Your roads are about to be sold

Daniel Andrews latest privatization con is the big one. He’s going to flog off Vicroads next year (in a ‘no bid’ trade sale to his mates), and, to fatten up the calf, include compulsory road pricing in the deal. 

So at the same time you’ll have to pay whatever the private company demands to renew your license (you’ll have no choice; unless you stop driving), owners of electric cars and others will start being charged for every kilometer- with the money remitted likely to Transurban or some other private monopolist at the rate they want.

You can usually tell state labor is planning a fraud like this when they start virtue signalling on irrelevant diversionary crap that nobody (apart from the press gallery) cares about- usually gay conversion therapy or puppy farms etc etc.  Noisy press releases and pointless legislation follows, which establishes the misleading idea that labor is ‘progressive’ (on issues nobody cares about, which will never be litigated and which cost no money), while, (in the real world), they get ready to flog a state monopoly off to their private sector mates (forever).

Expect this scam to sail through parliament about mid 2021; Daniel Andrews will bank the upfront payment (and loudly waste it on useless temporary public sector salaries and a few circuses and ad campaigns) and the real licensing/road ripoff will start in 2022.

Don’t bother trying to follow it in the media- they aren’t interested, as it doesn’t have a simplistic soundbite or an indigenous angle.  The fact we’re being royally screwed with African level private sector corruption isn’t a story, unfortunately. Oh well.


A big reason people vote conservative that nobody talks about (much).

The reason: having to deal with government. Having to deal with the sheer amount of bureaucratic nonsense and pettifogging overregulation in our day-to-day lives.

Note this is not the same thing as wanting tax cuts. This is usually how liberals (with a hand-wave) dismiss conservative voters’ concerns about government regulation- ‘they are just greedy and want to pay less tax’. No. They are sick and tired of the mind boggling, time wasting, pointless bureaucracy, which is so maddening as it is unneeded. In fact, where I am (Australia), taxes aren’t particularly high, but oh my god how we are overregulated.

Why don’t conservatives talk more about this reason? Its massive. I can count at least a dozen people in my circle who’ve been thoroughly converted from voting for anything that involves big government. And there are many more out there.

Obviously many non-conservative voters are bureaucrats themselves, and just don’t understand how much they are resented, and how pointless most of their huffy-shouldered clipboard ‘work’ is.

The opposition to Obamacare is instructive. Firstly, despite what the media says, this opposition is from the ground up. It is not directed from the top, by evil insurance companies etc etc, it is driven by ordinary Americans who have a deep set hatred of government bureaucracy. A look at the massive, genuinely grassroots, rallies against it would immediately show you that. (Now let me say firstly I think national healthcare is probably a good idea, and its one of the few areas where the free market fails and government should run it. But I find it equally curious how we dismiss without explanation people’s extreme and well founded distaste of government as some sort of delusion).

Finally, I am not opposed to sensible regulations that stop me polluting the rivers, injuring workers etc etc. I am against the mountain of pointless rules and regulations, of useless commissioners and public servants that blight our lives with rubbish.

It’s time we talked more about this issue.


The big budget con

The Victorian state budget is out, and as predicted, it’s a massive waste-a-thon.  Billions being spent to (a) keep our useless closed-shop bureaucrats in jobs (so they’ll keep voting labor) while (b) handing out various useless focus group tested virtue signalling bullshit payments to sectional interests.

Naturally, our spoon fed press gallery are in delight, as they’ve been given ‘announceables’ and ‘exclusives’ and they can run the big myth that this is somehow a necessary stimulus rather than being a bloated public sector salary-athon waste.

As usual, people are misunderstanding the Andrews govt, thinking its somehow a ‘progressive’ one, when in fact it’s a far right gang of vicious privatizers, who’ve flogged off the monopoly port, the titles office, handed our road system to Transurban for nothing (and recently caved in pathetically on the tunnel costs overruns) and are about to flog off Vicroads licensing.

The recent rubbish ‘public housing’ announcement promising billions was the usual media managed ‘exclusive’ spoonfed announceable, it will involve flogging off public housing sites on the promise to make 1% of the units built public (and none will be built anyway). (Its necessary to sell off all public housing in order to save it).

Dan Andrews knows that all he has to do is fund a few cheap virtue signalling ‘awareness raising’ ads on TV, noisily appoint some indigenous females and apologize for things that didn’t really happen, and the ABC/Fairfax/SBS press gallery collective will lap it all up as conclusive proof he’s ‘progressive’ when in fact, in the real world, he’s just a privatizing fraudster giving everything away to his rich property developer mates and donors.  (Anything to avoid journalists actually having to analyze or write about policies!).

Anyway, it’s all too late to do anything about this crap.  We’re stuck with the debt for the next hundred years.


Victoria is broke

Just a reminder that the State of Victoria, Australia, is not only technically broke, but is really now trading while insolvent. The deficit (ie the budget shortfall) looks like topping 10 billion dollars, and its only getting worse. The virus is not the main cause of this. It is the collapse of the population ponzi, (where the govt took 50k upfront in stamp duty but took on a long term liability of much more than that in required infrastructure), which was making us far poorer in the long term anyway.

Things are hopelessly unsustainable, with an army of useless, grossly overpaid public servants (particularly those at the top), while Dan Andrews has privatized pretty much everything that’s left (the port privatization, the titles office), and we’re still broke. So at the same time we’re going down the tubes financially, we’re also getting gouged by private monopolies. Quite an achievement. There’s not much left to sell, except for the water companies and VicRoads (and they’ve started getting ready to sell that).

A few press gallery members have (predictably) gone on about how we’re all poorer now there’s no immigrants, but of course haven’t factored in that the immigration was making us poorer anyway (just more slowly and not on the surface).

The situation is far far worse than Kirner/Cain in the early 1990s, but oddly, nobody seems to want to write about it. Its coming, ready or not.


Fruit Picking: a wage rise would barely affect prices

Just to remind you: About 10% of the price you pay for the cost of fruit and vegetables is the cost of the fruitpicker. So if you pay $3.00 per kilo for tomatoes, 30c is going to the picker. A huge rise in picker payments of 40% would barely raise the price to $3.12. Payments to fruitpickers are a minuscule part of the price of fruit and vegetables.

So please, can we have an end to the endless nonsense carping from farmers and their media mates (including the gullible ABC) about how we have to import eight trillion visa slaves (sorry, ‘workers’) by tomorrow, or fruit and vegetable prices will go through the roof, or ‘we’ll have to plough it back into the ground’ ‘everyone has to adjust to much higher prices’ etc etc?. 

The pathetic prices paid to pickers have virtually no effect on the retail price of fruit and veg, so stop pretending it does.


Andrews’ token spin hides its true nature

Well, lo and behold. The vacancy in State Parliament caused by Health minister Jenny Mikakos’ resignation is to be filled, drumroll please, by an indigenous female!

The virtue signalling and pandering is obvious, as well as the clear reverse sexism and racism of the decision. Anyway, congrats to the candidate who’s now got a cushy job for life! (Just like all the other overpaid state govt. appointed Judges, Magistrates, ‘Commissioners’ etc etc).

(Can I just take a moment here to point out that while its perfectly acceptable to shower positions and benefits upon people who identify as indigenous, it is most certainly not permitted, in any way, to ask how much indigenous heritage they have. That would be racist. Thank you.)

But more interestingly, is the way this gesture will be completely misunderstood by Dan Andrew’s friends and enemies.

To his friends (all Fairfax and ABC/SBS journalists and commenters and most Fairfax subscribers) naturally this is a great triumph, as the only people that should be permitted to be in parliament are females, preferably non anglo ones. Nothing sexist or racist about that!

To his enemies (Herald Sun and their commentators etc), they’ll all start spouting off about ‘Socialist Dan’.

But in fact; they are both wrong;; Dan Andrews is a massive fraud. The last thing he is is a ‘socialist’ – he is well to the right of Jeff Kennett, and has privatized things Kennett would never have touched- the port, the land titles office (goodbye land security!), set up PEXA as a (current) monopoly settlement provider.

You are now forced to buy from a private provider for govt services- (ie buying/selling land or importing anything); African level corruption now present in Australia for the first time. The recent hospital quarantine disaster, where, naturally the hopeless Labor govt ‘outsourced’ it to a donor ‘mate’ private contractor (also, interestingly, said to be ‘indigenous owned’), shows just how obsessed they are with private providers over ever doing something properly in house.

Also the ludicrous spin that Dan Andrews is a ‘building Premier’ when his ‘developments’ consist of dodgy private operators like Transurban being invited to build massive projects (which they’ll own and charge tolls for) while their ownership of citylink is extended is also nonsense. And the fact of course that really he (ran) a population ponzi, where the 50k of stamp duty he grabbed off new immigrants is lucky to result in 10k each of new infrastructure actually being built. On a per capita basis, he is, in fact, dramatically underinvesting in new infrastructure.

But both sides will continue to delude themselves based on Dan’s clever snow job indigenous-female-ABC-approved-identity virtue signalling, and continue to miss the true nature of his government: a little club (that you can’t join, by the way); who privatize everything to their mates for personal benefit while walking around with a trembling lip pretending to be ‘progressive’.

But then again, the media aren’t really interested in writing about actual real policies in the real world to begin with; just a load of virtue signalling crap and being emotive and focusing on personalities, trivia and nonsense.


Useless Spinners

A fabulous article by Chloe Booker in the Age about government spin in the health department. Firstly, please give Ms Booker a big payrise, and an award for this article. And please Chloe, keep writing more stories like this.

The point of the article is that Victoria’s Department of Health and Human services spent a great deal of time and resources covering up the disastrous hotel quarantine virus breakout. In particular, Chloe notes in the article that a spin doctor insistently tried to divert her away from the issue- even as it was happening and accelerating.

This is just appalling. I think Chloe has broken down an important barrier here, often left unsaid by journalists in general- how many of their stories are ‘guided’ by these worthless PR hacks and spinners working for government departments. These spinners are literally worse than useless. They are being paid massive money- 150k plus, to basically lie and divert and cover up disastrous department mistakes. In other words, a bunch of government workers is being employed to cover up the mistakes of other government workers. And there is a mountain of these hacks out there.

In this case Chloe did not back down, did not get ‘spun’, but unfortunately many journalists do.

The DHHS is a bureaucracy riddled with waste and uselessness. The sight of these grossly overpaid bureaucrats, many on 340k plus per annum, all being provided with wasteful QCs at eye watering cost at an inquiry so they can shift blame is nauseating, especially with the knowledge that none of these bureaucrats will be sacked (ie properly physically sacked, ie no more money, rather than being put on overpaid ‘leave’ while the storm blows over).

We have too, too, too many bureaucrats, too many spinners (there should be none), and too many laws and regulations, driving on this mad bureaucratic farce. Time to sack every single bureaucrat on more than 150k at DHHS, sack every single media officer, sack every single person named at the inquiry as being responsible for this mess (without one dollar of further salary or entitlement paid) sack every single ‘adviser’, and pump that money either back in real actual frontline services, or just return it to the taxpayers who paid it in the first place.

Please also can we have the name of the PR hack in the article who tried to cover up the hotel quarantine disaster. We are paying the salaries of these morons who lie to us, we deserve their names.

We have to tell these useless overpaid bureaucrats that enough is enough. Individual taxpayers should be given the right to audit and sack as well.

The DHHS, like most bureaucracies in Victoria and Australia, is a bloated mess run for the benefit of its own staff that should be simply shut down.


Let the universities die

Another day, another whinge piece about how our wonderful universities are dying, evil conservative govts etc etc. Perhaps the author of this piece could talk about how many of her journalism graduates are unemployed (and what the employment rate of her course has been over the past 10 years?)

The universities have long ago forfeited their right to be considered places of education. They are in it for the green. And no, its not just that they are chasing overseas (really visa) dollars (although they absolutely are), its the general hunger for cash, so they can bloat their administrations with useless admin workers on vastly inflated salaries (and of course their grossly overpaid Vice Chancellors).

And no, its not because ‘government cut their funding so they had to look for other revenues’ it was always greed, full stop. Let them die. Good riddance.


All criticism of women is ‘misogyny’

Every so often, an article so awful (even by the pathetic standards of our press gallery) comes through that you can’t just ignore.  An article which makes a mockery of the media and their pathetic pretense to write anything but gossip when they are meant to write about politics.  An article that encapsulates the perfect sexist groupthink of the ABC/Fairfax/SBS collective.

This is one such article by ‘journalist’ Jacqueline Maley.  I will return later to the fact that Maley basically never writes about politics (she writes about the theatre of politics, an entirely different thing).

