Bert KellyOne More Nail (Adelaide: Brolga Books, 1978), ch. 19, pp. 199-210.

I have previously paid tribute to the way the Liberal Party made no attempt to bring me to heel when I was belting the Liberal-Country Party government about its tariff policy. Certainly I used to run into criticism from my colleagues that I was rocking the boat, but never from the Prime Ministers of the time, and certainly never from the Liberal Party hierarchy. This independence is something that we should cherish. I know, of course, that there are subtle ways that pressure could be brought to bear on a Liberal to make him toe the line, such as threatening to bring pressure to see that he doesn’t get Liberal endorsement next time. But this kind of pressure is infrequent.

I was mostly left alone when the leadership struggles took place in the Party. All the other Party members seem to spend most of their time on the phone, being rung up by the good and great. I used to sometimes sit in the office hoping that this day one of the contestants or their helpers, would ring me to ask for my support. But very few did. I guess that this is a grave reflection on my ability as a politician. I have never become really interested in the party political processes in the way other members do, so there was clearly something lacking in my political make-up. I guess that this is another reason why I was beaten by Giles for pre-selection. When the newspapers were buzzing with rumours as to who was going to support who, I used to have to read the papers to find out what was going on, and who my colleagues were going to support. But I didn’t have to read the paper to find out how I was going to vote; I could make up my own mind.

My relationships with the Liberal branches in the Wakefield electorate were always good. There was some criticism that I spent too much time in the Northern Territory and Public Works business, but nothing to worry about. And the State organisations were always helpful. In the last years there was a painful split with the Liberal Movement party and this made people hate one another an was very unpleasant for a great many people. But not for me who didn’t seem to get caught up in it.

Again, as far as the Federal side of the Liberal Party was concerned, my relationships were close and cordial. I have been a member of the Federal Rural Committee since 1959 and some of my most rewarding and valuable work has been on that committee. It is composed of the chairmen of each State Rural Committee together with “observers” from the Federal Parliament. It has always had good chairmen. I served under Don McKinnon, Senator Peter Sim, Malcolm Fraser, Tony Street and Bill Weatherly. They were all good and they all believed in the virtue of making decisions that were soundly based. And we have always been prepared to embark on an argument with the Liberal Party Manufacturing Committee which used to have some rather ultra-protectionist ideas. But when the two committees met together reason usually prevailed. I have usually found that most secondary industry spokesmen behave quite sensibly when cornered or when held firmly to the facts of the case. Certainly the Federal Reserve Committee has had, and will, I hope, continue to have a responsible attitude to the tariff question. I am sure that this will be so while our present chairman, Bill Weatherly, is driving the committee.

But the heart and soul of the party is found in the party room. When I first became a member I was startled and impressed by the vigour of the party room discussions. These were almost always joint meetings of both the Country Party and the Liberals. In these meetings no proper holds were barred and there was a great deal of frank and uninhibited comment which impressed me very much at the beginning. If a Minister was introducing some new legislation to the party room, he almost always took the precaution of clearing it with the government members’ committee that was covering that area. If there was an overwhelming majority of the committee against it, then the Minister would usually take it back to Cabinet. If Cabinet insisted that the legislation was necessary, then there would usually be a series of meetings with the committee, while the rough spots were rubbed off. Then the revised draft would come back to the party room again and agreement usually obtained. But if a member still objected, he was expected to state his disagreement to the party room and to warn the Prime Minister that he did not find it possible to support the government. Or if he had not yet finally made up his mind how he intended to vote, he would say that he reserved his position on this matter. There were very few formal votes taken at party meetings, mostly the Prime Minister weighed up the feelings of the meeting as best he could, or as best suited him. The procedure was quite different to the way the Labor Party went about their business. They always had votes, and were much more formal than we were.

There was another great difference between the two Party rooms. The Labor Party always had a separate chairman who was not the leader of the Parliamentary Party as was our practise. Our practice can give an almost unfair advantage to the leader of the our party because he can call for members to speak in the order that suits him. For instance, if the argument appeared to be running against the leader, it is easy for him to select as the next speaker either a good speaker for his side or a bad speaker from the other side. I have seen this done by all the party leaders under whom I served and I admit that the Labor practice is purer in the democratic sense. All the same, although I have suffered under the present system, I would still prefer it to the other. You can worship at the altar of democracy, but you have to be prepared to cut a few corners to make it work.

We always had the problem of party room leaks. I know that good political reporters of both sexes are experts at wheedling information out of members as to what transpired at party meetings. They would usually begin by saying that they already had a pretty clear picture as to what had transpired, but they were anxious to check up one or two things. For instance, if tariffs had been on the party room agenda, they would be pretty safe in coming to me and telling me that they had heard I had got badly rolled, but they didn’t want to write this without giving me the change to rebut this allegation. And if I were foolish or innocent enough to fall for this ploy, I would tell them what I had said and then they were well away. They then would go to a man who had been mentioned by me and tell him the same story, adding a few tit-bits that they had got from me, and soon the second person would be adding his small contribution to mine. Soon it wouldn’t be long before the bucket held quite a lot of milk, perhaps with some froth at the top. So it is true that all the information appearing in the papers the day after a party meeting was not given to the journalists as leaks, but there is no doubt that a lot of it was.

We were always trying to catch the villains who were doing the leaking. We used to watch for chaps taking notes or we would pay particular attention to someone who we thought was getting particularly favourable treatment from a newspaper. This we thought might be a reward for service rendered. But our detective work was complicated by the fact that we knew the Prime Ministers were not above doing a little leaking on their own account if they thought it was worthwhile to fly a kite to see which was the political winds were blowing. Because of the danger of being mis-reported, some of my colleagues refused to attend party meetings, but I was never quite certain whether this was the real reason or whether they were just bored with the whole business. Party meetings did become boring after a few years. There were always a few members who were always on their feet and it didn’t take long to memorise their speeches. At the beginning of each session we used to get pep talks from the Leader about the virtues of loyalty and earnest endeavour and that kind of thing. One of the best things about not being in Parliament is not going to party meetings.

When we went into Opposition we had a rush of blood to the head and decided to have an elected front bench. Here again an elected front bench, either in Opposition or in Government, may be in accordance with the finest democratic ideals and the only trouble with the system is that it doesn’t work well; otherwise it is splendid. Up till then then responsibility of the Prime Minister who had the awful task of balancing one man against another and whether a particular State needed particular treatment, and so on. There had always been murmurs that this system gave too much power to the P.M. and also encouraged members to fawn on the leader too much.

So when we went into Opposition then we decided to jettison the old system and opted for an elected front bench. So we spent one awful day going through an exhaustive and exhausting ballot. The final result was, most of us thought, very much the same as would have followed the leader doing to job. But as we watched the Labor ministry deteriorate because of the performance of ministers who the Prime Minister could not sack, we realised we had made a mistake so we went back to the old system before we were elected to government again. I moved the motion in the party room that we change back again and I am certain that I was right, though I admit that it gives a great deal of power to a Prime Minister. But the elected ministry idea, though it may indeed be democratic, just doesn’t work well.

The Labor Party gave themselves an additional handicap by having all their ministers in the Cabinet. We, on the other hand, have always favoured having a first and second eleven, the first eleven being the Cabinet and the rest making up the full Ministry. Whitlam tried to get our system adopted by the Labor Party because only those who have listened to a group of 27 Ministers arguing over everything could realise what an awful handicap this would impose on any government. But the Labor Party would not accept this, dedicated as they are to the ideals of democracy, at least when it suits them. I am well aware that the position of a Minister in the second eleven is an invidious one, as he has to support government decisions with which he may not only disagree but even worse, he may not have had the opportunity to oppose. But, as I said before, you have to cut a few corners to make democracy work.

We only had three years in Opposition and it didn’t take us long to find out that it was a lot harder than being in government. We had had so long being serviced by a competent civil service who duty it was to back up their Ministers, that it was quite a shock to us to find that amount of what that was required of us in Opposition. The Labor Party had been telling us this for years, but we were not impressed until we had a dose of Opposition medicine ourselves. No one works harder than a good Opposition front bencher.

I am afraid that we found it hard, when we were in Opposition, not to oppose everything that the government brought forward. We were always being told that it was our task to oppose the government, but I think that we sometimes opposed them even when we thought they were right. This made us look a bit ridiculous in the eyes of the populace, but, even worse, in our own eyes also. I remember our criticism of the first Labor devaluation which was, goodness knows, well overdue. And reaction to their 25% tariff cut falls into the same category.

We were always likely to behave in a somewhat childish way in Opposition. I guess the main reason for this is that we had spent most of our recent years in government so we have not really learnt how to behave in opposition as this incident demonstrates. When Labor took over in December 1972, the Prime Minister’s suite and the Cabinet room were being rebuilt, so in the interim another Cabinet room was found which was about as far as possible from the House of Representatives Chamber. So Whitlam asked us to agree to extend the time required to answer the Quorum bells so as to give Ministers, closeted in the far-away Cabinet room, time to reach the Chamber. But we decided that we were in Opposition so our task was to oppose everything and to make it as difficult as possible for the government to operate. This was a measure of our political immaturity.

Both when we were in Opposition and in government, we set great store on the work of the various committees which were always composed of Country Party as well as Liberals. Some of these committees were good, some fair and some awful. The chairmen and secretaries were usually bright and ambitious young men who were always regarded as spokesmen on any subject related to their committee work. I never tried for any of these official positions which again was a reflection of my lack of political ambition of which I had none. Also, I guess I felt that such activities may interfere with my main object in life, namely getting tariffs down. But I served on many such Liberal and Country Party committees. But it is important to remember that these were not committees of the Parliament which had official standing and which were almost always composed of members from both side of the Parliament. These Parliamentary committees were usually excellent.

I suppose the most interesting and influential unofficial committee on which I served was the Rail Gauge Committee which Bill Wentworth drove with great enthusiasm. But its big breakthrough, the standardisation of the line between Albury and Melbourne, was achieved before I entered Parliament. Our greatest achievement in our time was to get the government to agree to the standardisation of the line between Broken Hill and Port Pirie which is now operating efficiently. The standardisation of the line between Port Pirie and Adelaide has been agreed to by everyone, but the commencement of work has been delayed. The committee did not have a big influence on the decision to build a new line between Tarcola and Alice Springs. The succession of exceptionally wet years which made the old line via Marree inoperable for months on end made political pressure almost unnecessary. But the success of the rail gauge committee rested on Bill Wentworth the chairman, and David Fairbairn the secretary. Most of the rest of us didn’t do much except take the credit for things.

I served on the National Development Committee and it was a bad committee. We used to go on highly publicised safaris every winter recess and we mostly travelled with our mouths open and our eyes and ears shut. We would issue press statements at the drop of a hat and think we measured the value of our contribution in column inches. One of the fruits of our endeavour was the Ord dam. We took all the credit for this white elephant while it was popular, but we haven’t heard much about it lately.

The Trade Committee ran under different names and it generally performed poorly. I used to doggedly attend to make sure that they were not up to anything bad. Sometimes I used to attend the manufacturing industry committee meetings which were held when we were in Opposition. I used to sit there like a ghost at a feast and they hated me for reasons which I can well understand.

When our leaders started to sniff the political breezes and could smell an election coming on, the various party committees would be driven into a frenzy of activity so that each could have its policies ready to unveil to the disinterested populace at election time. I have said before that at each election I used to feel a dam coming on and this was typical of the silly half baked promises we used to make when the election fever hit us. This is how we got lumbered with the abolition of the means test, with our commitment to continuing wage indexation and so on. Socialism has not been fostered so much by the Labor Party as by the Liberal Party encouragement of policies which are thought to be attractive to the people at election time. Once we have propounded them, these then became part of our doctrine, even if we know that they are in direct conflict with principles of self help and self reliance in which we say we always believe. The main plank in our platform is that it is essential to keep Labor out of government, which is a nicer way of saying keeping us in. This may be an understandable and pragmatic way to behave, but no one would call it a philosophy for which one dies on the barricades. So we continue to wander down the welfare state road, eloquently protesting our belief in free enterprise as we go. Our opponents have known for years that we do not believe in our own protestations, but now we also are beginning to be sceptical of our own eloquence and this is the beginning of the end of any political party. I repeat, the main principle in which we believe is the utter necessity of keeping Labor out of government and in the pursuit of this end we are prepared to compete bitterly with the Labor Party in propounding socialist policies. Australia would be far better government if we didn’t have these sudden rushes to the head at election time.

When we were in a rather stunned state after our defeat in 1972, both the Liberals and the Country Party decided to have separate shadow spokesmen and separate committees to service them. How the Country Party managed during this uneasy interval I cannot remember, but we Liberals stuck manfully to our task of servicing our committees. There is one duty a true Liberal never shirks and that is serving on a committee. Don Chipp had been Minister for Customs when we were in government so he was the natural choice to head up the Liberal committee on Tariffs and Trade. When he was Customs Minister he was always approachable and open to argument, but his departmental head, Alan Carmody, was the high priest of protection and Chipp was only a junior minister and not in cabinet. So while he was Minister of Customs, things went along much as usual.

But when Chipp became Liberal spokesman for tariffs and trade, and was away from Carmody’s influence, the logic of the low tariff argument began to alter his thinking. And our committee used to get some very competent and persuasive economists to talk to us and it wasn’t long before Chipp was being influenced by their logic and common sense. I kept very quiet while this conversion was in progress because it would never have done for it to be thought that I was behind it all.

But this refreshing change of attitude must have filtered back to Bill Sneddon who was then Leader of the Opposition. So when the decision was made to join with our colleagues in the Country Party and have joint spokesmen and joint committees, the opportunity was taken to make Chipp spokesman for Social Security. The Trade Committee was made into an abortion of an affair with two leaders, Bob Cotton and Harry Edwards. Both of these were inclined to waffle when on their own, but when there was a degree of competition in waffling, the result was like a couple of magpies warbling; it was nice to listen to, but it was hard to understand what they were really saying. I remember saying rather sourly to Harry Edwards, who used to be a professor of economics before he entered politics, that I could see that he and I were likely to publicly disagree about tariffs, but I thought he ought to know that he didn’t really look very formidable after Jack McEwen!

One of the reasons for having so many of these unofficial committees and for painting them in such glowing colours is that they give back-benchers something useful to do and so prevent them getting into mischief. If the devil finds work for idle hands to do, you ought to see him employing idle politicians. But a good committee is an unrivalled place in which to acquire information because experts in every field are anxious to come to talk to such committees so that there is a lot of predigesting of information done for you. But I am always sceptical of policies evolved by committees. I remember all too clearly the proverb that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.

Some Ministers are past masters at kidding committees that they are making a powerful contribution to the government of the country. The Minister usually begins by telling the committee how much he values their past contributions and how confident he is that this high standard will continue in the future. I was present at one such performance and I wrote a cynical note to the man alongside me which he has been kind enough to keep and give to me:

You should be watching and learning from this performance. When the Minister feels that he is likely to have to face some unpleasant facts he gets some poor tired unrelated hare out of its squat and off we trot after it. When it disappears over the horizon we come back panting to the subject which, in the meantime, has wandered away.

I regret to have to tell you that this note was headed “Pure Kelly”.

Political leaders often treat these party committees with some cynicism. For instance, when we were in Opposition I attended every meeting of the Trade and Commerce Committee which was under the chairmanship of Senator Cotton. I did so because I wanted to make sure they did not propound high protection policies. So I fought every policy statement with which I disagreed and there were many such. The policy, when finalised, met with my approval. But when Mr Fraser made his election policy speech in November 1975, he made commitments to high protection that were quite at variance with the committee’s agreed policy. I was electioneering in the bush when the election speech was made and I immediately sent Mr Fraser a telegram expressing my concern and disagreement, and followed this with a letter which eventually brought forth the usual cynical reply. But I guess Fraser knew that it would be very difficult for me to rock the boat by disagreeing publicly with my political leader in the middle of an election campaign.

Summing up my relationship with the Liberal Party, both in the State and the Federal areas, I thought that I received very fair and friendly treatment, even when I was clobbering some of their leaders and policies. And certainly the Party machine made no attempt to gag me.

