“This is just Government 101: carefully consider the issues in front of you and make the best possible judgments about the way forward,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said about the reason for the Government withholding the Ruddock report on religious freedom. It presumes basic university-level learning. Alas, this Government’s behaviour belongs in primary school.

The reference to “101” is to the way universities label their subjects. Government 101 would be the subject Government in first semester of first year. [click to continue…]

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THE political stunts and partisanship over the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court should make Australians feel lucky. The stand-out element of stability in the Australian political system during the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd-Abbott-Turnbull madness has been appointments to the High Court. [click to continue…]

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IT SEEMS that the Government is going to hang on to Philip Ruddock’s report on religious freedom until after this month’s by-election and then, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, take some legislative action on it.
First we have the obvious question about open and accountable government. Who paid for this report? Why do freedom-of-information laws give such broad exemptions to Cabinet documents on topics which have absolutely no national-security or national-finance questions? [click to continue…]

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IT IS difficult to work out the degree of Australia’s growing inequality in income and wealth, simply because a lot of high-wealth, high-income people disguise it. But in the past week or so a couple of publications show inequality is higher than officially recognised. [click to continue…]

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IN A week in which the ABC exposed yet another scandal resulting from corporatisation, privatisation and deregulation of public services – this time aged care – forcing the Government to launch an inquiry without admitting any blame and in which the ABC continues to play promos on the esteem it is held in the eyes of the famous and not so famous, I must relate this story which links them all. [click to continue…]

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Chinese infrastructure on Subi Reef in the South China Sea

IN A perverse way, we may all come to be grateful for China’s military build-up in the South China Sea and its increased meddling in Pacific island nations. China has spent billions of dollars turning rocks and atolls in the South China Sea into full-scale islands complete with runways and re-supply facilities. [click to continue…]

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The curse of interesting times

by on September 7, 2018

The sharp fall in the Coalition’s primary vote in the Longman by-election and in the polls after Malcolm Turnbull lost the Liberal leadership may well be the harbinger of politics in which majority government becomes the exception rather than the rule. This is because we are reaching a tipping point where the primary vote splits more evenly into the three boxes: Labor, the Coalition and Minors. [click to continue…]

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SNIPING at the Liberal Prime Minister will no doubt continue. The difference now will be that the sniping will come from the left or progressive side of the Liberal Party. The other difference is that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will not take any notice of it, unlike his predecessor who made endless concessions to the far right. The main policy discord will be over refugees and climate change. [click to continue…]

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IF YOU cannot fulfill the voters’ hopes you end up having to pander to their fears. Malcolm Turnbull, barrister tactician to the end, failed because almost from Day One his political strategy was wrong. [click to continue…]

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MyHealth: everybody should be in

by on August 18, 2018

THE furore in the past fortnight over whether MyHealth should be opt-in or opt-out misses the point. Once the security concerns are fixed, there should be no “opt” at all. Everyone who uses Medicare or the PBS should be in MyHealth whether they like it or not. [click to continue…]

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