Category Archives: Uncategorized

JEAN-PIERRE LEHMANN. Why the West and Japan should stop preaching to a rising China

Jean-Pierre Lehmann says the imperialist powers of old should acknowledge their own bloody history of plunder and exploitation, and work with Beijing to find a path to a peaceful rise, which so far is unprecedented.

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RAMESH THAKUR. All the way with Donald J? No way Jose

Has the quality of Australia’s decision making on issues of life and death for the country and its people – not to mention Planet Earth – truly become reform proof? Going by the lack of any serious process before lining … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

RAWDON DALRYMPLE. A personal link to World War One.

All of us who have a stake in understanding the Great War should be grateful to Joan Beaumont for her magisterial history of Australia’s involvement in that terrible conflict (Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War).

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. The bi-partisanship shame of refugee policy

What possessed Filippo Grandi, the relatively new United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to go public last week, having a go at Australia for our government’s treatment of unvisaed asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat? He repeated UNHCR’s … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Immigration, Refugees and asylum seekers, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Time to take Bill Shorten seriously.

It is time, perhaps past time, to take Bill Shorten seriously.

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

BOB DOUGLAS. Minimising Existential Threats of our own making.

Events that could permanently and drastically curtail humanity’s potential or even cause human extinction are often referred to as existential threats.   A moderate sized asteroid hitting our planet is a prime example.  It could wipe us all out in a … Continue reading

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DUNCAN MACLAREN. The UK heads towards a cliff.

If Australia were the UK and heading for a suicidal plunge off an economic, social and cultural cliff-face, wouldn’t you be worried?

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Politics, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

MAX HAYTON. New Zealand’s General Election, September 23 2017.

There’ll be no revolution this time.  Polls show New Zealand voters are as contented as a herd of freshly milked cows.  The election will produce a government that will be either centre-left or centre-right.  Either way, the winner will probably … Continue reading

Posted in Australia and Asia, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Trust is falling in Western democratic institutions

One clue to understanding the loss of trust in the professional integrity of the Western media is their unrelenting efforts to demonize Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Posted in Foreign Affairs, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. NBN: How many more surveys before they get it? We are not impressed!

A raft of surveys have confirmed what everyone knows. We’re increasingly unhappy about the rollout of a technically inferior National Broadband Network.

Posted in Infrastructure, NBN, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Making housing affordable. (Repost from Housing Series)

Pearls and Irritations recently posted a series of articles on the theme Making Housing Affordable. The series focuses on Australia’s housing affordability crisis. Most of the articles were posted just before the Federal Budget, but a few were posted afterwards, … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Why I am still a Catholic

Cardinal John Henry Newman once said that there is nothing as ugly as the Catholic Church yet nothing as beautiful. It is hard to see that beauty at this moment. It is a time for sackcloth and ashes. But I … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

DENNIS ARGALL. Ignore Trump’s tweets about North Korea ; the diplomacy is being handled by adults

Since his election in May South Korea’s President Mon Jae-in has developed a productive relationship with US President Trump, particularly on the difficult issue of both countries’ dealings with North Korea. Regrettably Australian and other mainstream media is reporting Trump’s … Continue reading

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PETER DAY. “Hands-up if you think George is guilty!”

The Australian judicial system will have its work cut-out ensuring the case against Cardinal Pell does not descend into a show trial cum media circus – some feel the horse has already bolted.

Posted in Uncategorized | 17 Comments

MICHAEL KELLY. Canada shows us how it is done.

The Refugee Council of Australia’s call for more affordable and community based ways of settling refugees is only the latest attempt to bring both community good will to refugees and the implementation of a proven and superior alternative to government … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

GILES PARKINSON. Coal on limited lifespan as CCS hopes go up in smoke

The coal industry is facing a new crisis point as a group of leading scientists call for the construction of new coal generators to cease within three years, and as the industry’s flagship “clean coal” and carbon capture and storage project went … Continue reading

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GERALDINE DOOGUE. Flawed Catholic Church a test for the true believers

The other day a visiting Israeli man bluntly asked me during a small dinner: was I religious? Well, yes, I replied, though not quite in the way I once would have ­answered. But Cardinal ­George Pell is not to blame … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. By accepting funding from weapons suppliers the Australian War Memorial demeans Australia’s war dead.

I asked the director of the Australian War Memorial, Brendan Nelson, why the Memorial is accepting funding from weapons manufacturers like BAE Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.  In response, Brendan Nelson, wrote back that “We regard it as … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. Why Blame Neo-Liberal Economics?

The claim is frequently made that neo-liberal economic policies are responsible for an increase in inequality. However, no supporting analysis is ever offered to sustain such claims; the obvious reason being because they reflect the author’s imagination and prejudices.

Posted in Uncategorized | 28 Comments

SPENCER ZIFCAK. Three Ministers vs. Three Judges: Executive Government gets Flattened

  In Victoria’s Court of Appeal last Friday, an encounter unprecedented in Australian legal and political history played itself out. Through the Commonwealth Solicitor-General (SG) three Commonwealth Government Ministers made an abject apology to the Court.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

KAI HE. How to save the Shangri La Dialogue

It was a sign of the Shangri-La Dialogue’s declining relevance when China sent a low-level delegation and India no delegation at all to this year’s talkfest. To ensure its future standing, this important meeting needs to shift its focus to achieving … Continue reading

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MICHAEL P. HUGHES. What went wrong with the F-35, Lockheed Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter?

The F-35 was billed as a fighter jet that could do almost everything the U.S. military desired, serving the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy – and even Britain’s Royal Air Force and Royal Navy – all in one aircraft … Continue reading

Posted in ANZAC, Current affairs, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

NICOLE GURRAN and PETER PHIBBS. Policy sentiment rather than substance in housing policy  

The Federal Treasurer clearly understands the housing affordability pressures facing moderate and low income renters and Australia’s growing homeless. His budget speech set the scene for a package of measures to boost affordable housing supply and recalibrate demand settings. A … Continue reading

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STEPHEN DUCKETT. Labor charts a health policy rethink

The Labor Party has released a summary of the proceedings of its ‘National Health Policy Summit’, held in Canberra on 3rd March. Good on the ALP for holding the summit. Trouble is, the ‘communique’, while summarising the views of the … Continue reading

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Michelle Guthrie’s survival strategy for the ABC

ABC MD Michelle Guthrie’s survival strategy for the national broadcaster is to re-invest brutally extracted payroll savings into new “extraordinary” content. While encouraging staff to come up with exciting new creative ideas to use the $20m available immediately and then … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. We need a Catholic Yom Kippur, and a serious sacrifice.

The major intersection between the child abuse royal commission and the Catholic Church went into act four over the past week. The drama, plot and moral of the miracle play would be much enhanced if scene one, rather than scene … Continue reading

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EVAN WHITTON. How English law does not try to find the truth.

An Australian judge, Russell Fox, said justice means fairness, and fairness requires a search for the truth otherwise the wrong side may win. English law is the only legal system in the world which does not search for the truth.

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JOHN AUSTEN. The Premier and privatisation; selling silverware for transport tupperware?

Commentators on Premier Baird’s years focussed on short term matters such as money from privatisations or inconvenience caused by infrastructure building. The most important question, the merit of infrastructure built with sale proceeds, may take years to answer. NSW will … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The unmooring of our national defence from our national interest. Part 3 of 4.

Australia is currently courting offence rather than, as governments so often assert, defence – a transformation which might only charitably be attributed to absent mindedness if the alternative, stealth, is excluded. It is, moreover, a change wrought, in the first … Continue reading

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PETER BROOKS. Mind the gap in doctors’ fees – it is all around us

John Thompson reminds us of the total lack of transparency in fees charged by doctors in Australia. Surgeon’s report shows the ineffectiveness of private health insurers to control health costs Posted on 07/05/2016 by John Menadue So can we dissect this … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Federal Election 2016, Health, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment