In the name of God, go!

If I could have one big present for Xmas, it would be to wake up and discover that Keneally and Bligh had both proffered their resignations, and devoted their lives to undoing some of the damage they have done to the Labor movement.

146 thoughts on “In the name of God, go!

  1. BilB,
    What is clear is that the sex of the leader doesn’t of itself lead to a conviction leader. There are not too many conviction politicians of any sex or stripe. Meg Lees being female didn’t lead to the GST any more than John Howard and all the other Liberal blokes led to the GST. What led to the GST was the politician’s love of taxation dollars to do things.

    Even Tony Abbott is unable to maintain his former policy views about women in the face of 50%+ of the voting population being women who don’t believe in their inherent inferiority. Unfortunately the rapid rate of replacement of conviction politicians is unlikely to lead to many arising in the future.

  2. Jill R, I think that females are more likely to take a concilliatory position in conflicts. The operative words there are “more likely” not absolutely certain to. In Meg Lees case I think that she was schmoozed by Howard and felt that by taking a centre position she was “being reasonable” and fair. The fact is that we now have a flatter taxation system as a result which ultimately becomes progressively flatter over time as the number changes. In NZ for example the kid on the milk truck after school pays 17.5% personal income tax on her first $100 earnt. Then when she spends it she pays a further 12.5% GST making a total 30% tax on her first pay check. Some incentive to work, huh. It is not that bad here yet, give it time. Thank you Meg Lees.

    The next slippery path is the suddenly happening any day now nuclear waste facility with expressions of interest in storing France’s spent fuel rods. Where did that suddenly come from?? I feel another Meg Lees style cave in coming on here only this time with Julia Gillard’s finger prints all over it. And I don’t think that this is what Julia Gillard really believes in, I think that she has this time been manipulated by her advisors, or something. So how does this one play out? First there is the site established to take some waste from our medical reactor. Then one day suddenly there are French fuel rods which arrive secretly in order to prevent terrorist interception. But there here, too late. “We’re nuclear now, we may as well have a big reactor, for, you know, the environment”.

    Christine Milne I believe would not have a bar of this but she is doing the “right thing” and not moving Bob Brown out of the driving seat because he has been the backbone of the party for so long and he is a really nice guy. Concilliatory.

    Can somebody please proffer any theory at all on what Kristina Kenealley’s tactics are about? What ever she has done it was not for the money because there is very little in it. Did she have a bunch of parliamentary secretary superannuations to payout that week? or something?

    There is no game plan in this country, there is no “big picture”, its just every dog for himself and what he/she can get out of it.

  3. Bruce McDonald in the letters to SMH of December 28th asked “wheree the outcry is from his fellow lawyers at the proorguing of Parliament to cover up the details of electricity privatisation.

    Indeed.

    Now Emeritus Professor of law, Peter Butt says “I am here, as are many others. I share his outrage. Has there ever been in living memory such blatant disenfranchisement and contempuous disregard for parliamentary process?”

    Prof Q. You have been much too kind with your heading,

    For Kristina Keneally and Eric Roozendahl (who blithely appointed his sales and spin merchants from ministerial offices to positions as directors of boards, when they had no qualifications for the position whatsoever, when the real directors resigned in disgust at this transaction – just to slide this electricity privatisation through without any thought of due process and transparent public actions….. and they did it in the dead of night.

    It should read ” In the name of God, why arent you both in jail?.”

    and “just get.”

  4. Fran claimed “This is especially so because the infrastructure that makes this possible is substantially paid for out of a common pool of funds which maintains the roads regardless of how often any individual uses them or the damage they cause. This is an incentive scheme for individual to use roads”. Clearly Fran has never heard of the excises and other taxes on cars and petrol receipts of which regularly exceed government spending on roads.

    Thus in 1998-1999 excises and levies on oil and LPG produced $11.16 billion for the Commonwealth, and the states collected $3.9 billion from motor vehicle taxes. The total has probably exceeded $20 billion by now. TOTAL construction work on roads and bridges cost just $6.2 billion in that year. Yet Fran claims road usage is tax free! ’nuff said.

  5. @Charlie

    Clearly Fran has never heard of the excises and other taxes on cars and petrol receipts of which regularly exceed government spending on roads.

    This is misleading, because spending on roads does not include spending on road trauma and associated losses in productivity, spending on the policing system for roads, losses in damage to buildings and other property and human health from airborne pollutants, and of coruse, as we now see, the damage from CO2. It doesn’t account the cost of keeping troops in the middle east either or the cost to humanity of civil wars in oil producing countries or repressive regimes (like the Saudis for example). It also attaches no value at all to the easement on the commons that roads represent. If road users had to pay a fair commercial rent on this land, it would utterly dwarf state expenditures directly on roads. Given that unlike parks, the use of these lands is largely commercial, it seems fair enough.

