Nov 20, 2012

Richard Farmer’s chunky bits: Oakeshott speaks the truth

"Senior representatives" from both sides of politics, Rob Oakeshott tells the ABC this morning, have contacted him and expressed a willingness to reconsider the GST. It's just that they don't want to talk about it until after the next election.

Richard Farmer

Crikey political commentator

Don't mention the tax. And some people wonder why the public esteem of politicians is low and getting lower. Now comes a rare bit of truth telling by independent MP Rob Oakeshott to send it tumbling further. "Senior representatives" from both sides of politics, Oakeshott tells the ABC this morning, have contacted him and expressed a willingness to reconsider the GST. It's just that they don't want to talk about it until after the next election. "Why should an election get in the way of this conversation that has to happen, is going to happen, and there seems to be this risk averse nature of the political parties prior to the election," Oakeshott told ABC Radio National. "Let's have the discussion openly. Let's look at and welcome the opportunity to get rid of some of those inefficient state taxes." Not just another pollster. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has today published a fascinating look at the nation's aspirations -- the result of a two year study into Australians' views of what progress means to them. Australian statistician Brian Pink describes Measures of Australia's Progress -- aspirations for our nation: a conversation with Australians about progress as a way of checking that the bureau was measuring the things that Australians thought were important:
"We found that Australians feel that having equal opportunity or a fair go, is an essential element for progress. They also want an economy that meets Australia's needs today, tomorrow and into the future. "People feel that the non-material aspects of life such as recreation, sport, popular culture and the arts are also important for progress. "The consultation also revealed that Australians think having a say in the decision making that affects their lives, and having institutions that are accountable for their decisions, is crucial."

The views of a man who would be president. As Republicans in the USA start thinking about a Latino as their next presidential candidate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio's name tops the early favourites list. So here's a little something to keep in mind as the Cuban-American member of the science subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee keeps getting mentioned over the next four years. An interview with GQ magazine published this week included this exchange:
GQ: How old do you think the Earth is? Marco Rubio: I'm not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I'm not a scientist. I don't think I'm qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in seven days, or seven actual eras, I'm not sure we'll ever be able to answer that. It's one of the great mysteries.

And back to the real news. After a solid week or more of all those men in identikit dark suits and ties dominating the front pages at the 18th National Communist Party Congress, the newspapers of China have moved back to covering the news that really interests their readers.

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One thought on “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits: Oakeshott speaks the truth

  1. Joel

    That survey was insightful – Australians are, apparently, in favour of good health, prosperity, trustworthiness, sunshine and ponies. Never would have guessed it!

    And, yes, it looks like the Republican party is leaning towards doubling-down on its ignorance first policy.

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