Don’t tell us what you think. Tell us what you feel.

Yes.  It is very amusing to watch the Labor Party tear itself to shreds.  So much for cuts and chaos.

But at least the ALP is beating itself up over personalities and not polices.  It makes great theater and also evidences that their conclusion from the recent election was that it was the messaging that was bad and not the message.  Good luck in 3 years.

But get this.  As reported in the Oz it seems that Tim Wilson has run afoul of his colleagues because …. because he seems to want to let the Liberal Party members pick their representatives:

Colleagues are understood to be angry at Mr Wilson’s alleged refusal to support Ms Henderson.

Mr Wilson said he had not spoken out against Ms Henderson’s Senate bid but would not say whether he endorsed the former Corangamite MP to succeed Senator Fifield.

“I support a democratic pre­selection process of party ­members.”

Oh and Mr Wilson seems to have offended colleagues because he had the temerity, the gaul, this hide to dare to question the conduct of monetary policy by the Mandarins of Martin Place:

Mr Wilson’s criticism of the RBA yesterday angered colleagues who said it was not the backbencher’s place to be dictating monetary policy to the independent central bank.

Mr Wilson yesterday was quoted in The Australian Financial Review as saying the “merit of continuing to lower interest rates as a stimulus is specious” because it would hurt people’s savings and not help people get into the property market.

One Liberal colleague said the bank was independent and there had been a long-held tradition of politicians not telling it what it should do on ­monetary policy.

Honestly.  If people think that Parliamentary representatives should be selected by the people rather than the factional hacks, they don’t belong in the Australian Parliament.  And especially so if they think that public administrative agencies should be accountable to the public.

Fair dinkum.  Which party does Mr Wilson think he belongs to?

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19 Responses to Don’t tell us what you think. Tell us what you feel.

  1. Robbo

    Wilson has quite a sharp intellect and that is not something you can say about a lot of his colleagues. The endorsement of Liberal Party members as candidates in State and Federal elections has been manipulated so badly in recent years that it is mostly those that have good connections in the Party, rather than those who will add real value and clout, that get the nod. Pliable individuals who will keep a seat warm and do what they are told are what we get today from both Liberal and Labor. Once upon a time, not all that long ago, you did not see that sort of thing in the Liberal Party. It was only Labor that rewarded its duds with a winnable seat. How things have changed when a Liberal MP is anonymously chastised by some dickhead colleague for speaking out on a subject that is of interest and concern to a great many voters. Freedom of speech was once something that all Liberals defended fiercely. Now we have Liberal MPs attacking those who speak out. These bloody snipers should be publicly outed and dealt with by their Party.

  2. J.H.

    “Mr Wilson’s criticism of the RBA yesterday angered colleagues who said it was not the backbencher’s place to be dictating monetary policy to the independent central bank.”

    Reserve bank employees are public servants, hmmm?

    I dunno…. If you live in the Taxpool, then you ain’t “independent”…. yer friggin’ “Dependent”.

    …. but wot would I know?

  3. Pyrmonter

    I’ll stand with Tim and TAFKAS on the first point, but the second? The whole point of bi-partisan support for credit market deregualtion in the 1980s and then granting the RBA autonomy over monetary policy was to avoid these ‘winners and losers’ political debates. By and large, I’m inclined to think the RBA has done a notably better job since 1996 than it did when closely controlled by Treasury and fluctuating, inconsistent public opinion in the 23 years before that. There is scope for argument that the latest generations of central banker (Guy Debelle in particular) might be a little too confident for their own (and our) good; as well as scope to argue with the general nature of monetary policy – whether it should target inflation, money growth, credit growth, the price level etc – but commentary on particular decisions independent of ideas is fraught, especially when it focuses on the short run distributional effects. It’s the mirror to those old lefties who wanted easy money (and would wear inflation) on the mistaken ground that this was how higher employment could be had.

    Tim (for whom I’ve got a lot of time) has stepped on a live rail; he needs to get his foot off it as soon as he can.

  4. Insert witty name here...

    The trouble is, Treasury think interest rates control the speed of the economy; observably interest rates don’t, tax rates do. They also have “Man with a hammer syndrome.”

  5. @ Pyrmonter

    Dare TAFKAS say bollocks.

    1 – the RBA “may” be independent of political interference, but that does not grant it independence from criticism. If Wilson was the Treasurer or the Prime Minister, then maybe, just maybe there might be grounds for concert. A back bencher is but a couple of inches away from joe public, except on a much higher rem.
    2 – the period between 1993 and 2019 had a variety of issues and challenges, yet the current crop of senior central bankers are of questionable quality (see TAFKAS’ other posts on the subject). Not to mention they still to this day, still, pray to the Philips Curve gods.
    3 – there is ample opinion in support of Wilson’s view and perhaps our Keynesian Central Bankers (howz that for a paradox) are general disinclined to listed to anyone and anything that does not align with their confirmation biases.

    This has nothing to do with monetary policy. This is entirely about factional horseplay. Much like in the Labor Party.
    3 –

  6. Dr Fred Lenin

    I used to live in a blue ribbon Country Party (National) seat ,been that way forever ,selection of candidates was in the hands of about four locals it seemed,you should have seen the candidates they picked and the loval idiots kept voting for these fourth rate would be career bludgers. Mind you when elected they helped ther benefactors no end with the OPM they now had their grubby hands on
    Politics is broken ,back to the drawing board for most Western countries .

  7. Karabar

    Fair enough for some rube in the Liberal Party or Pyrmonter to disagree with Wilson’s opinion, but if Wilson is not permitted to express an opinion about the behaviour of the Mandarins of Martin Place, then what Hell good is a representative of the people. I dare say that a large number, a very large number indeed, of those who are represented are of the same opinion, and appreciate that someone has had the courage to express it for them.

  8. yarpos

    Re the Labor Party ruminations, its been funny to read the hypersensitive remarks of the Labor/Green faithful whenever there is coverage of their party’s activities. Usually along the lines of “what a beat up” and “what about the LNP?”. It’s like there can be no examination unless its gushing worship.

    Their complete lack of awareness in regard to their policies impact in the real world makes it seem like they will follow the Dem model in the States and pile on more of the same, and expect different results.

  9. John A

    I’m with TAFKAS and Tim Wilson on these issues.
    a) what is the point of a Party in a representative democracy (so-called) if the organisation chooses the candidates? That’s what the Communist Party does inCuba, USSR, China and elsewhere.
    b) what is the point of the RBA and monetary policy papers if the Martin Place Mandarins are impervious to feedback on the consequences?
    c) the whole Keynesian push has failed – see the next post on the results of the Obama Administration – so time for a change of direction – increased interest rates will give incentives to savers to save, to borrowers to repay and to investors to check the returns and pick better projects.

  10. Pyrmonter

    @ TAFKAS

    1 – The Phillips Curve seems to obey Goodhart’s Law: useless when ‘exploited’, but evident when it isn’t (at least in some times and places): http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2019/05/the-phillips-curve-is-alive-and-well.html

    2 – If Tim’s criticism had been founded on neo-Fisherian princples or something similar, I’d think it odd, but within the bounds of propriety. But I don’t see that in it: it smacks of simple distributional politics. That’s the path to perdition.

    On the subject of our current Central Bankers – that Dr Debelle has said and/or allowed it to be reported that he considers wage and price inflation are ‘too low’ is a cause for significant concern. By all means, they may be low for unhealthy reasons; but the idea that ‘a bit of inflation moves things along’ is an idea someone in his early 50s should immediately identify as misplaced. He studied in the mid 1980s – a time when infltaion was still high, and had until recently been volatile. What were Geoff Harcourt and co teaching?

  11. PoliticoNT

    I’ve seen actual blood on the floor at Goldstein divisional meetings so Wilson is only stating the obvious when it comes to who put him where he is (and about time, taking into account his wasted first term).

    Don’t forget it was the Goldstein branches who got a first look at Georgina Downer. Threw her out in the first round of the preselection vote Wilson eventually won.

  12. Pyrmonter

    (and as a coda … if it was taught, how did the commendable Mr Stutchbury of the AFR, his near contemporary, avoid infection?)

  13. sfw

    Is this the same Wilson who folded and did nothing when a HRC person? He seems to talk game but doesn’t play.

  14. Tel

    If the RBA keeps dropping interest rates … they might as well be personally knocking the door of every foreign investor and saying, “Piss off out of Australia before we obliterate the AUD!”

    Maybe in the big picture Australia is better off depending on domestic investment, instead of being owned by foreigners. That said, if they all rush for the exit on the same day … could get a little ugly.

  15. Squirrel

    “One Liberal colleague said the bank was independent and there had been a long-held tradition of politicians not telling it what it should do on ­monetary policy.”

    ….because it’s the job of “the market” to tell the RBA what to think and do, and they rarely disappoint, even if sometimes “the market” is made to wait longer than it thinks it should.

    The ugly truth is that a massive debt-funded bubble has been blown, the RBA did precious little to stop or even discourage it (until it was far too late), and now it is busily trying to keep the whole thing from crashing down – like one of those cicus performers balancing spinning hoops and plates while standing on tip toes on a chair balanced on one leg.

    Along with far fewer opinion polls, we might be better off with fewer RBA meetings – the monthly ritual, obsessed over by our army of debt-junkies (including, presumably, many in the economic commentariat) puts far too much attention on one aspect of economic management when so much else is crying out for intelligent and forthright attention.

  16. Rob MW

    1. TAFKAS’s point: How dare Wilson say something without being granted approval to say something.

    2. Pyrmonter’s point: after analyticalpsychocryptocurrency analysis using my crystal balls I know exactly how Wilson’s mind works and I disagree.

    3. Rob MW’s point: WTF !!

  17. John Stankevicius

    Squirrel, you have nailed the situation. Savers are forced to draw down on their savings to live against their wishes. Heavy borrowers are rewarded by living in their mansions. This has a negative impact on enterprise. In the past fortnight I have seen two cases where the mortgages are $600k and the real estate is worth $800. They wish to buy a business, the banks say they can’t service any additional borrowing. In one instance the seller sold the business at a 35% discount. The other was advised to sell the real estate and buy something for$400k. They woul then have close to 50% equity in their home and be able to buy a good business. Pushing rates down is what Japan has done sine 1992 and it has crawled out of its mire. The post war generation is subsidising 3 generations and continuing.
    Best to crash and start again or do what Germany did in th 2000s – cut wages and start again.

  18. mareeS

    I know how to think, and I am pretty good at it. Feelings are why people cry, poor pathetic things.

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