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December 2014 Articles have moved to the Archives

Click here to see them

January 2015

Read in 116 Countries


31 January 2015

Australian dollar shocks experts as it sinks to five-year low

Currency fell to 77.20 US cents, a level not seen since 2009, and all eyes are now on the Reserve Bank of Australia and whether it will cut interest rates.
There is a growing expectation that if the Reserve Bank of Australia does not cut the cash rate next week, it will at least indicate it is open to a reduction this year.


The Australian dollar has stunned foreign exchange markets by hitting a new five-and-a-half year low amid growing expectations of a local interest rate cut.[Read More...]


30 January 2015
by Brian Costar

Campbell Newman and the ghost of Joh Bjelke-Petersen

The Liberal National Party forgot it was governing in the twenty-first century. The results have been disastrous.

Campbell Newman’s decision to run an unusually short election campaign entirely during the holiday month of January – the first time this has occurred anywhere in Australia for over a century – has no doubt posed a challenge for polling companies searching for reliable samples. Some of them have been distracted, too, by the contest in premier Campbell Newman’s seat of Ashgrove, where his chances of defending a margin of 5.7 per cent against a popular opponent have always been slim.[Read More...]


30 January 2015
by Jennifer Wilson

The Credlin thing

Is Peta Credlin really to blame for all the government’s woes? And should the buck stop with her?

I don’t get all this Murdoch-inspired hoo haa about Peta Credlin, the Prime Minister’s embattled Chief of Staff.

Ms Credlin has been in the spotlight ever since her boss was Opposition Leader.[Read More...]


30 January 2015
by John Kelly

Could anything be more contradictory?

Josh Frydenberg

Assistant Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg has just returned from the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos with some pearls of wisdom that have come from a suppository of wisdom that would put Tony Abbott’s suppository of wisdom to shame, i.e., the Troika, otherwise known as the EU Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.[Read More...]


30 January 2015

Angry Gulf nations leading charge to kick Australia out of Asian Football Confederation

Football bosses: AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa with FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

On the eve of the Socceroos battling it out in the Asian Cup final, Football Federation Australia is about to face an even bigger battle after a movement mobilised among some Gulf nations to have Australia expelled from the Asian Football Confederation.[Read More...]


29 January 2015

Crucifix 'raping machine' used to assault kidnap victims on converted bus, court told

A truck driver who abducted and sexually abused three women had built a "raping machine" in a bus he had converted into a home, a court has heard.[Read More...]


29 January 2015

Harvey Norman's Gerry Harvey slams multinationals' tax lobbyists

Billionaire retailer Gerry Harvey has accused Australia's powerful business lobby groups of failing to represent ordinary tax-paying businesses and instead pushing the interests of profit-shifting multinationals.[Read More...]


29 January 2015

Fake church set up in Australia to evade vaccination for children

New “no jab, no play” childcare laws introduced in two Australian states have prompted a controversial anti-vaccination group to create a “church” of its own that rejects vaccination, but is actually merely a business, according to local media reports.[Read More...]


29 January 2015

Campbell Newman on brink of defeat in Ashgrove, Queensland poll shows

Labor’s Kate Jones extends lead on two-party-preferred basis to eight points, with uncertainty over who would lead LNP if premier is ousted

Ashgrove voters appear ready to vote Campbell Newman out of office, with a new poll showing the Queensland premier trailing his Labor opponent just four days before the election.[Read More...]


28 January 2015
by Alan Austin

Knightmare on L-NP street: Abbott Government brawls now number 50

(Image by @JohnGrahamArt)

Open dismay among Tony Abbott’s ministers at his gong for Prince Philip on Monday brings the issues on which senior Coalition people are at each others’ throats to the round half-century. Alan Austin reports.

FIFTY ISSUES now split the Abbott Government. None of them is trivial. They all impact the capacity to govern.
They raise many questions the mainstream media is conspicuously failing to address.[Read More...]


28 January 2015
by Amy Remeikis

QLD Election 2015: George Christensen posts cartoon of naked Annastacia Palaszczuk

Wrecking ball cartoon stirs controversy

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has distanced himself from a crude cartoon featuring Queensland Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk that appeared on a federal politician's Facebook page.

Dawson Coalition MP George Christensen, who is no stranger to creating social media outrage, made a quick foray into the Queensland election campaign on Tuesday, but then just as quickly jumped out.[Read More...]


28 January 2015
by Christopher Joye

Australia launches cyber-weapons in global counter-terrorist operations

The frequency and severity of global cyber-attacks is rising rapidly and extending into outright cyber-war between states. And Australia is no innocent bystander, developing its own cyber-weapons, which we can reveal for the first time have been deployed in counter-terrorist operations overseas.[Read More...]


27 January 2015
by Ross Jones

Labor MP asks PM Abbott to prove he's not a British dual citizen

Terri Butler has written to Prime Minister Abbott about his possible dual citizenship Kevin Rudd's replacement in the seat of Griffith, Terri Butler, writes to Tony Abbott asking him to put to rest speculation he is ineligible to sit in the Australian Parliament due to never having renounced his British citizenship.

TERRI MEGAN BUTLER is the Labor MP for the federal division of Griffith, basically Brisbane’s inner southern suburbs. It used to be former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s seat until he spat his final dummy. Kev’s abrupt but overdue departure triggered a by-election held on 8 February 2014.[Read More...]


27 January 2015
by Craig Murray

Greece, London, Scotland and Europe

Craig Murray

As the Governments of Australia continue to follow their masters in Washington and London, this short piece by ex British Ambassador Craig Murray puts some things into perspective.

The entire purpose of my blog is to ask you to think outside the box. It therefore cuts across the lines of dogma of any group, and is formed purely by my own independent thought. As I have frequently stated, if anybody agrees with every point I make, something is wrong.[Read More...]


26 January 2015
by Adam Brereton

The Aristocrats: why knighting Prince Philip is a joke at Australia's expense

If Tony Abbott absolutely had to knight a royal, why didn’t he choose one who was popular with the electorate, like Prince William?

The trade joke of stand-up comedians is a classic called the Aristocrats. It’s a well-known format: a family turns up to the office of a talent agent to perform their act, which is typically the most depraved scene of incest – in Bob Saget’s version, the family sings Sister Sledge in a pile of their own excrement. The comic doesn’t spare the details, dragging it out for as long as their audience can bear and then, when the talent agent asks what the act is called, the family delivers the punchline:[Read More...]


26 January 2015
by wantchinatimes.com

US a dangerous ally: former Australia PM

Malcolm Fraser, former primer minister of Australia.

In his new book titled "Dangerous Allies," Malcolm Fraser, the former prime minister of Australia worries that Canberra's dependence on the United States will eventually bring the nation into a direct conflict with China. His words echo those of Georgetown University professor Amitai Etzioni in an article he wrote for the Diplomat on Jan. 20.[Read More...]


25 January 2015

Senior Labor figure Matthew Gardiner leaves Australia to fight against Islamic State: report

Matthew Gardiner, a senior figure in the Northern Territory branch of the Labor party, has reportedly gone to fight in Syria.

The head of the Northern Territory branch of the Labor party has reportedly flown overseas to fight in Syria against terror group Islamic State.[Read More...]


25 January 2015

PM on the rocks: Abbott's insider revolt and Fairfax's fun

How long can a leader survive once the braying press pack get a sniff of blood? And so it begins, that familiar trope, leadership speculation — this time about Tony Abbott's stumbling prime ministership based on complaints from inside the Liberal Party.

Officer is a suburb way, way out on the south-east fringe of the Melbourne metropolitan sprawl. One of its few claims to fame is that a conjoined bearded dragon once hatched within its civic boundaries.[Read More...]


25 January 2015

'WorkChoices 2.0': Unions vow to mobilise over sweeping workplace review

Unions have vowed to mobilise tens of thousands of members and to revive a militant WorkChoices-style campaign, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott signals industrial relations will be a key election battleground.


There are only going to be winners and losers from this inquiry and the government is likely to be loser from this no matter what.[Read More...]


24 January 2015
by Tony Windsor

Fighting FIFO, the cancer of the bush

During the last parliament, I met a bloke whose employer of 25 years told him that in order to keep his job near Karratha in Western Australia, where he had lived with his family for many years – where his home was, where his children are educated – he would have to relocate 1500 kilometres away. Not to work at a different workplace, but to be transported back to the place where he already worked. His job wasn’t changing, it was the industrial climate under which he was employed.[Read More...]


24 January 2015
by Debra Jopson

US arms suppliers overrule courts in Australia with ITAR

Cowed by American regulations, local courts have allowed arms manufacturers significant exemptions from human rights law.

Late last year a United States law framed in the name of world peace quietly reached its long arm into a small Melbourne tribunal, persuading it to let a large armaments manufacturer override Australian human rights legislation.[Read More...]


22 January 2015
by Malcolm King

South Australia's 'unmentionable' problems

The global economy is condemning old analogue states such as South Australia to a future of high unemployment, falling revenue and economic stagnation.

Over the past few years, I've researched specific aspects of Adelaide's economic life. My key areas of interest are generational transfers of capital and the psychosocial effects of generational change. I also help people get jobs. There's not much call for the former; too much demand for the latter.[Read More...]


22 January 2015

Aid to poor countries unnecessary if companies paid taxes, says Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

An international system of law based on nation states is the best way to build peaceful and prosperous societies, Foreign Minister says.

Washington: International development aid from wealthy nations to the poorest would be unnecessary if companies paid tax in the nations where they reaped their profits, the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, has told a conference in Washington, DC.[Read More...]


22 January 2015

Abbott government's handling of university and health changes anger backbench

Some government MPs are frustrated with Prime Minister Tony Abbott's handling of recent policy issues.

Tony Abbott is facing growing backbench anger over his government's mishandling of the GP co-payment and university funding changes from last year's budget, as MPs returning from their electorates express frustration over the government's poor standing with voters.[Read More...]


22 January 2015
by Don Aitkin

'The political system is failing to deliver'

I have previously mentioned that Paul Kelly, at the end of his Triumph and Demise, had offered a sobering appreciation of Australia's political system, and it includes the phrase used to head this essay. 'The process of debate, competition and elections leading to national progress,' he goes on to say, 'has broken down. The business of politics is too de-coupled from the interests of Australia and its citizens. This decoupling constitutes the Australian crisis.'[Read More...]


21 January 2015
by KCA

How The Government Is Allowing Banks To Rip You Off!

AND
COMMONWEALTH BANK NOW USING LEGAL THREATS AND THE COURTS TO INTIMIDATE WHISTLEBLOWERS

Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev is now using legal threats and the courts in an attempt to shut-up whistleblowers regarding the massive fraud and theft at the bank. Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop’s younger brother Douglas Bishop is the lawyer representing Commonwealth Bank executive Brendan French in defamation proceedings against whistleblower Michael Fraser. This raises many questions by itself.[Read More...]


20 January 2015
by Michael Taylor

Does the average person realise how much the Abbott Government is helping the wealthy?

He said it. He's doing it.

In opposition and in government, the Coalition has moaned with frenetic monotony that Medicare is unsustainable. The fact is, it isn’t. But while they can maintain the rage and attempt to convince everybody that the country can’t afford to keep it in its present form, they’ll find one way or another to use it as an economic scapegoat.[Read More...]


19 January 2015

How to sell the Economy

Beyond all the programs and policies it takes to the next election, Labor’s biggest challenge will be selling its economic credentials. While their record in health, education and foreign affairs is admirable, future policies will always be threatened when the media and the Coalition ask the question: How will you pay for it?[Read More...]


17 January 2015

Tax cheats to win from ATO cuts, insiders say

Tax Office workers say the agency's massive job cuts have hurt its ability to catch Australia's corporate tax cheats.

Public servants at the ATO's tax compliance unit have responded to a union survey with 75 per cent of them saying budget cuts have affected the Tax Office's capacity to monitor and audit companies rated a risk of tax avoidance.[Read More...]


17 January 2015

As Sussan Ley tries to patch the cuts to Medicare, the question is: why?

If the health minister takes a good look at Medicare she’ll find it’s not bleeding profusely after all.

As the Abbott government casts around for a third version of its Medicare copayment policy, it’s surely time for it to ask the basic question: “Why are we doing this again?”

The reasons for abandoning the second copayment policy are clear: voters hated it; doctors were going to the barricades over it; it wasn’t going to pass the Senate; it was going to cause serious trouble for Campbell Newman’s Queensland election campaign.[Read More...]


16 January 2015
by John Passant

Don Argus, superannuation and the end of the age of entitlement

Don Argus is the former Chairman of BHP Billiton and before that was CEO of the National Australia Bank.

Argus is in dispute with the Australian Tax Office over his superannuation. As a generalisation if you are over 60 years old any superannuation payments you receive are, thanks to Peter Costello, tax free. The ATO is arguing that Argus breached certain age related payment requirements so that in fact the payments aren’t exempt from income tax.[Read More...]


16 January 2015
by Paul Zanetti

CALL ME A WOG DAGO - PLEASE

I may not like being called a bloody wog, dago, Itie bastard but I will fight for your right to call me one. Or anything else you like.

In return I’ll call you a dumb, hick redneck skippy, draw a cartoon of you, put it on Facebook and then we’ll have a drink. Your shout. Well, you started it.[Read More...]


16 January 2015
by Rossleigh

Abbott – In His Own Words Or I Never Realised How Many Things I Agree With!

This morning I started looking for a quote from Tony Abbott for this piece. Surprisingly, I came across many, many statements from him with which I wholeheartedly agree.

For example, “The great thing about the Coalition is you know exactly what you will get from the Coalition.”

Yep, he was pretty right on that one. I pretty much did know exactly what we’d get from the Coaltion…[Read More...]


15 January 2015
by John Kelly

Plutocrats and Pitchforks

The word ‘revolution’ has throughout history been synonymous with the cry for equality and social change. The French Revolution of 1789, the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Cuban Revolution of 1959 to name a few, all began because the divide between the haves and the have nots became intolerable. In the examples above, social inequality was at historically high levels and getting worse by the day. Something had to happen and it did, much of it violent and bloody.[Read More...]


15 January 2015

Australian diplomat returned from posting after husband charged over child-sex allegations

Vytas Bronius Kapociunas with his wife and former ambassador to Spain Jane Hardy.

One of Australia's top diplomats has returned early from an overseas posting after her spouse was arrested and charged with child sex offences.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has confirmed that Jane Hardy ceased duty as Australia's ambassador to Spain on November 3, 2014, less than two years into what would normally be a three-year appointment.[Read More...]


15 January 2015

Australian horse racing rocked by slew of positive tests

  • Horses trained by top names investigated
  • High levels of cobalt detected in samples

Turnbull Stakes at Flemington Racecourse

Australian thoroughbred racing has been rocked by a string of positive tests involving horses from stables of some of the country’s leading trainers.

Racing Victoria, the governing body of racing in Australia’s southern state of Victoria, has said that horses trained by Peter Moody, Mark Kavanagh and Danny O’Brien had returned samples of cobalt above the permitted threshold.[Read More...]


14 January 2015

WA: Spitting chips over Tony Galati's 200-tonne potato giveaway

Fined for Spud givaway

Free potato protest

Tony Galati is giving away 200 tonnes of free potatoes in a protest against Western Australia's hardline potato laws.

The head of one of Western Australia's best known fruit and vegetable farming families could be risking fines for giving away 200 tonnes of potatoes.[Read More...]


14 January 2015
by Peter Wicks

Medicine Train – The Sick Tax is coming January 19th

There is little doubt that life is becoming tougher under an Abbott government, and it seems poised to become even tougher.

With the unemployment level reaching dizzy heights it hasn’t reached since John Howard was in The Lodge, and the cost of living heading in a Northerly direction, I thought I’d offer some words of comfort that my mum used to say for those struggling to make ends meet.[Read More...]


14 January 2015
by Kaye Lee

Is that all there is?

On December 30 the Liberal Party posted a graphic on their facebook page summarising the “progress made in 2014”.[Read More...]


14 January 2015

Jacqui Lambie ponders formation of political party

Senator Jacqui Lambie defected from the Palmer United Party in November.

Jacqui Lambie is considering launching her own political party, saying Tasmanians, Defence personnel, veterans and Australians from other states "keep asking" for a Lambie brand in politics.

The Media has learnt the firebrand Tasmanian independent has sought advice on forming a party and how to get candidates elected.[Read More...]


14 January 2015

Keith Wright, former Queensland Labor leader jailed for paedophilia, dies aged 72

Politician who came within 3,000 votes of defeating Joh Bjelke-Petersen in 1983 was convicted a decade later for raping and indecently dealing with two girls.

Keith Wright - former labor politician and sex offender 2003

Convicted paedophile and former Queensland Labor leader Keith Wright has died in Vietnam.

Wright became head of the party in the early 1980s and came within 3,000 votes of toppling Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen in 1983. He transferred to federal politics in 1984 as the Labor MP for Capricornia.[Read More...]


13 January 2015
by Peter Wicks

Plan A- How the GST could be linked to NSW and QLD State elections

Break a promise? Who me?

With rapidly approaching elections in NSW and Queensland there is something worth considering that has not been talked about now for quite a while.

It is interesting that months after the budget we are once again hearing mumblings from Coalition backbenchers and think tanks about changes to the GST, yet nothing about Abbott’s need for the states to demand these changes.[Read More...]


13 January 2015

The miracle cure with a billion-dollar price tag

It's been hailed as a miracle cure for hepatitis C – but comes with a billion-dollar price tag.

The Commonwealth government is under pressure to subsidise Sovaldi, produced by drug company Gilead, that has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration but has been rejected for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme on value-for-money grounds.[Read More...]


13 January 2015

Australian PM says he'll now use Daesh instead of Isil for 'death cult' – but why?

Tony Abbott says the new name deprives the group of legitimacy, but why do its members hate it and what makes naming them so complicated?

Islamic State fighters parade through Raqqa in Syria.

The Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, has announced that from now he will refer to the Islamic State group as “Daesh”, on the grounds that the terminology deprives the group of legitimacy among Muslims.

“Daesh hates being referred to by this term, and what they don’t like has an instinctive ­appeal to me,’’ the Australian prime minister said.[Read More...]


13 January 2015

Peter Dutton ranked as worst health minister in 35 years in poll of doctors

Australian Doctor magazine says 1,100 readers took part in survey and quoted one GP as saying Dutton ‘will be remembered as the dullest, least innovative and most gullible’

Minister for Health Peter Dutton

Doctors have overwhelmingly voted Peter Dutton the worst health minister in living memory, according to a poll conducted by Australian Doctor magazine.

Forty-six per cent of the nearly 1,100 survey respondents voted Dutton the worst health minister in the last 35 years.[Read More...]


12 January 2015
by Dan Harrison

Last-minute Medicare change evidence of Abbott government bungling, says Australian Medical Association

AMA President Brian Owler talks to media at Parliament House in Canberra.

The Australian Medical Association predicts many doctors will be caught out by a change quietly made by the Abbott government two days before Christmas that will cut the Medicare rebates which apply for short consultations for one class of doctors.

AMA president Brian Owler said the last-minute change, which will take effect on January 19, is proof that the government's second attempt at overhauling Medicare was "rushed" and "poorly thought out".[Read More...]


12 January 2015
By David Leyonhjelm

Free trade from tariffs

Hot on the heels of the free trade deal with China there is clamouring for further deals with the likes of India and Indonesia. But if we want higher wages, cheaper stuff, less red tape and a better deal for the world's poor, we needn't bother with more free trade deals. We just need to get rid of our tariffs.

Many believe we now only have tariffs on cars and clothing. In fact, we impose tariffs on nearly all categories of imported products, in an absurd and scattergun way.[Read More...]


12 January 2015
by Stephanie Gardiner

Female doctor suspended for having sex with patient, using Facebook to share blood test results

An outback doctor who suggested sex with a patient after examining his genitals, and had sex with a different patient soon after treating his wife and step-daughter has been suspended for three months.

General practitioner Dr Biljana Nikolova-Trask, from Broken Hill in NSW, has had her medical registration suspended for three months from January 1 and ordered to study medical ethics, having also provided medical advice and blood test results via Facebook.[Read More...]


12 January 2015
by David Washington

Pubs flag Australia Day closure

Fans celebrating Australia Day at Adelaide Oval last year.

ADELAIDE | There won’t be international cricket in Adelaide on Australia Day – and now your chance of heading to your local pub to celebrate the national day has also taken a blow.
Many pubs across South Australia will close on Australia Day due to a hike in public holiday penalty rates, the industry says.
Smaller family businesses and country pubs are likely to be most affected, with some flagging closures on all public holidays including Anzac Day and Australia Day.[Read More...]


12 January 2015
by Bob Ellis

The secrets and lies of the Lindt Cafe

'Multiple police sources' told Fairfax Katrina Dawson died from a police bullet, possibly a ricochet, on the morning of Tuesday, December 16.

This meant Mike ("We will get through this") Baird had covered up – and also exploited – a young mother's death, while stifling eyewitness accounts of a world event, in order to protect manslaughterers from public opprobrium.[Read More...]


12 January 2015
by Graham Young

Can the LNP overcome the Newman factor?

On March 24, 2012 Campbell Newman and the LNP swept into power in Queensland with 63.1% of the two-party preferred vote.

Labor retained only 7 seats in the 89 seat parliament, a loss of 44, and pundits predicted a long generation of conservative governments.
So how is it that the latest Newspoll has the parties on 50% each of the vote and a notional loss as they need around 52% of the vote to win enough seats to govern?[Read More...]


10 January 2015

THE CRYPTIC COVER OF THE ECONOMIST 2015

The reputed magazine The Economist has published an issue named 'The World in 2015". On the cover are odd and cryptic images: A Mushroom Cloud, The Fed in a game called 'Panic', and many more.

We wouldn’t normally dedicate an entire article analyzing the cover of a publication, but this isn’t any publication. It is The Economist and it is directly related to the world elite. It is partly owned by the Rothschild banking family of England.[Read More...]


09 January 2015

Public service hiring freeze delivers $100 million cash bonanza to private recruiters

Private recruiting firms reaped a bonanza of more than $100 million in Commonwealth contracts in 2014, cashing in on the Abbott government's public service hiring freeze.

Spending by government departments on the big five recruiters soared by nearly 50 per cent last year to $97 million as public service bosses looked to temps and contractors to plug the growing gaps in their workforces caused by years of redundancies and the hiring freeze.[Read More...]


08 January 2015
by Lindsey German

Paris massacre: Lessons that need to be learned by our war-making governments

Injured victim of Paris massacre rushed from Charlie Hebdo office

It is not Muslims who are the problem but the foreign policies that have helped create terrorism. That is what needs to change.
NO ONE CAN have anything but the profoundest condemnation for the attacks on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. It is reported that 12 people are dead, shot in a commando style attack, and that at least nine of them are journalists.
The magazine has recently published a cartoon of the Islamic state leader, and has a record of publishing anti-Islamic satire. The gunmen are assumed to be in some way connected with Islamic State (ISIS).[Read More...]


08 January 2015
by Clare Colley

David Pope's Charlie Hebdo cartoon goes viral on social media

David Pope's cartoon reaction to the Charlie Hebdo attack

When cartoonist David Pope heard about the Charlie Hebdo shooting he drew a quick pencil sketch while watching the TV reports late on Wednesday night.

Within hours the image had gone viral on social media with more than 50,000 retweets and close to 22,000 favourites by 8am.[Read More...]


08 January 2015
by Craig Murray

U.K, Paris, Terrorism and Nuance, which applies to Australia

There is no question to which the answer is to wander round killing people. It takes a few words or keystrokes for any right thinking person to condemn the killings in Paris today. But that really doesn’t take us very far.

It is impossible to stop evil from happening. Simple low tech attacks by individuals, a kind of DIY terrorism, cannot always be pre-empted.[Read More...]


08 January 2015
by Peter Wicks

If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of workers returning to work from holidays, here’s a couple of questions.

At least I have a job

What price do you put on your weekend and holidays? What price do you put on your kids future?

There are some within our community that put a very small price-tag on your time and your family. These people not only put such a low value on these things that are so important to us all they are intent on devaluing it even further.[Read More...]


08 January 2015
by Bob Ellis

Campbell Newman's sneaky gamble

Campbell Newman's electoral prospects are sinking so fast, he has called the first January election - Federal or state - since Federation

Campbell Newman's snap early election announcement in Queensland yesterday was a cheat to keep as many young people off the rolls as possible, which still might fail.

Newman’s move is a tremendous cheat, of course – many, many people, in particular students, will not get on to the electoral rolls by Saturday; a goodly number are not even in Australia – and it may well keep his party in power. But it’s possible it won’t and it’s worthwhile reasoning why.[Read More...]


07 January 2015
by John Passant

The Australian and the contest of ideas

I read Rupert Murdoch’s The Australian every day. I want to know what the fruitcake faction of capital is up to. That includes not just Murdoch’s journalists and his major ‘serious’ newspaper outlet in Australia but the Abbott government they serve and influence and the Liberal base they feed and incite.

However even Rupert and his minions seem to realise that Tony Abbott and/or his government are on the nose. Poll after published poll in The Australian shows Labor easily winning the next election. That has been the case almost since the day Abbott and co were elected. Australians voted Labor out and almost straight away twigged that the incoming lot were just another pack of rotten neoliberal politicans caught between the desires of business and the needs and wants of ordinary working Australians.[Read More...]


07 January 2015
by Julia Medew

Doctors want to bar anti-vaccination campaigner Sherri Tenpenny

Sherri Tenpenny, in a photo taken from her website.

Doctors are calling for the federal government to stop a high-profile American anti-vaccination campaigner from entering Australia for a planned speaking tour in March.

Sherri Tenpenny, a trained emergency physician and osteopath, is due to begin a series of lectures about vaccines in Melbourne on March 1. The author of Saying No to Vaccines is expected to be joined by Australian homeopath Isaac Golden, who controversially promotes the use of natural products to prevent disease.[Read More...]


07 January 2015
by Markus Mannheim

Government running costs to reach record high

Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann release the mid-year budget review last month.

The Abbott government will become the most expensive to run on record, despite its catchphrase policy of "smaller government" and an austerity drive that will shed more than 16,500 public sector jobs.

Departmental expenses – money used to manage government programs – are forecast to soar to an historic high after the 2016 election, reaching more than $70 billion a year.[Read More...]


06 January 2015
by Elizabeth Knight

Will this be Australia's biggest scandal of 2015? - Bill swap rate fixing is a scandal in waiting

The big four banks would have to be in the firing line given they are the major players in the market.

If the Australian Securities and Investments Commission can establish that big banks have featured in the manipulation of the bank bill swap rate, it could well prove to be the largest corporate scandal of 2015.[Read More...]


06 January 2015
By Boyd D. Cathey

Examining the Hatred of Vladimir Putin and Russia

Anyone who has followed the ongoing crisis in Eastern Europe and Ukraine knows the very hostile view that the establishment news media and Washington political class have of President Vladimir Putin of Russia and his policies. In the halls of Congress and in the mainstream press—almost every night on Fox News—serious charges are proffered against Russia’s president and his latest outrages. Sanctions and bellicose measures get enacted by the House and Senate overwhelmingly, with only meagre opposition and almost no serious discussion.
The mainstream American media and American political leaders seem intent to present only a one-sided, very negative picture of the Russian leader.[Read More...]


06 January 2015

And now Morrison (yes him again) denies us our history

Woomera Detention Centre Riot

Author Peter FitzSimons recently completed a documentary on the history of race riots in Australia. The first episode of “The Great Australian Race Riot” aired on SBS on January 4th.

FitzSimons wanted to include the 2001 riot at the Woomera Detention Centre. However, then Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison (yes, him again) refused FitzSimons access to the long-closed facility, and demanded the crew not film within 150 metres of the site.[Read More...]


06 January 2015
by Jennifer Wilson

Gavin King, LNP MP, blames women for being raped.

Just look what this clod Gavin King, Queensland Liberal member for Cairns and Assistant Tourism Minister thinks:

The unexamined and ignorant assumptions of some male LNP MPs, state and federal, on the matter of violence against women is beyond belief. They are led by the example set by our Minister for Women and Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who believes the best thing he’s done for us all year is scrap the carbon tax without uttering a word that addresses or even acknowledges the epidemic proportions of domestic violence perpetrated against us.[Read More...]


06 January 2015
by Edward Eastwood

It’s the Chalice from the Palace that has the pellet with the poison!

Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall at the LNP Headquarters at this moment?

As most of Australia swelters in the summer heat, quietly, oh so very quietly, in ‘the smoke filled back-rooms’ of the Liberal Party, tactics are being discussed while promises are made and gifts exchanged.

For the Coalition, the electoral barometer has plummeted from ‘change’ to ‘stormy’ and shows no sign of movement nor is it likely to.[Read More...]


04 January 2015
by Kaye Lee

Gina’s web

In 2011, as reported by Graham Readfern at Crikey, Gina Rinehart held a lunch at her house by the Swan River in Perth, at which West Australian Premier Colin Barnett, WA environment minister Bill Marmion and Chinese Ambassador Chen Yuming were in attendance to hear a presentation on climate change from the “sceptic” Professor Ian Plimer.

Plimer must have done well because, according to disclosures made to the Australians Securities and Investments Commission, Professor Plimer was appointed to the boards of Gina’s companies Roy Hill Holdings and Queensland Coal Investments on January 25 2012.[Read More...]


04 January 2015
by AIMN

Democracy at work - How to change what's happening

Sophie Mirabella - all alone

Just how powerful are we as voters? Very powerful, writes Sir ScotchMistery. And our power lies not just in how we cast our vote at the polling booth, but in how we can decide in whose name appears on the ballot paper.[Read More...]


03 January 2015
by David Carpenter

Magna Carta – 800 years on

Many nations used the Magna Carta as the basis for their constitutions, including Australia. Is it still relevant in today's society? Nelson Mandela appealed to it; the US founding fathers drew on it; Charles I’s opponents cherished it. Consider the huge significance of the 13th-century document that asserted a fundamental principle – the rule of law.

King John sealing Magna Carta at Runnymeade 15 June 1215.

This year, 2015, is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. It was on 15 June 1215 that King John, in the meadow of Runnymede beside the Thames between Windsor and Staines, sealed (not signed) the document now known as the Magna Carta. Today, jets taking off from London Heathrow airport come up over Runnymede and then often turn to fly down its whole length before vanishing into the distance. Yet it is not difficult to imagine the scene, during those tense days in June 1215, when Magna Carta was being negotiated, the great pavilion of the king, like a circus top, towering over the smaller tents of barons and knights stretching out across the meadow.[Read More...]


02 January 2015
by David Singer

Remembering Australia’s first Jihadist attack on 1 January 1915

The Department of Veteran's Affairs announced last March that the centenary of the Battle of Broken Hill on 1 January 2014 would not be formally commemorated by the Australian Government.

That decision will now be seen in hindsight by many as a wise one indeed – following the fallout resulting from the horrific Martin Place siege perpetrated by self-styled Islamic cleric Man Haron Monis just two weeks ago - that claimed his life and those of two innocent civilians.

However Nicholas Shakespeare has written a novella, Oddfellows, based on this little known event, to be published by Random House in January, ensuring this centenary will not pass unnoticed.[Read More...]


02 January 2015
by John Passant

Billboard Bill Shorten gives us another zinger

Nothing sums up Labor better than this latest offering from the other party of neoliberalism.

What a winner! Billboard Bill sitting in an empty hall with that ‘WTF am I doing?’ look in his eyes. That image alone is sure to inspire millions of people. [Sarcasm for those who can’t spot it.][Read More...]


02 January 2015
by John Kelly

What will Labor Inherit in 2016?

$1 billion dollars a week. That is what the LNP have been “borrowing” every week since they were elected in September 2013. At this rate, by September 2016 they will have “borrowed” in excess of $150 billion taking the national “debt” from $284 billion to $434 billion plus.[Read More...]


01 January 2015
by Victoria Rollison

Murdoch prepares Bishop for Libspill

Abbott must be having a horrible Christmas break. He can’t have missed that his old buddy, his mentor Rupert has completely dropped him and in doing so, has given permission for his newspapers to admit that PM Abbott is a dud. They’re still not yet ready to admit he’s always been a dud and that they were stupid to support him in the first place (as if they’ll ever be ready for this sort of atonement), but they’re willing to go as far as actually reporting his poll numbers, which speak for themselves, and saying that if only he could get his ‘message’ right, their neoliberal Tea-Party agenda would be gratefully accepted by the electorate instead of wholeheartedly rejected. It’s fascinating to watch an entire news organisation finally coming round to the fact that the public knows better than they do whether someone is a good PM or not. I thought the whole definition of ‘news’ was telling us all something we didn’t know, and being first to the story? Abbott’s incompetence is old news, and News Ltd coming to this realisation last is really the only thing you need to know about the incompetence of News Ltd. ‘Oh Abbott’s polls are bad!’ they all cry in unison! ‘We totally didn’t see that coming!.[Read More...]