The weighty matter of sugar and diabetes

by Crispin Hull on January 20, 2017

I USED to think that excess weight was caused by eating too much and/or not exercising enough. “There was no-one overweight on the Burma Railway,” I’d quip. Not any more. [click to continue…]


Chamberlain: when the jury got it wrong

by Crispin Hull on January 13, 2017

THE death of Michael Chamberlain makes me recall sitting in the High Court on the day that the decision on Lindy Chamberlain’s appeal against her conviction of the murder of her baby daughter Azaria came down. It was 22 February 1984. All five judges who heard the case were there so they stated their reasons one by one. [click to continue…]


Republican paralysis with a solution

by Crispin Hull on January 6, 2017

THE republic debate has been trickling along at the same time as dissatisfaction with democracy and political elites grows and voters show a predilection for outsiders. Along with marriage equality, it is another example of political paralysis. A majority of people and parliamentarians favour both, but our politicians seems incapable of delivering either. [click to continue…]


Doing nothing pays. Paralysis sets in

by Crispin Hull on December 30, 2016

THE last Newspoll for 2016 reinforced the basic political conundrum of this decade: Voters crying: “Me; me; me,” But also demanding governments make sure they address all of the important national-interest matters: budget deficit, economic growth, education, health care and infrastructure. [click to continue…]


International disorder and dashed democracy

by Crispin Hull on December 23, 2016

LIBERAL democracy and the rules-based international order received the biggest set-back in 2016 in any year since before the Berlin Wall came down. The only year that comes close is 2003, the year of the illegal invasion of Iraq based on concocted intelligence. [click to continue…]


The inagile emptiness of our Prime Minister

by Crispin Hull on December 16, 2016

WHEN I attempted to transfer everything from my iPhone 6 to my new iPhone 7 this week, and what is supposed to be the gold standard software for music and media management – iTunes – deleted nearly all my music, and then the back-up external hard drive also failed, a bucketload of Anglo-Saxon nouns and adjectives emanated from the home office. [click to continue…]

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finlandIN THE wake of Brexit, One Nation, Trump and the general alienation of those who have lost their jobs, wages growth and sense of purpose to globalisation, Australia should join Finland in considering a minimum-payment scheme. [click to continue…]


stockmenIN 1964, Hans Pearson – an Aboriginal man with a wife, Anna, and eight children – was granted an exemption from the legislative scheme under which wages earned by Indigenous people (mainly stockmen) in Queensland were paid into a state-run fund. [click to continue…]


When think tanks shine over democracy

by Crispin Hull on November 26, 2016

04_james_madisonTHE dysfunction in our democracy has been no better exemplified than this week’s publication of two very sound tax policies by the independent public-interest organisation the Grattan Institute. They were on the case for a tax on sugary drinks and an end to tax concessions for people over 65. They come after a Grattan reports earlier this year on capital-gains tax, negative gearing and superannuation. [click to continue…]


Fairness trumps money in voters’ eyes

by Crispin Hull on November 18, 2016

ultimatumTHE principle that humans will act “rationally” was part of the bedrock of economics, at least until the 1980s when behavioural psychology started to infiltrate the dismal science. [click to continue…]