The New Australian

Proudly nearly Australian since 2010. "I'm not grumpy, the rest of the world is just unrealistically upbeat"

The New Australian - Proudly nearly Australian since 2010. "I'm not grumpy, the rest of the world is just unrealistically upbeat"

Baby bags – Manli ™ MILFs’ entrepreneurship

Hi, yah, can I get a soy decaf pumpkin mocha?

Oh, how are you darhling? How’s Jax’son and Cilantrö getting on at school? That’s great.

Yah, I’ve been rushed off my feet recently setting up my new business. Everyone is setting up innovative new businesses here and I didn’t want to be left out.

What’s that? Oh, baby bags. Y’know, like regular bags but for putting baby stuff in. Nothing too mumsie though, we can still show those Bondy ™ MILFs Trinny and Susannah a thing or two up here on the Northern Beaches.

Yah, the leather is ethically-sourced from cows that have died peacefully of old age in Brazil and then we fly it in planes using biofuel to China where absolutely not one 12 year old child is used to make the lovely neat stitching with their perfectly-suited tiny hands.

Kalani and Havana are super excited that I’ve named the bags after them. Frankly, the creative juices it took to name my children had run out when it came to the bags so I expect we’ll just call everything new the same two names from now on. We’re getting a new puppy next week, I think we’ll call him Havana too.

Silly old bag

Anyway, I can’t stand around chatting all day, I’ve got to walk 10km barefoot to the well for the day’s water.

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Australia’s classless society

I bet you thought this would be another one of the formulaic rants about bogans didn’t you?

Nope, quite the reverse.

Have you spotted this? Qantas to introduce a dress code for their lounges.

Of course, the churnalist knocked out a few hundred clichéd words about how standards have slipped and we should all hark back to the days of glamorous air travel.

Obviously Melissa Hoyer didn’t spot that Bin Laden fucked that up forever; what was an already ignoble experience by the 1990s became an exercise in ritual inconvenience and humiliation after the Twin Towers came down.

Anyway, back to the Qantas decision to make us all dress like Cary Grant in North by North West (my default style,  as those on here who know me can attest). Is the change in policy really to cut out the men in relaxed singlets or the ladies in comfortable open-toed shoes?

Is it bollocks.

It’s to keep the hi-viz jackets away from the free grog.

The vast majority of frequent flier miles in Australia are owned by fly in/fly out workers. While waiting for their connection after a stretch in the Pilbura they have a well-deserved drink. As do I on the way home from a work trip but the difference is, I’ll be wearing a suit.

No, this is isn’t about dress standards and an aspiration to look like extras from Mad Men, it’s about class.

Australia is a classless society, apparently. Riiight.

The timing is interesting by the way, it indicates that we are comfortably past the peak of the large volume of domestic journeys during the mining boom and Qantas therfore feels it’s time to reconnect to the core of business class travelers.

Assuming they’ve not switched to a competitor and made the commitment to their airmiles already.

UPDATE:
As corrected by @gynn007, Qantas have stated that hi-vis jackets are excluded.

However, one wonders whether the workers will all have to purchase a shirt with a collar specifically for traveling.

Also, what’s the betting hi-viz is added to the ban as the bell curve moves more in favour of the middle management travelers?

The times they EBA changing

Niche skills, fly in fly out location; obviously this CFMEU deal to cut workers’ take home pay by up to 20% a year is an anomaly the likes of which we won’t see again.

Oh hang on, what’s this?

Penalty

What’s the colour of government in South Australia?

Red.

Wow. Up the workers, eh?

This organ has ranted at length on this subject but is this the turning point? Is this when Australia finally realises that the current awards/penalty rates/EBA system is a burning building with locked doors?

Nah, I doubt it too but it’s funny to watch reality arriving with force between the eyes of a few people in the meantime.

The main reason not to iVote

Charlie cast her vote in the New South Wales’ state elections last night. She couldn’t be fagged with wasting time going to the polling station conforms to one of the iVote criteria so she cast her vote online. The criteria are as follows;

Honestly out of town

Of course, what she’s just done is given legitimacy to whatever the next corruptions scandal is to hit the New South Wales government. If it’s not selling mining rights cheap to your family members, it’s forgetting about accepting $2,000 bottles of wine from the year of your birth, and all points of corruption in between.

 

Why? Because the iVote system doesn’t give an option for “none of the above”, which, let’s face it, is the only choice available to anyone with any sense in their head.

 

Nope, if you are born here or an immigrant who was daft enough to sign up to the electoral roll, you’ve only got one choice to avoid the fine for not encouraging the venal political class exercising your democratic right;

 

Draw a cock on the form.

Australian unintended outcomes #623

Here’s a straightforward question for you;

 

Q. What is the prime responsibility of a publicly-listed company?

 

If your immediate response wasn’t shareholder value, you’re probably a born and bred Australian.

I have several daughters and I would love to think that they will be afforded an equal opportunity of success when they reach adulthood. Equal opportunity though, not equality of outcome. The outcome is their responsibility.

Consider then, this genius idea;

50 50

 

It seems a great idea when written like that, and we must certainly applaud the sentiments of ANZ Bank CEO Mike Smith (no, not that one).

 

When considered in the context of this chart, there’s a problem though, can you spot what it is?

wimmin

That massive drop at the point in the career path between “professional” and “executive” means that the available pool from which companies such as ANZ Bank can select their 50% female executive quota is significantly reduced.

It doesn’t take a degree in statistics to understand what the outcome will be. I see it all the time; it’s the female equivalent of The Peter Principle. For reasons no more significant than being the only candidate with a vagina, an unsuitable candidate gets the gig.

I could offer many examples of this reality. The most recent one is currently acting like a brake on a programme of work I have ownership for that, in the worst case scenario, will result in a four times return on investment, and the value of the investment has quite a few zeros after it. Time wasted is opportunity lost, therefore.

The problem is, one of the key stakeholders is the recipient of a you’re all winners”/Plus One Pledge type of promotion and, as a consequence, a programme that should have been live and delivering massive upside last October is only just about to get out of the starting gate next month.

We had another long conversation yesterday where I felt like I was trying to explain nuclear fission to Lara Bingle. After 90 minutes of repetition and circular conversations I walked away still not confident that she’d understood what, to me and every other person I’d previously explained it to, was a very simple concept.

Last night I checked whether the problem was with my ability to explain the concept by running it past Charlie. She understood first time and asked far more insightful questions that the person who has had organisational prime responsibility for the function for the last 2 years.

There are clearly many women who are capable of performing the senior roles in publicly-listed companies, they are probably just not currently in the workforce. Instead, through lip service and political correctness, strugglers like our old friend Penelope get jobs for which they are probably not suited and when they prove conclusively that they aren’t they remain bullet proof to the usual performance review process.

Lastly, let’s remind ourselves of the Dunning-Kruger Effect (h/t Peewhit);

If you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent. […] the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.

 

Maybe, but the person responsible for delivering shareholder value bloody well should recognise your incompetence.

The ARU want to know what you think

An email arrived today inquiring after my intentions for the 2016 tour to Australia by the English rugby team.

We’ll probably go to the Melbourne and Sydney tests and give Brisbogan a miss, thanks very much for asking.

Helpfully, the survey has a final question that allows a freeform text reply for “any further comments”.

Now, far be it for this organ to lead the witness, but if you would be so kind as to browse these previous rants before completing the survey, it would be most welcome.

The survey is here.

Whatever you do though, don’t write,

The ARU Board is simply a sheltered workshop for the GPS alumni and Bill Pulver is proof of Australia’s minuscule domestic talent pool as he constantly demonstrates a genetic inability to competently run even a bath let alone a major sporting code.

…otherwise they will realise I put you up to it.

How will Julian cope?

There have been some less than satisfactory exchanges of opinion between this organ and Julian Burnside AO QC.

The most recent was described here. Despite the massive support he receives from his cheerleaders on the left of the political landscape, Julian has yet to answer the following very simple question in a manner which is logically credible to me.

How do we dissuade alsylum-seekers from attempting an ocean crossing fraught with risk, whilst still upholding our obligations to the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the various international agreements determining how many each “destination country” will accept?

Julian seems to have moved the essay he offered in reply, it’s now here.

Considering that it was written by one of the best legal minds in the nation, it is terrifyingly logically inconsistent. Put simply; lock everyone up who arrives here by boat for just one month. Once you’ve performed a reference check, send them out into the countryside to pick fruit for a living. They get benefits and are entitled to Medicare.

Again, it’s tempting but seems unnecessary to cut and past vast swathes of Adam Smith’s On the Wealth of Nations to prove that this policy will have the exact opposite effect of the one he claims to want.

It’s almost as if he has some sort of vested interest in seeing the boat arrivals’ rate increasing exponentially. Remind me, what does he do for a living? Ahhhh.

So, not content with pestering him on social media, I’ve decided that it’s time to attempt to get a straight answer from Julian in person.

Can Julian Cope

If you want to attend, details of the event are here. However, if you are too late to grab one of the free tickets, I’ve already reserved 3 spares. The first to confirm in the comments that they can attend can accompany me.

Despite this organ’s frequently flippant and deliberately provocative tone, I am genuinely interested in how the country’s most experienced professional in the field of asylum thinks we can prevent deaths at sea.

Defenestration

My project to murder the incurably incompetent using alphabetically-ordered methods has cycled back round again to D.

I’ve not chucked someone out of a window recently so I checked out the Wiki entry for defenestration to check whether there were any interesting tips or techniques that I’d not previously considered.

If ever you were in any doubt that the majority of academic research is complete bollocks, this should finally close the issue for you;

Defenestration

 

No, really?

The vifence is strong today!

Vifence (noun, verb) The state and action of being insulted or morally outraged on behalf of others. Vicarious offence.

White city-dwelling actor, Rolf De Heer, is fewmin on behalf on black people living in remote communities in Australia. Fewmin, I tell ya.

We do love witnessing a good vifence-based row here at The New Australian. Taking offence is the industry that has replaced manufacturing in Australia (note also the direction offence travels; it’s something you choose to find, not something that seeks you out).

Anyway, as well as being one of the last of the Australian males to be given the firstname of Rolf, Mr. De Heer is apoplectic about the disrespect shown by the Prime Minister this week to the Aboriginal community’s ancient right to live a thousand kilometres from schools, hospitals, opportunities for employment and cafés selling freshly baked Danish pastries. This got Rolf properly fired up, apparently.

You can see his point though. How dare an elected official suggest that it is impossible to deliver state-provided services to an equal standard and timeliness to a population distributed vast distances away from major or even minor centres of population?

Here in Tony Abbott’s constituency of Manli ™, the average response time for an ambulance to reach patients with life-threatening conditions is counted in minutes. Why on earth should this be any different for people living a thousand kilometres from the nearest hospital? What price will you put on people’s lives, Mr. Abbott, you heartless capitalist?

Now, maybe this organ has suggested previously that living in a location not serviced by hospitals, schools, law enforcement, running water and power is a personal choiceand not one that should be funded by the rest of the population, but we’re starting to see Rolf’s incisive logic which demands that all services should be delivered equally to all citizens regardless of location.

Which is presumably why we’ve had to pay for two bloody satellites just so people in the Boondocks can watch porn in HD.

Australia really needs to come to decision on these remote communities. It’s unlikely to happen though because what is required is for there to be an election or referendum based on a question along the lines of;

Australia should massively increase the funding to remote communities to completely equalise the living conditions and services (health, education, law enforcement, work opportunites, etc.) with the metropolitan areas or remove all subsidies. Which do you prefer?
A. Equalisation.
B. Removal of subsidies.

Of course, the problem is that the Aboriginals are not the only ones on a very generous benefits system that fails to deliver the required outcomes and the debate will become quickly muddied with comparisons with these (as will the comments section of this post, no doubt). See also, car manufacturing, private schools’ charitable status, middle class child benefits and negative gearing.

Meanwhile, the children in these remote communities suffer an infant mortality rate equal to Botswana’s.

Nice work, Socialists. Comfortable with that outcome?

It all makes sense now

One supposes that the Sydney man about town in the CBD could be excused some of his disastrous choices of business apparel when this utter travesty is considered.

image

Brown in bloody town. For pity’s sake.

It’s hard to see whether there is a belt being worn with those slightly short of leg trousers but one can be fairly certain that it wouldn’t be of the same hue as the shoes.

This is how the Roman Empire ended. They were probably tucking into a plate of this crap when the Barbarians sacked the city too.

image

Which reminds me; any bachelor who owns a fridge with a tub of cottage cheese inside should take a long hard look in the mirror. If there is also a packet of Ryvita in the cupboard, he should book his gender reassignment surgery now.

Break a leg

Just nipped into Aldi to grab some groceries and provisions. Shopping list as follows;

- tomatoes
- asparagus
- red and yellow peppers
- rump steak
- toothpaste
- dishwasher powder
- a pair of crutches

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Wait, WHAT?

Erm, that’s not really how markets work

Apparently, Greece might hold a referendum if the Germans Europe reject their proposals. It’s a bit early to speculate on what the question might be, but the conclusion to a “no” to most versions of the question would infer a future default would be on the cards.

Now, I must admit to not being greatly experienced in the business of defaulting on govermental debt, probably the closest I’ve come is missing a few payments of the original Poll Tax in the late 80s. However, one would suspect that the least painful way to do it is to impose capital controls without warning just prior to saying “nein, danke” to the Germans.

The alternate, telegraphing the world that you’re about to do it, would seem somewhat insane. It’s hard to see a way of defaulting without leaving the Euro and every moveable asset would be put in a van and driven across the border if notice was given of this intention.

Of course, we all know that the doctor in Game Theory, Varoufakis, is just Varoufaking with us and he wouldn’t really call a referendum. It just seems daft to even mention it as a possibility.

Still, stranger things have happened; some fool once told the market he was going to sell his country’s gold and subsequently got the lowest price in modern history for it.

Who is coming for a sleepover?

A conversation in the comments of the previous blog post prompted this work in progress.

Imagine you were alive a couple of hundred years ago. This flow chart might be useful in working out who will be coming over the horizon with a few new diseases for which you have no immunity;

Colony - New Page-1

 

As I say, not a finished article yet, suggestions for improvements are more than welcome.

Dead men walking

It would seem that the Bali Nine are properly fucked.

 

Like many people, I really struggle with the concept of a legal death penalty. My issue is not that I don’t think some crimes deserve the removal of another person’s right to life; I once heard Perry Farrell (of all people) mid-song banter claiming “some people deserve to die; that’s just unconscious knowledge” and found myself agreeing with him.

 

However, the crime for which they will be shot for isn’t one I agree should be a crime resulting in capital punishment; drugs smuggling is a victimless crime. Apart from Popeye Doyle, nobody is ever forced to develop a destructive heroin habit, if we didn’t exercise our individual freedom of choice drug smugglers and dealers would be out of business. Speaking personally, I ran a close second to ICI in the 1990s in the competition to see who could process the most chemicals. That was my personal choice, nobody forced me at gunpoint into the bathroom of The Ivy to do a line.

 

Obviously the risk/reward and location needs to be taken into account here too. There’s little doubt of the Bali Nine’s guilt; they were caught with a whopping eight kilos of smack. Of the list of countries in the world to not be caught with eight kilos of smack, Indonesia would be close to the top pipped only by North Korea and China (as they just take you out the back and shoot you the next day). We can still feel sympathy for the human cost of their mistake but perhaps not as much as we might do for this mate of a mate of mine.

 

Back to people who really deserve the highest penalty; I resent the considerable expense it takes to keep the vilest members of our society alive after they’ve exhausted the appeals process. A prisoner in Australia costs about $300 a day to house and feed. That’s a cool $2 million for a 20 year stretch. Out of our wallets.

 

My issue is with who performs the execution.

 

In the case of the murder or severe trauma/abuse of a loved one of mine, I’m certain I wouldn’t think too long about pulling the trigger on the perpetrator. However, not everyone feels that way and therefore if there’s a state death penalty there would have to be a state employee who has to do the killing on our behalf. Which is analogous to those meat-eaters who don’t like to think about where their dinner comes from; happy with the outcome but not prepared to accept their part in the process.

 

Perhaps one solution to my dilemma is to have a death penalty but have our Special Forces carry it out as a training exercise, therefore getting some value out of the distasteful act by “blooding” those new recruits who haven’t yet experienced killing a fellow human being. It’s not much better than the squeamish carnivore but something of use might come from it. After all, as Churchill said, “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm”. If we accept that, then we should give those rough men all the training we can offer.

 

I have a better solution, however.

 

For those who choose to ignore the most fundamental rules of society and deny the right of others to life, we should remove them from the protection of those same laws of society. Once the appeals process has been exhausted, the murderer is handed a rucksack containing a change of clothes, a sun hat, a bowie knife, a flint, some seeds for basic crops and is taken to an island large enough to sustain human life and left to get on with whatever it is they choose to do with the rest of their life, however long that might last.

In the example of the squeamish carnivore, most people would have little problem being the pilot of the boat dropping the murderer of their loved ones off on the beach of a remote island.

 

The cost to the rest of us would be minimal; some remote monitoring equipment to ensure there are no successful escape attempts and a couple of patrol boats to catch any rafts leaving the place.

In any given year, around 290 murderers are convicted in Australia. That’s $31m added to the ongoing prison bill every single year, significantly more than the cost of The New Australian Offshore Processing Solution ™.

 

You don’t need to thank me for this brilliant suggestion, though; there is no such thing as an original thought.

Snakes Alive

Glass ceiling, steel floor

Let’s be clear; this organ believes that there is no material reason why a woman’s career shouldn’t progress to the same heights as a similarly-competent and qualified man’s and, with equality of suitability should come equality of compensation.

But…..

There’s doing the right thing and then there’s doing completely the wrong thing for misguided reasons. Look at what quota systems did to South African rugby and cricket teams, for example.

 

Positive discrimination is still discrimination, the clue is in the name. In addition to discriminating against males, there’s a risk that organisations are also discriminating against profits.

 

I have witnessed, and described here, utter incompetency being treated with ridiculous amounts of forbearance simply due to the struggling staff member’s possession of a vagina. Similarly, in my current main client’s organisation there have been several senior management positions left vacant for extended periods due to the tacit requirement that they should be filled by a woman. Those of us working on a day rate do very nicely out of this as we can pick up interim gigs as a consequence.

 

However, in organisations where profit margins aren’t high and must be hard-won, this sort of thumbsucking tokenism is a luxury that cannot be afforded.

 

Speaking of luxuries that can’t be afforded, I personally find I really struggle to attend conferences. The cost in dollars of these events isn’t usually the issue, but justifying three days out of the office to listen to, probably, only one or two speakers who have something relevant and of value to me while hanging around listening to all the other pointless presentations is really difficult. I’ve signed up to one later this year but, looking back, that’s the first for four or five years.

In the meantime, I know of people who can somehow justify three days of every working year to go to the Gartner conference. Has the content changed that significantly in twelve months?

 

All that said, this looks like it’ll be a must-attend event, or so says our female CPO who may or may not also be speaking about her considerable success in the role*.

Post gender

After all, we are living in a post-gender economy. Who knew?

 

Seriously, three days to discuss the role vaginas play in buying stuff for organisations? Procurement isn’t my main area of expertise but, in Australia in the year 2015, is there really enough content to discuss the unique role women can play in procurement for three entire days?

 

*according to her subjective and personal analysis

 

 

 

More questions than answers

I passed the citizenship test today. The average IQ of both Britain and Australia is about to be raised by my switching of allegiance…..

The test is simplicity itself, simply choose “Don Bradman” or “Bowled underarm” as the answer to the sports questions and you’re halfway there already. Some of the more difficult questions threw me for a moment though, here’s a sample of the ones that I struggled with;

1. In this, the 800th anniversary year of Magna Carta, do Australians have freedom of speech?
a. Yes, we’re a tough bunch of hardy souls who know that sticks and stones may break our bones but names can never hurt us.
b. Yes, but freedom of speech is limited to not include threats of violence or incitement to violence.
c. The Racial Discrimination Act, Clause 18c.
2. If you choose to buy a property on a known flood plain, who picks up the bill when all your worldly possessions are swept down the Brisbane River to the ocean?
a. Suncorp.
b. You if you are daft enough to be uninsured.
c. Your parents.
d. The taxpayer.
3. Finish this well-known Australian motto; “from each according to his ability, to each according to his….”
a. School alumni.
b. Union contacts.
c. Bleating to the producer of A Current Affair.
d. Need.
4. According to the Australian version of the Reinheitsgebot, what are the only acceptable ingredients in beer?
a. Malt, Hops, water and yeast.
b. Malt, hops, refined sugar, water, yeast.
c. Malt, hops, refined sugar, carbon dioxide, water, yeast.
d. Malt, hops, refined sugar, carbon dioxide, artificial flavourings and preservatives, water, yeast.
5. At a general election, Australians vote to;
a. Elect their local MP to represent their interests.
b. Elect their local MP but also, tacitly, the leader of that party to be PM.
c. Give legitimacy for the subsequent corruption, incompetency, backstabbing, pursuit of personal interests and luxuriating on expenses of their local MP.
d. Draw a large penis.
6. Which country currently has legislation which discriminates against its population based on race?
a. South Africa.
b. Israel.
c. Japan.
d. Australia.

Somehow, I scraped over the line. Apparently, it’s not official until I’ve passed some character tests (no laughing at the back) and then sat out a further six months wait for the oath-swearing ceremony. In the meantime, to prove how serious I’m taking the process, I’ll be practising swearing my oaths on an almost hourly basis.

Advance Australia Fair (Work, Go, Dinkum).

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