Category Archives: Politics

An ‘ugly plot’ by the ‘Democrats’ in Hong Kong

The arrest of 53 persons on January 6-7 this year in Hong Kong on suspicion of subversion has, once again, raised a frenzy of condemnation by western leaders and the media.

Posted in China, Politics | 8 Comments

Let the JobKeeper rorts roll

Where do we start when considering the $100 billion JobKeeper scheme? Should we focus on the opaque nature of the scheme in which less than 3% of JobKeeper payments have been disclosed in public company accounts and there is no … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

Is Trump’s 1776 Commission report an extremist manifesto?

The 1776 Commission Report released on 18 January 2021 is a time bomb of extremist propaganda; a source document for the arguments and recruitment of white nationalists and white supremacists, and for the apologists of radical libertarianism.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 24 January 2021

The land this week: strategies to reduce agricultural land and habitat loss, and improve human health, even as the global population increases; the massive carbon footprint of dairy products; problems in Asia – slow-onset impacts of climate change to displace … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend 

What people in other forums are saying about public policy

Posted in Economy, Politics | 20 Comments

China-Australia trade conflict is not all China’s doing

For the past nine months China has blocked some Australian exports, including coal, cotton, lobsters and timber, while also levying anti-dumping duties on Australian wine and barley. Post Covid, it will be hard for Australia to grow quickly without China’s market, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 67 Comments

Joe Biden’s Inauguration: “We must end this uncivil war”

Racism was the core of Trump’s politics. The country divided along the lines of the Civil War and of post-reconstruction America. In his inaugural address, Biden acknowledged this reality. His Administration will prioritise tackling the pandemic but success with that … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

Cruelty as policy in Australia and elsewhere: a short list of 2020s’ victims

Political cultures also foster sadism,  justifying such behaviour by an alleged need to protect national security. And once specific population groups have been dehumanised, they become targets for cruelties.

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 12 Comments

America’s silo society has to face its racial demons

In past upheavals, Americans at least all shared the same news. Now there is an apartheid of the national spirit that is creating deeper divisions than ever…If people were given the choice between democracy and whiteness, how many would choose … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

Stop tinkering at the edges: Australia needs a bold move to proportional representation

The pandemic crisis forced Australia to seek national solutions for a specific health threat. This could be a prelude to seeking other national solutions and ending the oppositionist cultures that have damaged democracy.

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

The Irrepressibles tame the Invincibles in their impregnable fortress

A transformative cricket series will do more to strengthen Australia–India bonds than any amount of public diplomacy.

Posted in Politics, Top 5 | 10 Comments

Australia’s political talent pool more like a puddle

Once upon a time in Australia, the best and the brightest presented themselves for election. Now, it seems, Cabinet ministers are chosen on the basis of loyalty to whoever is sitting in the prime ministerial chair. And talent is in … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 15 Comments

America is the new centre of global instability

Following the storming of the US Capitol, President Donald Trump is desperate for an exit ramp that will preserve both his fragile ego and his future political influence. Unfortunately, that conundrum leaves him with few options other than to foment … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 17 Comments

Australia’s Covid-19 quarantining – an abrogation of federal responsibilities! There is no national plan

Perhaps the most contentious issue of our Covid year is who is in charge of quarantining? With continuing outbreaks of Covid-19 linked to incoming travellers, Australians have reacted with astonishment that quarantining issues were not foreseen and planned for years … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics, Top 5 | 7 Comments

What should Australia want from a Biden National Security Strategy? Avoiding war in Asia

Australia should hope for a major shift away from President Trump’s strategy but not an uncritical return to President Obama’s 2015 version. For a start a new NSS should reposition the US as a less crusading nation, one more accepting of … Continue reading

Posted in Defence and Security, Politics | 37 Comments

Poor Fellow, my country, indeed: Trump’s Australian fans.

Most of the democratic world agrees that the scenes in the Capitol were terrifying. But what of Australia’s democracy? A government obsessed with secrecy, faux threats to security, MPs in the grip of the neoliberal sickness, and some who appear … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

Reverse the decline in democracy through regular maintenance

First, eliminate career politicians. Extend parliamentary terms to five years and limit MPs to two terms. This allows plenty of time for them to try to implement their advocacy programs and ensure parliament is constantly refreshed with new ideas and … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

How Murdoch, Abeles twisted the arm of the Hawke Government to help Ansett at the expense of Qantas. (Edited and reposted from 1.1.2019))

Rupert Murdoch repeatedly says that he has never asked a prime minister for anything. That is quite brazen. I know, from personal experience, that this claim is just not true.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Latest hits from His Master’s Voice – Little Johnny and the Trumpettes

While our parliament houses will not be stormed any time soon, Sky News is still around, as is Rupert Murdoch, Trump’s great backer, and The Australian. So, too, are George, Pauline and Craig.

Posted in Politics, Top 5 | 9 Comments

‘I don’t hold a hose, mate’: for overseas students Morrison’s ‘hands-off’ approach was writ large

From June last year, the Morrison Government increased the number of offshore student visas even though it knew these people had little to no chance of entering Australia while the pandemic rages around the world. Why would it do this? 

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Seditious assault on Congress. Why is Christianity so grafted to corrupt politics?

The link between the Christian right and Trump has nothing to do with Christian discipleship. Trump provides the evangelical right with the closest thing they have found to a theocratic state and in return Trump gets a strong voting bloc.

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

Frydenberg knows nothing of Voltaire

Fydenberg’s misuse of Voltaire is a complete travesty, a total misrepresentation of Voltaire’s beliefs and values. Voltaire fought against the kind of political power enabling the incarceration of people deemed to have no rights under the law, as in the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

Nicola Sturgeon’s ally in her push for Scottish independence – Boris Johnson (The Irish Times, Jan 17, 2021)

Brexit has rubbed the noses of the Scots in their status as junior partners in the union. They have been told repeatedly that their vote against it means nothing, and that their duty is just to suck it up.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Conspiracy Theorists, Free Speech and Australian Politicians

No need to be a wowser to insist that respect for truth cements civil society and that personal relationships, conduct in organizations and the implementation of governments’ policies depend on claims based on proven facts.

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

Ongoing Trumpism Australian influence predictions probably overblown

Kishor Napier-Raman posed a question about the Australian political future when he wrote (crikey 15 January 2021) that: “The question is no longer whether Trumpian politics are on the rise in Australia, it’s now a question of how severe the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

Diplomacy’s pointy end. Chinese vaccines in Indonesia.

The choreography was about reassurance. A well-masked Indonesian President Joko Widodo sitting before a large red sign saying AMAN dan HALAL – meaning safe and approved for Muslims. Alongside stood Palace doctor Professor Abdul Muthalib ready to show 270 million … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Politics | 5 Comments

Sunday environmental round up, 17 January 2021

Some good and some bad news about climate change from 2020, with a focus on the rapidly warming Arctic. Different starting points and scopes for two plans to keep warming under 1.5oC but their strategies share many commonalities. Three-quarters of … Continue reading

Posted in Climate, Politics | 1 Comment

Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

What people in other forums are saying about public policy

Posted in Economy, Politics | 18 Comments

Tamed Estate: copying and pasting government drops?

Spruiking the Coalition’s 2020 tax cuts; Australians’ ‘$200 billion’ war chest; Google’s experiments; free speech; and even a Liberal Party self-congratulatory piece on the NBN. 

Posted in Media, Politics, Tamed Estate, Top 5 | Tagged | 17 Comments

Media in the Asian Century. An Australian anti-China hawk helped draft US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific

“In many ways (Australians) were ahead of the curve in understanding influence operations and interference in domestic systems,” one senior US official told me. “They were pioneers and we have to give a lot of credit to Australia.” The official … Continue reading

Posted in China, Media, Politics | 32 Comments