The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

The new PM making headlines

Sunday 23 December 2007 at 11:20 pm

Why yes, I’m back, and already in a pit of disorganisation. I have, however, noticed that our new Prime Minister has been doing stuff! And quite aside from unexpected (and publicity-boosting) trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.

(In WA, I’m saddened to see Sir Charles’ passing and disappointed to see Griffin’s new coal power station being underwritten by Synergy.)

I was surprised to hear about the Council of Australian Governments meeting; it actually seems to have produced worthwhile results! For the longest time COAG was an institution filled with potential that never delivered — but maybe, just maybe, this week marked the beginnings of change. There was something for indigenous people, for health funding, and for future cooperation! I’m wondering whether perhaps it wasn’t just hot air back when the Ruddster promised a new era of state-federal relations.

This week also saw proof the Ruddster has style quirks all his own, insisting his office sign off on every government press release. Really, I don’t see this as any more severe than John Howard’s decree from 2003 that federal agencies dump their own logos for the now-ubiquitous black coat of arms and “Australian Government” sign. But at least it gave the opposition something to crow about.

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And so continues the Federal/State struggle

Saturday 4 August 2007 at 11:45 pm
  • When John Howard announced he was bringing us a new era of federalism, I felt a sudden urge to check over the Constitution again. And strangely enough, I don’t see anything to back him up there (though of course, IANAL, and the High Court has hardly disagreed with centralisation over the years). But given how his desire to hand-pick a hospital for a $60m payday ignores sensible planning, I doubt silly matters like what our founders thought will stop him.
  • This was interesting, I thought, in light of the Ruddster’s proposal to work with the states (shock! horror!) on infrastructure spending and housing affordability. Once upon a time, Labor were the centralist party and the Libs were federalists …!
  • Speaking of housing, this week saw the final report of the State Opposition’s housing affordability “taskforce”, which can best be summarised as a whinge saying “wah, wah, wah, it’s all Labor’s fault!”. Lemme just say that if supply of land for houses is, as they claim, the one and only cause of expensive accommodation prices, why are our pubs not full of tradespeople lounging around because there isn’t enough stuff being built for them to work on?
  • And finally, even bigger whinges are coming from the poor old Federal Police commissioner, who seems to think that he can just insist upon our respect, and that his “ongoing” investigation is going to, er, deliver evidence good enough that he might even get an extradition order before holding his next press conference. Or something.
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