Category Archives: Politics

PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 9 June 2019

The fossil fuel industries don’t survive by chance or benign government neglect. Two recent reports expose the massive subsidies the industries receive from governments globally, including in Australia, and the multiple very close and enduring links between high-ranking personnel in … Continue reading

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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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PETER MANNING. Good journalists failed badly

For the past fortnight I’ve read, listened and watched every in-depth explanation of how and why Bill Shorten got the election wrong. The wait was deliberate. I wanted to ease my way out of the shock of how Labor lost … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY.  Don’t call economic reform “class war”

Those who accuse Labor of having engaged in “class warfare” in its election campaign are trying to stymie economically responsible taxation reform and to deflect attention from the corrupting influence of big money on our democracy.

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ALAN AUSTIN. How many seats will the Coalition win when the truth is actually told?

Australia’s election results are routinely distorted by fake news about the economy. Alan Austin explores what this might mean in seats won and lost.

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ROBERT FISK. The final punishment of Julian Assange. (Counterpunch 3.6.2019)

Shame and the fear of accountability for what has been done by our “security” authorities, not the law-breaking of leakers, is what this is all about. 

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

EVA COX. Feminist options: revive the Social Contract and fix the trust deficit.

So the ALP lost the election and everyone has a post mortem explanation of what went wrong (eg Ian Macaulay: it’s the economy)or what needs to be the future focus (Albo: It’s jobs, we are here for the workers). Yet the big … Continue reading

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RICHARD FLANAGAN. The AFP media raids aim to suppress the truth. Without it we head into the darkness of oppression. (The Guardian 6.6.2019)

In March of this year police union leaders warned that the Australian federal police was losing “its independence and integrity and must be separated from Peter Dutton’s home affairs portfolio”. 

Posted in Defence/Security, Media, Politics | 8 Comments

IAN DUNLOP.  Parliament must treat Climate Change as an Emergency

A year ago, discussion of climate change as an existential threat, and the corresponding need for emergency action, was anathema to those leading debate on climate policy in the political, corporate and NGO incumbencies globally. Incremental change remained the order … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 4 Comments

JOSEPH STIGLITZ. After Neoliberalism (Project Syndicate, 30 May 2019)

For the past 40 years, the United States and other advanced economies have been pursuing a free-market agenda of low taxes, deregulation, and cuts to social programs. There can no longer be any doubt that this approach has failed spectacularly; … Continue reading

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ANDREW JAKUBOWICZ and CHRISTINA HO. Was there an ‘ethnic vote’ in the 2019 election and did it make a difference? (The Conversation, 4 June 2019)

Many factors appear to have contributed to the unexpected victory of the Coalition in the May 18 election. Two factors were predictable and had a devastating impact on the ALP vote where they were activated – ethno-religious prejudices around sexuality … Continue reading

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ANDREW HAMILTON. Revisiting Iola Mathews’ feminist battlegrounds. (Eureka Street, 28.5.2019)

When people describe their part in events of our own life time, they often awaken in us recognition mixed with self-reproach. We recognise how greatly our attitudes have changed, but also that our images of significant people and movements are … Continue reading

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ANTHONY MILNER. Australia does face a foreign relations crisis.

There may have been advantages in keeping the recent election campaign away from foreign policy. Statements made to win domestic votes can be damaging to a country’s international relations. It is now time, however, for some serious thinking.

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KIM WINGEREI Ministry of Mediocrity

In the (in)famous words of Donald Horne: “Australia is a lucky country run by mainly second-rate people who share its luck.” The new Morrison Government is a mostly uninspiring group lacking in diversity and bereft of vision. A staggering lack … Continue reading

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KATE FINLAYSON and TIM BUCKLEY. Queensland government about to make poor economic decision on Adani mine.

Following the Labor party’s defeat in May’s general election, the Queensland Labor government seems keen to approve the development of the Adani thermal coal mine as quickly as possible. However, a report released this week by the Institute for Energy … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Politics | 6 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Overburdened with lightweights.

It’s an old line, but a good one and unfortunately usually a true one: the front benches of parliament are top heavy with lightweights.

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NOEL TURNBULL. WTF just happened?

Well, after a couple of weeks’ consideration, just another Steven Bradbury phenomenon, something else altogether, or perhaps just a re-run in more virulent form of the fake news and social media negative campaigns seen in the 2016 Presidential election and … Continue reading

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MAX HAYTON. New Zealand’s Wellbeing Budget.

The New Zealand Labour Government’s first Wellbeing Budget is intentionally unconventional.  It is the start of a process which the government of Jacinda Ardern hopes will continue to reposition New Zealand’s economy and society after decades of centre-right economics. 

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Government collective IQ shrinks further.

There was little to enthuse about Scott Morrison’s second ministry.  The first one wasn’t too flash either, but with the exodus of Christopher Pyne,  Kelly O’Dwyer and Mitch Fifield,  the collective IQ has fallen still further. Bringing back Arthur Sinodinos … Continue reading

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TONY SMITH. Time to revive the ‘most appalling’ list.

As a naive teacher of undergraduates I always assumed that research findings about wealth distribution in Australia would be of vital interest to students in any discipline. Understanding the extremes of wealth and poverty and their causes seemed to be … Continue reading

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RICHARD DENNISS. What’s ‘left’ and ‘right’ in Australian politics today? The lines are shifting (The Guardian)

Remember when the right was accused of obsessing over market forces and the left of not understanding economics?

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GREG BAILEY. The Australian Electorate and the ‘Sensible Centre.’

Now that the grieving over the electoral loss of progressive political forces is beginning to be transformed into sustained soul searching about the characteristics of the Australian electorate and the tactic used by the ALP, it is time to ask … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER US Foreign Policy: Preference for Conflict

US foreign and military policy is thoroughly fused. The cliches which assert that: military postures are designed to shore up diplomacy and, the other favourite; articulated by the US in virtually every situation:- “all options are on the table”; do … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 2 June 2019

Where is the drive that is urgently needed to transition to a zero carbon, environmentally sustainable world going to come from? A European group thinks Community-Led Initiatives can provide a kick-start. Climate change is affecting animals and plants, and the … Continue reading

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SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts in other media

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

HENRY REYNOLDS.  The centre cannot hold.

In a recent article in the New York Times columnist Ross Douthat drew attention to the Australian elections and the cotemporaneous triumph of Narendra Modi in India and of Nigel Farage in Britain’s European elections. Each represented a surge in … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. What should Labor stand for? Values and principles. Part 3 of 3.

In Part 2 I focussed on particular issues the ALP faces. In this part I will focus on the way that Labor policies and programs need to be grounded in values and principles.  

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Government integrity test: A genuine retirement system inquiry or a political stunt? (New Daily, 30.05.19)

If Treasurer Josh Frydenberg wants a genuine “review of the retirement income system”, the little matter of franking credit refunds will have to be back on the table – and that would be only one of the political challenges.

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JOCELYN CHEY. Civilisations should not clash

The United States relationship with China has been defined by a State Department senior official as a clash of civilisations. China’s response was given by President Xi Jinping in a speech that stressed the importance of respect for all cultures. … Continue reading

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GEOFF DAVIES. Hawke and Keating set Australia, and Labor, up for failure

Labor failed, again. It took on the most riven, brutal and monumentally incompetent rabble since Federation and still could not manage to beat them. This is a profound failure that requires a profound explanation. There is one, though it goes … Continue reading

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