At least the Brits have something to vote for

June 23, 2016

From James Bolt

This election campaign has lacked a serious discussion of Australia’s future, as John Roskam said in the Australian Financial Review on Friday. That’s why the IPA released our ‘Ten Policies We Need To Hear In This Election Campaign‘.

Here’s just one of the issues not being talked about:

Brits will go to the polls tonight on whether to stay in or leave the European Union. We’ve been covering the campaign in Hey, but if you need a last-minute cheat sheet on what is at stake, check out The Atlantic’s helpful guide.

The Washington Post whined that no one was listening to the experts about Brexit – so let’s change that. IPA Adjunct Fellow Georgina Downer released her report ‘In Defence of the British Nation State‘ on Wednesday. Watch her video explaining why Britain should leave and why it’s important for Australia.

Georgina also wrote in the Herald Sun that Brexit could mean the end of the EU. John Roskam and the IPA’s Brett Hogan laid out the case for Britain leaving the EU in the Lowy Interpreter on Wednesday.

On Monday Dan Hannan made his final pitch for a Brexit in this fantastic 12 minute speech. Boris Johnson’s closing remarks at the BBC’s EU debate on Tuesday was referred to as the “defining moment of the campaign” by James Bartholomew in The Spectator.

Is the American middle class shrinking? New data covered by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday shows how the situation is more complicated than what the media thinks. Tim Worstall in Forbes says of course the middle class is shrinking – 30% of Americans are now too rich to be middle class.

The hidden effects of mandatory data retention continue to be uncovered. Victoria Police now want to use metadata to figure out if people were texting while they were driving. The IPA’s Matthew Lesh on FreedomWatch explains why this mission creep will only get worse.

If at first you don’t succeed – sue everyone you think held you back. Last Thursday The Daily Callercovered a former Harvard student suing New York’s bar examination board because she failed the exam. Remember when Geelong Grammar was sued because a former student didn’t get into the university course they wanted?

Tony Abbott wrote this important piece on volunteering and the national implications of the Victorian firefighter’s dispute for the forthcoming IPA Review and the Herald Sun yesterday.

Tickets are still available for the IPA Young Members event on Friday night in Sydney. There are also tickets available for the launch of Andrew Bolt’s new book in Sydney (15 July) and Melbourne (22 July) with The Spectator Australia.

Article of the week

The ‘Remain’ campaigners in the Brexit debate have stoked fears about Britain’s economic future. The great Matt Ridley dispels their myth in his article “The Business Case for Brexit”, published in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: John Roskam

In a fascinating new book, Exit Right, Daniel Oppenheimer tells the story of six people (including Ronald Reagan and Christopher Hitchens) who moved away from the political left and reshaped politics in 20th century America. Jonathan Bronitsky wrote this review at The American Conservativeearlier this month.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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18C is corrupting our legal rights

June 16, 2016

From Matthew Lesh

Section 18C is corrupting our legal rights. Watch the IPA’s Simon Breheny explain how a Facebook post by a QUT student has turned into a three-year legal saga:

Simon wrote about the QUT students and the importance of repealing section 18C in The Australian in April, and IPA board member Janet Albrechtsen described the case as “peak stupidity” in The Australian in February. The IPA’s Chris Berg wrote about the history of freedom of speech in his 2012 book, In Defence of Freedom of Speech, which you can buy here.

Free speech is under attack globally – this week I joined Jonathan Haidt, Peter Tatchell and others instanding up for freedom of thought against the European Union’s internet hate speech code. Haidt andTatchell, both progressives, have been chastised by the left for their free speech stance. Brendan O’Neill also explained on Spiked why the state has no business policing emotion.

Meanwhile, the era of educational censorship continues. Public schools in Portland, Oregon are banning textbooks that “express doubt” about human-induced climate change. Kindergarteners couldface expulsion for microaggressions in one Kansas school district. Jonathan R. Cole wrote a fantastic feature in The Atlantic last week on how growing campus censorship may reflect a contrived culture of fear and distrust amongst young Americans.

James Cook University Professor Peter Ridd is facing censure because it is not “collegial” ($) to question Great Barrier Reef bleaching claims. The IPA’s Jennifer Marohasy says in On Line Opinionthat Australia should introduce a science ombudsman.

The Brexit race is heating up. Two weeks ago we told you Leave was pulling ahead of Stay, and with just a week to go five polls published in 24 hours have now confirmed Leave is ahead. Daniel Hannan outlines 10 bombshells the European Union are hiding until after the referendum, and James Delingpole debunks the 13 myths about leaving the EU. The Leave side – starring Daniel Hannan – also won The Spectator’s second Brexit debate.

Chris Berg argued in The Drum this week that Australia has a lot to learn from the Brexit debate, in particular the dangers of red tape encompassed in the EU’s incredible 666,879 pages of law. Checkout the IPA’s new Cut Red Tape Project website for our efforts against Australia’s $176b per year red tape burden.

Not only is McDonald’s facilitating world peace, the legendary golden arches are also fostering local community and functioning as a civil society hub where bureaucratic government centres have failed, writes Chris Arnade in an enlightening feature in The Guardian (enlightening and The Guardian are not words I put together often).

Remember that scientific paper published in 2012 which claimed that conservatives are psychopaths? Well, they got it wrong. It turns out that the study actually reversed the labels – it is actually progressive political beliefs that correlate with psychosis.

A royal congratulations to English conservative philosopher Roger Scruton on his Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours – Sir Roger delivered the keynote address at the IPA’s Foundations of Western Civilisation Symposium in 2014.

If you are in Brisbane on Wednesday 22nd June, you are invited to the Queensland launch of Chris Berg’s new book The Libertarian Alternative with Jennifer Marohasy, hosted by the Australian Institute of Progress.

We are also launching Andrew Bolt’s new book in Sydney (15 July) and Melbourne (22 July) with The Spectator Australia. RSVP at the links.

Article of the week

Bjørn Lomborg in The Telegraph on Sunday explained how expanding organic foods will cost billions of dollars, thousands of lives, and provide no animal welfare, nutritional or environmental benefits.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Darcy Allen

Today marks the 293rd birthday of the remarkable moral philosopher Adam Smith. His ideas were at the heart of the Scottish enlightenment and are no less relevant today: “Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence… but peace, easy taxes and a tolerable administration of justice.”

If only Australian governments would watch this documentary on how Smith’s ideas revolutionised the modern world:

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Guess how many artists it takes to stop global warming

June 9, 2016

By Morgan Begg

The Australian government is far too reliant on company tax:

As the IPA’s Chris Berg explained on The Drum on Tuesday, the case for company tax cuts is “rock solid“. Two weeks ago in the Australian Financial Review, the IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak explained that company taxes are the “most inefficient” Commonwealth tax, and the IPA’s Professor Sinclair Davidson explained in the same paper in April what made this such an expensive burden on the economy.

Even the left-wing rag The Economist now realises there is a global free speech problem. This is a refreshing change of pace for the magazine – remember when they endorsed helicopter drop monetary policy, endorsed the re-election of Kevin Rudd, and said Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century was one of the books to read in 2014?

On Line Opinion published an excellent article by Michael Keane on how unrelenting political correctness fuels chronic reverse intimidation. Michael is an IPA member, anaesthetist and public health lecturer at Monash University.

Red tape not only stifles productive activity, but also punishes virtue and community spirit. The latest issue of the National Review describes how bureaucrats shut down a child’s charitable lemonade stand for not being properly licenced.

Last year, the IPA’s John Roskam wrote in his Australian Financial Review about the 11-year-old girl who made the mistake of not seeking legal advice for her lemonade stand, and was shut down. In 2008 for the IPA Review, Chris Munn described the many ways local councils crash street parties.

And not one less! An article in The Conversation says the new age of climate change enlightenmentrequires 60,000 artists to tell its story. Enter the Greens, who want to subsidise the terrible life choices these people make: this week they proposed a taxpayer funded living wage for artists.

This is astonishing. The Manhattan Institute’s Robert Bryce explained in the National Review on Monday the biggest players in the US wind-energy sector have received $176 billion in subsidies since 2000. Bryce gave this excellent lecture to the IPA in 2014 on how coal is the best resource we have to enable human flourishing.

Ryan Shinkel at the Washington Free Beacon reviewed Roger Scruton’s latest book, The Confessions of a Heretic. Scruton was a guest of the IPA in 2014 – watch his 38 minute address to our Foundations of Western Civilisation Symposium here.

The IPA is delighted to be joining The Spectator Australia in hosting the launch of Andrew Bolt’s latest book, Worth Fighting For. Andrew will be joined by John Roskam and Spectator editor Rowan Dean in Sydney on 15 July and in Melbourne on 22 July.

Tickets are going fast for our IPA Young Members event in Sydney at the Hotel CBD on 24 June. Come along and hear from a fantastic line-up of speakers in Senator James Paterson, Dominic Perrottet MP and entrepreneur Jonathan Hoyle.

Article of the week

In a two-part op-ed at Townhall on Tuesday, the great Thomas Sowell chronicled the demise of personal responsibility brought about by the rapid expansion of the welfare state.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Matthew Lesh

How and why are ideas being stifled on campus? The AEI hosted a forum overnight on The Close Minded Campus?. Conservatives are far outnumbered across disciplines, leading to bias in research and promotion. Meanwhile identity politics has encouraged bullying of those with different ideas. A possible solution? Perhaps it is time for safe spaces for free debate:

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Would Nate Silver have predicted this?

June 2, 2016

From James Bolt

The free market is eradicating poverty. This graph was shared by the AEI last Friday:

Free markets enrich lives, as the IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak said last year in her report The Good News On Poverty.

AEI shared another great article last Wednesday – technology has advanced so rapidly that today’s laptops are 96% cheaper than a laptop in 1994, and work at least 1000 times better. Someone tell the US Department of Defense! A US government report has revealed that the people managing America’s nuclear bombers still use 1970s-era computer systems and 8-inch floppy disks.

Britain’s referendum on whether or not to leave the EU is only three weeks away today. And, contrary to what the political class expected, “leave” is pulling ahead of “stay”. Here are the four best links about Brexit from this week:

This image of Alix Schoelcher Idrache has gone viral in the US, and it’s not hard to see why. Alix is a Haitian immigrant to the US who is the American Dream personified – read his incredible story here.

Nate Silver became a household name when he correctly predicted the winner of every state in the 2012 US presidential election. So why did he miss the rise of Trump? He offers his explanation here.

I wouldn’t be doing my job as the IPA’s social media guy if I didn’t show you this story out of the US –62% of Americans now get news from social media. If you want to get the best news from the best social media pages – follow the IPA on Facebook here and Twitter here.

And if you want to become even more connected with the IPA – become an IPA member today! Watch the IPA’s Sarah Wilson talk about our exciting new membership offer.

There are still tickets available for our IPA Young Members event in Sydney at the Hotel CBD on 24 June. Come along and hear from a fantastic lineup of speakers in Senator James Paterson, Dominic Perrottet MP and entrepreneur Jonathan Hoyle.

Article of the week

Former speechwriter for Margaret Thatcher and now editor of Quadrant, John O’Sullivan, had this fantastic 2,800 piece in the National Review last Thursday on the future of conservatism in the wake of Trump.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Morgan Begg

I’ve been reading the collected poems of the great English author Rudyard Kipling, which includes the excellent poem The Gods of the Copybook Headings. I read it every time I open the book. It speaks about how great societies inevitably decline by abandoning such things as common sense and morality.

Bill Whittle performs a very entertaining reading and analysis of this classic poem in this 2012 PJTVvideo:

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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