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Bert Kelly, One More Nail (Adelaide: Brolga Books, 1978), ch. 13, pp. 118-28.

Wakefield is a rural electorate, bristling with the usual rural problems, so in my 19 years I had plenty of awkward and sometimes unpopular decisions to make. But I always found that my farmers appreciated my telling them honestly what I thought. Early in my political experience there was a big meeting in the richest part of my electorate, and the farmers had a solid grizzle session about the cost of production, the cost of spare parts and all the things that farmers, including this one, had been complaining about ever since I could remember. When they had finished, the chairman said:

Now Mr Kelly, you have heard our complaints and we want to know what you are going to do about it. You are no longer on the Advisory Board of Agriculture or the Soil Conservation Committee, but you are now our Member and we expect some sympathy and some helpful suggestion to help us weather the storms.

As I knew that they were doing well then and were really making money, I took a big breath, had a look behind me to make sure the door into the supper room was open, and then told them that the only helpful suggestion I had was that they should get on their bikes and go home. There was a gasp of surprise and then, to my relief, and after a long pause, a loud laugh, and eventually they got into their Bentleys and went home. But not before I had told them that it was no good talking like that to me and that a man didn’t automatically go soft in the head just because he had been elected to parliament, and then I said that, if they wanted someone who always agreed with them, they should look around for another Member.

One thing I had to learn early was that the farmer organisations did not always speak for the majority of farmers. On one occasion, the wheat growers held a meeting in the middle of my electorate and they were pressing for an increase in the amount of export wheat covered by the then comparatively high guaranteed price. I was sitting in the body of the hall and heard the very pugnacious secretary, Tommy Stott, say that he had heard on the grapevine that there was one M.H.R. that was not warmly supporting their cause. He knew that this was me as I had told him so only a few days before. Then he added the open threat that he couldn’t find the member’s name but if he could, he would have his guts for garters. At that I got to my feet and told him not to get in a sweat because the chap he was looking for was me. I went on to point out that, if they got what they wanted, they would encourage the production of wheat in areas that had never grown wheat, such as in the west of N.S.W. And then I added the grim warning that then they would have to face the problems of limiting production:

Once you blanket the signals that tell farmers to curtail production you must have some other method of discouraging them from growing more wheat when the world needs less wheat. So the next step will be to limit production by passing laws to stop farmers growing wheat. And if this is what you want, I will not support you.

The meeting got very cross with me, and as we left that hall some of my supporters warned me that this was no way for a member of parliament to behave. I again told them that if they wanted a member to agree with them, then they should get someone else.

A member should be able to tell his people that he will not do things that he knows they want, but which he thinks will be bad for them. Having my farm to go home to was always a great comfort. And knowing farming as I did was also helpful because my farmers knew that I knew what I was talking about. But this knowledge makes me more respectful to those members who do not have another source of income yet who still are prepared to stand their people up. On one such occasion a colleague of mine, Dr Jim Forbes, was critical of Parliament of the tariff protection being received by a big company in his electorate. He received a stern letter from the company concerned, saying that they were used to statements such as that being made by mavericks like Mr Kelly, but they took a poor view of them being made by the local Member. Then they said they wanted Dr Forbes to know that the company had been generous contributors to the Liberal Party campaign funds and they hoped that there would not be any repetition of this kind of behaviour. Forbes, who had no income outside his Parliamentary salary and five children under eight years, wrote back to say that he was surprised and disappointed at the company’s attitude and unless he received a written apology within a week he would publish the correspondence in the paper. The apology was quickly forthcoming, but such behaviour is much easier if you have a farm or a profession to which you can retreat. I strongly urge would-be politicians to keep their lines of retreat open so that they are not beholden to anybody.

A few months after this episode between the Company and Dr Forbes, Forbes and I were told that a representative of the company accompanied by a Q.C. would come to Canberra to discuss matters with us. We raised our parliamentary eyebrows at this legal representation business but we agreed to see them. We all met in King’s Hall and as we walked to the meeting room the legal eagle asked me, “What’s your colleague’s name?” “Dr Forbes,” I replied. “Not Dr Forbes, M.C.?” he asked. “Yes,” I said, “that’s him.” There was a long pause. I had once asked Forbes how he won his decoration and according to him, his commanding officer had been the worse for drink so asked Forbes to write out some commendations, so that was how he got his M.C. So I explained this to the legal eagle, who said:

I knew I had seen him before, and now I remember. We were in a very nasty situation in New Guinea and were making a rather hasty retreat when we met a small body of men going resolutely the other way towards the enemy. And they were led by that man Forbes. I don’t think I want to go on with this confrontation.

So the whole business was fixed up in the friendliest fashion.

I have continually warned my farmers against their too frequent expectation that the government has a large and deep well of wisdom into which it only has to drop the administrative bucket in order to be able to tell farmers what to produce. Governments are mostly on their guard against this temptation but too many farmers are always hoping that the government will be silly enough to do so. If it does, the farmers will hold it responsible if the market does not behave as expected and it seldom does. We should always remember that if the government has the competence to correctly foretell the supply and demand situation for any product for even one year ahead, then the government servants from whom it gets its advice would not for long be working for the government, they would be sitting in the south of France with their feet in a bucket of champagne! And even if the government’s advice is correct, as it must be sometimes, the third of farmers who are not good at farming and who would consequently lose money growing the crop that the government told them to grow, would hold the government responsible and would demand the costs of production.

I had an old and wise farmer friend who had noticed that I was always inclined to chase after each new idea that government or other experts put up. “My advice to you, Bert,” he said wisely, “is that when everybody runs you walk. And when they walk, you run like blazes.” So now if the government were to tell me to grow less or more of a crop I would almost certainly do the opposite. I am very keen that the government give the farmers all the supply and demand figures they can assemble but they should never go a stage further and tell farmers what they should produce.

Secondary industry leaders also ask that either the government or the Industries Assistance Commission should tell them what to make if the government reduces duty on a product. “The government must tell us what to make instead,” they say pathetically, forgetting all their eloquent protestations about their belief in free enterprise and their detestation of government intervention.

I fear that farmers are far too tolerant about the dangers inherent in government intervention and particularly of government limitation of production. It is a desperately serious step for any government to take when it tells particular farmers that they are not allowed to grow what other farmers are allowed to grow. With the best will in the world this must mean that great damage will be done to particular people, and though these may only be a minority, one of the prime tasks of a government is to look after the welfare of minorities.

Besides the harm done to minorities by government action to limit production, it is rightly regarded as a very serious step by our customer countries. These are inclined to hear with scepticism our eloquent protestations about our burning desire to feed the starving people in the world, half of whom go to bed hungry, when in the next breath we are asking the government to limit production.

Farmers should be careful about the way they talk about the cost of production for their products. It is true that secondary industry is always demanding, and getting, extra tariff protection to cover their costs of production. But in their case, because the product may only be produced in new factories, the cost of production is more easily arrived at than with a crop grown across Australia, with the cost of production varying between neighbouring farms, let alone the variation that occurs between districts and States. So though it may be popular to worship loudly and with ostentation at the cost of production altar, we should recognise that we are mostly talking nonsense when we do so. There are a lot of farmers who have made a lot of money growing crops and selling them below the reputed cost of production. And though we may be able to justifiably claim than equity demands that if secondary industry can demand, and get, subsidies because they are needed to recover their costs of production, farmers should be given the same privilege, we should realise that if we do get what we want and our assured of our costs of production, it will probably do us more harm in the end by encouraging us to disregard the market signals. Remember the story of the chap being rushed to the hospital after a car accident and saying to the ambulance officer through his muffled bandages, “Well, I was in the right, anyway.” But he is still going to the hospital.

One of the great but hidden dangers in our system of tariff protection is that farmers can rightly demand compensation for the damage that the tariff has done to them. But in many cases the compensation which the farmers ask would be bad for them in the end.

When I was the Member for Wakefield I used to claim that though my farmers were pillars of rectitude, farmers in other districts were experts at beating the government. Now I no longer represent them, I must admit that even Wakefield farmers were no fools in this regard. I remember telling one of Canberra’s dedicated civil servants that farmers would do him like a dinner if he tried to stop them growing something they wanted to grow. There is time to do a lot of thinking when mooching along behind a mob of sheep or when working a tractor in the middle of the night, particularly if you are sowing a crop that government has told you you must not sell.

Because so many farmers become such experts at beating the government, I am always suspicious about marketing schemes that depend on the government passing laws forcing farmers to only sell to a Board. And this is why I would not now be in favour of an amendment to the Constitution that would allow the government to prevent the free passage of goods across state boundaries. I used to be in favour of this once, but not now, not after I have seen so many sorry examples of government intervention. My general advice to farmers would be to keep the government as far away as possible from decisions about what to grow and how to sell it.

When I came back from Britain in 1961 there was considerable argument about the dairy industry. We were then subsidising the dairy industry quite heavily and this was encouraging the production of increasing amounts of dairy products which we were having increasing difficulty in selling. And most of the subsidy money was going to the big and better dairy farmers. So if the bounty was being paid on social grounds, so as to equalise incomes between dairy farmers and the rest of the community, then it was clearly the wrong way to tackle the problem. The dairy industry committee of enquiry, under the chairmanship of a previous chairman of the Tariff Board, Sir Mortimer McCarthy, with typical and natural good sense, had pointed out these obvious facts and suggested that the dairy subsidy be gradually phased out, and the subsidy money used to ease people out of the industry instead of encouraging them to stay in to produce more dairy products that were increasingly hard to sell. But the government would not bite on the bullet, so the subsidy was continued, so the necessary adjustments were discouraged and delayed, to the great detriment of the long term interests of the dairy farmers. But poor simple Kelly could see the sense in the Committee’s argument, and was foolish enough to say so. So all the members who represented dairy constituencies got stuck into me and sent copies of their speeches demolishing me to all the papers in the constituencies. So I learnt the hard way that right did not always triumph, nor did economic logic. But by doing what we knew to be wrong, though popular, we did dairy farmers a lot of harm. I always now look with grave suspicion on any popular government measure affecting agriculture because it is likely to be wrong and bad for farmers in the end.

The fact that most of the subsidy money goes to big farmers who need it least is illustrated by this true story. A friend who farms a big farm in Britain comes out to Australia every few years. He keeps an excellent set of farm books and we compare our performances. One year he had, in one column, about £20,000 which were the subsidies that he had received from the grateful British government. When I queried him as to how he could justify such generosity from the government he replied that, as long as there were enough poor struggling farmers around him, he would be all right, he would be able to travel around the world every other year, putting all his travelling expenses down as a deduction from his income. So remember that, if you want to equalise between farmers, or between farmers and other sections of the community, if you do it by subsidising farmers on the basis of how much they produce, most of the money will go to those who need it least. There may be many reasons for subsidising farmers, but if the object of the exercise is to equalise incomes, it is the wrong way to go about it.

Another fallacy that dogs the rural community is the embargo on Merino rams. This is a measure of how silly we can be when the moon is full. The justification for the embargo is that it is supposed to deny access to Australian fine wool blood lines. But this is being done when much of the textile world are changing their machines over to synthetics just because they cannot obtain enough wool to keep their spindles busy. And all the time we have been stopping Merino rams going out of Australia, we have been allowing the export of Polwarth rams, and I am prepared to bet that most of the people so vociferous about preventing the export of Merino rams couldn’t tell the difference between a Merino and a fine wooled Polwarth. The sordid reason why we prevent the export of Merino rams is that, by so doing, people hope to prevent the price of Merino flock rams rising too much. Yet I can think of nothing that would give a bigger shot in the arm to the Australian wool industry than a short lived boom in the price of Merino flock rams. And it would only be a short lived boom because, if there was a greater demand for Merino flock rams, it would be very quickly satisfied. The essential difference between a flock ram and a wether is not a matter of great mystery although the stud breeders would like you to think it was; it would simply mean leaving more well bred wethers as rams. And I think that it is disgraceful that we should allow such a matter to be decided by a vote or woolgrowers who are not engaged in producing Merino rams. There is no more justification for this than having a referendum to ask meat growers if they were in favour of the export of live sheep to the Middle East.

There are many other things we do that we know are silly. For instance, we will not allow the export of live kangaroos though we are allowed to shoot kangaroos in large numbers if they are reaching troublesome proportions. We have more kangaroos in Australia than when the white man came because we have been supplying our sheep in the arid areas with water which the kangaroos have also been drinking and so increasing in numbers. And we forbid the export of galahs and budgies though we are allowed to destroy them in hundreds if they are eating our crops. Some galahs talk quite well. If you were to ask such a bird which he would prefer, being shot by Fred the farmer because he was eating Fred’s crops, or being exported on a padded perch in a gilded cage so that he could propagate his kind in ease and luxury, then his reply would be worth recording. But because we have been making these birds artificially dear by forbidding their export, we have encouraged the establishment of a black market in budgies which makes it profitable for people to run the risk of carrying them drugged in suitcases. We really are a queer mob.

There are other farming fallacies we foster. We are continually told that the soils of the inland are fertile, because, when it rains in the inland, there is quite an exciting response, so it is assumed that the inland soils must be wonderfully fertile. But the fact is that the response after rain is so good, not because the soils are naturally fertile, but because they have mostly lain fallow for so long during the long dry periods that generally separate the wet seasons in the arid inland. And one of the queer results of the remarkable recent run of wet seasons that the inland has recently experienced is that it has shown up the basic infertility in these soils that most people would have proudly claimed as wonderfully fertile.

There is another example of sloppy thinking in the rural scene that must be mentioned. There was a time that farmers felt they were entitled to a particular place in heaven because we were producing the export income that was so urgently required. But now we only produce about 45% of our income. And, even more important, now that we have a flexible exchange rate, if we produce even more exports, we will encourage the exchange rate to move to correct the balance. Fred the farmer and I used to kid other people, and even sometimes ourselves, that we were only farming for the country’s good, not for our own profit. And after we had said this a few times we almost believed it ourselves. But now, with a flexible exchange rate and rising mineral exports, rural exports are not as essential as they once were. We can no longer justifiably claim a special place in heaven because we are exporters.

(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. Too many car men in the feather bed
  15. The Kangaroo Population Bomb
  16. How Bert Kelly repays a free feed
  17. Reining in the human rights horse
  18. Modest column #898
  19. Chicken-hearted feathered friends strange bedfellows on a feather bed?
  20. Who needs literary licence?
  21. A touch of Fred's anarchy
  22. Helping the farmers help themselves
  23. Standing on the shoulders of the downtrodden
  24. Supply and Demand
  25. Bert Kelly responds to claims he is arrogant and uncredentialed
  26. Politics: it's a very confusing business
  27. The best featherbeds run on rails
  28. Bert Kelly on Disaster Relief
  29. Bert Kelly Wants to Secede
  30. Blinded by their tears
  31. Anti-freedom pro-tobacco industry lobby harmed Australia
  32. Under Labor, is working hard foolish?
  33. An Idiot's Guide to Interventionism
  34. Is free priceless healthcare worthless?
  35. Can government kiss it better?
  36. Bert Kelly Destroys the Side Benefits Argument for Government
  37. Bert Kelly gets his head around big-headed bird-brained politics
  38. First Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  39. Second Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  40. Third Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  41. Fourth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  42. Fifth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  43. Sixth Modest Member (Bert Kelly) AFR Column
  44. Bert Kelly on the 2011 Budget and Australia's Pathetic Journalists and Politicians
  45. Bert Kelly, Bastard or Simple Sod?
  46. Liberal Backbencher Hits Govt. Over Import Restrictions
  47. Bert Kelly feels a dam coming on at each election
  48. Bert Kelly Enters Parliament
  49. Why take in one another's washing?
  50. Bert Kelly breaks the law, disrespects government and enjoys it
  51. Gillard's galley-powered waterskiing
  52. State Premiers are always asking for more taxing powers
  53. Can price control really work?
  54. Should we put up with socialism?
  55. We're quick to get sick of socialism
  56. Time the protection racket ended
  57. Can't pull the wool over Farmer Fred
  58. People not Politics
  59. Bert Kelly admits he should have had less faith in politicians
  60. The inspirational incentivising Dear Leader Gough Whitlam
  61. Labor: a girl who couldn't say no
  62. Why leading businessmen carry black briefcases
  63. Ludwig von Mises on page 3 of AFR
  64. Bert Kelly's empowering feminism
  65. Another shot at motor car madness
  66. Mavis wants the Modest Member to dedicate his book to her
  67. What if the whole country is swindled?
  68. Moss Cass: "Flood plains are for floods"
  69. A worm's eye view
  70. Eccles returns to haunt us
  71. How to grip a politician's ear
  72. It's hard to digest this economic cake
  73. Time to Butcher "Aussie Beef"
  74. Cold water on government-instigated irrigation schemes
  75. Hooray for Ord River Dam!
  76. Tariffs paid by exporters
  77. The problem of principles v popularity
  78. If you support State Quotas, where will your logic take you?
  79. Against guidance by government
  80. A socialist in Liberal clothing
  81. Never ask the government to help
  82. Don't listen to economists!
  83. Bert Kelly's revolutionary strategy
  84. Welfare state incentivises bludging and being thrown out of work
  85. It all sounds like bloody politics to Fred
  86. Mavis wants me to get in for my chop
  87. Whitlam's July 1973 25% tariff cut
  88. Bert Kelly on Import Quotas
  89. Good directions when government backseat driving, like reversing down wrong side of road
  90. Barriers to imports are barriers to exports
  91. "I was right" — but he's off to hospital ...
  92. Kicking the multinationals is too easy
  93. Bert Kelly reviews The War Diaries of Weary Dunlop
  94. Bert Kelly reviews We Were There
  95. Tariffs get the fork-tongue treatment
  96. Bert Kelly reduces government to its absurdities
  97. Politician sacrifices his ... honesty
  98. It's all a matter of principle
  99. Bert Kelly Destroys the Infant Industry Argument
  100. Bert Kelly Untangles Tariff Torment
  101. Bert Kelly resorts to prayer
  102. Eccles keeps our nose hard down on the tariff grindstone
  103. "Don't you believe in protecting us against imports from cheap labour countries?"
