Smug Pollution Alert

There are many uncertainties that have arisen as a result of the federal election on the 21st of August. On thing that is certain is that for the foreseeable future the people of south-eastern Australia will be dealing with the sever environmental and weather effects of high concentrations of smug. A smug alert has been issued. The pollution is emanating from various locations in Australia but is at dangerous levels of concentration in and around the federal seat of Melbourne. The most common ailment brought about by the smug pollution is choking as a result of incidents of I-vomited-a-little-bit-in-my-mouth syndrome, in some cases this has been so sever as to result in death.

A portion of a documentary on Smug Pollution:

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Gillard, The Mining Tax and the Coming Election

This week Tony Abbott was reputed to have declared that victory was within his grasp and Julia Gillard grasped it. Tony’s comment was derided as a bit impolite – it being generally conceded that to talk up ones chances beyond the avoidance of failure is in some way untoward. Nevertheless, Tony’s comment was given an endorsement in Gillard’s promotion. The drastic Labor leadership change is an attempt to stymie the steady descent of the government’s prospects at the next election.

The seat shuffling was done in the hope that that odd fascination with novelty on the part of the electorate, that phenomenon that saw people vote out Howard because ‘it was time for another guy to have a go,’ will be assuaged with the introduction of Gillard. But if this remains the only change to occur, it will only succeed on the twin assumptions that if Tony and Julia were in a TV soap, Tony would be seen as the bad guy and that Tony and the Liberal party have no coherent belief in what justice is.

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Banning ‘Super Art’: A step in the right direction

In response to a strongly worded letter that I was going to write the authorities have swung into action. Rather than simply warning people of the dubious nature of investments in art, as I argued should be done here, a recommendation has been made that the practice be banned in the instance of self-managed super funds (reported in the Australian here).

In a review of self managed super Jeremy Cooper has recommended that making art works part of an investment portfolio standing as a self managed superannuation fund should be outlawed. In this recommendation the hucksterism of the art world – the fundamentally fraudulent nature of any value being attributed to art works – has been recognised.

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Sex, Lies and Pay Parity

Amazingly, the Australian Services Union lie that they are seeking to establish pay parity between men and women still stands.

As discussed here, the claim that is being made by the union is that workers in the private sector are being paid at substantially less rates than those in the public sector. It is not about women versus men. It is about two different employers.

It would be difficult to discern this from the coverage provided by Fairfax and Murdoch’s people and down right impossible to gain any insight from what ended up on the ABC.

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Chasing the Marriage Certificate: Running the Right Way?

The campaign for the legal recognition of the marriages of queer couples has entered a strange place since the inequalities in Australian relationship laws between same-sex and heterosexual couples were largely removed by the federal government in legislation that came into full effect in June 2009. The campaign is now entirely centred upon the marriage certificate, the one legal benefit given to heterosexuals but not queers. But that certificate will entail no new rights for its queer bearers beyond the possession of that piece of paper.
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MySchool and the Cowardice of the Left

“They’re not nihilist, they’re just cowards.” These are the words of warning that John Goodman’s character gave in the film the Big Lebowski when dealing with a bunch of black clad extortionists. Such a warning is appropriate for the Australian right regarding its leftist opponents. The point can be made evident with reference to any one of a large and increasing number of orifices that spout opinions which taken together constitute the Australian left. The most recent and high profile instance would have to be the reaction to the making public the results of National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy, NAPLAN, results via the MySchool website.

The reaction to the Myschool website and the making public the NAPLAN results demonstrates this beyond the fact of the Australian Education Union’s capitulation on threats to boycott the tests in exchange for a ‘working party’. The whole effort can be seen as a timid approach to seeking justice.

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The Love of Violence Behind Dole Bludger Bashing: A Obvious if Often Overloooked Fact

Dole bludgers are on the nose again but it is unclear for what reason. There have been reports that there are 40,000 young people in neither employment or some form of education there were also reports that Centrelink has slackened its discipline regime somewhat but in the context of growing prosperity the decrease in productivity these figures announce hardly seems disastrous. Nevertheless, Tony Abbott has proposed time limits on unemployment benefits and options for relocation to mining jobs for the under 30s in order to tackle the problem.

Perhaps his motivation lies in the political productivity of bashing the dole bludger or perhaps it is the fear that if these recalcitrants don’t start doing the work in the Pilbara and other remote centres of mineral wealth the admittance of browns, blacks and yellows might be required. And there is always the motivation voiced so well by the Australian newspaper in its editorial on the issue: greater productivity on the part of the population being a good in itself.

The second motivator, racism, seems to fit well with the election campaign being built by Tony Abbott. It fits nicely with policies to contain our migration intake, encourage Aussie mums to push out more little whiteys – Tony’s government funded paternity leave being nothing more than baby bonuses ranging up to $75,000 proportional to income – and policies to tighten border control. The efficiency aspect is a nice little accompanier; it looks good in the context of the government waste campaign he is running with the Australian. But the first motivator, a joy for violence, a joy at bashing the dole bludger, must not be discounted.

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Response to Waleed Aly’s Essay “What’s Right?: The Future of Australian Conservatism”

Below is a analysis of Waleed Aly’s essay for Quarterly Essay “What’s Right?: The Future of Australian Conservatism”. I found the essay a good starting point for thinking about trying to define the political split between left and right. The major problem with it was that it seemed to make the old mistake of taking a tendency for an actuality. Although not developed in this response I feel that this mistake is connected to the habit on the part of the left to shit on democracy in favour of expert opinion from designated representatives of a particular field – women, climate change, welfare gay whales demanding land rights etc etc etc. I find this a lamentable habit because it overvalues the opinions of a single person by something close to a factor of infinity. The connection is most clear for me in Waleed Aly’s discussion of climate change.

Aly’s Essay makes the argument that the language of left and right is meaningless and that a certain confusion in Australia conservative politics is evidence of this. He then proscribes a direction in which he hopes the Liberal party of Australia will go. I suggest that this direction is actual for the right to become the left and that the meaningless that Aly sees in the division between left and right is actual a product of his thinking that the right does not offer anything. I understand his argument as being driven by this opinion and facilitated by an over enthusiastic use of the terms organic and ideology. The use of these terms is a symptom of the habit spoken of above.

All page references are refer to the Autumn edition of Quarterly Essay in which Aly was published.
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Parental Leave: A Left Wing Turn for the Liberals?

According to media commentary last week our political spectrum has been thrown out of kilter. The liberals are advocating leftist policies of greater magnitude than the left itself.

The confusions arose when Tony Abbott announced he would be granting parental leave to Australians in a scheme to be funded by a great big new tax on great big businesses.

Only adding to my distress was Joe Hockey. It seems he has joined in this left wing turn by making arguments against repressive policing and leaving great big holes in traditional liberal philosophy for great big hash cookies to be driven through. It is all a bit confusing really.
Bob Brown, leader of the party that apparently is the new left, gave a ringing endorsement to Tony Abbott. “Go Tony,” he was reported to have said.

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