GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

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

On ABC’ Saturday Extra this weekend (in case you missed it)

  • Ian Dunt, editor of Politics.co.uk and Matthew Parris, former Tory MP, discuss this week’s dramatic political events from UK, as the Brexit White Paper, two years in the making, is finally released. This is the document that the EU has been waiting for so that a deal could be ratified before March, but it looks like this could present a raft of further problems.
  • Germany faces a range of challenges, not the least of which is responding to Donald Trump’s attacks at this week’s NATO Summit. Dr Oliver Hartwich from the think tank, the NZ Initiative, addresses the ramifications for German trade and policy.
  • It’s been four years since the ABC made the decision to decrease its radio services to the Asia Pacific region, and audiences in significant parts of the region have no radio service, with television and online streaming patchy at best. In the interim, China has begun using former ABC radio frequencies to start up its own services. The Australian Government is now undertaking a review of our media services in the Asia Pacific, including the role of shortwave radio. We discuss the strategic and democratic ramifications of this decision with experts and voices from the Pacific.
  • Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plans or RAPs are in fact quite unique in the world today. First implemented in 2006, over 11,000 organisations have since signed up for this very practical approach to reconciliation by addressing the specific needs of Indigenous Australians.
  • Philip Dwyer has just published the third and final edition of his biography of Napoleon.  This is an examination of Napoleon Bonaparte’s final years in exile and how he managed to reinvent himself and rewrite his own legacy.

(Geraldine Doogue is away this Saturday and next Saturday. Andrew West is taking her place for two sessions.)

 

Other commentary

Americans have heard a great deal about the ill-treatment of people crossing their border with Mexico to seek asylum. They can gain some perspective from an article in this month’s Harper’s magazine about the fate of refugees the Australian Government is holding on Manus Island. Martin Green’s article “No Exit: The ongoing abuses of Australia’s refugee policy” recounts his experience accompanying refugees during their forced relocation last year. The article can be downloaded here. (Warning: Harper’s allows non-subscribers only one article a month.)

On Late Night Live Phillip Adams interviews historian Nancy Isenberg of Louisiana State University on her book White Trash: The 400-year untold history of class in America. The New World was seen as a dumping ground for “waste people”. Isenberg traces the legacy of these early years, manifest today in class divisions (in contrast to the myth of egalitarian equality), opposition to government, rural poverty and anti-intellectualism. In her book she explains how America today has “a large unbalanced electorate that is regularly convinced to vote against its collective self-interest”:

It’s official, although you won’t hear it from Scott Morrison or Mathias Cormann: people in countries that pay more tax are happier than people in lower-taxed countries. On Rear Vision Keri Philips interviews a panel of Australian and European experts commenting on the results of the UN World Happiness Report. Four high-taxing Scandinavian countries – Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland – top the UN’s list for happiness.

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