12th March 2006
Objective analysis.  That's what's done here.



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 acceptance of 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 the 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.


The news today is that ex president Milosevich of Yugoslavia has 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 general, 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.