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In these four consecutive weekly columns from 1980, Bert Kelly welcomes, with free publicity, Rod Hartley, the new spokesman for the textile, garment and footwear industries:
1. Handouts can buy salvation more easily than idolatry (January 11, 1980)
2. Learning to thunder like Elijah in the wilderness (January 18, 1980)
3. Beware of crocodiles (and others) at textile meetings (January 25, 1980)
4. Wanted: textile spokesman, no understanding of economics necessary (February 1, 1980)

A Modest Member [Bert Kelly], “Handouts can buy salvation more easily than idolatry,” The Australian Financial Review, January 11, 1980, p. 5. Reprinted in Economics Made Easy (Adelaide: Brolga Books, 1982), pp. 215-17, as “Mr Hartley (a)”.

It is interesting to see that the textile, garment and footwear industries seem to have appointed a new spokesman, now that another Industries Assistance Commission hearing is in the air.

While the industries were out to scare ignorant and nervous politicians like Mr Bowen, they needed someone like their previous spokesman, Mr Aitchison, who could throw his weight around and kick in the ruck.

And certainly Mr Aitchison has demonstrated his ability to do this. But his best work is done at elections so probably they are saving him to come on at the end of 1980.

And I suppose he attracts a certain amount of derision to his cause when his enthusiasm runs ahead of his logic.

The new spokesman, Mr Rod Hartley, is a different kettle of fish altogether. He was carefully reared in England, he is well educated and he represents a large English textile firm in Australia.

I have had the good fortune to appear on the same platform as Mr Hartley so I have an advantage over you ordinary people.

As you would expect, I was rather like a piecart following the Lord Mayor’s coach, I being only a modest farmer. But I was there, even if I didn’t loom very large.

I often try to imagine what went on when the three industries met together to help Mr Hartley with his homework so that he could give a good performance before the IAC.

I know that the meeting would have started with their making obeisance at the free enterprise altar. I am certain of this because I have heard Mr Hartley say how dedicated he is to this ideal.

Indeed, I would almost class him as a liberal in the nicest sense of the word and I am certain that, when he returns to England, he will become one again.

But out here, he doesn’t let his principles interfere with this determination to get as big a handout as possible from the government.

And when you realise that his industries have been able to squeeze, through government intervention, about $700 million a year out of us consumers, you can imagine that the meeting did not spend too much time worshipping at the free enterprise shrine.

They quickly got down to the more menial task of deciding how to get the government cow into the bail so they could get a clear go at her. I can imagine the chairman saying:

The first thing you must remember, Rodney, my lad, is never let them confuse you with logic. And if that wretched Eccles come crawling out of the woodwork talking economic sense, just brush him aside by saying that it is only economic theory anyway. We are in enough trouble already but if those wretched economists get their claws into us we have had it. So my advice to you is not to let a word of economic understanding pass your lips.

Then Mr Aitchison would give the meeting the benefit of his large experience. His sage advice was:

If they start talking economics to you, you must hide behind the picture of unemployment that will follow if we do not get everything we want.

Of course, we all know that our main interest is to increase our profits but you must never admit this. As far as IAC hearings are concerned, we are only interested in employment, not profits.

Then a rather rash young man in the back of the hall with an economics degree pointed out that in spite of the ruinously expensive assistance that these industries have received, employment in them has fallen by 30 per cent in the last five years.

I can imagine the chairman saying:

That may well be so, but if they start that kind of thing, hit them with the adverse effect in employment in country towns which will follow if we don’t get what we want.

And then looking sternly at the rash young man, he added:

Now you be quiet! We know as well as you that, if we got a tariff subsidy of $1000 million, and that is the kind of money we are after, then about $800 million of it will go to industries in the metropolitan areas and so will encourage those industries to stay where they are, in cities.

But regional unemployment is always a certain winner if assisted by a little judicious help with the handkerchief.

The young man retired hurt so did not mention what the head of Treasury, John Stone, had said, that if mining and other industries were to increase exports, then imports would also have to increase.

And if import barriers were not lowered to encourage this, the exchange rate would move up to do the same thing. So in the long term painful and inevitable readjustments would be forced on the industry. And the longer they were delayed, the more painful they would be.

Probably not many in the meeting would have been able to follow this argument, they not being strong on economics. But Mr Hartley would have understood it, he being an educated man.

And surely he would not advocate damaging Australia in general in a vain attempt to help the clothing and footwear group in particular. Or would he?

A Modest Farmer [Bert Kelly], “Learning to thunder like Elijah in the wilderness,” The Australian Financial Review, January 18, 1980, p. 9. Reprinted in Economics Made Easy (Adelaide: Brolga Books, 1982), pp. 217-19, as “Mr Hartley (b).”

Last week we left the new spokesman for the textile, garment and footwear industries receiving instructions on how to give a polished performance when milking the consumer cow.

And certainly Mr Hartley needs all the help he can get because he labours under the handicap of being an educated man.

The previous spokesmen for the industry did not have this problem so they could talk nonsense without knowing it and this enabled them to thunder like Elijah in the wilderness.

But poor Mr Hartley knows that most of the stuff they used to dish up was economic nonsense and this makes it harder for him to give a convincing performance.

Those of you who can milk know the importance of confidence when it comes to milking.

So Mr Hartley has to try not to listen to the voice of reason.

It would certainly put him off if he were to remember the messages of the Vernon, Jackson, Crawford and Harries reports, the John Uhrig talk, the John Stone lecture and the White Paper.

He has to be particularly careful not to hear the message of David Trebeck, of the National Farmers’ Federation, who challenged he textile group because they always claim that thousands of people will be thrown out of work if they do not get the $1000 million handout they are after.

So Mr Trebeck prepared the accompanying table.

The first column is the increased employment that would result by 1990 if we could maintain our present share of exports to Asia, 3.5 per cent.

The second column shows the increased employment that would follow if we could increase our exports to Asia from 3.5 per cent to 5 per cent which we would be much more likely to do if we bought more from them.

__________ MAINTAIN 3.5% _ INCREASE TO 5%
Rural _______ 78,000 ____ 111,400
Mining ______ 10,600 ____ 15,100
Manufacturing 140,700 ___ 201,000
Services _____ 149,100 ___ 213,000
Total _______ 378,400 ___ 540,500

The table clearly destroys Mr Hartley’s employment argument so he has to pretend he hasn’t heard it.

So, with typical British bulldog courage he sticks to his task and, after infinite effort, he gets all the milk out of his side of the cow.

But when he leans over to get at the other side, you can imagine his shocked surprise when he found some other sod hard at it milking the consumer cow also.

You can imagine him saying in his well bred manner:

What’s going on here?

It is surely recognised as the manufacturer’s right to milk the consumer cow. Who and what are you?

Then there was a real set-to as the other chap said that he represented the importers, or rather those importers who had been lucky or shrewd enough to get a quota to import these goods, and they felt that they had as good a right as the manufacturers to milk the consumers.

Mr Hartley replied that he hardly thought this was cricket.

This statement did not exactly pour oil on troubled waters so both contestants, accompanied by their supporters, went round to the back of the cow to argue the matter out.

They were doing this at the top of their voices when along came a group of importers who were not smart enough to be allotted quotas so knew that they were being milked by the other importers and the manufacturers.

So everyone got stuck into everyone else at the top of their voices.

Then Mr Hamer, the Premier of Victoria, came by and heard the noise of battle.

When he found out what was wrong, he too went round to the back of the cow to make his contribution. This he did by pointing out that the consumer cow had no right to be mean with her milk and she should let it down for Victoria’s sake, no matter what happened to the rest of the country.

This statesmanlike utterance was received with gratification from the manufacturers because it confirmed their previous opinion that it was their right to milk the consumer cow.

Some of the others were irritated but the one who was deeply hurt was the consumer cow who knew that she had been milked for years and could see the process continuing.

But no one worries about her any more, poor old girl.

When I saw her last she was chewing her cud and contemplating the range of the group arguing behind her, hoping that somehow she could get her own back.

A Modest Farmer [Bert Kelly], “Beware of crocodiles (and others) at textile meetings,” The Australian Financial Review, January 25, 1980, p. 11. Reprinted in Economics Made Easy (Adelaide: Brolga Books, 1982), pp. 219-21, as “Mr Hartley (c).”

Last week we left the textile industry, and their hangers on, having a noise meeting at the back of the consumer cow.

The most strident voices were those of the importers who, by cunning or good luck, had been allotted import quotas.

This was like giving them a licence to print a limited amount of money.

They were bitterly assailed by the importers who did not have quotas.

These were loud in their lamentations about their treatment and were also eloquent about their deep dedication to the ideal of free enterprise.

But I fear that this fine sentiment would soon be forgotten if some spare quotas were to be handed out so that they could get their trotters into the same trough as the quota holders.

Then Mr Chris Hurford, the Labor Party spokesman on tariffs, came hurrying along, hoping that someone would ask him to say a few words.

But no one could remember who he was, so he wandered away, wondering why he has got washed up on the political beach.

Then Mr Lionel Bowen, the Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, came by. He saw that a meeting was in progress so, without hesitation or invitation, he mounted the rostrum and began to talk.

It would have been better, however, if we had been able to understand him.

Lest you think I am judging him harshly, I quote from a letter he wrote to the Financial Review, when discussing the textile tariff:

The IAC acknowledges that in the key ORANI model of the IMPACT project, 900 variables are exogenous or predetermined, that elasticities of pricing and of substitution are predetermined, that input coefficients and thus technology are based on data at least five years old, that there is no appreciation of regional industrial structure or regional interaction, and that all industries are aggregated into 109 categories so that, for instance, there is no difference between the motor vehicle and automotive parts components industries.

What a mouthful! And all in one turgid sentence too!

It makes me blush lest I too once talked like that.

But when I suggested to one of the bystanders that this kind of performance was not doing Mr Bowen’s reputation any good, and that it was generally wiser to keep your mouth shut and have people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt, I was told that Mr Bowen feels that he has to behave like that.

Evidently he has to have a power base so that he can hang on to his deputy leadership position even if Mr Hawke displaces Mr Hayden as leader.

The uneasiness in the Labor Party about the imminent entry of Mr Hawke on the political scene is starting to look almost comic.

Do you remember, in Peter Pan, how the pirates were relentlessly stalked by the crocodile who had swallowed an alarm clock, so they spent a lot of their time looking anxiously over their shoulders or with their ears to the ground, listening for the tick-tock of the approaching crocodile?

Now I do not suggest that there is any similarly between Mr Hawke and a crocodile, though their teeth do seem to mesh together in the same way.

But the Labor Party does seem to be treating Mr Hawke as a crocodile.

Mr Bowen addressed the meeting for an hour or more, and then Mr Hartley, the new spokesman for the textile group, thanked him in his cultured manner, he being an educated man, so having a hazy idea what Mr Bowen had been talking about.

Then Mr Bowen trotted off, looking anxiously over his shoulder and frequently putting his ear to the ground listening for that dreaded tick-tock.

Then the Prime Minister came striding up, having heard that there was a textile meeting in progress.

He was immediately asked to say a few words.

He admitted that he had half expected to speak so had hurriedly got something together.

He then pulled from his pocket a roll of parchment such as Prime Ministers use, and off he sailed.

He had got as far as reading “defensive protectionist policies exacerbate the situation they are meant to deal with, in that they result in an inefficient use of labour and capital resources,” when one of his henchmen, Mr Harry Edwards I think, nervously plucked at his sleeve and whispered:

I think you have the wrong speech. That’s the Lusaka one, which is for overseas consumption only. I think you have another one about how wrong it is to use labour-saving machinery, the one we call your Luddite speech.

So we listened to that and most people clapped furiously because that was the kind of stuff they hoped to hear.

The only member of the group who was unimpressed was the poor consumer cow who was heard to mutter wistfully that there would be more likelihood of getting something out of her back end if only they give her something at her front end!

A Modest Farmer [Bert Kelly], “Wanted: textile spokesman, no understanding of economics necessary,” The Australian Financial Review, February 1, 1980, p. 11.  Reprinted in Economics Made Easy (Adelaide: Brolga Books, 1982), pp. 221-23, as “Mr Hartley (d).”

The noise created by the textile group at their angry meeting at the back of the consumer cow has not abated since we left them last week.

The manufacturers were moaning because they felt that their $700 million subsidy was not enough and they ought to get at least $1,000 million a year.

The importers without import quotas were quarrelling furiously with the importers with quotas.

And in the centre of the noise and dust of battle was the new spokesman for the industry, Mr Rodney Hartley, who was desperately trying to quieten things down so that his well-modulated voice could be heard. An educated man such as Mr Hartley would be rather out of place in such company.

Just when the meeting seemed to be getting out of hand, a rumour ran through the throng that Mr Stone, the head of Treasury was heading that way.

So everyone disappeared around the other side of the cow or hid in a roadside ditch.

They knew that Mr Stone would make mincemeat of them with his impeccable economic logic expressed in simply but powerful language.

After Mr Stone had gone by, the textilers looked hopefully down the road to see if anyone was coming who they could safely ask to speak.

So they were naturally delighted to see the Minister for Finance, Mr Eric Robinson, looming up. They knew that he was once a businessman of considerable status and that he is now a very powerful person.

So of course he was asked to say a few well-chosen words.

This he was glad to do because he happened to have with him a paper prepared by his department which he had not read yet but would be glad to share with them.

Now I have always imagined that the Department of Finance only did simple tasks like checking the till at the end of the day, week or year. I never knew that they thought about things, so I was startled to hear Mr Robinson read a paper that Eccles would have been proud to have written.

Let me quote a few sentences:

The most urgent task is to reduce the excessively high levels of protection, including by-law plans, quotas, etc, which some industries enjoy.

We include protection extended by way of temporary measures … But we attach special importance to early action to move all the higher levels of protection towards an overall industry “average,” with a significant cut at the earliest possible stage.

When Mr Robinson said this, there was quite a stir in the audience and he looked rather anxiously over his shoulder. I thought that he, like Mr Bowen, was listening for the tick-tock of the Hawke crocodile.

But Eccles explained that he probably feared the approach of Mr Fraser’s footsteps.

When Mr Robinson had gone away, pandemonium broke out. And this became worse when the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Peacock, came along.

He was immediately asked to speak and fortunately had his Menzies oration handy so he gave them a burst from that. There were two particular paragraphs that seemed to trouble them:

Those who demand freedom in the name of enterprise and risk-taking should exhibit these qualities and not simultaneously depend on paternalistic and guaranteed rewards.

Capitalism can be betrayed from within as well as destroyed from without; those who demand its benefits while denying its responsibilities do it no service.

When he heard this, Mr Hartley could not stand it any longer. He is an educated man and has been carefully reared in Britain.

He has always eloquently defended the free enterprise system so he heard Mr Peacock’s condemnation of those who ran with the socialist hares while hunting with the capitalist hounds with acute remorse, he being an honourable man.

So with a sob in his voice he announced his resignation from his position as spokesman for the industry and told the meeting that he was soon leaving for England where he hoped to begin being a good liberal again.

The textile group are now looking around for a new spokesman.

I understand that a high level of economic understanding will be regarded more as a handicap than a help.

I hear that Mr Bowen is a likely starter and the position should suit him for many reasons.

One would be that he would not always have to be listening for the dreaded tick-tock of approaching crocodiles.

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