Category Archives: Politics

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Hywood was the very model of a modern chief executive.

It would not be fair to blame Greg Hywood alone for the destruction of the Fairfax brand. The rot set in a long time ago, arguably some 30 years before when young Warwick Fairfax decided on his own disastrous takeover bid … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS.  The weirdest by-election of them all

On a day of weird and silly by-elections the weirdest of all was held in Perth. For Sydney-siders who have never heard of the place, that’s a remote capital city on the Indian Ocean side of the continent.  

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KIM WINGEREI. The stakes are too high – the party is over!

Listening to journalists and commentators on the hustings this week, the apathy of the electorate stands out more than ever. As seasoned political commentator Laura Tingle said on the ABC’s 7:30 report: “we are seeing a level of disillusion and … Continue reading

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ANDREW LEIGH. Rising to the challenge of inequality. (Repost from 18/6/2018)

Thomas Piketty and his colleagues have used new data to track inequality and sharpen the choices we face. 

Posted in Economy, Politics | 4 Comments

IAN BURUMA. American fascism: Reading the signs of the times (Asian Times, 13.07.18)

Comparing today’s demagogues with Adolf Hitler is almost always unwise. Such alarmism tends to trivialize the actual horrors of the Nazi regime and distracts attention from our own political problems. But if alarmism is counterproductive, the question remains: At what … Continue reading

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BRUCE GUTHRIE. Nine’s takeover of Fairfax is a bad deal for democracy (New Daily 26.07.18)

Within hours of the announcement of Nine’s takeover of Fairfax Media – I won’t insult readers by calling it a “merger” – Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was singing its praises.

Posted in Media, Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Who is in charge of Australia’s relations with China? The Australian Prime Minister or ASIO? (Repost from 28/5/2018)

ASIO is on a roll in co-ordinating the attack on China and its alleged covert operations in Australia. Only last Friday we learnt that super patriot Andrew Hastie, formerly an officer in SAS and currently Chair of the Parliamentary Joint … Continue reading

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BOB DOUGLAS. What will it take to restore governance to its rightful owners?

Around the world, and also here in Australia, voters are turning away from the political process, alarmed at the capture of political parties by vested interests, and alienated by the fact that the issues which concern and affect ordinary people, … Continue reading

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JOHN CARMODY. Current British Politics.

Political time seems absurdly compressed at present.  Everywhere.  It used to be that a week is a long time in politics: currently, in Britain, even a day seems long and bafflingly eventful.  Writing about those events – let alone actually … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

ALAN BOYDE. Australia spy trial carries hidden dangers (Asian Times)

Whistleblowers who exposed Australia’s eavesdropping on Timor Leste during oil and gas negotiations go on trial this week in a free expression test case.

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The facts don’t show that Liberals are better economic managers. (Repost from 7/4/2018)

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

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Interminable campaign comes to climax

At last the fateful day is looming – the interminable campaign for the five by elections no-one wanted (except, of course, the media) is finally coming to a climax.

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Trump, the Queen and Putin.

It could have been worse. Donald Trump did not try and grab Queen Elizabeth by the pussy – at least as far as we know. But no doubt his critics would say that was only because he was so preoccupied … Continue reading

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LAURIE PATTON. Public servants, political appointments and good government.

Earlier this week what was widely perceived as two highly political appointments to plum roles in the federal public service highlighted a need to re-examine government administration in the 21st Century. Not because these appointments were necessarily inappropriate, but because … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 4 Comments

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

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

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MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. ‘La Civiltà Cattolica’ rails against prosperity Gospel and its support for Trump.

The article is not shy about making the link between the prosperity gospel and the crisis of globalization — political, social and economic. 

Posted in International Affairs, Politics, Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

DENNIS ARGALL. In a changing world, who are we, where are our eyes and minds?

In what is perhaps a fantasy endeavour – to find Trump’s objectives in recent travel and assess outcomes – I suggest three. And in this essay, I look further into global and perceptual actions and needs… and the lack of … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

BRAD CHILCOTT. It’s not size that matters, it’s what you do with it.

Members of the Australian Parliament are rich. All of them – from the $200m Prime Minister down to the backbencher earning $203 020 a year and regardless of political affiliation – are in the top 0.5% of the richest people … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALUM. ACCC Report ignites squabbling.

Just when you might have thought you were getting a grip on the tin full of worms masquerading as the government’s energy policy,  along comes yet another authoritative report.

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Three Stooges ride again.

Our older readers – the really old ones – may remember The Three Stooges, Larry, Curly and Moe.

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KIM WINGEREI. Democracy is not just about elections!

A flood (by my modest standards) of social media comments to my recent post – We have to talk (about) Turkey – was a poignant reminder that so many believe that democracy is mainly about free elections. The way many … Continue reading

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ELIZABETH HLAVINKA. High Opioid-Use Counties Voted Trump in 2016 (Medpage Today 22/6/2018)

Opioids are symptom, symbol of ‘larger social and economic problems’.  Counties with the highest rates of chronic prescription opioid use were far more likely to back Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, a new study of Medicare claims data found.  

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. The litany of anti social and failed privatisations. ( Edited repost from 21 July 2017)

Coalition politicians, bankers, accountants and lawyers still persist with their fixation with privatisation despite the fact that it is failing in one area after another and the electorate shows very clearly that it does not want it.   

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

TERRY BARNES. Pharmacy power is a paper tiger (AFR 4/7/2018)

If something looks, walks and acts like a duck, it’s a duck. In the case of pharmacy giant Chemist Warehouse, however, it’s anything but.   

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | 1 Comment

FINTAN O’TOOLE. The long Irish 19th century is finally over (Irish Times)

We are, finally, reaching the end of Ireland’s long 19th century. I don’t mean that Ireland didn’t have a 20th century or that many momentous things did not occur within it. The visible landscape changed dramatically and so did social … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

TONY SMITH. Hostage to the masculine sense of entitlement.

When a society seems unable to ameliorate its social problems, something is obviously amiss. People in the USA might despair of ever breaking free of the pervasive firearms culture which is implicated in frequent mass shootings. In Australia, we have … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN QUIGGIN. Westward, look, the land is bright (Inside Story)

Amid more bad news from Washington come signs that attitudes are hardening against much of what the Trump presidency stands for.

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JOHN MENADUE. Bugging a Cabinet room, keeping sweet with News Corp and a pointless Australian Federal Police investigation of a leak

Andrew Wilkie MP has asked the AFP to investigate the improper disclosure of ‘protected information’ disclosed by News Corp. journalist Niki Savva on the ABC Insiders program on 1 July 2018. She said that Attorney General Christian Porter had been … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 2 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Tax – something will turn up.

Scott Morrison has inched forward to another interminable episode of tweaking the tax. This time it’s the scales of the returns the states get from the commonwealth’s GST, but, as always, do not hold your breath.  

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ROSS GITTINS. Clever tax strategies may be legal, but they aren’t productive (SMH 9/7/2018)

The developed world’s economists have been racking their brains for explanations of the rich countries’ protracted period of weak improvement in the productivity of labour. I’ve thought of one that hasn’t had much attention.  

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments