Not that meetings with the IPA would be a criminal offence

May 29, 2014

From John Roskam

What is it with sledgehammers and the Labor Party? Two weeks ago we showed that when it comes to the budget there’s not a sledgehammer in sight. And you’ll remember how Wayne Swan spent most of last year talking about ‘the sledgehammer to revenues‘.

Tax data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released this week shows how wrong Swan was.

This week The Guardian boasted of its more than 50 mentions in the federal parliament in the last year. The 53 times The Guardian has talked about the IPA makes us feel special!

Of the 69 times politicians talked about the IPA in parliament in the last year this from last month is one of my favourites:

Senator Waters (a Greens Senator – of course!): Has the department had any discussions or meetings with the IPA about that program or any other aspects of the portfolio?

Senator Cormann (a Coalition Senator): Who are you talking about? Are you talking about the Institute of Public Affairs, are you? Well, I doubt it.

Senator Waters: That is good to know.

Senator Cormann: Not that meetings with the IPA would be a criminal offence, Senator Waters.

Environment and Communications Legislation Committee – 26/05/2014 – Estimates – ENVIRONMENT PORTFOLIO – Department of the Environment.

As Media Watch Dog would say, Senator Cormann - Five Paws!

We’re well on the way to being as popular with The Saturday Paper as with The Guardian - especially after this.

The IPA’s invitation to this event at Parliament yesterday must have got lost in the mail.

Maybe the ABC shouldn’t be sold just yet. Listen to this brilliant interview on Tuesday between the ABC’s Richard Fidler and Roger Scruton, the world’s leading conservative philosopher who was a guest in Australia of the IPA and Campion College.

Could my favourite ABC host maybe learn a thing or two from Fidler?

These are the 3 best pieces on last week’s EU elections. This from Boris Johnson on the ‘Peasants’ Revolt’ (the problem with that analogy is that Richard II ended up hanging most of the Revolt’s leaders); this by The Times’ Tim Montgomerie on the ‘The Ten Creators of UKIP’; and this by James Delingpole in Breitbart on ‘Why these election results matter – and why the political class will tell you they don’t’.

It could have been the EU that dreamed up the laws that sent a SWAT team to the factory of the famous Gibson Guitar company. This piece from Forbes on Monday explains it all. If you think it couldn’t happen in Australia read ‘A Contender for Australia’s Worst Law‘.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

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Kim Jong-un wouldn’t have scrapped the carbon tax

May 22, 2014

From James Paterson

On Sunday thousands of Australians took to the streets to protest a budget that increases spending and taxes. But that’s not all they were angry about, as this photo from the march in Melbourne shows:

The IPA’s influence knows no bounds. Voters in Switzerland have just rejected the world’s highest minimum wage. And it wasn’t even close: 76 per cent of voters were opposed. They probably read this report by the IPA’s Aaron Lane and Dr Julie Novak on how harmful minimum wages are to the poor and unemployed.

But if the IPA has influence in Switzerland it’s only fair to acknowledge the impact the Greens are having in North Korea. As this apparently serious article by a La Trobe University academic in The Guardian on Tuesday explains, North Korea is leading the way on climate change.

South Australia’s Family First Senator-elect Bob Day wants there to be no doubt where he stands on free speech. You can read his brilliant letter on section 18C to Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus exclusively on FreedomWatch.

Speaking of letters on free speech, this incredible missive from lawyers for the University of Queensland to a climate change researcher was published by Mark Steyn on Tuesday. Steyn explains why climate activists are so fond of lawfare. The IPA’s Sinclair Davidson has a different take on Catallaxy Files - but it’s no kinder to the university.

Trigger warning: this story from the Daily Mail in Britain on Monday will probably upset you. On FreedomWatch James Bolt shows what classic texts like The Great Gatsby might look like if university students get the mandatory “trigger warnings” they’re demanding.

More videos from our Liberty and Democracy in Western Civilisation Symposium are now online. Watch Janet Albrechtsen discuss civil society, Kevin Donnelly on education and Ian Callinan on the law. The IPA is currently fundraising to support the ongoing work of our Foundations of Western Civilisation Program – if you would like to donate, click here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

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You call that a knife?

May 15, 2014

From Peter Gregory

The knife has slashed! The axe has swung! “This budget is a sledgehammer that will hit every family in Australia!” says Bill Shorten. But how different is the Abbott/Hockey budget from the Gillard/Swan budget that preceded it?

At least the budget ticks off a few more of the IPA’s 75 radical ideas to transform Australia. Numbers 29, 30 and 47 were achieved and numbers 11, 18, 52 and 62 were partly achieved. If the ‘partly achieved’ count for half, that’s 5 ideas knocked off the list – not a bad night’s work! This helpful website keeps track of the IPA’s 75 radical ideas for us if you’d like to see what we’ve already achieved and what else is in the works.

Ever wondered what would make the left take freedom of speech seriously? I think we have the answer! In the UK a Greens Party member had a visit from police and was told to take down a tweet criticising UKIP (lucky for them the IPA stands up for freedom of speech regardless of the speaker – here is our FreedomWatch post slamming the incident). In Hey two weeks ago we told you about the political candidate in the UK who was arrested for quoting Winston Churchill during a speech.

The IPA’s Liberty and Democracy in Western Civilisation Symposium was last Friday and we’d like to thank everyone who made it such a wonderful day, especially Roger Scruton who was the star of the show. Here is Roger’s 38 minute address at the Symposium, here he is (absolutely outstanding) on The Bolt Report on Sunday, here he is on Alan Jones on Monday and here ($) is his interview in The Australian from last Saturday.

For those who missed out on the Symposium (or if you just want to watch some of it again), here is Andrew Bolt giving the vote of thanks after Roger’s address and here is Roger, Andrew and the IPA’s Executive Director John Roskam in a Q&A panel (imagine the reaction if that was the actual Q&A panel!).

This week Dr Alan Moran made this submission to the Renewable Energy Target Review Panel. For a summary, see Alan’s terrific post on Catallaxy Files on Monday.

Guess how many US federal employees lost their jobs as a result of sequestration according to this fantastic editorial in the Washington Examiner last Thursday? (HINT: one more than the number of schools our federal education department runs as pointed out by John Roskam on Q&A last week).

It is not too late to register for the HR Nicholls Society conference ‘Stopping the Decline: Our Urgent Jobs Plan’. It’s on this Saturday May 17 in Brisbane – details here.

And if you’re in Melbourne tomorrow night, don’t miss an exclusive read-through preview of a new musical called Jacka V.C. Legend of Gallipoli. Details here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

  

 

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President Obama and the IPA

May 8, 2014

From Peter Gregory

So…we’re meant to share the burden of fixing the budget. As the IPA’s Professor Sinclair Davidson has pointed out on the great Catallaxy Files, some people are already bearing the burden more than others:

On The Cat Sinclair has a full breakdown of all the figures. And here is a similar graph we published in Hey in October 2011.

Speaking of sharing the burden, the IPA’s Dr Julie Novak today released a report which shows that state government employee expenses have ballooned by $49 billion between 2001 and 2012. Here is Julie’s press release. Here is the report. And here are Julie’s comments in The Australian ($) today.

The ABC – the gift that just keeps on giving. No sooner had we stated that Q&A was the IPA’s favourite television program, than this happens. But at least the IPA’s Executive Director John Roskam was the star of the show on Monday night. My favourite bit was when John told the Q&A audience how many schools the federal department of education runs (HINT: not that many…).

After this week’s farce, it’s probably fitting that James Paterson has this article in this month’s IPA Review on why the ABC should be privatised – I bet they wish they could’ve thrown to a commercial break on Monday night!

“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk”. No, that is not a line out of the IPA’s submission to the public consultation on amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act. Or Simon Breheny on Channel 10 NewsABC News or ABC Radio. Or Chris Berg on 4ZZZ FM. That is President Barack Obama on LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling last week.

Mr President, it’s great to have you on board!

This is a fantastic article in WND from Fox presenter John Stossel yesterday on how free speech and the free market trumped racism in the Sterling debacle (and if you missed it last week, here is the FreedomWatch post).

Now that Obama is such a big supporter of the IPA, the least we can do is bring you his (actually funny in parts) address to the 2014 White House Correspondents’ Dinner from last Saturday night.

The great Nobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker sadly passed away last Saturday. This obituary from Stephen D. Levitt at Freakonomics is terrific.

The Freedom Commissioner at the Human Rights Commission, the great Tim Wilson, will be speaking at the Sydney Institute on May 13. Details here.

Tomorrow is the IPA’s Liberty and Democracy in Western Civilisation Symposium featuring Roger Scruton in Melbourne. And here are the details of Roger’s events in Sydney and Brisbane next week.

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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