Tag Archives: mw

Let the JobKeeper rorts roll

Where do we start when considering the $100 billion JobKeeper scheme? Should we focus on the opaque nature of the scheme in which less than 3% of JobKeeper payments have been disclosed in public company accounts and there is no … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Tagged | 3 Comments

CIA, the USA and a poor night’s sleep for the world

Joe Biden’s appointment of William Burns as CIA director shows how the US, of whatever stripe, views the world. It sees things in absolute black and white. Peace and security can only be assured if ‘we’ remain dominant.

Posted in World Affairs | Tagged | 6 Comments

Australia’s political talent pool more like a puddle

Once upon a time in Australia, the best and the brightest presented themselves for election. Now, it seems, Cabinet ministers are chosen on the basis of loyalty to whoever is sitting in the prime ministerial chair. And talent is in … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 15 Comments

Pandemic deaths have numbed our humanity and perception of risk

On one terrible day in December, Covid-19 deaths in the US for the first time exceeded the death toll from the World Trade Centre terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. To make people care we need to personalise the issue. 

Posted in Health | Tagged | Leave a comment

Chocolate: still tainted by child labour

What is your New Year resolution? To get fitter and eat less sugar, including chocolate? There’s plenty of other reasons to re-think our love affair with chocolate.

Posted in Economy | Tagged | 1 Comment

Tamed Estate: copying and pasting government drops?

Spruiking the Coalition’s 2020 tax cuts; Australians’ ‘$200 billion’ war chest; Google’s experiments; free speech; and even a Liberal Party self-congratulatory piece on the NBN. 

Posted in Media, Politics, Tamed Estate, Top 5 | Tagged | 17 Comments

“We are one and free” – sarcasm, lie or delusion?

Perhaps Morrison got muddled, fuddled and confused about what he was saying, and got the anthem mixed up in a marketing message about something else, like being “one and the same” with Donald, two sides of the Legion of Merit.

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 9 Comments

After Georgia, Biden has no excuses but it’s a long road ahead

While on paper Joe Biden has the power to force his agenda through Congress, the reality is a little different. He will need to take action on many fronts, not just the pandemic. A critical first task will be the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 2 Comments

With a booby-trapped White House, many Americans will want the nightmare to end

Biden’s task of restoring unity is not merely a matter of being statesmanlike or breaking down the hyper-partisanship of recent years. It is a matter of restoring faith in democratic institutions, the media, and in facts as a basis for … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 24 Comments

Doc Evatt’s role in the partition of Palestine. Part 2

Part 1 yesterday discussed Doc Evatt’s white blindfold. Part 2 discusses Evatt’s role in the partition of Palestine, arguing that it’s well past time for a more nuanced assessment of the great man. 

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 5 Comments

White supremacist? We need to talk about Doc Evatt: Part 1

Doc Evatt was revered as a man who fought for justice for all, yet there was a dark side to the man that has been either glossed over or ignored. Part 2 will examine Evatt’s prejudiced role in the partition … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 8 Comments

Tamed Estate: The ALP – the Australian Liberal-lite Party

When Labor leader Anthony Albanese dumped his party’s franking credits policy, the mainstream media duly trotted out the “retiree tax” line. “Subsidies to wealthy superannuants to continue” doesn’t have quite the same ring.

Posted in Politics, Top 5 | Tagged | 40 Comments

Ian Robinson: Changing one word doesn’t fix the National Anthem but makes it worse

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is deluded if he thinks changing one word can fix our deeply flawed National Anthem. There are too many things wrong with it. Tinkering around the edges cannot save something that is rotten at the core.

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 9 Comments

Don’t Mention the Ban: Australia’s evasion of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Australia has disagreed with its major military ally on the prohibition of other unacceptable weapons and we must do so again. If our alliance requires allegiance to weapons of mass destruction, who does it really serve?

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Strung out on centre court: the loneliness of the long distance tennis player

January has long been the month when the international circuit wends its way to Australia, with the Australian Open a key event on the calendar. While Covid-19 delayed the Grand Slam until early next month, January remains a bittersweet time … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Sport | Tagged | 2 Comments

Don’t scare the horses: Morrison’s business-friendly reforms change little

While the Prime Minister has acknowledged Australia needs to reconsider its policy framework to restore full employment, the areas identified for reform are poorly chosen, and little of substance is likely to emerge. An alternative will be discussed tomorrow.

