Miranda Devine has the goss:
- In a stunning proposal that would send shockwaves through the Coalition, Hanson told me on 2GB radio on Monday that she would even consider ceding control of her party to Bernardi in order to lock in conservative voters disillusioned with the Coalition.
“I have a lot of respect for Cory, “ she said. “I’d love to work with him or join forces. If Cory wants to take over [One Nation] so be it but at the end of the day it has got to be on the issues that I want to fight for the people.”
Many of One Nation’s policies, especially its opposition to Islamic extremism, accord with views expressed by Bernardi, who was sacked from the Coalition front bench by Tony Abbott for making politically incorrect comments about same-sex marriage and has remained in exile under Malcolm Turnbull.
Bernardi has hinted at forming a breakaway party named the Australian Majority, possibly as soon as February. He was unavailable for comment yesterday, but he is unlikely to rebuff Hanson’s offer to solidify conservative support for them both, rather than splitting the vote between them.
2. Homo sapiens not very bright
A short note in the New Scientist.
People in the USA were so terrified by the twin towers going down in September 2001 that they took to the roads, rather than travel by air. The result was an average increase in the road toll by 1,100 pa for the next five years.
3. Abbott criticises pension changes
I can’t find a link, but on ABC radio I heard Tony Abbott questioning the wisdom of reducing the amount of assets old age pensioners can have, other than the family home. He felt that it was not good to penalise people who had saved a bit.
Excuse me, but this was an item in the 2015 budget, when Abbott was king. You can tell what the Fin Review thought of it from the photo of Scott Morrison:
They predicted that some oldies would have to learn to live without $10,000 to $15,000 pa.
I posted about it in Greens sell out on aged pension on June 29, 2015. Abbott was PM until mid-September. Maybe no-one told him what was going on.
Paul Syvret, who is at times a bit Bolshie, had a piece about it in the Courier Mail (pay-walled), which was titled Bit Rich to Lecture Poor. He pointed out that Joe Hockey at one stage was claiming $270 per night from the public purse while staying in a house in Canberra which he and his wife owned.
4. Centrelink’s ‘overpayment recovery program’
Everyone who has been on the dole for part of a year back to 2010. Both my sons have had letters.
My youngest, who is a mathematician, says he thinks the computer program they are using is designed to rip people off. It equalises your income over the year and then claims you were earning more than you were while receiving benefits. They are generating 20,000 “compliance interventions” a week, up from 20,000 a year before the crackdown came into effect in July.They are accessing ATO information and automatically generating 20,000 “compliance interventions” a week, up from 20,000 a year before the crackdown came into effect in July.
There is an article in The Australian. Google
- ‘Sarah Martin: The Turnbull government is ramping up efforts to claw back $4 billion believed to have been incorrectly paid to welfare recipients, issuing debt notices worth $4.5 million every day in a bid to rein in the ballooning welfare bill’
and you should get it.
No doubt there is some fraud going on, but unless you have detailed records you’ll probably end up paying, plus a 10% penalty. Senator Doug Cameron said he’d been contacted by heaps of people, including one woman who says she was being wrongfully pinged for $9,000.
Pauline Hansen is using the issue to promote the idea of an Australia card.
5. Giving is good
You don’t hear much about contemporary French intellectuals, but there is a group called Mouvement Anti-Utilitariste dans les Sciences Sociales, or MAUSS, who have dedicated themselves to a systematic attack on the philosophical underpinnings of economic theory.
It has generally been assumed that before the invention of money a market existed, with barter as the medium.
They say that in fact most objects moved back and forth as gifts. There is no evidence, they say for this tenet:
- The universal assumption of free market enthusiasts, then as now, was that what essentially drives human beings is a desire to maximize their pleasures, comforts and material possessions (their “utility”), and that all significant human interactions can thus be analyzed in market terms.
That makes the ‘market’ a cultural construct rather than part of the nature of things.