Category Archives: Politics

FIONA ARMSTRONG. Who will address the health emergency of climate change?

Climate change causes many health problems and will have enormous impacts on Australia’s health system. Yet most Australian governments have been slow to prepare the health services for the inevitable challenges. Fifty health, social welfare and conservation groups, representing over … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 21 April 2019

Although carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, new modelling demonstrates that it is still technically and economically feasible to keep global warming below 1.5oC, with many advantages for the world’s economy, jobs and public health, but the influence of fossil … 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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GREG JERICHO. The Coalition boasts about economic management. Where’s the evidence? (The Guardian 16.4.2019)

This is the only government since Fraser’s that hasn’t presided over an improved standard of living. 

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

EMILE NAKHLEH. Washington hawks clamouring to attack Iran

Those pushing for regime change in Iran are overestimating the Iranian people’s dislike of their theocratic regime and are mistaking that dislike for a willingness to embrace a foreign invader. Like the Bush Administration with Iraq, the Trump Administration appears … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM Last post for the old guard?

Have Indonesia’s oligarchs performed their final farewell tour? More than two decades after the fall of second president Soeharto’s authoritarian New Order government a commoner has retained the presidency.

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STUART REES, Julian Assange, Establishment Interests and the US Culture of Revenge

Julian Assange faces extradition to the United States to face a grand jury’s secretly concocted charge of ‘computer intrusion’ to obtain and reveal classified information. Reaction to Assange’ arrest shows powerful people protecting establishment interests, which, over centuries, have involved … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Surely Morrison isn’t seriously asking us to trust him

Morrison’s words are a plea to trust his government, but his tactics seem to be aimed at spreading mistrust, not only of Labor but also of democratic institutions more generally. 

Posted in Economy, Politics | 4 Comments

SAM BYFORD. Huawei chairman accuses American critics of hypocrisy over NSA hacks (The Verge 27.2.2019)

Huawei’s rotating chairman Guo Ping has gone on the offensive this week at Mobile World Congress, following continued pressure on US allies to drop the Chinese telecoms giant over national security fears. 

Posted in Economy, Media, Politics | 1 Comment

ALISON BROINOWSKI. Who are the terrorists, Iran or the US?

In April 2014 John Howard surprised an audience in Sydney by saying that war with Iran would be next. He didn’t know then about Syria but his alarming prediction about Iran looks like coming true.

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HAL PAWSON and BILL RANDOLPH. On housing, there’s clear blue water between the main parties (The Conversation, 12 April 2019)

Labor’s bold stance on housing tax reform and investment makes this one of the likely policy flashpoints in the coming election campaign. How does the Coalition government’s housing record stand up to scrutiny? What would be in prospect in a … Continue reading

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DAVID MACILWAIN.  Two Australians in trouble abroad.  

The law to censor violent content rushed through Parliament last week connected dots between two Australians abroad, when Julian Assange was “extradited” from Ecuadorian territory, in London. I examine the linkages.

Posted in Media, Politics | 2 Comments

RICHARD FLANAGAN. Have we, Australia, become a country that breeds mass murderers with our words? (The Guardian 14.4.2019)

We are better than our politicians’ dark fears.  We are not their hate. We are optimistic about a country built on openness. 

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. ScoMo is happy to keep the campaign as mean and ugly as possible.

The final jobs for the boys and girls have been squared away, the pointless tit for tat over taxpayer advertising and who is closer to the Chinese have been shelved, and Melissa Price has obediently signed off on Adani, as … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Australians with Chinese origins need to come together.

A new burst of messaging on China Panic has been unleashed by Four Corners and newspapers, again giving the impression that hostile forces are threatening Australia. Last month former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans noted  “a new form of Sinophobia … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Are management and trustworthiness Morrison’s strong points? (Canberra Times 13.4.2019)

We do not get much sense of Morrison himself from what he has said or done, or what he has told us of why he is there. The ambition has been obvious, but for what and why? Nor is his history as … Continue reading

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GREG BAILEY. Reflections on Five Years of Political Theatre and Nihilism (Part 2)

For the last three decades the Australian public has been told there will be massive changes which they will have to run with or just suck it up. Now, after five and a half years of floundering and negativism by … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Our Leader remains, as so often, in Luddite denial.

According to ScoMo , electric cars are for wimps and latte sippers – real Australians want more grunt. Oink oink, vroom vroom! Wheelies, doughnuts, burnouts!  

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GREG BAILEY. Reflections on Five Years of Political Theatre and Nihilism (Part 1)

Retrospective reflections are now beginning on what might be the heritage of the five and a half year long Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments. In advancing such reflections attention should not just be focussed on the political infighting within the … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 14 April 2019

Different pasts, presents and challenges but the UK and Indonesia are both making significant progress toward sustainable futures while Australia continues to fiddle and fume, albeit comically on occasions. No laughs associated with large increases in the numbers of people … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

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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JOHN MENADUE. We need a national summit to promote trust in politics. An edited repost

At the forthcoming election  the Liberal Party will be asking, Who do you trust Scott Morrison or Bill Shorten? Scott Morrison repeated it yesterday many times. This seems odd for a  leader who  most reminds me of  salesman, Donald Trump. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

STEPHANIE DOWRICK. More death than life in the Christian (and secular) Right.

 There are many theories as to why the so-called “centre” in Australian politics has moved so far to the right that even moderately progressive views are shrieked at as “dangerous”. There are probably fewer theories as to how and why … Continue reading

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DON EDGAR. Right-wing populism and family values

It is disturbing to find dogged anti-abortionist, anti-gay proselitisers such as MP Kevin Andrews and Endeavour Forum’s Babette Francis still representing Australia’s views at European far-right conferences. 

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JOHN MENADUE The myth that the Liberals are better economic managers?

 Scott Morrison in today’s announcement of the election date said once again that ‘Labor cannot manage money’ In an earlier post I argued that the economy is a means to an end. It is not an end in itself. The … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 8 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The economy is a means to an end. It is not an end in itself.

Bill Clinton said ‘it’s the economy, stupid’. He was wrong, although in later years he spoke more wisely about ‘putting people first’.  

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN McCARTHY. Indonesia and Australia.

On 17 April Indonesia goes to the polls. Shortly thereafter Australia will do the same. We will again need to think about  Indonesia.          

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Sick of Morrison’s shilly-shallying

A somewhat exasperated Bill Shorten accuses Scott Morrison of playing games over the election date – and so he is.

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison reverses gratuitous cruelty.

There was at least one moment of relief after the election spiel masquerading as a budget; the decision exclude the energy supplement hand out from the New Start allowance was reversed in less than twelve hours.

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MICHAEL KEATING. The Budget: Part 1

  The Budget provides the opportunity for the Government and the Opposition to outline their respective economic strategies and their relative priorities. Interestingly, while there are significant differences between the two major political parties, there are also important similarities; probably … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment