Category Archives: Politics
While on paper Joe Biden has the power to force his agenda through Congress, the reality is a little different. He will need to take action on many fronts, not just the pandemic. A critical first task will be the … Continue reading
In light of worrying developments, I review the trends putting pressure on our democratic institutions. Fortunately, new policies and serious protests can halt the trends and bring out the better nature of voters. However, such movements are not in sight.
The visual gallery of the front-liners who broke into the Capitol building is revealing. Long have Americans had a fascination for the cult of individual leadership. Uncritical and sycophantic admiration of a political leader only leads to endorsing their entitled … Continue reading
Most viewed posts 2020: A Bill to enable use of foreign troops or foreign police in Australian “emergencies” (Oct 1, 2020)
A bill is before federal parliament to enable the ADF, Reserves and foreign military forces and police to be used in Australian emergencies. It gives them immunity from civil or criminal prosecution for actions arising from these emergency duties.
Biden’s task of restoring unity is not merely a matter of being statesmanlike or breaking down the hyper-partisanship of recent years. It is a matter of restoring faith in democratic institutions, the media, and in facts as a basis for … Continue reading
Fault lines beneath US politics explain the fragility of democracy and the invasion of the Capitol building. Like a thug armed with high explosives, President Trump exploited each weakness and lit the fuse to guarantee an explosion.
Good government must be based on broadly shared values that inspire and enthuse us.
Frydenberg’s budget, based on discredited “trickle down” economics, misses an opportunity to restructure our economy, weakened by seven years of Coalition mismanagement.
Last year Shore’s income was $87.54 million. It is a rich school for kids of rich parents. It is also a charity. Yes, just like Habitat Australia, in Mount Street, North Sydney, just down the road from the school, Shore … Continue reading
The ultimate travesty of Trumpism is not simply its shocking aggression at the Capitol on January 6, but what that action revealed as the depths of division within the US polity and society. Biden and Harris have a formidable job … Continue reading
Part 1 yesterday discussed Doc Evatt’s white blindfold. Part 2 discusses Evatt’s role in the partition of Palestine, arguing that it’s well past time for a more nuanced assessment of the great man.
Fitting end to the attempt to destroy our government of the people, by the people, and for the people
And so, we are at the end of a year that has brought a presidential impeachment trial, a deadly pandemic that has killed more than 338,000 of us, a huge social movement for racial justice, a presidential election, and a … Continue reading
Scott Morrison has said that he and Donald Trump “share a lot of the same views“. Just how far does that similarity extend?
Doc Evatt was revered as a man who fought for justice for all, yet there was a dark side to the man that has been either glossed over or ignored. Part 2 will examine Evatt’s prejudiced role in the partition … Continue reading
An important issue we worked on in the Department (of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs) was foreign language learning. We set the pace in the early 1980s, with not many supporters. I felt quite lonely.
When Labor leader Anthony Albanese dumped his party’s franking credits policy, the mainstream media duly trotted out the “retiree tax” line. “Subsidies to wealthy superannuants to continue” doesn’t have quite the same ring.
Intransigence is too seldom called out. It should never be mistaken for strength. Nor is it an admirable quality in anyone who wishes to lead effectively. Yet is something felt by many of us daily; and may even dominate our … Continue reading
“Democracies” come in many shades of grey, from liberal to illiberal, authoritarian to “managed”, and more. A convergence of East and the West towards something akin to “post-democracy” might bring a much-improved world order, and a safer planet.
One of the most successful three word slogans in recent-ish political history– the Thatcher Opposition’s “Labour Isn’t Working” – almost didn’t get seen by the client.
Under cross-examination, Federal Environment Minister, Sussan Ley made two major admissions on ABC Radio National last Friday over the destruction of the two ancient Aboriginal rock shelters at Juukan Gorge. The shelters had been inhabited for 46,000 years, and now … Continue reading
British justice has been done, but it is hard to fathom. Assange’s crime is different from the usual. He embarrassed the US by revealing activities recorded by Americans themselves, and the lawlessness of the US military that continues every day, all … Continue reading
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is deluded if he thinks changing one word can fix our deeply flawed National Anthem. There are too many things wrong with it. Tinkering around the edges cannot save something that is rotten at the core.
QUIZ QUESTION: What does an aged public administration academic do when he is at a loss for words about Australian politics?
2020 was an unambiguously bad year. Unfortunately it won’t be the last. Will political rhetoric eventually have to change to acknowledge this?
In Pearls and Irritations last year we posted articles about the serious erosion in the quality of care and services in many fields – disability care, vocational education and training, child care and particularly aged care, where more than 650 … Continue reading
Australia has disagreed with its major military ally on the prohibition of other unacceptable weapons and we must do so again. If our alliance requires allegiance to weapons of mass destruction, who does it really serve?
The revelations never end about priests and brothers, of monsignors and bishops with their secret sexual lives, masturbating, buggerizing, sodomizing and raping boys and girls – protected by an amoral hierarchy and a few corrupt members of the upper-echelons of … Continue reading
No Plan PM: how government’s lack of an aged care plan cost lives.Typically the PM then blamed others.
While the federal government indulged in semantics, Covid-19 deaths continued to rise in the woefully under-prepared residential aged care sector. 2020 was a horror year for older people living in residential aged care.
America’s real intention in opposing China has nothing to do with human rights. Particularly under Trump’s lawless administration, US policies have been motivated by a hunger for dominance, plain and simple.
A People’s Inquiry has been opened by IPAN for submissions on the impact of the U.S. -Australia alliance, its costs and consequences and to canvas alternatives. Readers and contributors to Pearls and Irritations are invited to respond and join this … Continue reading