Oz Politics Archive

Hard Questions for Get Healthy NSW

NSW Health has been promoting Get Healthy Information and Coaching Services, which offers a personal health coach and up to 10 free coaching calls to help live a healthier life and lose weight. Since health coaching is privately available, it is odd that NSW Health feels the need to sponsor a program to tell people to eat less and go outside, and to offer it to someone like me. Even more concerning is the cost-benefit basis for this program, the basis for the evaluation, and whether or not the money could be better used in areas of direct, damaging need.

Heritage Unthinking

All sense of balance in the heritage argument is gone. It has reached that point where where its concepts and application, and the exercise of power associated with it, have well exceeded usefulness or reason. Our built environment isn't an opportunity for monomaniacs to create a frozen theme park corresponding to their passions, funded by the taxes of people who share neither the location nor the ideology behind it.

Slush-Fund Tony Stretches Even ALP Cred

Tony Sheldon of secret TWU slush-funds lectures on Labor's ethical failings. Political class gall and hypocrisy at its best.

Where is the liberal in Liberal?

Minister Nick Kotsiras' warning to Geert Wilders is another worrying announcement from a Liberal insider class channelling deeply illiberal intuitions. At bottom, classical liberal institutions, rights and conventions limit authoritarian power, and protect individual autonomy. No government likes that. No political class likes that, regardless of their ostensible labelling. Coalition governments need to beware.

Flag: Top Down, Priority Low

The resurgence before Australia Day of the movement to change the Australian Flag is both predictable and lamentable. This is yet more gesture politics, driven by the smart class for whom 'meaningful' gestures constitute the measure of one's goodness.

An Enabling Macro Fallacy

The eternal short run of sugar hits, fiscal or monetary, so favoured by our policy-makers, is underpinned by a technocratic belief that we can somehow, if we're smart enough, manage our way out of consequences.

It’s Never the Leader

Maurice Newman talks sense on the coming crunch, and we know no political leader will do the same. From any party.

HECS Rort and the Middle Class

$6.2bn of the outstanding HECS debt is now deemed uncollectable. This is no surprise when middle class housewives, out of the workforce, take 3 year degrees in their fifties and then defer fee payment. Since they will never work again, that money is gone. Time to fix this regressive rort.

Labor Are The Real Reactionaries

In today's Australia, many conservatives seek to preserve the most radical and egalitarian structures in human history - the liberal institutions which emerged over the past 400 years to underpin the freedoms and prosperity ordinary people enjoy. Check out my new piece in Quadrant.

When In Doubt, Coerce

In lieu of good policy settings and great execution, this government specifically contributes to a worsening environment in industrial relations, cost, regulation and confidence, then coerces those businesses stupid enough to still be operating to subsidise union workers.

Yes, Political Class Member

Yes, Minister. In the Thick of It. Hollowmen. We don't need more satire to see that there is something not working in our political class. Whether it is the contempt for ordinary people, or the treadmill from union/university, our political class is not what is envisaged by the concept of "representation". The writer of Yes, Minister agrees.

Greens, Temperance & Calvinist Self-Hatred

Anyone interested in history cannot fail to notice the recurrent enthusiasms of those fixated on sin, pleasure, comfort and their associated punishment and (occasional) redemption. Whether it is asceticism or just reforming censoriousness, the Hebrew Prophets, Desert Fathers, Essenes, Zwingli and Calvin and now, Carson-inspired Gaia worshippers have much in common.

Quadrant Online: Christine Milne’s Mining Money

The Greens leader detests coal, the people who dig it up, and their profits. So why doesn't she take up that moral megaphone of hers and renounce the portion of her salary drawn from that and other iniquitous industries?

FFS – The Flight From Substance

A social media flash highlights the badge-wearing do-nothingness of our political class. The Good and Just have fled from substance in an unprecedented way over the past 30 years. My only guess is that when they engage with reality, with what actually works, it causes such cognitive dissonance they have to run.

Analysis Serving Ideology

The unprincipled misuse of industrial, workplace, heritage, discrimination, FOI, international and planning laws for political purposes is common. But it's getting worse. Now we have politics-by-bureaucratic-analysis, or lack thereof.