Category Archives: Politics

MICHAEL KEATING. The Government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook Statement

As widely heralded by the Government in advance, the mid-year update of the economic and fiscal outlook shows an improvement in the budget balance. A larger surplus is forecast, starting in the next financial year and increasing thereafter. Whether this … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Nightmare draws to a close.

The darkest hour, they say, is just before dawn. And it just may be that a glimmer of light is appearing in the five year nightmare of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison dynasty.

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ALLAN PATIENCE. It’s time to cleanse the Augean stables of corporate and political governance in Australia.

It will require a Herculean effort to clean out the greed, corruption, sense of entitlement, selfishness and ideological blindness at the “commanding heights” of Australia’s government, economy and society. The banking royal commission has exposed merely the tip of this … Continue reading

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TONY SMITH. The unacceptable road toll.

We should not accept that it is inevitable that people will die on our roads. While drivers must behave responsibly, governments need to take actions which might seem radical in a society obsessed with cars. 

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MICHAEL KEATING. Slow Wage Growth and Its Implications for the Government’s Economic and Fiscal Forecasts

On Monday the Government will release the mid-year update of its economic and fiscal outlook. The Government hopes that the announcement of a return to budget surplus in 2019 will underpin its claims as an economic manager in the run-up … Continue reading

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MUNGO MACCALLUM. Morrison prepares for the next world.

It appears that Scott Morrison has now given up on this world and is planning to move on to the next.

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NILE BOWIE. 1MDB dragnet closes in on Najib, Goldman Sachs (Asian Times, 14.12.18)

Legal wheels are turning fast in Malaysia and US to jail the ex-premier and hold the American investment bank responsible for money laundering and fraud worth billions of dollars

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. PM’s anti-corruption commission is a picture of impotence (The New Daily, 14.12.18)

No public hearings? Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission is deeply flawed in its current conception under the authorship of Attorney-General Christian Porter and the Attorney-General’s department.

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JOHN MENADUE. The Transition of Pearls & Irritations

To readers and supporters With good content and only word of mouth promotion we have over 6500 subscribers and about 5000 daily readers. There is steady growth. P and I helps set the agenda on important public issues.It will not come … Continue reading

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LUKE FRASER. Canberra has abandoned roads to inflationary spending and policy chaos

Botched State road projects, toll road fee hikes and congestion grab big headlines and make good sport for critics of State governments. 

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JOHN MENADUE. Fake news, spin and media complicity on border protection and boat arrivals.

In his desperate political situation, Scott Morrison last week became even more shrill in telling us ‘Bill Shorten is a clear and present threat to Australian security … and I’ll fight them [the ALP] using whatever tools or tactics I … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

JERRY ROBERTS. Sir Joh and The Donald

Queensland’s longest-serving Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, cultivated the public image of a country bumpkin. A book about his career was called The Hillbilly Dictator. Donald Trump has taken a similar act to the international stage. Has the world ever seen … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. A way out of the politicking on refugees- A repost from 20 August 2018

We can be proud of what we have done for refugees in the past but like many others I am ashamed that we have now had a succession of ‘leaders’ who have appealed to our most selfish instincts. When I … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

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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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The great marketeer seems determined to double down on the tactics and double up on the volume.

So that was the parliamentary year that was, finishing in rancour, dysfunction and procrastination, a triumph of politics over policy. This was not a surprise, but the level of hyperbole and hysteria whipped up by the desperate prime minister and … Continue reading

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JACK WATERFORD. Why do crime-busters need ASIO-type powers?

Any political cynic will see excellent reasons for giving the Australian Federal Police a lead role in the crusade against online child pornography, the grooming of children for sexual abuse, and other sexual abuse of children, matters which might ordinarily … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. Dutton Sets New Asylum Seeker Application Record

Why did 50,000 asylum seekers arriving by boat represent a crisis for our border sovereignty while the arrival of a similar number over the past two and a half years by plane is just ho hum? Peter Dutton in 2017-18 … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 4 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Protecting buffoons.

According to at least one member of the New South Wales Liberal executive, Sally Betts, the member of Hughes, Craig Kelly, is a bully, a thug and a disgrace.  

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HELEN DAVIDSON. Gareth Evans and Bob Carr join call for Labor to increase Australia’s foreign aid. (The Guardian 7.12.2018)

Former ministers want party’s national conference to commit to target of 0.7% of gross national income.  

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KIM WINGEREI. The Particracy Rules!

If this week of political machinations, tactical manouverings and partisan grandstanding hasn’t proved beyond doubt what the real problem with our democracy is, I don’t know what will. We don’t live in a democracy, we live in a particracy.  

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ABUL RIZVI. Dutton Sets New Asylum Seeker Application Record

Why did 50,000 asylum seekers arriving by boat represent a crisis for our border sovereignty while the arrival of a similar number over the past two and a half years by plane is just ho hum? Peter Dutton in 2017-18 … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

ALLAN PATIENCE. Scott Morrison – a politician out of his depth?

Can Scott Morrison inspire the nation to reach for a better future for our children and grandchildren? Does he have a vision for the country? Or is he floundering as he tries to ride two tigers simultaneously – his right … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The ascendancy of the age of Thorby (PART 1 – the state’s justification for requiring passive citizens)

Contrary to popular belief, modern democracy does not welcome an active, engaged citizenry especially between election campaigns because its interventions would hinder the operations of the state. The preferred condition is one of citizen passivity in which the authorities go … Continue reading

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MICHAEL McKINLEY. The age of Thorby (PART 2 – The addictive denial of transparency and the protection of malfeasance)

Where matters defined under the rubric of national security are concerned, the intelligence agencies of the state demand nothing less than the indulgence to act with unwarranted secrecy – secrecy beyond that which is absolutely essential.  Over the last 80 … Continue reading

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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

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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?

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JOHN ELDER. Coulda been a contender: Why Tony Abbott keeps on punching (The New Daily).

Two significant events happened this weekend: Boxer Anthony Mundine was knocked out in 96 seconds by Jeff Horn, ending a career that was never wholly satisfying for the man or his followers. Meanwhile, Tony Abbott put his gloves up once … Continue reading

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GARETH EVANS. Australia in the world: it’s time to punch our weight.

In this lecture, Gareth Evans calls for “Less America … More self-reliance … More Asia … More global engagement”.  See below, extracts from Gareth Evans’ Tom Uren Memorial Lecture delivered in Balmain 2 December 2018.  

Posted in Defence/Security, International Affairs, Politics | 7 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

JOHN KERIN. Australian soils.

We live in the driest occupied continent. Most of our soils are old and fragile. Rain is variable in our most arable areas and our precipitation to evaporation ratio is low. Dust storms and soil exposure caused by unprecedented, catastrophic … Continue reading

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