- the Burmese people chose a popular government in 1990 but the military refused to acknowledge the result, put the legitimate winner under house arrest in 1990 and continued to rule. So an argument that the Burmese have the government they're happy with is egregiously untenable.
- The military has continued to rule by force and repression, which does not permit armed or unarmed resistance without intolerable consequences (as was also proved in 1988).
- Yes it would be preferable that the Olympics not be politicised, except that understanding was abrogated in 1936 and in 1980.
- The Burmese military can only be induced to change - or something similar - at one degree of separation, in this case through putting pressure on China.
Interestingly, I had lunch today with a long time friend who had visited Burma earlier this year. He pointed out, quite rightly, that even if Aung San Suu Kyi was released and some accommodation with the junta was found, she is of an age that is a generation now stepping down, yet she is without experience in government. Burma needs a new generation of leaders, but no identifiable leader has emerged because of the faith still put in AASK.
He had been impressed by the hospitality of the Burmese people (true) but also the amount of economic freedom (ie small business) allowed.
I'm still sceptical as you have to live there to appreciate the extent and pervasiveness of political control through the 'secret' police, who are everywhere.
..at this stage there was a short break while I watched Spicks and Specks with Lloyd Cole set up to sink a putt against a lookalike Alice Cooper, complete with rubber chicken in his mouth - it seems that Lloyd has the same golf handicap as Cooper...
meanwhile back in the real world...
and in the other real world with which we are more familair, some questions arise about the Government's hospitals plan...
...while some people have simple, neat answers.
Unfortunately, they're not alone:
It has been appalling to see recent news items showing people suffering and dying in hospital waiting rooms, in hospital toilets, and in waiting ambulances. Doctors threatening to resign and some very sick people even advised to go home.
Every politician from former Queensland premier Peter Beattie to Federal Health Minister Tony Abbot and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd have said they will fix the hospital system.
The administrative problems from which people suffer can never be fixed
while medical care and hospitals are run by the bureaucracy. Senior officials have admitted this. There are only two ways of rationing economic goods: By competitive price the market method. By queues the socialist method. In the socialist method, the queues will get so long and the service so poor that the value of the "service" falls to its direct cost to the recipient zero.
The real cost, to the suffering taxpayer, will keep rising forever. When
and where permitted to do so by the state, the market system produces all items.
Entrepreneurs emerge and supply the market with what it wants at competitive
prices, whether it be health services, water supply, educational facilities,
welfare services or any other good.
Ronald Kitching, Frenchville, Qld
This bloke needs to learn about why the private sector won't supply goods and services from it can't exact a commercial return - known as spillover effects. The poor can't afford health care at any price, that's why we pay taxes to ensure an equitable availability of such goods and services. If we want the law of the jungle, let's make it obvious and have a referenddum question rather than an election.
They should also remember that answers that are simple and neat are usually bracketed with 'wrong'.