Category Archives: Politics

KIM WINGEREI. Democracy in Decline – Part 1

The Economist’s Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently published their annual “Democracy Index”, a comprehensive report on the state of democracy around the world. It warns that democracy is in decline after three decades of growth, and of the emergence of populist … Continue reading

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JANE GOODALL. A plague of political idiots.

Increasing awareness of distortion and deception in news media is accompanied by rising levels of anger about what amounts to an intelligence crisis in public communication. People with opposing views accuse each other of being useful idiots for the propaganda … Continue reading

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LISA NANDY. Patriotism and the Left (New Statesman).

A speech on the Left, patriotism and solidarity.

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JOHN HEWSON. She won’t be right: the economic storm our leaders ignore. (SMH 18.1.2019)

It’s the economy, stupid” – a slogan and a focus that largely won the US presidency for Bill Clinton in 1992. He then went on to reap the benefits of Bush senior’s economic management, not yet evident at the time … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

LUKE FRASER. The roads that ate the Australian economy Part 2 of 2

  Australia’s current approach to road spending will soon generate up to $20 billion every year in new public sector debt – making it impossible for any new Commonwealth government to benefit from much-needed tax reform and revenue increases.  This … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. Three democracies in crisis

The three nations that gave birth to modern democracy are exhibiting its weaknesses. Democracy is showing its limitations in dealing with contemporary challenges in UK, the US and France. Saving democracy from authoritarianism and populism is a popular subject. Yet … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. ScoMo needs damaging distractions – to distract from even more damaging ones.

However strenuously our Prime Minister insists that he is talking quietly and respectively to constituents about the real issues that concern them, the real ScoMo always lurches shoutily into the headlines. Last week, barely emerging from an estivation all too … Continue reading

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JOHN KERIN.  Free Trade (sic), Current ‘Negotiations’ (Part 3)

The world is agog with the constantly changing state of play between the US and China on trade issues and also the possible outcomes of Brexit. Both have the high probability of affecting our economy.

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VINCENT MAHON. Will the Greens learn from the Victorian election?

The Victorian Greens entered the State election with eight MPs. It ended with only four, losing fifty percent of its parliamentarians. The Greens prioritised lower house seats to the detriment of the five upper house seats it held where it … Continue reading

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ALAN BOYD. Morrison misconnects across the South Pacific. (Asia Times 19.1.2019)

“I urged your predecessor [Malcolm Turnbull] repeatedly to honor his commitment to clean energy. From where we are sitting, we cannot imagine how the interests of any single industry can be placed above the welfare of Pacific peoples and vulnerable … Continue reading

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TONY SMITH. Refusal of custodianship and environmental crises.

Whitefella criticisms of Australia Day have argued that 26 January is a significant date mainly for New South Wales and especially Sydney. Recently, fish kills in western waterways and the wind erosion of topsoil have shown that the state faces … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Private Health Insurance is a con job. Is Labor being conned again?

 The ALP does not seem to understand its own creation- Medicare- and that the $11 b taxpayer subsidy to PHI is like a Damocles sword that  hangs over  Medicare.  Ian McAuley in  Medicare under threat from Labor  points out that … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

STUART REES Saudi Teenager and Australian Due Process

  The human rights of Saudi Arabian teenager Rahaf Aqunun received fast recognition by Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and subsequent welcome refuge in Canada. By contrast, Australian Ministers insisted that in assessing claims for asylum in Australia, the government would … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit: Running out of time or anticipating a delay?

What explains an unprecedented, disastrous political defeat ever of a government on the floor of the British Parliament (432/202, a loss by 230 votes), followed within a day by its reaffirmation in government – prevailing over a no-confidence motion by … Continue reading

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MICHELLE PINI. Something stinks in the Coalition and it’s not just dead fish (Independent Australia 17.01.2019)

The sight of close to a million dead fish in one of Australia’s most important waterways may herald the end for the Morrison Government. For this is hardly the first time this Coalition Government, under its various iterations, has spat in … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 5 Comments

MICHAEL NIMAN. Five Forces Driving the Rise of Fascism in 2019 (Truthout).

 Immigration has become a weapon in the arsenal of fascists who work to sow fear of the “other” in populations they wish to control.There are four other forces behind the rise of fascism

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ANTONY GREEN. Why independents won’t matter so much at the next election (ABC News).

Despite predictions that independents will be an important factor in the result of the coming federal election, two important factors suggest otherwise.

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GRACE BLAKELEY. The Latest Incarnation of Capitalism (Jacobin, September 2018)

Financialization isn’t a perversion of an otherwise well-functioning system. It’s just capitalism’s latest survival mechanism.

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JOHN MENADUE. The myth that Liberals are better economic managers. A repost from 25 July 2018

Malcolm Turnbull has made it clear that his mantra of ‘Jobs-and-Growth’ will be at the forefront of his campaign in the next election. This week he will be talking about the growth of a million jobs in 5 years, but … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The pugnacious potato has done it again.

Having unleashed his innumerate megalomania to destroy Malcolm Turnbull, with the unintended consequence of almost certainly scuttling his government as collateral damage, Peter Dutton has now derailed Scott Morrison’s attempt to mend the fractured relationship with the Pacific.  

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RICHARD McGREGOR. We need the Five Eyes spy network, but with oversight (SMH 12.1.2019)

After Canadian authorities seized a top Chinese executive from the telecommunications giant Huawei at Vancouver Airport last month on a US arrest warrant, Beijing immediately set about retaliating. A couple of Canadians who, until then, had been working openly in … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The scourge of lobbyists is likely to continue if there is a change of government. A repost from 20 July 2018

Lobbyists are back in the news but it looks as if the scourge of lobbyists will continue in Canberra if Bill Shorten wins the next election. There is no sign that the ALP, like the Coalition is prepared to curb … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. It’s time for a constitutional reform commission

Acting on references from attorneys-general, the independent Australian Law Reform Commission and its state government equivalents review and recommend reforms to existing laws, and/or identify where new laws are necessary. When it comes to the Australian Constitution, the highest level … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. We need a national political summit to promote democratic renewal.

Bob Hawke’s Economic Summit following the 1983 election promoted cooperation and consensus which led to remarkable economic and social reform.  With the loss of trust in our political institutions and politicians today, we need a political summit to build consensus … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Scott Morrison says the bible is not a policy handbook.

There was none of that namby-pamby nonsense about taking a cup of kindness for the sake of auld lang syne, or anyone else for that matter.  Scott Morrison went straight on the attack to welcome 2019. “My job – our government’s … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. The Future of Democracy: Part 2

Yesterday in Part 1 of this article I discussed some of the possible explanations for the apparent loss of government capacity in most advanced democracies. Today in this second Part I will discuss some of the solutions that have been … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. Knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing

When Scott Morrison announced that the Sydney Opera House was the “biggest bill board in the country” he displayed a crass mindset straight from the commercialized anti-culture of the neoliberal era. Plastering a racing industry advertisement across the sails of … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. The Future of Democracy: Part 1

At the start of a New Year, a year when Australia will have to elect a new government, it seems a good time to consider the future outlook for our system of democratic government. Overall there is a sense that … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 10 Comments

ABUL RIZVI: Government Continues to Pretend We Have No Air Borders

In an echo of Donald Trump, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Immigration Minister David Coleman continued to pretend yesterday we only have sea borders and we can ignore our air borders. They announced closure of two detention centres (see here) … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

GEORGE MONBIOT. Advertising and Academia are controlling our thoughts. Didn’t you know?

By abetting the ad industry, universities are leading us into temptation, when they should be enlightening us.

Posted in Education, Politics | 4 Comments