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Monday message board

November 21st, 2005

It’s time, once again for the Monday Message Board. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language, please.

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  1. Sean
    November 21st, 2005 at 11:40 | #1

    People who dare comment around here tend to be pretty smart, so I was hoping for some help.

    You see, it seems to me that Paul Sheehan has finaly gone stark, raving, mad-as-a-thousand-bats. But possibly my comprehension skills are just lacking. What do you guys think?

    http://smh.com.au/news/paul-sheehan/red-card-for-the-belittlers-of-patriotism/2005/11/20/1132421541817.html

  2. Kieran Bennett
    November 21st, 2005 at 11:49 | #2

    JQ,

    I had an interesting argument with a fellow student functionary today, about the notion that the University has no logical interest in undergraduate students. Arguably as an almost completely unaccountable institution (the ANU is at least), it could be said universities have no logical interest in anything beyond their own importance and prestige.

    I yabber a bit about this on my blog.

    Anyway, I am interested in your point of view on this topic. Universities serve a function, they have stated goals, but what are their real interests? Why one earth do university administrations do what they do?

    Sincerely,

    Kieran.

  3. Kieran Bennett
    November 21st, 2005 at 11:50 | #3

    http://kieranbennett.com/?p=27 if you’re interested.

  4. Andrew Reynolds
    November 21st, 2005 at 12:10 | #4

    Sean,
    Why is that ‘mad’? It does not seem too far out. I may disagree with parts of it but I would not classify it as ‘mad’.

  5. orang
    November 21st, 2005 at 12:21 | #5

    Well I’m not sure what he’s exactly proud of, the East German model circa 1970′s school of sporting success, the prosperity of Qantas based on a monopoly system, or he’s just soccer mad. Does he have a record of hating Uraguay? Latins?

  6. Kieran Bennett
    November 21st, 2005 at 12:26 | #6

    Yeah, I disagree with this Sheehan idiot, but I would hardly characterize him as mad. If we were to declare him mad, what would we do with Parliament?!

  7. November 21st, 2005 at 12:31 | #7

    On a rather different topic, allow me to discuss Iraq for a moment. It seems John Howard has not been as badly affected politically as Bush and Blair. More’s the pity. This may change in time. The country is in chaos, and now US-trained Shiite death squads roam Baghdad. Fiction? Fact. Read on:

    http://antonyloewenstein.blogspot.com/2005/11/tipping-point.html

  8. Katz
    November 21st, 2005 at 12:39 | #8

    Sheehan isn’t mad, he just writes like a man who has recently discovered a new use for his hand.

  9. Kieran Bennett
    November 21st, 2005 at 12:40 | #9

    Howard is a genuis. We have just enough troops to appease the Americans, we have them in just the right place (ie. where there is no fighting) to ensure they never get killed and never get involved in publically unpopular stuff, like killing other people, and we have so few that Australian’s really don’t care.

    By this I mean, ‘bad things’ are happening, Australian’s know it, they know we have troops there, but they feel one step removed from the ‘bad things’ because our minor committment makes it less real, less important.

    It wont reflect badly on Howard until its our troops laughing at naked human pyramids, burning the flesh off civillians and shooting captured insurgents.

  10. November 21st, 2005 at 12:51 | #10

    Sean, which part of that article indicates that this Sheehan is bonkers?

    Orang, you are stretching credulity to read all of that into that column.

  11. orang
    November 21st, 2005 at 14:32 | #11

    On the subject of “sport” for those who grew up in and influenced by the events of the 1960′s, my personal hero;

    http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1120-21.htm

  12. Sean
    November 21st, 2005 at 14:36 | #12

    Like I said, maybe I’ve just got comprehension problems. I wanted you to explain the meaning of it to me; to guide me through the steps of logic and conclusion which I seem to have missed. I read it thusly:

    “There are those who don’t like soccer and, also, those who don’t like John Howard. In a sense which is real to me, they are the same They. Australia has beaten Uruguay before, which happened in the past. Soccer is multiculturalism is patriotism is John Howard. QED, and therefore, hairshirt. Banana.”

  13. Andrew Reynolds
    November 21st, 2005 at 14:38 | #13

    After that response, a visit to yuor own shrink may be in order. You must be from the over east.

  14. Sean
    November 21st, 2005 at 15:00 | #14

    She assured me I was cured, but maybe I need some magic water.

    Come on, Andrew, what the hell IS his point? Poking fun at my parlous mental health isn’t helping me to decipher this delphic opinion piece.

  15. Ian Gould
    November 21st, 2005 at 15:26 | #15

    I see the ABC is reporting that Zarqawi may have been killed in Iraq.

    While this is unquestionably a good thing (apart from the loss of intelligence and the fact his death was probably relatively quick and painless) if true, I fear it will prove to be just another in the string of false dawns in Iraq.

  16. Mike Pepperday
    November 21st, 2005 at 15:41 | #16

    “There are those who don’t like soccer and, also, those who don’t like John Howard. In a sense which is real to me, they are the same They.”
    Indeed they are the same. They are the political left. It’s not so much soccer per se but a general ambivalence to sport because it encourages competition and elitism and undermines egalitarianism. The left is always antipathetic to patriotism because it is competitive, carries a whiff of facism and is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

  17. Razor
    November 21st, 2005 at 15:58 | #17

    Mike – I’m a rusted on RWDB and I can’t abide soccer.

    Kieran Bennet – it must pain you to know that Australian Soldiers are probably the best in the world at their chosen profession and that what they do is actually helping people instead of dumping the Prime Minister in the poo.

  18. Sean
    November 21st, 2005 at 16:07 | #18

    Hmmmm, that must be why the ALP starved the AIS of funds.

    The most commonly identified “Howard Haters” are the Fairfax Press, who are also those doing the most to force soccer down the necks of an unwilling populace.

  19. Kieran Bennett
    November 21st, 2005 at 16:29 | #19

    Razor,

    You miss the point. If the US only had 500 special forces in a relatively safe area of the country, things would be different in the US. I was only offering an explanation, biased mine always are :-) , about why the problems the US and Britain are facing are not rubbing off on Howard.

    And no, Australian troops are not the best in the world. We just spend over a million dollars a piece on the only regiment of soldiers that ever see active service in the pursuit of Australian foreign policy.

    I question that any military occupation actually helps people. In our never ending quest to feel good about ourselves, in our desire for a myth of Australian innocence as stupid as the American one, we cling to a variety of strange and obscure justifications for our various militaristic endeavors. Take the rights latest accounts of our involvement in Vietnam, its such a pity we left, the people in the area Australian’s were in actually like us, and that makes it all better!

    My respect goes out to those coalition troops who refuse to fight. In their courage, against the system that would have them kill their fellow humans, lies a real hope for the future of humanity.

    Sincerely,

    Kieran.

  20. orang
    November 21st, 2005 at 16:53 | #20

    Sheehan is an enigma. Obviously patriotic, pro John Howard, yet he has used a soccer game as the platform for his adulation. Is his too adoring list of what is good about Oz and John Howard just a cunning way of getting support for soccer watching?

  21. Andrew Reynolds
    November 21st, 2005 at 16:57 | #21

    I think his point is that Australia has changed for the better over the last 30 years. I would tend to agree with him on that, although not necessarily for reasons he would agree with.

  22. dave
    November 21st, 2005 at 17:08 | #22

    Actually, the first chunk of the column makes reasonable sense. But the attempt to link Howard with the success of the Socceroos is where it falls apart. JH is not antagonistic to football, but face it, what he cares about is cricket and rugby union (note how he organises trips to London to coincide with the Ashes and his crestfallen demeanour when presenting the Rubgy World Cup). He doesn’t really care about football but like any politician knows a bandwagon worth jumping on.

    Qualification for the World Cup is the culmination of a lot of factors – David Hill, Terry Venables, the AIS, soccer mums and dads, 50s immigration, Lowy, O’Neil, Hiddink, and a generation of genuinely talented footballers. But for the combination of Peter Hore, an offside goal and some poor defending and keeping, we would have been there in 98. Sheehan presumably knows some of this, and that his linking of Howard to the qualification is bollocks.

    But Sheehan also knows that a line like this will prompt a series of letters to the editor – perhaps that’s how Australian columnists are paid these days?

  23. Kieran Bennett
    November 21st, 2005 at 17:42 | #23

    As any blogger knows, hate mail is just the right sort of attention. People care enough to respond, and for every piece ofhate mail you get, there are a bunch who agree with your lunacy!

  24. Dave Ricardo
    November 21st, 2005 at 18:07 | #24

    Ariel Sharon has left Likud and will contest the Israeli elections with a new party.
    Threat to middle east peace or opportunity? No consequence ? Historic moment or the last act of yesterday’s man?

