Tag Archives: Australia

The art of lobbying

The discipline of lobbying has a chequered history and sadly suffers a rather tainted reputation. That’s because the role of a lobbyist is primarily to influence others and the easiest way to influence many people is to offer inducements. All too often those can take the form of financial incentives and things can get messy, […]

Politicians play us for fools

The following story happened in Australia but I am sure it has parallels that play out in most liberal democracies – and, no doubt, in quite a few regimes that don’t favour transparency and accountability to the same extent. It essentially comes back to that great old line: How can you tell a politician is […]

Drowning in a sea of red tape

  Life without government is pretty hard to imagine. Yes, we love to rubbish those in power (heaven knows they deserve it!) but the services they provide do make life much easier than it would otherwise be. Just think sewerage. That said, there are a lot of sins government is answerable for and going overboard […]

Responsibility for a roof over your head

Some people just don’t get the message about personal responsibility, do they? Even if they can say with some validity that life has not been kind to them, their behaviour marks them as architects of their own demise. The issue arises from a government crackdown in my home state of Queensland (Australia) on recalcitrant public […]

Ya gotta be quick to put the bite on this

To be an admirer of horseflesh usually puts one in the class of racetrack touts and spivs. But there is another aspect that is winning admirers in Australia: that’s right – the horse as tasty morsel. Horse steaks are not everyone’s cup of tea. Indeed, in Australia, it is difficult to find a restaurant serving […]

You leave, you are on your own

  There are a few things that get up my nose (it’s a fairly big proboscis!). One of them is travellers. No, not those who enjoy wandering the world and seeing the sights, enlarging their minds as they go. They’re fine. The ones who really tee me off are those who get into trouble and […]

Ministerial musical chairs means bad government

The lamentable leadership woes of the Australian Labor Party have kept us in thrall like watching a train wreck unfold for the past four years. It has been a dispiriting and disillusioning detraction from good government. But there is another dimension to the jockeying for position that has gone largely unremarked. It is the almost […]

Real leadership

If anyone outside Australia takes any notice of our national politics, they’d be wondering by now how the hell this country manages to keep going. Most of us who live here are wondering the same thing. Our federal government for the past five years or so has been . . . well, I’d say a […]

Shallow diving into the sleaze pit

Australia is deep into a national election campaign that threatens to change the character of this country – and our place in the world – for generations. It is a sickening slide into racism masquerading as a form of economic nationalism. The core of the issue is, essentially, Australia’s mining boom with the associated demand […]

It’s time for a legal shake-up

The law is very traditional and conservative. That’s not a bad thing, per se, but it does lead to ossification of ideas and sees some things stay in place when they should have been done away with long ago. One such convention is keeping secret, the previous criminal history of a trial defendant. No less […]