September 06, 2003


Phillip Adams, millionaire, complains about Australiaís lack of wealth:

Gather round, kiddies. Iím going to tell you a Once Upon A Time story about Australia. Not the wonderful country we live in today where youíre taught self-reliance, but a place called the "Commonwealth of Australia". Isnít that a nasty word, Commonwealth? Doesnít it remind you of Communist? It should, because it described a place where, it was believed, wealth should be shared among everyone. Whereas, these days, wealth is increasingly uncommon, something to be enjoyed by our visionary business leaders and their fortunate families.

Wrong. Wealth is increasingly common. According to HSBC chief economist John Edwards, real wealth in Australia has grown about 40% over the past decade - a faster rate than at any other time during the past 100 years. Adams somehow missed this.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 6, 2003 05:41 PM

Interesting interpretation of Commonwealth, Phil...Oliver Cromwell would perhaps be surprised to hear of it, but so be it. My own home, Pennsylvania, is itself a Commonwealth, though someone must have forgotten to mention to Andrew Carnegie or John Rockefeller or the other 'robber barons' who made their fortunes out of our resources.

Posted by: Evan McElravy at September 6, 2003 at 06:03 PM

Phillip Adams = rich white man who is rich because he whinges about rich white men.

Posted by: Random_Prose at September 6, 2003 at 07:40 PM

Never allow facts to stand in the way of ideology. I'd suggest Mr. Adams set a good example and impoverish himself by giving away all his money.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at September 6, 2003 at 09:35 PM

Phil the anti-christian needs to read the New Testament on the Pharisees.
He might learn something.
Probably not - Phil is Phil precisely because he can't learn anything new.
Aren't these conservatives so tiresome......

Posted by: Jim at September 6, 2003 at 09:51 PM

The Phat Phuck wasn't so much decrying wealth, as much as the lack of caring and sharing in the Australian population- all due to the deprivations of the hideous Howard regime-
I disect this view a bit over at my site, but I might just be a Troll trying to pick up some bandwidth to sell penis enhancement- just look at my test subject Phil; he was a minor retrograde has-been, and now is one of the biggest pricks in the entire Western world!
If only his ego could match his talent, he could possibly get a gig with the Brisbane "West End Shopper".

Posted by: Habib Bickford at September 6, 2003 at 10:24 PM

RandomProse, that "David Quinn" character who wrote most of the letters on that link strikes me as an idiot. And a smug idiot too, the worst kind. While most of what he wrote was worthless pseudo-philosophy, his worst offence was his made-up conversation with Feynman, a man who was five times the thinker Quinn will ever be.

By the way, Adams' political writings are tiresome and ill-informed, but he acquitted himself very well in response to those letters, I think.

Posted by: ChrisV at September 7, 2003 at 01:28 AM

Having read a little further I'm including the other writers on that page in my "idiot" assessment. The argument at the end of Myles Thresher's piece, that "it is impossible for God to exist, because it is impossible for any `thing' to possess independent existence, in other words, to be without cause", which from what I can tell is their major argument, is self-evidently trash. The beginning of the Universe had no cause, so presumably they would argue that the Universe doesn't exist either.

Note: I am an atheist. It's just that these guys are giving atheism a bad name.

Posted by: ChrisV at September 7, 2003 at 01:38 AM

HMMM. But in the US, several states are not "states" but "commonwealths". For example, I lived in the "commonwealth of Pennsylvania". Kentucky, Massachusetts and Virginia also call themselves Commonwealths. (trivia question: how many states in the US? Answer 46 states and 4 commonwealths)
The word goes back to Cromwell's republic, and implies that it is a state where the people have sovereignty. Note that the four states in the US that use this word are among the earliest US colonies, except for Kentucky, which was settled by Virginians.
I love "intellectuals" who dis common people but know less about history than a simple Okie like myself....

Posted by: Nancy Reyes at September 7, 2003 at 03:28 AM


You are generally correct, though I believe that New York is now a People's Republic." Praise it and its glorious revolution!

Posted by: Jerry at September 7, 2003 at 04:39 AM


David and his cronie Kevin argue that every 'thing' must have a cause based on the basic logic truth they susbcribe to, ie cause and effect. Everything is relative because one independent object wouldn't be able to exist without a reference to another.
Beginning of the Universe had no cause? Really?

Most of their atheist backdrops are grounded in the Buddhist philosophy of nonexistance of god and ultimate reason.
I think the reason his total certainty comes across as extremely smug is the sheer amount of years he has dedicated to his ideology and the amount of sacrifices he has had to endure because of it, ie rejection of family, friends, women. Pretty radical.

Their various radio transcripts are a decent read.

Posted by: Clarke Kent at September 7, 2003 at 05:39 PM

Australia has recently passed all the major European economies in terms of per capita GDP (Australia = $27,000, Germany = $26,600, France = $25,700, UK = $25,300, Italy $25,000).

Australia is just behind Japan ($28,000) and may have passed Japan already given the faster growth in Australia. It is ahead of Hong Kong and Singapore, and well ahead of the other Asian Tiger nations.

Australia is slightly behind Canada ($29,400). Only the United States ($37,600), among major economies, can claim a hefty lead over Australia.

All numbers from the CIA World Factbook, and measured in purchasing power parity:

Do Australians even realize they are now the third wealthiest nation of any substantial size in the world? Do they realize they have passed Europe and will soon be leaving it in the dust? Shouldn't Australians be banging their drums and celebrating this achievement? Shouldn't the implicit subtext of all political discourse be, "Well, we must be doing something right"?

Posted by: Tim Shell at September 7, 2003 at 06:02 PM

Alan "I'm not anti-semitic" Ramsey quotes a letter which refers in part to Israel having "overwhelming economic ... power". The letter is by Stuart Rees, emeritus professor at Sydney University and director of the Sydney Peace Foundation.

The mind boggles as to what he means by that.

Posted by: Andjam at September 7, 2003 at 06:16 PM

Clarke Kent:

"Beginning of the Universe had no cause? Really?"

Yes, really. At least, that's current cosmological doctrine. The thing is that cause and effect are temporal things - first cause, then effect. There was no time prior to the beginning of the Universe - time itself ceases to exist, because time is part of the Universe. No time, no cause and effect. If the Universe had a cause, then what caused that cause? If the Universe is finite in time, there must have been an original effect which had no cause.

At any rate, cause and effect is strictly a macroscopic thing. In the current interpretation of quantum mechanics, things which have no cause are happening constantly at the quantum level.

The problem with the superiority of ultimate reason is what happens when it turns out your axioms and assumptions are wrong, as here.

Also "rejection of family, friends, women" isn't particularly radical, it happens to every fanatic who is convinced they have a handle on Ultimate Truth.

Posted by: ChrisV at September 7, 2003 at 11:45 PM


You are having no effect at this site 'cause you are boring. Please cause a positive effect for the rest of us by ceasing to be an anal retentive pedant.

Posted by: ZsaZsa at September 8, 2003 at 01:23 AM

Poor Phillip - regressing to his childhood.
By the way who funded Phil and Paul's cameos at last week's Melbourne book launch?
At least it gave us another opportunity to observe Keating's vindictive, divisive, and nasty PC self at full stretch.
(Could Big Hawk be Paul Keating?)

Posted by: robd at September 8, 2003 at 06:58 PM

Zsa Zsa, that post was really funny. My favourite bit was how you bolded the words "cause" and "effect". I'm not sure what you're on about though since neither of my posts were remotely pedantic. Those atheist society guys said that there is no such thing as something without a cause. I said that's completely wrong. That's pedantry?

Maybe when theres a discussion going on that you aren't interested in, or don't understand, you should simply shut the fuck up rather than chiming in with some valueless snarky comment.

Anyway, I now return you to your regular program of supercilious little posts about what a dumbass Adams is.

Posted by: ChrisV at September 8, 2003 at 08:11 PM