4 October 2018

Thu, 04 Oct, 2018

Welcome back to my weekly snapshot of current events. As always, opinions are my own. Tell me what you think!

THE ONLY BOYCOTT THAT COUNTS

I’ve never understood how boycotting fuel stations on a particular day could have any effect whatsoever. We’ve all got to get where we’re going in a week, so are just going to fill up on another day.  The only boycott that counts is the one on Election Day where you boycott those political parties who keep adding fuel taxes! (Hint: the only one left is ACT. Our transport policy is here.)

PRIVACY SETTINGS

"It is a file-by-file [search] on your phone. We're not going into 'the cloud'. We'll examine your phone while it's on flight mode," Customs spokesperson Terry Brown said.

Huh? I’m not the least bit technically savvy but I can see an immediate flaw in this. If I’m a crook, I’ll first back my device up to the Cloud, and disable synchronisation. I’ll then delete its cache, browsing history, text history, remove apps, uninstall my e-mail programme, and delete files and photos.  As they don’t search the Cloud they won’t find a thing on it. Once I’m back in internet coverage, I simply reinstall programmes, enable synchronisation, and voila – everything comes back. Am I wrong?

Of course we should screen visitors at the border for national and biological security risks, but for real crooks this won’t work and for everyone else, is just a huge invasion of privacy!

LEAVING TENANTS SHORT

If I drove a $200,000 Lamborghini, I would be nervous letting someone take it, but we are expected to hand our keys over to a tenant, and say 'I hope it ends on a good note'."

The way this government is headed, changes to legislation that favours tenants over landlords is already driving landlords to sell their rental properties. I’m sure this is part of the Labour government’s intention, believing that this makes more houses available to first home buyers. But what it also does is reduce the pool of rentals at a time when we have an affordable housing crisis. That leaves the government to have to become the main provider of rental housing, and being obligated to take the worst tenants, often concentrating them in small areas and devaluing the properties around them. Those neighbouring owners then move out and turn their property into a rental as well, creating whole neighbourhoods of lower socio-economic residents.  Is that what Labour wants? Ensuring there is a good supply of private rentals keeps neighbourhoods integrated and diverse, protects property values, and destigmatises good tenants.

VIVA LA REVOLUTION

Be afraid, be very afraid. Or just split the left vote.

BLEEDING BUSINESS

Anyone who’s owned a business and had to do a GST return knows that any exceptions to the rule are incredibly time consuming to track and manage, and the main beneficiaries of a complicated tax system are accounting professionals.  While removing GST from women’s sanitary products in Australia may have good intentions, it will save individual women only a few dollars a year, but cost business more to account for. Hardly worth making a new law for. After sanitary products, what’s next? Maternity bras? Baby’s nappies? I bet someone is already dreaming up that policy now, amongst the laundry pile on the lounge floor. The solution is already here: environmentally-friendly, re-usable (and therefore affordable), sanitary products such as the menstrual cup.

PAY GOOD TEACHERS MORE

The most sensible thing said this week. Jazz hands for David.

“Labour have subsidised higher education for kids from well-off families who would have made it to university anyway and widened the gap for kids from lower socio-economic areas who have been failed by state schools and don’t end up able to make it to university.” - David Seymour

SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

So the Nats are going to support Labour’s Child Poverty Reduction Bill. As ACT's Free Press reported last December, the Bill is actually a political exercise that focuses on household income rather than children's welfare. It is a distraction from the real issue and therefore destructive

But wait – doesn’t that just make ACT supporters selfish and uncaring?

Finally -

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

How to debate a right winger, with Jazz Hands!

Have a great weekend everyone, perhaps we’ll see you at one of these ACT events?