  25. Ian Gould
    November 21st, 2005 at 18:35 | #25

    Normally attempts to form new centrist parties fail as their support is eaten away from both margins – just ask Paddy Ashdown.

    But Israel’s system of national proportional representation may prevent that happening there – especially since Shimon Peres is joining his new party and should be able to bring a good section of the Labour Party with him.

    I’m cautiously optimistic but one of the two sides has to give significant ground on the key issues of Jerusalem and the West Bank settlements – and I’m not sure either of them is prepared to do so currently.

  26. Homer Paxton
    November 21st, 2005 at 18:52 | #26

    Sharon rejected Peres with good reason. He is a loser.

    This has been tried previously in Israeli politics with people with more charisma and substance than Sharon but one never knows. Third time lucky.

    New labor leader loooks the goods as well.

    Where is Michael Burgess when you need him@

    Guus Guus!

  27. Dave Ricardo
    November 21st, 2005 at 19:10 | #27

    “One of the two sides has to give significant ground”

    Which two sides? Israel and the Palestinians or the Right and Left of Israeli politics?

  28. November 21st, 2005 at 19:52 | #28

    I’m afraid I fathom how there can possibly be any special connection between the Prime Minister & the game of soccer. Perhaps this Sheehan IS on the jungle juice?

  29. Sean
    November 21st, 2005 at 19:55 | #29

    Well, overtaken by more important topics, but dave identifies the Sheehan madness. The whole thing is sailing along quite happily as a sports history piece, and then Honest John the Multiculturalist Asian Integrator pops up, the way a coyote does when you’ve eaten a Guatamalan insanity pepper.

  30. Jill Rush
    November 21st, 2005 at 20:09 | #30

    Does anyone know if the benefits of privatisation and outsourcing of government contracts has been examined to see if the economic benefits are real or illusory? For instance there has been much made of the savings that have stemmed from the Job Network – but have all the costs of administering this system been quantified – what have been the costs of administering, costs of people staying on Newstart for longer periods, lack of skill development.

    This is the kind of work that would lead to a PhD. What of the costs associated with Mandatory Detention. It seems as if the decision to outsource is not made on grounds of efficiency at all but as a way to support supporters and to transfer public monies into the private sphere. The outsourcing of IT services is another likely example of increasing costs and reducing control whilst increasing inefficiency as govt depts lose the ability to respond rapidly but have to go through time consuming tender processes.

  31. Andrew
    November 21st, 2005 at 20:59 | #31

    I believe the Job Network costs less because it does less than the old network. I do know the relevant department refused to release figures for 3 years.

    That some providers have become millionaires providing a bare-bones welfare service suggests that it is another public -> private transferral of funds, with a social justice pretext.

  32. November 21st, 2005 at 21:04 | #32

    Andrew: I no longer even bother walking through the door of a job network place, if anything the service is even worse than you depict. To say that the job network is worse than hopless is to praise it.

    We would be better off without it.

  33. Ian Gould
    November 21st, 2005 at 21:06 | #33

    “Which two sides? Israel and the Palestinians or the Right and Left of Israeli politics?”

    Sorry, in this context, I was referring to the Israelis and the Palestinians.

  34. Michael H
    November 21st, 2005 at 23:08 | #34

    Amanda Vanstone has gained some attention for her comments about airline security. The Opposition was made the standard call for resignation.

    Funny thing is, I’ve lost count of the times I thought that we’d be better off without her, but this time I find myself agreeing with her.

    I’m in shock. The shock would hardly be greater if I awoke after a big night to find Amanda lying in my bed!

  35. November 22nd, 2005 at 00:02 | #35

    its okay Michael H, I once found myself agreeing with something Mark Latham said. It can happen.

    Yes, Mrs Vanstone was bang on the button, I totally agree with what she said. Anyone who suggests that her statements are grounds for resignation cannot expect to be taken seriously, ever.

  36. Michael H
    November 22nd, 2005 at 00:30 | #36

    True.

    I found it particularly refreshing that she said that many of these type of regulations are more about making people feel safer, rather than actually making them safer.

    But I think that you can extend the point and it’s pity she didn’t go this far – that politicans are no less immune from the ‘feeling better’ type of protection. I think that many of the recent legislative change belong in this category. They make the politicans feel like as though they are doing something useful, and probably are a bit of ‘covering your arse’ as well.

