Oz Politics Archive

Revolutionaries Become What They Hated

The flood of the revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy. The chains of tormented mankind are made out of red tape - Kafka

Hume of the Week

  Democracy is a funny thing. On the one hand it’s delivered us a standard of life – not just economic, but in terms of freedoms – that has never been achieved before. On the other, as I’ve written before, unless it is checked by liberal institutions it falls to the rule of the mob. […]

Ignorance, Vested Interest and Age-Old Rhetoric

There has been a firestorm over Pres. Obama’s remarks on success and reward, which culminated in this beauty: If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. Full video here, but an extract: If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher […]

Finally, Green-Bashing Goes Viral

On Sunday we had the sight of Michael Kroger (Liberal), Cassandra Wilkinson (sensible Labor) and Andrew Bolt (well, Bolt-ish) all agreeing that the ALP should write off inner-urban seats, stop pandering to the Green mindset, and start thinking about people who can’t afford to summer in Tuscany. Tony Maher of the CFMEU is having a […]

Hard Truths About Public Sector IT

Despite the major changes to Information Communications Technology (ICT) strategy in the NSW public sector, everywhere I turn lately I’ve been hit with the great unstated barrier: lousy execution. Changes to strategy are great: common platforms, sensible IT architecture planning, decent systems to eliminate duplicated projects and so on are an absolute must. But a […]

Dementia Hits Cabinet, Takes Credibility

At first I thought it was a brave politician revealing his secret struggle with an illness. But no, this  was a top-ranking Cabinet Minister communicating his view on the major economic policy issue facing the country. OK, if you’re reading this you’ve seen it already. It deservedly went viral in a matter of minutes. But […]

Non-News: Twitter A Wank, Leans Left

Thirty words at most. Less if you allow for hashtags or mentions. Made for snide, silly, smug, and on occasion, outrageously funny. Generally though, apart from the “alert-type” tweet with link attached to a longer piece, the vast majority of residents in Twitter-ville are the sort of people who would stand naked at their window, […]

Cameron’s Bad Example

We have a lot to learn from UK PM David Cameron. As a negative example. From the beginning he showed his roots as a PR professional. But his image-based moves to overcome the ‘nasty Tory” image have reaped their reward. Policy-free, commitment-free, poll-driven, saggy-baggy do-nothingness and an inability to stand in the face of publicly […]

Faulkner’s Glebe Grassroots Fail

For years Senator John Faulkner has, with the gravitas granted him by a very supportive media, talked big on renewing the ALP’s grass roots. All to find his own branch folds due to lack of interest. And this in an area with one of the highest leftwing votes, and longest histories of leftwing voting, in […]

The Fairfax Readers’ Dictionary I

In past months it seems words have developed a different meaning, especially from our Fairfax-reading friends: Minister for Communications:  Editor Media Standards:  Media Control Social licence  to operate:  ALP licence to operate Socially acceptable outcomes:  That which keeps Steve Gibbons, Swanny and Marieke Hardy in a job Independence:  An ideology espoused when losing other people’s […]

Compo Reform: Media Fail, Politics Fail

So the  Telegraph editorial  welcomes long overdue reforms to the NSW Workers Compensation scheme and describes it as a difficult reform in an emotional area. At the same time Alicia Wood’s  Telegraph article  plays every emotional card in the pack, doesn’t address the facts of the debate, and follows the journalist’s creed: personalise, demonise, emotionalise, […]

Not Just AusAid Funds Political Activity

Tim Wilson in  The Australian  highlights the issue of AusAid-funded political activity. The problem being that public funds go to NGOs for service delivery, who then undertake political and advocacy activities in parallel. NGOs are  frequently political players that contribute to party political campaigns on politically-contentious issues: NGOs are within their rights to lobby for […]

Ban-Fest 2012: 10 More Things Bloomberg Can Ban

If we’re going to ban legal activities because they may have a personal or social cost for a minority who take them to an extreme (thanks, Mayor Bloomberg), then we need to expand the list. We really shouldn’t limit our ban-fest based on discriminatory prejudices about culture or class. My contribution to a more culturally-neutral […]

Bigger Impact: Public Sector Costs or Flexibility?

In the aftermath of the recall election in Wisconsin – driven by public sector unions opposing Governor Walker’s aggressive reforms – Reihan Salam discusses the lessons from that state and fellow-reforming state Indiana. The post discusses insights from Josh Barro and Stephen Smith  (on transport union rules, well worth reading), as well as Governor Daniels […]

Neither A Monarchist Nor A Republican Be

It’s a sad fact that in politics sometimes people can be right for the wrong reasons. I struggle with this frequently when I find myself agreeing with people whose reasoning is very different from mine. As it is with the monarchy, the republic, and the Queen’s Jubilee. I have no feelings of emotional attachment to […]