Category Archives: Politics

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM. China Slaps Britain: You Can’t Afford Hostility (Strategic Culture 13-9-19)

China gave Britain a stern warning this week that any naval maneuvers conducted with the US near its declared territories in the South China Sea will be met with a military response. Beijing rapped London further, telling it to dump its “colonial … Continue reading

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GEORGE FRIEDMAN. US Military Options in Iran (Geopolitical Futures 17-9-19)

The United States has openly accused Iran of being behind the drone and cruise missile attacks on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil refinery.

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ANDREW FARRAN: A diplomatic niche in early Australian-Afghan Relations

Given that Australia has been engaged in military operations in Afghanistan, in addition to military/civil reconstruction and stabilisation efforts, in the provinces for over 18 years, it is only appropriate that we should greet the publication of a considered history … Continue reading

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CLINTON FERNANDES. Worried about agents of foreign influence? Just look at who owns Australia’s biggest companies (Conversation 12-9-19)

The attention being given to possible covert influence being exercised by China in Australia shouldn’t distract us from recognising that very overt foreign influence now occurs through investment.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON. Abbott, more than an embarrassment

Former prime minister Tony Abbott’s ignorance of history and of the Europe European Union, and his tragic adulation of all things British, is simply embarrassing. His licensing of a permissive setting for white supremacists and white replacement conspiracy theorists is … Continue reading

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HAJO DUKEN. Australian values

What a great and timely question Allan Patience asked on P+I on 7 August. Whilst I agree with him that most of the Australian value talk is simply humbug, I feel that, in times of Trump and Brexit, the Uluru … Continue reading

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GEORGE GRUNDY. Already Gone

As the Democratic field narrows and the political commentariat speculate which candidate is best placed to defeat Donald Trump in 2020, America’s national conversation continues to ignore an elephant in the room – the profound threat to democracy posed by … Continue reading

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MARK BUCKLEY. Voters of Australia You’re doing it all Wrong

These days, in the dumbed–down media, there are often articles which tell the reader she has been brushing her hair wrongly, or he has been cutting the avocado incorrectly. I thought I would explain to the voters of Australia just … Continue reading

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JOHN CARLIN. Let Them Shoot Themselves

Boris Johnson will go down in history, not as a Churchill he so much admires, but the prime minister who led his country into humiliation and global irrelevance.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Proud to be dumb.

David Littleproud has a somewhat unwieldy title – Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disasters and Emergency Management. But, keeping it simple, he is happy to live up to his name: he knows very little, and is bloody  … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. Politics and the rustle of folding money (Canberra Times 13-9-19)

I wouldn’t hang a dog on the evidence so far assembled in support of the proposition that Gladys Liu, Liberal MP for Chisholm, is an active agent of the Chinese government, engaged in nefarious and illegal activities against Australia. On … Continue reading

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JOHN ENGLISH. Canada goes to the polls: “It can’t happen here”.

Looking south as Canadians must and can do invariably provokes the comment, “It can’t happen here.” But it already has. While Donald Trump certainly cannot be replicated, the nativist, populist, and authoritarian tendencies of American Republicans have often appeared in … Continue reading

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KIM WINGEREI. Defining bribery is more important than an ICAC

As much as we should welcome the long overdue Federal ICAC, without redefining what should be the limitations of political influence it will be another toothless body which will struggle for relevance and fail in its intent.

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. How good is Gladys?

According to Scott Morrison, Gladys Liu is the most innocent of innocent bystanders — a naïve and trusting immigrant, embroiled in a brutal conspiracy engineered by the evil inquisitors of the Labor Party. The worst that can be said is … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 15 September 2019

A focus on the economic aspects of climate change this week: business-as-usual will reduce global GDP but climate action is blocked by potential financial losers; the Adani mine is viable only because of massive government subsidies, while in India investment … 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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Roger Scott. A Response to ‘Trust Me, I’m an Expert’

The podcast ‘Trust Me, I’m An Expert’ (10 September) is one of The Conversation’s rare forays into Queensland politics. It is a podcast from a much-valued series of gatherings held regularly at the Avid Reader bookshop in Brisbane’s West End.

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WASHINGTON POST Editorial Board. John Bolton’s legacy: Chaos, dysfunction and no meaningful accomplishment (11-9-19)

Apparently Mr. Bolton was picked because Mr. Trump had enjoyed watching him on television. The result was to compound the chaos that has characterized the administration’s foreign policy and left Mr. Trump without meaningful accomplishments.

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CÉSAR RODRIGUÉZ GARAVITO. Bolsonaro is a Regional Threat

President Bolsonaro of Brazil is behind a policy of clearing the Amazon rainforest for more cattle farming and agriculture. He claims that this is a matter for Brazil and no one else. The Amazon basin does not just belong to … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. The Termination of a Terminator: John Bolton

The departure of John Bolton from the post of national security advisor to Trump removes from a crucial position a person whose belief in the US waging war on what he identified as its enemies was boundless. His recommendation for … Continue reading

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ANTHONY ALBANESE. Tribute to Graham Freudenberg (House of Representatives 10 Sep 2019)

Graham Freudenberg climbed inside the soul of the Australian Labor Party in search of the words that lay there. He came back to us with an entire language. When Freudy said the Labor Party was built on speeches, the identity … Continue reading

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TONY SMITH. What price an early election? Ten grand a head?

As the Prime Minister looks over his shoulder for the inevitable challenge, the prospect of an early election must be tempting. With the New South Wales Labor Party before the Independent Commission Against Corruption and Channel 9 giving the Liberals … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. Some surprising US news – if you haven’t been watching

It is easy to be alternately frightened, appalled and head-shakingly despairing about what comes out of Trump’s United States. Officials deleting all references to climate change from official documents; immigration policies that make Peter Dutton look like a raging leftie; … Continue reading

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KEVIN RUDD. Democracy overboard: Rupert Murdoch’s long war on Australian politics (The Guardian 7-9-19)

Australia has become a dangerously complacent country, dancing to the reactionary tune of the Murdoch press

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LIONEL ORCHARD. Don Dunstan in Perspective: A Review

ANU historian Angela Woollacott has written a major biography of Don Dunstan reflecting on his place in the pantheon of reforming Australian Labor politicians. A review of the biography follows.

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HENRY LITTON. Joshua Wong article in Australian 2 Sep

Joshua Wong, in his article in The Australian of 2 September, made a valid point when he asked rhetorically “who were the ones who did not give young people a stake in society ?”

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ANDREW GLIKSON. From climate denial to planetary arson. The planetary consequences of injecting >910 billion tons CO2 into the atmosphere

Last night (6 September) as fires were raging through the desiccated granite belt of southern Queensland, not a single reporter, politician or anyone else had the “temerity” of pointing out the inevitable relation between coal mining, carbon emissions, global and … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Economy circles the drain.

That muffled gurgling sound you heard last week was either the remains of the government’s economic credibility swirling around the plug hole, or the strangled sounds of ScoMo and his team attempting to put a positive spin over the disastrous … Continue reading

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SPENCER ZIFCAK. The Religious Discrimination Bill

The Religious Discrimination Bill, introduced by the Attorney-General Christian Porter, has its flaws. Nevertheless, it walks a more or less acceptable line between arch proponents and critics of the recent campaign for greater religious freedoms. The Government has produced relatively … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Religion and Faith | 7 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Bullshit and hypocrisy cannot hide behind a Secret stamp (Canberra Times 6 Sep 2019)

50 years of public disclosure has never harmed the national security interest Brian Toohey is a great Australian journalist who, over 50 years, has mostly rated the public’s right to know as being more important than what politicians and public … Continue reading

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