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Monday Message Board

September 28th, 2015

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

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  1. Megan
    September 28th, 2015 at 12:27 | #1

    The VW story seems to go a lot deeper than first reported. “Transport & Environment” has a graph purporting to show that Audi, Opel, BMW, Citroen and Mercedes all breached the emissions rules by even more than VW did.

    The mass coverage given to the VW story seems to be disproportionate compared to the 124 or more people actually killed by the faulty GM ignition switch (which GM knew about for about a decade and covered up).

    Another, much less highlighted, aspect of the GM story was that quite a few people were jailed for “causing” deaths or injuries when their GM cars crashed – we now know – due to the fault.

    GM will pay out hundreds of millions but AKAIK no GM execs will be jailed.

    It’s all crook and rotten.

  2. Ikonoclast
    September 28th, 2015 at 13:00 | #2

    “Based in Europe, the Volkswagen Group operates in 153 countries. Volkswagen Passenger Cars is the Group’s original marque, and the other major subsidiaries include passenger car marques such as Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, SEAT, and Škoda.”

    So VW makes at least some of these other marques. I have no comment on GM here but VW will have statistically (to a high probability) killed people too with this deception. Pollution does kill. VW is entirely culpable.

    Let us hope this is one more stage in the complete collapse of the ICE (internal combustion engine) passenger car market. Removing ICE cars from the face of the planet will be a key step in saving the planet.

  3. September 28th, 2015 at 18:14 | #3

    This is hardly a precedent. Over ten years ago it was found that ventilated cigarettes are ‘… the major design feature for reducing the official machine smoked, standard tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide (CO) yields of cigarettes … official tar tests have given regulators the impression that something was being done to reduce the toxicity of cigarettes to human smokers, while at the same time industry documents show that cigarettes were being designed to be “elastic”—yielding more smoke to human smokers than to smoking machines. It is excellent public relations for cigarette manufacturers to appear responsive to governmental and consumer encouragement for less hazardous cigarettes. It should be a public relations disaster to reveal that the industry was aware of compensatory smoking for decades, knew the machine tests underestimated actual smoke exposure, and designed cigarettes to beat the machines.’

    Not only did this hardly make a splash but also it was perfectly legal. Volkswagen may well have been acting legally if the laws similarly only addressed the formal testing, and even professionally ethically (that is, not ethically by ordinary understanding but by the standard of “everybody does [or would do] it”, which is how courts have ruled it professionally ethical for doctors to conceal the risk that a throat operation might ruin a singing career, which it actually did).

  4. Megan
    September 28th, 2015 at 20:01 | #4

    @P.M.Lawrence

    …not ethically by ordinary understanding but by the standard of “everybody does [or would do] it”, which is how courts have ruled it professionally ethical for doctors to conceal the risk that a throat operation might ruin a singing career, which it actually did

    (Emphasis added) No. That isn’t correct.

    If you’re thinking of the “Bolam test”, it has been overtaken by Rogers v Whitaker.

    And, in any case, the courts haven’t ruled that it is “professionally ethical” for doctors to conceal risks from patients.

    The court cases deal with whether and when a doctor is “negligent” for failing to inform a patient of a risk attached to some course of action.

    In “Rogers v Whitaker” the risk was 1 in 14,000 that the operation could result in the patient becoming blind and the High Court found that, in the circumstances of that case, the surgeon should have informed the patient of the risk.

  5. September 28th, 2015 at 20:26 | #5

    Megan :
    @P.M.Lawrence

    …not ethically by ordinary understanding but by the standard of “everybody does [or would do] it”, which is how courts have ruled it professionally ethical for doctors to conceal the risk that a throat operation might ruin a singing career, which it actually did

    (Emphasis added) No. That isn’t correct.
    .
    .
    .

    Yes, what I put was indeed correct, but I see from your comment that it may have been unclear.

    Courts have indeed ruled as I described. Yes, things have moved on, so it would have been clearer to have written “… how courts have in the past ruled it professionally ethical …”, but that does not mean that what I wrote was incorrect; they really did rule that way. Yes, that ruling then is a poor guide to standards for doctors now – but the actual principle hasn’t been undercut, it’s just that court rulings now reflect what is professionally acceptable now, which has itself changed. (They also reflect community standards now, but by reasoning that holds that what is professionally acceptable matches those rather than being trumped by those; lawyers do like such contortions that reconcile apparently conflicting principles, no matter how strained doing that might seem to others.)

    But all that is a digression; I intended to bring that out to show how courts might now assess standards of corporate governance, using the medical example as an illustration rather than to comment on medical standards as such, then or now. It struck me that Volkswagen might well be assessed similarly to the makers of ventilated cigarettes.

  6. Megan
    September 28th, 2015 at 20:30 | #6

    At paragraph 16 of the majority judgment in “Rogers v Whitaker” the High Court stated the position to be:

    …The law should recognize that a doctor has a duty to warn a patient of a material risk inherent in the proposed treatment; a risk is material if, in the circumstances of the particular case, a reasonable person in the patient’s position, if warned of the risk, would be likely to attach significance to it or if the medical practitioner is or should reasonably be aware that the particular patient, if warned of the risk, would be likely to attach significance to it. …

  7. September 28th, 2015 at 20:55 | #7

    @Megan

    That’s not a contradiction to my quoted reply that is hung up in moderation. (I hope this straight reply will just go through.)

    The later rulings used (in my view) contorted reasoning that saved the principle of the Bolam test, even though they altered how it worked out – I won’t give links in case they trigger moderation, but try googling “Setting the Standards for Medical Negligence:
    The Bolam test post Rogers v Whitaker”. Regardless, I was trying to use the history of such things to illustrate how Volkswagen’s corporate governance might be treated similarly to the tobacco industry, which also worked around testing procedures (they wouldn’t be bound by Australian or English precedents anyway).

  8. Ikonoclast
    September 28th, 2015 at 21:02 | #8

    @Megan

    The average person lives 28,000 days. A 1 in 14,000 chance is negligible. A doctor shouldn’t even have to mention it. If I had an abscessed tooth and was told I had a 1 in 14,000 chance of dying in the dentist’s chair I would say, “Don’t care. Pull it out.”

  9. Matt
    September 28th, 2015 at 22:37 | #9

    Loved watching John Roskam of the IPA favouring Direct Action against market mechanisms on qanda.

  10. Megan
    September 28th, 2015 at 23:41 | #10

    @P.M.Lawrence

    Sorry, but – no, it was NOT correct.

    As I said:

    And, in any case, the courts haven’t ruled that it is “professionally ethical” for doctors to conceal risks from patients.

    Even “Bolam” did not say that.

    I generally agree with your points about tobacco and cars, but I wanted to correct the facts about medical negligence case law.

  11. Megan
    September 28th, 2015 at 23:55 | #11

    @Ikonoclast

    Fair enough.

    In “Rogers v Whitaker”, the patient had one good eye and one bad eye (injured). The surgeon proposed surgery that would possibly improve the cosmetic appearance of the bad eye, and might even improve her vision.

    She made it clear that she was concerned about losing her sight altogether. The surgeon didn’t advise her of that risk – even though it was statistically small.

    The evidence was that she wouldn’t have undergone the surgery if she thought she may end up blind. She would rather have just had one good eye and one unsightly eye (no pun intended – although it does make a good pun!).

    If the surgeon had advised her of the risk and she went ahead anyway it would never have ended up in court.

    In the case of your sore tooth, I assume most people would at least like to be told of the possibility of adverse outcomes. THEN, they can make an informed decision to go ahead with it.

  12. September 29th, 2015 at 00:06 | #12

    Megan :
    @P.M.Lawrence
    Sorry, but – no, it was NOT correct.
    As I said:

    And, in any case, the courts haven’t ruled that it is “professionally ethical” for doctors to conceal risks from patients.

    Even “Bolam” did not say that.
    I generally agree with your points about tobacco and cars, but I wanted to correct the facts about medical negligence case law.

    As a matter of historical fact, it is 100% correct that “courts have ruled it professionally ethical for doctors to conceal the risk that a throat operation might ruin a singing career”, which is what I stated.

    It would be an incorrect, but understandable, inference from my original phrasing that that is how the law would handle things today, at any rate in Australia, so you would be quite right if you had just now written “I wanted to correct the apparent implications about current medical negligence case law”. That would have been 100% correct because I did not make it clear that I was bringing out an illustration from history.

    However, you did not do that, you have stated – incorrectly – that I misstated the facts rather than described them poorly, and then you repeated that assertion. That simply is not true; the facts were, genuinely, actually, 100% as I stated (however poorly), and it is only incorrect to make the misreading – to which I contributed by being unclear – that the facts are like that now. Since I have now clarified that I was referring to the past situation, if you followed my clarification at all you must be either denying that things ever were like that or denying that any description of the past can be accurate if it does not also hold of the present. That is sheer revisionism.

  13. Collin Street
    September 29th, 2015 at 09:09 | #13

    If I had an abscessed tooth and was told I had a 1 in 14,000 chance of dying in the dentist’s chair I would say, “Don’t care. Pull it out.”

    Bully for you. However, your own personal risk assessments are not the only risk assessments that people may legitimately make, and your own personal preferences are not the only preferences that people may legitimately have.

    [there are numerous other problems with what you’ve written, like the I would have thought fairly obvious fact that you’re comparing what you’d do if you were told with a case that’s about a person who wasn’t told; the relevance, and thus your ability to perceive relevance, seems dubious.]

  14. Ikonoclast
    September 29th, 2015 at 10:11 | #14

    @Collin Street

    Are you arguing that people need to be told about a 1 in 14,000 chance of a bad outcome on something? Just about everything we do in life has a better than 1 in 14,000 chance of a bad outcome.

    In my case, at age 61, if I am of average health and daily activity for my age then my chance of dying in this calendar year is about 1 in a 100. This chance goes up each year as I age but let us consider this year. Of what conceivable impact is a 1 in 14,000 chance on top of this? It is negligible. I would argue that the chances of bad outcomes ought only have to be advised if they are one order higher i.e. 1 in a 1,000 in my case.

    Now for someone in their 20s with about a 1 in a 1,000 chance of dying in any one year it might be reasonable to warn of dangers up to 1 in 10,000. Given individual variability, low chances above 1 in 10,000 for the 20-somethings are not individually applicable in any case. At these numbers the range of uncertainty would encompass a great span of different odds.

    It is not helpful to advise of very remote possibilities. It can only induce fear and bad decisions (in some cases) without any conceivable benefit to anyone.

  15. Megan
    September 29th, 2015 at 10:28 | #15

    @Ikonoclast

    The test isn’t a numerical/probabilistic one. It is as the court stated (excerpt at #6 above).

    In that case, the proposed action (mostly cosmetic) had a statistically small risk of what the patient considered a catastrophic outcome (total blindness). If she had been warned of the risk she would not have gone ahead with the operation.

    Another patient, informed of the risk, might not have considered it large, might have been willing to take the chance and might have gone ahead. If that patient ended up blind – having been informed of the risk – they would have no claim against the surgeon.

    The law does not say that ALL risks of whatever probability must be discussed. A “material risk” must be.

  16. Ikonoclast
    September 29th, 2015 at 10:43 | #16

    @Megan

    I am a socialist but also an autonomist. I still see necessary limits to the “nanny state”. We need not and ought not coddle competent adults. General knowledge would suggest to any competent, thinking adult that an eye operation like any operation could go wrong. If you are worried ask the question “What are the chances this could go wrong?” And then bear in mind that this general statistic could mean little if you have picked, or been assigned, a bad hospital or a bad surgeon or if there is something atypical about your body or physiology.

    As a side note, I find the phrase “informed decision” interesting. It means, I guess, one has been informed of just some relevant facts. If one does not research further facts and context and then reason logically, without emotion intruding, then the final decision may well still be illogical. So “informed decision” has a limited legal meaning. A person can still make a stupid decision that is legally an “informed decision”.

    It is also arguable that a person with a poor understanding of statistics could hear a statistical fact and still be unable to make an “informed decision” because although informed of the raw statistic the person is not informed with a general understanding and appreciation of what statistical facts might mean.

    When I read the 1 in 14,000 number my “general alert heuristics” flagged “this might be an absurdly small chance and thus not worth worrying about”. When I compared it to the facts that the average person lives about 28,000 days and a 61 year old (my case) has about 1 in 100 chance of dying this year then I decided it is an absurdly small chance. Where do we reasonably draw the line beyond which surgeons etc. do not have to advise patients of absurdly small chances?

  17. Ikonoclast
    September 29th, 2015 at 10:56 | #17

    I partially retract my post above. A competent adult layperson would not be aware in most cases of sympathetic ophthalmia. Thus they would not expect ensuing damage to the non-operated eye. Does the 1 in 14,000 risk constitute a material risk? I wouldn’t have thought so but majority legal opinion differed in this case.

    The general principle still applies as to where material risk reasonably ends. It should not be opened ended in my opinion (that’s just an opinion of course).

    I wonder if people can insure against bad outcomes to surgery so that even if the surgeon can’t be sued successfully a payout can still be received? That bears thinking about.

  18. Megan
    September 29th, 2015 at 11:47 | #18

    @P.M.Lawrence

    Please provide the citation for the case or cases to support:

    As a matter of historical fact, it is 100% correct that “courts have ruled it professionally ethical for doctors to conceal the risk that a throat operation might ruin a singing career”,

  19. Jim Birch
    September 29th, 2015 at 12:36 | #19

    One serious problem with warning people about risks is that is often harmful, to various degrees. Stress is bad for health. Worrying about very unlikely negative outcomes reduces healing, increases the risk of further disease, and produces other negative outcomes like sleep deficits and accidents, plus, of course has a risk of harm from treatment avoidance. On occasions people actually top themselves rather than succumbing to imagined illnesses. Just about any symptom has potential diagnoses ranging from terminal illness to transient discomfort.

    Doctors have to walk the line taking into account ethical considerations, the person’s ability to use the information, their state of mind, etc. It’s a tough problem with individual solutions. Telling a patient about all the risks of a treatment can produce bigger risks. In the eye case above the untreated patient may be a significantly greater accident risk due to visual impairment and at real risk of weakening their health due to avoidance of vigorous activity. This will be many times the risk of the operation, I would expect.

    In the legal model, the practitioner must tell all, but to protect themselves, not the patient. In the informed choice model the patient’s ego rather than their health is the primary concern – which also seems kinda wrong. In the older trust model, the doctor had, in addition to medical capability, roles akin to a priest and a magician. This actually produced enhanced capability for healing, reduced stress all round, and helped patients to deal with unpleasant symptoms. In today’s individualistic/narcissistic world the informed choice is definitely mode du jour but it clearly won’t always produce the best health outcomes. It does limit outrage and produce a sense of control.

  20. Newtownian
    September 29th, 2015 at 16:44 | #20

    Just saw this in the New Statesmen regarding Corbyn’s economic advisory team. Picketty tops the list unsurprisingly.

    All looks good and progressive which is to be applauded.

    But is there an environmental non-growth sustainability bone in any of their bodies?

    Their resumes suggest otherwise. (But I am always open to hearing one or more of them might see economics as subservient to the environment rather than vice versa…beyond “lets privatize the planet and trade our problems away” ).

    It beats me that this sort of tunnel visioned economic think tanking still happens, on the notionally progressive left in a year when finally climate change and all its implications seems to be finally winning out in the consensus battle with the deniers…..And even Il Papa Francis apparently gets the link.

    I can only conclude despite its wealth of intellectual expertise that economic dinosaurs still rule in the UK despite its over the top and unsustainable ecological footprint.

    Maybe I should just get real and join the planet trashing while getting richer that theory says will clearly be humanities future for the next billion years or so and learn to love exponential growth.

  21. Ivor
    September 29th, 2015 at 18:35 | #21

    Corbyn is an extraordinary stroke of luck for the British Labour Party and socialism is now ringing right through the Party ranks.

    I met him briefly in London a couple of years ago. He has an excellent association with the non-trot Communist Party of Britain and has been a contributor to the daily newspaper “Morning Star”. Several looney Lefts are now swimming back to the ship – after others, who never left and did not launch sectarian diatribes, did their work for them.

    If the current turmoil within global capitalism, Corbyn’s reinvigorated Labour Party is likely to sweep into power.

    Corbyn lays it on the line …

  22. Megan
    September 29th, 2015 at 22:02 | #22

    @P.M.Lawrence

    When you said:

    As a matter of historical fact, it is 100% correct that “courts have ruled it professionally ethical for doctors to conceal the risk that a throat operation might ruin a singing career”

    Maybe you were thinking of “Ainsworth v Levi”?

    If so, sorry – but you are still wrong.

    The NSW Court of Appeal didn’t say it in Ainsworth, and the Judge didn’t say it at first instance either. The courts have never said that as far as I am aware. That’s why I’d be very pleased to see your citation/s.

    Maybe this should go to the “sandpit”. I’d be interested if you have case law to support the proposition you put.

  23. BilB
    September 30th, 2015 at 06:25 | #23

    Of course socialism works. It just doesn’t work for all of the people all of the time. It works for more of the people most of the time.

    There is a very good reason for this and it is to do with the distribution bell curve of empathies.

    Empathies range from the ultra empathetic (people who will feel pain when you do) to those with have zero empathy (psychopaths). High empathy people have the greater numbers but are less aggressive in pursuing their benefits. The fly in the ointment is that not all empathies are born. High empathy is natural in women but in men high empathy is more natural but can be manipulated towards low empathy or even suspended altogether by upbringing (nurture, or lack of it). Socialism is the natural attitude of high empathy, and Libertarianism is the natural attitude of low empathy. High empathy people have the numbers but even highemps sometimes want more. Lowemps are aggressive. That is the ideological battlefield. Economics ideology very largely a byproduct of that battle, just as the circumpolar jet stream is a consequence of energy balances between the tropical hot zone and the polar cold zone.

    So you can argue the nuts and bolts for all you are worth, but the reality is that ideology is driven by physiology and environment, and economics and politics are a byproduct of all three of those.

  24. BilB
    September 30th, 2015 at 06:38 | #24

    One other primary variable (and I will get caned to death for saying it) and that is that women have a natural preference for “more” (to do with providing and security) and that is the feature of women that can over ride empathy.

  25. Ikonoclast
    September 30th, 2015 at 09:17 | #25

    @Megan

    At this point in the debate my hypothetical is “What happens to the patient with a bad outcome who was warned of this low probability bad outcome and whose surgeon was not incompetent or negligent in any way?”

    Presuming the patient was warned and the surgeon was not negligent or incompetent then the patient has no grounds to sue. Thus the patient can get no compensation. But this patient now faces the same difficulties as a patient who suffered the same damage or loss of amenity through negligence or lack of advice.

    My position on this point is that this is process is legalistic and arbitrary and pays no attention to real need. Real need can ensue from “fate” or from human negligence or incompetence. Yet, despite its provenance the real need is still real need. Thus, a logical society would not base compensation on the provenance of the disability but on the real need caused by the disability.

    The whole box and dice we are arguing about above simply stems from the absurdities of capitalist ownership, capitalist property and capitalist law. It is primarily about possession, blame and “legal-ing” out of blame. It is only very secondarily about real rights and real need. None of this absurdly inefficient law and litigation would need to occur in a social condition of full and equitable social insurance. Incompetent surgeons would still be picked up by the standard methods of oversight. Punitive damages could still exist for gross negligent or criminal conduct.

  26. Ivor
    September 30th, 2015 at 09:18 | #26

    @BilB

    Of course socialism works. It just doesn’t work for all of the people all of the time. It works for more of the people most of the time.

    Maybe you should just see socialism as a means to an end – further lifting humanity to a higher level, to a society and set of values that can work for all the people all of the time.

    This is the march of history, from primitive cannibalism, through barbarian plunder and slavery (Romans, and Vikings) through serfdom (medieval) and into colonial murder and plunder under British, French and other Europeans.

    Over the centuries the sphere of human rights has expanded, so that, today the key, and only, impediments to further developments, are the forces of capitalism.

    If humanity can lift itself out of cannibalism, slavery, serfdom, and gender and racial oppression, it can lift itself to even higher levels. You need to overcome the capitalist mentality and associated alienation or dreams of a different form of capitalism.

    Socialism merely guarantees equity based on each individuals contribution to the economy and a minimum standard for all. So it does work for all for most of the time but not necessarily equitably. The point is that inequity under socialism is not based on subjective factors and does not lead to a structural crisis. Socialism does not remove competition between individuals and groups. So there will continue to be winners and losers.

  27. BilB
    October 1st, 2015 at 07:05 | #27

    The point I am making Ivor is that socialism is totally foreign to the thinking of people whose only interests are themselves totally. Such people are often demonstrate the ability to outperform those who share their time assisting and cooperating with others and therefore loemps rise through bureaucracies and corporate structures (Tony Abbott being the latest such example and also in the news the mayors of Brazil).

    The result is that if you force a loemp to live within a social sharing structure they will apply all of their creativity to defeating it. That is the fatal flaw in the pure socialist society. However if by chance or circumstance the loemps are eliminated, as happened in Robert Sopalsky’s Study troop, then sustainable socialist harmony is possible. Possible at least until a loemp emerges naturally through regeneration.

    High ideals cannot defeat the fundamentals of infused human nature in a significant proportion of a population. That is why the social democracy the real solution. There must be a mechanism to identify and sideline toxic individuals. Donald Trump’s attempt at the Presidency is an interesting study example. Can extreme wealth defeat democracy?

  28. BilB
    October 1st, 2015 at 07:07 | #28

    Sapolsky…I just can never get that right.

  29. Collin Street
    October 1st, 2015 at 07:29 | #29

    The result is that if you force a loemp to live within a social sharing structure they will apply all of their creativity to defeating it.

    Empathy has two elements: one is caring about whether other people are hurt, and the other is knowing whether other people are hurt. A person can have impairments in one without being impaired in the other, and I don’t think they actually correlate that closely.

    The latter is actually pretty easy to identify — there are some really distinctive language markers — but it’s not by-and-large the one we care about.

  30. Ivor
    October 1st, 2015 at 10:32 | #30

    @BilB

    Dealing with toxic people seems easy if within a cooperative benefits and earnings are distributed democratically.

    This is social democracy based on market socialism.

    If you try to create social democracy based on capitalism – toxic individuals will erect themselves as executives and managers with control over staffing, financial data, meetings etc and will destroy opportunities for others.

    Under capitalism you give these people the means to destroy society – under socialism you deprive them of this capacity.

  31. Donald Oats
    October 1st, 2015 at 14:13 | #31

    In a moment of least surprise, the AFP announces that Bronwyn Bishop has no charges against her, as they have found no evidence of criminality. It is looking like it is impossible to prosecute a member of parliament for what seem to be clear breaches of the rules; travelling from A to B isn’t illegal, but where the minister has used a means of transport which is in excess of what would be considered reasonable—the ministerial chauffeur service for instance—the minister is required to pay for the difference, *and* to sign a declaration to that effect. It is this last part which Bishop didn’t comply with, as she apparently signed off as claiming the entire expense of the helicopter travel.

    I guess what this means is that ministers can catch a rocket from A to B for all the finance dept cares, hey, it’s only taxpayers’ money involved. [sarcasm intended]

    What it does demonstrate is that the rules on travel are in desperate need of tightening up. Ministers get a pretty good deal for travel in the first place, being able to use a chauffeur service for example; flying a helicopter to a state Liberal function is manifestly excessive IMHO, but now that the precedent is there, I guess we’ll see a lot more of it.

  32. Troy Prideaux
    October 1st, 2015 at 14:35 | #32

    @Donald Oats
    Well, I suppose at least we (the taxpayers) got some good jokes out of it all 🙂

  33. Donald Oats
    October 1st, 2015 at 17:53 | #33

    @Troy Prideaux
    Indeed. First Dog On The Moon comic strip was plenty funny (and still is). I love the final line in that particular cartoon, hilarious.

  34. October 3rd, 2015 at 22:08 | #34

    @Megan

    Sorry for the delay replying.

    I saw it in a Times Law Report on another matter in the 1980s, that made reference to this happening a considerable period before. It stuck in my mind as it was so counter-intuitive. I hope that helps.

  35. October 3rd, 2015 at 22:25 | #35

    @Megan

    Ah… I see where you’re probably coming from, a thorough familiarity with Australian case law that tells you that it never happened in Australia. But I never suggested that it did (I saw it in a British newspaper, reporting on English cases); you may have been jumping to a conclusion there.

    I am having considerable difficulty accessing this page now that somebody has linked a video; javascript needs to be enabled to reply (always a nuisance), and that is nearly impossible as the video has imposed a script that is frequently stalling my browser. I am unlikely to be practically able to reply further.

  36. Julie Thomas
    October 4th, 2015 at 07:13 | #36

    Does anyone know that our new PM blogs? This is an interesting post in which our PM expresses how underwhelmed he is with the famous – not – economist who wears a mask and blogs at that lol libertarian and centre right place.

    Turnbull begins his blog; “Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery, so no doubt the Melbourne libertarian economist Sinclair Davidson was flattered when he saw Terry McCrann this morning write in the Herald Sun:

    “Anyone who understood and believed in the free market system would know that there is no such thing as unsustainable tax cuts; only unsustainable expenditures.””

    http://www.malcolmturnbull.com.au/media/dumb-slogans-vs-rational-debate-on-sovereign-wealth-funds

  37. Troy Prideaux
    October 4th, 2015 at 22:54 | #37

    @Julie Thomas
    Indeed… I’ve always said the only reason McCrann grew a beard is because the realestate around his lips is the most fertilised in the country.

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