Home > Oz Politics > Time for the B team

Time for the B team

April 11th, 2010

I spoke yesterday at a Forum on the Bligh government’s privatisation program. I got a presentation ready (it’s over the fold) but spoke off the cuff instead.

As well as my oft-stated critique of the government’s case for privatisation, I took a look at the broader budget problems facing Queensland. Although the government has overstated these problems to promote the privatisation push, they are real enough.

The fundamental problem is that the government is committed both to high quality service and to keeping Queensland a low tax state. According to standard measures, Queensland’s tax effort is about 85 per cent of the Australian average, which amounts to a shortfall of around $1.5 billion, or pretty much the gap the government is trying to fill. In addition, Queensland provides more business subsidies and incentives than any other state, most notably the indefensible Investment Incentives Scheme. To the extent that these incentives actually attract new business to the state they increase the demands on infrastructure and thereby create even more problems. Mostly, though, they are just a waste of money.

The government has committed itself clearly and publicly to providing Queenslanders with services that are as good as those in other states. That can’t be done while also holding down tax revenue.

Looking at the political situation regarding the asset sales, it seems to me unlikely that they can be stopped while Bligh and Fraser are in charge, and unlikely that Labor will change leaders unless electoral defeat appears inevitable. I’ve therefore concluded that, in the absence of such a change, I’ll be giving the Greens my first preference and the LNP my second.

In a democracy, it’s important that parties should alternate in office to some extent, and it follows that it can’t be reasonable always to prefer one major party to the other. As a general rule this hasn’t had any practical implications for my vote – for most of my life, long-running Labor governments were a rarity. But Queensland Labor has been in for 20 years, with only a brief interruption under Borbidge, and it shows. It looks like it’s time to give the other side a go, unimpressive as they are.

Update More from Mark Bahnisch at LP

AssetSales1004 (PDF)

Categories: Oz Politics Tags:
  1. April 15th, 2010 at 14:37 | #1

    While we are on the subject of poring over the psephological tea leaves, its time to check my psephological predictions, this time on state elections. On Mar 20th, 2010 at 3:58 am I predicted that the ALP would win “close victories” in both SA & TAS state elections:

    I haven’t looked at the state election partisan alignments as indicated by polls. But my current thinking is that the ALP is the Natural Party of Government unless the [ALP] in [state] office

    – is thoroughly discredited by corruption
    – been there for longer than three electoral cycles
    – is in the midst of a major economic recession

    None of these conditions pertain in SA or TAS so far as I am aware. These states also appear to have a high single mother ratio, always a predictor of high ALP vote.

    So I predict close ALP victories.

    If that is in fact the case then we are looking at the ALP one-party-state theory, since Rudd will clean up Abbott in 2010 federal election.

    [gloat] GLOAT ALERT

    The results are now in and I was right. Both SA and TAS are now ruled by ALP governments who won in “close victories”. So apart from getting the QLD election wrong I have been right in every state and federal election since the turn of the millennium. [/gloat]

    There are now five out of six state governments in ALP hands. SA, TAS, QLD, NSW & VIC. Plus the two territories ACT & NT. Only WA remains as an outlier. Lot of nouveau-riche battlers made good over there, not overly keen to share the loot.

    One has to say that QLD & NSW state governments look stale, tired and accident-prone. But they have looked that way for years and yet still keep getting a weary thumbs up from the voters. I suspect they may spend one or two terms in the electoral sin bin and then return for another endless spell on the Treasury benches.

    I am very confident that VIC state ALP will be returned comfortably at the next election. Plenty of pinkos in the big V. Ditto for the territories.

    So the odds are that the ALP will continue to dominate at both state and federal level. The L/NP looks to be in secular decline. And the GREENs do have some electoral upside, if they can lose some of their kinky cultural philosophy. They are going to look mighty prescient as icebergs float past Sydney Harbour.

    I think its time to consider that the ALP has an in-built structural electoral advantage. The Natural Party of Government leads to the One-Party State. Beware the passage of Mark Arbib…

  2. April 15th, 2010 at 14:46 | #2

    @Jack Strocchi

    TAS has 25 MLAs for a population of 500,000. NSW has 93 MLAs for a population of 7,000,000. So TAS has 1 member per 20,000 versus NSW 1 member per 75,000.

    All this underlines is why we ought to lose local councils and state governments and have a two-tiered structure of Federal and regional government

  3. jquiggin
    April 15th, 2010 at 14:53 | #3

    @Jack Strocchi

    I’m usually not so bold on specific electoral predictions. But I called the general trend back in 2002

    http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/johnquiggin/news/Labor0212.html

    Labor now appears to be the natural party of government in all the states, with the exception of the Northern Territory and perhaps WA, and even there, the old mould of non-Labor dominance has been broken.

    In the past fifteen to twenty years, Labor has rarely lost a state election, except when it has displayed high levels of incompetence, arrogance or both. Even in the wake of fiascos like the Victorian and South Australian bank failures, the Liberals have struggled to gain a second term, and have never managed a third. By contrast, all the Labor governments on the eastern seaboard have won re-election by landslide margins, and all look set for extended periods in office.

    At the Federal level, John Howard’s current dominance of the political stage has led many observers to overlook the fragility of his hold on power. The government scraped back in 1998 with a minority of the two-party preferred vote, and appeared doomed to defeat early in 2001. Only the combination of international crisis, astute demagoguery and a hopelessly lame opposition strategy saved them, and even then the win was far from crushing. As recently as August, the government trailed Labor (on a two-party basis) in opinion polls.

    In an election fought solely on domestic issues, the government would probably lose, despite relatively good economic performance and the absence of an inspiring alternative.

  4. April 15th, 2010 at 15:56 | #4

    Fran Barlow@#2said:

    All this underlines is why we ought to lose local councils and state governments and have a two-tiered structure of Federal and regional government.

    I used to entertain radical thoughts like that, at one time being an ardent ideological centraliser. Nowadays I see the point of state governments, especially in a country like AUS which is basically an archipelago of urban islands dotting an oceanic desert.

    State governments are handily placed regional service providers. Perhaps many of their functions can be out-sourced to the private sector, down-sourced to councils or up-sourced to Canberra.

    More generally, we do need state governments to connect rural regions to urban centres and then onto Canberra. Its a big country and the flag needs to be shown on the periphery.

    Otherwise I feel this is too complicated to figure out.

    When I feel that way I trust in the wisdom of the founding fathers, whose constitutional acumen far exceeds any one chancing on this blog.

  5. April 15th, 2010 at 16:38 | #5

    Pr Q@#3 said:

    I’m usually not so bold on specific electoral predictions. But I called the general trend back in 2002.

    Good call. Especially the qualifier about “election fought solely on domestic issues”.

    I was ambivalent about the ALP-NPG theory for some time. The Senate (states house) had for a long time shown an incumbent counter-valent tendency. Which indicated that voters wished to check & balance the federal government, perhaps using state based institutions.

    There is also a sort of ideological division of labour between state and federal tiers of government. At the state level voters prefer the ALP as Mommy Party acting as housekeeper for the Nanny State. At federal level voters will sometimes opt for the L/NP as Daddy Party to keep out home-invaders.

    So state government issues mostly play into the hands of conservative ALP administrations who molly-coddle citizens. Occasionally the citizenry gets cranky and elects a ferocious L/NP government to bash foreigners.

    So over the past few years I reluctantly came to the conclusion that the L/NP was in secular decline, both at federal and, particularly, at state level. Here I am in mid-2006 dreading the passage of Howard:

    the LN/P [at] the next election…have to start out as less favoured because of the return swing of the electoral pendulum and the attenuation of national security and cultural identity issues

    So the ALP will continue to have the upper hand at federal level, so long as national security and cultural identity issues are sleeping dogs. But let the dog whistle be blown…

    But generally the policy issues favour the ALP at federal level. Citizens are happy to treat the Commonwealth as Santa Claus and put their hand-out for goodies at each elections.

