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The Biggest Problem With Labor’s Negative Gearing Policy

Looking at the register of pecuniary interests, one can’t help but notice the number of politicians with more than one property. Actually, when you look at the number of properties, it’s tempting to suggest that were they all required to divest themselves of all real estate investments, then that’d go more than halfway toward solving the “supply” problem that the Liberals suggest is the reason for high prices.

Of course, to suggest that it’s all a supply problem overlooks the demand side of the equation. Ever since non-landholders were granted the vote a couple of centuries back, the poor have grown more demanding and now most of them seem to think that they require houses, even in the more temperate areas of Australia. Thankfully, there are some who are content to be homeless even if they make the streets untidy. Personally, I think our Deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce (doesn’t sound so absurd if you say, US President Donald Trump!) hit the nail on the head when he suggested that people should quit their jobs and move to his electorate so that they could afford a house… Assuming that they could get another job in an area where unemployment is so high.

But I didn’t start writing because I had a solution to the problem. Like the Liberals, I think it’s enough to point out Bill’s shortcomings… (Mm, Shorten’s Shortcomings! I may be able to sell them that one. They seem to have run out clever catch-phrases lately. I mean, “clean coal” is an oxymoron and makes about as much sense as “dry water” or “right-wing think tank”. They haven’t had anything like “jobs and growth” or “Innovation rules, ok” for over a year!)

The big problem with the policy Labor took to the last election is that only allowing negative gearing on new construction is that it would bring down the price of houses. And this won’t help affordability. Why not? Well, it just won’t. Have I done any economic modelling? There’s no need for economic modelling because it’ll either just confirm what I already know, or else it won’t have taken into consideration other factors like the fact that it doesn’t confirm the assumptions that I started with.

If housing prices come down, then the value of the politicians’ property portfolio would drop by millions of dollars. And they’d feel poor, making them vulnerable to corruption. So by keeping property values high, then we’re helping to ensure the integrity of the Parliament. In fact, recently some politicians suggested that by giving people access to their superannuation, we could help push prices even higher and therefore our MPs would have even less incentive to accept a bribe.

But really the problem is now solved. The crackdown on 457 visas means that no longer will we have goat farmers, blacksmiths and various other occupations coming over and buying up all our houses so that they can use them to strike their spouses, practise female circumcision and deny their families Australian values.

Hopefully this doesn’t cause too much of drop in demand. I’d hate anything to reduce the wealth of our politicians, but I guess, if that were to happen, Malcolm would have a solution. If not, I’m sure Tony would have an idea he’d be happy to share.

Peter Dutton And His Imaginary Five Year Old Friend

Mr Dutton told Sky News today that the mood on the island had been tense following an alleged incident “where three asylum seekers were alleged to be leading a local five-year-old boy back toward the facility”.
“There was concern about why the boy was being led or for what purpose he was being led away back in the regional processing centre,” Mr Dutton said.
“I think it’s fair to say the mood had elevated quite quickly. I think some of the local residents were quite angry about this particular incident and another alleged sexual assault.”

ABC Online

In an exclusive interview, the Minister Responsible for Incarceration, Mr Peter Plod, revealed that he had no information about what caused the shooting incident but he was happy to speculate and spread nasty innuendo.

AIMN: Good morning, Mr Plod.
Plod: Good morning.
AIMN: What’s the latest information about the incident on Manus?
Plod: Well, I understand that several asylum seekers were filmed throwing a child into the ocean.
AIMN: Really?
Plod: Yes, apparently there’s a video.
AIMN: And you’ve seen the video?
Plod: No, but I’m told by a very reliable source that it exists and it proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that these people throw children into the sea…
AIMN: But just yesterday you were implying that this was related to an alleged sexual assault?
Plod: Yes, I stand by that as well.
AIMN: But the PNG police have said that nothing of the sort occurred, that a ten-year-old boy had been taken into the centre because he was asking for food and there was no allegation of sexual assault.
Plod: I’m not going to comment on an ongoing investigation by the PNG police.
AIMN: But it doesn’t sound like they’re investigating anything.
Plod: No, Look the point is that these people in the centre aren’t very nice people. Otherwise why would the armed forces be shooting at them?
AIMN: Well you couldn’t have unarmed forces shooting at them…
Plod: What? Or, no the point is that it was defence personnel who launched the attack. That surely tells you that it was deserved.
AIMN: So you’re suggesting that any time asylum seekers are attacked it’s their own fault.
Plod: Illegal immigrants.
AIMN: What?
Plod: They’re illegal immigrants. People who come to Australia by boat are illegal immigrants…
AIMN: But they never made it to Australia.
Plod: No but they intended to. Just like they had intentions with that five-year-old boy…
AIMN: But the incident with the boy appears to be a complete fabrication.
Plod: You’re overlooking the video.
AIMN: There’s a video of a five-year-old boy being led into the centre.
Plod: No there’s a video of these people throwing children in the water. I just told you about a minute ago.
AIMN: Who has it?
Plod: Peter Reith, I’m told, and I don’t want to be bothering him now, because he’s not well.
AIMN: So let’s get this straight. You’re no longer claiming that a five-year-old boy being led away and linking that to some alleged sexual assault?
Plod: That’s not what I said… I never claimed that at all. You’re trying to put words into my mouth!
AIMN: So, what did you claim?
Plod: I merely confirmed that there was a definite rumour and that shots were fired and it was probably something to do with that alleged sexual assault and some kid being led away and all those children in the water. Whatever, they’re not the sort of people who should be allowed to stay.
AIMN: On Manus Island or here?
Plod: So I don’t follow.
AIMN: Never mind. If I can just move on to the citizenship test. Let’s take the English skills test. How good does your English have to be? Like, for example, would Matthias Cormann pass?
Plod: That’s really offensive. Making fun of someone just because he has a little bit of an accent.
AIMN: I wasn’t making fun of him. It was a genuine question. I just wondered if people had a thick accent like that, would they pass the test?
Plod: Oh. In that case, no. It’s far too foreign.
AIMN: And some of the questions on the front page of the paper yesterday… Are they really the sort of thing you’ll be asking?
Plod: Give me an example.
AIMN: “Under what circumstances is it appropriate to prohibit girls from education?”
Plod: Great question.
AIMN: Is the answer, “When they can’t afford their HECS debt”?
Plod: Umm….
AIMN: Here’s another: “While it is illegal to use violence in public, under what circumstances can you strike your partner in the privacy of your home?”
Plod: Ok.
AIMN: So. What’s the answer?
Plod: Ah… I don’t have the answers. I just helped out with a few of the questions. We didn’t have to supply answers. That’s up to the applicants.
AIMN: So the answer isn’t, “If you are the leader of a political party in (REMOVED FOR LEGAL REASONS AND BECAUSE IT WAS A LONG TIME AGO AND IT WAS ALL HUSHED UP)”
Plod: That’s an outrageous thing to say! You’re just repeating unsubstantiated rumours. I bet you wouldn’t do that if it were a Labor guy.
AIMN: So you have a problem with someone repeating unsubstantiated rumours. Now that’s ironic.
Plod: What is?
AIMN: Ok, back to question. What if someone wrote, “You are allowed to strike your partner if he’s coming at you with a knife”?
Plod: Look, I’m not going to give the answers. This is the government’s way of ensuring that we get the right sort of people gaining citizenship.
AIMN: Yeah, but it’s too late to exclude Abbott’s parents.
Plod: Pity that… Don’t write that down. Write: Tony was a great PM, he just had trouble explaining things to people, and it was a shame but when his poll numbers dropped that low he to go. Emphaise the bit about poll numbers, but don’t say anything directly about Malcolm’s being just as bad. And say that we all should remeber that Tony really loved Australia and he had great ideas about what the country should be like.
AIMN: And what did he think the country should be like?
Plod: Well, more like England really, with knights and dames and lots and lots of English people.
AIMN: So when do you think we’ll get to see this video?
Plod: What video?
AIMN: The children being thrown into the sea.
Plod: Oh, that’s an on-water matter. It’s classified. But you can trust us. We wouldn’t make something like that up.
AIMN: Thanks, Mr Plod.
Plod: And thanks for not asking me about any leadership challenge.
AIMN: Yes, it would be, wouldn’t it?
Plod: What?
AIMN: A challenge. Leadership, I mean.
Plod: I don’t understand.

Why Theresa May Called An Early Election And How Tony Abbott Is Helping Turnbull

When I heard that Theresa May had called an election for June 12, I thought, “Well, that’s one way of avoiding all the mess of Brexit. Get voted out!” However, all the news stories I’ve read seem to suggest that she’s expected to win. It’s a strategy to give herself a mandate for Brexit, they said. The Labour vote is down, they said. Some even suggested that it was a clever move.

Well, I don’t know much about British politics, but if I want to succeed as a hard-hitting opinion piece writer, I can’t let total ignorance stop me from commenting. After all, if only the well-informed commented then the whole standard of political discourse would be improved and then there’d be no room for Barnaby Joyce. So, for what it’s worth, here’s my two cents worth… Or should that be tuppence, giving I’m writing about Britain?

In spite of Brexit and the election of Trump, most commentators seem to be behaving as though these things are entirely predictable. And, if we have a good hard look at what May is arguing, we discover that – even though they had a vote about leaving the EU – the British PM feels that she needs another election in order to give her a mandate. Of course, they’ve already passed the legislation and put the wheels in motion and triggered Article 50 and announced that there’s no going back. However, she just needs a bit of reassurance. No, they’ll still go ahead, no matter what, but she doesn’t feel that her seventeen seat majority is enough and she’d like it extended so that she can say how much everyone is behind Brexit.

Except that a lot of people aren’t. Even some of those who voted against it were doing so as a protest, but when they won, it all became a bit real for them. And now that UKIP, Boris Johnson, Uncle Tom Cobbly and all have demonstrated that while they campaigned with all the passion of a dog chasing a car, once the car pulled over, they didn’t seem to have any ideas about what to do, apart from continuing to bark until someone put them back in their kennel.

And given that there’s a strong expectation that May will win, the danger of yet another protest vote leading to a surprise result remains a real possibility. It seems that there are only three possibilities: 1. May loses the election badly and the whole process is in chaos while Labour works out exactly what they’ll do; 2. May needs the support of other parties to form government, meaning that she has less authority to make decisions; 3. May is returned with a working majority, which even if she increases the number of seats, she’s effectively in the same position she’s in now, except she can say that she has a mandate to do what she’s already done!

It’s always worth remembering that while ninety percent of everything is predictable, that’s what lulls us into a false sense of security and causes us to miss the fact that the other ten percent is unpredictable and therefore always likely to catch us by surprise.

Now take Tony Abbott, for example. Various Liberals are making the same suggestion that was made to that shepherd whose sheep were making too much noise: “Why don’t you shut the flock up!” However, I don’t see Tony as doing much damage at all. Every time he opens his mouth, we’re reminded of exactly how out of touch with reality he actually is. True, Turnbull may be two-faced, duplicitous, arrogant, out-of-touch, manipulative and prepared to do anything in order to stay PM, but at least he gives the impression that he has some grip on reality. Comparatively speaking, that is.

And, of course, Abbott’s five point plan for fixing up the government made Turnbull’s announcement on 457 visas look impressive by comparison. Turnbull managed to get through the whole thing without blaming Labor for not changing it sooner… Possibly because then the question of why it’s taken them four years before they’ve actually got around to taking off such things as Cinema Manager, Park Ranger or Amusement Centre Manager from the list. Ok, I know that many of the changes are largely cosmetic and that there’s still a heap of jobs on the list where we don’t actually need overseas workers, but could you imagine, Tony ever making an announcement without telling us why it was someone else’s fault?

Tony’s five point plan, for those of you who missed it, consisted of attacking renewables (they shouldn’t get subsidies – only fossil fuels provide jobs), cutting spending so that our grandkids don’t have debt (mind you, they’ll have a bucketload of delayed infrastructure they’ll have to pay for), reforming the Senate (ok, we just did it, but we need to keep doing it until only Liberals can be elected), cutting immigration (we don’t want people like his parents coming here) and getting rid of the Human Rights Commission (because it’s part of the “nanny” state and Tony obviously hated his grandmother!)

So after Tony’s little outburst, I see a bump in the polls for Malcolm. Of course, I could be wrong. There’s always the possibility that Malcolm may actually make the mistake of showing us one of those excruciating moments where he tries to look all human and relaxed by having a beer. That never plays well. And, of course, his version of “All the way with LBJ” where he goes “I’m a chump for Donald Trump” may get him into trouble.

Whatever, it’s all very predictable. Apart from the bits that aren’t. And if I could work them out, I’d have it made!

Turnbull And Flexibility

You’ll notice in the video, Mr Turnbull making his position on penalty rates very… ah, clear. Well, that is to say…ah, we’re in no doubt that he supports…flexibility. Turnbull on penalty rates

And we can sure of his support for flexibility because if there’s one thing we can say about his time as PM, it’s how flexible he’s been. If being a contortionist was an Olympic sport, he’d be a gold medal chance. He supports the Republic, not until the Queen dies; he’s all for marriage equality but only after we have a plebiscite and then he’ll allow a vote in Parliament; he supports action on climate change, but nothing that would affect anyone’s business interests; he doesn’t support subsidising renewables because the market should decide, but wouldn’t it be just peachy to lend that big coal money a billion dollars interest free; he supports saying whatever you need to say to get elected, but wants the Federal Police called in because “Mediscare” was a fraud!

So it was pleasing to hear him talk about flexibility. Now I know that some of you will think that’s just a euphemism for “how can we screw workers even more?”, but I’m sure that you’ll find that flexibility is a two-way street. For example, in return for giving up their penalty rates, some workers will get to work more hours. Or, after telling their boss that they need to have a day off to look after a sick child, some workers will find that their employer is so understanding that he tells them not to come in again and that they can spend the rest of their life as a stay-at-home parent.

Yes, flexibility. It – and innovation – is the way of the future. And in return for all that flexibility, the workers will have jobs and the economy will have growth and the Liberals will be able to pay down all that debt just like they promised… Which wasn’t a lie, because they fully intended to have the Budget back in surplus but they didn’t realise that their plan had a few holes in it. I know some of you have rather unkindly suggested that they had no plan, but they had a very clear one:

Get elected, hope that the economy improves because the adults are back in charge, cut spending on anything that they couldn’t link to defence and sell Medibank Private, Australia Post and the ABC. Any suggestion that they wanted to privatise Medicare was just a Labor lie, in spite of Mr Turnbull’s response in February, 2016, to a question in Parliament about the government’s intention to privatise aspects of Medicare:

“What we are looking at, as we look at in every area, is improving the delivery of government services … looking at ways to take the health and aged care payment system into the 21st century. This is about making it simpler and faster for patients to be able to transact with Medicare, to get the services they are entitled to.”

Yep, no privatisation there. That’s not how privatisation works. Privatisation is where the government tells you that they’re incapable of running something efficiently because they’re not really all that good. They then cut the funding to prove how badly they’re running it. When people are fed up, they sell it to a private company, who make a couple of changes before putting up the price and making heaps of money through cutting the services. In return for their massive profits, the private company makes an altruistic donation to some organisation committed to public service, such as the Liberal Party.

Flexibility, it’s even more important than innovation!

Hot On The Heels Of Cadbury, We Discuss An Even Bigger Scandal!

Senator Hanson’s recent call for us boycott Cadbury’s because of an old photo of a man holding up Halal certification and some Cadbury’s chocolates has left me slightly outraged. I mean, I know that I should be supporting the jobs of Aussie workers at Cadbury but when someone has a certificate to show that their Easter eggs contain no animal products, I know that I should just forget all about buying Australian and get my eggs from wherever those delicious Lindt ones are made.

Pandering to the politically correct, just so they can sell more Easter eggs to Muslims, because I’m sure that they must be a big market at Easter is as bad as the halal wine I read about a couple of years ago.

But then I discovered from a very reliable source – Barry down at the pub – that there was en even bigger scandal. I had a bit of a headache so along with the drinks I asked the guy at the bar if I could have a glass of water.

“Water!” exclaimed Barry who was sitting at the bar.

“I just want it to take a couple of aspirin, then I’ll have my chardie like all good socialists,” I explained.

“No, mate,” he said, “don’t you know?”

“Know what?”

“We’re all boycotting water in here. We’ve discovered that it’s halal.”


“Yep. 100% halal. You won’t catch me drinking water any more.”

I was tempted to point out that I’d never caught Barry drinking water. “Right then,” I told him, “no more water for me… Does that include washing? I mean, we’re still using the water.”

Barry considered. He clearly hadn’t thought about it. “Mm, I think halal only refers to stuff you eat…”

“And flushing,” I added. “Do we have to stop flushing our toilets until they clear up this whole halal thing?”

“Flushing is fine,” declared Barry authoritatively.

“Great. I mean, I could go without drinking water but…”

“Look, we’ve contacted Pauline and we expect that she’ll fix it and any day now we’ll get back to good old Aussie water.”

“How are they going to do that?”

“We had a bit of a brainstorm the other night and Gazza suggested adding roadkill at the treatment plant.”

“Does that make it non-halal?”

“Too bloody right it does!”

“What about the hygiene factor?”

Barry looked at me like I was stupid, so I took my drinks – minus the water – back to my table. I still had a bit of a headache, so my explanation of why water didn’t pass the pub test was a bit garbled.

“Whatever,” I told my friends, “Pauline’s onto it, so I imagine she’ll fix it a few days, just like she did with the Great Barrier Reef. Remember how she and her mate went swimming and showed us that it was just fine!”

Then someone asked if the water she was swimming in was halal too, and, if so, should she be swimming it.

It was a good point. But I guess she may not have realised. I mean, not even Malcolm Roberts knows everything. I haven’t had that confirmed with empirical evidence, but it seems probable, even if he disagrees.

What If Malcolm And Scott Had Been In Charge During The GFC!


People have trouble switching from the micro to the macro when it comes to a whole range of things, and in particular economics.

On the micro level, the recent proposal to allow people to access their superannuation to buy a home has a superficial appeal. And, Chris Bowen made a terrible blunder when he said that if couples could access $40,000 from their super, then that would just add $40,000 to the cost of houses. He overlooked that it’s the deposit that the money goes to, so if a couple have an extra $40,000 then, assuming a twenty percent deposit, they may be able to borrow another $200,000!

But hey, isn’t it in their long-term interests to have a home now, because, well, their access to super is a long time off and even then, won’t they be better off if they own their home. The short answer is possibly, but so much depends on unknown variables, I’m sure that it’d be better to let super do what super was meant to do and to find another solution to help those poor first home buyers.

However, the proposal has appeal to two groups of people: many of those trying to buy their first home and to the Coalition government. The former because they’d be happy with anything that helped them now because nobody under forty even thinks about super and isn’t retirement going to be banned anyway? The latter because it gives the appearance of action while delaying any consequences or action to sometime in the future. Snowy 2.0, anyone?

And after thinking about Malcolm’s “let’s solve the current energy problems by announcing a feasibility study” and Scott’s “let’s solve the potential housing bubble by inflating with more air”, I thought back to Labor’s handling of the GFC. Of course, the Liberals don’t want to acknowledge that we avoided recession. No, even though at the time they said that, Labor was going too hard, too early and there’d be nothing left for when we were actually in recession, they quickly adjusted this to accusations that Labor didn’t need to stimulate the economy at all because we didn’t go into recession. You know the sort of argument, why did you build the levy bank so high, when the water didn’t even spill over the top.

Anyway, I started to wonder how the current mob would have handled the GFC… (This is where we go into the dream sequence!)

* * *

2008 in a mythical Australia. Press conference. Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison stand by the podium.

Malcolm: Good afternoon. Now recently we’ve had a lot of ideas floated about how we best handle the recent financial collapse in the USA. I’m here today to tell you that we’ve decided that what we’ve considered all the ideas that were on the table yesterday and decided that most of them shouldn’t have been put on the table, so had someone clean them away. We will not be changing the personal tax rates. And, owing to a hostile senate, the idea of leasing the Great Barrier Reef to the Chinese for 99 years has been shelved.
But we need to take action. Strong, decisive action. And that’s what we’ll be doing.

Reporter 1: And what action will that be?

Malcolm: It’ll be strong. And it will be decisive. And it will protect jobs.

Reporter 1: Yes, but specifically.

Malcolm: Now, I don’t want to get into the specifics at this stage, but let me just say that we’ve been working hard on this and I think you’ll find that Scott Morrison will have more to say in the coming days. Scott?

Scott: Yes, we’re looking at cutting taxes to major companies in order to encourage investment, but we’ll release the detail in the coming weeks.

Reporter 2: But how will cutting taxes help? I mean, that’ll only help the profitable companies and isn’t the concern that very few will actually make a profit.

Scott: No, the concern is that when the crisis hits Australia, there’ll be no investment, so by cutting taxes we’ll be encouraging investment.

Reporter 1: But who’ll want to invest in companies that don’t make a profit?

Scott: That’s why we want to cut taxes. That way companies will be able to keep employees on and that’ll protect jobs

Reporter 1: Not if they’re not making a profit, because they won’t pay tax anyway…

Scott: What’s your question?

Reporter 1: Can you respond to how cutting taxes helps companies not making a profit?

Scott: There’ll be more detail in the upcoming mini-Budget.

Reporter 3: And when will that be released.

Scott: As soon as we’ve finalised the details…

Reporter 3: Details about what? What is it exactly that you’ll be releasing?

Scott: Our response, obviously. What else would we be releasing?

Reporter 2: But what exactly is your response?

Malcolm: If I could just butt in here, our response, as I’ve already said is STRONG and DECISIVE.

Reporter 2: But exactly what are you going to do?

Scott: I’m sorry but we’re not going to comment on operational matters.

Reporter 3: What about Labor’s idea of giving everyone a handout of $900?

Scott: People’ll just waste by spending it!

Reporter 3: Isn’t that the idea? Stimulating the economy.

Scott: We’d rather do something more substantial.

Reporter 2: Like infrastructure projects?

Scott: No. Absolutely not! This is a time of crisis. This isn’t the time to be spending money. We should be looking at ways to save money, like cutting back on services.

Reporter 3: But won’t that make things worse?

Malcolm: Sorry, but Scott and I need to go and work on the final details of our plan, which is a strong one and a decisive one. And it’s different to Labor’s so it has to be good. Thank you!

* * *

Yes, I know, it’s totally unbelievable…
As if the reporters would question Malcolm and Scott that hard!

Fonex, One Nation, The Australian Newspaper and Other Absurdities.

Owar guvenment iz torking to Britush pollytishun and skools minista, Nick Gibb, about fonnex. Apearently, in Britun, kids ar givun a test on may dup werds to see wich of them dozent undastand fonnex…

Ok, I’ll stop now. If you’re interested in what’s wrong with the British model, there’s a link at the bottom of the page. But I’d just like to make two points before I leave the absurdity of Australia buying this program from Britain and move onto even more absurd things:

1. Most of the spelling mistakes that I’ve come across are actually students spelling things phonetically.
2. Schools already teach phonics. I’m yet to speak to a primary teacher who says that they’re school doesn’t teach kids to sound out words. However, it’s just one (or should that be wun?) strategy in the process of teaching reading.

However, I realise what a topsy-turvy world we now live in by looking at the front page of today’s “The Australian”. I didn’t read the whole article because there’s a limit to how much you can read before the person in the newsagency asks if you intend to buy it, but I was taken by the way they framed Bill Shorten as being “isolated” in his opposition to the Adani project. Apparently unions are for it, councils are for it, local people are for it, kangaroos are for it and only Bill Shorten opposes it!

Which would be something that surprises a lot of you! Because you thought that you opposed it too! However, my reading of Bill’s comments suggested that he wasn’t opposed to the mine, just “lending” Adani the billion to build the railway, interest free.

“The Australian” also had a companion piece on the front page – which I didn’t read, because I may have been asked to buy the paper and my wife doesn’t like me swearing in public… or in private, for that matter, but hey, fuck it, when someone suggests you buy anything that helps out Rupert “Burns” Murdoch, what else can you do but utter obscenities? Anyway, the heading was enough: “Shorten Resorts To Left-wing Fanaticism”.

Now, let’s just slow this down for any One Nation supporters who may have seen their name in title and  strayed here. Bill Shorten is opposed to giving a loan to a company to help it out and thinks that it should be able to raise its own finances in the market and that’s now left-wing. Yep, refusing to subsidise companies is fine if they’re into renewable energy. Reducing money for the CSIRO is ok, because they should be commercially viable, but Mr Adani, hey, he’s just fine by us and we should give him anything he wants. Water, yep, native title, gone, you need a billion as a loan, fine, just pay it back when you can, what else can we do for you, back-rub? Oh, right, you want your back scratched and in return, you’ll scratch ours at some future time when coal has removed the caste system in India…

Bill Shorten, Adam Smith, Milton Friedman and the Chicago School of Economics, with their left-wing fanaticism are just destroying the joint…

And speaking of left wing fanatics, have you heard One Nation’s threat on the ABC?

Pauline’s blames the ABC over her trip to Afghanistan being cancelled, Malcolm Roberts thinks the ABC are an affront to democracy, and Senator Burston informs us: “I’ve contacted Mathias Cormann and said One Nation wants the ABC funding reduced by $600 million over the forward estimates. If they’re not forthcoming in reducing funding to the ABC as part of their budget repair we’ll have to seriously consider what budget repair options… that the Liberal Party puts forward. It’s about time we apply a little bit of pressure on the government to do something about the left-wing, Marxist ABC.”

Which, of course, puts the government in a bit of a dilemma. They could cut funds to the ABC and say they were always going to do it. But that wouldn’t stop One Nation trumpeting their ability to bark orders at the Turnbull (or whoever’s PM by Budget Time), and trying the same trick on all sorts of weird policies. Or they can say no to them and try to negotiate with the other senators. Or they could even negotiate with Labor. But, of course, that would be impossible because, while you need to take into account the views of the party that got about four percent of the vote, you can just ignore the party that got a higher number of votes than the Liberals themselves. (I’m not including the Nations, in that figure, but even if I did, the point is still valid)

It’ll be interesting to see how that one plays out. Will the government stand up to One Nation or take the Turnbull option and just pretend like they’re still in charge?

Link to Phonics Article

Are We Going To Underwrite Adani – Since When Did We Become Socialist?

Ok, I was going to write about Trump’s attack on Syria and my confusion that some of the same people who were worried that Trump would react emotionally and attack another country are now applauding his actions because he reacted emotionally to the footage of the gas attack. And then I realised that I’d have hundreds of comments telling that it wasn’t Assad who launched the attack and then the comments would be filled with different conspiracy theories and I’d get a headache because I’d end up asking someone who said that prefered Trump to Hillary because at least he wasn’t responsible for bombing other countries now sees it as ok, while simultaneously accusing me of blindly swallowing everything I read…

Which sort of brings me to Adani…

Now, I know that some of you will tell us that Adani will bring jobs to Queensland and unemployment is high and people really need a job and if you don’t see that you’re no better than one of those “greenie vigilantes” trying to use the court system to test whether anything their doing is against the law. As The Australian told us: “After the 2015 meeting, Mr Adani said he had pressed Mr Turnbull to legislate to stop environmental groups delaying the project in the courts. The Abbott government’s attempt to amend the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act to stop “vigilante” activists was stymied in the Senate a month before Mr Turnbull became Prime Minister.”

This use of the courts is, of course, just a delaying tactic because it’s not going to stop the mine. If anything is found to be against the law, then it’s a relatively simple matter to bring in legislation to change things. Take the proposed changes to native title, for example.

And I know that the Coalition’s statements on energy – apart from the oxymoronic nature of the idea of vigilantes using the courts – sounds to some of you like:

“We’re going to build a meth lab! It’s going to bring heaps of money in and it’ll create employment…”
“Shouldn’t we be trying to get people off drugs like ice?”
“No, no, it’s going to be part of our drug mix for the forseeable future and we intend to make cleaner ice than other countries so it’s really helping to improve the health of your average addict!”
“But ice is one of the worst drugs!”
“Now, now, we need to be agnostic about drugs. The most important thing is ensuring that supply isn’t interrupted and that we keep costs down!”

So when it was discovered – or alleged, let’s not be too cavalier with our words here – that Adani’s Abbot Point port had a coal spill which caused contamination, Adani was quick to point out that they were acting, quote, “within the requirements of the temporary emissions licence”, it’s caused a few of those green vigilantes to worry about a whole range of things… Like Adani being offered unlimited access to water for its mine. So when Adani doesn’t employ anyone, shifts the money to its Cayman Islands account and tells us all that it’s going to sell the water back to Queensland, will we be told that it’s acting within the requirements of its contract?

However, the thing that I find most puzzling is the idea that we need to find nearly a billion dollars for a dodgy company to ensure that they build a mine for a product – coal – that may not have a long-term future. Imagine what a boost to jobs in Northern Queensland if they instead just simply gave an interest-free loan of a million dollars to a thousand Queenslanders who wanted to start up a business. Granted, some of them would go broke, but they’d have provided a lot more employment than Adani in the meantime!

But of course, I am overlooking that we’re not doing this for the money. It’s not really about making a profit; it’s about being altruistic. As Malcolm Turnbull wrote in today’s paper: “Its (India’s) economic takeoff is lifting millions out of poverty, transforming the country into the world’s fastest-growing major economy, with forecasted growth of 7.5 per cent in 2017.” And Barnaby Joyce was also on radio telling us about how we needed to give Adani the billion for the railway line because it’s needed for the deal to go ahead. He, too, was talking about the millions in India being “lifted” out of poverty… Lifted? Doesn’t that make them leaners, if they need to be lifted? Anyway, it’s just about helping out our Indian neighbours. It’s a humanitarian act.

We’re such philanthropists. Makes one wonder why we keep cutting foreign aid.

Mark Latham Complains That Too Many People Who Voted Against Him In 2004 Still Have The Vote!

Fresh from his sacking, Mark Latham has taken to social media to complain that nobody gives bitter white, anti-gay idiots the attention that they deserve.

“There a far too many people in the media who aren’t exactly like me,” opined Latham. “And not only that, heaps of them voted for John Howard, just because he pandered to so many left wing causes. Ok, he didn’t apologise to the Stolen Generation, but he never came out and said that he was glad about it. Typical bloody lefty bullshit. As for things like children overboard, if I’d been PM, I’d have gone there and thrown them overboard myself. It’s time for straight, white men to take back Australia and send those so-called indigenous people back where they belong!”

Mr Latham then announced his intention to continue his crusade to reclaim Australia, as well as reclaiming the word “reclaim” from the “Reclaim Australia” group who he described as a bunch of wimps who didn’t go far enough. “I want a society populated by real men. None of these feminists or gay people. In fact, if I didn’t need someone to make the coffee and wash up, I’d demand that the country was just me and Ross Cameron and the rest of you piss off somewhere else.”

Mr Latham was then observed disappearing up his own rectum.

When asked about Mr Latham’s latest outburst, one bystander replied, “Who cares?”, while another asked, “Who’s Mark Latham? Was he on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here?

Scott Morrison And The New Improved Pub Test

“If you go down to the pub and talk to small business people, they’re not talking about econometric models. The Government doesn’t need to be convinced about the need to give small and medium-sized businesses a tax cut.”
Scott Morrison, explaining why the government wouldn’t be releasing any economic modelling on the company tax cuts.

“Beer, Bazza?”
“Two beers, please… What ya reading?”
“Oh, there’s this news thing where Scott Morrison says he isn’t releasing economic modelling because people at the pub aren’t interested in it.”
“Right. I guess that’s why they’re not releasing any of those people on Nauru or Manus Island. We’re just not interested in them.”
“Yeah, and there’s a lot of other things that I’m not interested in… Like that photo of Malcolm Turnbull scrubbing that guy’s floor.”
“What photo?”
“Oh, there’s a photo of Malcolm Turnbull on his hands and knees scrubbing some guy’s floor. I’ll find it on my phone. Here, look.”
“Is this their latest idea for reducing the deficit?”
“No, the guy had his business in the flood area, so Malcolm flew up there to scrub his floor.”
“Right, I see. But I don’t get why he had to do it when there’s all those other guys standing around.”
“It’s to show how much he cares.”
“Wouldn’t it have been better to use the money spent getting him there to pay someone local to do it?”
“No, it was more the symbolic gesture.”
“Right. I get it. Malcolm gets down on his hands and knees for some small businessman to show that he’s prepared to do it for anyone and not just the Liberal MPs.”
“Well, not anyone. The guy owned a business. I mean, Malcolm wouldn’t go to someone’s house and do it, because that’d be beneath him.”
“Obviously, but I still think the guy would rather Malcolm had just said here’s, I dunno, $1.75 million, pay someone else to fix up your shop and go on a good holiday.”
“He can’t splash around taxpayers’ money like that. We’ve got a Budget crisis to solve, and because the tax cuts only extend to companies with $50 million turnover, that’s going to make it harder to encourage investment.”
“Hang on. Don’t the tax cuts reduce revenue?”
“Yeah, but the idea is that if they cut company tax then there’ll be more money to invest and they’ll hire more people.”
“Think of it like a household budget. You’ve got a limited amount of money, so you have the housekeeper coming in everyday and the gardener comes in on weekends. You get a tax cut and so you get a second housekeeper and extend the gardeners hours to four days a week.”
“Why would I do that? I’ve barely got enough work for the gardener on weekends.”
“You have a gardener?”
“No, but I was imagining what he’d do for two days because I get the gardening all done on Sundays. I think I’ll sack the lazy bastard.”
“Anyway, if you got a tax cut you could hire a housekeeper.”
“It’d need to be a bloody big tax cut.”
“Whatever, I’m sure you’re not interested in how the tax cuts are going to reduce the deficit because you’d need to look at the economic modelling for that and nobody’s interested in that.”
“Well, certainly not anyone in the pub.”
“No, and that’s the test, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, you don’t want to be releasing things for academics and journalists to look at.”
“Pity they didn’t realise that before they released that ‘Real Solutions’ book in 2013. They could have saved heaps.”
“Yeah, who’d be bothered reading that. It was enough to know that they had solutions, even if I can’t remember what the problem was.”
“A budget emergency. The government was going deeper and deeper into debt and Labor were managing it badly.”
“Isn’t the government further in debt now than when they came to office?”
“Yeah, but the difference is that the Liberals are managing it well.”
“Well, whatever, I’m not interested, so we really should stop discussing it.’
“Yeah, another beer?”
“Why not? I’ll use my tax cut.”
“But you didn’t get a tax cut.”
“No, but I’ll ask my boss for the money on Monday. He got one.”
“Oh, no problem then.”
“No, not a problem. I’ll just tell him that I used it to stimulate jobs.”
“Let’s have two then. He can afford it!”
“Four beers, please!”

Mark Latham And The Pixies At The Bottom Of The Garden

Sometime last century, when AFL player, Micheal Long put in a complaint about being called a “bl#ck c#nt” by Damian Monkhouse, a lot of people said that it was just part of the game and that Long should just put up with it. I made the observation that if somebody called me a “white c#nt”, I’d be more upset about the noun than the adjective.

This, of course, led to a long lecture about how I couldn’t possibly understand what it was like to be black and be subjected to racism. And, of course, that was true. Any privileged group attempting to suggest that they truly understand what it’s like to suffer discrimination, is like a man who, after having his first prostate exam, announces that now he understands what childbirth is like.

These days, most people understand that racism has no place anywhere – not even a football field – but, even at the time, I wasn’t trying to trivialise Michael Long with what I said. My point was simply that it was a reflection of our society that being called “black” was still more objectionable than being called something that I still feel needs censoring even though everyone knows that the word was “c*nt”…

So, at the risk of being taken the wrong way, I’m going to express my thoughts at the reaction to the Mark Latham comments from last week.

For those of you who missed it, Latham told his viewers: “The boys at the boys school look like dickheads doing their video, total dickheads. I thought the first guy was gay.”

Now, if I say that I understand that being called “gay” by someone like Latham isn’t something that’s pleasant even if the program has very few viewers, I know that a lot of you will say that I can’t possibly understand. So I’ll try to make it clear: I can’t possibly understand what it’s like to be that student. He may be gay, he may not be gay, he may not be sure. Whatever, it was a nasty thing to say because Latham was using a public forum to attack a high school student who’d done nothing more than try to show some empathy by being part of a video for International Women’s Day.

I mean, if Latham wasn’t sitting in his cosy little studio with his agreeable mates around him, the conversation might have gone like this:

Latham: The boys at the boys school look like dickheads doing their video, total dickheads. I thought the first guy was gay.
Sensible Person: So what’s your point?
Latham: That the boy speaking may have been gay!
Sensible Person: What’s that got to do with anything?
Latham: Well… um, we shouldn’t let gay people make videos.
Sensible Person: Why not?
Latham: Well, it’s part of some political agenda to silence real men like me.
Sensible Person: So let me get this straight, you think that a teenage boy on a student video is part of some gay conspiracy to silence you. Why?
Latham: Well, he looked gay!
Sensible Person: You look like a garden gnome, but what’s that got to do with anything…

However, at the risk of equating a prostate exam with childbirth, I can’t help but observe that even calling the other boys “dickheads” was the sort of bullying that we see far too much of, from people who think that being armed with a microphone entitles them to say what they like without having to face any consequences. Accepting one’s right to “free speech” also means accepting the dangers which are: being sued; being sacked; being criticised; and, of course, being punched in the face.

No, I’m not condoning violence, but I do accept that calling people names to their face runs a risk. And while they may not be right to hit me, I’m not going to get a lot of sympathy when I say that I was merely objecting to political correctness by following Mark around saying that his resemblance to a garden gnome will be handy now that he’s unemployed, he can have a job sitting with the pixies in the garden saying nothing.

Contrast Latham’s comments with Peter Dutton’s rather strange reaction to the letter from the chief executives supporting marriage equality. It’s strange that he had no problem with CEOs expressing support for Liberal policy, or the campaign against the mining tax, but when they didn’t agree with his world view, he thought that they should give up their million dollar paychecks and become a politician and work for a paltry $250,000 a year if they wanted to express an opinion.

Dutton told us: “If Alan Joyce and any other CEO wants to campaign on this or any other issue in their own time and on their own dime, good luck to them.”

One wonders why he singled out Alan Joyce. Of course, one has a theory, but let’s slot Mr Latham into Mr Dutton’s shoes.

Latham: The CEOs look like dickheads writing the letter, total dickheads. I thought the first guy was gay.
Sensible Person: You mean Alan Joyce?
Latham: Yeah, him!
Sensible Person: Well, he is. He’s openly gay.
Latham: I rest my case.
Sensible Person: So, what’s your point?
Latham: Well, he’s gay.
Sensible Person: And?
Latham: Why should a gay person be expressing a view about same sex marriage? It’s just not right!

Yep, I know, I missing something. I know, it’s political correctness gone mad when a nice man like Mark can’t call people names on his own show. I know that the main reason that his show was cancelled was it’s lack of ratings in spite of Mark trying just about everything to create controversy. And I know that I should have written about the irony of Pauline Hanson talking about the dangers of vaccinating one week and suggesting that we should vaccinate against Muslims the next: “Vaccinating against Islam? Aren’t you worried about side effects, Pauline?”

Whatever, Mark Latham is gone. And, for some weird reason, he was blaming the person who sacked him for his dismissal.

How Company Tax Cuts Will Save Australia And Why Penalty Rates Need To Abolished!

Hallelujah, the company tax cuts have gone through and Australia’s tax rate is competitive again!

Now, I know this confuses some of you because it’s only companies with a turnover of less than $50 million and one of the big arguments that the Coalition put forward was that a higher rate of tax discouraged overseas investment which stifled jobs and growth. Huh, some of you are saying, it’s hard to see billions pouring into Australia to invest in those piddly little companies with a turnover of a paltry thirty million or so. But you’re overlooking the fact that companies can be broken up into lots of little companies each of which has a turnover of less than fifty million. In the event of the company inadvertently increasing its turnover above the magic figure, well, it can easily declare bankruptcy after distributing its assets to its Cayman Island subsidiary.

Which, of course, raises the very important point: How on earth are we meant to compete for the investment dollar when there are places that require no tax at all?

The answer is, of course, we can’t. If we want to be internationally competitive we need to lower our company tax rate so that there’s nowhere better in the world for people investing their money. And to do that, I’m proposing that we have a zero tax rate. That would encourage more investment which should, of course, lead to jobs and growth and when you have that everybody benefits. Even the unemployed who haven’t got off their backsides and borrowed a few million from the banks to start their own company, but in spite of this, they’ll benefit because there’ll be more jobs for all of us.

Of course, this presupposes that the companies can actually make a profit in this country, which is hard because of all the red tape and high wages. I mean, some of the biggest companies in the world struggle to make any money here! With workers here demand safe working conditions, we have lots and lots of regulation which is totally unnecessary because when was the last time you heard about a company director being injured at work?

And then there’s wages. People complained about losing their penalty rates and the government was ridiculed for pointing out that many of those on the minimum wage were in high income houses. That’s right! We have high income houses in Australia. It’s outrageous. How can companies make a profit when they have to pay their workers so much. During the Depression people were happy to work in exchange for food, but now they want a roof over their head as well. The government quite rightly points out that if wages were less then more employers would put people on.

Speaking personally, I’d be happy to hire dozens of workers were it not for the fact that they’d expect me to pay them.

No, the answer is simple. If we want this to be a prosperous country, we need to understand the logic of the Turnbull government and pursue it to its natural end point. Once companies pay no tax and once workers get no pay, then it’ll all be ok and jobs and growth will ensure that we have plenty of economic activity and there’ll be no unemployment and the budget crisis will go away…

Oh wait, I keep forgetting. It’s already gone away because nobody ever talks about getting back to surplus any more.

Don Trixote – Tales of A President Errant (With Apologies To Cervantes)

The story so far:
One day, Don Trixote decided that the world needed a noble businessman to rid the world of all its ills and so he left his Tower and set up seeking adventures as POTUS. Along the way, he attracted a helper, Sancho Penca, who was his loyal deputy. In this chapter, Trixote mistakes windmills for giants attacking the land and attempts to thwart them.

At this point they came in sight of thirty forty windmills that there are on plain, and as soon as Don Trixote saw them he said to his squire, “Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, VP Penca, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” said Penca.

“Those thou seest there,” answered his master, “with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long.”

“Look, your worship,” said Sancho; “what we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the blades turned by the wind that make the electricity.”

“It is easy to see,” replied Don Trixote, “that thou art not used to this business of the deal; if I sayest that those are giants, then those are giants; and if thou art afraid, away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat.”

