The Australian throne is empty

What a performance we’ve seen this week from the Australian elite. Every one of them has gotten up, outlined the problems, and pointed the finger at someone else. Let’s take a quick inventory:

  • RBA’s Phil Lowe speaks and tells the nation that it the RBA can’t fix the economy, pointing the finger at Joe Hockey;
  • RBA’s Christopher Kent speaks and embraces the failing services economy;
  • RBA’s Guy Debelle speaks and tells the nation the bank is stumped by global bond rates;
  • Joe Hockey speaks various times and says that corporate tax is failing, offers FHBs the option of burning their super in houses as well as flat lying and blustering about broader property reform;
  • Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen dissembles horribly on the same questions;
  • Tony Abbott first offends “lifestyle” aborigines then the entire Irish nation, abandons his national security agenda and watches on as the Credlin fracture in his party widens;
  • Christopher Pyne does an impression of an outright idiot as education reform collapses;
  • there have been giveaways and backflips and talk today of new Budget austerity.

All of this has been broadcast throughout the national media. And they wonder why there is no “confidence”.

There is no narrative, no strategy, no cogency, no consistency, no solutions, no plan, no leadership, no nothing.

Here is the plan that is missing. Australia must repair its competitiveness after the mining (and housing) booms via:

  • high caliber infrastructure investment;
  • strong macroprudential for housing and deep rate cuts to lower dollar;
  • a huge productivity drive including tax reform like NG;
  • fair and balanced budget repair based upon the explicit notion of mutual sacrifice; and
  • a massive R&D push.

COMPETITIVENESS repair should be the plan, is the only plan.

Comments

  1. Hey HnH, why not put forward your own plan. Have yet to see a plan for growth put forward by MB.

    No, cutting negative gearing will not do it.

    Imagine the property bubble has been stopped. Not crashed, just stopped increases. Now what? Where do we go from here?

    What would MB like to see?? I truly have no idea. Manufacturing? What kind, Nike shoes? What’s wrong with pursuing extremely high level manufacturing and services? Why not be proud of high incomes? Switzerland sure is, are they “competitive?” No, they realise you aren’t going to win the race to the bottom. They make bloody pocket knives and watches and provide banking “services” and do quite well.

    I want to see someone put fwd a plan instead of just bloody whinging all the time!

    Here’s my side. Australia should aim to be the Switzerland of Asia. FUCK the race to the bottom!

    • Ahmen,

      And BTW HnH, try putting forward some ideas other than just raising taxes on the top 10-20%. They already pay 70% of all taxes. Try something more equitable.

      • Only when they’re working. You heard that man on Q & A talking about how he pays no tax on his $12m in super, and gets a $250,000 cash refund from the ATO due to franking credits.

      • They already pay 70% of all taxes.

        Only if you define paying tax in a way that suits the elite.

        In reality a poor hard-working person has his potential money “taxed” away by a conga-line of leaning, bludging elite parasites. Yet these same high “earning” elites then turn around and spout off about how much tax they pay on their earnings.

        Try something more equitable.

        How about a flat rate of $30 per hour for and and every hour of any work. Elites and plebs get paid the same. No inheritance, no dividends, no bonds, no rent. Is that equitable enough for you?

      • And BTW HnH, try putting forward some ideas other than just raising taxes on the top 10-20%. They already pay 70% of all taxes. Try something more equitable.

        Taxes have gone nowhere but down for thirty-odd years, and that has primarily benefited high income earners.

        Public services have, unsurprisingly, also decreased over time and that has primarily impacted lower income earners.

        Raising taxes on higher income earners seems pretty “equitable” to me.

    • We’ve put forward the obvious plan many times. You haven’t read it is all: fix competitiveness via

      – high caliber infrastructure
      – strong MP for housing
      – rate cuts to lower dollar
      – huge productivity drive incl tax reform like NG
      – fair and balanced budget repair
      – mutual sacrifice
      – massive R&D push

      etc…post-mining boom COMPETITIVENESS repair should be the plan, is the only plan.

      • Lower dollar just enables the race to the bottom and is as lazy a way to grow as immigration. Again, we aren’t going to make shoes here. I’m comfortable with the dollar where it is now.

        High caliber infrastructure – agree a freight rail system like the US is needed. Not vanity projects that just cut a few minutes off a suburban commute. As Japan shows you can get your infrastructure as advanced as possible and it doesn’t mean your economy will ignite. Show me the benefits in dollar form.

        MP & NG cut – my scenario resolves the housing bubble so these are moot

        Budget repair – doesn’t really have much to do with long-term economic drivers of Australia. I want to know what businesses and industries we should promote. As the US shows you can have strong GDP and innovation growth amidst massive deficits. The converse is also true.

        Mutual sacrifice – vague emotive language that is completely hollow. Put something concrete forward please.

        Massive R&D push – sure but in what areas?

        Rate cuts ! you’ve got to be kidding me

      • Can we add to that:
        – closing the superannuation taxation expenditures
        – tax reform – namely broadening and or raising the GST (with tax rate and welfare offsets) – ie the the budget
        – lower corp tax if possible
        – I totally agree on R&D

      • Dude, you’re not reading what I write and are living in some ideal world.

        If we ignore the race the bottom we lose everything.

        Rate cuts can be offset by other measures and will lower the dollar.

        I’m not interested in picking winners. This entire push is about making the economy competitive and letting markets do the rest.

        When we’re priced back in investment will flow.

        Budget repair is all that stands between Straya and a calamitous reset. “Mutual sacrifice” is the the vital touchstone to bring the polity along.

      • Mutual sacrifice???
        You mean the sacrifice the unions made when they forced Toyota to close down rather than allow the workers to negotiate?
        Up here in QLD we’re still waiting for Palaszczuk to repeal the bikie laws so we can get on with Australia’s most profitable manufacturing industry – Methamphetamine.

        Sacrifice just isn’t in the public’s vocabulary, unless it’s someone else’s. The instant you mention a policy, however coherent and well presented, the ABC will be in there wielding a pack of one-sided arguments to stir up some more hysteria. They’re on a mission from the great socialist God.

        Find someone, anyone, with an ounce of leadership, roast the current pathetic ABC and you might just have a chance. Otherwise? Forget it.

    • Testing12345,

      You must have very selective reading habits as there are solutions discussed on this site ALL the time and from right across the political compass.

      I remain very optimistic for the future and it doesn’t require the government picking winners or fortune tellers looking for the next ‘big thing’ in the remains of a pot of Earl Grey.

      All it takes is a moderately paced withdrawal of the unproductive capital inflows that have helped twist the economy into an existing housing malinvestment, population ponzi, giant quarry.

      Remove the easy credit future eating option and the country will start to repair itself and much more quickly than you think. As to what that will look like, we will find out but my bet is that it will involve a lot more manufacturing than many think possible. For a period, when our exchange rate reflected our trading performance and not currency war, mining boom, or unproductive debt binges, we were exporting car parts and making movies as a backlot film set.

      I say moderately paced because a lot of those of little faith think the muscle tissue of the nation is completely rotted away and ANY attempt at rehabilitation is doomed to failure.

      I don’t agree but we do have to get some spine into our leaders and point them in the right direction.

      • Don’t knock the fortune tellers. Have you noticed Greece runs out of money on Friday, which is the day of the solar eclipse within this dangerous March-April the astrologers have been talking about?

      • Very good point 🙂

        Astrology is a different kettle of fish.

        I never cut the lawn unless Taurus is rising.

      • I don’t agree but we do have to get some spine into our leaders and point them in the right direction.

        + many

      • Or maybe he/she is new to the site?

        This plan should be posted at the end of every similar post.

        I’ve never seen it started in bullet form like that.

