Tag Archives: Tony Abbott

Lords of Western Civilisation

RouenCathedralEvidently Tony Abbott and John Howard feel western civilisation is under threat. Actually they’d be right about that, at least regarding the image of it they seem to hold.

They wanted to set up a big new teaching program at the Australian National University, funded by the Ramsay Centre, even though ANU already has many courses on the topic. As Tony Abbott wrote in Quadrant magazine, the program was to be not so much about western civilisation as in favour it.

Ultimately the ANU withdrew from negotiations because of the unprecedented level of micromanagement demanded by the Ramsay Centre, a level the ANU saw as inconsistent with its core value of academic freedom. This has triggered another fierce round of culture wars.

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Secret Takeover by Subversive Extremists: a Conspiracy Story

[Also just published at Independent Australia.]

thatcher_tinaBack in the 1960s authorities were very exercised that cells of violent hippie peacenik leftists were plotting to overthrow the Government and establish an anarchist hippie socialist dictatorship (there were no greenies yet). This would inevitably morph into communism, the dreaded embodiment of all evil.

The conspirators were a very small fringe of a very large but not very coherent movement that wanted more love, less war, less consumerism and healthier living. Oh, and some drugs and weird clothes, or no clothes. There was the odd kidnapping and a few small bombs let off, some of them doing more harm to the conspirators than to the Establishment, but the large anti-war movements did not automatically join the revolution and the whole thing fizzled. The hippies got mortgages, Ronald Reagan was elected, and Big Business resumed gobbling up the world.

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Revoke Tony Abbott’s Australian Citizenship

[Just published at Independent Australia]

Some people have wondered why Europe did not close its borders before the recent incursion by known incendiarist Tony Abbott. A more pertinent question for us is why we would let him return to Australia.

Some have made a plausible case that Tony Abbott is a dual citizen of Britain and Australia. That, combined with his activities here and abroad, would seem eminently to qualify him for having his Australian citizenship revoked.

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The Flailing, Failing Radical Right

[Published at New Matilda, 31 Aug]

The current disarray of the Abbott Government may mark the end of a decades-long experiment in radical social engineering. The experiment has yielded deepening social divisions, an antiquated, colonial-style economy and little capacity to deal with the dramatic challenges of the near future.

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Who will rid us of this turbulent priest?

TurbulentPriest

[Published today on Independent Australia.]

Is there no-one with eyes that see how the best of Australia is being destroyed? Is there no-one with the will to name it, and the courage to call on our better angels?

The rule of law, the freedom to know and debate, privacy, freedom from arbitrary detention and punishment, education for everyone, hospitals for everyone, help for the disadvantaged, family time, community time, social cohesion, the economy, infrastructure and industries to sustain our children, our priceless natural heritage, sovereignty over our own affairs, all are being attacked, undermined or neglected while we writhe in a lather of fear and distraction, jumping at shadows while hiding our faces from the real challenges staring down on us.

In one of the most blessed lands on the planet, what happened to the laconic Aussie and the fair go? Until a few decades ago we were working smarter and less, becoming healthier, more creative, more independent, more tolerant, more worldly, and expecting to continue on that path. We have abundant resources and educated, talented people who speak most major languages of the world. Why are we now struggling?

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What About The Oil?

Published today at Independent Australia, as Australia, the United States, the Islamic State and oil.  The IA version has some excellent videos included. 

US foreign policy flow chart

US foreign policy flow chart

There was a story from one of the Gulf Wars about a reporter asking Western troops why they thought they were there.  A US soldier said something like “Ah’m here to serve mah country ma’am.”  A British soldier said “Wool, itsa oil, innit?”

As yet another Western intervention/invasion in the Middle East gathers pace, why is the commentariat apparently oblivious to the role of oil?  Oil has driven a century of meddling by Western countries, meddling that has fed generations of resentment and radicalisation, and you can be sure oil is behind the current interest of the US in Islamic State.

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What if Gillard Were to Lead?

English: Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gil...

Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Published at Independent Australia 19 Jan.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s October parliamentary speech, in which she systematically tore down Opposition Leader Tony Abbot for his persistent misogyny, got a big reaction world-wide.  Why?  Because it is a problem not often addressed in mainstream politics, and because of her obvious passion and authenticity, delivered with devastatingly articulate precision.

In all the discussion that followed, about whether this was routine parliamentary posturing, about why the commentariat was caught off-guard, about whether she is hypocritical about other issues, one question was missing.

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