Category Archives: politics

all things political

Blue Poles at the museum


There is talk in the art world about the National Gallery of Australia’s (NGA) changes to their permanent collection galleries and how this has included the movement of the famous Jackson Pollock painting, Blue Poles, from its long historic position downstairs to the upstairs galleries.

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Quarterly Essay: Political Amnesia

Reviews: Quarterly Essay 60 — Political Amnesia

How we forgot how to govern, Laura Tingle, November 2015

qe60This is a recommended read for those with any sort of interest in how Australia has been and continues to be manged by the political ruling classes for the last couple of decades. I cannot say that anything Laura Tingle wrote about was shocking news, given my own experiences of dealing with governments and their bureaucracies,  but her insights and observations are definitely worth the read.

Continue reading Quarterly Essay: Political Amnesia

Marie Coleman and Turnbull’s FTB

I suspect that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is still locked into appeasing those on the far right that this country needs to reduce its spending on the social welfare programs. There is little evidence that the Turnbull government is looking to have the top wealthy few and big business pay their share of taxes and thus increase the revenue.

Continue reading Marie Coleman and Turnbull’s FTB

bureaucrats lack empathy

Costigan-P1120577It was during a recent North Canberra Community Council meeting that I realised I was hearing something very rare. The presenter was talking about fairly matter-of-fact issues to do with changes to local traffic lights and footpaths and it sounded as though she identified with the issues being dealt with.

Continue reading bureaucrats lack empathy

George Monbiot on Greece

George-Monbiot-LWe have endured several days of stuff written by the junk journalist writing on the Greece decision to reject the demands of the Intentional Monetary Fund. The Greeks voted no and the journalists have reproduced the media releases of those with ties to the Big Banks. It has taken a few days but at last some real journalism is appearing on this important topic.

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The Brandis Heist

brandis_0There are too many amazing horrible things about the current Australian national government. The arts have not been treated seriously by this lot since they came into government. They did not even bother to have an arts policy at their last election. Then with absolutely no notice or consultations, Brandis has ripped a huge amount of the funds from the Australia Council for his own departmental funding program. Click on the image for the story.

Jon Stanhope & ALP asylum policy

An ethical person speaks out

No CaptionI met Jon Stanhope a couple of times when he was Chief Minister for the ACT. Canberra benefited from his leadership. He continues to be a person known for his strong ethical stance on important issues.

He also liked public art – but that program was killed off because of the Liberal Party trolls who used the media to hammer the program.

Continue reading Jon Stanhope & ALP asylum policy

Dickson Planning Consultation Dilemmas

Development dilemmas: part three
The future of the Dickson Precinct and beyond


This is the third of several posts on planning and development issues for Dickson in Canberra. Residential groups around the country share similar frustrations, dilemmas and challenges in dealing with planning and development bureaucracies.

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Journalism, Nut Jobs and Terrorists

rabbott01When it comes to most main stream media outlets, I have no positive expectations that they will be able to report on events with any credibility. The best one can do is to note the event and if you require relevant background information, then you need to search around and possibly wait a day or two for some of the real journalism to offer opinions and their take on events.

Continue reading Terrorism

Team Australia Strikes at Democracy

The nastiness of Abbott’s and Morrison’s Team Australia

rabbott01When the Australian Government’s spokesperson, Tony Abbott announced in August, that we all had to be part of Team Australia, we all knew what it meant. From his perspective, you were either with ‘us’, or you are against ‘us’. This government is about inequity and being plain nasty to anyone it deems not to be part of their agenda – Team Australia.

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Women and Carbon Tax

The Abbott as Minister not for Woman

1419301353603As 2014 draws to an end, the Credlin Government spokesperson, Tony Abbott, went on TV to talk positive about the changes to the Ministerial portfolios just announced. It was supposed to be an opportunity to finish the year with a positive after being such a crap government all through 2014.

But he blew it. Again! Boss Credlin will be very unhappy. Again!

Continue reading Women and Carbon Tax

Hockey meanness

The meanness of Joe Hockey

and his continued destruction of Australia’s way of life

Baz-P1020496If there was anyone left in Australia, who for one minute thought that the current Australian Federal Treasurer was anything but a mean and nasty politician, then all they had to do was observe his latest crimes. This man looks after his rich mates especially Big Coal, Banks and Big Miners; looks after this who pull his strings and keep him in power, Murdoch and their cohorts; and does all this by stripping back opportunities for health and well-being from those most disadvantaged.

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J J Cale and political leaders

Comment on musicians making political messages

J_J_Cale-To_Tulsa_And_Back-FrontalI have commented before about musicians who have used their music to make political comments. Sometime the relevance of a former song can still ring true to today’s political situations.

The song I ma referring to is a tune by J.J Cale, The Problem. It is from his wonderful 2004 Album To Tulsa and Back.

Continue reading J J Cale and political leaders

Quarterly Essay – Clivosaurus

Review: Book

Quarterly Essay 56 – Clivosaurus

The politics of Clive Palmer, Guy Rundle, November 2014

9781863957014It has been extremely difficulty over the last year or so to get a clear picture of what the hell is going on with Australian Federal politics given the rise and rise of people such as Clive Palmer and his new PUPs – being the other members of the Palmer United Party. The  problem has been the reporting by the Australian media. They took the attitude early on to not treat Clive Palmer seriously. This book deals with this issue very nicely. It is a good read.

Continue reading Quarterly Essay – Clivosaurus

Be Very Afraid of the Rabbott

Australia where strange things keep happening!

rabbott01It is hard to believe that the once forward thinking country of Australia has a majority of voters who have allowed the country to be run by dangerous idiots. I am not referring to the stooges who were elected, but to the nasty people of Big Coal, Big Tobacco, Big Banks, Big Developers and their planning friends, Big Supermarkets and Murdoch and his camp followers – and there are many.

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Obama and the Realities of the Media

Comment on the main stream press churnalism

1035x1454-20141007_obama2_x548Australia, as with most western countries, suffers because of the death of real journalism. This has been mentioned before in particular with Nick Davies’ book, Flat Earth News – click here.

In Australia the main stream press is quite diligent in ensuring that any real social equity and justice issues are panned as being not relevant if they are mentioned at all. The media have a history of defining and then pursuing a neo-conservative agenda.

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My Story Julia Gillard

Announcement: New Book

Julia Gillard’s – My Story

my storyHappy to promote this book. This story remains complex. There have been several thoughtful reviews of the book published online. As well as the usual crap from the mainstream media, who were part of the problem during Julia Gillard’s time as Prime Minister.  Sara Dowse has provided an intelligent and insightful review that is definitely worth reading. click here.


Dirty Politics

Comments: on the sad state of politics

max-P1020481Here in Australia we have suffered a series of dirty political events that have led to the election of one of the worst possible national governments. However it always an education to pop one’s head up over the wall to look to see how other countries are faring.

Here are links to two bad cases mentioned in recent articles.

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Big Corporations and Inequity

Comment: More on Corporations and Inequity

1a34098uI had reviewed Andrew Leigh’s very good 2013 book, Battlers & Billionairesclick here. Just this week there has been announcements from an American campaign that is raining voices about the control the corporate elite have on the country and how this is destroying the planet and our civil societies. click here

Continue reading Big Corporations and Inequity

Linton Kwensi Johnson

Music Review online

Linton Kwensi Johnson, more time, from Paris Live, 2004

photo_We have been bombarded recently with a lot of neo-conservative rubbish about how everyone needs to work longer hours and stay in work for more years. There’s so much indoctrination being put about how people need to do more and expect less. I disagree.

Continue reading Linton Kwensi Johnson

Big Tobacco & Michael Moore of Canberra

Commentary: Did Big Tobacco win this one

Michael-Moore-175x1751I had previously posted a link to a good commentary by Michael Moore of Canberra. He said among other scathing things: “Tobacco companies want to prove that plain packaging does not work because it is being seriously considered by other governments across the world.”

Continue reading Big Tobacco & Michael Moore of Canberra

Hack Attack Nick Davies

2nd Notice: New Book
Hack Attack by Nick Davies

hack-attackJust to remind you that this book is worth reading. Sadly the ending is a bit depressing in that Nick considers the power elite have reshuffled a little but carry on a s before.

It has also been interesting to read the story of Rebecca Brooks. The question has been posed elsewhere, was she just a user of the corporate and political systems in order to climb the ladder to join the ranks of those in power?

