Cameron Plays the Howard Card
As soon as I heard that British Prime Minister, David Cameron, had made a speech proposing a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, I was reminded of John Howard’s 2001 campaign against Labor where he adopted a hard line on refugees at a time when his Government was floundering in the polls. Howard’s attack started with his decision to turn back the “Tampa”, a ship which had rescued refugees from waters to our north. Howard’s actions were in direct response to [...]
We the People: the Citizen President's Inauguration Speech
President Barack Obama's second inauguration speech left me in no doubt of his commitment to egalitarianism. His references to immigrants, women, gays and collective responsibility to achieve access for all to health care and education spelled out a vision he will strive to realise in the coming four years. It’s a vision he will struggle to achieve in the face of ongoing trenchant opposition from the ideologues who still hold sway in the Republican Party.
His speech was [...]
Has Sloppy Joe Hockey Re-emerged as Smokin Joe?
As I struggle to shed more than a few unwanted kilos over the holidays, I have nothing but admiration for Joe Hockey's weight loss achievement. It is a remarkable transformation. He is a changed man having lost some 20 kilos.
While I have no doubt that his primary motivation here has been health related, it’s fair to say that Hockey's new appearance has had a very valuable by-product - he looks much more like a leader. That surely cannot have been lost on his colleagues in [...]
Power to the people: how Labor can reinvent itself
This op-ed originally appeared in today's Sydney Morning Herald
The Australian Labor Party has survived two World Wars, three splits and the Great Depression. Over its 121 years the influence of unions on the ALP has ebbed and flowed. In recent times, the influence of union officials and faction leaders has been asserted as never before. [...]
Non-Compulsory Voting: Tell Newman He's Dreaming
Any serious plan by the city based Liberals in Queensland to abolish compulsory voting will not pass muster with the rural based Nationals who make up the other half of the LNP.
It could be argued that non-compulsory voting may give some very slight advantage to the conservatives in Brisbane electorates, although I doubt many people would enthusiastically go out to re-elect Newman with his slash and burn policies. The real killer though will be opposition from their rural [...]