Category archives for Government policy

David Bowie and me

Around Easter of 1946, my parents, and another couple by the name of Peggy and John Jones in Brixton UK, celebrated in a “matrimonial” manner.  About nine months later, on 8 January 1947, I was born.  One David Robert Jones were born on the same day.  That was all we would ever have in common. […]

Are borders moral

An interesting question was posed to me a few months back. “If all men are created equal, are borders moral?”  If we are all equal regardless of race, ethnicity, sex, religion etc. why should we have countries?  Why should only my ‘tribe’ inhabit a piece of land defined by lines on a map?  I confess, I […]

The Terrorist Club

Imagine you belong to a club. I use the term “club” in a wide sense here.  The club you belong to may be a country, a religion, a sport, a multinational or even the bird watching community.  Belonging to a club gives you a sense of identity.  It enables you to meet and talk with […]

The Australian Greens. How to become the major party in Australia.

It would be fair to say both major parties are less than popular with most people.  What other choice do we have?  The Greens have some support.  They get into the low teens when it comes to percentage of votes, but that will not get them into power.  So how does a small party like […]

Seven refugee issues we have ignored

You would think that everything that could be said, had been said about the refugee influx into Europe. I think there are a few topics that are new, or glossed over, so here we go. These are seven refugee issues we have ignored. Firstly, one raised by Gillian Triggs.  If we are taking Syrian refugees, […]

Cabinet discusses rorts

“Is everyone here for the cabinet meeting?” asked the chief Abbott. “Still waiting for BB.” replied ‘Kauri’ Pyne. “Is BB King coming to provide some entertainment?” said Abbott. “Think he is dead PM.  I was talking about the other BB.  Bronwyn Bishop.  Although I think she would prefer to be known as BB Queen.  Sounds […]

A rational discussion about tax

In an autocratic country, people are afraid to discuss ideas.  Every concept that doesn’t fit with the state view is a potential point of punishment.  Think North Korea or Russia.  In Australia, our governments are losing the ability to discuss concepts for much the same reason.  A concept is a potential point of punishment.  Not in […]

From Trog to Abbott – Ethics and Religion

‘Twas way, way back. About 2 million BC. We know about a man who lived then, through a recently discovered cassette tape.  His name was Trog Le Dite.  He was famous back then because he was the first to decide people should live together.  A community.  Up till then people lived on their own.  He […]

Tony Abbott. A personality profile.

Daily we are subjected to comment on the Liberal government.  They rang from propaganda to outright slander.  In this post, I will try and take a step back and look at the facts.  Analyse what we know of our Prime Minister Tony Abbott.  What sort of person is he?  Aside from the media performance, what does […]

The ABC, Tony Abbott and flashing red lights

Whenever Abbott attacks the ABC, red lights start to flash.  Abbott is ideologically, and fanatically, opposed to the ABC.  I am sure if you look long enough you will find something nice he said, but it was probably a back handed comment.  He would claim it was a mis-quote.  When he criticises Q&A for having […]

Drip, drip, drip

Drip, drip, drip…. “Is that a leak?” asked Chairman Abbott during a quiet moment in the Cabinet room. “Wasn’t me.” was the response from all present.  Several shifted uncomfortably in their chairs.  All except one who cannot be named.  He fiddled under the table with the digital radio so kindly provided by a constituent.  First race […]

A slippery slope

Imagine this.  A school teacher sees a child being molested in the school grounds.  The teacher reports it to the Principal.  What would you expect to happen next? If the Principal fails to report it to authorities, the Principal is subject to a $5,000 fine If the Principal does report it, the Principal is subject […]

Refugee resettlement and refugee intake

How many refugees should Australia take per year?  We are taking about 6,000 currently.  Is that too many, just right, or not enough?  Here are the current statistics on refugee intakes 1994- 1995 3,992 1995- 1996 4,643 1996- 1997 3,334 1997- 1998 4,010 1998- 1999 3,988 1999- 2000 3,802 2000- 2001 3,997 2001- 2002 4,160 […]

Success to Abbott is forgetting the budget

The dull and boring federal budget is now with us.  Not much to report.  Didn’t do much.  Seems the whole purpose was to avoid any criticism.  There are a few points worth noting however. The $20k tax deductible amount is aimed at boosting small business.  If a small business is making a profit, and hence […]

Renewable energy and jobs, jobs, jobs.

Kevin Rudd called it our greatest challenge.  At about the same time Tony Abbott called it “bullshit”. I am talking about climate change of course. The years have passed since then, so where are we now? We can start the inventory by looking at targets. Back then we had a renewable energy target (RET) of […]

What do we want of a government

What is the role of government?  It is not a question you hear much unless it is in a very narrow context.  Government should do this or do that.  It is interesting though, to think in a much broader sense as to what we want governments to do for us. In order to get a […]

What they said.

We all have opinions we truly believe at the time.  We also get things wrong from time to time.  Maybe we didn’t completely understand the situation, or maybe there were unforeseen circumstances.  Sometimes, what seems like a simple option, has layers of complexity we didn’t understand because we were not intimately involved in the area.  In forming […]

Should education be a commercial operation

What a great idea.  Bring the universities kicking and screaming into the real world of business.  Make them earn their living.  Why even some of the universities seem to think it is a good idea too.  What a brilliant government those Liberals run. There is one silly, philosophical question though: “Should education be a commercial […]

Tax avoiding multinationals

Having laws is the problem.  It has changed how we see things. Let’s start with the first group of humans to ever try living together.  Way back in the distant past, there must have been some driver to bring individuals together into a village of sorts.  Maybe it was for companionship.  Maybe it was to […]

A fairy tale. Tony Abbott and the backbenchers.

Tony Abbott gathered together those who had failed to make the exalted rank of Cabinet Ministers.  It was just like Jesus gathering the disciples at the last supper. “I have gathered all you backbenchers together today to get some feedback as to how ‘good government’ is going.  The public seen to think I should talk to […]

Why government grants to first home buyers are a waste of time.

Imagine if you will, a company that sells gizmos.  They charge $1,000 for each gizmo and sell 50,000 a year.  It is a stable business and each year rolls past with the same price and the same volume.  Now the government decides more people should buy gizmos.  They decide to pay each person who buys […]

My Budget

I am going to be brave.  Really brave.  I am going to propose what should be in the next budget.  Now I don’t have access to the Government Budget Office or Treasury so I will have to give some general comments rather than quoting figures. Let’s start with some issues and principles: What we receive […]

Chan and Sukumaran – Another approach

The sheer incompetence of the Abbott government in negotiating the removal of the death penalty on the two Australians in Indonesia is embarrassing.  Veiled threats are hardly a way forward.  I saw a quote from a book which said “If you want someone to give you something, find a way for them to hand it […]

Penalty Rates on Sunday

I have just spent about 10 days in Vienna.  Aside from catching the flu, and the freezing temperature it was an interesting visit.  One thing I found is worth talking about.  On Sundays, no shops open other than cafes and restaurants and the odd tourist place.  To my surprise, shops being closed on Sunday did […]

Peta and the PM

“Peta, Peta pumpkin eater.  Where are you?” “I swear if he says that again he is going to find barbed wire in his budgie smugglers.  Let’s see how prickly he is then.  Over here Prime Minister.” “Been up to a few things since you have been away Peta.  Got rid of the whip.  I think […]