John Howard the Agnostic

It was of particular interest to me that Scott Morrison called John Howard seeking advice on how to address the recent bushfire crisis.  Four days after ScottyFromMarketing’s celebrated visit to Cobargo, the ex-Prime Minister was called to refloat a ship with more holes than a cullendar.  I wondered what sort of advice he would give?  So I went looking for “Australia’s Greatest Ever Prime Minister’s” recent contributions to climate policy.   As a man of the people, I am sure that from hereon he won’t mind me calling him John. 

With time to reflect away from the savagery of Parliament, this man of principle and vision would surely be the Aussie Sherpa that our society needed.  It was then that I came across a twenty minute YouTube clip (see below). from August last year where John spoke to a Diggers and Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie.  This was just a couple of months before the bushfires so we could expect a close parallel between what John told the miners and the advice he gave Scott. 

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The Free Market Can Fix Our Climate Crisis

It is time to privatise our fire service

When the Red Cross stepped up this morning to address our climate crisis, I saw an opportunity. A wide range of services including unemployment concealment, homelessness, communications, large parts of education and general health, aged care, mental health and suicide prevention, transport, roads, debt collection and energy have all been given away (see outsourcing). They are no longer the Federal Government’s responsibility. If something goes wrong, it is someone else’s fault. These services have been given to private businesses, churches, charities, church-based charities and church-based businesses. Why? Because as we have seen, they do things better. They certainly pay their workers less and that has to be good. As we all know, there is a surplus to save.

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Peter Meakin and Friends

A few months ago I came across a 2009 interview between the Chaser’s Julian Morrow and Peter Meakin. I wonder how many people outside of the media know who he is. Meakin is currently Executive Director of News and Current Affairs at Network Ten after filling similar roles at the Seven and Nine networks. To use a Chris Uhlmann term, Meakin has been a “player” in our politics for 45 years. He became the producer of “A Current Affair” in 1973 when Mike Willesee employed him directly to produce the show.

This was an interesting time. Business wanted action to ensure it received the respect it deserved. We needed a business led revolution and our corporate leaders were going to give us one. It was, in short, the start of neoliberalism in Australia.

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Why Do We Hate the Unemployed?

“There aren’t many groups as pilloried as dole bludgers and welfare cheats so when the Turnbull Government announced a major crackdown in 2016 most Australians were happy to see it.  That move has relied heavily on automation to pursue suspected rorters.“

This was Leigh Sales’ gentle introduction to a story about Robodebt and the victimisation of people on unemployment benefits. The program introduced us to a couple of people who may have been treated harshly but there are always exceptions. This segment was unlikely to shake the standard pejorative view of the unemployed. The majority of these 400,000 Robodebt targets still have the bailiffs at the door.

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Keep Your Hands Off the Levers and No-one Gets Hurt

Scott Morrison Miracle Man

When I bought the Australian Financial Review on the Monday morning following the May 18 Federal election, there was something strange about it.  It felt like a small brick.  Excited by the prospect of this bumper edition, I sped to my local café for a great morning’s reading.  By the time I’d reached page 3, it was clear what had happened.  Each sentence was lined with smug.  Some particularly heavy pages at the back were recorded in schadenfreude font.

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Jobs for the Heart, Head and Hand

David Rumbens Deloittes report on the future of work

Relax. Worried about a robot taking your job? Find something else to worry about.  They’re going to be our friends.  This is the advice contained in a recent report released by lead author David Rumbens of Deloitte Accesss Economics.  It’s the latest in the company’s “Building the Lucky Country” series. Surely, this is what you’ve been waiting for; a future mapped out by a leading financial organisation. I spent an exhilerating afternoon reading this page turner late last week and I can’t wait to share my findings.

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We Are An Aspirational Nation

Tax Cut for a Rich Man

Writing for The Saturday Paper in April 2017,
Mike Seccombe gave us a hint of the disappointment Bill Shorten and Labor would suffer two years later.  “[N]ever tell voters they’ve got it good. Speak NOT to their economic reality but to their economic illusions”.  This is a lesson Shorten might’ve learned in an interview with Melbourne’s Neil Mitchell on 3AW around the same time in which the interviewer tried to tie Shorten down on just what defined rich. 

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Are They Quiet or Sneaky?

A quiet man in a chair reading checking his Telstra share price

Who are the Coalition’s quiet Australians?
Are they drawn to Scomo’s circle by the gentle lilt of his “I love Stralia”? Do celebrations like Barnaby Joyce’s on election night, “Sucked in you suckers”, send them into a meditative trance? You can see them in their slippers quietly shuffling out to pick up the morning paper. Perhaps, they get there early to “catch it on the full” and avoid the thud of a hurled Tele or Herald Sun disturbing their quiet neighbours. If they’re retired, it’s probably off to the library where a publicly funded Financial Review let’s them check up on their Telstra or Westpac shares. If they’re workers, it’s always the quiet carriage or SmoothFM just loud enough to conceal the hum of the car that they have worked so hard to pay off in stoic silence.

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Electoralism – Labor wheels right

Labor turns to the right under Albanese

Was it a mistake to raise “the big end of town”
and so-called inequality. People voting at the central Punchbowl booth in south-west Sydney showed their abhorrence of class war by swinging eleven percent towards the Liberal Party. What were Bill Shorten and his mates thinking? This is a country of aspiration.

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