Category Archives: Politics

STEPHANIE DOWRICK. It’s indifference to poverty – not refugees – that profoundly affects our “security”

We have a government led by a former Minister for Immigration that’s obsessed with playing power games around the idea of security: who has it, who threatens it, and – most especially – who should define and control it. But … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The failure of the National Party on rural poverty and rural health.

Country electorates have the most disadvantaged people, the poorest health and inferior health services.  But the National Party does very little about it.

Posted in Health, Human Rights, Politics | 2 Comments

GREG CLARK. The Day I met the Emperor in Waiting

The request came from out of the blue.  A neighbor in rural Chiba whose wife had royal family connections had sent a message via her husband that the crown prince, Naruhito, want to talk with me. He was said to … Continue reading

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ERIC SIDOTI. Morrison’s unsettling religiosity – Part 2

“God bless Australia.” Scott Morrison chose these three words to close his acceptance speech on winning the ‘miracle’ election’. In doing so he has taken Australia into unchartered territory.

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MARK BUCKLEY. Circling the Drain

At the risk of beating the same old drum, this current Government seems to be heading steadily down the ethical and moral drain, ever since the unexpected election win. So much of the country’s malaise, however, can be traced back … Continue reading

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JUDITH IRELAND. Backstage in Canberra: who is lobbying our MPs? (SMH 12.10.2019)

Lobbying is big business and a part of life in Canberra, especially when Parliament is sitting.  How does it work? 

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LAURIE PATTON. Telstra should stop whinging and help fix our dud NBN

Earlier in the week Telstra chair, John Mullen, conceded that the company must accept some of the blame for our flawed National Broadband Network due to its ‘recalcitrance’ back in 2007/2008 when it submitted a bid that didn’t meet the … Continue reading

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LUKE FRASER. A Repost: Congestion charging: – Stockholm, Melbourne and Turnbull’s legacy.

The Grattan Institute has just published a report on road congestion charging.  It argues that congestion charging is a better way to manage busy urban roads. It is right but Ministers  rejected the idea immediately. We waste far more money … Continue reading

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STUART REES International Alternatives to Morrison’s Crass Views on Sovereignty

While in Washington, the Prime Minister witnessed President Trump speaking about nationalism, patriotism, the treason of traitors and the irrelevance of international treaties, his latest flag waving endorsement of American sovereignty as the entitlement to do what it likes.

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ERIC SIDOTI. God Bless Scomo Part 1: The Pentecostals Are Coming?

Scott Morrison’s billing as Australia’s first Pentecostal PM has generated torrents of commentary. Much of the interest is driven by an assumption that the PM’s religious preferences herald the rise of this strange, big C conservative megachurch steamroller as a … Continue reading

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MARK BUCKLEY. Some Home Truths

There are some things which are true, and some which are not. There are many things which are debatable, or contentious, or even undecided. But the true things will always be true. Our media habitually believes that stupid, nonsensical, or … Continue reading

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NICK DEANE. The climate crisis and war

Groups like Extinction Rebellion (XR) focus on the physical impacts of the climate crisis. Message to XR – The pre-requisites for a comfortable, sustainable future include an end to militarism and, ultimately, the cessation of war.

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison kowtows to Trump

Even as Donald Trump announced he would cut and run from Syria, leaving his Kurdish allies to whatever bloody fate awaits them and opening a door for the resurgence of ISIS. our fearless prime minister was not ready to breathe … Continue reading

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GREG BAILEY. For A New Enlightenment

It has been pointed out numerous times that neoliberalism, the prevailing orthodoxy of governance, grew off the carcass of neo-classical economics. That this intellectual paradigm has failed is obvious to most people except for politicians in the Anglo-Saxon world and … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Albanese risks making Rudd’s mistake.

As they sweat on the results of the long-drawn out post mortem over Labor’s loss in the unlosable election, the warlords are already staking out their own positions. The feeling seems to be that since a protracted series of blame … Continue reading

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MIKE WALLER. Restoring trust in our Westminster system: politicians heal yourselves

Politics in the US and the UK represent the death of shame in democratic government. To be caught lying in today’s populist, post truth world of tribal politics is seemingly, at worst, a peccadillo. Legitimacy is now based on the … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM How not to engage with Asia

Every decade or so a Western Australian politician on the cast-iron balconies of the State’s Parliament glances outwards. Looking away from the Darling Range rippling in the heat rising from the Swan Coastal Plain, the watcher wonders: What opportunities lie … Continue reading

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JOHN CARLIN. The Universal Sin

The rich countries of the world sometimes go over the top about racism, and in doing so, cheapen examples of real racism. The latest example involves the Portuguese football player with Manchester City, Bernardo Silva.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 13 October 2019

This week’s articles all have visual cues. Climate change is already affecting people’s lives and it’s not always the environment itself that causes the harm. In various ways though people are resisting, as demonstrated in three short videos from around … Continue reading

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SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

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

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PROFESSOR JENNY HOCKING ‘I never had any doubts about the Palace’s attitude’: Sir John Kerr’s Royal secrets exposed

Letters between Sir John Kerr and Buckingham Palace show that the Palace pressured Kerr to omit from his autobiography his secret exchanges with the Queen’s private secretary before his dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. This Royally sanctioned erasure is … Continue reading

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SUE WAREHAM. Abbott – a natural fit for a war memorial sliding from commemoration to propaganda

People who have the power to set the direction of national cultural institutions need to reflect appropriate values. The appointment of Tony Abbott to the Council of the Australian War Memorial reminds us of just how much the Memorial has … Continue reading

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ROSS GITTINS. Viking economics: How Nordic nations debunk a Scott Morrison mantra (SMH 9.10.2019)

I’d like to tell you I’ve been away working hard on a study tour of the Nordic economies – or perhaps tracing the remnant economic impact of the Hanseatic League (look it up) – but the truth is we were … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. Miscommunication. Paul Fletcher spins his top like turvey

Communications minister Paul Fletcher spoke at an industry conference and outdid his Coalition predecessors in an extraordinary attempt to defend the beleaguered National Broadband Network. These are just some of the comments he made to an incredulous audience of IT … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. W(h)ither Labor?

The election loss in May devastated the ALP. The loss was made worse as the party realised that those voters who were heartily fed up with the shenanigans of the Liberal-National Coalition had nonetheless avoided turning to Labor. Since then, … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS Income management by the Cashless Welfare Card

The Cashless Debit Card when seen in the context of drug testing at Centrelink, tax cuts for the comfortable, religious protection laws. the Witness K trial and open slather for financiers adds to the impression that our country now resembles … Continue reading

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JONAH BEN AVRAHAM. Palestinians Could Have Historic Influence in Israel’s Next Government (Truthout 5-10-19)

The political climate in Israel following September’s snap elections is by no means favorable to Palestinians. However, there is reason to be hopeful for gains in Palestinian political power as the prospect of a unity government between the center-right Kahol … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. Drought Assistance: Is it efficient? Is it fair?

Australia is currently experiencing a severe drought; possibly the most severe on record. Not surprisingly there have been calls for governments to do more. Some have even claimed that Australia lacks a proper drought policy. This article discusses the key … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. The Kurds. Yearning for a new Saladin

Over centuries – when faced with adversity, invasions and threats – much of the Arab world has often yearned for a new Saladin.

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MICHAEL KEATING The Fiscal Outlook: Is the projected Budget surplus sustainable and should it be? Part 2

With a stagnant economy, there are strong arguments for a fiscal stimulus package that would almost certainly postpone the return to Budget surplus for a couple of years. But what of the longer term? This article uses the Medium Term … Continue reading

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