Category Archives: Politics

JOHN MENADUE. Private Health Insurance is a con job. Is Labor being conned again?

 The ALP does not seem to understand its own creation- Medicare- and that the $11 b taxpayer subsidy to PHI is like a Damocles sword that  hangs over  Medicare.  Ian McAuley in  Medicare under threat from Labor  points out that … Continue reading

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STUART REES Saudi Teenager and Australian Due Process

  The human rights of Saudi Arabian teenager Rahaf Aqunun received fast recognition by Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau and subsequent welcome refuge in Canada. By contrast, Australian Ministers insisted that in assessing claims for asylum in Australia, the government would … Continue reading

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ANDREW FARRAN. Brexit: Running out of time or anticipating a delay?

What explains an unprecedented, disastrous political defeat ever of a government on the floor of the British Parliament (432/202, a loss by 230 votes), followed within a day by its reaffirmation in government – prevailing over a no-confidence motion by … Continue reading

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MICHELLE PINI. Something stinks in the Coalition and it’s not just dead fish (Independent Australia 17.01.2019)

The sight of close to a million dead fish in one of Australia’s most important waterways may herald the end for the Morrison Government. For this is hardly the first time this Coalition Government, under its various iterations, has spat in … Continue reading

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics | 4 Comments

MICHAEL NIMAN. Five Forces Driving the Rise of Fascism in 2019 (Truthout).

 Immigration has become a weapon in the arsenal of fascists who work to sow fear of the “other” in populations they wish to control.There are four other forces behind the rise of fascism

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ANTONY GREEN. Why independents won’t matter so much at the next election (ABC News).

Despite predictions that independents will be an important factor in the result of the coming federal election, two important factors suggest otherwise.

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GRACE BLAKELEY. The Latest Incarnation of Capitalism (Jacobin, September 2018)

Financialization isn’t a perversion of an otherwise well-functioning system. It’s just capitalism’s latest survival mechanism.

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JOHN MENADUE. The myth that Liberals are better economic managers. A repost from 25 July 2018

Malcolm Turnbull has made it clear that his mantra of ‘Jobs-and-Growth’ will be at the forefront of his campaign in the next election. This week he will be talking about the growth of a million jobs in 5 years, but … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The pugnacious potato has done it again.

Having unleashed his innumerate megalomania to destroy Malcolm Turnbull, with the unintended consequence of almost certainly scuttling his government as collateral damage, Peter Dutton has now derailed Scott Morrison’s attempt to mend the fractured relationship with the Pacific.  

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RICHARD McGREGOR. We need the Five Eyes spy network, but with oversight (SMH 12.1.2019)

After Canadian authorities seized a top Chinese executive from the telecommunications giant Huawei at Vancouver Airport last month on a US arrest warrant, Beijing immediately set about retaliating. A couple of Canadians who, until then, had been working openly in … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The scourge of lobbyists is likely to continue if there is a change of government. A repost from 20 July 2018

Lobbyists are back in the news but it looks as if the scourge of lobbyists will continue in Canberra if Bill Shorten wins the next election. There is no sign that the ALP, like the Coalition is prepared to curb … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. It’s time for a constitutional reform commission

Acting on references from attorneys-general, the independent Australian Law Reform Commission and its state government equivalents review and recommend reforms to existing laws, and/or identify where new laws are necessary. When it comes to the Australian Constitution, the highest level … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. We need a national political summit to promote democratic renewal.

Bob Hawke’s Economic Summit following the 1983 election promoted cooperation and consensus which led to remarkable economic and social reform.  With the loss of trust in our political institutions and politicians today, we need a political summit to build consensus … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Scott Morrison says the bible is not a policy handbook.

There was none of that namby-pamby nonsense about taking a cup of kindness for the sake of auld lang syne, or anyone else for that matter.  Scott Morrison went straight on the attack to welcome 2019. “My job – our government’s … Continue reading

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing

When Scott Morrison announced that the Sydney Opera House was the “biggest bill board in the country” he displayed a crass mindset straight from the commercialized anti-culture of the neoliberal era. Plastering a racing industry advertisement across the sails of … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI: Government Continues to Pretend We Have No Air Borders

In an echo of Donald Trump, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Immigration Minister David Coleman continued to pretend yesterday we only have sea borders and we can ignore our air borders. They announced closure of two detention centres (see here) … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

GEORGE MONBIOT. Advertising and Academia are controlling our thoughts. Didn’t you know?

By abetting the ad industry, universities are leading us into temptation, when they should be enlightening us.

Posted in Education, Politics | 4 Comments

PETER SAINSBURY. Labor’s environmental policies: will the action match the rhetoric?

The ALP has released details of the environmental policies they will introduce if elected during 2019. Central to these are a new Australian Environment Act and a new Federal Environmental Protection Agency. Labor’s challenge will be to provide national leadership … Continue reading

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BOB CARR. The Best of 2018: How the Israeli Lobby operates.

The letter was in the bulging file marked ‘Premier’s Invites’. The invitation was to an annual dinner where a peace prize was presented to a person chosen by the Sydney Peace Foundation at Sydney University. This year they had decided … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Kill Bill remains the default option for Scott Morrison.

Scott Morrison, his office informs us, is talking a short break – off to the country for a bit of biking, boating and fishing.  But not shooting; the image of our easy going prime minister with a lethal weapon in his … Continue reading

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CHRIS HEDGES. Banishing Truth – The story of Seymour Hersh. (Truthdig 24.12.2018)

The investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, in his memoir “Reporter,” describes a moment when as a young reporter he overheard a Chicago cop admit to murdering an African-American man. The murdered man had been falsely described by police as a robbery suspect … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 8 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. The Best of 2018: Trickle down economics and the Emma Alberici article.

The ABC says that their decision to withdraw Emma Alberici’s article was because it represented an opinion for which there is allegedly no evidence.  In fact there is plenty of evidence that increasing corporate profits will not lead to any … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. How Murdoch and Abeles twisted the arm of the Hawke Government to help Ansett Airlines at the expense of Qantas. (Edited and reposted)

 I have recalled  several times that Rupert Murdoch has said that he has never asked a Prime Minister for anything. That is quite brazen. From my own personal experience I know that is just not true. I was the intermediary … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Politics | 1 Comment

IAN DUNLOP. The Best of 2018: A Parliament Without Trust or Legitimacy Must Go

The insults hurled by David Leyonhjelm at Sarah Hanson-Young recently put parliamentary discourse in the gutter. Leyonhjelm was roundly condemned, but not by our leaders. A limp slap across the knuckles from Turnbull and Shorten, then on to more pressing … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The Best of 2018: Peter Dutton is an embarrassment for all of us.

Peter Dutton failed as Health Minister. His track record since then is even worse. 

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ALLAN PATIENCE. Saving some of the Liberal furniture.

Time is running out for the Liberal Party and the Coalition as the 2019 federal election looms. The change of Prime Minister from Malcolm Turnbull to Scott Morrison was a classic example of jumping out of the frying pan into … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. What were the drivers of Net Overseas Migration in 2017-18?

Net Overseas Migration (NOM) in 2017-18 fell to 236,733, down from 262,490 in 2016-17. The decline is not as large as might have been expected given cuts to the migration and humanitarian programs and policy changes to employer sponsored temporary … Continue reading

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JONATHAN STEVENSON. How Jim Mattis failed (New York Times 24.12.2018)

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, who submitted his resignation on Thursday, was the last “adult in the room” of the Trump administration — or so claim a small army of pundits, who now worry that the president, finally unchecked, will … Continue reading

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MICHAEL MULLINS. Abstract thinkers living in bubbles.

During the Christmas break I read Rick Morton’s One Hundred Years of Dirt, which is one of the more acclaimed Australian memoirs published during 2018. It details the wretched life he’s led and also challenges the culture warriors of the … Continue reading

Posted in Arts and Reviews, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The Best of 2018: The Liberals and the Nationals – Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce.

Only weak and compromised Liberal Party leadership would put up with the behaviour of Barnaby Joyce and the Nationals who have influence way out of proportion to their numbers and on policy issues, are a blank page or even worse. … Continue reading

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