“Law and order campaigns are standard fare for conservative politicians, but the right is increasingly prone to mount them in the context of ethnic and religious minorities.”
The government’s rhetoric on race takes it into territory that is uglier and more targeted than even John Howard’s campaigns.
“It would be ironic if the result of the tender process was to force Australia’s most successful private-sector exporter of naval vessels overseas.”
After contracts were awarded in the Turnbull government’s $90 billion naval upgrade, the most successful local shipbuilder is being pushed closer to exiting Australia.
“Abandoning any political principle that had once been his ticket to ride, Turnbull now makes only a show of leadership. He’s the mayor of a Potemkin village. Behind the facade there is nothing. His impulses are Trump-lite: a reverence for the banks and the big end of town; a blind belief in neoliberal, trickle-down economics even as it is daily more discredited; a disdain for the disabled and disadvantaged, immigrants and refugees – anyone who does not fit the Darwinian conservative matrix. He has evidently abandoned any attempt to rein back the quasi-fascist ambitions of Benito and his furious construction of a security superstate to monitor us all.”
“Turnbull vowed to look “very seriously and thoughtfully and humbly” at the results. Bill Shorten explicitly said “we hear you” to those who voted for third parties, and has spent the days since the vote repeating a version of this mea culpa: “We understand that you are over politicians just fighting each other.” Both are right to be concerned. But the need to win over voters who are turned off by major-party politics is a greater problem for Turnbull, for a simple reason: he is in government. Incumbency was once a great advantage. But the mood of the electorate, encouraged by a faster, louder media cycle, is for protest. The raison d’etre of an opposition is to protest: the times suit opposition leaders. ”
The new new thing is “scale”. We’ve been missing the importance of “scale” for so long, particularly when it relates to such things as the takeover of Fairfax Media by Nine Entertainment, two more culturally antithetical outfits being hard to imagine. Percy Marks jewellery progeny and Nine boss Hugh Marks said “bigger scale” is good because it produces more revenue. Greg Plywood at Fairfax thinks that the fused company’s scale is the way to confront giants such as Google and Facebook. No wonder he’s sold his Maserati if he thinks like that.
An insider’s outside view
Returning for a second season
The Lucky Country is an insider’s outside view of Australia’s most important political and economic debates. Hosted by The Australia Institute’s Chief Economist Richard Denniss, The Lucky Country is a weekly podcast from Schwartz Media which applies common sense to complex issues.
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Letters & Editorial
Coalition coffers take a hit
Rather than concede Labors’ ability to withstand the Liberal National Party’s “Kill Bill” strategy, consider the repudiation Malcolm Turnbull has received for his negative campaigning …
Actress-singer Christie Whelan Browne catapulted to the attention of theatregoers at a young age, untrained but bursting with talent. Here, she talks about fate, timing and discovering a love of musical theatre. “I was the clown, I really made people laugh. Boys told me I was ugly … I used comedy to fit in.”
“Pierre Mukeba seems relaxed as he troubleshoots our video chat. He punctuates his sentences with a laugh, amiable and resonant. My own laugh – skewed and pulled apart by some glitch – translates as a hollow, metallic scrape. I can tell he’s studying my face, perhaps in search of life, or at least a reaction. I hope I am digitally intact. I make a point of smiling back right into my webcam.”
Within Borneo’s Gomantong Caves – slippery with teeming insects, bird droppings and guano from two million bats – fine dining is likely far from the mind. But overhead a perilous harvest ensues for the key ingredient of Chinese bird’s nest soup.
Long before the #MeToo movement, Australian feminist film and theatre was at the forefront of the push for women’s liberation.
Mwai Kumwenda’s 2018 season may have ended in injury, but her story as an inspirational and integral netballer for Melbourne Vixens and Malawi Queens is far from over.
Furniture design. (Bonus point: Australian.)
Single lens reflex.
A drum kit.
Lars von Trier.
“The price for having an opinion about the plastic bag ban reversal whilst being brown. Someone leaked my personal phone number and all night I received calls from strangers threatening to kill me and abusing me.”
The ABC journalist is harassed after tweeting about the Coles about-face on its plastic bag ban. A rare opportunity to combine Australia’s national pastimes, racism and feckless consumption.
“ ‘Wait a second. You’re saying if I go on the computer, on the world wide web, there are people having sex?’ ”
The director recounts the moment Tom Cruise discovered online pornography. The actor was even more shocked to learn that, unlike Scientology, you don’t even need to pay for it.
“Maybe we need another war.”
The teen conservative says wartime rations taught a generation to make the most of what they had. A loathsome thought, although still a better idea than it was for him to grow a beard.
“She’s got very big questions to answer.”
The ACTU secretary calls for Senator Michaelia Cash’s resignation over the Australian Workers’ Union raid tipoffs. Cash’s only question was whether anyone had seen her whiteboard.
“My wife is Japanese... my wife is Chinese. That’s a terrible mistake to make.”
Britain’s top diplomat forgets his wife’s nationality. And yet, he is, somehow, still the most competent foreign secretary Britain has had this year.
“I was forced to strip down naked.”
The Labor whistleblower recounts his arrest, alongside 16 others, over the red shirts rort scandal to the media. With that image fresh in everyone’s mind, Finnigan also used the opportunity to announce he’ll run as an independent candidate for the seat of Footscray.