This should be a new and positive agenda item from the Coalition and it should ignite an interesting debate about the direction that the country should be moving towards into the future. Of course the Greens are going to be horrified that anyone would be suggesting that we build dams and flood vast areas of wilderness so that even bigger areas of that same wilderness can be put under the plough.
If you think that a prospective government has to have a big vision for the future then this is it, while all that Labor has to offer is Tax and more tax so that they can attempt ever more intrusive social engineering from the far left song book.Well I for one applaud this new initiative from Tony Abbott et al because is shows that rather than being , as their critics keep insisting, a party that just keeps saying “no” they are clearly a party who are saying yes to a development future and that has to be a good thing for our future and the future of humanity on this planet.
I’m probably not alone in getting innumerable phone calls trying to induce me to sign up for solar panels with the promise that the government will help me with the cost and the energy collected can be used to offset our electricity bills, a number of them have actaully been rather surprised when I have explained that I don’t expect the subsidies to last or that the price paid for the feed in tariff will remain at their current level for long.
Now I discover that in WA those predictions that I have been making have come to pass:
Its the old law of supply and demand; the more solar panels on the roofs of the nation the less that energy companies (and government instrumentalities) are willing to pay per kilowatt. Mark my words comrades it won’t be long before the other states do the same as they have done in NSW and WA.
I am utterly horrified by just how much it costs to rent a house in the big smoke these days, as a home owner without a mortgage hanging over my head I look at the amount of cash that people have to outlay to get that roof over their heads and I am amazed at just how much the cost of that necessity will enslave. But I am also well aware of how the choices that are made about the life they want to lead have more effect on their housing prospects than an so called “affordability crisis” in housing:
Colin Barnett is right about the sort of houses that so many new entrants into the home buying game are desiring, we should all be happier with more modest digs but two things get in the way as far as I can tell, the first has a great deal to do with wanting our abodes to display a greater social status than we may have earned (so the bigger and more ostentatious the better) and the second one is the rather silly belief that one’s home should be treated first and foremost as a tool for creating wealth, as an investment. Reality check folks; the most important function of your house is to keep you warm when it is cold and dry when it rains…
So in many ways less is more. Less conspicuous consumption and more modest aspirations is the answer…
The first time I voted it was Gough who led the party and I was passionate about being able to give the ALP my vote. The party just seemed to have all of the correct ideas that suited my sense of fair play the idea of Medicare, ending the White Australia Policy and ending our commitment to Vietnam were things that inspired voters like myself, and I went on to be a very loyal Labor voter for many years. Then I found that I was voting for them out of a sort of despair. Despair that they were at least not the Tories and that they would do some good things for the ordinary people, But then I started to see then degenerate into an incompetent rabble. The last Labor leader that I respected was Keating and since then it has just been one disappointment after another and now, as I have completely turned my back entirely on the party I am beginning to wonder if the once great Australian Labor party is in its death throes. Which brings me to today’s little gem of an Op ed piece from the Age by Michael Pearce who also seems to think that the party if not already dead is at least gravely ill.
Many on the left have turned to the Greens for that articulation. However, the Greens sit outside the broad consensus on economic policy and, while they remain there, will struggle to win mainstream support. The dilemma for Labor is that to move outside the consensus makes it unelectable, while it denies its history and its raison d’etre by staying within it.
As a result, this once great party has become little more than a vehicle for political careerists, drawn mainly from the trade union movement. While the majority of the workforce were trade union members, as they were up to the 1970s, the link to the union movement enhanced the representative nature of the party. But today less than 20 per cent of the workforce are trade union members and the link now serves only to highlight the party’s unrepresentative nature.
The increasing professionalisation of politics has bred a cadre of party officials and MPs who have never worked on the shop floor, run a business, practised a profession (other than politics) or done anything outside of politics. Many have been parachuted into safe Labor seats or won preselection by stacking branches. Few have any real connection to the communities they notionally represent in Parliament. Indeed, many do not even live in their electorates. With caucus members no longer in the position to work out what voters think, is it any wonder the party has become reliant on focus groups to supply that information?
This is the modern Labor Party: a hollowed-out institution lacking any coherent and relevant ideology, propped up by the increasingly marginalised trade union movement with a dwindling active membership. Can anything be salvaged from it, or is it time to say the party is over? This is the real, existential question that the ALP and its members need to ask.
We need to have a viable dichotomy to keep an incumbent government focused and hard working but Labor seems to be so incompetent in power and that has more than anything undermined any of its good social ideas and it is the reason that it has seriously declined in its standing with the public. I can’t for the life of me see a cure for the NSW disease anywhere on the horizon but there is one thing that I do know ant that is if they don’t find a cure soon the party will continue to wither and die . The Greens like to think that they will raise to fill the political space thus created but I think that this is wishful thinking because they have peaked and now that they have enough prominence to warrant closer scrutiny they have been found very deficient in that most important currency of political capital, moral consistency.
Hard times ahead for the left, even those of the moderate centre Left like the ALP.
Collectively we all want to see the children of this country get the the best possible education and there is no issue more likely to wind up the Latte sippers more than the amount of government money that is given to the private schools in this country. I find it rather amusing when a particular subset of the species lattus Sippicus whine about this topic because this subset have themselves had expensive private schooling:
Well I heard about the new web creature created by the Labor Government “My school 2.0” was being touted by Peter Garrett on the radio yesterday and it is due to go live today. Looking at the graph in the SMH piece I cite today though you would have to conclude that the private schools do a fine job of saving the taxpayer money. Because it seems pretty obvious to anyone with a brain and the ability to add up that were the monies paid by government to subsidise private schools withdrawn then the private schools would collapse and then those students would collapse the public schools by the sheer weight of their numbers.
If we take the view that providing an education for the children of Australia is a duty of government then it is clear that the government is making substantial savings when ordinary parents decide that they are going to did deep and pay to go private.
To be honest I am rather unsure if it is good value for a parent to pay for a private school education for their children but then again isn’t it our duty as parents to seek the best possible start in life for our children? But one thing I am rather more sure about is that the knowing more about the relive merits of the various schools that we as parents may choose for our progeny is a good idea in principle but I just can’t shake the feeling that as a product of the Labor government there has to be a catch or some lurking fly in the ointment that will lead to a big festering sore in no time flat.
I have two children who are both students at a Queensland public school but the possibility of sending them to a private school in the future is not entirely out of the question.
A most delightful piece in today’s Fairfax press* in which Paul Sheehan goes through the problems with the greens in an entirely alphabetical manner.
A: ABCC. The Australian Building and Construction Commission was established to combat rampant corruption and intimidation in the building industry and has been highly effective. The main construction union, the CFMEU, has run a vociferous campaign to shut down the ABCC, which curbed the practice of building sites being threatened with industrial action unless they were ”paid up” with the union. The CFMEU has donated to the Greens. The Greens want the ABCC abolished.
B: Boat people. A left-wing obsession, thus the Greens send every possible green light to the people-smuggling trade under the argument that Australia has a moral obligation to absorb the world’s oppressed. No limit is ever set. No line is ever drawn. No hard decision is ever taken.
C: China. So great is the scale of power plant construction in China alone that even if Australia enforced a policy of zero greenhouse gas emissions, it would make almost no difference to global emissions. Thus Green urgency is based on principle rather than practical outcomes.
It is at once both shocking and amazingly funny that one minor party should have a vice for every letter of the alphabet.
With thanks to a Leon Bertrand who pointed out this piece to me
* Maybe even Fairfax is “over ” the Greens…..
The report in today’s Perth now about the second time that Kevin Spratt was Tasered while in custody makes for interesting reading and it paints the incident in a rather different light to the last because you would have to wonder why a man that lefties like our own Craigy wants to paint as a total innocent, would write an unprompted letter to the police commissioner apologising for his behaviour if he had been a model of good grace and reasonableness.
WA Police Union boss Russell Armstrong said Mr Spratt wrote to the police commissioner a month after he was tasered in the watch house.
In the letter, he stated he did not want the officers disciplined and apologised for his actions.
A spokesman for the WA police commissioner confirmed a letter had been received.
“Mr Spratt is now coming out saying he had memory loss and back pain and he’s suffered for two years,” Mr Armstrong told 6PR radio.
“I can tell you, a month later he certainly apologised to the commissioner and the officers for his behaviour and his behaviour is normal for a person who has a violent history.”
I smell more the odour of an ambulance chaser here rather than the evils of a “racist” police culture…
Our friends from the far left will assume that the police are essentially thugs in uniform who take delight in seeing people that they arrest suffer pain and indignity, especially if those people are indigenous. They rail against the use of devices like a Taser because the devices deliver excruciating pain.
Mr Barnett said the nine officers could have restrained the 39-year-old man in a more appropriate way, and it should not be “swept under the carpet”.
But no charges have been laid against any of the officers, despite two being found by an internal investigation to have used “undue and excessive force”, while two other senior officers were found to have failed to provide adequate supervision.
State Attorney-General Christian Porter said the lack of charges was surprising because the footage of the incident was provided to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the man’s lawyers, the Aboriginal Legal Service, by the police.
I am actually more ambivalent about such devices being part of the armoury of our law enforcement services. There are clearly times when their use is entirely justified, and the application of excruciating pain in a way that causes no lasting harm to the offender can be justified if they become violent and unnameable to reason. Like a lot of these things where to draw the line is easy to see when you are safe and calm on your couch and you have the benefit of the rewind button but when faced with a “mentally disturbed” and violent man who won’t just “come quietly” what is the alternative?
Perhaps the lefty-whiners who think the police are all sadistic thugs should actually try to restrain a drug crazed nutter just once in their lives before they again complain about police brutality. because they may then understand that its very hard indeed to avoid using “unreasonable force” upon the unreasonable.
As the old song goes a policeman’s lot is not always a happy one and we should never lose sight of the fact that we often ask them to do the most difficult job imaginable, to deal with people who are not amenable to any good sense, I do want to see checks and balances that will stop them over using devices such as Tasers but lets not pretend that the devices don’t have value and that causing excruciating pain without permanent injury is preferable to beating a violent offender into submission at the cost of broken bones or torn flesh.