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Weekend reflections

December 11th, 2009

It’s time again for weekend reflections, which makes space for longer than usual comments on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language please.

Categories: Economics - General Tags:
  1. Michael of Summer Hill
    December 12th, 2009 at 07:27 | #1

    John, it seems like Abbott & the other neo-conservatives illywackers have shown they lack credibility. Even some rags are now so out of step with community expectations that they cannot be taken serious given the following crap ‘Thanks to Abbott clearly opposing the Rudd emissions trading scheme the Coalition is taking the fight to the ALP’. What the community want is for a cleaner and greener evironment and not a bunch of drongos dishing out crap. Many within the Liberal Party must be pondering if they did the wright thing in outsting Turnbull. Drongos.

  2. Donald Oats
    December 12th, 2009 at 10:43 | #2

    Abbott clearly chose to support a position on both the ETS and AGW that suited his prior beliefs, rather than on the basis of evidence. By his own admission he is a climate sceptic. His Lateline interview just shows more of the artful dodge when questioned on whether he has sought or taken counsel from Australian (climate) scientists. Oddly enough he didn’t mention his counselling by Ian Plimer in all of this…

    Now something very interesting about the ABC transcript of this particular Lateline interview is I could have sworn I heard Tony Abbott saying how he hadn’t read the IPCC 2007 reports/summaries, he said he had read the first few chapters of Plimer’s book, and intended to finish it. He offered no further clue that he might have read anything else about the subject matter, except perhaps for some emails from Bolt and Barnaby “Carbuncle” Joyce. The precise statements as both my father and I remember them aren’t in the transcript. Does anyone else remember what Tony Abbott said at this part of the Lateline interview?

    Why do people want Abbott’s position on ETS/climate change generally when he so openly and almost proudly professes his ignorance of even the most basic awareness of the scientific evidence. Someone who knows virtually nothing about the matter was seminal in turfing out of the opposition leadership someone who knew a heck of a lot more about it.

    It seems that Tony “Turncoat” Abbott had been plotting this from a long time ago. I’m of the opinion now that Nick “The Knife” Minchin and Turncoat had been quite deliberately waiting out the debating period of several months until the decision was about to be made by the Liberals to support the amended ETS. Then Knifey and Turncoat made their move openly.

    Finally, I’ve argued elsewhere that at least some farmers are probably concerned that if AGW is accepted by them, then the more “average” droughts of the past will no longer be considered drought in the future, denying them drought relief. I doubt that politically that would happen, but I’ve long thought that more than a few farmers may be thinking it could happen. So there in the Australian today, which I bought against my better judgement, is Stuart Rintoul’s article on the Abbott visit to Beaufort in Victoria, where he came to the conclusion that the ETS must be stopped. In there is the farmer’s question on drought relief. Now I understand why Liberals make such a big deal about self-interest – they don’t differentiate between enlightened self-interest and naked, grubby self-interest – if this is the class of person they rub shoulders with then it all makes sense now.

  3. djm
    December 12th, 2009 at 11:01 | #3

    No blog post on Joyce’s “US default armageddon”? I’m disappointed, prof. Quiggin!

  4. Michael of Summer Hill
    December 12th, 2009 at 11:38 | #4

    Donald Oats, the Australian community expects more of their politicians than behaving like raving lunatics. And since djm mentioned Barnaby Joyce, even Joe Hockey got stuck into the fruitcake reminding him whose portfolio and responsibilities finance is. Just makes you wonder if the Coalition under Abbott are really in tune with community expectations, for whatever faults Turnbull may have had he did what he thought was best for Australia and the people. Come next year I expect many Liberals will cross the floor with Turnbull when the ETS is put to the vote.

  5. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 12th, 2009 at 12:14 | #5

    I don’t understand the Australian Federal Government. On the one hand they stoke housing bubbles with policies of offering grants to first time buyers, tax breaks for investors and ensuring a willing supply of suckers via large international immigration quotas. While on the other hand they insist on taxing people like me at 28 cents in the dollar on the interest that I earn while I attempt to build up a reasonable deposit for my first home. Given the exorbitant prices of housing at the moment, I’m not sure that I’ll ever get there.

    Can one of you economic geniuses out there explain to a dumb-ass like me where the equity is in those policies? It seems like they are trying to discourage people from saving for home ownership. And why is it that you pay tax on the whole amount of interest that you earn and not just the amount over the threshold (as is done for income tax)?

    P.S. While I’m now paying tax for last financial year, I probably won’t be taxed next financial year because interest rates are too low at the moment.

  6. Chris Warren
    December 12th, 2009 at 12:30 | #6

    David C

    This tax of 28cents on the dollar is affected by your overall income.

    Eliminating it would firstly increase your purchasing power for housing.

    But this would apply to all prospective purchasers.

    So demand increases.

    So the market price for houses also increases.

    So with less tax – housing prices are higher.

    Whether – at any level of tax and house price – you can say they are “exorbitant” depends on subjective (ie social and political) judgments.

    The real problem with house prices is that prices are set by a freemarket and only a freemarket, when most peoples wages are set by regulation in various guises.

    Capital has the right to provide just so much capital into housing depending on its profits, but wage-earners do not have the same right or ability.

    Upper middle class strata do not find house prices “exorbitant” but generally winge about the exorbitant prices of mansions.

  7. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 12th, 2009 at 12:42 | #7

    Chris, I’m certainly wouldn’t call myself upper middle class, nor am I looking for a mansion. Even with my current savings I would have to take out a loan for at least 4 times my annual income to afford a single bedroom unit. In historical terms AFAIK, that is unprecedented.

  8. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 12th, 2009 at 12:47 | #8

    And Chris you are right. In the last “temporary” job that I held I was under an award. And it wasn’t even an award that was appropriate for the technical field that I work in.

  9. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 12th, 2009 at 13:49 | #9

    The real problem with house prices is that prices are set by a freemarket and only a freemarket, when most peoples wages are set by regulation in various guises.

    So what happens if wages in the lower to middle classes rise due to “deregulation”. Wouldn’t this have the same effect on increasing the demand for housing and therefore house prices. This is why I have a healthy disdain for economics.

  10. Chris Warren
    December 12th, 2009 at 14:55 | #10

    It depends?

    If wages in lower strata rise, because they produce more, prices will stay the same, but wealth will increase. If wage earners purchase only the same goods as before, they will be able to purchase more housing.

    If their wages rise, with no other changes in production or for the rest of society, those who can purchase housing quickly, will have an opportunity to purchase more housing than before and suppliers will divert some resources to increasing the supply to this market segment – in response to the stronger signal. The rich will then launch a political campaign to reduce such wage rises, or demand similar income rises for themselves.

  11. may
    December 12th, 2009 at 16:12 | #11

    Chris Warren :It depends?
    If wages in lower strata rise, because they produce more, prices will stay the same, but wealth will increase. If wage earners purchase only the same goods as before, they will be able to purchase more housing.
    If their wages rise, with no other changes in production or for the rest of society, those who can purchase housing quickly, will have an opportunity to purchase more housing than before and suppliers will divert some resources to increasing the supply to this market segment – in response to the stronger signal. The rich will then launch a political campaign to reduce such wage rises, or demand similar income rises for themselves.

    as some-one who is not an economist the political campaign that worries me is the one using the frank lunz method of obfuscation,confusion and key words calculated to manipulate via a proven emotional response.

    here in the west,the last state state election had the word “corruption” slathered all over the incumbent govt(never mind the bad guys came from more than one side)

  12. Donald Oats
    December 12th, 2009 at 17:15 | #12

    Ahh, housing prices. They are affected by many factors, some of which are overtly political and discriminatory. If you either are blind to risk or are lucky to have a good deposit at the same time as a policy change that affects housing in your favour, you are in! Otherwise, marry rich. I didn’t and I now regret that :0

    Two factors can be separated out as important: changes to interest rates, especially when they have been relatively stable for a couple of years; immigration rates, as that can tip demand to exceeding supply for extended periods, such as now. A third factor of importance in rare situations, such as the recent Global Financial Crisis “GFC”, is credit or the lack of it – the credit squeeze heralding the GFC toppled a number of banks in the US and other countries, and scared the bejeezus out of the rest of them. Normally though, credit factors wouldn’t be as important…Back to the other two factors.

    If immigration had been significantly lower for the last couple of years, the GFC may have had substantially more impact upon house prices in the negative direction. As it turned out, probably NSW copped it hardest because it already had the most expensive house prices (with Perth neck and neck for awhile) but it also had the biggest concentration of white collar workers in finance and IT, which the GFC clipped. A drop in the inner-city prices moved the overall averages down for a bit, but that is now being overcome by immigration.

    Now watch the real economists tear my analysis to shreds :-P

  13. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 12th, 2009 at 17:29 | #13

    Donald, from my uneducated point of view, I think your analysis is pretty good. Also it is unfortunate for me that my training is in IT. Oh well :-(

  14. David C (aka Smiley)
    December 12th, 2009 at 17:39 | #14

    Actually, I’m betting that house prices will drop over the next several years. When you hear so called experts on programs like Today Tonight proclaim that you better get in now or you will be priced out for ever, you know that people with skin in the game are probably a bit nervous. I also seem to remember that line being used in the late great housing bubble in the US.

  15. Alice
    December 12th, 2009 at 19:18 | #15

    @Donald Oats
    Just one thing Donald – you forgot the State Govts lack of land releases. They get the stamp duties when people swap houses and they get developers courting when land values are higher (oh why am I such a cynic?).

  16. nanks
    December 12th, 2009 at 20:34 | #16

    @David C (aka Smiley)
    I’m not sure – it makes no sense to have such high prices in Australia, but then economic sense is not the primary sense making activity of people. I’m thinking here of the potlatch where supposedly people woud bankrupt themselves to display status to their community (forgive me if I am hopelessly wrong here, I’m not an anthropologist nor indigenous to the areas where the potlatch is practised ). Maybe that’s what we have going here in Australia – social status is displayed through ridiculous attachment to expensive housing. In which case the sky’s the limit as far as pricing goes.

    (and of course we are now mining housing courtesy of the changed rules re foreign ownership)

  17. Donald Oats
    December 13th, 2009 at 01:42 | #17

    @Alice

    Indeed, they play a game to keep supply tight. One thing I’ve wondered about in idle moments – there are many of those LOL – even as the old 1400sqm shrinks progressively to under 400sqm, the actual house sizes have grown to consume nearly all of that space, as well as often being two storey.

    Imagine in the old days: “Bruno, stop being a pain and go help Dad in the backyard with the vineyard!”; or perhaps: “Sally take this waterbottle and go find your brother in the backyard, it’s time for dinner.” But now it’s “Tar-nee! Please don’t open the back screen door so hard – it dents the fence!”; or maybe “Which floor, BG, G, or 1?”

    Yet even with the recent baby bulge, there is sooo much room left over in these new houses. Has everyone suddenly become a bunch of obsessive hoarders and needs all the hoarding storage space or something?

  18. Alice
    December 13th, 2009 at 06:32 | #18

    I think it must be to do with competition in project home builders Donald —- its a race, not to the bottom, but to the fence on all sides and up. Maybe competition doesnt always get it right?

