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Pakistan election bloodshed and falls

After Julia Gillard tripped on her high heels during a visit to the Gandhi memorial in New Delhi last year, New Limited put together a list of the “Five Best Political Falls”. John Howard’s 2007 slip in Perth came in at number two, behind Fidel Castro falling off stage at the end of a speech […]

Grief in New York and Afghanistan, in Boston and Iraq

In the aftermath of the attack on the Boston marathon, commentators such as Jonathan Green on The Drum and Rafia Zakaria at Guernica have discussed the disparity of media attention towards the small number of casualties in the Boston compared to the routine slaughter in locations like Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria. I remembered introducing a yoga […]

Comedy fuelled by anger

I was out of town for most of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, but I was back in time to catch the final session of Aamer Rahman’s “The Truth Hurts”. Given that the show was very heavily booked, it seems likely to have a repeat airing. I was about to recommend it with a proviso about […]

Speech to CEO Tasmania, 27 March

A speech I delivered this week in Hobart at the invitation of CEO Tasmania on the economy and the forthcoming election. Thanks for the invitation this evening. Tonight I thought I’d talk about the coming federal election, and of course it may come sooner than previously expected, through the prism of policy, by looking at […]

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The world of politics, policy and public life

If you want to see government control of journalism, try this:

There’s been a lot of hype this week from News Ltd and the Coalition about the purported threat to a free press from Stephen Conroy’s plan to require the print and online media’s self-regulatory bodies to show they can self-regulate. Conroy has been compared to the vilest dictators in history for this outrage. Well, if […]

After Julia Gillard- thoughts on International Women’s Day

If the opinion polls are anywhere near the ballpark, by next International Women’s Day Australia will no longer have a female Prime Minister. It’s time to start thinking about feminism after Julia Gillard. And we could start by acknowledging that her Prime Ministership was no feminist victory. Of course, women had to fight for the […]

Troubled times for the Tories

Is the Eastleigh by-election just another opportunity for British voters to let off some steam about the state of the British political system or should Cameron and the Tories be watching their backs?

Open letter to Anti-Fluoridians

This week I found myself the target of some vituperation from anti-fluoride, erm, “campaigners” after my attention was drawn to an appalling picture of Tanya Plibersek posted to the Facebook page of South Australian independent Legislative Councillor Ann Bressington. I contacted Bressington asking why a commenter’s suggestion that the Health Minister be “lynched” was allowed […]

The forthcoming adventures of Geert Wilders Down Under

“Join us for an evening with an exceptional politician, author, and very brave man.” That’s the message on the Q society flyer, although another way of putting it would be “Pay $66 to a shadowy fringe organisation for the dubious privilege of listening to a visiting racist hate-monger”. Next week, Dutch MP and far-right figurehead […]

Hockey stumbles on super

In what would, if we were indeed in an election campaign, be considered a major gaffe, shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey today committed the Coalition to reversing the increase in compulsory superannuation from 9% to 12%, then hastily backflipped. At a doorstop to heap contumely on Wayne Swan’s announcement that the mining tax had only raised […]