The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Maybe not quite what he meant

Friday 26 October 2007 at 11:40 pm

Letter from John Jamieson, Liberal candidate for Fremantle

Alongside the news yesterday of John Howard repeating a $400m pledge for road upgrades across Perth (half of which is for the highways around Perth Airport in partnership with its owners; what, you say, the airport needs money elsewhere?!) was the first letter in my mailbox to tell me who my Liberal candidate is.

What struck me, apart from the absence of commitments to spend money in the region (which I think is the most prominent feature of Liberal campaigning so far), was this line near the end: “Don’t experiment with your vote.”


This seat has been held by Labor for decades.

It’d be an experiment to vote Liberal …


The Verandah, pork-barrelling, and syndication

Wednesday 15 August 2007 at 9:14 am
  • I haven’t seen much comment about yesterday’s announcement from the new director of PIAF to dump the Beck’s Verandah and replace it with a “Music Box” on the Esplanade (presumably using the much-vaunted but really not that great stage built there by the City of Perth). I admire the goals of bringing the music closer to the city centre and strengthening the new urban axis along the underground line … but wasn’t a lit-up Concert Hall half the appeal?
  • Team Howard is going to drop two hundred million in the pockets of Internet filtering vendors to automate the task of supervising kids with Internet connections. Putting the politics aside (at least this is an opt-in policy), someone should tell them how the modern Internet renders such software useless. Many filters still use the old blacklisting method, which might have worked with old-school porn sites, but what about an XMLHttpRequest from Gmail with porn spam? And the vendors have only recently figured out how to monitor BitTorrent clients, nevermind the minefield of MySpace (block it to create a huge incentive to disable your software, or allow it and try to distinguish between innocent messages and porn spam friend requests …).
  • An anecdote: during a recent unexpected visit, a member of my extended family made a passing remark that “at least the Federal conservatives aren’t spending up big like Labor would” — and do, apparently, in the State. But I’m reminded of the striking similarities in both tiers’ budgets from May: no shortage of vote-buying, but at least both were responsible enough to not touch funds allocated to basic services. That is, assuming you don’t think those services need extra funding. (If ever I doubted the second-year lecturer who said class is a minor factor in Australian elections, I need only look at my family — it’s almost entirely working-class, but hosts quite a few Liberal supporters.)
  • Finally, for the LiveJournal users in the audience: ever wanted to read this blog from your friends page? Courtesy of Alex, now you can!