Author Archives: Peter Menadue

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Proud to be dumb.

David Littleproud has a somewhat unwieldy title – Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disasters and Emergency Management. But, keeping it simple, he is happy to live up to his name: he knows very little, and is bloody  … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. How good is Gladys?

According to Scott Morrison, Gladys Liu is the most innocent of innocent bystanders — a naïve and trusting immigrant, embroiled in a brutal conspiracy engineered by the evil inquisitors of the Labor Party. The worst that can be said is … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

RYAN MANUEL. The Hong Kong Government is as Leaderless as the Protesters (Foreign Policy, 5 September 2019)

A distant Beijing and a shifting protest movement make it hard to sit down at the bargaining table. Bruce Lee didn’t like conventional fighting styles, finding them too rigid. Instead, like jazz musicians with their scales, he took his many … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 4 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Economy circles the drain.

That muffled gurgling sound you heard last week was either the remains of the government’s economic credibility swirling around the plug hole, or the strangled sounds of ScoMo and his team attempting to put a positive spin over the disastrous … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Bullshit and hypocrisy cannot hide behind a Secret stamp (Canberra Times 6 Sep 2019)

50 years of public disclosure has never harmed the national security interest Brian Toohey is a great Australian journalist who, over 50 years, has mostly rated the public’s right to know as being more important than what politicians and public … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

AMJAD AYMAN YAGHI.  The case of Mohammad El Halabi and the rabbit hole of Israeli “justice”

It’s been three years and there have been 119 court appearances. He has been separated from his family and lost his freedom. Yet even though an Australian government inquiry has found allegations against him baseless, and his charges appear ever … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Dutton on a power trip.

The Greens reckon that Peter Dutton is a sadist – that he positively enjoys inflicting cruelty on his defenceless victims. But this is probably unfair to the potato-headed potentate. Dutton is certainly heartless, but his cruelty, while undoubtedly real, is … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

GEOFF RABY. The end of Hong Kong as we know it (AFR 6 Sep 2019)

Tragically, the turmoil in Hong Kong can only end badly.  No good outcomes are available to the participants.  Whatever happens, Hong Kong will never be the same again.  2046, the last year of the 50-year transition, will begin once the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. The man who thought he owned a Prime Minister

‘This is the gravest risk to the nation’s security there has ever been.’Sir Arthur Tange, 6 November 19751.   Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, the son of a former solicitor-general, was initially attracted to the notion that Arthur Tange was a dedicated … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

FRANCISCO TORO.  Japan is a Trumpian paradise of low immigration rates. It’s also a dying country. (Washington Post, 29 August 2019)

KITAKYUSHU, Japan — For a sense of what the United States might look like in a reality where the hard right’s dreams of drastically reduced immigration come true, you could come to Japan and ask my father-in-law about the house … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Labor’s turn with the brown paper bag.  Integrity bodies should have power to check corruption inside political parties.

NSW Labor’s little embarrassment in front of its Independent Commission Against Corruption has a bad look, temporarily takes attention away from problems festering the Berejiklian government and had led to the fall of yet another NSW Labor General Secretary in … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Liberals make a mess out of politics.

In the good old days, when officers were gentlemen and sometimes vice versa, most barracks observed an iron rule: no mention of politics, religion or women in the mess.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

QUENTIN DEMPSTER. New nuclear arms race brings higher risk of global catastrophe

The world is at its highest risk of a global catastrophe in decades, thanks to an unpredictable resumption in the nuclear arms race. Veteran defence and security analyst Brian Toohey has warned that talk of war between the West, and … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 2 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY Chained to the chariot wheels of the Pentagon

The British monarchy has no say in Australian government decisions. It’s a different story with the head of the American Republic. A US president presides over a military-industrial-intelligence complex with a huge say in whether Australian governments go to war, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison falls into a dunny and smells like a rose.

How lucky is ScoMo? Once again our miraculous marketer has fallen into the dunny and emerged, if not covered in diamonds, at least with  a passable array of bling.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

TONY COADY. What price intimidation?

The recent serious injury to Australia’s outstanding batsman Steve Smith caused by a ferocious bumper from speedster Jofra Archer in the Second Ashes Test at Lords should have raised concerns about the status of cricket’s law against intimidation. I discuss … Continue reading

Posted in Sport | 3 Comments

QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Press Freedom – thank god for Annika Smethurst’s underwear drawer

Thank god for Annika Smethurst’s underwear drawer…. that’s all I can say. Never in the history of Australia’s battered democracy has the secret state and its understandably paranoid intelligence agencies been exposed by the undergarments of a Murdoch reptile.

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

BRIAN TOOHEY. Is Pine Gap for Arms Control or the US fighting machine?

Labor governments surrendered Australian sovereignty in other ways by agreeing in 2008 to renew the lease on North West Cape without any conditions on how US nuclear attack submarines could use the base[i].  This could include undermining China’s ability to … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

ABUL RIZVI: Dysfunction in Home Affairs officially confirmed

The dysfunction in the Home Affairs Department that has been long reported on (see here, here, and here) has now been officially confirmed in a survey conducted by the Australian Public Service Commission.

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM.  Morrison like a salesman talking through a screen door.

Scott Morrison’s gee-up to the public service last week was, as usual, that of a dodgy marketeer trying to assure a sceptical customer that he and only he could be trusted to deliver the goods.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

JACK WATERFORD.  High Court should leave Pell alone. There’s no unresolved point of law, and no mere judicial disagreement on facts invites special leave

George Pell will be doing very well if he succeeds in getting the High Court to grant him leave to appeal after the Victorian Court of Appeal threw out his appeal against his  conviction for child sex offences.  Pell was … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 7 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM.  A genuinely good man.

Timothy Andrew Fischer was a rare political beast, a genuinely  good man.He had his blind spots – the worst of them was refusing to acknowledge the reality of Indigenous Land Rights following the High Court decisions on Mabo and Wik.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. Infrastructure Australia’s ‘believe it or not’ audit

Last week saw media coverage of Infrastructure Australia’s 2019 infrastructure audit.  The hype was short lived.  The audit was another analytically deficient step towards a transport policy abyss into which the infrastructure club wants to throw vast amounts of your … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 2 Comments

JAMES O’NEILL. Latest Australian Foreign Policy Venture in the Middle East a Symptom of a Much Wider Problem

The announcement by the Prime Minister that Australia would be sending a military force to the Middle East is the latest in a series of foreign policy blunders that fails to recognise Australia’s foreign policy interests.

Posted in International Affairs | 6 Comments

JOHN McCARTHY. Forging a national consensus on Australia’s external security (The Strategist, 19 Aug 2019)

With the federal election out of the way, and some welcome stability in the leadership of the major political parties in prospect, Australia now faces the challenge of forging a national consensus on an external security policy that reflects our … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 3 Comments

MICHAEL PASCOE. All the way with Trump’s USA … this time into the Strait of Hormuz (New Daily, 21 August 2019)

Here we go again – joining an American military adventure created by Donald Trump, an adventure that has no end in sight.Nobody with a sense of history and Liberal Party politics can be surprised that Prime Minister Scott Morrison is … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 3 Comments

RALPH REGENVANU. Vanuatu will host the next Pacific Islands Forum. We want to know if Australia really wants a seat at the table (The Guardian, 20 August 2019)   

Last week at the close of the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu I described the leaders’ discussions as frank and fierce. It is now well-known that the leaders debated the text of the Kainaki II Declaration for Urgent Climate Change … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALUM. Scott Morrison voted off the Pacific islands

The Great White Father has arrived the far flung atolls of the Pacific. And, like the missionaries before him Scott Morrison is delivering the bringing of the light — a gospel of hope and salvation. Well, up to a point. … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Environment and climate, International Affairs | 1 Comment

JACK WATERFORD. Can Knut Morrison hold back the tides?

We’ve lost influence over China and the US, and over Hong Kong and Kashmir and the world may be slipping into recession. It is beginning to look as if we are drifting, more or less without a pilot, into the … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY.  Our China Threat is based on a fundamental error (Australian Financial Review, 19 August 2019)

Andrew Hastie’s intervention on the China Threat helpfully highlights the extent to which Australia’s intelligence, security and defence establishment (ISDE) is running Australia’s China foreign policy.   In stark language he has laid out many of the assumptions that underly the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 6 Comments