  104. Even if lucky, we needn't be stupid
  105. Great "freedom of choice" mystery
  106. Small government's growth problem
  107. I like my kind acts to get a mention in the press
  108. A Modest Member rakes the embers
  109. Tariffs Introduced
  110. More About Tariffs
  111. Sacred cow kicker into print
  112. Bert Kelly's 1984 two-article quote-collection on Aboriginal policies
  113. Modest Member must not give up
  114. Traditional Wheat Farming is Our Birthright and Heritage and Must be Protected!
  115. Tariff-cut nonsense lives on
  116. Bert Kelly brilliantly defends "theoretical academics"
  117. The high cost of protection
  118. Generosity creates problems
  119. The Society of Modest Members
  120. Is this an illogical, soft, complicated, unfocussed and unsuccessful attempt to communicate the case for markets?
  121. Modesty ablaze
  122. Case for ministers staying home
  123. The unusual self-evident simplicity of the Modest Members Society
  124. Animal lib the new scourge of the bush
  125. The Association for the Prevention of Cruelty to Krill
  126. modest members society
  127. Repeal economic laws, force people to buy new cars and enforce tariffs against overseas tennis players
  128. Thoughts on how to kill dinosaurs
  129. Let's try the chill winds
  130. Taking the Right's road
  131. Bert Kelly: "I did not try often or hard enough"
  132. Bert Kelly "lacked ... guts and wisdom"
  133. A look at life without tariffs
  134. The Gospel according to Bert
  135. Tiny note on Bert Kelly's column in The Bulletin in 1985
  136. Why costs can't be guaranteed
  137. Hitting out with a halo
  138. Paying farmers not to grow crops will save on subsidies, revenge tariffs, etc
  139. "The Modest Farmer joins us" | "How The Modest Farmer came to be"
  140. Bert Kelly Destroys the Freeloading Justifies Government Argument
  141. Industrial Relations Club shovellers
  142. From Shann to Stone
  143. Government Intervention
    Government Interference
  144. A sojourn in the real world
  145. The tariff wind swings
  146. Bigger Cake = Bigger Slices
  147. Bert Kelly on the Political Process
  148. A charabanc called protection
  149. Taken for a ride - to nowhere
  150. Down hill, in circles, all the way
  151. Economic facts and figures are statistics who should speak out
  152. Any cons arguing small business bad but big government good?
  153. Relationships with the Liberal Party
  154. Tariffs = High Prices + World War
  155. Bert Kelly's Family History
  156. Bert Kelly's Pre-Parliament Life
  157. What the MP could say to the Bishop
  158. Why Bert Kelly was not even more publicly outspoken
  160. How to stand aside when it's time to be counted
  161. How the Modest Member went back to being a Modest Farmer
  162. My pearls of wisdom were dull beyond belief
  163. Bert Kelly on Political Football
  164. Undigested morsels in Fraser spew
  165. Bert Kelly on LSD
  166. Bert Kelly reflects on the Australian car industry in 1992
  167. Bert Kelly wants reprinted Shann's Economic History of Australia
  168. If tariffs are opposed here then why not there?
  169. The emperor has no textiles, clothing and footwear sense
  170. Ross Gittins Wins Bert Kelly Award
  171. Interesting 1964 Bert Kelly speech: he says he is not a free trader and that he supports protection!
  172. This is the wall the Right built
  173. The Impertinent Society: Cheeky MPs take Mr Anthony at his word
  174. Tariff Protection in Australia (1970)
  175. Has Santa socked it to car makers?
  176. Is the Budget a cargo cult?
  177. Will we end up subsidising one another?
  178. Keeping the bucket of worms alive
  179. Can we get off the stomach-churning head-spinning tariff merry-go-round?
  180. Do we want our money to fly?
  181. Can a bear be sure of a feed?
  182. How to impress your MP -
    ambush him
  183. The time for being nice to our MPs has gone ...
  184. Don't feel sorry for him -
    hang on to his ear
  185. Trade wars can easily end up on a battlefield
  186. Tariffs Create Unemployment
  187. Bert Kelly recommends Ayn Rand
  188. Bert Kelly on Alf Rattigan's Industry Assistance: The Inside Story
  189. Bert Kelly's Satirical Prophecy: Minister for Meteorology (tick) and High Protectionist Policies to Result in War Yet Again (?)
  190. Bert Kelly in 1972 on Foreign Ownership of Australian Farmland and Warren Truss, Barnaby Joyce and Bill Heffernan in 2012
  191. Bert Kelly baits Welfare State Tiger
  192. Why does Govt wear two faces?
  193. Parliament a place for pragmatists
  194. Of Sugar Wells and Think-Tanks
  195. Bert Kelly: "I must take some of the blame"
  196. Bert Kelly on dumping duties
  197. The Govt's helping hand often hurts
  198. Unbuckling the hobbles on the motor industry
  199. A Modest Farmer looks at the Problems of Structural Change
  200. Government Fails Spectacularly
  201. Know your proper place if you want the quiet life
  202. Bert Kelly on political speech writers
  203. Having your cake and eating it
  204. Perish the thawed!
  205. Hooray for Northern Development!
  206. Politicians can resist everything except pressure
  207. The silly image of our MPs
  208. Bert Kelly Question Time highlights
  209. Modest Farmer sees his ideas take hold
  210. Should facts stand in the way of a good story?
  211. Fondling one another's glass haloes
  212. What is the sense in making the effort to look after yourself?
  213. Fred's Feeling: Counterpatriotic country contrarian
  214. Handouts for big boys only
  215. Mavis trying to buy a hand loom
  216. Bad news for bearers of bad news
  217. Is it time to get aboard the tariff band-waggon?
  218. Why farmers resent tariff protection for motor makers
  219. A sordid use of scare tactics
  220. Goods vs services
  221. Tariffs are hilariously counterproductive
  222. The dilemmas of Aboriginal Affairs
  223. Bert Kelly on decentralisation
  224. Inflation breeds moral decay
  225. Who envies equality?
  226. Growth – malignant or benign?
  227. Government wiser than Magna Carta
  228. Bert Kelly on looking to politicians for moral leadership
  229. Max Newton: Maverick in Exile
  230. Whitlam & co on the Dismissal
  231. 25% Tariff Cut
  232. Bert Kelly on pensions
  233. The plotting powers of Mavis nag martyr to snag compo
  234. The backseat drivers of the Pilbara
  235. Mr Clunies-Ross of the Cocos Islands should rule Australia
  236. They get the wind up when it changes
  237. Why the Big Green Lie survives
  238. Ross McLean in 1982: "Malcolm! Why don't we try good government? It might be popular."
  239. Bert Kelly on the importance of exchange rate movements
  240. Bert Kelly shows how to attack
  241. Bert Kelly vs Bert Kelly vs Bert Kelly
  242. Industrial relations dinosaur, Bruce, chews his cud
  243. Hooray for "firmly entrenched"!
  244. Respect your dinosaurs
  245. What if something is "deeply ingrained" yet harmful?
  246. A case for ministerial inertia
  247. Why politicians don't like the truth
  248. Punemployment: people are neither numbers nor puzzle pieces; the platitude attitude
  249. Our great open spaces ... an empty blessing
  250. Heart in right place but head missing
  251. Ominous dark clouds are gathering
  252. Proverb vs proverb
  253. Better to be popular than right
  254. Crying in the wilderness
  255. Ivory tower needs thumping
  256. Bert Kelly asks, "How can you believe in free enterprise and government intervention at the same time?"
  257. Politicians get undeserved praise, why not undeserved blame too?
  258. Feet in a bucket of champagne
  259. Rural Problems
  260. Health cover needs a $30 excess clause
  261. Unholy state of taxation
  262. Boring economics worth a smile
  263. The Libido for the Miserable
  264. Agricultural Development and Tariffs
  265. Fred's too poor to have principles
  266. Eccles Law of the constant wage share
  267. "He whom the gods would destroy ..."
  268. Low tariff torch burnt Eccles' fingers
  269. A cow of a car — with dual horns
  270. Tariffs: when to wean infant BHP?
  271. Keep any government as far as possible from farming
  272. The Playford charade is out of date
  273. Bert Kelly: the odd man out who's now in
  274. Dries must resist giving up struggle as going gets tough
  275. How a well meaning Government can be so stupid
  276. The icing on the economic cake
  277. Sir Roderick Carnegie's foreword to Bert Kelly's Economics Made Easy
  278. The Vale of Popularity and the Protection Procession
  279. Politics 101: Pay Lip Service to Capitalism and Shoot the Messenger
  280. 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"
  281. Bert Kelly on Free Enterprise
  282. Cartoons of protected industry, the welfare teat and the nanny state
  283. Bert Kelly on the theory of constant shares and the Fabian Society
  284. Bert Kelly vs Doug Anthony
  285. You're lucky if you escape being helped by government
  286. Bert Kelly on Small Farmers
  287. Bert Kelly on Apathy
  288. Bert Kelly in 1967 on "problems of government and things like that"
  289. The last "Dave's Diary"
  290. Bert Kelly vs The Australian on tariffs in 1977
  291. Bounties or Tariffs, Someone Pays
  292. Geriatric companies without a minder
  293. A free marketeer wary of free trade
  294. Nixon's puzzling profession of faith
  295. "Ford ... seems to spend more time bending its knees than its back"
  296. Clyde Cameron's weak ways with wise words
  297. Why flaunt what others flout?
  298. Bert Kelly yearns for Tim Flannery's powers of prediction
  299. Looking after yourself is silly
  300. Bert Kelly masterpiece on drought, fire, flood and other natural disaster relief schemes
  301. Government can take credit for our car industry mess
  302. Car makers want the 4wd driven deeper into tariff bog
  303. Why our MP is no longer prone to a good sob story
  304. Auto industry is in a straitjacket
  305. Bert Kelly on market predictions
  306. Why should dryland farmers subsidise irrigation farmers?
  307. How much should government decrease incentive for independence from government?
  308. Clarkson crowned Deputy Government Whip
  309. Bert Kelly to blame for soaring government healthcare costs
  310. 1959 return of Dave's Diary
  311. Bert Kelly in 1966 on developing northern Australia
  312. Successful government intervention can [sic] occur
  313. Vernon Report upholds Clarkson
  314. Quiet Man Makes An Impact
  315. Should it be compulsory to buy footwear and clothing?
  316. To save Australian clothing industry women must all wear same uniform
  317. Don't confuse plucking heart strings with plucking harp strings
  318. Speech only for public
  319. Catchy Tariff Circus Extravaganza
  320. Bert Kelly in 1985 on cars yet again
  321. Hurrah for the Gang of Five
  322. Thoughts on a verse about Balfour
  323. Bert Kelly pep talk to politicians
  324. Government intervention = Agony postponed but death brought nearer
  325. Recipe for disaster: Freeze!
  326. Recipe for government intervention: Gather winners and scatter losers
  327. Recipe for industry destruction: Blanket market signals
  328. Mavis writes!
  329. Bert Kelly's empiricism is not kneejerk reaction kind
  330. The $2,000 song of the shirt worker
  331. Subsiding only small farmers means subsiding the big banks
  332. Difficult to be fast on your feet when you've got your ear to the ground
  333. It would surprise people to see how sensible MPs behave if they think they are not being watched
  334. Bert Kelly on "this land of limitless resources" and "great open spaces"
  335. Growing bananas at the South Pole
  336. Car components tariff protection under fire
  337. Why carry a $300m car subsidy?
  338. Tariff feather beds for the foreign giants
  339. Bert Kelly says end compulsory voting to stop donkey vote
  340. Perhaps being smart and insured isn't all luck
  341. You gets your tariff, you pays a price
  342. More funds to train Olympians?
  343. Fire in their guts and wind in ours
  344. Should free universal healthcare include pets?
  345. Sound advice from a modest farmer
  346. A tottering monument to intervention
  347. Cunning meets wisdom
  348. Competition, Aussie-style: Who's the bigger parasite?
  349. Australians are proud patriotic parasites, says Bert Kelly
  350. Taxpayer-funded sport is cheating
  351. Being loved by all is not always a good thing
  352. Welfare State Destroys Society
  353. 1980 Bert Kelly feather bed series
  354. The White Mice Marketing Board
  355. Government intervention and advice can be harmful, even when right, even for those it tries to help
  356. One small step on the compulsory voting landmine
  357. The free & compulsory education sacred cows have no clothes
  358. Holding a loaded wallet to an economist's head
  359. Political No Man's Land
  360. Only blind greed demands both equality and prosperity
  361. A cow that sucks itself — that's us!
  362. Foot-dragging on lifting tariff drag
  363. Nip the bud of incentive; mock community spirit into submission
  364. Bert Kelly questions why miners pay royalties to the Crown
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