Category Archives: Politics

MICHAEL KEATING. Lies, Damned Lies and [tax] statistics.

Last Saturday the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) published an article, which purported to show that “Middle and high-income earners will face some of the highest tax rates in the English-speaking developed world unless the Morrison government’s $158 billion tax plan … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. Morrison faces the climate storm( Canberra Times 15 June 2019)

Climate change is no longer a matter of dry debate: it’s already a bigger threat to our national security than war and trade tension in our region.

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DUNCAN GRAHAM Roaming for relevance

Politicians hunting the grey vote stalk retirement villages and pensioner clubs. Handy because electors mustered in dining rooms and community halls lean to groupthink. Dissidents don’t do well in confined spaces where they’re condemned to stay mum or risk exclusion. Wrong spots. … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 23 June 2019

Poor planning seems to be endemic in the gas industry. Despite clear evidence that gas is not low in emissions, not needed for grid reliability, not a viable transition fuel and not cheap, governments and gas producers continue to peddle … 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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JACK WATERFORD.  The leaking tap: cherchez le Pezzullo-haters (7 June 2019)

As usual with a leak inquiry, it’s not clear that the AFP means to solve the crime. It could be too embarrassing.  (This article was posted two weeks ago in the Canberra Times but it is still very relevant. JM)

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J. BRADFORD DELONG. What to do about China? (Project Syndicate 5.6.2019)

By attempting to “get tough” with China, US President Donald Trump’s administration is highlighting the extent to which America’s star has fallen this century. If the US ever wants to reclaim the standing it once had in the world, it … Continue reading

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ELENA COLLINSON. Anthony Albanese and the People’s Republic of China: an overview (Australia-China Relati ons Institute, UTS)

Following the Australian Labor Party’s (ALP) federal election defeat on May 18 2019, Bill Shorten stepped down as leader of the party. Anthony Albanese, a long-term ALP frontbencher, became the ALP’s leader-elect on May 27 after an uncontested leadership ballot, … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. America- Australia’s Fool’s Paradise

  Deeply ingrained into Australia’s collective psyche is the naïve conviction that the United States is the country’s most important, entirely reliable, and utterly benevolent ally. This obsequious sentimentalism was embarrassingly expressed in the words of former Prime Minister John … Continue reading

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PETER STANLEY. Reading the Act: what is the Australian War Memorial for?

Dr Brendan Nelson’s pitch for the Australian War Memorial’s half-a-billion-dollar expansion is that the institution helps to heal traumatised war veterans. But is healing veterans even the Memorial’s responsibility? To answer that question we need to read the Memorial’s Act.

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ROSS GITTINS. Controversial reforms stalled until politicians win back our trust. (SMH 17.6.2019)

For those who care more about good policy than party politics, there are unpleasant conclusions to be drawn from the federal election. The obvious one is that it was a case of policy overreach leading to failure.

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JOHN HUDSON. Pompeo pledges not to wait for Britain’s elections to ‘push back’ against Corbyn and anti-Semitism (Washington Post 8.6.2019)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in on British politics during a closed-door meeting with Jewish leaders, saying he would not wait for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to become prime minister of Britain to “push back” against him or … Continue reading

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MARK BUCKLEY. The climate is now personal for us all

When the last tree is cut, the last river poisoned, and the last fish dead, we will discover that we can’t eat money.

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Ramping up the anti union campaign.

If John Setka did not exist, the coalition would  have invented him. But fortunately he does exist, so it’s just a matter of slapping on a few bells and whistles, dimming the lights and tuning up the spooky music, and … Continue reading

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STUART REES, Hong Kong, Canberra, Carrie Lam and Mike Pezzullo

  Hong Kong’s autonomous, free status, One Nation Two Systems agreement is at risk of disappearing. The Hong Kong legislature had proposed extradition laws which would make residents and foreigners who live there or who might be travelling through the … Continue reading

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MARGARET REYNOLDS. Queensland – A Special Place?

I lived in Queensland for three decades and represented the sunshine state as a Labor Senator for sixteen years. I spent much of my time trying to convince my parliamentary colleagues and the media that Queenslanders are very much like … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS The Religious Right is wrong and dangerous

Israel Folau is arguing that he is entitled to act in an offensive manner because he adheres to a set of childish superstitions about heaven and hell that most of us grow out of when we work out the Tooth … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM – What Bob Hawke meant by aspiration.

Bob Hawke’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget summed it up best: his was a life triumphantly well lived. The state memorial service last week sent the silver bodgie off in grand style. It was a fitting celebration of a remarkable leader.

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RICHARD BUTLER The Espionage Olympiad and the Art of “Plausible Deniability”.

If there was a competition between the key ways in which international relations is conducted, aside from the use of military force, then the area of intelligence gathering and the covert pursuit of national objectives – all-round spookery – would … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. Remember the Alamo, remember the Maine etc etc etc

Remember the Alamo, remember the Maine, remember the Gulf of Tonkin, remember the weapons of mass destruction and now remember the Kokuka Sangyo tanker.

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BERNARD KEANE.  Corporations start to question Business Council’s climate denialism (Crikey)

With Westpac joining the growing list of corporations that are questioning the climate policy stance of the Business Council of Australia (BCA), it seems that major companies that take climate change seriously have sussed out the strategy of one of … Continue reading

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NIALL McLAREN IT’S TIME…. TO QUESTION THE US ALLIANCE.

Before entering any alliance, it’s better to be certain you have worked out what you hope to gain from it.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 16 June 2019

A strong emphasis on economic, ethical and equity issues associated with climate change this week. Global warming has increased inequalities between rich and poor nations; tackling climate change and reducing inequalities must occur simultaneously but only rich and powerful nations … 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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MACK WILLIAMS . North Korea : The tangled web becomes more so !

That the past few months have seen no real progress towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula is not all that surprising given the swirling global environment demanding priority attention for President Trump and other key stakeholders. Post mortems of … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

MICHELLE PINI: AFP raids journalists: We need to talk about our Government

There is no doubt the AFP raids are an affront to our democracy. One in which the hand of a secretive and ruthless Government can be felt, if not seen or heard.

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MICHAEL JOHNSTON. Taming the beast – a challenging new initiative.

Corporations’ unbridled pursuit of self interest (aka ‘shareholder interest’) has plunged the planet into an existential crisis. It is no longer a radical proposition to suggest that the community should expect its corporations to pursue stakeholder interest on an equal … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS. Liberal leadership change in WA shows conservative confidence.

Liza Harvey’s unopposed ascension to leadership of the West Australian parliamentary Liberal Party points to growing confidence among conservatives in the West but Mike Nahan deserves high praise for holding the fort after the Liberals’ 2017 rout.

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ALEX MITCHELL. Unrepresentative Tory swill choosing the next British Prime Minister

All registered members of the British Conservative Party are currently voting to elect a new leader to replace Prime Minister Theresa May. Hailed as an exercise in party democracy, it’s more like a chook raffle.

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RAMESH THAKUR. Modi vs who? The question needed a clear answer in a quasi-presidential contest (The Times of India)

No Bihari political scientist can possibly understate the importance of caste and religion in shaping the electoral contest. However, there is one other factor that is of growing importance. In all parliamentary democracies across the world, including Australia, power is … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment