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aus election 2007

Telstra, the Modern Prometheus

If Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley were to re-appear in contemporary Australia and remake her most famous novel, Telstra would be the monster. John Howard would be Dr Frankenstein, and Richard Alston would be Igor.

The privatisation of Telstra is arguably the worst of the Howard Government's economic failures. It was a classic example of putting ideology before economic sense.

Selling off a government-owned business in order to reduce capital debt is not, in itself, a bad concept.

Selling off a highly profitable government-owned business can work if done properly.

Shareholding disclosure

Before I start talking policy over the next couple of weeks before the election, it's worth disclosing that I have become a shareholder again for the first time since May 2005, albeit without really trying and against my will.

Following the demutualisation of NIB Health Funds I was allocated shares as a policy-holder. These shares were issued on 1 October 2007, and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange on 5 November 2007 at an issue price of 85c. At close of trading today they were trading at $1.26.

Election campaign week 47 and a half update

While everyone else does their weekly campaign summaries on a Friday, I get around to it whenever... in this case the following Wednesday.

(i) "Coalition gains one point on Labor!" Well golly gee. Four words: Statistical. Margin. Of. Error.

Youtubes do dia: Dead Man Powerwalking, Forgettable Man Skateboarding

Will John Howard continue with his ostentatious morning powerwalks when he becomes the retrenched former member for Bennelong? Or will he entertain grandson Angus with the method of transport demonstrated in the last of today's clips by Nationals leader, Mark "I can't recall" Vaile.

Youtubes do dia: Abbott and Costello meet The Invisible Man

My focus today is on Tony Abbott, minister for health and aging, and honourable member for Warringah; and Peter Costello, federal treasurer and honourable member for Higgins.

First, Abbott and Costello debate themselves over the major issue of the day.
Second, the Invisible Man acts as stunt double for Abbott at the National Press Club.
Third, Costello is picked on by someone smaller than him who is not John Howard.
And finally, exclusive footage as Federal Cabinet calculate the size of a budget surplus.

Your Warringah how-to-get-rid-of-Tony Abbott guide

Tony Abbott has had a Barry Crocker of a day today. Made to apologise to prominent asbestosis sufferer Bernie Banton, half an hour late for the health policy debate in Canberra at lunchtime because of a photo-op with JWH in Melbourne, and then heard swearing at his opposite number Nicola Roxon after said debate. The Sydney Morning Herald has a recap of the highlights of Bud's Halloween, and I hope to put together a Youtube Do Dia Abbott compilation later tonight.

Youtubes do dia: Bob and Lyn and Kate and a singalong and Bob's John Howard moment

My selection of election ads for today. Firstly, - the Australian copy of the US's - got Lyn Allison, Bob Brown and Kate Lundy into the same ad (not all into the same shot) to support a vote against the Coalition in the Senate. Steve Fielding told Insiders on Sunday morning that he wasn't invited - would he have played ball anyway? And why did Labor send a nonentity such as Senator Lundy to do the GetUp gig? Why not John Faulkner, Penny Wong, or Stephen Conroy? (OK, not Conroy.)

My religion, my politics

I'm a Christian. I'm a supporter of the Greens. The two are by no means incompatible.

I believe firmly that church and state must remain separate bodies. They do, of course, interact. Religious organisations must conform to the laws of the land. Conversely, they are entitled, as much or as little as any other group, to provide input to the democratic process and to provide feedback to Government. Neither side of the ledger should abuse this relationship.

Youtube do dia: Australian Dickhead

Monday's Sydney Morning Herald reports that Family First have disendorsed their candidate for the western Sydney seat of Reid, after a photo, apparently of the aspiring member displaying his private member, turned up on the internet.

"Look, maybe somebody photoshopped it, and put another one on the photo," Andrew Quah said. "I can tell you, it's not me. I know these things."


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