Author Archives: Noel Turnbull

Noel Turnbull

About Noel Turnbull

Noel Turnbull is a blogger who has had a 40-year-plus career in public relations, politics, journalism and academia.

Putting Rosalind Franklin into pandemic perspective

The British decision to put Rosalind Franklin’s famous Photograph 51 on the new 50p coin is a reminder that the controversy over her DNA X-ray diffusion work is but one part of a much larger scientific career.

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Four legs good two legs bad, private good public bad

For decades there has been a relentless chorus – rather like Orwell’s four legs good two legs bad – conditioning us to believe that private is good and public is bad.

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Been there, done that – Thatcherism and Reaganomics revisited

The Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, has announced the government recovery strategy – emulate Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. The problem is that Australia has been there and done that with the same very mixed results Reagan and Thatcher achieved.

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Watching Fox News in the US may kill you

Recent US studies demonstrate that watching Murdoch’s US Fox News increases the likelihood of you believing what’s not true about COVID-19 and – if acting on it – possibly dying.

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How climate has changed the world

The Morrison Government’s attitude to our history is that it started with Captain Cook and then – as if transported by the DeLorean car – arrived at the era of John Howard, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Milton Friedman.

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The cost of outsourcing public health services

The current Victorian Hotel Quarantine Inquiry headed by the Honourable Justice Jennifer Coate AO is putting two things on trial – one predictable media fodder and the other at the root of decades of neo-liberal outsourcing and privatisation.

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Our warmongering allies: the alliance, Part 2

In 2004 Janet Jackson flashed a breast (sorry, suffered a wardrobe malfunction) during the Super Bowl half time entertainment. The same day 109 innocent civilians were killed in a suicide bombing in Iraq.

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Australia and the US, an odd couple for an alliance

Successive Australian Governments have revelled in having a close relationship with their US counterparts. At times it is has been pandering; at others it has resulted in engaging in illegal or unwinnable wars; all cloaked in mutual admiration.

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What does the Eden-Monaro result mean?

The Eden-Monaro by-election status quo ante result raises two questions: why isn’t the Prime Minister’s high approval rating translating into an improved rating for the government; and, why do the media keep up the same old tired approaches to covering … Continue reading

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US belief in national exceptionalism collapses

Donald Trump promised he would make America great again. Instead he has presided over a significant collapse in belief in American exceptionalism.

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Three different views on post-COVID recovery

Two reports on social and economic options for post-COVID-19 recovery, one from the Grattan Institute and one from Phil Ruthven, have recently been published. We can assume there is a third, not yet public: a snap back and marketing plan … Continue reading

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Google is not always the best answer

Google has become the default casual research tool for most people, albeit  a sometimes dangerous one for students with AI plagiarism software widely used in universities. Yet  print editions of various reference texts are still of greater value and utility … Continue reading

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How and why political parties are corrupted in Victoria and elsewhere

Modern Australian political parties are more likely to be corrupted by ideological or religious fanatics and power-seekers than by disputes about policy and how to get into government.

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The battle to shape perceptions of political parties

Right wingers are better at framing policies than progressive parties.

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NOEL TURNBULL. Who cares about scandals, incompetence and corruption?

Recently the New Daily ran two Michael Pascoe pieces exposing a $2.5 billion regional grants program rort 25 times bigger than the sports rorts. Forwarding it on to someone elicited the surprising response: “Who cares?”

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NOEL TURNBULL. There’s no doubt Morrison is swimming against a tidal wave Part 3

The Morrison Government is adopting the newest form of doubting climate change by arguing that yes it does exist but that it can all be fixed by some unproven technological developments such as carbon capture or hydrogen both of which … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. Nev Power’s fossil mates still pushing doubt – Part 2

In 2008 David Michaels’ published a book – Doubt is their Product. How Industry’s Assault on Science Threatens your Health – which was instrumental in the subsequent exposure of the systematic efforts of various industries to raise doubt about the … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

NOEL TURNBULL. Nev is never in doubt

Reflecting on when the Prime Minister rang to ask him head the Government’s COVID-19 Task Force Nev Power said he couldn’t refuse the PM – reacting as any responsible citizen would.

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

NOEL TURNBULL. They’re not all knukcle-dragging proto fascists

It is often easy to imagine that all Americans are unhinged, gun-toting, Bible bashing, conspiracy believers, LBQT+ haters and Trump supporters.

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 6 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. The devastating social costs of inequality

While the number of inequality indices and ratios is proliferating there has been less sustained attention to the social costs associated with it.

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NOEL TURNBULL. Should companies using tax havens get pandemic stimulus funds?

Denmark and France are blocking pandemic financial assistance to any firms registered in tax havens.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. The origins of Anzackery

In the late 1950s and early 1960s Anzac Day was in decline – a malaise exemplified by Alan Seymour’s play “The One Day of the Year”, the origins of Anzackery.

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 2 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. New insights into US attitudes to COVID-19

The phrase ‘only in America’ is one which is deep in possible meanings. In particular it lays itself open to the deconstruction demonstrated in the old Jewish joke about Stalin and Trotsky.

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NOEL TURNBULL.What a difference a change of government makes – to the Murdoch media

It is frequently asserted that if you change the government you change the country. But perhaps the assertion that if you change the government you also change the way the media – particularly the Murdoch media – reports on a … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. Australians aren’t like that are they?

As consumers fight over toilet rolls and marauding bus-loads of city dwellers pillage local country stores of products,  the PM says we will get through it all because we are Australians. This is probably a good time to ask the … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. Compulsive leadership posturing

The PM seems not to understand, leaders don’t have to demonstrate they are leaders – they just are. True leadership doesn’t have a particular style or descriptor. It just is.

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NOEL TURNBULL. Mercenaries throughout history and film

The recent death of the 102 year old Michael ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare reminds us of when the last of the mercenaries who fought in the world’s wars were replaced by mega-mercenary companies to which the United States and others have … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. Credulity, stupidity and two types of infection

As the coronavirus infection spreads it is hard not to think that it might be a good idea for one of the recently infected, Peter Dutton, to be isolated on either Christmas or Manus Islands rather than one of the … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. Grand Prix’s grand claims

There may well be a benign side to the Australian Grand Prix’s consistent overstatement of how many people attend the event – the potential number of coronavirus infections will be correspondingly reduced by the multiple by which the Grand Prix … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. The foundational U.S. myth

All societies survive on myths – whether fraudulent, foundational or both – but one of the most widely of those celebrated among Western world nations (other than Christmas and which encompasses both) is the US Thanksgiving holiday.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments