ARCHIVES 1997-2007  --- ARCHIVES 2007 +



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 evolutionary  process.

"Tell me what you think about:"


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 by tender.

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 $15,000 per head p/a (per annum).  defense is probably about $30 billion p/a, which is 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 model.  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 teacher.)

Climate Change

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. (sorry, Scheme)

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 desalination.

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 profitable.  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 300 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 Institute of Public Affairs argued that writers should be able to maximize their income by restricting imports, so that the writer of a book on cricketing could 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 minority cultures.

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 services & 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 artists?

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 parasitic businessmen.


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 ETT (sorry, ETS) that Rudd alleges he wants to legislate before the Copenhagen meeting.

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 Turnbull wants.

On the other hand, a lot of influential coalition pollies seem to be doing their job, which I always thought was representing the opinions of their 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 hobby horse.

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 climate change.

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 contrary publications.

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 Sunday TV.

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 narrative:

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."

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