Month

January 2016

31
Jan
2016

Australia Day & Some of Its Consequences; Budget & Spending Levels

With minimal editorial change, today’s Australian has published a letter of mine praising the virtues of the present Australian political system. The Letters Ed interpreted it more as an attack on the US system (which it is indirectly) but its main intent is to question the merits of the alternatives proposed for us, including the republican one for which our current PM led the charge in the 1999 referendum but is now suggesting that any move should await the death of the Queen. While he knows Prince Charles favours a republic, he is off track even there: as the monarchical head for Australia Charles would have no legal power or influence on policy.
24
Jan
2016

Turnbull – What are His Policies?; Stone on Budget; Bob Carter

When an Australian PM makes an obviously pre-prepared address during a visit overseas his main object is not so much to inform his overseas audience as to let his supporters and opponents at home know his thinking about those government policies that are in dispute domestically. The address Turnbull made in Washington to the think-tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies was relevant particularly to his government’s policies on Islamic terrorism and our military involvement in Iraq/Syria –and to his own capacity to deliver them.
20
Jan
2016

Various

It is sad to tell you that Professor Bob Carter has died after a heart attack. His CD in Wikepedia is provided here but it does not do justice to the contribution Bob made to the questioning of the thesis that human activity is causing dangerous global warming. One of his achievements was the leading role he played, amongst a group of distinguished scientists, in the production of the four volumes of a report by the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change setting out the reasons why the human activity thesis does not stand up to close examination. That report was started in 2007 by the Science and Environmental Policy Project which is based in Virginia in the US. SEPP was founded in 1990 by atmospheric physicist Fred Singer and its former Chairman was Frederick Seitz, a former president of the US National Academy of Sciences, now deceased. So Bob was working with the tops in his profession.
9
Jan
2016

Heydon Report – Ministerial Behaviour- A Hydrogen Bomb?- Saudi Arabi v Iran

The behaviour of the Turnbull Government continues to raise questions. Immediately following the publication by Justice Heydon of the Royal Commission on Trade Union Governance and Corruption, on 30 December the government issued a press release by the joint team of Turnbull, Brandis and Cash acknowledging the assessment of “a ‘widespread’ and ‘deep seated’ culture of lawlessness among many union officials. It also said it would submit improved legislation on regulating the construction industry and (separately) on the governance of trade unions. It promised to give full and careful consideration to the recommendations in the final report and “announce a detailed response to the public in early 2016”.
3
Jan
2016

Understanding Islam

The Christmas-New Year period offers an opportunity for deeper than usual thinking about where the world is going. In this end-year the most important intellectual (and military) challenge undoubtedly relates to that posed by militaristic Islam and the view taken by some of its sects that an objective of life is to kill non-believers, including by implementing an accompanying self-imposed death.
3
Jan
2016

More Needed than Heydon RC Recommends & Turnbull Proposes So Far

So far I have read only Volume I of the Overview and introduction of the final report of the Heydon Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. Volumes 2-4 largely deal with specific cases and Volume 5 with policy and law reform. Based on the Overview there appears to be a first rate analysis for the Turnbull government to use in framing major reforms of regulatory arrangements covering the role of trade unions and relations between employees and employers.