Has Leonardo DiCaprio read Magna Carta?

September 25, 2014

From Peter Gregory

The IPA’s favourite head of the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, thinks Magna Carta is important for protecting the rights of asylum seekers. The IPA’s favourite ABC Media Watch presenter, Jonathan Holmes, thinks Magna Carta is important for protecting the rights of suspected terrorists. Even a 27-year-old drunk driver in the UK cited Magna Carta when pulled over by police.

But research from the IPA’s Stephanie Forrest and Carla Schodde shows that, in keeping with their commitment to preparing young people for the future, Australian universities don’t teach it.

Now here’s a government program I could support! In his excellent speech in the Senate on Tuesday, David Leyonhjelm proposed an Other People’s Money Addicts Anonymous program for politicians.

Speaking of other people’s money, this report from last Friday is about an Australian public servant who took stress leave because she couldn’t find organic coffee with soy milk near her workplace (she should’ve gone with the Magna Carta defence).

If you thought climate change was over - it’s not. Hundreds of thousands of people attended the ‘People’s Climate March‘ in New York on Sunday. Reason TV interviewed some of the protesters in this short video. Go on, you know you want to. My favourite is the lady with flowers on her hat.

Roger Franklin attended the Melbourne version of the event and had this highly amusing piece in Quadrant. And Mark Steyn’s latest run-in from last week with ‘self-conferred Nobel laureate’ Michael Mann is just plain hilarious.

If you want something serious on climate change, this is a fascinating piece from the former undersecretary for science in Obama’s Energy Department in The Wall Street Journal last Friday.

You’ll have heard that Leonardo DiCaprio was appointed a UN Messenger of Peace - it was only a matter of time. I know Hey readers keep track of which celebrities get given which pointless UN titles, so test your skill with this Guardian quiz (I got 2 out of 9).

Dan Hannan in The Telegraph thanked God for Scotland’s ‘no’ vote. Whilst Theodore Dalrymple in The City Journal on Tuesday worried about the cost of victory and Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth in The Spectator wondered how David Cameron got the ‘no’ campaign so wrong.

This is an excellent new resource for Australian freedom-lovers – the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance’s Australian Liberty Calendar. It is a comprehensive database of all the pro-liberty events happening nationwide.

Contained in the calendar is the IPA’s upcoming event on Monday 6 October featuring Professor Frank Furedi in conversation with Nick Cater and John Roskam about ‘The Ultimate Freedom? Current and emerging threats to freedom of speech’. Details and registration here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

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Australian manufacturing – worse than France

September 18, 2014

From Peter Gregory

Australia has the highest manufacturing costs in the world, according to a Boston Consulting Group index released last month. The reason? Australia’s manufacturing wages have increased 48% in the last decade whilst productivity fell by 1%! (Coverage from the WSJ here).

The BCG Global Manufacturing Cost-Competitiveness Index is full of fascinating insights, like that the US manufacturing renaissance will be driven by cheap energy – as predicted by Robert Bryce in his fantastic lecture to the IPA last week.

It looks like another Australian of the Year has got it wrong! Yesterday ABC board member and 2003 Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley complained that The Australian claimed the ABC was biased and should be privatised. Professor Stanley – that was the IPA!

As rightly pointed out by The Australian ($) today, our report in August showed that the ABC is biased against coal and coal-seam gas, and it was the IPA’s James Paterson who wrote in The Australian that the ABC should be privatised (and here’s when we talked it about in Hey).

Speaking of climate change, this graph shows how much people have been speaking about climate change (scroll down to the second one) by analysing 600 million words from 87,000 movies and TV shows (it won’t please the ABC).

This is some good news for the future! A poll conducted by the Knight Foundation in the US has found that for the first time in a decade students support the first amendment more than adults. And students that have learnt about the first amendment in class are more supportive than those who haven’t. (All the more reason to oppose the national curriculum as the IPA’s Stephanie Forrest did in The Australian in June!)

The historic vote for Scottish independence is tonight Australian time. Last Friday in Breitbart, James Delingpole wrote 10 reasons why he hopes the Scots vote ‘yes’. In The Telegraph last week, Dan Hannan made the emotional case for the ‘no’ vote. And yesterday in the Brisbane Times, Chair of the Australian Flag Association, Allan Pidgeon dispelled any scuttlebutt that a ‘yes’ vote will lead to a change in Australia’s flag.

In Melbourne on Monday 6 October Professor Frank Furedi, a world leading commentator on culture and education in the West, will be in conversation with Nick Cater and John Roskam about ‘The Ultimate Freedom? Current and emerging threats to freedom of speech.’ Details and registration here.

And in Adelaide on Wednesday 22 October the HR Nicholls Society is holding a lunchtime forum called ‘South Australia – how the labour market can help the state’. Details here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

 

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Nominate Andrew Bolt for the 2014 Human Rights Commission Medal

September 11, 2014

From John Roskam

  • 1.7 billion people gained access to electricity between 1990 and 2010. For every person who gained access due to wind and solar, 13 gained access thanks to coal.
  • Out of the world’s population of 7 billion, 1.2 billion people don’t have electricity.
  • If wind power was to meet just the annual growth in global energy demand, an area the size of the UK would have to be covered in windfarms every year.

This is what American author Robert Bryce talked about when he delivered the 2014 HV McKay Lecture at the IPA in Melbourne on Tuesday night on ‘Energy and Human Flourishing’. You can watch his lecture here, and you can watch the wonderful Terry McCrann give a brilliant seven minute vote of thanks here.

This is what Terry said about the lecture in today’s Herald Sun in Melbourne and Daily Telegraph in Sydney.

Energy and free markets are the way to lift people from poverty. In last Friday’s Cape Times from Cape Town, the IPA’s Peter Gregory wrote on how property rights can unleash entrepreneurship in South Africa.

In Hey last week we told you about the recently-released love letter from the head of Treasury to Wayne Swan from 2011 (it was the most popular link by a long way!) The latest from Treasury this week is not quite in the same league but it’s close – on Tuesday in Catallaxy Files Sinclair Davidson uncovered the story.

Regular readers of Hey know that over the years some of our best material has come from Treasury. In 2009 we told you how most of Treasury’s modelling of the carbon tax was wrong. In 2010 we uncovered ‘StimulusGate‘ and how Treasury cherry-picked their data. Which of course is why I called for the then Treasury secretary to resign!

The vote on Scottish independence is next Thursday. Here’s Boris Johnson on Monday saying vote ‘No’. And here’s a great piece in Breitbart London saying vote ‘Yes’. (Warning – if you’re of Scottish ancestry you’ll be offended – I guess I’ll see you at the Human Rights Commission!)

Talking of the Human Rights Commission…I’ve kept Wednesday, 10 December free. That’s in case I win the Commission’s Human Rights Medal for the IPA’s work ‘to advance our human rights and freedoms in Australia’. I know many IPA members have already nominated me. You can click here to make an online nomination – and while you’re at it why not nominate Andrew Bolt as well! (It would be great to be presented with the medal from my favourite ABC comedian – as the IPA’s James Paterson talked about in The Spectator last year.)

Last week Chris Berg and Simon Breheny made this important submission to the Australian government Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper and here is Simon’s oped about it in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

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What are you getting your dad for Parent’s Day?

September 4, 2014

From Peter Gregory

This is what happens when IPA members get into Parliament! In his maiden speech last night, Family First Senator Bob Day said it’s only a matter of time before the minimum wage ‘collapses under the weight of its own absurdity’. Watch the rest of his brilliant maiden speech here:

Here is a fantastic piece Bob had in The Advertiser last week.

I wonder what Wayne Swan thinks of reducing the minimum wage? In The Drum on Monday he took aim at the IPA’s Chris Berg and insisted he saved Australia from the GFC. His trump card? This hilarious letter from then treasury secretary Martin Parkinson. Here is Chris’ excellent piece in The Drum last week that Swan was responding to.

There is mysterious confusion about the effect of Sydney’s lock-out laws. The police say they have reduced violence. Whilst the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research think the laws have caused assaults to double. (If the government can’t count acts of violence, how do they expect us to believe they can stop them by restricting our freedom?)

This might be ‘the kids are all right edition’ of Hey! The Guardian on Monday was worried that young adult dystopian fiction is ‘agit-prop for capitalism’ and thrives because young people believe individual freedom to be ‘incontestable’. And the latest edition of Reason had this fascinating longish piece on the rise and rise of hipster capitalism.

Young people obviously didn’t get their freedom-loving tendencies at school! A school on the Sunshine Coast has banned cartwheels and a school in Melbourne has replaced Father’s Day with ‘Parent’s Day’!

This is absolutely brilliant – 38 maps that explain the global economy from Vox. I don’t have a favourite. They’re all awesome.

Next Tuesday Robert Bryce from the Manhattan Institute will be delivering the IPA HV McKay Lecture and Dinner in Melbourne. Book here.

And good news for freedom-lovers in Hobart! Liberty on the Rocks will commence on 1 October. The IPA’s Julie Novak will be giving a short talk on freedom in Tasmania on opening night. Details here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

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Institute of Public Affairs | Level 2 | 410 Collins Street | Melbourne | Victoria | 3000 | Australia

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