    Ultimately this is because the polity is unconsciously evolving a pro-ALP bias. The anti-L/NP NESBs, single mothers and Baby Boomer are a growing share of the electorate. Whilst pro-L/NP ESBs, farmers and “Daddy Geezers” are a dwindling share of the electorate. Its not like there is a lot of love out there for the ALP. But a multitude of voters have an allergic reaction to voting L/NP. (Think Catherine Deveney’s legion of fans.)

    Perhaps this slavish statism is the Road to Serfdom. Or perhaps its just the Road to the Convenience Store. In Brave New World there is not a lot to choose between the two.

  6. April 15th, 2010 at 16:50 | #6

    @jack strocchi

    Nowadays I see the point of state governments, especially in a country like AUS which is basically an archipelago of urban islands dotting an oceanic desert.

    And yet Tasmanians are not as numerous as people in Blacktown and there are several council districts larger in area. NSW embraces radically different demographics. The Sydney conurbation is one, and everything else is different. You could probably have a region called Murray-Darling that would make administrative sense. You could have another called S-E Queensland and Northern-Eastern NSW etc …

  7. April 15th, 2010 at 17:02 | #7

    PS I can’t help but think that the enduring appeal of the ALP and the secular decline in the L/NP must open up an electoral gap in Left-field for the GREENs. Thats assuming the electorate does not lurch to the Right-wing after another L/NP dream run like Timor/Tampa/9-11/Bali/7-07/Cronulla/ATSIC/Intervention.

    So far the GREEN vote has stubbornly refused to go north of 10% of the electorate. Thats despite overwhelming evidence of their prescience on global warming.

    Obviously I believe their failure to make the political break-through is due to their kinky cultural values. If they could only manage to iron out those kinks they would become the major Third Force in AUS politics. Some properly coded appeals to the huge mass of people opposed to Big Australia wouldn’t hurt.

    Perhaps thats why the L/NP are driving their next wedge into the immigration slot.

  8. sdfc
    April 15th, 2010 at 17:04 | #8

    The federal government is a parasite as far as I’m concerned, the states should do the majority of tax collecting as they provide the majority of services.

    Abolishing the states might sound like a good idea if you live in Sydney or Melbourne, but here in Perth it sounds like a recipe for disaster.

  9. April 15th, 2010 at 17:12 | #9

    @sdfc

    Abolishing the states might sound like a good idea if you live in Sydney or Melbourne, but here in Perth it sounds like a recipe for disaster.

    What about a region like Perth and the S-W corner?

  10. April 15th, 2010 at 17:16 | #10

    Fran Barlow@#6 said:

    The Sydney conurbation is one, and everything else is different.

    You’ve got it in one, although I am not sure you realise it. Federalism is yet another good idea which nicely drags the “Sex and the City” tendencies of our Eastern urban elites.

    The best thing about the state-federal government arrangements is they curb the inexorable Sydney-centricity of our elites. If there were no states then pretty much all the major organizations would head to Sydney to do lunch and take clients out on the harbour.

    Sydney already hogs far too much of the national infrastructure, particularly the Defence force which loves R&R in Sin-City. People like Keating would just turn this tendency into an unstoppable trend with his grandiose ideas to inflate Sydney into a global city. (Republicans are very elitist in that respect, somewhat mimicking the Monarchist grandees they feign to oppose.)

    TAS should merge with VIC to form a super-state, hopefully big enough to knock those boastful Sydney-siders on their ar*e. Pardon my freedom.

    More generally, Pr Q is quite right to urge a tactical vote for the L/NP in the QLD election. The populus need more tactical voting and buying and viewing everywhere to counter insidious elitism. Left to their own devices the New Class will form a Natural Party of Government and then establish a One-Party State. The Tall-Poppy syndrome is your friend.

  11. April 15th, 2010 at 17:27 | #11

    Fran Barlow@#9 said:

    What about a region like Perth and the S-W corner?

    A federal system keeps elites eyes focused on places beyond Sydney, where most of the citizens are “just camping”. Otherwise their eyes would be focused overseas, as always, cooking up the next international project to lure the Northern metropolitan Sahibs into their patch.

    The financial class love Sydney, the media-cultural class are basically tarts who will throw themselves onto a patrons lap. So if the political class were centralised in Sydney how concerned do you think they would be with the parish pump politics in Hicksville?

    Try to imagine what short shrift this piddling jurisdiction would get from the likes of Richo, Keating and Mark Arbib. And Howard was almost as bad, siting Cabinet in Sydney allegedly for his family’s convenience. (Me-thinks to spare philanders the risky drive back to Canberra on Sunday evening.)

    Canberra is a hole, I know. They should have sited it on the coast in a more pleasant place with more organic industrial base. But at least the capital is not Sydney or Melbourne, which would be intolerable to the RoA.

    I know its fashionable to decry the Dead White Male “Founding Fathers”. But the older I get the wiser they seem to me, at least.

  12. April 15th, 2010 at 17:38 | #12

    @jack strocchi

    The trouble is that the “founding fathers” were and are wrong, not only now, but then. Even at the time, the structure was stupid but you had entrenched stakeholders so a rotten compromise was needed.

    Today it’s even more ridiculous. Governance should closely meet the needs of the people lving there. Governing for different people out of the same pool of funds is always hard. The ability to purchase in bulk for common needs is not something one should lightly discard.

  13. sdfc
    April 15th, 2010 at 17:42 | #13

    Fran Barlow :@sdfc

    What about a region like Perth and the S-W corner?

    And the rest become commonwealth administered territories Fran? Now it all becomes clear. Your suggestion sounds like a grab for our resources.

  14. April 15th, 2010 at 17:56 | #14

    Fran Barlow@#12 said:

    The trouble is that the “founding fathers” were and are wrong, not only now, but then. Even at the time, the structure was stupid but you had entrenched stakeholders so a rotten compromise was needed.

    Yes, I see your point. The “founding fathers” were “wrong” and “stupid”. Their constitutional “structure” was a “rotten compromise”.

    How could I have missed these glaring faults when they were staring me right in the face?

    You can see all this clearly in AUS’s history which is one long nightmare of poverty and tyranny. Compared to the RoW where everything was sweetness and light.

    Can I suggest that if “blame your parents” is not always the solution to personal problems then it surely isnt for political ones?

  15. April 15th, 2010 at 18:30 | #15

    @jack strocchi

    How could I have missed these glaring faults when they were staring me right in the face?

    You surely aren’t inviting me to answer to your won failing, are you? I enjoy a free kick as much as the next chap, but I’m not one to take unfair advantage.

    You can see all this clearly in AUS’s history which is one long nightmare of poverty and tyranny.

    Well the claim doesn’t call for that as the benchmark. It only has to be a palpable problem.

    Can I suggest that if “blame your parents” is not always the solution to personal problems then it surely isn’t for political ones?

    Sure you can. You can also suggest pickles and cream but I’m going to pass on both, especially in this case where contemporary problems are made harder to solve by the past rotten compromise.

  16. April 15th, 2010 at 20:25 | #16

    And whilst were are on the subject of psephology, has anyone been paying attention to whats going on in Europe? The EU is supposed to be the quintessential post-modern super-state so maybe its a good idea to pay attention to the devil in its details.

    I am an EU citizen and I feel I should be better informed. But I am Solomon compared to the MSM and even the Ozblogitariat who are obsessed with the US to exclusion of the RoW. Status-whores all.

    There is yet another massive swing to the Far-Right in Mettle Europa. The Baltic States, Italy and Hungary are all leaning even more to starboard. Its part of a general swing to towards Right-wing parties that has been evident throughout the EU since , oh, let me see, about 11 SEP 2001. Which I have been banging on about for several years.

    This article from the Guardian, which is actually quite good on the subject (know thine enemy!), covers the weird goings on in Hungary. Political scientists suggest that the Far-Right is gaining strength because the Centre-Right and Centre-Left parties are out of touch with mainstream voters (where, oh where, have I heard that phrase before?):

    Political scientists note that while there is much talk of “neo-fascism”, in western Europe some of the most successful parties are rooted less in 1930s European fascism than in disaffection with mainstream conservativism.“What’s new is that some of the conservatives have moved to the radical right, rejecting multiculturalism, Islam and immigration,” said Camus. “It’s … a radical right that is disconnected from the traditions of European fascism.”

    In colonising the far-right territory, these former conservatives are winning over traditional leftwing voters. Where previously their powerbase was made up from small businesses, shopkeepers, and lower middle class, they are now making inroads into the working-class vote among those hostile to immigration and worried about job losses.

    My general sense is that the Right-”corporal” shift at the national level is a populist reaction to the Left-liberal shift at the regional EU level. With a bit of resentment over economic downturn thrown in for good measure. Whatever the ultimate explanation it is throwing sand into the gears of EU accessions.

    It would be nice if professional social scientists could apply some analytic rigour to explaining these momentous events. The RoW does not begin and end with Obama’s latest nuance on global warming.

  17. Alice
    April 15th, 2010 at 21:07 | #17

    @jack strocchi
    Jack says
    “Sydney already hogs far too much of the national infrastructure”

    Pardon me for saying so but I notice nice freeways and road systems in Canberra… and Brisbane isnt doing too badly either…but traffic and transport mobility in Sydney is nothing but an underresourced mess Jack. I dont call this hogging national infratsructure when many more people are trying to use the inadequate transport system in Sydney than the comfortably funded in Canberra.

    Im not for giving NSW Labor any more money and would argue for a federal takeover any day but I can see the point of the Perthians who would like to keep their big mining money all to themselves (naturally if not beneficially for whole country).

    But to argue Sydney “hogs the national infrastructure” simply ignores population densities and usage.

    I think we have moved beyond State Governments but can also see that SOME (only some) States help keep the feds honest (except NSW Labor and Bligh’s sell off party who would rather keep everyone in business dishonest and all else in the electorate blind)

  18. Freelander
    April 15th, 2010 at 22:06 | #18

    Interestingly, Tasmania probably takes the prize for hogging ‘far too much’.

  19. Freelander
    April 15th, 2010 at 22:18 | #19

    Come to think of it, maybe Canberra does edge them out but only if you count the monstrous monuments Federal money has been wasted on, including in this category the ‘new’ Parliament house. The roads do constitute a waste but the ACT is a small area to waste road expenditure on. In contrast, Tasmania is a larger target for wasteful but politically desirable roading expenditure.

    In NSW, you have the New England Highway, an unjustified expense that keeps many country electorates happy. But unfortunately, across the country there is also a lot of missing national infrastructure that has long been well justified by cost benefit studies.

  20. April 16th, 2010 at 08:50 | #20

    @Fran Barlow (on page 1) wrote in response to @daggett :

    Provided 9/11 conspiracies are left out and you don’t flood the site, I’d be OK with you posting there.

    In fact, I have not attempted posted anything about “9/11 conspiracies” since 28 December 2009.

    As you at least agree with me that I should be allowed to post material to the site, then I would appreciate if you could put that to Mark Bahnisch or make that view known.

    As for my “flood[ing]” the site, the “flood[ing]” occurred on one page only specifically set aside by the administrator to discuss the issue after others expressed interest about the topic.

    I also suggest you have a look yourself at that page and see, whether I am any more guilty of having “flooded” that page than the large number of trolls who ganged up against me in order to pillory me for having had the effrontery to express my heretical views.

    (The following to some extent t draws upon what I wrote on 4 March 2010 on “Monday Message board” mumber 165:)

    In my article “Cyber-bullying, censorship, 9/11 Truth and Larvatus Prodeo”, updated on 2 March 2010, I cited examples of the lynch mob mentality that was whipped up against me:

    “Welcome to StoushGym TM.”

    “Let’s face it folks, this thread has turned into StoushGym TM with Daggy as a multfunctional piece of workout equipment.

    “So far Fyodor’s been hogging it but at least he’s not leaving any sweat behind on the seat.”

    “WE really all should club together and buy Daggy a yearly StoushGym TM pass.”

    “100 comments to go! [until the 2,000th post]”

    “I really don’t think M. Fyodor is looking to change Daggy’s mind here so much as to work out the kinks in his left jab. Gotta work on not dropping the shoulder so slightly to telegraph the punch.”

    In the end, I believe I won the argument, although the abrupt end of the discussion stopped me from tying up all the loose ends. Of coure others are free to look and draw their own conclusions.

    Anyway, Mark Bahnisch has told me that he has no objection to my posting to his site, so I am hoping that others, including Fran Barlow, might gently suggest to Mark or his administrator that they allow me to do so and perhaps also put in a word for Paul Walter if he is still banned.

    I see no good reason to maintain the ban except, that is unless he is overly concerned my presence may wound the pride of a number of trolls by reminding them of their humiliation.

  21. April 16th, 2010 at 09:06 | #21

    @daggett

    I won’t pretend to be party to Mark’s (or the LP team’s) thoughts on the matter, but I very much doubt that the potential for others pride to be wounded would be an issue.

    If as you say Mr Bahnisch has told you he has no objection, why not politely seek clarification as to when the ban will be lifted in practice? That way you find out.

    Either that or you could simply do what most people would do: invent a new nym with a new email addy and confomr your posting style to the culture there. Some might still suspect that it is you, but they won’t know for sure, and if Mr Bahnisch really has no objection, then no breach of ethics is thereby entailed. You’re simply circumventing some technical or administrative snafu.

  22. April 16th, 2010 at 10:06 | #22

    @Fran Barlow wrote:

    … I very much doubt that the potential for others pride to be wounded would be an issue.

    Well, I can’t come up with any other explanation. If I was the person who was so soundly beaten as they claim I was, I can’t imagine why my presence would be a concern to anyone.

    I have made many e-mail approaches to Mark Bahnisch and his administrator, and made one approach in person last Saturday and once again by e-mail since.

    @Fran Barlow wrote:

    Either that or you could simply do what most people would do: invent a new nym with a new email addy and conform your posting style to the culture there.

    At this point, I choose to go to the effort and mental contortions in order to pretend to be other than who I am.

    If it turns out than I am not to be allowed to post, after all, I can live with that, as I do have other means to express myself on the web, but if I am not entitled to post my views to Larvatus Prodeo, I believe that I am entitled to draw the attention of others to that fact and I believe others are entitled to know about it.

    For our part, we don’t censor any material posted to our site candobetter.org and make no demands that anyone conform to our ‘culture’ (that is, other than to refrain from making personal attacks, because we won’t tolerate anyone being subject to any more mental trauma than that which is necessary to defend their point of view).

  23. April 16th, 2010 at 10:21 | #23

    The sentence in my previous post should have been:

    At this point, I choose not to go to the effort and mental contortions in order to pretend to be other than who I am.

    My apologies.

  24. April 16th, 2010 at 10:53 | #24

    @d@ggett

    For our part, we don’t censor any material posted to our site candobetter.org and make no demands that anyone conform to our ‘culture’ (that is, other than to refrain from making personal attacks, because we won’t tolerate anyone being subject to any more mental trauma than that which is necessary to defend their point of view).

    You, through your acts of commission (putting the arm on those who launch personal attacks) and omission (what you do allow) author the culture. It may be different from LP, but it is still “a culture” i.e. “how we do things around here”.

    I periodically get posts of mine stuck in moderation at LP for reasons even the mods profess not to know. Even here, one from 18:30 yesterday still is for no apparent reason. This morning, one that was in moderation at LP seems to have vanished. Meh … that’s how it goes.

  25. April 16th, 2010 at 12:14 | #25

    @Fran Barlow , as another wrote once, the moderation policies on LP are “quite inconsistent [and] erratic”.

    Ours are not.

    In fact, we rarely resort to censorship.

    Even when we find personal attacks, our most common approach is to publish the comments whilst rebuking them. That can be even more effective than not publishing them.

  26. Chris Grealy
    April 18th, 2010 at 17:43 | #26

    Just a guess, a wild stab in the dark, but the ‘other side’ would sell off even more. So how is giving them a go going to help?
    Guards with dogs, lockouts, massive unemployment; all the things we’ve seen from the coalition in the past would return. How does that help?

  27. paul walter
    April 18th, 2010 at 19:40 | #27

    Fran, stop trying to defend the indefensible.
    If LP have been censoring people out of personal spite, or an unwillingness on their part to have their particular views on an issue challenged, then Daggett is quite right to expose it.
    And that includes all the”silences”, sulks and “transgressions” aimed at weasel wording contributors whose views vary from theirs into compliance.

  28. jquiggin
    April 18th, 2010 at 21:27 | #28

    As regards the comments policy at other sites, that’s a matter to be raised with the moderators there. Please confine comments here to the topic at hand.

  29. paul walter
    April 19th, 2010 at 00:03 | #29

    Not possible John, when they refuse to respond.
    The thread topic concerns the inability of western politics to reform itself.
    What hope society reforming itself when even supposedly progressive units where debate and discovery are supposedly developed or generated, as an ambit, “without fear or favour”, themselves resist full discourse when certain positions subsequently put up for discussion are rejected subjectively on personal taste or prejudice, rather than in relation to the political issues.
    ” Contempt prior to investigation?”.
    but yes, if what’s arisen during the thread’s progress tends to draw attention away from Fraser, Bligh, Tebbutt, Joe Tripodi and their Tory opponents who are as bad, and what makes them the way they are, and the consequences arising thereof ( public suspicion of bigpop policies, for example, in the hands of such people?), that would be far from any intention of mine

  30. Alice
    April 19th, 2010 at 06:36 | #30

    Well I am really pleased to find here that others are guilty of “flooding” a site….I have only been guilty of “swamping”. That might not be as bad as “flooding” on the scale of water damage….!! Sorry JQ – have you noticed Ive been very moderate lately…just a polite trickle? Im leaving it to Terje and Fran although Terje must be on hols…

    Back to the current team in QLD. They have been infected with the same neo liberal policies as NSW…..the ones that clearly arent working and we await their enlightenment sooner or later. It has to happen because they are impoverishing too many people.

    Mums are already on the warpath as the neoliberal model of childcare produces a perverse price that didnt fall as it should have but rather rose and then rose more and is still rising (and then there is electricity and gas – all everyday household expenses). There is definitely something wrong with de-regulation and privatisation when the price rises …and rises some more.

    I thought all that lovely “competition” (cough…splutter)..was supposed to make the prices fall? I suggest we privatise Ms Bligh and Mr Fraser and Ms Keneally and Mr Roozendahl before their retirements as they are clearly working towards their political retirement incomes, rather than the states’ income. Ive never been very fond of Tebbutt either. She is supposed to be from the left but hasnt really contributed any advances to a socially inclusive style IMHO whilst she has been in politics. Dare I say it but I think she is the Labor version of Julie Bishop.

  31. paul walter
    April 20th, 2010 at 16:46 | #31

    Re #28, Fran Barlow, etc.
    Attempted suggestion proffered.
    Result: more censorship.
    Should not second rate sites be exposed?

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