15 thoughts on “Monday message board

  1. I see the NSW Government is cocking up another project:

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/smartcard-a-flop-says-bus-industry/2007/01/28/1169919213293.html

    Could it be that part of the reason why PPPs seem to go awry is that the public sector does not possess the capability in hard-nosed contract management required to get these things to work?

    Or is the public sector limited in how aggressive it can be in contract management to avoid an outbreak of unsavoury media, even where tough action is required?

  2. I will kick off with two Big Picture notions that have been bugging me recently, one intellectual, the other ideological.

    The intellectual issue is the best method for predicting elections. At the moment the pollsters seem to have gotten a jump on the pundits since the punters started to play catch-up on Howard’s declining political fortunes. So this election will be a crucial test of the punters versus pollsters thesis.

    The ideological one is the likeilihood of a regional Shiite v Suuni civil war breaking out as the US leaves Iraq. What chance is there that the Saudis will square off against the Iranians in the fight to control Mesopotamia?

  3. Jack,
    Militarily, the Saudis would not have a prayer against Iran. US support is vital for them and the US will not trnasfer their best technology to the Saudis to help make up the difference in numbers. So, no contest.
    On the first question – the punters and the pollsters feed off each other to an extent, so the question is a difficult one, as is any attempt to predict the future. The punters will be pricing in the propensity of either side to make a gaffe – but whether one happens or not can greatly affect the electoral outcome.
    I am a fan of the punters’ side of the argument, but that is probably through my belief that people are rather rational when using their own money. I do not see any election as being a “crucial test” as the debate will (IMHO) never really be settled.

  4. Given their success in predicting the Bullets’ so-far stellar season, I will keep my promise not to say anything rude about betting markets. For the record, I note that they still have the government ahead, and only moved a little in response to Rudd’s arrival.

  5. “What chance is there that the Saudis will square off against the Iranians in the fight to control Mesopotamia?

    The Saudi’s can’t fight the Iranians. The Saudi Arabia’s leaders, like the leaders of most sunni countries, are too politically weak to risk having a real military. I would go one step further than AR and say technology would make no difference. Its why they’re terrified of America leaving Iraq.

    If it comes to a civil war in Iraq then the Saudi’s will not be able to do much. The Iranians have organistaion, training, loyalty, proven tactics, a real army, weapons, money, and the majority of the population in Iraq.

    The Saudi’s have money, the Americans and pretty much nothing else. Little popular support. No troops. And even the American support is questionable. The current Whitehouse is foolishly not much interested in the Saudi alliance. The Saudi’s will stand on the sidelines handing out $100 bills to sunni guerilla’s who will soon hold them in contempt as they contrast it with the real support their shiite enemies get from Iran. Saudi Arabia, like most of the Middle East is just too weak to do much.

  6. Two items on TV tonight were an ironic comment on life. One was about the increasing propensity of young people to have Australian flags tattooed on themselves and to drape the flag around themselves as they abuse others who don’t show the same enthusiasm for their love of the country. The flag is used on a most disrespectful manner which must shock war veterans who never have treated the flag in this way.

    The firefighters who have fought the bush fires in Victoria on the other hand can’t get young people to help them and yet this would be a true showing of love for the country.

    And yet the issue that John Howard cared to talk about in the week leading up to Australia Day is the right for the young people who are more interested in drinking to wear the flag as a fashion statement, rather than urging them to be patriotic by volunteering and wearing the colours of fire fighters. This would sort out those to whom patriotism is just a way of saying “In your face” and those who really do defend Australian values of home and community.

    Of course the fact that volunteer fire fighters are out of pocket and face real danger could mean the Federal Government being asked for a contribution whereas the support for rabid flag wearers is the cheap option. It really is an ugly spirit of Australianism that he rides.

  7. Steve Said:
    “Could it be that part of the reason why PPPs seem to go awry ?�;
    is that people like NSW Finance Minister John Della Bosca do not understand what a $60 Million loss is.

    In reference to the public sector employees State Superannuation Fund writing off a $60 million equity investment in Sydney’s Cross City Tunnel, NSW Finance Minister John Della Bosca is quoted as saying;
    “There are no costs to taxpayers here. There are no losses to fund members.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Tunnel-flop-wont-cost-NSW-taxpayers/2007/02/01/1169919452315.html

    This is the calibre of the Labor ‘clowns in Macquarie Street’; unfortunatly they have the keys to the till.

  8. Message to Kevin Rudd: the next election really IS un-loseable. John Howard is surrounded by sycophants and TOTALLY OUT OF TOUCH. If the Libs don’t dump him soon it will be to their eternal regret (better to go out a “winner” like Thatcher eh?).

    Here are my Top 10 reasons for dumping Howard. He is out of touch…

    1. ON global warming

    2. ON Industrial Relations

    3. ON water

    4. ON David Hicks

    5. ON childcare

    6. ON Fiji

    7. ON religion

    8. ON the sale of Qantas

    9. ON nuclear power

    10. ON climate change

    11. Yeah, I didn’t even mention the bloody Iraq War and George W. Bush and the three interest rate hikes since the last election and … ?

  9. I wish you and Road to Surfdom did not have the same crappy commenting software. Please take a look at Antony Loewenstein’s blog, which seems to work quite beautifully.

  10. Gandhi, What you clearly don’t understand is that Rudd is already the PM – though as yet unelected. Haven’t you noticed that every time Kevin says something, the elected version comes out the next day to trump him (or try to)?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s