Cuba got into telco privatisation ahead of Australia.
And it seems as if Fidel Castro is more comfortable and relaxed with private
water projects
than John Howard.

The scuttling of the Snowy sale raises some
significant questions about policy making and the Howard Government.

It’s good short term politics. The Prime
Minister saves the Snowy. He gets the praise. Morris Iemma is the bloke who
cops a $2 billion blow to his bottom line just before the Budget.

Yet what’s the overall approach here? The
Snowy news comes as the Government is setting up an entity, the Future Fund,
that will own as much as 10% of the ASX by 2010. When the
Commonwealth becomes so hands-on, how will that affect policy making?

And when was the decision on the Snowy sale
made? Why the lack of attention to the nuts and bolts? Was it a Cabinet
decision? What did Finance Minister Nick Minchin advise? Did the PM just decide
it was all too hard to go on? And why the virtual silence from the Treasurer?