Category Archives: Politics

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Ramping up the anti union campaign.

If John Setka did not exist, the coalition would  have invented him. But fortunately he does exist, so it’s just a matter of slapping on a few bells and whistles, dimming the lights and tuning up the spooky music, and … Continue reading

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STUART REES, Hong Kong, Canberra, Carrie Lam and Mike Pezzullo

  Hong Kong’s autonomous, free status, One Nation Two Systems agreement is at risk of disappearing. The Hong Kong legislature had proposed extradition laws which would make residents and foreigners who live there or who might be travelling through the … Continue reading

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MARGARET REYNOLDS. Queensland – A Special Place?

I lived in Queensland for three decades and represented the sunshine state as a Labor Senator for sixteen years. I spent much of my time trying to convince my parliamentary colleagues and the media that Queenslanders are very much like … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM – What Bob Hawke meant by aspiration.

Bob Hawke’s widow Blanche d’Alpuget summed it up best: his was a life triumphantly well lived. The state memorial service last week sent the silver bodgie off in grand style. It was a fitting celebration of a remarkable leader.

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RICHARD BUTLER The Espionage Olympiad and the Art of “Plausible Deniability”.

If there was a competition between the key ways in which international relations is conducted, aside from the use of military force, then the area of intelligence gathering and the covert pursuit of national objectives – all-round spookery – would … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. Remember the Alamo, remember the Maine etc etc etc

Remember the Alamo, remember the Maine, remember the Gulf of Tonkin, remember the weapons of mass destruction and now remember the Kokuka Sangyo tanker.

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BERNARD KEANE.  Corporations start to question Business Council’s climate denialism (Crikey)

With Westpac joining the growing list of corporations that are questioning the climate policy stance of the Business Council of Australia (BCA), it seems that major companies that take climate change seriously have sussed out the strategy of one of … Continue reading

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NIALL McLAREN IT’S TIME…. TO QUESTION THE US ALLIANCE.

Before entering any alliance, it’s better to be certain you have worked out what you hope to gain from it.

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PETER SAINSBURY. Sunday environmental round up, 16 June 2019

A strong emphasis on economic, ethical and equity issues associated with climate change this week. Global warming has increased inequalities between rich and poor nations; tackling climate change and reducing inequalities must occur simultaneously but only rich and powerful nations … 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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MACK WILLIAMS . North Korea : The tangled web becomes more so !

That the past few months have seen no real progress towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula is not all that surprising given the swirling global environment demanding priority attention for President Trump and other key stakeholders. Post mortems of … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

MICHELLE PINI: AFP raids journalists: We need to talk about our Government

There is no doubt the AFP raids are an affront to our democracy. One in which the hand of a secretive and ruthless Government can be felt, if not seen or heard.

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MICHAEL JOHNSTON. Taming the beast – a challenging new initiative.

Corporations’ unbridled pursuit of self interest (aka ‘shareholder interest’) has plunged the planet into an existential crisis. It is no longer a radical proposition to suggest that the community should expect its corporations to pursue stakeholder interest on an equal … Continue reading

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JERRY ROBERTS. Liberal leadership change in WA shows conservative confidence.

Liza Harvey’s unopposed ascension to leadership of the West Australian parliamentary Liberal Party points to growing confidence among conservatives in the West but Mike Nahan deserves high praise for holding the fort after the Liberals’ 2017 rout.

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ALEX MITCHELL. Unrepresentative Tory swill choosing the next British Prime Minister

All registered members of the British Conservative Party are currently voting to elect a new leader to replace Prime Minister Theresa May. Hailed as an exercise in party democracy, it’s more like a chook raffle.

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RAMESH THAKUR. Modi vs who? The question needed a clear answer in a quasi-presidential contest (The Times of India)

No Bihari political scientist can possibly understate the importance of caste and religion in shaping the electoral contest. However, there is one other factor that is of growing importance. In all parliamentary democracies across the world, including Australia, power is … Continue reading

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GREG JERICHO. Coalition’s lies, damned lies and election-winning strategies (The Guardian)

No, the government doesn’t care about reducing carbon emissions and no, the economy is not strong. 

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BEN GRUBB.  The CIA’s investment fund is stalking Australian tech startups and has opened a local office (Sydney Morning Herald, 11 June 2019)

A technology investment fund bankrolled by America’s foreign spy agency, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is stalking Australian companies for future investment opportunities.

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BEVAN RAMSDEN. The Anti-Terrorism Act and other Acts strip us of many civil liberties we thought we had.

The recent intimidatory police raids on the ABC and a journalist’s home for making public, matters of community concern, is a wake-up call that press freedoms can no longer be taken for granted. But looking wider, personal freedoms we thought … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KEATING Budget Deficits: Good or Bad

  Returning the Budget to surplus has been an article of faith in most Australian political dialogue for the last decade. However, with stagnant economic growth and the Government’s proposed tax cuts, there is a real risk that Budget surpluses … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. What a Morrison Government could do on China.

The Accidental Morrison Government needs now to face up to Australia’s most important foreign policy challenge: how to restore relations with China.  Under Turnbull/Bishop’s mismanagement, the relationship plumbed its lowest depth since diplomatic relations were established 47 years ago.  Doing … Continue reading

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NOEL TURNBULL. When you think of Twitter what at do you think of first?

The automatic response when you hear the word Tweet is to associate it with Trump. Yet some recent Pew Research Center suggests the Tweeter in chief is out of step with most other Tweeters.

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PAUL MASON. Donald Trump’s embrace is a death grip for the Conservative Party (New Statesman, 5 June 2019)

Mainstream conservatism has lost its ideological defences against the far right.  All over the world, mainstream conservatism has reached the moment of its psychological surrender to the authoritarian right. In the US, the Republican Party is using control of state … Continue reading

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WILLIAM PESEK Abe-Trump smiles mask the coming anger. (Nikkei Asian Review 30.5.2019)

Donald Trump visited Tokyo for four days (25-28 May) intending to cement his “unshakable bond” with Shinzo Abe. Instead, the visit showcased why their unlikely bromance is headed for trouble.

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Our freedom is at risk.

Our Prime Minister assures us that the AFP raids of last week had absolutely nothing to do with him. Well, of course not – he and his government are never responsible for anything.  

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DUNCAN GRAHAM – Past their use-by date but still current

They ignore the local statistics, but hang on to the exceptional example, Mahathir bin Mohamad. Next month the Malaysian Prime Minister will turn 94 and although he promised to hand over to Anwar Ibrahim, 71, that has yet to occur.

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JOCELYN CHEY Hongkongers deserve support.

  Sunday’s march on Hong Kong’s Legislative Council brought an estimated million people onto the streets, which if true would make it the largest demonstration in the history of the Special Administrative Region. The reason for the demonstration was the … Continue reading

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JOHN STAPLETON Australia’s Vicious Assault on Freedom of Speech…

  World’s most secretive democracy. Absurd overreach of power. Secretive, ruthless and vindictive executive government.

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ERNST WILLHEIM. Cover up of Illegal government activities continue with the AFP raids. They follow the Witness K and Bernard Collaery travesty.

This is a talk (on 27 February 2019 at Manning ClarkHouse, ANU )about some shameful events in Australia’s recent history.And I very much fear the shameful saga is about to continue.It is about Australian commercial espionage,  bugging of the cabinet … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Israel Folau and the problem with fundamentalist religion.

The Israel Folau saga is finally moving to the tribunals – first to the Fair Work Commission, and if that does not produce a result, on the Federal Court and perhaps beyond.  

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