When I heard the result of Kevin Rudd’s official inquiry into food prices, I was not surprised. Any idiot can tell that prices are going through the roof and that nothing is going to be done about them. But it takes an especially duplicitous candidate for the Prime Ministership to pretend that an inquiry is going to lower prices. To be honest, Rudd never said he would lower grocery prices, but he certainly gave the impression that he would. And that’s what got him elected.
Let’s face it, how can any politician guarantee that prices will fall under his watch unless he becomes a dictator and nationalises the food industry? So we are destined to suffer from rising food prices and we cannot turn to the government for help.
And as for that ACCC, our consumer and competition watchdog, the best that it can do is to suggest that the large supermarket duopoly precludes competition. And for that bit of wisdom they get paid? Can the ACCC do anything about the problem? Of course not.
So here’s the scenario for the near future. Prices will continue to rise. We will continue to pay more and more while Rudd and the other bureaucrats will hold inquiries. It’s the old chant about “Something must be done about rising food costs. An inquiry is something. So let’s do it.”
Perhaps Rudd should hold an inquiry into the efficacy of inquiries. Sounds ridiculous? Not to our Prime Minister. When things turn sour, he will find any excuse to hold one. After all, he likes to portray himself as a very assiduous man and what can be more assiduous than holding thousands of inquiries and producing reams of statistics without solving one ruddy problem?