  19. Alice
    December 13th, 2009 at 07:05 | #19

    This one is for Terje

    ….we were talking about this last Monday’s message board
    Its a very recent article (Dec 9) on why women dont like Tony Abbott (and are probably wise not to IMHO)

    http://newmatilda.com/2009/12/08/why-some-women-dont-tony

  20. Michael of Summer Hill
    December 13th, 2009 at 07:22 | #20

    Update, Update, Update, reports suggest Abbott has really lost it for Australians are more concerned about a clean and green environment than the cost of the PM’s entourage in Copenhagen which brings into the question about the role of politicians who are delusionists and are they wasting taxpayers money?

  21. Jill Rush
    December 13th, 2009 at 08:33 | #21

    I know the link was for Terje Alice but I followed it anyway. It raises a number of issues such as what was the Liberal Party thinking? Has the Liberal Party stopped thinking? Or even why would the Liberal Party go to such lengths to amuse the Asutralian people. I am sure that Pauline Hansen is wondering how someone who was involved in sending her to jail is wondering what he would do to other women. What is clear is that his Catholicism is a great help because of the confessional. This piece of Catholicism means that a Catholic is able to break the commandments all week but on Sunday seek forgiveness and it is a clean slate. His plea to be judged on future actions shows this thinking precisely. In the meantime it is like a version of the Rocky Horror Show which is both entertaining and apalling at the same time. At least we can say that Abbott isn’t looking for populist positions. Anyone who thinks that Son of Workchoices is the answer is delusional.

  22. Alice
    December 13th, 2009 at 09:22 | #22

    @Jill Rush
    Jill – I dont know what they were thinking and all I can suggest is that “the party” prefers autocratic dogmatism to consultation. I suppose they can heave a sigh of relief and go back to not thinking and just saying “yes Tony, no Tony, three bags full Tony” and asking their colleuagues if there is a knife in their back yet? They got used to that under JH.

    Anyway for a bit of Xmas satire on TA – check the last funny para in this piece.

    http://newmatilda.com/2009/12/03/abbott-reason-season

  23. Alice
    December 13th, 2009 at 09:40 | #23

    Actually its all pretty funny.

  24. Paul OD
    December 13th, 2009 at 10:23 | #24

    As I come to this blog a bit to find some interesting and diverse discussions on issues related to economics, I would like to see thoughts on the outcomes of the following scenario. Now that Wall St has been bailed out and the major banksters are back to business as usual and now less risk adverse as the see themselves as TBTF. What could have been the hypothetical outcomes if the US had just said Stuff you, the toxic debt is your problem and let the financial sysem collaspse in a screaming heap? Would the centre of financial shift from the US? Where would it be likey to go to? If so, would the worlds financial system emerge as different beast to the current neo-liberal based entity?

  25. Donald Oats
    December 13th, 2009 at 11:54 | #25

    @Jill Rush

    I bet Tiger “Cheata” Woods wishes he could get away with being judged only on his future actions. If the reports I’ve shamefully read are true, then this guy has a real problem, the kind that addicts go into rehab for, or in the case of celeb addicts, go into special PR cleansing rehab for, to return as whiter than white (metaphorically speaking). Perhaps Michael Douglas can give him the phone number of a good clinic.

  26. Donald Oats
    December 13th, 2009 at 12:05 | #26

    @Alice
    I had to have a look at this article…and I learnt a few things. Firstly, I have now officially gagged at the mere mention of the noun “budgie-smugglers” – please, no more. Secondly, Miranda Devine is Catholic. Thirdly, I agree with feminists – at least one, anyway :-P

    Finally, a question for the ladies: for those who saw Abbott in the notorious race – judging from the photos, do you think Tony believes in big government or small government.
    Gotta go and dust off the boardshorts.

    PS: MOSH, thumbs down Rees :-(

  27. Donald Oats
    December 13th, 2009 at 12:22 | #27

    Oh, and for the people still feeling that the “hide the decline” mentioned in the CRU emails (in the really recent ones) is somehow really shady, consider reading this article by d’Arrigo et al and chasing up the relevant references. It should be clear from d’Arrigo et al that the decline has been a known anomaly for a long time now, and that scientists are interested in understanding just what has caused the divergence in this particular proxy series, as compared to all of the other proxies and thermometer measurements. Understanding the root causes will undoubtedly lead to improvements in the calculation of temperature from other tree-ring data.

  28. rog
    December 13th, 2009 at 12:58 | #28

    @Donald Oats

    Relevant Lateline interview

  29. Alice
    December 13th, 2009 at 13:27 | #29

    @Donald Oats
    Cheeky Donald – I think he believes in small government myself. About the same size as his BS (budgie smugglers).

    Well you did ask…..LOL.

  30. Donald Oats
    December 13th, 2009 at 13:43 | #30

    @rog
    Thank you, rog, that is indeed the Lateline interview with Tony Abbott I was trying to find. This is where Tony Abbott baldly states he relies on secondary sources, hasn’t read the IPCC summary for policy makers, and is only part-way through Plimer’s book:

    TONY JONES: I hear what you’re saying about the earth having been hotter in different periods in its entire global history, but let me ask you this. Have you read the science that we’re talking about here – for example, have you read the IPCC’s report?

    TONY ABBOTT: No, I don’t claim to have immersed myself deeply in all of these documents. I’m a politician. I have to rely on briefings – I have to rely on what I pick up through the secondary sources.

    But look, I think I am as well versed on these matters as your average politician needs to be.

    TONY JONES: But you have read Ian Plimer’s book.

    TONY ABBOTT: I haven’t yet finished Ian Plimer’s book. I have started Ian Plimer’s book.

    TONY JONES: But you have quoted it from time to time.

    TONY JONES: I’ve quoted a couple of passages, and I confess I’m probably more familiar with the book through people who’ve written about it than I am through having read it myself.

    TONY JONES: What evidence do you have then for saying that the earth has cooled since the late 1990s.

    TONY ABBOTT: Well, I am not setting myself up as the great expert here, but the Hadley Institute in Britain, which is apparently one of the most reputable of these measuring centres, according to press reports, has found that after heating up very significantly in the previous 25 years, there seems to have been a slight cooling, but at a high plateau I’ll accept that.

    TONY JONES: That is Ian Plimer’s argument. So when you actually go…

    TONY ABBOTT: This is the Hadley Centre – this is measurements.

    TONY JONES: I’m about to tell you what the Hadley Centre actually says. When you go and look at what it says about global temperatures you’ll find that they say that the years 1998 to 2006 include the hottest, the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth and the sixth hottest years in recorded history.

    TONY ABBOTT: And the hottest one was at the beginning and the less hot ones have been since.

    TONY JONES: According to the Hadley Centre’s mean temperature data, 1998 was, as you say, the hottest year on record – 2005 was the second hottest year on record. The third hottest year on record since 1880 – since recorded temperatures were made – is 2003, the fourth 2002, the fifth 2004.

    Ah, politicians!

  31. Ken
    December 13th, 2009 at 15:21 | #31

    Tony Abbott said he’s “as well versed on these matters as your average politician needs to be”… actually frightening coming from someone who aspires to lead our nation. I’d like to think most politicians are better versed on an issue of such profound importance. More frightening is how widespread climate denialism is and how vulnerable to having their buttons pushed the Australian voting public can be; I don’t think it takes that much to get people to vote for their short term interests irrespective of the damage to their long term interests. I suspect Tony Abbott knows that part very well.

  32. Donald Oats
    December 14th, 2009 at 07:17 | #32

    Another day, another IPA opinion article in the Australian Bugle.

    Take the line early in the piece:

    A handful of green, anti-capitalist activists has even infiltrated official negotiations and are representing countries in some negotiating streams.

    No mention of the infiltration by Peter Singer’s SEPP (again), the Competitive Enterprise Institute (again), or the several dozen other desciencers denying any human responsibility for the “A” in AGW.

