Category Archives: Politics

ELENA COLLINSON. Anthony Albanese and the People’s Republic of China: an overview (Australia-China Relati ons Institute, UTS)

Following the Australian Labor Party’s (ALP) federal election defeat on May 18 2019, Bill Shorten stepped down as leader of the party. Anthony Albanese, a long-term ALP frontbencher, became the ALP’s leader-elect on May 27 after an uncontested leadership ballot, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on ELENA COLLINSON. Anthony Albanese and the People’s Republic of China: an overview (Australia-China Relati ons Institute, UTS)

ALLAN PATIENCE. America- Australia’s Fool’s Paradise

  Deeply ingrained into Australia’s collective psyche is the naïve conviction that the United States is the country’s most important, entirely reliable, and utterly benevolent ally. This obsequious sentimentalism was embarrassingly expressed in the words of former Prime Minister John … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

PETER STANLEY. Reading the Act: what is the Australian War Memorial for?

Dr Brendan Nelson’s pitch for the Australian War Memorial’s half-a-billion-dollar expansion is that the institution helps to heal traumatised war veterans. But is healing veterans even the Memorial’s responsibility? To answer that question we need to read the Memorial’s Act.

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

ROSS GITTINS. Controversial reforms stalled until politicians win back our trust. (SMH 17.6.2019)

For those who care more about good policy than party politics, there are unpleasant conclusions to be drawn from the federal election. The obvious one is that it was a case of policy overreach leading to failure.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN HUDSON. Pompeo pledges not to wait for Britain’s elections to ‘push back’ against Corbyn and anti-Semitism (Washington Post 8.6.2019)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in on British politics during a closed-door meeting with Jewish leaders, saying he would not wait for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister of Britain to “push back” against him or … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. The climate is now personal for us all

When the last tree is cut, the last river poisoned, and the last fish dead, we will discover that we can’t eat money.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Ramping up the anti union campaign.

If John Setka did not exist, the coalition would  have invented him. But fortunately he does exist, so it’s just a matter of slapping on a few bells and whistles, dimming the lights and tuning up the spooky music, and … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

STUART REES, Hong Kong, Canberra, Carrie Lam and Mike Pezzullo

  Hong Kong’s autonomous, free status, One Nation Two Systems agreement is at risk of disappearing. The Hong Kong legislature had proposed extradition laws which would make residents and foreigners who live there or who might be travelling through the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MARGARET REYNOLDS. Queensland – A Special Place?

I lived in Queensland for three decades and represented the sunshine state as a Labor Senator for sixteen years. I spent much of my time trying to convince my parliamentary colleagues and the media that Queenslanders are very much like … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS The Religious Right is wrong and dangerous

Israel Folau is arguing that he is entitled to act in an offensive manner because he adheres to a set of childish superstitions about heaven and hell that most of us grow out of when we work out the Tooth … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM – What Bob Hawke meant by aspiration.

Bob Hawke’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget summed it up best: his was a life triumphantly well lived. The state memorial service last week sent the silver bodgie off in grand style. It was a fitting celebration of a remarkable leader.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER The Espionage Olympiad and the Art of “Plausible Deniability”.

If there was a competition between the key ways in which international relations is conducted, aside from the use of military force, then the area of intelligence gathering and the covert pursuit of national objectives – all-round spookery – would … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. Remember the Alamo, remember the Maine etc etc etc

Remember the Alamo, remember the Maine, remember the Gulf of Tonkin, remember the weapons of mass destruction and now remember the Kokuka Sangyo tanker.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

BERNARD KEANE.  Corporations start to question Business Council’s climate denialism (Crikey)

With Westpac joining the growing list of corporations that are questioning the climate policy stance of the Business Council of Australia (BCA), it seems that major companies that take climate change seriously have sussed out the strategy of one of … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

NIALL McLAREN IT’S TIME…. TO QUESTION THE US ALLIANCE.

Before entering any alliance, it’s better to be certain you have worked out what you hope to gain from it.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 16 June 2019

A strong emphasis on economic, ethical and equity issues associated with climate change this week. Global warming has increased inequalities between rich and poor nations; tackling climate change and reducing inequalities must occur simultaneously but only rich and powerful nations … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | Comments Off on PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 16 June 2019

SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

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

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MACK WILLIAMS . North Korea : The tangled web becomes more so !

That the past few months have seen no real progress towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula is not all that surprising given the swirling global environment demanding priority attention for President Trump and other key stakeholders. Post mortems of … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

MICHELLE PINI: AFP raids journalists: We need to talk about our Government

There is no doubt the AFP raids are an affront to our democracy. One in which the hand of a secretive and ruthless Government can be felt, if not seen or heard.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL JOHNSTON. Taming the beast – a challenging new initiative.

Corporations’ unbridled pursuit of self interest (aka ‘shareholder interest’) has plunged the planet into an existential crisis. It is no longer a radical proposition to suggest that the community should expect its corporations to pursue stakeholder interest on an equal … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS. Liberal leadership change in WA shows conservative confidence.

Liza Harvey’s unopposed ascension to leadership of the West Australian parliamentary Liberal Party points to growing confidence among conservatives in the West but Mike Nahan deserves high praise for holding the fort after the Liberals’ 2017 rout.

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on JERRY ROBERTS. Liberal leadership change in WA shows conservative confidence.

ALEX MITCHELL. Unrepresentative Tory swill choosing the next British Prime Minister

All registered members of the British Conservative Party are currently voting to elect a new leader to replace Prime Minister Theresa May. Hailed as an exercise in party democracy, it’s more like a chook raffle.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Modi vs who? The question needed a clear answer in a quasi-presidential contest (The Times of India)

No Bihari political scientist can possibly understate the importance of caste and religion in shaping the electoral contest. However, there is one other factor that is of growing importance. In all parliamentary democracies across the world, including Australia, power is … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

GREG JERICHO. Coalition’s lies, damned lies and election-winning strategies (The Guardian)

No, the government doesn’t care about reducing carbon emissions and no, the economy is not strong. 

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

BEN GRUBB.  The CIA’s investment fund is stalking Australian tech startups and has opened a local office (Sydney Morning Herald, 11 June 2019)

A technology investment fund bankrolled by America’s foreign spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is stalking Australian companies for future investment opportunities.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

BEVAN RAMSDEN. The Anti-Terrorism Act and other Acts strip us of many civil liberties we thought we had.

The recent intimidatory police raids on the ABC and a journalist’s home for making public, matters of community concern, is a wake-up call that press freedoms can no longer be taken for granted. But looking wider, personal freedoms we thought … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | Comments Off on BEVAN RAMSDEN. The Anti-Terrorism Act and other Acts strip us of many civil liberties we thought we had.

MICHAEL KEATING Budget Deficits: Good or Bad

  Returning the Budget to surplus has been an article of faith in most Australian political dialogue for the last decade. However, with stagnant economic growth and the Government’s proposed tax cuts, there is a real risk that Budget surpluses … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

GEOFF RABY. What a Morrison Government could do on China.

The Accidental Morrison Government needs now to face up to Australia’s most important foreign policy challenge: how to restore relations with China.  Under Turnbull/Bishop’s mismanagement, the relationship plumbed its lowest depth since diplomatic relations were established 47 years ago.  Doing … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | Comments Off on GEOFF RABY. What a Morrison Government could do on China.

NOEL TURNBULL. When you think of Twitter what at do you think of first?

The automatic response when you hear the word Tweet is to associate it with Trump. Yet some recent Pew Research Center suggests the Tweeter in chief is out of step with most other Tweeters.

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on NOEL TURNBULL. When you think of Twitter what at do you think of first?

PAUL MASON. Donald Trump’s embrace is a death grip for the Conservative Party (New Statesman, 5 June 2019)

Mainstream conservatism has lost its ideological defences against the far right.  All over the world, mainstream conservatism has reached the moment of its psychological surrender to the authoritarian right. In the US, the Republican Party is using control of state … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Comments Off on PAUL MASON. Donald Trump’s embrace is a death grip for the Conservative Party (New Statesman, 5 June 2019)