Category Archives: Politics

HENRY REYNOLDS. Ethno-nationalism and Australia’s place in the world.

Ethno-nationalism is resurgent in many European countries, in the United States and in Israel. Hostility to immigration and to refugees is widespread. The Australian debate about the level of immigration is a mild symptom of the present malaise. Andrew Bolt’s … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Conservatives like Malcolm Turnbull set the gold standard in scare campaigns.

After following politics and elections for over 60 years, it is quite extraordinary to see the Liberal Party still complaining about Labor’s  ‘Mediscare’ campaign. Malcolm Turnbull speaks in a continual and personally abusive  way about lies and liars. In this … Continue reading

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ALEX MITCHELL. The Great Drought: Panic or Policy?

Desperate farmers in rural communities across Australia are being led into a cruel dystopia where reality is being smothered by false hopes.

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WAYNE McMILLAN. Are Millennials Thinking Seriously about Socialism?

A recent report from the Australian conservative, right wing think tankThe Centre for Independent Studies, 1. reckons that Australian millennials are lurching towards Socialism. In this report millennials don’t mention what they think about Socialism, or what shape or form … Continue reading

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KERRY GOULSTON. Why not commemorate the Frontier Wars in the Australian War Memorial?

As an Australian schoolchild I learnt the history of England, including a long list of English Kings, but nothing at all about the Frontier Wars here in Australia or indeed the history of our Indigenous, the oldest people on the … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

ABUL RIZVI. What is Dutton Hiding Now?

In announcing the outcome of the migration and humanitarian programs, immigration ministers have traditionally provided extensive details on outcomes against planning levels by visa category, as well as other relevant information (see here for examples of such reports for past … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | Leave a comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Peter Dutton wants to rule the nation.

If Peter Dutton was to be arraigned before an international tribunal for serial abuse of human rights I would cheer. If the charges were upgraded to crimes against humanity I would regard it as a fair cop. But if the court … Continue reading

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HYLDA ROLFE. What’s in a name? The threat to our National Parks

For three years now, Sydney-based company Gap Bluff Hospitality Pty Ltd (GBH) has been revising an offer it made to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) under which the company would assume a large share of the burden of … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments


A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts covered in other media.

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Whither Political Science?: Not dead but on life support – a response to Roger Scott.

In a recent post Roger Scott asks an appropriate question but it’s anachronistic – like asking why doesn’t Elvis do live concert anymore? Political Science was always a bastard, left-handed, red-haired child of the turn to scientism by the social … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Politics | 5 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS. Termites and other animals.

When West Australian Opposition Leader Mike Nahan appeared on the news under fire for dual citizenship I hope everybody else shared my reaction. Not again, I moaned. Surely, we had enough of this nonsense in the federal Parliament. Do we … Continue reading

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ROGER SCOTT. Whither Political Science 2: A parochial perspective

The World Congress of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) was held jointly with the annual conference of the Australian Political Studies Association (AuPSA) in Brisbane in July 2018. The papers on Australia provided a snapshot of the breadth of … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. National Parks and the new squatters

The new squatters on public land are being given a leg-up, as they were in the 19th Century, to seize and occupy public land. By deliberately underfunding National Parks developer-friendly governments are putting commercial interests ahead of the public interest.   … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 4 Comments

JEFFREY SACHS. Trump is robbing America of what makes it great (Washington Post)

American prosperity since World War II has been built upon science and technology breakthroughs spurred by a powerful innovation system linking the federal government, business, academia and venture capital. U.S. innovation policy has been successfully emulated in Europe and Asia, … Continue reading

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IAN DUNLOP. A Parliament Without Trust or Legitimacy Must Go

The insults hurled by David Leyonhjelm at Sarah Hanson-Young recently put parliamentary discourse in the gutter. Leyonhjelm was roundly condemned, but not by our leaders. A limp slap across the knuckles from Turnbull and Shorten, then on to more pressing … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The Great Barrier Reef Foundation and crony capitalism

Just imagine if a Labor prime minister handed out a $444 million grant to a small reef ‘charity’  without any due process.  The Murdoch media would be even more apoplectic than usual.  There is a lack of transparency and probity … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 11 Comments

ALAN KOHLER. Another fine energy shambles (The Australian, 07/08/18)

Years of cat-herding by those who actually know and care about Australia’s electricity market will come to fruition this week with the meeting of COAG energy ministers to discuss the National Energy Guarantee, and possibly make a decision about it. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Australia’s invisible Asians

There are three components to any spoken or written act of communication: the intended message (what was meant by the sender); the message as conveyed (what was actually said); and the message as received (how it is interpreted by the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

ROGER SCOTT. “WHITHER POLITICAL SCIENCE? – An International Perspective”

Fundamental questions are starting to be asked by governments everywhere about the value-for-money of tertiary education in general and about various components of the humanities and social sciences in particular. A world congress of political scientists meeting in Brisbane confronted … Continue reading

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RICHARD FLANAGAN. The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too

In the full transcript of his speech to the Garma festival, the author says the country can make itself stronger by saying yes to the Uluru statement

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

FINTAN O’TOOLE. ‘Yeats Test’ criteria reveal we are doomed (Irish Times 28/7/2018)

There are many ways to measure the state of the world and economists, ecologists and anthropologists labour mightily over them. Opening the Yeats International Summer School in Sligo last week, I suggested another one: the Yeats Test. The proposition is … Continue reading

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BERNARD SHIU. Canberra announces opt out of My Financial Record.

Today, the department of treasury announced a My Financial Record will be created for everyone – unless you tell them you don’t want one by 15/10/2018.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

GILES PARKINSON. NEG in the air as Nationals go for coal, and Barnaby goes nuts.

The timetable for a final decision on the controversial National Energy Guarantee has been thrown into the air amid a renewed push for coal generation by the National Party following the Coalition’s “super-Saturday” by-election defeats last weekend.

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JOHN MENADUE. Brexit means Brexit – or does it? Repost from September 13 2016

After the surprise referendum vote 52-48 for the UK to leave the EU, the new Prime Minister, Teresa May, rejected any suggestion of a new referendum or parliamentary intervention to reverse the ‘advisory’ referendum result. She said “Brexit means Brexit”. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Matter of death and life’: Espionage in East Timor and Australia’s diplomatic bungle (Lateline, 26.11.15)

East Timor’s most senior leaders have accused Australia of committing a crime and acting immorally after a spying scandal that rocked the relationship between the two countries.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | Leave a comment

Greg Bailey. The IPA, Gina Rinehart and Transparency.

The Institute of Public Affairs and Gina Rinehart seem to be inextricably connected. In the last two weeks it has been revealed she gave a donation to the IPA which amounted to half of their entire budget for two years. … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

GEOFF RABY. An Australian-ASEAN Hedging Strategy on China

Australia’s diplomacy in recent years can at best be described as underwhelming, if not at times inimical to Australia’s national interests.  In March, however, the presence of ASEAN Heads of Government in Australia, meeting at Prime Minister Turnbull’s initiative, was … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments


The facts cannot be more obvious, so when will us smarties tell the world: “The neo-liberal (what the hell does that mean) idea of unrestrained “business” and minimal government, i.e., no regulation of shonks, see banks, insurance companies, labour hire … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. A prime minister progressively shriller and less coherent.

Well, what was all that about?  After nearly three months of unremitting angst, barely restrained hysteria and several shitloads of money, we are precisely back to where we started.  

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

GEORGE MONBIOT. Invisible Hands (Guardian 19.07.18)

Dark money is undermining our democracies, and it’s never darker than when channelled through lobby groups masquerading as think tanks. (We could readily substitute the Institute of Economic Affairs in the UK for the sham ‘think tank’ in Australia the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments