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Category Archives: Politics
The best reading on the state of Australia-China relations is in documents we can’t see. That is, in the cables sent from Canberra to their capitals by ambassadors of Asian nations.
MICHAEL KEATING. Why the coronavirus shouldn’t stand in the way of the next wage increase (The Conversation 26.5.20)
Wage increases are widely believed to pose a threat to employment. But this ignores their role in supporting demand growth. Instead, wage increases consistent with maintaining an equilibrium distribution of income are necessary to sustain economic growth and employment.
MICHAEL WEST. The Virgin Brides: fate of airline on a knife-edge as bids lob and cash runs dry (MWM 19.5.20)
The government has tossed $130 billion at business, the corporate largesse is dripping all over the big end of town. Even highly profitable $8 billion property developers such as Mirvac are rolling in the free money, yet when it comes to Virgin … Continue reading
Central banks worldwide facegrowing criticism for putting money before people, for contributing to growing inequality and social disadvantage. But change is coming.
A few weeks ago Foreign Minister Marise Payne condemned ‘ China’s actions in the South China Sea’, adding that in recent days the Australian frigate HMAS Parramatta had been conducting exercises with two American naval vessels as they ‘passed through … Continue reading
Donald Trump, who campaigned on making America great again has presided over — indeed caused — an enormous fall in American prestige, moral authority and effective power in the world. It may still have, by far, the most military power, … Continue reading
When is a pandemic suppression order not a lockdown? When it’s in Indonesia.
BRIAN TOOHEY. A star-spangled spanner in the works: how US secrecy controls Australian weapons (SMH 25.5.20)
The loss of Australian sovereignty within the American alliance is rarely raised amid the current alarm about whether the US is a reliable ally.
Between 1890 and 1920 the democratic US became a great power. It’s trajectory from western hemisphere state to global power has some economic, military and foreign policy parallels with authoritarian China’s growth in the twenty-first century.
The announcement of the international inquiry to be conducted into international management of the Covid-19 pandemic did not achieve any of the particular purposes initially said to justify Australia’s putting its head above the parapets and attracting China’s ire for … Continue reading
In 2008 David Michaels’ published a book – Doubt is their Product. How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens your Health – which was instrumental in the subsequent exposure of the systematic efforts of various industries to raise doubt about the … Continue reading
There is an established tradition in Australian politics that those in power or seeking power say nice things about Rupert Murdoch, while those distant from power or whose time has passed are more critical.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a government that housed the homeless, fed the poor and had a high employment demand driven, suitably regulated, economy. I can dream.
Our current government has become inordinately keen on producing road maps, and its most recent cartographer is our constantly embarrassed and embarrassing energy minister, Angus Taylor.
Another triumph for Canberra and the Morrison government’s deft and resolute diplomacy, it would seem. Support for an inquiry into Covid-19 from more than half of the 194 countries at the World Health Assembly in Geneva was “a major strategic … Continue reading
Reflecting on when the Prime Minister rang to ask him head the Government’s COVID-19 Task Force Nev Power said he couldn’t refuse the PM – reacting as any responsible citizen would.
The policies adopted by the Australian governments to fight the Covid-19 crisis are the opposite of the policies that the Coalition Government has pursued for the past 70 years.
A guide to the Australian government’s plans for the post-COVID recovery and bureaucrats and scientists talk with feeling about Australia’s Climate Wars. Cyclone Amphan hits India and Bangladesh, providing a current example of the increasing frequency of strong tropical storms. … Continue reading
What people in other forums are saying about public policy
One of the worst aspects of the sports rorts affair is the way elements of the public service turned a deliberate blind eye to what was known, or assumed, to be a failure by the Minister to be bound by … Continue reading
Recent articles in Pearls and Irritations, such as those by Paul Malone, James Curran, Ramesh Thakur and Mike Scrafton, have highlighted the nonsensical nature of much analysis, reporting and opinion, particularly in relation to a trenchant and sustained bias against … Continue reading
In relation to Israel’s decades of military occupation of Palestinian lands, a cowardice spreading pandemic has infected Australian politicians and public servants. Recent symptoms are evident in the Australian government’s submission to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that an investigation … Continue reading
In the halcyon days of the NSW Liberal Party’s ascendancy, Don Harwin was a fast-rising star. Then he hit a wall and fell from being one of State’s most powerful Liberal Ministers to the lowly status of an unloved backbencher. … Continue reading
The global economy has taken a huge hit as the world’s major economies shut down economic activity in turn to fight the spread of Covid-19.
Changes in behaviour during the lockdown reveal the limitations of economic indicators.
It is surprising that there has been little comment on, let alone challenge to, the extent of the States’ overreach with their Covid-19 border closures in the face of Section 92 of the Australian Constitution. This may be changing
It is such a shame that the PM and our Foreign Minister felt the need to goad China.
Assuming that the WHA will pass its “Covid Response A73/CONF./1” Resolution now that President Xi has declared his support in his surprise personal address, which will have influenced widespread endorsement from developing countries, Australia needs to take a very serious … Continue reading
The Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, was rarely to be found when the discussion was fixing on how a cruise liner entered our borders and spread Coronavirus and Covid-19 across the continent – perhaps the most serious breach of … Continue reading
The term ‘responsible power’ is finding its way into Chinese official lexicon more frequently — including in President Xi Jinping’s report to the 19th party congress. But being a responsible power is easier said than done. As China’s experience with … Continue reading