Biden’s summit on democracy – briefing notes for Scott Morrison

 There was a longstanding view nurtured in the 60s and 70s that Western liberalism would inevitably take hold and reform our regional totalitarian states as prosperity rose and the capitalist system encouraged greater individualism. This hasn’t happened. Dear Prime Minister, this is a complex issue. A bit of background  There was a longstanding view nurtured … Read more

Gladys’ infection is spreading everywhere

Intransigence is experienced by many of us daily. It may even dominate our own emotional repertoire. Now, though, as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announces rising Covid infections and accumulating deaths, this unhelpful trait seems increasingly endangering. Wherever it is displayed, intransigence should not be mistaken for strength of mind or purpose. Nor is it an admirable … Read more

Misreading Dark Emu

Criticisms of the book Dark Emu and its author, Bruce Pascoe, continue to appear, and to become more puzzling. It is as if the overwhelming popularity of Pascoe and his message have disturbed comfortable convictions about Australian history shared across a wide segment of Australian society. Many seem to have accepted that Pascoe has been … Read more

Australia – a lucky country run by second rate people

“Australia is a lucky country run mainly by second rate people who share its luck. It lives on other people’s ideas, and, although its ordinary people are adaptable, most of its leaders (in all fields) so lack curiosity about the events that surround them that they are often taken by surprise.” That is a quote … Read more

Political and media failure on climate in Australia

The technology roadmap sketched by Morrison and Taylor is a con. It is in fact a statement of support for the fossil fuel industry which is heavily subsidised by and a significant donor to the Liberal and National Parties. Wake up calls, final warnings, tipping points – these are some of the cliches that accompany … Read more

Climate urgency, Australia’s selfishness

In response to the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Treasurer Josh Frydenberg rushed to Sky News to repeat the platitude that technology, not taxes would overcome threats from global warming. Before a Canberra press conference, a smirking Prime Minister claimed Australia would reach targets to limit greenhouse gas emissions because this country always … Read more