Fiona Nash and the health star rating

I can’t understand why Senator Nash has gone to ground over the health star rating website. She should come out on the attack: there has been a change of government and the Coalition has a much higher view of the intelligence of Australians than Labor and the Greens. She should passionately rage against the Nanny State and describe how the taking down of the website was step one of a long process to remove the Nanny from our lives. She should have not accepted Alastair Furnival’s resignation, instead pointing out how many Labor MPs have spouses in positions that one could argue is a conflict of interest. I don’t know Nash or Furnival, but surely the right approach would have been to attack the Nanny rather than capitulate.

Perhaps Nash thinks the Nanny is Rebecca De Mornay from The Hand that Rocks the Cradle?

About J

J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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22 Responses to Fiona Nash and the health star rating

  1. Infidel Tiger

    If Nanny was Rebecca de Mornay in Risky Business I could put up with her.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    This thing confuses me too. The food rating website is in a league with GroceryWatch and FuelWatch. Its stupid. You would need an army of bureaucrats to keep it up to date and few people would use it. The number of products in any random supermarket is huge – you want a rating for each item? And the changes every week? Its insane!

    As silly ideas goes it makes Rudd look like a genius. Total. Waste. Of. Money.

  3. Notafan

    And the ones who perhaps should definitely wouldn’t,
    You don’t need a website to tell you feeding your grossly overweight three year old two happy meals at one sitting is not a good idea, you need a brain.

  4. entropy

    There are several levels to this:
    Why did Furnival resign? He was doing his job. I fail to see any conflict of interest.
    Why is Nash so gutless? Take the bastards on.
    The public servants went against the wishes of the government. This is a democracy, not an authoritarian technocracy.

    Oh, and,eave my burger alone and take nanny down

  5. Pyrmonter

    Furnival had to go, and his presence, in his conflicted state, was an indictment of a government that seems all too reminiscent of some recent state governments of both persuasions. That said, the better case against mandatory simplified food labeling is that the private sector does it already, better, and can be expected to improve its products to attract customers: have a look at “myfitnesspal” or the Australian “CalorieKing” apps: vastly better than anything likely to be devised by a committee of staffers, lobbyists, pols and bureaucrats.

  6. Ed

    Typical jelly-kneed, twitter-fearing flimflammery that we have seen too much of from the current government,.

  7. Squirrel

    “entropy

    #1205552, posted on February 26, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    There are several levels to this:
    Why did Furnival resign? He was doing his job. I fail to see any conflict of interest.
    Why is Nash so gutless? Take the bastards on.
    The public servants went against the wishes of the government. This is a democracy, not an authoritarian technocracy.

    Oh, and,eave my burger alone and take nanny down”

    Yes – I hope and trust the issue about the proper relationship between the Executive and the Public Service has not been lost sight of, along with careful monitoring of any signs of leaks to the Opposition. Some may be emboldened by the departure of Furnival – which would not do, at all.

  8. JC

    Perhaps Nash thinks the Nanny is Rebecca De Mornay from The Hand that Rocks the Cradle?

    I always thought De Mornay was the sexiest women alive. I wonder what’s happened to her.

    As for Nash- another gutless Lib.

  9. entropy

    Prymonter:

    Furnival had to go, and his presence, in his conflicted state, was an indictment of a government that seems all too reminiscent of some recent state governments of both persuasions.

    How so? How does a background in the food industry conflict with whether or not the government wants to create a useless website nobody will use?

  10. blogstrop

    The ABC this morning is still running this story as if there was a problem. It’s a complete media beat up that again illustrates their true nature. It’s designed to leave the impression that there are unsavoury aspects to the government. They did not such thing when there were truly unsavoury aspects to the last one.

  11. Pyrmonter

    @ entropy: it should be (is) a basic premise for employment by the crown that the servant has neither an actual nor a rationally perceived conflict of duty and interest, in the same way as a director of a public company cannot (lawfully) have one.

    Furnival had a residual equity interest in a firm retained by firms lobbying his immediate boss; it is difficult to see a more obvious basis for perceiving a conflict. If he did the same thing in a professional services firm, I’d expect him to be summarily discharged.

  12. Joe Goodacre

    My guess is that Tony Abbott’s influence is behind the scenes forcing capitulation.

    We’ve sween this in either areas where the government should be on the attack, but it’s reigned in its response – i.e. over bias in the ABC.

    Appeasement doesn’t have a good history of working – the polls show that the appeasement Liberals of made hasn’t stopped Labor gaining ground.

  13. entropy

    Was this lobbying firm connected in some way with the website?

  14. entropy

    A ‘residual equity’? LOL

  15. entropy

    And what’s more, that would like saying if you work for the ag department you or your family can’t be connected to agriculture.

  16. Aaron

    And what’s more, that would like saying if you work for the ag department you or your family can’t be connected to agriculture.

    Or if you have worked for the trade union movement you cannot be IR Minister… I’m not sure why Fairfax is getting its knickers in a knot over this alleged conflict of interest when over the past six years we’ve had trade unionists in the parliament making laws to advantage trade unions but nary a conflict of interest was detected.

  17. Pyrmonter

    @ entropy: Google “Dale Baker” (tip – former SA Lib leader and Later Ag minister)

  18. Toiling Mass

    Amongst the ABC, ALP and Fairfaxistas, Tony Abbott’s being an ordinary Australian is a conflict of interest making him unfit govern ordinary Australians.

    They have no such conflict themselves, being the denizens of a particularly uncouth Versaille.

  19. Ralph

    I agree with Pyrmonter. Regardless of whether the website was a good idea or not, it’s not a good look to have staffers with current links to lobbyists that are seeking to influence the minister to whom one is working. It may be true that the website is useless, but that doesn’t change the conflict of interest issue.

  20. blogstrop

    but that doesn’t change the conflict of interest issue.
    OK, so no unionists in parliament or on the parliamentary staff.

  21. Ralph

    Same thing applies to unionists. Everyone comes to a new job with a past, but what’s important, in the case of ministerial staffers, is that any official ties are cut. They may still be sympathetic to a particular cause or be open to being persuaded after severing those ties (such is human nature), but at least ministerial advisors should have no obvious current connection. For ALP staffers, of course that would involve ceasing to be a member of any relevant union. But this conflict of interest stuff is a much bigger issue when in government, because that’s where decisions are made. It’s all pretty academic when it comes to oppositions.

  22. Pyrmonter

    FWIW, I wrote “residual equity” believing he was selling shares in APA, and assumed he was to settle the contract at a fixed price: as such, his stake in the firm’s performance was “residual” in the sense that the contract might be terminated for the happening of a material adverse event or similar fault.

    If it is the case he was merely transferring shares to his wife, the matter takes on a somewhat darker complexion

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