Monthly Archives: December 2004

Blunketty Blunk

So David Blunkett, Blair’s favourite cabinet minister, has gone. Why? As Home Secretary, his lover showed him a letter indicating that it would take a year to get a visa for her nanny. Frustrated at realising the long delays in … Continue reading

Posted in Global issues

Seeking pre-1996 gun data

Does anyone know of Australian surveys conducted prior to 1996-97 (when we conducted the post-Port Arthur gun buyback) which asked about firearm ownership? Or whether any state or federal governments kept good data on how many guns each police station … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 21 Comments

Young Driver Education Programs Don't Work

The Carr and Howard Governments have just announced a trial* driver education program for all P-platers, despite evidence from a series of randomised trials that these programs don’t have any statistically significant impact on the road toll. Indeed, some school-based … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Work Incentives

I generally love the Economist, for its hard-headed analysis of tough issues, economically liberal philosophy, and crisp writing style. But every now and then, even it says something silly. A recent leader on child care subsidies contained the sentence: The … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Called to Account

"For truth is truth, to the end of the reckoning." (Measure for Measure, V:1) Gerard Henderson has a brutal piece in today’s SMH, contrasting the pre-election prognostications of various journalists with their post-election ones. It makes entertaining reading, but did … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues | 2 Comments

First Speeches

The first speeches (known as "maiden speeches" in less politically correct days) for the 21* new federal MPs are now up on the web, and well worth a glance. While Garrett, Robb and Turnbull have attracted most of the media … Continue reading

Posted in Australian issues


John Holbo at Crooked Timber has a fascinating (albeit long) post on academia. Here’s a snippet. In short, academia is aristocratic. This sounds elitist, since it is, but it’s also trivially true. If you don’t think some beliefs are better … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized