Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I have so much cool stuff to write about...

... but some dickheads in Cronulla are going to get a bit more webspace instead. What a great homecoming, bloody race riots in Sydney!!! Anyway, I've got nothing more to add to the huge volume of material out there on the web about this. This whole thing has been one seriously ugly event and I am just struggling to say anything constructive at all. I can't believe John Howard and Kim Beazley's denials of the racist nature of these riots, I just can't even fathom the complete lack of leadership that they have shown.

If you want to read more about this, I strongly recommend Tim's post about this at Road to Surfdom. Also worth a read is Lisa at Desert Pea, Andrew Bartlett, and Anonymous Lefty somehow managed to get a laugh out of me.

Maybe I'll post a bit more about this when I've cooled my head a bit and can actually contribute something.

Oh yea, I had my graduation ceremony yesterday. It doesn't seem so important in light of all of this. Maybe I'll write more about that later too.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Bush's victory plan

As usual, fafblog provides an analysis of the IRAQ VICTORY PLAN (sorry, for some reason I felt that just had to be in bold caps...) that is better thought-out than anything spewed out by the Bush administration.


Today Liberal party donor and shonky businessman, Robert Gerard, was forced to resign from his post on the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia after a week or so of copping it on all sides about his family business' tax evasion schemes.

There can be little doubt that he was told to fall on his sword by Howard and Costello. Costello made a huge mistake in not thoroughly checking out Gerard's business affairs before appointing him to his post at the Reserve. Howard and Costello have got lucky though, as pointed out on LP, the resignation coincides with Friday arvo and the unfortunate execution of Nguyen Tuong Van. Chances are the Labor party won't be able to drag this issue into the next week.

If they could though...

Wouldn't it be nice if Wayne Swan moved in for the kill on Costello on Business Sunday? Why Business Sunday? Well, as pointed out here, a lot of Liberal party voters watch business Sunday. Maybe Swan could dig up some hard evidence that Costello knew perfectly well that his mate was a shonky businessman and that he wanted to reward him for his generous donations to the Liberal Party?

Imagine if 60 Minutes did an expose on Gerard and his dealings with the Liberal Party? Maybe focusing on how he got an invitation to the state dinner with George Bush?

A few well placed media stories could keep this issue rolling on into the next week. Maybe, just maybe by next Friday Howard's people (who don't like Costello much anyway) will start to feel shaky about having Costello as treasurer and will call for him to be axed? Maybe Malcom Turnball will get greedy and have a go at toppling Costello. Or possibly Tony Abbott will have a crack at it?

Wow, I'm so dreaming. We'd need an independent media for all of this to happen. Oh, and an organized opposition....

If Costello goes, the Liberal Party becomes uber-vulnerable. he has been their economy guy. They have sold Costello as being the man that has kept interest rates down. All of a sudden they won't have that. They will have an out-of-touch billionare or a creepy religious guy with their hands on the till. The Howard and Costello double-act is strong because it is a double act. Take away one and the other might fall.

Update: Costello has copped a serve-and-a-half in this Saturday's Oz. The Gerard resignation is the top story with seven articles linked to it. The political editor, Dennis Shanahan puts the boot in and George Megalogenis puts on some big-assed steel-capped 14 hole docs and kicks the living bejesus out of him.

It isn't a huge surprise that the Oz is going after Costello. They don't like him because he doesn't share the Oz's editorialists passion for taxation reform (you know, because people who get paid 100K plus a year aren't wealthy). Whereas Malcom Turnball on the other hand...

After this debacle it seems unlikely to me that Costello has a hope in hell of becoming PM anytime soon. If Labor can keep the heat on you never know what could happen...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Jack-boot industrial relations

They report in the Oz today that Education, Science, and Training Minister, Brendan Nelson, has warned Australian universities that he plans to suspend the planned funding increase for 2006 while his department checks that the universities have complied with the government's guidelines for enterprise bargaining agreements.

It is bad enough that DEST ties funding increases to the industrial relations policies of a university, but to force an audit and suspend the increases in the meantime just shows the arrogance of the Howard government. This amounts to an unplanned budget cut to universities. As the article states, most universities will either have to borrow money to cover the suspension, or alternatively, will lose interest on the money if they planned to invest it.

Just to put some figures to this, the Labor party claims that the amount of money to be suspended adds up to $153 million. That's a lot of interest and I'm sure that DEST has no plans to compensate universities that have complied with the DEST guidelines for lost revenue over this period.

Make no mistake, this government is hell-bent on governing by ideology and making it clear that they are out to punish all those that get in their way.

Or maybe it's just that Nelson is trying to convince the universities that government funding is so unreliable that they should look to raise revenue in other ways???