Thursday, September 29, 2005


There is an excellent review of Australian politics here -- stretching back over a hundred years but focusing mainly on the achievements of Australia's present conservative Prime-Minister, John Howard. I liked this comment on the conflict between Billy Hughes, Australia's Prime Minister of World War I, and that great enemy of the American constitution, President Woodrow Wilson:

"At the Paris peace conference at the end of World War I, Billy Hughes insisted on annexing the South Pacific islands his country had captured from Germany and made little secret of his contempt for Woodrow Wilson, his Fourteen Points, and the League of Nations. Wilson returned the compliment, calling Hughes a "pestiferous varmint.""

The utter uselessness of the League of Nations certainly proved that Hughes was the wiser man.

And here's the Australian situation as of yesterday: "Australia has bounded into the world's top 10 competitive economies, winning praise for its long-term reforms and stability. The latest rankings of global economies, released today by the World Economic Forum (WEF) show Australia has jumped four spots to number 10. Finland clinched the top spot for the third consecutive year, followed by the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan and Singapore in the 117-country index. WEF chief economist Augusto Lopez-Claros said Australia had performed well on all three of the forum's competitiveness measures - macroeconomic stability, the quality of public institutions and technology".


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