My first and only personal contact with Malcolm Turnbull, circa 1985,
was about termination of our tenancy agreement. We were having
difficulty finding suitable alternative accommodation in the Sydney
market, and being somewhat recalcitrant about leaving our existing
digs. We had a summons to appear before the Supreme court.
Alex remarked (from his personal knowledge of Malcolm) that he probably
chose the Supreme Court because he didn't know the procedures in the
local court. So I turned up, and a silver tonged Malcolm talked
me into voluntarily leaving.
From being an upstanding Lawyer, Malcolm has since gone down in the
world, being current leader of the Federal opposition.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has made unrelenting attacks on Malcolm,
possibly because (at least in my opinion) Malcolm is the only person on
the opposition benches who has the ability to unseat him. Those
attacks have for the most part been highly successful. However I
think he might be overplaying his hand. That powder could best
serve if it were dry.
Which brings me to the reason for this entry. I got a
questionnaire last week, and decided to answer a bit more
comprehensively than Malcolm's "Yes/No" responses. Following are
the questions and my responses. These responses refer to an ideal
situation which would be the end point of a decades long
"Tell me what you think
I am retired. Small business is where most employment
originates. That $23 billion "stimulus" stopped some (mostly
union) layoffs, but merely delayed the crunch. A builder
mate told me to his knowledge, stimulus money was only going to
organizations that hire unionized builders. The single
most important way to help small business is to reduce red tape (aka
regulation). A level playing field on tax is all that is needed.
The best and most equitable taxation system that I have seen was
proposed by Henry George in his book "Progress & Poverty" 1879.
Government revenue should be derived by a tax on the tribal property,
which are the monopoly resources. These include land, bandwidth,
airports, highways & other like monopoly resources. The
management and (in some cases, construction) of those resources can be
Income tax and GST should disappear.
Debt & Social Security.
Government income from taxation of resources (see above) should be
maximized. It should be used to provide
national security. The balance of the tax
take should be paid equally to every citizen.
Putting numbers to that statement. The gross tax take
in Australia in 2009 is about $300 billion, which equates to about
head p/a (per annum). defense is probably about $30 billion p/a,
about $1,500 per head p/a, leaving about $13,500 p/a per
head. Parents could pay for their child's schooling at a private
school from their children's $13,500 income. Everyone should
belong to some sort of health care scheme. Medicare has resulted
in the transfer of massive amounts of money from the poor to wealthy
members of the doctors union.
Secondary education is already becoming more like the university
University education is under stress. I believe that it will
wither, supplanted by a few "Qualification
Universities" offering exams on a "pay to sit per exam" basis, on much
the same model as the MCSE.
It is already possible for students to become lawyers and engineers
without attending university (see the relevant unions, Solicitors
admission Board and Institute of Engineers).
The present crisis in the public school system has resulted from union
activism. The Teachers Federation will not permit the payment of
premium salaries to the teachers of "elite" subjects like Maths and
Science, instead insist that they are all teachers, so they all get the
same money. (Simon Crean's words). So 30% of Maths and
Physics classes do not have a qualified math or Physics
teacher (usually meaning no Math or Physics major degree). On the
other hand there
is no shortage of teachers in the humanities, although some of the
specialized languages are reported as having a shortage. (e.g. if
you wanted to study Farsi, it might be difficult to find a university
qualified teacher, although probably quite easy to find a fluent
Professor Garnaut explained that the cost of alleviation should be
matched against the cost of rectifying the damage caused. There
would be no point spending $10 trillion p/a reducing greenhouse gases
if the cost of alleviating that damage were only $3 trillion
p/a. I believe that the optimum reduction can be most efficiently
obtained by a carbon tax, rather than a Environmental Trading Tax.
The increase of CO2 in the atmosphere undoubtedly causing an increase
in heat retention in the atmosphere.
The Rudd government will not deliver carbon reduction. The single
filthiest coal polluter is brown coal, and yet the Labour party will
never abandon their union mates and close those brown coal mines in
Yallorn and Leigh Creek. They would rather tax our farmers for
pharting cows. (btw, shouldn't there be credits for producing
grain and meat, both of which are around 90% carbon?)
Water should be secured using aquifer storage, dams, recycling and
Sydney roads could be made safer by not permitting bulky vehicles park
near to corners by e.g having a new classification "bulky" which cannot
park within 25 meters of an intersection.
I will continue this response at a later date.
Kevin Rudd's government has recently affirmed the Copyrort laws that
keep Australian publishers (including Murdoch's Bay Books) extremely
Australian paper backs cost about $AU23.00 A similar paperback in
the USA costs about $AU14.00
A prominent ex premier of NSW explained that the balance of affirmation
in the ruling Labour party (the party of unions of doctors, lawyers,
CFMEU, publishing employees and Journalists) was tipped because about
employees in a printing plant in Victoria would
have lost their jobs.
Is it merely coincidental that the problems with refugees
in Indonesia stopped the same week?
In "the Australian" of 18th November 2009, Alan Moran of the
of Public Affairs argued that writers should be able to maximize their
income by restricting imports, so that the writer of a book on
maximize profit if it were sold for $10 in India, but $20 in Australia.
Hmm. if I had capital, I could maximize investment income in some
parts of the world by not
allowing people of different cultural, ethnic or religious backgrounds
to rent or buy into a block of apartments that I planned to sell.
Or I could open shops or clubs which did not cater to members of
Would Mr. Moran argue for my right to open a "men only" club in Sydney
on the grounds based on my argument that I could charge a premium
(=make more profit) by keeping females (and or Africans, Asians,
Indians, Arabs etc) out? I would of course offer identical
goods to all those minority groups in their own apartment blocks or
shops or clubs.
Or does his argument about maximizing income only apply to creative
Getting back to our original argument. Copyright is a privilege
offered by a culture to encourage creative
artists. It is not there to reward creative business
people. We need to reduce the coverage of copyright.
Strengthening it is only for the benefit of unionists and
FLEXIBILITY AND LEADERSHIP
One of the things that really irritates me about the fourth estate is
the way that they keep harping on "Leadership" in an attempt to
persuade politicians to stick to their guns. I recall thinking
that John Howard was quite flexible about policy. Now we have an
ETS) that Rudd alleges he wants to legislate before the Copenhagen
World opinion seems to be tilting away from expecting any binding
decisions being made at Copenhagen. The Australian public
seem to be turning quite strongly against the ETS.
Rudd (and Wong) seem to be promising to amend their ETT to whatever
On the other hand, a lot of influential coalition pollies seem to be
their job, which I always thought was representing the opinions of
constituency. According to opinion polls, the Australian public
is turning against the ETS.
But Turnbull has given the ultimatum. His party agrees to some
sort of ETT before Copenhagen, or he quits.
He should be turning against the ETS. It is what his constituency
wants. Lets hope he has the flexibility to admit that he should
be representing the views of his constituency instead of his personal
I suspect that the wily Mr Rudd is waiting and hoping for Turnbull to
publicly agree to pass the ETS. Rudd could then take the
strongest (Dare I say Leadership?) position by acceding to public
demand and deciding to wait
until after Copenhagen before presenting the bill.
The climate alarmist industry, led by IPCC lead author Trenbeth and
East Anglia's Phil Jones have been outed in pirated correspondence
which shows them to have been acting in an unprofessional way by
actively attempting to suppress "skeptic" scientific papers about
Barvennon is of the opinion that "skeptic" is a high accolade for a
researcher, but can understand that those "scientists" who glorify in
publicity might find it rewarding to promulgate sensationalist alarmist
scientific conclusions to attract further
followers, and would not like their public confused by authoritative
I believe that both of those "scientists" should be removed from the
high positions that they hold, and that people of greater scientific
integrity should be found to fill their positions.
I fear that our western culture is in decline, and that an important
indication of this is that social issues are considered of more
importance than scientific integrity.
It is the Monday before the challenge to Turnbull's leadership.
Turnbull has refused to propose a delay to passing the ETS, and
apparently misled y\the voters about the party consensus on the matter,
and has become very hot under the collar about Senator Minchin on
Alternatives to Turnbull are very thin on the ground. Nelson and
Costello have accepted Rudd favours and would now be compromised
candidates. Abbot is a bit too right wing, and the Teddy Bear
didn't cut the ice against Rudd when they were on the morning show, and
he won't be strong enough as leader of the opposition in Parliament.
Turnbull was outmaneuvered. He was trapped by his pride in his
integrity into stating he would agree to an ETS if it was modified to
his requirements. Rudd immediately ordered Wong to meet his
terms. Now he owns it, and its a tax, and he has done a Meg Lee
to his party.
That Rudd is very clever. Turnbull is his only major threat, and
Turnbull has made two big mistakes. (Me, I still believe Gretch
got the alleged email, but it got "disappeared. Turnbull mistake
- he shoulda got that hard copy before speaking out.)
The only possible way out for the Liberal Party is the following
Turnbull retains party leadership tomorrow, then makes the statement:
"I am a representative of my constituency, and I owe my first duty to
my constituency. I have become aware that the majority of people
do not want this ETS enacted at this point of time, so I am going to
break faith with the Prime Minister so that I can do my duty by those
whom I represent. I am going to direct Coalition senators to
delay or refuse the ETS bill until after Copenhagen."