Daily News Review – Wednesday 28 July

Each day this service is sourced by CCO from the excellent work done as ‘The Dawn Patrol’ for over a decade now by ‘BK’ at Poll Bludger. See; pollbludger.net

Rob Harris tells us that Labor is set to swing the axe on its pledges for free cancer treatment and dental care for pensioners in an effort to slimline its election spending promises. Looks like a target elimination policy to me.
Shane Wright reports that tax cuts to start in 2024 will cost the federal budget more than $184 billion by early next decade, as a new independent analysis shows, as the International Monetary Fund urges all governments to start rebuilding their fiscal buffers by making their tax systems more progressive. Just the opposite of what Australia is doing!
Paul Kelly begins his article this morning with, “Anthony Albanese’s Labor has revealed its true character – politic­ally hungry, tactically cautious and thinking about strategic reinvention. Labor has decided its true crisis is bleeding to political death in opposition term after term. This week’s decision is technically about tax – but it is really about Labor’s identity.”
Michael Pascoe writes, “Given current polling and the vaccination schmozzle, the odds are favouring the government hanging on to the benefits of incumbency as long as possible, hoping the vaccine bungles will fade, the shots work, peace breaks out over our internal borders, and the promises of opening up start to look more credible” and he reckons that fasten our seat belts for even more rorting of the public purse for political purposes.
Labor has decided attacking the aspirational class won’t get it back into power. But it means both sides of politics now share a mediocre policy middle ground, declares the AFR’s editorial.
And Greg Jericho says Labor’s capitulation on tax cuts shows the price it will pay to win power.
Jack Waterford writes at length about the PM’s focus on short-term fixes and politicisation of every conflict. He says, “Increasingly people realise that Morrison is full of bullshit, even (or especially) when he is being sincere.”
The Delta dip is locked in for economy, but what goes down must come up assures Ross Gittins. He points out that the economy is in much better shape now than at the end of 2019.
Surprise, surprise. Gladys Berejiklian will announce a four-week extension of the lockdown on Wednesday as the state banks on young people in Sydney’s west taking up the AstraZeneca vaccine to stem surging case numbers.
Berejiklian won’t lobby the federal government for the return of JobKeeper despite Sydney’s lockdown being extended and new data revealing spending across the city is at the lowest levels since the pandemic began.
A more targeted strategy might have worked, but Australia’s border closures and lockdowns have achieved world-leading health and economic outcomes and produced net benefits overall, argues David Bassanese.
Paul Sakkal worryingly reports that the Victorian Transport Association says many drivers are shunning strict testing requirements designed to shield the state against the NSW coronavirus outbreak.
A new poll of NSW voters shows Scott Morrison bears the brunt of the Sydney lockdown with voters favouring Premier Gladys Berejiklian. But they’re both beaten by Dr Kerry Chant, writes Phil Coorey. This will not please Morrison who is increasingly sensitive to criticism.
It’s politics – not the pandemic – that’s straining the federation, says Paul Bongiorno.
Despite his failures as Prime Minister, Scott Morrison’s PR team will promote him as whatever the voting public needs in time for the next election, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.
Tom Burton reports that Victoria is negotiating with the federal government about the extension of business support for firms caught by continued tight restrictions after the lifting of the state’s lockdown Tuesday midnight.
The editorial in the SMH urges Morrison to flood western Sydney with Pfizer vaccine.
Major aged care providers have warned vaccination rates for their home care staff remain extraordinarily low, just days after the government conceded it still has no specific plan for vaccinating the workforce. Christopher Knaus tells us that this is “not a focus” for the government.
Lawyer Mariam Veiszadeh says that she is sick of hearing arguments defending the rights of the protesters to protest at a time like this. Freedom is a double-edged sword. It’s not absolute.
Public protest or selfish ratbaggery? Why free speech doesn’t give you the right to endanger other people’s health explains Hugh Breakey.
Anna Patty reports on the delays being experienced from what appears to be an overwhelmed contact tracing process.
Elizabeth Knight reports that retailers want a new JobKeeper package, emergency cash payments and the reinstatement of a fresh leasing code of conduct to ease retail rental stress.
Liam Mannix does the maths on the changing AstraZeneca risk/benefit equation.
New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard has stoked further questions about a so-called ‘vaccine stockpile’ of extra doses held by the federal government, claiming such a reserve existed but that the states had “no idea what’s in it”. But Josh Butler reports that the federal government has shot down claims of any such stockpile, saying it is sending out every dose of vaccine it receives.
Mandatory vaccines are controversial, but those who choose to stay unvaccinated will face a reduction in freedoms, Australian health authorities have warned.
Ray Hadley is waging war on Alan Jones, describing the latter’s conduct as “scurrilous, contemptible and undignified” in a spray on Tuesday morning sparked by Jones’ ongoing COVID-19 commentary on Sky News. Jones has completely lost the plot!
Richo Writes, “As a fervent participant in those moratorium marches, I will be among the first to castigate this bunch of dopes. The moratorium marches were not reckless ventures endangering public health, they were simple expressions of democratic freedom.”
Dennis Altman writes that, like many others, he was angered by the anti-lockdown protests last weekend. I was surprised at the enthusiasm with which he cheered on the police and wanted people to dob in anyone they recognised in the mobs gathered in Sydney and Melbourne streets.
Politicians, academics and celebrities have voiced their frustration over lockdown protests which could make the situation even worse, writes Dr Binoy Kampmark.
Meanwhile, anti-lockdown protest organisers are warning their supporters against attending demonstrations this weekend, claiming they are “honeypot” traps secretly set by police.
Census 2021 is almost here — what’s changed since #censusfail? Demographer Liz Allen tells us what’s at stake in this pandemic survey.
Nick McKenzie reveals that intelligence gathered in multiple policing probes has found leading Australian freight, logistics and transport firms are being infiltrated by organised crime groups and bikies to import drugs and illegal tobacco then distribute them around Australia.
Environment Minister Sussan Ley continues her record of destruction to Australia’s endangered flora and fauna for now and future generations, writes Sue Arnold.
The Age tells us about more and more bad stuff with Crown casinos.
An Afghan man who says he saw a “big soldier” from Australia kick his handcuffed uncle off a cliff has defended his evidence under intense cross-examination during Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation trial, reports Ben Doherty.
New reference checking rules for financial planners and mortgage brokers will make it harder for industry “bad apples” to move between employers, explains John Collett.
Daniel Hurst discloses that European, British and American diplomats have met up to three times in Canberra over recent months to discuss how to encourage Australia to consider stronger cuts to its greenhouse gas emissions.
Don’t blame men for the climate crisis – we should point the finger at corporations, says Arwa Mahdawi.
Israeli firm NSO Group has created spyware which can hack a smartphone, beat encryption and access every bit of our data, live-time, just like reading over somebody’s shoulder. Human rights activist and cyber-security expert Manal al Sharif examines the implications.
Tokyo is staring at a typhoon, searing heat and a record number of daily infections. Its Prime Minister is facing a different storm, writes Eryk Bagshaw.
The lawyer for a protester accused of striking a police horse during the Sydney anti-lockdown march claims his client has the support of an MP and says his mother is “worried sick” about him being in custody.
10/10 to the King’s School for suspending and reporting today’s “Arsehole of the Week” nominee to the police.

Cartoon Corner

Lead Cartoon – David Rowe of the AFR.

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