If you’re reading this on your phone you’re a climate criminal

May 28, 2015

From James Paterson

What do you get when you combine high government debt, low productivity, lots of new regulations and frequent strikes? Surprisingly, not an economic paradise. These 20 charts explain exactly why the Greek government is on the edge of default.

This week’s must-listen link is Tom Switzer’s important interview with Lord Nigel Lawson on climate change, behind enemy lines at the ABC.

Maybe these sad photos of Tim Flannery and his crusading climate colleagues were taken after they listened to Nigel’s interview.

(Or maybe Tim, Will Steffen and Matthew England were reflecting on their mobile phone use after seeing the IPA’s viral meme this week.)

If you’re just catching up with the FIFA scandal, this piece in The Guardian today is a good place to start. The real victims here are of course the Palestinian Football Association, who are worried the corruption scandal might overshadow their bid to kick Israel out of FIFA. After all, Zionism was to blame for FIFA corruption investigations in the past.

Humanities subjects are undergoing a spectacular decline at American Universities. This English professor has a theory: “Come for the great novels, stay for the leftist ideology. Except students are not staying.”

I bet you didn’t know children’s fairytales were rife with human rights abuses. Consider yourself warned. In The Guardian, of course. By a human rights lawyer, of course.

Conrad Black has this terrific review of a new 1,000 page Napoleon biography in last week’s Spectator. And this, from Politico on Sunday, explains why the left’s obsession with Fox News is completely irrational.

IPA members are this week receiving the latest edition of the IPA Review. Read Patrick Hannaford and Darcy Allen’s cover story exploring the economic legacy of Ronald Reagan’s Presidency.

The IPA’s Chris Berg will be visiting New Zealand next month as a guest of the New Zealand Initiative to talk about his new book, Liberty, Equality and Democracy. If you’re in Wellington you can hear him speak on Monday 29 June and he’ll be in Auckland on Tuesday 30 June.

Applications close tomorrow for the Centre for Independent Studies’ student conference, Liberty and Society, to be held in Perth in July.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week: 

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Lomborg should come with a trigger warning

May 21, 2015

From James Bolt

Australia has been making international headlines this week for all the wrong reasons. The Lomborg scandal has left many questioning Australia’s commitment to the Enlightenment. Here are the three best pieces on the scandal:

Just after John Roskam had written about how the Lomborg scandal exposed the ‘climate of conformity‘ in education, the University of Western Australia dropped plans to host Lomborg’s new think tank. As we said on Facebook yesterday, universities have odd hiring standards these days.

Our friends at the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance have started a campaign to support Bjorn, which you can donate to here

If the sheep populating Australia’s academia can’t handle new ideas, spare a thought for actual sheep – a complaint was lodged by PETA against a shearer in rural NSW for verbally abusing a sheep.

Campus censorship is a big issue in America too. Professor Jerry Coyne wrote this fantastic take-down of the ‘trigger warning’ crowd in New Republic last Thursday, after students at Columbia University demanded warnings on Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Last year, I helped design a ‘trigger warning’ compliant literature course in the IPA Review

The students of Dickinson College won’t be giving in to campus censorship any time soon – not after this commencement speech on Sunday from the author of Atonement, Ian McEwen, arguing free speech has to be defended by the next generation. It’s a great speech, but not my favourite commencement speech.

Former IPA guest Matt Ridley had an important article in The Times on Monday on the unethical campaign to divest coal, which will only raise the cost of living for the world’s poor. 

This interview with ‘climate expert’ Carol Andress has to be one of the most cringeworthy interviews of all time.

In The Spectator this week, Dan Hannan has this great article on why Michael Gove’s appointment to Justice Secretary in David Cameron’s government is the beginning of the end for the European Court of Human Rights’ dominance over British law.  

Today is David Letterman’s last day in late night television. City Journal farewelled an American icon on Friday. Vulture compiled this list of Letterman’s best low-budget bits from the early years. The clip of him taking over the drive-through at McDonald’s is classic. 

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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If Adam Smith’s a racist, then Russell Brand’s a kingmaker

May 14, 2015

From Peter Gregory

If you’re not cutting taxes, the tax burden will always rise – thanks to the magic of bracket creep:

Here is the IPA’s press release from Tuesday night, here is the IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak’s FreedomWatch post from the day after the budget and here is the IPA’s Professor Sinclair Davidson on 730 last night (at the 3:54 mark).

In case you missed it (which is what this email is for, after all), David Cameron is still Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Here is the best coverage of the election:

  • Olivia Rudgard in The Telegraph explaining exactly how the Conservatives won
  • A Labour voter saying the left should stop being sore losers in The Telegraph again
  • Former IPA guest Frank Furedi in Spiked explaining why the pollsters got it so wrong

Forever with their finger on the pulse, The Guardian told us on Saturday post-election that perhaps Russell Brand isn’t the inspirational leader for millions of disaffected Britons they thought he was. (The funniest bit is when they say Brand has ‘integrity’).

If you feel like a laugh, read Owen Jones in The Guardian last Tuesday before the election telling everyone the Tories should be very, very afraid of Brand. Then watch Russell having his predictable ‘that’s the problem with democracy’ moment after the election.

Speaking of celebrities who quit their day job to become political activists, this is about the rise and fall of ‘Krugmania’ by Niall Ferguson in The Huffington Post on Monday.

Little House on the Prairie is a great libertarian tract, as the Cato Institute’s David Boaz explained in Time a few days ago. David’s must-read new book, The Libertarian Mind is available here.

A piece saying Adam Smith was racist by a professor of Marxism and secularism? You guessed it – The Conversation strikes again! Here is Sinclair Davidson’s response on The Cat.

But The Conversation might have to stop publishing anti-free market rants by professors of Marxism and secularism – it lost its government funding in the budget this week, and is now asking the market for donations.

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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Feeding your kids increases inequality too

May 7, 2015

From James Paterson

We’re constantly being told we all need to pay our “fair share” of tax. The IPA’s Professor Sinclair Davidson has crunched the numbers. What’s fair about the top 25% of income earners paying nearly 70% of income tax?

This is a big call – but we may have found the craziest idea ever promoted by the ABC. If you read your kids bedtime stories you’re a bad person responsible for entrenching inequality. It shouldn’t be necessary, but the IPA’s Hannah Pandel explains on FreedomWatch why this is such a terrible idea.

Everyone here at the IPA will miss Greens Leader Christine Milne. We’re so sad about her retirement we prepared her this special farewell message.

Bad news everybody – we’ve missed the deadline to save the world from global warming no less than 9 times. I guess that’s it then.

Spare a thought for the team at the City of Melbourne. This week it emerged they had spent $1.5m on an advertising campaign which has so far been watched by 1,150 people, or $1,304 per view. But to be fair to them, who would have thought it was a bad idea to fly a celebrity hypnotist from the UK to Melbourne to hypnotise hipsters and then film them having a fun night out?

Polls open in the UK in just a few hours. If you’re just tuning in, CapX has this helpful primer. The Guardian has this incredible interactive map of all 650 seats and which way they’re likely to fall. And Standpoint explains who will really be running the show if Ed Miliband is Prime Minister.

One election you might have missed this week was in Alberta, Canada, where the conservative government was thrown out on Tuesday after 43 years in government. The National Post has a helpful 10-step guide on how the Progressive Conservatives lost power. In The Spectator Australia, Jim Allan suggests there might possibly be some parallels for Australia.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week: 

Click here to view Hey on the web | Click here to unsubscribe

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

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