Australia has always nursed a contradictory, repressive relationship with its Pacific neighbours. Being a satrap of great powers, it has performed the role of gate keeper and monitor of regional instability, a condescending, often paternalistic agent. At stages, it has also entertained more direct colonial interests. For almost seven decades, […]
The Conservative Political Action Conference, had arrived in Sydney. The real entertainment bill was to be supplied by such figures as Brexiter supremo Nigel Farage and former editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London, Raheem Kassam. For only the second time since coming into existence in 1974 with 400 registrants, CPAC was holding a gathering outside the United States.
The blinkered security establishment is standard fare in politics. From Washington to Manila, we hear of terrors and concerns which tend to more spectral than not. Legitimate concerns such as catastrophic environmental failure, or a nuclear accident, are treated with a sigh, its warners doomsday advocates rather than reasoned citizens. […]
The Fourth Estate, that historical unelected grouping of society’s scrutineers, has become something of a rabble, and, as a confederacy of strewn dunces and the ongoing compromised, is ripe for analysis. An essential premise in the work of WikiLeaks was demonstrating, to a good, stone-throwing degree, how media figures and […]
Australian society relishes secrecy and surveillance. Forget the laid-back, relaxed demeanour that remains the great fiction of a confected identity; like all such creations, the trace should not be mistaken as the tendency. The political culture of Australia remains shaped by penal paranoia and an indifference to transparency. The citizen […]
The antipodes has had a fraught relationship with the nuclear option. At the distant ends of the earth, New Zealand took a stand against the death complex, assuming the forefront of restricting the deployment of nuclear assets in its proximity. This drove Australia bonkers with moral envy and strategic fury. […]
It seemed flimsy from the start, but the US Department of Justice is keen to get their man. What has certainly transpired of late is that Mike Pompeo was being unusually faithful to the truth when director of the CIA: every means would be found to prosecute the case against […]
In Paris, the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, meeting French President Emmanuel Macron, brought other leaders and US tech giants to make a global pledge to “eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.” The cheer squad feel behind the “Christchurch Call to Action” was unmistakable.
Inimitable to a fault, former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating had been fairly quiet on his party’s policies till an impromptu press intervention last week. Catching two journalists of the ABC off-guard, Keating took little time to land a few blows against Australia’s foreign and domestic intelligence security officers. They […]
Dollar signs flashed with seductive calling: oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight could see “more than 2,000 jobs in South Australia” while generating some $7 billion in average annual tax revenue for state and federal governments. A future indirect effect is also praised: between 2020 and 2060, additional activity and “associated tax revenue” would see the creation of 5,000 jobs.
The Australian dissident figure of the publishing world has been granted a passport by the Australian authorities. This was something, if only to suggest that those in Canberra, previously keen to see Assange given the roughing over, had warmed somewhat. The Australian government does have a role to play in the resolution of the Julian Assange case.
The passage of amendments to the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) by the Australian House of Representatives and the Senate this week was less a case of celebration than necessitous deliverance. The mental wellbeing of asylum-seekers on Manus Island and Nauru, or lack thereof, has been documented extensively from Australian legal […]