1. The ‘sharing economy’
Uber, which competes with the taxi business, has chalked up 2.5 million rides in Brisbane in just 18 months. Andrew Leigh told the ABC that one in 200 homes in Australia are listed on Airbnb to be available for accommodation.
- they are disrupting existing businesses, undermining the tax system and offering varying degrees of quality with little recourse for unsatisfied customers.
- It was discovered earlier this month that Uber and Airbnb have been sending profits offshore to lower taxing nations like Ireland and the Netherlands.
Labor has enunciated six principles to embrace the sharing economy:
Flexible rules and regulations.
Industry standard wages and conditions.
Pay “fair” share of tax.
Public safety assurance, including insurance, licencing and inspections.
“Heavy” penalties, or disabling the operations of companies found to be breaking the law.
It now wants to share these principles with the Government.
2. Joe Hockey bows out
Michael Pascoe says that Joe Hockey’s biggest failure was his loyalty to Tony Abbott, who, Laura Tingle says, repeatedly threw him under the bus.
Pascoe is scathing about Hockey. He was simply not up to the job, but “would have made a good Minister for Sport and Rec.”
This quote from Tingle illustrates illustrates the dysfunction of the Abbott government:
- In April, The Australian Financial Review reported an interview with Hockey in which he canvassed the prospect of measures in the May budget on super.
A few days later Abbott killed the idea stone dead.
This was despite the fact the measures had been discussed by cabinet ministers as part of the budget strategy. FOI documents that emerged later in the year confirmed this. Abbott killed the idea despite the fact he and Hockey had agreed on the move at a dinner before Hockey spoke.
When protests were made to the prime minister’s office about a volte face that had left Hockey looking ridiculous, the response from Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin, according to very senior sources, was “I often have to correct his [Abbott’s] mistakes”.
Michelle Grattan compares Hockey’s career trajectory with that of Julie Bishop, for whom he will be working as Ambassador to the US.
3. Justin Trudeau wins Canada
Abbott’s soul mate, Canadian PM Stephen Harper, has been dumped by electors in Canada in favour of the centre-left Liberal Party and Justin Trudeau.
Norman Hermant tells how Trudeau stunned the nation.
For policies see:
He looks promising on climate change and has vowed to reform Canada’s first-past-the-post voting system to something more democratic, and incidentally more favourable to his own party.
4. I’m back but…
…but I seem to be horrendously busy with work and a series of medical and dental appointments, mostly routine.
However, back in July I stopped taking a pill because they don’t make it any more. It had been prescribed by a specialist in relation to my life-long problems with insomnia. One a day and the damn thing was only about a 73 millionth of my body weight!
Some of the effects were astonishing, including feeling weak in the knees and my body a bit shredded, but of most concern, my sleep patterns were entirely disrupted. I was basically sleep-deprived for the whole of the European trip.
Things are better now, I’m getting enough sleep and am starting to feel like my body belongs to me again. However, the two-sleep pattern has been replaced by a more traditional one-sleep. Problem is, I seem to have less time at the computer, although that may be part of the seasonal change. I always have less computer time in the summer.
There have been sacrifices. I don’t drink coffee after the middle of the day and I’ve pretty much given up having a glass of wine with the evening meal.
We’ll just have to see how it all works out, but my blogging priority over time will be with climate change.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.