22
Dec
2015

Turnbull – Consistency with Menzies Centre ? Recognition of Religion Influence in Indonesia? Unable to Understand Business Economics?

More on Islamism and  Terrorism

The Menzies Research Centre says it supports “principles of individual liberty, free speech, competitive enterprise, limited government, democracy, and the family as the foundation of a stable society” and, although it does not endorse the Liberal Party per se, it claims that its publications “go to the heart of Liberal Party policy-making”. Today, its Executive Director, Nick Cater, has had published a critique in The Australian of Lewis’s attempt to set “appropriate” limits on public debate on the influence of Islamic religion on terrorism (see article below). However, while Cater naturally does not mention that the current leader of the Liberal Party, Malcolm Turnbull, has made similar statements to those by Lewis, he is very much on the right track.

Separately, Attorney-General Brandis is reported in the lead article in The Australian as confirming that IS has penetrated Indonesia and identified it as a possible caliphate. Wikepedia describes a caliphate as a form of  Islamist Government by a person considered a political and religious successor to the Islamist Prophet. Perhaps Brandis might suggest to Turnbull and Lewis that there lies the religious influence which they put aside in their analysis of terrorism!

The memo of understanding reached on counter-terrorism between Australia and Indonesia is certainly a welcome development and, one hopes, there were also useful behind the scenes discussions. Note that “Australian authorities” are reported as being “deeply worried” that circumstances in Indonesia allow for extremist Islamist influences to increase. This adds weight to the desirability of trying to persuade US and European countries to put troops on the ground in Syria/Iraq and adopt a more general policy against extremist Islamism. But our present government is too close to US President Obama to risk expressing a different policy in this area.

Workplace Relations

Coming on top of its inability in the MEYO Budget review to indicate any serious intention of adopting a policy of reducing government expenditure, we find the Turnbull government declaring it will not attempt any reform of the regulation of workplace relations before the election and also of holding out little promise of a developing such a reform policy next year. This indication comes even after giving no serious consideration to the only minimal recommendations of reform  by the Productivity Commission and without waiting for the report of the Heydon Royal Commission on Union Corruption. Yet the proceedings of the RC have already suggested it provides considerable political/substantive opportunity for reform that has the potential for strengthening the Coalition, improving the functioning of the economy and reducing the unjustified quasi-monopoly power of trade unions. Perhaps something will emerge in the New Year but note the conclusion of The Australian’s political editor Crowe, who suggests, “Turnbull is a blank canvas on industrial relations”.

That conclusion is further extended by the analysis in the important article by Judith Sloan (see below) which draws attention to the fallacy on which the workplace regulatory system is based. She points out what the HR Nicholls Society has long argued – that in modern market economies there is no intrinsic inequality of bargaining power between employers and employees and no need for a a comprehensive legislated regulatory system. That the supposed business expert Turnbull has not recognised and used this in a major component of Coalition policy (when Opposition Leader he amazingly allowed the Guillard regulatory legislation to pass without opposition) sends a signal of the failure of the present Coalition to operate on the philosophy which the Menzies Research Centre presents itself.

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