Peter O’Brien: Frydenberg again

Here’s Frydenberg at it again:

And in the words of the AMEC, you only get offered a discount from the energy company when you threaten to leave to go to another one. That’s effectively a loyalty tax that’s being imposed on the customers (and) that’s not good enough — these companies have a social licence to operate…

God help us!  And again, what planet does he live on?  All businesses, particularly those within the insurance industry, that are not contract based, will offer additional discounts to avoid losing existing customers.  All businesses, including power companies, operate to make, indeed to maximise, a profit and if they do not do so they will be punished in the stock market and investors will lose.  In the long run, their success depends upon them being flexible and nimble and this includes variable pricing.  The upside for customers in this business model is that they do, now, have this leverage – leverage they would not have if they were locked into contracts (which would be the preferred model of the business).

And as for ‘social licence to operate’.  To hear that from a supposedly conservative government minister just beggars belief and gives me virtually no hope for the future.  Wasn’t it Frydenberg who, contemptuously, rejected Tony Abbott’s call for the government to step in and purchase Liddell if AGL refused to keep it going, as being contrary to the ‘free market principles’  that Conservatives espouse.  How does the concept of a ‘social licence to operate’ fit in with those principles, Josh?

If there is such a thing as a ‘social licence to operate’ in our democratic society it does not reside on the market side of the equation.  From time immemorial, societies have advanced on the back of trade – the willing exchange of goods, services and money.  It does not need a licence to operate – it operates because that is what society wants and needs.  If anyone should be constrained by a ‘social licence to operate’ it is government.  We, the people, grant to government, certain powers to intervene in our normal endeavours for strictly limited purposes, for example, to protect us against wrong doing by powerful corporations.  At least, that’s how it should work.  What we are increasingly seeing is that government is ignoring its ‘social licence to operate’ and imposing itself more and more into our lives.  Government has become its own raison d’etre.

Posted in Guest Post | 67 Comments

What they said: PVO on selling the ABC

THE ABC should be privatised to save the taxpayer the more than $1 billion it costs each year to run, to reap a one-off injection of revenue from the sale price to help retire government debt, and to remove a government-funded goliath that is interfering with the market in the media landscape.

It is hard to justify the ABC continuing not to run commercials, even if it did remain in state hands, because doing so would help recoup the taxpayers’ dollars that go into the service. The 2012-13 budget stipulated that the ABC would cost $1.1bn to run this financial year. Dwell on that amount. That money would go a long way towards funding the DisabilityCare Australia scheme or the Gonski education reforms.

Besides, SBS already runs advertisements.

PVO in 2013

PVO on the weekend

Posted in Media | 64 Comments

20 Years of progress with unreliable energy

The more things change

Global demand for coal and gas to generate electricity was back on the rise last year …

Most striking had been the failure of renewable energy to make an impact on the fossil fuels share of power generation, BP group chief economist Spencer Dale said.

“Despite the extraordinary (global) growth in renewables in recent years, and the huge policy efforts to encourage a shift away from coal into cleaner, lower carbon fuels, there has been almost no improvement in the power sector fuel mix over the past 20 years,” he said.

The share of coal in the power sector in 1998 was 38 per cent, ­exactly the same as 2017.

“The share of non-fossil fuel in 2017 is actually a little lower than it was 20 years ago, as the growth of renewables hasn’t offset the ­declining share of nuclear,” ­Mr Dale said.

Posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Rafe | 16 Comments

Shut it down. Fire them all.

The Rabz doctrine was on display this morning on Outsiders.

Rowan Dean and Ross Cameron had me on talking about Chris Berg and my book on the ABC.  They gave a great shout out for the Cat – thank you for that.

The notion of privatising the ABC has been very topical over the weekend with the Liberal Federal Council voting 2:1 to privatise the ABC but the government immediately saying “No”.

