I feel more free already

December 19, 2013

From John Roskam

Do you feel more free?…I know I do.

It’s all thanks to the IPA’s Tim Wilson who on Tuesday was announced as the next Human Rights Commissioner.

Here’s the IPA’s press release celebrating Tim’s appointment. And here’s some classic Tim Wilson from the ABC’s The Drum in February telling one of his soon-to-be-colleagues how hopeless the Human Rights Commission has been on freedom of speech.

How can anyone not be excited about a former IPA employee being paid by the government to fight for freedom? The organisers of the ‘National Day of Hating Tim Wilson‘ aren’t happy. But you’ll be pleased to know they’re outnumbered by the ‘Tim Wilson Appreciation Day‘ organisers.

I’m looking forward to Tim’s tweets from the Commission. Some of my favourite recent tweets from Commissioners include Elizabeth Broderick on Tuesday telling us how she’s just come back from promoting gender equality in Japan, and the President Gillian Triggs talking about the Commission’s Awards night at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney hosted by The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel. Phew! – given what Craig said about me it’s lucky I wasn’t appointed to the Commission.

Andrew Bolt’s blog post on Tuesday on the reaction to Tim’s appointment sums it all up brilliantly and is unmissable.

Also unmissable is this video – ‘Deck the Halls with Macro Follies‘ already watched by 214,163 people.

 

In the spirit of the goodwill of the season what can be better than the IPA celebrating yesterday with Unions NSW and the Wilderness Society in the defeat of the NSW government ban on political donations? Here’s our press release on it and here’s the IPA’s Chris Berg on ABC TV News last night.

This is the last Hey of the year. We’ve sent out 1,024,646 individual Hey emails to the 22,246 of you that receive it.

The three most popular Hey stories of the year were:

The three stories in which you had no interest in whatsoever were:

My personal favourite was Conrad Black’s magnificent obituary of Margaret Thatcher in the National Review Online in April.

The IPA’s Annual Report was released this week. If you’d like to read about all the things the IPA did for freedom during the year click here. And Hey will be back next year.

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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Guardian: let’s smash capitalism with video games

December 12, 2013

From James Paterson

There’s lots of reasons Holden is leaving Australia – Business Insider lists ten. But as the IPA’s Dr Alan Moran explains in the Australian Financial Review today, unions deserve their fair share of the blame. It’s something the IPA’s John Lloyd warned about a year ago in this report.

I’ll believe the South Australian government is serious about the problems it faces the day it ceases funding ridiculous programs like this: apparently computer games will turn kids into gambling addicts. Next someone will argue games will bring down society as we know it! Oh wait, The Guardianalready has (and they’re in favour of it).

This is in the running for the best op-ed of 2013 – by James Morrow in The Daily Telegraph today – there are some things that just should not be home delivered! But that’s not as bad as this latest ideafrom the Greens – “hey, let’s just ban all new supermarkets”, that’ll fix all that overeating…

The IPA’s Tim Wilson has a new report out today on how the obsessions of public health are leading to extremely paternalist policy making, as he argued in this article for The Australian this morning.

Stop the presses – even The Canberra Times feels compelled to admit the public service is loaded with underperformers. On the bright side, our bureaucrats are at least more tech-savvy than their US counterparts.

This week’s edition of The Weekly Standard has two great articles: on the 240th birthday of the Tea Party, and this from P.J. O’Rourke on plain packaging.

Last week the IPA launched a new regular update on the science and economics of climate change, written by Dr Alan Moran. You can read the first edition, and sign up for free to receive the next one, here.

The IPA is now gratefully accepting donations to our 2013 Christmas Appeal – click here if you would like to support freedom this Christmas. Donating to the IPA is safer than this act of Christmas generosity.

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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It’s my street party…and I’ll wait 6 weeks if I want to

December 5, 2013

From Peter Gregory

Andrew Leigh MP, one of the two federal MPs for Canberra, sent this tweet last Saturday:

Of course, FreedomWatch takes everything Dr Leigh says very seriously, so we looked into throwing our own street party in Canberra.

We’re sure that once residents read the 14 page ACT Special Events Handbook, wait six weeks for approval, notify the media, present a risk management plan, a contingency plan, a temporary traffic management plan, and pay for at least $2000 of public liability insurance, the streets of Canberra will be heaving with drunken, brown cardigan-wearing public servants.

The IPA has been saying for years that governments are killing community events. In 2007 in The Age John Roskam wrote about the children’s after-school sports program in a housing commission estate in Melbourne that was shut down by the government. And in 2008 in The IPA Review Chris Murn described how the City of Stonnington in Melbourne made event organisers wear fluoro jackets, carry maps and have sunscreen on hand in case it was sunny.

But at least Leigh’s constituents don’t live in Queensland. On Tuesday, the Police Minister there, Jack Dempsey, told the IPA’s Chris Berg that he wants to punish gatecrashers…by punishing those whoseparties are crashed – scroll to page 2.

(FreedomWatch has even more on the war on partying.)

If you haven’t yet read the letter Joe Hockey sent yesterday to Greens Leader Christine Milne about how there should be NO LIMIT to how deep the government can go into debt – here it is. It’s also reassuring to know (on page 3) the Abbott government will negotiate with the Greens about what goes into Treasury Department reports.

There have been a number of terrific speeches in the last few weeks. Mrs Gina Rinehart gave a fantastic address to the Small Business Association in Brisbane about the value of entrepreneurs.Professor Wolfgang Kasper spoke in Kuala Lumpur on the moral underpinning of effective economic and legal institutions. And Boris Johnson gave a wonderful speech in London in honour of Margaret Thatcher.

(He insists he wasn’t blaming poor people for being stupid.)

Last week James Paterson called for the ABC to be privatised…on the ABC. John Roskam did the same in his powerful Fin column. But what about the BBC, asks Tim Congdon in this month’sStandpoint?

And this, from Rod Liddle in this week’s UK Spectator, explains how this, from Nick Cohen’sSpectator blog on Tuesday, can happen.

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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