… is from page 25 of Mark Pennington’s important new book, Robust Political Economy:
From a public choice perspective, the political process externalises costs because people vote for things that will be paid for by others. Access to benefits provided by the state constitutes an ‘open access’ resource.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (05:42 pm)
Do union members realise their leaders are deliberately trying to cut their income for the sake of an utterly usless scheme to “stop” global warming?
AUSTRALIA’s peak union body says Julia Gillard’s carbon tax will drag down national and personal income levels, but the financial pain will be offset by long-term environmental benefits…
Giving evidence to the committee in Melbourne, the ACTU’s director of policy and legal, Joel Fetter, said without a carbon tax “the planet will catch up to us’’....
Asked if the union movement was comfortable with a decline in personal income levels, Mr Fetter said: ”We will clearly have lower income than the income we could generate if we continued to burn dirty coal and we continued with business as usual...”
Fetter has worked out how much Labor’s carbon dioxide tax will cut wages. Can he now reveal how much that tax will cut the world’s temperature? Just to show workers what they’ll gain for all that pain?
(Thanks to readers AW and Robert.)
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (05:39 pm)
I’m not sure at all that Alan RM Jones is wrong:
The PM awoke today to this headline:
By mid day Stephen Smith had announced this:
No doubt this announcement had been sitting on his desk ready to go for a number of days, but why did he choose today to release this with lots of B-roll of woman in combat gear? Which story is likely to get up in the evening newscasts?
(Don’t even get me started on the politically driven, poorly considered genesis of this change.)
Reader Dani is astonished by Joan Kirner’s excuses:
Former Victorian Labor premier Joan Kirner said she believed the slide in female support for Ms Gillard was due to women becoming generally disengaged with politics as a result of the current “divisive and petty debate”.
“Women switch off when politics becomes petty and divisive as it is at the moment and that’s not down to Julia it’s down to the general debate and Tony Abbott’s relentless negativity,” Ms Kirner told The Australian Online.
“They’re not switched off from Julia, they’re switched off from politics. Women want the key issues for them to be resolved and they want to be part of that, but what they don’t want is to be a part of a vicious debate.”
So Tony Abbott’s “relentless negativity” is to blame for women voters having “switched off” from politics generally, not Gillard personally. But if Abbott is to blame, and Gillard is not at fault, how come it’s only Gillard’s support among women that has dropped?
Does Kirner take us for idiots, or should the sentiment be vice versa?
At some stage Kirner must accept that women aren’t so stupid that they’d vote for anything in a skirt.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (10:10 am)
Rudd’s little “accident” will kick along the leadership story for another day, which I’m sure will disappoint the poor man, given his desperate wish to help Julia Gillard stay in
his her job:
Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd himself blamed jet lag for this unfortunate gaffe this morning.
”I’m a very happy little vegemite being Prime Minister … being Foreign Minister of Australia,” he told ABC Central West in Orange, NSW.
As far as Gillard is concerned, Geldof just didn’t squeeze that damn neck hard enough:
Squeeze, Bob, squeeze:
(Thanks to reader Patrick.)
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (09:37 am)
Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel—the one true democracy in the Middle East.
Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It’s the—the theater of the absurd. It doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.
You might say: That’s the past. Well, here’s what’s happening now—right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security.
You couldn’t make this thing up.
Nor could you make this up. On Al-Arabiya television three years ago, a (female) Arab lawyer urged Arab men to sexually harass Israeli women as a form of “resistance”:
(Thanks to reader Athol and many others.)
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (09:20 am)
Reader D wonders if her grade 6 son’s homework is a little, well, preachy…
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (07:15 am)
The Labor leadership, so close to the Greens, does not reflect the values of its own Labor voters:
THE core social values of Labor voters are far more closely aligned with Coalition supporters than Greens, a new social cohesion survey finds.
On a range of questions - such as valuing the “Australian way of life”, concern over immigration rates, the importance of migrants “blending in” and whether climate change is the nation’s most pressing problem - the response from Labor voters was more in sync with Coalition supporters than Greens.
Results from the Mapping Social Cohesion 2011 survey published today highlight the politically delicate nature of the Labor-Greens alliance in Canberra, as supporters of the two political parties value vastly different social policies.
Overall, the survey found the nation’s social cohesion in decline, with trust in government recording a sharp fall since 2009....
The report, written by Monash University researcher Andrew Markus, says ”there is less differentiation between the attitudes of Liberal and Labor supporters than between Labor and Greens”.
(Thanks to reader the Great Waisuli.)
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (07:03 am)
Professor George Williams gets in a terrible tangle, demanding practical measures while advocating laws to fix a problem that doesn’t exist:
It has also become plain that Australians want change that brings substantive benefits. They are sceptical about inserting fine words into the constitution that have no effect....
The constitution should have new opening words recognising Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders as the continent’s first peoples. In addition, text should be removed that acknowledges that people can lose their vote in state elections due to the colour of their skin.
Can anyone point to a single Aboriginal who is denied a vote because of their colour of their skin?
To top off that effort, Williams then demands both a law that discriminates on the grounds of “race”, but also one that prohibits exactly that:
The races power also needs to be deleted and replaced with a new federal power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. However, it must be made clear and certain that no federal law can provide for racial discrimination.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (06:59 am)
Julia Gillard in The Daily Telegraph yesterday:TONY Abbott’s policy is the same policy used by the Howard government, under which 95 per cent of the people resettled from Nauru ended up in Australia and New Zealand.
Chris Evans, February 8, 2008:
A TOTAL of 1637 people were detained in the Nauru and Manus facilities, of whom 1153 (or 70 per cent) were ultimately resettled [in] Australia or other countries [and] 705 people [43 per cent] were resettled in Australia.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (06:56 am)
Niki Savva warns Julia Gillard that her threat to record the votes of every Coalition MP who blocks her Malaysian deal is also a threat to every Labor MP who hates it, too:
A month ago I said Gillard was dead woman walking. Now it’s like a remake of Weekend at Bernie’s, where two men who think their lives depend on it fool his friends and enemies into thinking their dead boss is alive…
Watching Gillard trying to blame the opposition for the multiple failures of her multiple asylum-seeker policies is excruciating. She will succeed in stripping some skin off Abbott but at a heavy cost to Labor’s self-respect.
Last week she threatened the opposition with divisions on her amendments to the Migration Act. “Every vote will be recorded by every member,” she said, either forgetting or not caring that half the MPs sitting sullenly behind her are appalled by the prospect of history showing how she will compel them to vote. She couldn’t have been listening when John Faulkner warned her not to breach either Australia’s obligations to the UN convention on refugees or Labor’s asylum-seeker policy.
This is no small thing she is proposing. Caucus gives its prime ministers considerable latitude to preserve unity. It tolerates overturning of principles for the sake of good government, but what she insists on legislating, when the party is bleeding votes left and right, will shrivel its soul.
It’s now not just a question of how low she can go but how far down the party is prepared to let her take it before it puts a stop to it.
Bruce Hawker is a master spinner, but has never struck me as particularly happy with how Kevin Rudd was knifed. Nor has he struck me as a man who’d accidentally let slip an incautious word:
VETERAN Labor strategist and campaigner Bruce Hawker..., a key figure behind the deal Ms Gillard struck with the independents to form government last year, said an argument could be mounted for a leadership change when the party was trailing so badly in the polls.
”You can make a case for a change of leadership obviously - changes of leadership happen quite regularly on both sides of politics these days,” he said.
As for nice Mr Rudd, Hawker adds very generously:
ONE of the things that we have seen constantly is that Kevin Rudd is very well regarded by foreign leaders . . . He really did make an impact as prime minister on the foreign stage and people were very surprised when he was removed as Prime Minister because they saw him in very positive terms . . . you can’t fault his performance there.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (06:40 am)
At the United Nations, where international disputes are settled peacefully:
SECURITY guards for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan fought with UN guards at the annual UN summit last week when the Turkish leader tried to get in to see the historic Palestinian application speech.
One UN guard was taken to hospital, UN sources said.
Not entirely irrelevant is that the speech the Islamist Erdogan wanted to applaud was one by a Palestinian saying his people could be trusted with statehood, and don’t listen to those nasty Israelis warning of trouble.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (06:32 am)
Michael Stutchbury is right - this can’t go on, and especially not when all that spending leaves us with so little to show:
...our China boom has fuelled a political culture in which the answer to just about every problem is spending more taxpayers’ money.
As former Treasury official Robert Carling points out, federal government spending has nearly doubled in nominal terms in the past decade. That equates to a 50 per cent real expansion over a period in which the population has increased only 17 per cent. This government spendathon will have to end one way or another.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (06:20 am)
It’s the most creditable thing I’ve heard about Sarkozy:
FRENCH President Nicolas Sarkozy bewitched future wife Carla Bruni with his ‘’incredible’’ knowledge of flowers…
‘’He knows all the Latin names for flowers,’’ Ms Bruni told the Newshour radio show…
‘’I was really impressed … walking around the garden in the Palais of the Elysee, he was giving me all these details about tulips and roses and I said to myself: ‘My God, I must marry this man. He’s the President and he knows everything about flowers as well. This is incredible.’’’
My own favourite tulips are the Monet Party Pink and the Apeldoorn, although for sentimental reasons rather than aesthetic I still have a soft spot for the Kees Nelis.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (05:51 am)
That pokies promise Julia Gillard made to Andrew Wilkie is dividing her own ministers:
THE Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, has joined the growing ranks of Labor MPs anxious about poker machine reforms, saying clubs are justified in demanding more information to show the changes will work and that there should first be a trial.
Mr McClelland, who is being targeted by a well-funded campaign in his electorate of Barton, in the southern suburbs of Sydney, joins dozens of mainly NSW and Queensland MPs fighting internally against the deal the government struck with the Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie…
Mr Wilkie demanded that by 2014, machines must have pre-commitment technology to require gamblers to nominate how much they are prepared to lose in a set period. There would be no limit. All $1 machines would be exempt and clubs with 15 or fewer machines would be exempt until 2018.
If the initial legislation is not passed by May 31, Mr Wilkie will withdraw his support for the government, potentially bringing it down....
Mr McClelland, a St George Dragons fan, told the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader he would abide by the cabinet’s decision. ‘’But my personal view is clubs are justified in seeking additional information that the mandatory pre-commitment scheme will be effective and I am seeking a longer transitional period.’’
He said there should be a trial first and Mr Wilkie needed to be realistic or risk failure.
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (05:51 am)
You could gold-plate the taps, but an Aboriginal outback slum, hundreds of miles from any job, will remain a slum because the problem is not a lack of money. Emeritus Professor Helen Hughes:
IN February, the Productivity Commission released Indigenous Expenditure Report 2010 showing that an additional $5.1 billion was spent in 2008-09 on specifically Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs.
On June 8 the Council of Australian Governments Reform Council, reviewing indigenous literacy and numeracy between 2008 and 2010, showed that progress was limited to years 3 and 7 in reading in Queensland and Western Australia, with very little or no change in other literacy and no improvement, or decline, in numeracy.
On August 8 a Department of Finance strategic review of indigenous expenditure concluded that $3.4bn of annual indigenous expenditure “has yielded dismally poor returns to date”....
Most of the 545,000 Australians who identify as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin work in major cities and regional towns. They range from unskilled and semi-skilled workers through trades to professions such as medicine and law. They take pride in their cultural heritage, but their socioeconomic characteristics are similar to those of other Australians. There is no gap between these Aborigines and other Australians...
Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, September 27, 11 (05:16 am)
It has been accepted wisdom - or a smear - among so many in the Left commentariat that Tony Abbott has a problem with women voters. Or, wink wink, a problem with any woman who isn’t at home, playing the subservient wife.
For instance, remember the unexceptional answer Abbott gave about the advice he’d have for his own daughters if they asked for his opinion on sex before marriage?:
It (sex before marriage) happens ... I think I would say to my daughters if they were to ask me this question ... it is the greatest gift that you can give someone, the ultimate gift of giving, and don’t give it to someone lightly, that is what I would say.
Remember how this sane and solicited advice to just his own daughters was deliberately misrepresented as an oppressive edict to all woman by a bigot?
TONY Abbott’s advice to young women about not giving away their virginity lightly would confirm ‘’the worst fears of Australian women’’ about him, Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard says…
Ms Gillard said: ‘‘Australian women don’t want to be told what to do by Tony Abbott… Australian women want to make their own choices, and they don’t want to be lectured to by Mr Abbott.’’
Remember the vicious attempt by other Leftist women to portray Abbott’s advice to his daughters as dicatatorial, misanthropic and even akin almost to pedophilia?
Age writer Gabriella Coslovich even fumed that Abbott’s “nauseating” advice showed this “religious fanatic” was again trying to “lord it over” things, “be it land or a woman’s body”.
“Comedian” Fiona Scott-Norman, also in The Age, abused Abbott as a “one-time drug-taking, Vatican roulette playing, shagabout, white, middle-aged male” and a “pompous tosspot” who was “telling young women not to do what he did when he was their age”....
Academic Catharine Lumby, the gender-politics expert who for years taught National Rugby League players how best to ask women for sex, actually claimed Abbott’s advice belonged to the days when women were “shamed and blamed for having a normal sexual appetite and behaviour”. ..
Feminist Eva Cox meanwhile claimed he was “commodifying women by saying their sexuality was something to trade”.
But no one was more vicious than our resident feminist ideologue, Jill Singer, who on this page likened Abbott to a terrorist ... and a paedophile.
His “tender appreciation of female chastity”, she said, “would sit happily alongside that of ... Osama bin Laden”.
What’s more, Abbott’s views were “icky” and “pervy”, since “even metaphorically, it’s kind of creepy for a prominent male politician to be rummaging around inside the underwear of young girls in search of political inspiration”.
The good news is that foul campaign seems now to have largely failed:
The advantage Labor and Australia’s first female Prime Minister had among women and younger voters has been lost and support in the strongest Labor state of Victoria has crashed, along with personal support for Ms Gillard in her home state. At the last election, Ms Gillard led Tony Abbott as preferred prime minister among women voters by 52 per cent to 33 per cent…
By the end of last year, Ms Gillard had pushed her lead out to 55 per cent to 29 per cent, and Labor said the Opposition Leader had a “problem” with female voters. In the past three months, Ms Gillard’s support among women on the question of who would make the better prime minister has fallen from 47 per cent to 39 per cent; Mr Abbott’s has risen from 33 per cent to 37 per cent, making the two close to equal.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 26, 11 (05:44 pm)
More than half the emission cuts planned by the Gillard Government will come from buying carbon offsets overseas - so projects like this in Uganda may become quite common:
According to a report released by the aid group Oxfam on Wednesday, more than 20,000 people say they were evicted from their homes here in recent years to make way for a tree plantation run by a British forestry company, emblematic of a global scramble for arable land.
“Too many investments have resulted in dispossession, deception, violation of human rights and destruction of livelihoods,” Oxfam said in the report. “This interest in land is not something that will pass.” As population and urbanization soar, it added, “whatever land there is will surely be prized.”
Across Africa, some of the world’s poorest people have been thrown off land to make way for foreign investors, often uprooting local farmers so that food can be grown on a commercial scale and shipped to richer countries overseas.
But in this case, the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.
More from The Guardian:
Francis Longoli, a small farmer from Kiboga district of central Uganda, is tearful: “I remember my land, three acres of coffee, many trees – mangoes and avocados. I had five acres of bananas, 10 beehives, two beautiful permanent houses. My land gave me everything. People used to call me ‘omataka’ – someone who owns land. Now that is no more. I am one of the poorest now,” he says.
Longoli and his family of six lost everything last year when, with three months notice, the Ugandan government evicted him and thousands of others from the Mubende and Kiboga districts to make way for the UK-based New Forests Company to plant trees, to earn carbon credits and ultimately to sell the timber.
Today, the village school in Kiboga is a New Forests Company headquarters. More than 20,000 people have been made homeless and Longoli rents a small house in Lubaali village. He says he cannot go back for fear of being attacked.
(Thanks to readers James, John and others.)