|IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
Turnbull Government will ignore this call to extend Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry at its own electoral peril "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"
Remember When Australian Prime Minister and former merchant banker Malcolm Bligh Turnbull ruled out a bankig royal commission?
Telling the nation; "I can tell you wehave as a government decided not to have a royal commission, we made thedecision a long time ago, not because we don't believe there is nothing goingon in terms of problems with the banks, it is because we want to take actionright now and we are".
Recall the time and other limits placed on the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry when it was finally established on 14 December 2017? Giving it the power to ignore anything that it wanted to that would otherwise be within its scope.
Well things did not go entirely to plan for Malcolm and his banker mates.
Because since13 March 2018 the curtain has been drawn back revealing the systemic unethical, deceitful, rapacious, sometimes fraudulent and, in certain instances criminal behaviour, of the financial sector.
National Australia Bank, Westpac, St George, Citibank, ANZ, AMP Insurance and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, along with their financial services spin-offs, had all come under some degree of scrutiny by mid-April with more hearings still sheduled.
Now, I know that Im meant to write satire but sometimes I just have to use my language skills to point out what is probably bleedin obvious. Compare the way the conservatives among us thunder on about burglaries and carjackings to the way they respond to people who are prepared to steal your life-savings No,
Ben Potter, who as a useful idiot, was leaked a copy of the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) report by the Victorian Government, reports today that the states are likely to sign off on the NEG at their meeting tomorrow. Potter is excoriated by Terry McCrann in todays Herald Sun for his pandering to green energy myths.
NEG has twin features of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector together with a measure that ensures wind supply has a firming contract to compensate for its inherent unreliability.
Former Senator Ron Boswell entered the fray with a piece in todays Australian calling for Liddell to be replaced saying,
Some have likened the option to socialism. Rubbish. The energy market was socialised by intervention a long time ago. A $45bn subsidy and guaranteed market share for renewables is not socialism? Would the car market be a real market if the government said 23 per cent of cars sold had to be a Tesla and that Tesla would receive a subsidy of $30,000 for every car sold?
Boswell also argues that under the amended section 44 of the trade practices act AGL could be forced to sell since its closure would be substantially lessening competition in a substantial market. And the Acting NSW Premier, John Barilaro, today came out in favour of a forcible acquisition of the Liddell plant.
Hardly any MPs Craig Kelly being a notable exception have undertaken the laborious research necessary to understand the energy market and its many faceted regulations; most accept the bromides that demonise coal and promote the need to reduce emissions to save the world. But politicians do recognise the fact that prices have risen and voters are not pleased. Moreover, voters have no allegiance to private property rights that are not their own as this recent Yougov survey illustrates.
Many fear that the Alliance missile strikes on Syria on the weekend utilities will trigger another world war, however contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence says the first one never ended. read now...
Thanks to everyone who the first eight chapters of my book-in-progress, Economics in Two Lessons. Ive found the comments on Chapter 8 valuable, but havent yet found time to edit in response to them. Soon, I hope!
In the meantime, Ive posted a draft of Chapter 9: Market Failure. Comments, criticism and praise are welcome.
The book so far is available
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: What is opportunity cost?
Chapter 2: Markets, opportunity cost and equilibrium
Chapter 3:Time, information and uncertainty
Chapter 4:Lesson 1: Applications.
Chapter 5: Lesson 1 and economic policy.
Chapter 6: The opportunity cost of destruction
Chapter 7: Property rights, and income distribution
By Anthony Andrews The world is about to end! Not really, its just that, like on the TV news or at the box office, real world events that arent at the extreme ends of the spectrum dont grab anybodys attention we want monsters. We want heroes and villains. We want drama! Unfortunately, most of the
I can almost forgive Dr Henry for his recent tantrums about the lack of progress on tax reform which he had neglected when Treasury Secretary for 10 years.
But his latest comments are absolutely outrageous. He blames investors for the poor behaviour of banks and investors also for driving up banker bonuses.
Here he is the chairman of NAB which has enjoyed far flung board/executive retreats on his $790,000 salary and responsible for the setting of executive remuneration for NAB and its culture.
Investors have no control over remuneration or culture and limited control over the Board after all under the three strikes rule it is just about impossible for a diverse range of small holdings to sack a board.
The largest shareholder in NAB is HSBC custody nominees. That is a proxy for other investors and while listed with 23.9 per cent of the shares, HSBC does not have 23.9 per cent of the vote. But in any case, is Ken Henry complaining that banks own banks? So even if his arguement was correct, it is the banks themselves with the control.
And if the Board of NAB does not in fact control the decisions of the banks strategy, risk appetite, policy, governance and remuneration, why dont they resign?
Because his argument is crap. The Board is responsible for all of that and he is the chairman. Stop blaming others Ken for your own errors.
If there is a complex remuneration policy with over 30 pages in its annual report it is because the Board agreed to it. The Corporations Act makes quite clear that the Board has responsibility for the actions of the bank. If Henry wants to abdicate that responsibility he should resign or ASIC should act against him for neglecting his directors duties.
The biggest problem in the banking sector is certainly not investors. It is the principal-agent problem where the Board and Executives are extracting rent from the owners. The terrible behaviour observed at the Royal Commission is due to poor behaviour by Boards and Executives, not investors.
Ken Henry its time you accepted responsibility rather than shirking it. If the remuneration practices at NAB need to change, that is something you can act upon. Otherwise step aside and let someone else take over who is willing to act.
I've had a lot of bad OIA experiences, and my fair share of
Ministers and officials playing games with extensions to delay
access to documents until an issue is out of the media. However,
I've never had anything as bad as this Canadian requester, who had
give itself an 80 year extension on an Access to Information Act
A federal institution has given itself what may be the longest-ever time extension to respond to a citizen's request under the Access to Information Act at least 80 years, which will delay the delivery of documents to 2098 or beyond.
"I may get those records in my next lifetime," 70-year-old Michael Dagg, the requester and longtime user of the act, said in an interview.
Dagg asked Library and Archives Canada (LAC) for files from Project Anecdote, an RCMP investigation into money laundering and public corruption that was launched in May 1993.
No charges were ever laid in the massive probe, which concluded in 2003. The voluminous Mountie files were eventually turned over to the government archives.
"You will note the extensive list of responsive records and we will need up to an 80-year minimum (bringing the due date to the year 2098)," LAC advised Dagg in writing last week, warning that consulting other departments would add more time.
Back in March, I received
some OIA'd documents from Clare Curran, the Minister of Open
Government. Among other things, they showed that SSC had presented
her with an draft open government strategy in November. Naturally,
it was kept secret. I was curious about this, so sent in a followup
request seeking information about this strategy. Today I received
response. Despite at least four months having passed since it
was given to the Minister, the strategy is still being kept
secret, supposedly because it is under "active consideration" (as
opposed to under a desk somewhere being ignored). One thing that is
clear however is that SSC's proposal that the strategy be consulted
on at the same time as the Open Government Partnership action plan
was rejected - that consultation is currently underway, and
there's no mention of the strategy at all.
SSC did release some pretty powerpoint slides, including one of "actions taking place in the open government system". Naturally, this includes something secret. But it also mentions under international actions the idea of "New Zealand taking a leadership role in the Open Government Partnership". Of course, to do that, we'd have to start by developing an action plan which actually displayed some ambition, rather than just being a grab-bag of unambitious business-as-usual policies. And they'd need to walk the talk on consultation, rather than treating it as a box to be ticked. Whether they're actually doing that is left as an exercise for the reader.
The most shocking thing about the Banking Royal Commission is how shocked so many profess to be by its findings. read now...
Tony Shepherd has been paid $55,000 for 17 days work producing a report which recommended that the rules governing the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund be changed to allow the government to pretty much do what it likes with its five billion dollar slush fund. Thats the same Tony Shepherd who was paid $85,000 for a
The post Tony Shepherd is well paid to tell the government what it wants to hear appeared first on The AIM Network.
The global market for medical products is shaped mainly by the demands of wealthy consumers. It rarely calls into being the tools needed to combat diseases that afflict primarily poor countries therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines, as well as technologies that prevent the spread of disease such as insecticide-treated bed nets. Where such products do exist, its often down to the needs of tourists and soldiers and those products tend to fail over time as microbes and vectors evolve to evade our defences.
At the same time, governments and publicly or philanthropically funded research institutions generally do not have all the expertise required to discover, develop and create production pathways for such products.
Thats where Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) come in. PDPs are lean, not-for-profit public health intermediary organisations. They catalyse the discovery and development of global health products by bringing together public and private sector research and development expertise across a broad portfolio of product candidates. Some candidates succeed, some fall by the wayside.
The net effect of the 16 major PDPs work over the past two decades has been an impressive reinvigoration of the pipeline of tools for global health. Most importantly, a growing number of these tools have been approved for use, are under consideration by regulatory agencies, or are in late-stage trials.
When the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, launched Australias Health Security Initiative for the Indo-Pacific region in October 2017, she announced that Australia would commit $75 million over five years to support the work of PDPs from 2018. This represents the Australian aid programs single largest commitment to global health research and development, and a 50% increase in PDP funding in annual terms.
Not bad men! They are evil beyond belief. From Instapundit.
After anthrax spores killed five people, infected 17 others, and showed up in envelopes mailed to U.S. senators and media organizations in 2001, the current special counsel, then director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, spent years chasing and destroying the reputation of a microbiologist named Steven Hatfill, zealous in the belief that Mr. Hatfill was the guilty party. Another zealot, James Comey, then deputy attorney general, said he was absolutely certain no mistake had been made.
After Mr. Hatfill was exoneratedhe received more than $5.5 million in damages from the governmentMr. Mueller then decided that another microbiologist, Bruce Ivins, was the culprit. When Ivins committed suicide, Mr. Mueller pronounced the case closed. A subsequent investigation by the National Academy of Sciences suggests Ivins too was innocent.
Mr. Mueller is not a bad man, nor is Mr. Comey. Its just that both show particular confidence when making mistakes, which makes one grateful for safeguards like the attorney-client privilege.
Well, I wouldnt say that Mueller and Comey are good men. And neither has faced any significant accountability for his mistakes and misbehavior.
The latest episode of ABC Q&A revealed just how formulaic and two-dimensional the show is in its approach to serious issues, writes Binoy Kampark. read now...
We need to communicate aid better is a constant chorus among those working in aid and development in Australia. Against the background of major aid cuts and the integration of AusAID into DFAT, parliamentarians tell the aid community we need to sell the message better. Minister Julie Bishop has said, support for our invaluable aid program has to come from home, from the Australian taxpayer. So the Australian taxpayers must support it, and that will come with a better appreciation of its purpose, its intent and the outcomes. The winning 3-Minute Aid Pitch from the 2017 Australasian Aid Conference was that we need to communicate aid better. Agencies band together to campaign for Australian aid. DFAT earnestly tweets happy snaps of aid events and initiatives. And yet something isnt working: further deep cuts to aid are being floated and the public seems largely indifferent.
So: are there some simple aid messages that we aid enthusiasts in government, NGOs, academia, and the private sector can use when we engage with non-aid enthusiasts? We know that aid and development assistance is complex. There are a multitude of issues and strands that can be bewildering for those of us working in this sector, let alone those who dont. We easily slip into the jargon of aid and development, but it can be like putting up a brick wall against those whose support for aid we actually want to encourage.
Here is an attempt at three simple messages to help explain the aid program:
Message #1: Overseas aid is less than 1% of Australian Government spending
The aid community talks about Australia only spending 0.22% of GNI on aid, against the UN target of 0.7% and with that sentence alone weve probably lost most of our potential audience. So lets talk about a more commonly understood idea,...
Australian human rights lawyer and member of the legal team defending Wikileaks since 2010, talks about the hacker from Queensland who chose to fight against surveillance capitalism. Interview.
Yorgos Boskos (YB): How did you get involved in the first place with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange?
Jennifer Robinson (JR): Julian first reached out to myself and a colleague of mine, the Australian human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson, in around September 2010. This was just before WikiLeaks was about to publish the Iraq war logs. Julian was in London, preparing that release, which came several months later, at the end of November. He was working with the Guardian and a group of other international newspapers.
It was around the time when there was concern about what might happen in Sweden, where there was an open investigation into sexual allegations that had previously being dropped. It now seemed that Julian might have to answer those allegations. So, Julian required assistance and advice. It was also the time, of course, that Chelsea Manning was arrested, and a US criminal investigation in grand jury had been announced.
YB: What was your first impression on meeting Julian Assange?
JR: Here was a man with a small group of volunteers and a backpack. And in his interactions with me what he was really doing was making his very brave decisions about what to publish. There were a lot of public threats being made against him at that particular time. He was incredibly security-conscious - conscious of the fact that they were pursuing him, trying to find ways to prosecute and investigate him. So apart from his remarkable work, the other factor was the strength of the state response that was building against him. He was perceived to be the most powerful man in the world, in that period. And why? Because he had access to that information.
YB: During your TEDx speech in Sydney in 2013, you stated that courage is contagious. Do you...
Given representatives of the Institute of Public Affairs Limited (IPA) turn up as guest commentators so frequently these days on television, radio and in newsprint - usually without mention of who they actually represent - perhaps it's time to update deatils of the corporate structure, finances and aims of this group.
By 1PETERMCC How poor is the understanding of our energy market by the Coalition government? Check these data. When Tony Abbott became PM he slashed the Renewable Energy Target from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000 claiming the target could not be met. Not only was that revised target met, the original is going to be exceeded, too.
Stormy Daniels is still news, but this barely raises a ripple: US and North Korea holding extremely high level talks ahead of Trumps meeting with Kim Jong-un.
We have had direct talks at very high levels extremely high levels with North Korea, Trump said.
Well either have a very good meeting or we wont have a good meeting, he added. And maybe we wont even have a meeting at all, depending on whats going in. But I think that theres a great chance to solve a world problem. The president did not answer shouted questions about whether he has spoken with Kim.
Kims offer for a summit was initially conveyed to Trump by South Korea last month, and the president shocked many when it was announced that he had accepted. US officials have indicated over the past two weeks that North Koreas government has communicated directly with Washington that it is ready to discuss its nuclear weapons program.
Abe, who has voiced fears that short- and medium-range missiles that pose a threat to Japan might not be part of the US negotiations, praised Trump on Tuesday for his bravery in agreeing to meet with the North Korean dictator.
Id like to commend Donalds courage in his decision to have the upcoming summit meeting with the North Korean leader, Abe said.
Trump took credit for the inter-Korean talks, saying, Without us and without me, in particular, I guess you would have to say, they wouldnt be discussing anything.
Time Magazine does, however, find the right sort of nincompoop analysis: Will Trump Make a Bad Deal With North Korea?
You never know, but hell likely make a better deal than anyone else has since 1950. But it is a funny thing that I share one worry with the media and the left: whether Trump will make it for another seven years. The difference is they worry that he will and I worry that he wont.
Is the Government's cybersecurity advice following Russian trolling activity sufficient or are deeper protections required? read now...
My first reaction on reading Marianne Garneaus essay Antifa is liberalism (Ritual, April 11, 2018) was: lolwut. The second was to be reminded of Ward Churchills essay Pacifism As Pathology: in particular, his being at pains to distinguish between, on Continue reading
In short, the take-home message from the Turnbull Government is, if youre poor, its your fault. read now...
At the moment the UK government is persecuting the
"Windrush generation". People who legally migrated to the UK
and have a legal right to remain are being thrown out of their jobs
and threatened with deportation unless they can prove that fact.
But it turns out that before they started this persecution, the UK
destroyed all the evidence that they were legal
Proof that could have spared members of the Windrush generation from the threat of deportation was destroyed by the Home Office under Theresa May, it has been revealed.
Thousands of landing cards recording dates of arrival in the UK were thrown away, despite staff warnings that it would be harder for Caribbean-born residents to establish their right to be in the UK.
The files were discarded in October 2010, when the current prime minister was home secretary, a former Home Office employee revealed.
In the wake of Tony Blair's illegal war in Iraq, the UK had been
developing a constitutional convention which saw Parliament vote on
waging war, and this had prevented the UK
from bombing Syria in 2013. But over the weekend, Theresa May
violated that convention, joining the US in bombing Syria. And now,
UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is
calling for legislation to prevent it from happening
Jeremy Corbyn has called for a war powers act that would stop Theresa May from launching bombing raids without first consulting MPs.
The Labour leader said the prime minister should have strived for parliamentary approval before instigating UK involvement in yesterday's air strikes on Syrian targets.
And he called for a proper debate in parliament on Monday, concluding with a vote on action in Syria.
The MP for Islington North, who also called for a war powers act in 2016, continued: "I think what we need in this country is something more robust like a war powers act so governments do get held to account by parliament for what they do in our name".
Yesterday the government announced its
interim climate change committee - a group of experts to advise
it on climate change policy. The group is intended to eventually
become a permanent independent climate change commission once the
government's Zero Carbon Act is passed, but they need advice now,
so an interim body has been set up in the meantime. And their first
order of business is working out
how to make farmers pay for the pollution they cause:
A new climate change group has been immediately tasked with working out how New Zealand farmers can pay for their climate pollution.
And the highly controversial decision about whether and when the agricultural industry is charged for its greenhouse gases could fall close to the next election.
The commission won't be set up until May, and Shaw said that in the meantime work needed to get underway on two key issues agriculture's inclusion in the Emissions Trading Scheme and the goal of moving to 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2035.
Any changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme will be finalised in late 2019, meaning if they are delayed they could be decided in the heat of the 2020 general election.
Australian Minister for Communications and longstanding member of the far-right pressure group the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) is up in arms because Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman tells some home truths "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"
Wednesday 18 April 2018 How has it come to this? Australians have always had a sort of love-hate relationship with America. Whilst we come from an English heritage, it has been the United States that has had the most influence on our maturing as a Nation. You agree, guys? Rightly or wrongly we have followed
The post Day to Day Politics: Only in America, but then we willingly shake his hand. appeared first on The AIM Network.
Theres an old saying, Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me! Fool me over and over again, you must be the Murdoch Press telling me that the Liberal Party are great economic managers Yep, I did think that most ridiculous thing I heard was Sean Hannitys denial that he was
The post Ho, Ho, Ho, Scott Is Santa, While A Shorten Government Will Fail To Balance The Budget! appeared first on The AIM Network.
Fires as of April 16-17th. To give an idea of the map scale: Barden Ridge to Menai is approximately 3 km.
By Noel Wauchope: Australias bushfires threatening nuclear reactor: Changing the name of a suburb helps the government keep this quiet. Lucas Heights nuclear reactor: The untold threat of the Sydney bushfires: https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/sydney-bushfires-raged-towards-lucas-heights-nuclear-reactor,11401 16 April 2018
As I mentioned a while ago, in the years that Ive been blogging, Ive described my political perspective as social-democratic. In earlier years, I mostly used democratic socialist. My reason for the switch was that, in a market liberal/neoliberal era, the term socialist had become a statement of aspiration without any concrete meaning or any serious prospect of realisation. By contrast, social democracy represented the Keynesian welfare state I was defending against market liberal reform.
In the decade since the Global Financial Crisis, things have changed. Socialism still describes an aspiration, rather than a concrete political program, but an aspiration to a better society is what we need now as a positive response to the evident failure of neoliberalism.
On the other side of the ledger, nominally social democratic parties nearly all failed the test of the crisis, accepting to a greater or lesser degree to the politics of austerity. Some, like PASOK in Greece, have paid the price in full. Others, like Labor in Australia, are finally showing some spine. In practice, though, social democracy has come to stand, at best, for technocratic managerialism, and at worst for capitulation to the demands of financial capital.
So, Ive changed the description of this blogs perspective to socialist. I havent however, adopted the formulation democratic socialist which was used, in the 20th century, to emphasise a rejection of the Stalinist claim to have produced actually existing socialism in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. Thats no longer necessary.
As has been true for most of the history of the modern world, the only serious threat to democracy is now coming from the right. So, its important to defend democracy as well as advancing the case for socialism.
Before our waistlines shift, we need a culture shift. read now...
Yesterday, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and security
announced the creation of a civil society reference group to
provide advice on her work programme. The group includes lawyers,
intelligence policy experts, journalists and civil libertarians,
and many have been strong critics of New Zealand's intelligence
agencies in the past. Journalist Nicky Hager is the most prominent
of these, but the group also includes Deborah Manning (who
represented Ahmed Zaoui in his battle for freedom), journalist
David Fisher, and Thomas Beagle of the NZ Council for Civil
Liberties. Together, they'll help bring a more critical eye to the
IGIS' work, and raise issues of concern which the IGIS may not have
thought of. And if we want robust oversight of the spies to stop
them getting out of control, that's a Good Thing.
Naturally, though, National is outraged at the thought that anyone who isn't part of the spy-club getting to have an opinion on spying. And its clear from Brownlee's press release that he doesn't actually want robust oversight at all. Instead, he wants an Inspector-General who meekly accepts whatever the spies tell them, and doesn't ask awkward questions - just like in the "good old days" before Zaoui. But as we say in the Zaoui case, that sort of chummy relationship does not serve the public, and allows the spies to get away with mayhem. And in a democracy committed to the rule of law, that simply isn't acceptable.
I am concerned about the reference group, but only insofar as it is used to silence critics. The rules around what they are and are not allowed to say will have to be closely examined. But I have confidence that if there is any attempt to silence them (e.g. by forcing them to get security clearances, making them subject to s78AA of the Crimes Act and unable to read Wikileaks for the rest of their lives), then they will simply pull the plug and resign.
There is a certain bullishness in French circles these days, even if there was an initial attempt, with the Macron government, to calm matters down. The need to assert Gallic might in the face of brutality has again surfaced; and has a familiar ring to it. With Syrias Bashar al-Assad getting more comfortable with military
I wonder how many people, not just Americans but those in other countries, have come to the conclusion that the United States today is a less free and less aware society than the societies in the dystopian novels of the 20th century or in movies such as The Matrix and V for Vendetta. Just as people in the dystopian novels had no idea of their real situation, few Americans do either.
What are we to make of the extraordinary war crimes committed by the United States in the 21st century that have destroyed in whole or part seven countries, resulting in millions of dead, maimed, orphaned, and displaced peoples? Consider, for example, the latest Washington war crime, the illegal attack on Syria. Instead of protesting this illegality, the American media egged it on, cheering impending death and destruction.
During the entirety of the 21st century, Israel, Washingtons only allyas contrasted with the European, Canadian, Australian, and Japanese vassal states of Washingtons empirehas continued with Washingtons support, protection, and encouragement the genocide of the Palestinian people. Essentially, all that is left of Palestine is a getto concentration camp known as Gaza which is routinely bombed by Israel using weapons and money supplied by Washington. When a bombing of Gaza is announced, Gods Chosen People take their lawn chairs and picnics up on a hill overlooking Gaza and applaud as the Israeli military murders women and children. This is Americas only ally.
The crimes committed by the US and Israel are horrific, but meet with little opposition. In contrast, an alleged attack in which 70 Syrians are alleged to have died sets in motion the wheels of war. It makes no sense whatsoever. Israel routinely bombs Syrian targets, killing Syrians, and the US arms and supports the rebels that the Obama regime sent to overthrow Assad, resulting in large numbers of dead Syrians. Why all of a sudden do 70 Syrians matter to Washington?
According to the Washington authorities, or to the presstitutes reports of their statements, two or three alleged Syrian chemical weapons facilities were destroyed by Washingtons missile attack. Think about this for a minute. If Washington bombed or sent missiles into chemical weapons facilities, a vast cloud of lethal gas would have been released. The civilian casualties would be many times higher than the claimed 70 victims of Assads alleged and unsubstantiated chemical attack used as the pretext for the Trump regimes war crime against Syria. There is no evidence whatsoever of these casualties.
Had there been casualties, Washingtons attack would obviously be a far greater crime than the chemical attack that Washington used as cover for its own crime. Yet the American presstitutes are crowing over the lesson that America has taught Syria and Russia. Apparently, the American media consists of suc...
Turnbull's "economic leadership" and "traditional cabinet government" excuse for his 30th Newspoll loss just proves he doesn't get it. read now...
Imagine being a door-to-door vacuum salesperson from the worlds 19th best vacuum company, approaching someone who already owns a Dyson, and trying to convince them that your model is better while saying that 80% of people you try to sell it to dont actually buy it.
Our Minister for International Development and the Pacific would sure give it a shot. Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells went to the Overseas Development Institute in the UK last night our time, said the UK should spend more money in the Pacific region and partner with Australia to help us with that little China-in-the-Pacific predicament, but said we couldnt possibly spend more money on such things ourselves because Australians dont like aid.
Australias terrible and declining performance on aid does not put it in a good position to tell other countries what to do with theirs. Influence doesnt come cheap. (Just ask China)
Terrible sales pitch aside, Senator CFWs remark that youve got to take the public along with you on aid is also worthy of examination.
Senator Fierravanti-Wells said the government polling had exposed a big schism between the community and those working in the aid sector who think the complete opposite.
You do have to take your public with you, she said.
In many ways, its true. We know there are differences between views in the aid sector and in the general public we did research on it. But the views are not polar opposites. (See our full range of research on public opinion on aid here.)
The UK government had to work extremely hard to take the public (and Conservatives) along with them when they instituted the 0.7% aid target, so they probably didnt need this pearl of wisdom from a representative of a government that has done absolutely nothing to build public support for or understanding of aid and development.
From Bushfire Safety and Survival for Businesses and Organisations, p. 19: http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/public/download.jsp?id=30936
Bushfires in Australia are frequent events during the hotter months of the year, due to Australias mostly hot, dry climate. Each year, such fires impact extensive areas
See more here: http://www.cfs.sa.gov.au/site/prepare_for_bushfire/be_bushfire_ready/be_bushfire_ready_app.jsp#step1
According to the South Australia Country Fire Service, nearly
1/2 of people living in bushfire prone areas dont understand the
threat. This is apparently true of those proposing adding nuclear
anything in Australia. For, in such a context, the risks of nuclear
anything are clearly even higher than average. And, the solar
potential in Australia is higher than average. The choice should be
Only a week ago, the government took a stand against climate
banned offshore oil exploration - the first step on the long
pathway to decarbonising New Zealand. But as the Herald
notes, Russel Norman and Sara May Howell are still
facing trial at the end of the month for protesting against the
very activity the government has banned back in 2017:
Prosecution against two Greenpeace activists who were charged with jumping into the water in front of an oil exploration ship will go ahead despite the Government announcing a ban on offshore oil exploration last week.
Greenpeace executive director and former politician Russel Norman and volunteer Sara May Howell are set to stand trial in the Napier District Court at the end of this month for their roles in a deep-sea oil protest last year.
The pair allegedly jumped into the water in front of oil exploration ship Amazon Warrior, off the Wairarapa coast, forcing it to stop its seismic work on April 10.
They were both charged with interfering in the operation of the 125m ship and pleaded not guilty at a joint appearance last October.
I recently caught up with Rashmii Bell over lunch in Brisbane, and asked about her background and experiences as an author. Listen to the podcast, read the transcript, or for highlights of what we discussed, read on.
I began by asking Rashmii to tell me about her background, and what she is currently involved in.
Rashmii hails from Sio, Morobe Province in PNG, having being born and lived in Lae, as well as Port Moresby and (presently) Brisbane. She was educated in Australia, and has lived between there and PNG since 1990. She studied at Griffith University, obtaining a degree in psychology and criminology. She has more than ten years of experience working in case management within adult and youth corrections services.
Im a little past nine years while Ive been at home. Ive just been raising children. But, Ive always enjoyed reading. I read everything, read every day. And writing, I have been writing for myself, but I only just started having my work published in the past three years
I went on to ask what Rashmii considered to be the most significant milestones in her journey as an author. Her first, and possibly most significant milestone, was seeing her work published on the PNG Attitude blog, edited by Keith Jackson. More recently, her role as editor of My Walk to Equality has provided new opportunities:
appearing at the writers festivals, the Sunshine Coast festival this year, and then Brisbane Writers Festival, both in 2016 and 2017, which has really, I think, for the majority of the emerging contemporary PNG writers, thats a huge thing for us to know that Papua New Guinean literature is being mentioned at these international events.
In a similar vein, I asked Rashmii what she thought were the things that had the most influence on her voice as an author. She explained to me that she focuses on long form writing, with her pieces best classified as opinion and commentary. This is not a genre favoured by many Papua New Guineans and, among those that do, there are very few women, so I think that in itself helps elevate my voice because I am the minority in amongst the commentators out there, among the PNG men.
In addition, the subjects she writes on social justic...
Here is just a little of what Liberal & National party members - and their governments - refuse to understand as they support a far-right economic platform which is built on a reduction in corporate tax rates, high business profits and large management salaries in conjunction with employee wage supression, erosion of workers' rights, an increase in employment insecurity based on casual, part-time and/or employees as sham contractors and, further restrictions on eligibility for a number of basic welfare payments.
This is from Winston Churchill, found as the opening words of Daniel Hannans wonderful How We Invented Freedom & Why It Matters:
There are few words which are used more loosely than the word Civilization. What does it mean? It means a society based upon the opinion of civilians. It means that violence, the rule of warriors and despotic chiefs, the conditions of camps and warfare, of riot and tyranny, give place to parliaments where laws are made, and independent courts of justice in which over long periods those laws are maintained. That is Civilizationand in its soil grow continually freedom, comfort, and culture. When Civilization reigns, in any country, a wider and less harassed life is afforded to the masses of the people. The traditions of the past are cherished, and the inheritance bequeathed to us by former wise or valiant men becomes a rich estate to be enjoyed and used by all.
There is no culture like our Western civilisation and if it disappears it will not come back for a thousand years. None of the alternatives looking to be the replacement for our way of life will be anything other than tyranny and slavery for the vast bulk of the population. And if you dont think our way of life is at risk, you are either completely clueless or think the past is a guarantor of the future. The totalitarian enemy is there at every turn, both outside the citadel and within. Let me just take this from (Lizzie) Beare from a previous thread, because it really is depressing how politically naive so many supposedly intelligent people are.
The right circumstances for another purge are upon us now; from the left. It is starting under the Antifa thugs when ordinary people going about their business are called fascist/and or are subject to physical violence for simply attending a talk by a reputable clinical psychologist or a very clever gay young man making jokes. You see it when a prominent TV conservative is physically attacked on his way into a venue. You see it when the recently deposed Australian Prime Minister is punched in the face by a gay activist. You also see it when a man of J3wish-Yemini background tries to collect signatures at a rally supposedly in support of refugee immigration into Australia and a big loon not just yel...
The AIMN needs the help of 300 good people. Ill get to the who and why shortly. When The AIMN started up over five years ago we were just another WordPress blog, unaware that within six months we were going to be among the widest-read political blogs in Australia. Admittedly we did have high expectations,
The Turnbull Government's "brown coal to hydrogen" project is poised to create 400 jobs, but at what cost? read now...
By Ad astra Australians were justifiably shocked, appalled and embarrassed by the ball tampering our test cricketers attempted last month in South Africa. Somehow, better was expected of them. After all, they were playing the gentlemens game cricket where any cheating was simply not cricket. Why then are we not even more disgusted
Part Twenty-six of a history of European occupation, rule, and brutal imperialism of Indigenous Australia, by Dr George Venturini. Governments institutional brutality Located in Berrimah, an Indigenous word which in Yolngu means to the south, in fact east of Darwin, is the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, a facility for juvenile detention in the Northern
As fires raged in Sydney, there hasn't been a peep about the fire hazard to Lucas Heights nuclear complex. read now...
Imagine living somewhere for your entire life, and then being
jailed as an overstayer pending deportation "back" to a foreign
That's what's happening to Mark Middleton:
Mark Middleton was once a popular choice to become Whanganui's Member of Parliament ... now he is facing deportation.
The stepfather of murdered schoolgirl Karla Cardno has been ordered to leave New Zealand after overstaying for more than 30 years.
Middleton, who came to live in New Zealand with his British parents as a 4-year-old in 1962, said immigration officials stormed his workplace on Tuesday, accusing him of living in the country illegally.
He was arrested and put in a cell at a Wellington police station until Wednesday afternoon.
Ive now finished the draft boundary map for the SA federal redistribution, following on from the draft boundaries released the previous week for Victoria and the ACT.
Remember there is a wide range of electoral maps federal, state and local, dating back at least a decade on the maps page.
And here is an interactive map. You can toggle on and off the 2016 and 2019 boundaries.
By Christine Kent In August 2017, after years of denial, I finally acknowledged my own homelessness. I came out of the closet in the most public way, on the SBS show, Insight. Since then I have been seriously researching the issue of homelessness. I think I have clarified the problem what homelessness is, who
On Friday, Phil Coorey published an article in the AFR lauding the credentials of Peter Dutton as a future Prime Minister. He quotes an unnamed Liberal colleague (but factional opponent) as saying Everyone listens when Peter intervenes. Hes the closest to a statesman we have. If any statement has shown how much trouble the Liberal
The U.S. involvement in Syria has nothing to do with democracy it is about protecting and extending U.S. power. read now...
In the 201617 financial year, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) reported that it received 114 data breach notifications on a voluntary basis.
Weve been to see Death of Stalin and I could not recommend it more. A tragic story told in a lighthearted way. I am so old I remembered every one of the main protagonists, knew who they were and each had a very high recognition factor. And by coincidence, this is just now the first item at Instapundit:
TODAY IS THE 124th ANNIVERSARY OF NIKITA KHRUSHCHEVS BIRTH: Khrushchev was all too willing to assist with Stalins infamous purges and was Stalins enforcer in Ukraine. But at least later in life, he came to understand that Stalin was a dangerous maniac. After Stalins death, he emerged (hands bloodied) as the Soviet Unions leader from 1953 to 1964 and pursued a policy of De-Stalinization.
Khrushchevs grip on power was never as tight as Stalins. On the night of his ouster (engineered by Leonid Brezhnev), he is reported to have told a friend:
Im old and tired. Let them cope by themselves. Ive done the main thing. Could anyone have dreamed of telling Stalin that he didnt suit us anymore and suggesting he retire? Not even a wet spot would have remained where we had been standing. Now everything is different. The fear is gone, and we can talk as equals. Thats my contribution. I wont put up a fight.
Khrushchev is famous for having told a room full of Western ambassadors, WE WILL BURY YOU! Instead, he is buried at Novodevichy Cemetery. Brezhnev refused him a state funeral or Kremlin burial. To Brezhnev, he was just an annoying squish. Take a look at his monument at the cemetery. Its in black and whitea fitting metaphor for the man.
One of those asssociated with the company behind the second push for a Yamba Mega Port allegedly used an alias when giving sworn evidence before a NSW parliamentray committee "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"
An open secret finally hit the headline this month......
A while ago, I had a multi-topic post covering some things I hoped to expand on. One of them was this
Blowing things and people up is seen as a demonstration of clarity and resolve, unless someone is doing it to us, in which case its correctly recognised as cowardly and evil. The most striking recent example (on our side) was the instant and near-universal approval of Trumps bombing of an airfield in Syria, which had no effect at all on events there.
Weve now had another round of bombing from Trump, and yet more instant applause. As I reread the para above, and looked at evidence on the general ineffectiveness of airstrikes, it struck me that there is a big asymmetry. The satisfaction we get when our side blows something or someone up is trivial in comparison to the hatred generated when we are on the receiving end. In most cases, the people and resources mobilised against the bomber far outweigh the physical destruction the bomber can inflict. Heres a study (paywalled, but the abstract is clear) making that point about Vietnam; it seems to be entirely general.
Ive talked here about large-scale aerial bombing, but all of these points apply with equal force to bombing campaigns undertaken on the ground by non-state actors, going back to the propaganda of the deed in the 19th century. Experience has shown that deeds like bombings and assassinations make great propaganda, but not for the side that carries them out.
We are off to see Death of Stalin tonight, but unfortunately, as this article by Diana West makes all too clear, Stalinism is still not dead and can be seen at every turn and in what ought to be the most unlikely places: A Short, Communist History Of McCarthyism. Heres the start of her article, but read it all:
It was one thing for the Communist Party organ, the Daily Worker, that pre-Twitter roadmap of every zig and zag of Kremlin directives, to have ramped up the information-war against Senator Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950s by turning the name of our greatest anti-communist hero into an epithet mouthed by the Left.
It is quite another for conservatives nearly 70 years later to keep pounding what was, after all, Stalins line.
Just yesterday we find that something like a third of millennials had never heard of Auschwitz or the Holocaust: Kids dont know about the Holocaust because schools are pre-occupied with social justice.
This year, while studying World World II, my 11-year-old learned about the Holocaust for the first time. We studied books, watched a few short documentaries, and discussed the facts first, before I asked him finally, What do you think? He shook his head. How could anyone do such a thing?
That is a good start, to find out that people can do such things. And there is then Stalins gulags, and even modern Venzuela to catch up on. Its not that those who forget history get to repeat it, but those who do not learn history end up being led around in chains.
Mafia Don, as former FBI Director, James Comey designates Donald Trump in his best-seller, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership is ever more desperate, as Special Counsel Robert Muellers investigation closes its net on the nepotist-in-chief and his comic Corleone familys alleged criminal collusion with the Russian government. Two weeks ago, in Richfield Ohio, the
The post Trump reaches for the Tomahawk while Turnbulls rivals sharpen their knives. appeared first on The AIM Network.
Chris Mordd Richards reviews David Bradburys latest film documentary America and Me. read now...
Via Stars and Stripes: It took a Facebook group, a search team and a lot of patience, but a Collinsville man and his emotional support dog were finally reunited, three weeks after they were separated by a car crash. Summer, a miniature Australian Shepherd, was ejected from the car during a crash with her owner, 
By Terence Mills The broadcasting anti-siphoning regime was intended to preserve access to major sporting events to so called free-to-air and public broadcasters and the anti-siphoning list mandates that broadcasting rights cannot be acquired by a subscription broadcaster unless they have first been offered to or acquired by a free-to-air broadcaster who has either declined
The post Ball Tampering and Anti-Siphon Tampering Is there a Difference? appeared first on The AIM Network.
Malcolm Turnbull and the Australian Government are failing Indigenous Australians when it comes to Closing the Gap, Daniel Gough writes. read now...
Sunday April 15 2018 Australia has a need for many things but there is none greater than the need for equality of opportunity be it employment, equal pay, or whatever. But there is none greater than the need for equality of opportunity in education. That is what Gonski was all about and for any Australian
The post Day to Day Politics: For an evaluation of what a splendid education can do, just look at the cabinet. appeared first on The AIM Network.
The fact that Facebook Inc. re-named the street in which it is headquartered "1 Hacker Way" should have been a clue to this social media giant's business ethos but it obviously didn't register with national governments and everyday Internet users.
By the time All tech reported this on 11 November 2016 we were all a little more informed, but Facebook was still trying to pull the wool over our eyes:
Feeling that some display of force was needed, US president Donald Trump issued orders on Friday to demonstrate some form of muscle, albeit exercised some thousands of miles away. A short time ago, I ordered the United States Armed Forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator
Luke Williams exposes Australias failing complaint systems, services and legal culture when it comes to workplace sexual harassment. read now...
Is the use of gas by Syria against its own population a vital American interest?
Following the release of the draft South Australian redistribution boundaries yesterday, we can now put together a pendulum of all seat margins for the next election. This pendulum uses the actual election margins for New South Wales and Western Australia, and the final post-redistribution margins for Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, as well as the post-redistribution margins for the draft boundaries for Victoria, South Australia and the ACT.
Ive included this pendulum below the fold, but you can also find it at this link. Ive now posted the pendulum, along with a list of seats in alphabetical order and a list of seats by state, on the federal election guide. There are now twenty seat guides posted there, and I will keep posting at least one per day for the foreseeable future. The pendulum below wont keep getting updated with fresh links but does include the twenty so far.
