Tag Archives: Australia

On political “Leadership”

From what I can discern, journalists tend to make far too much bother about purported leadership tensions in political parties. Above a certain point, increased titular power brings diminishing returns in terms of influence.

Take my own party, for instance. While I’m not too keen on either of the Hon. Members for Wentworth or Higgins (much preferring the Hon. Member for Bradfield), both men have nonetheless maintained in their public life a certain integrity and dignity which seems ill-served by their respective ambitious acolytes.

Assertions that Mr Costello faces a stark choice between assuming the Liberal Leadership and resigning as an MP strike me as fatuous. The Station of back-bench MP is a fine one which allows for greater detachment from the sharp end of decisions than are requisite to one fully bound by considerations of Cabinet Solidarity while still allowing for the excercise of discernment and advocacy.

As such, so long as he remains capable of doing so (confirmed by the occasional customary bout of support from his electors and pre-selectors), I see no impediment to Mr Costello honourably discharging his duties as Member for Higgins. Should it somehow come to pass that Mr Costello is eventually prevailed upon to be made Leader of the Commonwealth Parliamentary wing of my party, his resistance to flattery shown so far should place him in good stead.

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Filed under Australia, Depravity, Political

On pension levels

As a long-term recipient on psychiatric grounds of the Australian Disability Support Pension, I have a direct pecuniary interest in seeing its plausible maintenance and increase. Nonetheless, it seems worth bearing in mind a few factors which could militate against excessive recourse to the begging-bowl at present.

All else being equal, in fairly stable countries times of relative economic declension tend to affect long-term pensioners less negatively (or even positively in some cases) than others in the community. Since our income is fixed, deflation in commodities, rent and consumer goods allows it to go further in such times.

While our continued spending may serve to some extent as a demand-sink for the economy, governments may find themselves constrained by reduced revenue from precipitately increasing individual pension payments to those whose position remains stable, especially since more volatile sectors such as Construction or Commodities tend to disproportionately be adversely affected by recessions.

Contrariwise, we would tend to be at greater need of assistance when the economy is booming. Incidentally, I’d say the same of responsible landlords since rental yields tend to decline disproportionately compared to other asset classes in such fecund times.

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Filed under Economics, Government, Political, Revenue