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Articles Archive for August 2010

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[28 Aug 2010 | No Comment | 1,432 views ]

IN political terms, the stakes in the aftermath of the 2010 election have rarely, if ever, been higher. The disunited Australian Labor Party must salvage something from the wreckage of the election after its disastrous campaign left Julia Gillard a damaged leader with her political future resting on her capacity to form government.
The machine men that installed Gillard into the leadership are also sweating on the outcome given that their present, and in some cases aspiring, political careers are hanging in the balance.
Bill Shorten is positioning himself for Gillard’s inevitable …

Columns »

[27 Aug 2010 | No Comment | 998 views ]

The hiatus in federal politics since the election last weekend says a lot about the state of the two-party system in Australia.
Clearly, it’s in a state of flux.
As of last weekend, there are now three major parties in Australian politics and that will not change for many years to come. The Greens will be a part of government in Australia for the foreseeable future, as the Liberal Democrats are in England and so will the issues that they represent. Many pundits are saying that this will destabilise good government, but …

Columns »

[24 Aug 2010 | No Comment | 2,180 views ]

BOB Katter, independent member for the vast north Queensland seat of Kennedy, is a man of high principle and many contradictions.

Most present-day Australians do not remember that his father, Bob Katter Sr, the MP for Kennedy from 1966 to 1990, was originally a member of the Labor Party until the great Labor split in the 1950s, after which Katter Sr joined the Country Party.
Similarly, most people do not realise that Bob …

Columns »

[14 Aug 2010 | One Comment | 1,726 views ]

WHILE gossip and other personal distractions have marred this federal election campaign, none of the three main parties has put forward a convincing policy regarding significant national infrastructure projects.
Kevin Rudd’s failure to deliver on a national emissions scheme and the failed insulation scheme seem to have given both sides of politics performance anxiety.
With our roads increasingly clogging up with semitrailers, a new national rail scheme should have been proposed at this election. Australia’s rail system is little better than that of many Third World countries, and while state governments are …

Reviews »

[7 Aug 2010 | No Comment | 1,403 views ]

In 1982, Blanche d’Alpuget’s ‘ROBERT J HAWKE: A BIOGRAPHY’ was published to critical and popular acclaim. Her new book ‘HAWKE: THE PRIME MINISTER’ starts with Bob Hawke taking over as federal Labor leader from the unprepossessing Bill Hayden. In a matter of weeks, Hawke defeats Malcolm Fraser and, in the process, achieves his late mother’s, and his own, lifelong goal of becoming prime minister of Australia, our twenty-third PM in fact.
In the main, this four hundred page political biography of d’Alpuget’s silver- haired husband is well written and even handed. …

Reviews »

[2 Aug 2010 | No Comment | 1,196 views ]

In 2006 the West Australian- based federal education minister, Julie Bishop, wanted us all to know more about our history. In particular, she urged that young Australians “should study the past to understand the present, so that they can make informed decisions for the future”.
But as William McInnes explains, history comes in all shapes and sizes, so that by 2007 “the page had turned upon the government of which Ms Bishop had been a member, presenting a new minister with the opportunity to speak about history and identity and …