Writing in the Fairfax Press, Andrew Norton of the Grattan Institute explains the government’s planned $ 2.2 billion cuts to university funding – cuts they can make without going through Parliament.  He explains how they will have their greatest impact on resource-intensive courses such as engineering and education, while leaving courses such as law and business largely untouched.

“Under the influence of more than a century of relentless advertising and commercialisation its original significance as a religious holy-day has been submerged beneath an orgy of consumerism, materialism and over-indulgence” writes Ross Gittins in his Christmas message. He reminds us of the waste around our commercialised Christmas – food we don’t eat, clothes we don’t wear, unwanted gifts that we never use.

The Climate Council reports that Hidden Pollution Data has been released, and it is not good.

A gas shortage next year is unlikely, but that’s the only good news – The Conversation

Heretics welcome! Economics needs a new Reformation – Larry Elliott in the Guardian

A report on Burma’s Methodical Massacre at Rohingya Village

Pearls & Irritations put together a Making Housing Affordable Series, organised by John Menadue, Susan Ryan and Oliver Frankel.  A copy of the PDF is attached. 2017-05-22 – Making Housing Affordable series.

The Rohingya crisis has put lives in limbo – Lindsay Murdoch in the Age

Brothers from male-only religious orders outnumber priests in historic child abuse allegations involving the Catholic Church. Despite the forensic efforts of the royal commission, the operations of the most prolific offenders remain shrouded in secrecy.

Yanis Varoufakis writes on “Taking the Red Pill or the Blue Pill” in the Journal of Political Economy.

Why Rupert’s Really Splitting Up the Family Business – Michael Wolff

“People on low incomes are sacrificing basic goods to take out insurance” – the Conversation.


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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