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Please don’t blow this chance

November 24th, 2011

The desertion of Liberal (or LNP?) member Peter Slipper to take up the Speakership offers the Labor government a great opportunity, but also the temptation to mess things up disastrously. The opportunity is to see out a full Parliamentary term, long enough to put the carbon tax and MRRT in place in a way that the Opposition will either have to accept them, or announce a credible plan to replace them – something that is clearly beyond the capacity of its current leader.

The temptation is that the corrupt hacks who infest the ALP machine will use the extra vote to renege on the promise to Andrew Wilkie to tackle the scourge of poker machine gambling through precommitment. A large section of the ALP has been tied to the hotel and club industry since time immemorial and have obstructed any reform that would challenge the interests of this industry.

Even disregarding the issue of principle, it would be really stupid to break the deal with Wilkie. The government’s only chance is to survive past the point when the scare campaign about the carbon tax and MRRT will be shown up for what it is. If Wilkie abandons them and one ALP member has to leave Parliament for some reason, the government will fall. In that case, electoral support or opposition from the poker machine lobby will make no difference.

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  1. Chris Warren
    December 4th, 2011 at 13:53 | #1

    KB Keynes :
    Problem gamblers are known to gamble with other people’s money as well

    So, capitalists are problem gamblers?

    Presumably capitalists are the mother-of-all problem gamblers because unlike individuals who financially ruin themselves, capitalists ruin others, communities and finally entire nations.

  2. Julie Thomas
    December 4th, 2011 at 16:51 | #2

    The gambling that capitalists love to do, is more of a problem for the rest of us than it is for them; they get bailed out, get to keep their houses and hardly ever go to jail for stealing.

  3. KB Keynes
    December 4th, 2011 at 16:52 | #3

    Capitalists do not steal money. They either get it from internally or borrow it.

    The analogy is rather poor.

    As Winston might have said Capitalism is the worst system is live in except for all the others

  4. Chris Warren
    December 4th, 2011 at 17:44 | #4

    @KB Keynes

    Ill-gotten gains through white-collar machinations based (essentially) on degrees of monopoly, may not look like stealing at first glance. However the flow of funds to the ilk of Packer and Macquarie Bank and etc are such that some form of theft must have occurred.

    In Russia, having experienced capitalism, more and more Russians are switching to socialism. Due to the poverty and wage slavery imposed in the Third World, and the developed Third World such as Singapore, capitalism looks like the worst of all possible secular worlds.

    It seems to me that capitalism is almost entirely made up of gambling and whatever innovation occurs could well have occurred by other forms of savings and investments – forms that do not lead to a financial calamity.

  5. Freelander
    December 4th, 2011 at 17:48 | #5

    They don’t have to ‘steal’ money. They just bribe politicians first to change the law and then what was previously a crime is just somebody else’s misfortune.

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