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Articles Archive for August 2013

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[24 Aug 2013 | Comments Off on The sobering saga of two leaders who put the thirst for popularity ahead of solid policy | 1,549 views ]

BARRING a major stumble by the Coalition, federal Labor is about to learn a harsh lesson about the leadership styles of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
That lesson is about the pitfalls of choosing leaders who embark on seemingly endless quests to maintain popularity at the expense of informed policy development and competent government.
The disciplined process that underpins the development of good policy is anathema to the populist leader, who seeks to hold information in secret from stakeholders, and often from colleagues, out of fear it will leak before it can …

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[17 Aug 2013 | Comments Off on The House Of Cards Falls | 973 views ]

Although political prediction this far out from a federal election is often regarded as a mug’s game, for this September 7 election I’m prepared to go out on a limb.
In the House of Representatives (which has 150 seats) I’m forecasting the Coalition to win 86 (including six of them in western Sydney)to Labor’s 63.
Plus I predict that the long-term political maverick, Bob Katter (from Katter’s Australian Party) will win the vast North Queensland seat of Kennedy.
But, because almost all other parties will now preference against him, I forecast that Adam …

Reviews »

[17 Aug 2013 | Comments Off on Mind the gap: ethos of a fair go gone | 1,317 views ]

Soon after his book was published, Andrew Leigh – a former economics professor at the Australian National University, and federal Labor MP for the ACT seat of Fraser since August 2010 – was dropped from Kevin Rudd’s frontbench. Previously parliamentary secretary to prime minister Julia Gillard, Leigh is a prolific author, which, on the face of it, seems hard to reconcile with being a fully engaged member of Federal Parliament.
Subtitled ‘The Story of Inequality in Australia’, in some ways ‘Battlers and Billionaires’ is a peculiar book. Written with the aid …

Columns »

[10 Aug 2013 | Comments Off on Goodes’ response to race slur should resonate forever | 1,114 views ]

TONIGHT, Adam Goodes, one of Australia’s finest indigenous players, will not be out on ANZ Stadium when his Sydney Swans (now second on the ladder) take on my beloved Collingwood (currently sixth).
Goodes’s absence is a shame, for he is magnificent to watch, even for Collingwood tragics like me. But from the sidelines with a wounded knee, Goodes should still have a significant impact on this evening’s proceedings.
The day after a naive young Collingwood supporter slandered Goodes as he captivated the MCG during the AFL’s indigenous round 8 in May, calling …

Columns »

[9 Aug 2013 | Comments Off on ‘White knight’ Peter Beattie agrees to serve King Kev | 1,018 views ]

HISTORIAN Ross Fitzgerald believes his friend Peter Beattie is the “white knight” who will rebuild Labor after Kevin Rudd yesterday shrugged off years of personal enmity and drafted the former Queensland premier to run in a must-win seat for the government.
Professor Fitzgerald said if Mr Beattie came up trumps in the marginal seat of Forde, but Labor lost the election on September 7, he would be the man to remake the party from opposition.
Labor parachuted Mr Beattie into the Coalition-held electorate yesterday, elbowing aside the endorsed candidate amid concern that …

Columns »

[3 Aug 2013 | Comments Off on Finding the real Matilda | 1,698 views ]

One sultry summer evening in 1895, near Winton in western Queensland, Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson heard Christina Macpherson, the 21-year-old sister of station owner Bob Macpherson, play the Scottish ballad, ‘Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigielee’ on a zither.
It was a moment of serendipity that led to the penning of what many regard as our unofficial national anthem.
Entranced by the tune – which Christina had heard at the Warrnambool races in Victoria – and possibly by the young lady herself, Paterson decided to write his own words for it – …