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Less is more

Reading the news, I find a lot of items demonstrating a scale of values that makes no sense to me. Some are important in the grand scheme of things, some are less so, but perhaps more relevant to me. I think about writing posts but don’t find the time. So here are a few examples, […]

More Adani asterisks

The Palaszczuk government has, unsurprisingly, capitulated to the Adani corporation’s demands for a tax holiday. To avoid accusations of bias, they have offered the same deal to other new coal projects. If these projects go ahead, the implications for the planet are disastrous. But, at least in Adani’s case, there are plenty of reasons to […]

Drug Wars: Crosspost from Crooked Timber

I got a preview of Drug Wars by Robin Feldman and Evan Frondorf. It’s not about the War on Drugs, but about the devices used by Big Pharma to maintain the profits they earn from their intellectual property (ownership of drug patents, brand names and so on) and to stave off competition from generics. Feldman […]

Detailed Preference Flow Data from the 2017 WA Election

Until now, trying to assess the impact of the Liberal-One Nation preference deal at March's Western Australian election has been hindered by lack of useful data. The only publicly available data has been the distribution of preferences published for each...

Simple, but not eady

Next Wednesday, I’ll be debating John Rivett on the subject of Easytax. Rivett is a lawyer who works with John McRobert, the main proponent of the tax (three Johns have got a bit confusing at times). Details are here I’d have preferred a free event, but I left it to the proponents to organise, so […]

Meanwhile, in the real world

Advocates of an expansion of Australian coal mining are constantly claiming that India is desperate for imported coal to supply urgently needed electricity. Leaving aside the Indian government’s stated determination to end coal imports in the next few years (at least for the large public sector), what’s happening to actual demand for coal-fired electricity. Undoubtedly, […]

Adani outmanoeuvres Palaszczuk

The eagerness with which the Adani board announced an indefinite deferral of the Carmichael mine project today speaks for itself. As has long been conjectured by everyone with an understanding of the hopeless economics of this project, Adani has been looking for an excuse to walk away and blame government obstruction. Not only do they […]

Weekly email #2

Here’s the second of my planned weekly emails. If you want to be on the recipient list email me at (preferred) or put in a request in the comments section. Weekly Email #2 Hi everyone, Time for my second weekly email update. As before I’ll post it on my blog and link from social […]

Sparkke Change: A Bubbly White For Marriage Equality

The Sparkke Change Beverage Company breaks new ground with their ‘White Wine Bubbles’ in a can and a cheers to marriage equality. Well, they’ve gone and done it again… the Sparkke Change Beverage Company has released a new product, this time targeting the vexing, seemingly never-ending sore that is the marriage equality debate in Australia. And [...]Show More Summary

Amnesty And Human Rights Watch Call On Australia To Stop Selling Arms To Saudi Arabia

The latest from Michael Brull in his ongoing series on the war on Yemen. The Australian branches of two of the world’s leading human rights organisations have exclusively released to New Matilda statements opposing Australian arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International have urged Australia to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia. [...]Show More Summary

Getting Julian Assange: The Untold Story

The hunt for the Wikileaks founder has been a brutal and corrupt assault on freedom of speech from the beginning, writes John Pilger. Julian Assange has been vindicated because the Swedish case against him was corrupt. The prosecutor, Marianne Ny, obstructed justice and should be prosecuted. Her obsession with Assange not only embarrassed her colleagues [...]Show More Summary

There are better things to spend $1 billion on than the Adani coal mine

That’s the self-explanatory headline for my latest piece in the Brisbane Times (reproduced in the other Fairfax papers, I think). Text is over the fold. Ever since taking office the Palaszczuk government has been walking a tightrope with respect to the Adani Group’s proposed Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin. On the one hand, it’s […]

Welcome to mailing list subscribers

Here’s the letter I’ve sent to (I hope!) everyone who’s signed up for my mailing list. Hi everyone, I’ve now received more than 60 requests to join the mailing list, so I thought I would send a quick note to everyone thanking them for their requests and the kind words many of you have added. […]

House of Cards

So, we finally joined the 21st Century and got Netflix. We are watching House of Cards (US version), an episode most nights. Based on one season per year of time passed in the show, that’s about four weeks of dystopian fantasy per night. But, when we wake up in the morning, the day’s news almost […]

Donald Trump: A Bully Insulated By Billions, Unfit For High Office

It’s hard to know where to begin in describing the train wreck that is the American presidency – and president. Stephen Scher gives it a shot anyway. When he was running for president, Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” of the government’s self-serving politicians and bureaucrats, and to break through the inertia that had long [...]Show More Summary

Funding Climate Destruction And Human Rights Abuses: Efic Australia Abroad

Banks are walking away from mining projects that harm our planet, and our people. But one Australian Government organisation still isn’t getting the message, writes Lucy Manne from ActionAid Australia. Westpac’s recent decision to rule out the Adani coal mine is rightly being celebrated by those who would see the Great Barrier Reef and our [...]Show More Summary


I’ve never been a fan of Senator David Leyonjhelm, but even so, I find it hard to believe he made the mindbogglingly absurd statement attributed to him by today’s Oz. Accusing Bill Shorten of a $1.85 billion black hole in relation to his policy of keeping the levy on high-income earners, But Liberal Democratic senator […]

Churchgoing Labor voters

What proportion of Australian voters regularly attend church and identify as Labor voters? How many of those are social conservatives in the mould of, say, Joe de Bruyn? If I’ve interpreted this piece by Crikey’s Pollbludger correctly, the answer to the first question is about 4 per cent. The relevant bits This is partly reflected […]

The Universal Lesson Of East Timor

A nation needs a lesson in politics, and it isn’t Timor-Leste, writes John Pilger. Filming undercover in East Timor in 1993, I followed a landscape of crosses: great black crosses etched against the sky, crosses on peaks, crosses marching down the hillsides, crosses beside the road. They littered the earth and crowded the eye. The [...]Show More Summary

Amy McQuire On Token Recognition, And Sam Thaiday’s Misogyny

Another week, another rugby league scandal. This one just happened to come while the NRL was trying to convince a nation it really cares about black issues, writes Amy McQuire. Last week was the NRL’s annual Indigenous round. The various clubs transformed their jerseys for the weekend, adorning them with Aboriginal artwork and parading their [...]Show More Summary

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