Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

>Labor’s Carbon Tax is really a redistribution of income scam

>Julia Gillard’s freakish political contortion, the likes of which have probably never before been seen in Australian politics, of breaking an election promise to not introduce a carbon tax, bowing to the radical Greens and then introducing a carbon tax can have no other outcome than increase the size of the Australian deficit and reduce employment.

Let’s assume that the amount raised from power companies by the carbon tax each year is $10 billion.

There are a number of groups that will be especially hurt by an increase in power prices – those at the low end of the income spectrum, trade exposed industries whose position against overseas competition will be damaged and small business, which seems to be a forgotten factor in the conversation so far.

It’s clear that the government can’t compensate all groups affected so let’s assume that they distribute the money to low income earners. Note that they are on record as saying that the money will not simply go into Treasury coffers so let’s also assume that it joins the short list of promises kept by this government since being elected in 2007.

The tax is introduced in 2011 and low income workers rejoice as they see the effects in their bank balances. They then feel the pain when they get their utilities bills but, being conscientious with their money and in no way tempted to buy more grog or smokes or stick it in the pokies or back something to beat Black Caviar*, they pay what they owe. So there’s no impact on them.

Power companies now have an incentive to reduce the amount of CO2 they produce, which is the whole point of the exercise and so they invest in clean technologies that have the effect of reducing CO2 emissions to zero thus fulfilling the government’s ambition.

Can you see the problem?

At this point the government will raise no money at all from taxing so-called ‘carbon pollution’, the cost of power will not be reduced due the investment made by power companies that needs to be paid for meaning that low income households will still need financial support to meet their utilities bills.

So the government now has a $10 billion hole in its budget. Is it going to fill the void by raising taxes or by increasing the deficit? Either way, the impact on employment is negative.

And while all that has been going on our trade exposed industries have been shedding jobs at a terrific rate to countries that are not bound by the onanistic impulses of the climate brigade.

So let’s give all of the money to trade exposed industries instead of low income workers.

The government gets stuck in the same cycle. When the power companies clean up their act the government will need to maintain support for trade exposed industries otherwise there’ll be a massive loss of jobs in a short time frame to overseas competitors. Not a palatable outcome for any politician.

And all the while small business is getting hammered and is shedding jobs.

So here’s Labor’s dirty, little secret. I’m going to shout it at you so that you can take it in.


The government knows this, of course, which is why it’s just a great, big, redistributionist scam but it also knows that its allies in the mainstream media won’t point it out to the voting public any time soon.

The result will be that the tax will be in place before an emissions trading scheme is introduced, which the government expects will continue to provide the revenue it needs.

And bad luck to the people who lose their jobs because of it.

* I don’t live in this world, either, but the good folk who create government budgets surely must.

(Nothing Follows)

>Fear of religion actually means fear of Islam

March 21, 2011 5 comments

>Australia’s Human Rights Commission, an unneeded organisation if ever there was one, has released a report saying that there’s a general fear of religion in the community.

By way of example they use only Islam to make their point, as outlined below in this piece from The Australian:

THERE’S a pressing need to use education to reduce ignorance and fear about religions in Australia, a new report says

It said there is a current anti-Muslim discourse that suggests entrenched hostility which is often related to overseas events.

The report, entitled Freedom of Religion in the 21st Century, was prepared for the Australian Human Rights Commission.

The researchers said some Christians fear the introduction of sharia law in Australia and believe that governments appease Muslim communities by giving Islam preferential treatment.

Some people told the researchers that evangelical Christians demonise Muslims partly because of “high levels of ignorance by churches about Islam”.

It also said some Muslim children see themselves as outsiders because they see their religion vilified at every turn.

“They see how they are viewed as Muslims, which in turn affects how they view themselves,” the report said.

The report’s conclusion said the commission needs to “foster a discussion about the place of religious rights along side other rights”.

It said the commission must allow “for the view to be heard that religious rights are absolute, and then to allow that view to be tempered by other views”.

It urges religious leaders to play a key role in overcoming ignorance about religion in the community.

There are currently only three groups who have issues with religion:

1. Anyone with half a brain who understands that more than 90% of the world’s terrorist attacks (excluding in Iraq and Afghanistan) are carried out in the name of one religion – Islam – in order to promote Sharia and create a new Ummah and is wary of all of those who say that it’s a small minority that carry out the attacks and they don’t represent the religion.

2. Secular fanatics who worship at the feet of Richard Dawkins’ and Christopher Hitchens’ post modern atheism that disguise their contempt for Christianity and Judeo-Christian values under the umbrella of rejecting religion completely.

3. The left and its rank anti-Semitism disguised as opposition to Israel.

When the Australian Human Rights Commission says there’s a fear of religion then do they include Buddhists? Sikhs? Hindus?

Why would we be afraid of the Mormons? Are they going to be sickeningly nice to us until we’re dead?

What about the Rastafarians? Afraid of reggae music and a little weed?

And why didn’t they include being a Green as a religion? They’re hardly any different to animists, if you ask me.

The reason that people in Australia are afraid, though ‘concerned’ is probably a better description, of Islam is two-fold:

1. Most terror attacks in the world are carried out in its name (as outlined above) and every, single person indicted for planning terrorist attacks in Australia has been Muslim; and

2. People understand that Sharia is a barbaric, restrictive, misogynistic, homophobic relic that controls people’s lives and has no place in a modern, progressive society.

Why am I not surprised that the folk at the Australian Human Rights Commission think that genuine and legitimate concern about the practices of one group of people, Muslims, is the same as a blanket fear of religion?

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Islam, Religion

>Spot the inconsistency

August 3, 2010 1 comment

>Can you spot the inconsistency between the two short descriptions below?

I’ll give you some time before posting the answer.

UPDATE: Only one is described as “unelected”.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Politics

>Labor "moving forward" to victory

July 17, 2010 1 comment

>If there’s been a more banal political slogan in Australian history than Labor’s “moving forward” then please let me know.

The first poll published after the calling of the August 21 election comes from Galaxy and shows that the government holds on to its 52-48 lead.

I commented recently that before the last election, which Labor won with a 53-47 margin, their Betfair odds were $1.31.

The current odds are as follows:

The odds support the 52-48 poll so, unless one side or the other puts their foot in it big time, then we’ve got another three years of Labor government to look forward to. How much more debt will they be able to pile onto our kids? It’s remarkable that the modern, “progressive” left has no care for the financial health of the economies of which they’re supposed to be custodians.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Politics

>The A-Z of the Labor government’s incompetence

July 16, 2010 2 comments

>This one is doing the rounds of the Internet and highlights the absolute disaster that our Labor government has inflicted upon the poor, old taxpayer for the next umpteen years.

Rarely has a government promised so much, spent so much, said so much, and launched so many nationwide programs, and delivered so little value for money and expectation. Two years of Kevin Rudd has produced 20 years of debt, and most of it cannot be blamed on the global financial crisis. This alphabet soup is self-inflicted.

Asylum seekers. Unless the government can show otherwise, it appears that about 98 per cent of asylum-seekers are getting Australian residency. In contrast, the latest figures from the United Nations refugee agency show most asylum applications worldwide are rejected. The bulging Christmas Island detention centre has become a grossly expensive sham and a mockery of a core election promise.

Beijing. Supposedly Rudd’s strong point, the relationship with China deteriorated badly last year after a series of serious missteps with Beijing.

Computers in schools. A million computers promised to schools, one for every student. This turned out to be much harder than it sounded.

Debt and deficit. The Rudd government inherited a massive $90 billion financial firewall when it came to office, via a federal budget surplus, the Future Fund and two infrastructure funds. In two years the budget has gone from $20 billion in surplus to $58 billion in deficit. Net federal debt has gone from zero to a projection of between $130 billion and $180 billion. It took the previous government 10 years to dismantle the $96 billion debt mountain that it inherited. It took Rudd one year to build it back up again.

ETS. The Copenhagen climate conference was a disaster. Rudd’s emissions trading scheme is abstract, complex, expensive and polls show about 80 per cent of Australians do not understand or trust it. A T-shirt produced by Newcastle steelworkers distils the political problem: “Rudd’s ETS: Higher Prices. Lost Jobs. 0.001 degrees cooler.”

Fuelwatch. Big promise, empty outcome.

Grocerywatch. Ditto.

Hospitals. Ditto.

India disaster. Last year Australia degraded relations with the two emerging Asian superpowers.

Juvenile justice. The plight of young Aborigines is worse than ever, with ideology trumping pragmatism. Children are shipped off to violent foster families while government exhibits a mesmerised inertia in the face of pockets of endemic violence.

Kaiser. The aptly named Mike Kaiser, former ALP Queensland state secretary and state MP, became the umpteenth poster boy for the Labor patronage machine this month by landing a $450,000-a-year lobbying job with the national broadband network. The job was not advertised.

League tables. The government’s one-size-fits-all league tables for schools, plagued by glitches and misleading data, is another centralised scheme that serves as a substitute for tackling the union-imposed rigidities on teacher performance.

Migration. Permanent migration to Australia surged 550,000 during the first two years of the Rudd government, the highest two-year increase in history. This is at odds with the government’s rhetoric on reducing Australia’s carbon footprint. It was also never mentioned before the election.

National broadband network. Last year the Rudd government spent $17 million looking for a private partner to co-build the network. The process yielded nothing. The government will now build and operate the network itself at a cost of $43 billion. A money sink.

Opposition theft. The Rudd government inherited the strongest budget position and banking sector of any major Western economy, which protected Australia from the global financial crisis. The government pretends this was all its own work.

Power. The national solar power rebate is a political debacle. The GreenPower scheme has failed. The renewable energy trading certificates scheme is in disarray.

Question time. Question time has blown out by 50 per cent over its traditional running time because of long ministerial answers and incessant points of order, while the time devoted to answering real questions, rather than Dorothy Dixers, has shrunk to less than 30 per cent of question time; a blatant corruption of the process.

Roof insulation. Send in the fraud squad. A good idea gone bad. Rampant false billing and over-charging. Cowboys everywhere. People dead. Houses unsafe. Systemic overspending. A hapless bureaucracy detached from the realities of the building industry.

School spending. The $16 billion Building the Education Revolution scheme is bloated with systemic overspending and over-charging. The problems were encapsulated by a builder who told me: “My company is involved in the BER work and it involves mismanagement, overcharging, schools being railroaded into decisions not in their interests, all hidden behind a smokescreen. It is the country’s most expensive political stunt ever.” Another money sink.

Tax increases. The federal budget in May will begin to reveal the consequences of panic, hubris, overspending and waste as the government seeks to offset its profligacy with higher fees and taxes. Superannuation was just the start.

Union power. The unions, having bankrolled Labor’s election campaign in 2007, have received their payback, with an increase in union rights and powers. Union muscle-flexing is back, from the mining sector to small business. Endemic corruption, blackmail and violence in the building industry was finally curbed by the Australian Building and Construction Commission. Julia Gillard is shutting it down.

Vanity. See B, K, O, Q and U.
Whitlamesque. Spendthrift programs. Empty rhetoric. Self-congratulation. Deficit spending. Debt blowout. Two years of the Rudd government produces 20 years of debt and poses the question: worse than Whitlam?

X Y Z Generations X, Y and Z They will be stuck with the bill.

What amazes me is that Labor voters can read through this list and still manage to find positive things to say about the government such as the “Sorry” to the (non existent) Stolen Generations and, supposedly, keeping us out of recession.

All they’ve done is to ensure that we will have a weaker economy over the next couple of decades than we otherwise would have. They have guaranteed higher interest rates and higher unemployment, though the effects of those are still to hit.

China’s growth is said to be slowing. How much debt is this government going to have? $100B? $200B is probably closer.

It took 10 years to pay off Labor’s previous $100B debt. How long will it take to pay it off this time around?

The implementation of left wing policies can only lead to unwelcome, bordering on immoral, outcomes.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Politics

>Labor will win the next election handily

June 29, 2010 1 comment

>Anyone on the conservative side of politics that thinks we’re a chance of winning the next Federal election is, pretty much, dreaming.

And the election will be held soonish.

Here’s the Betfair market on the election date:

Now, there’s only $700 in the pool and the reason is that nobody wants to put any money into betting against an election date that has already been decided by the government. Sportingbet has a market on the exact date of the election. August 28 is at $2.50, which is pretty short.

Supporting the government’s decision to go early is internal polling that shows they’ve got a strong, election winning lead.

That’s reflected in the Betfair market:

Prior to the last election Labor had a healthy lead in the opinion polls and the price available was only a little bit shorter than what it’s currently at, which seems to suggest similar polling numbers.

Therefore, my prediction is that the election will be on August 28 and the government will be returned with a 52-48 result.

Friday 2/7/10 UPDATE:

All of the money on the betting markets has been for an August 14 election. Sportingbet has that data at $2.10 and August 28 at $2.75 so I predict that the election will be called this weekend for one of those two dates.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Politics

>Expunging Brand Kevin

June 24, 2010 2 comments

>During the 2007 election a large number of ALP supporters chose to wear Kevin07 paraphernalia.

They looked like donkeys.

Now, Brand Kevin is being expunged from the ALP corporate memory. I just got on the ALP website and searched the site for “Kevin07”.

Here’s the response:

(click to embiggen)

Just four?

There used to be pooloads of Kevin07 information.

By comparison, I searched for “minimum wage” and got 12 responses. “Tony Abbott” returns pages and pages and pages of responses. To be fair there are still many responses to “Rudd”.

There really are no more vicious politics than when the left executes one of its own.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Politics

>Labor finally jettisons the worst PM ever

June 24, 2010 1 comment

>The worst prime minister in Australia’s history has been jettisoned by the Australian Labor Party allowing our first female prime minister, Julia Gillard, to take the reins.

Congratulations to Julia Gillard.

Will she be a good PM? Who knows? As I write every time there’s a change of leadership, either in government or opposition, we will have to wait some time to see how a person grows into the role. I suspect that she will be up to the task.

There does seem to be some schizophrenia in the market regarding Labor’s electoral chances. Last week ninemsn ran a poll asking whether people would vote for Julia Gillard if she became leader. The vote was 60-40 against her.

ninemsn has repeated the poll after the vote this morning:

Even with only 7000 votes there’s still a big no vote against her.

However, the betting market is the one to follow:

The price before the leadership spill was pretty much the same as it is now so the government is still a strong favourite to win the next election.

One poll goes one way while the other goes the other:

UPDATE: From the ninemsn website:

ninemsn readers have cast doubt on Julia Gillard’s future as prime minister, with almost two-thirds declaring they will not vote for her in the looming election.

At 3pm today our homepage poll showed that more than 50,000 readers would not vote for Ms Gillard in the coming federal election, compared to about 23,000 who said they would.

The ninemsn homepage is visited by more than ten million people each month — 70 percent of Australians online.

In addition to the vote, more than a thousand readers have posted comments — revealing a vast mix of reactions — since Ms Gillard was chosen to replace Kevin Rudd in the top job earlier today.

Many readers who said they might have voted for Mr Rudd have hit out at the Labor caucus vote that put his former deputy in power.

“We the Australian people voted in Kevin Rudd as our Prime Minister … who is the group, a handful, of faceless people who can just come in and change our democratically elected Prime Minister???” wrote Holcars from Cranbourne.

“The people elected Kevin07 for PM not Julia-010,” agreed Tony G, from Maroubra.

“No one has heard of these Labor factional powerbrokers and the people certainly did not vote for them.”

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Politics

>How will history view Rudd?

>People are starting to wake up to the empty nothingness that is Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership.

Regular readers will know that I’ve been banging on about his clear incompetence and lack of vision for nearly two years.

The question that we can now start pondering is this; how will history view Kevin Rudd?

Here’s my prediction:

1) Worst prime minister in history

Rudd has one thing going against him that his Labor predecessors do not and that is that he is reviled within the Labor Party as the vicious, petty, non-substance tyrant that he really is. Therefore, those people who write history – the left significantly outnumbers the right in this area – will be happy to smash Rudd in order to rehabilitate the reputation of one of their heroes, Gough Whitlam, hitherto Australia’s worst ever prime minister.

2) Lost opportunities

Left wing, revisionist historians such as Henry Reynolds and Robert Manne etc regularly attack the right for the so-called ‘lost opportunities’ of their governments. These lost opportunities are almost exclusively made up of large infrastructure projects that the left deems necessary. The Howard government chose to give back surpluses by way of tax reductions, as they should. This is anathema to the left, which believes that government spending is by definition good, as it stimulates the economy. Keynes really does have a lot to answer for. However, Rudd has been the master of left wing ‘lost opportunities’ and most recently when he chose to abandon the current Holy Grail of left wing government control of the economy – the emissions trading scheme. Historians will not forgive him for not doing a deal with the Greens.

3) Cast out and outcast

In the same way that former Labor leader Mark Latham is now an outcast from the party, Kevin Rudd will first be cast out by his senior front benchers and almost immediately become a Labor outcast. There are already rumblings in that regard. Ministers who have had to take the fall for Rudd’s policy incompetence are now leaking information to the media that it’s the PM to blame and not, for example, Peter Garrett for the insulation fiasco. Or Gillard for the rorting of the school building fund. The list goes on. Once the next election is over the knives will come out and I predict Rudd will last less than a year as leader. Once defeated, he will resign from parliament in a fit of pique and force a by-election.

4) Failure on the economy

The list of fiscal fiascos is becoming a national embarrassment. In less than two years the Rudd government has managed to munch through the massive surplus left to it and increase Australia’s debt from nil to the nearly $100 billion that the Howard government cleared away during its terms in office. Not only that but it has also announced an increased tax on profits from mining companies, which will be used to fund an increase in superannuation. Can you imagine Hawke or Keating coming up with such a negative, economy killing policy? Rudd and his advisers are completely nuts to
increase structural costs by taxing a variable revenue stream. That can only lead to deficits once the Great China Boom becomes an inevitable Bust. Did they learn nothing from the global financial crisis? Other than spending like drunken sailors, obviously not.

I’m sure there are other negative legacies that historians and political commentators will write about. Feel free to add your thoughts in comments.

(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Politics

>Reviewing Rudd

>There have been so many backflips by the Australian Labor government lately that I can’t tell whether I’m watching politics or Cirque du Soleil.

Prior to Kevin Rudd’s election in late 2007 the talking heads in the media were singing his praises as an economic conservative and having the right policies on climate change, labour laws, education and immigration etc. Now that the media is questioning the ETS abandonment, Andrew Bolt is quite rightly calling them out on it.

So who was wise enough to write the following on 22 October 2007:

I have likened his (Rudd’s) understanding of economics to that other disastrous Labor leader of the past, Gough Whitlam, and nothing I have seen subsequent to making that judgement has changed my mind.

And this on 7 November 2007:

The Australian’s Paul Kelly is hardly someone that could be called alarmist. His balanced, thoughtful commentary on the ABC’s Insiders is the highlight of the program.

In this opinion piece he describes how Kevin Rudd intends to increase his power as Prime Minister should Labor be elected on November 24. This should come as no surprise. Rudd is fundamentally a policy wonk meaning he must have processes that involve him. He has no idea about what makes the economy tick or what drives the average citizen so he intends to have more of a micro-management role in Australia’s affairs than any government since the disastrous Whitlam.

That’s right, it was your erstwhile correspondent who saw through Kevin Rudd prior to his election in a way that the mainstream media couldn’t – or wouldn’t.

In less than 6 months in government Rudd’s much vaunted FuelWatch program was thrown under the bus in what was to pretty much define this government’s modus operandi and on 30 May 2008 I wrote:

There are two types of control freak: in-control and under-control.

An in-control freak has to be involved in every decision being made. An under-control freak has to be sure that his management team is on top of things and executing policy effectively.

Australia’s prime minister, Kevin Rudd, is an in-control freak and the latest example is the mess that he has created with the government’s FuelWatch policy.

…Which leads me to articulate for the first time my view of the man. As I’ve posted previously, leadership changes people. Sometimes they surprise people, step up to the mark and become real leaders in the way that Howard did. Sometimes they crash and burn, as Mark Latham did, though that was much more predictable. Therefore, it’s always wise to let some time pass before making a judgement.

Six months into his term I think I’ve seen enough to have a clear view of Kevin Rudd.

Leadership: As a leader, Rudd is more Custer than Patton; more Whitlam than Hawke or Keating. He is a manager, not a leader. Australia is in a terrific position economically, small inflation worries notwithstanding, and so it’s possible that a competent manager can be successful. The job of prime minister at the moment and for the next few years can be done effectively in management mode so Rudd’s lack of leadership ability may not work against him – as long as things don’t go pear-shaped in the world economy and we don’t otherwise face a major crisis.

Competence: Here’s a big statement that I think people will come to reflect on the wisdom of in years to come – Kevin Rudd is profoundly incompetent to be prime minister. Profoundly. In fact, I’d go so far to say that when his time has come and gone Rudd will be seen as one of our worst ever PMs. He has Gough Whitlam’s understanding of economics and Paul Keating’s understanding of the ordinary bloke. I think he will be seen to have squandered a huge opportunity to move Australia forward at a time when international competitiveness is growing ever tougher.

Vision: It is now clear that Rudd has no vision for Australia. His policy of symbolism and populism over outcomes and substance is proof. From the economic disaster of ratifying Kyoto to the Stolen Generations’ Apology to a plethora of inquiries into all sorts of issues and to FuelWatch itself Rudd has been focused more on his personal popularity than achieving positive outcomes for Australians. Can you imagine this man taking the tough, unpopular decisions on illegal immigration, workplace relations and even the Iraq war as Howard? Even his most ardent supporters must wonder what he stands for.

Personality: Rudd has no charm and no charisma, traits that are important to hold a leadership team together, especially when times get tough. It can be quite justifiably said that Howard lacked charm and charisma. He turned out to be one of this country’s best ever leaders so why can’t Rudd follow suit? The fact is that Howard slept the sleep of a leader. Rudd sleeps the sleep of a manager.

Not bad, eh, given it’s a nearly two year old assessment. The world economy did indeed go pear shaped and Rudd’s incompetence was on immediate display with huge, do nothing spending plans rolled out in too short a time and with minimal effect, other than adding to the national debt and, unfortunately, leading to the deaths of a number of home insulation installers.

In July 2008 I was joined by a few others who were starting to doubt Rudd’s abilities:

Australia’s go it alone attitude to addressing the non-issue of climate change is a prime example of how far out of touch with community attitudes Rudd is, let alone reality. It seems that he prefers to pander to European and United Nations institutions than do what is right for Australia.

In Kevin Rudd we do not have that strength of leadership. Unfortunately, he does not understand how limited his ability is and that will be to the detriment of all of us.

By January 2009 I passed the baton as Australia’s most incompetent prime minister from Gough Whitlam to Kevin Rudd:

I tell you who is sleeping more soundly tonight and that’s former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.


Well, Whitlam’s government was a shambles that wrought chaos upon Australia’s economy that took many years to overcome.

Whitlam himself has long been viewed as the worst PM we’ve ever had and for good reason.

But with the current Labor PM Kevin Rudd’s 8,000+ word socialist screed published in the leftist The Monthly this week Whitlam can let out as big a sigh of relief as his 92 year old body will allow now that the mantle of Australia’s worst ever PM has been lifted from him by Rudd’s unbelievable incompetence.

And, just for a change, on 4 February 2009 I continued:

I wonder how long it will be before your average Australian voter wakes up to the fact that Kevin Rudd is the new Gough Whitlam?

Of course, there are millions of voters who either weren’t born yet or politically aware during Whiltam’s reign of chaos and who still think that Rudd is doing a good job by throwing tens of billions of dollars at the economy in order to stimulate it and get past the Global Financial Crisis.

..and on I banged until the end of the year.

With an election looming, which the government is an overwhelming favourite to win, it’s worth looking back to see what this government’s achievements are.

Are there any?

In fact, in many ways we’ve gone backwards.

Certainly, our fiscal position has been weakened by Rudd’s insane spending spree.

Our foreign relations have been damaged by Rudd’s remarkable incompetence in an area touted as his greatest strength.

He signed Kyoto, amid much fanfare by the symbolism-as-policy left, and has now punted the associated economy killing emissions trading scheme down the road to at least 2013. In the meantime, power stations can’t raise capital due to the uncertainty over policy. Nice work, Kev.

Again, what have we got to show for having elected Kevin Rudd?

And how much better off would we have been under a Coalition government?


(Nothing Follows)

Categories: Australia, Politics