Category Archives: Uncategorized

ISHAAN THAROOR. Is Trump gaslighting the world on North Korea.

Critics of President Trump routinely accuse him of “gaslighting” — that is, of deliberately repeating misinformation to the extent that the public starts doubting verifiable facts and believing in Trump’s self-serving talking points. Trump told us after the Singapore Summit that ‘I … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. RBA awakes – Australia is not getting the wage rise it needs

The laws of supply and demand for labour are broken. The Australian economy is not getting the wage rises it needs and there’s no sign of that changing.

Posted in Economy, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

NICHOLAS GRUEN. All finance requires is an upgrade for the internet age

The Financial  Times has published a letter from Nicholas Gruen in response to Martin Wolf’s column about the Swiss ‘sovereign money’ referendum, previously reprinted on this blog).  Mr Gruen’s letter is as follows: Given the resounding ‘no’ from the Swiss … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

M.K. BHADRAKUMAR. Russia pushes back at US on North Korea (Asian Times 4 June, 2018)

Foreign Minister Lavrov asserted Russia’s role in the current process as a stakeholder in the stability of northeast Asia; he flagged the need to revive six-party talks; it also seems Putin will meet Kim Jong-un soon.   [If President Trump thinks … Continue reading

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TREVOR COBBOLD. New figures show States have cut funding to public schools.

New figures show that government funding increases have massively favoured private schools over public schools across Australia since 2009. Total government funding per student in public schools was cut between 2009 and 2016 while large funding increases were provided to … Continue reading

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JOHN STAPLETON: Surveillance in Australia; Part One: Who’s Watching the Watchers?

Beyond the daily media coverage of the frenetic efforts of a failing Prime Minister, the biggest unexplored story in Australia of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership has been the massive expansion of state surveillance under his watch.

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MARTIN WOLF. Italy’s new rulers could shake the euro

Italy is not Greece. But not all the differences are encouraging. Its economy is 10-times bigger. Its €2.3tn public debt is seven-times bigger; it is the largest in the eurozone and fourth largest in the world. Italy is too big … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Turning a blind eye to the sheep trade.

The problem with exporting live sheep is that the practice is inherently unpleasant.  

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HENRY REYNOLDS. The Fighting Retreat of the Anglo-Australians.

Australian budgets rarely make news in Britain. But the Sunday Times was moved to feature the Government’s decision to commit just under $50 million to mark the 250th anniversary of Cook’s arrival at Botany Bay in 1770. Two points were … Continue reading

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QUENTIN DEMPSTER. Now only 4 cents a day: ABC Board planning public campaign

A meeting of the ABC board in Sydney on Thursday is expected to plan a roadshow campaign to take its case for triennial funding to the public. 

Posted in Media, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

LAURIE PATTON. Heeding government warnings, auDA strengthens governance – adding new board members

With debate continuing over Australia’s domain names registration arrangements, the company appointed by the federal government to oversee the process has added three highly qualified new directors to its board.

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HENRY SHERRELL. A snapshot of temporary migrants in Australia

A budding public conversation is underway about Australia’s population. Perhaps to help inform this conversation, the Department of Home Affairs has released a new data product documenting the number of migrants in Australia who hold a temporary visa.

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GILES PARKINSON. Turnbull’s election budget dumps on climate and renewables.

What is widely regarded as the last budget to be delivered by the Turnbull government before the next federal election ceded no ground on climate policy, insisting that it’s much criticised emissions reduction targets would remain unchanged.

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RAMESH THAKUR. The Long Road to Nuclear Disarmament

With Donald Trump in favor of abandoning the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the world has been reminded once again how fragile the nuclear non-proliferation regime is. For this reason, it is more important than ever that the international community upholds … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. Turnbull Government may be toning down anti-China stance.

Canberra is giving indications it believes an 18-month tilt to a marked anti-China stance might now be corrected. There are hints the Turnbull Government recognises that being the most rhetorically hostile to China of all US allies does not serve … Continue reading

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ERIC HODGENS. Pell and the course that took him to the top

Nothing if not always controversial, and some would say divisive, George Pell is now at a decisive fork in the road. One way could lead to gaol after being sent to trial on May 1st to face multiple charges of … Continue reading

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CHARLES LIVINGSTONE. Crown Casino -Too big to regulate?

Last week, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation imposed a record fine, of $300,000, on Crown Casino. The fine, and a letter of censure, were imposed following revelations that Crown employees had ‘tampered’ with electronic gambling machines (EGMs, … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

GEOFF RABY. The current mess in Australia/China relations

The Australia/China relationship is at its lowest point since the bloody crackdown in Tian’anmen Square on 4 June 1989 which provoked western sanctions against China.  Arguably,  it is even worse now.  Back then the Chinese Government was bending over backwards … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

JUSTIN GILLIS and HAL HARVEY- Cars are ruining our cities

We give up our public space, our neighbor-to -neighbor conversations and ultimately our personal mobility for the next car, and the next one. More and more countries and cities are turning to congestion taxes.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

MARILYN LAKE. ANZAC from a Turkish point of view.

As Anzac Day comes round once more so we must prepare for the accompanying bombardment of nationalist myth-making. Our sense of national consciousness, so the story goes, was born on 25 April 1915. A nation was born on that day … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. The banking royal commission – it’s even worse than it looks

If you think the banking royal commission is big, you’re wrong. It’s much bigger.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

ROSS BURNS. In Syria, the fog of war

Chemical weapons have been a feature of the Syrian conflict since 2011. Are we any closer to a strategy to deal with their use — and with the forces fuelling the wider conflict?

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Pope Francis admits mistakes in Chile

Pope Francis has apologized for underestimating the seriousness of the sexual abuse crisis in Chile, acknowledging that he has made “serious mistakes” in handling the issue.

Posted in Religion and Faith, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

Josh Frydenberg and Malcolm Turnbull would like us to believe that if only recalcitrant states could sign on to the Commonwealth’s “National Energy Guarantee”, energy policy will be set on a stable path.  A more realistic view is provided by … Continue reading

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MICHAEL O’KEEFE. Response to rumours of a Chinese military base in Vanuatu speak volumes about Australian foreign policy

Rumour has it that Vanuatu has agreed to a Chinese request to establish a military base. The substance of this rumour is highly speculative at the least and disingenuous at most. Regardless of the truth, the fact that it raises … Continue reading

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SOPHIE VORRATH. Why Turnbull will “never” back renewables.

A federal government led by Malcolm Turnbull will “never” back policies that accelerate the shift to renewables, effectively tackle climate change, or help to phase out coal plants.

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ABUL RIZVI. Inter-generational inequality, the fertility rate and population ageing.

Australia’s fertility rate continued its steady decline in 2016-17 and fell to 1.732, close to the level when Peter Costello rang the alarm about low fertility accelerating our rate of population ageing. It is also a level well below that … Continue reading

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DAVID STEPHENS. Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions

The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, has been spruiking the Memorial’s plans for a massive expansion. He showed the ABC’s Andrew Greene around the Memorial, pointing out its need for more space, particularly to show big … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

IAN DUNLOP. The Monash Forum – of Coal & Horses.

Sir John Monash was a visionary engineer, military leader and much more, who succeeded in spite of the prejudices of the conservative Melbourne establishment (read: The Coalition right wing), to become, in Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s view, “the best general … Continue reading

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Good reading and listening for the weekend …

April 4 will mark 50 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King. In the ABC’s Religion and Ethics Report, Andrew West interviews Jonathan Rieder and Anthea Butler, two authors who have written about King’s life, ideas and legacy. West … Continue reading

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