from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
By being away we gave some time to the expert, professional commentators to catch up with the ideas expressed here; sometimes chaotically, often in the fog of our own making, but almost always presciently. Well, maybe they will catch up next time. We are back. So what has the Federal LibNats government achieved while we were away? Not that much, it would seem.
Australian Broadcasting Commission / Un-biased ABC
“Their, i.e. Green/ALP’s ABC” is still there, dishonest as always, though some naïve souls started suggesting that it is mellowing. Perhaps they haven’t heard of a leopard and her spots, and of a scorpion… Though our readers undoubtedly recall this essential African fable from their grammar school years, here it is: A scorpion and elephant are on a bank of flooded Zambezi, both wishing to get to the other side. The scorpion says to the elephant, “Take me across, it won’t do anything to you and it would help me very much.” “No, I’ll take you over and afterwards you will sting me.” “No, I would not dream of it. I’ll be eternally grateful to you. Trust me.” The elephant relented, the scorpion climbed on his forehead and both got safely across. Then the scorpion stung the elephant, who screamed, “You promised not to! Why did you sting me?” “Because that what I do. I am a scorpion.”
Admittedly, ABC is belatedly gathering a few brownie points for “balance”, in its own fashion, of course. Some will be fooled and it remains to be seen whether the pussyfooting Abbott uses it as an excuse for doing the absolute minimum just to fool his conservative voters.
Royal Commission into the trade unions’ corruption
As a cliché would have it, a jury is still out, but in this case a jury has not yet been sworn in, speaking figuratively. It is true that the appointment of John Dyson Heydon seems to be a very good idea, but a lawyer with the extensive organised crime law experience would be needed to assist. If handled properly, The Royal Commission into trade union governance and corruption could limit the illegal activities of the union officials, who had become accustomed to impunity; and, as Andrew Bolt writes – Labor could drown in all this slush
Time will tell. There is no honour amongst the thieves, and the race for those precious immunities is on – The Sydney Morning Herald: Union insiders helping slush fund investigation
Manufacturing and workplace reforms
The manufacturing recently got severely hit, and whatever your feelings may be about the so called Australian icons, like SPC Ardmona and GM Holden, one unavoidable fact is that the Government inherited from the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd misgovernment a deficit, originally estimated $18 billion and now likely to be a staggering $50 billion.
With Ford, Toyota, Holden just about gone, mostly thanks to the unions, the carbon tax and Judge Mordecai Bromberg, the Government ought to abolish those protectionist surcharges. The cars could be $1000 – $2500 cheaper – but not hold your breath.
The Australian manufacturing is on the way out and the Greens’ plan to bring Australia to its knees is working. I doubt that the Productivity Commission will achieve anything significant, but even a small improvement in the archaic workplace canon would be welcome:
THE Productivity Commission will be given wide-ranging powers to recommend sweeping workplace changes, including giving employers greater rights to try to remove conditions from enterprise agreements, under the terms of reference that cabinet is finalising for its inquiry. Employment Minister Eric Abetz will announce the terms of reference next week when he introduces a bill into parliament to allow workers to trade off more easily key entitlements, including penalty rates, for more flexible working hours.
The bill will also impose fresh restrictions on unions entering workplaces and limit their ability to get pay deals on new resource projects…
Business groups have been urging the government to order specific inquiries into the range of issues over which unions can strike, variation of enterprise agreements and the ability to end enterprise agreements after their expiry date…
The Coalition promised to order a Productivity Commission review into the Fair Work Act and the industrial relations system before last year’s election with the aim of … seeking a “mandate” for any changes at the 2016 election.
Let’s hope it will not be too late.
I started writing that the LibNats’ talk about closing the gap etc. is cheap, but upon proper reflection… not at all. Every time somebody opens his or her mouth about Aborigines the taxpayer has to fork out more money. It is obvious that hard decisions would have to be made, the decisions against the prevailing PC “wisdom” and against the vested interests of the Aboriginal Entitlement Mafia. It has to be stated clearly and fearlessly that the existing structure and existing ideology have abysmally failed the Aborigines and entrenched the entitlements of the parasitic class. Anybody who travels outside capital cities to where the remaining Aborigines are, can see that the money does not get there. Inefficiency, bureaucracy, incompetence and low level corruption are not the only causes.
Perhaps a serious Royal Commission into the Aboriginal welfare racket could help Aborigines, and not only the lawyers. Failing that, what about a proper, not politically correct, investigation by the Australian Federal Police – after all, the money is missing and probably no longer in Australia. Of course, it is unlikely that Abbott will stir the sacred bunyip, not to mention sacrifice it. More of the same is on the cards. Poor Aborigines!
Climate change stupidity
The misguided Renewable Energy Target of the Coalition, introduced in 2001 by then Prime Minister John Howard, instead of being dropped holus-bolus, is at least under some review. The report is expected by the middle of the year. Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the review was always due to occur this year under legislation, “There are no surprises. We are a government that is unashamedly doing our best to take pressure off manufacturing and households through anything that can lower electricity prices.”
Another wait and see.
It seems that there were no boats of would-be refugees arriving on the Australian territory while we were away, though Scott Morrison’s Operation Sovereign Borders may have been helped by the cyclone season.
Nothing much can be done about the incident on Manus Island, where fit young men, who are presumed to be escaping violence in their home countries, staged a violent riot, perhaps to feel more at home. The Left, which in its infinite compassion ignored over 1,100 people who drowned thanks to the humanity of Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Sarah Hanson-Jones, just to mention a few, got their knickers in a knot because one of the rioters died.
The Government got not one, not two, but three enquiries into this going, which ought to do for any rational person. Needles to say that it will not do for the Green/Labor hypocrites.
Freedom of speech
Finally to the arguably the most important problem awaiting a solution. Bear in mind that the section 18C of The Racial Discrimination Act is not the alpha and omega of the Left’s attack on the freedom of expression in Australia. It is, at the best, gamma, but the politically correct judiciary and the education commissariat would, admittedly, take time to dismember. But the abolishment of that infamous section 18C was promised:
via Simon Breheny/ On 30 September 2011, then opposition legal affairs spokesman Senator George Brandis announced: “Section 18C, as presently worded, has no place in a society that values freedom of expression and democratic governance. If the Bolt decision is not overturned on appeal, the provision in its present form should be repealed.”
In a speech to the Institute of Public Affairs in Sydney on 6 August 2012, then opposition leader Tony Abbott said (at 26 minutes, 15 seconds in the linked video): “So let me assure you, the Coalition will repeal section 18C in its current form.”
How the time flies. Safely ensconced in the ministerial leather, on Monday 24 February 2014 at a Senate committee hearing, Senator Brandis said: “…it is incorrect to say that either Mr Abbott or I have ever said that it was the new government’s intention to repeal section 18C.”
For the erudite explanation of the problem read the University of Queensland Law Professor Jim Allen’s article ‘Bolt Law’ wow must be kept.
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What else has the Coalition mangled? On the whole, not that much, but it is still far too early to say. Be grateful for those small mercies. Maybe our current pseudo-conservative rulers realised they have to offer at least a few meaty bones to the conservative masses, increasingly sceptical of the ‘conservative’ politicians. Then they will utilise the remainder of the electoral term to entrench themselves. I almost wrote that they would make the same mistake as John Howard, but Howard knew what he was doing. The mistake is ours. His stategy was to keep the power for himself for as long as possible, and bugger the consequences for Australia and its citizens. He was, like Abbott is, a politician. Principles? What principles?