Author Archives: Peter Menadue

BRUCE THOM.  Federal election and coasts

I am not sure how many Australians appreciated promises made about coastal issues during the recent federal election. Perhaps very few. This despite the fact that so much of our national well-being and livelihoods are dependent on healthy coasts and … Continue reading

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MICHELLE PINI: AFP raids journalists: We need to talk about our Government

There is no doubt the AFP raids are an affront to our democracy. One in which the hand of a secretive and ruthless Government can be felt, if not seen or heard.

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MICHAEL JOHNSTON. Taming the beast – a challenging new initiative.

Corporations’ unbridled pursuit of self interest (aka ‘shareholder interest’) has plunged the planet into an existential crisis. It is no longer a radical proposition to suggest that the community should expect its corporations to pursue stakeholder interest on an equal … Continue reading

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ALI KAZAK.  Another side of Bob Hawke

Bob Hawke was long known as a great friend of Israel, but in his years after retiring from Parliament, I came to know him as person increasingly concerned about Palestinian rights and getting a fair peace deal for Palestinians and Israelis.

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

BEN GRUBB.  The CIA’s investment fund is stalking Australian tech startups and has opened a local office (Sydney Morning Herald, 11 June 2019)

A technology investment fund bankrolled by America’s foreign spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is stalking Australian companies for future investment opportunities.

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PAUL MASON. Donald Trump’s embrace is a death grip for the Conservative Party (New Statesman, 5 June 2019)

Mainstream conservatism has lost its ideological defences against the far right.  All over the world, mainstream conservatism has reached the moment of its psychological surrender to the authoritarian right. In the US, the Republican Party is using control of state … Continue reading

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ERNST WILLHEIM. Cover up of Illegal government activities continue with the AFP raids. They follow the Witness K and Bernard Collaery travesty.

This is a talk (on 27 February 2019 at Manning ClarkHouse, ANU )about some shameful events in Australia’s recent history.And I very much fear the shameful saga is about to continue.It is about Australian commercial espionage,  bugging of the cabinet … Continue reading

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MURRAY SAYLE. On Tiananmen Square – June 1989

On May 13, with Gorbachev’s visit imminent, the students began a hunger strike in seven-day relays. How did the regime react? The People’s Liberation Army sent one thousand quilts; the Chinese Red Cross brought water, salt, and sugar for the … Continue reading

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PETER MANNING. Good journalists failed badly

For the past fortnight I’ve read, listened and watched every in-depth explanation of how and why Bill Shorten got the election wrong. The wait was deliberate. I wanted to ease my way out of the shock of how Labor lost … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI: Chaos in our Visa System Continues

New Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, Kristina Keneally and Shadow Immigration Minister have signalled they intend to hold the Government to account for the chaos in our visa system. This article updates some of the data on that chaos which … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

IAN DUNLOP.  Parliament must treat Climate Change as an Emergency

A year ago, discussion of climate change as an existential threat, and the corresponding need for emergency action, was anathema to those leading debate on climate policy in the political, corporate and NGO incumbencies globally. Incremental change remained the order … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 4 Comments

JOSEPH STIGLITZ. After Neoliberalism (Project Syndicate, 30 May 2019)

For the past 40 years, the United States and other advanced economies have been pursuing a free-market agenda of low taxes, deregulation, and cuts to social programs. There can no longer be any doubt that this approach has failed spectacularly; … Continue reading

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ANDREW JAKUBOWICZ and CHRISTINA HO. Was there an ‘ethnic vote’ in the 2019 election and did it make a difference? (The Conversation, 4 June 2019)

Many factors appear to have contributed to the unexpected victory of the Coalition in the May 18 election. Two factors were predictable and had a devastating impact on the ALP vote where they were activated – ethno-religious prejudices around sexuality … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Overburdened with lightweights.

It’s an old line, but a good one and unfortunately usually a true one: the front benches of parliament are top heavy with lightweights.

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MAX HAYTON. New Zealand’s Wellbeing Budget.

The New Zealand Labour Government’s first Wellbeing Budget is intentionally unconventional.  It is the start of a process which the government of Jacinda Ardern hopes will continue to reposition New Zealand’s economy and society after decades of centre-right economics. 

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Government collective IQ shrinks further.

There was little to enthuse about Scott Morrison’s second ministry.  The first one wasn’t too flash either, but with the exodus of Christopher Pyne,  Kelly O’Dwyer and Mitch Fifield,  the collective IQ has fallen still further. Bringing back Arthur Sinodinos … Continue reading

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IAN JOHNSON. China’s ‘Black Week-end’ (New York Review of Books, 27 June 2019)

The Last Secret: The Final Documents from the June Fourth Crackdown edited by Bao Pu Hong Kong: New Century Press, 362 pp., HK$158.00 When Chinese law professor Xu Zhangrun began publishing articles last year criticizing the government’s turn toward a … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

MICHAEL PASCOE. Bridging visas soar by 147 per cent under Coalition (New Daily, 31.05.19)

Other than claims that people smugglers wanted Labor to win, immigration and population issues flew under the radar during the election campaign – which may have been fortunate for the government.

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

DANNY SJURSEN. Key US Allies in the Middle East Are the Real Tyrants (Truthout, 01.06.19)

American foreign policy can be so retro, not to mention absurd. Despite being bogged down in more military interventions than it can reasonably handle, the Trump team recently picked a new fight — in Latin America. That’s right! Uncle Sam … Continue reading

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HENRY REYNOLDS.  The centre cannot hold.

In a recent article in the New York Times columnist Ross Douthat drew attention to the Australian elections and the cotemporaneous triumph of Narendra Modi in India and of Nigel Farage in Britain’s European elections. Each represented a surge in … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Government integrity test: A genuine retirement system inquiry or a political stunt? (New Daily, 30.05.19)

If Treasurer Josh Frydenberg wants a genuine “review of the retirement income system”, the little matter of franking credit refunds will have to be back on the table – and that would be only one of the political challenges.

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ANTHONY PUN:  The Battle of Huawei escalates with new fronts opening. 

President Trump has upped the ante on the US-China trade war by opening several new fronts in the Battle of Huawei.  These fronts are designed to kill Huawei off by banning Tech companies in supplying essential chip hardware. This has … Continue reading

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SANDI KEANE. The bank cat is out of the bag.

The cat is out of the bag. Bank shares have shot up since the surprise election result as new investors pile onto the great franking credits bandwagon.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

ROBERT FISK. The Evidence we were never meant to see about the Douma Gas Attack. (Counterpunch, 27 May 2019)

We like to take the Big Boys on trust. No longer do we believe in our meretricious little leaders with their easy lies and twitters: the Trumps and Mays and now all the nationalists of Europe. We certainly don’t put … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Albo has authenticity ScoMo can only fake.

It didn’t take long for the hubris to kick in. Before the dust was settled, an exultant Liberal was reported ass gloating: “We just campaigned on a strong economy – we’ve got a mandate to do anything!” Well, anything – … Continue reading

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DENNIS ARGALL: Australian strategic posture from here forward

There is no sign of political enthusiasm to grasp the need for coherent national strategy, but basic principles need to be put in place and three particulars need urgent attention.

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Abbott waits for next ride on gravy train.

With his political death, Tony Abbott achieved something he had never managed or even attempted in his political life: bipartisanship.

Posted in Politics | 14 Comments

LIONEL ORCHARD. Centre Left Strategy in the face of Election 2019

The debate about the reasons for the result of election 2019 covers many issues including the coherence or otherwise of the Labor strategy. For social democrats, a key question is where to now. Third way thinking about wealth generation before … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE. Business as Usual in the World.

Australia’s vote in the UN on the Diego Garcia issue suggests there will be no change in our Government’s approach to foreign policy.

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SCOTT BURCHILL: Class and the onus of proof after the 2019 election

If he had been voted in as prime minister on 18 May 2019, Bill Shorten proposed to pay for increased government spending with a crackdown on franking credits, future limitations on negatively geared property assets (that were grandfathered) and new … Continue reading

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