SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

What people in other forums are saying about public policy Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

LAURIE PATTON. Telstra bells the broadband cat and spays NBN Co.

Telstra’s decision this week to only offer a maximum 50Mbps plan to more than half its NBN customers is another setback in the quest for #BetterBroadband. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

DAVID SOLOMON. Sports rorts – illegal, unconstitutional and shonky

Illegal, unconstitutional and shonky. The sports rorts affair, like climate change, is not fading away. Both raise major political challenges for the government, but in somewhat different ways. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

ALEX MITCHELL: Ex-NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell quits for India

When Barry O’Farrell became NSW Liberal Party leader in 2017 his mission was to turn the Liberals into “the natural party of government”. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MARK BEESON. What’s at stake in the Coronavirus crisis?

The Coronavirus is causing a political crisis as well as the more obvious medical variety. Some governments may not recover. Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL MULLINS. Jean Vanier and the abuse of celebrity power

Jean Vanier was the revered founder of the international network of L’Arche communities for people with intellectual disabilities. It was revealed at the weekend that he sexually abused six women in France between 1970 and 2005. Treating leaders like gods tends to have unintended consequences. In Vanier’s case, it seems to have made him a cult leader, complete with an adoring and unquestioning constituency and loyal deputies. Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 7 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS. Labor’s deadline is near. Do we have an Opposition?

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee is due to submit its report on the Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019 on Friday 28 February. Labor Senators on the committee have led critical scrutiny of the proposed legislation. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. Barnaby will never be PM

Barnaby has already attained high office

Many outstanding politicians are remembered for doing something special for their country, or perhaps for a lifetime of sustained effort for the country’s benefit. Barnaby Joyce was named “Australia’s best retail politician” by another politician – one Tony Abbott. Now that endorsement does muddy the waters somewhat, but a reference is a reference. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. Who is the world’s outstanding journalist?

Who is the world’s outstanding journalist? It’s a question which seems particularly important given the current status of journalism; the rise of fake news online; and, the need for journalists to be constantly posting to get their employers’ online media figures up. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. How good is the labour market?

The Australian economy has been stagnating for the last five years, with annual GDP growth averaging only 2½ per cent, and only 1¾ per cent for the last four quarters ending last September. Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

ABUL RIZVI. Why the Kiwis are not coming to OZ any more

For much of the last 30 years, New Zealand has been one of Australia’s top source countries for migrants. But since 2013-14 Australia seems to have lost its attraction to Kiwis.

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Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

TESS HOGUE. Living in Hong Kong through SARS and Covid 19.

I have a rotten cold. My eyes are watering, my head is pounding and I can’t stop sneezing. Normally I would get plenty of rest and fluids and just wait it out. Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

JACK WATERFORD. Most sex abuse occurs in the home

WHY does Peter Dutton and  the Home Affairs Department need more high -tech powers  when the real problem of sex abuse is in the home? Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

OSMOND CHIU. What should Australia do about its politics being too white? (China Matters 25.2.2020)

Australian politics is too white. It is less diverse than comparable countries such as the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada. This is embarrassing. Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Politics | 3 Comments

IAN WEBSTER. The retreat from patients, a letter to young doctors

The idea that the pressures of patient care cause doctors to withdraw from direct clinical work has been in the background of my observations of my colleagues and their work since the 1970s.

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Posted in Health | 1 Comment

MIKE SCRAFTON. What do the Chinese think of the US-Australian Alliance?

With similar articles in The Australian and The Strategist, Peter Jennings has lauded the government’s decision to refurbish and expand RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory as ‘a giant strategic step forward’. Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 5 Comments

John Carlin. Caroline Flack and Freedom of Opinion

Suicide as a result of trolling on the internet is a modern trend. The problem with legislating away the trolls is that it comes up against freedom of expression. The internet is certainly a new phenomenon that has made the problem of bullying worse, but the solution is to get out of social media. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

LAURIE PATTON. School’s Out – Time for better governance and oversight in the education sector

The principal resigned, his deputy stood aside, but apparently the school board knew nothing. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Sherlocks lost the plot on child sex abuse years ago.

Sundry crime bodies in the home affairs portfolio, operating in the new co-ordinated mode, are proving indefatigable in their search for extra powers to conduct cyber warfare against Australian criminals. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JAMES O’NEILL.  Assange Case Reveals True Colours of the So-Called Western Democracies

One is tempted to suggest that all Australians travelling abroad should have a warning attached to their passports: “if you do anything to upset the Americans, don’t expect our help.” Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. A Tour of a Pentecostal Service

Each time Scott Morrison scandalises or shocks Australians with a new low in parliamentary, or Prime Ministerial standards, he is likely to completely blank any questions asked, or to make some sort of ‘take it or leave it’ rejoinder to the questioner, especially if the questioner is from the press. He seems not to understand that the press asks those questions on our behalf, and are not attending simply to be independently insolent. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

TONY BROE & ELLEN FINLAY. Aboriginal History, Dark Emu, Bruce Pascoe and the Culture Wars

Bruce Pascoe’s book Dark Emu (2018) has given a recent jolt to the declining History Wars and has invigorated some conservative commentators and writers to disagree with his conclusions (Marks 2020; Morton 2019). Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN TULLOH. The agonising slow death of Syria.

An imminent anniversary will be a painful reminder for a man who grew up as a quiet and studious person and who once had looked forward to a comfortable life as an ophthalmologist. Instead he finds himself a reviled figure soaked in the blood of tens of thousands of his victims and the cause of ‘the biggest humanitarian horror story of the 21st century’, as the UN put it.

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Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

FRANCIS SULLIVAN. New Wine, New Wine Skins.

Why it is worth staying active in the Church? Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 7 Comments

AVI SHLAIM. Palestine and the West: A century of betrayal.(M.E. EYE 17.2.2020)

Noam Chomsky described settler-colonialism as the most extreme and sadistic form of imperialism.  Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACALLUM. Avoid the problem by changing the subject.

Scott Morrison’s technology diversion remains a roadmap without a destination, without milestones or landmarks, without a recognisable path and without even a clearly defined starting point. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM.The pachyderm on the patio

Kupang is at the bottom of West Timor. It’s the largest city in far eastern Indonesia. Imagine how Canberra would react if Jakarta allowed the People’s Liberation Army Air Force to station their armed jets just 830 km northeast of Darwin. Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | Leave a comment

GEORGE BROWNING. Australia turns its back on the rule of law

Australia’s efforts to block an International Criminal Court investigation into alleged war crimes in Palestine are inexplicable, given the court’s brief to investigate abuses from all sources, be they Hamas, Palestinian paramilitary, or Israel. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

WILLIAM BRIGGS. Assange – when telling the truth becomes a crime

The campaign by Julian Assanges’s lawyers to stop his extradition and the support that his campaign has won and is winning across the globe shows just how torn the fabric of our democracies has become. Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

ANDREW PODGER. In defence of an apolitical, professional public service( The Mandarin 24.2.2020)

I cannot let Laurie Patton’s opinion piece go unchallenged. It is a recipe of despair in its dismissal of fundamental principles of responsible government.

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Posted in Politics | 5 Comments