Posts about politics

Adults in the Room by Yanis Varoufakis review

In this book, then, Varoufakis gives one of the most accurate and detailed descriptions of modern power ever written – an achievement that outweighs his desire for self-justification during the Greek crisis. He explains, with a weariness born of nights in soulless hotels and harsh-lit briefing rooms, how the modern power network is built. Aris gets a loan from Zorba’s bank; Zorba writes off the loan but Zorba’s construction company gets a contract from Aris’s ministry. Aris’s son gets a job at Zorba’s TV station, which for some reason is always bankrupt and so can never pay tax – and so on.

Australian Exceptionalism

It is true that the income of the wealthiest 10% of households in Australia grew faster than the income of the poorest 10% of households - the income of Australia's wealthiest 10% of households grew faster than any other cohort in the OECD. But it's also true that our poorest 10% of households experienced faster income growth than any country other than Spain and Ireland (who are now quickly reversing that growth with their economic woes) , and faster income growth than the top 10% of wealthiest households in every other country.

Carbon price spin

Tony Abbott has played down the contributions of economists and climate scientists to such an extent that some are worried that evidence will take a back seat in the carbon price debate.Economics correspondent Stephen Long looks at some of the claims against the economic evidence.

Julia Gillard Says Reject Climate Extremists

This is an important policy debate that should not be distracted by extreme views. People should have their say but their contribution should be judged by its quality, not its volume. Australia must reject the extremes of the debate, no matter from where on the political spectrum they emerge. We see those who don't believe in climate science arguing that the government shouldn't act. I don't agree. I'll be taking my science from the CSIRO, not the radio shock jocks. We'll also see those who accept the science but whose environmentally extreme solutions would endanger our economy and the jobs of working people. We should reject that approach, too.

The reason a price on carbon is hard

In a sane world, where the public sphere consisted of sensible discussion of important issues, Julia Gillard and Labor would be a shoo-in for the next election, patted on the back for tackling the matter in a responsible way and applauded for attempting to fix the mess created by her inept predecessor, Kevin Rudd.She would be seen to be doing nothing more than keeping her commitment to put a price on carbon and doing it with due consultation with the other members of parliament - the independents and the Greens - with whose votes she governs and who were also elected to the Parliament by citizens of our democratic country.The discussion in this putatively sane world would be dominated by careful consideration of such matters as what price to place on carbon, the benefits of a carbon tax versus that of an emissions trading scheme, consideration of how our scheme would work with international schemes, and matters to do with compensation for industry and consumers.

Julia Gillard Can Get Fucked

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has used parliamentary question time to express her disapproval of two men who grew beards over the long summer break.The jest was delivered after independent MP Rob Oakeshott rose to ask Ms Gillard a question about health and hospital reform.Rather than answer his inquiry directly, the Prime Minister made fun of the member for Lyne's new look.Advertisement: Story continues below"I do think I should take this opportunity to record my objection to the beard too, something I said to him face to face," she said today.Ms Gillard also had something to say about The Australian newspaper's political editor Dennis Shanahan, who also recently grew some whiskers."I don't know what's happened over the summer season, we've got Rob Oakeshott here and Dennis Shanahan there, and they're both very poor judgment calls," she said.