Category Archives: Politics

AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICES – Appeal to Senate

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. The banks are bastards.

The banks are bastards.  Every Australian knows that and has known it from birth – it is fixed in our DNA. Deep in our psyche is the indelible picture of Mr Moneybags, the bloated cigar-smoking capitalist, shovelling in the loot and … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JERRY ROBERTS The West Australian Liberals get serious

A weekend of elections lifted the spirits of the Liberal and Labor Parties while the Greens made another attempt to back-stab themselves out of existence.  The most important political event was the one that received the least attention.  It was … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on JERRY ROBERTS The West Australian Liberals get serious

JENNY HOCKING. Archival Manoeuvres in the Dark

This month’s federal court ruling that the ‘Palace letters’, between the Queen and the Governor-General at the time of the Whitlam dismissal, are ‘personal’ and not subject to the Archives Act means that this historic correspondence will remain under lock … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JIM COOMBS. MEMO to Kenneth Hayne: the ‘four pillars’ of the system you are reviewing are NOT set in stone. As they crumble it is worth looking at what went before.

The present four pillars of the banking system are not a necessary evil or inevitable. History tells us why.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 5 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. Time for a new Royal Commission into the Australian Public Service

On 7 March Pearls and Irritations published my Are all those consultancies really necessary? This dealt with the $129 billion spent by the Commonwealth over the last five years on services the content of which no doubt include a great … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on PAUL BARRATT. Time for a new Royal Commission into the Australian Public Service

JOHN MENADUE. Peter Dutton is an embarrassment for all of us.

Peter Dutton failed as Health Minister.  His track record since then is even worse. 

Posted in Human Rights, International Affairs, Politics | 10 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Batman conquered

So far so good. To the surprise of many – including, one suspects, Bill Shorten himself – the Batman by-election is done and dusted and it appeared that the confected furore over the great dividend imputation refund had little, if … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

JENNY HOCKING. Snub over ‘palace letters’ underlines why Australia should ditch the Queen

On Friday the federal court handed down its judgment in my action against the National Archives of Australia seeking the release of the “palace letters” between the Queen and the governor general, Sir John Kerr, regarding the Whitlam dismissal. In … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on JENNY HOCKING. Snub over ‘palace letters’ underlines why Australia should ditch the Queen

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Peter Dutton and his South African friends.

A minor set back last week for Peter Dutton’s unbending plan to rule the world. Not only did he put his own jackboot in a cowpat, but his chief enforcer, Commission Roman Quaedvlieg (anagram: love and quagmire) hit the wall … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

ERIC SIDOTI. What if anything Corbyn can teach the ALP?

Populism is rapidly evolving as the catch-all explanation for the maelstrom engulfing national and international politics. It is said to be driving the rise of the authoritarian right in Europe and to be evident in the re-emergence of ‘strong man’ … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

NANDINI PANDEY. Rome’s “Empire Without End” and the “Endless” U.S. War on Terror (Replaying the Roman Civil Wars in Reverse Since 9/11)

That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

JENNY HOCKING. News release. The Palace Letters.

TODAY, Friday 16 March 2018, Justice Griffiths handed down his decision in the Federal Court  action ‘Jennifer Hocking v Director-General, National Archives of Australia’, in favour of the National Archives. Justice Griffiths has ruled that the ‘Palace letters’ between the Queen and the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS. Populism and Social Democracy.

So-called “populist” parties in recent European elections have all but wiped out established social democratic parties.  The exception was Britain where Labour improved its position under the uncompromising social-democratic leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.  Two questions arise at home.  What fate … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Could the Trump Kim summit succeed?

The Kim–Trump summit is an opportunity that will be difficult to seize and easy to squander. For example, if Trump decertifies the Iran nuclear deal on May 12, ahead of the summit, the move would almost certainly call into question … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Cars, not immigration, are killing our cities.

This week on Four Corners many commentators blamed immigration for many of our ills. It was a diversionary tactic.  I think that immigration is Australia’s great success story. Many of the problems that immigration cause are the result of policy failure … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Housing, Infrastructure, Politics | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. When will we wake up to the risks as well as the benefits of the US alliance? (Repost)

We are a nation in denial that we are ‘joined at the hip’ to a dangerous ally. Apart from brief isolationist periods, the US has been almost perpetually at war; wars that we have often foolishly been drawn into. The … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 5 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Tariffs and Mateship.

Yet another triumph for our indefatigable Prime Minister. Now he has saved the nation – maybe the world – from the scourge of The Donald’s dastardly tariffs on steel and aluminium. 

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. Compassionate policy planning as the antidote to populism

The Italian election has shown, very clearly, that ordinary voters are deeply angry with mainstream politicians and political parties. What is true of Italy is also true of Australia. The political class sneeringly dismisses voter anger as “populism”, blindly believe … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Returning To The Edge Of The Nuclear Cliff.

The two leaders most responsible for bringing the Cold War to a peaceful end were U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev. They also kick-started the dramatic reductions in nuclear arsenals with a mix of unilateral … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 2 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Malcolm Turnbull and those thirty Newspolls.

In just under three weeks time, unless either there is a major miracle or The Australian imposes censorship, Malcolm Turnbull will confront his 30th successive losing Newspoll.  So what happens then? Actually, not much. As Christopher Pyne has pointed out with … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. American Malaise and Malice.

The key to the Trump presidency is its malice. Trump daily mocks Lincoln’s noble intent: “with malice toward none”. There is now not a country or region in the world untouched by Trumpite malice, defined as the irrational desire to do … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 4 Comments

SCOTT BURCHILL. What is going wrong and how did we get here?

Despite the temptations of presentism and intemperate thinking, the forces which have brought us to the current political malaise have been around for some time. The ideological convergence of the major parties in our two party system has been underway … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 6 Comments

BILL ROWLINGS. Pilgrim passages, tatters returns.

‘Open and transparent’ could scarcely be claimed as the style of Australian executive and bureaucratic rule. But even by our poor standards, the saga of the Office of the Information Commissioner has been a disaster of huge proportions.

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on BILL ROWLINGS. Pilgrim passages, tatters returns.

JOHN MENADUE. Afghanistan – the graveyard of empires and the opium poppy.

They have all failed to conquer Afghanistan – the Greeks, Indians and more recently, the British in the mid 19th Century and the Soviets in the late 20th Century. And now the US empire is failing to subdue the tribes … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE   The impotent and the pure!

In the Batman bi election the Greens have correctly directed criticism at the cruel policies of the ALP and the Coalition on refugees in Manus and Nauru.But the Greens do not have clean hands either.  

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 11 Comments

TREVOR COBBOLD. The Arms Race Between Elite Sydney Private Schools is Fuelled by Govt Over-Funding.

New figures show that the arms race in ostentatious facilities between elite private schools in Sydney is being fuelled by more than $170 million a year in government over-funding. Over-funding frees up private income from hefty fees and donations to … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Politics | 2 Comments

How liberals can reclaim nationalism.

In this article in the New York Times International Edition of 5 March 2018 Yascha Mounk argues that ‘instead of exhorting their fellow citizens to live out their nations highest ideals, many activists seem content with denouncing past and present … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN WARHURST. Demystifying the Coalition

The downfall of Barnaby Joyce and his replacement by Michael McCormack from Wagga Wagga as Nationals leader shows once again that maintaining the Liberal-National coalition has a considerable impact on the nation, and thus it deserves greater attention and transparency. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

BEN LUCAS. Revealed: the extent of job-swapping between public servants and fossil fuel lobbyists.

Last month Australia slipped further down the rankings in the international corruption index. Among a wide range of factors cited by Transparency International was Australia’s “inappropriate industry lobbying in large-scale projects such as mining”, as well as “revolving doors and … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Comments Off on BEN LUCAS. Revealed: the extent of job-swapping between public servants and fossil fuel lobbyists.