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May 29, 2012

Barnaby on where we’re going wrong.

Cartoon: By Nicholson.

Its fairly common among libertarians in Australia other than the twenty six pure ones, to look over the fence to see whether there are any politicians from the dark side (LNP, Libs, ALP, Greens etc), that are worth feeding or at least, have any potential. Generally we find the outlook pretty bleak, with most of them compulsive oxygen thieves, and few worth standing room in the back paddock.

Shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey caused a stir of interest when during his speech to the Grattan institute he claimed that John Stuart Mill and John Locke had been inspirations to him. We were somewhat mystified as to what influence they had on him and after viewing his statements we came to the conclusion that Mill and Locke must have played Rugby Union.

Barnaby Joyce is no libertarian, more a conservative agrarian socialist, in some ways a carbon copy of Bob Katter except rational. He was roundly criticized in 2009 by everybody form Treasury Secretary, Ken Henry down for mentioning the possibility of a US default. Less than a year later the US tottered on the brink over the debt ceiling.

He has however made it in the real world outside of the political merry go round and has a genuine understanding of the damage done by petty regulation, but as a conservative will seek a government solution. In his recent speech, “Politics and the Environment,” he gives some examples:

Homestead is a very remote property along a dirt road owned by two people, Ray White and Theresa White. …In 2003, some DERM officers arrived at their place to discuss with them a dispute about advice that the Department had given them about clearing trees on their own place. Trees that were formerly owned by them. They were acquired by the state without so much of a cent of compensation.

I am always very suspect when the community divests an individual of an asset to invest it in the ownership of the state without payment. We have tried that trick before, it was called communism and it didn't work. …

Ray and Theresa White were approached by DERM officers who entered into discussions about what may or may not have happened on their place. As good country people they had an open and frank discussion to the best of their knowledge at the gate of their place. Later on we find out that that conversation was secretly taped by the officers and used as evidence against them.

Now that might be legal, but it is also disgusting. If that is what we have become then we are less than I thought we were. …

Then there is David Brown, who actually does have a bit of money. He has a property near Warwick. He wanted to install a centre pivot. A centre pivot is meant to go around, naturally enough, in circles. But it can't go around in circles because it gets to one spot and it gets to a tree. Because there is a tree, the centre pivot has to stop and he is not allowed to move the tree. I live in western Queensland and we are not running out of trees. We have quite a few. …

It is not just here. There was in Victoria, two dead trees, and they are building a road. They come up against the two dead trees. Now little old me would think that you would just knock the two trees over. But you can't do that anymore. They had to transplant the dead trees. This is totally and utterly absurd. …

Then I was talking to a farmer from Nimbin. …He was growing organic macadamias, as he would be. All of a sudden he came against the local environmental plans legislation that was handed to him by his local government. His local government had designated his land as what is known as E2, which means that he is not allowed to change the nature of his farming. His asset which was secure at the bank for a number of millions of dollars, was at that moment, halved in value by reason of a council decision.
The rest can be found here.

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