Month

August 2015

25
Aug
2015

Can Union Power be Diminished?

Like me, Mick Jagger was once a student at the London School of Economics (not long after I left there). He once wrote “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need” (I would have said “if you keep trying”). My point here is that there are at last some signs that increasing numbers, even inside the ABC and other leftist media , are accepting that there is a real need to do something about the quasi-monopoly power unions have acquired. But can Tony Abbott recover his polling by increasing his recent attack on the Labor-union connection and identifying the problems with existing workplace relations?
23
Aug
2015

Increased Challenges Faced by Abbott -Responses Needed

As indicated by its failure to have the Senate re-instate the powers of the Australian Building & Construction Commission, and by anti-coal groups’s revealed use of legislation to stop coal projects and purporting thereby to protect “the environment”, the Abbott government is facing increased difficulties in implementing existing policies, let alone maintain policies which have hitherto been widely accepted as important to on-going development and employment. As Greg Sheridan points out (see “Shutting the door to growth” below), “Australia has created a public–political culture in which the avenues to block something from happening are endless”. More strictly, it is that certain groups, not Australia itself, which have created this culture and are now actively moving to apply it.
20
Aug
2015

Game On?

My Commentary yesterday drew attention to the apparent adoption of a more aggressive Coalition policy strategy and the publication by News Corp of detailed information on union activities. Today’s media exhibits remarkably different priorities, with Fairfax press and the ABC barely touching on either Coalition strategy or the Heydon issue and News Corp going full blast on unions and Labor.
18
Aug
2015

Abbott Polling Down-Bolt on Labor’s Attack on Heydon, Shorten- C Change Debate

Today’s poll in Fairfax press shows the Coalition at 46/54 on a TPP basis, the same as in the previous poll, but Abbott is down one point at minus 24% on his net rating and Shorten is at minus 10%. In the Australian, Phillip Hudson notes that Howard had a similar experience after his first two years and suggests that it might help Abbott if he adopted a major reform strategy as Howard did by announcing a risky GST.
3
Aug
2015

What a Lot of Talk About …

We seem to have been experiencing a lot of talk about domestic issues which are scarcely of the top order. Number one is the expenses incurred by Speaker Bishop, who as I have previously suggested acted irresponsibly. Her failure to acknowledge this and to apologise straight away, and Abbott’s failure to ensure that happened and to announce a review of the expenses provisions (it appears that Labor’s front bench has “over-spent” too), has put the Coalition in damage control and will likely lead to a further decline in polling...