  37. Dan Hardie
    November 22nd, 2005 at 01:03 | #37

    The Sheehan article doesn’t seem mad to me, just boringly objectionable: a good soccer side equals ‘a successful society’. In which case the most successful society in human history was Brazil, 1958-1970.

  38. Ian Gould
    November 22nd, 2005 at 08:08 | #38

    “Amanda Vanstone has gained some attention for her comments about airline security. … this time I find myself agreeing with her.”

    Anyone here every flown out out of Gladstone or Mayborough?

    What security?

    Hijacking a commuter plane from a regional airport might not have the capacity to cause a 9-11 scale disaster but it’d be frighteningly easy to do.

  39. Kieran Bennett
    November 22nd, 2005 at 10:36 | #39

    Yeah, and a terrorist could hijack a petrol tanker and crash it into a daycare centre. Wow, peaceful societys are vulnerable if someone decides to be a prick. What a revelation. I aint responding to this ‘threat’ by insisting on metal detector scans for hitckhikers catching a lift on trucks.

  40. Terje
    November 22nd, 2005 at 11:26 | #40

    QUOTE: I think his point is that Australia has changed for the better over the last 30 years. I would tend to agree with him on that, although not necessarily for reasons he would agree with.

    RESPONSE: Over the last 30 years we have had technological advances like mobile phones and the Internet. All a net plus on balance. We have had cultural changes like an increase in racial diversity and ethnic food options. I am fine with that also. We are certainly more wealthy in many other ways also.

    However when it comes to economic policy I would rather have the relative tax scales of the early 1970 even if it meant accepting high tariffs on foreign imports and government ownership of certain industries.

    Domestic taxes are a tariff on inter-household trade. They are “free trades” worst enemy. They undermine the ability of a community to prosper through individual one to one engagements and in so doing they entrench the role of the state as benafactor.

    I would also prefer the global monetary system that Australia was a part of from the mid 1950s to the late 1960s. And those who lived through the 1970s would have been better off without the stagflation that followed when the previous system was brought to an end by political forces.

  41. Hal9000
    November 22nd, 2005 at 12:54 | #41

    “…one of the two sides has to give significant ground on the key issues of Jerusalem and the West Bank settlements” …

    “Which two sides? Israel and the Palestinians or the Right and Left of Israeli politics?�

    Sorry, in this context, I was referring to the Israelis and the Palestinians.”

    I’m not sure if you’re attempting some levity in this context, Ian, but ‘give significant ground’ is what the Palestinians have done since 1948. The Oslo accord saw them give up all claims to sovereignty over 78 percent of Mandatory Palestine – that is, all pre-1967 Israel up to the Green Line. It is patently clear what the Wall is all about – grabbing the best 60 percent of the remaining 22 percent, leaving the Palestinian population imprisoned in miserable ghettos. Dov Wesglass, Mouth of Sharon, has openly stated that this was the intention behind the unilateral Gaza withdrawal

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3720176.stm

    The primary difference between Sharon and his fellow Likudniks is that Sharon likes to conceal his intentions with soothing statements about peace, while his bretheren prefer straight talking about Greater Israel and ‘Transfer’ ie ethnic cleansing. In Israeli politics there is a huge disconnect between public opinion and public policy. Because of the racist taboo on mainstream Jewish parties doing any kind of political deal with the Palestinian members of the Knesset (roughly 20 percent) the right wing’s influence is boosted way beyond its level of electoral support. Within the right, the Yesha (settler) movement is the most coherent bloc, and so dictates policy in the succession of right wing coalitions that have held office in Israel for most of the last two decades. Peres, a bastard child of Ramsay MacDonald’s principles and Konrad Adenauer’s longevity, has shown time and again there is nothing and noone he is not prepared to jettison in order to sit around the Cabinet table: the steady decline in Labour electoral support is directly proportional to his influence in government. Peretz’s election to the Labour leadership offers a glimmer of hope that the majority Israeli view – end the Occupation, pull back to the Green Line and return to the welfare state – may actually prevail. The Palestinians have no more ground to give, and any leaders prepared to sign up to the Bantustan deal Sharon has on offer would need a division of Israeli troops to guard them from their own people.

    One last caveat – there may be some room for compromise on the actual border, given that the Green Line was simply the front line in an armistice and as such has many anomalies. The deal would have to be a deal between equals, however, on the basis of a one-for-one, like-for-like swap, not the agricultural land-for-desert offers made at Camp David and Taba. However, since this would require the Israeli political elite to concede the common humanity of the Palestinians, I wouldn’t be holding my breath for it to happen.

  42. Homer Paxton
    November 22nd, 2005 at 13:40 | #42

    2005 is indeed momentous!

    cricket forced football off the front and back pages in the UK whilst football did the same to cricket in Australia!

    Who would have thought!

  43. Andrew Reynolds
    November 22nd, 2005 at 13:47 | #43

    Terje,
    I did not say we had not gone backwards on any issues – I just said that (IMHO) life is better in Australia now than it was in the 70′s. Apart from anything else Gough and Mal are no longer of any real importance in politics.
    I know your position on taxes and I would disagree, but not wholeheatedly. I would rather that the country was able to compete internationally in the way we are now approaching; we can work on the tax rates next. There is already a good push on in the Liberal party room.
    .
    Hal 9000,
    I would tend to agree. The record of Israeli governments is not good to put it mildly. The pity is that the Palestinian resistance is behaving the way it is, with suicide bombers, rather than playing the victim card. They would get a lot more public sympathy and therefore support if they were going down the non-violent resistance path. I can see why they are doing it (without agreeing with them) but that does not mean it is the right way to go.

  44. Dave Ricardo
    November 22nd, 2005 at 14:50 | #44

    “However when it comes to economic policy I would rather have the relative tax scales of the early 1970 even if it meant accepting high tariffs on foreign imports and government ownership of certain industries”

    Terje, a little googling reveals that In 1969/70 there were 29 tax rates in the income tax scale and the top rate was 68.3675 per cent.

    Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it.

  45. Ian Gould
    November 22nd, 2005 at 15:40 | #45

    Hal: “but ‘give significant ground’ is what the Palestinians have done since 1948.”

    I agree.

    I generally fidn my self arguing for the Palestinians in the various internet arguments over this issue. I am aware of the way they’ve been repeatedly screwed over by history and the brutality of the current Israeli occupation. (Beign a Jew just means I have an additional reason to deplore that brutality because I’ve seen the effects it has on the perpetrators as well as on the victims.

    But the fact remains – Sharon wants to retain East Jerusalem and much of the West Bank. The Palestinian leadership wants all of the West Bank and part of Jerusalem.

    I happen to think that on abstract grounds of justice, the Palestinaisn have the stronger case for essentially the reasons you outline.

    Which doesn’t alter my point that even if Sharon froms a stable government backing his position, that isn’t enough to bring about peace.

  46. stephen
    November 22nd, 2005 at 16:05 | #46

    Jill: there has not been any comprehensive study of outsourcing costs and benefits since the industry commission study “competitive tendering and contracting by public sector agencies” in 1996(which John Q. also commented on at the time if I recall correctly). There have been various other studies of particular cases, including some of the job network, and a number of PhDs in the area. I’ve made comment on the costs of mandatory detention (massive – and the so-called Pacific solution even more so) but I am not sure it is possible to separate out the costs associated with the program being run by a third party provider and the costs arising from the policy itself: I’m of the view that the main cost driver is the policy of incarceration (guarding, fencing, isolation, all impose costs that would have to be borne by the provider whether public or private). On IT outsourcing, the Humphrey report is a good source for the Commonwealth (it used to be on the finance department website but I can’t find it now); but the most outstanding example of problems is probably the South Australian government whole of IT deal.

  47. November 22nd, 2005 at 20:55 | #47

    music people – you need to listen to “The Herds” Sun Never Sets album – some very nice australian political lyrics.

    Any body else know any good current australian political songwriters?

  48. Paul Arrighi
    November 23rd, 2005 at 06:53 | #48

    Either I have been living in the USA to long or I blinked at the wrong moment, found this in http://www.prospect.org/weblog/

    I’VE GOT TO ADMIT IT’S GETTING BETTER, GETTING BETTER ALL THE TIME… Gareth Evans, former prime minister of Australia and current head of the highly regarded International Crisis Group, has a welcome op-ed in this morning’s Los Angeles Times about civil conflicts and atrocities:

    Contrary to what just about everybody instinctively believes, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of conflicts, down 40% since the early 1990s. There were just 25 armed secessionist conflicts underway in 2004, the lowest number since 1976, according to the meticulously documented Human Security Report 2005, a new multi-government study (www.humansecurityreport.info).

    The number of mass killings has fallen 80% since the late 1980s, according to the report. And around the world, there has been a spectacular increase in the number of civil conflicts resolved — as in Indonesia’s separatist Aceh province this year — not by force but by negotiation.

    Now this is the sort of contrarianism I can get behind! The reason for the drawdown in hostilities, Evans argues, is international peacekeeping, which has become vastly more widespread and efficient than ever before. Its reputation, however, has not improved commensurately with its record, largely because its successes have averted the sort of high stakes negotiation dramas that attract television cameras.

    Between 1990 and 2002, the number of U.N. diplomatic missions aimed at stopping wars before they started increased sixfold, according to the Human Security report. Although sometimes an imperfect tool, economic sanctions against abusive regimes around the world increased elevenfold between 1989 and 2003. Early and sensible action in places such as Burundi, Indonesia and Macedonia has kept most Americans blissfully unaware that these were countries that recently veered away from the large-scale violence that has plagued them in the past.

    Liberia’s recent presidential election was a one-day news story about people peacefully voting after years of bloodshed. But only a successful peacekeeping mission made it so.

    A catastrophic new civil war looked certain to erupt in Somalia this year, with a misguided decision by neighboring governments to intervene militarily in support of one side of an internal political dispute. But organizations such as mine rang the alarm bells and there was a flurry of diplomatic activity in Nairobi, Addis Ababa and New York. Wiser heads prevailed, no intervention occurred, no war broke out — and because “nothing happened,” nobody noticed.

    For every roadside bomb in Baghdad, international peacekeepers in places such as Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor and Sierra Leone have quietly gone about their duties in work that seems now almost routine. Between 1998 and 2004, the number of U.N. peacekeeping operations more than doubled.

    Now there’s something to give thanks for this week.

  49. Andrew Reynolds
    November 23rd, 2005 at 11:16 | #49

    Gareth is a former foreign minister, not prime minister; apart from that this seems about right. The only real omission is why this is really occurring, IMHO.
    Strong peace making action, now that the main parties causing these wars (the former Soviet Union and China) have largely got out of the game, actually works.

  50. November 23rd, 2005 at 23:32 | #50

    One thing Sheehan has got wrong is the idea that losing British self-identification was a good thing in and of itself. What would have been good would be, retaining it as part of the synthesis. As it is, omitting it means that some of the things necessary for viable multiculturalism – tolerance, for instance – got left out. And we lose our own selves with our own history…

  51. November 25th, 2005 at 20:15 | #51

    “People who dare comment around here tend to be pretty smart, so I was hoping for some help.”

    People who comment here are for the most part not above average intelligence, they are instead expressive and opinionated. But I think you already knew this.

  52. Sean
    November 26th, 2005 at 11:52 | #52

    Benno, my final word shall be that I never actually believed that Sheehan should be committed, either. However, there is just no remotely logical link between a single game of soccer, John Howard and patriotism. People who get paid to write for broadsheets should be required to make sense, unless they are being paid to be funny.

  53. James Farrell
    November 27th, 2005 at 07:00 | #53

    As a veteran Sheehan watcher, I’m afraid I have to pronounce all of the above analysis as amateurish. What you need to know is that all Sheehan columns are essentially about Paul Sheehan: what a thoughtful fellow he is; how cosmopolitan and yet how quintessentially Australian; what a key place he occupies in the intellectual life of this country and the English-speaking world for that matter; and above all how, Zelig-like; he’s always there in the thick of the action at key turning points in history. This soccer piece is indistinguishable from the mass of Sheehan columns. Hey! It’s Paul Sheehan here, and what I don’t know about soccer isn’t worth knowing. And though you wouldn’t know it to look at me, I’m as passionate as the next man on this topic, so you just sit back and listen to what I have to say. Naturally, I was there in ’74 when it all started…blah, blah, blah… Any actual argument he makes is likely to be an afterthought, so I wouldn’t expend too much effort in trying to make sense of it.

  54. Terje
    November 28th, 2005 at 08:48 | #54

    QUOTE: a little googling reveals that In 1969/70 there were 29 tax rates in the income tax scale and the top rate was 68.3675 per cent.

    RESPONSE: and what percentage of the population fell in that bracket? Also there were plenty of ways to avoid the top rate using fringe benefits etc. My current marginal tax rate is ~80% so it doesn’t sound so bad.

    Can you share the URL where you sourced the data from. I did have the data in some photocopied notes from a few years ago however since I moved house I don’t know which of the boxes I might find it in.

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