Why Europe is stuffed

May 30, 2013

From James Paterson

After reading this story I’ve called it once and for all – Europe is STUFFED! Of course this follows the EU plan to ban the scourge of olive oil fraud. Then again maybe it’s not all bad – this is some rare good sense, from a French central banker no less. Perhaps he was inspired by the Chinese Communist Party.

But then again the UK is in pretty bad shape too: you can’t even roll a huge wheel of cheese down a hill anymore. Or unfurl a banner at a sporting match. Oh and UK police are raiding people’s homes at 3am to arrest them over offensive Tweets and Facebook posts.

But at least there’s some good news from Canberra this week. The terrible deal to give political parties $41 million more of your money (apparently to bail out the ALP) has been withdrawn. (Here’s our email to IPA supporters yesterday criticising the proposal).

Unfortunately, both major parties are backing a referendum to allow the federal government to take over local councils. As we’ve been saying in Hey over the last fortnight, we think it is a dangerous change. We’ve produced this one page factsheet which explains exactly why it should be rejected – please share it with your friends.

This article from Douglas Murray in the Wall Street Journal is the best you’ll read on the Woolwich attack. And this piece, also in the WSJ, is a great primer on where the IRS scandal really began.

The HR Nicholls Society’s 2013 conference ‘Unions in Control’ will be in Melbourne on 8 July – bookings here. And if you missed Nick Cater’s book launch at the IPA (videos here) then you might like to hear him speak next week at the Wheeler Centre.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Shock of the century

May 23, 2013

From James Paterson

Last week we told you about a council initiative that must have come from someone with the brain of a four year old. Given the very same council seeks advice from actual four year olds, maybe it did! And this council in Western Australia must be overflowing with cash to justify this bizarre public art project.

Of course all these councils are hoping we’ll vote to amend the constitution so they can get more money from the federal government. In his Financial Review column last week, John Roskam explained why this is such a dangerous idea.

Please make sure you are sitting down before you read this: it turns out most journalists are…left wing! And ABC journalists are 400% more likely to vote Green than the rest of the population. But don’t worry – despite our encouragement, Tony Abbott has no plans to privatise the ABC. (It was suggestion 50 on our 75 ideas list, which you’ll be pleased to learn is covertly influencing the New Zealand government).

Today Ford announced the inevitable – they’re ending production in Australia. We’ve been warning for years that automotive subsidies were wasted. It’s a shame about the billions lost and careers ruined in the meantime, but maybe now it will come to an end.

IPA members will soon receive the latest edition of the IPA Review. Here’s a sneak preview of the front cover. And here’s Chris Berg’s cover story, ‘The war on democracy‘.

Heard the one about unsustainable tax cuts causing the budget deficit? It’s based on a report from the Parliamentary Budget Office, but as Julie Novak explains on Catallaxy Files, it’s loaded with flawed assumptions. Sadly it looks like our PBO might end up like the American CBO.

Here’s two great videos from recent IPA events: in Brisbane Janet Albrechtsen explained why an Abbott government should appoint her as their first Freedom Commissioner, and in Melbourne Geoffrey Blainey launched Nick Cater’s new book.

And if you’re looking for something longer to read try this excellent review on Spiked of a fascinating new book on the anti-capitalists who jumped on the climate change bandwagon.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Smile. The local government Smile Spies are watching

May 16, 2013

From John Roskam

Last month Wayne Swan said there had been a ‘sledgehammer to revenues in the budget’. Well the reality is…not so much.

The IPA’s Professor Sinclair Davidson went looking for that sledgehammer on the brilliant Catallaxy Files on Tuesday.

And in this 2 minute video is the IPA’s Dr Julie Novak telling you what you need to know about the budget.

A few hours ago the Gillard government released the text on the constitutional referendum on local government. Here’s the IPA press release on why the proposal is just terrible.

Local councils want to be taken more seriously – which is apparently why we need to change the constitution.

Well maybe they would get more respect if they didn’t do rubbish like this…’smile spies‘? Really? And then the council complains they need more money! – because of – wait for it – ‘externally imposed cost increases‘.

Oh – and then of course the Sydney Council is planting the world’s most expensive hedge.

Here’s Julie Novak in the IPA’s FreedomWatch on the referendum, and here’s Tim Wilson in The Australian on Tuesday.

You’ll have heard about the IRS targeting conservative groups in the United States. This is specifically what they were asking the Tea Party. And the excuse proffered by the IRS? I’m ‘bad at math‘ (which will at least make Wayne Swan feel better).

This is equally Orwellian – 1,200 websites were blocked by ASIC last month.

Back in March in the IPA’s Horizons we talked about why the teaching of history in school is so bad. Michael Gove the British education minister agrees – he gave this brilliant speech last week on why Wuthering Heights is better than Finding Nemo.

What would Gove say about this lollipop man in Sydney who was banned from high-fiving kids?

I realise this has been a pretty depressing Hey – Tim Blair’s hilarious post in The Telegraph on the hideous ‘Skywhale‘ will cheer you up. And this is very funny too – ‘The Ten Most Wonderful Things Committed to Hansard as a Result of the Skywhale‘ (number 6 is my favourite).

If you’re in Melbourne on 29 May come to the launch of a new book from Connor Court Publishing The Zen of Being Grumpy by Mark Lawson, to be launched by James Paterson. Details here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

 

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That’s a lot of puppet

May 9, 2013

From James PatersonJulia Gillard wants to enshrine local government in the constitution. We think it is a terrible idea, as Chris Berg explained in this important article for the Sunday Age this week, and as Tim Wilson said in this media releaseissued today.And here’s another reason, from Julie Novak’s excellent new report on big government in Australia. Local government employees have boomed enough on their own already, do we really want to make it easier for the federal government to subsidise them?

And if you think that’s wasteful, check out this classic discovered by our friends at the CIS. It involves the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and some very expensive puppets. This might be even more embarrassing though: Australia is being sued by Communist Cuba for failing to respect property rights.

Yesterday Andrew Bolt emailed IPA members and supporters this video appeal requesting donations to our Freedom of Speech Fighting Fund. All donors go in the draw to win these once-in-a-lifetime prizes.

You might have noticed some debate this week about paid parental leave. It all started with this compelling article by Liberal MP Alex Hawke for the May issue of the IPA Review. John Roskam’s hard-hitting Financial Review column on Friday explained why we’re opposed to the scheme. IPA members can look forward to receiving the full magazine soon.

Everyone is talking about David Stockman’s new book The Great Deformation. Watch this fascinating discussion at the Cato Institute about why crony capitalism is destroying America. And if you’re looking for a long read, you can’t go past the infamous December 1981 Atlantic magazine article which amazingly did not cost Stockman his job working for Ronald Reagan.

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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