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Monday Message Board

June 23rd, 2008

It’s time once again for the Monday Message Board. Please post your thoughts on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language, please.

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  1. Jill Rush
    June 23rd, 2008 at 09:00 | #1

    I have ben watching the reactions in regard to Belinda Neal – a person of whom I knew nothing before the current fracas and so the phenomenon that is playing out is instructive to me. The Liberals have a history of working to destroy any woman who puts her head up and they do have some significiant scalps. They find some weakness and just keep on working away until the woman has lost all credibility and/or is destroyed. Julia Gillard has been in their sights but has managed so far to avoid being badly burnt.

    Abhorrent actions such as chair sniffing and bra snapping, ignoring bribes paid to Saddam Hussein’s regime, are totally acceptable to the Liberal blokes and blokettes but let a Labor woman behave badly and she must have the full force of the press, the opposition and the law descend upon her. (Far more likely to be a Labor woman as there are so few women allowed to be preselected by the Liberals.)

    Under John Howard’s Australia bullying became entrenched and Kevin Rudd appears to be following this trend. The bullying is accompanied by a double standard where women are held to a higher standard than the blokes. It means that fewer women will be bothered to even try and gain pre-selection in the future.

    I don’t condone the behaviour which has been reported but it is totally out of proportion to compare it to Watergate; an event which was surrepticious, criminal and influenced the outcome of the election of the president.

    One of the things which has become apparent with Liberals, out of government throughout the country, is that whilst there are some not very nice people in the Labor Party, they are not in the same league as the Liberals, who are too often self righteous, self interested, mysogynist bullies. It is not very attractive as an alternative to Labor. In this way Workchoices can be seen as a result of those attitudes – a policy which affected women negatively far more than men.

    As a country we badly need alternative governments but the Liberals are probably incapable of the cultural change to assist this process. Brendan Nelson could start by getting back to the issues instead of playing the woman.

  2. Ian Gould
    June 23rd, 2008 at 13:49 | #2

    “A report for the Climate Institute shows that five years into a carbon emissions trading scheme an average household could be $200 a year worse off.

    It has found compensating all Australian households would cost the Federal Government $1.8 billion a year by 2020, if the carbon price was $45 a tonne.

    CSIRO economist Steve Hatfield-Dodds says the payment would need to increase if there are no improvements in energy efficiency.

    “If you take energy efficiency into account, what we find is the payment would probably need to step up each year for five years to make sure people are covered and then you could hold the payment basically constant around that level,” he said.

    But the Climate Institute’s Erwin Jackson says the Government should find compensation affordable.

    “In 2020 the Government would be generating between $18 to $21 billion of revenues from the emissions trading system, so while the individual numbers sound large it’s actually a relatively small proportion of the revenue that the Government will generate,” Mr Jackson said”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/06/23/2282247.htm

    In other words, the cost of an emissions trading scheme (with an assumed carbon cost of $45 per tonne) will be less than $100 per Australian per year.

    Compensation is easily affordable within the current government budget settings.

  3. Smiley
    June 23rd, 2008 at 20:27 | #3

    Compensation is easily affordable within the current government budget settings.

    Surly the whole reason for having an emissions trading scheme is to discourage the use of any energy that produces greenhouse gases. Any windfall from such a tax should be used to pay for renewable energy sources or for technology (such as this) that can be used to sequester greenhouse emissions.

  4. Ian Gould
    June 23rd, 2008 at 21:50 | #4

    No, the point of an emissions trading scheme is to present consumers with a price signal.

    We had a lengthy tortured discussion here where John tried to convince people that if you tax their carbon emissions by $100.00 and pay them $100 in compensation they won’t simply spend the compensation to maintain the same level of carbon emissions.

    In actuality they’re likely to spend it on other less carbon-intensive (and therefore cheaper) products.

    Furthermore when I wrote “current government budget settings” I was referring to the current $22 billion Federal budget surplus.

    The scheme is expected to raise around $20 billion a year in revenue. (I assume the other $18 billion largely comes from foreign importers of Australian products and from reduced profit payments to foreign owners of Australian assets.)

    Assuming those numbers are even close to correct, there will be plenty of money to subsidise energy efficiency, clean energy and R&D and to get rid of some nuisance taxes.

  5. observa
    June 23rd, 2008 at 23:02 | #5

    “The scheme is expected to raise around $20 billion a year in revenue.”
    Could you outline the ‘scheme’ for us here Ian, as I’m a bit sketchy on the details. I must have missed it in all the emotion.

  6. observa
    June 23rd, 2008 at 23:09 | #6

    Surely it’s not like that Republic thingy? You know, the must have, just as soon as we can all work out how to select the GG.

  7. Tony G
    June 24th, 2008 at 00:40 | #7

    Jill,

    It sounds like you really hate the Liberal party.

    I do not know if I hate the Labour party less than the Liberal party or visa versa at the moment. I thought the Libs stood for smaller government, yet they’ve expanded it more than any Labour government could- it is going to be hard to forgive them for that.

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23854863-16741,00.html

    Emerson’s “market democrats” is an idea heading in the right direction, hopefully it can gain traction and I can work who to hate least for a short period.

    If Neale and Della Bosca have perverted the course of justice through intimidating persons into committing perjury- i.e. making them swearing false statutory declarations , then both husband and wife should be sent down the river.

    It is not about attacking a woman, it is about someone seriously breaking the law.

  8. observa
    June 24th, 2008 at 00:43 | #8

    Hmm..looks like the O is not the only one a bit confused about ‘the scheme’-http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23908592-29277,00.html

    “FEARS that petrol and electricity prices will soar when a carbon tax is introduced are unfounded, according to a new report.”

    No Cathy, it’s supposed to be an Emissions Trading Scheme dear and we have nothing to fear according to the ANU and the CSIRO, because in the long-run perspective we’ll all be de.. err, ‘reasonably relaxed’ of course.

    However the scaremonger Greg Hunt reckons we could be paying an extra 25c/L for petrol in the short run. Well no Greg with petrol at $1.70/L now, it could be between 14c and 61c a litre extra, according to the aforementioned experts and their percentages, so get your facts straight mate. Naturally a nervous Bob Brown, reckons Kevin and Penny will need to work out exactly how much ‘green’ will be needed in that paper of theirs to compensate for the actual price rise that only they truly know. Watch this space says Penny and besides Howard was planning to do the same with petrol anyway says Kev. On that note, it’s obvious Brendan isn’t scared of Johnny boy any more and neither should Kev be if he’s been looking at the name on his office door lately.

  9. Ian Gould
    June 24th, 2008 at 09:34 | #9

    Tony G, unless there’s an underlying criminal act – and last time I checked being drunk and obnoxious is only a trivial offense (unless one happens to be black) – then there was no attempt to pervert the course of justice.

    Lying and inducing others to lie to spare oneself embarassment may be reprehensible but it doesn’t rise to the level of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

    There’s also the little matter of proof to be addressed – and currently we’re being asked to accept the uncorroborated testimony of a self-confessed perjurer.

    “Were you lying then or are you lying now?”

  10. Ian Gould
    June 24th, 2008 at 09:37 | #10

    Observa,

    Here’s the report.

    http://www.climateinstitute.org.au/images/hatfield-dodds%20and%20denniss%202008%20energy%20affordability.pdf

    Why not direct your comments and questions to the authors?

    Be sure to use the term “constitutional marketplace” as often as possible and try to work in the Muslim terrorist threat anbd a digression on how wonderful everything was back in Bob Menzies day when we had the White Australia Polciy and we didn;t lie awake in our beds at night terrified of the latte-swilling Prius-driving irrigation-subsidising Aboriginal/Muslim cap-and-traders.

  11. wizofaus
    June 24th, 2008 at 09:49 | #11

    The news on carbon trading and the CDM in Europe is still not particularly comforting:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7436263.stm

  12. wizofaus
    June 24th, 2008 at 09:51 | #12

    Ok, what’s the rule on post moderation? How many non-link words have to be in a post with one link?

  13. June 24th, 2008 at 15:25 | #13

    The Courier Mail’s populist hypocrisy on fuel excises

    Why has the Courier Mail in its editorial of 23 June advocated that the Rudd Government adopt Brendan Nelson’s proposal to cut fuel excise even though such a measure would deny the Government millions in needed revenue and have negligible effect at the bowser in comparison to the demand-driven rise in the price of oil?

  14. Tony G
    June 24th, 2008 at 15:29 | #14

    Ian said;

    “it doesn’t rise to the level of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

    IMHO it does.

    “Perversion of the course of justice takes the form of one of three acts:

    * Fabrication or disposal of evidence
    * Intimidating a witness or juror
    * Threatening a witness or juror”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perverting_the_course_of_justice

  15. Tony G
    June 24th, 2008 at 15:30 | #15

    “it doesn’t rise to the level of a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

    IMHO it does.

    “Perversion of the course of justice takes the form of one of three acts:

    * Fabrication or disposal of evidence
    * Intimidating a witness or juror
    * Threatening a witness or juror”

  16. Tony G
    June 24th, 2008 at 15:32 | #16

    source

    wikipedia

    “Perverting the course of justice”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perverting_the_course_of_justice

  17. Tony G
    June 24th, 2008 at 15:32 | #17

    source

    wikipedia

    “Perverting the course of justice”

  18. Tony G
    June 24th, 2008 at 15:36 | #18

    Getting drunk and abusing someone is trivial. Lying under oath is pretty serious in my view.

  19. Tony G
    June 24th, 2008 at 15:53 | #19

    Specifically, if found guilty she is in breach of section 318 here;

    http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/maintop/scanact/inforce/NONE/0

    She could be liable to imprisonment for 14 years.

  20. Tony G
  21. June 24th, 2008 at 17:34 | #21

    And it is a conspiracy is two or more people co-operate to suborn false statements. That is truly lock ‘em up material. If this is proven the people who signed that statement saying she was only being chased as she is a woman will have egg on their faces.
    If she is found to have done this she should be locked up.

  22. Ian Gould
    June 24th, 2008 at 17:44 | #22

    “Perversion of the course of justice takes the form of one of three acts:

    * Fabrication or disposal of evidence
    * Intimidating a witness or juror
    * Threatening a witness or juror�

    So what is the criminal case in which evidence was fabricated?

    From Section 318:

    “318 Making or using false official instrument to pervert the course of justice

    (1) In this section:

    Official instrument means an instrument of a kind that is made or issued by a person in his or her capacity as a public officer or by a judicial tribunal.”

    So is a stat dec an official instrument for the purposes of the Section?

    Any lawyers present?

    “(2) A person who makes a false official instrument, or who makes a copy of an instrument which the person knows to be a false official instrument, with the intention that:

    (a) he or she or another person will use it to induce another person to accept the instrument as genuine or to accept the copy as a copy of a genuine official instrument, and

    (b) that acceptance will pervert the course of justice,”

    Notice the “and” at the end of subpara a.

    The offence only applies is the false instrument is intended to “pervert the course of justice”.

    So unless it relates to an underlying criminal offence is intended for presentation to a court, the section doesn’t apply.

    Oh and the use of the term “intended” mean you have to prove Mens Rea – i.e. that the act was don ewith the conscious intent of perverting the course of justice.

  23. June 24th, 2008 at 19:01 | #23

    Ian,
    I would refer you to s.330 of the Act.

    330 False statement on oath not amounting to perjury

    A person who makes on oath any false statement knowing the statement to be false or not believing it to be true, if it is not perjury, is liable to imprisonment for 5 years.

    A stat dec is a statement on oath. Conspiring with another to induce someone to breach this section may well be a conspiracy offence.
    Again I am not a lawyer and anything here would need to be tested in court.

