Category Archives: Politics

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 | 1 Comment

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.

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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 | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. John Menadue talks to John Faine about Rupert Murdoch, the great rentseeker

In an interview  on 22 June 2017 with Jon Faine of 774 ABC Melbourne Radio, John Menadue highlights how the Murdoch media attacks people like single mothers and dole ‘bludgers’ for wanting handouts from government, yet the Murdoch organisation depends … Continue reading

Posted in Current affairs, Media, Politics | 5 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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JOHN MENADUE. Who can we trust?

In the series “Fairness, Opportunity and Security” last year I drew attention to the pervasive loss of trust in institutions . Essential Research revealed that the six least trusted institutions were: the news media, state parliaments, trade unions, business groups, … Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

IAN VERRENDER. Why you’re about to pay through the nose for power

It was a rare moment of triumph for a Prime Minister frustrated in his dealings with a difficult Senate.

Posted in Climate change, Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Tony Abbott is winning and Peter Dutton is paying hush-money.

Chief Scientists Alan Finkel’s report on energy is not yet dead, buried and cremated, but Abbott and his gang of avid colliers have already left it struggling on life support. 

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. The Australian again supports Trump against Turnbull.

Let’s face it, it was hardly surprising to find Malcolm Turnbull taking the piss out of Donald Trump. For starters, just about everyone does it – indeed, for much of the time The Donald seems to be doing it himself. … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL WALKER. Three strategies unions are considering for their survival

There are three strategies unions, in danger of lsing their relevance,  can consider for their survival:  Teaming up with other community groups, aligning with particular professions and finding members online.

Posted in Industrial relations, Politics | 1 Comment

GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. His speech at the Graham Freudenberg Tribute Dinner, 2 June 2017

On 2 June, the NSW Branch of the Labor Party hosted a dinner for Graham Freudenberg, former speechwriter for federal and state Labor leaders, including Arthur Calwell, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Neville Wran, Barrie Unsworth, Bob Carr and Simon Crean. … Continue reading

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GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Revising history 1914-2017

For octogenarians like me, the most astonishing development since the collapse of the Soviet Union is that so much of the West’s hopes for international sanity, civility and peace should now rest with, of all countries, Germany.  

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

JENNY HOCKING. Pressure Builds on Turnbull Over the Secret ‘Palace Letters’ on the Dismissal of the Whitlam Government

Pressure is building on the Prime Minister to intervene in the long-running dispute over the release of the ‘Palace letters’, the secret correspondence between the Queen and the Governor-General Sir John Kerr in the months before Kerr’s 1975 dismissal of … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

JOHN CARMODY. May day was in June

The only word to describe Theresa May’s unnecessary recent decision to call an early election in Britain is “hubris” and that hubris has now led to irremediable humiliation. “Strong and stable” could have described her political position before the election, … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Advance Australia!

Madness in the Coalition’s ranks over the Finkel report and sleaziness in ALP ranks over clandestine foreign donations are just the latest evidence that the current pack of parliamentarians is incapable of governing in the interests of all Australians. What … Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN WARHURST. We need a royal commission into the corruption and decay of Australian politics.

  This week’s ABC Four Corners program that revisited, after 30 years, Chris Masters’ revelations of police corruption in Queensland, “The Moonlight State”, brings to mind how widespread corruption in Australian politics has been since then. 

Posted in Politics, Vested Interests | 3 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. An appreciation of Ian Marsh.

Ian Marsh who passed away last week, was a highly original thinker with the genuine curiosity of a true intellectual. Ian liked to describe himself as one of the last ‘Deakinite Liberals’. This apt description reflected: Ian’s contributions to industrial … Continue reading

Posted in Democratic Renewal, Federal Election 2016, Politics, Tributes | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The Abbott and Turnbull legacy on climate change and energy policy.

This is a repost of an article that was originally posted on 15 February 2017. I have reposted this in light of current controversy on the Finkel Report. Let’s be clear, the Coalition and particularly the Liberal Party and Malcolm … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. The Finkel Report and Malcolm Turnbull – compromising at the expense of the planet.

It has little if anything to do with the real issues around climate change: it is all about satisfying Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, George Christensen and Eric Abetz. 

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Environment, Politics | 1 Comment

MARK BEESON. Dysfunction rules, OK?

Britain’s election result was a shock, even in today’s volatile political climate.  The outcome is potentially disastrous, but it is unclear whether Corbyn could have pursued his agenda even if he had actually won.

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GEOFF DAVIES. The UK election: lessons for Australian stunned mullets

The UK election result is heartening, joining a series of demonstrations that people want positive change. But in Australia we seem to be paralysed, no-one willing to pick up the torch, many still unwilling to change their old allegiances despite … Continue reading

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IAN MCAULEY. Learning from the UK election

There are many local factors explaining the comparative fortunes of Theresa May’s Conservative Party and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in last week’s UK election. Issues around Brexit are unique to the UK, and May’s campaign was inept. But Corbyn’s comparative … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. The British Election and Brexit

Mrs. May called the election ostensibly to strengthen her mandate in the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. Although she failed to strengthen her majority, it is doubtful if the election result will have any impact on the Brexit negotiations.

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