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Obama’s healthcare probably won’t go through this week

18 Mar

Barack Obama has just announced that he has postponed his trip to Australia until at least June, which doesn’t bode well for the immediate future of his healthcare bill.

His bill needs to go through, for the sake of his Presidency and the health of the American people, so he is staying home to lobby for votes. He was due to address a special joint-sitting of the Australian Parliament and had previously shortened his trip so that it was just the one night, but now it is off for a couple of months.

Presumably, he is also postponing his trip to Indonesia and Asia as well, so potentially this bill has also tarnished his position globally. This is very possibly why relations with Israel are struggling so badly.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has already, very cleverly, started to turn a negative into a political positive, by saying he feels an affinity with Obama as they are both facing significant problems with each other’s Senate. Rudd has been pointing out that the Liberal-National Coalition has been blocking significant legislation and Rudd and his cabinet has been calling opposition leader, Tony Abbott, Dr No.

Why the Parties need to monitor side-wiki

24 Nov

Side-wiki is a newish tool from Google that allows members of the public to place unmoderated comments onto a web page using the google toolbar. Every company needs to start monitoring this new tool,which theoretically can open a pandora’s box. Comments could range from the very positive, to the down-right insulting although, it is too early to say if it could have a real effect on a company’s brand image as it can only be accessed and viewed if you have the Google toolbar and you can only add a comment through a Google login and username. Both however, are very easy to get.

If Google starts indexing comments as part of their search result list, then there could be significant issues.

Below are a few high profile names that have been hit by negative or off-message side wiki posts which include the Labour and Conservative Parties’ home pages. The Liberal-Democrat website has no comments at all.

My particular favourite are the comments on the Sun.

My advice to all organisations, post something on your side-wiki now. You can’t stop people from making comments, but youcan at least try and push them past the fold. There is no way to moderate either.

 

Labour Party side-wiki comment

Conservative Party side-wiki comment

The Sun side-wiki comment

Tesco side-wiki comment

Walmart side-wiki comment

 

Digital Economy Bill

23 Nov

I just posted on Left Foot Forward, on the significant issues within the Digital Economy Bill so please feel free to have a look.

New polling says it really is game on

22 Nov

There was some buoyant activists today in the Tooting Labour Party after the exciting news in today’s Observer regarding Labour’s improved showing in the latest opinion polls. The Conservative lead has dropped to just 6 points according to the latest Ipsos MORI poll. While 6 points is still a loss, it equals a hung parliament, which is obviously a better scenario than a complete Labour wipeout. But it could also be just the start of a fight back.

While I don’t think I can add that much more to the analysis of the result by Andrew Rawnsley and the UK Polling Report’s digestion, I can say that this is certainly going to lift the mood of the Labour faithful. This is going to lead to a more hopeful, and therefore more engaged Labour base.  Having people on the street, knocking on doors is vital and the more that come back to the fold because defeat is no longer inevitable, the better.

Hopefully, it will also lead to a more focused leadership, less rumours of a putsch and a more determined party overall.

 

Kevin Rudd improves in the polls

16 Nov

The Australian has released the latest polling figures for Kevin Rudd. They look good for the ALP and show that, for the time being anyway, the asylum seeker issue has run its course. This is also impressive considering that the polls were taken in 6 QLD marginals, if I’m reading my blogs correctly.  Let’s be honest, the Queensland ALP are slightly on the nose at the moment, so that means that the QLD public aren’t letting their issues with Bligh override their opinion of Rudd.

But lets face it, Rudd is currently very poll driven and his news drive after the negative figures came out last time could have made all the difference. Apologies separate, he has a mandate for change and it might be a stronger mandate come the election, so he really needs to use it to his advantage and push some high profile issues through.

It will be interesting to see how the results improve after the internationally positive coverage Rudd has received for trying to get the Climate Change talks back on track.

I’ll have a look at the Pollytics results this evening.

Here is the Australian article;

KEVIN Rudd is back in landslide territory if an election was held according to the latest Newspoll but the trend confirms a fall in two-party preferred support.

