Author Archives: Jack Waterford

Jack Waterford

About Jack Waterford

John Waterford AM, better known as Jack Waterford, is an Australian journalist and commentator.

Will our Glad have a chair when the music stops?

Spare a thought for the personal tragedy of Gladys Berejiklian, a genuinely hard-working and on the face of it a decent premier of NSW. Brought low because she formed a long-term personal relationship with a spiv, one whose general dishonesty … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Top 5 | Tagged | 6 Comments

The Gladys and Daryl Show. Having to squirm in open hearings acts as a disincentive to venality

If Gladys Berejiklian, and her ludicrous consort, have to take one for the team, let it not be for tiny misdemeanours but for being parties to a corrupted mindset of the spoils of public office.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ACT Election: Tired and complacent versus hidebound and headstrong

The biggest argument in favour of showing the ACT Barr Labor government the door next Saturday is that it has become tired and corrupted by too many years of continuous power.

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We need jobs which improve the Australian quality of life

The past week has seen yet another report from the royal commission into aged care, against pointing out the sub-standard services provided at Rolls-Royce prices by entrepreneurs making enormous profits, as well as the low standards being set for the … Continue reading

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See if budget creates a future, and beware of dirty tricks!

Close observers of Tuesday’s federal Budget will no doubt have their eyes out for evidence of the usual political chicanery towards political donors, lobbyists and friendly interests, as well as mates, cronies and relatives of senior members of government, this … Continue reading

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Porter – the political law officer who will not protect the public interest

It is of the essence of the idea of the Law Officer that he is, at least in advising, detached and independent, and that the advice represents a statement of the law rather than of some clever way of getting … Continue reading

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Corporate Covid giveaways wide-open for mega-rorting

History would suggest that conservative politicians, of all folk, would be the ones who were cautious about uncontrolled public spending programs. But it sometimes seems that the apparent moral collapse and decline of social responsibility in Australian business has also … Continue reading

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ADF and government stage-managing release of war crimes report

We need a fair-dinkum inquiry, by properly independent experts, not only of how and why we went to a useless war, but also into serious shortcomings of leadership, both at the top level and in command of troops on the … Continue reading

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Soon we must admit defeat in Afghanistan, and war crimes

I doubt we can fashion much of a narrative of which Australians could be proud when we consider what will be happening soon with Afghanistan. What will probably be good for Afghanistan — a measure of peace — will be … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 6 Comments

ASIO is a Mickey Mouse outfit compromising 50 years of diplomacy with China

When head of the Australian Signals Directorate, Mike Burgess was the main adviser recommending against Huawei being allowed into the 5G network. There is no doubt about his intelligence background, or his technical talents. He has, however, yet to demonstrate … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | Tagged | 11 Comments

Secrecy covers up abuse of power and poor performance by security services

One would have to go back to the 1970s to find the nation so ill-served. All the more so as politicians have politicised national security, and reverted to 1960s games of gathering and using secret information for political purposes. It … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 3 Comments

Federal and State blame game won’t shift the burden of economic revival

Initially, Scott Morrison was imaginative in trying to co-opt the premiers and chief ministers into a united response. However, as the premiers have gone their own way he has become more willing to criticise and more exasperated about their standing … Continue reading

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How governments made economic medicine less potent, more insipid

I expect the premiers will suffer little political pain if recovery doesn’t happen, is patchy or too slow. It will be Morrison and Frydenberg who are blamed.

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Cowardly Labor won’t fight Morrison over China policy

Enemies, foreign and domestic, appear to be preoccupying the minds of our foreign minister, Marise Payne, and our Defence Minister, Linda Reynolds as they maintain their lonely patrols in the diplomatic cocktail circuit and the officers’ messes.

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Who’s repelling boarders at our internal borders?

The emergency border controls are not doing much, if anything, to drive the virus from our shores.

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War defined the scope of emergency powers, but now we may discriminate

Would some of the coercive powers under the pandemic response survive a High Court challenge?

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Bad habits must be unlearned before they bring down governments and society

Morrison has never been one for secrecy, refusal to acknowledge error or bad judgment, and willingness to use his prerogatives to avoid being pinned on detail. Perhaps his impulses on the pandemic or reviving the economy are worthy — methinks … Continue reading

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Morrison’s government has tried ditch the rules… to no avail

The problem with this government is that it doesn’t seem to learn from its mistakes. Perhaps that is because it fears that any change in approach will be seen as an admission of wrongdoing — even maladministration, as with the … Continue reading

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Child sex victims being bent to national security agenda

We are all against cyber-crime – criminal offences done with the aid of a computer – are we not?  And cyber-terrorism – bad guys, and not only jihadist terrorists, using the internet to recruit, propagandise, communicate and, probably transfer money … Continue reading

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Cyber-war: building more empires than it destroys

Cyber disruption is an unpleasant fact, but not the end of the world.  But the sort of bad, unexamined and unaccountable thinking our planning involves, presents every risk of making our bullets land in the wrong places, when or if … Continue reading

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The courage deficit: Will Albanese die wondering?

Scott Morrison may have done Anthony Albanese a big favour by taking some time from his paterfamilial labours saving the nation from Coronavirus to engage instead in a little discreet fundraising and rallying of the coalition’s troops.

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Forget the trench battles. There’s a war to be won

Scott Morrison has never been so vulnerable to fundamental attack. It is about time the Albanese army began seriously probe his defences.

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Liberals throw out their Doctrines and Dogma

The Prime Minister, the head of Treasury and the present or former Chief Medical Officer may each be experts within their fields, but none of their guesses about when Coronavirus will loosen its grip on the nation’s economic throat are … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

Corona-crisis calls for imagination, not panic, parsimony and punishment.

Tertiary education, including universities, was badly hit (to complete government indifference, even delight.) The cultural sector was punished — and a good deal more than sport. Lobbyists for pubs and clubs have had a field day with compliant governments. 

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Are we but twiddling thumbs while waiting for a vaccine?

Spare a thought for Scott Morrison during these still early days of the struggle to rescue Australia, and Australians, from the effects of Coronavirus.

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Deliberately missing the opportunities

 There were – are – people who have seen great social and philosophical opportunities in the disruption caused by the pandemic, quarantine, closures of business, and mass unemployment rendered somewhat less painful by massive government spending and new income maintenance … Continue reading

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Australia’s courts and senators are not of an accountability mind

What would happen if an Australian senate committee, dominated by Labor and the Greens and an independent, decided by majority to demand the tax return of a coalition minister, perhaps in pursuit of allegations of abuse of power for some … Continue reading

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One cannot say that the law is above our politicians

The US Supreme Court has many things in common with the Australian High Court, including some reputation for containing the odd sexual harasser, but most Australians are thankful that they have not come to be regarded as pawns of the … Continue reading

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China won’t care what we think or do about Hong Kong

One can look at the future of the seven million people of Hong Kong only with the deepest foreboding.

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Our lapdogs yap from a safe distance

The western world will probably see the absorption of Hong Kong, or Taiwan, as something that affects its national interests, in a way that the fate of Tibetans and Uighars does not.

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