Category Archives: Politics

JIM COOMBS : Bean Counters Stand Up and Be Counted

Budget problems arise for governments who don”t control spending. Where are their financial advisers when gross overspending takes place. No business could survive the profligacy of our government’s spending.

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JOHN MENADUE. The litany of failed privatisations. (Repost from 20 March 2017)

Ideologues ,the self interested bankers and 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.  … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Military/Security takeover of Australia’s foreign policy. (Repost from 2 February 2017)

The military and defence establishment and lobbies, both in Australia and the US are determining Australia’s foreign policy. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and her Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are being sidelined. 

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John Menadue. The Coalition, rural poverty and rural health. (Repost from 16 January 2016)

It is not surprising that independents are making headway in country electorates. But what is the ALP doing?  

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GREG AUSTIN. Australians have little to fear from terrorism at home – here’s why. (Repost from 24 October 2016)

According to an ANU poll, more than half of the country’s adults are concerned Australia will be a target for terrorism at home and strongly believe the government needs to introduce greater preventive measures to combat it. But the reality … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. How Murdoch got a foothold in Foxtel. (Repost from 1 February 2014)

At the last election Rupert Murdoch showed how ruthlessly he plays the political game-a game that has delivered great commercial benefits for his organisation, not just in Australia but particularly in the US and UK. One example of favours delivered … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Caught in the endless travails of his ungovernable party room, Frydenberg has procrastinated yet again.

The most remarkable thing our Prime Minister said last week was not his claim that the party founded by Sir Robert Menzies was not Conservative but Liberal – even liberal, a touch progressive. This has furrowed brows and raised gorges, … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Australia’s economy: she’ll be right mate – or will she?

A few good economic indicators and Coalition disunity are distracting us from fundamental structural weaknesses in the Australian economy.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

GEORGE YANCY AND NOAM CHOMSKY (INTERVIEW). On Trump and the State of the Union

Is Russian hacking really more significant than, for example, the Republican campaign to destroy the conditions for organized social existence, in defiance of the entire world?

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. The failure of Australian conservatism.

Tony Abbott has announced his intention to stay in politics in order to protect and promote what he calls “liberal conservative values.” He claims his values are at the very heart of Liberal Party philosophy. Meanwhile Cory Bernardi seeks to … Continue reading

Posted in Current affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. No holiday for Tony Abbott

Malcolm Turnbull was off in Hamburg, schmoozing his fellow leaders in the hope of getting something – anything – done about North Korea, terrorism, trade, Donald Trump – something – anything.

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IAN MCAULEY. Comrade Abbott – Comrade who?

It is understandable that members of the Parliamentary Liberal Party are furious with Tony Abbott. But they fail to realise that his behaviour is a manifestation – admittedly a stark one – of traits that are embedded in the Liberal … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. ‘The gentleman you describe.’

We can at least talk about it without pretending it isn’t really there.  

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JOHN MENADUE. Chilcot – The Iraq war and Murdoch’s war on critics. (Repost)

On 1 July 2014, I posted a story about the role of News Corp and Rupert Murdoch in the Iraq disaster. The Chilcot Report confirms even more how News Corp publications misled readers and viciously attacked their opponents.  News Corp … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Tony Abbott shoots first and asks questions later.

In all, [Tony Abbott’s] program is for a regime which can best charitably be described as a socialist theocracy, somewhat along the lines of Abbott’s mentor, Bartholomew Augustine Santamaria – although the Abbott version would be considerably more totalitarian.  

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MICHAEL LIFFMAN. The Real Roots of Populism

(If we are really to understand and respond to populism, we need to go deep into the human psyche. Perhaps Jung is as relevant as Marx to this inquiry, and those of us who are committed to social progress need … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The Greens remain political amateurs.

Lee Rhiannon is undoubtedly the disrupter, but in a sense the public fracturing of the Greens is largely the fault of her leader, Richard di Natale.  

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ROD TIFFEN.  The UK Election’s Second Biggest Loser – Rupert Murdoch

A widely circulated tweet claimed that on election night in Britain, Rupert Murdoch stalked out of the Times’s party when the exit polls suggested the Tories were in trouble.  As we know, Teresa May’s opportunistic calling of an early election … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. John Menadue talks to John Faine about Rupert Murdoch, the great rent-seeker (Repost)

The interview with Jon Faine was reported in The Guardian on 29 June 2017.  News Corp is a ‘disgrace’ and should not get hands on Ten, former manager says. Repost:  In an interview  on 22 June 2017 with Jon Faine … Continue reading

Posted in Current affairs, Media, Politics | 9 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. With his Gonski II win, Malcolm Turnbull has something to smile about at last.

Turnbull can chalk up a rare and vitally important win before the winter recess closes in. It came just in time for the longest night of the year; our Prime Minister, if not all his colleagues, will hope that this … Continue reading

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JIM COOMBS. Three Government Ministers in Contempt

For a start what the three Federal ministers did was attack the judiciary in Victoria, for which they got a right bollocking from the Chief Justice of Victoria. Some sagely assert that they breached the doctrine of the separation of … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Anyone for disruption?

The ugly chickens of the neoliberal era in Australian public policy are relentlessly coming home to roost: stagnating wages, high unemployment (especially among young people), declining standards in public hospitals, schools, universities, and TAFE institutes, homelessness on the increase, more … Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Politics | 7 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. We are in dreadful peril.

You might not have known it, but Australia is in deadly peril. National security is endangered on all fronts, the most obvious indicator the imminent arrival of fleets of boats poised to descend on our sacred shores, ready to wreak havoc … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. A scorecard on Pope Francis

Unexpectedly, Pope Francis has emerged as one of the most significant world leaders. Largely unknown before his election, Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis has assumed the moral stature of a new Mandela, and not just among Catholics.

Posted in Climate change, Politics | 1 Comment

TONY SMITH. The political ugliness we cannot hide

Half a century ago in The Australian Ugliness Robin Boyd reminded us what  happens when architectural planners embrace utilitarianism and abandon aesthetics. During the days of the Howard Coalition Government, examining the invasion of Iraq and policy on asylum seekers, … Continue reading

Posted in Current affairs, Democratic Renewal, Environment, Politics, Refugees and asylum seekers | 7 Comments

GEORGE RENNIE. Australia’s lobbying laws are inadequate, but other countries are getting it right

Lobbying is a necessary component of representative democracy, yet poses one of its greatest threats.

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Politics, Vested Interests | 1 Comment

GEOFF RABY. Where have all the grown-ups gone on China policy?

Malcolm Turnbull’s glib talk of ‘‘frenemies’’ does nothing to help the urgent debate over how we handle the rising power of China.

Posted in Australia and Asia, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politics | 2 Comments

BISHOP VINCENT LONG. Fashioning a more equitable and participatory society

On 16 June 2017 Bishop Vincent Long spoke at the Sydney launch of Race Mathews’ book Of Labour and Liberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891-1966. This is a transcript of his speech, in which he suggests Whitlam would have been appalled … Continue reading

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JOAN STAPLES. NGOs and a clash of world views

Coalition Governments have been trying to stop NGO advocacy for 20 years.  Current attacks on the sector are a clash between a neoliberal old world order dominated by fossil fuels and a world view based on sustainability and equity.  Unfortunately, … Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Politics, Vested Interests | 1 Comment

JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN. “Great” Britain: how low can it go?

When I am in Hong Kong, I normally stay at Causeway Bay. Evenings and weekends, I frequently take a stroll in Victoria Park where invariably I pass in front of the majestically imposing statue of Queen Victoria. This allows me … Continue reading

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