Author Archives: John Menadue

GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 5 of 5)

Part 5: Narrative Overview and Conclusion  The emphasis in our military history and remembrance on asking how we fought does not inherently preclude an interest in what we were fighting for. The two narratives could co-exist and interact. But not … Continue reading

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MAY 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 | 2 Comments

TED TRAINER. Terrorism and Our Empire: Some Neglected Questions.

There is a very strong tendency to avoid asking some key questions about terrorism, thereby maintaining various myths and delusions that prevent a number of unpleasant realities from being faced up to.

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TIM LINDSEY. Jokowi’s dilemma: turning Islamists into civil rights heroes?

Indonesia’s emergency law, enacted in response to the growing disruptive influence of Islamist hard-liners, could be a blow to the open, liberal democracy that Indonesian reformers have been trying to build ever since the fall of Soeharto in 1998. And … Continue reading

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STEPHEN LEEDER. Comparing health systems in 11 countries

A new report comparing health systems in eleven countries gives Australia a pat on the back but not for equity. What’s going on?

Posted in Health | Leave a comment

BEN NEWELL, CHRIS DONKIN, DAN NAVARRO. worried about shark attacks or terrorism? (Repost from 21 April 2017)

The world can feel like a scary place.  Today, Australia’s National Terrorism Threat Level is “Probable”. Shark attacks are on the rise; the number of people attacked by sharks in 2000-2009 has almost doubled since 1990-1999. Travellers are at a … Continue reading

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GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 4 of 5)

Part 4. A race strategy to save ‘White Australia’  Political manipulation of the society’s racially inflected anxieties was a major factor in the imperial ascendency over national defence policy in the Commonwealth in 1911. The secret implementation of a race … Continue reading

Posted in ANZAC, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL THORN. The cricket pay dispute and how broadcast deals drive unhealthy product marketing

After the series of serious drug and alcohol incidents involving rugby league players and officials in May, some quite reasonably made the argument that sports that so closely embrace alcohol brands can hardly be surprised when the behaviour of players … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Sport | 2 Comments

TONY SMITH. The ‘Masked’ Man on Horseback.

When Prime Minister Turnbull announced changes to the way Australia’s security is conducted, he was accompanied by a member of the military. There is nothing unusual about that – except that the soldier was masked. The Prime Minister seemed to … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 4 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS. Talisman Sabre just confuses strategic thinking for Australia

The recent joint US:Australian Talisman Sabre joint military exercise has added further confusion to  the challenge of determining sensible Australian strategic thinking. US talk of a joint expeditionary force to combat IS terrorism in SE Asia camouflages an attempt by … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 1 Comment

IAN MCAULEY. Dutton’s new super ministry: will it make us safer?

The Government’s proposed “Home Affairs” mega ministry, if it concentrates resources and public attention on Islamic terrorism, could make us less safe from other threats to our public safety.

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JOHN MENADUE. Malcolm Turnbull – Mr. 300%. (Repost from 18 November 2016)

Malcolm Turnbull has announced a submarine building program that has an effective rate of protection of 300%. Yes 300%. That is the additional cost we will pay compared with buying at best price in the international market.  

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Politics | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN, TIM COSTELLO, ROBERT MANNE and JOHN MENADUE. Stopping Boats and Saving Lives Four Years On …

How much longer will we continue to punish proven refugees who are our responsibility while they await interminable, uncertain futures in Nauru and Manus Island?  Everyone knows that not all the proven refugees will be resettled in the USA even … Continue reading

Posted in Immigration, Refugees and asylum seekers | 4 Comments

GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 3 of 5)

Part 3. Empire over nation.  In 1914-18, the fight for Empire against Asia minimised independent Australian national interests. Ambiguous, interchangeable use of the terms ‘empire’ and ‘nation’ also protected that ‘imperial’ bias in our political culture. 

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RAMESH THAKUR. The parliamentary eligibility law is an ass – but it is the law.

Australia’s restrictive eligibility criterion for entering Parliament is out of touch with modern reality but, as long as it is the law of the land, it has to be enforced and be seen to be impartially enforced. 

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LOUIS COOPER. President Trump’s 17-page list of changes to the North American Free Trade agreement [NAFTA] are causing some political problems for Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.

NAFTA came into force on January 1 1994. It replaced the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA’s basic premise was to ignore the international borders and reduce or eliminate tariffs for much of the trade between Canada, the United States … Continue reading

Posted in Foreign Affairs | 1 Comment

JAMES O’NEILL. Germany’s Ostpolitik in the Modern Era

Germany recognises that there is a fundamental shift in the economic, political and military balance of power to the east.  It is now flexing its political muscle to match its economic might.

Posted in Foreign Affairs | 3 Comments

JOAN STAPLES. Environmental NGOs, Public Advocacy and Government

Environmental NGOs fear the Federal Government is moving to limit their public’ advocacy by requiring them to spend 50% of their income on practical environmental tasks such as tree planting.

Posted in Environment, Taxation | 1 Comment

JOHN AUSTEN. Road spending incurs billion dollar new debts annually – nobody notices (Repost from 27 June 2016)

It’s traditional that election time in Canberra brings out the road lobbies who ask for ‘all that extra cash’ which governments raise from fuel excise to be ‘put back into our roads’. The problem is that the facts no longer … Continue reading

Posted in Federal Election 2016, Infrastructure, Politics, Vested Interests | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 2 of 5)

Part 2. Empire against Asia The ‘imperial’ nature of Australia’s involvement in the Great War was distinctively Australian and, it should be said, a sign of the doubt white settler society had about its survival as a remote outpost of … Continue reading

Posted in ANZAC, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Politics | 1 Comment

Big business influence wanes as public rejects ‘bizonomics’

In this article in the Fairfax media on 24 July 2017, ROSS GITTINS refers to the debate in Pearls and irritations about neoliberal economics.  John Menadue The collapse of the “neoliberal consensus” is as apparent in Oz as it is … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Government policies have made us less safe.

The establishment of an enlarged Department of Home Affairs under the ministerial control of Peter Dutton is an unnecessary mistaken policy.  

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Greek Wisdom.

The Greeks said it succinctly: the system of tyranny is only as good as the worst man who can become a tyrant. Step forward, Peter Craig Dutton, Master of the Universe. 

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE: Privatisation is costing consumers and damaging economic reform. (Repost from 26 July 2016)

‘Privatisation is costing consumers and damaging economic reform’ said  Rod Sims, the Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, recently. He added ‘Poorly regulated privatisations are driving up prices and have little to do with economic reform … this … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? Part 1 of 5 part series.

To find out what we were fighting for in the Great War we must get past the usual fig-leaf explanation, which is as remarkably effective as it is short on cover in Australian culture.  

Posted in ANZAC, Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Immigration, Politics | 6 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. A peace deal between Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott!

The new Liberal Party Federal President Nick Greiner is aiming for the Nobel Peace Prize, and he’s doing it the hard way.  

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CESAR JARAMILLO. Canada’s opposition to the nuclear weapons ban treaty has degraded its reputation on disarmament, at home and abroad. An open letter to Justin Trudeau on the banning of nuclear weapons

Dear Mr. Trudeau, You recently dismissed this year’s multilateral process to negotiate a legal prohibition of nuclear weapons as “useless.” I’m afraid you were misinformed: it was anything but.

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MARGARET O’CONNOR. Reforming the Catholic Church: it’s up to the laity

The task of reform of the Catholic Church has to fall to the Church’s laity. This work is too important to be led by media figures and personalities with their twitter accounts, large public platforms and endless opinions.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Rupert Murdoch’s abuse of power. (Repost from 7 August 2013)

Controlling 70% of Australia’s metropolitan newspapers, one would hope that Murdoch would exercise some responsibility in the use of that power. But none of that responsibility for Rupert Murdoch!  

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged , | 2 Comments

JAMES O’NEILL. Lessons from Mosul: Double Standards, War Crimes and Lack of Accountability

Lest week the Iraqi government announced that Mosul has been ‘liberated ‘ from the control of ISIS. The major campaign for Mosul’s liberation began in October 2016 when the US led coalition massively increased both bombing raids and artillery attacks … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs | 2 Comments