Australian Politics


A short history of vaccines

Via ABC Fact Check: Russia has surprised the world with President Vladimir Putin announcing the first COVID-19 vaccine to win approval, sparking debate among scientists over whether the country has bypassed necessary safety checks. The World Health Organisation is reportedly calling for caution, citing a possible lack of appropriate clinical trials. The Russian breakthrough is one of more than 160 potential


How Australia could break into civil war

Via the FMG true believers: Sitting atop a cash machine disguised as Australia’s third-largest iron ore miner, Fortescue Metals Group chief executive Elizabeth Gaines was justifiably emphatic about the importance of Australia’s increasingly testy trade relationship with China. “We can’t lose sight that we are a trading nation,” she implored, adding that the miner “didn’t


Medicos pick through Morrison vaccine wreckage

Via Domain comes the self-evident: Doctors are urging governments not to compel Australians to get a COVID-19 vaccine, warning the fast-tracked approval process could create a risk of harmful side effects. Australian Medical Association President Omar Khorshid said while the peak body was “very supportive of vaccination generally because of its extensive science behind the


Australia must prepare for the collapse of China trade

A nice piece from Paul Kelly on the weekend: China’s targeting of Australia’s highly successful $1.1bn wine export market, the latest threat in its campaign of trade retaliation, is a small cog in the larger global revolution where the US and China are decoupling in trade and technology — the lurch into a potentially demoralising


Unelectable Labor backs CCP over Greens

Via the ABC: Tasmania’s Opposition is considering referring the Greens leader to the powerful Parliamentary privileges committee after her defence against accusations of racism led to a fiery exchange with the Speaker. Greens MP Cassy O’Connor stormed out of Tasmania’s House of Assembly on Thursday evening after Speaker Sue Hickey cut short an impassioned speech.


Manchurian Dan let quaratine guests wander after three days

These revelations are really quite unbelievable: Victoria’s Health Department allowed hotel quarantine guests infected with coronavirus to leave as soon as three days after a positive test if they were not displaying symptoms. Michael Tait, a nurse who worked for the program at the Crown Metropol hotel, said in his submission to Victoria’s hotel quarantine


Out of control Morrison wrecking ball swings towards borders

Fresh from destroying Australia’s vaccine rollout, the Morrison wrecking ball is now hurtling towards state borders, pushed as always, by the interests that swing it any way they like. Via the AFR: The Morrison government has declared Friday’s national cabinet meeting a flashpoint for the future of the federation, amid an avalanche of business criticism


Morrison butchers critical vaccine rollout inside 24 hours

It may have shaped as the most important policy implementation in a century. Now it is butchered inside 24 hours of launch. It was always far too much, too fast. First, PM Morrison declared we’d all be force-jabbed with a non-existent and untested vaccine: Talking up hopes of a successful vaccine on Wednesday morning, Mr


Australia must ready for collapse of iron ore trade to China

According to BofA: Foreign firms looking to move their manufacturing processes outside of China in the wake of coronavirus could face $1 trillion in costs over five years, according to new Bank of America research. However, the bank argues that such a move would likely be beneficial for companies in the long term. Even before


Good grief. Morrison’s vaccine an inside job?

Really? Lobbying now extends to jeopardising the lives of 25m Australians? From Twitter: Goodness. The Director of Government Affairs at Scott Morrison’s suddenly favourite new drug company AstraZeneca is former federal govt lobbyist Kieran Schneemann. He’s also a former Chief of Staff in the Liberal party. Not that there’s anything wrong with that at all.


Labor must get back to its working class roots

Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon has expressed concern that the party could eventually split due to the growing divide between its traditional working-class and socially-progressive supporters. The shadow resources and agriculture minister has suggested that two separate Labor parties that are focused on cities and regional communities respectively could eventually govern in a coalition arrangement. Meanwhile,


Depressionberg blocks China milk bid

Via the AFR: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg secretly shunned the Foreign Investment Review Board and Treasury which advised him to approve China Mengniu Dairy Co’s proposed $600 million acquisition of Lion Dairy & Drinks, but he hasn’t publicly announced the rebuff. As tensions flare over China’s threat to impose trade penalties on allegedly “dumped” Australian wine, The Australian Financial


How will Biden handle China?

Cross-posted from Bill Bishop at Sinocism: US Democratic Party platform on China Biden’s Democrats talk tough on China, but see different measures than Trump | South China Morning Post The Democratic platform, crafted as a statement of the agenda of the party and its presidential nominee, Joe Biden, “lambasts the Trump administration’s handling of China


The decline and fall of “Australia” has begun

It’s not lockdowns. It’s not specific state governments or federal. It’s no one individual or institution. It’s a collapse of accountability across the political spectrum and it is accelerating. Examples are everywhere: The PM declares he will make an untested vaccine mandatory at risk to life and limb of every Australian. Premiers stuff up quarantines


ADF debunks Dan Andrews’ hotel quarantine lies

During last week’s parliamentary inquiry, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews explicitly denied that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) was offered for use in the state’s hotel quarantine program: Liberal MP: “So my question is: Why did you choose to use private security guards rather than police or ADF?: Dan Andrews: “I’m glad you mentioned the use of


Will aged care dead kill Morrison?

Via Bernard Keane at Crikey: Initially one of the success stories of the global pandemic, the island monarchy of Australia is now struggling to contain a COVID-19 outbreak that has shuttered a major town and torn through the nursing homes along the east coast of the country. After months of suppression, the latest outbreak originated


Virus psychos yell into echo chamber

This is editorialism run wild at the AFR: The reality dawning on doctors that hundreds more cancer and chronic disease sufferers will probably die as a result of Melbourne’s stage four lockdown scaring people from taking medical tests could prove to be a tipping point to scrutinise the trade-offs of the policy responses to COVID-19.


Beijing empties wine spittoon all over Morrison Doctrine

Let’s rewind a week or so to AUSMIN: Australia and the US have established a top-secret defence co-operation framework to counter Chinese military aggression, and put Darwin at the centre of future military plans with a new strategic fuel reserve for the city. The classified defence framework, agreed at high-level talks in Washington, creates a


Roll up for non-existent vaccine that might kill you, free!

Via News: Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he intends to make a COVID-19 vaccine “as mandatory as possible” for all Australians once it becomes available. revealed today that the Morrison Government has confirmed a landmark agreement with drug giant AstraZeneca to manufacture one of the world’s most promising coronavirus vaccines currently being developed by


Turns out the Coalition really does eat babies

Magnificent stuff from the Actuaries Institute today with the launch of a new Intergenerational Equity Index: Falling rates of home ownership, government spending that skews to older Australians and deteriorating environmental factors are some of the factors that have driven a wider gap in equity between Australia’s young and old. The Actuaries Institute’s latest Green


Nats: Quarantine a failure. Open borders to foreign workers!

Nobody ever accused the Nats of being the brains trust but this is a new low, at Domain: The federal government is blocking three in four applications from Australians wanting to travel overseas. At the same time, South Australia has the green light to restart international students coming into the country. Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie


Labor goes Hawaiian as Morrison strands Aussies for foreign students

Welcome back to Hawaii, Australia. At Domain: …expat Australians are concerned the student scheme will lead to a further rise in already skyrocketing return flight fares, effectively locking them out of their country. Because the government’s travel bans have effectively shut down Qantas International until at least 2021, the few airlines still flying to Australia