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Category Archives: Politics


Why #whitehousegate matters

A few days after the release of the budget, in which the Coalition government announced it was spreading the burden by increasing university fees, cutting school funding, and cutting welfare for young people comes a story that confirms what many already suspect to be the nature of opportunity: it’s much easier to come by if you’re born into privilege. Read more »

When does lobbying become corruption?

Whether it’s Clive Palmer buying his way into parliament, the recent, varied ICAC revelations of dodgy fundraising in the NSW Liberal party, or the refusal or inability of successive governments to effectively tackle powerful corporate interests in industries like gambling, mining, media, and junk food, there is a feeling among many Australians that democracy is up for sale. Read more »

How to make treaties and influence people

In an era when Russia can annex Ukrainian territory, when the Refugee Convention is regularly flouted, and when nobody seems to be able to do anything to stop the carnage in Syria, it can be tempting to ask: what can international law actually achieve? Read more »

Whitewashing occupation? Bill Shorten and the Israel Lobby

Racism and military occupation have no place in the modern world, and are certainly not something looked upon favourably by a majority of Australians. Yet while apartheid, for example, has become a byword for shame and racism, the Labor Opposition leader feels comfortable asserting that some Israeli West Bank settlements are legal. Read more »

Abbott and Brandis’ culture war backfires

What is supposed to happen in a culture war is that conservatives use a controversial issue to drive a ‘wedge’ through the left, forcing a split between factions. In Australia, this usually means pitting Catholic unionists against their socially liberal colleagues in the Labor party. Read more »

Australia is going backwards on climate policy

During the Howard years, it was usual for Australia to be awarded ‘Fossil of the Day’ by climate advocacy groups whenever it attended a climate negotiation conference. The award signifies the country that had done the most to hinder climate change negotiations, and Australia has won a pile of them. Read more »

How Cathy McGowan won the donations race

The now-Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, appears to have raised the most in donations of any independent ever to have won in a federal election. McGowan, widely known for having put her disliked predecessor Sophie Mirabella out of a job, managed to raise Read more »

Is the Liberal Party living up to its name?

  One of the alluring aspects of right-wing politics is its insistence that sometimes the state is wrong. The tenets of liberalism – the philosophy upon which the Liberal Party is ostensibly based – as Elle Hardy recently put it, are ‘limited government, belief in the rights … Read more »

Homophobia is not solely a Western invention

  I am always slightly perplexed by the argument that the West invented homophobia. Certainly, extant homophobic laws in many parts of the world were put in place during the colonial period – by the British in particular. But to place the blame solely on Western culture … Read more »

WikiLeaks Party was wrong about Syria

It should seem obvious that, as members of a political party dedicated to revealing the dirty truth about governments, getting your photo taken with a murderous dictator is a no-go. Apparently not. It is anyone’s guess how the WikiLeaks Party thought their delegation at the end of … Read more »