(in order of appearance on
  1. Bert Kelly on his journalism
  2. Move for a body of Modest Members
  3. Modest Members Association
  4. Bert Kelly's Maiden Parliamentary Speech
  5. Government Intervention
  6. 1976 Monday Conference transcript featuring Bert Kelly
  7. Bert Kelly, Hayek and Mencken on the virtues of farmers
  8. Sound economics calls for quiet from government
  9. Petrol for Farmers
  10. Some Sacred Cows
  11. Experiences in Parliament
  12. Spending your Money
  13. Is Taxmania a politician fetish?
  14. How Bert Kelly repays a free feed
  15. Modest column #898
  16. Chicken-hearted feathered friends strange bedfellows on a feather bed?
  17. Who needs literary licence?
  18. A touch of Fred's anarchy
  19. Helping the farmers help themselves
  20. Standing on the shoulders of the downtrodden
  21. Supply and Demand
  22. Bert Kelly responds to claims he is arrogant and uncredentialed
  23. Politics: it's a very confusing business
  24. The best featherbeds run on rails
  25. Bert Kelly on Disaster Relief
  26. Bert Kelly Wants to Secede
  27. Blinded by their tears
  28. Anti-freedom pro-tobacco industry lobby harmed Australia
  29. Under Labor, is working hard foolish?
  30. An Idiot's Guide to Interventionism
  31. Is free priceless healthcare worthless?
  32. Can government kiss it better?
  33. Bert Kelly Destroys the Side Benefits Argument for Government
  34. Bert Kelly gets his head around big-headed bird-brained politics
  35. First Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  36. Second Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  37. Third Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  38. Fourth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  39. Fifth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  40. Sixth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  41. Bert Kelly on the 2011 Budget and Australia's Pathetic Journalists and Politicians
  42. Bert Kelly, Bastard or Simple Sod?
  43. Liberal Backbencher Hits Govt. Over Import Restrictions
  44. Bert Kelly feels a dam coming on at each election
  45. Bert Kelly Enters Parliament
  46. Why take in one another's washing?
  47. Bert Kelly breaks the law, disrespects government and enjoys it
  48. Gillard's galley-powered waterskiing
  49. State Premiers are always asking for more taxing powers
  50. Can price control really work?
  51. Should we put up with socialism?
  52. We're quick to get sick of socialism
  53. Time the protection racket ended
  54. Can't pull the wool over Farmer Fred
  55. People not Politics
  56. Bert Kelly admits he should have had less faith in politicians
  57. The inspirational incentivising Dear Leader Gough Whitlam
  58. Labor: a girl who couldn't say no
  59. Why leading businessmen carry black briefcases
  60. Ludwig von Mises on page 3 of AFR
  61. Bert Kelly's empowering feminism
  62. Mavis wants the Modest Member to dedicate his book to her
  63. What if the whole country is swindled?
  64. Moss Cass: "Flood plains are for floods"
  65. A worm's eye view
  66. Eccles returns to haunt us
  67. How to grip a politician's ear
  68. It's hard to digest this economic cake
  69. Time to Butcher "Aussie Beef"
  70. Cold water on government-instigated irrigation schemes
  71. Hooray for Ord River Dam!
  72. Tariffs paid by exporters
  73. The problem of principles v popularity
  74. If you support State Quotas, where will your logic take you?
  75. Against guidance by government
  76. A socialist in Liberal clothing
  77. Never ask the government to help
  78. Don't listen to economists!
  79. Bert Kelly's revolutionary strategy
  80. Whitlam's July 1973 25% tariff cut
  81. Bert Kelly on Import Quotas
  82. Good directions when government backseat driving, like reversing down wrong side of road
  83. Barriers to imports are barriers to exports
  84. Bert Kelly reviews The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop
  85. Bert Kelly reviews We Were There
  86. Tariffs get the fork-tongue treatment
  87. Bert Kelly reduces government to its absurdities
  88. Politician sacrifices his ... honesty
  89. It's all a matter of principle
  90. Bert Kelly Destroys the Infant Industry Argument
  91. Bert Kelly Untangles Tariff Torment
  92. Bert Kelly resorts to prayer
  93. Eccles keeps our nose hard down on the tariff grindstone
  94. "Don't you believe in protecting us against imports from cheap labour countries?"
  95. Even if lucky, we needn't be stupid
  96. Great "freedom of choice" mystery
  97. Small government's growth problem
  98. I like my kind acts to get a mention in the press
  99. A Modest Member rakes the embers
  100. Tariffs Introduced
  101. More About Tariffs
  102. Sacred cow kicker into print
  103. Bert Kelly's 1984 two-article quote-collection on Aboriginal policies
  104. Modest Member must not give up
  105. Traditional Wheat Farming is Our Birthright and Heritage and Must be Protected!
  106. Tariff-cut nonsense lives on
  107. Bert Kelly brilliantly defends "theoretical academics"
  108. The high cost of protection
  109. Generosity creates problems
  110. The Society of Modest Members
  111. John Hyde's illogical, soft, complicated, unfocussed and unsuccessful attempt to communicate why he defends markets
  112. Modesty ablaze
  113. Case for ministers staying home
  114. The unusual self-evident simplicity of the Modest Members Society
  115. Animal lib the new scourge of the bush
  116. The Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Krill
  117. modest members society
  118. Repeal economic laws, force people to buy new cars and enforce tariffs against overseas tennis players
  119. Thoughts on how to kill dinosaurs
  120. Let's try the chill winds
  121. Taking the Right's road
  122. Bert Kelly: "I did not try often or hard enough"
  123. Bert Kelly "lacked ... guts and wisdom"
  124. A look at life without tariffs
  125. The Gospel according to Bert
  126. Tiny note on Bert Kelly's column in The Bulletin in 1985
  127. Why costs can't be guaranteed
  128. Hitting out with a halo
  129. Paying farmers not to grow crops will save on subsidies, revenge tariffs, etc
  130. "The Modest Farmer joins us" | "How The Modest Farmer came to be"
  131. Bert Kelly Destroys the Freeloading Justifies Government Argument
  132. Industrial Relations Club shovellers
  133. From Shann to Stone
  134. Government Intervention
    Government Interference
  135. A sojourn in the real world
  136. The tariff wind swings
  137. Bigger Cake = Bigger Slices
  138. Bert Kelly on the Political Process
  139. A charabanc called protection
  140. Taken for a ride - to nowhere
  141. Down hill, in circles, all the way
  142. Economic facts and figures are statistics who should speak out
  143. Any cons arguing small business bad but big government good?
  144. Relationships with the Liberal Party
  145. Tariffs = High Prices + World War
  146. Bert Kelly's Family History
  147. Bert Kelly's Pre-Parliament Life
  148. What the MP could say to the Bishop
  149. Why Bert Kelly was not even more publicly outspoken
  151. How to stand aside when it's time to be counted
  152. How the Modest Member went back to being a Modest Farmer
  153. My pearls of wisdom were dull beyond belief
  154. Bert Kelly on Political Football
  155. Undigested morsels in Fraser spew
  156. Bert Kelly on LSD
  157. Bert Kelly reflects on the Australian car industry in 1992
  158. Bert Kelly wants reprinted Shann's Economic History of Australia
  159. If tariffs are opposed here then why not there?
  160. The emperor has no textiles, clothing and footwear sense
  161. Ross Gittins Wins Bert Kelly Award
  162. Interesting 1964 Bert Kelly speech: he says he is not a free trader and that he supports protection!
  163. This is the wall the Right built
  164. Tariff Protection in Australia (1970)
  165. Has Santa socked it to car makers?
  166. Is the Budget a cargo cult?
  167. Will we end up subsidising one another?
  168. Keeping the bucket of worms alive
  169. Can we get off the stomach-churning head-spinning tariff merry-go-round?
  170. Do we want our money to fly?
  171. Can a bear be sure of a feed?
  172. How to impress your MP -
    ambush him
  173. The time for being nice to our MPs has gone ...
  174. Don't feel sorry for him -
    hang on to his ear
  175. Trade wars can easily end up on a battlefield
  176. Tariffs Create Unemployment
  177. Bert Kelly recommends Ayn Rand
  178. Bert Kelly on Alf Rattigan's Industry Assistance: The Inside Story