What happened: In the NSW state parliament, a female opposition MP questioned Brad Hazzard (the conservative party minister for health) about masks, and he was critical of her in his response.

That’s it.  There was an argument in an Australian parliament (which are all absolute bearpits, where disputes are expected, everyone has to have a thick skin and people of all genders repeatedly insult each other).

In Maley’s logic this was complete sexism (even though Hazzard did not mention gender in any way).  It was sexism, because in Maley’s world women don’t insult men that way.

Er, yes they do Jacqueline. Refer to Julia Gillard’s sneering at Christopher Pyne (not about his policies- about the way he talks etc). Refer to all the abuse heaped by ‘progressive women’ on Tony Abbott, and the laughingly patronizing way he was said to have a ‘woman problem’. Refer to Kristia Kenneally patronizingly offering to ‘pinky swear’ to a male MP questioner (on a very valid question of possible corruption). Refer to the hundreds of abusive messages women on twitter leave for politicians (of all sides).  Refer to daily conversations where, yes, women are patronizing, women ‘explain things insultingly’ (womensplaning?).  Quite frankly, I wonder if someone asserting that ‘women don’t speak to men that way’ has ever actually visited planet earth; or dealt with an officious female bureaucrat?

(And, a bit off topic, we could also talk about the completely insulting way Julia Gillard spoke to female politicians on her own side (as recounted by them in their own memoirs).  But; lets not go there.)

This is Australia, people disagree, it is not some Fairfax/ABC/SBS collectivist public sector-style love-in where everyone is ‘civil’ all the time (and anyone who’s experienced an environment like that knows how fake and passive/aggressive it all is anyway).  Hazzard was doing his job in a parliament, the condition of entry of which is an expectation there will be vigorous argument and dispute.  It’s a bit like someone who doesn’t like singing going to the opera.

Of course, the deeper issue here is Maley’s perception of her role as a journalist. She never writes about policy. She never writes about the actual issues or power issues in society. Her writing is all about the people who happen to be in politics. Who doesn’t like who. Which staffer fought with that staffer. Which minister slagged off that minister in cabinet. And on it goes.  No discussion of issues.

The TV show ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ on the ABC is an example of where this attitude to ‘journalism’ ends up: politicians being invited on a soft-ball show to cook meals, talk trivia and ‘show their human side’. And this rubbish is funded as news and current affairs by our taxpayer dollars.

While people like Maley write their gossip columns, real issues are happening.  People are losing their jobs, corruption is absolutely thriving in Australia, income inequality is soaring.  But unfortunately, Jacqueline is looking straight past all that, eyes squinting, to focus on the gossip. And in fact, that choice by journalists to focus on trivia is a direct driver of the corruption and bad decisions, because there is no scrutiny. And that’s really toxic.


Intervention orders for all!

Intervention orders- also called Family Violence Orders or Apprehended Violence Orders, are a well known joke.   Developed originally for genuine cases of family violence, they are now given out like water, automatically to whoever applies.

Consequently, people in business disputes now get them as a matter of course, as do feuding neighbors. Don’t get me started about how local councilors take them out on each other based on trivial disputes. And of course they are a prime weapon by fraudsters seeking protection from people making allegations against them; your first defence is to apply for an Intervention order to shut people up.  They are a major force against free speech.

They are also a standard tactic in virtually all Family Law litigation, as a way to increase the amount of settlement money awarded.

Laughably, the feminists who pushed for them (and to make them virtually automatic), are now up in arms that abusive husbands and partners can now automatically obtain them against their female partners. This is what happens when you make the order as a matter of course (regardless of evidence).

There is now a huge infrastructure of people involved in this pointless ritual- the police who hand them out automatically, the court clerks who list the pointless cases- everyone of which results in an order- the magistrates who then make them- the limitless staff involved in the circus. Our court system is useless at getting virtually anything else done or moving- except when it comes to intervention orders.

Which is where we could make a real efficiency here. Simply grant every Australian an intervention order at birth against every other Australian. This would make no difference to the law, because the things that are prevented by intervention orders- not approaching, harassing etc, are things already covered by our ridiculous over-governed (for the little people) state anyway.

The savings in salaries and time would be enormous, and all for the same result!