Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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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

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MARK GREGORY: Leaks from NBN were in the public interest. The response was designed to hide the NBN mess.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) was meant to be a nation building project that positioned Australia as a leader in the global digital economy, but it has become a political football and as every day passes, Australia’s future prospects in … Continue reading

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Hanoi reminder of the tangled mess of Malcolm Turnbull’s NBN

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Michael D. Breen. Freedom to Mock.

Tim Minchin’s ‘Come home Cardinal Pell’ nails it for many in Oz. Minchin voices the rage, the frustration and the suffering of unrequited victims, their relatives, and Church goers and observers. Rage boils when people feel unheard. It becomes incandescent … Continue reading

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Christmas gift idea – Pearls and Irritations in print

Orders are now open for Fairness, Opportunity and Security: Filling the Policy Vacuum, edited by John Menadue and Michael Keating, and published by ATF Press. The book is a collection of the special policy series of blogs that was published … Continue reading

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Next week’s launch of the Blog’s book ‘Fairness, Opportunity and Security’

You are invited to the launch of Fairness, Opportunity and Security: Filling the Policy Vacuum, edited by John Menadue and Michael Keating, and published by ATF Press. The book is a collection of the special policy series of blogs that … Continue reading

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Michael McKinley. Alliance Ideology, The Myth of Sacrifice and the National Security Culture.

The following is an article by Dr Michael McKinley, which was published in June 2015 in the book ‘How does Australia go to War’. See link www.iraqwarinquiry.org.au Conventional wisdom holds the following claims to be true. Australia is not an aggressive … Continue reading

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John Dwyer. An increase in the GST or efficiency gains to fund our hospitals. Which would you prefer?

Premier Baird has announced that he will require a 15% GST to fund our public hospital system in the coming years. It is certainly true that with present policies, revenue won’t match the cost of the anticipated future demand for … Continue reading

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Christopher Kennedy and Malcolm Fitzgerald. From sound bite to web bite.

We are so used to pointing our fingers at the Chinese for their pathetic attempts to control the web we do not see the fundamental change in Western society and the relationship between the governed and the governing. For example; … Continue reading

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Failure in Afghanistan. We don’t want to talk about it.

On the 24th June, I posted a link to a review from the London Review of Books.  (See  http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=3957) In referring to the UK involvement in Afghanistan, it was headed ‘Worse than a defeat: shamed in Afghanistan’. The review by … Continue reading

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Tilly Gunning. A good story from my grand-daughter.

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Eric Hodgens. No Change in Priestly Recruits

The Melbourne Age said on Sunday 3 May that the Catholic Church was attracting more trainee priests. SBS had a similar article. Both are factually wrong. The last big year of seminary entries was 1968. Recruitment dropped steadily for 20 … Continue reading

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Tony Kevin, Tony Abbott’s crassness could cost the Bali duo their lives.

  Let me first declare my biases. I believe that I honour and respect Indonesia’s values and culture. I oppose the death penalty in general. In this case, I would welcome an outcome that saved the lives of the last … Continue reading

Posted in Australia and Asia, Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Chris Bonnor. School funding and achievement: following the money trail

The recurrent expenditure on school education in Australia is over 44 billion dollars, around 36 billion of this provided by governments. These are considerable sums, more often than not expressed as a cost rather than an investment – especially when … Continue reading

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John Menadue. If I were a Muslim…

The brutality and assasination of the editors and cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo must be condemned. Those responsible must face and perhaps have faced the full consequences. But if I were a Muslim, I would have been offended by the Charlie … Continue reading

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Antony Ting. Australia eyes missing billions with very own ‘Google tax’.

Joe Hockey has hinted he may introduce a “Google tax” as a new weapon to tackle profit shifting by multinational enterprises. The Treasurer’s suggestion is not only political as a counter to aggressive tax avoidance by multinationals, but also suggests … Continue reading

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Medibank Private and members’ equity.

In the New Daily on 6 October, George Lekakis drew attention to a letter sent to a policy-holder in 1994 by Mary-Jo Henrisson, a customer services manager in Medibank’s NSW head office. Mary-Jo Henrisson said “We would be sorry to … Continue reading

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Chris Bonnor, Bernie Shepherd. School equity since Gonski: how bad became worse.

This is a shorter version, prepared for Pearls and Irritations, of a paper which was reported in the Sun Herald on September 14 Go to http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/schools-worse-now-than-when-gonski-wrote-report-20140913-10gepz.html A longer version, including graphics, is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxK25rJrOw-eVU4zM2p2UTF5ZkE/edit?usp=sharing   The story of the … Continue reading

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Peter Hughes. Australian Jihadists: Is Revoking Citizenship the Answer?

One of the policy solutions being considered by the Australian government to deal with the expected problem of returning Australian jihadists is to preclude their return to Australia, or expel them, by revoking their Australian citizenship. The recently released report … Continue reading

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John Menadue. The Iraq disaster – reaping what we have sown.

The seeds of the disaster in Iraq were sown long ago. We are now reaping a very bitter harvest. A major contributor to the upsurge in violence, terrorism and extremism in Iraq is the sense of outrage that many young … Continue reading

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‘The real danger to Israel comes from within’ interview with Eva Illouz and De Spiegal.

This interview in De Spiegal is of interest and merit on the Gaza crisis. See link below.  John Menadue. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-sociologist-eva-illouz-about-gaza-and-israeli-society-a-984536.html

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