Political swamp rats must be flushed

by DAVID FLINT – I AM often tempted to make predictions, usually about elections and referendums, especially those against the grain. 

So what predictions can be made about Australia’s economic future? Having escaped the disaster which would have followed had the elites imposed their Voice, the future will still be dismal if we continue under their far-Left rule. 

If we do nothing and stay under the same debilitating rule of the elites, we will be betraying both our forefathers and future generations.

I have been fortunate to be able to discuss aspects of this on ADH TV with Leith Van Onselen, billed appropriately as “the unconventional economist”.

The question was whether the Albanese Government is making Australians poorer.


I asked Leith whether a comparison in the per capita gross domestic product of Australia and selected countries could help significantly in working out where to go. (The GDP per capita figures below were rounded from the latest World Bank Purchasing Power Parity statistics.)

We agreed that Norway, first world and rich in resources, is an ideal model for Australia.

The crucial difference is that Norway has been anything but foolish about its resources. (On that, just listen to Leith on the sheer stupidity of our east coast gas policy compared with just about every other energy-rich country.)

The fact is Australia should be as wealthy as Norway.

But with our GDP of US$62K against theirs of US$114K, we are roughly half as rich.

Be warned. If we don’t change, the comparison will worsen.

The reason is the malevolent rule of the elites – our vast political class, ALP, Greens and LINOs, certain top bureaucrats, a goodly share of the mainstream media, activist judges and, thanks to their coming out in the referendum, the BBBs, boardroom billionaire bolsheviks.

Admittedly Norway’s politicians often talk the same nonsense as ours about climate catastrophism based on that fashionable but unjustified obsession with man-made CO2, a point so well explained by nuclear expert Dr Adi Paterson on ADH TV.

But when it comes to the fundamentals, Norway’s rulers still show their good sense. Unlike Britain’s elites, they never joined the EU, and with the world’s largest wealth fund, they’ve ensured that, unlike Australia’s rank and file, all ordinary Norwegians actually share in their national wealth.


It seems the main function of Norway’s politicians is not that of Australia’s these days, pouring our hard-earned money down the drain. The best example, to borrow radio 2GB’s Googleable description, is “Casanova” Bowen.

As to countries we should not follow, there are two, Argentina and Venezuela. At Federation, Australia and Argentina were, per capita, among the world’s wealthiest. Venezuela today has the world’s largest, proven oil reserves. Yet Argentina’s per capita GDP is now less than half Australia’s. Venezuela’s is slightly more than one-quarter. Both are due to bad government.

To understand the choices, I suggest considering three scenarios.

First, a worst-case scenario where future development, especially in mining and agriculture, is frozen with even existing enterprises threatened. This would have followed had the Voice to parliament been approved by the people.

While I always thought the people too wise to approve the Voice, had I been wrong, its interpretation would have been left to the High Court.

There, a majority seem obsessed, to a remarkable degree, in signalling to the world their virtue in relation to the primacy and indeed, the exalted status of the Aboriginal people.

Not only would almost every new development, especially in mining and farming, have been tied up in endless litigation. Eventually, investors, foreign and domestic, would have abandoned Australia as a basket case.

Litigation would have extended to existing activities, again, especially in mining and farming. Australia, almost totally dependent on these industries, would have been seriously damaged. Our incomes would have fallen both drastically and suddenly.


No one, including our great and powerful friends, could or would have helped us. They would have just pitied us, amazed by our folly.

The result would not so much have followed Argentina’s fate. It would have been worse, approaching Venezuela’s.

And it would have happened if Albanese and the other elites had had their way.

They did not for two reasons.

The first was that our founders had looked to Switzerland to introduce a superb safeguard, the double-majority referendum.

The second was the common-sense, indeed the superior wisdom, of ordinary Australians.

This leads to the second scenario.

This is winning the referendum but not finishing the job.

If we do nothing and stay under the same debilitating rule of the elites, we will be betraying both our forefathers and future generations.

This will result in our heading towards the Argentinian situation, instability and poverty with the GDP falling significantly.

The Albanese government is already hastening movement in this direction with its immigration overload and its infantile obsession with climate catastrophism.

The third scenario is to terminate the rule of the elites. Australians’ wealth will then begin to increase until we become something more like Norway. We will be doubling our wealth.

How do we achieve this?

Our tradition is not to force change by revolution. The precedent that should guide us is the Corowa Plan which secured Federation after the failure of the politicians.


The Plan was to elect a convention of unpaid delegates and to put their final well-discussed conclusions to the Australian people to decide.

Curiously, although our constitution is more than 120 years old, the politicians have never once allowed the Australian people to participate in such a democratic process. (The 1998 convention was to enable republicans to develop the best model they could devise to be submitted to the people.)

Whether they are concerned about the downward drift in income or activist judges effectively changing the constitution, Australians should insist on an unpaid convention being elected under a new Corowa Plan to review the constitution.

In my view, the ideal solution should be borrowed from Switzerland whose GDP, incidentally, is at US$84K, well over ours. Just empower the people to initiate referendums on both the laws and the constitution.

After all, rank-and-file Australians demonstrated in the Voice referendum that they’re the ones to trust.PC

David Flint

‘Casanova’ Bowen explained…

MAIN PHOTOGRAPH: Chris Bowen. (courtesy AFR)
RE-PUBLISHED: This article was originally published by The Spectator Australia on December 2, 2023. Re-used with permission.

3 thoughts on “Political swamp rats must be flushed

  1. Thank you, Prof Flint for this insight. I am on record as being similarly in favour of Citizens Initiated Referendums. Politicom might broaden its remit and start a move in that direction….less talk, more action! Anyone want to join up??

  2. The 28TH Mental Masturbation Olympics was well represented by Australians, Matt Kean and Chris Bowen. Kean was undoubtedly the biggest single reason that tens of thousands of us previously loyal Liberal voters; voted solidly elsewhere at the last erection! With luck; come the next Federal vote fest; there will be a huge defeating vote against our lamentable socialist incompetent excuse for a Government; mainly because of the loss of confidence that the lamentably awful C. Bowen inspires across the Australian Electorates.


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