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 3 Comments

Post Brexit? It is not pages of legal text that sustains communities. It is political commitment.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government may have got Brexit across the line, and avoided the embarrassment and discomfort the country would have suffered had they not, but clearly they have not delivered on what was promised at the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Top 5 | Tagged | 5 Comments

Whose Kangaroo Was It Anyway?

Q. When are a kangaroo and a dingo worth ten million dollars? A. When they were painted by Britain’s premier equestrian painter, George Stubbs, from stuffed pelts brought back from Botany Bay by Sir Joseph Banks in 1770.

Posted in Arts and Sport | Tagged | 1 Comment

Things you learn along the way

Occasionally friends suggest to me that I should write my autobiography.  Ruefully I explain that I wrote ‘Things you learn along the way’ 20 years ago. The book sold about 8,000 copies but as far as I know is no … Continue reading

Posted in Community | Tagged | 5 Comments

Hotel quarantine report blasts government failures, but political fallout is likely to be minimal

The final report of the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry, issued by former judge Jennifer Coate, outlines monumental errors made by the Victorian government and its public servants.

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 6 Comments

War Crimes: Where does ultimate responsibility lie? Only a Royal Commission will determine the answer

The Brereton report has major deficiencies around where ultimate responsibility lies for war crimes in Afghanistan. To understand this and to eradicate the cultural and systemic causes of the alleged crimes, we need a Royal Commission.

Posted in Defence and Security | Tagged | 10 Comments

Scott Morrison said NSW was the ‘gold standard’ in infection control but begging is not working in encouraging mask wearing

Recent infections in NSW  demonstrate how fragile is our control of community acquired Covid infections. As it will be many months before Australians are immunised and immune to Covid-19 we must focus on stronger containment strategies now. It’s time to … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 6 Comments

Fever Pitch: Who’s an Enemy of the State?

“The character of our own government at present is imbecility,” said Samuel Johnson to James Boswell.

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 4 Comments

Why China has been exceptionally harsh on Australia (AFR Dec 17, 2020)

This is not a schoolyard, China is not a schoolboy, it hasn’t slunk away, and nothing about our predicament is as easy as the government would like us to believe.

Posted in China | Tagged | 24 Comments

The 2019 Federal Election: was there a level playing field?

The multifarious attempts at voter suppression in the 2020 US presidential election might prompt Australians to be grateful for the quality of our electoral administration. Uniquely, Australia has had since the 19th century a tradition of professional electoral administration, with administrators taking … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Tagged | 1 Comment

Prime Minister: Saying you no longer intend to cheat on climate change does not merit applause

The Prime Minister has brushed off his failure to gain a speaking role at the Glasgow global warming summit as inconsequential. But the reality is that the Prime Minister and his government continue to fail us.

Posted in Climate, Politics, Top 5 | Tagged | 17 Comments

Undue influence? University grants questioned after ASPI US-funded research

The Australian Research Council launched an investigation into Australian academics solely on the basis of US government-funded research by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Posted in China, Defence and Security, Politics | Tagged | 4 Comments

Tamed Estate: IR changes good for workers. Really? The fine print is buried.

With workplace reform winging its way towards the Senate, the mainstream media’s coverage of the changes was predictably unbalanced.

Posted in Politics, Tamed Estate, Top 5 | Tagged | 4 Comments

Divide and conquer – Google and Facebook show who’s the boss!

After a year of reports, submissions and public inquiries – and much posturing on all sides – the Government has finally delivered the draft legislation designed to bring Google and Facebook to heel. But who is holding the leash?

Posted in Media | Tagged | 7 Comments

What responsibility does ADF’s top brass have for war crimes in Afghanistan?

As much as clothes, language has fashions.  This month’s in-vogue expression is “walking back” – a metaphor for resiling from a position previously taken. And in these changing times, there is a lot of walking back about.

Posted in Defence and Security, Top 5 | Tagged | 15 Comments