The Commonwealth Games ended in a
cascade of whimsy and much “best ever” mutual back slapping, however it’s back
to the real world today with Tony Blair reminding us we cannot cut and run from
Iraq and the onset of our new
industrial relations regime. Glad to see Ray Evans of the HR Nicholls Society
likening it to the old Soviet system – he’s a lucky fellow as he will not be
sent to a Gulag for his re-education.

Laura Tingle was on the ball in
Friday’s AFR when she pointed out that Labor could “Sell itself at the next
election as the only party that can deliver both an efficient and equitable
labour market”. This ability might be created if the High Court backs the Howard
government’s attempt to create a national system in industrial relation. Such a
system could then be used by Labor to create its own new IR
system.

Then there is the AFR story about
the difficulty of getting good men (or women) to sit on the Reserve Bank Board
now that tax evasion is regarded as an inhibiting factor. Gadzooks, what is the
old Banana Republic coming to?

“The federal government is having
difficulty filling a vacant position on the board of the Reserve Bank of
Australia after last year’s political
firestorm over the tax affairs of former board member Robert Gerard, who
resigned last year.

“Treasurer Peter Costello said the
people best suited to fill the vacancy left after Mr Gerard stepped down in
December were reluctant to accept an offer of appointment because of concerns
they would become targets for political attacks”

And in the wider world, US-China
trade is nearing a flashpoint, writes Ray Block.
“The only way China can
restore some balance in its US trading relationships would be to
quickly ensure a further 10% revaluation of the renminbi (yuan) against
the US dollar.”

Read more at Henry Thornton.

Peter Fray

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