Author Archives: John Menadue

JOHN MENADUE. News Corp – a rogue organisation (Repost from 21 September 2018)

Rupert Murdoch’s form in abusing power and finding truth hard to handle continues. ‘Turnbull has to go’ is typical behaviour for a man who has done more to damage democracy than any living media person . I worked with Rupert … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

DUNCAN GRAHAM Could Kiwi values fly north?

New Zealand’s image has always been less coarse than Australia’s. Both nations claim to be egalitarian, peopled by ‘can-do’ improvisers. The Jolly Swagman’s cousin is A Good Keen Man. They salute the ‘fair go’, sharpen scythes to slash tall poppies … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. ASPI’s Agenda for change 2019

To pinch an epigram from former Air Force colleagues in Defence, ASPI’s ‘Agenda for change 2019: Strategic choices for the next government’ is a target rich environment. The contributors set out a smorgasbord of advice on strategic policy issues for … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. Nuclear Nonsense

Nuclear Nonsense The profound hypocrisy of the ownership of nuclear weapons is growing. Sideshows such as those wanted by Trump, in Singapore and Hanoi will change nothing. A return to serious discussions by the two nuclear weapons mega-powers, Russia and … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

JUDITH WHITE. Government arts policy slammed in NSW report

The NSW Coalition Government has breached its own Treasury guidelines and governance of the arts and culture sector needs a complete review, according to the final report of the Upper House Inquiry into Museums and Galleries.

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NOEL TURNBULL. Dodging the draft

Kim Jong-un has managed to achieve something that Presidents Johnson and Nixon couldn’t – get the draft dodging Donald Trump to Vietnam. Of course Trump didn’t stay long – soon leaving on a jet plane.  

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GARRY EVERETT. Sex Only??

The recent Hollywood movie, On the basis of sex, tells the story of the first successful court case argued by Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the 9th Circuit Court. The subject matter was discrimination by the Federal Tax Laws, against a … Continue reading

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OLIVER FRANKEL AND SUSAN RYAN. Monthly housing digest – Jan/Feb 2019

This is the first of what is intended to be a monthly digest of interesting articles, research reports, policy announcements and other material relevant to housing stress/affordability and homelessness – with hypertext links to the source material. While the focus … Continue reading

Posted in Housing | 1 Comment

IAN DUNLOP. Keeping Australians Safe and Secure

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne recently gave us the benefit of his wisdom on the parlous state of Australian politics, doubting that it is any longer capable of acting for the long-term good of the nation. Prime Minister Morrison confirmed the … Continue reading

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CHAS W. FREEMAN JR. After the trade war, a real war with China

[T]he greatest danger of a [real] Sino-American war is Taiwan. Taiwan is a former Chinese province that was recovered from its Japanese occupiers by Nationalist China at the end of World War II. In 1949, having been defeated everywhere else … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

LESLEY RUSSELL. Can Primary Health Networks (PHNs) Drive Needed Primary Care Reforms?

LESLEY RUSSELL. Can Primary Health Networks (PHNs) Drive Needed Primary Care Reforms? A strong primary care system is essential to the equity, efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system and for improvements in health outcomes. However, the structure and funding … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

STEPHEN de WEGER. Clerical sexual abuse of adults. Another blind spot.

In 2013, after working as a research assistant project into clergy sexual abuse of children, I decided to undertake an exploratory study into clergy sexual misconduct against adults. During this study I came across what I believe should be a … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 11 Comments

FRANCIS SULLIVAN. Pell conviction blows apart bishops’ mantra

Yesterday’s announcement of the conviction of Cardinal George Pell has been shattering for many and a relief for others. The fact that the most senior cleric in Australia has been found guilty is devastating on many levels. Not the least … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 9 Comments

BARNEY ZWARTZ. George Pell has fallen, but the cardinal’s legacy casts a long shadow

So Cardinal George Pell – by far Australia’s best-known church leader of the past 25 years, the highest-ranked Australian ever at the Vatican, a confidant of prime ministers – faces a jail sentence for child sexual abuse. The dispenser of … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 3 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON. Facilitating repression, abandoning values.

