Oz Politics Archive

Going Soft – PM’s Media Move

Just sat through an appalling soft-ball interview between PM Julia Gillard and the stand-in JJJ breakfast host Lewi (podcast may be available later  here). In itself this isn’t notable. Any time a Green-Left politician hits JJJ it’s a love fest. No, I noticed because, like Wayne Swan’s move to play the old class envy card […]

New Media Shames Old

The last 15 years of media appear to be a story of print’s decline and broadcasting fragmentation. But that’s just the sort of creative destruction you expect in a mature industry with a big technological component. A deeper change is the emergence of an alternative accountability media. This change has fully revealed the way the […]

Gonski GosPlan Comeback

We need to address our education failures. Our government needs to recognise that money won’t do it. And to realise that GosPlan-like 15 year  targets  plastered over  a dysfunctional system will achieve nothing. It is a iron law – perhaps Falk’s Second Iron Law – that public sector producers will always claim poor quality product […]

Basket Weavers Bow Out

A bizarre generational divide has emerged while I’ve been working the streets for the current local council elections. When you’re handing out for a centre-right party in the Sydney’s Inner West, you expect abuse. When I started a few years ago, old timers told me to take tissues to deal with the spit. The young […]

Beware Bullying

Our social and media treatment of bullying needs an urgent examination. Nothing says that more than the fact that I feel I need to tread carefully and express myself with caveats and qualifications.  And that’s not because of current celebrity travails and defamation laws. The bullying bandwagon is definitely short of space; from MP speeches […]

Dissent Is Only Good If You’re Winning

The New Left is overplaying the outrage game so badly that in years to come it will be a study in propaganda failure. Away from the shaping and scolding of their teachers, one can imagine the teen contempt students would have for the constant shock, outrage, inhalations and fake swooning our opinionistas  pass off as […]

Whingeing That Their Choices Have Consequences

Recent research apparently shows if you don’t contribute to superannuation, you have less superannuation. The way this bombshell has been reported is an absurd example of the unwillingness of the self-absorbed to accept that their choices may involve trade-offs. It is also an example of the unthinking way journalists writing in what used to be […]

Self Defeat – The Essential Finkelstein

One of the joys of watching policy development is how it completely ignores the infinite flexibility of the people it seeks to regulate. Every policy should go through a rigorous Response Scenario attack from the most creative public-private team imaginable. Just to work out what the best-and-brightest would do to subvert the policy goal. And […]

Who Else Said ‘Gloves Off’ for the Media?

Our Prime Minister and her caucus are putting themselves in dubious company with the demand that it is time for "gloves off" in dealing with the media

Doctors Aren’t Always Right on Healthcare

As much as I agree with medico concerns over increasing levels of administrative costs, it doesn’t follow that there needs to be less organisational management in health delivery. Scratch most hospital specialists and you find a visceral dislike of administrators – not as individuals, but as a functional class. If you’ve ever experienced some of […]

Housing and Consolidation: Challenging New Paper

So, having just written I am unabashedly in favour of increasing population densities in the Inner West, in my usual read-like-a-crazy-man way I stumbled across a quasi-counterpaper  from  Journal of the American Planning Association. Download the pdf here  (1Mb) . I include it here in interests of balanced debate. The study’s no knockdown – it’s […]

EPA v Solar Bonus Scheme: Something’s Rotten

Just thought I’d mention a bit on government spending priorities, now that Kevin Gosper has made it clear just how unable lifetime insiders are to make a considered decision about what’s important. More money on elite sport, or should we put it to the NDIS, which is struggling against a government profligacy unseen in this […]

God Save Foreign Policy From Politicians

It seems every time foreign policy is in the news I find myself siding with the bureaucracy. It’s a strange place to be, but political figures that opine on foreign policy generally leave me little choice but to support the  hide-the-intentions, offend-noone team at DFAT. And that’s even allowing for my lack of concern for […]

Yes, There’s a Left Wing In The Greens – And They Want To Run Leichhardt

As hard as it is to conceive for those of us labouring under the Green yoke, we’re probably lucky. Because as Hall Greenland recently wrote, […]   the federal Greens leadership, not to mention the Greens membership as a whole, are veering to the right, driven by electoralism and an attachment to neoliberalism. They are, […]

A Big Tent Isn’t Always a Strong Tent

Lurked over an interesting Facebook exchange last night that started me thinking about the range of policy views within the Liberal Party membership. The key comment was that the weakness of the ALP has resulted in more Centre Left  youth moving into the left of the Liberal Party. I’m not sure that it’s true. But […]