Category Archives: Politics

JIM COOMBS. Best Things In Life.

“The stars belong to everyone: The best things in life are free.” Or they ought to be. The last week of Budget Hysteria, made me think, “Is money all there is to life?” That seems to be what the government … Continue reading

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GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

Because our Reserve Bank has given every indication that it has no intention to raise official interest rates, a degree of complacency about Australia’s high levels of household debt has set in.  But in an article on the ABC’s website, … Continue reading

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SUE WAREHAM. How the Australian War Memorial has lost its way.

In a submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories inquiry into Canberra’s national institutions Sue Wareham ,on behalf of the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) calls for major changes at the AWM … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Politics | 4 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Liberals have a bloke problem.

Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison were determinedly hitting the hustings last week as they tried to persuade the sceptical that their Enterprise Tax Plan was not only viable, but is actually a good idea.

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

ANDREW FARRAN. Parliamentary report on Section 44: Despite serious democratic deficit, referendum can wait!

There could be no clearer case for an early referendum than the fact that over half of all Australians today have barriers to nomination under s.44.  In practice, the Report states, some may never be able to overcome these barriers … Continue reading

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SUSAN RYAN. The impact of the 2018 Budget on women. It is most notable for its omissions.

The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) each year prepares an analysis of the impacts of the federal budget on women. Since the Coalition government abandoned the practice of including a Women’s Budget Statement in the official Budget documents, a … Continue reading

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GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

“Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive. But to be young was very heaven” — that’s how many older Australians, with the distorted hindsight of nostalgia, look back on the turmoil of 1968. ABC Radio National has devoted … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Profit-rich private health insurers burning billions on non-health costs

Australian capitalism’s sheltered workshop, the private health insurance industry, is burning billions of dollars a year unrelated to Australians’ health.

Posted in Health, Politics | 1 Comment

The Vicar of Bray

The Vicar of Bray has become a cultural byword for political expediency, hypocrisy, and insincerity.  He changed his allegiances time and time again. Can you think of an Australian Minister who reminds you of the Vicar of Bray?

Posted in Politics, Religion and Faith | 3 Comments

TIM WOODRUFF. A budget for inequality, worsening health outcomes and decreased productivity.

As a financially comfortable part-time medical specialist, I will be in the group receiving the highest tax cut immediately, whilst my daughters working full time at much lower income will receive about one third of that. It’s of even more … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Health, Politics | Leave a comment

ROGER SCOTT. The prominence of women in Queensland politics.

Until this week, JANE PRENTICE was not on the roll of women prominent in Queensland politics, a short list which includes two ALP Premiers but also a number of women of alternative political persuasions, starting with Lady Flo and including … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

KIM WINGEREI. Cultural Appropriation: Political Correctness gone bad – it is all about respect!

The debate on Cultural Appropriation needs to be put into perspective, and the hoary old chestnut of Political Correctness derails proper debate – it is all about respect!

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The scourge of lobbyists.

There are many key public issues that we must address such as climate change, growing inequality, tax avoidance, budget repair, an ageing population, lifting our productivity and our treatment of asylum seekers. But our capacity to address these and other important … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Politics | 10 Comments

DAVID COWARD. The man who did for Mao – a review of a biography of Simon Leys by Philippe Paquet

In 1932, Malcolm Muggeridge, then based in Moscow for the Manchester Guardian, filed reports of what he had found out about Soviet Russia, from the food shortages and forced labour to the deaths of 3 million people following the collectivization … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Julie Bishop – Foreign Minister or Senior Consular Officer

In this blog and elsewhere, Geoff Raby, a former Australian Ambassador to China, has pointed out that Australia’s relationship with China is unlikely to improve until Julie Bishop is sacked as Foreign Minister.  The departure of Julie Bishop as Foreign … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Are pharmacists professionals or shop keepers?

Pharmacists are the most under-utilised health professionals in the country. The Australian Pharmacy Guild is happy to keep  it that way.  

Posted in Health, Politics | 4 Comments

STEPHEN DUCKETT. Turnbull government backs pharmacies over consumers, yet again.

The government has totally squibbed the latest pharmacy regulation review, and consumers will be the losers. Every five to 10 years in Australia, the government establishes a review of the regulations governing pharmacies. Those reviews invariably come to the same conclusion: … Continue reading

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TIM COSTELLO. The Budget and aid.

The Coalition Government’s fifth budget last week was carefully calibrated to offer just enough to a discontented electorate to restart the political contest ahead of the poll expected early next year.  Yet again Australia’s battered aid program took a hit, … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, International Affairs, Politics | 1 Comment

ROBIN DERRICOURT. Inside the belly of the monster (and a Cold War mind).

A 1960s British student leftist did not expect to find himself on a tour inside the Pentagon, or briefed by a US Army Colonel on his role there, tracking US radicals, with a distorted Cold War model of who they … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

GREG HAMILTON. No stomach or mind for democracy.

Australians have a flaw in their character that shows up in their acceptance of a defective political system no decent reform can come close to changing. When their democratic system is attacked by minority anti-democratic forces, they’ll back the attackers, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Progress taxation or a flat tax

Scott Morrison’s budget has been greeted as underwhelming, which is probably the way he likes it.  The goodies are unnecessarily complex  — the tax cuts aren’t really tax cuts, they are built in to your 2018-19 return as an offset, … Continue reading

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GEOFF RABY. China relations can only be unfrozen with Julie Bishop’s sacking

Once again Australian foreign policy seems to be missing in action. As events unfold at remarkable speed in our area of most strategic interest – north-east Asia – Australia finds itself unable to engage with the key participant at the … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 3 Comments

Classes & politics.

The return of the concept of ‘class’ to mainstream public debate is an unanticipated feature of the second decade of the new century. Whether defined by people’s relationship to production or distribution, or as a hybrid of economic and cultural … Continue reading

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MICHAEL LESTER. Political Culture and the Limits of the APS Independent Inquiry.

There is an old saw that cautions politicians never to establish an enquiry unless they know the outcome beforehand. The Prime Minister appears to have learnt that lesson from the ‘can of worms’ exposed in his Royal Commission on Banking. … Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Politics | 1 Comment

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Nicknames

Treasurer Scott Morrison got very excited last week, bouncing and bubbling all over the place.  And it wasn’t just because of his pretty ordinary budget: building a stronger economy may be a worthy slogan, but it is hardly inspiring. What was … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

RICHARD BUTLER. US and the Iran Agreement: True Lies and Chaos.

In explaining his decision on the US leaving the Iran nuclear agreement (JCPOA), President Trump told a number of true lies. His National Security Advisor, John Bolton, then told the truth: it was to conform with Israel’s wishes. Israel and … Continue reading

Posted in International Affairs, Politics | 2 Comments

LINDA SIMON. TAFE upfront in Shorten’s Budget speech in reply.

Whilst the Government’s 2018 Federal Budget failed to recognise the importance of TAFE and skills development to Australia’s economy, TAFE and funding were upfront in the Labor Opposition’s speech in reply. Labor has put TAFE back as the centrepiece of national … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. How and why corporate regulators have failed us.

The failure of corporate regulation and regulators is in plain sight for all to see. And it is not just in banking. Political ideology and corporate conceit has enabled the powerful to tilt the ‘market’ in their favour at the … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

MICHAEL KEATING. Budget commentary, Part 2: Sustainable tax cuts for low-income households

Part 1 of this series of Budget comments criticised the credibility of the Government’s projected return to a budget surplus and argued that the proposed tax cuts were therefore not in fact sustainable. In this second part I will argue … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Politics | 2 Comments

GOOD READING AND LISTENING FOR THE WEEKEND …

A sense of complacency, a lack of intellectual curiosity, a failure to think about the bigger picture, a pursuit of consensus lessening constructive criticism.  These are some of the findings in the Australian Prudential Regulatory Agency report into the Commonwealth … Continue reading

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