(Image: Jacqui Lambie/Facebook)

It’s not a competition We’re great fans of competitiveness indexes at Crikey — those “reports” produced by neoliberal think tanks purporting to analyse the “global competitiveness” of economies and, invariably, urge fewer labour protections, less environmental regulation, and lower corporate taxes.

Having been invented by the World Economic Forum, they’ve proliferated to such an extent you need a guide to them (which we’ve happily provided). These analyses, while pretending to intellectual rigour, are just surveys of corporate executives, kleptocrats and oligarchs from around the world.

But luckily Australia’s own neoliberal talkshop, CEDA, has shared the link to the survey for the forthcoming “World Competitiveness Yearbook” (a sort of Aldi World Economic Forum) which will “assess the performance of 64 economies based on more than 330 criteria”.

The survey is directed at corporate executives so they can lament how much regulation, worker protections and high company taxes they have to deal with. But there’s no reason we can think why everyone shouldn’t contribute to the understanding of the Australian economy. So you can fill in the survey right here.

Bramston in a pickle The Australian‘s campaign against Labor leader Anthony Albanese continues, despite the prospect of an early election apparently going out the window this morning.

After months of cycling through various settings of “deathwatch” pieces on the state of Albanese’s leadership, Troy Bramston’s column today calls him the worst thing you can be called in the Australian op-ed pages: Australia’s Jeremy Corbyn. The evidence? Both leaders use the phrase “on your side”.

“You could not make this stuff up,” Bramston writes in a column that illustrates that you absolutely can. He argues that the phrase positions “Labor as anti-aspiration and anti-business with a big-taxing and big-spending agenda” and that the “Corbynistas” now “run the party organisation, the political strategy and set the policy agenda”.

Impressively, he does so without citing a single policy that qualifies as a lurch towards socialism.

Perhaps it was the handing of the climate change portfolio to the right faction’s Chris Bowen (from the more ambitious Mark Butler)? Maybe the abandonment of reform to negative gearing? The equivocation on JobSeeker, or Australia Day? Maybe it’s the focus on that classic old left obsession: Australia’s debt levels during a global health crisis?

Out on a Lambie Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has revealed the extremely on-brand portrait that hangs on her wall: a six-year-old Bald Archy entrant that depicts her as Princess Leia choking to death Jabba the Hut with Clive Palmer’s face, thus living out what we can only assume is something Bill Shorten semi-regularly daydreams about.

The painting, donated by fans, put Crikey in mind of Shane Warne’s celeb studded BBQ mural.

Herald Strange choices in The Sydney Morning Herald this morning in an otherwise rock-solid exposé of what seems to be a smoking gun in the ongoing saga of disgraced NSW MP Daryl Maguire.

In documents tabled in NSW Parliament, Transport for NSW executive director Tim Raimond notes the apparent leaking of confidential departmental information (“How did Daryl McGuire [sic] get that info?” a senior colleague apparently demanded). This followed correspondence from a Hong Kong property developer which indicated they knew a motorway — still months from being announced — was to intersect with land they’d purchased.

The odd part is mentioned three paragraphs from the end, like trying to hide an insult in a cough: Maguire’s relationship with Gladys Berejiklian. Why the secret five-year relationship (during which the pair frequently discussed Maguire’s dealings with property developers) isn’t considered a bigger part of today’s revelations is curious.