Category: Independent Commentary

Recent Independent Commentary

LIONEL ORCHARD. Centre Left Strategy in the face of Election 2019

The debate about the reasons for the result of election 2019 covers many issues including the coherence or otherwise of the Labor strategy. For social democrats, a key question is where to now. Third way thinking about wealth generation before redistribution threatens a return. A stronger social democratic response will

read now

More Independent Commentary

CAVAN HOGUE. Business as Usual in the World.

Australia’s vote in the UN on the Diego Garcia issue suggests there will be no change in our Government’s approach to foreign policy.

One of the messages coming out of the elections is that Australian voters don’t like complex policies that they find  hard to understand and the other is

read now

MUNGO MACCALLUM. Abbott waits for next ride on gravy train.

With his political death, Tony Abbott achieved something he had never managed or even attempted in his political life: bipartisanship.

Only at the fringes was there wailing and gnashing of teeth. For the extreme right, their Captain Catholic will forever be their martyred saint, treacherously brought down by the Turnbull

read now

RICHARD BUTLER The Ostrich in the Room: The Alliance

The ostrich buries its head in the sand in the belief that what it can’t see isn’t there; won’t harm it. If perception is everything, the Ostrich has a point. But it isn’t and, the wilful exclusion from our recent election campaign of any debate about Australian foreign policy, especially

read now

MICHAEL KEATING Labor and the economy: Future policy choices?


Labor went into the recent election with a comprehensive economic plan. Many commentators have blamed Labor’s election loss on this plan, and its support for modest redistribution, thus raising the question of where does Labor go from here?…Labor needs to sell the message that redistribution is essential to sustain

read now

Emotion and ideology: Liberal strategies and Labor responses

The Conservatives won the recent election in Australia largely because ‘they pushed all the most effective emotional buttons’ ; and had the ‘Power Resources’ to do so most thoroughly. Labor had comprehensive, rational policies in the economic interests of a clear majority of Australians. And yet still Labor lost.

In order to

read now

Morrison’s munificence starts early

Several political commentators – the ones who failed to hold the government to account and who failed to see where that would lead – have opined that Scott Morrison’s victory will give him the ability to bestow positions on merit, choosing the best person for the job.

Except that’s not how

read now

How social housing providers can work with government to achieve success

While the issue of social housing has long been a challenging hurdle for both governments and private providers alike, growing political turmoil both at home and abroad has raised the need for new solutions.

With political challenges affecting several countries worldwide including mounting refugee crises, the possibility of a tumultuous

read now

Both main parties are now in crisis

These results are dire for both main parties. The Tories are fifth and Labour third. But some of the sting has been taken out of the Tory humiliation by Theresa May’s resignation. Jeremy Corbyn, though, finds his leadership under more pressure than it has been since the 2017 general election

read now

Brexit party leads – as Labour and Tories punished by voters

The EU election results have started to trickle in and so far it’s bad news for both of the main parties. Labour and the Tories are draining support with the pro-EU Liberal Democrats making significant gains (party sources are jubilant and expect at least ten seats overall). However, the big

read now

Who won what why: now for the battle for the election narrative

The election victory was clearly a triumph for both the style and substance of Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

But the most important post-election issue now is the battle to control the narrative surrounding the causes and meaning of the result.

The advantages the PM enjoyed over his opponent are now

read now

Knowledge sharing between policy makers and academics

Policy makers are increasingly drawing on knowledge outside the public service to deal with the complexity of public policy. Academic research is one source of external expertise that can contribute to robust policy development. However there are significant barriers to meaningful knowledge exchange.

A project between academics and a policy

read now

What the hell are you doing, Labor?

As a smirking Scott Morrison prances about the country being hailed by the media and his party as the Messiah who performs miracles, claiming a mandate for anything he chooses to do, Labor seems not to have learned anything from their failure to sell themselves at the last election.


read now

New cabinet, machinery of government changes: Second Morrison Ministry

Agriculture, Communications, Environment, Human Services, Indigenous Affairs and Social Services portfolios will have new federal ministers sworn in on Wednesday, May 29, after Australia’s Morrison government was re-elected to power.

Meanwhile, public servants in Energy, Environment, Home Affairs, Human Services, Indigenous Affairs, Industrial Relations all appear to be set for

read now

CBD: and now for the AA meetings

Our peeved yet perspicacious political insider writes exclusively:

Excessive self-medication in the wake, if not at the wake, of the election result has CBD contemplating professional assistance. Having to drop BS in favour of AA (Anthony Albanese) has a respectable (albeit self help) ring about it. Telling fellow GULAG supporters

read now

Democracy Isn’t The Problem, Ignorance Is!

This is not some sour grapes whinge from a rusted on Labor or Greens supporter. I’m trying to look dispassionately at some of the problems that have emerged since the election. I’m not even trying to argue that Scott Morrison doesn’t now have a mandate for whatever torture he wants

read now

Fresh miracles in Galilee – the Galilee Basin, that is

The proposed Adani mine has been wading through a green swamp of political obstacles for nine long years. Other coal optimists have struggled to develop coal in the Galilee Basin for over 40 years. Federal Labor, state Labor and the Greens have taken turns to man the anti-coal barricades.


read now

Soaking Seniors, One Treasurer at a Time

Giving wrinklies a kick is their schtick. Are sociopathic treasurers, actual and wannabe, a modern-day phenomenon? I am not an historian so will leave the question hanging.

My tale begins with Hockey, an amiable-looking cigar-chomping chap. Beneath, a dark heart pumped. Let’s progressively lower the living standards of old-age

read now