Author Archives: Carol Summerhayes

ANTHONY PUN. The arrest of Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng in Canada.

The arrest of Meng Wanzhou (Sabrina), the CFO of Huawei, has sent shock waves in China.  It would appear that the US-China Trade Cold War has escalated to new level of conflict which involves the arresting of personnel.  Canada is … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

GREG LOCKHART. On the back of the great crime against humanity in Iraq.

It was ‘a bloody mess’. So said one Iraq veteran heavily involved on the logistics side of things and quoted in Dr Albert Palazzo’s recently declassified studies The Australian Army and the War in Iraq 2002-2010 (572 pages, 2011) and … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 4 Comments

ANTHONY PUN. A winter of China panic followed by a spring thawing of Australia-China relations – a view from the Chinese Australian community.

A chronological sequence of the post-winter China panic with the spring thawing of Australia-China relations is presented.  Media reports showed a definite attempt to improve Australia-China relations with commitments by PM Morrison, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and former PM Howard.  … Continue reading

Posted in Asia | 2 Comments

BEVAN RAMSDEN. Caught in the middle of US-China contention, Australia sides with the US in their efforts to contain and keep China out of the Western Pacific.

Australia is currently facing a major change in strategic circumstances and the argument for pursuing a truly independent foreign policy, for the economic benefit and security of the Australian people, has never been so great. 

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DAVID STEPHENS. If the Australian War Memorial holds “the soul of the nation” why is the Memorial Council so full of brass?

The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, often tells us that in the Memorial can be found ‘the soul of the nation’.   The Prime Minister said the same thing, just the other day.  Accepting for the … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 1 Comment

JOHN KERIN. Australian soils.

We live in the driest occupied continent. Most of our soils are old and fragile. Rain is variable in our most arable areas and our precipitation to evaporation ratio is low. Dust storms and soil exposure caused by unprecedented, catastrophic … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

WANNING SUN AND HAIQING YU. Mandarin-speaking voters in Victoria: WeChat, new influencers and some lessons for politicians.

The state election in Victoria saw a dramatic swing to Labor in areas with a high concentration of Chinese-speaking migrants.  Mount Waverley saw a 6.4% swing to Labor and Box Hill 7.7%.  As participant observers in WeChat discussions, we offer … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | Leave a comment

GEOFF DAVIES. The myth of the robust deregulated economy.

The economic ‘reforms’ of the 1980s are supposed to have set Australia up for an unprecedented run of prosperity: 27 years, and counting, without a recession. The economy’s robustness is supposed to have saved us from the Global Financial Crisis. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

ROBERT KUTTNER. The crash that failed.

Review of “Crashed: How a decade of financial crises changed the world” by Adam Tooze, Viking. The historian G.M. Trevelyan said that the democratic revolutions of 1848, all of which were quickly crushed, represented “a turning point at which modern … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Reviews, Economy | 1 Comment

JIM KABLE. Oz not even a footnote to US victory in the Pacific.

One is constantly reading or listening to the loud declarations of eternal friendship – blood-brotherhood in so many words – of our Australian federal politicians and their US counterparts, including military leaders, generals and so forth. But what is the truth … Continue reading

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JOHN TONS. Testing times for South Australian schools.

Coming soon to your local school is news about South Australia’s ranking on the McKinsey Universal Scale.  Most likely you will have never heard about the McKinsey Universal Scale, or McKinsey for that matter.  McKinsey is yet another international company … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. America’s permanent war complex: a comment on Porter’s argument.

A recent article by US commentator Gareth Porter raises many issues that should be of concern to Australians.  That they will in all probability be ignored points to some wider changes needed in our society.

Posted in Defence/Security | 1 Comment

DON EDGAR. Looking for the cuckoo in the mental health nest.

As a researcher, I have always been suspicious of statistics touted as incontrovertible truths; and of propagandists for a cause who claim to be the holders of effective remedies for complex social problems.  The current ‘truths’ being touted (and winning … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

JENNY HOCKING. Royal distortions of history: why the Queen’s secret “Palace letters” about Gough Whitlam’s dismissal should be released.

The long-running ‘Palace letters’ case over the Queen’s secret correspondence regarding the 1975 dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam heads back to court on Wednesday 28 November, with an appeal hearing before the full bench of the Federal Court in … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

TED TRAINER. The case for de-growth will continue to be ignored.

A de-growth movement has emerged, mainly in Europe, in response to the fact that global levels of production and consumption are now grossly unsustainable. A vast literature documenting this has accumulated over almost fifty years.  But the official world of … Continue reading

Posted in economics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL McKINLEY. The ascendancy of the age of Thorby (Part 1 – The state’s justification for requiring passive citizens)

Contrary to popular belief, modern democracy does not welcome an active, engaged citizenry especially between election campaigns because its interventions would hinder the operations of the state. The preferred condition is one of citizen passivity in which the authorities go … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 3 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS. The Holy City.

The Jerusalem embassy is Scott Morrison’s first serious mistake as Prime Minister, but Australians think Tel Aviv is a subsidiary of Telstra so he may get away with it.  It is the bread and butter domestic issues that win and … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The age of Thorby (Part 2 – The addictive denial of transparency and the protection of malfeasance)

Where matters defined under the rubric of national security are concerned, the intelligence agencies of the state demand nothing less than the indulgence to act with unwarranted secrecy – secrecy beyond that which is absolutely essential.  Over the last 80 … Continue reading

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PETER RODGERS. Morrison and Jerusalem – what a way to run a foreign policy!

Scott Morrison’s revelation last October that he was thinking about relocating Australia’s Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem should go down as one of 2018’s crassest comments. For the PM was not “thinking” at all. Casting the possible relocation as shock … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 6 Comments

TREVOR COBBOLD. Australia’s education system is nearly the most unequal in the developed world.

Australia prides itself on its egalitarian ethos, but it is a myth in education. Not only do we have one of the most segregated school systems in the OECD and the world, but a report just published by the United … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 1 Comment

GARRY EVERETT. A tale of two processes.

Last year I participated in a community consultation about increasing the water supply in south east Queensland. It was a very satisfying experience because of the process and skills of the consultants.  This year I was invited to participate in … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

JIEH-YUNG LO. Ross Cameron sacking shows we won’t tolerate racism any further.

In typical fashion, Andrew Bolt through his blog at the Herald Sun mounted a defence of Ross Cameron’s sacking from Sky News Australia. Instead of recognising its racist connotations directed towards Chinese people (and people of Chinese origin for that … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Media | 2 Comments

PETER ARKELL. Choosing our head of state does not need to be difficult.

The Australian Republic appears to be coming back into the community’s discussion. The stumbling block for previous models seems to have been how the head of state will be chosen and even concern that we do not offend the Queen. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

TREVOR COBBOLD. Australia has one of the most socially segregated schools systems in the world.

A new OECD report shows that Australia has one of the most segregated school systems in the OECD and in the world. It also shows that Australia had the equal largest increase in social segregation in the OECD and the … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 2 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. What is it to be with China – cooperation or conflict? A response to Peter Jennings of ASPI.

In a prominent article in The Weekend Australian’s ‘Inquirer’ section on 3/4 November, headed “Canberra alone must control our China ties”, the director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Peter Jennings, castigates the Victorian government, a large delegation of leading … Continue reading

Posted in Asia | 3 Comments

FRANCESCA BEDDIE. The common-sense test for assessing research applications.

In 2014, the last year for which complete data is available on the Australian Research Council’s website, 20.7 per cent of applications for research grants were successful; 1,417 grants were made, at a cost of $1,018,017,312. The Australian taxpayer deserves … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

PETER SAINSBURY. Health professionals condemn Australian Government’s contemptuous response to IPCC 1.5oC report .

In a letter to The Lancet twenty-two health professionals have condemned the Australian government’s contemptuous responses to the report ‘Global Warming of 1.5oC’ prepared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The letter includes a call for action covering … Continue reading

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EVAN JONES. Systemically corrupt capitalism.

Capitalism has been analysed to death in academia and elsewhere. Thus we know that capitalism is structurally conducive to exploitation, to the production and reproduction of class-based inequality, to the degradation of nature, and so on. Such analysis is of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

DOUGLAS NEWTON. What are the real lessons of the First World War?

The Centenary of the Armistice of 1918 is almost upon us. There will be sincere and solemn events. But prepare also for a hurricane of media puffery, a cascade of clichés, narrow nationalism, the familiar medley of cheers and tears … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 14 Comments

ABUL RIZVI. How the 2017-18 migration program was delivered.

The report on the 2017-18 migration program has now been publicly released, more than two and a half months after an exclusive to The Australian newspaper and a short time after the Home Affairs department appeared before Senate estimates. As … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 4 Comments