All posts by Noel Turnbull

The Democratic Crisis

Barry Jones gave the Inaugural Jean McLean Oration at Victoria University on 15 September 2021. It was entitled: The Democratic Crisis: Whatever happened to courage, principle, commitment, accountability?

 He paid tribute to Jean McLean’s long career as a social activist, anti-war campaigner and supporter of Timor Leste. This is an edited version of the speech. The full speech  is at The Truth and Integrity Project website. read more

Morrison and Dutton put military leaders in intolerable position

Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton have put the Chief of Army, Rick Burr, and Chief of the Defence Forces, Angus Campbell, in an intolerable position.

Both officers have fine service records and have shown great leadership in negotiating a series of complex and confronting issues.

Yet they are constantly over-ruled by the PM and the Defence Minister, not for any mistakes, but to accommodate the political views of two unprincipled politicians. read more

Whose for truth and integrity? Well not ScoMo

A new campaigning group, the Truth and Integrity Project, has been launched.

It’s a totally voluntary not-for-profit organisation which aims to mobilise Australians who are angry, concerned and disgusted with the state of Australian politics and government.

The Truth and Integrity Project aims to reach out to all Australians – whatever their differences – to promote a successful Australia where truth, integrity, policy and decency are the core of politics. It aims to: read more

How the whispering in our hearts can become a resounding chorus

One of the great transformations in Australian society has been the growing awareness of the need to respect and engage with Indigenous culture and knowledge.

Yet there are many who still resist what they see as ‘black armband’ history. As for reconciliation and recognition the Morrison Government attitude to the Uluru Statement from the heart, and embedding a Voice to Parliament in the Constitution, echoes the Howard Government’s vote (one of only four countries) against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). read more

The will to fight

The US prides itself on having the greatest warriors backed by the mightiest assembly of military power in history. So why do they keep losing the endless wars they have been involved in since WWII?

Scott Atran, emeritus director of research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research puts it down to misunderstanding the will to fight by its opponents. read more


There are moments when only the word gobsmacked is appropriate. One of them is reading Professor Judith Sloan’s recent Spectator piece about JobKeeper.

Sloan is an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research at the University of Melbourne; Spectator columnist; Murdoch media columnist; and, normally reliable culture warrior ready to excoriate the ALP and progressives. read more

When ScoMo meets BoJo

It is generally assumed that Scott Morrison will commit to a 2050 net zero target to bring himself into line with Boris Johnson’s position and get an invitation to the forthcoming Glasgow climate change conference.

Not that he’ll do anything to meet the goal but rather it will join the long list of hollow promises he has made over his Prime Ministerial career. read more

A Covid addendum

The Grattan Institute’s Stephen Duckett has described (The Conversation 26/8) what Scott Morrison is not telling us about when he says he has a plan to allow us to get on with our lives.

Duckett says that “In identifying the vaccination coverage target for the transition to Phase B, Doherty’s experts assumed that testing, tracing, isolation, and quarantine (TTIQ), would be central to maintaining lower case numbers.” read more

A very cunning plan not working elsewhere

Scott Morrison has a plan – as he keeps telling us. And the plan means that after Australia reaches 70% we can start to get on with our lives and live with the virus.

Now anybody would be entitled to think that a Morrison plan is more likely to be a sound bite than an actual plan but in this case you can subject his plan, if it is actually a plan, to a real world comparator – the United Kingdom – to see how realistic it is now the Delta strain is with us. read more