Category Archives: Politics

ABUL RIZVI. Dutton Sets New Asylum Seeker Application Record

Why did 50,000 asylum seekers arriving by boat represent a crisis for our border sovereignty while the arrival of a similar number over the past two and a half years by plane is just ho hum? Peter Dutton in 2017-18 … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Protecting buffoons.

According to at least one member of the New South Wales Liberal executive, Sally Betts, the member of Hughes, Craig Kelly, is a bully, a thug and a disgrace.  

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

HELEN DAVIDSON. Gareth Evans and Bob Carr join call for Labor to increase Australia’s foreign aid. (The Guardian 7.12.2018)

Former ministers want party’s national conference to commit to target of 0.7% of gross national income.  

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

KIM WINGEREI. The Particracy Rules!

If this week of political machinations, tactical manouverings and partisan grandstanding hasn’t proved beyond doubt what the real problem with our democracy is, I don’t know what will. We don’t live in a democracy, we live in a particracy.  

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

ABUL RIZVI. Dutton Sets New Asylum Seeker Application Record

Why did 50,000 asylum seekers arriving by boat represent a crisis for our border sovereignty while the arrival of a similar number over the past two and a half years by plane is just ho hum? Peter Dutton in 2017-18 … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. Scott Morrison – a politician out of his depth?

Can Scott Morrison inspire the nation to reach for a better future for our children and grandchildren? Does he have a vision for the country? Or is he floundering as he tries to ride two tigers simultaneously – his right … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

MICHAEL McKINLEY. The ascendancy of the age of Thorby (PART 1 – the state’s justification for requiring passive citizens)

Contrary to popular belief, modern democracy does not welcome an active, engaged citizenry especially between election campaigns because its interventions would hinder the operations of the state. The preferred condition is one of citizen passivity in which the authorities go … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The age of Thorby (PART 2 – The addictive denial of transparency and the protection of malfeasance)

Where matters defined under the rubric of national security are concerned, the intelligence agencies of the state demand nothing less than the indulgence to act with unwarranted secrecy – secrecy beyond that which is absolutely essential.  Over the last 80 … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

JENNY HOCKING. Unmasking history: the Queen, the governor general and the Whitlam dismissal (The Guardian newspaper, 06.12.18)

The ghosts of the dismissal of the Whitlam government 43 years ago were on display at an appeal hearing before the full bench of the federal court last week: Gough Whitlam, the deposed prime minister; Sir John Kerr, the governor … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

RICHARD ECKERSLEY. The demise of the official future

Americans are more likely to think the US is heading in the right direction since Donald Trump’s election. Why?

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JOHN ELDER. Coulda been a contender: Why Tony Abbott keeps on punching (The New Daily).

Two significant events happened this weekend: Boxer Anthony Mundine was knocked out in 96 seconds by Jeff Horn, ending a career that was never wholly satisfying for the man or his followers. Meanwhile, Tony Abbott put his gloves up once … Continue reading

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GARETH EVANS. Australia in the world: it’s time to punch our weight.

In this lecture, Gareth Evans calls for “Less America … More self-reliance … More Asia … More global engagement”.  See below, extracts from Gareth Evans’ Tom Uren Memorial Lecture delivered in Balmain 2 December 2018.  

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Something important happened on treaty.

You could be forgiven for missing it, but something quite important happened in politics last week.

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

JOHN KERIN. Australian soils.

We live in the driest occupied continent. Most of our soils are old and fragile. Rain is variable in our most arable areas and our precipitation to evaporation ratio is low. Dust storms and soil exposure caused by unprecedented, catastrophic … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

WANNING SUN AND HAIQING YU. Mandarin-speaking voters in Victoria: WeChat, new influencers and some lessons for politicians.

The state election in Victoria saw a dramatic swing to Labor in areas with a high concentration of Chinese-speaking migrants.  Mount Waverley saw a 6.4% swing to Labor and Box Hill 7.7%.  As participant observers in WeChat discussions, we offer … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | Leave a comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Vacuous marketeer needs an education

Yet again we are assured that the Adani mine is going ahead – Adani Lite, they’ll only put it in a little way and if it hurts, well, they’ll just see how far they can keep shoving.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

KIM WINGEREI. Media Ethics and Politics

As the political circus goes from bad to worse, it is important to not only demand that our politicians improve their behaviour, but the media has an equally important role to play. Journalists and the media already have a code … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 9 Comments

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

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

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ABUL RIZVI: Is our Visa Processing System in Crisis?

A fundamental aspect of a well operating immigration system is one that encourages people to apply for the right visa and follow intended visa pathways after arrival rather than use visitor visas to by-pass applying for the right visa. Visitor … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

JOAN STAPLES: An Australian civil society success story.

Almost twelve months ago, I first wrote of threats to democratic advocacy from three foreign interference Bills.  On Tuesday this week, the final most controversial Bill, the Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform Bill, was passed with the support of civil … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MICHAEL MULLINS. Why I avoid social media news feeds

Facebook and the like are not interested in truth in journalism. They use their algorithms to create news that confirms their users’ pre-existing views. If they gave them content with views they didn’t like, chances are that the users would … Continue reading

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WILL WILKINSON. Can Democrats Drain Trump’s Gilded Swamp? (New York Times, 27 November 2018)

Democrats are now preparing to assume control of the House. This offers many possibilities for oversight and investigation. For one, the House Ways and Means Committee has the right to inspect the president’s tax returns, and Democrats are sure to … Continue reading

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FRANK JOTZO. Labor’s policy can smooth the energy transition, but much more will be needed to tackle emissions (The Conversation).

The Labor party’s energy policy platform, released last week, is politically clever and would likely be effective. It includes plans to underwrite renewable energy and storage, and other elements that would help the energy transition along. Its approach to the … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

MARCIA ANGELL. Opioid Nation. (NYRB 6.12.2018)

In this article, Marcia Angell reviews four books on pain-killers, doctors ,drug overdoses and the drug companies.  She concludes that alcohol and tobacco have far more serious health consequences than opioids.Opioids at least have the redeeming feature that they have … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JOSEPH CAMILLERI. The seismic shift we can no longer ignore

The acute tensions that disrupted the recent APEC summit, the Brexit fiasco in Britain, the rise of populist discourse and movements in much of Europe, the ‘theatre of the grotesque’ in Trump’s America, are just a few of the symptoms … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MEDIA ALERT. APPEAL IN ‘PALACE LETTERS’ CASE TO BE HEARD ON WEDNESDAY, 28 NOVEMBER 2018

Professor Jenny Hocking’s long-running legal action against the National Archives of Australia, seeking the release of the secret ‘Palace Letters’ about Gough Whitlam’s dismissal, heads back to court tomorrow. Professor Hocking’s appeal against the Federal Court’s ruling in March, which continued the Queen’s … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE: The dilemma now facing Coalition politics in Australia

The results of the Victorian State election are devastating for right-wing politics right across Australia. It is now blindingly obvious that the policies that they have been spruiking are irrelevant to mainstream voters. It is as if the Coalition parties … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison suffers mental congestion.

Scott Morrison’s slogan of the week was congestion busting —  he was in favour of it.

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

GREG BAILEY. State Labor Triumphs and Fear Campaigns Wilt

On Monday morning two days after the Victorian state election the ALP had 51 seats, the LNC 24, the Greens 1, other independents 1, with 11 still in doubt, but the outcome of which will not affect the Labor Party’s … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

MACK WILLIAMS. Australia-US Defence Relationship: Are we in the “prudent planning“ phase already?

The publication by the ABC of a previously highly classified analysis of the ADF’s logistic problems in the early phase of Gulf War 11 has shed some critical light on the process by which Australia joined in that war. It … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 3 Comments