Populism from Bryan to Obama

Barack Obama’s current political woes are slightly overstated, the current Democrat slump has been worsened by a panic reaction to bad economic news, even although the economic evidence viewed overall points to a continuation of the slow recovery.

Bob Katter as Queensland Aboriginal Affairs Minister

Discussion of the three rural independents has given little attention to their past political records apart from them all having been once members of the National Party. Bob Katter is the only former minister. He served in the Queensland National Party governments of 1983 to 1989. These were single-party government formed after the coalition with […]

British lessons for Labor

Some interesting observations from The Independent’s Steve Richards on British Labour’s excessive caution and centralisation of leadership.  that seem very relevant to the ALP. First referring to hopeful suggestions from the new British government about prison reform as part of a general evaluation of New Labour’s  ‘reformism’:

Capitalist confidence and electability from Lang to Rudd and Obama

The recent debate about the Resources Super Profits Tax revives an old argument about whether or not capitalists have a veto power over governments due to the alleged linkage between business investment, economic activity and the likelihood of re-election. Critics of capitalism once favoured this argument (and conservatives opposed it) but now with the demise […]

Sucrogen and White Australia

Long before CSR meant ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ there was another CSR, the former Colonial Sugar Refining Company. Its history is deeply entangled with that of Australia in so many ways, including as an example of Labor’s accommodation with corporate capitalism and racism. The sale of CSR’s sugar division is noteworthy.

Labor, science and the 1940s

Some recent reading has shed light on how we evaluate Labor’s most productive decade that of the 1940s. Almost finished Boris Schedvin’s Shaping Science and Industry a study of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, the predecessor of the CSIRO.

One Nation and the Tea Parties, Hutaree and the New Guard

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Tip/Wag – Hutaree Militia & ABC www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Health Care Reform Can the ‘Tea Parties’ attract significant support from outside conservative ranks? I doubt it. What does Australian history tell us about militias? Nate Silver discusses recent polling: There are two […]

Tasmanian Labor and Queensland Nationals

Could Tasmanian Labor go the way of the Queensland Nationals? One it was common to argue that Queensland was politically distinct from the rest of Australia, the special 1987 issues of Social Alternatives was an example. The Bjelke-Petersen regime and the dominance of conservative politics by the Country/National Party provided evidence for this argument.