Author Archives: John Menadue

John Menadue

About John Menadue

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

JOHN MENADUE. China Series

China is in the ‘news’. But it is not always well informed news. In addition much of our news and views about China are shaped in Washington and London.We don’t really know much about China, our major trading partner by … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE-The Private Health Insurance industry is a scam subsidised by taxpayers.

For over fifteen years I have been pointing to the failure of PHI both in terms of efficiency and equity.  Not once have the executives of major firms or their lobbyists joined in a public discussion.  They prefer to strong-arm … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Democracy or oligarchy .

Our political contest used to be between Left and Right, Labor and Conservative.  That has changed with growing anger that power is now rigged in favour of a largely unchallenged and powerful oligarchy. Our democratic  system including our traditional parties … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 20 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. We should stop pretending that the Coalition is a good economic or business manager

The Coalition, supported by our corporate media and billionaires like Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer, claims that it is the superior manager. This claim has become part of the public mindset. But the evidence shows that the Coalition is a … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The National Party has deserted country people on Climate Change, NBN, Health Services and more.

The Nationals  have  a serious problem. It is not just a problem of Michael McCormack’s beige leadership and being pushed aside by Scott Morrison on key country issues like the drought. It has failed on numerous policy  fronts.

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. The failure of the National Party on rural poverty and rural health.

Country electorates have the most disadvantaged people, the poorest health and inferior health services.  But the National Party does very little about it.

Posted in Health, Human Rights, Politics | 7 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. A Repost: Drug policy reform series

See link below to a collection of articles on drug policy reform, which were published as a series in Pearls and Irritations between 6 and 11 August 2018. This series was designed to draw attention to this important issue, and … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Expanding naval bases in central Sydney does not make sense.

The Navy is proposing a $500 million expansion of its training facility at HMAS Watson which is adjacent to the historic South Head National Park. There are good defence, urban, economic and social reasons why naval facilities at Garden Island … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. From a Long Term Permanent Resident of Hong Kong.

The following report is from a long term permanent resident of Hong Kong who along with the rest of Hong Kong has watched the long Summer of Discontent, with disbelief at how rapidly the city has fractured and deteriorated. It … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Thanks to guest editor, Ramesh Thakur.

During our three weeks holiday in the UK, Ramesh Thakur has been guest editor for Pearls & Irritations. Susie and I greatly appreciate his contribution. In considering the future of Pearls & Irritations, we may find that guest editorship provides … Continue reading

Posted in Tributes | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. A updated post: A Commonwealth Hospital Benefit similar to the existing Medical Benefit to replace the $11b private health insurance subsidy.

The wasteful and unfair $ 11b  per annum cost to taxpayers of the subsidy to Private Health Insurance should be abolished and the savings used in three possible ways – part funding a Medicare dental scheme, additional funding for public … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. A Repost and update: The scourge of lobbyists and crony capitalism.

Abuse by lobbyists is back in the news .The most recent appalling example has been Crown Resorts. With Ex Labor and Liberal  ministers and officials on the payroll  of Crown neither the Liberal or Labor Parties raised the Crown scandal … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. We have surrendered our sovereignty to a very dangerous and violent ally. An update

As China reasserts its historical world role, its influence will grow in Australia and elsewhere. But that influence is minimal compared with the US which has ‘agents of influence’ thick on the ground in Australia. Our media ,including the ABC, … Continue reading

Posted in World Affairs | 9 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. ‘Things you learn along the way’.

Occasionally friends suggest to me that I should write my autobiography.  Ruefully I explain that I wrote ‘Things you learn along the way’ twenty years ago. The book sold about 8,000 copies but as far as I know is no longer … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The continuing litany of lies on boat arrivals and border protection.

I am sorry if I keep repeating what I have been saying for four years but when will we finally accept that we have been consistently conned and lied to about boat arrivals and border protection for a long time. … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 11 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. From little things, big things grow, but problems can arise.

In 1984 the number of international students in Australian was minimal and I found Australian University Vice Chancellors very sceptical about encouraging international students to study in Australia .They feared the displacement of Australian students. But in the Department of … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 8 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Tugging our forelock again and again to our dangerous ally. An update

The US has coming calling again. Not an Admiral  this time but  the Pentecostalist Secretary of State Mike Pompeo . He is whistling us up as a faithful dog to join with the US in tackling the problems which Donald … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics, World Affairs | 23 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Vale Graham Freudenberg

A dear friend and colleague, Graham Freudenberg, died this morning at the Redcliffe Hospital.  He was admired and will be mourned by many people who knew him personally and a great number of people who knew him in public recognition … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 11 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Taxpayer subsidised Private Health Insurance is a political scam.

Stephen Duckett of the Grattan Institute has highlighted the growing and  serious plight of PHI as more and more  young people decide not to waste their money and are opting out of PHI. In response the CEO of NIB  in … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Here we go again- attacking unions and ‘red tape’.

With no policy agenda and with the economy sagging, the Morrison government(‘We are the good economic managers’) intends to take us back to what Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey offered us six years ago, an attack on the trade unions … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Ensuring the Future of Pearls and Irritations

Thanks to the many subscribers who have offered financial support to P & I in the future.  I need to secure financial underwriting and arrange ‘back office’ support before we embark on fundraising. Thanks for your early response to this … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. What should Labor stand for? Values and principles. Part 3 of 3.

In Part 2 I focussed on particular issues the ALP faces. In this part I will focus on the way that Labor policies and programs need to be grounded in values and principles.  

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. What should Labor stand for? Some key issues. Part 2 of 3.

At the same time as addressing overarching ‘Labor’ principles that could guide Labor policies and programs that I will return to in Part 3, there are five immediate issues which must be given priority.  

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JOHN MENADUE. What should Labor stand for as the blue collar base declines? Part 1 of 3.

A concern expressed to me by many voters was that the recent ALP campaign lacked an over-riding narrative or framework and that, being very detailed, it was vulnerable to lies and scare tactics. There were many attractive big-ticket policies but  … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Spare us the details!

In the last election campaign I agreed with almost all of the ALP program, but clearly not enough of the public did. There was just too much to explain and communicate. The ALP did not succeed in telling it’s story … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 14 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Negativity and a policy vacuum win the day.

On Saturday, the quiet Australians that Scott Morrison spoke of so fondly voted for self-interest and in fear of change. All the democracies are suffering from a disgruntled working class that wants to blame outsiders and has thrown in its … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 20 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Housing for use value or exchange value

In this election the Coalition and the property industry with the help of the media have obsessed on the financial value of property,property as a commodity and property for wealth creation. Surely housing policy should be about housing as a … Continue reading

Posted in Housing | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The communist threat curbed capitalist greed, but no longer

Five years ago in this blog I warned about  growing inequality.With the communist threat gone we have seen again  greed  coming back into full play around the world. We have seen it here in the greed and anti social  behaviour … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. An ancient or modern Liberal.

This poster appeared in the Wentworth electorate  yesterday.  Very pertinent!  John Menadue

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. A Repost: The facts on boat arrivals that the media won’t face.

From September 2015, almost four years ago, Peter Hughes and I have pointed out repeatedly that Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison triggered the surge in boat arrivals from September 2011 and did not stop the boats as they claim from … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment