Regular Features Sandpit December 14, 2013 John Quiggin61 Comments A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
61 thoughts on “Sandpit”
A friend of mine who has worked in these type of workplaces has stated the following to me.
“While they’re all patting themselves on the back now that they’ve got the IPA ?running a “pinko” organization, let’s see what he has to say about the human ?rights of the “evil” asylum seekers? He may surprisingly cause the govt some ?uncomfortable moments in the years ahead??”
To which I retorted “You must be kidding!”
He then explained further to me …
“As a non public servant, you cannot understand this point; often when an ?outsider comes into an organization like the ABC or Human Rights Commission ?etc, over time, they can be consumed by the culture of the place…..they ?cannot resist it……I’ve seen it happen in the railways many a time. Human ?beings act in a very predictable way……….?”
“Human beings do not like to be isolated and unwanted, they cherish love and acceptance….it takes a ?lot of front to NOT join the club??”
So maybe he will go the way of Jonathan Shier?
Poacher becoming gamekeeper sometimes works, if they are under close scrutiny to demonstrate they are not captured by previous associations eg. Graeme Samuel, businessman and merchant banker running the ACCC. He was seen as a zealot by some of his big business mates, especially when pursuing Visy’s Dick Pratt for price fixing when the latter was on his death bed.
I’m not suggesting this is relevant to Wilson; he won’t be leaving his ideology at the door.
The appointment of the former Member for Indi to the board of the Australian Submarine Corporation shows the government is at least finding jobs for some people in Adelaide, even if they have to commute some way. My most vivid recollection of the new appointee is her holding a sign that said ‘ditch the witch’. Perhaps she had another sign that said ‘later on get me a cushy job ‘.
The appointee joins chartered accountants, engineers and military brass all of whom demonstrated some administrative competence. I would have thought that Bob Carr and Steve Bracks also had runs on the board evidently not enough for the Abbott government. When these sinecures are given the appointee ought to at least have relevant experience outside the political arena.
Perhaps her role is to be a sort of Commissar.
Tim Wilsons appointment is a bold and audacious blow struck in the culture wars as part of Abbotts back to (Howard) the future lack of positive agenda .It is IPA policy to abolish the HRC . Wilson and the IPA fancy that they need to restore balance because those who are traditionally used to unquestioned power and privilege (mainly old white blokes or old white bloke wannabes ) now see themselves as an oppressed minority -and they are very angry .In a weird (for Rightists) ‘PC identity politics’ kind of style they seek to engender rage in their base -“dont tread on us!”.
Apart from that the rightists may have a point that freedom of speech should not be reduced by banning speech that is merely offensive.
They had a brief piece on ‘PM’ last night about Wilson’s appointment.
I’m surprised they left his ‘slip’ in the transcript (in bold):
He could just be over-reaching but it sounded very much as if the repeal is a done deal and he has been guaranteed of that.
Interestingly, as I understand it, the jewish community is very much against the repeal (for obvious reasons).
Business as usual for the right-wing loonies. First, cushy jobs for the cronies! Then, appoint someone who hates the current policy of a governmental body to run it. Try and hammer your square ideological peg into the round social hole, then finally fob the whole mess off on the unlucky succeeding government. This has been the repeating RW pattern for the past few decades.
Funny how the glut of articles declaring Australia to be literally circling the drain because the debt is a whopping 30% of GDP, government won’t stop spending money and the unemployment rate edging upwards vanished completely as soon as Abbott got elected and continued with the so-called “disastrous government policy” of the previous government. It must simply be an oversight on the behalf of the libertynut loony blogosphere. I’m sure they have a lot on their plate, what with defending Western civilization against feminism and spotting Marxists in the shadows and under the bed ready to steal their gold bars. Maybe they will write something up tomorrow.
Now the grown ups are in charge surely December retail must show the customary increase. I discussed this with a rural storekeeper who pointed out that it is governments that empty wallets in December. It seems to be a good time to send out bills for council and water rates as well as car rego. I would add price controlled enterprises such as gas and electricity whether government owned or not. Both lots seem to give themselves regular non-trivial price increases.
This is in contrast to the hapless unregulated sector that bends over backwards to get customers. Electricity prices roughly doubled 2006-2013 but I bet in that time plum puddings barely moved in price. Mr Hockey it’s your price controlled mates who are the grinches if Christmas retail disappoints.
There was a type of referendum recently in the US in Washington State called ‘Initiative 522’.
It was an initiative calling for the labelling of foods containing GM products. When it was launched it had public support of about 66% in favour of the ‘Yes’ vote but after a huge effort from the ‘No’ campaign it was defeated by about 51% to 49%. That huge effort included the largest amount of campaign funding ever arraigned against an initiative in that state, or just about anywhere in the US.
The ‘No’ case was primarily based on the argument that labelling GM food would ‘mislead’ people by suggesting that there was something wrong with GM food. The ‘Yes’ vote’s primary argument was that people have the right to know, and to choose, whether they eat GM food.
The ‘No’ case was distinctive in that it was run by a lobby group called “GMA” (Grocery Manufacturers Association) consisting of corporations including Monsanto.
It was also distinctive in that it was in breach of campaign finance laws for not disclosing where its funding was coming from. The Washington Attorney General prosecuted GMA for that breach.
The case is ongoing apparently, but the secretive ‘No’ campaign raised something like $20 million (of which $550 came from real individuals and the rest was secretly funded by corporations) to defeat the ‘Yes’ campaign’s effort of about $5 million (raised mostly from real individuals).
Apart from the obvious problem about ‘democracy’ being ‘won’ by the biggest PR, lobbying and advertising spend, the fact that the GM lobby must always resort to lies and cheating to get their way surely tells us something about their bona fides.
PS- even after being busted, and disclosing some details of their funding, GMA is accused of hiding a further $3.8 million.
The sad irony is that it seems they could have got away with it if they had just registered their ‘PAC’ (Political Action Committee) properly and beforehand.
We label salt content in foods, amongst lots of other things, so there is no genuine reason we shouldn’t also label ‘GM’ content. Surely it’s a classic ‘win-win’, the GMers get to do what they do and the people who want to avoid that content get to choose what they eat.
The fervent pro-GMers really don’t do themselves any favours by being so dishonest and manipulative – and by supporting such conduct.
It was Joh’s racist & bloody-minded intransigence that gave Australia ‘Native Title’ via the ‘Mabo’ decision.
A Queensland Premier gave Australia ‘Mabo’.
I’ve been following the ‘VLAD’ (“bikie”) cases very closely and I’m beginning to wonder whether it might be another Qld Premier who might give Australia a ‘Bill of Rights’.
The “Yandina Five” have been in jail for a few weeks, they were dobbed in for having a beer together at the Yandina Pub, – not because they have been accused of doing anything that would normally constitute a crime – because they “associated” with each other.
Unfortunately, the fact that the ALP is about identically neo-con to the LNP (they supported these stupid laws) means that we will have to wait until we have a genuinely different party before we can electorally push for a Bill of Rights.
The ALP is ideologically opposed to a Bill of Rights – but that position might actually give us the double bonus of getting rid of the ALP and getting a Bill of Rights!