Category Archives: Politics

HUGH EAKIN. The Khashoggi Killing: America’s Part in a Saudi Horror (New York Review, 18.10.18)

In the spring of 2012, I made an extended visit to Saudi Arabia to report on the effects of the Arab Spring there. The arch-conservative oil monarchy was pursuing a robust counter-revolution, but the uprisings had brought new energy to … Continue reading

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WILLIAM BRIGGS. There are no racists here.

Race and racism have come to dominate political debate in Australia in recent times. However, as Senator Ian McDonald assured us earlier this year, racism does not exist in Australia! The Liberal Party have declared themselves a racist free zone, … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Have we got to a tipping point in our cruelty to refugees?

Recent developments suggest we might be prepared at last  to act with humanity and decency. Prime Minister Scott Morrison  seems to be interested in taking up with New Zealand its long-standing offer to take 150 refugees from Manus and Nauru.  

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 8 Comments

Let us stop the Queen’s death watch (Editorial SMH 18.10.2018)

The visit by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Australia has been delightful, especially since the happy surprise that they are expecting a baby. Back in Britain, however, there is reportedly growing impatience at Australia’s uncomfortable impasse on whether … Continue reading

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GAY ALCORN. ‘Australia is in trouble’: majority media and lobbying destroy trust in politics, Garnaut says.

Economist Ross Garnaut tells conference the independent centre is being drowned out by business interests,main stream media and lobbyists.

Posted in Media, Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL PASCOE. Scott Morrison’s Australia resembles the 51st American state (the New Daily, 17.10.18)

 “We’re a sovereign nation,” said Scott Morrison. And then proceeded to act as if we were not, as if Australia was not merely an American vassal, but a Donald Trump toy.

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS. Pomp and circumstance. The Royal tour.

There is some debate whether it was H.L. Mencken or P.T. Barnum who said that nobody ever went broke under-estimating the intelligence of the public.  Either way, the executives of Australia’s self-proclaimed Royal Network followed the advice faithfully when preparing … Continue reading

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JULIE INGERSOLL. Why Trump’s evangelical supporters welcome his move on Jerusalem (the Conversation, 08.12.17)

President Trump’s announcement on Wednesday, Dec. 6 that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel received widespread criticism. Observers quickly recognized the decision as related not so much to national security concerns as to domestic U.S. politics … Continue reading

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Trudeau refuses to let ‘politics slip into’ decision on Huawei (Globe & Mail, 16.10.18)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa refuses to let “politics slip into” the decision to allow Huawei equipment into Canada’s next-generation mobile networks even as the U.S. and Australia have barred the Chinese telecom giant on grounds of national security. … Continue reading

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‘Divisive’: Former RBA governor Bernie Fraser turns on neoliberalism (the New Daily, 17.10.18)

Former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser has called for a radical rethink to policy-making, saying the way to a fairer, more equal society is with a pragmatic approach.

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MCCARTHY. The Jerusalem Embassy,Iran and our national interest

Prime Minister Morrison’s announcements of a potential move of our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and less newsworthy  but nonetheless significant, of a review of our support for the Iran Nuclear Deal, threaten seriously to prejudice  the … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 7 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. Will behaving like the 51st state of the United States win Wentworth for the Liberals?

Prime Minister Morrison has been channeling Donald Trump for the Wentworth By-Election, on two key policies and in his handling of the truth of important matters.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

GREG AUSTIN: Australia, Israel and the Pentecostal PM

Israel may prove to be the biggest winner from the prime ministership of Scott Morrison. Events this week raise not only a legitimate question about the degree of political influence being exercised by Israel in Australia but also a question … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

GEORGE BROWNING. The Jerusalem Embassy thought bubble.

To contemplate moving the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to shore up the chances of the Liberal candidate for Wentworth, Dave Sharma, is a small but very significant example of what is horribly wrong with Australian … Continue reading

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KIM WINGEREI. Wentworth Democracy

Our Prime Minister has declared that the Wentworth election threatens the stability of our country unless a majority vote for the Liberal candidate. It may be the most hotly contested in living memory, and the Wentworth by-election also reveals much … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison channels Joh Bjelke-Petersen

We are now more than six weeks into the ScoMo regime, but most of us – and that includes some of our most recent Prime Minister’s close colleagues as well as a tentative opposition – are still trying to figure … Continue reading

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RICHARD ECKERSLY. Getting to the heart of democracy’s decline.

The crisis in democracy is much discussed these days, but almost entirely in political terms that ignore its deeper causes. In this sense, the mainstream news media can be considered ‘enemies of the people’, peddling ‘fake news’.

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A welcome statement on Australian relations with China by Prime Minister Morrison

At a ‘Chinese community luncheon event’ at Hurstville on 4 October 2018, Prime Minister Morrison spelt out clearly the importance of a ‘mutual beneficial relationship’ between Australia and China.  This speech received wide coverage in the Chinese media in Australia, … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. ScoMo , public relations, marketing and billboards

They say that if the only tool you have is  a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And perhaps if the only life experience you have is in PR, everything looks like a billboard.

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MICHAEL KEATING. The Change from Turnbull to Morrison: What Difference has It Made?

Now that Scott Morrison has passed the fifty-day landmark as Prime Minister, this article considers what has changed since the demise of Malcolm Turnbull and what difference Scott Morrison will make in resolving the major policy challenges that Australia is … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

PERCY ALLAN. Process, not Policy is where Left/Right can Agree.

The End of Hegemony The battle between Left and Right is intensifying. Major parties thinks they will win this contest at the ballot box.

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JIM COOMBS: “What’s good for General Bullmoose….” The Everest Affair and the Banking Royal Commission show the highly limited (I am attracted by the old term “purblind”)thinking which is driving the nation.

Prime Minister Morrison, for such, alas, he is, sees the Opera House as a billboard for promoting whoever can pay for it. That’s BUSINESS, isn’t it ? Anything that turns a quid is, for them, Business, and that’s good enough. … Continue reading

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WANNING SUN. PM Morrison’s Strange Speech to China and the Chinese: A Selective Charm Offensive?

Last week, on 4 October, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, accompanied by Immigration Minister David Coleman, paid a visit to Hurstville in south Sydney, dropped in on some local Chinese shops, and had lunch with around 80 people—members and leaders of … Continue reading

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ADAM MORTON. In a canter? Climate experts say Australia will not meet emissions targets. (Guardian 11.10.2108)

Guardian Australia spoke to 12 economists and scientists – almost all reject government’s claim to be on track. Leading climate researchers have overwhelmingly rejected the federal government’s claim it is on track to cut greenhouse gas emissions as promised under … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Ignore the planet and our grand children at our peril.

The government has thrown in its lot with climate sceptics, the loony right which includes the Murdoch media and the coal miners. We have a government with no policy on climate change at all. The responses by the Prime Minister, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Media, Politics | 3 Comments

MARK BUTLER. There is only one energy future: firmed renewables. (AFR 10.10.2018)

Australia is in the deep throes of the most severe energy crisis in living memory. Power and gas prices have skyrocketed in recent years and are continuing to go up in spite of claims from the Liberal government that they … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Environment and climate, Politics | 2 Comments

SCOTT MORRISON. Speech at Chinese-Australian Community Event

This speech by Scott Morrison on 4 October 2018 does not seem to have been run anywhere in the mainstream media.  It is the most constructive statement from the government in a long time. Interestingly, the speech was posted on … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 5 Comments

IAN McAULEY. Outdoor advertising – enclosing the commons

The furore over the projection of horse racing on the Sydney Opera House raises not only the issue of the treatment of Louise Herron at the hand of a radio shock jock and her lack of support from the NSW … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 3 Comments

SUSAN CHENERY. The Scribe: portrait of Freudenberg, author of the speech that changed Australia (The Guardian 9.10.2018)

Legendary Labor speechwriter Graham Freudenberg was at the centre of power for more than 40 years.  A new film sheds light on the man who wrote the script.  

Posted in Arts and Reviews, Politics | 2 Comments

KIM WINGEREI. (Art) encounters of the Jones kind.

When the artist by the name of Banksy had his own artwork shredded, it was his right. It was (and is) his own artwork and he wanted to make a statement about his work being sold at an auction. But … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 4 Comments