Category Archives: Politics

TOM GREENWELL. Less choice, less affordability: the private school subsidy paradox

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

Posted in Education, Politics | 8 Comments

GREG BAILEY. On Values, Australia Day and Community Resilience

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

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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.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS. Dangerous banking and religious legislation should be discarded.

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

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 2 February 2020

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

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 3 Comments

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.

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 7 Comments

STUART REES ‘Trump’s ‘Peace Plan’, A Concoction of Humiliation, Cruelty, Illegality’

The world is being asked to believe that cruelties and illegalities amount to a feasible Trump plan for peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 4 Comments

DAVID SOLOMON. Audit exposes Government’s trust deficit.

Trust is a crucial element of government, in two different but related ways.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

DAVID STEPHENS. What will be the Nelsonian Legacy at the Australian War Memorial?

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

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

GREGORY CLARK. Tokyo-Moscow Territorial Games.

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.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

JON STANFORD: Second rate leadership: Future Submarine Part 3 of 4

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.

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 3 Comments

ROSS GITTINS. Zero net carbon choice:do we want to be losers or winners?(SMH 29.1.2020)

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.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

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.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

NOEL TURNBULL. Hope despite climate change denialists indefatigability

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.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

PAUL MALONE. The Australian media and the alleged Douma chemical weapons attack.

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

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JENNY HOCKING. High Court to hear bid to release the Queen’s secret Whitlam dismissal letters.

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.

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

TREVOR PARMENTER. Tune Report on the National Disability Insurance Scheme

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

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LAURIE PATTON. Overexposed – let’s hear from someone else!

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

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

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.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

RAY BRICKNELL. Fixing our Democracy – Step one – Community Involvement in Policy Formulation

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

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

MIKE SCRAFTON. Mnuchin, Thunberg, Economics and Science

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.

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

HAGAI El-AD. Netanyahu Exploits the Holocaust to Brutalize the Palestinians (Haaretz23.1.2020)

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

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

RICHARD FLANAGAN. How a nation adapts to its own murder.(NYT 27.1.2020)

Australia is going up in flames and its government calls for resilience while planning for more coal mines.

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Are our leaders morally fit for purpose?

Sports rorts, scandals, climate inaction and contempt for public interest show a robber mentality.  

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

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.

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

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

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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

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ABUL RIZVI. No end in sight to growth in Dutton’s backlogs-the asylum seekers who came by air.

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.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

MUNGO MACULLUM. The Land of Hopeless Tories

January 26 is , in the end, no more than an excuse for a self-indulgent and self-deluded piss-up.

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

PETER SAINSBURY. Emission reduction or fuel reduction

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

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments