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Where is the Outrage?

When we defend the charge of causing someone’s death with a counter charge that our accuser did the same thing, we should know that we have reached the bottom of the barrel in our moral and social understanding of rightness and wrongness.

The Australian Independent Media Network

beratiE ver since that day back in 2001 when the Norwegian freighter Tampa rescued asylum seekers from drowning and John Howard refused permission for them to disembark at an Australian port, the political landscape for our country changed. Because we the people endorsed that decision, we must accept responsibility for everything that has happened since. That John Howard’s legacy will be tainted forever by this one opportunistic decision and be the defining measure of his time as prime minister is something for him to contemplate. That we the people have, subsequent to that decision, forced both the major political parties to quiver in their shoes every time the media highlights the issue is something for us to contemplate.

On Q&A last Monday night, Jamie Briggs, Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development argued against his government’s culpability in the Manus Island murder of Reza Berati by reminding Labor Transport spokesperson…

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Joe’s Emotional Hysteria

What we are witnessing here is a classic case of ‘ideology blues’. It’s a condition conservative governments suffer when they see anyone they despise receiving government money.

The Australian Independent Media Network

Hockey Running out of money? What an incredibly stupid thing for Joe Hockey to say. The Health cost for the nation is set to increase from $65 billion to $75 billion in three years and this is the reason he says we are running out of money. Really? After what we have witnessed from this government over the past six months I think it’s time Joe realised we are now less likely to fall for this kind of emotional hysteria without hard evidence. We live in an educated society. Unlike the days of Robert Menzies where the ‘reds under the beds’ tactic of the Liberal Party was played out so successfully, today our politicians need to be reminded that we are a thinking nation. Well, most of us.

If we are running out of money then we should double the Medicare levy from 1.5% to 3% and that will raise an…

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What Madness is This?

Much can be said about the how and why of Australia avoiding a post GFC recession. But the government that navigated our journey through that calamity is not the government we have today. And today’s government does not share the economic fundamentals the previous government employed to achieve that result.

The Australian Independent Media Network

G20 Brisbane There is strong support to suggest that Australia’s hosting of the G20 in November this year is not going to bode well for Tony Abbott. One suspects that our reputation in two key areas, that of economic management and climate change, will take a hit. When the finance ministers of the world’s richest countries together with the European Union and the IMF gather to discuss future plans, we are going to look very odd indeed. The central themes established by the government to host the summit will be growth and a more resilient world economic platform dedicated to preventing the circumstances that could lead to another GFC. Intrinsic to these themes and as unavoidable as a giraffe in my kitchen, is the question of climate change.

Much can be said about the how and why of Australia avoiding a post GFC recession. But the government that navigated our journey through…

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About this Qantas thing

Warren Buffett never invests in airline companies. He learned his lesson the hard way. He is, however, a big fan of Solar Power.

The Australian Independent Media Network

QantasTrying to understand a nation’s economy is not easy. There is so much to absorb. Whenever I feel unable to get my head around any particular matter, I try to reduce it to the raw basics of my own household economic management. It works most of the time although some aspects of a national economy go beyond simple household finances. Even so, there is much in common. So, with that in mind and fresh from hearing the news that Qantas boss Allan Joyce had gone to Canberra to ask the government to act as guarantor for some restructuring, I sat down and had a think about it. Firstly, I listened to someone I thought might have some idea of the relative merits of investing in the airline industry. It did not take long to realise that it is a tough place to make money.

Warren Buffett has a few opinions

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Navy not above suspicion

An independent inquiry is needed to determine what happened on New Year’s Day, but don’t hold your breath waiting. Meanwhile, the Navy is no more above suspicion than the politicians who command them.

The Australian Independent Media Network

navy3 In the cult movie, “The Blues Brothers” there is a car chase; possibly the best car chase ever filmed. Such is the chaos being wrought by Jake and Elwood Blues on the freeways leading into Chicago that just about every police car in the force is out on the road determined to capture them. At a critical point in the chase and with the reputation of the force on the line, the officer in the radio room issues the instruction, “The use of unnecessary force has been approved.”

When the first of the allegations of cruelty by Australian naval personnel against asylum seekers was reported by the ABC, I was sceptical. That is not what we do, I thought. That can’t be true. But subsequent to those alleged New Year’s Day events, a claim surfaced that there existed within the Navy a group linked to the Australian Defence League, an…

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Hockey rattles the Corporate Sector

If the treasurer thinks that by lifting red tape and encouraging innovative and creative thinking he will attract sufficient investment by the private sector to kick-start a slowing economy, then he would have to be a supreme optimist. I say good luck with that.

The Australian Independent Media Network

lowy hockeyJoe Hockey gave a speech at the Lowy Institute on Thursday, 6th February to outline this year’s G20 agenda. The mainstream media practically ignored it and for good reason; the public just don’t understand, or are not interested in, the detail. If you have the patience, I recommend listening to it. Its author (whoever it was) has found the words to fit the timing, the scene and importantly, the audience.

“Too many tax payers’ dollars have been spent on corporate and middle class welfare and too often previous governments have been drawn into areas that are better left to the private sector,” Joe Hockey said. He went on to say, “The budget that we inherited from the previous government reflects the entitlement mentality that has dominated government decision-making over recent years.”

What he didn’t say was that the Howard government started most of that ‘entitlement mentality’. Mind you, his…

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Blind Freddie can see what’s coming

How I miss the days when Bob Hawke would sort out something like this by simply picking up the phone.

The Australian Independent Media Network

Trades HallIn the 1950s, Trade Union leaders were a highly militant collection of poorly paid, poorly educated men who had risen up through the ranks, some with criminal connections, some members of the communist party and others just a bunch of bloody minded individuals who would delight in taking employers they detested down a long, tortuous road of strikes, intimidation and bullying, without even blinking.

At the time the greatest threat to world peace was perceived to be the Russian and Chinese communist governments facing off against the USA, UK and Europe. The fear was real and nuclear war was a real possibility; far greater than anything we face today.

Politically, it was cut and dried. Sir Robert Menzies was Prime Minister leading a conservative coalition government. The Labor leader, Dr H V (Doc) Evatt, had one of the smartest and brightest minds of any leader our country has ever known…

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Trouble in Paradise

Abbott is, perhaps, the most complex Prime Minister we have seen in more than half a century. In his own words he supports the preservation of the Catholic Church and its mission rather than have it face the truth. Does he feel the same way about governments facing the truth? One of his own has accused him of lying. Watch this space. Sparks are about to fly.

The Australian Independent Media Network

JoyceOn Q&A Monday night Feb 3 the Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce made the astounding suggestion that if a person acting as the local journalist for his own street discovered something about one of his neighbours and reported it, he might find his house burned down. The context of his comment was a discussion about what stories should or should not be reported. The panel was arguing whether the ABC should have reported the story concerning the leaked Edward Snowden files concerning the bugging of the phones of the Indonesian President and his wife and the claims of Navy brutality against asylum seekers.

The comment caused some gasps of disbelief with the audience and a hesitant reaction by Tony Jones, but was largely overlooked by the panel in favour of continuing with the broader subject. In hindsight, that was a good move. Goodness knows where the conversation might have gone…

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What a Tawdry Little Exercise

It is times like this Abbott gives me the impression he possesses neither the thinking skills nor the verbal skills to present himself as a national leader.

The Australian Independent Media Network

ABCI love my ABC. It is the complete channel. It provides a news service that is far superior to anything delivered on the commercial channels. It provides access to art, music and theatre. It provides access to talk back radio without the fear of being cut off abruptly should one’s views differ from that of the host. It is reliable, constant and unable to be toyed with in a way commercial interests toy with their own outlets. It is not subject to takeovers, buy outs; nor does it reverse positions when it is convenient. Most importantly, it belongs to the people and answers to the people, not the government. Governments come and go and each brings its own peculiar philosophies and moral ideologies. But if any of them think they can persuade the ABC to adopt those philosophies and ideologies, they had better think again. That is not its charter.

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