Disaster as usual in the face of the eye of the storm

by Crispin Hull on February 27, 2015

THE LONG queues of Esky-clutching ice-desperate people outside the very few service-stations with power in the wake of Category 5 Cyclone Marcia should have delivered a pertinent message. Instead, so much of it was disaster-as-usual coverage. Stoicism, good neighbourliness, miraculous escapes; raging torrents; fallen trees; mud in houses; boats floating in main streets and so on. [click to continue…]


Of roads, railways and water money

by Crispin Hull on February 21, 2015

ONE OF of the most significant broken promises of the Abbott Government has had little attention. But this week things started hotting up. [click to continue…]


Coalition’s Micawber-like economics is out of date.

by Crispin Hull on February 14, 2015

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott says that economic management is in the Coalition’s DNA. That may be true if you view economic management as merely being on the right side of Micawber’s equation. [click to continue…]


‘Strong’ leadership lacks followership

by Crispin Hull on February 7, 2015

IN A week when the navel gazing in the Liberal Party over leadership has now descended into lint picking, maybe we should have a closer look, not at leadership, but at followership. [click to continue…]


Unadulterated idiocy reveals constitutional flaws

by Crispin Hull on January 30, 2015

prince-philip-435380SOMETIMES it takes an act of unadulterated idiocy to expose the weakness in a system. Thanks to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Australians are looking again at our constitutional arrangements and the remnant ties to the British Crown. [click to continue…]


Does Australia have a national character?

by Crispin Hull on January 24, 2015

IN AN ideal world, the old joke goes, you would have French cuisine, Italian romance, British humour and German administration. But pity help you if you get British cuisine, German romance, French humour and Italian administration. The joke was brought to mind as Australia Day approaches. Are there such things as national characteristics? Or is such talk dangerous stereotyping at worse or harmless, illogical twaddle at best? [click to continue…]


Business’s GST bluff called

by Crispin Hull on January 10, 2015

THE Australia Institute did a splendid job this week at calling the bluff of business groups, conservative politicians, economists and think tanks that pretend to be independent while taking swags of money from the big end of town. [click to continue…]


Public needs better reward for asset sales

by Crispin Hull on January 8, 2015

AMONG the things blocked in the Senate in 2014 was the Government’s asset-recycling scheme. The scheme has a certain logic to it, but also a big ideological contradiction for the government. The scheme is based on the premise that state governments are struggling to keep up with demands for infrastructure. [click to continue…]

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Australian way of death has changed

by Crispin Hull on December 26, 2014

Woodshed Falls taken from the clifftop.

Woodshed Falls taken from the clifftop.

IT WAS was not even Page 1. On 24 September 1961, The Sydney Morning Herald reported on an inside page in just 250 words the ghastly murder-suicide of Mrs Mary Robinson and her four children. She stood atop the 35-metre cliff at Woolshed Falls near Beechworth in Victoria, swept two children in each arm and the five of them fell to their deaths – Mary 32, Lynette 10, Trevor 7, Graeme 4, and Dianna 3. [click to continue…]

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WELL, was it an act of terrorism, or wasn’t it? Was Man Haron Monis a terrorist? Or as Brian’s mother in Monty Python’s Life of Brian said: “He’s not a messiah. He’s just a naughty boy.” That is being brutally irreverent, but Brian’s Mum had a point. We need to see through religious delusion. [click to continue…]