2015 begins with another political crisis in Greece, triggering further fears about that country's position in the Eurozone, with suggestions this time that an exit may in fact be okay after all. Meantime, Lithuania joined the zone from 1 January. One up, one down?
Gina Rinehart continues her attacks on excessive bureaucracy and corporate welfare or, indeed any welfare, while Mark Latham lambastes feral parents who use the state as their baby sitters. This seems to be due to hung-over parents inventing illnesses in their kids so that they can park them in hospital while they (the parents) recover from their over-indulgence. I would have thought that hanging out in casualty while hung-over would be a sever punishment in itself.
The Lindt siege has illustrated an odd-side effect of the anti-terrorism legislation. Will the Government deem the siege to be a terrorism event for the purpose of insurance? If it does, any insurance payments will be reduced below what might otherwise be the case. For some reason, this seems to be important to the insurance companies.
Liberal MP Dan Tehan wishes to see the GST extended to include food and other exempt items, while the states continue to dicker over the distribution of existing GST payments. Watch this space, though. GST will be widened, increased, Actually, I support that.
Ecuador tops the list of the best 25 countries to retire to in 2015. I fear that these lists are for those who have money - and who can meet immigration requirements. There seems to be some connection between the two!
Senator David Leyonhjelm considers that 2014 was a bad year for personal liberties in Australia, that 2015 will be worse. He is right, of course. Pity he couldn't pick his targets better, though.We actually need someone who will point out the recurring insanities of increasingly ill-liberal Australian Governments. But his views on guns, even though I agree with part, took him to far outside the main stream.
Finally and for the life of me, I cannot remember which program it was except that it was on Radio National. It was about Robert Menzies. I have never been a Menzies supporter, but he does scrub up far better than one might have expected in a world that seems to combine rushing ideologues with a dominance of spin and outright pedestrianism.
Evan kindly pointed me to the radio program. It was The Menzies Legacy on Saturday Extra.
A few years ago I also revised my view of Sir Robert, although perhaps for somewhat different reasons than one would expect to be evident in anything produced by the ABC. My praise of Menzies has to do with his defiance of the wretched ratchet effect: discussed here .I must come back to Winton's post.