Category Archives: Politics

STUART REES Julian Assange, A Court of Star Chamber, Cruelty Beyond Belief

In the 15th century, King Henry VII of England established a Court of Star Chamber. Operated by Privy Counsellors and judges, it developed a reputation for arbitrary power leading to cruel and unusual punishments. There was no due process and … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM . Can young voices get into elders’ ears?

Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s Cabinet selection has been met with widespread dismay by liberal progressives. There have been some weird choices noted here https://johnmenadue.com/duncan-graham-dont-cry-for-me-indonesia/ The most disturbing was making Widodo’s bitter and brutal rival Prabowo Subianto, 68, Defence Minister, even … Continue reading

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LAURIE PATTON. Unintended consequences: How NSW planning laws have stolen democracy from ratepayers

One of the fundamental principles of the democratic system enjoyed in Australia for more than 200 years is the right to make representations to your local MP, or in the case of local government to your elected councillors. Regrettably, changes … Continue reading

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DAVID SHEARMAN. I have a Dream; Resurrection of Westpac as a Sustainability Bank

I have a dream that the outrageous performance of Westpac could lead to fundamental reform and the genetic engineering of one of the identical quads, the BIG4 banks which do not fulfil community needs or financial stability.

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GEORGE BROWNING. Morrison Government you are a disgrace

NSW is alight, and it is still not the right time to talk about Climate Change!!!!! What message of commitment did we have to give the world community in Madrid? – nothing. You said Australia is reducing its emission year … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 5 Comments

JOHN DWYER. What a mess! Insurance for health care, both public and private, is increasingly dysfunctional with sensible and equitable solutions held hostage by “vested interests”. PART ONE

We Australians have for decades now made it clear that we want  a health care system that delivers quality care in a timely manner with availability based on need not personal financial wellbeing. Increasingly it is obvious to all that … Continue reading

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VACY VLAZNA. Israel’s Aussie Mensch

The Zionist Federation of Australia bestowed in November its 2019 Jerusalem Prize for “exceptional in strengthening Australia-Israel relations” or as Prof. Stuart Rees puts it, ‘for sucking up to Israelis,’ on an exemplary recipient, the prime minister of Australia, Scott … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. Highlights of 2018-19 Migration Program Outcome

Minister Coleman has at last allowed the 2018-19 Migration Program report to be published in early December. These are usually finalised each July. Two highlights: (1) the Partner visa application pipeline has reached almost 90,000 and is certain to grow … Continue reading

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JOHN TAN. Rights v. Rights: Whose rights shall prevail?

Human rights are usually associated with those in the Universal Declaration, like free speech and freedom of assembly, but there are actually two opposing narratives of human rights, both having their origins at about the same time just after WWII. … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 8 December 2019

With this year’s climate change Conference of the Parties (COP) getting underway this week in Madrid, the articles this week focus on climate change: the future of coal and renewables in China, problems with projects funded by rich nations in … Continue reading

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SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts in other media

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DAVID SOLOMON. Taylor’s numbers crunched.

When should a minister ‘stand aside’ (that is, be stood aside); when should a minister resign (be sacked)? Prime Minister Morrison has provided his answer in the case of Angus Taylor, his Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction. Not now. … Continue reading

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BRIAN TOOHEY. Reports of China spies and takeover plots are fanciful (SMH 5.12.2019)

Wildly exaggerated intelligence warnings about communist influence are not new in Australia. A US naval intelligence officer who was posted as an attache to the American embassy in the late 1940s, Stephen Jurika, reported back to Washington that communism was … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

JOCELYN PIXLEY. What is new about Westpac’s robber barons after Hayne’s Royal Commission?

Was it surprising to hear AUSTRAC’s allegations that Westpac breached money-laundering laws 23 million times? When the LNP won government in May 2019, bankers cheered reinstalled Ministers, delighted that the Royal Commission’s February recommendations were unlikely to be fully implemented. … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. Australian right wing religious fury over The Economist

The Australian right wing seem to be embarking on another cultural crusade – this time against what is probably the best weekly news magazine (which the editors insist on calling a newspaper) in the world, The Economist.

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MICHAEL MULLINS. Leaving Google

Last month an Amnesty International report took Google and Facebook to task for their ‘surveillance-based business model’ that is ‘predicated on human rights abuse’. Back in 2006, I recall a colleague telling me about Google’s ‘do no evil’ manifesto. I … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS. A matter of behaviour.The CFMMEU and the Banks.

The wheels are falling off the Government as Parliament winds down for Christmas. Both Coalition Government and Labor Opposition should consider a comment made by Pauline Hanson, who has asserted her authority with a sorely needed dose of common sense.

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DAILAN PUGH. A Fiery Future

Hundreds of ancient Brush Box and other rainforest trees, many over a thousand years old, have been felled in the head of Terania Creek, their bases eaten out by fire. While the community stepped up to stop the loggers 40 … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Health professionals stepping up to support action on climate change

Climate change is already causing injuries, illness and premature death. This is only going to get worse. Health professionals, individually and collectively, are taking action to highlight the health problems, including being arrested for blocking development of the Adani mine.

Posted in Environment and climate, Health, Politics | 3 Comments

WILLIAM BRIGGS Lessons in how to hate China

In an often-confused world, some things have a ring of certainty. The steady rise in anti-Chinese rhetoric is an example. It is disturbing, and largely baseless, but is becoming one of life’s truisms. This is not to suggest that China … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. The shonk from the shire.

Maybe Australians took to Scott Morrison during the election campaign for two main reasons: (1) He was not Bill Shorten; (2) He cunningly presented himself as an authentic bloke, a “daggy dad”, Mr Mainstream. There were no airs and graces. … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. The wrong way to make political – or any – decisions

The Morrison Government’s decision-making is about to get worse – if that’s possible – as Cabinet submissions are apparently to be replaced by PowerPoint presentations. Presumably the full Cabinet submissions will be available and a few Ministers may read them … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Friends of Assange, at last.

Influential Australians are suddenly stirring in support of Julian Assange, who will face extradition to the US and several life sentences unless political intervention heads it off. Is it too late?

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JOHN MENADUE. China Series

China is in the ‘news’. But it is not always well informed news. In addition much of our news and views about China are shaped in Washington and London.We don’t really know much about China, our major trading partner by … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. Retirement Incomes Review: Part 2

The Government’s independent Review of the retirement incomes system has identified four criteria against which that system should be judged: adequacy, equity, sustainability and cohesion. Yesterday I reviewed the performance of the Australian retirement income system against the criteria of … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. Sexing up the charges for PR purposes

Austrac’s record on remittance scrutiny looks as lamentable as Westpac’s

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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

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MICHAEL KEATING. Retirement Incomes Review: Part 1

The Mercer Global Pension Index rates the Australian retirement income system as number three in the world. Nevertheless, the Government has commissioned an independent Review, and this article and another tomorrow discuss whether and how our retirement income system might … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 1 December 2019

How much can we trust the certification system for palm oil? Not much according to two reports over the last 4 years. Air pollution kills 3,000 Australians each year – there’s an opportunity to put pressure on ministers to enact … Continue reading

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SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts in other media

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