A slight breeze at this moment sprang up, and the great blades began to move, so the Don drew out his phone and began to Tweet apace. “These evil giants are bad and nobody is better at ridding this country of the scourge of wind than me, so I shall charge into battle and slay them.”

He continued: “We shall not rest until these monsters have been vanquished and I have replaced them with coal mines where we can send canaries”

“Don’t listen to the FAKE NEWS! All my staff love me and we are getting rid of O’care”

“In fact it’s gone, along with the giants.”

And after all that hearty tweeting, Don Trixote decided that his noble work was done for the week and he would charge them another day. Now, ’twas time to break for the weekend and catch up on a little golf at his resort in Florida.

Minimum Wage And My Submission To The Senate!

Ok, I suppose most of you have heard about the Federal Government’s submission to the minimum wage case. Apparently, heaps of these low-paid workers “are often found in high-income households”. (By that I presume that the government meant that they were members of the household and not just the cleaning lady or a burglar or someone who’d wandered in off the street!) Of course, when I say, “heaps” that’s because, like Senator Cash, I don’t want to put a number on it. The reason for that is very simple! I’ve no idea what the number is. But that doesn’t stop me – or Senator Cash – telling everyone that putting up the minimum wage would just be transferring wealth from those hard-up employers to high income families because let’s be real, it’s probably just uni students. And we all know that uni students live with their wealthy parents, right? I mean, poor people can’t afford to go to university any more, so it’d be outrageous to give a boost to the minimum wage because it’s just students earning pocket-money so that they can go clubbing on the weekend.

Of course, it’s not just uni students. In some cases, it’s the partner of some high income earner. You know, someone like Malcolm Turnbull earns millions at his job, but someone like Lucy goes out cleaning houses during the week so that she can use her own money to purchase her Prada clothing.

Yes, I like this principle that we should consider what the overall income of the household might be when we consider the implications of our decisions.

With that in mind, I’ve prepared this humble little submission for the Senate in their deliberations this week.

“Dear Senators,
When considering whether or not to pass the proposed company tax cuts, I would like you to consider the fact that many of the people benefitting from these are often found in high-income households. I don’t have the figure, ok, but it’s not as simple as that. And I don’t know why the income of anyone else in the house has any relevance when making a decision like this, but I reckon if it’s good enough for one submission then it’s good enough for another.


A Very Limited Understanding Of Economics!

Once upon a time there was a village where everybody worked… Well, almost everybody. Women would get married and then they’d stay at home and do housework which as any economist will tell you isn’t really work at all because it has no value. Of course, while economists may tell you this, they never say this to their wives because it could lead to them going to work with a crumpled shirt because the little woman has refused to do the ironing as it isn’t work…

Ok, I know that it isn’t politically correct to presume that all economists are men who are married to housewives but I thought that a little bit of sexism may encourage any neo-con reading this remember the good old days when men were men and women were a special type of being who only occasionally appeared and certainly never became Prime Minister or Deputy Leader and it may encourage them to read further in the hope that I’m going to justify all that stuff about the invisible hand of the market. And, of course I will. I just love the concept that an imaginary hand is guiding our decisions… Well, not so much imaginary as non-existent, but as any economic rationalist will tell you it’s far more competent to make decisions than a government even if they themselves are the elected party.

And, of course, it wasn’t just women who didn’t work. Occasionally, somebody would be between jobs. But generally there was plenty of work to go around.

The main store was owned by a man named Mr King, as was the hotel and the widget factory and many of the houses that people lived in. He was a very wealthy man and he was responsible for the employment of many, many people in the village. In fact, the only other person who owned anything was Mr Gold who owned the bank. In fact, apart from Mr King and Mr Gold, the only way you could be earn money was to make and sell things. Many of these things were sold in Mr King’s store.

All this worked well enough, but one day Mr Gold’s son, Rollo, came back from the big school in the city and he needed a job, so Mr Gold saw Mr King, and arranged for him to work as a manager for Mr King. Mr Gold convinced Mr King that Rollo would have a lot of good ideas about how they could improve things and make them more efficient.

And sure enough, young Rollo did. One of his first acts was to point out that the could replace Sol, the man at the drink counter of the store with a self-service machine which saved them most of Sol’s wages. Unfortunately for Sol, this meant that he could no longer afford the rent on his home, and so he had to move out. Luckily for Sol, the town council ran a shed for people who had no income where they could go, and in return for a few hours’ work each day, they’d be fed and could spend the night out of the cold.

Rollo, flushed with his success, had an even better idea. By installing the latest machines in the widget factory, they could reduce their workforce by a third. Mr King was most impressed. When he and Mr Gold had their weekly dinner at his hotel, he expressed the belief that things were better than they’d ever been. Mr Gold agreed. Everything was just fine, apart from the town council charging so much in taxes and rates.

“Once we needed them to build roads and the like,” said Mr Gold, “but now all the roads are built, they only waste money on those layabouts who hang around that homeless shed!”

Mr King agreed and they decided that they would set about trying to have their charges reduced. “After all,” said Mr King, “we provide all the jobs in this village and if it wasn’t for us everybody would be poor!”

So imagine their outrage when they discovered that the town council was intending to increase charges. One of the town council tried to justify it by arguing that they needed to increase the size of the homeless shed now that so many more people were homeless, but Mr King was having none of it.

“These people no longer pay rent and I have all these empty houses which nobody will buy because they’re all too lazy to work hard and earn money, and you expect me to help provide them with shelter and food!” he screamed. He needed to find ways to save money.

Many of the people who made things in their own home sold these to Mr King’s store. So when Rollo was asked if he had a way to save more money, he suggested that the people in the across the lake sold what they made much more cheaply, so if they stopped buying locally then it would be much cheaper and they could make bigger profits.

And they needed to make much bigger profits because the hotel was serving fewer customers. Nobody was eating meals there, and fewer people were having a drink. Rollo responded and sacked half the staff, but still he was making a loss.

After a year, nobody was working. Nobody had a home. The widget factory had moved to another town. The hotel was closed. The makers had no buyers for their goods.

But thankfully the town council knew what to do. They closed the homeless shed and used the money saved to give Mr King and Mr Gold a reduction in their taxes because they knew that’s what would stimulate the economy…