Malcolm Turnbull is also rebuilding trust with voters after the Utegate affair, recording the best result since his support crashed after he relied on a fake email to target the Prime Minister.

Newspoll, published exclusively in The Australian today has found two-party-preferred support for Labor is 56 per cent and support for the Coalition is 44 per cent.

That compares with a 52.7 per cent result for Labor at the last election.

The Prime Minister is still riding high with 63 per cent support on the question of who would make the better PM, unchanged from the previous Newspoll.

But Malcolm Turnbull has clawed back support from uncommitted voters, rising from 19 per cent to 22 per cent on the better PM question.

In the previous Newspoll primary vote support for Labor plunged by 7 percentage points, a result that appeared to spook the Prime Minister, who immediately undertook a saturation campaign defending the government’s border control policies on talkback radio.

Newspoll’s Martin O’Shannessy said the poll confirmed the trend picked up in the previous poll of a fall in two-party-preferred support for Labor since September.

“The interesting thing about Malcolm is he is rebuilding back to the levels before UteGate,” he said.

“But the Prime Minister’s support as the better prime minister has remained high in 11 consecutive Newspolls.”

Is Google more powerful than Murdoch?

16 Nov

After my post last week about Mr Murdoch and his dislike of online content aggregation tools, specifically Google, I was interested this article on TechCrunch as to whether NewsCorp could indeed hurt Google.

My point of view, especially after my detailed chat with my colleague Ged Carroll,  is that he can’t beat Google, but I think he can scare the bejesus out of Google shareholders and then make Google do something it doesn’t necessarily want to.

Theoretically, as was discussed in the TechCrunch article, if Murdoch can convince Bing, Microsoft’s aggregator, to pay for the aggregation rights of NewsCorp material, it could be worth removing NewsCorp from Google’s online rankings. If he can show he is earning more money from Bing, other news companies might follow suit. Then Google has problems.

By stepping up to Google, perhaps he hopes it back down and deal. This would clearly benefit NewsCorp. Like him or loathe him, he’s clever and he must have something up his sleeve.

According to cash alone, despite his many billions of dollars, Google should win this war, but Murdoch is one of a few people in the world that just by saying his name can cause people, especially in the media world, to shake in their boots. Not many people can get through to whatever Head of State he/she wants, when he wants. Murdoch can and that means something.

Thoughts?

Will Copenhagen be a failure?

15 Nov

Thoroughly depressing news to wake up to this morning. It looks like our feared about the Copenhagen climate change talks have come true. World leaders have admitted that there is likely to be no final resolution and that the Copenhagen talks are most likely to be a starting point to talks rather than an end point.

At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum leaders including Barack Obama, Hu Jintao and Kevin Rudd, who have all drawn up significant plans for ETS deals and other environmental strategies in their own nations, appear to have given up on uniting world nations’ to come up with a meaningful deal.

This is disappointing, but not unexpected. There has been some intense expectation management over the last few weeks and it seemed almost inevitable that there was to be no lasting strategy to come out of this meeting. The EU has set out strategies to help nations meet their climate change targets,  but nothing has been set in stone, especially in regards to money being set-aside. Developing world nations have been consistently threatening to walk out of talks due to the lack of agreed funding from the developed world to help developing nations fund anti-climate change projects.

Personally, I never really had much faith in the COP15 meeting to come up with any large-scale meaningful treaty. The fact is though, Kyoto formally ends at the end of 2011, begining of 2012. This obviously leaves a couple of years to create a meaningful and effective post-Kyoto deal.

The significance of a no-deal result in Copenhagen, is the number of nations that have created emission reduction schemes that will only be meaningful if there is a result in Copenhagen, the EU is one of these nations. Currently the EU has committed to a 20% reduction in carbon emissions, but it would be 30% if a deal was met in COP15.

Therefore, not reaching a result in Copenhagen will obviously be a failure. Hopefully, world leaders have something up their sleeves and will be able to swoop in at the last-minute to come up with something. In my wildest dreams I can imagine Obama, Rudd or Brown flying in at the last moment and saving the day, but realistically, I think we will still be looking forward into 2010 before a post-Kyoto deal is reached.

Thoughts?