Category Archives: Politics

RICHARD BUTLER -Rationality and Fairness in International relations

The reliable and stable conduct of international relations rests on two key assumptions: rationality and fairness. Both are in dangerously short supply today. When a new government is formed in Australia, it should at least make a start on correcting … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

LINDA BRISKMAN. Let’s disentangle free speech and hate speech in the media.

  We are all seeking answers to the heartbreaking mass murder of Muslims in Christchurch. It assuages consciences if we can attribute blame that absolves us as a collective of non-Muslim Australians. There are many nonetheless who cannot be let … Continue reading

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STEPHANIE DOWRICK. We owe the dead and grieving insight and action as well as unlimited sorrow

The first response of most to the catastrophic tragedy in Christchurch is unlimited sorrow for all those directly and indirectly affected, but most especially for those whose lives have been ended or shattered. “Noor” means light in Arabic. Most of … Continue reading

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CAMERON DOUGLAS. Thailand’s military erect a democratic facade

Thailand is about to return to popular elections but the democratic facade will ensure the military remains the country’s fourth branch of government. New rules should confirm the 2014 coup leader as prime minister but will leave him relying on … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI The ADF in the Middle East

  President Trump wants to get US troops out of Syria, and probably out of Iraq as well, and soon. The Pentagon however has said US forces will be out of Afghanistan in five years, a period estimated to allow … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM Doing democracy differently

Outsiders who propped their eyelids apart to watch Indonesia’s third TV ‘debate’ ahead of next month’s national elections would have concluded the campaign is bloodless. For 150 minutes – minus about a third for commercials and promos – vice president … Continue reading

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GWYNNE DYER. New Zealand vs. Australia: Terrorism and the difference (Japan Times 19.03.19)

LONDON – Extreme right-wing terrorism, mostly of the “white nationalist” variety, is becoming as big a problem as Islamist terrorism in many places. That’s certainly the case in the United States, where the U.S. Government Accounting Office calculated last year … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 5 Comments

ALAN PEARS. Electric vehicles thrill school children

My grandchildren were too young to go to the ‘school strike’ last Friday. But on Saturday they experienced the excitement and reality of a zero carbon future at the Electric Vehicle Expo.

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NICK DEANE. Thoughts on the Schools Strike for the climate.

NICK DEANE. Thoughts on the Schools Strike for the climate. Concerns about climate change and the environment cannot be separated from concerns about militarism and war. All military activity is polluting. Climate change increases the likelihood of war. Environmentally damaging … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM.  The mob will always work you out.

It is not clear who said it first, but it quickly became a catchcry of the long-lived government of Bob Hawke: the mob will always work you out.

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BOB CARR. Disaffected electorate knows the real score (The Australian, March 18 2019)

Why in a sports-mad nation, with football as an overarching religion divided into different denominations, has the promise of two new stadiums been such a vote loser?

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ALEX MITCHELL. Gladys clings on in NSW

Liberals and Nationals will vote in all kinds of weather and in all circumstances. They will show up in coaches, hire cars and even wheelchairs. Some dress up in their Sunday best as if they are going to the races.

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ALAN KIRKLAND. Government gives in to mortgage broking lobbyists

“Unintended consequences”. It’s the clichè consumer groups like CHOICE are used to hearing from industry groups every time a major review recommends a change that would put people before profits.

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JOHN MENADUE. The crazed Brendan Tarrant did not operate in a vacuum. (See Postscript)

We now see the dreadful consequences in Christchurch of Islamophobia. There has been widespread hate speech against Muslims promoted not just by white extremist groups but also by politicians and the media.  

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 9 Comments

LINDA SIMON. NSW election candidates Stand Up for TAFE

NSW goes to the polls on 23 March and the outcome is not clear at this time. There are many programs being highlighted and funding promised by the major parties, with TAFE an area of concern. The TAFE Community Alliance … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Students’ strike for climate action – and good on them for it.

The conservatives have got themselves into a terrible lather about last week’s climate change protest.  

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 3 Comments

ALISON BROINOWSKI Beware the Ides of March in Christchurch

  It is better when a terrorist is not shot dead but arrested. So we eventually learn what is his – usually male – motivation, and governments and the courts are then able to respond rationally. But Brenton Tarrant made … Continue reading

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RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Growth of Tribal Hatred

Hotel Mumbai, currently screening in Australia, tells the harrowing story of attacks by the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba across the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008. Indoctrinated to believe that non-Muslims are not human, 10 young men armed with … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 17 March 2019

The Reserve Bank of Australia issues its first statement on climate change – it’s highly likely to disrupt the productivity and stability and they now include it with the other factors they consider when managing the economy – while schools … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

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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RICHARD KINGSFORD. Policy holes drain the life out of Murray-Darling rivers.

This press statement by Professor Richard Kingsford outlines what needs to be done to protect the Murray-Darling rivers and the communities that rely on them in the lead up to the NSW state election.  

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

JERRY ROBERTS. Labor’s targets in Western Australia.

Even without the extra hour’s time difference from daylight saving, West Australians often know the result of federal elections before they vote on Saturday evening.  This will most likely be the case again in May, despite Scott Morrison’s dramatic journey … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. A dangerous decline

It is symptomatic of much that is disturbing and dangerous about Australian political discourse that Australia’s continuing decline in international public sector corruption rankings is given so little attention.

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GREG BAILEY. The Coal Wars. Where next?

In writing on this subject I was initially going to focus on the manner in which a lobbying company funded by Glencore had undertaken a marketing campaign in support of coal and to plant doubts about the capacity of renewable … Continue reading

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JOHN DWYER. Health Reform’s “Holy Grail”;Medicare must fund the “team Medicine” approach to Primary Care.

  Surely my disgust at the Coalition’s decision to spend more than a billion dollars re-opening the Christmas Island detention centre to make sure that none of those nasty murderers, rapists and paedophiles ever get to real Australia for any … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 4 Comments

TONY SMITH. The environment – top issue for New South Wales voters

Traditionally, New South Wales election campaigns are tightly controlled affairs. Perhaps because the major party planners think that most elections will be close, they concentrate on one or two key statewide issues and hope that local campaigning will see them … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

RAMESH THAKUR. India’s General Election: A Preview

This article previews India’s forthcoming general election on three dimensions. First, I describe India’s election machinery and logistics, something that Australia could learn a lot from if it were not for the embedded subconscious racism that rejects the very possibility … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Pell Conviction a Wake-up Call.

Culture wars are simply factional standoffs given a zippy title. The Church has had them forever. George Pell is a warrior of the right. His conviction is a setback for the right – but only a setback. The war still … Continue reading

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SPENCER ZIFCAK. The Federal Government Corrodes the Independence of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

The Federal Government Corrodes the Independence of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal The Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) is a quasi-judicial body designed to promote the rule of law and good government by enabling citizens to call into question the decisions … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison a ‘fair dinkum’ hole in the air.

“When the people smugglers see me, they see a brick wall,” boasted our great war leader. Well, up to a point; they certainly see someone as thick as a brick and far less transparent and straightforward. But most Australians see … Continue reading

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