  179. Bert Kelly's Satirical Prophecy: Minister for Meteorology (tick) and High Protectionist Policies to Result in War Yet Again (?)
  180. Bert Kelly in 1972 on Foreign Ownership of Australian Farmland and Warren Truss, Barnaby Joyce and Bill Heffernan in 2012
  181. Bert Kelly baits Welfare State Tiger
  182. Why does Govt wear two faces?
  183. Parliament a place for pragmatists
  184. Of Sugar Wells and Think-Tanks
  185. Bert Kelly: "I must take some of the blame"
  186. Bert Kelly on dumping duties
  187. The Govt's helping hand often hurts
  188. Unbuckling the hobbles on the motor industry
  189. A Modest Farmer looks at the Problems of Structural Change
  190. Government Fails Spectacularly
  191. Know your proper place if you want the quiet life
  192. Bert Kelly on political speech writers
  193. Having your cake and eating it
  194. Perish the thawed!
  195. Hooray for Northern Development!
  196. Politicians can resist everything except pressure
  197. The silly image of our MPs
  198. Bert Kelly Question Time highlights
  199. Modest Farmer sees his ideas take hold
  200. Should facts stand in the way of a good story?
  201. Fondling one another's glass haloes
  202. What is the sense in making the effort to look after yourself?
  203. Fred's Feeling: Counterpatriotic country contrarian
  204. Handouts for big boys only
  205. Mavis trying to buy a hand loom
  206. Bad news for bearers of bad news
  207. Is it time to get aboard the tariff band-waggon?
  208. Why farmers resent tariff protection for motor makers
  209. A sordid use of scare tactics
  210. Goods vs services
  211. Tariffs are hilariously counterproductive
  212. Bert Kelly on decentralisation
  213. Inflation breeds moral decay
  214. Who envies equality?
  215. Growth – malignant or benign?
  216. Government wiser than Magna Carta
  217. Bert Kelly on looking to politicians for moral leadership
  218. Max Newton: Maverick in Exile
  219. Whitlam & co on the Dismissal
  220. 25% Tariff Cut
  221. Bert Kelly on pensions
  222. The backseat drivers of the Pilbara
  223. Mr Clunies-Ross of the Cocos Islands should rule Australia
  224. They get the wind up when it changes
  225. Why the Big Green Lie survives
  226. Ross McLean in 1982: "Malcolm! Why don't we try good government? It might be popular."
  227. Bert Kelly on the importance of exchange rate movements
  228. Bert Kelly shows how to attack
  229. Bert Kelly vs Bert Kelly vs Bert Kelly
  230. Industrial relations dinosaur, Bruce, chews his cud
  231. Hooray for "firmly entrenched"!
  232. Respect your dinosaurs
  233. What if something is "deeply ingrained" yet harmful?
  234. A case for ministerial inertia
  235. Why politicians don't like the truth
  236. Our great open spaces
  237. Ominous dark clouds are gathering
  238. Better to be popular than right
  239. Crying in the wilderness
  240. Ivory tower needs thumping
  241. Bert Kelly asks, "How can you believe in free enterprise and government intervention at the same time?"
  242. Politicians get undeserved praise, why not undeserved blame too?
  243. Feet in a bucket of champagne
  244. Rural Problems
  245. Health cover needs a $30 excess clause
  246. Unholy state of taxation
  247. Boring economics worth a smile
  248. The Libido for the Miserable
  249. Agricultural Development and Tariffs
  250. Fred's too poor to have principles
  251. Eccles Law of the constant wage share
  252. "He whom the gods would destroy ..."
  253. Tariffs: when to wean infant BHP?
  254. Keep any government as far as possible from farming
  255. The Playford charade is out of date
  256. Bert Kelly: the odd man out who's now in
  257. Dries must resist giving up struggle as going gets tough
  258. How a well meaning Government can be so stupid
  259. The icing on the economic cake
  260. Sir Roderick Carnegie's foreword to Bert Kelly's Economics Made Easy
  261. The Vale of Popularity and the Protection Procession
  262. Politics 101: Pay Lip Service to Capitalism and Shoot the Messenger
  263. Bert Kelly makes politicians eat their own words on tariffs, then says, "We cannot be blamed for treating the statements of our statesmen with cynical contempt"
  264. Bert Kelly on Free Enterprise
  265. Cartoons of protected industry, the welfare teat and the nanny state
  266. Bert Kelly on the theory of constant shares and the Fabian Society
  267. Bert Kelly vs Doug Anthony
  268. You're lucky if you escape being helped by government
  269. Bert Kelly on Small Farmers
  270. Bert Kelly on Apathy
  271. Bert Kelly in 1967 on "problems of government and things like that"
  272. The last "Dave's Diary"
  273. Bert Kelly vs The Australian on tariffs in 1977
  274. Bounties or Tariffs, Someone Pays
  275. Geriatric companies without a minder
  276. A free marketeer wary of free trade
  277. Nixon's puzzling profession of faith
  278. "Ford ... seems to spend more time bending its knees than its back"
  279. Clyde Cameron's weak ways with wise words
  280. Why flaunt what others flout?
  281. Bert Kelly yearns for Tim Flannery's powers of prediction
  282. Looking after yourself is silly
  283. Bert Kelly masterpiece on drought, fire, flood and other natural disaster relief schemes
  284. Government can take credit for our car industry mess
  285. Car makers want the 4wd driven deeper into tariff bog
  286. Why our MP is no longer prone to a good sob story
  287. Auto industry is in a straitjacket
  288. Bert Kelly on market predictions
  289. Why should dryland farmers subsidise irrigation farmers?
  290. How much should government decrease incentive for independence from government?
  291. Clarkson crowned Deputy Government Whip
  292. Bert Kelly to blame for soaring government healthcare costs
  293. 1959 return of Dave's Diary
  294. Bert Kelly in 1966 on developing northern Australia
  295. Successful government intervention can [sic] occur
  296. Vernon Report upholds Clarkson
  297. Quiet Man Makes An Impact
  298. Should it be compulsory to buy footwear and clothing?
  299. To save Australian clothing industry women must all wear same uniform
  300. Don't confuse plucking heart strings with plucking harp strings
  301. Speech only for public
  302. Catchy Tariff Circus Extravaganza
  303. Bert Kelly in 1985 on cars yet again
  304. Hurrah for the Gang of Five
  305. Thoughts on a verse about Balfour
  306. Bert Kelly pep talk to politicians
  307. Government intervention = Agony postponed but death brought nearer
  308. Recipe for disaster: Freeze!
  309. Recipe for government intervention: Gather winners and scatter losers
  310. Recipe for industry destruction: Blanket market signals
  311. Mavis writes!
  312. Bert Kelly's empiricism is not kneejerk reaction kind
  313. The $2,000 song of the shirt worker
  314. Subsiding only small farmers means subsiding the big banks
  315. Difficult to be fast on your feet when you've got your ear to the ground
  316. It would surprise people to see how sensible MPs behave if they think they are not being watched
  317. Bert Kelly on "this land of limitless resources" and "great open spaces"
  318. Growing bananas at the South Pole
  319. Car components tariff protection under fire
  320. Why carry a $300m car subsidy?
  321. Tariff feather beds for the foreign giants
  322. Bert Kelly says end compulsory voting to stop donkey vote
  323. Perhaps being smart and insured isn't all luck
  324. You gets your tariff, you pays a price
  325. More funds to train Olympians?
  326. Fire in their guts and wind in ours
  327. Should free universal healthcare include pets?
  328. Sound advice from a modest farmer
  329. A tottering monument to intervention
  330. Cunning meets wisdom
  331. Competition, Aussie-style: Who's the bigger parasite?
  332. Australians are proud patriotic parasites, says Bert Kelly
  333. Taxpayer-funded sport is cheating
  334. Being loved by all is not always a good thing
  335. Welfare State Destroys Society
  336. 1980 Bert Kelly feather bed series
  337. The White Mice Marketing Board
  338. Government intervention and advice can be harmful, even when right, even for those it tries to help
  339. One small step on the compulsory voting landmine
  340. The free & compulsory education sacred cows have no clothes
  341. Holding a loaded wallet to an economist's head
  342. Political No Man's Land
  343. Only blind greed demands both equality and prosperity
  344. A cow that sucks itself — that's us!
  345. Nip the bud of incentive; mock community spirit into submission
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