Sunday, February 20, 2005

Beazer's interest rate beat-up

Labor Leader Kim Beazley's attacks over the possibiity of interest rates rising in the next few months are a beat-up.

The U.S. federal reserve is considering a hike of maybe a quarter of one percent sometime soon, which may cause rates to rise by a similar amount in Australia.

Beazley seems to think this somehow means that John Howard was being economical with the truth when he campaigned on interest rates at the last election. Howard claimed that Coalition policies would be more likely than Labor policies to keep the lid on rate rises. Now that there is upward pressure on interest rates, Beazley is claiming that Howard has been "caught out".

So rates might rise to 6.25 percent as a result of external pressues, and Howard is to blame?

Give it a break Kim. It just doesn't make sense to anyone with at least half a brain.

All I can say is thank heavens we're not now suffering interest rates of 17 percent like when Beazley and Keating ran the country.

If you're going to try to be effective against the government, ask questions that are relevant. You don't do yourself or your party any favours making false claims based on questionable economics.

Phillip Adams Dreamtime

"Dreamtime" by Phillip Adams in the Weekend Australian is a classic.

I don't agree with Adams on some issues. I agree with him on much more, even though I come from a much more conservative viewpoint than he does.

More than most journalists in Australia today, I think he has earned the right to be heard and respected.

Phillip Adams has a heart as big as Uluru. He writes with a compassion and wit that can't be denied, but without any soppy sentimentalism. Like a loyal friend, he never tells you what you want to hear - he tells you the truth as he sees it.

Give us more people with this sort of integrity. I don't care if you disagree with me about something - just tell me the bloody truth. I'll respect you for it, and always will listen to what you have to say.

Spin doctors, and propagandists deserve the skepticism they receive. If you want that sort of tripe, watch Fox, listen to Laws or Jones, or some of the other cold leftovers they serve up on talk back radio. Like candy for the mind, it will rot your brain.

But if you want to work a bit harder, read Phillip Adams. He won't dish up policies from thinktanks. He'll just talk to you straight from his heart.

Phillip, thanks for sharing your dream this weekend. We'd be lucky if even half of it came true. I'm sure we could negotiate which half :)

Grieg shows guts over Habib reply issue

Democrats Senator Brian Grieg has shown courage in supporting Clerk of the Senate Harry Evans' decision to allow Mamdouh Habib the right of reply to a senate committee investigating allegations made against him.

Evans said that Habib would be given the right of reply in writing to a Senate committe which had heard evidence of involvement in terrorism that had been been given against him.

Both the Goverment and the ALP don't want to be perceived as supporting someone who has been accused of supporting terrorism. Beazley said that he didn't think Habib should have a right of reply, and that "we shouldn't waste a minute on him in the Senate".

On the other hand, Senator Greig showed good sense in stating that Parliament needed to play the issue with "a straight bat", and that Habib was entitled to "natural justice" on the issue.

At least one parliamentarian was prepared to actually stand up for justice.

Is is a sad state of affairs when politicians make allegations about any citizen, but then don't want to "waste time" listening to what he might have to say for himself in reply. Perhaps it could be one of us in a few years time at the centre of public allegations made under parliamentary privilege. Goverments must always be held accountable. That means giving people a right to speak out, even when you don't like what they say. It's the sort of duty you expect a credible opposition to perform.

Unfortunately, in this situation, it was a bit too difficult for the opposition. Especially with such a hot issue as terrorism allegations.

Good on you, Grieg, for having the guts to say what most of your colleagues were too afraid to say.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Big Google is watching

Let google be a snoop for you.

Imagine that you want to track what a particular organization, political party or competitor is doing.

Google Alerts ( will do it for you. It will send you an email every day of any new news articles, or web sites that refer to the topic that you're interested in.

Just to be on the safe side, why not set up a google alert for yourself to make sure you're aware of what everyone else can find out about you!

The Soapbox has Landed

The thoughts and sayings of Chairman Neil