Category Archives: Politics

ROD TIFFIN. Murdoch and Stokes

If the Liberal leadership upheaval was a Muppet show, as Scott Morrison described it, Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes have been revealed as its Statler and Waldorf. Muppets fans will remember the two cantankerous old men who heckled from the … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | Leave a comment

JENNY HOCKING. ‘Bullying, betrayal and backstabbing’: Can the Liberal party survive?

Scott Morrison is an unlikely Prime Minister. The day before the latest Liberal leadership change Morrison appeared in a memorable photo, arm casually draped around then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s uncomfortable shoulders, and proclaimed his support; ‘This is my leader. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

WAYNE SWAN. Ten years after the crash, tax competition threatens global economies and democracies.

Ten years ago, the global financial system was rocked by the largest crisis since the Great Depression.

Posted in Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

ANDREW PROBYN. What did Rupert Murdoch and Kerry Stokes have to do with the Liberal leadership spill? (ABC News, 18.09.18)

Malcom Turnbull’s demise as Australia’s 29th prime minister was unusual for many reasons, and truly unique for one: his was the first known prime ministership to be the subject of a billionaires’ tug of war between the nation’s most powerful … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

JOE ASTON. Rupert Murdoch to Kerry Stokes: “Malcolm has to go.” (AFR 18.9.2018)

Murdoch met with Seven West proprietor Kerry Stokes …… “Malcolm has got to go,” he told the Perth billionaire.   (This abuse of power by media barons is appalling.There is strong case for Bill Shorten  to propose a Royal Commission into this unacceptable … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | Leave a comment

MEREDITH DOIG. Open Letter to Scott Morrison upon becoming Prime Minister.

Dear Prime Minister, The Rationalist Society of Australia (RSA) congratulates you upon becoming the 30th Prime Minister of Australia. We have two concerns we would like to raise with you: firstly, your Government’s response to the Ruddock Report, and secondly, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

MAUREEN DOWD. Trump Finally Makes a Friend (New York Times, 15.09.18)

The president may be shunned nearly everywhere but at the bottom of the world he has finally found a loyal mate.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. ScoMo, ProMo, Status QuoMo

We still don’t know just who or what the new Prime Minister is, but he is determined to tell us whether we like it or not. Our manic leader is seldom lost for words and this is just as well … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

ROSS GITTINS. Morrison’s surplus secret: bracket creep kills the tax cuts. (SMH 15-16.9.2018)

The mystery revealed. Consider this: how does the Morrison government cut income and company taxes and avoid big cuts in government spending, but still project ever-rising budget surpluses and ever-falling net public debt over the next decade? With publication of … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

GREG BAILEY. Whereto for the LNP and the ALP. Part 2.

What about the ALP which, despite its protestation about its commitment to social justice and the social wage, has also effected neoliberal outcomes over the past three decades? Just witness its recent support to Australia becoming a member of a … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

JIEH-YUNG LO. Reflections of a Chinese-Australian.

To ensure we remain as the world’s most successful multicultural society, it is important to get the China debate right from now on to prevent the re-emergence of sinophobia in Australia. 

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Turnbull lets fly.

Unlike Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull did not hang around in parliament, which must be a major relief for Scott Morrison – one baleful ex-prime minister glowering from the backbench is more than enough.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

BRUCE DUNCAN. Scott Morrison, the ‘prosperity gospel’ and neoliberalism.

Sounding surprisingly like an evangelical revivalist, Prime Minister Morrison in Albury on 6 September highlighted the need for love in our country, for every Australian, and that this set the value base for his own thinking and presumably for policies … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 2 Comments

GREG BAILEY. Whereto for the LNP and the ALP. Part 1.

Australian politics as judged by the antics of the two major parties over the past three weeks is almost a (hyper-) reality television show, replete with microscopic media coverage of the principal personalities involved. Building up for many years this … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The urgent need for democratic renewal. We don’t trust the major parties

Australians are sick and tired of politicians. The community is deserting the major political parties in droves.Most recently we have seen it in Longman and Wagga.  We have lost trust in our major political parties and most particularly the Liberal … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 9 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Beyond the political rhetoric,hard hats and akubras what do our political ‘leaders’ really believe.

Power does reveal substance.  It tells us quite quickly about the values that drive political parties and political leaders. Scare tactics are always a sure sign that the values and policy cupboard is bare.

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | 3 Comments

MELISSA PARKE. Conflict in Yemen

‘I don’t want to live any more’ said the man standing in the rubble of his destroyed home. His teenage daughter beside him burst into tears and the younger daughter looked up at him, not understanding. The airstrike, in the … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 4 Comments

JOSEPH NYE. The two sides of American exceptionalism (Project Syndicate, 5.09.18)

In July, I joined 43 other scholars of international relations in paying for a newspaper advertisement arguing that the US should preserve the current international order. The institutions that make up this order have contributed to “unprecedented levels of prosperity … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

JERRY ROBERTS Whither Labor?

Stan Grant in his interesting post of 10 September asks which kind of conservatism our Prime Minister will practise.  Since we are about to commence a decade of Labor in office in Canberra a more pertinent question is what type … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

GEOFF RABY. Prometheus bound: How China’s power is constrained

The more Australia positions itself as if there is only a binary choice between US or Chinese hegemonic influence in the region, the more likely conflict becomes.

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

GARRY WILLS. Resistance Means More Than Voting (New York Review of Books Daily, 10.09.18)

When former president Barack Obama called on the nation to oppose Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign last week, he said there was only one way to do it, by voting. This was a criticism of the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

NICK DEANE Invictus and the arms manufacturers connection.

The Invictus Games will be familiar to all who watch the ABC, their  promoter and sponsor. The Games will be taking place in Sydney in October, the participants being injured service personnel from 18 countries.But why are major arms manufactures … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

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 | 7 Comments

MICHAEL SAINSBURY Can a woman save Wentworth for the Libs? (Crikey, 12.09.18)

Liberal candidate Andrew Bragg has bowed out of the race for Wentworth, citing a need for women candidates. But will it be enough?

Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

MICHAEL PASCOE. For-profit funds take a hit off back of royal commission (11.09.18)

Never mind the fines and compensation building up, what about retail fund managers losing more than $20 billion of assets in the June quarter?

Posted in Economy, Politics | Leave a comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Appealing to Menzies and religion – worth a try

When the world falls apart, when all those carefully plans collapse in smouldering ruins, when the present seems desolate and the future seems hopeless, there is only one recourse: invoke the ghost of Robert Menzies.

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

MICHAEL D BREEN. Head, Heart and future Hope.

Now there is talk about a new generation in Australian Politics. So what is new? Not the players.  Not the structures, nor the  rules of engagement. Could it be a more basic factor is needed? Could it be, for want … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

ADAM HUGHES HENRY. Unresolved questions of “Independence”.

One of the core areas of interest for Gough Whitlam and his government in the realm of international affairs was a process of modernisation in Australia’s engagement with international law and its impact on the domestic scene. Some of this … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Dutton’s double standards.

Powerful and sensitive weapons need to be handled with extreme care if they are not to harm the user as well as the intended victim. Ministerial intervention is a powerful and sensitive weapon.

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

STAN GRANT. Which idea of conservatism will Prime Minister Scott Morrison embrace?

Conservatives in Australia are up for a fight. They are determined to recapture their heartland, reclaim the political right from the progressive interlopers: they are marking out their territory and it is as much about identity as ideology.

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments