It’s become a ritual for every Australian leader for the past half-century.
Americans shamelessly believe that their nation and their culture are superior and exceptional. Under Trump America’s reputation around the world is depleted. There is a real danger that his may become permanent should Trump be re-elected in November 2020. Continue reading
Almost four months after the Irish general election on 8 February 2020 Ireland is still without a government. What’s been happening and who is running the shop during the Covid-19 crisis? Continue reading
I have come to realize even more sharply over the last 12 months the extraordinary and unappreciated contribution that the working class – those much-maligned trade unionists and workers make to Australian society. Continue reading
It might be conventional wisdom that Australia needs to diversify its trade and reduce dependence on China. There is, however, no magic button that delivers it. No trade delegation to New Delhi or Jakarta is going to pick up a raft of contracts to enable us to cancel guaranteed sales to China.
It’s not difficult knowing what to do to prevent an environmental and human catastrophe. What’s difficult is making it happen and starting it now, especially in Australia. Today’s articles highlight some recommendations for governments. Finally, a couple of wins in court, and reproduction and Raymond Chandler.
What people in other forums are saying about public policy Continue reading
The discovery of an error of $60 bn in the costing of JobKeeper raises the issue of what should be done with this money? However, as JobKeeper was always incomplete these deficiencies should be the first call on this extra money. Continue reading
The new Global Talent Independent (GTI) visa provides a direct permanent residence for ‘highly skilled professionals in high growth sectors’. According to the Department of Home Affairs, processing times range between two days and two months with many being decided within a week or two.
A ‘self-help’ state is back, and nationalism, populism, xenophobia, trade, and territorial disputes are on the rise.
Who governs NSW – Premier Gladys Berejiklian or NRL boss Peter V’landys? One is elected, the other isn’t. One is a blue-stockinged Tory from Sydney’s North Shore, the other is a Labor supporter from working-class Wollongong. Who will prevail? Continue reading
Our security lies in our capacity to work together for the common good, rather than in weapons that terrify other humans. Roadmaps to address our two biggest threats, nuclear weapons and climate change, are ready to go. We’re not waiting for a vaccine, but simply for governments, including our own, to learn that increasingly alarming warnings require urgent action. Continue reading
In recent domestic policy and international engagement Australia is demonstrating two contrasting personalities. One is demonstrated through our response to COVID 19 and the other through our troubled inability to form responsible climate and energy policy. Why do we have two personalities? Continue reading
On the weekend of the 7 and 8 June, ABC Classic will be conducting its Classic 100 Countdown for 2020. Being the 250th anniversary of his birth, it is devoted to the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. Continue reading
The RBA is bound by its mandate from government. This mandate needs to be re-worked by a progressive government. Continue reading
On 26 May, Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said if Australia’s mortality rate matched the UK’s, we’d have had 14,000 Covid-19 deaths. This is just tautological rubbish. It would be just as true and equally pointless to say if Australia’s mortality rate matched Vietnam’s, we’d have zero deaths.
I am a long-time reader, contributor and supporter of Pearls & Irritations. Continue reading
The Trump administration’s lack of interest in a global response to COVID-19, or even extending a helping hand to its allies and partners, is bringing home the possibility that US leadership may be gone for good. Beyond exposing a diminished American will to lead, the pandemic response is revealing a new reality — that of US incompetence.
The Market Forces UniSuper divest campaign details continuing UniSuper investments in fossil fuels despite many concerns expressed by academics and despite the progressive climate change crisis. Do the Universities have responsibilities? Continue reading
The advent of Covid-19 following on so closely from the centenary of Spanish influenza has led to a renewed interest in that last great pandemic. Yet, more than 100 years after the event, there is still a wide discrepancy in the estimates of how many it killed. Continue reading
The Covid-19 virus discriminates against the old. The young are hardly affected. The lockdowns around the world required everyone to live in a cage, young and old. Now that the restrictions are being relaxed, it is inevitable that governments are going to have to discriminate in the same way the virus does – against the old who will be the ones who need the confinement to protect their health, not the young who need jobs and a future. Continue reading
The best reading on the state of Australia-China relations is in documents we can’t see. That is, in the cables sent from Canberra to their capitals by ambassadors of Asian nations. Continue reading
Wage increases are widely believed to pose a threat to employment. But this ignores their role in supporting demand growth. Instead, wage increases consistent with maintaining an equilibrium distribution of income are necessary to sustain economic growth and employment. Continue reading
The downward spiral in Australia-China relations must stop. The Australian government must take a lead towards a major and long overdue reset. Continue reading
It is five years this week since Pope Francis published perhaps the most radical and important papal encyclical ever issued, Laudato si’, mi’ Signore (‘Praise be to you, my Lord’) on ‘care for our common home.’ Continue reading
Reliable sources of information on Australian ties with China do not include the ultra-nationalistic PRC Global Times when it applauds Australia receiving a “slap to the face,” or the Vision Times, which reports that people have recovered from COVID-19 after reciting the “Nine Sacred Words” of the Falun Gong sect. Nonsense spreads like wildfire through social media. Those looking for objective or nuanced reporting have to work harder.
The Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, has introduced new, comprehensive powers for ASIO. The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Amendment Bill 2020 repeals ASIO’s existing questioning and detention warrant framework and introduces a reformed and extended compulsory questioning scheme. The Bill is not all bad. But there is quite enough in it to cause those with a concern for the protection of civil liberties, sleepless nights. Continue reading
With international travel at a standstill, arts organisations are grappling with the dilemma of future programming. There is no lack of local work to showcase – but what about international connections? Continue reading