CategoryPolitics

Perhaps Scott Morrison really is a daggy suburban family man…

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Since emerging on the political stage Scott Morrison has cultivated the persona of the daggy suburban family man, who loves his wife, his children, and his football team; who works hard and is duly recompensed; believes in contributing to his community; and believes in a “fair go” for everybody prepared to “have a go”. He’s not the culture vulture that was Paul...

Is there a way through the poisoned politics of climate?

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Last week the Federal Government released the latest quarterly update on Australia’s greenhouse emissions. It is not pretty reading, for rather than breaking south and following a downward trend, our emissions are climbing, and have been ever since the Abbot government abolished the carbon pricing scheme and replaced it with its direct action approach. Under the Paris agreement Australia...

Is there any hope for progressive causes under a Scomo Coalition government?

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Over the course of the next three years (and perhaps beyond) Australia will be governed by the Liberal-National Coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. I suspect it will prove to be the most socially conservative government of the last fifty years. Will this mean the end of substantial progress on issues such as climate change, treatment of asylum seekers, the Uluru Statement from the...

Why I Won’t Vote my Values

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A repost of an article published in June 2016. The day of the 2010 Federal Election I cast my vote then took my eight year old son to his soccer match. Lachlan’s team was made up of kids from the Christian school he attended, which meant the majority of the parents at his game that day were evangelical Christians. When conversation turned to the election I commented that I had voted for the...

Spin v Promise. Are the Liberals Better Economic Managers?

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It’s the first day of campaigning for the Federal election and the Coalition has signalled the tone of its campaign. Given the internal division that has made it near impossible for the PM to set policy directions (and no this is not lefty over-reach. John Howard and Andrew Bolt have said much the same) it’s perhaps not surprising that they are announcing little in the way of policy...

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. Who’s the Biggest Taxer of Them All?

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As we gear up for a federal election I’m already hearing people characterise the Labor Party as big taxers and big spenders and the Coalition as the party of lower spending and lower taxes. Really? The chart below shows government receipts and payments as a proportion of GDP from 1975 until the present. The black line represents government payments, the coloured bar tracks tax receipts (red...

What the church needs more than freedom of religion

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Freedom of religion, conscience and speech are at the heart of a free society. They protect us from an ideological totalitarianism which demands everyone believe, speak and act in the same way. The price of any of us enjoying these freedoms is that we respect the freedom of others to believe things we find unreasonable, to hold morals we find objectionable, and to say things we find offensive...

The day the world’s leaders mocked the emperor with no clothes

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I don’t usually pay a lot of attention to speeches made at the United Nations General Assembly, but there were two speeches this week that were important for all of us, one by US President Donald Trump and the other by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern. President Trump’s speech was yet another announcement that the US was abandoning internationalism. For the last 2...

Don’t let today’s most important news story be overshadowed by the cricket

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Today’s most important news is going to be overshadowed by the exposure of cheating in the Australian cricket team.  I love my cricket and I am extraordinarily disappointed that our team has been caught cheating. Like people all over the country I will follow the story and share my outrage with friends and colleagues, But I don’t want to miss the most important news story for the day:...

Life Skills for an Age of Populist Rage

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Populism is everywhere at the minute. It’s particularly pronounced in the rise of Trumpism and Hansonism, but is found on the left, the right and the centre whenever people seek to win over an audience with arguments that confirm the fears, biases and prejudices of that audience but fail to take account of the breadth and complexity of  the issue being addressed. And although I try my...

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