The Remains of a Year of Tumult

I have been around for 84 years, none of them ever boring, but 2015 has been a corker.

Happily, the two most incompetent political leaders of my era were removed from power – Tony Abbott in Canberra and Campbell Newman in Brisbane. Continue reading “The Remains of a Year of Tumult”

Tax Reform and the Politics of Fear

There are thousands of laws that provide the basis of governing our nation. Every one of them can be improved in order to meet the needs of a changing world, particularly taxation laws, as they are an out of date mix of temporary political fixes that were deemed necessary to win elections. Continue reading “Tax Reform and the Politics of Fear”

Revolt of the Red Bandanna

Australia’s best selling author is Peter Fitzsimons and I have enjoyed reading every one of his books. He is a dynamic public speaker, a talented journalist whose articles enjoy top rating and, in the world of sport, he is renowned as a Wallaby.

Today, we identify him by the Red Bandanna he wears constantly as his trademark, but also as a spectacular way of covering his rapidly balding head.

Now, he is embarking on the crusade of his lifetime that may lead him to become a legend as a nation changer. Continue reading “Revolt of the Red Bandanna”

CAESAR SPEAKS FROM THE GRAVE

Two thousand and sixty years after his assassination, Julius Caesar has a simple message for leaders of nations that they will ignore at their peril.

When you rely on creating divisions in society as your prime means of remaining in power, your reign will be short.

When you create fear, people will move to protect themselves in ways you cannot control.

When you make people feel insecure, they will quickly decide that they need a new leader who will give them a sense of security. And it won’t be you. Continue reading “CAESAR SPEAKS FROM THE GRAVE”

THE POPE AND THE ENVIRONMENT – HAS FRANCIS CROSSED THE LINE

Pope Francis has issued an encyclical on the Environment called Laudato Si in which he firmly and clearly outlines his views on global warming, climate change and pollution, while linking them with poverty, employment, economics, science and religion. Continue reading “THE POPE AND THE ENVIRONMENT – HAS FRANCIS CROSSED THE LINE”

The Superannuation Revolution

(An expanded version of my earlier article entitled The Use and Abuse of Superannuation)

Even those who do not like him will acknowledge that Australia owes a huge debt of gratitude to Paul Keating.

During his term as Prime Minister two decades ago, he established compulsory superannuation despite a hostile Opposition that declared it to be a step towards socialism.

A few weeks ago, I chaired a Per Capita function in Sydney at which Keating reminded the capacity crowd that the original intention of his superannuation legislation was for everyone to accumulate as much Super as possible thereby ensuring that, in all of our retirement years, we could enjoy a lifestyle better than that which is the lot of someone who struggled to survive on the age pension.

The Keating plan was for every one of us to draw down all of our superannuation capital and income within our anticipated lifetime. It was never ever intended that anyone would leave their Super as a legacy to their family. Such a legacy is, in reality, a taxpayer funded gift. Continue reading “The Superannuation Revolution”

THE USE AND ABUSE OF SUPERANNUATION

(For an expanded version of this article see also “The Superannuation Revolution”)

Australia owes a huge debt of gratitude to Paul Keating.

He established compulsory superannuation two decades ago despite a hostile Opposition that declared it to be a step towards socialism.

A few weeks ago, I chaired a Per Capita meeting in Sydney at which Keating reminded the capacity crowd that the original intention of his superannuation legislation was for everyone to accumulate as much Super as possible thereby ensuring that, in all of our retirement years, we could enjoy a lifestyle better than that which is the lot of someone on the age pension. Continue reading “THE USE AND ABUSE OF SUPERANNUATION”

Time has come to search for Nation Builders

To find Australia’s last nation building venture we must go back two thirds of a century to the Snowy River.

We have to take our minds back the same number of years to discover a nation builder, Flynn of the Inland, the man on our twenty dollar notes, who founded the Flying Doctor Service, Pedal Radio, School of the Air and two dozen bush hospitals in very remote places.

One does not have to be a genius to come to the considered view that it is time to revive the fine traditions of the grand pioneers after 65 dormant years of fostering the good life in preference to investing in the future of a great nation.

To emphasise our passive attitude to nation building, let me tell you about an experience I had two decades ago. Continue reading “Time has come to search for Nation Builders”

Wise Young – Partnerships to build a great Australia

There are far too many bright young Australians who are unemployed.

Many of them have visionary ideas for new and innovative business ventures, but are thwarted by a lack of capital, experience and opportunity.

There are many older Australians who want to keep working after 65, but they are denied the opportunity to stay in the market place by outright discrimination. Continue reading “Wise Young – Partnerships to build a great Australia”

SENIORS ARMY WILL MARCH FOR WATER

Last week, I outlined a plan to drought proof our Australian continent by sending tropical water south via dry river beds and connecting channels.

The concept is fundamentally sound, but it will become a reality only if the private sector provides the money and expertise to do the job as all governments are consumed by an insatiable desire to retain power at all costs. They think that capital spent on water won’t get them as many votes as handouts.

Continue reading “SENIORS ARMY WILL MARCH FOR WATER”

WITHOUT WATER, LIFE IS IMPOSSIBLE

Australia is the driest continent on earth.

Yet we invest tiny dollars in water even though we are aware that Australia has the potential to become the food bowl of the world.

Unaccountably, we are willing to risk only miserable dollars in this enormous trading opportunity.

Continue reading “WITHOUT WATER, LIFE IS IMPOSSIBLE”

The Great Revolution – a long succession of one-term governments.

Back in October, I told friends in the Queensland Liberal National Party that they would lose the election they faced in 2015. They looked at me kindly and quietly wondered whether the first signs of dementia were emerging.

I spelled-out the reasons for my forecast. Too many bad political calls, some of them being very politically naïve. I said these issues would lose them 25 seats, but still leave them with a comfortable majority in normal circumstances.

But, the circumstances were not normal. Continue reading “The Great Revolution – a long succession of one-term governments.”