Author Archives: Peter Menadue

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Australia plummets below Greece

At last Scott Morrison’s torpid government realises that it is in danger of being mugged by reality.

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

GREG CLARK. The Day I met the Emperor in Waiting

The request came from out of the blue.  A neighbor in rural Chiba whose wife had royal family connections had sent a message via her husband that the crown prince, Naruhito, want to talk with me. He was said to … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

HAROLD LEVIEN. Our economic downturn

The Government has failed to respond to Australia’s continuing economic downturn despite both increasing unemployment last measured at 720,000 and underemployment of 1.14 million.

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

ERIC SIDOTI. Morrison’s unsettling religiosity – Part 2

“God bless Australia.” Scott Morrison chose these three words to close his acceptance speech on winning the ‘miracle’ election’. In doing so he has taken Australia into unchartered territory.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

ABUL RIZVI. Current surge in asylum seekers is not normal for Australia

Writing in The Conversation, Regina Jefferies and Daniel Ghezelbash argue the current surge in onshore asylum applications is not ‘unprecedented’ because tourists or students often lodge claims for asylum due to circumstances beyond their control. They give the example of … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 7 Comments

MARYANNE SLATTERY.  The only thing as certain as drought in Australia is the stupid call to build new dams (The Guardian, 15 October 2019)

In Australia, the only thing as certain as drought is the subsequent calls by politicians to build new dams. Right on cue, the prime minister announced a $1bn commitment for new dams on Sunday.

Posted in Environment and climate | 7 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison kowtows to Trump

Even as Donald Trump announced he would cut and run from Syria, leaving his Kurdish allies to whatever bloody fate awaits them and opening a door for the resurgence of ISIS. our fearless prime minister was not ready to breathe … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

SETH FRANTZMAN. Smoke Signals in the Next Middle East War (7 October 2019, Tablet)

Iran’s attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields was a warning to Israel in an escalating regional war A bit over two weeks before the cruise missiles and drones detonated in Saudi Arabia’s strategic oil fields, igniting massive explosions that would … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Albanese risks making Rudd’s mistake.

As they sweat on the results of the long-drawn out post mortem over Labor’s loss in the unlosable election, the warlords are already staking out their own positions. The feeling seems to be that since a protracted series of blame … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

JOHN MCCARTHY. The Morrison Doctrine.

Dear Prime Minister, I see you are developing a foreign policy doctrine of your own. Good. We haven’t had one for a while. Congratulations on taking this stuff seriously. The management of our external environment will be your toughest job … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

GREG BARTON. Australia isn’t taking the national security threat from far-right extremism seriously enough (the Conversation, 3 October 2019)

Until the terror attack in Christchurch in March, the threat of far-right terrorism in Australia was one we knew was coming, but believed was well over the horizon. The sordid story of the Christchurch attacker – “ordinary Australian” turned hateful … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | Comments Off on GREG BARTON. Australia isn’t taking the national security threat from far-right extremism seriously enough (the Conversation, 3 October 2019)

WANG GUNWU. China’s rise this time is different (East Asia Forum, 29 September 2019)

On 1 October China will be celebrating the 70 years of unification that followed Mao Zedong’s victory over the Nationalist regime in 1949. Many thought that had brought about the rise that the Chinese peoples had been waiting for since … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

JACK WATERFORD. Thin pickings from big bikkies

Britain’s ‘war’ on organised crime is failing, and it’s probably the same here Some fresh and depressing evidence for those who, like me, fear that federal law enforcement is a good deal less effective and efficient than it could be, … Continue reading

Posted in Drug Reform, Politics | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM.  Reserve Bank gives up on Morrison

The Reserve Bank, like so many economic pundits, has finally given up on the government of Scott Morrison. After months, years, of pleading for a sensible stimulus policy to drag Australia out of its torpor, Philip Lowe has conceded that … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM.  Morrison joins the dark side.

The conservative line about Donald Trump used to be that really, he himself was not all that important. What mattered was the unbreakable link between Australia and the United States, our great and powerful ally.

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

FIONA STURGES. Snobs,Brexit and Lady Hale (The Guardian, 27 September 2019)

For all the talk of an industry in crisis, you have to hand it to the British media for their ability to get to the nub of a story. It was, one imagines, with a gasp of triumph that the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

LOUIS COOPER. Trudeau heads for the polls

At eleven o’clock on Wednesday, September 11 this year, Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, arrived at Rideau Hall, the official residence of Canada’s Governor-General, Julie Payette, and asked her to dissolve parliament, allowing a federal election to be called for … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | Comments Off on LOUIS COOPER. Trudeau heads for the polls

RICHARD WHITINGTON. David Combe obituary

David Combe was a significant and accomplished figure not only in Australian politics but in business and international trade, with an unwavering commitment to social justice and civil liberties. He deserves to be remembered for more than the “Iraqi Donations” … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

PATRICK COCKBURN.  Just as Iraq begins to find Peace, it once again becomes the battleground for an American proxy war (Counterpunch, 30 September 2019)

People in Baghdad are fearful that the next war between the US and Iran will take place in Iraq, which is only just returning to peace after the defeat of Isis. Alarm that Iraq will be sucked into such a … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

DANIEL BRAMMALL. The financial advice changes nobody is talking about

 The long-suffering consumer of financial services has plenty to be pleased about thanks to sweeping industry reforms. The initiatives mark the end of a gravy train culture and a renaissance in genuinely independent financial advice. They are reforms, however, of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

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 International Affairs | 3 Comments

GEOFF RABY.  An Economic Giant With More Brittle Politics Than Ever. AFR 1 October 2019

China’s 70th Anniversary will be a razzle-dazzle extravaganza celebrating the achievements of the Communist Party of China since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.  The party-state’s propaganda machinery has already been in over-drive extolling the Party’s achievements over … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 4 Comments

MUNGO MACCALUM. Morrison shock troops chase Greta

Not only Donald Trump in the USA and Boris Johnson in the UK struggling to bluff and bluster their way out of their self-inflicted problems, but even the previously untouchable Canadian Justin Trudeau was embroiled in decades old controversies over … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Tribalism runs riot

In the age of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson, it is tempting to assume that partisan tribalism has taken over – that a new wave of irrational loyalty to the leader, right or wrong, is the only proper way to … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

LAURIE PATTON. How Malcolm Turnbull missed his chance to fix the NBN

Internet access is now the most complained about telco service in Australia according to the Telecommunications Ombudsman’s latest report. While complaints about mobile phones have been on the decline recently, the state of our trouble-plagued NBN continues to see consumers … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Technology, start-ups and new media | 2 Comments

IAN MACPHEE. Manus Island

As a defence lawyer in criminal cases in New South Wales and Papua New Guinea I saw many prisons, including on Manus Island. Most had a harsh reality that one might expect in jails for convicted criminals. Yet I will … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

GEORGE BROWNING. Zionism – the ugly truth

Alex Ryvchin’s article “Zionism and the big lie. How Soviet anti-Semitism shaped contemporary anti-Zionism”, published through the ABC’s “Religion and Ethics” site, is too cute by half.  Of course the strong critique of current Israel (which likes to call itself … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison joins the conga line.

And so back to Mark Latham’s conga line of suck holes – Scott Morrison goes to Washington. The regular obeisance is hardly unexpected, but it is no less embarrassing for that. Morrison has made it clear that the main purpose … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 6 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Government rakes in the tax.

Glory Hallelujah. Let joy be unconfined. The budget is back in balance. Except that it isn’t – we’re still about $700 million short. But near enough is good enough – certainly good enough to let an ebullient Josh Frydenberg predict … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Proud to be dumb.

David Littleproud has a somewhat unwieldy title – Minister for Water Resources, Drought, Rural Finance, Natural Disasters and Emergency Management. But, keeping it simple, he is happy to live up to his name: he knows very little, and is bloody  … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments