Author Archives: John Menadue

ALLAN PATIENCE. Complacency is the opiate of the Australian masses.

So, QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce’s annual salary is now some $24 million dollars. This is over three hundred times the average Australian salary. Other CEOs are also being paid well into the tens of millions of dollars. Meanwhile the wages … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

WILLIAM BRIGGS. How Australia became a racist country

Is Australia a racist country? Are Australians racist? The questions crop up with unfortunate regularity. There is another question. How did Australia become a racist country? An accident of birth cannot be a reason for what has become an entrenched … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. 181 CEOs take on Milton Friedman

When 181 US chief executives, organised by the Business Roundtable, issued a “collective statement on the purpose of the corporation” it caused fury among some investors and economists; joy among some activists; cynicism among other activists; and, horror among conservative … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 2 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON. Abbott, more than an embarrassment

Former prime minister Tony Abbott’s ignorance of history and of the Europe European Union, and his tragic adulation of all things British, is simply embarrassing. His licensing of a permissive setting for white supremacists and white replacement conspiracy theorists is … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ERIC HODGENS. Where Do We Find the Authentic Catholic Voice?

Cardinal Pell got his voice heard from prison. Furthermore, surrogate Pell voices are heard from bishops he has promoted in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. But, on three current issues polls show that most Catholics disagree with them. So, which voice … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 3 Comments

HAJO DUKEN. Australian values

What a great and timely question Allan Patience asked on P+I on 7 August. Whilst I agree with him that most of the Australian value talk is simply humbug, I feel that, in times of Trump and Brexit, the Uluru … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

DUNCAN GRAHAM. PM in gaffe-strewn Indonesian TV interview

Scott Morrison has given a rambling error-littered interview to Indonesian TV where he fudged the figures of casualties in the 2002 Bali bomb blast. The Prime Minister told English-speaking journalist Andini Effendi that “more Indonesians were killed than Australians” when … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Media | 1 Comment

MARK BUCKLEY. Voters of Australia You’re doing it all Wrong

These days, in the dumbed–down media, there are often articles which tell the reader she has been brushing her hair wrongly, or he has been cutting the avocado incorrectly. I thought I would explain to the voters of Australia just … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN CARLIN. Let Them Shoot Themselves

Boris Johnson will go down in history, not as a Churchill he so much admires, but the prime minister who led his country into humiliation and global irrelevance.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

Chris Mills: When the Wind Blows, Water Flows

This is the paradox: as towns run out of potable water, our livestock and crops die, and water to fight infernos dries up, how can a Nation ‘girt by sea’ use unlimited volumes of sea water to slake a parched … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 3 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON. The Afghanistan failure

President Trump’s muddled and reactive approach to foreign and strategic policy regularly distracts the media and commentators away from the geopolitical consequences of America’s actions under his stewardship. The coverage of the negotiations with the Taliban and proposed withdrawal of … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

KIM WINGEREI. Defining bribery is more important than an ICAC

As much as we should welcome the long overdue Federal ICAC, without redefining what should be the limitations of political influence it will be another toothless body which will struggle for relevance and fail in its intent.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS. Attacks on Saudi Oil Facilities: Trump “Locked and Loaded”?

Whatever the real story behind the damaging attacks on the Saudi oil facilities, tensions in the Gulf and Middle East more widely have been significantly elevated. US attempts to engage the Iranians in direct and secret dialogue to try to … Continue reading

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LESLEY RUSSELL. Where is the Focus on Rural Health?

It is unfair and poor public policy that mortality and morbidity rates in rural Australia are significantly worse than those in metropolitan areas. There is an urgent need for a National Rural Health Strategy, accompanied by a sustained increase in … Continue reading

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Roger Scott. A Response to ‘Trust Me, I’m an Expert’

The podcast ‘Trust Me, I’m An Expert’ (10 September) is one of The Conversation’s rare forays into Queensland politics. It is a podcast from a much-valued series of gatherings held regularly at the Avid Reader bookshop in Brisbane’s West End.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

JAMES CHAPPEL. Weigel’s ‘Irony of Modern Catholic History’ in review.

