Oct 20, 2018

A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts covered in other media.

On ABC’s Saturday Extra this weekend (in case you missed it):

  • Stephen Mayne about a new memorandum between the NSW Government and NSW Clubs.
  • Journalist Anne Applebaum on why it is so risky being a journalist today as the number of murdered journalists rises, and Anthony Bubalo on the broader political aspects of killed Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • Is the #MeToo movement as significant as the suffragette movement? With Susan Ryan and Claire Wright.
  • What defines a nation? With US Foreign Policy analyst Joshua Keating.
  • Sports journalist Caroline Wilson on the challenges she has overcome and the future of journalism, a speech she will deliver at the Andrew Olle lecture.

Other commentary

In a week when our attention may have been distracted by the Coalition Government in Canberra lurching from one catastrophe to another, there are still many researchers, thinkers, commentators and writers contributing to public ideas.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Ramsay, is in conversation with Andrew West on the ABC’s Religion and Ethics Report: “Rethinking how we measure citizen well-being”. He asks if our current economic model is moral, if it is workable? Have we learned nothing from the economic events of 2008?

The Social Research Centre at ANU has produced the 2018 edition of the Australian Values Survey. It finds small but increasing support for authoritarian forms of government, not encumbered by the inconveniences of parliaments and elections, particularly among voters in the 30-35 age bracket. There is declining confidence in political parties, Federal Parliament and the press, and a declining proportion of people describing themselves as “a religious person” – down from 57 per cent in 1981 to 37 per cent in 2018.

Jessica Irvine, writing in the Fairfax press, brings together various views on immigration – “It hits a nerve: the politicisation of the population debate”. Many opinions on immigration are formed on misconceptions and data misinterpretations, however, a situation not helped by the government’s failure to engage in an honest dialogue with the community. Abul Rizvi, a former Deputy Secretary in the Department of Immigration, has been a frequent contributor to Pearls and Irritations, most recently on the privatisation of visa processing and on Morrison’s idea of encouraging migrants to settle in the bush.  At a University of the Third Age session in Canberra he presented a set of Powerpoint slides setting out the numbers and trends in immigration (dispelling some myths along the way) and concluding with “priorities for Australia’s new minister”.

The Climate Council has released its report card on states’ performance in renewable energy: Powering Progress: States renewable energy race. Unsurprisingly Tasmania is in first place, while New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Western Australia score poorly. Some of the areas with the highest takeup of rooftop solar (areas where more than 35 per cent of households have rooftop solar) is in non-metropolitan regions, a finding that may have escaped the attention of the National Party.

It’s easy for most Australians to forget that a foreign military power has dropped atomic bombs on our country, but the traditional owners of the land in northwest South Australia, where the British detonated seven nuclear bombs, haven’t forgotten. James Griffith, Senior Producer of CNN International, has an article “Australia is still dealing with the legacy of the UK’s nuclear bomb tests, 65 years on”. He reminds us that the people of the Maralinga area still suffer health problems, that the area is still contaminated, and that the British still have not de-classified their records on the tests.

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