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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Sunday Sanity Break, 19 August 2018 – Saving Australia.

The Oz this weekend says: ‘’Paris retreat may not save PM’. Other newspaper front pages were mostly stronger in opposition to Mr Turnbull. Is it 39 negative Newspolls? Has resonance of Shorten asking the government to help battlers with health and education expenses instead of giving the big banks (and other big companies) big tax cuts cut deep? Do voters believe there is no guarantee of lower power prices in the Frydenberg-Turnbull NGV? But also hate the weakness of abandoning a (weak) target for CO2 emissions? They may like direct action to force power companies to restrain/cut prices. And are Catholic Christians mad about allegedly unfair cuts to funding of their schools?

As previously stated, the PM has shown a tin ear on the concerns of ordinary folk about things that concern them. The Conservative people on the Liberal backbench seen certain to force the PM to look weak and may also require his abdication. Scott Morrison ('Scomo') or Julie Bishop would be the safer bet, but Peter Dutton seems to be the favourite. Either way it had better happen soon or it will be too late. Adding the disliked action of firing an elected PM to poor policies is not likely to make much difference, but at present it seems ‘Shorten a liar, union protector, stealing from superannuation balances (following Kelly O’Dwyer) and other schemes ((eg negative gearing), ignorant about strife in his team, etc, etc will not kill the opposition leader. Time will tell, but the ‘Lucky country’ is in a political bind, unable to devise a coherent ‘Liberal’ policy agenda.

Fixing bad/unpopular policies is vital. Here are some ideas:

* Restore honesty among large companies by providing tough penalties, if possible gaol time as well as large fines for companies and responsible officers. Shake up APRA and ASIC to go hard against people and companies shown to have behaved poorly. Further Royal Commissions need to be set up to run one at a time, starting with power companies.

* Produce a solid plan for Australia’s desirable population growth and a plan to provide infrastructure to make life easier for people in crowded cities, especially Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane/Gold Coast.

* Find and implement policies to substantially and reliably reduce energy prices. Begin to educate people about the desirability of ‘clean coal’ solutions and nuclear power plants.

* Provide substantial, immediate financial help to drought striken farmers, with minimum bureaucracy. I longer run, build dams to further drought proof Australia.

* Raise rate of GST and levy on consumption without exceptions so that a sustainable budget surplus is created soon after a sustainable population/infrastructure plan is devised and implemented.

* Devise a substantial plan to increase Australia's productivity and implement it asap. Unless this is achieved, any wage increases will merely increase inflation. This is the likely scenario under a Labor government, and a coalition government is unlikely to get productivity rolling before the next Federal election. The iron law that wage increases in exceeding productivity increases inflation must be obeyed. Wage increases without productivity increases increases inflation or, if the central bank acts to limit inflation, wage increases will increase unemployment.

Henry and various friends are willing to help at moderate cost. Current public officials would be consulted to act as ‘Devil’s advocates’. Senior friendly politicians, including Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce. and heads of major think tanks could be part of the ginger group devising the overall plan.


Fiona Prior reports from London.

With a friend ‘surrounded by canvases swelling with flesh and curves and resonating with the trials and tribulations of our mortal coil was a perfect meeting ground.

Intense human experience and 100 years of British figurative painting are just two of the themes in the collection of canvases that are All Too Human’

Sporting life

Big disappointment was All Blacks flogging the Wallabies in the second half after a tight first half struggle. Given the flood of ‘We’ll be much better now’ and this time they even started a fight, so it cannot the start of a new era, this was a shocking failure and it seems boasting in advance of the game was a mistake. Or didn’t matter, perhaps. We’ll watch again I guess, but without false hope.

More tightly fought AFL games this weekend and the finals are looking just about set. Caaaarlton! fought hard against the Doggies but ran out puff in the last quarter. At one stage they even started a fight so I cannot be too disappointed. Let’s hope we do better next year.

Image of the week - courtesy The Oz

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