The pope is far less in control of his flock than most people realize. This has always been the case: no leader in history, let alone one in charge of a billion people across the globe, has been able to … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

CÉSAR RODRIGUÉZ GARAVITO. Bolsonaro is a Regional Threat

President Bolsonaro of Brazil is behind a policy of clearing the Amazon rainforest for more cattle farming and agriculture. He claims that this is a matter for Brazil and no one else. The Amazon basin does not just belong to … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER. The Termination of a Terminator: John Bolton

The departure of John Bolton from the post of national security advisor to Trump removes from a crucial position a person whose belief in the US waging war on what he identified as its enemies was boundless. His recommendation for … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 4 Comments

TONY SMITH. What price an early election? Ten grand a head?

As the Prime Minister looks over his shoulder for the inevitable challenge, the prospect of an early election must be tempting. With the New South Wales Labor Party before the Independent Commission Against Corruption and Channel 9 giving the Liberals … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. Some surprising US news – if you haven’t been watching

It is easy to be alternately frightened, appalled and head-shakingly despairing about what comes out of Trump’s United States. Officials deleting all references to climate change from official documents; immigration policies that make Peter Dutton look like a raging leftie; … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

REBECCA TAN. How a conservative town in Australia set aside politics to rally for a family facing deportation (The Washington Post, 5 Sep. 2019)

Biloela, population 6,000, is a rural town in northeast Australia. When the town’s first — and only — set of traffic lights was built 10 years ago, residents were sent into a tizzy. Many families still work in coal mines … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

MASSIMO FAGGIOLI. Brexit as a spiritual crisis: remain, leave, and an incarnational Church. The whole debate about leaving or remaining in the Catholic Church amid the sex abuse crisis is a form of ecclesial Brexit

In his novel “A Legacy of Spies” John Le Carré ponders the relationship between England and Europe.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

SPENCER ZIFCAK. The Religious Discrimination Bill

The Religious Discrimination Bill, introduced by the Attorney-General Christian Porter, has its flaws. Nevertheless, it walks a more or less acceptable line between arch proponents and critics of the recent campaign for greater religious freedoms. The Government has produced relatively … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Religion and Faith | 7 Comments

LINDY EDWARDS. NSW Political Donations Scandal would not have been exposed at the Federal Level

To the seasoned observer of political donations in Australia, the most remarkable thing about the recent NSW Labor scandal is that is has been exposed and people are being pursued. At the federal level this behaviour would have gone under … Continue reading

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DAVID TIMBS. Archbishop Comensoli needs to cut the ecclesiastical umbilical cord.

Peter A Comensoli has been the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne for just on a year. So far he has demonstrated very little understanding of the disastrous situation he inherited. Nor has he shown any clear indication of the kind of … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 8 Comments

JOCELYN PIXLEY. Bringing the Corporate Looters to Heel

Public benefits in restraining business-financiers (the modern incarnation of Robber Barons defined by US economist Thorstein Veblen) are rarely debated, despite corporate corruption and social injustices. ‘Politics of envy’ or ‘unfunded empathy’ spin, shouts down policies aiming to curb social-economic … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL LEAHY. The Catholic Weekly: seeking justice for Pell or waging a culture war?

As a former colleague in the seminary and priesthood, and friend, of Cardinal Pell, it gives me no pleasure to see him fall so dramatically from grace. Along with all Australians of good will, I want to see him get … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 8 Comments

MICHAEL FURTADO. Playing Devil’s Advocate for the Catholic Plenary Counci.

On November 4, 1956, the Soviet regime violently suppressed the Hungarian Uprising. Earlier in that year, at the Twentieth Congress of the USSR Communist Party,Khrushchev had bitterly denounced Stalin, deceased three years prior, for his crimes.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

PAUL COLLINS. Ten new papal electors

Last Sunday Pope Francis unexpectedly announced that on October 5 he would appoint thirteen new members to the college of cardinals from thirteen different countries, a truly international group. Ten of the new appointments are under the age of 80 … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 1 Comment

LINDA SIMON. More than a vision is needed for vocational education and training

National Skills Week 2019 recognised that more than just words were needed from Australian governments. The recent COAG meeting produced a vision for the VET sector, and whilst a cohesive vision is important, it means nothing unless backed up with … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment