Author Archives: Susie Menadue

FRANCESCA BEDDIE. Bushfire Haiku

These catastrophic times call for different responses to the festive season. Mine is below. The community reaction in our part of the Southern Highlands (as yet untouched by fire) has been heartening. Donations are flowing, people are looking out for … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 1 Comment

Have you completed our survey?

We have created a short survey to find out more about our readers and to solicit important feedback on their experience when reading our blog. (The survey has been sent to all subscribers – please check your spam if it has … Continue reading

Posted in Media | 2 Comments

Readers’ survey.

We have created a short survey to find out more about our readers and to solicit important feedback on their experience when reading our blog. (The survey has been sent to all subscribers – please check your spam if it has … Continue reading

Posted in Media | Comments Off on Readers’ survey.

Pearls & Irritations Survey

We have created a short survey to find out more about our readers and to solicit important feedback on their experience when reading our blog. (The survey has been sent to all subscribers – please check your spam if it has … Continue reading

Posted in Media | Comments Off on Pearls & Irritations Survey

Pearls and Irritations readers’ survey

We have created a short survey to find out more about our readers and to solicit important feedback on their experience when reading our blog. (The survey has been sent to all subscribers today – please check your spam if it … Continue reading

Posted in Media | 1 Comment

HAJO DUKEN. No one is above the law

This sounds so obvious and innocent. However, in times of raids on journalists and the national broadcaster, moves to substantially curtail the liberty to protest, the prosecution of Witness K and his lawyer, and many other clashes between the law … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

MATTHEW FISHER. The Politics We Have – The Politics We Need.

Neoliberalism has been a catalyst for an abysmal state of politics characterised by political gamesmanship – played with issues of fundamental public interest – and the rise of populist authoritarianism. The many groups working for a better future in Australia … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

GEOFF DAVIES. The Independent path to effective democracy, and survival.

A way to break us out of the ossified and toxic parliamentary culture and the fearful stupor of the electorate. A way to restore fluid and functional governance.  

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Politics | 4 Comments

LESLEY HUGHES. If not now, when?

We don’t need name calling. But we do need to talk about climate change and bushfires.

Posted in Environment and climate | 4 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. The political limbo rock – how low can you go?

One of the best ways to determine how history will judge a politician is not to tot up what they achieved but to try to evaluate the depths they sometimes sank to as they pursued their careers.  

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 1 Comment

PETER RODGERS. These days, who’ want to be a human right?

US and Australian responses to China’s maltreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang and Israel’s blockade of Gaza reveal glaring double standards. But no worse perhaps than those of many Muslim states hungry for China’s largesse. 

Posted in International Affairs | 2 Comments

JAMES O’NEILL. Iran: Ancient History, New Modern Role

“Iran has an ancient history but a very modern present and future.  Despite the best (or worst)  of some European nations and others such as the United States and Australia, Iran has  powerful friends and bright prospects.”  

Posted in International Affairs | 7 Comments

DUNCAN MACLAREN. Boris Johnson: the Embattled ‘Hammer of the Scots’

The Scots were largely ignored by English politicians during the Brexit negotiations but they now loom large in the fight to stop a ‘No Deal’ Brexit. Will this urge Boris Johnson to become the embattled ‘Hammer of the Scots’, the … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

BRENDON KELSON. Letter to Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel

The Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel, Dear Minister $498M AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL EXPANSION Thank you for Robert Curtin’s reply of 25 July 2019 to my letter to the Prime Minister of 19 June 2019. That … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 3 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit – Put not thy trust in constitutional convention

Had the English Settlement of 1688 been followed with a written Constitution Britain might not be in the pickle it is today. Then the tussle between King and Parliament had resulted in civil war. While the Royal Prerogative Powers have … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | Comments Off on ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit – Put not thy trust in constitutional convention

ALLAN PATIENCE. American realism versus Australian independence.

During his recent visit to Australia, the American International Relations scholar, Professor John Mearsheimer, warned his Australian hosts that the United States superpower would not tolerate any serious deviation by Canberra away from the ANZUS alliance – for example, by … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

HAIQING YU. Inside the world of the Chinese shoppers who are unnerving Australians.

Reports on daigou (personal shoppers) in Australia have evoked mixed feelings about Chinese presence and influence in Australian everyday and economic lives.

Posted in Economy | Comments Off on HAIQING YU. Inside the world of the Chinese shoppers who are unnerving Australians.

PETER RODGERS. Dear Prime Minister – stay firm on Iran, give “strong leader” wise counsel

Advice for the PM as he prepares to visit America and is honoured by dinner with Donald. Let’s hope Morrison can distinguish clearly between US and Australian interests.  

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

OLIVER FRANKEL AND SUSAN RYAN. Monthly digest on housing affordability and homelessness – June/July 2019

This is a monthly digest of interesting articles, research reports, policy announcements and other material relevant to housing stress/affordability and homelessness – with hypertext links to the relevant source.  

Posted in Housing | 2 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. We came in peace for all mankind!

I sometimes think I was the only one who was not gobsmacked. On that day fifty years ago when mankind kicked the moon, I was working in the Canberra press gallery, keeping an eye on the television for the news, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

BRUCE HAIGH. International Relations are foreign to Morrison

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison appears out of his depth with foreign policy. There is a readiness to follow Donald Trump. From the Middle East to China and the Pacific, Morrison gives the appearance of not having done his homework and … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Trump’s strategic incoherence on India policy Part 2

In an editorial to mark Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit, The Times of India alluded to US policy incoherence in urging Washington to make up its mind between dealing with India as an ally or a frenemy. Earlier, in February … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | Comments Off on RAMESH THAKUR. Trump’s strategic incoherence on India policy Part 2

RAMESH THAKUR. Trump’s strategic incoherence on India policy Part 1

The distance from hubris to delusion is short and the Trump administration is bent on covering it in a sprint in its India policy. Diffuse reciprocity is the diplomatic glue that holds international relationships together. A healthy and long-lasting bilateral relationship rests upon … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | Comments Off on RAMESH THAKUR. Trump’s strategic incoherence on India policy Part 1

FRANK BRENNAN Constitutional Recognition of the Indigenous Voice

Addressing the National Press Club during NAIDOC Week, Ken Wyatt, Minister for Indigenous Australians said: ‘I will develop and forward a consensus option for constitutional recognition to put to a referendum during the current parliamentary term. That means working through … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs | 4 Comments

SPENCER ZIFCAK. Journalists, media freedom and the law.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) raids on journalists from News Corporation and the ABC have caused very considerable community consternation. The fact that these raids occurred in the immediate aftermath of the recent election and within a day of each … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 4 Comments

ROSEMARY O’GRADY. Lost leaders.

The first words addressed by the Hon David Hurley AC as Governor-General were to the Australian First People and their successors, including, specifically, ‘future leaders’.

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Tributes | 4 Comments

RICHARD BROINOWSKI. Inverting Reality in Persian Gulf

US assertions that Iran mined two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on 13 June is as unconvincing as blaming Iran for attacks on three tankers in the same area on 12 May. Iran has no apparent motive, but … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 3 Comments

BEVAN RAMSDEN. The Anti-Terrorism Act and other Acts strip us of many civil liberties we thought we had.

The recent intimidatory police raids on the ABC and a journalist’s home for making public, matters of community concern, is a wake-up call that press freedoms can no longer be taken for granted. But looking wider, personal freedoms we thought … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | Comments Off on BEVAN RAMSDEN. The Anti-Terrorism Act and other Acts strip us of many civil liberties we thought we had.

KIERAN TAPSELL: Has the Pontifical Secret Been Secretly Buried?

After the criticisms of the pontifical secret at the February summit conference in Rome on child sexual abuse, it was widely expected that it would be abolished. It never happened, but recent announcements by two bishops’ conferences suggest that it … Continue reading

Posted in Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

EVA COX. Feminist options: revive the Social Contract and fix the trust deficit.

So the ALP lost the election and everyone has a post mortem explanation of what went wrong (eg Ian Macaulay: it’s the economy)or what needs to be the future focus (Albo: It’s jobs, we are here for the workers). Yet the big … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment