The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

So is there to be any difference?

Saturday 9 August 2008 at 2:59 am

Thank heavens Barnett has dumped the canal idea.

But he is also apparently not very attached to the idea of extended shopping hours, even though he’s talking about it. Thus, cutting aside the normal guff about “focussing on the future” and “look! wasteful spending, e.g. OSS!” … I fail to see any significant policy difference in the Liberal Party. And with everyone’s attention elsewhere, there’s no way he’s going to be able to get anyone to care about announcements.

In other news, the sudden conflict in South Ossetia has me wondering about what modern Russia is becoming, and the misinformation from both sides is awfully depressing, with terrible echoes of Yugoslavia or Chechnya in the 1990s …

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Looking back upon Perth for a moment

Friday 2 May 2008 at 3:03 pm
  • So the owners of Perth Airport have finally announced a plan to upgrade the freakin’ thing. Coming home will be that much less painful … from 2015! In fact, said owners are so reluctant to get this process started that they have little more than a map to show — the press release contains the lovely admission that “concept designs are still being developed”. Going on what they have said, the plan isn’t bad, but neither is it great (regional terminal? yay! such a long walk away? eek!). And it’s still likely to turn out less than adequate — by their own boasting, passenger numbers are consistently growing a good 13% each year.
  • The State Government re-announced this week the Riverside development in East Perth, which is nice, and that Transperth fares will go up, which is less so.
  • And finally, the dear State Liberal Party is talking leadership spill again (over some stupid little indiscretion; does anyone even remember the Ruddster’s strip club incident?). Seriously kids, the election is nine months away. If you’re bickering about this now, your chances of success are zero.

Wacky leaders in the state and Southeast Asia

Thursday 28 February 2008 at 5:48 pm
  • Hooray for the state Liberals, who continue to find new ways to implode. I see no hope for them whatsoever at the next election. And hooray for Colin Barnett, who’s mumbling randomly now that he’s leaving. (Does he seriously want to see the state dump preferential voting, the one great innovation in Australian politics?)
  • Egad, Thaksin is back in Bangkok! (This after being kicked out by force.) I do hope that this doesn’t jeopardise the country’s stability; I don’t like the prospects for Thailand returning to a proper model of democracy any time soon. Thaksin’s no saint and the corruption charges may well be true, but it’s a stretch to claim the moral high ground if you were part of a coup!
  • Speaking of stability, Timor-Leste has done surprisingly well after the violence of a fortnight ago, with security forces now getting stuck into investigative work. Along with the extension of the UN presence, this pretty much puts things back to normal, which is good from a yay-the-country-isn’t-imploding point of view but mightn’t be the best thing long-term.
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New leader, same messed-up party

Friday 18 January 2008 at 10:22 pm

Yesterday’s State news was that Troy Buswell had gotten over the Crazy Drunken Party Trick saga and won the Liberal Party leadership. And it seems that at least a few in the party are hoping he’ll be their saviour in the forthcoming election. (… which will be this year or next. Speaking of which, didn’t ol’ Gallop promise us fixed four-year terms?)

Now I was skeptical about Kevin Rudd when he got to the top of Federal Labor, and that was obviously wrong, but the Ruddster had a much easier job than the WA Liberal leader. After all, the State Liberals have still got to deal with an alienated coalition partner, ridiculously poor polling, no major policy to speak of, and the departure of key members

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“Party tricks”, state funding, and obituaries

Sunday 13 January 2008 at 11:34 pm

Oops, I suppose I should post something! Here are some things I have observed recently.

  • I have only one response to the current State Liberal leadership scuffle: LOL! (hey look, I’ll destroy my leadership ambitions with a drunken escapade! As if it’d improve the party’s fortunes anyway.)
  • I’ve spoken to quite a few people lately who’ve observed that Team Ruddster haven’t done much since taking office. But tomorrow’s meeting of Federal and State treasurers could prove to be the team’s first big change, if they can agree to straighten out the mess of specific purpose payments. (If.)
  • I do hope that Fortescue Metals sorts out their weak safety record, even if the press have sensationalised it (to wit: “working families”!). Their apparently-weak management here is one of the few things I can see as getting in the way of their crazy take-over-the-Pilbara plan.
  • Sir Edmund Hillary probably deserves the fanfare that has accompanied his unfortunate passing. By contrast, the forthcoming death of Suharto shouldn’t merit anything of the sort.
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Briefly: ministers, global warming, and the EAS

Thursday 6 December 2007 at 11:24 pm
  • As nice as it is that the Ruddster has gotten all tough for his new ministerial code of conduct, I do believe John Howard was really quite strict on his ministers too, for a while in 1996. But then he fired so many that he had to scale the rules back, and something tells me that Labor types aren’t any more wholesome and pure than Liberals …
  • Also, the poor PM already seems to be having a hard time handling the global warming talks in Bali. And this is before any signs of progress emerge at all!
  • Brendan Nelson’s new shadow ministry certainly seems to keep with his promise to be fresh and new, with Tony Abbot getting the demotion he probably deserved. It’ll be interesting to see if any of the new faces are competent in opposition, because I have no idea how they’d perform as real ministers.
  • I never got a chance to write about the East Asia Summit, which was held in Singapore a fortnight ago. Pending a more thoughtful post, the news reports I’ve seen suggest that the biggest topic of discussion was climate change. It’s lovely to see more awareness of this issue, particularly from the Chinese (now Mr. Wen, can you fix the haze in Guangdong?), but it’s disappointing to see the EAS so distracted by it. With global warming being global and all, this isn’t the kind of issue that the institution was built to handle.
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