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Keating

So you tell me, where are we going, Australia? Conspiracy or accident?

There is an accepted truism that when it comes to politics what appears to be a conspiracy is usually just the result of poor government decisions. It is a logical conclusion given that conspiracies require clever conspirators and politicians are generally not seen as being clever. This of course is not correct, its a belief acquired because politicians are continually criticized by the media and even more so by their colleagues.

Like or loath him John Howard was a smart politician – he did after all survive 10 years as PM and won an election after involving us in an illegal war in Iraq. Having said that, how many bad decisions can be made on one issue before we have to conclude that no government could be that incompetent without intent?

Tingle shoots blanks despite Great Expectations - review of Quarterly Essay

In her Quarterly Essay piece, "Great Expectations," Laura Tingle loads a gun with a big bullet that she never shoots - which I thought any writer knew was a no-no. She says that "constant mass migration" " more than anything else" pushed the Australian economy and the population through waves of rapid change. The whole time I was reading her essay I was waiting for the gun to go off and for Detective Tingle to say two obvious things ...

This is a review of Australian Financial Review's Chief Economics editor, Laura Tingle's sweeping condemnation but interesting analysis of Australians' perceived expectations of democracy, which should not go unanswered. Having googled and found no critical responses, I wrote my own. [Ed: On 8 Aug 2012, Notes 8 and 9 ammended to eliminate confusion re Khemlani loan minutes.]

What are the prospects for Labor bringing about a just society?

The Australian Labor Party, the world's oldest political political party still in existence, is a contradictory organisation. With its record in Government, at the Federal and state levels, and in opposition, led by Kevin Rudd, with an ever-diminishing number of policy positions which distinguish it from the ruling Howard Liberal Government, it is all too easy for critics to the left of Labor to dismiss it as no better than the Liberal Party as indeed the Greens, the Democrats and some parties of the far left have maintained either implicitly or explicitly.

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