NEWSFLASH! In September I will join The Conversation as its Business and Economy Editor. I have been honoured to work at The Age for the past ten years, originally alongside the legendry Tim Colebatch, and for the past four years as economics editor in my own right.

At The Conversation, my job will be to make the best thinking from Australia's 40 univerisites accessible to the widest possible audience. That means you. From the new year I will also write a weekly column.

On this site are most of the important things I have written for Fairfax and the ABC over the past few decades. I recommend the Search function. The site is a record for you, as well as me.

I'll continue to post great things from The Conversation and other places here, and also on Twitter and Facebook. Enjoy.

Friday, November 27, 2009

"The Liberal Pary risks becoming a political billabong"

Typically brilliant - tough but fair - analysis from Chris Uhlmann:

At the heart of Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 is a brilliant paradox: if you plead insanity to avoid suicidal bombing missions then you must be sane and can't be excused.
"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind.

"Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions...

Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.

"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.
There is an Australian inversion of Catch-22: if you want to lead the Liberal Party now you must be insane and shouldn't be allowed to.

By that measure, Joe Hockey is the sanest person in the Opposition because he genuinely does not want to lead it now. But he may not be able to avoid it.


Read the full thing here.  Do it now.


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. Hockeynomics - at times an embarrassment

. What if Joe Hockey is Julie Bishop in new clothes?