Fairfax engages in facts-avoidance

October 2, 2014

From James Paterson

Family First Senator (and IPA member) Bob Day’s bill to restore freedom of speech by amending section 18C was debated in the Senate in Canberra this morning. Watch the IPA’s new video on why Senator Day’s bill deserves support. You might be surprised who agrees with us!:

Read and share our new Factsheet which explains how Senator Day’s bill will help prevent cases like Andrew Bolt’s from occurring in the future. And this is the media release the IPA’s Simon Breheny issued this morning on why those who value free speech should support this bill.

In The Financial Review on Friday IPA Executive Director John Roskam slammed the hypocrites who only support free speech for those they agree with.

You’ll love this terrific 9-minute speech in the Senate yesterday by Liberal Democrats Senator (and IPA member) David Leyonhjelm on why we should all be grateful to smokers. Watch at least until 6.05 to see probably the only time South Park has been quoted (with approval) in the Australian Senate.

If you read The Sydney Morning Herald or The Age this week you might be forgiven for thinking we have a systematic corporate tax-avoidance scandal in Australia. After reading this comprehensive demolition by Terry McCrann in the Herald Sun on Wednesday you’ll change your mind. If you’re still in doubt read this from the IPA’s Sinclair Davidson on Catallaxy Files on Tuesday.

IPA member and University of New South Wales Professor Peter Swan explained in The Conversation last week that Australians have a surprisingly high degree of tolerance for income inequality. And this speech, delivered at the Hoover Institution last week by Professor John Cochrane of the University of Chicago, is an excellent explanation of why it should never be the role of government to tackle inequality.

The IPA, in conjunction with the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation, is delighted to host the Australian launch of the 2014 Economic Freedom of the World Index in Perth on Thursday 30 October. The author of the index, Resident Fellow of Canada’s Fraser Institute, Fred McMahon, will join us for an important discussion about the benefits of economic freedom. For more details and to RSVP, click here.

The IPA’s Chris Berg will be speaking at The Privacy Workshop in Melbourne on Friday 17 October on the threat posed to our online freedoms and privacy by government. Further details are available here.

Tickets are now sold out for Monday’s discussion on the threats to freedom of speech with Frank Furedi, Nick Cater and John Roskam. Videos from the night will be available in next week’s Hey.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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Has Leonardo DiCaprio read Magna Carta?

September 25, 2014

From Peter Gregory

The IPA’s favourite head of the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, thinks Magna Carta is important for protecting the rights of asylum seekers. The IPA’s favourite ABC Media Watch presenter, Jonathan Holmes, thinks Magna Carta is important for protecting the rights of suspected terrorists. Even a 27-year-old drunk driver in the UK cited Magna Carta when pulled over by police.

But research from the IPA’s Stephanie Forrest and Carla Schodde shows that, in keeping with their commitment to preparing young people for the future, Australian universities don’t teach it.

Now here’s a government program I could support! In his excellent speech in the Senate on Tuesday, David Leyonhjelm proposed an Other People’s Money Addicts Anonymous program for politicians.

Speaking of other people’s money, this report from last Friday is about an Australian public servant who took stress leave because she couldn’t find organic coffee with soy milk near her workplace (she should’ve gone with the Magna Carta defence).

If you thought climate change was over - it’s not. Hundreds of thousands of people attended the ‘People’s Climate March‘ in New York on Sunday. Reason TV interviewed some of the protesters in this short video. Go on, you know you want to. My favourite is the lady with flowers on her hat.

Roger Franklin attended the Melbourne version of the event and had this highly amusing piece in Quadrant. And Mark Steyn’s latest run-in from last week with ‘self-conferred Nobel laureate’ Michael Mann is just plain hilarious.

If you want something serious on climate change, this is a fascinating piece from the former undersecretary for science in Obama’s Energy Department in The Wall Street Journal last Friday.

You’ll have heard that Leonardo DiCaprio was appointed a UN Messenger of Peace - it was only a matter of time. I know Hey readers keep track of which celebrities get given which pointless UN titles, so test your skill with this Guardian quiz (I got 2 out of 9).

Dan Hannan in The Telegraph thanked God for Scotland’s ‘no’ vote. Whilst Theodore Dalrymple in The City Journal on Tuesday worried about the cost of victory and Fraser Nelson and James Forsyth in The Spectator wondered how David Cameron got the ‘no’ campaign so wrong.

This is an excellent new resource for Australian freedom-lovers – the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance’s Australian Liberty Calendar. It is a comprehensive database of all the pro-liberty events happening nationwide.

Contained in the calendar is the IPA’s upcoming event on Monday 6 October featuring Professor Frank Furedi in conversation with Nick Cater and John Roskam about ‘The Ultimate Freedom? Current and emerging threats to freedom of speech’. Details and registration here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

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Australian manufacturing – worse than France

September 18, 2014

From Peter Gregory

Australia has the highest manufacturing costs in the world, according to a Boston Consulting Group index released last month. The reason? Australia’s manufacturing wages have increased 48% in the last decade whilst productivity fell by 1%! (Coverage from the WSJ here).

The BCG Global Manufacturing Cost-Competitiveness Index is full of fascinating insights, like that the US manufacturing renaissance will be driven by cheap energy – as predicted by Robert Bryce in his fantastic lecture to the IPA last week.

It looks like another Australian of the Year has got it wrong! Yesterday ABC board member and 2003 Australian of the Year Professor Fiona Stanley complained that The Australian claimed the ABC was biased and should be privatised. Professor Stanley – that was the IPA!

As rightly pointed out by The Australian ($) today, our report in August showed that the ABC is biased against coal and coal-seam gas, and it was the IPA’s James Paterson who wrote in The Australian that the ABC should be privatised (and here’s when we talked it about in Hey).

Speaking of climate change, this graph shows how much people have been speaking about climate change (scroll down to the second one) by analysing 600 million words from 87,000 movies and TV shows (it won’t please the ABC).

This is some good news for the future! A poll conducted by the Knight Foundation in the US has found that for the first time in a decade students support the first amendment more than adults. And students that have learnt about the first amendment in class are more supportive than those who haven’t. (All the more reason to oppose the national curriculum as the IPA’s Stephanie Forrest did in The Australian in June!)

The historic vote for Scottish independence is tonight Australian time. Last Friday in Breitbart, James Delingpole wrote 10 reasons why he hopes the Scots vote ‘yes’. In The Telegraph last week, Dan Hannan made the emotional case for the ‘no’ vote. And yesterday in the Brisbane Times, Chair of the Australian Flag Association, Allan Pidgeon dispelled any scuttlebutt that a ‘yes’ vote will lead to a change in Australia’s flag.

In Melbourne on Monday 6 October Professor Frank Furedi, a world leading commentator on culture and education in the West, will be in conversation with Nick Cater and John Roskam about ‘The Ultimate Freedom? Current and emerging threats to freedom of speech.’ Details and registration here.

And in Adelaide on Wednesday 22 October the HR Nicholls Society is holding a lunchtime forum called ‘South Australia – how the labour market can help the state’. Details here.

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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Nominate Andrew Bolt for the 2014 Human Rights Commission Medal

September 11, 2014

From John Roskam

  • 1.7 billion people gained access to electricity between 1990 and 2010. For every person who gained access due to wind and solar, 13 gained access thanks to coal.
  • Out of the world’s population of 7 billion, 1.2 billion people don’t have electricity.
  • If wind power was to meet just the annual growth in global energy demand, an area the size of the UK would have to be covered in windfarms every year.

This is what American author Robert Bryce talked about when he delivered the 2014 HV McKay Lecture at the IPA in Melbourne on Tuesday night on ‘Energy and Human Flourishing’. You can watch his lecture here, and you can watch the wonderful Terry McCrann give a brilliant seven minute vote of thanks here.

This is what Terry said about the lecture in today’s Herald Sun in Melbourne and Daily Telegraph in Sydney.

Energy and free markets are the way to lift people from poverty. In last Friday’s Cape Times from Cape Town, the IPA’s Peter Gregory wrote on how property rights can unleash entrepreneurship in South Africa.

In Hey last week we told you about the recently-released love letter from the head of Treasury to Wayne Swan from 2011 (it was the most popular link by a long way!) The latest from Treasury this week is not quite in the same league but it’s close – on Tuesday in Catallaxy Files Sinclair Davidson uncovered the story.

Regular readers of Hey know that over the years some of our best material has come from Treasury. In 2009 we told you how most of Treasury’s modelling of the carbon tax was wrong. In 2010 we uncovered ‘StimulusGate‘ and how Treasury cherry-picked their data. Which of course is why I called for the then Treasury secretary to resign!

The vote on Scottish independence is next Thursday. Here’s Boris Johnson on Monday saying vote ‘No’. And here’s a great piece in Breitbart London saying vote ‘Yes’. (Warning – if you’re of Scottish ancestry you’ll be offended – I guess I’ll see you at the Human Rights Commission!)

Talking of the Human Rights Commission…I’ve kept Wednesday, 10 December free. That’s in case I win the Commission’s Human Rights Medal for the IPA’s work ‘to advance our human rights and freedoms in Australia’. I know many IPA members have already nominated me. You can click here to make an online nomination – and while you’re at it why not nominate Andrew Bolt as well! (It would be great to be presented with the medal from my favourite ABC comedian – as the IPA’s James Paterson talked about in The Spectator last year.)

Last week Chris Berg and Simon Breheny made this important submission to the Australian government Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper and here is Simon’s oped about it in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph.

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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