    One amusing example of comtention externality arose just the other day. Apparently, the contraflow machine — the one that maximises road space on Victoria Road by awarding extra road space to the peak direction on the road — had to be made less noisy. The extra axle weight this entailed in the modified vehicle means that the road needs to be resurfaced, at, of course, public expense. Of course, if the roads weren’t so congested, you’d not need contraflow management at all.

    It’s clear that road users need to pay more for their specific road use and it should reflect the externality their road use imposes on the commons. Whether one accepts the third or fourth power rule for axle weight, vehicle tare is clearly a factor. Similarly, the amount of road space taken up by each vehicle ought to be considered. So too should the sundry emissions of the vehicle, the vehicle operator’s drving competence and compliance record and of course the demand for road space at the time an individual demands it. Just as one expects to pay more to rent a holiday palce in the high season, or take a place over the holidays, it seems reasonable to compel those who insist on driving on congested roads more than if they drive when there is little other traffic, especially if there is a viable parallel public transport option.

  6. Fran your productivity in terms of drivel per ten words is outstanding! You opined “If road users had to pay a fair commercial rent on this land, it would utterly dwarf state expenditures directly on roads.” Road users’ excise taxes on the fuel they use has always been considered a form of road user charge (along with annual licence fees). Neither charge applies if cars are permanently locked up their garages. Originally the proceeds of these charges were intended to form a road fund dedicated to road building and maintenance and other running costs such as policing. By the 1920s most countries realised such funds far exceeded what could usefully be spent on roads.

    Anyway, what is your assessment of “a fair commercial rent” for being on say the Sydney-Canberra road for 3 hours, occupying say 20 sq. metres at any and each moment, and try selling this noble invention of yours to Wayne Swann who is however idiotic enough to buy such nonsense, and when he does that will certainly be the end of him, and good riddance!

    However you are right there is a case for inner city congestion charges as in Singapore and in a small area in London.

    Given that unlike parks, the use of these lands is largely commercial, it seems fair enough.

  7. @Charlie

    there is a case for inner city congestion charges as in Singapore and in a small area in London.

    I dislike loopholes. Let there be a geometrically progressive contention charge starting at a modest threshhold and ramping up from there. If you’re driving along a road at 9AM on a Sunday morning and you’re one of fifty vehicles per hour on that stretch of road, it would be utterly trivial, because the service is for all practical purposes, non-rival and non-excludable but if you are one of 5000 vehicles per hour, it would be a lot more than 100 times as much.

  8. @Fran Barlow
    says “geometrically progressive contention charge”

    more rightist gobbledegook from Fran which at this point needs a definition. For this Ill probably be labelled some unseemly creature..

  9. Alice: you are right, Fran is the patron saint of gobbledook. Fran has yet to inform us what a commercial rent would be for having one’s car on a road at any time. As ever she confuses rent (usually a fixed charge irrespective of usage) with user costs wholly contingent on usage. In Australia, vehicle licence fees approximate to rent, while fuel excise is a user charge, drive more pay more. In Singapore congestion charges approximate to rents (high at peak, low at off-peak, as in tourist resorts). But never let facts get in the way of ideology!

    Meantime, even if OT, it is a shame the MSM & of course ABC above all have yet to comment that the floods at Theodore and Rockhampton, costs of which you-me are expected to cover, arise only because the WWF successfully prevented the construction of the Nathan Dam which would have prevented these floods, because of (1) some unheard of snail which is extant all over that area, not just the dam site, and (2) alleged negative effects of the Nathan Dam on the GBR. In fact, as widely reported today, the huge inflows of freshwater into the sea have far more adverse consequences for the GBR. But no doubt Fran is a fully paid up member of WWF and all the other malicious NGOs like FoE and GP. Alice , I do hope you are not! (h/t to Jen Marohasy).

  10. @Charlie
    Hate to disappoint you Charlie – It was a tough choice whether to sign up to Bob Katter’s team and move to Kennedy to start a Katter for Prime Minister movement, or the Greens and help Bob get the job. ….Im a bit over the rationality and destruction of the open door free market policies and Im a bit over the heartlessness to my fellow Australians by people that want to shift all our infrasture to the private sector and user price others into poverty.

    Tell me Charlie – where do you go?

