Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Joys of the $5 Schnitzel

I know that in the superior world of Gen Y - people like me are irrelevant old coots.

Especially when I wander into *their* hospitality establishment during the day, plonk myself down, open up my laptop and start to do some work.

Now that is bad enough but when I also expect a little bit of service in said establishment and politely ask for their head banging music to be turned down a notch or two that really is beyond the pale.

Clearly these establishments exist only for the gratification of said Gen Y - any idea that they would deliver some actual service and/or offer up an experience that a customer would appreciate or want is just simply fanciful.

Now I only mention this because I am in an Australian city for a few days where the entire Gen Y population seem to be ensconced in hospitality. I was going to use the word *work* instead of *ensconced* but that is clearly not the case.

And the reason they are there is because there are few jobs for them in the real world. It's sad that there seems to be an entire generation of Australian's growing up who have little prospect of developing skills outside of the rarefied atmosphere of their family owned hospitality business.

Was it lucky for them that Dad bought a pub 20 years ago - or unlucky?

And please don't get me started on the joys of the $5 schnitzel.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Are They Mad? #auspol

Clearly the *bogan in chief* was not able to charm the nervous nellies in the ALP into supporting the deal that she made with Andrew Wilkie. I imagine the conversations went something like this.

NN: Prime Minister the pubs and clubs and their "License to Punt" campaign is killing me in my electorate.

PM: Sorry about that but we have a deal with Mr Wilkie and anyway around 70% of Australian's actually support his approach. And as you know the clubs campaign is dishonest and untruthful.

NN: I don't care about that - the clubs said they would target me and my electorate if I didn't get you to pull the deal. And I have become rather fond of the job and the salary and perks of a backbencher. So tell Wilkie to bugger off or start looking for another job.

PM: Oh - alright then.

And this mob think that we will respect them in the morning.

As one Twitterer said this afternoon - "Time to give Rod Cavalier, John Faulkner and L Tanner total despot power in the ALP. Take out the garbage and get that light burning again".

Because the place has become a friggin disgrace.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Trouble in La La Land #auspol

If you check out the Essential Report that featured in Crikey today you will learn something interesting about Tony Abbott.

You may also learn some interesting things about Julia Gillard and how a sample of Australians say they will vote - but my purpose today is to comment on Mr Abbott.

Looking at his performance over the past two years - at least according to the people who responded to the Essential poll - you would be surprised that he is still in the job.

Because his approval levels are heading the wrong way. "In January 2010 37% approved of the job he was doing - in January 2012 it is 35%".

As are his disapproval levels. "In January 2010 37% disapproved of the job he was doing - in January 2012 it is 51%".

As Australian's have gotten to know him - it seems they like him less because his "Don't Know's have gone from 26% in January 2010 to 13% in January 2012".

If ever there was a clear indicator that he is doing something wrong - then this is it. The longer he keeps at it then the worse his numbers become.

He seems to be pretty unpopular for a populist politician.

Most of us seem to have worked him out - I just wonder when his colleagues will do the same?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

State of Inertia

I am on my usual pilgrimage back to South Australia - to catch up with family and to do some boat building during the holidays. My trimaran is progressing well and I am hoping to get it in the water later this year. Don't you just love the smell of epoxy and sawdust in the mornings ;-)

I wish I could be as enthusiastic about my home state. Each visit here reinforces for me the slow and relentless decline of the place. But many locals don't seem to notice - I suppose it is the "Frog and boiling water" analogy. The export performance of the place is in serious decline while manufacturing continues its slow melt. As usual the farmers and small business are whingeing and the population is declining as job seekers move interstate. Those who are locked in with local assets or family just commute across a border or two. And the state government chases revenue everywhere.

But not to worry because *mining* will save the state - or at least that is what the local politicians tell us. But then they have been telling us that for well over a decade. They have clearly run out of ideas because now all they talk about is how Olympic Dam will save the state and bring riches for all. As if.

There are clearly huge structural barriers to growth and progress in the state - but that is not helped by B Grade politicians who often talk crap. And a mediocre media that makes stuff up as it attempts to stay relevant.

Take the Leader of the Opposition - Isobel Redmond. She was doing much better when she had a small target strategy and was nearly invisible. Recently she said that when the Liberals win the next election that they will *sack* a bunch of public servants. Brilliant idea Isobel - your strategy of appealing to all those small minded business people with "job envy" will win you lots of kudos.

Doesn't that just demonstrate the calibre of SA business people and their political representatives? "You want to sack lots of public servants because they have job security and tenure and you don't".

Never mind that these public servants spend their meagre earnings in the state - usually buying stuff from small businesses. Hell no we'll just sack a bunch of them and that will make us feel much better. It's called "cutting off your nose to spite your face" and it's dim-witted.

One big reason why the place is in decline is because of this sort of thinking. But I have given up worrying about it - these days I just get a good laugh out of it.