Australian Politics


How business groups dominate our politicians

The Grattan Institute has released analysis on which groups hold the most influence over Australian policy making. And not surprisingly, the business lobby dominates: As Figure 2 shows, the financial and professional services industries together represented 57 per cent of the 400 submissions to the Tax White Paper from organisations, despite collectively representing only 18


Pauline Hanson close to backing wages smash bill

Via Domain: Attorney-General Christian Porter appears close to winning crossbench support for the government’s industrial relations bill and determined to secure its passage when Parliament resumes next week. Mr Porter has agreed to additional amendments proposed by One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson and the government has listed the union-busting Ensuring Integrity bill on the Senate’s


So, what does Paul Keating’s Sinostralia look like?

Given the old bullyboy’s unhealthy hold over the national imagination regarding the future of Chinese ties, let’s explore where his vision would take us. Paul Keating would like to see Australia’s commitment to ANZUS modulated versus Chinese interests. That will mean a much more insecure commitment by the US to Australia so the first implication


Colonise the mind: Australians the new Uighers

Via John Fitzgerald at Crikey: The education tours arranged by Australian interest group China Matters were bound to end in tears. All it was ever going to take to scuttle the efforts of the organisers to improve bilateral understanding through parliamentary visits was for Australian politicians to speak their minds and shine a light on issues that


Cowards of Canberra gobble Beijing’s bluff

For a day supposedly dominated by “realism”, the obvious didn’t get a look in at The Australian’s Cowards of Canberra Conference yesterday. While the PBOC was forced to cut interest rates to combat a structural slowdown in the Chinese economy, and Hong Kong degenerated into near open war, all the Canberra cowards could discuss was


Xeating demands Australia bow to Angry China

From Paul Xeating just now: Paul Keating says Australia’s foreign policy lacks “any strategic realism” and is leaving the nation unable to effectively manage the rise of China as Donald Trump vacates the Asia Pacific region. …Mr Keating said Australia should channel its focus on helping “design a new construct” that engages with China but


Scummo threatens to blackout Victoria on his power price fail

Welcome to the new era of partisanship run amok, via the AFR: Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor will seek to cut deals with “collaborative” states to shore up the destabilised national electricity grid, potentially isolating Victoria over energy and climate policy. …It is understood the bilateral agreements will involve funding or other arrangements to achieve


CCP buys south Pacific

Via News: It’s undeniable that China’s influence around the world is increasing at a rapid rate and now countries just a stone’s throw away from our own are being taken over. When you think about Australia’s island neighbours in the South Pacific, the first thing that come to mind are probably the relaxed atmosphere and


Hong Kong goes to war

Via Bloomie: Hong Kong police and protesters hardened their battle lines over the weekend as violent clashes showed no signs of abating, leaving the city bracing for a second week of upheaval that risks disrupting pending elections. The weekend saw pitched battles with demonstrators launching bricks, molotov cocktails and steel balls at police, who in


The burning of Scummo

Scummo went up in flames on the weekend. The liberal press applied the blowtorch. Laura Tingle captures the essence of it: It has been a week of catastrophe in Australia. For so many people, and so many communities, there have been days and nights of sleeplessness, exhausting anxiety, and fear of monstrous firestorms; and for


Can Hong Kong anarchy “happen anywhere”

So says the FT: Demonstrators and police officers are experiencing a kind of epiphany when they realise there are no repercussions for smashing the thin veneer of civility. As a consequence, the range of acceptable behaviour has widened dramatically and the most brazen and outrageous actions are becoming normalised. This is fed by social media


Universities required to declare CCP links

Via the AFR: Under sweeping new rules, universities will have to fully disclose who they’re working with on research projects and all financial dealings with other countries and donors, as the federal government demands action against “corrupting” foreign interference. Amid concern about China’s influence in universities that have become heavily financially dependent on foreign students, research projects


Burn baby burn. It’s a Scummo inferno!

It’s unprecendented, at News: New South Wales still has “a long way to go” before the bushfire threat is over, with one particularly dangerous fire still covering 150,000 hectares on its own, and another wave of bad weather on the horizon. Today the focus also shifts to Queensland, where increasingly windy conditions and temperatures in


Newspoll 50/50 as economy sinks

Via The Australian: The Coalition and Labor are on an equal electoral footing for the first time since the May election, with a turnaround in Anthony ­Albanese’s personal standing and a slide in popular support for the government. An exclusive Newspoll conducted for The Australian has the major parties tied with a 50-50 share of


Labor’s answer is so simple it’s embarrassing

The Canberra bubble and Paul Kelly is determined to end Labor: The Labor Party now resembles two rival constituencies fighting each other — their origins embedded in the party’s past and its ­future — a conflict that extinguished Labor’s hopes at the May election and a chasm that nobody knows how to bridge. This week


Australia global poster child for WeChat corruption

When Quartz decided to ask whether WeChat should be banned in democracies there was no better place to look than Straya: Like other social media platforms, WeChat is being used more and more by political parties around the world to appeal to potential voters. Its reach is considerable. It’s the world’s fifth largest social media


26 reasons to never vote Labor

Here’s the summary of Labor’s electoral loss tome Labor lost the election because of a weak strategy that could not adapt to the change in Liberal leadership, a cluttered policy agenda that looked risky and an unpopular leader. No one of these shortcomings was decisive but in combination they explain the result. Indeed, Bill Shorten


Chris Bowen: Labor must fake it ’til it makes it

Via The Guardian [my emphasis]: Labor needs to fire up on behalf of working people to punch through the “pandemic of populism” locking progressive parties out of government, and it needs to pitch an “Australian new deal” grounded in the Hawke/Keating principles of economic reform with a social dividend, according to Chris Bowen. …As Labor absorbs


Senior Liberal: “Double agent” Gladys Liu election signage dodgy

Via the ABC: A senior Victorian Liberal Party figure has admitted in court that Chinese-language signs used in May’s federal election in two Melbourne seats were designed to convey the appearance of official electoral commission material. The Court of Disputed Returns — sitting in the Federal Court in Melbourne for the next three days —


Paul Kelly warns Government is sinking with economy

Today, Australia’s great mind, Paul Kelly finally catches on: The Australian economy is not in crisis but is facing a combination of poor investment, weak consumption and stagnant wages growth. The malaise is cyclic and structural — but more structural. …The government has a policy framework for an economy that no longer exists and a


Dalio: Fix wealth inequality or face “violent revolution”

Via the Hartford Courant: Two hedge fund founders on Tuesday called for the reform of capitalism to combat economic inequality and stem political upheaval. Before a crowd of about 200 at the Greenwich Economic Forum, a two-day alternative investment industry conference, Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, and Paul Tudor Jones, founder of Tudor Investment


“Double agent” Gladys Liu bought electorate with own cash

Her own cash says The Australian: Embattled Liberal MP Gladys Liu personally poured at least $100,000 into her campaign at the last minute to win the marginal Melbourne seat of Chisholm after being told she didn’t qualify for a significant cash injection from the party. Ms Liu donated a “six-figure’’ sum to her own campaign


Behold the Fortescue rocket

There’s no stopping it now: Breaking out and now targeting record highs. The timing of this is pretty funny: Vale iron ore is rushing back; there’s some 60mt tonnes of new and resumed iron ore capacity coming next year; Chinese growth is slowing steadily and the steel PMI is warning loud and clear; Chinese iron


Cannon-Brookes attacks Fuhrer Morrison

Every modern nation needs good billionaires to fight evil ones. I have my issues with Mike Cannon-Brookes and the Atlassian cheap labour arbitrage model but on climate change he’s excellent, via David Crowe: “The people protesting over climate change are not quiet Australians. They are being loud because the government is quiet on the climate,”


Watch: Fuhrer Morrison’s brown shirts beating shielas

Some nice examples of belting sheilas around the face so that they can no longer terrosise billion dollar miner conglomerates, via Crikey: Attempts by protesters to blockade the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne have been met by a… let’s call it a heavy-handed police response. Videos of cops shoving, hitting and unleashing


Doctor Mahatir describes an unrecognisable Australia

Via Domain: Asian immigration is transforming Australia and the country will soon become “more Asian than European”, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has predicted. Dr Mahathir, the 94-year-old political elder statesman of south-east Asia, made the comments during an exclusive interview with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He will meet with Australian Prime