Author Archives: Allan Patience

Allan Patience

About Allan Patience

Dr Allan Patience is a Principal Fellow in Political Science at the University of Melbourne.

Your ABC is turning into their ABC

The combined savagery of the Murdoch media, the jejune fogies in the Young Liberals, their fogy elders on the extreme right, as well as their urgers in reactionary organisations like the Institute of Public Affairs, is culminating in an unhappy … Continue reading

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COVID-19’s lessons for Australia’s post-pandemic governance

The notion that government is the problem not the solution for the political failures of the late twentieth century was the most devious and destructive attack on representative government, ever.  It’s time to bring government back to centre stage.

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The politics of the coming generation.

ANU’s 2019 Australian Electoral Survey showed that among young people in Australia today there is “evidence of a growing divide between the voting behaviour of younger and older generations”.

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Frydenberg, the hollow man: Thatcher and Reagan’s political grandson.

It has never been clear what ethical principles guide Josh Frydenberg’s politics. He appears to be a hollow man, especially with his recent declaration that he will look to the economic policies of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Regan for inspiration … Continue reading

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Australia’s American dreaming is turning into a nightmare.

Since the signing of the ANZUS treaty in 1951, Australians have been living a dream that America shares their country’s cultural values, language and democratic institutions. They dream that they are safely cacooned in Tony Abbott’s beloved “anglosphere”, with the … Continue reading

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Dan Tehan, BA (Hons): Biting the educational hand that fed him

Someone recently observed that Education Minister Dan Tehan is “as dumb as Peter Dutton”. Tehan’s latest foray into higher education policy certainly puts him in the same class as Dutton as a hoary wielder of a sledgehammer when it comes … Continue reading

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It’s time to reform Australia’s higher education system.

The drying up of international student numbers because of the coronavirus border closures, plus the Coalition government’s indifference (indeed, hostility) to universities, is undermining morale right across the country’s higher education sector.

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Dealing with China.

Scott Morrison and Marise Payne’s call for an international “independent” inquiry into the Coronavirus pandemic demonstrates the ham fistedness of the Morrison government’s approach to diplomacy.

Posted in World Affairs | 11 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. The Future is global.

The closing of borders because of the coronavirus pandemic has inflamed opinion around the world that the era of globalisation is coming to an end. Governments are raising the sovereignty flag, hunkering down behind their borders.

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ALLAN PATIENCE. The coronavirus pandemic and the crisis of Australian federalism.

Despite the Prime Minister’s daily press conferences in which he fatuously tries (as is his wont) to reassure “all Australians” that they are “on the bridge to the other side” of the coronavirus pandemic, confusion and fear continue to stalk … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 7 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. The Leaderless Country

Australia has been leaderless since the federal election last May.

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ALLAN PATIENCE. The Flimflam man.

Amid the devastation of the bushfires and drought, what has become bleedingly obvious is that Australia is bereft of the leadership so urgently necessary at this time of national crisis. Morrison is the emperor without clothes, revealing his total lack … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. The shonk from the shire.

Maybe Australians took to Scott Morrison during the election campaign for two main reasons: (1) He was not Bill Shorten; (2) He cunningly presented himself as an authentic bloke, a “daggy dad”, Mr Mainstream. There were no airs and graces. … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. The ALP and the religious right in Australian politics

The religious right is casting a darkening cloud over Australia’s democracy.

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 12 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. Schmoozing America, antagonising China

The Morrison government is cleaving ever more closely to the USA, asserting that the two countries have shared values and aligned interests. Meanwhile it has taken to lecturing China about human rights abuses and emphasising how the values of the … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Getting Morrison’s boot off Labor’s throat.

The Guardian’s political editor, Katherine Murphy, recently observed that Scott Morrison and his band of merry ministers were recklessly ignoring the most pressing policy issues while making a pretence of being in opposition. Labor, the Morrisettes insist, is responsible for … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Re-imagining Australia’s higher education sector

Recently a report commissioned by Education Minister, Dan Tehan, recommended a tightening of the criteria by which any tertiary education institution can call itself a university.

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ALLAN PATIENCE. W(h)ither Labor?

The election loss in May devastated the ALP. The loss was made worse as the party realised that those voters who were heartily fed up with the shenanigans of the Liberal-National Coalition had nonetheless avoided turning to Labor. Since then, … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Complacency is the opiate of the Australian masses.

So, QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce’s annual salary is now some $24 million dollars. This is over three hundred times the average Australian salary. Other CEOs are also being paid well into the tens of millions of dollars. Meanwhile the wages … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. American realism versus Australian independence.

During his recent visit to Australia, the American International Relations scholar, Professor John Mearsheimer, warned his Australian hosts that the United States superpower would not tolerate any serious deviation by Canberra away from the ANZUS alliance – for example, by … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE: What are Australia’s values?

There has been talk of late about Australia’s values which are said to parallel the values of related countries, especially America and Britain. Implied in this talk is a view that these values characterise civilised – even superior – nations, … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. How to advance Australia.

In his important new book How to Defend Australia, Hugh White has placed before us a very clear picture of the contemporary security challenges now confronting Australia. First and foremost is China’s re-emergence as a (or maybe the) major power … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 4 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE and GARRY WOODARD. Morrison as a middle power statesman?

  In attempting to predict how Scott Morrison will develop as a foreign policy Prime Minister, the obstacles in his way should first be noted. While his potential authority within the party room is considerable, he lacks the foreign policy … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Politics, World Affairs | 5 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE It’s time for a democratic socialist agenda for Australia

  Australians have suffered greatly because of the free-market fundamentalism that has been running riot across the political landscape for nearly half a century. Neoliberalism has at last run its destructive course. It’s time for a new era of public … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. America- Australia’s Fool’s Paradise

  Deeply ingrained into Australia’s collective psyche is the naïve conviction that the United States is the country’s most important, entirely reliable, and utterly benevolent ally. This obsequious sentimentalism was embarrassingly expressed in the words of former Prime Minister John … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE Are we seeing the beginning of America’s fragmentation.

  In his 2014 book Dangerous Allies, Malcolm Fraser issued Australians with a timely warning. He pointed out that the America with which Australia had signed the ANZUS treaty way back in 1951 is a very different country to the … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE Labor must broaden its base

  Like all mainstream, once-reforming parties in the liberal democracies, the ALP’s base has shrunk, mainly to inner-city dwellers with progressive views on issues like same-sex marriage and climate change. These people – many with university degrees and professional careers … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE: Behrouz Boochani, No Friend but the Mountain: Writing from Manus Prison

In the foreword to this harrowing narrative about asylum seekers incarcerated on Manus Island, Australian author Richard Flannagan writes: “Reading this book is difficult for any Australian. We pride ourselves on decency, kindness, generosity, and a fair go. None of … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. It’s time for a constitutional reform commission

Acting on references from attorneys-general, the independent Australian Law Reform Commission and its state government equivalents review and recommend reforms to existing laws, and/or identify where new laws are necessary. When it comes to the Australian Constitution, the highest level … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing

When Scott Morrison announced that the Sydney Opera House was the “biggest bill board in the country” he displayed a crass mindset straight from the commercialized anti-culture of the neoliberal era. Plastering a racing industry advertisement across the sails of … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments