All aboard the Boaty McBoatface

April 21, 2016

From James Bolt

The right to silence is under attack in Australia:

The CFMEU made a powerful ad showing how workers would have fewer rights than drug dealers under the current bill to re-establish the ABCC. They’re right, but where were they when the right to silence was taken away by 19 other Acts of federal parliament? Read our 2015 update to our original legal rights audit, released on Friday.

The Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) has finally been abolished. As the IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak wrote on Monday in On Line Opinion, this tribunal was running thousands of Australian truck drivers out of business. The RSRT story shows the human cost of red tape – watch our new video explaining why:

Salaries to federal public servants are no longer included in departmental annual reports. As John Roskam said in the Herald Sun today, “It’s things like this that have the public lose faith in politics and politicians.” It’s no wonder they want to keep the stats secret when ABS figures show the average public sector employee earns 22.9% more than the average private sector worker. Read our report – authored by James Paterson and Aaron Lane – from December last year.

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Dame Leonie Kramer. Dame Leonie was a former Senior Fellow with the IPA from 1988 to 1994. Here are three excellent pieces she wrote for the IPA Review:

A television host in Germany is facing five years in jail for reading out an insulting poem directed at the President of Turkey. The two best articles you need to read about it are Boris Johnson in The Telegraph on Sunday and Mark Steyn last Friday. As Charlie Chaplin’s granddaughter has pointed out, the legendary comedian had to go through similar political trouble in the 1930’s to make his classic satire, The Great Dictator.

This weekend marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Last year, the IPA’s Hannah Pandel explained why Shakespeare must continue to be taught in schools. If, like me, you’re a huge Shakespeare fan, Mashable are running a voting contest to find his most popular play.

I love internet voting contests. In the UK, a naming contest for a British government environment council’s £200m ship has ended with the winning name being Boaty McBoatface. Brendan O’Neill called it one of the “things that literally make me want to eat my computer so that I never have to look at anything on the internet ever again.”

But at least we can agree with Brendan on the safe space movement. This week Spiked – edited by Brendan – published an excerpt on how to make your university an unsafe space from Tom Slater’s new book Unsafe Space: The Crisis of Free Speech On Campus .

To legally release a film in the UK, filmmakers have to pay the British Board of Film Classification £7.09 per minute of film to have it classified. So director Charlie Lyne crowdsourced nearly £6,000 to make the censors watch a film of paint drying for 607 minutes. Now that’s something I can get behind.

The great Alex Epstein appeared before the US Senate last week to champion the moral case for fossil fuels – watch the fantastic clip here.

The IPA’s Chris Berg is about to publish his latest book, The Libertarian Alternative. We’re holding a Young member’s event on 6 May in Melbourne to launch it. If you’re not a Young member, join here.

IPA Staff Pick

Each week an IPA staff member shares what they have enjoyed recently. Today: Simon Breheny.

It looks more likely every day this budget will deliver higher taxes. Every politician should watch this classic speech from 1924 by America’s most free market President, Calvin Coolidge, on why cutting taxes is so important:


Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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