Category Archives: Politics

JOHN MENADUE. Coalition legacies.

There are six major issues that dominate public life today and require resolution. Those issues are –the dire consequences following the Iraq invasion, tax cuts during the mining boom that result in continuing budget deficits and debt increases, the threat … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACALLUM. An apology to the victims of sexual abuse

Malcolm Turnbull has always regarded John Howard as some sort of political mentor.  But Howard refused to apologise to the stolen generation

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RANALD MACDONALD. The threat to public broadcasting in this country becomes more menacing by the day.

Those who say that the ABC will be around for years to come have their heads truly in a world of denial. On top of the Government’s huge cuts to funding, with 1000 less employed today than four years ago, … Continue reading

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JOHN MOLONY. A review of Race Mathews, Of Labour and Liberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891–1966

Many years ago, I tried to review Ronald Knox’s lifelong study of the numerous minor sects or branches of post-Reformation Christianity. He named it Enthusiasm. Despite my own enthusiasm for the treasures amassed in the book, I was unable to … Continue reading

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ALISSA J. RUBIN. An era of French strikes is ending (AFR 13/6/2018)

Nowadays, we have people who are too rich,” he said. “In the United States you do not care so much about equality, but we care about it,” says Bodiou, a retired civil engineer.“It does not mean we all have to … Continue reading

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JOAN STAPLES. Foreign interference bills threaten civil society freedoms.

The government’s urgent pursuit of foreign interference bills prior to the July by-elections aims to wedge Labor for short term electoral gain.  However as Labor agrees to support the bills, yet more of our political freedoms are being destroyed at … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. Trust Labor on national security? Sure can’t. (Canberra Times, 9 June 2018)

The looming five by-elections are giving the government an opportunity to polish and rehearse one of the centrepieces of its re-election strategy for the next election – the argument that the alternative government – Labor – is fundamentally unsound on … Continue reading

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JAMES FERNYHOUGH. Revealed: This is how much ordinary Australians really earn. (The New Daily June 8, 2018)

A casual glance at the news in recent months may have left you thinking the average Australian earns almost $85,000 a year. If that sounded insanely high to you, then your instincts were bang on. An ordinary Australian earns way, way less than … Continue reading

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GREG HAMILTON. Little or no talent for getting it right.

A great Australian recently said: ‘we’re a helpless audience watching an awesome spectacle, powerless to act because we haven’t produced leadership with the courage to match the precipitous nature of the hour.’ The Rev. Ted Noffs got most things right. … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Wishful thinking.

It may be sheer fantasy, wishful thinking. But in the last week the torpor of politics appeared to lift a little; there were signs that progress might not be stalled forever in the coalition party room in Canberra.  Not that … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

KIM WINGEREI. The longevity vacuum.

Short term thinking has taken hold of our society at all levels – our political leaders rarely see beyond the next poll or the next election, and in many ways they are responding to a populace that is equally sucked … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The end of Western Civilisation!

It was, declared The Australian’s resident theologian Greg Sheridan, a pivotal moment in modern Australian history. Well, modern Australian history begins with white settlement. So was Pope Greg referring to the arrival of the first fleet, perhaps? The end of … Continue reading

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The missed opportunity, nine years ago, to curb foreign interference in Australian politics.

In 2009, Senator John Faulkner introduced legislation in the Senate which would have prohibited foreign political donations.  The legislation was defeated by the Coalition in the Senate.  A lot of ‘foreign interference’ in Australian political life could have been nipped … Continue reading

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ROSS GITTINS. The threat of terrorism in Australia is a scam that costs us dearly (SMH 25/7/2017)

This article by Ross Gittins was published on 25 July 2017 in the SMH.  Since then, the government has continued to ratchet up fear of terrorism.  This is a particular stock in trade  of conservatives – promoting fear- fear of … Continue reading

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ROSS GITTINS. How we could revive faith in democracy (SMH 6 June 2018)

How much is our disillusionment with politicians, governments and even democracy the result of our pollies’ 30-year love affair with that newly recognised mega-evil “neoliberalism”? To a considerable extent, according to Dr Richard Denniss, of the Australia Institute, in the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 5 Comments

MICHAEL PASCOE. The Australian government’s hypocritical stance on PNG corruption.

It’s illegal for Australian entities to bribe foreign entities, but apparently we’re perfectly happy to take dirty money from bribed foreigners and consort with corrupt leaders. Malaysia’s prime-minister-in-waiting, Anwar Ibrahim, called us out on Friday, expressing a view that Australia … Continue reading

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LAURIE PATTON. Community tv – needed now more than ever.

Last week the Government announced a further two year extension on its deadline for community television stations to vacate their free-to-air spectrum. The death knell first rang back in September 2014 when then communications minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that all … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. One Nation and the fabled Enterprise Tax Plan

Like the leaves of a diseased and dying tree, the One Nation senators continue to fall. 

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The Barnaby Joyce slapstick soap opera.

We have had enough of Barnaby, and it is obvious that his own colleagues have too. The sooner he retires to his fractured love nest the better.  

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MICHAEL PASCOE.  Fear and loathing in superannuation – Liberal and industry fund conspiracy theories

The Productivity Commission’s recommendation that all superannuation funds have an independent chairman and board seems reasonable, yet industry funds are vehemently opposed to it. Meanwhile the industry funds, on average, clearly outperform their retail opposition, but the Liberal Party has been … Continue reading

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WAYNE SWAN. Foreign influence and foreign donations in Australia.

The debate over foreign influence in our domestic politics and policymaking is an important one for our country – too important for political point-scoring and manipulation by vested interests and political vendettas.  

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YANIS VAROUFAKIS. Merkel reaps with Quitaly what she sowed with Greek austerity

By crushing us Europeanist Greeks in 2015, Germany sowed the seeds of a bitter harvest: an Italy that might leave the EU.  One of the most common mistakes European leaders make in interpreting US President Donald Trump’s hostility toward America’s traditional … Continue reading

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JOHN STAPLETON: Surveillance in Australia; Part Three.

The democratic contract is broken. The freedom of Australians to go about their daily lives without being watched by their government has vanished with barely a whisper of protest.

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LAURA TINGLE. Here’s what Peter Dutton’s Home Affairs super-department looks like.

When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the creation of the massive new Home Affairs portfolio in July last year, he called it “the most significant reform of Australia’s national intelligence and domestic security arrangements — and their oversight — in … Continue reading

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JOHN STAPLETON: Surveillance in Australia: Part Two: A Parallel Secret Police Force

This is a government run on announceables. Even without the Budget blizzard, so far in 2018 we have had major announcements on everything from the so-called Gonski 2.0 education reforms, the establishment of an Australian arms industry to compete internationally, … Continue reading

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GREG BAILEY. John Lloyd and the IPA: Friends of the Public Service?

As if the Public Service did not have enough pressure placed on it – over the past three decades it has been politicized, it has been continually downsized and its professionalism has been called into question by an homogenous collection … Continue reading

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RICHARD TANTER. Pine Gap electricity supply and the Ausgrid controversy

The giant Pine Gap intelligence and military base outside Alice Springs consumes a great deal of electricity to operate its intelligence-gathering and analysis operations.   It now appears that the Turnbull government’s rejection of a $25 bn. bid for the NSW-government … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

ALLAN N. HALL. The problems of dual citizenship.

With roughly half the Australian population either born overseas or having parents or grandparents born overseas, it is little wonder that dual citizenship has increasingly emerged as a problem for some Australian citizens seeking election to the Federal Parliament. This … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE   Our security agencies are not accountable.

The performance and integrity of our security services is a serious national problem. These are particular problems for agencies which operate in secret and with few public checks. We have seen that they are prepared to upstage ministers and undermine … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Media, Politics | 5 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. After all the promises, dithering, the backflips and the bullshit, the unemployment rate has not actually fallen

There can be no real doubt that the timing of the by-elections for July 28 was mean and tricky. But who was the mean trickster?  

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