Wednesday’s Missing Link

Sometimes being played for a sucker has positive but unintended consequences.   My recent ‘free’ subscription to Crikey confirmed what  I had always suspected.   The average quality of their articles isn’t crash hot, not when you consider how much they charge for  a subscription.   The best of Australian blog posts are much superior and anyone can access them without charge.   All Crikey offers is a convenient, predigested and minimally quality-controlled  newsletter for busy office workers who want a mid-afternoon  20 or 30 minutes  break from the tedium of their job, and who don’t have a spare hour or two to browse the blogosphere every day  searching for quality posts amongst the dross.

That’s where I come in. Crikey’s behaviour  has galvanised me back into active blogging.   From now on I’ll be blogging the blogosphere.   Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I’ll be  linking the best posts from the Australian blogosphere here at Troppo in a new feature called Missing Link.      Now you  can get that mid-arvo office  op-ed break without forking out $115 for a 12 month subscription to Crikey.

The posts linked below are  all from the last 2 days. So much for Guy Rundle’s assertion (unsurprisingly published  at Crikey) that Tim Dunlop’s “defection” to News Ltd spelled the end of the independent Australian blogosphere.   In fact, with any sort of luck Tim’s blog will help to direct a whole new mainstream audience to the wealth of free access resources of the blogosphere, and this new Missing Link feature can only help.   Feel free to draw my attention to worthy new posts that should be highlighted in  the next Missing Link.


Politics and related stuff

– Minimum wages


Tim Dunlop highlights the fact that Australian average weekly earnings have fallen for the first time in many years, and reveals the real story behind the Fair Pay Commission’s decision on minimum wage for lowest paid workers.

Meanwhile, Jason Soon argues the classical liberal case for abolition of minimum wages (and slags trade unions  just to keep in practice).


– Victorian election

Psephologist Mumble reckons Ted Baillieu didn’t do too badly.

In a rare departure from bitchy pop culture trivia  at Spin Starts Here, insertnamehere (sparing no effort in adopting a creative pseudonym) observes that lots of journalists were conned by the Greens.

And Jeff Wall argues that ABC  election night commentator and former Liberal leader Robert Doyle was mean-spirited and bitchy towards his former colleagues.   Well, if it was good enough for Mark Latham …

– Bomber Beazley’s poll ratings

OzPolitics’ Bryan Palmer crunches the numbers and isn’t impressed:   the school prefect and carrot-top are the go, he reckons.

Meanwhile, Aussie Bob (who’s house-sitting at Tim Dunlop’s place while Tim teaches the Dirty Digger what blogging is all about) thinks Bomber is getting the rough end of the pineapple and is the victim of an evil Murdoch conspiracy.

– AWB and the Cole Report


Daily Flute’s take on the Cole Report

Economist John Quiggin gives a succinct analysis.Democrats politician Andrew Bartlett makes some  carefully non-committal  noises about the future of the single desk system for wheat sales.

Adrian the Cabbie gives a more down to earth view: “Not that I don’t think it’s a scandal – indeed I’ve previously blogged that someone in the Government should take the rap – but like most others, I’m now over it.” …

– Other political stories

Madonna and child and much more – Darlene Taylor – While public promises to abstain prior to the honeymoon gives pleasure to fundamentalist Christians, a Columbia University study cited in The Weekend Australian Magazine found only 12% of the 2.4 million adolescents who’d made such a vow kept it …

Three reasons why poverty ain’t going to be history just yet  – Mirko Bagaric – It is time to re-think rights, with consequences replacing them as the main moral building blocks. What matters most is maximizing flourishing, not adding to the ever increasing catalogue of rights, which can only be enjoyed by most of the world at the conversation level. …

The Amended Copyright Amendment Bill: the amended FAQs – intellectual property law specialist Kim Weatherall gives a detailed but accessible rundown on current changes to Australian law to bring us into compliance with the requirements of the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

University students in Australia over 40 years  – Andrew Norton – Even in 1970, an author writing on ‘access to higher education’ could start a sentence with ‘In an ethnically homogenous society like Australia”¦’. …


Science, technology and environment

Exxon approved science teaching  – Tim Lambert

Caught Between the Green House and a Coal Seam – Tony from The Pigs Are Flying posts about a recent court decision that stipulates that Environmental Impact Studies for new mines must take into account the environmental damage from the burnt coal’s emissions. …

Wind power’s intermittency and energy storage – Robert Merkel – It seems to puzzle many people why advocates of “conventional” power sources are so dismissive of the potential of intermittent renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, to be anything more than marginal contributors to reduction of greenhouse gases. …


Whimsical stuff

Daily Flute is calling for nominations for UnAustralian of the Year 2007.

Saint in a Straitjacket muses: While everyone is holding their breath waiting for the Pope’s first faux pas, I thought I’d look up social etiquette in Australia

War On Red Bull  – Sam “Yobbo” Ward – In a few years’ time, when the Health Nazis of the world have finally succeeded in banning Tobacco, Alcohol, Hamburgers and Gambling, you could be excused to thinking that they would be satisfied with that and give it a rest for a while.

Deliver us from thinking  – Tim Sterne – If there is one thing all sensible people agree upon it is that things were a lot better back in the good old days. One of the best things about the good old days was that people knew where they stood, especially when it came to thinking. In the good old days, normal people didn’t go around thinking that their thoughts were worth anything. …

NT News cartoonist Colin Wicking has noticed something very disturbing about ALP leadership contender Kevin Rudd.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
This entry was posted in Missing Link. Bookmark the permalink.
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jason Soon
17 years ago

Good call, Ken. You used to do an excellent series on this.

17 years ago

So, Ken, since you now think Crikey is rubbish and an unethical outfit, will you be removing the bit on Troppo that says you’re Crikey’s blog of the year for 2005? Since presumably this accolade is worthless in your eyes.

17 years ago

Gosh, I just went to the front page and it’s still there.

Nicholas Gruen
17 years ago

Thrilled that you’ll be doing this Ken. Great stuff. I don’t really agree with your reaction to Crikey – I think it’s good (and we got subscriptions for (I think) $40 per year from those who participated in a bulk buying initiative of mine.)

I don’t really agree with you about their morals even though I understand and sympathise with your point (Nicholas Gruen – even handedness that’s sure to annoy!)

I started writing a comment on your Crikey post and it became unwieldy. Perhaps there’s a post there. I might post on the award too. When I get the time. Ken if you want to remove it from our sayings please feel free – just go to ‘witty sayings’ plug in and improvise – I’m sure you’ll work it out.

17 years ago

Ah the age old conundrum of aesthetics and measurement, Ken :)

Tim Lambert
17 years ago

Way better than Crikey’s around the blogs thing. Maybe you could submit it to them?

17 years ago

Really good, Ken. More proof that there’s masses of untapped talent in the blogosphere. Expect to be ‘Crikied’, and so join us at Catallaxy as Crikey irritants ;)

17 years ago

Actually Ken, the minimum wages graph was first highlighted at the Solidarity blog:

Tim picked up on it, but it was Solidarity that first publicised it.

17 years ago

But I’m not missing!

17 years ago

Hey Ken,

Since working in the private sector, I’ve become much more attuned to demanding payment for services rendered.

I asked Mark whether he was paid for his articles in Crikey, as he’s had quite a few published, and it would take quite some effort to have written them all, especially if he wasn’t paid for them.

Francis X Holden
17 years ago

Ken – I had always assumed that commenters on Troppo are not paid. I think I’ve been taken for a fool.

My ACN: 073 573 966
Bank BSB: 533-000
Account no: 77214987

Electronic transfer required within 14 days . (No cheques in the mail excuses)

Thank you

Andrew Norton
17 years ago

I just had a look at the ABS figures on wages to see if that figure was right. It doesn’t say which month, but presuming it is the latest it seems to be spinning things a bit. Full-time ordinary adult earnings were up 2.9% on the previous year, while the CPI was running at 3.9%. However the CPI minus ‘volatile’ items (petrol, fruit etc) was at 2.1%. Also, about 200,000 jobs have been created since WorkChoices began, compared to about 40,000 in the same time period before WorkChoices. It would not be surprising if we have a ‘compositional’ effect here; that a tight labour market is drawing in people who have lower levels of skill/experience and command lower wages, rather than there being any unusually slow wage growth among existing employees.

Tony Healy
Tony Healy
17 years ago

FXH, the difference is that:

1. Ken didn’t contact you and request a lengthy article on a specific topic within a tight timeframe

2. Club Troppo doesn’t have people at the top making money from contributions such as your comment

3. Ken didn’t make a decision that contributors like you could be fobbed off with trinkets while he would insist on hard cash from people viewing Troppo

backroom girl
backroom girl
17 years ago

Andrew, you could be right on the possibility of a compositional effect in the AWE numbers. The ABS developed the Wage Price Index to try to eliminate such effects – it measures the increase in wages, holding the composition of employment constant. The WPI shows a 3.8% increase in wages between Sept 05 and Sept 06, compared with the 2.9% increase in AWOTE (or 3.1% if you use the trend estimate rather than the seasonally adjusted figure) over roughtly the same period.

17 years ago

Bit heavy on the Anonymous Lefty links this missing link thing. It would be easier just to read A-Lefty’s site rather than this