Sunday Sanity Break, 5 August 2018 - The NEG
The PM is being accused, appropriately says Henry - of having a tin ear. 'The gummint wants to give tax cuts to its mates in big business. We plan to better fund schools, people's health and other ways to help the battlers', says Bill Shorten. How easy can it be to win the next election?, one is forced to ask.
A more difficult subject concerns electricity and gas prices, currently making life hard for the battlers and annoying even for the moderately well-to-do. Henry cannot work out the technical issues, but instinctivly believes clean coal fired power stations or even nuclear powered stations would be better than heavily subsidised renewable stations. But today I wish to quote some real experts:
* 'There is no plan B' says Paul Kelly. 'The stakes could not be higher. The potency of power prices that have doubled over a decade means the government, if denied a policy, would be left discredited. It has taken years for the Turnbull government to devise this model, a job it outsourced to the regulatory agencies. The NEG is complex, defies easy understanding and seeks to integrate three competing goals: lower prices, power security and emissions reductions. This is its strength and its flaw.
'If the Turnbull government is denied in this task, the ignominy will be inescapable. Success would constitute an extraordinary result for Frydenberg against adversity. Any defeat, particularly if compounded by retreat on corporate taxes, would reduce the Turnbull government to a vanquished shadow, thwarted by a political system that had betrayed the country'.
* Terry McCrann: 'None of this is rocket science - except perhaps the NEG itself, which looks to me like very early North Korean rocket science, the kind that sends rockets straight into the sea or blowing up on launch'.
* ‘This is just wrong: Tony Abbott disputes claims NEG will lower power prices'.
Labor must be rolling around laughing behind closed doors. There is Simon Birmingham's apparent attack of catholic Schools. What is Mr Turnbull thinking. Forget tax cuts on crook institutions like Australia's banks. Renationalize some at least of the power companies and give the rest some real competition. (Forget Snowy 2.0 while you are at it.) And give the Catholic Schools a fair suck of the sausage.
Fiona Prior is in the Middle East and will report from there next week.
Today we are delighted to present the text of a lovely talk by one Tim Tench, on the Algonquin Round Table.
'Had the Algonquin Round Table been little more than a series of boozy lunches (as it often was) it is unlikely to be remembered today. But the Round Table was much more than that. It became, for a period of some ten years, a forum in which writers and critics of talent challenged both themselves and others to produce ever more ambitious prose, poetry, and criticism. It was their practice to cast about and review the merits or otherwise of America’s artistic and literary effort. And woe betide anyone or anything deemed to fall short of an acceptable standard.'
The Sporting Life
Five games in which the outcome was decided by less than 6 points - apparently an AFL/VFL record. And three games still to come. How can the AFL hierarchy want to fiddle with the rules after such an exciting Saturday?
Henry dreamed of Caaarlton! beating GWS by 1 point, kicked after the siren by a back line player. Sadly, the outcome was another big flogging. The Tiwi Islands beckon.
Image of the week - The NEG, desert track