The only update since yesterdays post is that I calculated two-candidate-preferred margins between the Liberal Party and the Nick Xenophon Team in Barker, Grey and Mayo. In these three seats, I calculated what proportion of primary votes for all other parties flowed to either of these two parties in the final count in those parts of the seat where NXT made the top two. Some areas were swapped back and forth between Grey and Barker, so they were included as if they had always been in the seat. This proportion was then applied to the remaining primary votes.
The figures are:
These are all shifts towards the NXT, but they should come with a grain of salt. They fit with the overall trend of the Liberal Party not losing any seats but having all of their seats become more marginal.
|Coalition Seats||Labor Seats|
The Coalition works on the theory that a rising tide lifts all boats, which is all very well if you happen to own a boat. The majority of the population is either bailing hard to stay afloat, treading water or drowning. In the last five years, the worlds economies have made a strong recovery. Investment
This week, entertainment editor John Turnbull checks out an offbeat Oscar winner and the rarest of beasts, a sequel surpassing the original. read now...
Saturday 14 April 2018 Every Saturday from now on I plan to bring you something a little different. So this is a trial run and you will get the gist as you read through. Any thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated. Comment of the week Russell Green on my Facebook comments on 30th Poll day.
I guess they did say 'starting on April 9', so I guess anytime between now and the entire future https://t.co/UI0TFgjnog pic.twitter.com/JIE5iIryaUKetan Joshi (@KetanJ0) April 10, 2018
PLZ RT: Yamba NSW has only one dedicated taxi rank. In afternoon 10.4.18 a white Range Rover NSW DKC06Y pulled into that rank & proceed to load business files. From arrogance displayed by blonde driver it seems they were your Yamba staff @rainehorne #lawbreakingcanbecomesahabitno_filter_Yamba (@no_filter_Yamba) April 10, 2018
Australians love their cars. Its not hard to see why; cars can be comfortable, convenient and liberating. Yet our governments seem intent on making life for motorists more difficult.
First, there are the taxes on new cars.
Theres a 5 per cent import tariff, unless the car is made in a country with which Australia has a free trade deal. So an import tariff of more than $1,500 is imposed on entry-level Commodores, which are now made in Germany.
Then theres the luxury car tax, which imposes a 33 per cent tax on the value of new cars over $65,000. This adds more than $6,000 to the price of a basic Landcruiser, and more than $120,000 on a top-of-the line BMW.
The GST of 10 per cent applies on top of that, after which comes state duties of around 3 per cent on top of the GST-inclusive value. Thats quadruple taxation: a tax on a tax on a tax on a tax.
The tax penalty for buying a new car is a key reason why Australia has an old car fleet, with the average age of cars in Australia around 10 years. This is a key contributor to our road toll, because older cars are not as safe in an accident, and it doesnt help our pollution and emission levels either.
The high price of new cars in Australia is also the result of government-imposed restrictions on competition from used cars. Quotas on used car imports mean that only around 6,000 used cars are imported into Australia each year, compared to more than a million new cars. If these quotas were removed to allow unrestricted imports of used cars which are less than five years old and meet Australian standards, including right hand drive, it would only lead to the import of around 30,000 used cars each year. However, it would put significant downward pressure on new car prices.
Such a removal of quotas occurred in New Zealand with great success, and has been recommended by a succession of reviews including the Governments own Competition Policy Review. But the Coalition, intimidated by the manufacturers and their dealerships who sell new cars into Australia, is now threatening to make used car import arrangements even more restrictive. This would further increase the price of cars in Australia.
After youve purchased a car, our governments continue to make life difficult for Australian motorists. Before youve even pulled out of your driveway youre hit with hundreds of dollars in registration fees, licence fees and surcharges on your insurance.
Once driving, youre hit with fuel tax of 40.9 cents a litre. The unfairness of this is plain to see; those with a fuel efficient car pay less tax than those stuck with an old clunker despite using the same public roads. Those with an electric car pay nothing.
In fact, the burden of fuel tax falls heaviest on those in regional Aust...
Well I reckon it would be Alan Jones, or Andrew Bolt, or Paul Murray or a think tank executive director like John Roskam or Tom Switzer. Maybe the prime minister? You know connected people.
But no; not according to a (very creepy) infographic published this week at The Conversation.
That is a screen shot for the original youll have to click through to the link.
This shows a map of the Australian right-wing. It can be neatly divided into two broad groupings politicians and politician wannabes on the right hand side and think tank type organisations on the left hand side. No media people, so sorry Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt and Paul Murray. You guys just dont cut it.
The map shows a number of organisations with people clustered around them the more connections any one individual has the bigger the dot representing them. By hovering over the dots anyone can quickly and easily observe the relative influence and connectedness of these individuals.
So back to the original question: Who is the most connected right-winger in Australia? According to The Conversation an organisation that has as its byline Academic rigour, journalistic flair.
Here is the great Satan himself (alas sharing joint credit with John Humphreys).
Very annoying having to share top billing with John H so please update to reflect that I often give talks to the Victorian branch of the LDP and sometimes to local branches of the Liberal Party.
More seriously ...
In September last year I published a post titled Who Are Antipodean Resistance?. It gave a brief outline on the neo-Nazi groups origins on Tumblr and its development by way of Reclaim Australia and, moreover, the United Patriots Front (UPF). Continue reading
U.S. President Donald Trump has pushed the world to the edge of a new conflict by threatening a missile attack on Syria. read now...
Part Twenty-five of a history of European occupation, rule, and brutal imperialism of Indigenous Australia, by Dr George Venturini. The high numbers of Indigenous People in prison has consequences for virtually all Indigenous People. It impacts on the individuals who are incarcerated, as well as their families and communities. Children with a parent in prison
By John Tns The Facebook scandal regarding the use or abuse of private data has dominated news headlines for the past few weeks, yet there really is nothing new here. We have been or should have been aware that the various free services offered do use our data to pay for that service. How
12:30pm Thats all Ill be posting today. Ill be back on the weekend with an updated pendulum, and will be putting together the map in coming days.
12:26pm On a primary vote basis in Mayo, the Liberal Party has dropped 1.1%, NXT has dropped 1.9%, and Labor has jumped by 3.1%, thanks to inclusion of Boothby and Kingston, which were seats where Labor competed much more strongly.
Its also worth noting that the Liberal-Labor 2PP figure in all three seats where NXT broke into the top two have seen Labors position strengthen. I will have to make my own estimates of the LIB vs NXT margin in these three seats, but wont happen until tomorrow.
12:20pm So here are the toplines:
12:15pm Here are my margin estimates....
|Seat||Old margin||New margin|
|Adelaide||ALP 4.7%||ALP 8.3%|
|Barker||LIB vs NXT 4.7%||LIB vs NXT 4.2%|
|Boothby||LIB 3.5%||LIB 2.7%|
The Coalition faces a stern test as global outrage escalates over the horror and cruelty of Australias live sheep trade. read now...
Suck it up, the rules are being enforced. Via The Guardian: Australian author and TV personality Yassmin Abdel-Magied has been deported from the US because she didnt hold the right visa, US authorities have said, but noted she was welcome to apply to return to the country. Abdel-Magied was due to speak at the PEN 
Today would have been the 275th birthday of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the US Declaration of Independence and the 3rd President of the United States.
The importance of his words in the Declaration of Independence, even today, should never be under-estimated:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Happy birthday Mr Jefferson.
Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Since I last posted about this, Ive published eight more guides, with the links listed below:
Ill keep publishing one guide per day, and you can see the most recent guides on the right-hand sidebar or on each guides front page. If youd like to see a seat prioritised, you can make a request if you donate $5 or more per month via Patreon.
The South Australian redistribution is due out today. I plan to do a quick calculation of the margin but have some work commitments which may make that hard to do immediately. Watch this space!
Yesterday, Spartacus was reading Marcus contribution on energy policy We Need the Government to Do What?!. (PS highly recommended to the Cats).
Marcus description of the exchange between Credlin, Bernardi and Reece did not really surprise Spartacus, but given some 90% of communication is non verbal (voice and face), and Marcus description was second hand, Spartacus wanted to go to the horses mouth and see for himself.
So off to FoxTel Go he went. And almost threw a shoe at the screen. Dear Marcus did not do these clowns the disservice they deserve.
But before going into the substance, one cannot but what this particular performance of Peta Credlin and get a better insight into what and why so many counselled Prime Minister Abbott to let her go. She was high handed, arrogant and wrong. But importantly, she was not in doubt.
On to substance. The key debate was on electricity and AGL and their plan to close/re-purpose the Liddell Power Station. Here is Senator Bernardis contribution:
The big problem we have got is that the government is too involved in this business
But then Senator Bernardi proposes that the government get further involved:
You could take out all the speculators and the only purchaser will be the government.
Does this mean the government will also get back into the distribution, billing and call centre business? Perhaps in South Australia?
But moving onto AGL, Credlin suggested that the government, unable to convince management cow tow should try to influence to the board and institutional investors of AGL. Wow. Just Wow.
Credlin has (repeatedly) mocked the Turnbull government for their attack on superannuants through the tax system but she now proposed to attack superannuants through other means. And then Credlin says this:
The company (AGL) has to act in the national interest.
Perhaps in a totalitarian state ,but to suggest that AGL had a duty to act in the national interest above shareholder interest is just breathtaking. Ms Credlin frequently likes to wave her legal credentials around, so perhaps before her next outing she should familiarise herself with the Corporations Act. If Ms Credlin happens to be a reader of Catallaxy, here is a snippet from the ASIC website talking about director duties:
General duties imposed by the Corporat...
The High Court of Trinidad and Tobago has
struck down the country's colonial sodomy law:
A judge in Trinidad and Tobago has declared the nations laws banning sodomy and consensual homosexual acts are unconstitutional, a ruling that could potentially lead to the complete decriminalization of homosexuality.
Judge Devindra Rampersand of the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago ruled on Thursday that Sections 13 and 16 of the Sexual Offenses Act are unconstitutional as applied to acts between consenting adults.
The court will meet again in July to determine whether the sections of the law should be struck down in their entirety or just in part.
LGBTQ activist Jason Jones challenged the colonial-era sodomy law in February 2017 by suing the nations attorney general, claiming that the prohibitions on buggery and acts of serious indecency between two men violate his and, by extension, other LGBTQ peoples right to privacy and freedom of expression.
This is a dance of confused ends and mistrustful glances, mixed with occasional moments of misplaced adoration. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame has never been an empathetic sort and his testifying before the US Congress has done nothing to dispel that assessment. That stands to reason: the least sociable of types, the most awkward of
The post Admiring Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg goes before Congress appeared first on The AIM Network.
Last month, New Zealand
formally signed the successor to the TPPA, the
Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership. The
few benefits for New Zealand, and the primary one seems to be
MFAT negotiators not feeling left out, but it had one saving
virtue: America wasn't involved. And that meant that it was
merely a bit shit, rather than being actively toxic due to
US IP bullshit. But now, having pulled out of the TPP and left the
other countries to negotiate amongst themselves,
Donald Trump wants back in:
US President Donald Trump told top administration officials Thursday to look at rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the multination trade agreement he pulled the United States out of shortly after taking office.
Rejoining the pact - now also known as the CPTPP - would be a major reversal as Trump escalates a trade conflict with China. The Pacific Rim trade deal was intended by the Obama administration as a way to counter China's influence, but Trump criticised the pact as a candidate and pulled the United States out of the pact in early 2017.
Trump gave the new orders to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow during a meeting with lawmakers and governors on trade issues, according to two GOP senators in attendance.
Senator John Thune said that he and others at the table raised the point that "if you really want to get China's attention, one way to do it is start doing business with all the people they're doing business with in the region: their competitors."
Trump then told Lighthizer and Kudlow to "take a look at getting us back into that agreement, on our terms of course," Thune said. "He was very I would say bullish about that."
I have this piece in this mornings Australian which addresses the direction of energy and climate policy in light of Josh Frydenbergs Press Club address. Aside from demonstrating how the renewable program has wrecked the electricity supply industry and brought a doubling of prices, it has two main themes.
First, it demonstrates that government statements bend the truth in saying that the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) will be neutral between energy sources.
The NEG will be set to achieve aspirations for a level of greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector in line with the governments Paris commitments on greenhouse gas emissions and will oblige suppliers to adjust their energy sources accordingly. It is, in short, a mechanisms under which suppliers contract more renewable energy than they would without the NEG and less from fossil fuel generators. This is accomplished by, in effect, the fossil fuel generators paying a price penalty and the renewables getting a price bonus.
Secondly, theres the Liddell closure issue. Supply security and price is uppermost in the battleground over this and has brought calls for some Coalition MPs for direct investment in new coal fired generators. The outgoing head of the electricity industry lobby group, Matthew Warren thinks the planned Liddell closure would not be a problem but politicians and regulators are not so confident.
The government is resisting calls for direct investment
but leaning heavily on AGL to keep Liddell open the firms claims that its alternative investments will be superior just do not pass the credibility test. AGL has said it needs policy certainty. A prominent ALP spokesman, Nicholas Reece, made it clear on Wednesday nights Bolt program that a Shorten Government would not permit Liddells closure prior to 2025.
In other words, we have bipartisan policy that will ensure the plant is kept open and it is a safe bet that the ALP would be more ruthless in ensuring this than the Coalition.
One important feature of the address by Josh Frydenberg was his observation that the renewable industry is adamant that it is now competitive with fossil supplies but equally resolute in demanding on-going subsidy programs to effect this.
The Minister says that wholesale prices are likely to fall a bit. Maybe, but we wont see the $40 per MWh level that prevailed before politics destroyed our competitive supply. Interestingly Josh Frydenberg also says the forward price of...
Vladimir Putin is a master strategist, but his end game may be putting the world in checkmate, writes Gerry Sont. read now...
Listening, on the eve of its 10th anniversary, to recordings of the Rudd governments 2020 Summit, it was hard not to be reminded of Rossinis quip about Wagner. One cannot judge Wagners Lohengrin from a first hearing, said the maestro, and I certainly do not intend to hear it a second time.
A cousin by marriage of the current Australian Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud, John Norman, finds his agricultural business practices under scrutiny.....
Reprinted from Instapundit.
Heterodox Academy has produced a new book based on John Stuart Mills famous essay On Liberty to make it accessible for the 21st century. Heres what makes our edition special:
1) Its just the second chapter (out of 5), because that chapter gives the best arguments ever made for the importance of free speech and viewpoint diversity;
2) We have reduced that chapter by 50% to remove repetitions and historical references that would be obscure today, p...
Should Australia be concerned about a rumoured Chinese military expansion in the Pacific? Or is it yet another distraction from the Governments domestic problems? Political editor Dr Martin Hirst investigates. read now...
How much influence does libertarianism have on Australian politics? The first thing to know is that the Australian political system has very few libertarians in it.
The only federal member of parliament to self-describe as a libertarian is Senator David Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democratic Party. Other candidates like my former colleagues at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), Senator James Paterson and Tim Wilson describe themselves as classical liberals.
Ideological classifications can get very tedious very quickly, but generally libertarianism is a variety of classical liberalism. Both philosophies believe that public policy should be designed to maximise free markets and civil liberties. That is, governments should get out of both the wallet and the bedroom. Libertarianism is generally seen as inhabiting the more radical end of the classical liberal spectrum.
A 2007 study published by the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) estimated that 36% of the Australian electorate were classical liberals. So it is unsurprising they have little electoral influence on Australian politics.
The reason libertarians and classical liberals exercise some degree of influence is that they make up a disproportionate share of Australias policy wonks, think tank staff (especially at the IPA and CIS), and political commentators.
Australias right-of-centre political community is not so large as to have exclusively libertarian or conservative think tanks, as exist in the United States. Everyone works together. This co-mingling hasnt generally been an issue because Australian political debate has tended to pivot around economic issues (taxation, regulation, privatisation) or basic shared liberty issues (like freedom of speech) rather than the thorny moral debates that might divide the two camps.
Occasionally there have been polarising issues. Same-sex marriage is one. Conservatives were generally opposed, while libertarians tended to be in favour. But there was also broad agreement that any change to marriage laws should also protect religious freedom.
Immigration particularly asylum seeker policy is another. Libertarians are inclined towards freer immigration, whereas conservatives want more control over the borders. Here the tiny number of libertarians have been completely ineffective against the policy stalemate.
For the most part, there is much agreement between conservatives and libertarians about the current state of Australian politics. Both think the Turnbull government is a disappointment, for...
When TMR is not busy being a private lawyer, relishing sledge on a basketball court or tending to his fruit trees, he can be found cooking up culinary delights such as his ridiculously tasty chicken and prawn curry laksa (using plenty of goodies from the yard such as coriander, Vietnamese mint, Thai chilli, Kaffir lime leaves and Tahitian lime juice).
Regrettably, TMR made the mistake last night of attempting to
consume his laksa while resident conservatives Peta Credlin and
Cory Bernardi attempted to debate the parlous state of Australias
energy market with resident
imbecile leftist Nicholas Reece on Skys Paul Murray
By now, you may be aware of the small matters of:
Unbelievably, TMR actually heard someone looking and sounding exactly like Cory Bernardi saying words to the effect that:
One can only speculate whether this idea will make it to Bernardis weekly dose of common sense.
Shortly after, someone looking and sounding exactly like Peta Credlin said that it may be necessary for the government to step in and sort things out (when it comes to the AGL and Liddell situation).
After composing himself from what must have been quite a shock, resident leftist Reece had little option but to:
Whilst there is some doubt as to who actually wrote it first, one contender was Mark Twain who wrote:
Its better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt
And stepping into the breach is the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr Martin Parkinson AC PSM.
In response to an employee of Dr Parkinsons department facing court on allegations of indecent acts against minors, Dr Parkinson released a brief statement:
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet confirms that an employee of the Department was arrested this week for alleged indecent acts against minors.
The Australian Public Service has a zero tolerance for any abuse, particularly abuse of children. These allegations are extremely disturbing and we are cooperating fully with the Northern Territory Police.
The Department has suspended this employee pending court processes.
We remain committed to ensuring appropriate work practices in dealing with all vulnerable people.
While this case is currently under investigation, I will not be making any further comment.
It is pleasing to see that the APS has a zero tolerance for any abuse, particularly abuse of children, but was the really necessary to say? Is there any kind of abuse that the APS does have a tolerance for? If such a statement was necessary to be issued, it beggars the question as to why and who was the intended audience?
But that aside, it would be nice also for Dr Parkinson to say the APS has a zero tolerance for the abuse of tax payers or of citizens in general. But heres wishing. Perhaps Dr Parkinson is demonstrating unconscious bias against tax payers and citizens in general.
Without presuming an outcome to the legal case against the APS officer in questions, were such an incident to have occurred within a private sector entity, questions would be validly asked about the CEOs oversight of the organisation, the boards role in setting and monitoring culture and the role of the relevant human resources and risk departments.
Anyone wanna bet whether such questions will be asked here or let alone answered?...
Another article for all you Keynesians out there: More Government Spending = Weaker Economic Performance. And the article comes with many other charts and notes this as well:
Why this might be you will never understand if you start from Y=C+I+G, but thats all you are going to find in any macro text anywhere in the world.
Naomi Fryers was blindsided by her experience working for a well-known gym chain, severely damaging her health, wellbeing and peace of mind. read now...
inventory report [PDF] of New Zealand's greenhouse gas
emissions has been released, showing a welcome small decrease in
pollution in 2016:
2016 was a good hydro year, so less coal and gas were burned. There were also fewer sheep. But its not all good news. The drop from last year was about 2.4%, but this was offset by a rise in forestry emissions as trees planted in the early 1990's were harvested. And that's going to become a bigger effect over the next decade: the cushion of forests we used to soak up carbon and reduce our net emissions are going to be cut down, meaning we will have nowhere to hide from our long-term failure to reduce gross emissions. Hence why the government is so keen to plant a billion trees: to buy us some time. The good news is that they seem to be willing to make the tough decisions required to decarbonise the economy and set us on a greener path. Hopefully that work won't be undone by a future National government desperate to curry favour with the provinces at the expense of drowning our cities.
Im very pleased to plug a new book that has just been published from ANU Press about the 2016 federal election entitled Double Disillusion.
The book will be available in hard copy and is also available as a free download.
This is the sixteenth edition in a series of election studies dating back half a century, covering each federal election in depth. It features chapters analysing the overall contest, each of the political parties campaigns, the impact of the media and interest groups, and the major policy debates of the election campaign, written by a bunch of excellent academic writers.
I was very happy to be able to contribute the chapter summarising the results in the House of Representatives, including the impact of minor parties, the role of preferences and a run-through of key seats. This is paired with a chapter analysing the Senate results by Antony Green.
Thank you to Anika Gauja and Peter Chen in particular for inviting me to participate in a formal space which I am not normally a part of.
Theres also a bunch of other excellent chapters and I hope readers find it useful and interesting as a definitive take on this bizarre election campaign.
Just published! Double Disillusion: The 2016 Australian Federal Election a comprehensive analysis by more than 40 political scientists & policy experts. Download your copy for free here: https://t.co/5LS3vHGb27 #auspol @ANU_Press pic.twitter.com/awMnsLbb0X
Anika Gauja (@anika_gauja) April 11, 2018
The Chief Ombudsman released their
decision on the release and withholding of information around
Operation Burnham the other day. At the time, I focused on the
surprising news that
a foreign country was deciding who kiwi soldiers were allowed to
shoot - something which now seems to be part of the formal
inquiry. But there was also another surprise in the report: a
formal finding that NZDF had lied to the New Zealand public. Here's
what the Ombudsman had to say about the release of information
about Operation Burnham's location:
[A] key plank of NZDFs rebuttal of Hit & Run was that the authors were wrong about the location of the operation, and appeared to have confused interviews, stories and anecdotes from locals from one operation with another operation. NZDFs rebuttal suggested that there was no connection between the account of events in the book and the operation that did take place.
Having reviewed information about the location of the Operation, I formed the provisional opinion that the information NZDF had publicly released did not fully reflect the information NZDF held on this issue, particularly in relation to the photos of buildings in Hit & Run. NZDF agreed to consider releasing some more information on this topic.
As we watch the ridiculous debate about coal unfold again, driven by the resources and manufacturing industries with nary a mention of the economic and social cost of climate change and pollution, governments around the world collude with another industry to cause even greater immediate harm and the death and displacement of millions of people.
Ultimately allowing live animal exports and cruelty to livestock is the responsibility of the Australian general public and we should not turn away from our part in this trade "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"
It would appear that live animal exporters are still ignoring the health and well-being of livestock.
Take Emanuel Exports Pty Limited, first incorporated in Western Australia in 1955.....
Today the government has taken the first real step towards
decarbonising the New Zealand economy, by
banning all future offshore oil exploration:
The New Zealand government will issue no new exploration permits for offshore oil and gas fields in a historic move to support its commitment to action on climate change.
While some 22 existing offshore oil and gas exploration permits remain in place, with rights to explore and potentially develop any commercial discovery unaffected, the decision signals the endgame for decades of attempts to find major new oil and gas deposits outside the Taranaki Basin, where the offshore Maui, Kupe, Maari, Pohokura, and Tui fields are all producing oil and gas today.
"The coalition government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a statement issued at 5am in coordination with other Ministers and environmental groups.
Thursday 12 April 2018 After posting my first piece about making our democracy better in which I appealed to our readers can you please help me to respond with comments, I was overwhelmed with them. Two however, stood out and I ended up posting them as stand-alone articles. The first was from Phil and focused
Washingtons vigilant deputy, doing rounds on the beat in the Pacific, has been irate of late. The central issue here is the continuing poking around of China in an area that would have been colloquially termed in the past Australias neighbourhood. There have been no formal proposals, but the Australian press is agog with reports
The government will hold an inquiry into Operation Burnham, the SAS revenge raid in Afghanistan in which six civilians were killed and 15 injured. But that's not all - according to the livestream, it will also be investigating prisoner transfers by NZDF, the truthfulness of NZDF's briefings to Ministers, and whether NZDF's foreign-written rules of engagement authorised assassinations. The latter is a new and unpleasant issue, and highlights the dangers of letting foreigners decide when and in what circumstances NZ soldiers are allowed to kill: we know that many of NZDF's allies (including the USA, UK and Australia) are not moral countries and their moral values around military action and assassination are deeply at odds with those of the New Zealand public (and with international law). Its not clear whether there's any allegation that NZDF soldiers have been involved in assassinations, but if they have, then they may have committed crimes under New Zealand and international law, for which they will need to be prosecuted. "Only following orders" is not an excuse we can accept from those who kill in our name.
Australian federal electorates follow a fairly unique naming convention. Australian state seats are usually named after geographic locations, which is also common for national electorates in Canada, the UK and New Zealand, while electoral districts in the United States are generally given numerical names.
The majority of Australian federal electorates are named after prominent individual Australians, as a way of honouring those people. 113 out of 150 seats in the current parliament are named after people, while 37 are named after geographic features.
The AEC is usually hesitant to rename seats, and their guidelines prioritise maintaining existing seat names. Yet seats do change from time to time: states gain additional seats, population shifts within a state sometimes require a seat to be abolished, and there is pretty much a hard-and-fast rule that former prime ministers are honoured with a seat as soon as possible after their death.
Because of this practice, most seat names are those that were named in the first half of last century:
43 seats are those created for the first parliaments. 35 seats have survived since 1901, while eight other seats are the same as when they were created in Tasmania and South Australia in 1903 (those states did not use single-member electorates in 1901).
There were spikes in seat names in 1949 and 1984, when the parliament was expanded. More than two thirds of electorates were named in these three peak periods.
Thus its not surprising to discover a strong bias towards naming seats after white men. This partly reflects the era in which seat names were coined, but also reflects how men were much more likely to qualify as someone who had rendered outstanding service to their country in an era where women didnt get the same opportunities.
After the fold I will run through why this has happened, and how the AEC isnt making anywhere near enough progress towards honouring a more diverse cross-section of Australians. You can also download the dataset I used to conduct this analysis.
I count fifteen seats named after early explorers (all men) and eight named after British governors of Australian colonies (it was nine until Deni...
'From my experience, racism like violence is a contagion.' ~ Jeff McMullen read now...
The Chinese-in-the-Pacific dilemma has once again hit the headlines in Australia, this time with a proposed naval base in Vanuatu. It was promptly rejected by the Vanuatu government, but the likelihood of having Chinese military hardware on a long-term basis in the Pacific has raised significant discussion on the strategic implications for Australia and its allies.
Australia has long maintained a well-established and enduring relationship with the people of the Pacific. But Chinas influence is undeniably increasing. Its investment in soft power in particular has been a success, not only in economic terms but also in the lives of ordinary people. Chinese infrastructure projects, while not always successful, have enabled access to government services, giving people a sense of modernity and development. Chinas growing diaspora in the Pacific is also increasingly active in community engagements and maintain a close influence on local politics.
Chinas people-to-people relations continue to expand as it becomes a first responder to disaster relief efforts, shows goodwill through local charities, and provides scholarships for Pacific students to prestigious Chinese universities. To bridge the cultural gap, China is currently considering building Chinese language schools in the Pacific, beginning with Papua New Guinea.
Australia believes, as part of its strategic policy, that a secure Pacific means a secure Australia. Chinas emergence in the Pacific is seen by some as a threat to this state of order.......
Our country currently has
underpaid nurses, and
hospitals with sewage in the walls. To fix this massive social
and infrastructure deficit, the government needs to spend more
money - which means eventually collecting more money. The new
government's tax working group, which is looking at taxing the
land, wealth and capital gains of the rich, is an obvious way of
solving this problem, and there's public support for doing so.
Instead, Labour seems to be forgoing this opportunity and
suggesting that any changes will be "fiscally neutral":
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says it is "entirely plausible" that any tax changes stemming from the tax working group could be balanced by tax relief elsewhere.
In a video with Stuff political editor Tracy Watkins, Ardern not only repeated that there would be no tax changes in the first term of Government, any changes which came as a result of the tax working group could well be "neutral".
"We've ruled out any changes to, you know, significant new tax changes in this first term. It was a big issue during the election and it was one that we very openly worked through," Ardern said.
"We've said we'd set up a tax working group, we have, it'll report this term, but anything it suggests wouldn't take effect until a new term and people will have a chance to vote on it, but it could be entirely plausible that it could be fiscally neutral."
Democracy in New Zealand is predicated on the fundamental rule
that the executive and its agencies are accountable to Parliament,
and through them to the people of New Zealand. We expect public
servants and heads of public agencies to cooperate fully with
Parliamentary oversight and investigations, and not attempt to
mislead them or refuse to provide evidence. But that's
exactly what RNZ Chair Richard Griffin is doing over his
communications with his Minister Clare Curran:
RNZ chairman Richard Griffin says he has no intention of handing over a voice message left on his mobile phone by Broadcasting Minister Clare Curran.
"No, I have no intention of handing it over, so I'm in breach of the select committee directive," he told the Herald.
He declined to comment further, saying a letter outlining the reasons why had been sent to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Select Committee.
So, Turnbull survived his thirtieth Newspoll. Now hes after Julia Gillards record and the media can start a whole new countdown. Yes, when Rudd called his Australia 2020 summit it seemed a long way off. However, when Turnbull made his comment about Abbott losing 30 Newspolls in a row, Ill bet he never thought hed
The post Rudd Had The Australia 2020 Summit; Abbott/Turnbull have Australia 3030 appeared first on The AIM Network.
Charging peaceful protesters with "terrorism" is one of the
hallmarks of tyranny. But that's exactly what Spain is
now doing in Catalonia:
Spanish police have arrested the organiser of a Catalan separatist protest group on suspicion of terrorism after she blocked motorways and high-speed railway lines.
The woman, who has not been named, was detained in a dawn raid yesterday by the Civil Guard in the town of Viladecans, east of Barcelona.
It is the first time since the illegal Catalan independence vote last October that any separatist has been charged with terrorism, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
Although Turnbull has not resigned upon reaching his 30th negative Newspoll, he should depart for failing where it really matters. read now...
Wednesday 11 April 2018 Alas, my wife and I were called to Melbourne yesterday to assist with the nursing of our daughter-in-law who had suddenly taken ill with a perforated bowel. Having suffered from bowel cancer myself, I could instantly relate to her predicament. An observation Every experience is a mountain with a peak to
The post Day to Day Politics: Retribution what an awful word appeared first on The AIM Network.
Last month, on the sidelines of the Vanuatu Labour Summit, I caught up with Lionel Kaluat, the former Labour Commissioner for Vanuatu. Lionel is widely viewed as having been instrumental in Vanuatus early labour mobility success, which saw Vanuatu become the main provider of workers to New Zealand horticulture under the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) program. I asked Lionel both about those early successes, and about recent changes to Vanuatus labour sending arrangements.
Matt: Lionel, you were Labour Commissioner when Vanuatu quite against expectations became the largest provider of seasonal workers under New Zealands Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme. What do you think was behind that success?
Lionel: Well, I believe the success story of how Vanuatu came to lead in New Zealand was basically because of the structure that we had right in the beginning which complemented New Zealand government policy.
And I think the beauty of the RSE program in the beginning was that New Zealand made sure that their backyard was cleared up, that the illegal workers were dealt with before the program commenced I always repeated to Australia to follow that example.
That was one of the reasons for RSE success: we started off with clear ground.
I then introduced a policy where we would not be reliant on the government as [an] agent, but where we would privatise the program by engaging agents, to ensure that there was no political interference. That was instrumental to that early success.
That allowed a transparent [and] accountable system to work, and we did so by trialing out the first 104 workers in a pilot. And the pilot proved successful.
Through that, employers in New Zealand found that our workers were reliable, competent. Thats how we first developed a trademark, or trade name: we are reliable workers, we can work eight hours a day, we are healthy, physically and mentally fit.
We also featured the skills our workers had, coming from rural areas. We picked people from rural areas who spent most of their time in the gardens.
I believe that once you do things right in the first place, you will always be right. So, we are very, very proud, and very glad that we actually had it on the right track right in the beginning.
And another good thing was our partnership with the New Zealand authorities. We were monitoring, providing advice, and making sure that things were done right in the first instance.
Matt: And its been, what? More than ten years since then? How do you think Vanuatu is going now in terms of labour mobility and its participation in the RSE and Australias Seasonal Worker Program (SWP)?
When the President of the United States forgets that he is no longer running the set of The Apprentice, with its faux callousness and elevated brutality, he can prove devastating to certain stocks. Even in the land of the plutocrat and the capitalist, a bad word can signal the plummeting of value. What is so
The post Trumps Corporate Cursing: The Case of Amazon and Jeff Bezos appeared first on The AIM Network.
Preliminary OECD data on donor generosity were released today. The data cover 2017, and should be troubling to any Australian politician thinking of cutting aid in the coming budget.
In the 2017 calendar year, Australian aid was just 0.23 per cent of Australias Gross National Income (GNI). Australia now lags badly behind the median aid donor (which gives 0.29 per cent). The chart below shows you how Australia compares to other donors. It is worth looking at the countries in Australias neighbourhood. For the first time since 2005, Australia gives less aid as a share of GNI than Japan. Beneath Australia are the notoriously tightfisted United States, alongside countries like Spain, Portugal and Greece that have been through brutal recessions, and a group of countries such as Slovenia and Poland, all with GDPs per capita less than half that of Australias.
Is this really Australias place in the world?
The next chart shows how Australias ranking as a donor has trended over time. A score of one means most generous. There are 29 donors in total. As you can see, Australias standing is not improving. It has fallen to 19th in 2017, its lowest ranking in the group (which was also achieved one other time, in 2005). Needless to say, further aid cuts wont help this.
In an interview with 2GB on Monday, Chairman of the Backbench Environment and Energy Committee and spokeperson for the Monash Forum, Craig Kelly, said There is a clear argument under our existing competition law that AGL would be engaging in a misuse of their market power by closing Liddell down and not offering it to
The post AEMO confirms that AGLs plan for Liddell will eliminate energy shortfall appeared first on The AIM Network.
Last week, a senior Immigration NZ manager repeatedly said that
Immigration NZ was using racial profiling to target people for
deportation. This week, Immigration NZ is in full denial mode
about that. They use "demographic profiling" - including age and
gender - but
does not consider nationality - and never has done. There is no racial or ethnic profiling undertaken in deportation activity and there never has been.
"Alastair Murray last week talked about targeting people who were incurring health debts and criminal history yet these types of factors have an extremely low weighting in the spreadsheet. All of these migrants who are basically targeted as a high risk to the immigration system are the people who score highly on visa type, number of applications made and the type of employer."
Mr McLymont said there was an emphasis on targeting potential victims of exploitation rather than rooting out the causes of it. He said the minister needed to ask a lot more questions.
Ive finished making Google Earth maps for the draft federal boundaries for Victoria and the ACT, and they are now available for download:
Ive also turned them into interactive maps below the fold, which show the 2016 and 2019 boundaries (you can toggle each layer on and off). Enjoy!
Two weeks after declaring that The Guardian was 'completely dead to me' Peter Dutton is handed two favourable articles. read now...
Its tempting to hide behind numbers when youre making excuses for inaction. Australia has become adept at it.
The world has 65 million displaced people. Many are stuck between homes they can never return to and countries who cant support them long-term.
When confronted with this global crisis, Australia has one number that makes us look impressive: we accept the third largest number of refugees for formal resettlement each year an expected 18,750 people in 2018. But our resettlement numbers pale in comparison to countries like Lebanon that neighbour conflict zones; Lebanons population today is 20 per cent refugees.
Globally, developing nations who have financial and security struggles of their own host 84 per cent of the worlds refugees.
Wealthy nations should be doing far more to support displaced people globally. This was recognised by UN member states in the September 2016 New York Declaration, which committed all countries to finding a fairer way to manage population flows and better share the responsibility for humanitarian and migration crises.
In the follow up to the Declaration, UNHCR was charged with developing a Global Compact on Refugees. Countries are now negotiating the content of the Compact, which will be finalised in July. A similar process is underway to develop a Global Compact on Migration.
Australia must stop hiding behind our resettlement intake, and make meaningful commitments to do our fair share. Below are five concrete actions the Australian Government can take in the global compacts process to step up to the refugee challenge:
Australia should develop a whole-of-government program of action in follow up to the global compacts. As a starting point for this program, Australia should bring its refugee resettlement quota back up to its previous level of 20,000 places, and then incrementally work to double it in the next five years. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that 1.2 million refugees need resettlement. But in 2016 only 125,000 refuge...
Mondays 30th Newspoll passed with nothing much happening but a reminder as to why Abbott was dumped in the first place. It was media induced of course, but that does mean it is not A Thing. Newspoll has a currency in the media, and hence in the political class and it can often be a trigger for action (or at least an excuse for one). This time, however, the political side had no response it could make.
Chris Uhlmann says it is reasonable to ask why the same criteria should not be applied to Turnbull as to Abbott. Well, the public doesnt want it might be one reason. While there was support for Abbott being dumped there is by no means any appetite for the same to happen to Turnbull not least because the Coalition cannot produce anyone that would be more popular. Things are so desperate that there is even talk of going back to Costello. It is as though the Coalition has to run through everybody it can think of to reach the obvious conclusion that they are in a mess and no change in leadership will get them out of it.
Lets get some context. We are now clearly going through a period of widespread disruption across advanced political democracies. In Spain, Italy, Greece, France, and the Netherlands, major post war parties have collapsed. In Germany and Austria, the major parties dominate but are reaching post war lows. This is especially happening on the social democrat side but the right are not usually far behind. In the UK and the US the four major parties are still electorally dominant but internally both British Labour and the US Republicans are in upheaval while the Conservatives and US Democrats are not far behind.
In Australia things look much more settled. The major parties appear still in tact and the only overt sign something is wrong is the chronic instability in the leadership. Yet in some ways, that very stability is more revealing to what is actually happening than the political/culture war histrionics going on overseas. But to see it requires getting over three blind spots about the current political situation.
The first is on the leadership instability. It is not just that there is no obvious electoral alternative to Turnbull. The dynamic that destabilised the leadership over the last eight years is now over. The confusion as to what that dynamic is was summed up by a recent piece by Peter Hartcher.
Hartcher, of course, was one of those journalists who thought Turnbull could end the lead...
Conservative reform of the Republican party is a project that has already failed. The only question is whether the remaining participants will choose hackery or heresy.
Overwhelmingly, the choice has been hackery (or, a little more honorably, silence).
The case for hackery is put most clearly by Henry Olsen. Starting from the evident fact that most Republican voters are white nationalists who dont care about small government, Olsen considers the options available to small government conservatives. He rapidly dismisses the ideas of challenging Trump or forming a third party, and concludes that the only option is to capitulate. Strikingly, the option of withdrawing from party politics, and arguing for small government positions as an independent critic isnt even considered.
As Paul Krugman has observed recently, conservative economists (at least, those who comment publicly). are a striking example for the choice of hackery over heresy. Krugman, along with Brad DeLong, has been particularly critical of a group of economists (Robert Barro, Michael Boskin, John Cogan, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Glenn Hubbard, Lawrence Lindsey, Harvey Rosen, George Shultz and John. Taylor) whove made dishonest arguments in favor of corporate tax cuts.
Recently, an overlapping group (Boskin, John Cochrane, Cogan, Shultz and Taylor) have taken the hackery a significant step further.
At first sight, its yet another piece of doom-mongering about the impending debt crisis. Whats striking is the extent to which the piece has been adjusted to fit the Republican partys new found lack of concern about deficits, while supporting the partys continued attack on entitlements. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they make excuses for the corporate tax cut theyve been pushing all along, even though its now clearly unfunded.
Rather more startling is the claim that the US government to cut entitlements in order to restore...
On this special day a special word of praise for Adam Creighton,
kicking the can down the road on other issues of significance for
|Feed||RSS||Last fetched||Next fetched after|
|"IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"||XML||19:52, Wednesday, 25 April||20:52, Wednesday, 25 April|
|"IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"||XML||19:51, Wednesday, 25 April||20:51, Wednesday, 25 April|
|IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed Archiver|
IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
Resource generated at IndyWatch using aliasfeed and rawdog