Friday, November 4, 2011

Oz Spectator honours Kerr

The latest edition of The Spectator Australia, out today (well, in Australia, anyway; New Zealand gets it next week) devotes an editorial to the late Roger Kerr, crediting him with helping to kick-start a dramatic reform agenda – “cutting income and business tax, privatising state-run industry, floating the exchange rate, slashing agricultural subsidies and protective tariffs, changing the rules of welfare, deregulating the labour market (and eroding the source of union power)” – that made Paul Keating, the champion of economic reform in Bob Hawke’s government, blush.

The editorial tribute, written by Spectator Australia editor Tom Switzer, describes the long-serving Business Roundtable head, whose funeral service yesterday packed Old St Paul's in Wellington, as a public intellectual in the best sense of the term. “His wit, civility and intellectual honesty contributed hugely to the respectability of the cause of free markets and small government in a nation with deep socialist roots.”

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