22 July 2010

Tony Abbott is more honest than Julia Gillard, says former Labor leader

In an interview on Sky News Australia, former leader of the federal ALP gave this blunt assessment of the honesty of the leaders of the two major parties:

Mark Latham: So every single slip, every wrong word, almost every misplaced syllable by a party leader it’s seized on. I’ve seen that already in this campaign. It’s seized on, as a story way out of proportion with its public interest value. So that encourages the politicians to narrow down, give them absolutely nothing and what we’ve seen so far in this campaign is that Gillard is really a changed person. She used to be fairly sort of free-wheeling and open about things. She has mastered the art of narrowness in public life whereas Abbott who, you know, really can’t sort of restrain himself from being a little bit honest is more likely to lead himself into an answer that, you know, is more honest than what Gillard’s giving people.

David Speers: But you’re saying Tony Abbott’s more honest in this campaign than Julia Gillard?

Mark Latham: Well he’s more inclined to speak his mind which you know should be a virtue, in a normal system it would be a virtue but in a system we’ve got now where the narrowness is absurd, there’s absolutely nothing in it for a politician to have an opinion that is outside the narrowly scripted message of the day on the campaign trail and this will be an ongoing problem for Abbott. Abbott who, for whatever reason, can’t sort of control himself in that regard is obviously going to find some …

5 July 2010

Julia Gillard continues to mislead voters on the Australian Constitution

Julia Gillard wants voters to forget that Australia is a federation of states with rights that are enshrined in the Australian Constitution, because they don’t sit well with Labor’s agenda to further centralise power in Canberra.

One of the central themes of the Rudd-Gillard Labor government’s campaign to win votes for its proposed Minerals Resource Rent Tax (MRRT) is that the nation’s minerals are owned by all Australians. As the government realises, this statement is misleading, as talkback radio host Alan Jones pointed out in his interview with the Prime Minister on 2GB last week:

JONES: -All company tax is profit-based, Julia. All company tax is profit based.

PM: Yes, but Alan, Alan, let’s just, absolutely right, I’m agreeing with you, we’re not having an argument about that. What’s different about mining? The key resource us a resource that is owned by everyone and we’ve got to work out what that’s worth. Historically-

JONES: -That’s not quite right, either. Constitutionally, what’s under the ground is owned by the States.

PM: Well, you know, Australians, Alan - whether they’re sitting in their States or sitting in their nation, it’s owned by Australians.

Australia’s minerals are owned by the Crown in the right of the states (excepting the territories), not in the right of the Commonwealth as the government is suggesting with its spin. It is clear from Section 114 in Chapter V of the Australian Constitution that while our minerals are owned by Australians, not all Australians own all our minerals:

114. A State shall not, without the consent of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, raise or maintain any naval or military force, or impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to the Commonwealth, nor shall the Commonwealth impose any tax on property of any kind belonging to a State.