author: Jeff Sparrow

  • AUSTRALIA

    What went wrong for Labor on climate

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 20 May 2019
    19 Comments

    Had Labor flatly opposed Adani, it would have been better positioned to sell a different model for the creation of local jobs and security. Instead, the lack of clarity prevented the ALP from articulating a persuasive economic alternative to a mine it wouldn't say definitely was closing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Reckoning is due after Afghanistan endgame

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 31 January 2019
    18 Comments

    John Howard promised to 'stay the course' in Afghanistan. So too did Tony Abbott, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. So complete was the political consensus that parliament didn't even debate the Afghan intervention until nine years after it began. Now that there's no longer a course on which to stay, we're due some accountability.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The myth of polarisation in modern Australia

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 10 December 2018
    12 Comments

    Why do so many pundits decry the divisions in Canberra at a time when, objectively speaking, the parties have never been closer? The short answer is that they're responding to a genuine polarisation — not between Labor and Liberal but between both parties and the rest of society.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Latham and Hanson's marriage of convenience

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 08 November 2018
    3 Comments

    If we say the man's lost his mind, we must, in fairness, acknowledge that he possessed a mind to lose. Bizarre as the notion now sounds, Latham brought consider intellectual firepower to the Labor leadership. His deep commitment to free market policies meant his hostility to Hanson always came as much from the right as the left.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's always Happy Death Day in Canberra now

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 30 October 2017
    6 Comments

    Turnbull's response to the eligibility crisis showcased the mixture of bluster and incompetence that's become characteristic of this government. Like Michaela Cash's attempts to link Shorten with union corruption, his declaration that the court would rule in favour of Joyce saw strategy and common sense give way to short term manoeuvring.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Lessons for ALP in UK Labour fightback

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 09 June 2017
    17 Comments

    When Corbyn invoked the many against the few, he did so while advocating free education, the renationalisation of utilities and a break from the US alliance. By contrast, Blair coined the phrase in a speech where he urged listeners to put behind them 'the bitter political struggles of left and right that have torn our country apart for too many decades. Many of these conflicts have no relevance whatsoever to the modern world - public versus private, bosses versus workers, middle class versus working class.' We all know which version sits closer to Shorten's heart.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Fall of Aleppo caps off wretched 2016

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 16 December 2016
    12 Comments

    Assad's victory epitomises, in a sense, the reactionary tide prevailing just about everywhere in this, the Year of the Donald. The hopes raised during the Arab Spring have, it seems, been crushed, with the Syrian regime consolidating its grip over a nation it has oppressed for so long. Yet Aleppo also illustrates how little the Right's victories have actually settled. The Right's biggest asset is often the Left, with progressives seemingly determined to validate all the smears levelled against them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Where's Australia's Trump and Sanders?

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 30 June 2016
    8 Comments

    Last week Sam Newman said he'd been approached to run for mayor in Melbourne on a 'Donald Trump-like anti-political correctness platform'. The announcement raised an interesting question: where's the Trump, or Sanders for that matter, in the Australian election? Richard Di Natale has articulated a vision of the Greens as 'the natural home of progressive mainstream Australian voters', yet we might equally say that he embraced politics-as-usual just as politics-as-unusual began to manifest everywhere.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Elitist' democracy not the answer to Trumpism

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 08 June 2016
    9 Comments

    Will Clinton defeat Trump? Perhaps - but the polls already show him doing far better than anyone expected. More importantly, an electoral loss might mean the end of Donald Trump but it won't destroy Trumpism. The constituency into which the Donald has tapped will almost certainly grow under the administration of a corporate Democrat like Clinton, even if it manifests in a different form. And what then? How much larger and heftier will the barriers against the popular will have to become?

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    We need a grassroots revival to save the reef

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 27 May 2016
    12 Comments

    Many people have hoped that when global warming manifested itself as a concrete threat, politicians would be forced into action. Yet it's becoming horrifyingly clear that the political class is quite willing to let the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world, slowly die. If we want to save the reef, we're going to have to do it ourselves. The Franklin dam blockade of 1982-1983 transformed the political climate and preserved an iconic river. We need to recapture that energy.

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  • MEDIA

    Battered broadcaster's Bolt delusion

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 27 January 2016
    13 Comments

    Josh Bornstein compared the ABC to the victim in an abusive relationship, desperately trying to ward off the next blow by anticipating the criticism of its enemies. Certainly, enlisting Andrew Bolt to participate in a documentary on Indigenous constitutional recognition seems like a pre-emptive defensive move against the accusations of bias that are routinely levelled against the national broadcaster. For Bolt the arrangement is win-win; for the ABC it's yet another example of self-sabotage.

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  • MEDIA

    2015 in review: The roots of troll culture

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 12 January 2016

    The common perception of internet trolls is that they are outsiders descending on a particular platform in order to wreck it. But there is a close relationship between trolls and the culture in which they operate. If you're a publisher seeking virality, you need to foster the strong emotions in which social media trades. Getting people to love your content is great, but outrage, incredulity and even hatred also work.

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