Can Dutton wage culture wars and chew gum at the same time?

As Australia Day looms it’s not surprising that Peter Dutton has yet again found another culture war to prosecute – this time against Woolworths’ decision not to stock Australia Day themed goods.

The approach worked with the Voice campaign but if this is going to be his main tactic in the year or so to the next election, he might need to get his advisors to look beyond US Republican tactics and have a closer look at what concerns the majority of voters. read more

What a climate apocalypse might look like

The possibility of climate change as a threat to civilisation has moved from the genre of science fiction to the literature of cli-fi and now to serious research about what this might involve.

It has also generated an increasing amount of research into, and speculative analysis of, cataclysmic possibilities. This builds on historical research into significant changes in climate throughout history and their impacts on societies. read more

Murdoch media does it again

A few days ago the blog wrote about the Murdoch media’s inability to publish a few simple sentences without them being littered with elementary grammatical mistakes.

Now they have demonstrated astonishing historical ignorance.

Just recently The Courier Mail and The Daily Telegraph published an article by Vikki Campion. read more

Eric Williams was right!

In 1944 Eric Williams – a Trinidad and Tobago politician who led the then British colony to majority rule, independence and then republican status – published the book Capitalism and Slavery.

 In their 2023 book Slavery, Capitalism and the Industrial Revolution Maxime Berg and Pat Hudson recount how his book was largely dismissed until discussion of the issue resumed in the 1980s and 1990s. Originally, on the basis of limited data, historians gave Williams’ thesis a minimal role in Britain’s economic history. read more

The perils of reading the media

Many people find the Christmas New Year period the only time they get to read newspapers in any detail. It is also the period when the most predictable stories and the odd beat up get published.

But it’s also a good time to reflect on some wisdom about the stories you read.

The blog’s friend, Tony Jaques sent the first snippet to prompt this thought – and one which demonstrates that not only is the Murdoch media biased but also badly in need of spending some money on competent sub editors rather than propagandists. read more

What US Nobel Prize wins suggest for Australia’s future

For decades the US has dominated scientific research and discovery as a significant proxy measure of success – Nobel Prizes – indicates. But the situation is changing partly because other nations are catching up and partly because of changing political attitudes to science.

According to various polls barely 50% of Americans are supportive of scientific endeavours – and the doubters include many elected officials such as the many Republican climate denialists. read more

What do Age readers think?

There is a 1960s film – which sadly Google can’t seem to help find its title – which features a discussion between an FBI informant and an activist driving the truck they are both in.

With the degree of subtlety you would expect from an FBI informant he interrogates the driver about his readership of the New York Times. Back in the Hoover days that was probably enough to get you on an FBI list. read more

A guest blogger on the Australian War Memorial Council cosy club

David Stephens, the author of this post, is the founder of the Honest History website and the inspiration behind the Defending Country Memorial Project.  This article was published recently on the Defending Country Memorial website and is re-published by permission.

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Matt Keogh, should refresh the Council of the Australian War Memorial, which at present looks like a cosy club of well-connected conservatives and ex-military types. read more

An insider’s view of how public relations really works