In case you missed Geraldine Doogue last week on Saturday Extra, she conducted three thought-provoking interviews. First was Professor Julian Le Grand of the London School of Economics, on the possibilities of employee-led mutuals contracting to the public sector. Then Sarah Barker and Karl Mallon talked about how firms are incorporating climate risk into their financial analysis. And former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten warned about the politics of identity – a political movement that “savages democracy”. He described how in Northern Ireland he developed practical methods to move beyond identity politics.

In the Fairfax press Peter Martin explains why low pay rises have become routine. Going back to the Howard era, he explains how successive Coalition governments, fearful of wage inflation, have weakened trade unions and other mechanisms to keep wages rising in line with productivity.

Writing in the Canberra Times Andrew Leigh (Federal member for Canberra) explains how the super-rich – “the top 1/10,000 th of the population” are using offshore tax havens to avoid tax, and Labor’s proposals to close tax loopholes.

“We should rescue economics from the folly of neoliberalism” writes Ross Gittins, in an outline of the work of Harvard’s Dani Rodrik. Neoliberalism is simply “bad economics”.

Ireland is still debating the scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church, eight years after a royal commission into the matter delivered its groundbreaking report  – ABC News

Grappling with Rome: David Marr’s lessons from the royal commission – the Guardian

Public service boss Martin Parkinson proposes national survey on government – Canberra Times

AGL says batteries are coming, but coal is uninvestable – RenewEconomy

Is the Rohingya repatriation to Myanmar a reality or illusion – La Croix International

A study has found that the new penalty rate cut has not stimulated jobs – Sydney Morning Herald

The Audit Office has slammed the Federal Government’s dud investments in ‘clean coal’ RenewableEnergy



John Laurence Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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