Letters to the Editor

  • What si truth

    What can we believe any more?

  • The moving goalposts of COP

    Jeremy Webb’s “The COP and climate change: a spent force” (21/2) conjures up that sporting metaphor of moving goalposts. With every Conference of the Parties (COP), the “net zero by 2050” target recedes. Every resolution brings a watering-down of goals.

  • Further to Brian Toohey’s letter on the 1975 coup

    The Keating Labor government was apparently uninterested in finding out more about the US role in the November 1972 coup, or in helping the whistleblower.

  • Drifting off course

    When I get up in the morning, I make coffee and invariably read P&I first, something I have done for years. My professional training is in journalism, history and geopolitics, and so I have long valued P&I's access to informed comment. But lately you seem to drifting off course.

  • Getting the message through

    Convincing voters that we have a problem that needs a solution is difficult (Shock as warming accelerates, 1.5°C is breached faster than forecast, 17/2).

  • One cannot be an illegal occupier of his own land: Response Letter

    Given the fact that the Jews have a 3800 years old bond with the Land of Israel, Jews cannot by definition be illegal settlers or foreigners on their own soil and land.

  • The article headed “Israeli female soldiers celebrate the death of 12,300 children” is an appalling misrepresentation

    The heading of this article is an appalling misrepresentation of its content

  • We need climate action sooner than a treaty

    An Earth Systems Treaty would be ideal, but we need strong government leadership on climate sooner.

  • Reading and Public Schools: Parents have a role too

    It is about time that we look to overseas models on how reading programs are done.

  • HAMAS has the blood of Palestinians and Israelis on its hands

    "Israeli exterminations of Palestinians"

  • How did we get so deeply in to the Zionist thrall?

    Conspiracy theories are usually in the realm of the lunatic left or right. To be dismissed and deflated by the well-read and rational amongst us. After reading about the clever propaganda machine set up by the Zionist state of Israel, I'm not sure we can be so complacent about our historical truths.

  • Cost of killing Gazan Palestinians

    What did the US taxpayer get for Joe Biden’s arms sales to Israel bypassing Congress?

  • The beginning of a climate change solution

    Jonathan Page wants federal government-backed action against fossil fuel companies or executives by charging them with criminal responsibility for worldwide deaths and destruction. I advise warning them first and urging them to end their fossil fuels before 2030.

  • US Military aggression

    US military record post WWII

  • Tradies and weekends are safe

    The Coalition specialises in scare campaigns. But a closer look at the government's proposed fuel-efficiency standard proposal reveals that tradies can still purchase the same utes (or even better electric versions) and weekend campers can still get away. Australia must go hard on fuel efficiency if we are to catch up with other countries.

  • The American Disease

    America: just another case of imperial over-reach

  • We must reclaim the common good

    Social cohesion is weakening as inequality grows. We must reclaim our sense of the common good to restore social trust.

  • Engaging with climate solution

    I encourage Pearls and Irritations to follow up the excellent “towards an unliveable planet” series with articles conveying the solutions that might keep the planet liveable. Action is the antidote to fear and it is climate action at individual, local, national and global scales that we need.

  • Israel in contempt of ICJ orders

    The charge of genocide against Israel has yet to be heard and proven. However, Israel is already in contempt of the the ICJ interim orders demonstrating that its government and those governments which continue with unqualified support for Israel have no regard for International law.

  • Rusted-on Labor voters thought they’d elected one.

    This is the most Labor-lite Government possible. . . (so ineffectual as to be referenced disparagingly as Scott Morrison-Lite.) It's a worrying development that they have cut criticism out of their governing process. Peter Henning's accurate critique would come as a shock.

  • Superb expose of US instigation of Pakistan coup

    Imran Khan’s fate offers a dreadful warning to Australia.

  • Pursuing the real criminals

    When crimes are not prosecuted, Courts do not review cases. Public confidence in justice is depressed.

  • Ceasefire essential, but both side must commit to end hostilities

    The article by Kathryn Kelly appropriately recommends support for a ceasefire in Gaza but does not reference the context in which this war is being fought.

  • ICJ orders and suspending UNRWA

    When does it stop being hypocrisy?

  • A dubious line up of speakers resist renewables

    Despite the hottest year on record and scientific analysis showing their electorates are at risk from rampant climate change, three Australian politicians resist the transition from fossil fuels to renewables. The departure of these men from politics cannot come soon enough.

  • ICJ interim decision on genocide in Gaza

    The ICJ decision in South Africa vs Israel is momentous

  • Humanity’s Extinction Beckons

    The risks from global warming are ever increasing, and yet we still do too little, too late.

  • An Idea for Australia Day: Learning from Bali

    A friend of mine once suggested the solution to arguments about Australia day was to keep it on 26 January but adopt the Balinese new year way of celebrating.

  • The Consequences of Western Liberal Failure

    The repercussions of the Gaza genocide will be generational and harm Israel's international role.

  • An Australian Republic should include establishment of a Bill of Rights

    Cavan Hogue makes some good points about the obstacles to Australia becoming a republic.

  • Ralph Evans: “China leads on renewable energy”

    Ralph Evans must live in a fantasy world. China is expanding its coal based energy grid, while the West is effectively exporting it’s emissions to less efficient Chinese operations, and adding to the mix with the cost and emissions of extra transportation.

  • Authoritarian governments have even greater problems than democracies in meeting “net zero” targets

    In 2022 China commissioned 50GW of coal fired power and de-commissioned 4.1 GW.

  • Strengthen Integrity to Save the Climate

    Strengthening government integrity is an essential first step to our democracy addressing climate change effectively.

  • Australia’s options under Labor

    The apparent choices we have in a defence posture under Albanese's Labor.

  • The Jewish lobby or the Zionist lobby? – Words matter

    As a Jewish person who is passionately opposed to the violent dispossession of the Palestinian people from their lives, land, dwellings and infrastructure by the Israeli state, of which the current conflicts in Gaza and the West Bank are the most recent iterations, I am disturbed by the use of the term "the Jewish lobby" in this article. It exacerbates the ever-latent racism in the Australian and other communities that attributes a particular set of beliefs to people on the basis of their ethnicity.

  • ABC failure to uphold journalistic principles

    The article mirrors my view that the ABC can no longer be seen as a source of independent and truthful investigative journalism in the total spectrum of their news output. To (mis)use the 'famous' phrase - 'they have joined the Congo line of suck holes' that being the Western Mainstream Media.

  • Never a Truer Word Spoken!

    Sadly, references to Rule Based Law by politicians is meaningless - because whatever it was is disappearing a-pace.

  • Heartfelt thanks

    A heartfelt thanks for posting the link of the 2008 RN LNL Classic to the original 1999 program of John Menadue and Philip Adams.

  • ABC Impartiality

    The ABC newsroom 1940

  • But this is what we do…

    History is full of times when land has been taken from one group and given to another by the West. Israel believes that it and the US have the right, power wins, and the most powerful grab what they want.

  • NATO, and now EU, efforts to expand into Asia

    The European nations, under the guise of a NATO fresh from illegal but successful bombing attacks on defenceless Serbia and Libya, have long tried to expand into Asia.

  • Australia Day

    National Day of Celebration

  • Incisive analogy

    Incisive analogy!

  • Sacking of ABC journalist

    Sacking of ABC journalist

  • Dreaming of a culture of humanity

    Even though we live in a time of escalating anthropogenic global heating and appalling violence in the Middle East, human strength remains. If enough of us publicly take a stance for peace and equity, and stand up to fossil fuel interests, maybe, just maybe, we can achieve a culture of humanity. That’s a dream and future well worth pursing.

  • Aged Care Overboard

    A marketised aged care system has demonstrated its failure over successive governments. It seems that, despite a Royal Commission, a history of the profit-motive driving the system will continue to be repeated.

  • Climate Chaos

    While concurring with Andrew's article, here I've introduced a local flavour which more readers may be able to relate to.

  • We Must Break The Fossil Fuel Shackles Now

    Julian Cribb paints a vivid picture of humankind's climate folly. We must break free from the fossil fuel industry's shackles to protect our future generations.

  • Holbrook and USUKA

    The belief by many that an expensive purchase of some submarines will benefit Australia needs to be put in perspective. We as citizens of this country greatly benefit two other much larger powers in their purchase and the descriptive acronym should be more honest. Our national inferiority complex is being used to progress the sordid deal.

  • Proposed New Aged Care Act. Shonky deal.

    Recipients of aged care are concerned the proposed new aged care act is not fit for purpose It has been written by consultants based on a very limited understanding of lived experience. A revamped old bomb that will require endless repair.

  • The nuclear option: Peter Dutton’s bid for power

    The Coalition has embarked on a nuclear road to nowhere. Or has it? Despite all the rational, well-argued, fact-filled explanations, all the Gencost reports, all the signs from around the world that the nuclear industry is on its last legs, the Murdoch press continues to back the Opposition’s promotion of nuclear, and demotion of renewables. It is the next wrecking-ball device in their bid for power.

  • November 11, 1975 vs January 6 2021

    These were big events in two democratic countries but there was only one successful revolution; November 11 1975 vs January 6 2021.

  • DVD The Search for the Palace Letters

    Whilst watching the excellent video of the dismissal of Gough Whitllam, the video stopped and I was unable to retrieve it. I searched the ABC archives where possible only to find it was no longer available.

  • People power to the rescue

    It seems that people power in the form of ordinary Australians, their rooftops and batteries are leading the nation's progress to it's 82 percent renewables target.

  • It’s peace USA, UK , France fear most

    Not my children…… Being a relative novice to war games I was astonished to see this article that concludes what my war games research exposed. How Assange has opened the window and let some light in.

  • Shrewd dealings

    "Australians should be preparing to deal shrewdly with an America under (Trump's) ugly tutelage."

  • ABC missed the Genocide

    Jafar Ramini keeps us in touch with what is really happening on the ground in Gaza by publishing a detailed and descriptive letter by Yasmin Petrucci to Senator Penny Wong and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

  • SE Australia Global Warming impacts from 1990s

    It is well-known that global warming is affecting Australia’s climate. Less known is that global warming has accelerated since the 1990s. So have the impacts. Attribution techniques can assist in identifying those climate drivers used in seasonal or longer forecasts of atmospheric variables, for example, rainfall and temperature, routinely provided by national weather agencies such as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The attribution techniques help also in eventually pointing to other causes involving complex interaction with the climate drivers, e.g., atmospheric circulation changes. Two examples are presented followed by the current situation where atmospheric circulation changes are important.

  • We must recover the common good

    Through the era of neo-liberalism we have lost our sense of the common good. We must recover it to move forward sustainably.

  • Why was Whitlam not angrier?

    The forces which feared the Whitlam government clearly found a willing political assassin in Kerr. But what became of Whitlam's rage after 1975? Why did he not work to expose the forces which had destroyed both his government and Australia's chance for true independence?

  • The Australian’s ongoing climate disinformation

    It is timely that a former editor-in-chief of The Australian newspaper should publicly support the work of the Bureau of Meteorolgy when in recent months, despite a Senate inquiry into the Murdoch Press, the paper has waged an ongoing and sustained attempt to undermine the work of our two leading climate institutions.

  • Beauty in our world

    Beauty in our lives.

  • Check your facts.

    Fact Check

  • WA GST revenue vs NSW pokies Revenue

    Fairly unbalanced, did not consider any other factors

  • ALP cooperating with US intelligence conceivable

    The statement that stands as a prelude to Mike Scrafton's article "That the Albanese government could further compromise Australia’s sovereignty, international integrity and national interests seemed *inconceivable*," is an erasure of grassroots voices and the Greens politicians and greens community as a whole. We have all been shouting at the ALP for 20 years. It is only the ALP rusted on, their intelligencia and their defenders and hopers who do not recognise that which has been in plain sight. You legitimise the ALP with your membership and support.

  • Additional Extraordinary Australian Journalist

    Phillip George Knightley

  • Bit Sized But Brilliant

    Love the analogy, love the blatant, screwball, arrogance of the whole thing. Hate the fact that it's on the button. Totally true - and if it was on Broadway, or in the movies they'd applaud. That's the tragedy.

  • It’s about a healthy mindset

    The important thing is that Australians are getting into the wellness mindset. If we can increase the amount of exercise we do, eat a plant based diet, quit smoking and get close to our correct weight we're on a winner. In 2023, the revenue in the Soft Drinks market in Australia amounts to AU US$15.4bn. It is projected to grow annually by 3.59% That is three times what we spend on 'wellness crap.' So where's the article condemning soft drink? We could just get everyone to carry a water bottle and drink water instead of soft drink.

  • US Sanctions are not working

    Great article. Over half of the world's population is under some type of US sanction. To counter this the BRICS have expanded to include some strategic countries. They're increasing trade with each other and moving away from using the US dollar or SWIFT. Even the Saudis are taking other currencies for their oil. The US is doing what it can to damage China's technological growth because the leader in technology is the leader in military warfare weapons. The leader in military warfare capabilities has a large stick to make countries do what is not necessarily in their best interests.

  • John Pilger – a great journalist

    John Pilger was a man with a continuing counter narrative to the constant flow of misinformation from Canberra and Washington.

  • Why Israel envies the Palestinians so much.

    Marwan Bishara (Aug 17, 2022) mounts a compelling case that Israel hates the Palestinians, and that this hatred is driven by three basic sentiments, fear, envy and anger. Having little knowledge of the region until October 7 this year, I have since read more widely to attempt to fill my information gap.

  • US/Israeli strategy for the Middle East

    It is important to realise the US and Israeli strategy for the Middle East. The US has stopped the rebuilding of Syria and has its military illegally in the country so that it can 1) steal the country's resources, further reducing the ability of the government to rebuild, 2) overthrow the government and install a puppet government, and 3) so that it can orchestrate the transfer of Syrian land to Israel along with parts of Iraq and Jordan.

  • Media bias

    Among the media bias regards the current war/massacre in Gaza, that of a supposedly enlightened SBS is particularly egregious.

  • So called “private” schools

    There’s an urgent need to restore some justice to education funding by the federal government.

  • Theological reform . . . an oxymoron?

    The question Mr. Morwood poses on the need for theological reform misses the point.

  • The new Holocaust – Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza

    Alison Caddick identifies the right subject, but with the wrong target

  • More than theology

    Great article - but don't just look to theological discussion

  • A new study may have strengthened the COP28 text

    The findings of a recent Australian study about temperature rise and the West Antarctic ice shelf vindicate the concerns of the Pacific Island nations and may well have led to a more realistic final text at COP28 if read to the delegates.

  • Do Australians want a bigger or better Australia?

    Australia’s population will pass 27 million during January 2024, a rise of 8 million or 42% since Sydney held the world’s best every Olympic Games in 2000. Is Australia a better place for this growth? Is accommodation more affordable and easier to find than in 2000? Have we solved perceived skills shortages over the past 23 years, or does there seem to be more demand for skills than ever? Finally, is the biophysical environment that we leave for future generations of Australians in better or worse shape than it was in 2000?

  • Vale Mark Valencia

    Thank you for publishing this brief obituary notice for Mark Valencia.

  • Criminal conviction review

    Does the need for public justice to be seen to be always right lest public confidence is reduced overshadow the need for fairness?

  • On calls for genocide.


  • Knowing China – Australia must learn how to engage

    If Australia is to fruitfully engage with China it must be by diplomatic mechanisms, not militaristic confrontation. Despite our formal international alliances the time has now come for Australia to seek security within Asia, not from Asia. This will be a lengthy process but first Australia needs to confront its historic relations with China in order to fully understand how and why our foreign policy has been influenced and also to understand China's perceptions of Australia.

  • Israel’s Transition to Tyranny

    The Balfour Declaration of 1917 provided the imprimatur for English Zionists to "create" Israel. Despite the proviso that "...it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done that would prejudice the civil and religious rights of non-Jewish communities in Palestine...", successive Jewish and Zionist authorities have blatantly ignored this requirement and have constantly sought to eliminate the Palestinian community that has existed in this region since time immemorial. The vast majority of the population of Israeli Jews are of European Jewish heritage - not Palestinian.

  • Ending the Revolutions – Historical Errors

    Dr Jeff Kildea claims in this article that Northern Ireland was engaged in a civil war in the 1960's to 1990's. This is wholly untrue.

  • CIS was not created by Atlas

    We are surprised that John Menadue would publish a piece like this https://johnmenadue.com/secrecy-and-the-climate-disinformation-industry/ relying on mere innuendo and false statements.

  • Addressing intergenerational injustice

    As David Shearman explains, Australia’s young people are burdened with air pollution from burning fossil fuels, and a climate and environment that is in a state of severe decline. I therefore support Senator David Pocock’s Climate Change Amendment Bill which calls for a duty of care to young people to be considered in all policy decisions. The intergenerational injustice we are inflicting on young people is completely unacceptable and must be addressed.

  • Pathway to Paris

    Messrs Dunlop and Spratt (“The Paris Agreement is dead. Australia must change its strategic priorities”, 6/12 ) must set us thinking. They see a need for “principled leaders” and an “Opposition prepared to accept the science”. If such there be and candidates of such stature are set to emerge on the floor of the House, then we are saved.

  • If Tony Abbott thinks, few care about what

    Noel Turnbull wonders what Tony Abbott thinks of the monarchy after the strong address by King Charles to COP28 on climate change. One thing is for sure, Abbott is out of touch on climate change and few give a toss about what he thinks.

  • Humanitarian crisis in Gaza

    Would a Berlin-style air lift solve the humanitarian crisis in Gaza?


    I have always accepted that Bob Hawke was the "loveable larriken" of Australian politics. He also was key part of Labor's return to power after the catastrophic dismissal of the Whitlam government. But Paul Keating for me was the more substantial politician and leader. As a new reader of Pearls and Irritations it has been terrific to get articles which dont appear anywhere in the mainstream media. John Menadue' s distinguished record of public service and commerce also gives the publication some weight.

  • “Homo Moronicus” and the climate heating crisis

    CSIRO have known about the results of continuous burning of fossil fuels for over 60 years, yet we are still burning them here and abroad at increasing rates. (Vale Peter Funk, PhD in meteorological physics).

  • Voice referendum lite

    Analysis of the bifurcation of votes of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples at the Voice referendum misses the legacies of colonial history lurking beneath the surface. The NO campaign exploited the fear that informed the Australian character and alienation against peoples of the First Nations. More by accident, than design.

  • Spineless Cowards and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

    Indigenous peoples status in the colonies

  • We need an Earth Systems Treaty for our children

    Our comfortable way of life will be a poisoned chalice for our children without an Earth Systems Treaty

  • BDS campaign against Israel

    Paul Heywood-Smith’s valuable contribution to public understanding of international law applying to the Israel treatment of Palestinians, and his most recent article on the Boycott, Divest and Sanction campaign, could well be extended to support Australia’s superannuation members raising these matters with their funds in the coming AGM season.

  • An observation on misidentifying women of colour

    Continually making simple mistakes about individuals identification points to a deeper issue.

  • Unconscionable profits funding universal wellbeing

    A self-financing tax incentive could allocate "Unconscionable profits" to fund a universal well-being dividend to all citizens to replace welfare, and compulsory superannuation. The incentive would introduce "boomerang" share ownership to "buy back the farm". It would raise domestic incomes, savings, and investments by eliminating the "unlimited, unknown, and uncontrolled foreign liability" of foreign investment described by Professor Penrose.

  • Keating on Kissinger

    The former PM's statement is understandable comment given his ongoing relationship with Kissinger.

  • A question of counting?

    Numerous examples of selective reporting are clear evidence but the latest ABC updates appear to have included a mysterious reset.

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