Archive for March, 2010

NBN Craziness

March 25, 2010

Burning money for national infrastructure

Henry Ergas has been writing many excellent articles on the NBN in The Australian. When will leading journalists actually hold the Prime Minister to account for this crazy wasteful, centrally planned folly?

The underlying principle is simple but powerful: what governments do not disclose, they have no mandate for. If the government wants a mandate for the NBN, it should publish the implementation report, fully disclose the projected spending requirements of the NBN and ensure that any NBN-related costs appear, transparently, on the books of NBN Co.

Until that is done, the NBN, whatever its merits, will remain seriously tainted.

French hot air

March 24, 2010

Like Rudd, Sarkozy trips on Carbon Taxes

I wonder if Mr Rudd’s minders have tapped him politely on the shoulder to tell him to take a look.

Sarkozy once said that a carbon tax was as important as decolonisation and the repeal of the death penalty. It reminds me of Mr Rudd’s absurd claim that an ETS was the “the biggest moral imperative of our time”.  Can you spot other similarities.

France has backed down from a plan to tax carbon dioxide emissions that had been a central plank of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s push for a more prominent role in the global fight against climate change.

The decision to back down on a headline reform that Mr Sarkozy had once compared to decolonisation and the repeal of the death penalty comes two days after the President’s UMP party suffered a stinging defeat in regional elections.

Among the French, surveys show about two-thirds of people opposed the measure.

France’s business lobby applauded the government’s withdrawal of the plan.

He also quietly dropped any mention of his previous July deadline.

Navy all at sea

March 23, 2010

HMAS Success – warship’s culture of sex, grog and drugs

The first question is, why are we  surprised?

A CULTURE of drug, alcohol and sexual abuse existed on board the supply ship HMAS Success but there was no sex ledger, an inquiry heard yesterday. The culture extended to male and female sailors celebrating Anzac Day by having sex on a pool table in a Chinese bar as other sailors cheered.According to the ship’s captain, Commander Simon Brown, the incident was captured on video. It also emerged that a fifth sailor from the Success was put ashore in Hong Kong for having sex with a female sailor on the ship’s pool table. There is a strict no-touching and no-fraternisation policy on all navy vessels. The crew allegedly used the warship’s “goodwill” cruise of Asia between March and June 2009 as a drunken holiday, culminating in the smashing up of a bar in Manila.

Apart from the name of the ship, there seems to be several things wrong here.

Remember the acrimonious debates about women serving in the forces on active duty, and in confined spaces for weeks at sea. This behaviour is certainly appalling, but are we so blinded by feminist theory that no-one could have forseen it?

If the navy can’ t control drugs and excessive alcohol on their ships and bad behaviour on shore, what do they think  a “no touching and no fraternising policy” is going to achieve when they add a few girls on board.