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Category Archives: Politics
It’s become an annual ritual: the media reports on private school fee rises, then the various school spokespeople dig out last year’s talking points and it’s on again…until next year. But there is more – and it goes back a … Continue reading
The Age of 26/1/20 published on a single page, under the title Comment, lengthy statements by the Prime Minister and the Opposition leader, both accompanied by pictures that could be described as entirely neutral. Any illumination of either statement regarding … Continue reading
ANDREW PODGER.The ‘sports rorts’ affair shows the government misunderstands the role of the public service.(The Conversation 30.1.2020)
The government’s defence of Bridget McKenzie and the prime minister’s call for advice from the head of his department reveal a remarkable misunderstanding (or, less surprisingly, a remarkable misrepresentation) of the respective roles of ministers and administrators.
Doctors are obliged to warn patients about the risks of surgery before wheeling them into the operating theatre. When the surgery is cosmetic and unnecessary the risks should be weighed even more carefully. Politicians should exercise similar caution with unnecessary, … Continue reading
Despite the rhetoric of support for action to combat climate change from senior company executives and members of government, banks and rich nations continue to fund the development of coal mines and power stations, even in countries that currently don’t … Continue reading
IAN DUNLOP. Have we a federal government fit for purpose or the greatest danger to our national security?
The current bushfires are unprecedented in terms of their extent, intensity, fire season length, economic and social impact. They are, without doubt, intensified by human-induced climate change.
The world is being asked to believe that cruelties and illegalities amount to a feasible Trump plan for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
Trust is a crucial element of government, in two different but related ways.
When it was announced that Dr Brendan Nelson was finishing up as Director of the Australian War Memorial, the Chair of the Memorial Council, Kerry Stokes, said Dr Nelson’s ‘enduring legacy’ will be the Memorial’s $498 million expansion program. There … Continue reading
It’s not often that a world leader, or anyone else for that matter, gets unknowingly to celebrate the funeral for something dear and departed from him.
I have suggested in earlier posts that recent governments have failed to provide leadership in the defence portfolio. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the case of SEA 1000, the future submarine program.
You may regard economists as a dismal lot, always reminding us of the cost of this or the risk of that. But there’s one prominent economist with a much more positive story to tell.
RICHARD BUTLER AND RICHARD WHITINGTON. “Manufactured Consent”. Think Tanks – two different animals.Part 4 of 4
In the last of this series examining the contemporary relevance of Noam Chomsky’s thesis on “Manufactured Consent”, Richard Butler says there is a sharp division between Think Tanks that mainly think and those that target specific interests.
There is no doubt about climate change denialists – they keep shifting shape and keep manoeuvring to cast doubt on scientific reality – irrespective of whatever events make their arguments look ridiculous.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons inspector who led the team investigating the alleged Douma chemical weapons attack in Syria in April 2018 has gone public saying that his investigation team “had serious misgivings that a chemical attack … Continue reading
As the Queen reels from one family crisis to another, Buckingham Palace would be looking on a little anxiously as the ‘Palace letters’ case is heard by the full bench of the High Court next week.
One of the findings of the recent review of the operations of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), conducted by Mr David Tune was that, “some participants feel NDIA staff do not understand disability or appreciate the challenges people with … Continue reading
In the film classic Casablanca, whenever a crime is committed the local police captain orders his officers to round up the usual suspects. Political commentary, in fact public commentary in general in Australia suffers from the Casablanca effect. The same … Continue reading
RICHARD WHITINGTON AND RICHARD BUTLER. Noam Chomsky’s theory of “Manufactured Consent”. Where “lies” the media? Part 3 of 4
In this series, Richard Whitington and Richard Butler discuss what’s changed since philosopher and psychologist, Noam Chomsky, identified the relationship between business, the military, the intelligence community and the media, in manipulating public opinion.
The Problem. As indicated in an earlier post, there is a fundamental deceit in the concept of governments claiming to have a mandate to introduce particular policies on the basis that the policy was presented as part of a multi-policy … Continue reading
The comments of US Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin concerning Greta Thunberg were meant to be droll. However, they reveal a serious and dangerous cognitive dissonance affecting much of the world’s political elite.
Netanyahu didn’t invent the idea of leveraging the Holocaust for political gain. Yet he is taking even that low to new depths, stripping Palestinians of basic human rights in the name of the survivors of the Holocaust
Australia is going up in flames and its government calls for resilience while planning for more coal mines.
Sports rorts, scandals, climate inaction and contempt for public interest show a robber mentality.
MUNGO MACCULLUM. Our prime minister knows that most of his ministers are past both knowing and caring.
Scott Morrison’s puerile sneer that most of cabinet ministers wouldn’t even know who (NSW Environment Minister) Matt Kean was actually contains a grain of truth.
RICHARD BUTLER AND RICHARD WHITINGTON. “Manufactured Consent” in truth-deprived and electronic times.Part 2 of 4
This is the second in a series by Richard Whitington and Richard Butler about the contemporary validity of Noam Chomsky’s thesis on “manufactured consent”: the coalition of convenience between business, the military, the intelligence community and a complicit partner – … Continue reading
RICHARD WHITINGTON AND RICHARD BUTLER. Noam Chomsky’s “manufactured consent”. What’s changed, 30 years on? Part 1 of 4
Thirty years ago, psychologist and philosopher, Noam Chomsky, wrote of “manufactured consent”, the phenomenon which sees the self-serving interests of the powerful and often opaque – the military/industrial complex and “big business” – coalesce with those of the supposedly transparent … Continue reading
End December 2019 data shows the backlog of asylum applications at the primary stage, at the AAT and those who have been finally refused and have become overstayers continues to grow.
January 26 is , in the end, no more than an excuse for a self-indulgent and self-deluded piss-up.
The last month has clearly demonstrated to all thinking Australians that Scotty-from-Marketing may well know how to run a brilliant election campaign that against all predictions saved the Coalition from an absolute drubbing (while basically maintaining the political status quo), … Continue reading