Category Archives: Politics

JON STANFORD. Brexit and some lessons from the British election.

Despite recent disruptions in the comfortable world of electoral punditry – Brexit, Trump, even Macron – when Theresa May called a British general election in April, the only question was how many additional seats the Conservatives would win.  

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JENNIFER DOGGETT. Wasting government funds in subsidising private health insurance.

In the lead up to the recent Federal Budget, the Australian Healthcare Reform Alliance (AHCRA) ran a campaign to highlight the inefficiency of using health resources to subsidise private health insurance (PHI). The campaign focussed on calling on the Government to … Continue reading

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CAROL SUMMERHAYES. At a tribute dinner for Graham Freudenberg.

Graham revealed in his memoir that he wrote his first speech in Brisbane in May 1945, aged 10, at the time of VE Day, and delivered it to his mother. In 1946 he scored a job with ABC Radio reading … Continue reading

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IAN MCAULEY. Australia’s finance sector: a bloated overhead?

Rather than capricious and populist measures such as the government’s levy on the big five banks, we need a thorough and far-ranging consideration of the role of the finance sector in our economy. This sector, which should have benefited from … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Shrill parliamentary voices.

Our Prime Minister is obviously not as graceful and elegant as Marceau, nor, unfortunately, as silent: he has spent the last week of parliament repeating the same diatribe in ever-increasing volume in the hope that those few voters who watch … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. Gonski 2.0 is a Fiasco

The Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding plan is a fiasco. Public schools will remain under-funded and there will be a massive increase in over-funding of private schools. The Education Amendment Bill before the Parliament to implement Gonski 2.0 should be … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Will the forgotten people be heard at last?

The crusaders of the far right have already delivered their sentence: the Uluru statement is to be dead, buried and cremated before it can infect the fairness and decency of the ignorant masses.  

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DUNCAN MacLAREN. Brexit: the danger of a no deal and the UK election.

Electioneering in the UK was stopped in homage to the 22 people who died and the many people injured in the bomb attack on a pop concert in Manchester on May 22nd. It didn’t stop the xenophobic call for ending … Continue reading

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CHRISTIAN DOWNIE. Time for China and Europe to lead, as Trump dumps the Paris climate deal

President Donald Trump’s announcement overnight that he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement comes as no surprise.  

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IAN McAULEY. Labor’s love affair with private health insurers

There was a recent flurry of media excitement about a supposed “secret hospital funding plan”, which turned out to be no more than an option under consideration by a think-tank. But the real (and overlooked) issue in health funding is … Continue reading

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PETER MARTIN. Game of Mates: How billionaires get uber-rich at our expense

“The rich are different from you and me” the saying goes. “They have more money“. But that’s not the only way they are different. In the updated Financial Review Rich List released on Friday, 45 of the richest 50 Australians are men. And they are … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Manchester and terrorism. Part 3 of 3.

In this three-part article, Ramesh Thakur argues that the scale of the terrorist threat to Western societies must be kept in perspective, that Western actions in the Middle East may have fomented more terrorism than they have defeated, and that … Continue reading

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ALEX WODAK. How can making drugs easier to access save lives? 10 FAQs about drug law reform. Part 2 of 3.

Police, prison officers and politicians are standing side-by-side with drug users to call for law reform. They say the current practice of jailing people for personal use and possession instead of focusing on their health and safety leads to unacceptable … Continue reading

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Slack electoral regulations and the arrogance of power

Senator Pauline Hanson denies any impropriety.  We are told there is nothing to see in the Liberal Party siphoning cash from their MPs’ taxpayer-funded electoral allowances purportedly to fund the party’s voter analysis entity Parakeelia Pty. Ltd. ALP Senator Sam Dastyari’s … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Manchester and terrorism. Part 2 of 3.

In this three-part article, Ramesh Thakur argues that the scale of the terrorist threat to Western societies must be kept in perspective, that Western actions in the Middle East may have fomented more terrorism than they have defeated, and that … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Manchester and terrorism, Part 1 of 3.

The swamp fights back In this three-part article, Ramesh Thakur argues that the scale of the terrorist threat to Western societies must be kept in perspective, that Western actions in the Middle East may have fomented more terrorism than they … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Menzies’ ‘forgotten people’ and ‘forgotten issues’.

It is all very jolly for Turnbull’s troops to indulge in nostalgia and sentimentality, but they should realize that those times are gone forever. Few Australians were even alive to remember them, and the rest of us don’t want to … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Health Reform and cooperative federalism. Part 1

In the SMH of May 29, 2017, Adam Gartrell reports that ‘The private health insurtance rebate would e abolished, consumers would be charged more for extra cover and the states would be forced to find more money for public hospitals … Continue reading

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PAUL BARRATT. Growing momentum for drug law reform. Part 1 of 3.

The war on drugs has failed. There was a buzz across Australia in March 2017, when former premiers, police chiefs, prison officers and lawyers stood side-by-side with drug users and their families, to throw down the gauntlet on drug law … Continue reading

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DAVID STEPHENS. Afghanistan infinitum or walking away? The possible cost of shared values

Where do Australia’s values come from and what are they? Ten years ago, Australia’s then Minister for Defence, Brendan Nelson, was convinced that our Australian values were forged on the battlefield:No group of Australians has given more, nor worked harder … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Miners, taxation and donations. (Repost 17/10/2013)

In my blog of June 3 “the Miners Lament”, I pointed out that the large foreign owned  mining companies in Australia may yet regret that they rejected out of hand the Resources Super Profits Tax that the Rudd Government proposed. … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM  So much for the miracle budget

Just a week after, it appears that nothing has really changed – another bad negative Newspoll, war on two fronts with the banks and the Catholics, and, of course, more brawling in the party room. There must be times when … Continue reading

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Book Launch: “Of Labour and Liberty”

Of Labour and Liberty Book Launch Event Information Join us as Bishop Vincent Long, Fourth Bishop of Parramatta launches Race Mathew‘s new book, Of Labour and Liberty at the Whitlam Institute, in partnership with Monash University Publishing. Of Labour and Liberty: Distributism in Victoria … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH.  Jockeying for the big prize in Iran

‘Trump’s rhetoric towards Iran is so harsh that to have someone on the other side who is equally harsh might provoke an unintentional confrontation’. 

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MICHAEL THORN. Countering vested interests

That corporations wield enormous power is not news. That this power is wielded to benefit the corporation and its agents is not news either. Neither is seeking to counter the power of these corporations by public interest organisations, like the … Continue reading

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JULIAN CRIBB. The war drums are beating…

Australia risks being drawn into new US wars in Asia. Having been continually at war since 2001 at America’s behest, it is time the Australian people had their say about whether we should continue to engage in belligerent actions in … Continue reading

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BRIAN TOOHEY. How to repair neo-liberalism

The policy debate needs fresh ideas to fill the gap left by the lack of popular and political support for the neo-liberal economic agenda. Paul Keating, who championed that agenda, recently said neo-liberal economics “has run into a dead end … Continue reading

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ROBERT MANNE. An urgently needed compromise

In recent weeks I have been involved in an extended argument on the Monthly’s website over the fate of the refugees on Nauru and Manus Island whose lives all participants in the discussion agree are being slowly destroyed as a … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM.  And with one bound, our hero was free

Well, perhaps not completely; it will take more than one agile budget to loose Malcolm Turnbull from his self-imposed bondage, He remains chained hand and foot to the right over climate change and same sex marriage, and he cannot remove … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. What values are we talking about?

How much longer must we endure the so-called culture wars? How much longer do we have to put up with vacuous phrases like “Australian values” in our politics? Now, it seems, the Prime Minister has taken to using this disagreeable … Continue reading

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