4 September 2001.


Back on 3rd March 2001 (just after the Petrol tax was reduced) SPIN was of the opinion that Prime Minister Johnny Howard would have to repeal the GST and make peace with Pauline Hanson if he wished to remain in power.

On 18th May SPIN tacitly recognized that tax reductions offered were a substantial substitution for a repeal, but still believed that Pauline Hanson must be brought in from the cold.  So what did smooth Johnny do?

When the Tampa fuse ignited, he connected & it exploded.   In so doing he stole Pauline's thunder. His racist credentials are now indistinguishable from hers.

Of course that solution has it's own risks and benefits.

The benefit is - well Pauline has created a certain negative personal impact, and compromise with her would mean absorbing a portion of that negative image.  The risk?  Pauline remains as a political ghost & a loose cannon, and will be a magnet for all of those Australians who are disaffected with the two main political parties.  The politically disaffected will vote for anybody who might create a third major party. (There are no other candidates.  Stott Despoja & Bob Brown have a small party image that they seem unable to dispel).

The number of politically disillusioned voters in Australia is growing at an exponential rate (albeit from a tiny base).

In the aftermath of the Tampa incident (following the WA & NT disasters) Johnny Smoothie must truly appear to Australian politicians to be "The Wizard of OZ".  But the polls are showing a very ephemeral state of the electorate.

If the Tampa incident was a calculated strategic victory with the aim of perhaps strengthening his hand in negotiations with Pauline, then SPIN believes that we will see the Howard Government last another term (after he has assured us that he will not retire).

But Tampa has not healed the festering disillusionment of the electorate.

  1. For a substantial number of conservative voters, gun controls are a black mark for Johnny.
  2. The GST is a lingering stink, especially for small businessmen and farmers.
  3. Johnny's racist credentials are now impeccable.
Pauline may well be the lightning rod that discharges that storm.


(With apologies to Adam)
One of the greatest items for speculation on this planet must be the reason why some nations prosper and others do not.

Possibilities that have been considered include:

  1. Abundance of Natural Resources.
  2. Hard working people.
  3. Political system.
  4. Conspiracy theories.
  5. Favored by a deity.
1.  An abundance of natural resources is a fairly obvious reason, and within limits it certainly has an effect.  For instance Saudi Arabia has a wealth of oil, and it's people are much wealthier than those in neighboring Syria, where a similar political, religious system is in place.  Norwegians have become the rich men of Europe since Oil was discovered in the North Sea.  On the other hand, Switzerland and Japan have practically no natural resources, yet they have economic abundance.

2.  Being hard working is an old favorite, but probably not a complete answer.  There may be reason to believe that the Chinese in Hong Kong or Singapore are more hard working than those in China, or that the people of England are lazier than their American cousins, but that alone does not explain the continuing disparity between the growth of wealth in those nations.

3.  Having the correct political system does seem to be in large measure the reason.  Some systems seem to encourage state sponsored bribery more readily than do others.  Hence the most liberal political systems seem to engender the wealthiest populations.  So Iceland & Switzerland, countries with liberal government & few natural resources have on the average got wealthier citizens than countries like Australia which has far greater natural resources but a much less liberal political system.  Or the USA with three tiers of government and three heads of power does well in comparison to the UK which has only one tier of government and two heads of power (an executive & legislative parliament & a Judicial, the monarchy as an executive has atrophied almost completely).

4.  Conspiracy theories generally credit foreign governments with exploitation of the wealth of a particular country to enrich their own country.  Undoubtedly events do occur, as for instance the breakup of the nation of Columbia to produce the state of Panama.  More often it is probably a large corporation generating profits by bribery and corruption of the national interests as instanced by Cuba.  Even the Canadians object to capital inflows that smother local industries.  Most of these theories are due to the naiveté of the orator.  Such behavior happens continually in the dog-eat-dog competition within the USA.  When these practices are exported, it is not dirty tricks.  It is business as usual.  This is demonstrated by the occasional overseas entrepreneur who successfully invades a corner of a market in the USA, as did for instance Rupert Murdoch.

5. Being favored by a deity for being godly, (or to put it as an agnostic might, the change in circumstances that results from adopting the beliefs promulgated by a particular religion) could increase the prosperity of a society.   If such were so:

The Protestant religions that dominate the USA promote an individual approach to god and a tolerance of different beliefs.  Each man's ethics are a personal matter between that man and his maker.  They also promote frugality as a virtue.  The Muslims religion has unavoidable strictures written into the Koran that have no place in today's politically correct world.  For instance Mohammed commanded his followers to "free a slave" if they wished to go to heaven.  As a consequence the Muslim religion inherently condones slavery as a natural social state, because a lack of slaves means that a slave cannot be purchased and freed, so salvation is less assured.   The Muslim religion does not teach that women have souls.  Although women must be treated humanely, presumably they rely on an SPCA like concern for protection from mistreatment, not on the fact that they are proper humans with a soul.


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