12th March 2006
analysis. That's what's done here.
CITY TUNNEL -
As a last hurrah, previous premier Bob Carr gave Woollahra
residents of Sydney a hyper tolled cross city tunnel. The reason
it is so expensive to use is no secret - the tenderers offered the
state government a $200 million bribe (in the form of an up front
payment to the
RTA) in the event that they were the successful contenders. They
were successful. The $200 million was (naturally) to be recouped
from higher than otherwise tolls. The tollroad was unique to
Sydney in that there were no toll booths, each vehicle must carry an
electronic key, and have an account with the management.
Otherwise the driver phoned in and paid about double, or the
camera image was used to catch the miscreant who then had to pay who
knows how much.
The largest investor in the project is I understand, a Mr Li,
reputedly the richest man in HK & father of the Mr Li who sold a HK
mobile phone company to Ziggy.
I imagine Mr Li Sr. is not ecstatic about midcity tunnel developments.
The residents of Woollahra are not noted for quiet
ripoffs. The tunnel is falling behind forecast usage (by more than half
I understand). Giving
Woollahra residents a five weeks freeby didn't work, so now the
managers are trying a three months half price toll.
For my part, that is not going to work either. If the tunnel
management want it to make it work for me,
then they should make it easier to use the tunnel. None of this
electronic key rubbish. Let me register by phone, (no fee) giving
my numberplate and a credit card number. The corporation can
confirm those details by for instance writing to me c/o the bank or at
address given by the RTA for the number plate. Then they should
use OCR to read my numberplate & build an invoice list, and deduct
the money monthly from my account (or whatever).
But then, who would anticipate mid city
tunnel consortium employed managers with flair and imagination?
All those managers work for McBank at ten times what Midcity would pay.
So, I hear, does ex Premier Bob Carr.
REQUIEM SLOBBODAN MILOSEVIC -
The news today is that ex president Milosevich of
been "found" dead in his jail cell. He had apparently been
complaining of ill health recently, but had been refused appropriate
treatment by his captors.
There must be a suspicion that this was murder, or at the least a very
convenient death. After years of trying the war crimes court has
been unable to establish his guilt for any war crimes, and this soon to
be obvious failure would have called into question the legitimacy of
the Clinton led NATO invasion of Yugoslavia, which (like the Iraq
invasion) did not have the imprimatur of UN approval.
It seems unlikely that any further wanted men will volunteer for
prosecution. It appears that in the world court jail
is the penalty for guilt, death the penalty for
innocence. With those options, what innocent person would
voluntarily go before the court?
Of course, since this was a "blue" crime, it will not get much play in
the blue media.
The world does seem to be aligning into a blue power block consisting
of most of old Europe & the Democrats, and a red block which
includes India & China, Muslims & the Republicans. In
Blues are pro Moslem (they invaded Yugoslavia for alleged Milosevich
persecution of Muslims in Kosova) and Reds are pro the economy.
(It might seem strange that I have identified Muslims as Red when the
Blues are their allies, but that is because some Muslims see benefit in
cynically exploiting the perceived weakness of the Blues.)
The Blues seem suspicious of Red deregulation of the economy, but after
deregulation in Australia it is noticeable that while our manufactures
are moving offshore, unemployment is falling & pay is rising, and
most goods (with the exception of housing) are becoming cheaper,
although, naturally, the cost of service is rising.
The Reds in general believe that unruly social elements should be
treated as criminals and met with the full force of the law. That
is acceptable if the democratic process were intact. In Australia
our democratic process is near broken, We have defamation laws
that are used to conceal the truth from the public, and our two party
political system has entrenched itself so that our only political
choice is tied to the image that each party chooses. Consequently
single issues need a way of bringing their case before those in
power. The obvious answer is unruly behaviour. The real
answer is granting the people the power to directly legislate, as
exists in some US states (California) and Switzerland.