Author Archives: Louisa Gunning

HENRY REYNOLDS. The Debate About Anzus and the Defence of Taiwan.

 Last week Pearls and Irritations printed spirited contributions by Hugh White and Cavan Hogue about the future of Anzus and the American Alliance. They were both responding to an earlier paper in The Strategist, the in- house journal of the … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

PETER BROOKS. Will Labour Really Be Brave On Health Reform – Response To National Press Club Address By Catherine King.

The major challenges that beset our health system are well articulated with the obvious commitment to strengthening Medicare, making it fairer and tackling some of the major funding deficits introduced over the past decade such as the Medicare rebate freeze. … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 2 Comments

PATRICK JORY. Explaining a Thai royal’s aborted electoral debut (East Asia Forum).

On 8 February 2019, Thai Raksa Chart (a Thai political party aligned with exiled, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra) made the bombshell announcement that it was nominating King Vajiralongkorn’s elder sister, Ubolratana, as its candidate for prime minister. Late that … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MOBO GAO. The Chinese United Front Strategy: Its History and Present.

Amidst the fear of political interference of the Chinese government there is often a reference to one organ of the Chinese State, i.e., the United Front (UF). In some Australian news stories about the China, UF is sometimes dangled to … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

TIM WOODRUFF. Health Reform From Labor: Does the Policy Match the Vision?

ALP health spokesperson Catherine King addressed the National Press Club this week to expound Labor’s vision of health care changes if it wins office. Perhaps the highlight of the address was a restatement of Labor’s vision  ‘of a truly universal … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 2 Comments

TONY SMITH. Last hurrah for New South Wales Coalition Government – a festival election?

The Coalition Government in New South Wales faces the fixed four year election in late March. It has been looking desperate for the last couple of years and has come under pressure recently about drug deaths at music festivals. Its … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

KERRY GOULSTON. Healthcare Reform at last?

Will meaningful and significant reform of the Australian health care system occur at last? Will there be bipartisan political support for the initiatives proposed by Labor? 2019 could be the year that delivers.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

FRANK BRENNAN, TIM COSTELLO, ROBERT MANNE, JOHN MENADUE. Boat Turnbacks and Medical Transfers.

It’s time to stop the shrillness.  The boats have stopped.  Both sides of politics are now committed to turnbacks.  Both Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten will do whatever it takes to stop asylum seekers setting sail from Indonesia.  If asylum … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Refugees, Immigration | 18 Comments

MARIE McINERNEY. Labor would set up Aust Health Reform Commission if it wins 2019 poll (Croakey).

Labor’s announcement on Wednesday that it would establish a permanent Australian Health Reform Commission has been welcomed though all eyes will of course be on the detail and the funding commitments to emerge in the leadup to the next federal … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | Leave a comment

JOHN MENADUE. Scott Morrison did not stop the boats.

 The myth  is repeated time and time again that  Scott Morrison ,the Coalition and Operation Sovereign Borders stopped the boats. They did not. But if you tell a lie time and time again people will believe it. It is a … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 4 Comments

MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Scott John Morrison: Where the bloody hell did he come from? (Michael West)

It’s not every Prime Minister who loses a vote on his government’s own legislation. The man who ended an 80 year run not only definitely deserves a special mention in Australia’s political history but a closer look at just where the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

LINDSAY HUGHES. Saudi Arabia’s Ballistic Missile Programme: The Tip of the Iceberg.

It was recently reported that Saudi Arabia could be working towards developing a nuclear-capable ballistic missile programme. The fact that the news came as a surprise was, arguably, the biggest surprise of all. Saudi Arabia had made it clear, under Crown Prince … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | Leave a comment

ABUL RIZVI. Another Dutton mess. This time Citizenship processing.

The Auditor-General on 11 February 2019 found in its audit of citizenship application processing that these are not being processed in either a time efficient manner or a resource efficient manner. But this is a tiny portion of a wider … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE . Heath ministers may be in office but they are seldom in power

The Rudd/Gillard governments muddled through on health policy. There was very little  to show in the way of useful reform,with one exception. That was plain packaging of cigarettes.    The record is not encouraging, and will not be  better in future … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

SANDRA MORRISON, INGRID HUYGENS. Explainer: the significance of the Treaty of Waitangi (The Conversation).

The Treaty of Waitangi is New Zealand’s foundation document. On February 6, 1840, the treaty was signed by representatives of the British Crown and Māori chiefs who acted on behalf of their hapū (sub-tribes). Māori are indigenous to New Zealand, … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, International Affairs | Leave a comment

GREG BAILEY. The Liberal National Party, the Baby-boomers and the quest for victory in the May Election.

If, as seems likely from the polls, the ALP wins the next federal election it will not be through the failure of the LNP to throw up a massive scare campaign. Conservative parties ranging from the medium to the far … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MAX HAYTON. The New Zealand coalition says wellness makes economic sense.

The New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made a strong impact on the world stage with her vision of liberal progressive politics that promote wellness and kindness. Doubters and opponents say economic realities could defeat her. 

Posted in Economy, International Affairs | Leave a comment

MARTIN KETTLE. A special place in hell? Donald Tusk didn’t go far enough.

Not only were the Brexiters clueless: they didn’t give a stuff about Ireland. But this will come back to haunt the Tories

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. How and why corporate regulators have failed us. And not just bank regulators.

The surge yesterday in bank shares was no surprise. Investors  at least concluded that Kenneth Hayne ‘s slap on the wrist would not really disturb the bank’s business model. His report did not go to the heart of the abuse, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 11 Comments

HARI KUNZRU. Fool Britannia (The New York Review of Books).

From the ill-conceived Brexit referendum onward, Britain’s governing class has embarrassed itself. The Remain campaign was complacent, the Leave campaign brazenly mendacious, and as soon as the result was known, most of the loudest advocates for severing ties with the … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

MARJORIE COHN. The US Is Orchestrating a Coup in Venezuela (Truthout).

As Venezuela’s second president, Simon Bolivar, noted in the 19th century, the US government continues to “plague Latin America with misery in the name of liberty.”

Posted in International Affairs | 4 Comments

STEPHEN LONG. Hayne’s findings shouldn’t be a shock; the banking scandals were decades in the making (ABC News 4 Feb.2019).

How did it come to this? How did we arrive at a situation where banks and financial houses slugged dead people with fees?

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

ELENA COLLINSON. What A Labor Victory Might Mean For Australian Foreign Policy (Council on Foreign Relations).

A federal election is due this year in Australia. While the Liberal-National Coalition government has yet to formally announce a polling day, the stage has effectively been set for a May election. According to Australian law, May 18 is the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Conservatives like Scott Morrison set the gold standard in scare campaigns.

With the Coalition policy cupboard  bare and broken we should not be surprised about the attacks on Bill Shorten and a scare campaign in the electorate. Last week Scott Morrison told us that he is ‘cashed up and ready to … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. From catastrophic to merely awful.

Coalition in new year bounce, screamed The Australian ecstatically. Well, not all that much of a bounce – the latest Newspoll showed that the government’s position had improved from catastrophic to merely awful. 

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on MUNGO MacCALLUM. From catastrophic to merely awful.

TIM WOODRUFF. What’s wrong with Labor’s Private Healthcare Discussion Paper? (Croakey)

In 2017 I referred a patient for relatively simple orthopaedic surgery on her wrist to enable her to get back to working in a café.  She had been advised that she was a category 3 patient and should be operated … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

JOSH GORDON. Will Labor’s dividend imputation policy overwhelmingly affect the low paid? (ABC News)

For months the Morrison Government has argued Labor’s controversial plan to raise more than $5 billion a year by scrapping refundable franking credits on dividends from shares is “not fair”.

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

ISHAAN THAROOR. The lesson of Davos: – China has arrived (Washington Post 25 January 2019).

“Can we live in a world where America is still a strong power but doesn’t have the kind of primacy it had in the past?” asked Mahbubani. That’s a reality an “America First” administration is staunchly trying to resist. In … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Arrested Diplomacy (Project Syndicate).

The Japanese and Canadian governments have failed to manage effectively the reputational, economic, and geopolitical implications of the legal cases against Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn and Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. And, in a globalized world, the risks posed by such … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

IAN ROBINSON. The Myth of the Mandate.

If they win the next election, “Labor will have a mandate to push through tax changes,” claims Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen (The Age 23/01 p. 1).

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments