Category Archives: Politics

MUNGO MACCALLUM. A conference of moaners in Sydney

The Conservative Political Action Conference held in Sydney last weekend should not be dismissed lightly. It must be dismissed heavily, so here goes. The elite reactionaries gathered in their luxury hotel not to celebrate, but to moan. The parade of … Continue reading

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DUNCAN MACLAREN. Will the last PM of the UK please put out the lights?

The dissolution of the United Kingdom is now bruited abroad on a daily basis as a likely outcome of a No Deal Brexit. This applies not just to Scotland, the likeliest candidate to be first to leave, but also to … Continue reading

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TREVOR WATSON. Hong Kong Chaos – Beijing weighs its options.

As Hong Kong’s anti-administration protests grow stronger and increasingly violent, fears of a Tiananmen Square style response by Beijing also mount. Trevor Watson looks at the difficulty faced by China watchers as they attempt to predict the next move by … Continue reading

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MICHAEL SAINSBURY. Things haven’t been this bad between Australia and China in 30 years (Crikey, 14 August 2019)

The Morrison government’s increasing ties to the Trump administration is, by consequence, achieving quite the opposite of its previous goal of “resetting” Australia’s relationship with China.

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GRACE BLAKELY. Why the rise of Boris Johnson is the last laugh of a decaying elite (New Statesman America 14-8-19)

Right-wing populism is a symptom of a crumbling capitalist order that no longer promises a better future for most people. 

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 18 August 2019

A new report from the IPCC focusing on land and climate change draws together many threads from the environmental and social crises facing the world. CO2 emissions from fossil fuels are of course the major cause of global warming but … Continue reading

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SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

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

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STUART REES ‘Australia’s Authoritarian Future? CPAC & The High Court’

In early August, two events cast a shadow over Australia’s democracy. The US Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) met in Sydney to fight to ‘protect the future.’ The High Court ruled that the government may restrict the right of public … Continue reading

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STEPHANIE DOWRICK. Are “moderates” failing to keep us safe?

Could it be “moderates” – through lack of vigilance, or is it apathy? – who most threaten our safety and existence? Yes, this seems a ridiculous, even immoderate assertion. But let’s think about it. The US, the UK and Australia … Continue reading

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JENNY HOCKING. Brexit in the Antipodes

There is a growing air of desperation in the cross-party efforts to stymie British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s threat to by-pass parliament, and even to ignore a motion of no confidence against him and his government by the House of … Continue reading

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TONY BROWN. Who calls the shots? Don’t mention the ‘C’ word

It should come as no surprise that those who trivialise our nation’s deadly alcohol toll or seek to inculcate and normalise alcohol into every aspect of Australia’s culture, regardless of the true cost, are the very same who profit from … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. Julian Assange One case dismissed: one to go.

From the Australian mainstream media most readers won’t know it, but on 29 July a Federal Court in New York dismissed the Democratic National Committee’s case against Julian Assange for publishing leaked internal emails in 2016.

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MICHAEL KEATING. The US-China trade relationship:Why Trump’s policies are doomed to fail.

Donald Trump is deluded if he thinks that raising tariffs will reduce the US trade deficit. That deficit represents the fact that the US is spending more than it earns. Unless this fact is altered – and Trump has increased … Continue reading

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ALISON BROINOWSKI. ‘Australia agrees to everything’

Australia and the United States see the world through the same eyes, Scott Morrison told sailors on USS Ronald Reagan during the Talisman Sabre war games on 12 July.But after hearing what Mike Pompeo and John Joseph Mearsheimer had to … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison prepares for war

Scott Morrison is not too keen on history.When it comes to politics – or at least the politics of the Liberal Party, which to him is all that matters – history began with his election as Prime Minister. Everything that … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. Broken government: it’s the engine as well as the drivers

Ministers and bureaucrats seem only able to manage spot fires, not policy review beyond three-word-slogans. Ken Hayne, the former High Court judge who conducted the banking royal commission is quite right in suggesting that the political and bureaucratic system is … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS–The Fascinating Christian Story.

We all have our personal story. And it is just one part of the bigger story of our family, our tribe, our nation – the things that have shaped us. Institutions, too, have a life of their own – and … Continue reading

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TONY SMITH. Time to stop this marginal madness

The reputation of the New South Wales Coalition Government in the area of environmental management has taken yet another tumble. Along with decimation of National Parks, poor management of Murray-Darling water, failure to act on carbon emissions and ignorance of … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. Cambodia – a breakout from US encirclement

The encirclement of China with US and allies bases, has its roots in preventing the spread of Communism in SE Asia after WW2.  At the height of the Cold War the host countries had no objections as it provided protection … Continue reading

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ANDREW GLIKSON. The changing face of planet Earth

With atmospheric CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas concentrations now above 500 ppm and average global warming approaching 1.5oC, there is a clear shift in the world’s climate zones, displayed for example on maps of the expanding wet tropical zones, drying sub-tropical latitudes and polar-ward … Continue reading

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MARTA KWASNICKA. Habits of the heart: the problems facing Polish Catholicism

“Really, there is nothing to talk about,” my mother said when I asked her about her conversion to Catholicism. When I did persuade her to tell her story, it had none of the tumult and drama of English nineteenth-century converts … Continue reading

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 11 August 2019

Last week we were deep in the oceans. This week we’re high in the sky: the global warming effect of air travel and ways of reducing it: technology, government intervention, industry initiatives, personal behaviour change and buying carbon offsets. And … Continue reading

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SATURDAY’s GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND

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

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JOHN MENADUE. Tugging our forelock again and again to our dangerous ally. An update

The US has coming calling again. Not an Admiral  this time but  the Pentecostalist Secretary of State Mike Pompeo . He is whistling us up as a faithful dog to join with the US in tackling the problems which Donald … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 23 Comments

JENNY HOCKING. ‘A tawdry distortion of history: How the Palace airbrushed Sir John Kerr’s Memoirs’

There have been dramatic revelations from the National Archives of Australia with the release of letters between the Governor-General Sir John Kerr and Buckingham Palace following Kerr’s dismissal of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. These letters provide remarkable and disturbing new … Continue reading

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MIKE SCRAFTON. The persistence of white supremacists in the US is the problem

In the wake of the recent murders by white supremacists, blame has been apportioned partially to President Trump’s rhetoric and to the availability of white replacement theory and white genocide conspiracy material. Both are relevant but the policy challenge is … Continue reading

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RICHARD BUTLER Trump’s Weapon of Choice: Animus

It is widely believed that Trump’s continually expressed animosity towards black and brown people, particularly Mexicans, his description of immigrants/asylum seekers as constituting an invasion of the US, an “infestation”, caused the mass murder at El Paso. Trump’s animus dominates … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. It’s not only the Russians

As well as having to keep an eye out for Russian electoral interference we now need to watch out for the fake news promulgated by knights of the realm – and the employee whistle blowers who provide the evidence of … Continue reading

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GREG BAILEY. Lobbyists, corruption and neoliberalism

The revelations surrounding the fast tracking of visas for Chinese high rollers coming to Crown Casino and betting gargantuan amounts of money have been extensively covered over the last week in the media.  Corruption there certainly seems to be and … Continue reading

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DAVID ISAACS HOW TO RESPOND TO ANTI-VAXXERS

At the dinner table it is not uncommon to find that someone you know and like is vehemently opposed to routine childhood immunisation. Having worked in this area all my career as a paediatric infectious disease specialist and been a … Continue reading

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