  33. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 07:45 | #33

    @Donald Oats

    How come the ‘FoxNewspaper’ (slogan: “All the news that’s fit to flush”) doesn’t report the neoliberal conspiracy and how they have infiltrated both sides of politics, the bureaucracy and academia to push their agenda? Oh, and have infiltrated the media too, I forgot to say.

  34. Gaz
    December 14th, 2009 at 13:30 | #34

    “TONY ABBOTT: And the hottest one was at the beginning and the less hot ones have been since.”

    Gee, he got that one hopelessly wrong.

    How embarrrassing for him.

    From 1998 through 2008l, the HadCRU data set that that shows 1998 was the hottest year also shows the coldest year since 1998 was 1999, with 2000 the next coldest, followed by 2008 then 2001.

    Yep, three of the four coldest years since hot 1998 came immediately after 1998.

    Of course, if Abbott’strying to educate himself using Plimer’s atrocious mish-mash, he’s bound to spout a fair bit of nonense from time to time.

  35. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 13:38 | #35

    I thought the most convincing refutation of AGW was the cooling we observe every evening and night. Surely if there was warming, every moment would be hotter than those prior?
    Why haven’t Plimer and gang been using this convincing argument?

  36. nanks
    December 14th, 2009 at 13:43 | #36

    @Freelander
    Freelander, I pointed out similar before- if AGW was true then every moment would be hotter than the last until our blood boiled and our heads exploded. But it hasn’t happened – corrupt leftist science billionaires totally pwned by my superior intelligence.And I didn’t even have to know anything about climate science to do it!

  37. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 13:54 | #37

    @nanks

    Sorry, missed or forgotten that. It is such a convincing refutation one wonders why they don’t simply plug away repeating it rather than hacking into emails etc.

  38. Ken
    December 14th, 2009 at 15:49 | #38

    I just wanted to add that if Tony Abbott gets his advice on climate change from his advisors and one of his criteria for selecting an advisor is that their position on climate change is compatable with his own he would be fully responsible for the poor quality of the advice he gets.

    Of course, there are people and Offices such as Chief Scientist for Australia and the head of the CSIRO; I’m not sure how well it would go down – were he in a position to do so – to have the current ones kicked out and replaced on the basis of their advice on climate change or any other scientific issues. Seems more likely his policy will simply ignore such sources.

    As Opposition leader Abbott appears to be backing away from directly challenging the reality of climate change but by his recent utterances it’s clear that he’s quite capable of saying what he doesn’t believe to be true to further the political ends of the party and himself.

  39. Freelander
    December 14th, 2009 at 15:56 | #39

    @Ken

    Tony Abbott is simply following the religious approach to seeking advice.

  40. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 17th, 2009 at 03:03 | #40

    Please ring the Liberal Party and tell them to oppose the Internet filter.

    http://blog.libertarian.org.au/2009/12/17/where-is-abbott-on-internet-censorship/

  41. Freelander
    December 17th, 2009 at 04:09 | #41

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)

    Part of the motivation for filtering (which was also something the previous government was keen on) is to protect kids, both from being exploited overseas to supply some of the material on the net and to stop them from accessing material that is not age appropriate in Australia. Stopping access to material that would assist criminal activity is also a reasonable motivation.
    Unfortunately both this government and the previous one can and could not be trusted to only exclude these types of material.
    If they do manage to implement a filter, then at a bare minimum, as part of legislation (that is, as part of the Act and not part of the regulations) there should be a requirement (backed by suitably strong sanctions for non compliance) that the urls of every piece of excluded material should be promptly listed on a website for all to see. That way it would be possible to check on exactly what is being excluded (although checking might not be able to be done from within Australia). At least if it was possible to check what was being blocked it might constrain government from grossly abusing its use of a filter. But then, it might not.
    I am also concerned that entire websites will be blocked rather than the particular material that presents a problem.
    One thing that I think should be filtered is age restricted material on mobile phones. It is now common to see kids and some adults playing inappropriate material on their phones on public transport. As well as being ill-mannered, this is just one more source of the increasing early sexualisation of kids.
    Even a libertarian should not consider this type of restriction unreasonable because if a person can’t control themselves to leave looking at that sort of material until they are sitting in front of a computer, then I have little sympathy for this restriction of their ‘rights’.
    There is an arguable case for restricting some material. Managing to limit filtering to only this material is a concern, especially if a Rudd or Howard or Abbott was making the decisions.

  42. Michael of Summer Hill
    December 17th, 2009 at 05:07 | #42

    Gaz, I wouldn’t worry about what is coming out of Abbott’s mouth for his audience seem to be mostly neo-conservative illywackers and the ill informed.

  43. Alice
    December 17th, 2009 at 05:16 | #43

    @nanks
    LOL nanks!

  44. Alice
    December 17th, 2009 at 05:20 | #44

    @Gaz
    Gaz – the even scarier thing about Abbotts view on climate science is that he clearly isnt even trying to educate himself – he freely admitted he hasnt even read Plimers book! (let alone anything non crazy).

  45. Alice
    December 17th, 2009 at 05:49 | #45

    Tony Abbott hasnt been a good catholic either lately. He hasnt been paying attention to his spiritual leader, the Pope.

    http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=18357

    Time for Tony to go to confession and admit he is a fraud.

  46. Freelander
    December 17th, 2009 at 07:24 | #46

    @Alice

    Tony has his eye on the future. He is keeping in with next pope, Pell.

  47. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 17th, 2009 at 07:41 | #47

    Freelander – If we judged legislation on the basis of intentions then it is probably wonderful legislation. However that isn’t how I judge legislation or policy.

  48. Freelander
    December 17th, 2009 at 08:00 | #48

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Agreed. As I noted I don’t trust them. I wouldn’t bother turning to the Liberal party for more than lip service support, though. They were planning at least as bad before the change of government. If Labor had a different leader they may not have continued with the Great Wall of Australia plan. That said, currently there is a problem with unfettered access. Solving that problem without creating a greater problem is non-tivial.

  49. Alice
    December 17th, 2009 at 09:03 | #49

    @Freelander

    Then we will all end up in hell if we get the Abbott, the Bishop and Pope Pell

    (I know, I know…its a weak joke and its done the rounds already…8-)

  50. Alice
    December 17th, 2009 at 09:05 | #50

    (:

  51. Alice
    December 17th, 2009 at 09:07 | #51

    :-8

  52. Alice
    December 17th, 2009 at 09:08 | #52

    what is wrong with my computer:-8

  53. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    December 17th, 2009 at 11:40 | #53

    Freelander – the Howard government was looking at filtering but it wasn’t going to be mandatory. And the Liberals have demonstrated a willingness to oppose things in opposition that they supported in government. The point of lots of people ringing the office of Tony Abbott is to give him an excuse to oppose this in the senate.

  54. Alice
    December 17th, 2009 at 14:18 | #54

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    I dont think it will be necessary for anyone to phone Tony Abbott on this Terje. “Oppose everything” is the default position of the libs Terje and so far they are still on default auto pilot.

  55. paul walter
    December 17th, 2009 at 15:01 | #55

    Alice, almost missed those shrewd comments of yours back in the mid forties of this thread.
    Particularly the one about Abbot “clearly” not even “trying to educate himself on climate change”- even to the extent of not even reading his ally Plimer’s protracted alibiing of the indefensible.
    A true reactionary and a fellow deserving of the most severe kick up the butt, as with all the other so-called “contrarians” who just want to make trouble for trouble’s sake, regardless of harm done to themselves actually also, as much as to others.

  56. paul walter
    December 17th, 2009 at 15:06 | #56

    Now, in the meantime, the conversation betwen Terje and Alice concerning filtering. I hope the naff you are both right on this, that for once contrarianism can produce a zero sum result, let alone win-win, instead of another repressive catastrophe

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