All posts by Noel Turnbull

One thing Americans agree on – the future of democracy is at stake in 2024

Despite all the rage and division in the US there is one thing all Americans, whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, agree on – the future of democracy is at stake in the 2024 Presidential election.

A recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute in Washington found that 75% of all Americans believed the future of democracy was at stake in the election with 77% of Republicans concerned, 73% of Independent and 84% of Democrats. read more

Another looming source of division

The Voice referendum demonstrated not only the power of misinformation and disinformation but also provides insight into what might happen if an Australian Government ever tries to take real action on climate change and how public opinion could provide fertile ground for divisive campaigns.

A series of surveys by the Pew Research Centre and IPSOS provide some context for that as well as providing insights into attitudes around the world. read more

400 years later Christians are still at it

This October marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of Galileo’s The Assayer on the nature of three comets seen in Europe in 1618.

As always, whenever we think of Galileo, we think of Christian persecution. Indeed, Galileo said in the introduction to the book, that some people have “advanced ridiculous and impossible opinions against me.” He even sent it to the then Pope’s chamberlain who later served under the Pope who put the astronomer on trial. read more

A wise and generous man

Australia has lost a wise and generous man.

Kevin Luscombe AM had an astonishing career here in Australia as well as overseas.

The Melbourne marketing and business veteran had been Executive Chairman of management consultants, Growth Solutions Group; Board member of APN News & Media; and held senior corporate management and Board roles in Australia, USA, and South East Asia and Europe. read more

The whiff of a Pyrrhic victory

There is the whiff of a Pyrrhic victory in the Dutton and No wins on Saturday.

Certainly, Dutton has demonstrated that disinformation, division and some outright lies can confuse and motivate large sections of the community. He has also given an insight into how he, the alt-right movement, social media warriors and bots will seek to influence the next Federal election campaign. read more

McKinsey hands over some of its consulting loot

McKinsey may still be the go-to consultancy for many companies and governments but it is not faring well on legal fronts.

The Weekend Financial Times reports it has just paid another $US230 million to settle remaining claims relating to ‘turbo-charging’ opioid sales. This is on top of $US641.5 million already paid to US states over the issue. The FT says the part McKinsey played is ‘alleged’ but that’s an awful lot of money for an allegation. read more

When politicians look desperate

When politicians are facing likely defeat they often desperately seize on an event or a development which they believe might turn the tide.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it can be counter-productive and sometimes it just looks desperate.

Arguably it worked for John Howard with boat turn backs and a hyperbolic campaign saying we would be overrun by terrorists and others if Labor was elected. read more

Business fails on gender equity policies

Business is always telling governments, and the rest of us, that Australia would perform much better if we and our rulers took their advice.

There would be fewer and lower taxes while ‘flexible’ freewheeling industrial relations policies and much less regulation are all common claims about how Australia could be improved. read more

The RSL – from a power lobby to a poker machine empire

The RSL was once one of the most influential, lobby groups in Australia. Today it is better known for the number of poker machines it operates.

Back in the day, as they say, they were knocking on doors in Canberra where the people they met to lobby often had returned service badges in their lapels. They had regular meetings with the relevant Minister and the comments of officials, particularly the late Bruce Ruxton, were widely reported in the media. read more

Senator Price tragically wrong – again

We will never know how many people over millennia have suffered from tragedies that continued through generations.

Prehistoric parents, who were killed by a wild animal they were hunting in the hope of feeding their children, may have been among the first humans to set in train the process.

Perhaps their young accepted it as part of life. Perhaps they were part of larger group that took them in. Perhaps they were just abandoned. Perhaps they may have had wise women to counsel them or perhaps they suffered a trauma which they carried forward first as warning tales and then as myth to their children and their children’s children. read more