Author Archives: Louisa Gunning

RICHARD FLANNAGAN. I’m willing to go to jail to stop Adani and save our beloved country. Will you stand with me? (The Conversation)

In this anti-Adani rally speech, novelist Richard Flanagan says the fight against the Carmichael coalmine defines the fight against the climate crisis

Posted in Environment and climate | 4 Comments

Zali Steggall takes on Tony Abbott over hospitals-to-tax-haven deal (Michael West)

Tony Abbott has come under pressure from Warringah independent, Zali Steggall, over the Government’s decision to approve the sale of the new Northern Beaches Hospital, and 42 other Australian hospitals, to an obscure company in the Cayman Islands.

Posted in Health, Politics | 3 Comments

BERNARD KEANE. The media has failed spectacularly on climate change (Crikey)

The media’s coverage of climate change in the election campaign has reflected the Coalition’s long-term strategy of denialism, rather than a desire for genuine scrutiny.

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RAY MOYNIHAN, PAUL GLASZIOU. We need new rules for defining who is sick. Step 1: remove vested interests (The Conversation)

Did you know the definition of high blood pressure (hypertension) in the United States was recently greatly expanded? Overnight, tens of millions of people were reclassified, leaving one in every two adults with a diagnosis of hypertension. The move has … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 2 Comments

JEFF KINGSTON. Filling the post-Heisei void (East Asia Forum)

Emperor Akihito is a tough act to follow. He is known as the people’s emperor because he brought the monarchy closer to the people by sharing the pain of those displaced by disaster and advocating on behalf of the vulnerable … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 1 Comment

VACY VLAZNA. The Sarafand Massacre and Anzac Cover-up, Part 2

Cover-ups are a reprehensible part and parcel of military history and testimonies collected on Australian Military History of the Early  20th Century: Desert Column siteare tainted with fundamental lies and racist justifications that have become the prototype for subsequent historical … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 5 Comments

RICHARD BARCHAM. Not Sorry.

Speech that dehumanises marks the limit of what a tolerant society can accept.

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GEORGE MONBIOT. Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse (The Guardian)

No one is coming to save us. Mass civil disobedience is essential to force a political response.

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JOHN MENADUE. Political leadership . Morrison or Shorten?

 We are regularly polled about who is the best leader as if it a popularity contest. That is not what leadership is about. And leadership and charisma are  quite different. Good leadership is about facing the country or group up … Continue reading

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VACY VLAZNA. The Sarafand Massacre and Anzac Cover-up, Part 1

In the early winter of 1918, the wheat, barley and sesame fields of Sarafand al-Kharab lay fallow. Oranges, figs, almonds and olives had been harvested, the summer honey stored. At night the goats and sheep were  brought into the warmth … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs | 1 Comment

BOB CARR. Australia could be the big loser in a US-China trade deal, not that Donald Trump seems to care (South China Morning Post)

Australia sticking its neck out for the US on the issue of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei will not stop America from striking a trade deal with China that could result in Australian exports suffering

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 7 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The Greens– good policies and poor politics.

The Greens have correctly directed criticism at the cruel policies of the ALP and the Coalition on refugees in Manus and Nauru. They are also rightly critical of the major parties on climate change.But on  both issues the Greens have … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

BOB BIRRELL. Overseas Students. A labour market program?

As readers of Pearls and Irritations will be aware, Net Overseas Migration to Australia (NOM) in 2017-18 was 236,731. This is equivalent to 0.9 per cent of Australia’s population. NOM was the main source of Australia’s overall 1.6 per cent … Continue reading

Posted in Education, International Affairs | 1 Comment

MARC HUDSON. In Australia, climate policy battles are endlessly reheated (The Conversation)

This article is part of a series examining the Coalition government’s record on key issues while in power and what Labor is promising if it wins the 2019 federal election. It might feel like the past decade of climate policy … Continue reading

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MELISSA SWEET. What might Greta Thunberg tell the Australian Parliament? (Croakey)

This week, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who must surely go down in history as one of the great champions for global health, addressed the British Parliament.

Posted in Environment and climate | 3 Comments

PAUL BARRATT. Ten Neglected Issues that Australia21 Believes Should be Addressed During the Election Campaign.

The 2019 election campaign having begun, I wish, on behalf of Australia21, which I chair, to draw attention to a number of issues that require proper attention and debate in order to enable Australian voters to make an informed choice … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

TIM WINTON. Our leaders are ignoring global warming to the point of criminal negligence. It’s unforgivable (The Guardian)

Humanity survived the cold war because no one pushed the button. On climate change, the button has been pushed again and again.

Posted in Environment and climate | 5 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Best we forget – the Frontier and Maori Wars. An update

 The Frontier Wars were the most destructive and decisive in our history. The first war we fought alongside ‘New Zealanders’ was not at Gallipoli in 1915 but in the Maori Wars in the middle of the nineteenth century. Yet both … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 4 Comments

DAVID STEPHENS. Beneath the tumult and the shouting: Anzac Day as a private experience.

Anzac should be mostly private. It should be about the quiet, within-family, remembrance of – and caring about – people who have suffered in war, those who have been killed and not come home, those who have come home injured … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security | 2 Comments

DAVID SHEARMAN. Parliamentary reform is vital to address the complex problems of environmental change.

The poor standing of politicians and the lack of expertise in their ranks and Ministries increasingly results in inadequate policy in complex problems such as climate change. It is essential that the next government commences reform of Parliamentary processes and … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton have lost control of our borders.

Chaos in our visa system and extraordinary border control failures are being exploited by people smugglers to deliver record numbers of non-genuine asylum seekers arriving by air.  The Coalition pretends we only have sea borders and can ignore our air … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Easter and the banality of evil. An edited repost

Our policies towards asylum seekers that are cruel,evil and immoral,depend on our first dehumanising and then demonising them. Ministers,even the Prime Minister have recently reminded us that some of them are rapists and murderers.They  infer that they are not like … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

IAN DUNLOP, DAVID SPRATT. Is the Australian Public Service fit-for-purpose to handle existential climate risk?

The first duty of a government is to “protect the people”, their safety and well-being. Nowhere is this duty more important than in addressing climate change, which now constitutes a near-term existential threat to human civilisation. It is an open, … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate | 1 Comment

ELAINE PEARSON. Australian Children are Trapped in Syria and the Government Must Bring Them Home (Human Rights Watch)

An ABC Four Corners investigation has exposed the callous indifference of Australian officials over the return of Australian children held without charge in foreign camps for families of Islamic State members.

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. Appealing to our Better Angels. A repost from 30 June 2011

In an appeal to Secessionists in his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln appealed to ‘the better angels of our nature’. Today we lack the bi-partisan leadership on refugees that would appeal to our better angels. I have yet to hear … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

TIM WOODRUFF. Health Policy and Successful Politics.

Health policy reform is difficult. There are an abundance of powerful stakeholders whose number one priority is definitely not optimum health care for all Australians. But most Australians do share the view that our health care system (which isn’t really … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 1 Comment

ANDREW CHUBB. China’s assertive maritime policy is older than Xi (East Asia Forum)

The toughening of China’s policies in the South and East China Seas is widely regarded as a defining characteristic of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy. But while it is true that the PRC has become more assertive in its maritime disputes … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

H.K. COLEBATCH. What’s wrong with the APS?

The Thodey review has stimulated a wide variety of diagnoses of what’s wrong with the APS, but one has been missed.  Could it be that its problem is hubris?

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

MEGHAN SULLIVAN. Envisioning the Afterlife. The problem with Lazarus.

During Lent, Christians are asked to think much more concretely about our short, precarious lives. We swear off chocolate, alcohol, or, in my case, swearing itself.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 4 Comments

Energy Minister Angus Taylor said greenhouse gas emissions have turned around by 1.1 billion tonnes under the Coalition. Is he correct? (ABC News)

The Morrison Government has for months argued Australia is on track to meet its international greenhouse gas emissions abatement targets “in a canter”.

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