Search Results: John Warhurst

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Marr stings 'limited' Shorten

    • John Warhurst
    • 04 October 2015
    8 Comments

    The polls are still evenly balanced and Turnbull has yet to strut his stuff in any meaningful way. So Shorten should still be the subject of the sort of scrutiny that David Marr has just given him. Marr is appalled by Shorten's path to power through the union movement, the Labor Party and the factions for what it reveals about the modus operandi of these organisations. But he is still somewhat taken with Shorten's talents. Nevertheless, he doubts that Shorten is up to the job.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Untangling Abbott from Santamaria

    • John Warhurst
    • 31 August 2015
    18 Comments

    There is always an appetite for anything linking Tony Abbott and Bob Santamaria. The journalist in Abbott has encouraged observers to play up the links, even though it has never been entirely clear  what he is saying. He has explained that he was impressed as a young man by Santamaria’s courage as an 'advocate for unfashionable truths’, but he also pays his public dues to a number of prominent figures including John Howard, Cardinal George Pell, John Hewson, Bronwyn Bishop and even Pope Benedict XVI.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Should Labor break ties with the unions?

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 August 2015
    15 Comments

    The formal link between trade unions and the Labor Party is sacred in many quarters, and has sustained both sides of the relationship for 120 years. The revelations of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption, despite its anti-Labor political origins, may eventually generate change. But the question has been around for decades, and any move to break the link would be vigorously opposed.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Future shock is the new normal

    • Brian Matthews
    • 23 July 2015
    8 Comments

    They are ‘coming to get us’, warns our Prime Minister, adapting the ‘bogey man’ mode of our childhood fears to the contemporary narrative of terrorism and violence. The effect of related intrusions on our daily lives is being gradually dulled. The neoliberal dispensation under which we now live both relies on, and encourages, new episodes of normalisation that go far beyond what we've known in the past.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The normalisation of lying in Australian politics

    • John Warhurst
    • 05 July 2015
    18 Comments

    The terms 'lie' and 'liar' have become so completely devalued that there are now far worse sins in modern politics. That is why it's hard to get excited about Opposition Leader Bill Shorten choosing to lie on air to Neil Mitchell about his involvement in discussions with Kevin Rudd to unseat Julia Gillard as Prime Minister.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fossil fuel divestment economics in line with morality

    • Michael Mullins
    • 31 May 2015
    3 Comments

    The Norwegian Parliament has just ordered its $A1.15 trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund to divest from coal. This represents the largest single divestment from fossil fuels in human history, and our biggest sign yet that the age of coal is over and the financial case for investing in fossil fuels is likely to disintegrate. Australia will crash and burn both economically and morally if we do not follow suit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia lags as Shorten leads on same sex marriage

    • John Warhurst
    • 31 May 2015
    71 Comments

    Whatever one's position on the introduction of same sex marriage, it's clear that Australia now lags well behind the Western world, including many comparable countries such as the UK and New Zealand. This contrasts with 120 years ago around the time of Federation, when Australia was a leader on issues such as votes for women, other democratic reforms such as the secret ballot, and a living wage. Our country is now a laggard.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stopping the boats as a part of our national identity

    • John Warhurst
    • 17 May 2015
    17 Comments

    Recent polls reveal our pride in scientific, technological and sporting achievements. It is reassuring that many of us support the current and even increased immigration levels. But Australians overwhelmingly, 65 per cent in total, believe that stronger measures should be taken to 'exclude illegal immigrants'. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Give sporting politicians a sporting chance

    • John Warhurst
    • 07 April 2015
    7 Comments

    Despite often treating sports people uncritically as celebrities, Australians are ambivalent about their place in public life. Former Howard government minister Peter Reith launched an unfair personal attack on former champion Canberra Raiders rugby league forward Senator Glenn Lazarus after he defected from the Palmer United Party. The general lesson from the example of Lazarus - who is actually quietly capable - is that he is as well suited as the parliamentarians who have been lawyers, blacksmiths, builders, business and army people.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    State elections the biggest opinion poll of all

    • John Warhurst
    • 03 March 2015
    6 Comments

    The Victorian state election that ushered out the Napthine Coalition government last November was a wake-up call for the Federal government. The amazing Queensland state defeat for Campbell Newman in late January brought on on the Spill against Tony Abbott. But the NSW election at the end of this month is an ambiguous marker.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The PM's taste for old blood

    • John Warhurst
    • 29 January 2015
    5 Comments

    Tony Abbott's preoccupation with knights and dames, together with his unilateral award of a knighthood to the Duke of Edinburgh, is evidence of his attraction to the past more than the future. Likewise his December Cabinet reshuffle was not a serious effort at renewal. He shuffled the existing deck of cards but didn't introduce many new ones at the senior level.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Is there a defence vote?

    • John Warhurst
    • 01 December 2014
    4 Comments

    The wider Defence community is now ascendant in the Australian community, yet the ADF has still suffered an effective cut in pay. Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie is projecting herself as the defender of defence personnel and promising to vote against all government policy until the pay offer is upgraded. But there are strong reasons to suggest defence welfare may not have much of a political impact at the next election.

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