Archive for March 20th, 2010

Students protest about a musician being let out of jail!?

I had to do a double-take when I heard this one. It seems that the bacon is airborne and a highly contagious bout of sanity has broken out in South Africa. Students are protesting about a musician being let out of jail…yes, you read that correctly, they’re protesting about a musician being let out, not being locked up, but being let out.

Students in South Africa have thrown stones at police and a court where a musician accused of killing four school pupils in a car race was freed on bail.

Police fired water canon at some 2,000 protesters. Some threatened to burn the Soweto home of hip-hop performer Molemo Maarohanye, known as Jub Jub.

There were similar clashes at his initial court appearance on Wednesday, when police fired rubber bullets.

The judge said Jub Jub and his co-accused should move during the trial.

In granting bail of 10,000 rand ([USD]$1,360; £900), judge Andre Auret said he was aware that the safety of Jub Jub and fellow accused Themba Tshabalala was at risk.

“[But] I am convinced they have means to protect themselves in various ways – to name only one, they could resettle somewhere else until the case is finalised,” he said.

Apparently the members of the judicial system have some sort of natural resistance to this particular strain of sanity. I always thought that the judicial system was supposed to protect people, even those who have been accused of crimes…how this protects anyone, accused or protesters, is beyond me.

I also fail to see how a 900 pound bail is going to act as a deterrent to a wealthy musician to skip the country…but if I keep trying to apply logic to the decisions of the South African justice system, I’ll just make my headache worse.

Samuel

March 20th, 2010 at 10:17am

South Australian and Tasmanian state elections

I love elections, they’re one of the few things for which I’m willing to delay my viewing of The Bill!

South Australia and Tasmania are heading to the polls today and I have to admit that I like the look of the polls with them showing that Labor are likely to lose power in both states.

A Newspoll in yesterday’s The Australian newspaper gives the Liberals the lead in the Tasmanian poll:

the poll, conducted this week, shows Labor’s primary support across all electorates is 35 per cent to the Liberals’ 36.5 per cent and the Greens’ 25.5 per cent.

A review of first preferences at the electorate level suggests Labor could lose up to five seats, crashing from 14 in the 25-seat assembly to just nine.

Under this “worst case” scenario for Labor, the Liberals would gain three seats to move to 10 and the Greens would gain two to move to six.

Whilst a Labor/Greens coalition isn’t out of the question, one would think that the Tasmanian Greens would be wary of such a deal given the way the Greens appear to have been sidelined in their “partnership” with ACT Labor.

Meanwhile in South Australia, another Newspoll gives the Liberals are huge lead:

the poll found the Liberals ahead of Labor on a two-party-preferred basis by 52 per cent to 48 per cent.
[..]
Labor’s statewide primary vote fell by less than one percentage point to 35.3 per cent since the previous poll, covering January to the beginning of March.

The Liberals increased their statewide primary support by more than three points to 42.5 per cent.

Although it must be said that a poll quoted but not identified by AAP today shows a different result:

Polls have the two leaders running neck and neck .. but betting shows Labor slightly edging out the opposition.

I’ve personally gone all-out in support of Conservative Victory 2010 (with apologies to Sean Hannity for once again stealing his phrase) and put money on a Liberal victory in both states. Centrebet are currently offering some pretty nice odds, especially in South Australia:

South Australia
Labor: $1.38
Liberal: $2.93

Tasmania
Labor: $2.00
Liberal: $1.80

For assistance with gambling problems, Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or your local gambling support group

I’ll be watching both with much interest tonight, although it’s quite likely that neither will have a clear winner tonight. I personally think that Tasmania will be a clear Liberal victory which will be announced tonight and South Australia will be much closer and may take a couple days to provide a clear result.

These elections will send a clear message to our federal politicians. If their side loses they’ll deny that is has anything to with federal politics, of course, but they will privately be watching these elections very closely as they’re the most useful and comprehensive opinion poll that we’ll see for some time. I’ll be very interested to see how the messages emanating from the federal Labor and Liberal parties change subtly in the few weeks after these elections. Obviously I’m hoping that they change in a “less government waste” and “less silly taxes” way…but only time will tell.

Samuel

March 20th, 2010 at 06:15am


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