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Don’t go too far in advocating constitutional recognition for Aborigines

“Not ready to vote” is the phrase the government has been advised to use as the excuse to delay until 2017 a referendum to recognise Aborigines in the Constitution. Could it just be conceivable that, no matter how much of our money governments spend telling us otherwise, Australians will never be ready for further constitutional recognition?


It’s Clive’s party and his Puppies don’t have voting rights

I THINK my colleague Hedley Thomas is on to something. The Palmer United Party is not a party. Members of the Palmer United Party are, in effect supporters, not members.

Rule D13 of the PUP constitution determines that the six Foundation members are Clive and family. Rule D26 determines that a majority of foundation members can throw out any ordinary member.

Rule W1 determines that the six foundation members exercise all of the powers of the executive until December 31, 2016.

Finally, rule W3 determines that the chairman (and federal president) is fully authorised to exercise all the powers of the interim executive committee.

Nice work, Clive.


Becoming a parent is a privilege, not a workplace right

IT is the clear responsibility of an employer to intervene in a worker’s decision to have a child. They must remove all impediments to a parent’s return to work, including holding open a job, and preserving previous pay and conditions. Oh yes, and throw in free childcare.

If these do not happen, it must be discrimination.

This is the world inhabited by the Australian Human Rights Commission. Start with a privilege, make it a “right’’, and convince government to pass laws to shift costs to the employer and taxpayers. Great work. The ACTU would be proud of you.


Abbott must keep calm and cut power prices

THE British government in 1939 created the phrase “Keep Calm and Carry On” to prepare Brits for German attacks during World War II. The Abbott government should adopt it, and take heart.

Of course, the slogan belied the preparedness to assemble the immense power brought to bear by the Allies in 1944 against the fascist forces.

The Abbott government has to go on the attack. It is under siege from Red, Green and Yellow forces, which are unlikely to relent in the near term.


The equality industry conveniently overlooks progress

PROGRESS is found in human ingenuity, and concomitant success and failure. Strangely, reference to progress rarely appears in public debate, or in the literature.

One reason is that egalitarian ideology has displaced progress. It seems that for some, there can be no progress until we are equal.


‘Top gun’ barristers do not own judicial appointments

WHO would make the best chief justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland? Judging from the unseemly row over the appointment of Tim Carmody, not a knockabout barrister appointed by a boy Attorney-General.

Tim “I don’t claim to be the smartest lawyer in the room” Carmody is presently the Chief Magistrate of Queensland. Thick as a brick? Hardly. Carmody was appointed Senior Counsel in 1999, served as the Queensland crime commissioner from 1998 to 2002, as a judge of the Family Court of Australia from 2003 to 2008, and as commissioner for the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry, which reported last year.

There is no rule book to determine the criteria for choosing a judge, only a process. The responsibility for the appointment rests with the Queensland cabinet, on the recommendation of the Attorney-General.


Pilger’s Utopia feeds an industry going in circles

NATIONAL Reconciliation Week finishes today. The Aboriginal industry can put away its ideological bunting for another year. Only those paid to do so, and the ideologically committed, will continue the dreary business of, among other things, reading out a welcome to country message.

‘’I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we are meeting and pay my respects to their elders past and present.’’

Why do otherwise intelligent people do this? No one believes it, it does no good, and it perpetuates the myth that land is everything. Land is a platform for the brilliance of humans to perform upon. Without skills and willpower, it comes to nought. Unless, and until, the Aboriginal industry learns this, the blighted lives of the smallest part of Aboriginal Australia, those sitting in the dumps of Aboriginal settlements such as, Utopia, in the Northern Territory, will never change.


Fund, fund, fund — ’til somebody takes it away

THE establishment of the (projected) $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund poses two big questions for public policy: Why have a future fund in anything, and why medical research in ­particular?

Government future funds come and government future funds go.

Who is to say the Medical Research Future Fund won’t go the way of others?


Memos to PM: for god’s sake, don’t levy the levy

Memo from Treasury to the Prime Minister, re: levy.

The temporary deficit reduction levy will not raise as much money as the government hopes. The impact of extra tax on higher earners will change their behaviour. Less exertion pro­duces less tax. In addition, it may well lower economic output in second and subsequent years, thus harming everyone.