Australian Politics


Victoria welcomes its new Chinese overlords

Via the ABC: Victoria has formally pledged to sign up to China’s controversial One Belt, One Road initiative in a deal the state hopes will generate more trade and jobs. Premier Daniel Andrews and Chinese ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye finalised a memorandum of understanding this week, making Victoria the first and only Australian state


Dr Liz Allen has no idea what she is talking about

None: Next time you hear people bang on about population size and growth, ask them: what about social inequality? #SizeDoesntMatter #auspol #fairness #ABCTop5 @FarzEdraki @WhatAustThinks @ANUcass @ANUmedia — Dr Liz Allen (@DrDemography) October 26, 2018 Mass immigration is the number one inequality problem in the country causing: lower wages; higher house prices; crush-loading of


Confessions of a Liberal wet

Via The Guardian comes Craig Laundy, Liberal wet: Laundy wants to push deeper than simply reflecting on one mad political fortnight, culminating in the destruction of another Australian prime ministership. There are three things on his mind: assessing how government works, or doesn’t optimally; the pernicious influence of Sky News at night on his colleagues; and


Crossbench launches anti-corruption Morrison killer

Via ABC: A motion to create a federal anti-corruption commission could test the Coalition’s control of Federal Parliament as it prepares for minority government. Greens senator Larissa Waters believes there is now majority support for a national body, with the Liberal Party likely to lose the historically safe seat of Wentworth to independent Kerryn Phelps.


The Economist issues dire Australian magazine cover indicator

The Economist has no idea what it is talking about regarding Australia and that has led it to issue a dire Australian magazine cover indicator this week. Get a load of this garbage: What is the biggest problem facing America? Or Japan? Or Britain? Or France? Opinions vary, naturally, but some worries crop up again and again.


Macquarie: Negative gearing reform easily absorbed

Via Business Insider comes some more modelling on negative gearing reform this time by Macquarie of the modelling done by Cadence Economics for Master Builder’s yesterday: Based on the evidence offered below from Macquarie Bank, it suggests the policy changes may not have that much of an impact on the broader Australian economy, even in


The sad decline of Beijing Bob

“Beijing Bob” Carr has migrated to the AFR: Imagine the crucial byelection had not been in Wentworth but in another Sydney electorate, Barton. Instead of a 12 per cent Jewish population, it is one with a 34 per cent Chinese population. And imagine that, in the context of this byelection and after lobbying by the


Australian and Taiwan mull Chinese sharp power

Via Domainfax: In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said democracies should boost co-operation to combat Beijing’s tactics and argued Asian countries had a stake in protecting Taiwan because its fall would start a domino effect that would see them “taken down by China one by one”. …Since the 2016


Essential: ScoMo buggered

More ScoMo buggery at The Guardian: Labor continues to command an election-winning position two months after the Liberal leadership change, and the anticipated loss of Wentworth. The latest Guardian Essential poll finds 59% of respondents say the government Scott Morrison leads has not been refreshed as a consequence of the blood-letting. This week’s poll has


ScoMo crashes consumer confidence

I don’t usually report the weekly given the volatility but such a large break is significant: Consumer sentiment plunges  ANZ-Roy Morgan Australian Consumer Confidence plunged 6% last week, closing just below its long term average and at its lowest level for more than a year. All components of the survey fell sharply.  Households’


ScoMomentum hurtles towards worst electoral wipe out since WWII

Via The Australian: Scott Morrison faces an epic challenge to restore confidence in his shattered government, with new polling analysis showing a collapse in support for the Coalition in every mainland state and across every demographic group since the leadership spill. Analysis of four Newspolls since the August 24 leadership spill casts a bleak picture


SinoAmerican Cold War structural

Via Chanticleer today former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Morell, who is advising Magellen: “Being anti-Chinese is a bipartisan position in the United States,” Morell said, recounting his recent chat with Democrat Senator Mark Warner, who sits on the Senate select intelligence committee and said he had shifted his position on China in


Welcome to the ‘school’ of Xi Jinping thought

Via Foreign Affairs comes Kevin Carrico, lecturer in Chinese studies at Macquarie University, the translator of Tibet on Fire, and the author of The Great Han: Race, Nationalism, and Tradition in China Today: Classes in Marxism have long been compulsory in Chinese universities, normally welcomed by tired students as an excellent chance to catch up on their


ScoMo: Nothing changes

Scott Morrison sets his course for doom at the AFR: With independent Kerryn Phelps holding a modest lead over Liberal candidate Dave Sharma, who was closing the gap on Sunday, the Prime Minister pre-empted rumblings from both factions about the need for a policy response to a primary swing against the Liberal Party of more than


Kerryn Phelps is a disaster for “Australia”

As expected, Kerryn Phelps destroyed the Morrison Government in Wentworth on Saturday with the largest swing in by-election history. Should we celebrate? No. If Kerryn Phelps is the new face of Australian politics then we are sunk as a nation. Consider what we know. Ms Phelps is in favour of addressing climate change, killing offshore


Pascometer redlines on his new Chinese overlords

Weeoo, weeoo, weeoo. The Pascometer is screaming: While waiting for that, pretty much the rest of the civilised world is holding its breath, holding on while navigating around the toddler president and his destructive policies on everything from the World Trade Organisation to the International Criminal Court to the Paris agreement to the Middle East


Is a federal election imminent?

The word we’re getting from our public service contacts is that preparations are underway for pre-election “caretaker” mode. This may not be indicative of any intention of the Government to call an early poll. But there is this: Kerryn Phelps has left open the prospect of voting against the government in a motion of no


ScoMo chaos as coolies to flood countryside

Grown-ups: Scott Morrison has dramatically reversed his opposition to a new agricultural visa, throwing a lifeline to his besieged Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, who is facing an internal push for a Barnaby Joyce comeback. The Prime Minister told the National Farmers Federation Congress today that his government “will work towards establishing an agriculture visa”.


SinoAmerican Cold War day 14

Via Peter Jennings at ASPI: At the beginning of October, US Vice President Mike Pence delivered arguably the most significant policy statement produced by the Trump administration. His speech to the Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank, on ‘the administration’s policy toward China’ sets out the most dramatic shift in relations with Beijing since Nixon and Kissinger’s


Lol, the Coalition

Does anyone remember that fateful declaration by Joe Hockey that the “grown-ups are back in charge”? Grown-ups: Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has sounded a warning to potential rivals after Barnaby Joyce signalled he was open to being drafted back to the Nationals leadership before the next election. Renewed focus on a comeback by Mr


White House jumps on Morrison’s Israel gaff

It appears ScoMo has just thrown out decades of foreign policy and painted Australia into a corner in some desperate gamble over Wentworth, via The Australian: “We welcome and strongly support Australia’s review and discussions on relocating its embassy, seeking a better deal with Iran, and increasing engagement with Israel,” a White House official told


The problem is not neo-liberalism, it is neo-feudalism

Former RBA boss and blood-sucking banker, Bernie Fraser, is having a whinge today: Neoliberalism has caused “misery and social polarisation” yet remains in vogue with the Coalition government, according to the economist Bernie Fraser. The former Treasury secretary and Reserve Bank governor has made the comments in a presentation circulated to participants of the Australia


Will Australia choose the US or China?

Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis is unequivocal at Bloomie: Secretary of Defense James Mattis played down tensions with Beijing, saying the U.S. was “not out to contain China” and was cooperating whenever possible, but that there would be times they would “step on each other’s toes.” “Obviously, we’re not out to contain China. We’d have taken


Wentworth gone as ScoMo falls on Israeli sword

ScoMo to be tossed, via The Australian: Independent candidate Kerryn Phelps is set for victory over the Morrison government in the Wentworth by-election this Saturday, as Liberal Party polling shows the former Australian Medical Association president ahead of Liberal candidate Dave Sharma 55 per cent to 45 per cent on a two-party-preferred basis. …Defeat in