Sorry Cats. I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore! The Artist Formerly Known As Spartacus (TAFKAS) needs to vent. It has been a terrible day.
The morning started with a standard read of the Australian. Judith Sloan is compulsory reading for TAFKAS. But this morning …
I know Judith is a contributor and a reader of the Cat, so please forgive me, but from her piece this morning titled A deep breath before we dive into the Davos swamp, Professor Judith wrote:
This year’s survey of ordinary folk revealed that most respondents (57 per cent) believe immigration is mostly good for the receiving country. According to this dubious survey, North Americans (66 per cent) and people from South Asia (72 per cent) are particularly supportive.
Last TAFKAS checked, the benefits and costs of immigration were not determined by a popularity survey. There is ample analysis to support or refute such claims, and Professor Judith has reference such analysis before elsewhere. Quoting such nonsense diminshed, at least in my eyes, what was otherwise an excellent article.
Later in the morning TAFKAS strode off to the Sydney Institute to listen to the most boring, passionless and droll speech delivered by the Hon. Josh Frydenberg; where amongst the innumerable references to plans and fairness, Mr Frydenberg said that financial services firms, post Hayne, must adapt to a “culture of compliance”. A CULTURE OF COMPLIANCE! FFS!
Not a culture of honesty or a culture of customer service or a culture of value delivery. A bloody CULTURE OF COMPLIANCE. Next stop … citizens must adopt a culture of compliance … on the way to the final destination of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Australia.
But there was more. In response to a question from the audience about income inequality, Mr Frydenberg referenced some dry economic analysis from the Productivity Commission talking about statistical analyses and GINI co-efficients. Yawn. He could have said something along the lines of what an actual conservative liberal would say that he does not care about inequality and that he cares about the floor rising and not about how high the ceiling is. He might have even quoted Abraham Lincoln who said:
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
But no. Apparently it is politically better to be one inch to the right of the Labor Party and the Greens.
Mr Frydenberg is the deputy leader of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party. If he is the 2nd best there is, god help us to consider who is at the bottle of the totem.
And then, to top off TAFKAS’ morning, he turned again to the Australian to read someone called Geoff Edwards have a go at Professor Ian Plimer – Forget Plimer’s polemics, just play the percentages. According to his bio, Mr (Dr?) Edwards is president of the Royal Society of Queensland. And so writes Mr (Dr?) Edwards about climate change analysis and policy:
We are, however, entitled to expect our leaders to weigh up the consequences of acting or not acting and then to proceed according to a balance of probabilities. We also expect them to recognise ideological crusades for what they are.
No you nong. Public policy is not determined on the balance of probabilities. At least it shouldn’t. Public policy is determined on costs versus benefits, into which analysis probabilities are factored. Moron! And yes Mr (Dr?) Edwards, we do expect our political overlords to recognise ideological crusades, including yours!
But finally, checking the Oz before hitting post on this rant, TAFKAS reads that Scott Morrison intervenes to install former ALP president Warren Mundine in Gilmore. TAFKAS likes Warren Mundine. He likes his ideas. He likes his rhetorical abilities. But what about this Liberal Party democracy business? What happened to local members selecting their representatives?
Perhaps the word liberal in Liberal Party has a meaning different to the classical meaning as in Given, used, or occurring in generous amounts of promises and platitudes.