Author Archives: Peter Menadue

MICHAEL KELLY SJ The biggest con in any current debate in Australian public life

In a highly contested event, one political con over the last decade stands out as the greatest bipartisan piece of deception in any enduring debate: the obfuscation employed in the public arguments over asylum seeker arrivals in Australia.

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | Leave a comment

SAMANTHA MAIDEN. Tanya Plibersek backs Shorten’s boat turn-back policy in major backflip (The New Daily, 11.12.18)

Deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek has backed boat turn backs but pledged a Shorten government would “get people off Manus and Nauru” and boost Australia’s refugee intake.

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CAVAN and ALEX HOGUE. Cyber legislation – the oldest trick in the book.

The proposed legislation on cyber powers raises some questions that need to be answered.  The debate has been rhetorical and has not addressed the technical or legal aspects of the legislation in any detail. Has the implementation been thought through … Continue reading

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STEPHEN DUCKETT. Activity-based funding and prevention: a message for state governments (Croakey)

JENNIFER DOGGETT.  Keeping people well and out of hospital should be a primary focus of our health system.  Yet the evidence is that we could do much better in preventing and managing problems in the community, before they require hospital … Continue reading

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JENNIFER RANKIN. Group led by Thomas Piketty presents plan for ‘a fairer Europe’ (The Guardian 10.12.18)

A group of progressive Europeans led by the economist and author Thomas Piketty has drawn up a bold new blueprint for a fairer Europe to address the division, disenchantment, inequality and rightwing populism sweeping the continent.

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Irony: Record number of asylum seekers arrive on Dutton’s watch (The New Daily, 09.12.18)

For all the government’s tough-on-asylum-seekers rhetoric, protection visa applications have blown out to record numbers on Peter Dutton’s watch.

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

HAMISH MCDONALD. Christian Missionaries and Their Mistaken Message from God (AsianSentinel, 05.12.18)

As fans of the old The Phantom comic strip will recall, an island in the Bay of Bengal is the location of the Skull Cave, home base of The Ghost Who Walks, established by an ancestor washed ashore in a … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN AUSTEN. NSW farce rail

NSW Premier Berejiklian says her Government will ‘deliver a fast rail network slashing travel times across the State.’  Work will commence in the next term of Government and won’t wait for the Commonwealth – NSW will go it alone! 

Posted in Infrastructure | Leave a comment

JENNY HOCKING. Unmasking history: the Queen, the governor general and the Whitlam dismissal (The Guardian newspaper, 06.12.18)

The ghosts of the dismissal of the Whitlam government 43 years ago were on display at an appeal hearing before the full bench of the federal court last week: Gough Whitlam, the deposed prime minister; Sir John Kerr, the governor … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

RICHARD ECKERSLEY. The demise of the official future

Americans are more likely to think the US is heading in the right direction since Donald Trump’s election. Why?

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit: Law versus Process as next drama erupts

Theresa May suffered three defeats in just a few hours in the British Parliament this Tuesday which doesn’t auger well for her EU Withdrawal Agreement next Tuesday. The various coalitions that have been the drivers to date may not hold … Continue reading

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MARK BEESON. China’s Rise and the rules-based liberal order: Implications for Australia

The prosperity of millions of Australians has become dependent on the People’s Republic of China (PRC). This unambiguous material reality explains why Australian policymakers and commentators spend so much time fretting about how to manage the relationship. The sheer material … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE: Capitalism has run amok!

If the 2007/08 Global Financial Crisis wasn’t sufficient evidence that something is deeply pathological within the contemporary capitalist system, then Ken Henry’s at times truculent, at times ruminative responses to questioning before the Financial Services Royal Commission should provide food … Continue reading

Posted in economics | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Something important happened on treaty.

You could be forgiven for missing it, but something quite important happened in politics last week.

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

MACK WILLIAMS. North Korea: second fiddle?

Not surprisingly North Korea was relegated by the US:China “tariff war” in the recent G20 summit in Buenos Aires but some progress may have been made in preparing for the next phases of US:DPRK and ROK:DPRK dialogues. China also made … Continue reading

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JOCELYN PIXLEY. The cosy relations between bank misconduct and LNP Governments

When Ken Henry (NAB Chair) tried to dismiss SC Rowena Orr’s questions about the NAB top management’s significant compliance breaches with “Well, we could have fired everybody, I suppose”, he was correct. Hayne did not call his bluff. Henry had … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 5 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. Ethics Etherised

Based on the facts of his conduct of his office, and there is clearly much more to emerge, the end of Trump should be in sight. But, this is not certain to be achieved. To an unprecedented degree, the President … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Vacuous marketeer needs an education

Yet again we are assured that the Adani mine is going ahead – Adani Lite, they’ll only put it in a little way and if it hurts, well, they’ll just see how far they can keep shoving.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

CAVAN HOGUE. Storms in the Sea of Azov.

The recent clash between Russia and Ukraine is about access to the Sea of Azov especially arising from the Russian bridge connecting Crimea to the Russian mainland.  Russian and Ukrainian claims and explanations are entirely predictable as is NATO’s condemnation … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs | 4 Comments

STUART REES. Israel/Palestine, the Prime Minister and the Language of Peace

A former Australian Ambassador to Israel, Peter Rogers has described as a fraud Prime Minister Morrison’s claim that moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem could be shock therapy for the non-existent Israel-Palestine peace process.

Posted in International Affairs | 1 Comment

ROSS DOUTHAT. The Two-Emperor Problem (New York Times, 24.11.18)

Generally, Donald Trump’s Twitter beefs are an expense of spirit and a waste of breath. But a minority of them are genuinely edifying, and illustrations of his likely world-historical role — which is not to personally bring down our constitutional … Continue reading

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RICHARD WOOLCOTT. The emergence of China can not be denied.

 The recent  APEC  meeting in Port Moresby underlined the deepening competition between China and the United States in the Asia Pacific region. China has been expanding its influence in the South China Sea and beyond and with the United States,Japan,and … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs | 2 Comments

JOHN QUIGGIN. Public Private Partnerships. The mirage.

In the UK Budget last week, the  Chancellor, Phillip Hammond announced the end of the PF2 scheme, the Conservative government’s replacement for the discredited Public Finance Initiative originally introduced by the Conservatives under John Major, but greatly expanded  by Tony … Continue reading

Posted in Economy | 3 Comments

ABUL RIZVI: Is our Visa Processing System in Crisis?

A fundamental aspect of a well operating immigration system is one that encourages people to apply for the right visa and follow intended visa pathways after arrival rather than use visitor visas to by-pass applying for the right visa. Visitor … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

JAMES O’NEILL: New Revelations About Australia and the Iraq War

A new ABC report reveals, quoting from a previously classified document, that the Australian government decided in early 2002 to join the American led Iraq War, but failed to disclose that to Parliament or the public.

Posted in Defence/Security | 1 Comment

JOAN STAPLES: An Australian civil society success story.

Almost twelve months ago, I first wrote of threats to democratic advocacy from three foreign interference Bills.  On Tuesday this week, the final most controversial Bill, the Electoral Funding and Disclosure Reform Bill, was passed with the support of civil … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

LESLEY RUSSELL: Time to make dental care an election issue

The Victorian Government’s election commitment to a $395.8 million program to provide free dental care to schoolchildren will be welcome in a state where affordable and timely access to dental care is increasingly difficult. It’s time for a concerted campaign … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. Why I avoid social media news feeds

Facebook and the like are not interested in truth in journalism. They use their algorithms to create news that confirms their users’ pre-existing views. If they gave them content with views they didn’t like, chances are that the users would … Continue reading

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WILL WILKINSON. Can Democrats Drain Trump’s Gilded Swamp? (New York Times, 27 November 2018)

Democrats are now preparing to assume control of the House. This offers many possibilities for oversight and investigation. For one, the House Ways and Means Committee has the right to inspect the president’s tax returns, and Democrats are sure to … Continue reading

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TERRY FEWTRELL. Seems Pope Francis is with the People

The latest letter from Pope Francis greatly empowers Australia’s Catholics to use their influence and puts heat on the bishops to allow the voices and wisdom of Australian Catholics to be heard seriously.

Posted in Religion and Faith | 8 Comments