Comrade Conroy


Finally, some reader mail.

Dear Dan,

I am replying to your email referring to the communications minister as “Comrade Conroy”. It saddens me to hear people using COLD WAR terminology to refer to anyone that they don’t agree with.

At the same time you used the term of endearment “poor old” Barnaby Joyce for a politician that most people in Australia would consider a nutcase (irrespective of their political persuasion).

It would be much nicer for all (especially for those of us who read your (economics) newsletter ) if you could refrain from using emotive language which does not have any place in such a publication.

Best leave it to the CRAZY – Right Wing mouthpieces of the Conservative movement rather than from someone who is supposedly an enlightened , modern, economics, commentator.


Peter K.

Thanks for your note Peter. We called Minister Conroy a “Comrade” because he backs a policy of paternal authoritarianism in Australian public life, not because we simply disagree with him. You should call things by their right names. It makes arguments a lot more honest.

Sorry to make you sad. But a lot of we write makes people sad, apparently. And we don’t really care what “most people” think about Barnaby Joyce. By the way, how do you know what “most people” think? We were telling you what we think. That’s all.

Finally, are you really in the position to decide what’s “nicer for all?” Even if you were, we’d be inclined to do the exact opposite anyway, just on principle. Our mission here isn’t to make people feel better. It’s to make people think, even if they are offended by the ideas we have. If that makes us unenlightened, we’re happy to stay in the dark.

Dan Denning
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.


  1. Here here. Sounds like Comrade Pete is a bit of a pinko sympathiser…

  2. “” “poor old” Barnaby Joyce for a politician that most people in Australia would consider a nutcase (irrespective of their political persuasion).””

    HA! most people excepting those in his electorate obviously,, not that they matter right??

  3. Exactly right Dan. It sound like Comrade Pete believes whatever the mainstream media tell him. Maybe he ought to listen to what Barnaby actually says, rather than absorb selected media soundbites.

    Conroy is a free speech censor, who doesn’t just disagree with people, he ignores them and shouts them down. Calling him a paternal authoritarian is being far too kind. The man is nothing less than sinister.

  4. Don’t listen to Peter K. We love the humour and history in your Daily Reckoning. It is much more than a “dry” economic newsletter and we agree that Conroy is a danger to our free speech and to transparency in government. Also we are admirers of “poor old Barnaby Joyce” – he is the one politician who cuts through the crap and gets right to the heart of the issue and the good ol’ country accountant has more idea of how the economy runs than the whole Labor party put together!

  5. Keep sounding off on this, Dan.

    NO on internet (or any other) censorship ! ! NO on censorship! !

  6. why, if I had a pitchfork…

  7. wasabu – pitchforks? I got one word for you – Bunnings.

  8. Comrade wasn’t the c-word I would have used to describe Conroy.

    Unpopular Truth
    February 18, 2010
  9. We called Minister Conroy a “Comrade” because he backs a policy of paternal authoritarianism in Australian public life ….

    So considering Tony Abbott’s policy on Carbon Emissions is a totatitarian ‘big government knows best tax and spend’ solution, you’ll be referring to him as ‘Comrad Abbott’ from now on to reflect his ‘socialist approach’ to problem solving.

    Of course, you’ll also be referring to Mr Kevin Rudd as a Capitalist because he is planning a market based solution.

    Just let us know for clarity Dan, which do you prefer.

  10. Try starting a “Gold Standard and No Central Banks Party” and you’ll quickly find out how authoritarian both sides of politics are.

  11. Blogs like DR break the monotony of the matrix. Censorship would be quite a loss.

  12. Lachlan – case in point: start a Tea Party movement (anti government/big business collusion against the middle and lower classes) and watch as the thing gets hijacked and made to look like some kind of freaky white supremacist extremism tempered by a heavy dose of neutered conservatism:

    “But the media now have their definition of what it means to be Tea Party. This convention gave them simplistic nativism, birtherism, media bashing, homophobia, and a heavy does of neoconservative foreign policy.”

    As soon as they sniff resentment and desire for change the big-banks and big-business get their shills in to make sure nothing genuine gets up.

  13. Thats a good example Dan, but sad though. For now we are materially well off in this age but honesty has been pushed aside. I like the bush. The trees and grasses, the animals, feral and native..sometimes its pleasant and sometimes its very harsh but everything is just what it seems.

  14. Conroy’s’ party invented an “infrastructure crisis” before it was elected, and chose telecommunications as a prop. You need no further explanation for Conroy’s folly.
    Big-city customers can already get their high-speed Internet, albeit at a price. (The metropolises contain 80% of national population)
    Not that I have anything against broadband; rather, the question is: would I pay a premium for ‘broadband’ Internet, and if not, do I justify a taxpayer subsidy?
    The pity is that the paradigm shift to government intervention undermines past progress towards increasing competition as a means of allocating resources. If this prevails, it is liable to lead us backwards to the days of government monopoly in industries (anti-privatisation). That, surely, is a logical conclusion when the government is prepared to re-write the ground rules and provide most of the capital investment.

  15. I can assure you that the commercial TV station Commisairs consider Conroy a very good commrade indeed and he will be expect a nice little back scratching at the upcoming election.
    February 21, 2010
  16. chrisyorke,

    Demonstrates he knows nothing of the technology to which he is making market calls. As a man discussing a ‘market’ he will appreciate the mechanics of ‘supply and demand’. Unfortunately the capacity of the existing infrastructure cannot support the ‘demand’ which is why telecommunications services in Australia has consistently lagged the rest of the World by both price and service.

    In Australia there is ADSL and ADSL2. Already there are two markets. Those who have ADSL2 and get more for less than those to whom the infrastructure can only provide ADSL. Checkout TPG rates for ADSL and ADSL2, along with the download limits applicable to see this point.

    Outside of the CBD’s of the major cities in Australia ADSL is the norm for the vast majority. You need to be within a set distance to a local hub to get ADSL2. Everyone else and his dog makes do with ADSL. I pay $70 per month for about 35GB of access. On ADSL2 with TPG my provider, I could get for $50 twice the access at about 10 times the speed. I am not rural. I live in a popular suburb of Victoria’s 2nd largest city, Geelong.

    The cost (due to the geography of the nation) has been a hindrance to decent infrastructure. Telstra has had such an operating model as to positively reject the level of investment required in order to provide a better service. Why would it want to when its’ margins on existing business are so good. All excepting Wireless (which has a limited spectrum and major demand bottlenecks) has to go through a Telstra hub, and Telstra gets a very nice slice of the action.

    Perhaps there is the case for better services but not the business micro justification?
    Perhaps by investing a large amount, say $43 Billion, the government can institute the building of the infrastructure business will not.
    Perhaps once complete, the benefit to the country will be measured in the 100’s of billions, or even more. One thing is for certain, unless you try (something business will not do on its own), then we will never know will we.


Leave a Reply

Letters will be edited for clarity, punctuation, spelling and length. Abusive or off-topic comments will not be posted. We will not post all comments.
If you would prefer to email the editor, you can do so by sending an email to