Category Archives: Politics

GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 5 of 5)

Part 5: Narrative Overview and Conclusion  The emphasis in our military history and remembrance on asking how we fought does not inherently preclude an interest in what we were fighting for. The two narratives could co-exist and interact. But not … Continue reading

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GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 4 of 5)

Part 4. A race strategy to save ‘White Australia’  Political manipulation of the society’s racially inflected anxieties was a major factor in the imperial ascendency over national defence policy in the Commonwealth in 1911. The secret implementation of a race … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Malcolm Turnbull – Mr. 300%. (Repost from 18 November 2016)

Malcolm Turnbull has announced a submarine building program that has an effective rate of protection of 300%. Yes 300%. That is the additional cost we will pay compared with buying at best price in the international market.  

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GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 3 of 5)

Part 3. Empire over nation.  In 1914-18, the fight for Empire against Asia minimised independent Australian national interests. Ambiguous, interchangeable use of the terms ‘empire’ and ‘nation’ also protected that ‘imperial’ bias in our political culture. 

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JOHN AUSTEN. Road spending incurs billion dollar new debts annually – nobody notices (Repost from 27 June 2016)

It’s traditional that election time in Canberra brings out the road lobbies who ask for ‘all that extra cash’ which governments raise from fuel excise to be ‘put back into our roads’. The problem is that the facts no longer … Continue reading

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GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? (Part 2 of 5)

Part 2. Empire against Asia The ‘imperial’ nature of Australia’s involvement in the Great War was distinctively Australian and, it should be said, a sign of the doubt white settler society had about its survival as a remote outpost of … Continue reading

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Big business influence wanes as public rejects ‘bizonomics’

In this article in the Fairfax media on 24 July 2017, ROSS GITTINS refers to the debate in Pearls and irritations about neoliberal economics.  John Menadue The collapse of the “neoliberal consensus” is as apparent in Oz as it is … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. Government policies have made us less safe.

The establishment of an enlarged Department of Home Affairs under the ministerial control of Peter Dutton is an unnecessary mistaken policy.  

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Greek Wisdom.

The Greeks said it succinctly: the system of tyranny is only as good as the worst man who can become a tyrant. Step forward, Peter Craig Dutton, Master of the Universe. 

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JOHN MENADUE: Privatisation is costing consumers and damaging economic reform. (Repost from 26 July 2016)

‘Privatisation is costing consumers and damaging economic reform’ said  Rod Sims, the Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, recently. He added ‘Poorly regulated privatisations are driving up prices and have little to do with economic reform … this … Continue reading

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GREG LOCKHART. What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front? Part 1 of 5 part series.

To find out what we were fighting for in the Great War we must get past the usual fig-leaf explanation, which is as remarkably effective as it is short on cover in Australian culture.  

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. A peace deal between Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott!

The new Liberal Party Federal President Nick Greiner is aiming for the Nobel Peace Prize, and he’s doing it the hard way.  

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JOHN MENADUE. Rupert Murdoch’s abuse of power. (Repost from 7 August 2013)

Controlling 70% of Australia’s metropolitan newspapers, one would hope that Murdoch would exercise some responsibility in the use of that power. But none of that responsibility for Rupert Murdoch!  

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JIM COOMBS : Bean Counters Stand Up and Be Counted

Budget problems arise for governments who don”t control spending. Where are their financial advisers when gross overspending takes place. No business could survive the profligacy of our government’s spending.

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JOHN MENADUE. The litany of failed privatisations. (Repost from 20 March 2017)

Ideologues ,the self interested bankers and accountants and lawyers still persist with their fixation with privatisation despite the fact that it is failing in one area after another and the electorate shows very clearly that it does not want it.  … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Military/Security takeover of Australia’s foreign policy. (Repost from 2 February 2017)

The military and defence establishment and lobbies, both in Australia and the US are determining Australia’s foreign policy. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and her Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are being sidelined. 

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John Menadue. The Coalition, rural poverty and rural health. (Repost from 16 January 2016)

It is not surprising that independents are making headway in country electorates. But what is the ALP doing?  

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GREG AUSTIN. Australians have little to fear from terrorism at home – here’s why. (Repost from 24 October 2016)

According to an ANU poll, more than half of the country’s adults are concerned Australia will be a target for terrorism at home and strongly believe the government needs to introduce greater preventive measures to combat it. But the reality … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. How Murdoch got a foothold in Foxtel. (Repost from 1 February 2014)

At the last election Rupert Murdoch showed how ruthlessly he plays the political game-a game that has delivered great commercial benefits for his organisation, not just in Australia but particularly in the US and UK. One example of favours delivered … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Caught in the endless travails of his ungovernable party room, Frydenberg has procrastinated yet again.

The most remarkable thing our Prime Minister said last week was not his claim that the party founded by Sir Robert Menzies was not Conservative but Liberal – even liberal, a touch progressive. This has furrowed brows and raised gorges, … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Australia’s economy: she’ll be right mate – or will she?

A few good economic indicators and Coalition disunity are distracting us from fundamental structural weaknesses in the Australian economy.

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GEORGE YANCY AND NOAM CHOMSKY (INTERVIEW). On Trump and the State of the Union

Is Russian hacking really more significant than, for example, the Republican campaign to destroy the conditions for organized social existence, in defiance of the entire world?

Posted in Defence/Security, Foreign Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. The failure of Australian conservatism.

Tony Abbott has announced his intention to stay in politics in order to protect and promote what he calls “liberal conservative values.” He claims his values are at the very heart of Liberal Party philosophy. Meanwhile Cory Bernardi seeks to … Continue reading

Posted in Current affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. No holiday for Tony Abbott

Malcolm Turnbull was off in Hamburg, schmoozing his fellow leaders in the hope of getting something – anything – done about North Korea, terrorism, trade, Donald Trump – something – anything.

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IAN MCAULEY. Comrade Abbott – Comrade who?

It is understandable that members of the Parliamentary Liberal Party are furious with Tony Abbott. But they fail to realise that his behaviour is a manifestation – admittedly a stark one – of traits that are embedded in the Liberal … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. ‘The gentleman you describe.’

We can at least talk about it without pretending it isn’t really there.  

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JOHN MENADUE. Chilcot – The Iraq war and Murdoch’s war on critics. (Repost)

On 1 July 2014, I posted a story about the role of News Corp and Rupert Murdoch in the Iraq disaster. The Chilcot Report confirms even more how News Corp publications misled readers and viciously attacked their opponents.  News Corp … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Tony Abbott shoots first and asks questions later.

In all, [Tony Abbott’s] program is for a regime which can best charitably be described as a socialist theocracy, somewhat along the lines of Abbott’s mentor, Bartholomew Augustine Santamaria – although the Abbott version would be considerably more totalitarian.  

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MICHAEL LIFFMAN. The Real Roots of Populism

(If we are really to understand and respond to populism, we need to go deep into the human psyche. Perhaps Jung is as relevant as Marx to this inquiry, and those of us who are committed to social progress need … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The Greens remain political amateurs.

Lee Rhiannon is undoubtedly the disrupter, but in a sense the public fracturing of the Greens is largely the fault of her leader, Richard di Natale.  

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