Category Archives: Politics

The economic outlook and the Budget

In two weeks the Government will bring down its delayed 2020 Budget. This article discusses the economic outlook and concludes that further stimulus measures will be necessary in the forthcoming Budget. The desirable size of that additional fiscal stimulus and … Continue reading

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Morrison thinks gas is the new coal, and it’s just as big a climate threat (RenewEconomy Sep 18, 2020)

Australia’s government thinks that gas is the new coal, and intends to delay decarbonisation for another decade or more by investing taxpayer funding deeply into another fossil fuel.

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Sunday environmental round up, 20 September 2020

One in four chance that global warming will exceed 1.5oC at least once in next five years, and floods, water scarcity and food insecurity are set to create more displaced persons. Climate change is one of seven factors increasing the … Continue reading

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Scott Morrison’s gas plan is an arrogant, irresponsible disaster (Canberra Times Sep 17, 2020)

The only rival to the arrogance of Morrison’s gas-led recovery strategy is its irresponsibility. 

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 4 Comments

It’s a gas, gas, gas.

With the Federal Government announcement of a gas-lead recovery (and as a potential centrepiece having the large coal-fired power station, Liddell in NSW, replaced by gas generation) Australians can now have both lower emissions and lower energy prices. High fives … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Australian multiculturalism is a success story: it is time to enshrine it as our shared value

What makes Australia unique and special is the ability to celebrate one’s ethnicity and cultural heritage in an Australian setting. I am able to call myself a Chinese-Australian and Asian-Australian without having my loyalty questioned and allegiance to Australia judged.

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 7 Comments

A dialogue of the deaf as the noisy hawks circle (AFR Sep 16, 2020)

Now that the Australia-China relationship has hit a new low, the timing’s right for charting a way out of the current impasse.

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

Review: TOAST – the new Australian primer on climate change

Toast describes the huge threat climate change poses to the world and to Australia in particular. It explains why this is so difficult to perceive. It sets out evidence that the climate scientists, not the denialists, are right.

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

What people in other forums are saying about public policy

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

Driving in the dark in our conflict with China

There is a co-ordinated front from the defence and security establishments, the Coalition back-bench, US-financed think tanks and the Murdoch-dominated media in attacks on China

Posted in China, Politics, World Affairs | 17 Comments

Does Australia need some 20th-century spying?

There is, or there should be, more to spying than high-tech electronics. As we have seen, it can get agencies into trouble. It can lead up the wrong paths, to dead ends and bear pits. We need to get back … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

The UN at 75: a real declaration of intent, or multilateral virtue signalling?

An atmosphere of unreality is building in advance of the virtual meeting of world leaders to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations (UN).  Nothing demonstrates this more than the proposed draft declaration. Rather than reaffirming the UN’s centrality, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, World Affairs | 2 Comments

ASIO Doublespeak

A party member lives under the eyes of the Thought Police: He can be inspected without warning and without knowing that he is being inspected; He should live in a continuous frenzy of hatred of foreign enemies and internal traitors…..

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

What can the ALP possibly do? Part 2

I do not think it is impossible for the ALP or whoever to mount sound policies that show that there is an alternative way to the path we are on, but the movement as a whole needs to articulate them … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 13 Comments

War is hell: how the corporate class is coping with Covid’s injustices (Crikey Sep 16, 2020)

“This is not wartime,” thundered our business heavyweights this week. That’s probably a relief or they might be asked: “What did you do in the war, Daddy?”

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Morrison, China and Aged Care

It has always been difficult to read Scott Morrison’s motives. Many attribute his hard line policies and actions, and his intolerance of dissent, or criticism, to his religion, but that seems too simplistic.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

Australian values: what are they and what has Covid done to them?

Australia is the only common law country with neither a constitutional nor federal legislative bill of rights. Only a few rights are constitutionally protected. For the most part, we have all the rights that Parliament and the common law have … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

Les Miserables – Killing the ABC in a time of national emergency

Empty chairs at empty tables … where my friends will sing no more. (Les Miserables – the musical). The departure of many of the ABC’s most experienced journalists, producers and presenters has immiserated the public broadcaster. 

Posted in Media, Politics | Tagged | 3 Comments

ASIO is a Mickey Mouse outfit compromising 50 years of diplomacy with China

When head of the Australian Signals Directorate, Mike Burgess was the main adviser recommending against Huawei being allowed into the 5G network. There is no doubt about his intelligence background, or his technical talents. He has, however, yet to demonstrate … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | Tagged | 9 Comments

Gas Gush: the toadies of mainstream media trot out government’s fossil fuel fracking campaign (MWM SEP 15, 2020)

Gas fracking and a new fossil fuel power plant got a big leg-up today as News Corp, Nine Entertainment, ABC News and Guardian Australia faithfully splashed with the latest government gas plan on their front pages today.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Overcoming Fatalism: Victoria, The Congo and Yemen

Scapegoating Victoria suggests indifference to global issues. A touch of internationalism could replace the hand wringing pity which has been compounded by partisan attacks on Premier Andrews.

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A China spy story? Abandon perspective all ye who enter here (The New Daily Sep 15, 2020)

’Twas pure coincidence that as I was writing Monday’s story on the local spook/defence/media industries having little faith in Australia but lots of self-interest in promoting Sinophobia, journalists at the ABC and Australian Financial Review were belting their keyboards over another alleged Chinese … Continue reading

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Radical hope in the time of climate crisis

As ice melts, bushfires, heatwaves and cyclones intensify, many grapple with the question of “what kind of hope, if any, can I hold as climate catastrophe deepens?” To answer this question, we need to not only accept the realities of … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 3 Comments

Secrecy covers up abuse of power and poor performance by security services

One would have to go back to the 1970s to find the nation so ill-served. All the more so as politicians have politicised national security, and reverted to 1960s games of gathering and using secret information for political purposes. It … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 3 Comments

Isn’t less government what the conservatives really want?

The commonwealth has unraveled, federation has unfederated. So why aren’t the Tories cheering?

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Joining the dots on Huawei

The banning of Huawei from Australian 5G network infrastructure needs a rethink in view of the drastic retributions by China on the Australian economy.

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

What lies behind last week’s sharp increase in Australia-China tensions? ABC’s Bill Birtles was NOT “expelled” from China

The latest deterioration in Australia-China relations appears to have been provoked by Australian national security agencies and their supporters, in a strategy aimed at souring Chinese-Australian media relations.

Posted in Politics | 15 Comments

Chinese academics in Australia shocked, fear ‘chilling effect’ after Canberra revokes visas of two scholars (SCMP Sep 11, 2020)

Chinese-born academics in Australia have expressed shock, as well as their fears of a chill on scholarship and Sino-Australian engagement, after two leading figures linked to Canberra’s cultural diplomacy efforts had their visas revoked on national security grounds.

Posted in China, Politics | 2 Comments

The underfunded ABC is at the mercy of well-funded, anti-China organisations

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute is funded by the Defence sector including US arms manufacturers. They call the tune in their anti-China campaign. Yet ASPI pretends it is ‘independent’. The ABC and others fall for the anti -China paranoia.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

The shrinking of the Australian mind (The Interpreter Sep 3, 2020)

Australian strategic decision-makers need lessons in our once-grand ambitions – and accomplishments – in world affairs.

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 3 Comments