Category Archives: Politics

DAVID STEPHENS. Lest We Forget again: Anzac Day is an opportunity to confront our violent frontier past and its shadow today.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a young Somali-Australian Muslim woman, was driven out of Australia last year after she implied that the Anzac sacred cow might be ready to graze new territory. ‘Lest. We. Forget.’, she said, ‘(Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine …)’. I … Continue reading

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SUE WAREHAM. Honouring the war dead means learning from the horror.

This Anzac Day, as on every other, we will hear of the horrors of war to which many of our service people have been exposed, horrors that certainly call into question any notion of us assuming the title “homo sapiens”.  … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison spins some fairy tales

Last week the Sydney Daily Telegraph spent a couple of days playing silly buggers with our beloved Treasurer Scott Morrison, depicting him first as Santa Claus and then as not.

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RICHARD FLANAGAN. Freedom means Australia facing up to the truth of its past. (Part 2 of 2)

We should, of course, question these things more. We could ask why – if we were actually genuine about remembering patriots who have died for this country – why would we not first spend $100m on a museum honouring the … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights, Indigenous affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

JIM COOMBS. Crime and Punishment: Who do we do first, the Banks (and “financial advisers”) or “dole bludgers”?

I was horrified today to hear that the coalition government this week wants to step up its pursuit of “welfare cheats”, a few millions of dollars chasing the poor, disabled and ignorant. Then Treasurer Scott Morrison is impelled to say, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The banking royal commission confirms our worst fears about many business executives and crony capitalism

There was a revealing heading in an article a while back by Ross Gittins, the economics editor of the SMH, ‘Faster growth demands better chief executives’. He concluded his article by pointing to the need for business leadership to seize … Continue reading

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RICHARD FLANAGAN. Australians in WWI didn’t die for Australia. They died for Britain. (Part 1 of 2)

And so, the Monash Centre, for all its good intentions, for all the honour it does the dead, is at heart a centre for forgetting. It leads us to forget that the 62,000 young men who died in world war … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Human Rights, Politics | 2 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Girt by Sea – Australia, the refugees and the politics of fear.

Some at least of the South Africans who have come here, and no doubt most of those Dutton is promoting, want to emigrate to get away from blacks.  

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

GARRY EVERETT. Importance of seeing the ‘big picture’.

Failing to see or accept the big picture is a condition that is currently affecting many organisations in our world, says Garry Everett, and four particular organisations stand out as having significant problems in this regard.

Posted in Economy, Human Rights, Politics, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

Australia gets a mention in The Atlantic, but probably not the kind we wanted.  It’s a review of the work of Terry Hughes (of James Cook University) and others who have had a paper published in Nature on the effect … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The facts don’t show that Liberals are better economic managers.

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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JOHN STAPLETON. Abbott and Turnbull’s Assault on Freedom of Speech.

The Abbott and Turnbull governments have mounted the greatest attack on freedom of speech in Australian history.

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MICHAEL KEATING. Why Australia Needs A Stronger Revenue Base

Earlier this week the Australia Institute released an open letter signed by 48 eminent Australians calling for an increase in taxation. As we might have expected, the Treasurer, Scott Morrison, without any reflection, dismissed this call for higher taxes as … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 4 Comments

MUNGO MaCALLUM. Malcolm Turnbull still doesn’t get it.

Malcolm Turnbull still doesn’t get it.  While desperately playing down the significance of his own 30th Newspoll loss on the unconvincing basis that he wished he hadn’t mentioned Tony Abbott’s, our leader has taken what he apparently considers the high … Continue reading

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PETER RODGERS. Israel and Gaza: another bout of what?

Given Gaza’s appalling living conditions, the outburst of violence on the Israeli-Gaza border should come as no surprise. The question is whether its signals a shift in Palestinian tactics, aimed at using Israel’s disproportionate violence to revive jaded regional and … Continue reading

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VIC ROWLANDS. Reclaiming democracy

Democracy across the world is under siege and facing its biggest challenge. Despite different interpretations of democracy in terms of process, – voting age, optional or compulsory, the new world is creating fundamental strains which threaten at least its current … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Media catch-up on Newcastle Port.

Drawing on a report from Deloitte yesterday, Matt Wade in several Fairfax newspapers breathlessly told us that restrictions on privatised ports was adding to Sydney’s gridlock.  He added that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is now investigating the secret … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Infrastructure, Politics | 2 Comments

DAVID STEPHENS. Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions

The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, has been spruiking the Memorial’s plans for a massive expansion. He showed the ABC’s Andrew Greene around the Memorial, pointing out its need for more space, particularly to show big … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

JOHN TULLOH: Be careful what you say about Malaysia.

Perhaps it is time for DFAT to issue a travel advisory about Malaysia, namely be very careful what you say about the country. Uttering anything amounting to ‘fake news’ is now a criminal offence. Offenders can be fined up to … Continue reading

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MEDIA ALERT: APPEAL LODGED AGAINST FEDERAL COURT DECISION IN ‘PALACE LETTERS’ CASE

Professor Jenny Hocking has lodged an appeal against the decision of the Federal Court last month in ‘Jennifer Hocking v. Director-General, National Archives of Australia’. The Court ruled that the Palace letters’, between the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, and the … Continue reading

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HENRY REYNOLDS. Brendan Nelson and the War Memorial – what about the Frontier Wars?

On Friday the Director of the Australian War Memorial Brendan Nelson announced plans for a massive redevelopment of the institution which would cost up to $500 million.He hoped to receive the required funding in next year’s budget and he is … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Turnbull manages the fallout.

So the 30th Newspoll has finally dropped, and as he waits for the mushroom cloud to dissipate, just what will Malcolm Turnbull do to manage the fallout?

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Manus – a tourist destination or a crime against humanity?

My first reaction to the report that the Australian government was planning to boost tourism in Manus Island was one of disbelief and revulsion. This was the place – well, one of the places—that successive coalition ministers gloated was hell … Continue reading

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Positions vacant: NBN Co’s ‘death seat’.

After Mike Quigley and Bill Morrow, who’s next for NBN Co’s CEO ‘death seat’?  It can be called an executive death seat because the NBN’s business plan to start recouping the cost of the Turnbull government’s mis handled $49billion multi-technology … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 2 Comments

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

The federal Coalition has many ideological cleavages. The division between liberals and conservatives has been most prominently on display in the same-sex marriage issue, and is again on display in arguments about intervening in the energy market to privilege the … Continue reading

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IAN DUNLOP. The Monash Forum – of Coal & Horses.

Sir John Monash was a visionary engineer, military leader and much more, who succeeded in spite of the prejudices of the conservative Melbourne establishment (read: The Coalition right wing), to become, in Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s view, “the best general … Continue reading

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FRANCESCA BEDDIE. Wanted: politicians who inspire and creative public policy (Part 2 of 2)

I watched Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake again recently. Again, I cried. A sick bloke with talent and decency ends up dead before he can argue his case to be treated not as a client, customer, service user or … Continue reading

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FRANCESCA BEDDIE. Wanted: politicians who inspire and creative public policy (Part 1 of 2)

I watched Ken Loach’s film I, Daniel Blake again recently. Again, I cried. A sick bloke with talent and decency ends up dead before he can argue his case to be treated not as a client, customer, service user or … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS. The Dalai Lama, Falun Gong and Australian Democracy.

In his 2010 book, “The Party,” Richard McGregor described the iron grip exercised by the Chinese Communist Party on its homeland. Now Clive Hamilton in “Silent Invasion” traces the tentacles of the Chinese Communist Party as it squeezes Australia’s political, … Continue reading

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IAN CHUBB. Longing For Leadership -Part 2 of 2

Australia today faces multiple challenges. They include the fact that we are unlike any other continent with species and ecosystems that are found nowhere else. If we don’t look after ourselves, who will? There is global warming and climate change, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments