Author Archives: Peter Menadue

STEPHEN BELL. How rising inequality is stalling economies by crippling demand (The Conversation 17.07.18)

Aggregate demand is being hit by the concentration of income growth among the top earners and is now a drag on economic growth.

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PATRICK LAWRENCE. What’s going to happen when Assad wins the war in Syria? (Asian Times, 17.07.18)

Given the unexpected pace of events in recent weeks, the end of Syria’s seven-year agony appears to be very near. It is now all but certain that Bashar al-Assad’s government will win its long war against Sunni jihadists and their … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL. Australian Government silent on OPCW Report

On 7th April 2018 an incident occurred in the Syrian city of Douma, 10 km North east of the capital Damascus. It was alleged, initially by the jihadi extremists occupying the city that a nerve gas attack had been carried … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

JOHN GEHRING. Catholic evolution on L.G.B.T. rights (New York Times International Edition 07/07/18)

Pope Francis has struck a more welcoming tone, but the church still needs tangible institutionalized reform.

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RICHARD BUTLER. Trump/Putin : Finnish Rhapsody

In a most unusual Trump/Putin media conference in Helsinki it seemed that the notably absent participant was Robert Mueller.

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

TONY KEVIN. Trump-Putin Summit 16 July: an assessment

This was a most unusual summit, preceded and followed by a torrent of mostly negative Western MSM comment on the theme that ‘Putin will win this, and Western interests will lose’.

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 4 Comments

BRAD CHILCOTT. It’s not size that matters, it’s what you do with it.

Members of the Australian Parliament are rich. All of them – from the $200m Prime Minister down to the backbencher earning $203 020 a year and regardless of political affiliation – are in the top 0.5% of the richest people … Continue reading

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DAVID VAUX, PETER BROOKS, SIMON GANDEVEA. Weakened code risks Australia’s reputation for research integrity (The Conversation, 29.06.18)

In 2018, Australia still does not have appropriate measures in place to maintain research integrity. And recent changes to our code of research conduct have weakened our already inadequate position.

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PEPE ESCOBAR. China’s silky charming of Arabia (Asian Times, 11.07.18)

President Xi Jinping has promised more than $23 billion in loans and aid to Arab states, as Beijing ramps up ties with the Middle East; this includes aid for Palestine; Beijing foresees importing a whopping $8 trillion from Arab states … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Special Forces: The Downside – Impossible missions out of country and out of culture

The Australian Special Forces are again in the firing line for alleged misconduct in combat, in relation to which the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force is expected to hand down a report in the near future. The number of … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALUM. ACCC Report ignites squabbling.

Just when you might have thought you were getting a grip on the tin full of worms masquerading as the government’s energy policy,  along comes yet another authoritative report.

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GEOFF RABY. Lessons from China’s 40 years of reform – a very personal reflection

 I am delighted to have been asked to open this conference [the China Economists’  Conference] which is occurring on the 40th Anniversary of the launching of China’s reforms and open-door policies, policies that have changed China and the world.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

JOHN QUIGGIN. Australia’s failed energy policy needs more than just a Band-Aid (the Guardian 13.07.18)

The ACCC report is a mishmash of cognitive dissonance and half-baked suggestions for fixing the unfixable.

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate | Leave a comment

KARL WILSON with Steve FitzGerald – Opening-up: The view from down under (China Daily 12/07/18)

Stephen FitzGerald (right) and former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam meet Chairman Mao Zedong on Nov 2, 1973, in Beijing. Australia’s first ambassador to the People’s Republic of China reflects on decades of transformation Editor’s note: This year marks the … Continue reading

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PETER DAY: The Endarkenment

“God is dead, God is Dead!” A new Enlightenment has dawned. Bow to its three pillars: Reason, Science, Humanism.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Three Stooges ride again.

Our older readers – the really old ones – may remember The Three Stooges, Larry, Curly and Moe.

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

KATHRYN KELLY. Armed Neutrality for Australia?

The talks between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un give some reason for a glimmer of hope for the Korean Peninsula, but given Donald Trump’s predilection for middle of the night tweets, that could come unstuck at any moment.  The international … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 3 Comments

KIM WINGEREI. Democracy is not just about elections!

A flood (by my modest standards) of social media comments to my recent post – We have to talk (about) Turkey – was a poignant reminder that so many believe that democracy is mainly about free elections. The way many … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

HANKYOREH EDITORIAL. President Moon’s vision for peace and prosperity after denuclearization

In a “Singapore Lecture” during the final day of his state visit to Singapore on July 13, President Moon Jae-in outlined his vision for an inter-Korean economic community and peace on the Korean Peninsula. It could be seen as his … Continue reading

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JOHN HANNON. Where and who are the prophetic voices today? (a homily)

The old adage is that familiarity breeds contempt;  alternatively, absence makes the heart grow fonder! But the the truest of all relating to today’s Gospel is that a prophet is not accepted in his own country, perhaps less so because … Continue reading

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RAE WALKER. Is the Banking Royal Commission Australia’s Canary?

Falling levels of trust in Australian institutions is frequently raised in the media and other public discussions as a serious concern.  Reports from the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry is providing an astonishing … Continue reading

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PAUL MALONE. Justification for Syrian airstrikes evaporates.

The justification for the US, British and French airstrikes on Syria on April 14 has evaporated with the new finding by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that “no organophosophorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Get-tough rhetoric has denied us any sway with Beijing (AFR, 10/07/18)

As foreign minister I recall an irritating flare-up in our relations with one of the Pacific states. There had been a “misunderstanding” at Sydney airport that upset the island state’s prime minister. The anger ran strong and the state contemplated a big anti-Australian … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The litany of anti social and failed privatisations. ( Edited repost from 21 July 2017)

Coalition politicians, bankers, 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.   

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

‘Being Muslim’ lifestyle sweeps Indonesia (La Croix International, 07/07/18)

Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp is claiming a first in Indonesia — halal refrigerators — after the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) granted the manufacturer halal status. It’s the latest indication that Islam is being commoditized in the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

PETER DRYSALE AND SHIRO ARMONSTRONG. Getting Australia’s geopolitical and economic strategies aligned (Australian Financial Review, 08/07/18)

Australia, it has been said, is faced with hard choices in strategic policy because its principal security partner is the United States and its major trading partner, China. By defining Australia’s national interest comprehensively where both China and the United … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. On the flooded Thai cave and the Hiroshima deluge

 The heroic rescue of 13 young people from the flooded Chiang Mai cave in Thailand represents everything which is wonderful about humans cooperating and helping each other, and where they are at their best. By stark contrast the cover-up by … Continue reading

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It was mid-afternoon on the Monday (9th July) and the assembled Eastern European Foreign Ministers had visited London to hear an address by Foreign Minister Boris. But where was he? Boris had a major distraction from his day job.

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL MULLINS. Treatment of the mentally ill as ‘the next civil rights issue’

Humour touching on mental health is a delicate undertaking that can either enhance or destroy the dignity of those living with mental illness.

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

TILMAN RUFF. The treaty banning nuclear weapons one year on: history made, a solid start, here to stay, and miles to go before we sleep

One year ago, on 7 July 2017 at the United Nations in New York, 122 nations took a historic step when they voted to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty filled a gaping hole in … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments