04 May 2008

old macdonald had a farm

Today's (Sunday) paper provides the springboard for a few snarky comments, but before we dive in it's worth looking out over the balcony to the ranges across the river. The afternoon light catches all the ripples, the ridges and valleys and it's almost as if each individual tree, branch and leaf is outlined - a big kind of leafy blanket all rumpled up to frame the horizon.

Is this what Halfway referred to when they sang about the CQ Skyline?

Or is it more to the left, over the glittering railway lines and out towards the flatness of the central west?

Meanwhile, back in the newsprint...

The UN says that wrong headed IMF policies over 2 decades have exacerbated starvation because countries were pushed into growing export crops rather than aiming to feed their populations. Mind you, that's exactly what you'd expect from the UN.

Ah, self-sufficiency, the bane of free market economics. Here's your crust of bread, Mr Ricardo, but we've run out of water because it got privatised and sold for the "highest and best use" which, in this case, was not for drinking.

Probably unsurprisingly, there are two letters to the Ed on the same subject, with one correspondent reflecting the consumer-unfriendly outcomes of deregulation. Nobody saw that coming, did they? Wasn't in the model, yes?

The middle ground is where we should be aiming for, and a certain modicum of common sense applied before the theoreticians - who are almost always well fed and living in cities well away from the means of production - allowed to have their head.

The impending investigation of Pauline Hanson and whether she appropriated party funds is comprehensively misunderstood by nearly every letter written in her support. It's not whether she was entitled to the funds - under the law she was - but what she did with the money. This is a distinction quite lost on the support base.

One correspondent goes a step further: "It's just that some people don't like the truth: our country will be overrun, no jobs, high crime etc."

In far happier news, fans called out "We love you Diddy" as the ultamegarapastar was commemorated at Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Evidently the man was right when he dropped the 'P' from his name because it was getting between him and his fans. Although often a quick P is desirable and often inevitable.

So as the sun sets slowly over the rolling hills, we wonder how come one dominant stream of economic theory became so entrenched. The Uruguay Round never fulfilled its far-fetched claims (no thanks to the ideologically indoctrinated economic advisory agencies that cooked up the figures).

Seattle was a turning point so, even given the protracted nature of multilateral negotiations, any outcome on Doha is way, way off. I love seeing the occasional headline, "Still hope for talks" and so on and reports that some committee has decided to set up another committee to decide when everyone might meet again to discuss "modalities."

How the dedicated officials keep going year after year in such a soul-destroying job is beyond me. Oh, no it's not, see under "ideologically indoctrinated" above. That's in part how we came to leave Canberra. That was a machine I didn't want any more to do with and, gradually, I've left it behind. Except when I read the paper.

Although, on reflection, it did pop up in a dinner conversation with some coves a week or so back, in which I tried to explain how Australia has been so opposed to the EU's Common Agricultural Policy, not least because tariffs on Australian exports to the EU go to funding it. The CAP aims to protect the 'heritage' of farming such as small, unbelievably picturesque but economically inefficient French family farms.

Except when, as happens reasonably frequently, a small Australian rural community wants to preserve its heritage. That's different, apparently.

No, it's not. And, moreover, heritage is valuable. Priceless, in fact.

Well, enough of that, my head hurts. I think tonight will be a bit of a blow-out, I'm going to cook a roast and watch the Logies. Two firsts in one day, can I stand the excitement?

2 comments:

Ann O'Dyne said...

re Lamb and Logies: I saved hours (of ad viewing) by just reading the defamer blogspot this morning.

Think of the poor lambs.
and their poor mothers.
the bawling all night at weaning time.
the horror of the saleyards.
I am very familiar with the heritage of many of the villages here in the Victorian Western District
where an awful lot of lamb is produced.

... and "exporting our food" ?
Just try to buy some Omega-3 rich canned fish.
all the SAFCOL stuff is packed in THAILAND. That's 'SAFCOL' for South Australian Fisherman's Co-Operative ....

and Australia has more coast, more water, more effin FISH than any other country.

Nemo! Nemo?

phil said...

I must have some residual female chromosomes because I watched the Logies and followed the liveblog on Defamer simultaneously, even managing to conduct a conversation with Mrs VVB for part of the time (provided that grunts intersperesed with long silences constitutes "conversation."

Looks like we are of a mind wrt fish, exports, and crying sheep.

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