      • SupernovaMEMBER

        Agree 007: Australia’s problem is political leadership; the last thing we need is a group of politicians and their mates who benefit from the current housing ponzi leading us at a time of volatility. Australia needs a “real-world” type leader with a “change-our-flag” type thinking.

    • @ Testing 12345
      @ Joed

      This blog punches well above its weight in setting the economic and social agenda and has nothing to prove; the changes proposed are obvious to those who take the time to actually read what is written here. The criticisms are specific and bolstered by evidence.
      You wish to be the Asian Swiss. What exactly is YOUR plan?

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Australia cannot have ‘high tech manufacturing’ when nobody is willing to invest in it, and why would they when the property ponzi scheme is returning 20%!!

      • 8317, you are on to it. The whole nation HAS to collapse before any changes will be undertaken, because these changes require the resolve of the participants.
        The catastrophic damage to this nation by the unraveling of the income from resources has yet to be appreciated.
        We are not yet at terminal velocity and the landing will be deadly.
        Nothing that HnH has put up here is workable or a panacea.
        Testing has pretty much shot it out of the air, WW

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Imagine the property bubble has been stopped. Not crashed, just stopped increases. Now what? Where do we go from here?

      Then we’re still stuffed because property remains massively overpriced and a huge drag on the entire economy for decades while incomes catch up.

      Here’s my side. Australia should aim to be the Switzerland of Asia. FUCK the race to the bottom!

      I doubt anyone here except the minebot would disagree with you.

      The problem is we’ve had nearly two decades of Government going in completely the opposite direction with nearly every facet of policy, and no suggestion from either of the two major parties they have any interest in changing that.

      • “Imagine the property bubble has been stopped. Not crashed, just stopped increases. Now what? Where do we go from here?”

        Has our massive private debt disappeared too? How are we funding these still extremely high prices?

    • Have you had a look at the Swiss citizenship laws?

      http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/becoming-a-citizen/29288376

      “To become Swiss, there are basically three paths: through birth, marriage (not automatic) or naturalisation. This section concerns those who would like to become Swiss or to reclaim their Swiss citizenship, both of which can require a lengthy process.

      Unlike in the United States, Switzerland does not grant a child citizenship for being born on Swiss soil. A person is automatically Swiss if he or she is the child of married parents, at least one of whom is Swiss. The child of an unmarried Swiss woman is also automatically Swiss. Should an unmarried father be Swiss (and the mother a foreigner), the child can have Swiss citizenship as long as the father acknowledges paternity before the child turns legal age.

      Foreigners with no direct blood ties to Switzerland through either birth or marriage must live in the country for at least ten years (reduced from 12 years by a new law passed in June 2014) before they can apply for citizenship. (Years spent in the country between age ten and 20 count double). The person must be well integrated, familiar with customs and traditions, law abiding, and pose no threat to internal or external security.

      The State Secretariat for Migration will then “green light” an applicant’s request to begin the naturalisation process but that does not mean citizenship is certain. Rather, cantons and municipalities have their own requirements that must be met. One canton, for example, might require applicants to live for two years in the region while another might require a decade.

      Foreigners married to a Swiss citizen or children of one Swiss parent (who do not yet have Swiss citizenship) are eligible to apply for fast-track citizenship. The person must be well integrated, law abiding and not endanger Switzerland’s external or internal security. Cantons and municipalities have no additional requirements that must be met but do reserve the right of appeal.

      This rule generally applies to foreign spouses married to a Swiss for at least three years and who have lived in Switzerland for a total of five years, including the year immediately prior to application. People “with close ties” to Switzerland may also apply for the fast-track procedure even if they live abroad. In that case, the couple must have been married for at least six years. The spouse must have had Swiss citizenship before getting married.

      Children who are not yet 22 years old and who did not get citizenship when their parents did may also apply, provided they have lived in the country for at least five years – including for one year prior to making the application. “Close ties to Switzerland” also applies (owning real estate in the country is not enough). For children born out of wedlock to Swiss fathers, an application for citizenship must be filed before the child turns 22 and the father must recognise the child as his. The child must have close links to the country.”

      I doubt that Big Business with their 457 scam and the assorted Social Justics Warriors would ever agree to something like that.

      • Big Business tends to favour ‘Small Government’ which probably wouldn’t dispose them well towards the Swiss system anyway.

      • Yep Stat,
        Too many independent minds to bend over there – they even have the gall to have referendums. Vs joining the conga line in the corridors of the burrow of crony over here.

      • I’m currently a Swiss resident and yes, the restrictions on citizenship are very tight. But coming here to work aint too hard, indeed around a quarter of the residents of the country are foreign. In a city like Geneva it is close to 40 per cent. P It has created a fair few ructions in recent times and there is a very strong far right movement like most European countries as a result. But business has a lot of clout and demand the ability to hire from abroad.

        Just on swiss stability, it’s partly a result of their highly decentralised federal system that they maintain such stability, as well as some fortune of history and geography. And once established the stability is maintained by banking inflows etc. For example, much of the world’s gold is refined here, as it is trusted, along with banking. This is however changing, and the attack on Swiss banks from the criminal justice systems of other countries is only just beginning. They have gotten away with a lot of mischief for decades.

      • Funny how the interests of big business and social justice warriors align. Must be a coincidence. We all know how independent the majority of the media is.

    • Switzerland’s standard of living comes from it’s banks & has been stable for centuries. They found their thing, recognised it, & have kept doing it well.

      We’ve jumped from one thing to another, never been in any niche for long, just recklessly rode whatever the boom of the time is with nary a thought of the future because we’re the ‘lucky country’!

      Currently our standard of living comes from cyclical mines & bringing our future forward via Debt financed housing ponzi with nary a thought of the future because we’re the ‘lucky country’!

      Did I say we’re the Lucky Country? We don’t need to plan. Something will come our way – Always does! Because………..

  2. GunnamattaMEMBER

    You have ommited Gorgeous George Brandis data retention thoughts and TestosterTone’s coquing up of the St Patrick’s day greeting.

    • I think that was “offended the whole Irish nation”. The thing that amazes me is Jacqui Lambie doesn’t sound a whole lot sillier than any of the others.

    • Who puts Abbott in front of a camera like that? I was expecting the usual over the top Fairfax “Tones has done it again”, but that whole video screamed David Brent.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        Thats what i thought…….

        I dont think the Paddies would have been offended about what TestosterTone said, but by just how pathetic that video was.

      • Abbott is consistently offensive. We all know that. He did not get where he is today without us. We made the man!

        What I don’t get is…….why does he have to say anything at all to anybody (Irish or Australian) on or about St Patrick’s Day?

        Nobody could care less about his opinion or views or humour on this; least of all the Irish.

      • ergh, it was so trite.

        I turned it off when Abbott started flapping his green tie around and said “I’m wearing a green tie”

        Yes you idiot, we can see that.

        It was such a hidiously contrived attempt to be one of the people. I just wanted to say sod off you Welsh git.

  3. Look at it this way. A man takes a job, you know? And that job – I mean, like that – That becomes what he is. You know, like – You do a thing and that’s what you are. Like I’ve been a cabbie for thirteen years. Ten years at night. I still don’t own my own cab. You know why? Because I don’t want to. That must be what I want. To be on the night shift drivin’ somebody else’s cab. You understand? I mean, you become – You get a job, you become the job. One guy lives in Brooklyn. One guy lives in Sutton Place. You got a lawyer. Another guy’s a doctor. Another guy dies. Another guy gets well. People are born, y’know? I envy you, your youth. Go on, get laid, get drunk. Do anything. You got no choice, anyway. I mean, we’re all fucked. More or less, ya know?

    • There is an air of futility about it all, isn’t there! What’s the point? When you realise that there is no point, doing the ‘wrong’ thing; being bad; stealing, lying and embezzling, has validity! It has the same purpose as the reverse….that is, that there is no point, really…..

      • Much like going to work each day, paying a shitload of tax so specufestors and government can continue to hyperinflate housing out of reach or reason.

      • OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Janet – Thank you!!!!!
        This stupid baloney economic system that we have created has not only destroyed us economically but socially and morally.

      • Guy on ABC North Coast yesterday arvo from a uni talking about the casualisation of the workforce and how it has forced business risk wrongly onto workers.

        Business not going well? AWESOME, sack those casuals

        Casual – no sick leave, no annual leave.
        Want to take some holidays?
        Don’t come back now, y’hear?

        Good luck with a bank loan.

        And the “loading” built into casual wages ? Utterly inadequate to cover leave (I know, I’m a casual).

        Australia: Utterly F$cking Horrible for the average worker.

      • Yeah I was scratching my head for a minute there at that one but its pretty apt given where things are in Ponzi Land. And from another favourite cabbie movie….

        “Now we gotta make the best of it, improvise, adapt to the environment, Darwin, shit happens, I Ching. Whatever man! We gotta roll with it.”

  4. Around 40% of people support the super for housing idea. Hell, around the same number still support Abbott. Let’s face it, this country is retarded. Full speed ahead towards the cliff is both inevitable and therapeutic.

      • This is scary.

        45% of people have not heard about the intergenerational report. Its easy to forget that whilst we watch Q&A on Monday night the majority of the population is watching The Block or Big Brother…

      • I’m not surprised. Without having a crack at any particular Party or their base, if my Gen X/Y peers are anything to go by they are financially illiterate. Worse still, like my housemate, they are defiantly, wilfully ignorant. Especially about anything that is *boring* like economics, finance or super.

        Mid-way through her regular complaint about never having money/affording a house/renting forever I start to explain the simple reasons why – She just shuts down and walks off screaming “You’re talking to the wrong person duuuude! I don’t want to know!”

        You can lead a horse to water but you can’t stop it getting distracted by shiny things.

      • I’m not surprised. Without having a crack at any particular Party or their base, if my Gen X/Y peers are anything to go by they are financially illiterate. Worse still, like my housemate, they are defiantly, wilfully ignorant. Especially about anything that is *boring* like economics, finance or super.

        I doubt there’s anything unique to Gen X/Y about that.

        Similarly with the complaints about watching The Block, or MKR, or whatever, these days. Things were no different in the past – similarly mindless TV shows (Days of our Lives, et al).

      • @drsmithy,

        No, no that isn’t right, the boomers had Graham Kennedy, who had a subtle wit to rival Oscar Wilde, and who seriously examined difficult news and current affairs topics with no hint of condescension or dumbing down for a highly educated and discerning audience.

    • moderate mouse

      Yes, I’ve well and truly fallen out of love with my country of birth. I am now a citizen of the world, and an ‘Australian’ in name only. A cafe culture minus the intellectual conversation leaves what exactly…?

      Note to ASIO – no, I’m not about to join ISIS or whatever they call themselves this week. They can get stuffed too – there is no Sky Wizard to save us. More like sling a hammock between two palm trees in a remote idyll, stock the liquor cabinet chock-a-block, and get on with contemplating the universe and our place in it….I suspect house prices won’t factor much in the equation.

      • Yes, Australia has become intellectually bizarre. It’s as though underachievement, mediocrity, and always going with the herd have become valued traits.

        It’s now a nation that does little but dig up dirt and sell overpriced houses to each other. And at least half the population seem blissfully unaware of the extreme changes that are underway.

        What can’t continue, won’t. I’m hoping we see a bit more sense when change really starts to accelerate.

        In the meantime, Oz has the perfect leadership team. It’s an almost perfect reflection of the electorate. What more could you ask for from democracy?

      • Yes yes, i also am reflecting on leaving…. But to where? Much to like about Europe intellectually and culturally, but its an economic basket case, no?

        So where?
        I think we need an entire article on this topic….

        Germany probably has some merit…

        Criteria would be..

        Economically sound and well placed moving forward
        Lower end of taxation spectrum
        Culturally ok
        Intellectually ok
        Reasonable schools and health care..

        Hmmmm

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Economically sound and well placed moving forward
        Lower end of taxation spectrum
        Culturally ok
        Intellectually ok
        Reasonable schools and health care..

        You may find one of your criteria in conflict with the rest.

      • MM – your comment resonates very well with me. So true with every word you wrote. Sad to see it though.

  5. Is it possible for a group of politicians to emerge that have these goals? It is clear the major parties are conflicted and corrupt and generally ineffective. Australia is a great place, but some honesty about our big problems would go a long way.

    • No it’s not possible. 40% support super for housing and the same proportion support Abbott. Many people also support labour who are also corrupt. Maybe spending time on this blog makes it seem like there are many good people around but it’s a selection bias illusion. There is insufficient / miniscule demand for change which is why we are not seeing it.

      • No it’s not possible

        As per above they are all watching The Block or some such rubbish. Morning Television gives you a fair picture of where this nation is at – and if you can watch it for morer than 5 minutes you are a sick ignorant person!

    • It is entirely possible but only after a severe economic downturn to flush all the garbage out. It may happen with or without the democratic process though.

      Time is a flat circle!

  6. Here’s hoping for no “fixes” until house price reversion is complete. That’s a nominal 50% from now. Any plan or goals to grow/sustain/slow melt land disgusts me.

    Our supposed leaders are a fkn joke. Good summary of the week HnH.

    • “Any plan or goals to grow/sustain/slow melt land disgusts me.”

      Don’t worry; there are no such plans. Bubbles Hockey has chosen the approach of feeding everything to the bubble. It’s all in!

      APRA aren’t going to do squat, and the RBA will cut until they can cut no more, which will be when Oz interest rates approach those of the US.

      When that happens, it’s popcorn time!

      • LOL yes the few remaining gold watches further up the sleeve and additional daughters to throw on the all in pile must be coming to an end.

      • moderate mouse

        “Don’t worry; there are no such plans. Bubbles Hockey has chosen the approach of feeding everything to the bubble. It’s all in!”

        Yep, and Glenn ‘Double Down’ Stevens is all in as well.

        Well done fellas! What could possibly go wrong?!

  7. A price on carbon, and policies to exploit our comparative advantages in renewables as well please.

    • Nup. Haven’t you heard? Believing in that stuff is for lefties, poncy intellectuals, and whiney read headed women.

      We kicked that mob out so we could have the safe and steady hand of an adult on the tiller.

      Hopefully they never put that nasty Turnbull in. He’s in on the whole leftist conspiracy and will force us all to get gay married while paying to exhale an invisible odourless gas that plants need to live.

  8. The plan is Big Australia and Property Investment, with a dash of serfdom for the unfortunates not on the property ladder. Everything else is a smoke screen.

  9. I think we should revert to the Ancient Hellenic mode of government by dismantling the federal apparatus and “Australia” itself and establishing a network of city states with absolute sovereignty and direct democracy.

    Under this system I predict a huge advance in art with philosophy trailing shortly after, similar to Athens under Pericles.

    We should probably just forget about economics (its all made up anyway), Ray Kurzweil techno-uptopian rubbish (technology is a good servant but a poor master) and see if we can come up with something better than the current utilitarian nightmare we are caught in, in which we all struggle to commoditize ourselves as much as possible.

    Sure, we’ll lose a few to city states to tyranny and bloodshed but it can hardly be worse.

    This may be a joke, or is it?

    • And slaves? We’ll get slaves, of course, and we’ll all live in gracious country villas and wear very becoming short togas. Great plan.

      • @ bourkl

        You don’t know much about slavery in ancient world? That slavery has very little similarities with colonial slavery. Slavery in ancient world was often better than “freedom” in our world.

        For example, slave conditions depended largely on situation but most of slaves in Rome (during later part of the Roman history) they lived in same homes as masters did, eat same food and wearing same clothes, worked on average less than free workers (under 6 hours a day), had more than 100 holidays a year, had right and opportunities to win or buy freedom by getting afternoon job, many didn’t want to leave masters even after being granted freedom

        similarly, slaves were used as state police force in Athens (Scythian archers) -and that was even prestigious in Athens

        Compared that to conditions that many people have in our world, (people who work all day long and cannot afford food and shelter) conditions ancient greek and roman slaves do not look bad at all

    • that is good idea but we already have city states and they are even worse than federal government. Problem is that our cities are too large for direct democracy.

      Democracy can function in much smaller places where everyone knows everyone, so when a politician does something immoral he has to literally face everyone he knows everyday for the rest of his life.

      So it will take collapse of our “large cities civilization” before something like this becomes feasible.

      • If we can do our banking online then we can also vote online.
        Direct (online) Demorcacy.
        Of course our political class and elite DO NOT want that.

      • the problem is not how to organize voting, problem is how to make people well informed and not deluded by media. For that to happen communities have to be small and integrated, people should know everyone, their desires and needs,

      • Hank Scorpio: Uh, hi, Homer. What can I do for you?
        Homer: Sir, I need to know where I can get some business hammocks.
        Hank Scorpio: Hammocks? My goodness, what an idea. Why didn’t I think of that? Hammocks! Homer, there’s four places. There’s the Hammock Hut, that’s on third.
        Homer: Uh-huh.
        Hank Scorpio: There’s Hammocks-R-Us, that’s on third too. You got Put-Your-Butt-There.
        Homer: Mm-Hmm.
        Hank Scorpio: That’s on third. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot… Matter of fact, they’re all in the same complex; it’s the hammock complex on third.
        Homer: Oh, the hammock district!
        Hank Scorpio: That’s right.

        Hank Scorpio: Back to the hammocks, my friend. You know, there’s a little place called Mary Ann’s Hammocks. The nice thing about that place is Mary Ann gets in the hammock with you.

        Hank Scorpio: I’m just kidding.
        Homer: Oh.
        Hank Scorpio: You know who invented the hammock, Homer?
        Homer: No.
        Hank Scorpio: There’s something for you to do: find that out.

    • You think the CCP would let someone make fools of them like that?

      If he gets to Majorka, he’ll end up like Letvinenko or Georgi Markov.

  10. Australia’s best chance to forge ahead economically is to be a leader in renewable energy and adaptation to climate change. Let’s show the world how it’s done.

    Huge solar farms (using the latest tech, or new tech we develop 💡 ) linked to our cities using HVDC lines. Huge wind farms as well. We have the vast, sunny empty places. We have the metals to build the infrastructure. We can do it. We just need the motivation and intelligence.

    The first country totally fossil fuel independent in the world. Imagine the cachet, the prestige!

  11. In my opinion Joe Hockey is NOT stupid. If you look closely at his facial expression when he is answering the questions, you get a sense that he secretly has some understanding of what is really going on, but is constrained to keep his mouth shut by the conservative faction whose support he relies on to remain in Cabinet.

    • He looks like a man that has been well coached but from time to time slips into default retard mode.

  12. I’m kinda looking forward to the same metaphorical boat hammock idyllic isle as MM
    ‘nough money that I can survive and fund my philanthropic interests (which mainly involve entertaining me) far enough from anywhere that politics is tribal and the chief (for a few bucks) is always my best friend.

    Yep that’ll do it.

  13. How about putting an end to all Family Trusts?

    That time homoured method that the rich use to get richer.

    • That time homoured method that the rich use to get richer.

      That would be economic rent seeking through the ownership of land.


  14. Christopher Pyne does an impression of an outright idiot as education reform collapses;

    An impression? What, like the way Julian Clary acts gay?

  15. The political system is broken! We need first to remove the existing farce and find a system of government that can work for the country and not for foreign/domestic business interests