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Author Archives: Peter Menadue
Australia’s China threat obsessions are not new. Remember the Vietnam War? Obsessions then were far worse: ‘It (the Vietnam War) must be seen as part of a thrust by Communist China between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.’ (Robert Menzies, April … Continue reading
Get used to it, because Russian influence is coming to a region near you. For many in the West, Russia’s return to the world stage over the past few years has come as a surprise, and not an especially pleasant … Continue reading
JACK SHAMASH. The Labour Party’s antisemitism problem might lie in a simple clash of identities (The Independent UK, 03 November 2019)
After a show of hands in my north London synagogue, I started to wonder if this rolling row had its roots in how both groups define themselves It’s not easy to make sense of the current furore about antisemitism and … Continue reading
Commenting on the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that killed 60 people and injured more than 400, the US National Rifle Association said ‘This sort of response isn’t helpful. Families are mourning. Offer a prayer and temper your desire of politics…’ … Continue reading
Dr Robert Bowker’s new monograph, Australia, Menzies and Suez: Australian Policy-making on the Middle East Before, During and After the Suez Crisis (Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, 2019), leaves me in awe of his stamina and capacity to absorb … Continue reading
The Israeli political system is in a weird stalemate. Two general elections in under six months have so far failed to produce a governing coalition. The sticking point is entirely personal—the fate of Bejamin Netanyahu as he faces multiple criminal … Continue reading
The Government’s new submarine project continues to be subjected to serious criticism. I have written on the ill-conceived SEA 1000 project since before the decision was made to award the contract to the French company NAVAL Group Australia (formerly DCNS) … Continue reading
The ALP Reviewers certainly deserve recognition for facing some of the issues which led to its recent Federal election defeat. The Review Team has put on the record the factors contributing to misunderstanding and failure to capture the public imagination. … Continue reading
ASSOCIATED PRESS-Europe looking to China as global partner, shunning Donald Trump’s US ( 7 November 2019)
When France’s president wants to carry European concerns to the world stage to find solutions for climate change, trade tensions or Iran’s nuclear ambitions, he no longer calls Washington. He flies to Beijing.
The latest ad hoc response to the current drought cannot be criticised in terms of the politics of the situation we are now in. If it rains in, say, by March, or in the first six months of 2020, then … Continue reading
Labor’s post-election post-mortem demonstrates conclusively that Scott Morrison’s victory was no miracle. It also shows why so many people thought it was.
A bunch of decrepit old Australians had a particular interest in South Africa’s astonishing win at the World Cup in Yokohama last week. As a delighted and inspirational black captain, Siya Kolisi raised the Webb Ellis trophy high in victory, … Continue reading
The government’s traditional scare campaign having failed to work – because Medevac transfers have not re-started the ‘people smuggler’ boats – a very frustrated Home Affairs Minister Dutton is running a new ‘repeal Medevac’ line: he says the Medevac law … Continue reading
Our Government maintains the primacy of the economy in all its deliberations. Even when mental health gets attention through the Productivity Commission it is with a view to “improving mental health to support economic participation and enhancing productivity and economic … Continue reading
The ‘one country, two systems’ framework is coming under increasing pressure as unprecedented protests and months of unrest rock Hong Kong. Sustaining local autonomy against the background of an increasingly assertive Chinese centre has become a progressively tricky issue.
Last week, New York Times columnist Timothy Egan had a piece headlined “Why Doesn’t Mark Zuckerberg Get It?” The piece then goes on to document how Facebook has become a medium for spreading lies and nonsense all over the world, … Continue reading
ROSS GARNAUT. Australia could fall apart under climate change. But there’s a way to avoid it (The Conversation, 06 November 2019)
Four years ago in December 2015, every member of the United Nations met in Paris and agreed to hold global temperature increases to 2°C, and as close as possible to 1.5°C. The bad news is that four years on the … Continue reading
There have been a few developments since the abortive Hanoi Summit but overall little of substance has changed.
ANDREA HAMBLIN. More than 11,000 scientists endorse a global ‘climate emergency’ declaration (New Daily, 06 November 2019)
The Australian parliament voted against it. But now 11,000 people who might know one or two more facts than a bubble of politicians have confirmed it is, indeed, happening: the whole world is in the midst of a climate emergency.
ALEX WODAK. Draft recommendations supporting drug decriminalisation released by the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into Ice
The Commissioner of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into Ice, Dan Howard QC, will now consider what amounts to a draft report by Council Assisting, Sally Dowling SC. He will submit his officIal report in January, to be then … Continue reading
ARTHUR CHESTERFIELD-EVANS. Government Inaction may be a significant cause of Australia’s World-Leading Cancer Rates
Australia has the highest rate for cancer according to the World Cancer Research Fund. At 468 /100,000 we are 7% ahead of NZ (who have 438), 33% ahead of the US (352), 40% ahead of Canada (334), 47% ahead of … Continue reading
Crown Resorts Limited has been under siege recently. Multiple inquiries are currently underway across multiple jurisdictions. Allegations include breaches of money laundering regulations, use of the casino by criminal figures, including an arms dealer the subject of UN sanctions, and … Continue reading
Christopher Findlay. Can cooperation prevent the descent of a digital Iron Curtain? (East Asia Forum, 27 October 2019)
Fifth-generation mobile network technology (5G) offers higher speeds and greater capacity. This is critical for cutting-edge technologies such as autonomous vehicles and applications of virtual reality. The development of 5G is also expected to drive innovation towards many things not … Continue reading
The Australia-China relationship is at its lowest point since diplomatic relations began 46 years ago. This is something the Australian Government doesn’t wish to discuss. Its diplomats are paid to put a positive spin on things. Elements of the conservative … Continue reading
Compare the ABC’s and SBS’s coverage of the pro-democracy marches in Hong Kong and the “Marches of Return” in Gaza.
In a speech at the Migration and Settlement awards (23 October 2019), Prime Minister Scott Morrison crowed about the number of regional migration visas issued in the first quarter of 2019-20. Now Immigration Minister Coleman has announced the target will … Continue reading
Last week’s general elections in Canada ended in a minority government and the sense of an east-west divide to the nation. Canadians wanted to teach Trudeau a lesson but they also wanted him back.
It is said that little is certain in life except death and taxes. In contemporary Australian public policy debate we can add another inevitability: that during terrible droughts governments will spend large amounts of taxpayer resources to address farmers’ legitimate … Continue reading
At Senate Estimates this week, Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo denied the record number of (largely non-genuine) asylum applications under his watch is a crisis. This is like the black knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail insisting losing his arms … Continue reading
At last Scott Morrison’s torpid government realises that it is in danger of being mugged by reality.