was fawning all over NZ PM Jacinda Ardern’s Wellness Budget? The idea that a budget should be solely based on economics is not progressive and more should be directed at “well-being”. That is not to say this budget is not “well-intentioned”. However, the statistics compared to across the ditch do not fare well on relative terms.

Comparing her recent policies versus Australia reveals the kangaroos get better access to social services than the kiwis. How surprising that none of the mainstream media bothered to look at the budget numbers on a like for like basis? Just praise her because she represents their ideal version of a socialist leader.  CM has looked through both budgets and adjusted for currency to make for easier like-for-like comparisons.

When it comes to health spending per capita (currency-adjusted), Australia is expected to climb from A$3,324 in 2019 to A$3,568 in 2022. NZ is expected to go up slightly from A$3,516 to A$3,561 respectively.

On social security and welfare, Australia is expected to pay out A$7,322 per capita in 2019, growing to A$7,977. NZ, on the other hand, is forecast to go from A$5,573 per head to A$6,489.

On mental health, Australia forked out around A$9.1bn exclusively on these services reaching 4.2m citizens last year. NZ is planning on spending A$45.1m in 2019 with a total of A$428m by 2023/24 to hit 325,000 people on frontline services for mental health. While the move is a positive one, NZ will allocate A$1.78bn to mental health as a whole over 5 years. On an annualised basis, Australia will still allocate 5x the NZ amount to mental health per capita. So much for wellbeing.

On education, NZ plans to increase per capita spending 7.9% between 2019 and 2022 whereas Australia will lift it 12.5% over the same period. NZ spends around 2x Australia per capita on education although PISA scores between 2006 and 2015 are virtually identical (and both heading south).

On public housing, Ardern can claim a victory. Australia is expected to cut spending per capita from A$240 in 2019 to A$194 in 2022 when NZ will go from A$137 to A$282. Although let’s hope Ardern has more success than her KiwiBuild policy. The Australian’s Judith Sloan rightly pointed out,

“Ardern also has stumbled with other policies, most notably KiwiBuild. The pledge was to build 100,000 additional affordable homes by 2028.

It has since been modified to facili­tation by the government to help build new homes. Moreover, the definition of afford­ability has been altered from between $NZ350,000 ($340,000) and $NZ450,000 to $NZ650,000.

What started off as an ill-considered public housing project has turned out to be an extremely unsuccessful private real estate scam. The government estimated that there would be 1000 homes built last year under KiwiBuild; it turned out to be 47.”

In the process, NZ’s national debt per capita will grow from A$21,550 in 2019 to A$25,206 by 2022. Australia will climb from A$22,764 to A$23,293.

Look at page 119 of the NZ Wellbeing Budget, we can see the government is forecasting the economy to slow and unemployment to rise.

As we wrote several months ago, the statistics that Aussies are about to pack their bags and head of to NZ are not supported. CM wrote,

“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.”

As socialists love to point out, “feelings matter far more than facts“. Just goes to show how easily people will fall for a catchy headline, rather than judge it on its merits. Time the “woke” wake up from this slumber. By all means, celebrate more recognition of higher mental health spending but best put it in perspective. Jacinda Ardern is ordinary.

Jacinda Ardern may sell her dream much better to the woke set, but give me ScoMo any day. Kiwi envy? Really.

ABC MD issues an apology with a feather duster

Image result for qanda

Good to see it took the ABC three days to come up with this response to the diabolically toxic Q&A program which hosted an expletive-laden show with a bunch of feminists. Pathetic. The producer will be hit over the knuckles with a feather duster.

Monday night’s episode of Q&A was presented in conjunction with The Wheeler Centre’s feminist ideas festival, ‘Broadside’. The intention of the program was to present challenging ideas from high-profile feminists whose expertise ranges across ageism, disability, Indigenous and domestic violence issues.

The ABC acknowledges that the program was provocative in regard to the language used and some of the views presented.

Q&A has always sought to tackle difficult issues and present challenging and thought-provoking content. However, I can understand why some viewers found elements of this episode confronting or offensive.

We have received audience complaints about the program, are assessing the concerns raised and will investigate whether the program met the ABC’s editorial standards.

Huh? Investigate whether it met editorial standards? Just read the transcript,

Some choice moments that have so much balance that even Mary Whitehouse would have accepted the content, are presented here,

MONA ELTAHAWY

“Well, you’re asking the person here who travels the world to say fuck the patriarchy, so I think that what we have to do is start seriously talking about dismantling patriarchy. And when I talk about patriarchy, I’m talking about a white-supremacist, capitalist, imperialist patriarchy…

I go online exactly to tell people to fuck off when they attack me, and I’m very well-known for it...

FRAN KELLY

And at this point, I will utter a language warning on the program, and remind our guests.

MONA ELTAHAWY

No, honestly, it’s… You know, this idea of respectability, this idea of civility, this idea of unity, all of these words, decorum, who invented those words? Those words were invented by white men for the benefit of other white men in systems and institutions that were always designed to be for white men. And they weren’t designed for women like you and me and so many others. Like you said, people of colour and gender-diverse people. They never imagined us in those spaces, and then we show up and we just ruin it for them….

And so those who abide by the system – and Barack Obama was part of the system and remains part of the system… I also disagree with his wife when she says, “When they go low, we go high.” No I fucking don’t. If you go low I’m going to come for you. So, no, I do not have the luxury or the privilege to sit there and be civil with people who do not acknowledge my full humanity. I refuse. Number one…

…So, for those who say, “Be civil,” for those who say, “Be polite,” I have an entire chapter on the political importance of profanity, and I remind them of a Ugandan feminist called Dr Stella Nyanzi who is currently in prison in Uganda because she wrote a poem on Facebook wishing that the mother of the dictator of her country had poisoned him, that her birth canal had poisoned him during birth. And when she was taken to court and doing her sentencing, she was video-taped in, because she’s known for her profanity, she stood there in the video, she took off her top, she jiggled her breasts and she said, “Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!” In court!“…

…Nothing. For me, as a feminist the most important thing is to destroy patriarchy. And all of this talk about how, if you talk about violence, you’re just becoming like the men. So, your question is a really important one but I’m going to answer it with another question. How long must we wait for men and boys to stop murdering us, to stop beating us and to stop raping us? How many rapists must we kill? Not the state, because I disagree with the death penalty and I want to get rid of incarceration and I’m with you on the police. So I want women themselves… As a woman I’m asking, how many rapists must we kill until men stop raping us?

We all know what will happen. Assurances by the ABC it will never happen again until the next time which won’t be that far away. We were promised that when Q&A got in trouble over giving a platform to a man who pleaded guilty to threatening to kill ASIO and DFAT officers, Zaky Mallah who went on a rant against then conservative MP Steve Ciobo. Who could forget the “@AbbottLovesAnal” hashtag the show gladly allowed during the former PM’s term? A mistake, honest. Just like Triple J’s guide to blowjobs.

The ABC should be defunded and forced into the TVNZ business model of having to provide content customers are willing to look at and advertisers willing to support. If the organization is so confident it has an audience for its content, it should put its confidence where its mouth is.

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 the government handout generated. That is $524mn on staff costs per year and rising. 4,939 staff grace the ABC. Funding 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 convert to $392,750 in revenue per staff member.

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

Maybe ABC should be forced to channel the New Zealand state broadcaster, TVNZ. After all ABC fawns over NZ PM Jacinda Ardern, all the time and she hasn’t demanded the state take TVNZ back to a taxpayer-funded model. 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.

ABC clearly has no place receiving funding with content like this. As it stands, the ABC isn’t out of control. It is in full command of its content. The Minister for Communications has lost control and continues to let the broadcaster do as it pleases – even allow shows with Aboriginal actresses pretending to defecate on white people or kids programs that take a stab at white privilege. The ABC is so left-leaning it would make Stalin’s Pravda blush for being too conservative.

The ultimate irony is that things are so bad at the ABC that the latest Annual Report revealed a survey that showed staff engagement at 46%, 6 points lower than the previous survey which placed the organization in the bottom quartile of ALL Australian & NZ businesses. It is so bad that many staff complained that poor performers are not dealt with but tolerated.

Impeachment Trends, Biased Sampling and why Batman knows best

Trump Nixon.png

Monmouth University has conducted an impeachment poll. It is not hard to see where the bias lies. 27% Republicans, 30% Democrats and 43% Independent. In nearly all polls conducted by the university, this is the respondent stack skew. It is so obvious that one could be forgiven for thinking the ABC Q&A programme must be taking the roll call. No surprise that Trump’s approval rating remains firmly stuck in the low 40s according to Monmouth. Monmouth had Hillary Clinton at a 9% lead over Trump in mid-October 2016. CM wonders why? Rasmussen, which was the most consistent and accurate poll leading into the 2016 election, has Trump at 48%, ahead of Obama at the same point in his presidency by 2%.

Monmouth wrote in its most recent poll, “At this time, 44% of Americans feel that Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency, while 52% disagree with this course of action. These numbers mark a shift from Monmouth’s prior poll in August (35% supported impeachment and 59% did not), but it is not the first time these results have been found in the two years Monmouth has been asking this question.”

There is something telling that there have been impeachment talks for over 2 years. Just the subject matter has continually shifted. Maybe the August 2019 Monmouth impeachment poll made the level of reasoning more clear. The 25% Republican, 30% Democrat, 45% Independent produced the following results,

– A good idea or bad idea to impeach Trump. 41% plays 51% respectively,

– Why would it be a good idea to impeach – Top 5 responses – Need to follow evidence (18%), Broken the Law (17%), Moral Character (17%), Bad Policies (16%), Racism (11%).

– Why would it be a bad idea to impeach – Top 5 responses – Trump has done nothing wrong (27%), Waste of Time (22%), Partisan Witch Hunt (13%), Trump has done Good Job (12%), Congress should work on other things (10%).

Interesting to see that racism, moral character and bad policies are viewed as plausible grounds for impeachment. The March 2019 poll from Monmouth, the question put as to whether Democrats are more interested in the truth vs undermining Trump, the results were 31% vs 46% respectively.

So even with a high proportion of skew against Republicans (Consistently at 25-27%), the results are rarely pointing to massive landslides against Trump. It should come as no surprise that when analysing the party affiliation in the poll, there is heavy partisan bias which sort of defeats the purpose of the poll putting out meaningful data. If anything the “independent” people who have contributed to the poll do not seem to be giving Monmouth the results they are hoping to get.

Of course, the mainstream media made extra effort to report that 4 in 10 Republicans thought Trump “probably did” mention the possibility of investigating Biden implying 60% didn’t. If you read the hyperlink address, it clearly makes out the majority of GOP supporters don’t believe which is disingenuous. 31% said, “don’t know.” Do we assume that all people read the transcript?

In this day and age the number of people that make kneejerk reactions – driven by media headlines (or suspiciously cut videos to remove context) on both sides of the partisan divide – without even reading the body of the article, let alone facts means such data polls tell us little. 

Last week, Rasmussen noted, “But 46% think it’s more likely that Trump will be reelected in 2020 than defeated by the Democratic nominee or impeached, unchanged from late July…28% see a win by the Democrats’ candidate as more likely, down from 33% two months ago. 17% believe Trump is likely to be impeached before serving his full term in office, up from 11% in the last survey but down from a high of 29% when Rasmussen Reports first asked this question in late December 2017.”

In the end, Batman knows best. “Don’t trust the polls.

Your ABC – shocking inefficiency created by demotivated staff

While it might seem like another beat up on the ABC, we need to take a long hard look at how it operates. How is it TVNZ can operate as a self funded government entity which collects a currency adjusted 1/4 the ABC’s revenue on 1/8th staff? How many people actually understand their ABC?

Salary increases and budget increases have a 90.34% R-squared correlation meaning that budget increases tend to lead to paying higher salaries.

While some may talk about “good” content, sadly ABC’s ratings have slid considerably for over a decade in regional and metro areas. TVNZ’s have risen. So hard core left has the ABC shifted that it has created a narrower audience. The MD openly stated that if Australians wanted to protect the ABC they shouldn’t vote LNP. So much for respecting its charter which bans political bias.

TVNZ must cater to the free market for advertising dollars therefore content must meet the audience needs. It’s simple. ABC should follow suit.

Throwing more money at the ABC has not solved ratings problems. One guesses that diverting more tax dollars at kids programs that disparage white privilege, comedy shows that openly call conservative politicians “c*nts” during by-elections and producers that allows indigenous comedians to defecate on a white woman probably has a very narrow audience. Content IS the problem.

Look at The Guardian as case in point of journalism that fails to address market needs. It is free and in recent years gone cap in hand for donations because its user base aren’t prepared to stump up cash to support it. Do we need a public broadcaster to subsidize views of the left? The Guardian is simply competing in the “same” area as the ABC. ABC starves The Guardian of oxygen because we as taxpayers fully fund it. The ABC crowds out left leaning media.

Look no further than CNN. It has doubled, even trebled down on its unhinged bias. The ratings have plummeted. Fox on the other hand has risen. Whether one likes the content of Fox is irrelevant. Advertisers go there because the reach is self evident.

Moan all you want about Murdoch. His users pay and the ratings are up. Don’t shoot him if his product sells. Try self reflection. The Sydney Morning Herald tried to tell users its product was worth subscribing to. Unfortunately it ignored slumping readership and ended up being acquired by Nine Network. If you don’t cater to your audience, they won’t support you.

Staff levels at the ABC have never been higher. Ratings never been lower. Lifting the budget hasn’t caused any change. Cutting dollars will cause much needed restructuring. It is like feeding a dying patient with more morphine hoping to numb the pain. Unfortunately the body grows resistance to that. ABC staff feel this.

In the 2018 annual report, the ABC staff survey revealed engagement is at 46%, 6% below the previous survey. This puts in the bottom quartile of all ANZ businesses. #Reform desperately needed.

ABC staff complained that management doesn’t do enough to get rid of under-performers. Another clear signal that state-sponsored mediocrity is tolerated.

The culture of the organization won’t be turned around by management unless it is given a reality check of being rapidly withdrawn from the taxpayer teat. That way the c.70% of staff dedicated to content can finally listen to what the broader public want to consume rather than the echo chamber they live in. By the way, those who love the ABC needn’t worry. The limited number of good programs will stay if the audiences demand them. The unhinged radical left programming can be cut with little loss to anyone with a modicum of intelligence.

ALP, first find a purpose before you choose your next leader

On what planet does Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen honestly believe he is a viable candidate for the ALP leadership? Of course the Coalition welcome such an appointment as they’ll be guaranteed another 3 years in government. Does Bowen believe that the electorate will grant what he calls a “blank canvas” and give him a fair go? Like any good retail store, the best assets are put on display where people can see them first. If the repudiated policies of the election just finished were the best he had to offer, what hope has he got ‘connecting’ with the base? Will this be the “these were the policies I wanted but Bill Shorten didn’t let me run them” campaign? If that were so Bowen stands for nothing so will fall for anything,

Bowen co-led the most dreadful campaign. Telling hope owners to forget if their houses slipped into negative equity and throwing two fingers up at self-funded retirees telling them if they didn’t like it not to vote for Labor. At least that message cut through.

Tanya Plibersek withdrew her nomination stating she “wasn’t ready”. Is that what a deputy for 6 years does when her boss vacates the top job? She clearly sees the next 3 years as toxic. So her loyalty to party is limited to her own ambitions of taking the top job once other members of the team have become political cadavers. CM spotted her pre-election in Hermes in Sydney so she is most definitely a champagne socialist.

Anthony “Albo” Albanese is the true Labor man who has never been given a title shot. He too is of the left, but he is eminently likable. He is a down to earth battler. However will his party see him as one to lead them back out of political oblivion? The hard left has been the problem.

Then that leaves Jim Chalmers. He is young. Served as an advisor to Rudd. He was pretty ordinary on Q&A last night. He won’t prosecute like Albo can.

The ALP first has to find a purpose before it selects a leader. If it does it the other way around it will only foul up the works and elevate the chaos this unlosable election has already brought upon them. To make a rash choice and then in-fight over policy direction will turn them into a carbon copy of the US Democrats

The lesson was loud. The electorate rejected radical climate change policy, punishing pensioners, identity politics, class warfare and the politics of envy. That Chris Bowen thinks he can lead the party back from the pits of despair with that legacy behind him means he is more delusional than Malcolm Turnbull.

It is worth remembering that experience is a hard teacher. You get the test first and the lesson afterwards.

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.

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.