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Archive for May, 2008

Some self-evident truths

There has been so much wailing and gnashing of teeth this week about all manner of societal crises. My take on reality:

  • Government tinkering with petrol regulation won’t change prices very much
  • In the long run, petrol prices will go up
  • Instead of making petrol cheaper, perhaps we should use less petrol
  • Politicians in the same party are not identical in every way
  • Sometimes different departments might give different advice
  • People’s opinions about art can differ
  • Children should be protected from harm
  • Investigating art galleries is not the most effective child protection strategy
  • Too often, complex issues are treated as dichotomies
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A bumper week for Dennis. The sky is quite obviously falling for Kevin Rudd.

As always, Dennis’s commentary is extensively and painstakingly thorough in establishing the credibility of his claims by attributing all of the details to reliable sources:

In addition to frustration within the bureaucracy over delays caused by funnelling too many decisions through the PM’s office, there is concern that good policy is being sacrificed to solve publicity problems.

There is also is increasing uncertainty about internal power and personnel assessments when powerful new senators arrive after July 1. There is a growing feeling the Rudd Government remains ill-defined except for symbolism and stunts.

There are Labor figures who are concerned that micro-management and media manipulation are no substitute for having a leader who is providing broader direction on policy and substance.

Methinks Dennis can feel it in his loins.

A more rational examination of Rudd’s performance is given by MegaGeorge, although his focus on the politics neglects the role of the media in controlling the “national story”. Over at Larvatus Prodeo, Kim has some of those issues covered.

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Evil Hyacinth

Brutal dictator’s wife spouts propaganda for husband; won’t vacate Kirribilli.

One of the few Howard positions I heartily approved of was his consistent criticism of Mugabe. Hopefully international pressure can ensure that the election is fair and its results are followed.

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MoveOn.org has a new ad:

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Sensible analysis

It exists at the GG (Exhibit A; Exhibit B) – it’s just that the political commentators don’t bother reading their colleagues’ work.

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This comparison is not very meaningful without data comparing Perth with the eastern capitals before WA’s FuelWatch was introduced. I am happy to be skeptical about the merits of the scheme, but let’s be sensible about how we look at it.

UPDATE: Possum Comitatus has run some analyses that the change in the margin between WA and the eastern states is better explained by competition (the arrival of Caltex and Coles in WA) than by FuelWatch, and links to some analysis by Sinclair Davidson as well.

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Pain at the Pump

I just filled my car with petrol, and I’m not happy. I had to stand there for five minutes while the petrol slowly flowed into the tank. Five minutes! My hand started to get sore from holding the fuel hose. It felt like I might get a cramp if I had to do it any longer! Luckily I only drive a working family sedan – imagine how much worse it would be for those working families who drive around in 4WDs with the huge fuel tanks! and the reserve tanks!

How can this be fair on Australians? Why won’t the Government do something about it? Won’t the Opposition promise to fix this? We need action now! End the pain at the pump!

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