Category Archives: Politics

STUART REES, Churches Support for the Boycott, Divestment Sanctions (BDS) Movement

  Bernie Sanders, US Democrat candidate for the Presidency has caused controversy by criticising what he calls the cruel, racist policies of the government of Israel towards Palestinians. But it’s time that such comments were seen as not unusual, even … Continue reading

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EVA COX. The trust deficit – a seriously neglected election issue

At the forthcoming election the Coalition will be asking Who do you trust, Scott Morrison or Bill Shorten? Morrison repeated it yesterday many times. This seems odd for a leader who most reminds me of another salesman, Donald Trump. But … Continue reading

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JAMES O’NEILL: When Better than at an Election to Have a Serious and Overdue Debate About Defence and Foreign Policy Objectives?

 The current election cycle presents a golden opportunity to have a serious discussion about Australia’s defence and foreign policies. These have been notably lacking from both major parties.

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WILLIAM BRIGGS ANZAC Day: lest we forget the militarisation of the Australian economy

ANZAC Day is once more upon us. We are told that it is a time for reflection. And, so it is. The sad truth is that we engage in little actual or meaningful contemplation of the date or of its … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The essence of marketing is constant repetition.

A short week of campaigning and an even shorter one to come – which is perhaps why the temperature has ramped up to almost febrile levels.  

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MARRYANNE SLATTERY AND ROD CAMPBELL. Debugging the Watergate complex (The Australian Institute, April 2019)

Interpreting the responses to #Watergate by the Prime Minister and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources  

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 1 Comment

FRANCESCA BEDDIE: Beyond Anzac: a multicultural Australia needs a multicultural history

I recently attended a history conference in Wellington, New Zealand, which posed the question After the War, What Next? My answer was that we need a transnational approach to telling history, which presents the complexity of global influences that have … Continue reading

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DAVID STEPHENS -People against the War Memorial’s grandiose extensions project.

On 23 March, the Canberra Times carried a story about an open letter from 83 distinguished Australians opposing the plan to spend $498 million on extensions to the Australian War Memorial.  

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NOEL TURNBULL. Myths, myths and more myths

As Anzac Day approaches are you getting ready to remember afresh how Anzac defines Australian culture and history and why we fought; how the French will never forget Australia and its role in WWI; and, how our Vietnam veterans were … Continue reading

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DOUGLAS NEWTON. Reflections for Anzac Day. Why? How? To what end?

On this day, respect for our war dead, and for survivors, eclipses all. The rows of headstones afflict the mind. But real respect demands we reflect on the truly big questions: Why? How? To what end?

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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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FIONA ARMSTRONG. Who will address the health emergency of climate change?

Climate change causes many health problems and will have enormous impacts on Australia’s health system. Yet most Australian governments have been slow to prepare the health services for the inevitable challenges. Fifty health, social welfare and conservation groups, representing over … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 21 April 2019

Although carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, new modelling demonstrates that it is still technically and economically feasible to keep global warming below 1.5oC, with many advantages for the world’s economy, jobs and public health, but the influence of fossil … Continue reading

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A regular collection of links to writings and broadcasts in other media

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GREG JERICHO. The Coalition boasts about economic management. Where’s the evidence? (The Guardian 16.4.2019)

This is the only government since Fraser’s that hasn’t presided over an improved standard of living. 

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

EMILE NAKHLEH. Washington hawks clamouring to attack Iran

Those pushing for regime change in Iran are overestimating the Iranian people’s dislike of their theocratic regime and are mistaking that dislike for a willingness to embrace a foreign invader. Like the Bush Administration with Iraq, the Trump Administration appears … Continue reading

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DUNCAN GRAHAM Last post for the old guard?

Have Indonesia’s oligarchs performed their final farewell tour? More than two decades after the fall of second president Soeharto’s authoritarian New Order government a commoner has retained the presidency.

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STUART REES, Julian Assange, Establishment Interests and the US Culture of Revenge

Julian Assange faces extradition to the United States to face a grand jury’s secretly concocted charge of ‘computer intrusion’ to obtain and reveal classified information. Reaction to Assange’ arrest shows powerful people protecting establishment interests, which, over centuries, have involved … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Surely Morrison isn’t seriously asking us to trust him

Morrison’s words are a plea to trust his government, but his tactics seem to be aimed at spreading mistrust, not only of Labor but also of democratic institutions more generally. 

Posted in Economy, Politics | 4 Comments

SAM BYFORD. Huawei chairman accuses American critics of hypocrisy over NSA hacks (The Verge 27.2.2019)

Huawei’s rotating chairman Guo Ping has gone on the offensive this week at Mobile World Congress, following continued pressure on US allies to drop the Chinese telecoms giant over national security fears. 

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Who are the terrorists, Iran or the US?

In April 2014 John Howard surprised an audience in Sydney by saying that war with Iran would be next. He didn’t know then about Syria but his alarming prediction about Iran looks like coming true.

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HAL PAWSON and BILL RANDOLPH. On housing, there’s clear blue water between the main parties (The Conversation, 12 April 2019)

Labor’s bold stance on housing tax reform and investment makes this one of the likely policy flashpoints in the coming election campaign. How does the Coalition government’s housing record stand up to scrutiny? What would be in prospect in a … Continue reading

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DAVID MACILWAIN.  Two Australians in trouble abroad.  

The law to censor violent content rushed through Parliament last week connected dots between two Australians abroad, when Julian Assange was “extradited” from Ecuadorian territory, in London. I examine the linkages.

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RICHARD FLANAGAN. Have we, Australia, become a country that breeds mass murderers with our words? (The Guardian 14.4.2019)

We are better than our politicians’ dark fears.  We are not their hate. We are optimistic about a country built on openness. 

Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. ScoMo is happy to keep the campaign as mean and ugly as possible.

The final jobs for the boys and girls have been squared away, the pointless tit for tat over taxpayer advertising and who is closer to the Chinese have been shelved, and Melissa Price has obediently signed off on Adani, as … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Australians with Chinese origins need to come together.

A new burst of messaging on China Panic has been unleashed by Four Corners and newspapers, again giving the impression that hostile forces are threatening Australia. Last month former Australian foreign minister Gareth Evans noted  “a new form of Sinophobia … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 6 Comments

JACK WATERFORD. Are management and trustworthiness Morrison’s strong points? (Canberra Times 13.4.2019)

We do not get much sense of Morrison himself from what he has said or done, or what he has told us of why he is there. The ambition has been obvious, but for what and why? Nor is his history as … Continue reading

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GREG BAILEY. Reflections on Five Years of Political Theatre and Nihilism (Part 2)

For the last three decades the Australian public has been told there will be massive changes which they will have to run with or just suck it up. Now, after five and a half years of floundering and negativism by … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Our Leader remains, as so often, in Luddite denial.

According to ScoMo , electric cars are for wimps and latte sippers – real Australians want more grunt. Oink oink, vroom vroom! Wheelies, doughnuts, burnouts!  

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GREG BAILEY. Reflections on Five Years of Political Theatre and Nihilism (Part 1)

Retrospective reflections are now beginning on what might be the heritage of the five and a half year long Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison governments. In advancing such reflections attention should not just be focussed on the political infighting within the … Continue reading

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