Another Good Definition Of Politics

Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.

– Henry Adams, historian and teacher (1838-1918)


GreenPeace Activist Colin Russell Arrives Home After Russian Detention

Colin Russell, the Greenpeace activist detained in Russia since September, has arrived home in Hobart.

Russell

Russell was one of the Arctic 30 who were arrested during a protest against oil drilling by the Russian energy company Gazprom. [Read more…]


Eulogy For The Ages: Obama’s Soaring Rhetoric At Mandela’s Memorial Service

In Johannesburg today, President Barack Obama has received a tumultuous reception and delivered a stunningly powerful eulogy in honour of Nelson Mandela.

Obama

Obama told a large crowd at a packed stadium in Johannesburg that it was “a singular honour” to be with them “to celebrate a life like no other”.

“The world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us,” Obama told the South African people. “His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and your democracy is his cherished legacy.”

Invoking the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Obama described Mandela as the “last great liberator of the twentieth century”. He said Mandela, like Lincoln, held his nation together when it might have broken apart. [Read more…]


Education Ministers Speak Out On Pyne’s School Funding Announcement

Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s state counterparts have criticised Pyne’s decision to pull out of the Gillard government’s Gonski school funding agreements.

The ministers spoke to the media after meeting with Pyne today. They included NSW minister Adrian Piccoli who has led the criticism of Pyne. The Australian Education Union’s Angelos Gavrielatos and parents’ organisations also weighed in on the announcement. [Read more…]


Car Industry Report Predicts Economic Devastation If Government Assistance Ends

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has released a report on the car industry.

The report, prepared by the Allen Consulting Group, is titled: The strategic role of the Australian Automotive Manufacturing Industry.

The report argues that Australia’s GDP would be $7.3 billion smaller (in today’s dollars) by 2018 without autmotive manufacturing. It says billions in foreign direct investment would cease and the economies of Adelaide and Melbourne “would be devastated” if government assistance to the industry ceased. The report says employment would fall by around 1.5%.

The car industry receives around $500 million in government funding each year. The report says: “For this investment, the Australian economy is $21.5 billion larger.”

The report comes as the Abbott government faces a decision about the continuation of government assistance to the car industry. Politically, the timing of the decision is awkward because of the South Australian election next March and the Victorian election at the end of 2014.

The government’s decision will also be a test of its economic decision-making and its commitment to market principles.

Extract from “The strategic role of the Australian Automotive Manufacturing Industry”, p55. [Read more…]


The State Of The Federation: Ted Mack

This is the text of Ted Mack’s Henry Parkes Oration, delivered in Tenterfield tonight.

MackTed Mack was an independent councillor and Mayor of the North Sydney Council in the 1970s and 1980s.

He was elected as the independent member for North Shore in the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1981 and was re-elected in 1984 and 1988, retiring two days before he became eligible for a parliamentary pension.

In 1990, he was elected as the independent member for the federal seat of North Sydney, defeating the incumbent Liberal, John Spender. He was re-elected in 1993 and retired in 1996.

In this speech, Mack argues that “no serious observer of politics in Australia, except those with specific interests, can pretend that we do not have major problems with our system of government or that we are incapable of achieving any improvement after a century of experience”. [Read more…]


Tony Abbott Speech On Free Speech

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has addressed the Institute of Public Affairs on freedom of speech.

Tony Abbott

Abbott committed a future Coalition government to repeal Section 18(c) of the Racial Discrimination Act, the section that Andrew Bolt was found guilty of breaching in a case brought by nine indigenous people. [Read more…]