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- BOB BIRRELL and BOB KINNAIRD. Migration policy; All about numbers 24 March 2017
- JAMES O’NEILL. A tale of two cities: Aleppo and Mosul. 24 March 2017
- PETER WHITEFORD. ‘Them’ and ‘us’: the enduring power of welfare myths. 24 March 2017
- RICHARD BUTLER. The many risks we run – Trump and the US. (Part 2 of 2) 24 March 2017
- LAURIE PATTON and ROBIN ECKERMANN. Time for rational, informed debate about the NBN 24 March 2017
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Category Archives: Current affairs
The permanent skilled migration program should be cut by nearly half, from 128,000 (primary and secondary applicants) to around 70,000. This includes migrants granted visas under the points test and those sponsored by employers.
The double standards of the western media are clearly demonstrated in the different treatment accorded the liberation of Aleppo by Syrian and Russian forces and the ongoing battle for the liberation of Mosul by ‘coalition’ (i.e. US) forces in northern … Continue reading
Despite the evidence that deliberate fraud is a tiny fraction of social security spending, it remains a mainstay of much reporting of welfare in the Australian media. The Daily Telegraph is a repeat offender.
The deep-seated argument taking place within the US polity, partly but not only because of the mess being presided over by President Trump, makes even more urgent the need for a thorough-going review of Australia’s foreign policy, including how we … Continue reading
We believe it’s time for the Government and the Opposition, and their respective sword carriers, to put down their weapons and strive to agree on a bipartisan NBN strategy that will deliver all Australians fast and affordable broadband – using … Continue reading
The United Nations continues to be vital in the humanitarian field, but is failing in its role of maintaining international peace and security. The continuing abuse of their veto power, by the permanent five members of the Security Council, is … Continue reading
Compared to other risks, we have little to fear from terrorism. In the last two decades only three people in Australia have died from terrorism. But there is a ‘vividness’ bias in terrorism because it stands out in our minds. … Continue reading
Power is still the Church’s stumbling block. Mind you, Jesus warned us: The gentiles lord it over their subjects – not so with you. The Church’s power to “lord it over” society has been curtailed by today’s pluralism but is … Continue reading
Treasurer Scott Morrison wants to use the May budget to ease growing community anxiety about housing affordability. Lots of ideas are being thrown about: the test for the Treasurer is to sort the good from the bad. Reports that the … Continue reading
Pauline Hanson talks a great deal about battlers and people who are left behind and are fed up with the major parties . But she invariably sides with the wealthy and powerful.
While the decline of our economic diversity, has failed the average worker, it has been a boon for the landlord class. Those who already own land and housing benefit at the expense of those who want access to housing for … Continue reading
Australia is showing signs of contracting the American disease of rising inequality, which will ultimately spill over into low growth, especially when the effect of high household indebtedness has its inevitable dampening effect. In the last quarter of 2016 GDP growth … Continue reading
Pearls & Irritations advises the sad news that Albert Mispel, who was instrumental in getting this blog started (and indeed, suggested its name) has passed away. Albert had an exciting life during which he taught school in New Guinea, was … Continue reading
After Easter, we will be posting a ten-part series on making housing more affordable for all. One of the problems in housing affordability is the political muscle of some developers in gaming rezoning and reaping substantial capital gains from property. … Continue reading
India continues to be robustly, even chaotically, democratic. But its freedom is under growing threat.
So Turnbull gave his orders: ensure that there will be enough gas held locally if there are crises. And the bloated gas bags were only too happy to concur, at least a couple of them were, which was enough to … Continue reading
We are the landlords. The energy companies are tenants. If we had a controlling stake in the business, it would be much easier to ensure the kind of chicanery that has taken place in the past few years was never … Continue reading
The concept of Australia’s Immigration Department being a minor part of a version of the United States department of homeland security is a frightening one. What will have happened to the “Welcome to Australia” banners of years past?
Ideologues ,the self interested bankers and accountants and lawyers still persist with their fixation with privatisation despite the fact that it is failing in one area after another and the electorate shows very clearly that it does not want it. … Continue reading
Yet more questions arise about projects set off by former NSW Transport Minister now Premier Ms Berejiklian. This time about light rail. As for the port privatisations and metro, real answers are yet to come. The sooner a Commonwealth inquiry … Continue reading
The elitist couch crusaders of the far right have had a busy but productive week – so many pesky lefties to sneer at,, so much political correctness to whinge about. It was almost an embarrassment of carnage, which was just … Continue reading
PETER BROOKS and JOHN WILLOUGHBY. A call for doctors to take a stand on the Adani Carmichael coal mine
The comprehensive investigation, published as The Adani Files (adanifiles.com.au), provides a litany of stories of pollution, failed clean-ups of damaged environments, and allegations of corruption and of abuse of workers.
Seen through the eyes of an engineering contractor and shipbuilder I suggest that the French have hit the jackpot. They will be falling over themselves to sign the proposed Framework Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of … Continue reading
Our armed forces have been deployed abroad opportunistically, even cynically, for decades. This must be avoided in future if they are to serve Australia’s true defence interests in future.
PHIL ROBERTSON. A new wave of atrocities is being committed against Muslims in Burma’s Rakhine state
The burned-out mosques in Sittwe, the capital of the Rakhine state in western Burma, loom as silent reminders of an atrocity, hiding behind overgrown bushes and cement walls amid the daily port city bustle.
I agree with what Francis Sullivan has said in the edited version of his speech to Catalyst for Renewal. But there is a recitation of history in the full version that cannot go unchallenged.
The Labor Party has released a summary of the proceedings of its ‘National Health Policy Summit’, held in Canberra on 3rd March. Good on the ALP for holding the summit. Trouble is, the ‘communique’, while summarising the views of the … Continue reading
For Ms Bishop to be talking in Singapore about China and democracies, the Japanese “big ship” and rallying the claimants while pleading with the US to remain staunchly committed in the region certainly is risky. We could be exposed as … Continue reading
It has been clear for some time that the normal capitalist approach of privatising everything does not work in relation to energy.