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.

The Many Faces of Opera

The music lover, opera buff, the poseur, the self-deluder, the bunny and the critic all respond differently to a performance.

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.

Some Hobbies Are More Equal Than Others

When the current Federal government spends $740 million on arts and culture each year, you'd think those painters and sculptors and dramaturgs and video masturbators would be reasonably happy. That doesn't even include State and Local government cash. But no. And their Greens protectors want more.

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.

BandAid Bollocks

Now we have the benefit of 30 years of hindsight and can see how Mengistu's forced resettlements underpinned the Ethiopian famine, why hasn't St Bob put together an anthem like 'Don't They Know Big Government Socialism Kills People?", or "Free the World"? We all know the answer. Because he doesn't think, and he doesn't care. He only wants to seem to.

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.

Embarrassing Overstatement

So Ciao Mag have, unfortunately, named me as Mr Inner West 2012. While I have always appreciated their tongue-in-cheek tone, this, perhaps, is taking it too far. In particular I have to take them to task for four major errors.

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.

e-Conveyancing: Disrupting Lawyers

COAG reforms aren't a model of productivity and service improvement. One need only look at the boxticking festival that is the National Quality Framework that governs child care. But you can legitimately hold out hopes for a disruptive kick to legal and conveyancing productivity with the new national scheme.

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?

Other People’s Money

We have a recurring lungful of union corruption (HSU, AWU), the disinterment of Roozendal-Macdonald-Obeid deals, Mr Tinkler’s largesse with his creditors’ cash, union misuse of superannuation control, ¬†unfunded Federal dental, NDIS, pension, and Gonski schemes, and an array of bureaucratic taxes and social policies that blithely assume away their impact on businesses and consumers (child […]