You have to wonder what it is the Liberal federal council does apart from raising money to contest elections and then rounding up the voters to vote Liberal? After gifting a life of extraordinary privilege to MPs it must be a bit galling to have your views and opinions so contemptuously swept aside. To the extent that the Federal Council can influence funding decisions and pre-selections they should start more pointed questions at preselection:

  • Do you agree that the capital of Israel is Jerusalem?
  • Do you support the privatisation of the ABC?
  • Why are you wanting to run as a Liberal Party candidate?
Posted in Media | 81 Comments

Peter O’Brien: Response to Frydenberg

Josh Frydenberg is quoted in The Australian as saying, inter alia,

… policy paralysis over a decade-and-a-half of Australian governments has led to less investment in the sector. 

What planet is he living on?  Far from ‘paralysis’ there has been frenetic government intervention leading to vast amounts of unsuitable investment.  The problem we have is that both sides of politics are squabbling over the best way to achieve CO2 reduction targets that have no empirical relationship to any measurable temperature reduction and neither bothering to apply even the semblance of a blow torch to the underlying prognostications of CAGW that have so far proved so costly to consumers and industry and so illusory in observed climatic behaviour.  I would urge Frydenberg to concentrate his mind on the ‘catastrophic’ element of the CAGW meme and start thinking about some form of rigorous cost benefit analysis – rather than the ‘we can’t afford not to act’ cop out that has so far characterized their handling of this far-from-settled issue.

Posted in Guest Post | 37 Comments

But, but, but

‘Last century, the whole world was scandalised by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves’ … Pope Francis. Photo: AFP

But, but, but … the progressives cry.  We thought this Pope was a really good guy.  All that lecturing about the evils of capitalism and his homilies about the dangers of climate change.  WE THOUGHT HE WAS GREAT.

But then comes this.  So where will the condemnations come from?  Referencing the Nazis – isn’t this a bit of a no-no these days.

Another good weekend chuckle.

Pope Francis: Abortion is ‘white glove’ equivalent to Nazi crimes

Pope Francis denounced abortion overnight as the “white glove” equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program and urged families to accept the children that God gives them.

Francis spoke off-the-cuff to a meeting of an Italian family association, ditching his prepared remarks to speak from the heart about families and the trials they undergo. He lamented how some couples choose not to have any children, while others resort to pre-natal testing to see if their baby has any malformations or genetic problems.

“The first proposal in such a case is, ‘Do we get rid of it?”’ Francis said. “The murder of children. To have an easy life, they get rid of an innocent.” Francis recalled that as a child he was horrified to hear stories from his teacher about children “thrown from the mountain” if they were born with malformations.

“Today we do the same thing,” he said.

“Last century, the whole world was scandalised by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves,” Francis said.

The pope urged families to accept children “as God gives them to us.” Francis has repeated the strict anti-abortion stance of his predecessors and integrated it into his broader condemnation of what he calls today’s “throwaway culture.” He has frequently lamented how the sick, the poor, the elderly and the unborn are considered unworthy of protection and dignity by a society that prizes instead individual prowess.

He has also decried how women are often considered part of this “throwaway culture,” sometimes forced to prostitute themselves.

“How many of you pray for these women who are thrown away, for these women who are used, for these girls who have to sell their own dignity to have a job?” Francis asked during his morning homily Friday.

Francis has dedicated much of his pontificate to preaching about families, marriage and the problems that families today encounter. He is expected to highlight these issues during his August trip to Ireland where he’ll close out the Catholic Church’s big family rally.

Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments

Peter O’Brien: Men Need To Change Their Behaviour

Yesterday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews put out this tweet in response to an, admittedly tactlessly worded, warning from Vic Police that everyone, particularly young women, should be mindful of their personal security when walking alone at night:

So our message to Victorian women is this: Stay home. Or don’t. Go out with friends at night. Or don’t. Go about your day exactly as you intend, on your terms. Because women don’t need to change their behaviour. Men do.

That statement is jaw droppingly stupid and it astounds me that no-one has called Andrews out on it.   Could there have ever been a more asinine public statement, on any subject, than this.  It is virtue signalling par excellence and, if taken literally, is likely to put more women in danger.

‘Men’ do not commit these crimes.  Anti-social misfits do and they are not going to modify their behaviour at the behest of anyone, let alone a moron like Andrews.

Humans are a flawed species and some specimens are found within the ranks of men.  It will always be thus.  To tar all men with this infamy is not only grossly offensive but also counterproductive.

Posted in Guest Post | 106 Comments

President Strange Trump, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Donald

It is never good for one’s blood pressure to get too annoyed about events. In recent years I have become increasingly concerned and annoyed about the return of communism through trendy new sorties such as gender, diversity, race and identify politics. What was 15 years ago political correctness has morphed into a much more hard line perversion by former communists and their apologists to not only drown out alternative voices but actively subvert institutions which once upheld traditional western values. Our institutions – from universities and throughout society – have been captured within (by treachery) rather than externally. The taxpayer continues to subsidise those who wish harm to western values, history and institutions while also subsidising people and organisations intent on destroying dissenting voices. This is terribly annoying and infuriating. It is achieved by exaggerating the harms done in the name of western civilisation while underplaying the benefits.

I know that many people – libertarians, conservatives etc – who railed against this trend saw the election of Donald Trump – or, rather, the rejection of Hillary Clinton – as at least a sign of some backlash – perhaps a spine will grow in those who might defend the legacy left by some many earlier generations?

I thought (and continue to think) Trump was a false ‘prophet’, a buffoon who would achieve the opposite of those hopes.

But I’m gradually coming to the view that Trump is a necessary evil, a product of the decline of the west. He may well be the spark that inspires others to reject the stasis that has enveloped many western developed countries which have fallen into a period of self loathing.

Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong-Un may be a false dawn for the future of the Hermit Kingdom. But it’s more promising than any other action in that space since the Korean War.

So let’s play it out, and watch brains explode when Trump is elected for a second term. I will not worry and I have learned to love the Donald.

Posted in Uncategorized | 223 Comments

Open Forum: June 16, 2018

Posted in Open Forum | 1,652 Comments

Seaward bound and unbound

Let’s first define seaward: “the direction or side away from land and toward the open sea”. Seems pretty innocuous, yet there has been quite a disturbance in the force over the use of just this word the other day. And it is being commented on very sharply at Powerline, here under the heading, Ammo Grrrll finds no limits in THE THIRD RAIL. Read it all since the scum on the left know no bounds to their vile subnormal behaviour. For some idea of what you will find at the link, I will just quote this and let you see for yourself what comes before and after.

The late, psychotic, plug-ugly dwarf Charles Manson shared his secret formula for getting a sizable harem of young women to do his bidding. Make them perform humiliating and deviant sex acts that break down all inhibitions and violate civilized norms. In no time, you will have a cult of lost, broken souls who are capable of slaughtering a 9-months pregnant woman. Yes, yes, I know that one person’s “deviant” act is another’s pleasure. I’m not talking about a wide range of “normal.” I’m talking about violating all borders and boundaries of human decency.

Women publicly calling another woman vile names and men tittering about it instead of defending the slandered woman as a gentleman would is a marker on the steep slide to Perdition, a breakdown of civilized norms.

People who fret over the effect on “Gaia” Mother Earth from SUVs do not think for a minute about how fragile “civilization” can be. Civilizations have come and gone. If you separate sex not only from procreation but even from loving intimacy, you have one ingredient for disaster. Demonizing normal, robust masculinity as “toxic” while unleashing enraged, unhinged, unfeminine women, immune to any criticism, is another way to hasten societal collapse.

The American left have gone insane. And if you have never heard the story of Andrew Jackson and the duel he fought, this is the place to find out. There are many reasons to compare PDT to AJ, this being just one.

Posted in American politics, Hypocrisy of progressives, Politics of the Left | 17 Comments