Posts Tagged 'the australian'

A damning assessment

Henry Ergas has a great piece in The Australian today that offers a fairly comprehensive analysis of the secrecy and idiocy that runs through the Rudd Labor Government.

He touches on some of Conroy’s failings:

As for the national broadband network, the Government seems intent on making its predecessor’s policies look good, a feat I considered to be beyond human ingenuity.

The Coalition merely wasted time and money. This Government seems determined to wreck the network we have. Stephen Conroy is poised to try what no country has seriously contemplated: undertaking a complete revamp of the incumbent’s network against the incumbent’s active opposition. This involves huge costs and risks for users, especially in country areas, for Telstra’s shareholders, and for taxpayers, who will bear the project’s inevitable and mounting losses.

And Labor’s secrecy:

Lack of transparency makes the Government’s record all the poorer. John Faulkner promised full disclosure. In fact, disclosure has been pitifully inadequate. Access to the modelling underpinning FuelWatch: refused. Access to the model used to evaluate the ETS: refused. Access to the cost-benefit studies underpinning the NBN: refused. Access to the Building Australia Fund’s project appraisals: refused. Access to the Treasury’s assessment of alternative stimulus packages: refused.

This makes a mockery of democracy, whose virtue, as the historian and philosopher R.G. Collingwood argued, lies in forcing governments to operate “in the open air, and not as a post office distributing ready-made policies to a passively receptive country”. This Government seemed full of policy wonks who would bring a fresh breath of serious expertise. Unfortunately, it has proven far more adept at politics than at policy.

Whenever the likes of Rudd or Gillard are asked for treasury modeling that backs up their policies, they offer nothing. This is, by their own admission, no more than “pay back” for Howard and Costello not releasing modeling when they were in Government. Labor has absolutely no interest in transparency or accountability in Government, only in keeping a terrible status quo alive. Undoubtedly, Labor’s actions while in Government now will serve as justification for the Liberals not releasing modeling when they make Government in the future. Someone needs to break the cycle. The taxpayers deserve it.

The Labor party is trying to implement so many new policies and spend billions of borrowed dollars without showing us the modeling and the evidence that underpins their decisions. All they’re interested in is playing tit for tat with the Liberals. Why are people not outraged?


Glenn Milne misses the point.

Kevin Rudd, who came into government stating that he was proudly an “economic conservative”, recently wrote a 7000 word load of nonsense in The Monthly in which he ditched his economic conservative hat and picked up his hammer and sickle. He’s now out of the closet as a socialist. The piece has been thoroughly debunked, but the leader of the opposition, Malcolm Turnbull, had only mentioned it in passing until this weekend. Turnbull’s counter to Rudd’s socialist diatribe has attracted criticism from several morons, including the Foreign Minister and Glenn Milne.

Glenn Milne on the attack in a drunken stupor.

Glenn Milne (right) on the attack in a drunken stupor.

Milne, who shows his true colours by linking to the left wing Monthly, but not Turnbull’s original piece, characterises Turnbull as “attacking” Kevin Rudd’s ugly wife, Therese Rein. Milne may have a point. Here’s an excerpt from Turnbull’s fiery attack:

I congratulate the Rudds, especially Therese Rein, on their success. Their business grew into a very substantial one in Australia and as other countries followed the Australian approach, grew there as well exporting the expertise developed by them when they seized the opportunity created by Howard’s decision in 1998.

But what are we to think of the wealthiest Prime Minister Australia has ever had, a man greatly enriched by the privatisation and outsourcing of government services, standing up again and again to denounce the very policies from which he and his family have profited so extensively.

That’s harsh language. I know that whenever I’m attacking someone, I like to use words like “congratulate” and “success”. I congratulate Glenn Milne on successfully writing one of the most pathetic piles of garbage ever published in an Australian newspaper. Clearly, Turnbull is attacking Kevin Rudd’s hypocrisy: he and his wife have benefited greatly from the very policies he denounced in The Monthly. Indeed, Therese Rein might not be a millionaire if it weren’t for “neo-liberal” policies that have been enacted through the Hawke, Keating, and Howard prime ministerships.

Of course, you can’t mention Glenn Milne without bringing up the fact that at 2006’s Walkley awards, he physically attacked Crikey founder, Stephen Mayne. He blamed his abusive behaviour on alcohol and drug use. Perhaps this can explain how Milne managed to write such a horrible, untruthful column. Or perhaps it’s more likely that his long term friend, Peter Costello, played a part in some way.