Category Archives: Politics

JOHN MENADUE. Miners, taxation and donations. (Repost 17/10/2013)

In my blog of June 3 “the Miners Lament”, I pointed out that the large foreign owned  mining companies in Australia may yet regret that they rejected out of hand the Resources Super Profits Tax that the Rudd Government proposed. … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM  So much for the miracle budget

Just a week after, it appears that nothing has really changed – another bad negative Newspoll, war on two fronts with the banks and the Catholics, and, of course, more brawling in the party room. There must be times when … Continue reading

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Book Launch: “Of Labour and Liberty”

Of Labour and Liberty Book Launch Event Information Join us as Bishop Vincent Long, Fourth Bishop of Parramatta launches Race Mathew‘s new book, Of Labour and Liberty at the Whitlam Institute, in partnership with Monash University Publishing. Of Labour and Liberty: Distributism in Victoria … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH.  Jockeying for the big prize in Iran

‘Trump’s rhetoric towards Iran is so harsh that to have someone on the other side who is equally harsh might provoke an unintentional confrontation’. 

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MICHAEL THORN. Countering vested interests

That corporations wield enormous power is not news. That this power is wielded to benefit the corporation and its agents is not news either. Neither is seeking to counter the power of these corporations by public interest organisations, like the … Continue reading

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JULIAN CRIBB. The war drums are beating…

Australia risks being drawn into new US wars in Asia. Having been continually at war since 2001 at America’s behest, it is time the Australian people had their say about whether we should continue to engage in belligerent actions in … Continue reading

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BRIAN TOOHEY. How to repair neo-liberalism

The policy debate needs fresh ideas to fill the gap left by the lack of popular and political support for the neo-liberal economic agenda. Paul Keating, who championed that agenda, recently said neo-liberal economics “has run into a dead end … Continue reading

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ROBERT MANNE. An urgently needed compromise

In recent weeks I have been involved in an extended argument on the Monthly’s website over the fate of the refugees on Nauru and Manus Island whose lives all participants in the discussion agree are being slowly destroyed as a … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM.  And with one bound, our hero was free

Well, perhaps not completely; it will take more than one agile budget to loose Malcolm Turnbull from his self-imposed bondage, He remains chained hand and foot to the right over climate change and same sex marriage, and he cannot remove … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. What values are we talking about?

How much longer must we endure the so-called culture wars? How much longer do we have to put up with vacuous phrases like “Australian values” in our politics? Now, it seems, the Prime Minister has taken to using this disagreeable … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Is the seat of Wentworth to become an hereditary fiefdom?

In  Malcolm Turnbull’s electorate, we have had a media blitz on behalf of his son-in-law, James Brown.  Could it mean that James Brown is readying himself to take the seat of Wentworth, perhaps before or after the next election? 

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RICHARD BUTLER. The Honest History Book (UNSW Press 2017)

This is a book of singular importance. It provides the evidence and materials for the correction of the distortion of Australia’s history resulting from Anzackery and the continuing insistence that our national character was forged in and remains defined by … Continue reading

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JAMIE LINGHAM. 457 visa changes 95% political

On April 18, the Australian government made an ‘Australia First’ announcement that abolished the current 457 visa program and replaced it with the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. And for political effect, the move eliminated any opportunity Pauline Hanson or Tony … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. The 2017 Budget – A welcome change in direction. Part 1 of 2

This Budget represents a welcome change in direction. Forget the politics, it deserves to be supported. This latest Coalition Budget finally reflects a realistic appraisal of Australia’s fiscal needs. 

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MICHAEL KEATING. The 2017 Budget – A welcome change in direction. Part 2 of 2

Budget repair was never going to be easy. That is one reason why it has taken so long with quite a few false starts. While some of the individual decisions in this Budget are debateable, overall the quality of the … Continue reading

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CHRIS BONNOR and BERNIE SHEPHERD. Gonski’s second coming will need a miracle or three

Anyone remotely committed to excellence with equity in our schools will feel the urge to break out the champagne this week. After six years a conservative prime minister is not only using the language of Gonski, he had the man … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Doing without private health insurance

Every year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reports on competition and consumer issues in private health insurance (PHI), and recent reports show increasing consumer dissatisfaction with PHI. Most complaints relate to unexpected charges when claims are made and confusion … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. A rigged gas market and market failure.

Yesterday, the government announced that it would impose an Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism on gas exports from July this year.  This will give the government authority to limit companies’ gas exports if they are emptying Australian gas reserves to … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. Malcolm’s Anzac Day Gift. Australian troops will be in the Middle East for the ‘long term’.

The Prime Minister’s statement that Australian military forces will need to remain in Afghanistan and the “Middle East” indefinitely must be clarified as must be the powers under which such decisions are legitimately made. 

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JOHN TULLOH. Trump’s first 100 days – so what?

   The media have been besides themselves in anticipation of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in the White House this weekend. It’s as if this is some magic marker by which to judge his next 1359 days in the Oval … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. The Liberal Party’s French Connection

The political future of Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services (presently on maternity leave) is uncertain, as Liberal Party members in her electorate move to disendorse her. On one level this conflict can be seen as the shenanigans … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics, Taxation | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. How much lower are we going to go?

The current Australian values and new immigration visa debates, blusteringly initiated by Malcolm Turnbull and his would-be successor Peter Dutton, represent one of the lowest points in recent Australian political history. Are these panicking populists capable of dragging the country … Continue reading

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SUE WAREHAM. The Australian War Memorial and weapons manufacturers.

The peace of the world for future generations is anathema to the interests of those who profit from warfare. As we commemorate again the “war to end all wars”, and every war since, one can only wonder what the diggers … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Turnbull’s lunge to the populist right.

And this is the big glitch in last week’s announcements – there was a lot of sound and fury, but it was hard to see just what, if anything, will really change – except, perhaps, the squalid dynamics within the … Continue reading

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PETER HUGHES. Citizenship Test Mark II – How much juice can you squeeze out of an orange?

It seems that Coalition governments have developed a habit of squeezing the citizenship “orange” for political advantage when there are some community concerns about migrants. Last week’s announcement by the Turnbull Coalition government, at a time of poor government performance … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Dog whistling about Australian values.

Housing will not be a centrepiece of the forthcoming budget, our Prime Minister assures us, while remaining vague about what, if anything, will be.  

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JOHN MENADUE. The unfairness and waste of private health insurance and the threat to Medicare.

History is repeating itself. Medicare was created by the Whitlam government because of the abject failure of private health insurance or, as it was then called voluntary health insurance.  As a result of the growth of private health insurance (PHI) … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. It’s time for Labor to think big about policy – a people’s bank!

Tony Abbott is not the only one anticipating a change of government at the next election. Voters across the board are increasingly fed up with the Coalition and there are even signs that some of its most devoted cheer leaders … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

DAVID JAMES. Deconstructing the privatisation scam

It is increasingly evident how pernicious the privatisation myth is. Two recent examples have underlined it: the failings in Australia’s privatised energy grid and the usurious pricing in airport car parks. Both examples demonstrated that it is folly to expect … Continue reading

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DUNCAN MacLAREN. UK General Election: clever cunning or miscalculated folly?

Theresa May’s snap general election decision can be seen as hypocritical in that she ruled this out consistently (and as recently as 20th March) until, the Anglican vicar’s daughter hinted, God told her while hiking in Welsh Snowdonia over Easter … Continue reading

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