  24. SJ
    June 24th, 2008 at 20:18 | #24

    Andrew, for that section to apply, the statement had to have been made in connection with a judicial proceeding (see s.327). Ian is just asking what that underlying judicial proceeding might be.

  25. jack strocchi
    June 24th, 2008 at 20:55 | #25

    Jill Rush Says: June 23rd, 2008 at 9:00 am

    One of the things which has become apparent with Liberals, out of government throughout the country, is that whilst there are some not very nice people in the Labor Party, they are not in the same league as the Liberals, who are too often self righteous, self interested, mysogynist bullies.

    Yes, I can remember not so long ago the LN/P had some really obnoxious types doing their dirty work. People like Theophanous, first Fed minister of the Crown to be jailed/ And Grassby, mobbed up with political assasins.

    Then there are all the rock-spiders in the LN/P ranks, ably detailed by Harry Clarke. Such as NSW minister Orkopoulos who recently got sent to jail. As would former Fed minister Bob Collins, had he not topped himself. Add D’arcy and Wright to that nasty little league.

    And lets not forget the LN/Ps shadowy connections to ex-criminals who frequent the hairychested end of the union movement. Such as former LN/P union heavy Tom Dominican.

    Or the fact that ex-LN/P politicians seem to have done remarkably well out of politics, scoring cushy sinecures as lobbyists and Maquarie bank advisors. Such as former NSW LN/P premier Bob Carr.

    Ohh, wait a minute. All those politicians were LN/P in pnly an alternative universe. Back in our universe they all toed the ALP party line.

    I dont think any party has a monopoly on “self righteous, self interested, mysogynist bullies”. And I the record shows that the LN/P has generally been more favourable vehicle for women than the ultra-blokey ALP.

  26. Jill Rush
    June 24th, 2008 at 23:04 | #26

    Thanks Jack,
    I think you help prove the point that the blokes are treated rather more gently for behaviour which is rather worse. Getting upset when asked to move from a table allocated by the restaurant although not having finished the meal is understandable. Belinda Neal will not be a first to get testy in a restaurant and it is not news to say “politician lies”. Think AWB bribes and SIEV X – far worse because of the lives lost as a direct result of those lies.

    I do wonder though how you can support the view that the Liberals and Nationals have been better for women. They have never had a female state leader, their number of women politicians is far lower than Labor and they certainly have never had a female deputy PM. The Howard cabinet had a blokey look which may explain why they were so cavalier about the effect of their policies on women.

    The arguments over the stat decs where everyone has an opinion and where the accusations are from everyone but those who were there – with the exception of a witness who states she is a liar and went on TV to say so because of a large cheque – have yet to be tested fairly.

    Tony G I am upset with the Liberals for their incredible failures and the nastiness of their politics. The current bullying is very reminiscent of that which occurred whilst they were the government. They prefer to conduct a witch hunt in an attempt to get Rudd through a woman backbencher. I want an effective opposition not one which acts like a mob of bullies. I am also upset at the bullying behaviour shown by Rudd. The lynch mob mentality is particularly ugly.

  27. Philip Travers
    June 25th, 2008 at 05:57 | #27

    Seeing I just want to express my sense of opinion on matters,I hope I am worthy of some description.And, as not to be off subject,last time I logged in here… I did say I felt friendlier to economists because of some statements in print here by you. Tonight,I am not so sure,because of some sort of lecturer from S.A. on matters Murray -Darling..who had presented something recently and is part of the Wentworth group.[Was on ABC P.M.] I felt like a few pubic hairs had turned to barbed wire,when the amazing fact was presented, by him, of Forests plantings and dams as….. volume users of water had been decreasing water flow recently. Given ,I do not know where these forests are, along the Murray Darling and it natural catchment areas,and, the likelihood of any larger dams being built in the immediate past being distinctly silly. I couldn’t actually visualise how these forests were effecting the potential rain fall to river flow outcome,in any sense directly,that would suggest that…. if there were better regulations.. then the immediate potential water flow would of been greater recently! Because surely to find a direct connection,even in correlate form, between less water flow from either run off or changed weather conditions because of new plantings,must mean the availability of statistical evidences that allow the point to be made about better regulation!? I say again,I dont know what Forests and what dams he was referring too,because I thought the run-off water at least was essentially that of snowmelt!? And if that isnt the case then,I suppose the other known fact,of weather modification for snowline purposes is negligible in terms of water outcomes for the Murray at least!? Do you know what I am getting at!? Could you,if you aren’t time pressed, see if these statistics about Forests and dams have a direct and realisable placement in the physical proximity and reality of flows in the Murray at least!? Thanks! My feeling is the S.A.n is fudging something,which then gives an entirely erroneous outcome,even if it is still bleak as far as the rivers are concerned.

  28. Smiley
    June 25th, 2008 at 11:08 | #28

    We had a lengthy tortured discussion here where John tried to convince people that if you tax their carbon emissions by $100.00 and pay them $100 in compensation they won’t simply spend the compensation to maintain the same level of carbon emissions.

    I must have missed that one Ian.

    In actuality they’re likely to spend it on other less carbon-intensive (and therefore cheaper) products.

    I didn’t realise that renewables were that cost competitive. I guess when you think about it a $200 per person per annum price signal is quite significant.

    What really concerns me at the moment is that while there is general agreement that a lot has to be done; politicians here in Queensland are also talking about the doubling of our coal export industry. It really is an inconsistent message.

  29. observa
    June 25th, 2008 at 14:02 | #29

    Well Jill, some of us were wondering when the importance of having women in positions of power trumped bullying underling women in the workforce into illegal activities to the point where they felt it necessary to quit and you certainly answered that for us. Welcome to left, liberal progressive, feminist tradeoffs folks! Since you have such clarity of principle Jill, perhaps you could help one of your mob out here, from a feminist perspective, since he seems to be in some sort of similar bind with some rather ticklish tradeoffs too.(I’m a simple minded, slippery slope man myself of course)-

    ‘Muslims living in polygamous marriages have been put on notice by federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland.

    Polygamous marriages do exist among Australian Muslims, a sheikh with the Islamic Welfare Centre in Sydney has said.

    But such relationships are illegal under the federal Marriage Act which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman.

    “Everyone should be on notice that the law in Australia is that marriage is between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others,” Mr McClelland told reporters on Wednesday.

    “That’s based on a long tradition.

    “It’s based on the culture of our community and polygamous relationships are entirely inconsistent with that culture and indeed with the law.

    “Polygamous relationships are and will remain unlawful.”

    Sheik Khalil Chami on Tuesday said polygamous marriages should be recognised under law.

    “Why not change the law?” he asked.

    Well-known Islamic spokesman Keysar Trad admitted he had once pursued the possibility of marrying a second woman.

    “I certainly would not have entertained the thought of having a relationship without a religious marriage and I thought the relationship with that person was developing to the stage where we had become too friendly with each other,” Mr Trad told ABC Radio.

    “Rather than entertain any thoughts of an affair I thought the only decent thing to do was to consider a proper commitment to that person.”

    Mr McClelland said the debate on polygamous marriages was entirely different to issues surrounding same-sex marriage and discrimination of homosexual couples.

    “The same-sex law reforms that we’ve introduced remove discrimination.

    “But we’ve confirmed and reiterated a number of times that the Marriage Act defines marriage as being between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others so a polygamous marriage necessarily offends that definition and we won’t be changing it.”

  30. observa
    June 25th, 2008 at 14:56 | #30

    Final snark warning. I’m sick to death of this stuff observa. Please take it as read that we’ve heard and understood your views on this point. Any repetition will result in a permanent ban. If you want to start your own blog, feel free.

  31. Peter Wood
    June 25th, 2008 at 17:36 | #31

    Observa (#29),

    Its quite simple really – many people have loving relationships with more than one person. Polyamory (love of multiple people) is becoming increasingly popular. Governments should recognise what is already going on and legalise marriages which involve more than two people. Governments should also recognise same sex marriages as well of course.

    It should not be the role of governments to interfere in peoples relationships.

  32. Jill Rush
    June 25th, 2008 at 21:24 | #32

    Observa,
    Perhaps you should watch Big Love on SBS on a Saturday night which deals with the good and bad parts of polygamy. It also shows how religion can mask evil deeds with holy words and it is the Christian religion.

    My point which you have decided to label rather than consider is that we have many flawed people in politics but that there is a particular kind of politician who goes out of their way to conduct a witch hunt so that the guilty woman can be thrown into the water. If she floats she is guilty and if she sinks she is innocent but is dead anyway.

    A new staffer decided to quit because the pressure of the job was too great because of a lack of moral compass. This same poor moral compass led her to sell her story to the tabloid media which weakens her credibility. Who is the bully in this story?

    Observa you obviously are able to know what happened without being there although natural justice would suggest that facts are presented in a way that can be tested rather than printed in the media which often gets things wrong.

    It is also the tabloid way that real issues like climate change can be ignored.

    It is the double standards and general lack of fairness in process and the nastiness in this tawdry affair that concerns me. If that makes me a left liberal progressive feminist it will be a label to wear with pride. Thanks

  33. TerjeP
    June 25th, 2008 at 21:44 | #33

    Abhorrent actions such as chair sniffing and bra snapping, ignoring bribes paid to Saddam Hussein’s regime, are totally acceptable to the Liberal blokes and blokettes but let a Labor woman behave badly and she must have the full force of the press, the opposition and the law descend upon her.

    Jill,

    The Liberal party no longer has it’s hands on the levers of power. It can’t be blamed for the actions of the press, it no longer has executive or legislative control over the law which only leaves the “opposition”. In other words you are in effect saying that the Liberal party is using the full force of the Liberal party which is currently close to stuff all force.

  34. observa
    June 25th, 2008 at 22:15 | #34

    I moght have agreed with you once Peter in my teens or twenties, but I recognise now, as Senator McLelland almost does, that it’s really middle class delusion, coming from the smug security of leafy suburbs, compliments of the true values of my parents. Beyond that warm, protective safety blanket lies the truth of what you politely describe as ‘polyamory’-
    http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,22606,23919144-2682,00.html?from=public_rss
    a truth that has shocked a State to its very foundations now, but perhaps the epitome of the cartoonist’s art is worth a thousand words here-
    http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/news/opinion/cartoons/
    (scroll the link to Valdman’s cartoon, number 6 of 83, today, Jun 25)
    It’s my observation that those with traditional middle class values, would be horrified if their children strayed from their constant implicit values and yet they are no longer prepared to stand up and defend them publicly and loudly, or condemn those who err, from some misguided view that everyone’s entitled to come to their own sensible conclusion too in the fullness of time. Unfortunately for them, they seem to be oblivious to the fact their world’s not full of well drilled, middle class adults like themselves.

  35. observa
    June 25th, 2008 at 23:23 | #35

    “Final snark warning”
    Well John it has been said that the Observa does range from the mischeviously flippant to the scathingly acid(snarky too by all accounts)in the pursuit of some occasionally intelligible and serious point. Since he’s not always the best judge of approach to the task at hand, he’s often found in the company of a more astute sidekick, perhaps aptly so described for the frequency of applications under the table of various footwear for the purpose, in order to moderate and adjust said approach to the moment. Naturally that does foster a certain love/hate relationship with stilletoes.

    That said, my serious point was that the glimpses of cap and trader’s brave new world are all about them if they look carefully. Not only do I think they are in denial about that, but furthermore they are worshipping a mythological creature, rather than any real substance. Nowhere yet have I seen its true form, not least from a Labor Govt that had plenty of opportunity to unearth it in Opposition. It seems they are all waiting for Garnaut to paint a picture of it for them now. That picture can largely take from 2 schools of art, which I outlined on Weekend Reflections. Will it be one where we (ie via our Govt) own/licence the final emission permits or not? There silence is deafening on that right now, but the painful sounds of the wrong alternative are all about us according to my eardrums.

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