Sunday, 31 March 2019

Microsoft Word sucks so much I can't even be bothered coming up with a pun for this title

Microsoft Word for Mac. Version 16.23. Look at that goddamn paste options pane. WTF even is that? Who needs that many pasting options????

Writing is important to me. Words are much of my life, whether it’s my day job in marketing or teaching my three year-old seven syllable words (/ˌpætʃɪˌkɛfələˈsɑːrəs/). Words are my trade and like all tradesmen, I need good tools to get the job done.

For paper-based scribing, I use a Lamy Safari fountain pen which is a nice balance between practicality and pretension. For the computer-based input, I use an Apple Extended Keyboard II (I’ve got a few units and the requisite adaptors—enough to have one at home and one at the office). These are good tools—in fact the mechanical AEKII is regarded by some as the “best keyboard ever made”. But moving away from the hardware of writing to the software, things very quickly fall apart.

Word “processing” has, at various stages of the term’s use, meant an electronic typewriter, a piece of software and even a person trained to type. These days, it almost exclusively refers to software and the first piece of word processing software that springs to most people’s mind is the Monopoly Man of the digital word: Microsoft Word.

In which Microsoft Word is a bloated piece of crap

I know, it's fashionable to hate Word. Once upon a time, it was a plucky newcomer, competing with the big boys in the world of word processing. But now it is an ungainly, bloated piece of crap that claims to do too many things and doesn't do any of them particularly well.

At uni, I spent several years trying to come to grips with the intricacies of Word. I thought that if Word was everywhere, it must be OK, right? Somehow, it must be my own technical knowledge that was lacking. All I needed to do was learn...and I would win at Word! Hahaha, you poor fool, naive dummy past Richard.

Turned out there wasn't any real level of insight or knowledge that would make Word do as you vainly commanded. I found this out through my own blood, sweat and tears—well sweat and tears anyway—after coming close to losing my sanity writing my parliamentary internship report (complete with tables, breakouts and charts) with Word. Actually writing "with" Word probably doesn't do justice to those months of toil. I completed my report "despite" Word? Wrestling with the keys of fate, linked charts of catastrophe and wretched text wrapping of wickedness, I toiled to complete, against all odds, my parliamentary internship report? Hmm. Better. I mean whose sphincter hasn't irreparably tightened when an attempt to nudge an image one millimetre up the page results in the disappearance and dislodging of 46 pages of carefully laid-out text, charts and tables?

In fact, if I had the power to eradicate something from the surface of the earth, Word would rank highly on any list I dreamt up. Sure, it would probably sit behind war, famine and plague, but it would be higher than most others would place a software package. Why? Because Microsoft Word is a plague. It is like a virus that has infected almost every home and commercial computer.

Word is so bad that this is where I invoke Adobe in a positive light(room)

For me, I’d like to invoke Adobe as an example of one way forward for Microsoft and Word—yep, a I'm citing Adobe as a positive paradigm...the world has gone topsy-turvy. Adobe, like Microsoft, has a bit of a problem with legacy. Where Lightroom was once a revolutionary program for editing and managing digital assets, a dozen years of legacy coding have left recent releases running very slowly, even on blazing fast machines.

To address these issues (and ready the program for a cloud-based future) Adobe has released a reimagining of Lightroom called Lightroom CC (Creative Cloud). This version is entirely new and shares only a name with the older software. Developers are unencumbered by 12 year-old code free of the restraints of backwards compatibility. They are free to develop a program for the future of photography, not the legacies of the past. But Adobe hasn’t killed the “old” Lightroom. They rechristened the original version Lightroom “Classic” and are continuing to develop and support both programs side by side. The intention, however, is clear: the future is Lightroom CC, but we’ll have a while to adjust.

Adobe’s solution to the legacy problem is the best of both worlds. Developing for the new paradigm while supporting the old. Now why can’t Microsoft—with their subscription service and large development teams—think about doing the same. Do we really need word processing, charts, tables, mail merge, Word Art, shadows, outlines, address books, templates, ducking autocorrect, auto formatting or “smart” tags in one program? Or do writers want to sit down and write?

Funnily enough, Microsoft have actually done this already...kind of. In moving the focus of Office to the 365 subscription service, Microsoft developed Word Online as part of the package. This allows subscribers to view and edit documents in a web browser without opening the desktop app—so basically Google Docs, but you have to pay for it and it's still the same Microsoft rubbish. It's too baroque for my liking, but it's a step in the right direction.

And yes, Microsoft Word of 2019 is better than Word of, say, 2003, but the improvements are mostly ribbon deep. I still find myself stuck in a type-autocorrect-backspace-retype-autocorrect again-backspace-retype-autocorrect yet again loop, expecting the software to understand after the first two corrections that I did indeed want to begin the next line with a lower case letter. And don't get me started on formatting...that styles pane is a goddamn pain should you dare want anything other than Verdana or that standard bearer of default mediocrity: Calibri. Sure, the menus have been cleaned up, but I'll be damned if I don't spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find how to switch a function off after accidentally turning it on through an inadvertent key stroke.

Beware the Anonymous Capybara...

It’s often noted that George R.R. Martin still writes using WordStar 4.0 on a DOS-based machine. In his words, it does everything he needs and nothing he doesn’t. Plenty of niche developers out there are working on word processing software to meet this criterion—which is fine—but the monopolistic leaders in this space are doing nothing to improve the lot of the rest of us. As much as I'd like to take Ulysees or Scrivener into the workplace, it would not be accepted by the powers that be as a replacement for Word. Where is the business-friendly commercial word processing product that does everything we need and nothing we don't? Oh hi, Google Docs. I see you there. Yep, I think you're about ready for the big long as some anonymous capybara doesn't edit you off course...

Instead of burying the bloat in the “ribbon”, perhaps Microsoft can stop and think about their baby from the ground up. Maybe then I’ll shudder less whenever I see a .docx attached to an email in my inbox and I’ll open it without cursing the sender and the medium.

Further Reading

Death to Word by Tom Scocca (2012)
Why Microsoft Word must Die by Charlie Stross (2013)
WordStar: A writer's word processor by Robert J. Saywer (1990, updated in 1996)

This post was drafted in Notes for iOS on an iPhone XS. Notes is a simple cloud-based word processor which comes with Apple iOS. It's actually pretty useful, as is its MacOS version.

The typing experience on the iOS varies from mediocre to terrible, but I’ve used plenty of laptop keyboards worse than an iPhone’s touchscreen. 

It was edited in Google Docs on a desktop computer (with Apple Extended Keyboard II) before making the jump to the Blogger CMS. 

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Why #nswvotes won't impact #ausvotes

When Antony is ready to go, the state is ready to go! — Twitter

The voters have spoken. NSW’s Liberal National government has been returned for a third term. But those federal Liberals hoping their state counterparts' win bodes well for the upcoming federal election will likely be disappointed.

Firstly, a truism. State elections are largely won and lost on state issues. The degree to which politicians agree or disagree publicly with this statement depends which side of the election result they’re on: federal Liberals were quick to downplay any federal “implications” after the Victorian election wipeout, but have been all too keen to talk up their prospects after the NSW win. This isn’t to say that federal politics has no bearing on the outcome of state elections, but voters know the difference and vote on the issues. In fact, the NSW Liberals’ win demonstrates how true this separation is: they’ve won despite the dead weight of their federal colleagues around their necks.

Secondly, the NSW and federal Liberals share a party name, but that’s about it. While the federal coalition is busy arguing about which 1950s technology deserves state funding today or seeing whether Malcolm Turnbull weighs the same as a duck (“HE’S A WITCH!!”), the NSW government set about achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. Sure, it’s an aspiration many decades away, but it gives centre-right NSW voters an option that isn’t a Green or independent if they’re concerned by climate change. Let’s not pretend the NSW Liberals are a super-progressive lot — the smashing of Allianz Stadium and the Sirius building are two counter examples of many — but they look positively socialist compared to their federal counterparts. This is how centre right parties win elections and is, in fact, the biggest lesson the federal Liberals could learn from this election — stick to the middle. But with an affronted suburban footy club secretary for a leader, that’s almost certainly not going to happen. 

Thirdly, everyone hates major parties. With the primary vote for the major parties plumbing 30%, the established parties of government have a fight ahead of them if they want to convince voters they’re in it for their constituents and not for themselves. This is an issue for both of the major parties but is existential for the Nationals. The junior coalition partner has essentially ignored climate change and environmental issues, and sided with big resource companies — against farmers — in the exploitation of arable land for CSG. The Shooters Fishers and Farmers party has won at least three seats and has successfully channeled this anger in rural communities for their electoral benefit. Notably, they’ve held the seat of Orange, a seat the SFF gained in an historic byelection which saw an unprecedented swing against the Nationals who had held the seat for 69 years. The federal Nationals — even more tone deaf to the concerns of their constituents — face the same challenge at the upcoming federal election, albeit against canny independents rather than the SFF. 

Supplemental point in here, yes people hate the major parties, but they’re particularly unimpressed with the federal government. Sure, the NSW Liberals have had their own challenges, but they’ve had nothing of the sort of the 2014 federal budget, an eternity of leadership spills, promises and backflips, cuts to services, Robodebts, “it’s okay to be white”, being against a banking royal commission 27 times...the list literally goes on. Electors might not like the major parties, but they hate the federal government and that opinion has been settled ever since the 2016 election. 

Lastly — and perhaps most crucially — NSW just doesn’t matter...well so far as the upcoming federal election is concerned. Of the government’s 22 marginal seats, only five are in NSW. The Liberals could have a federal 2PP of 60-40 in NSW (they don’t, it was 54-46 to the ALP at the end of 2018) and would still lose the next federal election. This election could be won and lost entirely in Victoria for all we know, but only two of the federal parliament’s 10 most marginal seats are in NSW. Five are in Queensland. With the government on the nose and no such thing as “safe” seats any more, this is probably not going to go well for the footy club secretary PM and his committee of top blokes. 

So, in short, a good win by the Coalition in NSW, but not as “against the odds” as the media narrative would tell you. An incumbent government only two terms old with none of the white-hot anger directed at it that their antediluvian federal colleagues have endured since 2014. Also, only eight years ago, NSW Labor was pretty much the most corrupt outfit around — it would have been no small feat to come back from that. The 2PP result will probably be close to the published polls, but it simply wasn’t enough to get the ALP over the line.

Bring on May. 

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Australian conservatism — an oxymoron of morons

One might have thought the sight of Australia’s most prominent “conservatives” defending a child rapist would give all conservatives pause for thought: “how the fuck did we get here?”

But no, not one moment of reflection. Why? Because conservatism, as it is practiced in Australia, has no intellectual foundation. It’s purely about the attainment and exercise of power.

Australian “conservatism” is a grab bag of inconsistent thought bubbles and half-arsed personal belief structures — some of which are actually quite radical — strung together by a love of power and a hatred of unions.

That’s it.

No wonder the wheels fell off the Abbott government as soon as it started. He had spent so long saying nothing but “nope” that he and his government failed to articulate any agenda for Australia. This constipation of political vision passed from Abbott to Turnbull and now sits with fair dinkum peaked cap guy.

But don’t misunderstand — this isn’t just about this government, it’s about right-of-centre politics everywhere. With their neoliberal world order collapsing, the right is reacting and reverting to nationalism or populism or — dare I say it — fascism.

I hope, for Australia anyway, that this moment — when our country’s loudest conservative voices devoted their on-air hours and column inches to defending a paedophile — is the moment when conservatism jumped the shark, when people finally see the sad old white men behind the curtain at Oz (the fictional city/wizard and/or the national daily newspaper).

But change doesn’t happen by itself. If you real feel strongly about consigning these men of the past to the past, then get out there in the lead up to this election. Join a political party, join your union, volunteer or donate to GetUp!, just do something…otherwise they might just squeak back in and I honestly don’t think our country can weather another three years of their destructive political "philosophy".

Monday, 18 February 2019

Go home, Ipsos, you're drunk

The average participant in an Ipsos poll?

Ipsos continues its trend of being batshit crazy with a federal primary and two-party preferred result that even the national political editor of the Herald Sun has called bullshit.

This poll has all the idiosyncrasies we’ve come to expect from Ipsos, including an unrealistically high Greens primary vote (13% — around 2–3% higher than most other recent polls) and lower primary votes for the major parties. We know the major parties are on the nose, but to give Labor 33% isn’t likely close to plausible.

It’s dangerous to rely on your gut when assessing these polls, but fortunately, we don't have to. If assessed in context with other recent polls (and a YouGov Galaxy poll conducted in Queensland), something’s amiss with Ipsos’s numbers.

Naturally this hasn’t stopped the Murdoch press seizing these numbers as proof of the medivac bill being Scott Morrison’s “Tampa” moment (even after usually poo-pooing Ipsos polls) but the government is still behind (even in this most quirky of polls) and has been since the last election.

And there's something to be said for Ipsos's methodology. Their polling is telephone calls only and some have suggested it is either mostly or only landlines included. If this is the case, the result will likely be woefully skewed, even after the raw data is corrected.

Of course, Ipsos may be the first to pick up on a trend back towards the government, but the only way to tell is with more polls. In a week's time, this poll will either be seen as the first step in a government turnaround, or an outlier.

My guess we’ll see more consistent polls over the next week settle back around 52-48 to Labor. The government will continue to go hard on "border security", believing it to be an area of strength for them, but the reality is that few voters actually care enough for this to change their vote. 

The key issues for voters continue to be health, education and the economy — areas where the government has come a cropper of late. Although the economy is traditionally an area of strength for the Coalition, rampant inequality, stagnant wages and the continuing fallout from the banking royal commission will hurt their lead here.

There's plenty of time between now and the election — including a budget — and the polls will inevitably tighten. But it's going to take something epochal to change the electorate's view on this government's two terms and three prime ministers.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Crime in Progress: Intergenerational Theft

Stock photo old people are only slightly worse than those taking part in Tim Wilson's completely non-partisan franking credits travelling roadshow

Hello, I’d like to report a crime: INTERGENERATIONAL THEFT! ... yes I am’s one of the biggest issues affecting...hello? Hello??


Well I hope you’ll prove a more receptive audience. Intergenerational theft is such a vast topic, one could easily write a book about it. In a nutshell, our generation — I’m Gen Y, I refuse to be a “millennial” — will likely be the first generation since the Great Depression to be worse off than our parents. Governments of both persuasions have enacted and continue to enforce policies which leave anyone under 35 with few of the benefits and certainty their elders had (and continue to have), such as:

  • A free university education (yeah, HECS loans are great) — in fact, a fairly funded public education system at all levels 
  • Affordable housing (thanks, CGT exemptions and negative gearing!) 
  • Secure employment (thanks, neoliberalism!) 
  • A social safety net designed to help people, rather than punish them (how long before Robodebt becomes Robocop?) 
  • An earth that isn’t suffocating in its own carbon dioxide 
  • Retiring at an age predating their body physically failing them 

And right now, one need only look as far as Liberal MP Tim Wilson’s completely non-partisan travelling roadshow — I mean “public inquiry” — into Labor’s franking credits policy to see how entrenched intergenerational theft is in our political discourse.

That’s before we even consider how unusual it is for a parliamentary committee to “investigate” opposition policies. According to the Parliament website (and parliamentary convention AND parliamentary standing orders), parliamentary committees “investigate specific matters of policy or government administration or performance”, i.e. they are designed to hold the government to account, not act as a forum for a political hit job on the opposition. 

Or before we consider whether the committee’s chair, the aforementioned Tim “Freedom Boy” Wilson, has acted inappropriately (or illegally?) or not. Just as an aside, I would have thought a conservative like Timmy would know better than to trash democratic norms in this day and age, particularly when his federal seat falls within the boundaries of a blue ribbon state seat which —unbelievably — almost fell to the Labor Party at last year’s state election...but I digress.

The whole thing is unedifying. Liberal MPs using the cover of a taxpayer funded “inquiry” to do a hatchet job on the opposition; Libs using said “inquiry” to raise funds for their gerontocratic political party; wealthy self-funded retirees screaming bloody murder that they might not get a tax refund…after paying no tax; how only a handful of jurisdictions around the world offer a similar system of dividend imputation; the naked self-interest of a few oldies who have had their time (and benefitted greatly from our social democracy) and would rather watch the world burn (perhaps literally) than end a multi-billion dollar rort; the News Corp headlines (“LABOR’S FRANKING CREDITS POLICY WILL PLUNDER SAVINGS OF HARDWORKING SELF-FUNDED RETIREES”) — how you can be a retiree AND hardworking is a bit beyond me, but there you go…

It goes on…

But get this, Labor’s policy of abolishing franking credits is estimated to save taxpayers $10.7 BILLION over the first two years. Am I the only one who thought “HOLY SHIT, THAT’S A MOTHERLODE”??? It really is. I won’t give you the election ad spiel of “…this money could be better spent funding one hundred schools for gifted youngsters…” or whatever, but it’s a lot of money. Which brings me to compare this scare campaign to another prime example of intergenerational theft.

When I went to uni, Centrelink sent me some cash at the start of each semester. It was around $1,000. This “start-up scholarship” was intended to help those on Youth Allowance to buy the books and materials needed for the coming semester. For me and for many others, it was a big help. I didn’t have a heap of books to buy, but I still had the living expenses university entails (and, no, it didn’t all go on booze and cigarettes). But such taxpayer largesse being spent on young peoples couldn't last with Tory boomers in charge. So, in a sneaky bit of intergenerational theft, what does the Turnbull Government — abetted by the Labor opposition — do? Dumps the “scholarship” part of the start-up scholarship and adds it to students’ burgeoning HECS debt. The “saving” to the budget? $920 million over four years. Gee, thanks chaps! I’m certainly happy to be saddled with even more debt that must be repaid earlier and earlier for my increasingly worthless university degree, so long as those self-funded retirees get their fucking franking credits — all $20 BILLION of them over four years. I hope, one day, I might even live long enough to retire and enjoy my retirement savings in the blissful 35ºC southern Australian winter.

So yeah…intergenerational theft is a crime.

And it’s high time someone was finally punished for it.

I had another couple of notes to go with this, but I couldn’t slot them in anywhere. They are important points that you can use in robust discussion the oldies you know (I bet they’re racist, too. You know how when they tell a story, the person they encounter can’t ever just be “a lovely guy”, he’s always “a lovely Indian guy”, or “that Chinese woman at the shop” even though they have no idea where she might have “come” from — usually you can catch them out yelling at “Asian drivers”, while they themselves travel in the right-hand lane 10km/h below the speed limit). But I digress.

  1. Don’t base your retirement plans around tax treatments

    This is a pretty simple one. If your retirement income plan is based around a tax rort (think negative gearing or the franking credits refunds), then it’s a bad retirement plan. As society changes and the world evolves, so do our laws. It’s a simple principle — e.g. a mass shooting happens, we (mostly) outlaw guns. Or the internet becomes a thing, we change telecommunication laws. Well guess what, the economy changes too. Governments change tax laws all the time to respond to the wider world. For some reason, retirees in particular seem to think they should be immune to changes to tax law because they’ve “worked hard” all their lives or something. Who's entitled now?
  2. Shares should not be your (main) source of income

    Our retirement savings system is designed around assets and superannuation being your main source of income in retirement. The idea is that as you age, you will draw on your savings and sell down your assets to keep yourselves in retirement. Getting a tax refund on tax you’ve never paid should not be a source of income. All of this smacks of oldies wanting to have their cake (franking credits), the ingredients for the cake (non-assessed “family” home), and eat it too (superannuation and other assets).
  3. Let's not pretend this is all about "investing"

    Franking credits are of most benefit to "investors" who "invest" in companies that pay fully-franked dividends. Most of the time, these companies are the big names of the ASX 100 such as the Big Four banks, Testra et al. Let's not pretend, as some angry oldies have, that franking credits encourage people to invest in businesses. I bet the vast majority of the oldies bitching about Labor's policy have shares almost exclusively in the "dinosaurs" of the ASX, as economist Stephen Koukoulas so succinctly put it.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Here We Go Again (again) Redux

Putting on my political scientist hat, I can confirm that the Liberal Party (particularly the Queensland LNP) have lost their tiny fucking minds.

It would seem they are about to sacrifice another leader — one who has led virtually every preferred PM and individual approval poll since taking office — with a raw potato.

A potato who has no name recognition (because he's a potato) and is about as popular with the electorate as a potato is among 8 year olds.

The idea that the Liberal Party needs to lurch even further to the right to "regain" its base is laughable. This alleged "base" it has lost holds a grabbag of redneck grievances with little consistency or process of thought. It is an anti-establishment mob that has drifted over to One Nation and, so the thinking goes, might be convinced of placing 1 against the Liberal candidate once again if a sufficiently xenophobic and anti-intellectual leader can be found ("he's just like me!").

Well, quite frankly, the potato can have him. The careful calibration of the Liberal Party "broad church" its members have maintained since its formation has been trashed by alleged "conservatives". It can now only be called a reactionary racist rump that represents "mainstream" Australia about as well as Crocodile Dundee.

We've been here before: 2010, 2013 and 2015. Not one of these leadership changes worked out well for the incumbents at the following election. Gillard, Rudd Mk II and Turnbull: each had a commanding preferred PM lead leading into the following elections. Each had a honeymoon period. Each — with the possible exception of Rudd Mk II — squandered it.

How a putative PM Dutton — likely to be passionately disliked by a large portion of the civilised electorate — is supposed to close both the personal ratings and the 2PP is beyond most right-thinking people. How Dutton actually improves Coalition electability anywhere — except Queensland — is difficult to see.

What isn't difficult to see is that the reactionary rump of the "Liberal" Party has little grasp of reality. They ignore the 62/38 result of the same-sex marriage plebiscite; they ignore the vast majority of Australians who consistently say we should be doing more on climate change — they ignore the prevailing wisdom of the country.

And they ignore it at their peril.

Friday, 16 March 2018

The Great White Nope

Following on from that time I suggested old people be disenfrachised until they can stop being selfish old buggers, comes the confected outrage of propsed modest changes to how mostly old, mostly white, mostly weathly people get money for doing nothing.

Yes, Labor is shockingly proposing the removal of a rort which sees people get free money. That's right, money for doing nothing (I won't detail the policy here, because the policy detail doesn't matter. Subsitute 'dividend imputation' for any other rort that disproportionately benefits wealthy oldies — negative gearing, superannuation et al — and this article would be the same). But instead of supporting this reasonable measure — as old people who rail against money for nothing usually do — they have come out against it because, surprise², self interest.

Funny, isn't it? When people of different skin colours who don't speak English receive money from the guv'ment, the Boomers are usually the first to decry these recipients as unworthy bludgers. But when old, mainly wealthly, mainly white people get money for doing nothing, it's their "entitlement" because they've "worked all their lives" and "paid taxes". Naturally living in a liberal democracy and doing what you're supposed to do entitles the bearer to a lifetime of taxpayer funded largesse, even while the amount of revenue going to the guv'ment to provide their perceived entitlements decreases.

There's an opinion piece in the Fairfax papers yesterday by Ian Henschke, chief advocate for National Seniors Australia. For Labor, it's a taste of things to come. He issued a thinly veiled threat that any change to the franking credits rort — or indeed any other policy that is a financial boondoggle for senior Australians — will incur the wrath of the oldies. He implores Labor to remember that "half the voting public is now aged over 50". And it's for exactly this reason that Labor must continue the fight for reasonable reforms, because the political right in Australia has vacated field, captured and compromised by this selfish cohort.

With all due respect to Mr Henschke, it's time to think about a future for all Australia. It's time to make sensible policy decisions that ensure there is an Australia for future generations to inherit. Mr Henschke represents a group that, because of its economic and political clout, has received every. single. piece. of. pork. for the past twenty years, economic responsibility be damned.

They've enjoyed the spoils of the housing boom, ably assisted by demented government policies which have distorted the housing market and locked many young people out. They've succeeded in transforming superannuation policy from a retirement savings program to a government sanctioned tax avoidance scheme, where the wealthy squirrel away millions tax free. And let's not mention the free, high-quality education many oldies enjoyed in their youf, while saddling us young'uns with a higher-cost, lower-quality one — oh, and let's not mention that job market either. Of course the oldies will continue to enjoy the government largesse well past retirement, unlike us younger people who will likely have to work until we're 80 and will probably never see a government pension.

Look, it's not fair to apportion blame to an entire generation — many Boomers+ are rightly ashamed at the selfishness of their generation — however the policies which their generation's leaders have persued have led us to the fiscal mess we find ourselves in today. And while us young people are — in technical policy terms — fucked, it's the oldies who haven't benfitted from government pork barrelling who are going to be the first to be adversely impacted by their generation's selfishness if some equity isn't restored to the system.

It's their pensions that will suffer.
It's their aged care that will suffer.
It's their health care that will suffer.
And, of course, it's their children and grandchildren who will suffer.

Tackling an economically reckless policy like dividend imputation — a policy where three-quarters of the benefits flow to households with incomes in the top 10% — is a good place to start if we all want a country with a quality of life and of services to which we are accustomed. And, given Labor's crazy-brave success with negative gearing policy at the last federal election, I think they're on winner, fear-mongering in the press notwithstanding.