Continue reading Hack Attack Nick Davies

Refugees and The Law

Comment: Good news from the High Court

crown-sheepYesterday there was good news from the High Court on limits to the cruel and inhuman treatment of refugees being handed out by the Australian Government. I am not sure how the right-wing mainstream media and the ABC are reporting this, as it yet another indicator of how rotten this government has become. The decision is one step in turning this horrible situation around. Let’s hope there’s more good news to follow. click here for the article by Dr Joyce Chia in The Guardian. Then for more by Dr Joyce Chai – click here.


Paul Costigan, 12 September 2014

Scotland The Brave

Comment: Scotland and the vote for Independence

175px-Flag_of_Scotland.svgI am probably like many Australians who for a long time ignored and then wondered what the referendum in Scotland is all about. Curiosity took me to reading several online articles that provided some very thoughtful insights for those interested in the great democracy experiment. Here’s the background – click here.

Continue reading Scotland The Brave

Brickworks, Austral Bricks, Developers & political shenanigans

Commentary: emails and corporate shenanigans and lies

Brickworks – Austral Bricks – Developers and political shenanigans

rabbitt01The Abbott funding scandal story gets more interesting day by day.

I am referring to the story generated by the release of the emails between Brickworks (owner of Austral Bricks among other subsidiaries) and the Chief of Staff for Tony Abbott. The point being made now is how this company assisted in the lies about and attacks on carbon pricing while they made profits from the government subsidies then available.   click here


Paul Costigan, 10 September 2014

Undoing Public Education

Commentary: Damage being proposed for public education

max-P1020481We all know that this government is doing everything it can to push through an ideological driven agenda for all aspects of Australian social life. With the blessing of the cluster of Vice Chancellors, the government wants to make the system favour those with money at the expense of those from socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

Continue reading Undoing Public Education

Citizenship and Abbott

Commentary: A curious story
Queries about the Prime Minister’s citizenship

rabbott01I have been watching this story develop in the alternate media and so far it has not been mentioned in the main stream media. The question being asked is whether Tony Abbott ever gave up his dual UK citizenship which is required under the constitution for anyone to be a member of the Australian Parliament?

Click here for the piece – and then for a follow-up story – click here

Abbott the destroyer

Politics in Australia

Cover-September-2014We are fortunate in Australia to have some independent voices writing both in hard copy and online. For instance we have the Saturday Paper and The Monthly and online resources such as The Conversation and a host of others.

Unfortunately most of this reading at the moment can be a little depressing as so much of the news is being taken up reporting on the destructive nature of the Federal Government.

Continue reading Abbott the destroyer

Utopia on ABC

Review: TV program
Utopia, eight part series on ABC

utopia - cast1This series was much-anticipated given the success the same writing team had with their earlier TV series, such as The Hollowmen. After watching four of the eight, I am happy to report that the program started well and then, it simply got better, and then it continued to get even better! I am very much looking forward to the next for of the series.

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Michael Moore of Canberra

Commentary: Articles by Michael Moore of Canberra

Michael-Moore-175x1751I have mentioned articles written by a local, Michael Moore. While he holds down a very busy job in health, he continues to devote serious time to punching out thoughtful articles in one of the local free newspapers. They are most welcomed.

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Women taking on-going hits

Commentary: on the on-going inequities

croakeyCroakey author, Michelle Hughes, highlighted the ongoing inequities within the health science arena – click here.

I identify with her final comment on the selection of keynote speakers as the issue of getting women as key-note speakers was a focus of mine in the past.  I did come up with a strategy to deal with it. See my notes below.

Continue reading Women taking on-going hits

Bolt out of the blue hits Bolt

Comment: no further comment required

Andrew Bolt has been called a racist on his own TV show by former Labor frontbencher Craig Emerson. Bolt attacked Qantas’ decision to support the Recognise campaign for Indigenous constitutional recognition as racist, but Emerson said Bolt was the racist for his attacks on fair-skinned Indigenous people

racistClick on the image for the video when Craig Emerson calmly messed with Andrew Bolt’s thick head!


Paul Costigan, 18 August 2014

Women take another hit

Commentary: on how the women of Australia have been hit (again) by so-called education reforms.

jane_caroOne wonders just how long all thinking Australians are going to put up with so many terrible decisions being made by a federal cabinet that has just the one token woman present. Jane Caro has written a very good piece in the Guardian on how that stupid Education Minister is putting into place even more barriers to equity in employment. click here.


Paul Costigan, 11 August 2014