Climate policy foundering on a reef

by Crispin Hull on July 19, 2014

WE ARE about 10km north-west of Endeavour Reef. These days with electronic navigation, GPS, EPIRB and the like, it is no big deal. I am even writing this aboard SV Biringari and will send it back to The Canberra Times by internet from an aerial 15m up the mast. [click to continue…]


Housing bubble about to burst?

by Crispin Hull on July 5, 2014

SOME economists and analysts have been saying for a decade or more that we are going to have a major slump in housing prices, and they have, according to real-estate commentators and others, been proved wrong. [click to continue…]


The Senate — reviewer or wrecker?

by Crispin Hull on June 28, 2014

WHAT are we to do with this “unrepresentative swill”, as Paul Keating called the Senate in 1989. The question arose again a week ago when WA Labor Senator Mark Bishop said that Labor should pass the whole of the Abbott-Hockey Budget in the Senate so the public would see how mean it was and flock back to Labor. [click to continue…]


Rich worse off for being richer

by Crispin Hull on June 21, 2014

I HAVE finally waded through Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century.
When I say “waded through”, I do not mean “read”, rather the book was read to me from the iphone as I went on my morning cycle ride, because I downloaded the audio version. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Why Abbott’s conservative climate pact collapsed

by Crispin Hull on June 14, 2014

harper abbottTHE TWO dumb Prime Ministers, Canada’s Stephen Harper and Australia’s Tony Abbott are on their own. The so-called conservative alliance against action on climate change died from its own contradictions in under a fortnight. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

LABOR could now stop the evolution towards paralysis in Australian politics — with a bit of courage and boldness. It could go beyond merely saying we will oppose the nasties. It could lay out its vision and state now, early in the electoral cycle, the way it is going to pay for it. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Glad to be part of Mandle’s history

by Crispin Hull on June 1, 2014

bill mandleHE DID not have to do it — the Oxford 10-quid MA and Pommy 10-quid immigrant. But there we were, second-year students at Bill Mandle’s place in Downer, or should I say Upper Downer, crowded under a Hills Hoist with a mass-produced cut-canvas hood for just these circumstances – an autumnal downpour in Canberra in March. [click to continue…]

{ 1 comment }

Beware the aged scare

by Crispin Hull on May 24, 2014

patrickdavisI HAVE just returned from my first sailing race. Well, I say “I” advisedly, because I did not take the helm. As readers of this column might recall that I bought a 46ft (14.3-metre) Beneteau yacht about two years ago when partially retiring to Port Douglas. [click to continue…]


Solution for ABC Budget cuts

by Crispin Hull on May 17, 2014

AFTER this Budget, the ABC should take the Tories at their word. The yapping conservatariat say the government broadcaster should not unfairly compete with, and replicate the work of, good commercial broadcasters. The ABC’s response should be – what do the commercial broadcasters cover comprehensively so that there is no need for us to do it? Well, it is not politics, arts, science, foreign affairs, defence, education, religion, children’s programs or even finance. No, it is sport. [click to continue…]


Stopping the corporate donation rot

by Crispin Hull on May 10, 2014

CHRISTOPER Pyne, of all people, put forward an excellent proposal to help clean up Australian politics.

“I don’t believe that the trade-union movement or corporate Australia should be able to donate to political parties,” Pyne, the Education Minister, told the ABC last Sunday: “I think only individuals should be able to donate to political parties.” [click to continue…]