Category Archives: Politics

LINDY EDWARDS. There is much we don’t know about political donations.

The big story about this week’s political donations disclosures is how little they really tell us. Over the last decade the major parties have routinely only transparently disclosed 10-20% of their incomes as donations.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Infrastructure, rent-seekers and lobbyists.

As our mining boom has receded, Australia has seen unprecedented sums flow to transport infrastructure projects -mostly in our two biggest cities. But we have a real mess on our hands.

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN AUSTEN. Newcastle port – some progress in undoing a privatisation fiasco

Pressure is mounting to overcome the ridiculous anti-competitive constraints on Newcastle port.

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 2 Comments

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

In an article in the Fairfax Press, Clancy Yeates points out that Australia’s big banks have “slashed loans to fossil fuel companies by almost a fifth in 2017, including a 50 per cent drop in their coal mining exposure”. On … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. We are joined at the hip to a country perpetually at war. Part 5

Next week I will be posting articles asserting that we are running great risks in being tied to what Malcolm Fraser called “our dangerous ally”, an ally almost always at war.  The risks pre-date Donald Trump.  Think Vietnam and Iraq.   … Continue reading

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

GEORGE RENNIE. The Revolving Door at the Infrastructure Club

The revolving door of politics represents a particularly difficult problem for modern democracies. And when senior public servants leave their positions to work as lobbyists for the infrastructure industry – an industry that takes a lion’s share of government spending, … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. We are joined at the hip to a country perpetually at war. Part 3

Next week I will be posting articles asserting that we are running great risks in being tied to what Malcolm Fraser called “our dangerous ally”, an ally almost always at war.  The risks, disasters and dangers pre-date Donald Trump.  Think … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 3 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The TPP was never all about the economic gains, even for the most dedicated rent seekers. The strategic planners – especially in Australia, Japan and South Korea – saw the original TPP as a means of locking America involved in … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Do we really need an honours system?

The hard fact is that the lists which bulk up the morning papers each year are far from representative of our diverse population, and suggest that there is at least a vestige of the despised British class system still lingering … Continue reading

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BOB DEBUS. Restoring integrity in nature conservation Part 1 of 2

The Australian Government’s short and pointless document, published just before Xmas and entitled Strategy For Nature 2018-2030, has been accurately described as a ‘global embarrassment’. It is useful only insofar as it reminds us that Australian government policies for nature … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 4 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. A hard or soft Brexit. More likely Black and White

Letter from London  Britain finds itself trapped like a fish with no way out other than capitulation to the best terms it can get – in relation to which the remaining 27 EU members have the upper hand.  

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

LEANNE SMITH. When did Australians stop caring about our national identity?

In 1998 I was a freshly minted law grad who felt great purpose in joining the Harbour Bridge march for the first ‘Sorry Day’. I had just begun my first real job with the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

On Saturday Extra this 27th January Geraldine Doogue is discussing the cost of government consultants with Julian Hill, ALP member for Bruce and businessman Tony Shepherd; Changes to gambling laws with Charles Livingstone from Monash University and Sam Duncan from … Continue reading

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FRANCESCA BEDDIE. What do we mean by Australia Day?

All the talk about Australia Day – what it symbolises, for whom and when we should celebrate – prompted me to delve into the history of the date, which has long been contentious. Before we lock in the date, we … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

STEPHEN LEEDER. Forget the Dog: make 2018 the Year of the Sceptic.

Much medical research is incomplete or wrong. The participation of drug companies in sponsored research and continuing education for doctors whereby the results of research are communicated to them demands healthy scepticism.  

Posted in Health, Politics | 3 Comments

GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Ode to Australia Day.

Ode to Australia Day (In tribute to the late John Hirst and his masterpieces Freedom on the Fatal Shore) The heroes of famed Waterloo Or great Nelson’s mighty crew, If chance had gone a different way, Might well have peopled … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. The Trump Tax Cuts and Economic Growth

The forecast positive impact of the Trump tax package mainly results from a temporary incentive to bring forward business investment. This is irrelevant to the cuts in company tax rates proposed by the Turnbull Government, and cannot be used as … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Australia Day – are we still the land of the second chance?

The Macquarie legacy is still with us. It underpins our best instincts to give all residents in this country, whether Australian born, migrants or refugees, an equal opportunity in life, a second chance. That ethos of redemption is a core part … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 1 Comment

ALLAN PATIENCE. Australia Day and all that.

The moral basis of contemporary Australian society is being squeezed dry by political opportunism and contempt for civic virtue among our political leaders. The ignorance those leaders demonstrate about the insult Australia Day has become for many Indigenous people is … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Captain Goodvibes Turnbull and political correctness.

So even if we ignore the bunyip in the room – the invasion, the stealing of the land and the children, the destruction of the culture, the systematic trampling of the many nations which once made up the continent – … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 11 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS. Change the date of the day by all means and change Australia

Let’s change the date of Australia Day, not just for Aboriginal public relations, but to prove that we can do something – anything – to cast off the chains of our pusillanimous politicians and their little mates, the boofhead media … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 11 Comments

ARTHUR STOCKWIN. Explaining one-party dominance in Japanese politics.

In 1990 US scholar TJ Pempel edited a book titled Uncommon Democracies, which wrote about parliamentary democracies where a single party had been unusually dominant. These included Sweden, Italy, Israel, West Germany and Japan. Australia was also a candidate for … Continue reading

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GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

Canberra Times journalist Crispin Hull writes about the harm of growing inequality, particularly where it results from government policies to opt out of shared health and education services, through financial support for private schools and private health insurance, rendering public … Continue reading

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GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. His speech at the Graham Freudenberg Tribute Dinner- A REPOST from June 19 2017

On 2 June, the NSW Branch of the Labor Party hosted a dinner for Graham Freudenberg, former speechwriter for federal and state Labor leaders, including Arthur Calwell, Gough Whitlam, Bob Hawke, Neville Wran, Barrie Unsworth, Bob Carr and Simon Crean. … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. A Commonwealth Hospital Benefit to replace the $11b private health insurance subsidy.- A REPOST from October 18 2117

The wasteful and unfair $ 11b  per annum cost to taxpayers of the subsidy to Private Health Insurance should be abolished and the savings used in two possible ways – part funding a Medicare dental scheme and/or part  funding private … Continue reading

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TIM HOLLO. Democracy is in crisis. Long live democracy!

The consensus around liberal democracy is collapsing, in Australia and around the world, as citizens are being systematically disenfranchised and disconnected from our democratic role. Unless we radically reinvent and re-embrace much deeper forms of democracy, we stand to lose … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

BOB DOUGLAS. Towards social and political transformation.

British writer and columnist, George Monbiot, has recently published an important  book about national and global politics and the need for radical, cultural and political transformation. Entitled “Out of the wreckage: a new politics for an age of crisis”, the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 4 Comments

TED TRAINER. The Catalan integral cooperative … the Simpler Way revolution is well under way!

Many would agree it is now abundantly clear that a just and sustainable world cannot be achieved unless consumer-capitalist society is basically scrapped. It involves levels of resource use and environmental impact that are already grossly unsustainable, yet growth is … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

John Menadue. The Coalition, Barnaby Joyce rural poverty and rural health. (Repost from 16 January 2016)

It is not surprising that independents are making headway in country electorates. But what is the ALP doing?  

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

MICHAEL WEST. Treasury hides corporate welfare data.

There it was right on cue, at the cusp of the New Year weekend, a government press release about the cost of welfare bludgers trumpeted loudly across the press and the TV news bulletins. 

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments