A breath of fresh air in Canberra

It is probably the kiss of political death to promote and celebrate the work of a Labor Government backbencher.

After all promotion in the party might be partly due to competence but factional allegiance is more significant. Having too high a profile is probably not an advantage either. But nevertheless… read more

STOP PRESS: No campaign publishes racist post!

Who would have thought it? The No campaign has published a blatantly racist post!

The Australian Jewish Association has been running a campaign against the Voice. It has been a clone of so many of the right wing campaigns poisoning Australian discourse with racism, misinformation and disinformation.

The only difference is that it is a rare example where the right-wing groups themselves may have to call enough – even though in social media posts and other outlets there are many other groups which are just as culpable. read more

What do climate denialists do when the facts change?

John Maynard Keynes is widely believed to have said: Well, when the facts change I change my mind. What do you do? It was probably actually Paul Samuelson although Keynes did say something vaguely similar.

The quote always comes to mind when you consider the state of the climate debate in Australia and parts of the rest of the world. The Earth is boiling rather than warming yet the denialists keep on keeping on. The facts are clear but they are not changing their minds – just shifting to new denialist positions. read more

Has the media missed another massive grassroots Voice campaign?

A great illustration of how much of the media totally overlooks the huge grassroots campaign for Yes is the fact that the Jewish community’s far-reaching campaign has been unsighted in mainstream media coverage of the referendum.

Australia’s Jewish community has had a special relationship with Indigenous Australia for many, many decades highlighted perhaps by the actions of the Yorta Yorta elder, William Cooper – founding secretary of the Australian Aborigines’ League which was set up to lobby governments. read more

New research on when AMOC may go amok

There has been much research and speculation about whether the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC, or more popularly the Gulf Stream) may collapse and what the consequences might be.

Now there is new 2023 research which firms up predictions as to when it might happen. The bad news – it might be earlier than previously estimated. read more

Lessons for Australia from English social ossification

Over the past 400 years England has changed a great deal. Reformation, Republican Interregnum, Revolution, slavery, lots of wars, massacres, colonialism and building and losing an empire are just some of the things which jump out from history.

More recently Margaret Thatcher sought to undo the Bevin Welfare State and privatised public bodies which nowadays rip off customers or pollute the environment. Meanwhile Tony Blair gave remaining State institutions bureaucratic managerialist makeovers which increased their costs and diminished their performance. read more

What gets some whitefellas anxious and angry

There is nothing that agitates some whitefellas more than an intelligent, articulate and charismatic blackfella.

The emphasis the No Campaign is putting on Thomas Mayo is a classic example. Thomas Mayo attended the Uluru gathering and afterwards travelled the country visiting hundreds of communities to explain the Voice. At each he movingly recited from memory the Uluru Statement of the Heart. read more

Some very modern Major Generals

The Australian War Memorial Council believes it’s a strength that Council members can campaign against Council decisions – a far sighted and enlightened view in many ways but also one that could allow a minority to undermine the AWM’s mission.

Recently the Defending Country Memorial Project Inc wrote to AWM Chair, Kim Beazley and the Veterans Affairs Minister, Matt Keogh, suggesting that a Council member, Greg Melick should resign – given normal corporate governance principles – for campaigning against the representation of Frontier Wars in the Memorial and claiming that only people who wore the uniform should be commemorated. read more

Another great example of English hypocrisy

Why oh why is anyone surprised by English reaction to the Bairstow stumping?

After all it is no secret that the entire history of England has been marked by deep-seated hypocrisy.

That Bairstow had tried the same thing unsuccessfully in the same Test. That coach McCullum had done the same – claiming the wicket in the process – was irrelevant. read more

Yes launch vs the Dutton gaffe

Even the Murdoch media had to notice the nationwide launch of the real Yes campaign as the huge national grassroots campaign was launched around the country to mark the start of NAIDOC Week.

Our family was at the Cairns launch in the Cairns Esplanade Park which was attended by several hundred people and featured not only speeches but all the festival events – face painting for kids for instance – you would expect as well as free Yes 23 T-shirt and Yes badges giveaways. read more

An insider’s view of how public relations really works