Archive for July, 2013

Radio New Zealand discusses The Lucky Culture

July 24th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

2013-07-24 12.37.33 pmI was interviewed by Chris Laidlaw for Sunday Morning on Radio New Zealand last weekend. Listen here.

the Lucky Culture comes to Port Pirie

July 24th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Nystar's Port Pirie lead smelterThe good people of the Spencer Gulf are rightly demanding to know when the Municipality of Port Pirie will get its turn to launch The Lucky Culture?

The good news is The Lucky Culture will be launched in South Australia’s non-ferrous metal manufacturing capital at 11am this Saturday, July 27 at Meg’s Bookshop, 90 Ellen St,  by the federal MP for Grey, Rowan Ramsey.

Everyone is welcome, and many thanks to Margie for agreeing to host us.

For those keeping track of these things, the Port Pirie event will be the ninth official launch. Sydney, Revesby, Woy Woy, Adelaide, Melbourne, Wagga Wagga, Brisbane and Perth have already had their turn.

Email me to launch The Lucky Culture in your town: 



Progressive Asylum policy: social justice triumph or god-awful mistake?

July 24th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


from The Australian, Tuesday July 23, 2013

IT is tempting to conclude that the decision to abandon the Pacific Solution brought nothing but wretchedness, anguish and affliction, but that would not be entirely true.

Chris Evans, the last immigration minister but two, found the whole thing rather pleasurable, or so he told the Refugee Council of Australia in November 2008.

“Labor was committed to abolishing the Pacific Solution,” he said. “It was also one of my greatest pleasures in politics.”

It would be interesting to know if the retired government senate leader thinks now. Does he regard the arrival of 46,000 asylum-seekers and the death of 1100 others as a triumph for social liberalism? Or does he, like the rest of us, see it as a god-awful, avoidable disaster? [FULL ARTICLE]

Excuse me sir, do you have a licence for that pie?

July 24th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 3 Comments


I am grateful to Barry Corke of Perth for bringing news from the frontline of the war against bureaucratic tyranny.

When WA’s Department of Environment and Conservation got wind of a community fishing competition for campers at Ningaloo Station they threw down the rule book, insisting that Lawful Authority be obtained.

The functionaries would be happy to entertain an application for this Organised Non-Commercial Education and Leisure Activity, they assured the organisers, provided they stumped up $1500 for insurance.

Barry tells me the guys organizing the fishing competition were already had permits galore – recreational fishing licenses, recreational skippers licenses and so on. Ningaloo Station’s public liability insurance would look cover anyone camping on the property.

Barry decided to test the extent of WA public service lunacy in an email to the Lease and Licensing Officer at the Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Would a permit be required if he wanted to hold a pie eating competition in the vicinity?

Back came the officer’s mirthless reply:

“As for any other organised non-commercial or educational event, a Lawful Authority would be required if there are more or likely to be more than 100 people involved.”


An update on the progressive project from Struggle street

July 17th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

2013-04-24 04.49.50 amNICK CATER

From The Australian, July 16, 2013

The chin-stroking narrative of social progress requires us to look down upon those who lived in less enlightened times and therefore lacked the decency and compassion so conspicuously on display today.

It was the script Julia Gillard followed in March when she apologised on behalf of mothers whose babies were forcibly adopted. Her stated reason was “to shine a light on a dark period of our nation’s history”. She allocated a modest sum “to redress the shameful mistakes of the past” and resolved “to do all in our power to make sure these practices are never repeated”.

In the future, Gillard pledged, the “focus will be on protecting the fundamental rights of children.”  But what if some kiddies’ fundamental rights are best protected by keeping them as far as possible from deadbeat parents? What if Mum and Dad are less willing to give up child welfare payments than heroin? [full article]

The new elitist temperance movement

July 17th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

2013-07-17 10.39.51 amNICK CATER

From NZ Initiative Insights July 12, 2013

The wowsers are back on a futile mission to enforce public morality through statute. In Australia, as in New Zealand, a new temperance movement is testing the boundaries of prohibition to encourage better manners. It advocates restricting the sale of alcohol and increasing the price to control excess consumption.

As with earlier temperance movements, however, a laudable social objective is muddled by a moral crusade. The early twentieth-century temperance movement attempted to impose their version of morality by preaching sobriety; today’s moral enforcers want to set the boundaries ofappropriate behaviour. [continues]

The Lucky Culture banner collapse – the postmortem

July 16th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments


Seven Sunrise on Saturday

Seven Sunrise on Saturday

The collapsing backdrop at the The Lucky Culture launch in Brisbane on Friday in front of the Prime Minister gave me a good excuse to talk about the book on both Seven’s Weekend Sunrise and  ABC’s The Drum


July 16th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The collapse of my promotional banner behind the Prime Minister as he launched The Lucky Culture in Brisbane on Friday ensured the event featured on news bulletins that evening.

2013-07-16 11.53.51 amFortunately, Fairfax snapper Paul Harris caught the Prime Minister in full flow before the backdrop malfunction and Fairfax’s online editors were generous enough to publish the photograph in an unrelated piece by Mark Kenny on Monday. I am most grateful.

Indeed some have suggested the backdrop malfunction was orchestrated for that purpose.

Kevin Rudd delivered a generous if critical speech, in which he sought to defend the narrative of Labor progressivism against my attack.

There is bi-partisan agreement on one issue however: Mr Rudd and the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott agree the book is well written. In his review for Spectator Australia in April, Mr Abbott declared it to be “beautifully written and perceptive.” Mr Rudd called it “an entertaining read… both amusing and provoking.”

Mr Rudd however is troubled by the book’s departure from the progressive Labor narrative, a story of that begins with a dark, semi-barbarous colonial past, continues with the civilising influence of Labor from the late 19th century, peaks with the arrival of Labor’s Messiah, Gough Whitlam, in 1972, and continues with Labor’s progressive reforms of the last six years.

Towards the end of a considered speech, Mr Rudd comments:

Maybe we just see and experience different realities within the same country which we both love.

To which I say: Yes Prime Minister.








Kevin Rudd to launch The Lucky Culture

July 9th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

The Lucky Culture will be launched in Brisbane on Friday morning by Kevin Rudd at Mary Ryan’s, Milton.

2013-07-09 06.27.23 am

Please RSVP if you wish to attend at

As I wrote in the prologue, the last thing Australia needs is another polemic, and I hoped my book would read and discussed by readers across the political spectrum. It has at least been launched in a bi-partisan fashion.

For Labor, Chris Bowen and Daryl Melham launched The Lucky Culture in Western Sydney, Jack Snelling in Adelaide and Kevin Rudd will launch it in Brisbane.

From the Liberals’ camp, John Howard launched the book at the Art Gallery of NSW and Julie Bishop in Perth. The Nationals’ Michael McCormack launched it in Wagga Wagga.

Geoffrey Blainey  gave an apolitical launch on the book in Melbourne and H.G. Nelson took a stick to it in Woy Woy.

As Henry Ergas memorably remarked, this book has had more launches than NASA.



The crime of being drunk in charge of a fist

July 9th, 2013 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

2013-04-24 04.49.50 amFrom The Australian today:


THE chances of being run over by a drunk while crossing Sydney’s George Street on a Friday night are somewhat smaller than they were in the 1970s, before the introduction of random breath testing.

The chances of receiving a rum and coke-fuelled headbutt are, however, considerably greater since the offence of being drunk and disorderly was removed from the statute in 1979. There is zero tolerance for drunks in charge of motor vehicles, but drunks in charge of fists or other hard-edged body parts are simply asked, politely, to move on.

The Intoxicated Persons (Sobering Up Centres Trial) Act 2013 is a modest attempt by Barry O’Farrell’s government to deal with this peculiar anomaly. For the first time in decades, police will have the right to remove tanked and troublesome patrons from the streets and place them in holding pens until they are capable of getting themselves home without king-hitting anyone foolish enough to make eye contact.

The good sense of this measure can be judged by the vehemence with which the NSW Greens oppose it. Legislative councillor David Shoebridge adopts the view that all living creatures should be allowed to roam free, and he is not prepared to make an exception for drunks. [CONTINUES]