A weekend of sun and surf at Pearl Beach. Driven by a client in a new car, we travelled from Sydney at the maximum allowable speed along the Pacific Motorway, a different entity than the Pacific Highway. Unlike Melbourne’s Monash Freeway, there were almost no trucks on the motorway so the trip was as pleasant as such a trip can be. Image how relaxing it will be with electric, self-driving cars in a few short year.
Kerryn Phelps’ allegedly humanitarian ‘bring them to Austrmalia’ legislation was passed last week. Scomo stuck to his guns and did not seek any compromises. ‘If boats come it will be on your head, Bill Shorten’ Scomo said with total sincerity. As has been widely surmised, the promoters of illegal entry to Australia are ready to go and resume their trade in human lives. The Christmas Island ‘relax and behave’ centre is being reopened, one assumes as a place for people recommended by doctors who are prepared to say they are seriously ill, and cannot be treated by doctors on Nauru or Manus.
(Christmas Island, while outside Australia’s ‘immigration zone’ is undeniably part of ‘Australia’. Pity the phosphate has been removed, or the guests could have been made to pay for their accommodation and medical treatment by digging with second hand shovels.)
Labor’s policy pitch is focussed on $200 billion of new taxes, including restoration of double taxation of company taxes. Those of us who have worked hard to accumulate a modest retirement nest egg are also enraged by Labor’s tax grab, but the even smaller nest eggs of pension or part pension recipients will for many inflict real hardship. And it is alarming to hear that the impost will not be paid by industry funds but will be paid by owners of self-managed superannuation funds.
Excuse me, Mr Shorten, do tell what is the basis for this horribly biased game. (One assumes to let your union mates get even better returns that free enterprise funds.)
Blatant and unfair theft is a first strike against Labor. A few boats full of illegal immigrants would be strike two. The shape of strike three is not yet obvious, although Mr Frydenberg’s budget surplus may do the trick. Fancy an election night party at which Shorten is forced to admit he has lost the unlosable election, ‘doing a Hewson’ Paul Kelly will call it.
The time between now and the election, presumably in May, will be long, and will be hard on all Australians, We wish the main combatants, Scomo and Shorten, every good fortune, but more for the coalition than for Labor. While the struggle intensifies here, there is Mr Trump’s bold moves, Mrs May’s likely evisceration and a general unhappiness with current leaders in most democratic nations.
Stop press: IPSOS poll puts coalition within striking distance of Labor, 49 – 51 if I heard correctly.
Stop press #2: On from page of the Oz today (21/2): Marles and Plibersek separately contradict leader Shorten. It's game on, gentle readers.
Fiona Prior enjoys Julian Schnabel’s ‘At Eternity’s Gate’, a film that focuses on the last years of Vincent Van Gogh’s turbulent life. Schnabel is both an artist as well as a director and brings an artist’s understanding of Van Gogh’s urgent need to communicate his vision. More here.
Image of the week – Pearl Beach