For a number of reasons, I am finding it difficult to concentrate. My heart simply isn't in it. So this morning I am going to meander, wandering almost aimlessly through the on-line world. There is no rhyme nor reason to my path. It just is.
Ian Verrender's Global woes also down to rocks that shouldn't be there is another interesting piece by a columnist who so often writes well.
I first focused on the concept of footloose industries back in the mid eighties. Then in 1987 Aymever, my newly established consulting firm, published the Australia Communication's Environment as the first in what was meant to be an annual publication. Events intervened, but I am still very proud of that work.
The idea of telecommunications as a traded service was then very new. The idea that new communications technology would create footloose economic activities that would shift around the globe newer still. The idea that Australia might not benefit from this was quite alien in a comfortable world in which competition and open markets was seen, somehow, as delivering maximum national benefits.
Don't get me wrong. I supported and support competition and open markets. Where I part company from my former Treasury colleagues lies in the fact that I have no special expectation that Australia as a nation will benefit. Quite the opposite.
Just as New England was adversely affected by structural change over the second half of the twentieth century, so I expect Australia to be affected. In the New England case, New England lost but the nation as a whole achieved higher living standards. In the Australian case, I expect Australia (like New England) to lose, but the global population as a whole to benefit.
Quite a bit of my writing over decades has tried to attack the comfortable assertion that Australia must benefit, to assert the need for pro-active responses. We cannot control global change, we can only control our responses.
I was listening to a radio program a while back. Poor King Canute! He didn't believe that he could stop the tides. He was trying to make a point to his courtiers about the limitations of power. Instead, he has come down in history as a fool. He would probably grin, actually, His reputation makes just the point he was trying to make.
In early December in Malcolm Naden & New England's fugitive country I discussed the police search for Malcolm Naden. Mr Naden is still on the run, adding to what has become a mythic story. The police have moved their search headquarters from Nowendoc to Gloucester, but so far have had no luck in catching the man.
The poker machine saga rolls on. Julia Gillard has walked away from her deal with Mr Wilkie, he has withdrawn his support from the Government. None of this actually matters.
Mr Wilkie, a puritan who believes in absolutes, was never going to get what he wanted. He has, in fact, had a considerable victory, for he has achieved a trial of his desired solution. I don't think he sees it that way.
One of the vexed issues in this country has been formal recognition in the constitution of the rights of Australia's first inhabitants. A discussion paper has now been released. You will find the report here.
I find that I am out of time.