Category Archives: Current affairs

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Strong leaders carry out their promises – Malcolm Turnbull.

It is impossible to imagine Gough Whitlam, Paul Keating or even John Gorton being so cowed by the vengeful has-beens and disgruntled bigots who are now calling the shots in what is laughingly described as the government. 

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

JAMES O’NEILL. Australia and North Korea: Dangerous Illusions Place Australia at Risk

The war of words between North Korea and the United states reached new heights last week.  US President trump pledged to meet any further threats by North Korea to the US “with fire and fury like the world has never … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. Turnbull’s Appalling Statement

Australia is not compelled to accompany the US in a war on North Korea, as PM Turnbull has asserted. His recent statement would seem to reflect his need to distract attention from the serious disputes within his government. That it … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Politics | 4 Comments

SUSAN RYAN. Tent City, Martin Place.

The Berejiklian government in NSW showed this last week that it could act fast.   To deal with the reported discomfort of the Premier, caused for months by a tent city of the homeless situated in Martin Place just opposite the … Continue reading

Posted in Housing | 1 Comment

TONY SMITH. After the high hopes of Garma, disappointment sets in.

Last weekend, Indigenous leaders gathered at the Garma festival in north east Arnhem Land. The coverage on NITV showed a distinct slide from initial politeness and hope to disappointment and anger.

Posted in Human Rights, Indigenous affairs | 1 Comment

JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN. The Empires continue to strike back as international order continues to collapse

…as the international order continues to collapse. The best check is a return to a liberal, rules-based, multilateral order.

Posted in Foreign Affairs | 1 Comment

MICHAEL KEATING. Tax Reform and the Need to Raise More Revenue

This article considers the future Budget outlook and argues that the key issue for tax reform is how best to raise the additional revenue that will be needed. The article builds on Ian McAuley’s recent post arguing that well-designed taxes … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Taxation | 6 Comments

JIM COOMBS. “Just good business” or gun-running.

The “Neo-liberal” language speaks of arms sales as just good business, notwithstanding the concomitant death and destruction.

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Foreign Affairs | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. From the Nuclear Non-proliferation to the UN Prohibition Treaty

There are currently no negotiations or discussions on arms control being conducted at all between any of the countries that possess nuclear weapons (China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, UK, USA)

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs | Leave a comment

Australia’s Desperate Refugee Obstinacy

[An article  by Roger Cohen reposted from the New York Times] BYRON BAY, Australia — Now we know how desperate Australia is to close the shameful chapter in its history that has seen about 2,000 asylum-seekers and refugees — some … Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Immigration, Refugees and asylum seekers | Leave a comment

RANALD MACDONALD. ABC deal comes back to haunt Government.

Make a deal for political expediency and then unforseen consequences usually follow.

Posted in Media | 4 Comments

DAVID KING AND PETER BROOKS. Coal is the new tobacco.

Coal is the new tobacco in terms of the harms it has on our health.  No hospital would think of lending its logo to support the marketing of cigarettes or allowing any of its key decision makers to have strong … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Health | Leave a comment

MICHAEL LIFFMAN. Is it time for National Civic Youth Service Program?

Perhaps the time has come to consider a notion, at which most progressives’ immediate reaction is to recoil, that a compulsory non-military youth civic service program be introduced in Australia?  

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

BOB CARR. The Case for Recognition of Palestine

A speech given by the Honourable Bob Carr at the NSW ALP Conference on 30 July 2017

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Human Rights | 1 Comment

John Menadue. Rent-seekers and the hollowing out of democracy (Repost 12/2015)

‘Rent-seeking’ is a term understood by most economists. It refers to the ability of powerful groups to extract special concessions and favours at the expense of the wider community.  

Posted in Economy, Media, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. The Myths of Australian Foreign Policy. (Reposted from 31 March 2017)

The review of Australian foreign policy needs to be freed from the myths of our dependency and take serious account of the current and likely state of US foreign and military policy.  

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Malcolm Turnbull and Eric Abetz in furious agreement on same sex marriage.

The recalcitrants will call it a backdown and it will certainly be a change: but, as John Maynard Keynes memorably said: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” But then, for much of his … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. The broadband debacle: NBN Co needs to eat its own dog food.

Whoever is in office three years from now will have the biggest ever infrastructure debacle on their hands if we don’t do something soon, writes Internet Australia’s Laurie Patton.

Posted in Media, NBN | Leave a comment

IAN VERRENDER. How the Commonwealth Bank laid the groundwork for a royal commission

Where do you start? A total clean-out of the board and management of the Commonwealth Bank, a complete rethink of the role of our financial institutions, or a subjective investigation on the impact of new technology and whether it can … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Vested Interests | 1 Comment

LYNDSAY CONNORS. The Coalition applauds most queue jumpers.

The sound of transactional businessmen – Trump and Turnbull-brokering a Faustian bargain was never going to be edifying.  The question is how Australians want to deal and to be seen to deal with the world as it is, while working … Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Policy, Refugees and asylum seekers | Leave a comment

RICHARD BUTLER. Trump: A Sideshow? (This is a repost from 27 January 2017)

It is not only Trump that has assumed power in the US but also a set of deeply ideological and introverted Republicans. Both will shape US policy and actions. Australia should now review the conduct of its relationship with the … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. A $30 million gift to the great rent seeker, News Corp.

Inevitably a scandal over $30 million of taxpayers money to Foxtel tended to get lost in the rush. But it remains a scandal nonetheless, especially when the government admits – no, boasts – that there is no record of the … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 3 Comments

KIM OATES. The health gap.

“The problem is ………. that we have been pursuing economic policy that benefits the one per cent. Trickle-down economics is defunct and does not work”. “Politics quickly departs from evidence into the realm of ideology ….. But evidence must be … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

CHRIS BONNOR. NAPLAN has just turned ten. So what?

NAPLAN is not unlike some kids I have known: conceived in haste as a result of a rush of blood, a bit of an erratic upbringing (from a variety of guardians), confusion as to purpose in life and fervent hopes … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 1 Comment

John Menadue. Murdoch’s Media Tax. (Reposted from 29/12/2015)

Rupert Murdoch complains that he faces unfair competition from a taxpayer funded public broadcaster like the ABC and SBS. Yet in effect, he imposes his own consumption taxes on consumers.  

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Conservatives set the rules but they keep breaking them. (Repost from 7 February 2017)

Many people around the world are concluding that the system is rigged in favour of powerful insiders who bend the rules. The populists – Trump, Farage, Le Pen and Hanson are adept at tapping into that disempowerment and the sense … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Democratic Renewal, Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. Electricity Prices.

Electricity prices are a hot topic at present. Amidst the welter of claim and counter-claim as to what is the cause of higher electricity prices, there has been remarkably little use of the available evidence.  

Posted in Economy, Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Australian business in Asia – ‘pale, male and stale’. (Repost from 8 August 2016)

A recent report on ‘Australia’s Diaspora Advantage: Realising the potential for building transnational business networks with Asia’  reveals that social class and racism, either conscious or unconscious, still excludes many Australians of Asian origin from many Australian institutions and particularly … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Foreign Affairs, Multi-Culturalism | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. Pokies, sport and racing harm 41% of monthly gamblers: survey

For the first time, the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey has turned its attention to gambling, revealing that around 1.4 million Australians are directly harmed by the activity.

Posted in Economy, Politics | Comments Off on CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. Pokies, sport and racing harm 41% of monthly gamblers: survey

ANDREW FARRAN. Afghanistan in the wake of the Pakistan Prime Minister’s dismissal

President Trump must decide soon whether the US should remain in a holding pattern in Afghanistan. As Trump has little personal skin in the war to this point he may decide that enough is enough leaving everyone to ponder what … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs | 3 Comments