- MANDATORY SENTENCING.
Some judges go easily on sentencing criminals, while others have a reputation as "hanging judges". Mandatory sentencing is prescription law. The most loquacious lawyer has no chance to pluck the heartstrings of the judge. Every criminal is judged on the facts prescribed, and sentence passed.
SPIN believes that intervention advocates are drawing too fine a distinction when they look only at the results of legislation. The test for discrimination in legislation should be based on a a literal interpretation of the legislation. If legislation is not framed along the lines of "It is a crime to have dark skin", or "Illiteracy is a crime" then the law is not discriminatory.
The largest insurance company in Australia is owned by the National Roads & Motorists Association, a mutual group that charges membership fees of about $30 p/a. The NRMA started the insurance arm because it was felt that insurance corporations were charging too much.
In recent years the federally owned Commonwealth Bank was floated. Bank fees subsequently rose.
For years NRMA insurance set the lowest fees in the car insurance business. Insurance fees have risen in recent years, and (quite coincidentally) the NRMA insurance corporation has been accumulating an extraordinary amount of money. Being a mutual, it cannot divest itself of this money.
NRMA cannot stop this accumulation of money by reducing fees, because if NRMA insurance charges were reduced, then a lot of good (privately owned) insurance companies might again be eking out a living.
Members must vote before 16 April 2000.
- NUCLEAR WAR.
Clinton's tour of India and Pakistan is in the face of a nuclear war.
The Chinese government has suffered a huge loss of face by failing to influence the Taiwan elections, and is threatening nuclear war.
Islamic fundamentalist terrorism in the oil rich area around the Caspian is encouraging the transfer of nuclear technology to fundamentalist states.
The danger of a nuclear incident is greater now than
any time in history. The calmness of the media is frightening.
This page published during the week starting 26 March 2000.