The GST is still a live issue. Australians do not trust politicians of any colour, (witness the Democrat's volte face on the GST). Opposition leader Kim Beazley might earn our vote if he stalwartly promised to wind back the GST. But only if he forswore other changes.
The pace of social and economic change is too fast. Trying to punish the unemployed with draconian requirements, attempting to force people off medicare, these are unnecessary government initiatives. If the GST gives the government all of that extra money, why must the cost cutting initiatives be made?
Most Australians want a government that doesn't do anything, and that doesn't have high profile politicians (even senator natasha) that undoubtedly cost we the taxpayers a shitload of money.
Sydney's government funded public hospitals are turning patients in ambulances away because of insufficient funding. Premier Carr is spending huge amounts on police and jails to reduce crime.
(The solution that follows is made with tongue in cheek, however it does seem to have consistency. See if you can find the error. Best answer will be published in the next issue of SPIN.)
Why not solve both problems at once? Adopt the Chinese solution. Execution instead of incarceration for serious crime would save huge sums of money which could be spent building hospitals. (Surely the innocent sick should not be condemned to death so that the deliberately guilty can be educated to rob and kill another day?) Execution would reduce recidivist crime. The criminals could contribute towards their debt to society by contributing healthy organs for the benefit of the society that they injured.
- INDONESIA & WAR JUSTICE.
The request by Indonesia that it should prosecute it's own war criminals (if such they happen to be) is reasonable. It is a thankless task, and the Indonesian people will gain confidence in their democratic processes from the experience of dispensing justice to their own high profile political criminals. It will also serve as an exemplary warning to, and perhaps curtail the activities of those who continue to stir trouble in Lombos & Ambon.
Sensitivities outside Indonesia must be
The Timorese witnesses must be allowed to testify on neutral or
territory. Perhaps a "Truth & Reconciliation" model should be
used. Wahid's statement that he would pardon a guilty
is unacceptable. In a democracy, everyone lives by the same
particularly the rulers. Nobody can be above the law. (2/2/00)
- SWITZERLAND & GLOBALIZATION
The WEF (World Economic Forum) has been marred by protest. Globalization is not a popular concept among the masses.
People seem to intuitively understand the point that Arnold Toynbee made in "A Study of History". Many small states provide an innovative nursery for social evolution, where a single large state produces stagnation. Consider the Greek states compared to Rome, or the Chinese warring states period compared to empire, or even the European renaissance.
Large states benefit Brussels & Zurich
(and Dentists), but not the people.
This page published during the week starting 30 January 2000.