Friday, April 19, 2019


I am not really a Tweeter on Twitter. I devote my time to old fashioned blogging and blog reading and a few other social media areas. Nevertheless, I am an avid follower of some Twitter users. What they Tweet and Retweet is fascinating to me. I learn all sorts of things.

Is manifesto the right word? These are selective cuts from a manifesto from the Institute of Public Affairs, a right wing think tank and lobby group for big business.

1. Remove all references to race in the Constitution. 

I am not sure about this one. Is race mentioned in our constitution? Do we actually have a constitution?

2. Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act (1975) Free speech is inextricably linked to the Australian way of life. Australians should be able to enjoy and participate in open and unfettered discussion about issues of import to the future of our democracy and our nation. Section 18C stops this from happening. It is an unconscionable and egregious limitation on the free speech rights of all Australians and must be abolished. 

Nah, we can criticise them for what they do and their behaviour, but not judge them because of their race or religion. Hey, I might even know one good Muslim person!

3. Withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Really good idea. Continue to pollute our planet, our home with endlessly increasing pollution.

4. Implement a flat income tax Australia’s income tax system punishes success and discourages upward economic mobility. Its interaction with the welfare system also creates welfare traps through high effective marginal tax rates which keeps too many Australians poor and trapped in a poverty cycle. To reduce poverty, expand economic opportunity, promote equality, all Australians should face the same income tax rate.

I think I was about sixteen years old when I asked my father about flat tax. My father never worked for paid wages for anyone, always the builder, the farmer, etc. Flat tax may have advantaged him, but he told me it was very inequitable to society. I haven't questioned my very smart father's response since. Well, I have, but he was right.

5. Reduce the corporate tax rate to below 20 per cent, in line with competitor nations The top marginal company tax rate in Australia of 30 per cent is the third highest in the developed world, and well above the OECD average of 24 per cent and competitor nations such as the United States (21 per cent), the United Kingdom (17 per cent from 2020), and Singapore (17 per cent).4 Australia’s high corporate tax rate is a key reason why business investment is just 11.5 per cent of GDP, which is lower than the rate that prevailed during the Whitlam years.

Oh that companies would pay any tax at all and not have Cayman Island, Barbados and Isle of Man tax havens.

6. Appointment of High Court Justices to be rotated between the six states and the Commonwealth.

I don't really know about this one but what I do know is that conservative governments always argue for smaller, and for state rights. I am sure the IPA would not like to have Federal Government oversight of the Queensland Adani coal mine. Local people are cheaper to bribe than federal people.

7. Double the size of the House of Representatives, and halve the size of the Ministry. 

I have read the detail and still don't understand this one. Given the last six points, it won't be good for we common folk.

8. Privatise the ABC In a free society the government should not own and operate its own media company. The media market in Australia is highly competitive... 

Our ABC is owned by our government and funded by taxpayers. With rare failures, it is completely independent of government and commercial influence and the only news and media organisation in Australia that is.

9. Re-introduce the debt ceiling Gross government debt is currently $546 billion, all of which must be paid back by today’s young Australians via higher future taxes.7 One approach policy-makers can take to reduce government debt, or at least reduce its growth, is to re-introduce the debt ceiling. A debt-ceiling places a limit on how much the Australian government can borrow. Raising the debt ceiling requires an Act of Parliament, which ensures the issue will be debated and receive the public attention it deserves. A debt ceiling was implemented by the Rudd government in 2007 and it was set at $75 billion. With the support of the Greens, the Abbott government with Joe Hockey as Treasurer abolished the debt ceiling in 2013 as debt approached $300 billion.

Government debt waxes and wanes, depending on many things that your average voter might not understand, least of all me. Again I quote my very wise father in some areas who never did get to be rich, much to my disappointment, you borrow money to make money. You don't use your own money. There is nothing inherently wrong with borrowing money and owing money.

10. Hold a Royal Commission into the Bureau of Meteorology’s tampering with temperature and climate data The Bureau of Meteorology appears to have tampered with temperature and climate data and to have re-written history to make it appear as if the temperature is higher than it actually is, and that is has risen faster than it actually has.8 Australians deserve to know the truth about their public institutions. The only way to find the truth about potential temperature data manipulation is to hold a Royal Commission into the Bureau of Meteorology’s activities.

There are more points from the IPA, but you can guess the direction they will go. The IPA is a climate change denier organisation.

Point 10 was the one that had me slapping my face. That the employees of the Weather Bureau, meteorologists and climate scientists, would put their themselves out there as manipulators of statistics and risk their personal reputation as employees of an independent statutory body such as The Bureau of Meteorology is beyond the pale.

I haven't seen it for myself, but I believe the IPA believes in the American health care system, that can send people into poverty if they become unwell.

So who funds this Institute of Public Affairs? Well, some companies you can't avoid using!

Hancock Mining...........hello Gina, one of the world's richest women. Exxon Mobil. Telstra.......lordy, I have a small shareholding in that company. I must sell. WMC Resources. BHP Billiton. Phillip Morris, give the ciggies up. Murray (river) Irrigation Limited. Visy. Clough Engineering. Shell, Caltex and Esso, and last but not least the completely immoral company, the British American Tobacco Company.


  1. That is one scary manifesto - which I seriously hope is never realised.
    We do indeed have a constitution (and need referendums to change it).
    I can't see any of these changes getting up.

  2. Anonymous11:20 am

    Institute of Public Affairs. Perhaps connected to the Flat Earth Society? - Ian

  3. May I'm getting old but has it all got more confusing or are we better informed than we once were, I find i'm upset about the way the whole world is run and the people running it do not seam the brightest matches in the box but I don't want the job and don't think i could do any better well maybe a bit.

  4. "Think Tank", more like thoughts from a toilet tank.

  5. Privatise the ABC In a free society the government should not own and operate its own media company? !?!? They have to be joking! The ABC is the only institution that Australians can rely on and be proud of. If I didn't have the ABC, I would have no radio to listen to and very little tv to enjoy

  6. IPA here is something to do with beer. Our taxes is mind boggling.

  7. I don't understand how people can think like this or believe others who tell them to think like this. What happened to them when they were growing up that they didn't learn to think critically??

  8. Oh wow, that's incroyable! I feel so sorry for individuals and corporations that make money and the pursuit of money at any cost their god. Cannot believe they accuse the meteorologists of inventing climate change. The world is going nuts, I'm pretty sure it's all #45's fault 😀

  9. There may very well be "nothing inherently wrong with borrowing and owing money", but I prefer "never a borrower or lender be" and will stubbornly continue to live within my small income and never borrow or owe anything.