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POLITICS |

Liberal Leader contest: A Labor supporters’ form guide

This is a day that few ALP supporters could have dreamed would ever come to pass. The Liberals tearing themselves to pieces over policy. Who knew they had it in them? Of course, there were some great stoushes over leadership and pre-selections back in the 1980s, but nothing on this scale. Back then, the ‘wets’, [...]

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POLITICS |

The Liberals face self-destruction

In the first decade after Federation, the conservative forces (Deakin’s protectionists and Reid’s free traders) opted for fusion in the face of the growing electoral and parliamentary strength of the Labor party. The formation of the Country Party in 1922 introduced a clear rural interest, and took votes from the ALP and bolstered the conservative [...]

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POLITICS |

Crawford report a dull dud spiced by a big no to John Coates

Today’s media coverage is rightly hostile about the Crawford report, commissioned and welcomed by the Rudd Government, which recommends that Australia abandon its Olympic traditions and ambitions and accept a more realistic target. So much for excellence. The report recommends that additional government funding go to community sport (eg our many footy codes) rather than [...]

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POLITICS |

Can Rudd save his ETS, or will it destroy him?

Rudd is a control freak. His government is run along command and control lines (read Cameron Stewart’s interesting piece in last Saturday’s Australian magazine). His media strategy is a campaign strategy. Win the day, stay in front.  Make your opponent the issue. Control the message. Make no mistakes. This is the goldfish in a bowl [...]

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POLITICS |

We need the genes of illegal immigrants

Immigration can improve the national gene pool: Geneticists have shown that there is literally such a thing as American DNA, not surprising when nearly all of us are descended from immigrants. We therefore carry an immigrant-specific genotype, a genetic marker expressing itself—in some environments, at least—as energetic risk-taking and competitive self-promotion. Even when famine, warfare, [...]

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POLITICS |

Obama caught adrift in the media, lobbyist circus

Awarding Obama the Nobel peace prize seems emblematic of the triumph of celebrity over substance. I’m an Obama fan, but the reality is that his achievements lie ahead of him not behind him, and you can’t help thinking that the Nobel judges were more than a little ‘previous’ in awarding the prize to a guy [...]

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POLITICS |

Even the GFC can’t reverse the Left’s decline

In a recent issue of the new york review of books (Sept 24), Tony Judt described social democracy as the “ideology that dare not speak its name”, such has been the decline of the political ideology that once dominated Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and ‘new deal’ America. (Obviously, Judt doesn’t read Kevin Rudd’s essays.) [...]

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POLITICS |

Was “Balibo” sanitised?

A few weeks ago, John Pilger made some interesting claims that the script of Balibo had been toned down to expunge Australian Government (and media?) complicity. Pilger’s quotes from director Robert Connolly don’t exactly refute the claims but the Australian media doesn’t seem interested in it either, perhaps preferring the official version once again that [...]

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POLITICS |

Social democracy deracinated

A new light on the hill | The Australian In Saturday’s Australian Tim Soutphommasane had a long piece on where Rudd and Labor stand in ideological terms. Part way through reading it I started to notice that there was a lot missing from his account of the ALP’s current relationship with its traditional ideology. What [...]

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POLITICS |

Is Gerard Henderson a leftie?

A new study seems to suggest so. The authors, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, got some solid media coverage with their finding that the ABC is slanted rightwards. In fact, the study claims that ABC TV is more favourable to the coalition then talk radio stations 2UE and 2GB. Do you believe it? Others have [...]

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