Category Archives: Politics

JOHN MENADUE. Peter Dutton is an embarrassment for all of us. Repost from March 21 2018

Peter Dutton failed as Health Minister.  His track record since then is even worse. 

Posted in Human Rights, International Affairs, Politics | 12 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Drug policy reform series

Attached is a collection of articles on drug policy reform, which were published as a series on Pearls and Irritations between 6 and 11 August 2018.This series is designed to draw attention to this important issue, and to the failure … Continue reading

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WILL STEFFEN. A Fundamental Re-think of the Climate Change Challenge

Using a complex systems framework, we argue that a set of feedback processes intrinsic to the Earth System could form a planetary threshold which, if crossed, would not only speed up climate change, but also take the trajectory out of … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

IAN McAULEY. Turnbull’s dead albatross: the National Party –Repost from 21 February 2018

Barnaby Joyce’s downfall has exposed the National Party as an outfit more concerned with dealing with corporate rent-seekers than with attending to the interests of its traditional rural base. It has also exposed Turnbull’s lack of resolve in dealing with … Continue reading

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STEPHEN GRENVILLE Who has been best for Australia: Trump or Obama? (Lowy Institute, 14.08.18)

US President Donald Trump comes in for widespread criticism, but he has at least one well-placed Australian defender. Former foreign minister Alexander Downer says that for Australia, Trump has been better than Obama. On the whole, Trump has been “good … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING. This is what policymakers can and can’t do about low wage growth (The Conversation, 17.08.18)

The crisis really is in real wage growth. – Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe, 2017 Increased inequality and low wage growth are constraining economic growth. But why is wage growth so low? And how should policymakers respond?

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JOHN MENADUE. Creeping privatisation of public land. The new squatters

Not only is a developer wanting to construct a ‘wedding factory’ in the South Head National Part, but private interests have erected big tents on adjacent Camp Cove Beach for a party on Sunday 19 August 2018 (last night).  Camp … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Why Australia’s latest wages figures are worse than they look (the New Daily 16.08.18)

The June quarter wages index headlined a slight lift of 0.6 per cent for the quarter, making 2.1 per cent for the year. Don’t be fooled – the numbers are worse than they look.

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MICHAEL WEST. Exempt: how Defence dodges the taxman (Michael West blog 15.08.18)

Foreign military contractors have been awarded a staggering $73 billion in contracts, apparently tax-free, because successive governments have struck contracts directly with offshore companies, even as far afield as the Atlantic tax haven of Bermuda.

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DAVID JAMES. Australia’s deadly game of mates (Eureka Street, 13.08.18)

In Australia it is common to hear criticisms of the corruption in developing countries. It is a constant theme, for example, in media coverage of Papua New Guinea, our nearest neighbour.

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BOB CARR. ASIO and the China scare (the Australian 14 August 2018)

Australia was “unimaginable” without the dynamic presence of Chinese-Australians. Those were the words of Malcolm Turnbull last week, resetting the rhetoric of Australia-China relations.

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ANIKA MOLESWORTH. The drought and intergenerational equity

In failing to act on human-induced climate change, our political leaders are neglecting the rights of the next generation.

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ABUL RIZVI: Will the number of temporary entrants continue to grow?

Apart from Senator Anning’s appalling speech, the other big immigration news this week was that the stock of temporary entrants in Australia was over 2 million as at 30 June 2018. Since 2012, the stock has grown by over 400,000. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Prime Minister Trumpbull.

The styles of Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull may vary but on many important issues the substance is similar. 

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JOHN MENADUE- The National Party is dudding farmers.

The National Party remains highly sceptical of climate change and its effect on farmers. Yet the science is clear that global warming has contributed to the current drought. Some farmers are pointing to the failure of the National Party to … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 6 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS Why kill Bill?

Despite the failure of the strategy in the Super Saturday by-elections, Malcolm Turnbull is more determined than ever to kill Bill.  What drives this homicidal obsession?

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JOHN STAPLETON. The Demise of Malcolm Turnbull

The leadership is in play.  Diabolical polling ensures that.

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Crony capitalism and corruption in our midst.

Revelations of corruption and actions that look suspiciously like corruption shock us but they shouldn’t: look for corruption in Australia – as in many western democracies – and you will never be disappointed.  It’s as common as other national institutions  … Continue reading

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HENRY REYNOLDS. Ethno-nationalism and Australia’s place in the world.

Ethno-nationalism is resurgent in many European countries, in the United States and in Israel. Hostility to immigration and to refugees is widespread. The Australian debate about the level of immigration is a mild symptom of the present malaise. Andrew Bolt’s … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Media, Politics | 4 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Conservatives like Malcolm Turnbull set the gold standard in scare campaigns.

After following politics and elections for over 60 years, it is quite extraordinary to see the Liberal Party still complaining about Labor’s  ‘Mediscare’ campaign. Malcolm Turnbull speaks in a continual and personally abusive  way about lies and liars. In this … Continue reading

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ALEX MITCHELL. The Great Drought: Panic or Policy?

Desperate farmers in rural communities across Australia are being led into a cruel dystopia where reality is being smothered by false hopes.

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WAYNE McMILLAN. Are Millennials Thinking Seriously about Socialism?

A recent report from the Australian conservative, right wing think tankThe Centre for Independent Studies, 1. reckons that Australian millennials are lurching towards Socialism. In this report millennials don’t mention what they think about Socialism, or what shape or form … Continue reading

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KERRY GOULSTON. Why not commemorate the Frontier Wars in the Australian War Memorial?

As an Australian schoolchild I learnt the history of England, including a long list of English Kings, but nothing at all about the Frontier Wars here in Australia or indeed the history of our Indigenous, the oldest people on the … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

ABUL RIZVI. What is Dutton Hiding Now?

In announcing the outcome of the migration and humanitarian programs, immigration ministers have traditionally provided extensive details on outcomes against planning levels by visa category, as well as other relevant information (see here for examples of such reports for past … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Peter Dutton wants to rule the nation.

If Peter Dutton was to be arraigned before an international tribunal for serial abuse of human rights I would cheer. If the charges were upgraded to crimes against humanity I would regard it as a fair cop. But if the court … Continue reading

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HYLDA ROLFE. What’s in a name? The threat to our National Parks

For three years now, Sydney-based company Gap Bluff Hospitality Pty Ltd (GBH) has been revising an offer it made to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) under which the company would assume a large share of the burden of … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments


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

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. Whither Political Science?: Not dead but on life support – a response to Roger Scott.

In a recent post Roger Scott asks an appropriate question but it’s anachronistic – like asking why doesn’t Elvis do live concert anymore? Political Science was always a bastard, left-handed, red-haired child of the turn to scientism by the social … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Politics | 5 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS. Termites and other animals.

When West Australian Opposition Leader Mike Nahan appeared on the news under fire for dual citizenship I hope everybody else shared my reaction. Not again, I moaned. Surely, we had enough of this nonsense in the federal Parliament. Do we … Continue reading

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ROGER SCOTT. Whither Political Science 2: A parochial perspective

The World Congress of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) was held jointly with the annual conference of the Australian Political Studies Association (AuPSA) in Brisbane in July 2018. The papers on Australia provided a snapshot of the breadth of … Continue reading

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