  11. Alice: re London Undergorund, you confirm it has not been privatised. Outsourcing track work etc is not privatisation. I was in part brought up on the work of Jeremy Bentham, still gazing fondly at his worshippers at UCL – “what is the use of it?”. If the public sector performs poorly privatise if they can do better, if not, not. Performance is what matters, not ideology. As for the ruination in Queensland, I have no sympathy, they deserve the condign punishment they are getting for allowing WWF and the Greens to rule their lives. Your hero Brown supported the successful campaign to block the Nathan dam and all the others that would have alleviated the floods and stored water against the next drought.

  12. @Charlie
    Oh for goodness sake Charlie sho says ” As for the ruination in Queensland, I have no sympathy, they deserve the condign punishment they are getting for allowing WWF and the Greens to rule their lives.”

    What a load of old bunk. Both country people and the Greens have something in common these days. Neither like the free markets policy which is decimating production in regional towns. Neither like the pro privatisation policies of liberal and labor which is decimating services to country towns, city infrastructure and with it decent govt jobs. Public investment is also the lifeblood of regional Australia as well Charlie as is a some moderate protection for our regional industries.

    You need to read more Charlie. Some of your ideas are so passe.

    The privatisation of trackwork and maintenance of the London Underground has resulted in a complete shambles with a number of private companies and consortiums involved going bankrupt but not before paying their executives obscene amounts, major league cost blow outs (at taxpayers expense), maintenance simply not done.

    It would have been cheaper for the government to just get on with the work itself as it used to.

  13. Alice: you disappoint me – again! I think you are confusing the Underground with the railway network which is privatised. The Underground has never ever been run by any government.

    As for reading do peruse the review in today’s Fin of the new biography of Adam Smith. You might learn something!

  14. Watching Charlie & Alice is rather like watching the blog equivalent of Laurel & Hardy.

    That populist schtick based around the authenticity one claims if one parades ignorance of certain categories of metalanguage is particularly amusing, though still not as much fun as watching some self-styled vaguely liberal populist communitarian cohabit with some conservative populist defender of the privileges of wealthy folk.

    It is telling though that their area of shared agreement is the value of ignorance in making sense of the world.

  15. @Fran Barlow
    Indeed I have been labelled some unseemly creature by Fran our noted harbinger of names and labels and derogatory boxes for those who dont quite see things the same as Fran. Laurel and Hardy now.

    And a very happy New Year to you too.

  16. @Charlie
    Oh Charlie…did I ever once promise not to disappoint you/ I dont find I fit into anmy clear category Charlie. I dont hate greens, I sympathise with conservative agrarian socialists, UI dont like the free markets (think they can strip a country’s home production faster than you can say poverty), I dont like privatisation except in a mixed socialism sense, I like public education and public transport but dont want to wait for user pays to pay for it, I dont like misxing the public with the private sector (too much rorting goes on), I think a referendum should be called when governments are making huge decisions to privatise assets that have been in public control for decades in the dead of night….

    Our governments are more a disappointment to me, and I am more disappointed in them (liberal and labor) than I ever could be a disappointment to you Charlie.

    BTW – the Greens want to stick the 40% mining tax on the miners and they want public transport. I dont have any problem with either – in fact Im supportive to both. The Miners have been getting away with the lions share of any profits from our mineral wealth, which we own as a nation for years and years now (they have had their day in the sun and the banking and grocery industry should be in he sights of the super profits tax as well).

    Fair is fair and things have been very very unfair. I dont care the colour of my vote as long as it goes to a fair government.

  17. Yes, I was surprised ( and disappointed ) at the churlish comments directed at Charlie and Alice.
    Peevish, was the word that came to mind and unworthy of the sender.
    But I’m glad, Alice, that you prefer a rational world and value your freedom and integrity of consciousness above a slavish need to accomodate forces that deserve to be resisted, by any sane or decent person.

  18. That woman has the gall to allow her hard face on the front page and page 2 of the Daily Telegraph today, wearing something akin to a smaller version of the Akubra (smaller to house her tinier than usual brain)

    saying she has “underestimated public concern over the 5.3 billion power privatisation”

    Is that so?

    The woman’s concern is completely useless.

    There is clearly not enough concern to undo that disgusting sale, after households and businesses have endured price rise after price rise in electricity and other power forms and are absolutely furious.

    If she can shut down parliament in an attempt to stop an inquiry into her governments actions, the very least this “concerned” Kenneally can do now is to open parliament immediately, lift the prorogue, protect public servants presenting evidence at the inquiry and bring forward the election so the people can get rid of her and her government faster.

    What good is it having Kenneally attempt to make a complete farce of the inquiry by being the only two (her and Roozendahl) willing to risk facing it? More showtime from the government of spin.

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