Thursday, August 28, 2008

Electricity privatisations opposed by Libs & incentive contracts in schools supported by Labor

My former student colleague NSW Liberal Party leader Barry O'Farrell finally rejects proposed electricity privatisations in his state and sides with the union thugs while Federal Labor's Ear Wax Monster, Kevin Rudd, endorses earlier Liberal proposals to put schools of incentive contracts - money will be withheld if they do not provide decent academic outcomes - inviting attacks from his Labor state Government colleagues and the neanderthal teacher unions.

I am not sure if the ideological inconsistencies here are an instance of 'Tweedledum-Tweedledee' convergence or just opportunism. Farrell is desparate to win power in NSW and Rudd is suffering the perception of being a big talker but not doing much. Where are the computers that were to be provided to every school student?

O'Farrell's rejection probably means that the NSW electricity sector will not be privatised which should please those in the union movement who want high wages but low production efficiencies. This move seems blatantly political - as Catallaxy points out it runs against Liberal Party philosophy - there is widespread popular opposition to the privatisations.

I support Rudd's revisionist attempt to reinstate Liberal Policy although it is clear he faces opposition within the State Governments. If the States cave in and support the Rudd proposals they will be revealled to be the party-political hacks and hypocrites they are.  Of course ingenuity is required to get the contracts working efficiently but the suggestion in the Rudd proposal to pay good teachers more if they work in underperforming schools sounds a promising way of offsetting the inefficiencies that will be intensified if poor performing schools only attract the worst teachers.


conrad said...

I didn't know the Liberal party had a philosophy anymore.

Spiros said...

Hi Harry, I just posted this at Andrew Norton's place, and I thought I might plagiarise myself.
O’Farrell’s opposition can be explained as the confluence of several forces.

1. He smells victory at the next election. Privatisation is unpopular. By opposing Iemma he puts distance between himself and that rotting political corpse aka the NSW Premier, and the Freddy Krueger of NSW politics, aka Michael Costa.

2. The National Party opposes privatisation. O’Farrell doesn’t want to upset the coalition with victory in sight, but not yet secured.

3. The only things the NSW Liberal Party really cares about anyway are sodomisers and fetuses.

When it comes down to it, who actually favours privatisation of NSW electricity? A few classical liberal ideologues, investment bankers who would stand to make a quick buck and some Treasury-economist types. And who cares what they think? Not Barry O’Farrell, that’s for sure.

Sir Henry Casingbroke said...

NSW Treasurer Il Duce Costa is now saying that because the electricity privatisation has been denied him, he will have no money for the various previously promised projects. This way of running the state is like going for a test drive in a new Porsche Carerra telling the salesman you will be back on Monday because that's when Lotto's drawn.

One of the promised projects is the so-called "Super Hospital" at Frenchs Forest, will not be built now. (It was never on anyhow). Nor should it as the area has two perfectly good hospitals and the reason the project got started in the first place was because Benito wanted to get his hands on the yummy oceanfront real estate where Mona Vale and Manly hospitals sit to sell to the ALP's developer benefactors (as per the Illawarra).

This whole notion of selling off revenue-earning assets begs the answer that is never given, why sell off a monopoly industry that brings a regular quid? Accountancy prof Bob Walker said s much and he ought to know - he was NSW Auditor General for a while, and boy was he a thorn in the government's side... but I digress.

And please, let's have none of that bullshit that private enterprise, as opposed to qangos, do it better. This stuff belongs on car back windows.

hc said...

Sir Henry, Your reference to Il Duce and your recent self-portrayal as a grumpy Adolf worries me Sir Henry. Have you been cooking in aluminium pots?

I guess the view of the privatisation is that private owners can be tougher on unions than a brainless Labor gang.

Of course we can argue about whether this efficiency dividend will occur or not. But I agree with your general point that, ignoring such efficiencies, selling off income-earning public assets does zilch to improve finances.

You are maturing into a saintly 60-year old, Sir Henry. Thanks for a great party.

Sir Henry Casingbroke said...

You are conflating two disparate events, HC, connected only by their historic connection.

Costa and the original il Duce share: 1. haircut 2. grandstanding arrogance and fleshy pout 3. A socialist/ labor union antecedents, subsequently to turn on them after having used them as a stepping stone for power.

One of them met an ugly end and things are going pearshaped for the other.

It was great to see you. It was all over too quick.

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