Admirable as Senator De Natale’s persistence was in pressing Defence on the issues of military sales to Saudi Arabia, he pursued the wrong issue. Australia is, and will remain, a trivial player in the global arms market and the Yemeni … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 1 Comment

GEORGE MONBIOT. Dark money is pushing for a no-deal Brexit. Who is behind it?

Modern governments respond to only two varieties of emergency: those whose solution is bombs and bullets, and those whose solution is bailouts for the banks. But what if they decided to take other threats as seriously?

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MIKE SCRAFTON. The dangerous shibboleths of ‘strategists’

Some commentators on strategic policy seem to regard Australia’s national interests as close enough to immutable. That makes strategic policy a trivial and static matter.

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

ROBERT MICKENS. The sex abuse summit and the Vatican’s lack of transparency.

Illustrative of the Church’s fear of revealing the truth is the case of Msgr. Joseph Punderson. 

Posted in Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

TREVOR COBBOLD. Education Department Slammed for Failure to Monitor How School Systems Distribute Taxpayer Funding

The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit of the Parliament has slammed the Commonwealth Department of Education for failing to ensure that government funding of public and private school systems is distributed according to needs-based principles.

Posted in Education | 1 Comment

BOB DOUGLAS : Towards a proper policy on asylum seekers

Last month, the Victorian prize for literature and the Victorian Premier’s prize for non-fiction work were awarded to an Iranian refugee, Behrouz Boochani, for his book, “No friend but the mountains: Writing from Manus prison.”  

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PAUL COLLINS. Catholicism’s Year from Hell

Without a doubt the last twelve months have been Catholicism’s annus horribilis and, let me assure you, there’s still not much light at the end of the tunnel.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 8 Comments

HUGH WHITE. Canberra’s growing silence on US leadership in Asia

Sometimes what is left out of a major policy speech is as important as what is said. This was certainly true late in January when Australia’s Defence Minister Christopher Pyne spoke about regional security in a keynote address to a … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS. The Second Trump:Kim Summit – Just another step along the way?

Amid all the media speculation feeding off Trump’s own optimistic commentary and resolute scepticism of many long term Korea watchers there are some recent glimmers of very limited progress emerging from the Hanoi Summit. After a late start, the lead … Continue reading

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IAN WEBSTER. Of minds imprisoned.

Beyond the image of the vagabond and the impaired bodies and minds of homeless people there are untapped veins of intellect and potential; this is where our focus should be. “The homeless are our most important dreamers, prophets and poets … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

JOCELYN CHEY. What to do about Human Rights in China

Human rights in China are under threat. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) government ignores international representations. Should Australia even attempt to intervene? What would we risk? The easy course would be to do the minimum and restrict our representations … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights | 4 Comments

LINDA SIMON. Review Lite for VET! – What happened to the Royal Commission?

Under the pressure of an upcoming Federal election and little action taken to address ongoing issues in the vocational education and training sector, in November 2018 the Prime Minister announced a review into VET. The review was to be undertaken … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 1 Comment

DEMETRI SEVASTOPULO AND DAVID BOND . UK National Cyber Security Centre says Huawei is manageable risk to 5G( Financial Times London 18.2.2019

British intelligence has concluded that it is possible to mitigate the risk from using Huawei equipment in 5G networks, in a serious blow to US efforts to persuade allies to ban the Chinese supplier from high-speed telecommunications systems.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN TULLOH. The ties that bind – the US and Saudi Arabia.

If an international criminal like ‘El Chapo’, the Mexican drug baron, can be tried (and convicted) in the US within two years of falling into American hands, why can’t the surviving alleged perpetrators of the 9/11 atrocity? Why is it … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

MARILYN HATTON. Pray and light a candle for our church in crisis.

For years a small but expanding number of Catholics in Australia have beenappealing for church reform and have struggled to gain attention from our bishops. Our prayers and entreaties for change in the clerical, male-dominated cloisters have fallen on unattentive … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. The UK will make Brexit on 29th March

The UK will make Brexit on 29th March if the government is to avoid a huge humiliation and unforgivable damage to its economy, not to mention the nation’s future diplomatic standing and credibility. This appears to have got through to … Continue reading

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