Author Archives: Peter Menadue

GEOFF RABY. Australia has normalised relations with a China-led future (Australian Financial Review, 21.11.18)

The Australia-China relationship is almost back to normal.  The speed at which it has recovered has surprised.  It has taken two statesman-like speeches by the former Prime Minister and his successor, and the appointment of a new Foreign Minister as … Continue reading

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HELEN CLARK. Another decade lost to the global war on drugs (The Hill, 20.11.18)

In my experience as head of my country’s government and previously a health minister, as a former senior official at the United Nations, and more recently as a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, I’ve found debates on … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Leaderless Australian government outsources all responsibility (New Daily, 20.11.18)

It has come to this for the Australian government: With no leadership, no mettle and no political capital to spend, difficult decisions are outsourced, and responsibility for decisions that might offend is spread far and wide.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. It’s poor planning, not the size of the population, that’s the problem

As Christopher Pyne has pointed out, “We don’t need to put a handbrake on population growth, we need to manage our population growth sensibly in a country which quite frankly can take a lot more than 25 million people”. Pyne … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 1 Comment

MIKE SCRAFTON. The Geopolitics of Lombrum Naval Base

It is difficult to find a strong, rational strategic argument for Australia’s to return to Lombrum Naval Base (or HMPNGS Tarangau) on Manus Island. Of course, not all of Defence’s activities have strictly military objectives or relate directly to the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

TONY KEVIN. The diplomatic disaster that was APEC Port Moresby

There is still a lot we do not know about how and why the APEC Summit  just ended in Port Moresby was such a diplomatic disaster, from which APEC may not readily recover anytime soon.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

FINTAN O’TOOLE. How Brexit Broke Up Britain (New York Review of Books, 13.11.18)

So, at long last, it seems that the negotiations on Brexit between the United Kingdom and the European Union have produced a draft agreement. We do not yet know what it contains but it will be a compromise that falls … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE- Sacrifice is being politicised. Militarism is becoming the norm.

Remembrance is morphing into  acceptance of conflict. The culture war about remembrance being waged by conservatives and the military is winning with little opposition.  The never ending stories of Gallipoli, the Western front and Armistice go on and on. We are … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 16 Comments

HENRY REYNOLDS. Has the Cavalcade of Commemoration Finally Halted?

With Remembrance Day behind us we may finally have some relief from the relentless commemoration of conflict which began twenty years ago and climaxed with the centenary of the First World War. Historians of the future may well wonder where … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 6 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit: When is a horse not a horse? When it is a camel.

This note was prepared following a five hour emergency Cabinet meeting last night accepting the deal with the EU and a brief statement without details by the British PM, Theresa May, declaring that the draft Agreement was the best deal … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

PAUL COLLINS. ABC -Shenanigans at Ultimo’s Level Fourteen.

Monday’s Four Corners on the ABC’s management shenanigans—the Guthrie-Milne, she said-he said fiasco—and the failure of the rest of the ABC Board to own-up and answer publicly for their performance tells you everything about what’s wrong at the top of … Continue reading

Posted in Media | 7 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. What is History?

President Macron’s warning against growing nationalism and the need to ensure the preservation of values, as against unalloyed selfishness in international relations, was an important way to mark the Centenary of the end of the First World War. Trump was … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 5 Comments

PETER STANLEY. PM Hughes said ‘I bid you go fight for White Australia in France’- WW1 as the war for White Australia

Peter Stanley reviews Peter Cochrane’s Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18 Australians’ racial anxiety towards Asia in general and  Japan in particular in the decade before 1914 made Australians’ political leaders prepared to underwrite an imperial war … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 6 Comments

The Queen’s representative in Australia sits next to Putin in France – what nonsense!!

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

DUNCAN GRAHAM.Jerusalem and a Free Trade Agreement with Indonesia

  Now here’s the weirdest thing about the way we handle policy with the neighbours:   Canberra politicians are proven fumblers and bumblers when dealing with big Muslim-majority Indonesia. Yet at the Australian National University just a ten-minute bike ride … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 4 Comments

GEORGE BROWNING. Nationalism: the world’s greatest threat

We owe President Emmanuel Macron a debt of gratitude for yesterday’s speech in Paris. “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism,” the French leader said. “In saying ‘Our interests first, whatever happens to the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ABUL RIZVI. An Agricultural Visa Would Change Australian Society – for the Worse

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has, for the time being, rejected creation of an agricultural visa in favour of changes to the existing working holiday maker program and the seasonal worker visa (see here). These are unlikely to satisfy demands of … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

MARGARET SIMONS. Good riddance to Guthrie and Milne. The ABC needs grown-ups in charge (the Guardian 12.11.18)

The most powerful message to emerge from Four Corners’ sad story about the tumult at the top of the ABC is that neither the former chairman Justin Milne nor the former managing director Michelle Guthrie appeared to be friends of … Continue reading

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Saudis Close to Crown Prince Discussed Killing Other Enemies a Year Before Khashoggi’s Death (New York Times, 11.11.18)

WASHINGTON — Top Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asked a small group of businessmen last year about using private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies of the kingdom, according to three people familiar with the discussions.

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

Bob Carr replies to China critics (Australian Financial Review, 12.11.18)

That the mob always gets it right is cornerstone wisdom of Australian politics, often confirmed by polling that shows the public’s deeply rooted common sense.

Posted in International Affairs | 4 Comments

JONATHAN FREEDLAND. US democracy is in crisis. But Trump is only the symptom (the Guardian, 10.11.18)

The talk in the US is of constitutional crisis. It’s been looming for a while, thanks to the Mueller investigation into suspected collusion between the Trump campaign and Kremlin efforts to swing the 2016 election. At some point – perhaps … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL MULLINS. The politicisation of remembrance

In Australia there is a highly selective regime of remembrance that chooses to exclude the Frontier Wars that killed large numbers of indigenous Australians, and also the many unsavoury aspects of war such as the mistreatment of women by our … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

KIM WINGEREI. The Turnbull Legacy Hour

Malcolm Turnbull appeared on a special edition of the ABC’s QandA last Thursday. Charming, at times evavise and polite as ever, we didn’t learn much, but is this the end of his political career as he claims, or the beginning … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 5 Comments

GREG LOCKHART. Armistice and Remembrance Day in Australia

The signing of the armistice at 11 am on 11/11/1918 did not raise great enthusiasm among members of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), because their first thought was for sleep. It then took a year for the battlefield silence to … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison drives bus over sincerity.

ScoMo’s blue bus is the perfect symbol of the man and his government – a brash, ostentatious cliché, non-functional and completely phony.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

ANTHONY PUN: A Response to Prof John Fitzgerald article “How Bob Carr became China’s Pawn”.

Political debate on  foreign policy between Australia-China  in conjunction with Australia-US relations is an important issue for the 1.2 million Chinese Australian community.  It is also an important issue for Australia  as this  will dictate our future prosperity and leadership … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

SAMANTHA MAIDEN. ‘You’ll find yourself in tears’: PM empathises with young asylum seekers on Nauru (The New Daily)

Border protection hardliner Scott Morrison has told a Lifeline fundraiser that he cried “on his knees” over the plight of young asylum seekers held on Nauru. (Yet Scott Morrison has the power to end the suffering of the children on … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments


I’ll go to the Armistice Day service at the Balmain war memorial this November 11 because it will mark the centenary of the end of the Great War and because it will be the end of nearly five years of … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS Armistice Day thoughts

In 2014 publishers gave us some superb books describing the origins of the First World War including Christopher Clark’s spellbinding The Sleepwalkers.  In the four years between 2014 and 2018 has the world moved towards peaceful coexistence?  Do we learn … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Mass media power plays and the death of Fairfax

The competition regulator ACCC has now green-lighted the death of Fairfax Media Ltd., the governance entity what has been a foundational influence on public interest journalism in Australia since 1831.

Posted in Media | 1 Comment