Author Archives: John Menadue

John Menadue

About John Menadue

John Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.


In Pearls and Irritations, we will be running a series on lobbyists and their threat to our democracy.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Houses are becoming commodities to buy and sell and not homes.

The Property Council and our tame media are obsessed on property prices. Are prices up or down this month? They see property as a commodity  for wealth creation. Housing policy should be about housing as a human right  and for … Continue reading

Posted in Housing, Politics | 11 Comments

The underfunded ABC is at the mercy of well-funded, anti-China organisations

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is funded by the Defence sector including US arms manufacturers. They call the tune in their anti-China campaign. Yet ASPI pretends it is ‘independent’. The ABC and others fall for the anti -China paranoia.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Infrastructure Stimulus: there are smart projects out there, if we care to look

Infrastructure spending is touted as the path to economic recovery, but our leaders can no longer afford to throw billions at programs with little economic merit or policy logic.

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Our intelligence agencies are out of control -An edited repost from Jan 17, 2019

 It seems likely that the prosecution by the Commonwealth Government of former spy (Witness K ) and his lawyer Bernard Collaery will be heard in closed court. What a travesty of justice this is.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

We need a standing Royal Commission to supervise our intelligence agencies

We need intelligence agencies that are accountable. We  do not have  that at the moment. We have witnessed the failure of bank regulators. Regulatory failure in the intelligence sector is even more in plain sight. 

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | Leave a comment

The confusing and wasteful role of the States in our foreign relations

The role of the States in relations with foreign countries has been raised by Scott Morrison. It has an unfortunate anti-China ring about it but he is correct to assert the primacy of the Commonwealth in foreign relations. In Japan, … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Politics | Leave a comment

What a post-war contrast – Germany and Japan; Angela Merkel and Shinzo Abe (REPOST from Aug 31, 2017)

For all its atrocities in the 1930s and 1940s, Germany has become an exemplar country promoting prosperity and peace. Angela Merkel stands out as a world leader more than any other.  By contrast, Japan has again become a divisive country … Continue reading

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An apology

My regrets that the Pearls and Irritations site was down for an extended period yesterday. It is now up and running again with all articles available.  Regards   John Menadue

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The perils of privatisation and private greed

The pandemic has starkly shown us the importance of good government, good public policies and good public institutions. It has also shown us the failure of private institutions, private markets and outsourcing to private providers. If the wholesale arm of … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Top 5 | Leave a comment

Military and security agencies are eroding civil society

War and militarisation has become ever-present in so much of our public life. Civilian power and responsibility is being marginalised. We go to war without our Parliament even debating the merits of such a momentous act. We are ceding civilian … Continue reading

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A progress report on Pearls and Irritations

Pearls and Irritations has topped 10,000 subscribers.

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The Queen’s implausible denial

It beggars belief that the Queen did not know that John Kerr was planning to sack Gough Whitlam. She may not have known the detail of the coup in progress, but she knew the substance. But like Lord Nelson she … Continue reading

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Australia firms in China say bilateral tensions now a bigger risk than weak economy: survey(South China Morning Post 17.7.2020)

For Australian businesses with close China ties, tensions between the two countries pose a more worrisome threat than a slowdown in the Chinese economy, a new survey has found.

Posted in China, Economy | Leave a comment

John Kerr, Martin Charteris and the Palace Letters.

In his grovelling and voluminous letters to the Palace and Martin Charteris, John Kerr had time to comment on some of the minor players. The letters from the ‘loyal and obedient servant’ of Her Majesty, reminded me of my discussions … Continue reading

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The Palace knew for months before November 11 that John Kerr was considering dismissing Gough Whitlam (A repost from 11.11.2015)

Based on an examination of John Kerr’s ‘treasure trove of previously unpublished papers’, Professor Jenny Hocking has provided overwhelming evidence that before the dismissal John Kerr had extensive conversations and correspondence with the Queen, Prince Charles and Sir Martin Charteris, … Continue reading

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High Court Judges and not just Dyson Heydon

A High Court judge colluded in the dismissal of a Prime Minister. The separation of powers was put aside. My confidence in our institutions took a battering.

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John Menadue. Comments on Pearls and Irritations.

As many readers may have noticed, we have moved to an automated comments program called Disqus which allows you to sign up via Facebook and Twitter.  It also vets obnoxious comments and ads. Otherwise our comments policy remains the same.

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JOHN MENADUE. Michael Mullins as Guest Editor

For three weeks from Monday 15 June, Michael Mullins will be Guest Editor of Pearls and Irritations. Michael was formerly Editor of Eureka Street.

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Robert Hendrickson on Donald Trump’s Church fiasco

Robert Hendrickson, Rector, Saint Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church on Donald Trump’s ‘lies and childish inanities.’

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The dangerous and erratic ally that offers us ‘protection’! An updated repost. Part 2 of 2

Yesterday I discussed US ‘exceptionalism’ and that the US is almost always at war. Today I discuss the US domestic sickness- a failing democracy,inequality, racism and violence.

Posted in Politics | 26 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The dangerous and erratic ally that offers us ‘protection’! An updated repost. Part 1 of 2

Apart from brief isolationist periods, the US has been almost perpetually at war. The greatest military risk we run is being led by the nose into a US war with China. The record is clear. We have allowed ourselves to … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, World Affairs | 24 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The Light From the Southern Cross.A Report on Catholic Church Governance

This confidential 208 page Report ‘promoting Co-Responsible Governance in the Catholic Church in Australia’ was commissioned by the Australian Catholic Bishops and Religious Superiors to review the Catholic Church’s governance and management structures. This followed the final report of the … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 6 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Thanks to Ramesh Thakur

Many thanks to Ramesh Thakur who has been Guest Editor of Pearls and Irritations for last three weeks. I will be rolling up my sleeves again. Thanks also to writers and donors John Menadue

Posted in Media | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Comments in Pearls and Irritations

We are receiving an increased volume of comments on articles. That is very encouraging. But if comments are to be posted they should not exceed 100 words and must include the full name of the writer.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Ramesh Thakur as Guest Editor

For three weeks from Monday 4 May, Ramesh Thakur will be Guest Editor of Pearls and Irritations

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JOHN MENADUE. Vale Greg Dodds.

After a long illness Greg Dodds died last week in Perth. Kim Beazley will speak at his funeral  today(30 April 2020)  

Posted in Tributes | 9 Comments

JOHN MENADUE.- Vale Bob Sorby

Bob Sorby died last week. In tribute I repost an article that Bob wrote for Pearls and Irritation on 7 November 2017 concerning Rex Connor’s  plans for Australia.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. An explanation and apology to some subscribers.

I’m writing to apologise for any inconvenience some subscribers  may have experienced in the transition from production being handled by myself to production being outsourced. Change often has some unintended consequences.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Stopping the boats but not cruise ships.

Imagine stopping the boats the centrepiece of your entire political platform for 10 years, and then failing to stop the one boat that actually fucking mattered.

Posted in Politics | 12 Comments