Author Archives: Mark Buckley

Mark Buckley

About Mark Buckley

Mark Buckley is a writer based in regional Victoria. He has a particular interest in politics, history and ethics in public life. He blogs at www.askbucko.com

Poor Fellow, my country, indeed: Trump’s Australian fans.

Most of the democratic world agrees that the scenes in the Capitol were terrifying. But what of Australia’s democracy? A government obsessed with secrecy, faux threats to security, MPs in the grip of the neoliberal sickness, and some who appear … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

The Twerp Factory (IPA) wants to destroy the ABC

During the neoliberal boom of the 1970s and 1980s, it became fashionable to sell many valuable state-owned enterprises, often for a song, and usually to friends of the regime. Later on this would become something of a blueprint for the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

This rabble of a government

“Jesus I am sick of this rabble of a government of ours – if it is not making an ass of itself in its handling of relations with our biggest trading partner it is attacking the little bloke’s Super – … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

How to rate key players in Team Australia?

2020 has been a tough year. Let us take a look at the list, where they are at, what they have produced in 2020, and what we can expect in season 2021.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

Journalists need medals for reporting on such dull politicians

The late, great comedian John Clarke always said that the best actors he had ever heard were sports commentators. The reason, he explained, was that they were able to convey the impression, with the utmost conviction, that the outcome of … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Morrison, China and Aged Care

It has always been difficult to read Scott Morrison’s motives. Many attribute his hard line policies and actions, and his intolerance of dissent, or criticism, to his religion, but that seems too simplistic.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

Abbott – a national disgrace

Just when you thought it was safe to open a newspaper again, Tony Abbott is back in the news. This time he is in the UK, where the Brits have appointed him a ‘trade envoy’.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

Privatisation – who’s it good for?

Privatisation is one of those terms which politicians avoid using. That is because the public does not like the idea, or its outcomes. It can be used in a number of ways, but most of us regard it as meaning … Continue reading

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What went wrong with Aged Care?

The definite turning point in the quality and the humanity of Australia’s care of the elderly was the Aged Care Bill 1997 (Cth), introduced as part of the Howard Government’s 1996 Budget measures. It was a huge failure.

Posted in Health, Politics, Top 5 | Leave a comment

Welfare state – do we even need one?

Welfare state, a concept of government in which the state … plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of citizens.

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Please, not an austerity government again!

If there was ever a time for a government to take the bit between its teeth and achieve great things, this is the time. The coronavirus has essentially picked up the chessboard, and thrown all the pieces up in the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

Big disasters need big government

The continuing argument between the left and right in politics seems to be one which boils down to whether or not we believe in the power of big government to cushion the blows of nature, and to maintain our social … Continue reading

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Second outbreak of Covid-19 in Victoria

It is clear that, after our initial success in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, Australians are disappointed and even angry that we have been thrown back into lockdown. Rates of infection have, relatively speaking, shot up.

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Is our alliance with America worth it?

Almost eighty years ago Prime Minister John Curtin prepared a New Year’s Eve message for the Australian people. It was written three weeks after the war with Japan had begun.

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | Leave a comment

The Coalition is just following orders

To understand how and why Australia has ended up where it has, with a series of governments which seem to become more and more damaging to our way of life, year on year, we need only to look back to … Continue reading

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Comparing land use in Australia

If we attempt to compare Aboriginal land use with those of the early settlers, we should broaden the meaning of ‘land use’. We must move away from the narrow European notion of agriculture and horticulture, to one which includes religious … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | Leave a comment

Morrison throws the switch to vaudeville

Fresh from his redemption after The Great Bush-fire Debacle, Scott Morrison is reverting to type. In a farcical press conference he stated that Australia’s institutions and businesses were being targeted by a sophisticated state-based cyber actor.

Posted in Defence and Security, Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

2020 Honours list a sick joke

There are some moments in a country’s history when the bullshit becomes too much to bear. This year’s Queen’s Birthday (2020) Honours List is one such moment, where the entire apparatus of government and its lack of shame tip us … Continue reading

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MARK BUCKLEY. Arise, Sir Tony…

At the risk of beating the same old drum, this current Government seems to be heading steadily down the ethical and moral drain, ever since the unexpected election win.

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. Scomo wrote us a letter of apology

I dreamed that Scott Morrison woke up one day, very recently, and was filled with regret. He was so overcome with regret that he wrote a letter of apology to the people of Australia. The gist of his imaginary letter … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. IPA is wrecking our democracy

The history of the IPA is curious. Many of the key players in its early years are either still around, or their children are.

Posted in Politics | 22 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. Morrison needs to finish the job

Scott Morrison has, in many ways, been ‘saved’ by the coronavirus. At the end of February and heading into March, his public standing was at rock-bottom. Scotty from Marketing was jeered at every time he went out in public, and … Continue reading

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MARK BUCKLEY. The ABC is their new target

In 2018 two researchers from the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) wrote a book, entitled Why We Should Privatise the ABC and How to Do It.

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. Scott Morrison’s crisis management

Scott Morrison is proving to be adept at crisis management and Australia is benefiting.  There have been missteps, and mixed messages, and the occasional catastrophic blunder (the Ruby Princess springs to mind), but in a global pandemic we have, along … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. Meet John Roskam the real PM

I confess that I feel like a complete fool. I had heard bits and pieces about the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) for years, but I had always associated them with tired old culture warriors, like Gerard Henderson, maybe Bob … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 13 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. It’s a Health Emergency and we need to act

The Spanish Flu’ pandemic of 1918-1920 bears a strong resemblance to the current pandemic. Although the actual virus causing the disease is different, the result of the infection is similar. It causes pneumonia, and people die in large numbers. It’s … Continue reading

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MARK BUCKLEY. Booing is for babies.

In VFL/AFL football there is a time honoured tradition of the crowd being vocal during matches. Most of the watchers know the game, many have played the game, or aspired to do so.

Posted in Arts and Sport | 1 Comment

MARK BUCKLEY. Christmas Island – A huge waste of money

Who is to blame? When one is looking at the current Government, and its ministers, and rating their general demeanour, competence, and ability to deliver decent, law-abiding administration, choosing the worst performers is tricky.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. Rita Hayworth via Graham Green

I started to cull my books recently. As old age approaches I routinely decide that I need to gain more space, and to really get rid of what I will never get around to reading, sort of like “use it, … Continue reading

Posted in Reviews | 4 Comments

MARK BUCKLEY. Barnaby will never be PM

Barnaby has already attained high office Many outstanding politicians are remembered for doing something special for their country, or perhaps for a lifetime of sustained effort for the country’s benefit. Barnaby Joyce was named “Australia’s best retail politician” by another … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments