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Archives for October 2012

Australia In The Asian Century: Foreign Policy White Paper

This is the Gillard government’s White Paper on Australia’s foreign and trade policy.

Titled Australia in the Asian Century, the paper was launched by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

[Read more…]


Gillard Launches Asian Century White Paper

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has launched the federal government’s White Paper on the Asian Century.

Julia Gillard

In her speech to the Lowy Institute, Gillard announced that Trade Minister Craig Emerson would take charge of a new ministry of “Asian century policy”. The White Paper sets out a plan for regional engagement which includes all Australian school students having “continuous access to a priority Asian language”: Mandarin, Hindi, Indonesian or Japanese. [Read more…]


Maxine McKew On Rudd’s Overthrow, Political Debate And The ALP

The former Labor member for Bennelong, Maxine McKew, speaks about the nature of political debate, the overthrow of Kevin Rudd and the state of the Labor Party today.

McKew’s book, Tales from the Political Trenches, is released this weekend. McKew has given this interview to Fairfax’s Michael Gordon. Fairfax newspapers today carry extracts from the book.

McKew laments the decline of political debate and says the next election is looming as a “contest of fears”. She says the Labor leadership was decisively settled last February but calls for a “settlement” with Kevin Rudd. She ponders whether Labor can pull off a 1993-style come-from-behind win.


Political And Media Wankers

It’s hard to tell whether the political debate or the media coverage is more puerile.

This is video from the Victorian Legislative Assembly that purportedly shows Liberal MP Geoff Shaw making an obscene gesture whilst calling his Labor opponents wankers.

Thanks 3AW. I love the big red arrow.



Conrad Black: “You’re A Priggish, Gullible, British Fool”

Conrad Black is interviewed by the BBC’s Jeremy Paxman.

In 2005, Black faced 17 charges of misconduct and fraud relating to his company, Hollinger International. He was tried and convicted of three counts of fraud and one count of obstruction of justice in an American court in 2007. Legal challenges to some of the charges were subsequently upheld in the US Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. He was released from prison in May 2012.



Craig Thomson And The Golden Thread

In this anodyne age when we’re all so quick to take offence, the hasty presumption of guilt still holds sway.

This is Kieran Gilbert’s interview with Craig Thomson’s lawyer Chris McArdle, on Sky News. McArdle offers an unfashionable defence of some important legal principles.

The interview followed a police raid on the Labor MP’s home this morning.



Australia Wins Seat On United Nations Security Council

Australia has won a two-year term on the United Nations Security Council, winning 140 votes out of 193 to comfortably defeat Luxembourg and Finland.

Bob Carr

In the ballot for a seat representing the Western European and Others region, 193 nations voted. There were no invalid votes and no abstentions. A two-thirds majority of 129 votes was required for election. Australia polled 140 votes, Luxembourg 128, and Finland 108.

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr, was in the General Assembly for the election and is shown here shaking hands with Australia’s Ambassador to the UN, Gary Quinlan, immediately after the announcement of the vote. [Read more…]


Julia Gillard Lashes Abbott In Slipper Debate; Misogyny Speech

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has attacked Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, labelling him a misogynist, in a parliamentary debate over the future of Speaker Peter Slipper.

Gillard spoke on a motion from Abbott to remove Slipper from the post he stood aside from in April.

The Prime Minister began by saying: “I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.”

She said of Abbott: “Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn’t need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror.” [Read more…]


Australia Becomes The World’s 12th Largest Economy

Australia has becomes the world’s 12th largest economy, according to figures from the International Monetary Fund.

The Treasurer, Wayne Swan, said this is a remarkable achievement for a country with the world’s 51st largest population.

Over the past five years, Australia has moved up three places from the 15th largest economy to the 12th, surpassing South Korea, Mexico and Spain.

Media release from Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Today’s release of the IMF’s October 2012 World Economic Outlook shows that Australia is now the world’s 12th largest economy and has leapfrogged three places ahead under the Labor Government, after slipping back three places under the previous government.

As a country with the world’s 51st largest population, this is a remarkable achievement, and demonstrates the Australian community’s hard work and resilience, as well as the Government’s sound economic management, during a time of global economic upheaval. [Read more…]


Macquarie Radio Suspends Alan Jones Advertising; Alleges Social Media Bullying

The Macquarie Radio Network (MRN) has suspended all advertising on the Alan Jones Breakfast Show on Sydney station 2GB.

In a remarkable statement issued today, MRN said it had called “time out” because of a campaign of “cyber-bullying” on social media, describing the Facebook and Twitter campaign over the past week as “21st Century censorship”.

Arguing that radio “is arguably the original form of social media”, MRN said: “The difference between 2GB and some catchy URL is that MRN operates in a regulated media environment.”

The network said the “unprecedented decision to suspend advertising in the Alan Jones Breakfast Show” had been taken “so that all of our advertisers are on an equal footing, can regroup and discuss with us the way forward and how we together deal with these attempts to damage great Australian businesses.”

Text of statement from Macquarie Radio Network.

Macquarie Radio Network Limited (“MRN”), the owner of radio station 2GB, today announced a temporary suspension of all advertising in its top rating weekday Breakfast Show hosted by Alan Jones.

The move follows a week of unprecedented focus throughout mainstream and social media on Jones and remarks he made recently at a private function regarding Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the loss of her father. More specifically, the move has been prompted by actions being taken and threatened against companies advertising on the Alan Jones Breakfast Show. [Read more…]