Examine your assumptions

There is a very amusing piece in the AFR this weekend:

The Grattan Institute is the exemplar of a political and economic centrism that sets the Australian policy agenda. Call it the new orthodoxy.

But even the Melbourne-based think tank is now examining why this agenda generates so much hostility, or – to adopt the word used by Grattan boss John Daley when referring to the impact of globalisation – “fracturing”.

From tightening superannuation tax concessions to advocating changes in negative gearing, promoting teacher monitoring and savings in health costs to suggesting ways to lift Australia’s sagging productivity, the Grattan Institute is an economic efficiency overlord, exerting a powerful, centrist influence on the government and opposition.

However, it, too, is now looking at what’s motivating the growing ranks of the disgruntled, according to Grattan’s John Daley.

This year’s election and recent opinion polls show voters are leaving the major parties in droves for the right wing, nativist, One Nation Party which means they are rejecting the Grattan-encouraged liberal free market consensus. According to the latest Fairfax Ipsos poll the putative minor party vote – largely Greens and One Nation – has vaulted to 34 per cent, or more than a third of the electorate.

Yes – you read that correctly. The Grattan Institute encourages a “liberal free market consensus”. The Grattan Institute is “an economic efficiency overlord, exerting a powerful, centrist influence on the government”.

What music goes with statements like that? The Twilight Zone or Benny Hill?

The Grattan Institute is a left-wing, Labor government funded, research institute located within the University of Melbourne to lobby government to implement Labor party policy. I’m sure the Macquarie Dictionary could define that as being “centrist” perhaps even “independent”.

The AFR repeats this strange story:

Grattan’s start-up was based on an agreement between the Howard government and the then John Brumby-led Victorian Labor government.

But by the time the documents were drawn up, the Howard government was in caretaker mode. The Rudd Labor government, which succeeded it, re-pledged $15 million in federal money, matched by the state government.

I have twice asked senior Howard government ministers about this version of events and I have twice been told that it is not correct.

Back to the main story …

… John Daley says a new Grattan Institute inquiry will examine “what’s motivating” the fast-growing group of the socially disposed and will be “treating their concerns seriously. This is something we are thinking about. It’s an important input into policy.”

But the Grattan inquiry is laden with irony. It is, in effect, an examination by the Grattan Institute into why policies strongly pushed by the Grattan Institute, and often partially or fully adopted by the major parties, are generating so much hostility.

Should be a short inquiry – answer – people are tired of left-wing extremists stealing their money, regulating their lives, and telling them what to do.

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47 Responses to Examine your assumptions

  1. Senile Old Guy

    Should be a short inquiry – answer – people are tired of left-wing extremists stealing their money, regulating their lives, and telling them what to do.

    Wrong answer! The people are mistaken and do not know what is good for them. Silly people!

  2. rickw

    The Grattan Ponds Institute

    The lot of The Australian People could be greatly improved by shutting it down, to the tune of $30 million.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    The Grattan Institute is the exemplar of a political and economic centrism that sets the Australian policy agenda.

    The sheer insanity of this whopper suggests Mr Clark actually believes it.
    The lefty universe is rapidly closing in onto itself. Soon they will all disappear, with a faint *pop*, into a better place where unicorns cavort and Venezuela is a prosperous nation.

  4. Dr Fred Lenin

    Leftist orthodoxy been about since Narx and ankles formulated their new religion . The Soviet Politburo had Mikxael Suslov ,as party Theoritician no decision was made without the narxist seal of approval ,as interpreted by Suslov . Would I be cprrect i saying this taxpayer funded leftist bullfest group is the Suslov of present day green laboral policy ,nothing is approved without the narxist bobbrownist thei=ries approval . Does anyone know when turnbull was infected by narxist antiquated bullshit ?

  5. Roger

    Here’s the real story hidden in the text:

    According to the latest Fairfax Ipsos poll the putative minor party vote – largely Greens and One Nation – has vaulted to 34 per cent, or more than a third of the electorate.

    Give that the Greens senate vote has been in a holding pattern at 8.7% for 3+ years the real disruptor of the status quo is PHON. In QLD the LNP is already considering splitting as a measure to combat PHON in the state election due within a year. Hanson’s rise is emboldening the social conservatives in the federal Liberal parliamentary ranks to challenge Turnbull’s socially liberal vision. And given that a significant number of Hanson supporters are from the white working class whom Labor disdains she will impact their traditional vote as well.

    Hanson is our Trump (that’s an observation, btw, not an endorsement). Her party may implode but it will impact the political landscape while doing so. It is already doing that as nervous political careerists realise that a significant proportion of electors are no longer content to be taken for granted.

  6. Mark M

    Look no further than this video:

    She Is More Educated
    A display of leftist piety.
    And one man’s extraordinary patience.
    http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2016/12/she-is-more-educated.html

  7. Up The Workers!

    The “Grattan Institute”.

    Is that the one next-door to the “Ronald McDonald College of Hamburgerology”?

  8. Wozzup

    ” Should be a short inquiry – answer – people are tired of left-wing extremists stealing their money, regulating their lives, and telling them what to do.”

    To which you might add: insulting and abusing people when they speak out in protest over the left’s transgressions, using lawfare to silence them when they speak truths that are unpopular to the Left, and on occasion, using outright physical violence to silence debate, public assembly and the exercise of democratic rights.
    Yes, a lovely bunch of ugly monsters are the Left. No one is so ugly and brutal as those that are convinced of their own piety and righteousness. The Left fits the bill here without even trying. Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” should be necessary reading by everyone on the Right so we understand what we are up against and the games the Left are playing.

  9. Louis Hissink

    Ahh, Sinclair, the Grattan’s self-identification as a political centred organisation is exactly what they believe themselves to be. Years ago a close relative who worked for Fairfax and lists seriously to port, announced that the UK “The Guardian” newspaper was at the political centre. None of his/her peers in Fairfax thought differently. This statement caused my brain to momentarily reset itself. These people believe they are at the political centre?????

    It’s only when you read Bernard Goldberg’s two books on the US media, “Biased” and “Arrogant” that the problem becomes clear – goldfish-bowl attitudinisation – none of them socialise with anyone outside of their social circle, and everyone they know does not think any differently to themselves, so obviously being positions of self assigned importance, they must be at the centre of all things political. So it’s always a shock for them when reality occasionally intrudes; like the ascendancy of The Donald on November 8, 2016. I enjoyed watching their minds implode with utter consternation that their prophesies failed, again as these always do.

    It’s due to the way they have been taught to think, and in their case, the inability to think independently outside the ideological walls their “leaders” fabricate for their obeisance. It’s the unthinking deference to authority whether secular or theological, (the two are opposite sides of the same coin), that becomes their lot in life and when it is disturbed, well, their reactions are much like out of control roman candles. Initially fun to watch until one’s memory returns, until reality reappears with the realisation these people are actually running the show.

    It’s democracy in action in which the bell-curve reigns supreme and short of a benevolent dictatorship with frequent assassinations, it’s the norm when the majority discover they can legally help themselves to OPM.

  10. Some History

    …people are tired of left-wing extremists stealing their money, regulating their lives, and telling them what to do.

    DING! That’s a winner. Get the man a kewpie doll.

    Sinc, I’ve left a comment for you on the open forum. Thanks.

  11. Goanna

    Should be a short inquiry – answer – people are tired of left-wing extremists stealing their money, regulating their lives, and telling them what to do.

    Great last paragraph there, Sinc.

  12. Rabz

    If the Grattan Institute is reliant on taxpayer “funding” that should be stopped and it should be left to fend on its merits.

    Quite frankly I’m not aware of the idiots there ever making one sensible suggestion in respect of anything – not a one.

    It is a laughable, running joke.

  13. Robber Baron

    The Labor party sets up a “think-tank” and devises a name that gives it some level of credibility, “Grattan” (I suppose being located near Grattan St made it easy to name). The Labor party gets its labor government to fund it (something like Gillard funding a South Australian University Chair). The “institute” provides advice to advance the role of government.

    So, Grattan Institute is a government funded private entity that promotes government. How independent!

  14. Neenee

    The Grattan Institute is the exemplar of a political and economic centrism that sets the Australian policy agenda. Call it the new orthodoxy.

    How could it be other than that with Lucy Turnbull on it’s Board.

  15. H B Bear

    The Grattan Ponds Institute

    Please a quality independent think tank like the Ponds Institute would never allow Lady Waffleworth to darken its doorstep.

    Is Australia’s leading anti-business business daily pamphlet (all 40 pages of it) attempting to arrest the readership slide by moving into comedy and satire?

  16. duncanm

    I always thought it was a biscuit.

  17. For “liberal free market consensus” read “taxing, spending, regulating, excluding and rigging to buggery”.

    Since the Posh Left discovered the Market it uses the word as often as possible, like some kind of benediction or talisman. While they lay waste they yell “Market!” the way Spanish Indian-killers used to yell “St James!”.

    The globalist/green blather of the bloated Grattan Institute is now so bad that I think the body could qualify as a “Centre of Excellence”. As far as I know, there’s nothing below a Centre of Excellence.

  18. Muddy

    What’s the bet that among the recommendations will be a substantial increase to the funding of the ALPBC in order that they may counteract the ‘overwhelming extreme-right bias of the mainstream media’ that is distorting the otherwise sound message?

  19. Sinclair Davidson

    Some History – yes, I saw Snowdon on that as well. It is disgraceful.

  20. Art Vandelay

    So, Grattan Institute is a government funded private entity that promotes government. How independent!

    This is a strategy of both the major parties. Politicians don’t want to make the case for higher taxes to finance their electoral bribes and wasteful spending because they fear a backlash from taxpayer. So they set up an ‘independent’ research institute to drive the debate for tax increases instead and to take the heat for them.

    After a deluge of ‘independent’ reports arguing for higher taxes (all promoted on the taxpayer-funded ABC), the politicians then claim that the debate has been won and they must acquiesce to popular opinion and ‘reluctantly’ raise taxes.

    It’s not just an ALP tactic. The Liberal Party has done the same thing with the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (an ‘independent’ lobby group which argues for higher taxes on alcohol) for example being set up under its watch.

  21. Habib

    Centrist? By the parlous standards of this socialist shithole, they probably are. Most lefties I know think they’re of the “sensible centre”, illustrating how far keft we’ve lurched. Also the more self-aware try to distance themselves from the more egregious examples of their corrupt, idiotic and sociopathic philosophy such ad Mao, Pol Pot and anyone called Kim.

  22. iain russell

    The ‘socially disposed’?! Now, I’m ‘socially and intellectually disposed’ to laugh out loud at all Leftards and the Grattanpseuds at every piece of brain dead tosh they egest, but I think the writer [may] have confused this with ‘socially dispossessed’. Not the same thing at all really.

  23. Louis Hissink

    I suppose we could label them the “Gratin Institute”, representing the brown turdy crust over the melange of lefty-wefties……

  24. JC

    Has there ever been one single policy idea that’s not leftwing/ helping the liars party from this rabble of propagandrist degenerates? I can’t think of one.

  25. Judith

    I know for a fact that Costello refused pointblank to fund this venture and the rent-seekers in Melbourne had to wait for the election of a Labor government.

    Mind you, Howard’s dopey decision to fund the USS at the University of Sydney provided a perfect rationale.

  26. Baldrick

    I don’t believe in the taxpayer funding of any politically orientated think tank, brains trust or institution.
    If it’s ideas are any good, they will be able to stand up on their own merit, instead of being artificially propped-up with taxpayers hard earned.

  27. Crossie

    So, Grattan Institute is a government funded private entity that promotes government. How independent!

    This is a strategy of both the major parties. Politicians don’t want to make the case for higher taxes to finance their electoral bribes and wasteful spending because they fear a backlash from taxpayer. So they set up an ‘independent’ research institute to drive the debate for tax increases instead and to take the heat for them.

    It’s no longer working. Besides, I don’t think taxpayers much care who recommends more taxation it’s who puts it into practice that will pay at the next election.

  28. egg_

    The Grattan Institute is the exemplar of a political and economic centrism

    Is it April 1st?

  29. Up The Workers!

    Would this be the same ‘Institute’ that they put Michelle Grattan in, when she was finally crow-barred loose from Fauxfacts?

    Hope she hasn’t chewed all the rubber off the walls.

    Do they still charge the visitors a penny on Tuesdays, to go in and gawk at the inmates?

  30. Wozzup

    “If the Grattan Institute is reliant on taxpayer “funding” that should be stopped and it should be left to fend on its merits.”

    I agree. There has been no quicker way discovered of ensuring with absolute certainty that a Leftist institute is destroyed beyond all reckoning than to ask Lefties to fund it themselves. Lefties never put their hands in their own pockets to fund anything so it will be a dead parrot in a few months. Their motto: “If it’s not other people’s money it’s not real money”.

  31. Andrew

    Has there ever been one single policy idea that’s not leftwing/ helping the liars party from this rabble of propagandrist degenerates? I can’t think of one.

    I once asked their CEO a Q at a function and was stunned to find that they OPPOSED a repeal of the diesel fuel rebate (refund after interest free loan of road tax prepaid on off-road diesel and laboriously recouped) and did NOT consider it a subsidy. They also thought the level of supn taxes about right although they did want a more progressive scale.

    So by Oz standards, centrist to centre right.

    BTW is THIS the Ponds Institute? I always thought that fuckwit Oquist’s Australia Institute was the Ponds Institute people referred to.

  32. Rasputin

    Is this the same department of the Melbourne uni which runs courses on sex toys and aids? If not it should be because the results are the same!!
    Also brings to mind tha attempt by the earl of Rochester and an accomplice attempting to import wooden dildos which were confiscated and incinerated, whereupon they held a requiem for them which seems to me an altogether better outcome for Grattan, for the repose of our souls rather than theirs.

  33. Rabz

    Fun factlet: the Grattan Institute is not named after Michelle Grattan.

    But it bloody well should be.

  34. Crossie

    I agree. There has been no quicker way discovered of ensuring with absolute certainty that a Leftist institute is destroyed beyond all reckoning than to ask Lefties to fund it themselves. Lefties never put their hands in their own pockets to fund anything so it will be a dead parrot in a few months. Their motto: “If it’s not other people’s money it’s not real money”.

    It will keep getting taxpayers funds as long as Malcolm is PM and Lucy will remain on the board as long as the public money keeps flowing. I don’t see either of them putting a hand in their own pockets to fund it.

  35. Boambee John

    Speaking of hands in pockets, is there any actual evidence that Maocolm did actually fund the Liberal Party to the tune of a couple of million at the election, or was it just a story put out to show his “commitment”?

  36. wreckage

    The right is composed, now, largely of leftists and drooling idiots.

    Not that it’s easy to spot the difference.

    PHON just shows that there is, in fact, a Right, and they do not, in fact, want to vote for lefties.

    If the Coalition do not come to an understanding of that fact, they will be destroyed.

  37. Leo G

    Fun factlet: the Grattan Institute is not named after Michelle Grattan.

    I expect it’s named after Henry Grattan, one-time leader of the Irish Patriot Movement and most vocal leader of the opposition to the Union of England and Ireland.

  38. Philippa Martyr

    The Grattan Institute is conservative and centre-right in the same way that Malcolm Turnbull is.

    The Prime Minister We Had To Have.™

  39. Philippa Martyr

    In Lord Wentworth’s case, surely it should be the Gratin Institute?

  40. Philippa Martyr

    Perhaps drizzled with a balsamic reduction, and paired with a melange of locally sourced-vegetables.

    But let’s leave the Cabinet out of this.

  41. J.H.

    It’s pretty simple what the Socialists are doing. They are trying to take the label of “liberal” for their own politics. They are trying to muddy the political waters within the minds of the Australian voters.

    Most people are engaged in their own enterprise and are disengaged from politics. It’s not their everyday concern. But they do know the basics…… Thus the people understand that socialism and communism has led disastrously to the likes of Mussolini, Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, etc. All Socialists of some stripe or another.

    The people also know that liberalism is associated with freedom, order and western civilization. So the Socialists want to call themselves “liberal”. Socialism is the ideology of deceit. Liberalism is ideology of freedom.

    The Socialists side of politics are trying to set the meme that there are different sorts of liberalism. That it includes them…. There isn’t and it doesn’t. More deception.

    Any statist bureaucracy that commands a compulsory taxpool that in turn has become a hereditary feeding trough for the Bureaucratic class and their cronies…. is the corruption of liberal values and the death of an ordered liberal society.

    They want tax slaves, not free people. They want corporationalism, not free enterprise. They want welfarism, not freedom. They want control and demand conformity.

    Socialists can call themselves “liberal”…. But they are still socialists.

  42. Sydney Boy

    people are tired of left-wing extremists stealing their money, regulating their lives, and telling them what to do.

    Which is why Trump is to be the next POTUS. And our politicians, social commentators, and MSM still don’t understand.

  43. OldOzzie

    perhaps Lord Waffles of Wentworth and Lady Lucy Turdbull’s Grattan Institute should take notice of how Socialism works

    ¡Viva La Revolución! Jeep Carrying Fidel Castro Ashes Breaks Down Mid-Funeral

    The Russian-made jeep carrying the ashes of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro broke down in the middle of his funeral procession on Saturday, forcing soldiers to push the vehicle until it could be repaired.
    Nearly every major news website buried the news, though it was perfectly symbolic of the Cuban regime’s economic failures, and those of socialism in general.

    Fox News reported:

    The breakdown of the jeep in the midst of adoring crowds chanting “Long live Fidel!” was symbolic of the dual nature of Castro’s Cuba. While his legacy inspires fierce adulation by many of the nation’s citizens, others continue to grumble about Cuba’s autocratic government, inefficient bureaucracy and stagnant economy.

    The Wall Street Journal offered more detail:

    After a final farewell early in the week at Havana’s Revolutionary Square, the former president’s remains, placed in a small, glass-encased casket, began moving east in a cross-country cortege through towns, cities and listless countryside. The state called it “The Caravan of Liberty,” the same name the guerrillas called the journey they made from Santiago to Havana to topple the Batista regime in 1959.

    It didn’t all go well despite the state’s attention to details: at one point, soldiers were forced to push the jeep towing the remains when it broke down, fitting for a country where vehicles creak along.

    But mourners along the route across Cuba, waving their country’s flag, shouted, “I am Fidel” and cried before state TV cameras.

    The Associated Press seemed to ignore the news almost entirely, except in photo captions of the incident: “The Russian jeep carrying the ashes of the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro broke down and had to be pushed for a period on Saturday.”

    Castro’s ashes were interred in a private ceremony in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba on Sunday. His brother and successor, Raúl, declared — somewhat incongruously — that Fidel had not wished a cult of personality to define him after his death. His final resting place will be next to that of Cuban independence hero José Martí.

    The global left and the American media have mourned Castro, whose chief achievement was maintaining an iron grip on power for half a century in defiance of opposition from the United States. His human rights abuses, and his economic failures, have largely been downplayed.

  44. Should be a short inquiry – answer – people are tired of left-wing extremists stealing their money, regulating their lives, and telling them what to do.

    And slowly replacing them with Asians, but of course it’s racist to say.

  45. Rayvic

    Surprisingly, recent reports suggested that certain Coalition members could not establish a link between GetUp! and the Labor Party (even though Bill Shorten is understood to have been associated with GetUp! when he was AWU rep.).

    It would not surprise if those members made the same finding regarding the link between The Grattan Institute and Labor.

  46. JohnA

    egg_ #2227165, posted on December 4, 2016, at 5:54 pm

    The Grattan Institute is the exemplar of a political and economic centrism

    Is it April 1st?

    Nah, it’s December: the other silly season!

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