Author Archives: Allan Patience
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
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.
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”.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Australia has been leaderless since the federal election last May.
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
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
The religious right is casting a darkening cloud over Australia’s democracy.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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