Author Archives: Alex Mitchell

Alex Mitchell

About Alex Mitchell

Alex Mitchell is a former Sydney Sun-Herald State Political Editor whose commentary appears every Friday. His latest book is Murder in Melbourne – The Untold Story of Palestinian exchange student Aiia Maasarwe.

Rorting of school funding

When State Aid was introduced 50 years ago it was intended to help poor Catholic schools in the poorest socio-economic areas: no one thought it would ever become a rort.

Posted in Education | 3 Comments

Premier Berejiklian on the ropes

When the Premier cannot rely on the unanimous support of her Cabinet to oppose lifting the ban on uranium mining, or she accepts a rotten compromise to save her skin, such a government has run out of steam and its … Continue reading

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NSW Treasurer being white-anted

Two weeks ago Dominic Perrottet was set to take an elevator ride to the Premiership. Now he’s assailed on all sides by the icare workers’ compensation scandal.

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The art of grabbing headlines

NSW Police Minister and former CEO of the Australian Hotels Association (NSW), David Elliott, is a master at getting his name in the media.  Today he is attempting to use the same formula to support his ambition to become Premier. … Continue reading

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Historic houses in NSW up for sale

NSW has a priceless collection of historic houses. They go largely unnoticed, unappreciated and unfunded. Conservative politicians and their wealthy supporters stole the timeless landscape of indigenous Australia and gave it to white settlers. Now they want to profit from … Continue reading

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Remembering Margaret Thatcher

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg invoked the name of UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to support his plan to rescue Australia’s economy in the era of pandemic. My first reaction was furious anger. On reflection, Frydenburg has done us a great … Continue reading

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Gough Whitlam’s dismissal and the CIA

Buried in the Palace Papers was a letter from Governor-General Sir John Kerr to Sir Martin Charteris. Kerr scorned an article in New York’s Village Voice that he was a CIA agent, and that America’s spy agency was involved in … Continue reading

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Morrison has joined the US led war party against China.

Tony Abbott hailed China’s President Xi Jinping as a true friend and welcomed Australia’s trade boom with China. Should he be expelled? When NSW Labor MP Shaoquett Moselmane publicly supported China, Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian destroyed his political career.

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Moslem MP branded a terrorist. Is there a fair go?

Armed police and a media lynch-mob terrorised Labor Upper House MLC Shaoquett Moselmane, his family, neighbours and friends. His parliamentary rights, civil liberties, privacy and reputation have been trashed.

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Sydney as a global city down the drain?

The concept of turning Sydney into a Global City was hatched during the Olympic Games in 2000. The Liberals revived it in 2011 when they swept to power. Property developers loved it. But is the concept still viable?

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Dyson Heydon bites the dust

Former High Court of Australia judge, Dyson Heydon, was chosen by ex-Prime Minister Tony Abbott to run a royal commission to put “the boot into the unions”, Bill Shorten and Julia Gillard. The whole exercise was a disaster.

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Premier Berejiklian’s last hurrah

Her planning was immaculate. She would vacate the Premiership, leave a strong economy, and install her Deputy Leader, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, as the next Premier. Then everything fell apart.

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The white elephants of NSW

Recent economic policy in NSW requires the nimbleness of musical chairs. One day everyone is in favour of neoliberalism and austerity, then they charge the minds and everyone adopts Keynesian big spending. As a result, billions of dollars have been … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL. We are not “All in this together”!

Since COVID-19 was officially recognised as a killer pandemic in March 2020, NSW people, and Australians generally, accepted the view that it does not distinguish between classes, colour, religion, gender or age. Then politicians, urged by bankers and the super-rich, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL. NRL power play in NSW

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?

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL. Don Harwin becomes cactus

In the halcyon days of the NSW Liberal Party’s ascendancy, Don Harwin was a fast-rising star. Then he hit a wall and fell from being one of State’s most powerful Liberal Ministers to the lowly status of an unloved backbencher. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL. Top cop’s pay rise

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has been given a pay rise of $87,000 while nurses, teachers, firefighters and most public servants have been handed a pay freeze. A major row was inevitable.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL. Constance dream turns to nightmare

At the start of this week, NSW Cabinet Minister Andrew Constance was Liberal Party front-runner to take the Federal seat of Eden Monaro. Now his long-held career ambitions to shift from Sydney to Canberra are in ruins. What went wrong?

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: How Sydney survived the 1900 bubonic plague

Sydney was struck by bubonic plague in 1900 creating panic throughout the ramshackle town on Sydney Cove. The city fell under a state of siege and a shutdown. Why did it work?

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: Changing of the guard in NSW

Damien Tudehope, ultra-conservative Minister for Finance and Small Business, is the new Leader of the Government in the NSW Upper House. He replaces former Arts Minister Don Harwin who quit in disgrace. The Liberal Party’s right-wing faction is now calling … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: NSW prisoner release in chaos

Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s Government has begun releasing minimum security prisoners as a health measure to ease overcrowding as the COVID-19 pandemic presents an alarming threat. But is prisoner release driven by health concerns or budget blow-outs?

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: The Ruby Princess scandal and Liberal Party links

The Ruby Princess scandal is not going away anytime soon. Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her key ministers may have perfectly plausible explanations for their role in the spread of the killer virus, COVID-19, from the luxury liner after it berthed … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: NSW Labor should be streets ahead of the Libs

Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s Coalition government is regarded by voters as being among the worst in living memory. So why isn’t Jodi McKay’s Parliamentary Labor Party in front by miles?

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: Mark Latham goes all nuclear – again!

Mark Latham, former Federal Labor leader who now sits in the State Legislative Council as head of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in NSW, is running a one-man campaign to end the ban on uranium mining which came into force in … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: Defending TAFE is a winner for NSW Labor

Created by the Whitlam Government, TAFE tuition was free, offered trade and technical training to a generation of young men and women and upgraded education and career opportunity to all those who wanted it.

Posted in Education, Politics | 1 Comment

ALEX MITCHELL: NSW Parliament is a politicians’ tuck shop

All Liberal and National MPs in the NSW Parliament get a prize. Their basic salary is topped up by appointing them as junior ministers, assistant ministers, parliamentary secretaries or committee chairpersons.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

ALEX MITCHELL: Move to expel Richo from NSW Labor

Graham Richardson, aka “Richo” or “Cardinal Richlieu”, has infuriated his comrades in Sussex Street with anti-Labor broadsides prompting moves to expel him. Is this a good idea?

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

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”.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL: How NSW is becoming a corporate autocracy

Since winning the State Election almost one year ago, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has remodelled herself as the “listening” premier who wants to “reconnect” her Coalition Government with voters. Is it working?

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

ALEX MITCHELL. NSW Liberals torn apart by factional Game of Thrones

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her Coalition partners are fond of declaring that they are free of factions. But factionalism is alive and well.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment