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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Sunday Sanity Break, 8 April 2018 - confusing politics

A new poll has provided Malcolm Turnbull a sliver of hope. The big one, no 30, is out tomorrow but the general view seems to be that there is no alternative leader worth trying. But if things stay dismal for the coalition either someone will challenge or Malcolm will go to the Governor General so he can be fired by the public rather than his own party. And who knows, North Korea may land a missile near Darwin and produce a landslide vote for Malcolm and his team.

The BBQ stopper in leafy Kew concerns the great danger of Bill Shorten's attempted, so far looking like a winning strategy, swing to the left. 'They'll soak the rich, and decimate the middle classes', is the cry. The concern is the prospect of taxes on carefully acquired wealth, but the coalition's raid on 'excess' superannuation balances showed that nowadays 'anything goes'.

When I can reestablish my link to Quadrant Online I shall provide a report on Wolfgang Kasper's article about 'The Merits and Perils of Western Civilisation'. Wolfgang's conclusion is: 'Australian culture, as it evolves, is better placed than any other to draw inspiration from the two greatest, deepest civilisational traditions mankind has created - the Christian Occident and the Confucian Orient'. Henry would add: 'Provided we solve our economic problems, clearly indicated by government and household overspending, and the troubles that will occur from excess debt as global interest rates return to normality'.

Advice from great men of history

David Hume, a great philosopher and friend of Adam Smith, wrote that the practice of amassing public debt "appears ruinous, beyond all controversy" that it will lead to "poverty, impotence, and subjection to foreign powers" and that ultimately "either the nation must destroy public credit, or public credit will destroy the nation".

Adam Smith, known as the father of economics, wrote that "the progress of the enormous public debts which at present oppress, and in the long-run probably ruin, all the great nations of Europe, has been pretty uniform".

* Dennis Rasmussen, The Infidel and the Professor, Princeton University Press, 2017. (Pp 169, 170)


Fiona Prior enjoys the tragicomedy ‘The Other Side of Hope’ by Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki. More here.

Sporting life

The Commonwealth Games are well underway and for a change the Aussies are doing well, currently leading the medal table for England, the old enemy. Swimmers and cyclists are leading the charge, with men also starring unlike the results of recent games.

AFLM is going badly for Henry's Caaaarlton!, now down 3 zip and looking like a team struggling to make things happen. As in game one against Richmond the Blues opened the game against Collingwood with a frenzied blitzkrieg of three goals, and then let the old enemy score ten in response. Nunawading firsts in Henry's day would have known how to stop such an avalanche, by starting a fight. Or by sending a forward or two down back to confuse and harass the opposition forwards.

Saw the final quarter of Hawthorn vrs Geelong, narrowly won by the Hawks. GWS, the Sydney Swans, West Coast and the two sides from Adelaide are all doing well. As an old bloke said at a recent social event, 'the AFL really screwed the Melbourne teams'. 'Amen to that' confirmed Henry.

The shambles that is Australian cricket has calmed down with the three bad boys copping their excessive (in my view) penalties. The obvious contrition and tearful apologies are generally regarded as having softened the public's opinion of the heinousness (is that a word?) of the crimes, and there is to be further investigation of the Kulture from the top down. 'Win at all costs' seems to be the mantra but the investigators will find it impossible to define the red line that cannot be crossed.

Image of the week - confusing politics

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