Category: Inside Story

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Conviction politics

At one point in Keating, a series of interviews aired on the ABC in 2015, talk turned to the big tariff reductions introduced by the Hawke and Keating governments and continued through the Howard years. As Paul Keating described it to interviewer Kerry O’Brien, these and other reforms gave Australian

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Losing hearts and minds

The weekend’s extraordinary election result in Taiwan underlines how quickly the times are changing in East Asia, and the need for Australians to rethink outdated shibboleths. During their formative student years, many of Australia’s current leaders saw much to be admired in the rise of China, whereas they often saw

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Outside the comfort zone

Last Saturday the prime minister’s office released a glossy video, “authorised by S. Morrison, Liberal Party, Canberra,” depicting a masterful leader directing armed forces to save a grateful nation in a time of need. Rather than having the desired effect, it crassly played into perceptions that this prime minister is

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Savage Summer

As fires engulf us in this terrifying summer, some politicians and commentators continue to duck and weave around the link between extreme weather events and climate change. One of the arguments they deploy to dismiss the effects of global warming is that we’ve always had bushfires in Australia. It’s true,

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Inflammatory exchanges

“Just cool your jets, everybody,” NSW transport minister Andrew Constance told RN Breakfast listeners after last weekend’s nightmare conditions in Bega, the region he represents in state parliament. This is a time to focus on immediate needs, he insisted. “People are very angry about debates at the moment.” He’s right

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Here comes the sun

Amid almost daily complaints from industry about skyrocketing electricity costs, out drops an announcement so counter to the dominant flow of news that it seems beyond belief. Yet there it is in the business pages: Australian software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and iron ore billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest are backing a

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The summer Scott Morrison’s leadership broke

The late political psychologist Graham Little saw strong leadership as the default position for conservative politicians. Strong leaders value structure, order and discipline, offer stark moral alternatives, and promise to protect the community from internal weakness and external enemies. Margaret Thatcher seemed the most obvious model when Little was writing

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The Brexit blame game

Last month a culture-war fantasy finally came true. For years, decades, across the Anglo democracies at least, centre-right partisans have fantasised about the “working class” switching to their side. In Australia this fairy tale occasionally leaks into the mainstream media. We suffered it during the Howard years and again after

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Slow burn

At the time of writing, at least fourteen people have been killed by this season’s bushfires. And with most of January and all of February still to come, the number is sure to rise. But these dramatic deaths are far outweighed by the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of deaths that will

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Echoes of revolutions past

England’s electoral revolutions arrive once in a generation. Whether long foretold, as in 1997, or half suspected, as in 2019, they deliver an instant and profound sense that everything has changed. These two epic moments have an odd symmetry. Tony Blair’s landslide for New Labour and, twenty-two years later, Boris

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