Apparently, I’m a “tamed idealist”. At least, that is what I was called in a story published in The Australian last Friday. I like it. 🙂
I thought the article was mostly fair. I have seen enough mis-reporting in the past so that I don’t expect 100% accuracy, but it was close enough.
Still, it’s worth while setting the record straight on a few things. The journalist (Rosanne Barrett) brings up my LDP past, which is fair game, but they get a few things wrong. First, LDP actually got over 4000 votes in the Qld Senate, not the 126 reported in the article (that was the “below-the-line” vote). Second, the candidacy of Lisa Milat in Canberra was not my doing (I had given up control of the LDP at the end of 2004).
The article goes on to mention my previous writing about a carbon tax, which is fair, but neglects to mention my main point — which is that a carbon tax must be linked to a matching tax cut. I never advocated a higher total tax take, and I never will. Also, the article refers to my “30/30” tax reform idea, but only mentions the 30% flat rate, without mentioning the $30,000 tax-free threshold. Finally, I no longer work for the Centre for Independent Studies (and they are “classical liberal”, not “conservative”).
The article brings up a stunt I did during the 2007 LDP campaign — where I took up smoking during the campaign to try and draw attention to the growing nanny state. That’s true. The sad reality of retail politics is that minor parties and independents often have to resort to stunts to draw attention to their message. Obviously, that’s not the way to run a mainstream party campaign. There are several things from my LDP days which do not fit in with mainstream politics, and I am willing to adapt and learn.
On the positive side, the article does make clear that I’m a libertarian who believes in personal freedom and responsibility, small and decenralised government, ending middle-class welfare, and free markets.