Wednesday, 22 October 2014
In 1972, the AWU, one of Australia’s largest union, then and now, officially abandoned its commitment to the White Australia Policy. If some find it surprising that the glorious AWU left its distinctly inglorious past, er, rather late, it perhaps shows how much we now view the past through the prism of the political settlement that followed, a political settlement that Whitlam had a leading role in making, but at the time of his death, is now unravelling. Read more …18 comments
Thursday, 28 August 2014
So I imagine that from time to time they would want a different captain but nevertheless, that’s what he said, that we’re all part of Team Australia and you’re our captain.
Captain Australia, 20 August 2014
A curious obliviousness has descended over the political scene and its commentary to the escalation of tensions over Iraq. Partly it comes from the desperation of a government thinking that it will solve its significant political problems. Partly it comes from the opposition’s fear it will as well, on top of the normal shutdown it has over anything to do with national security, especially under its current leader.
But it’s also to do with the complications behind the current escalation that neither side wants to see. Read more …11 comments
Monday, 11 August 2014
What this government is trying to do is trying to stop Australian Muslims travelling overseas to murder other Muslims. They’re going to Iraq, they’re going to Syria. There are Sunnis targeting Shiites. This is not an anti-Muslim attitude; this is an attitude that’s trying to save the lives of other Muslims from being attacked by Australian Muslims. Read more …
Thursday, 31 July 2014
We’ve got a situation where Tony Abbott’s become the strongest leader in the world on this issue.
Right now there could well be remains exposed to the European summer, exposed to the ravages of heat and animals.
As a prime minister of a country, how does a tragedy like this affect you at a personal level?
Context is all.
The last few weeks have reminded that in recent years something rather unpleasant has entered politics, and the commentary that surrounds it. It is not only unpleasant to watch but has caused politicians to fumble on sensitive issues and commentators to completely mis-read the impact on the electorate at home. Read more …15 comments
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
I’m determined to get on with governing
T Abbott 11 July 2014
I’m determined to get on with the job of governing,
J Gillard 31 January 2013
The Labor Party was formed to represent the workers, the Liberals to represent business, the Nationals to represent people in rural and regional Australia. But Palmer United was formed simply out of hatred for Campbell Newman.
Senior Coalition member talking to Laurie Oakes
We have got situation normal.
If this is situation normal, why doesn’t it feel like it?
As commentators have said, dealing with tricky players in the Palmer United Party isn’t new. Steve Fielding and Nick Xenophon weren’t exactly a barrel of laughs for the Rudd government either. Even the Australian Democrats on their high horse could give Howard headaches.
The difference is not so much Palmer, but the weak position of the government that is negotiating with him. Read more …19 comments
Friday, 30 May 2014
The South Australian Labor Party is so clearly out of talent it has to reach into the ranks of the Liberal Party to fill its Ministry.
Liberal MP Jamie Biggs’s response to Hamilton-Smith’s defection. Perhaps not quite thought through.
If Queensland continues to show with its latest product that it remains the home of anti-politics, on Tuesday South Australia showed, in fairly spectacular fashion, that it remains the home of its flipside, the political class’s response of technocracy.
Hamilton-Smith’s defection is, of course, not the first seen in Australian politics, nor is it the first time this state Labor government has had political opponents in the cabinet, with ex-Liberals like Rory McEwan and National MP Karlene Maywald in the Rann Labor Cabinet. Yet there are some features of not only the defection, but the response to it, that make it illustrative of the curious state of politics today. Read more …4 comments
Monday, 19 May 2014
If there is one thing that sums up the contradiction in the government’s position that is behind what is turning into a political disaster, is that a few weeks before the Budget came out, the Commission of Audit proposed one of the most radical overhauls of the Australian economy in fifty years – to one of the weakest governments capable of implementing it. Read more …37 comments
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Cutting funding to ICAC would be a coward’s response to the most important accountability mechanism in the state.
John Kaye, Greens Upper House NSW MP
It’s perhaps understandable that an Upper House MP may be unaware, relying as they do on the benefice of party machines, that the “most important accountability mechanism” in NSW remains the electorate, which in the last election did a pretty good job of making a tawdry and corrupt Labor government accountable by removing not only the Premier, but the entire Ministry and over half of the government MPs from their jobs. Beat that ICAC! Read more …14 comments
Monday, 7 April 2014
There are some important issues arising from the government’s move to repeal 18C in the Racial Discrimination Act. Unfortunately they are obscured by posturing anti-racism on the left and posturing libertarianism on the right when in reality it is about neither. Read more …21 comments
Monday, 24 February 2014
This is a breach of our sovereignty and the Indonesians need to understand that, instead of a lot of pious rhetoric about the Australian Government breaching their sovereignty
Lord Downer, just a few months ago
We will decide.
From happier times.
The panic about asylum seekers is primarily a panic of the political class, that politicos on the left and right continually project onto the public, but for whom polls show it remains no more than a middling concern. It is a panic out of all proportion to its real impact because asylum seekers capture two concerns that the political class has no solution for: a declining social base (Labor) and authority and “sovereignty” (the Coalition).
During the Rudd-Gillard period we saw asylum seekers become a political football between Rudd and Gillard centred on Labor’s insecurities about its lack of social base. Under the Coalition, asylum seekers are now becoming a political football over an even more sensitive issue, sovereignty. Read more …26 comments