Inequality and the neoliberal legacy. Half a century of trickle-up economics has decreased prosperity, overburdened the health system – and caused a vast number of premature deaths. In Australia, the Howard government did most of the damage.
Labor on refugees: just as nasty and even more secretive. Refugees in Australia’s detention camps learnt long ago that hope was an illusion. The new Labor government, endorsing the Coalition’s cruelty, has again shown them the bleak wisdom of hopelessness.
Neoliberalism: an obituary. The ideology which ruled the world’s economies for half a century has, after a long illness, finally died. Liz Truss tripped over its decaying corpse on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street.
Profit from pain: how our most corrupt industry really works. When the Tasmanian government announced the nation’s first pre-commitment system to limit harmful betting on poker machines, there was unrestrained fury from the pokie lobby.
After 50 years of cuts, is it now too late to rescue the ABC? For almost half a century, the ABC has been squeezed between two opposing forces – rapidly increasing costs on one hand, savage budget cuts on the other.
As America prepares for war with China, we’re in the crossfire. Strategic ambiguity is all but dead. The United States has left China and the world in no doubt that if Taiwan is attacked, America will go to war.
Is our unwritten constitution worth the paper it’s not written on? When it finally became known that Scott Morrison, in darkest secrecy, had made himself the Lord High Everything Else, the solicitor-general said there wasn’t anything illegal about it. But was there?
Could the Greens (one day) govern Australia? Bob Brown is pretty sure about it. “It’s inevitable,” he told me. Bob, and many within the Greens, see environmental policies – on climate change particularly – as being the single decisive issue around which future politics will revolve.
Meet Australia’s most overstretched hospital. Every major hospital in the nation is in trouble. Most were struggling to cope with ever-rising patient numbers even before the pandemic pushed them over the edge.
In denial: Defence’s giant carbon footprint. In almost every country, armed forces are responsible for massive greenhouse gas pollution. But governments – including Australia’s – do not disclose that, and do not accurately include defence emissions in their carbon-reduction targets.
Survive or perish? Bob Brown on the greatest choice facing humanity. Bob Brown’s Eureka moment came in 1973, when he and a local dairy farmer went chasing thylacines in the Tarkine wilderness of north-west Tasmania.
How the GP crisis happened – and why it will get much worse. For most of the last 25 years, there has been a war of attrition against Medicare. Nowhere are the effects more crippling than in general practice.
Rednecks on the run: how Australia transformed itself. The bookies don’t think much of Peter Dutton’s chances of becoming Prime Minister. Shortly after the last election, Sportsbet put the chances of a coalition victory in 2025 at $3.10. That’s probably generous.
Factions have crippled Tasmania’s ALP. Now the paramedics are here. Factional warfare has cost the Tasmanian ALP its two most popular and credible politicians; its parliamentary leader and state president; a state election; and two federal seats.
What’s gone wrong in mental health? For the past 50 years, governments have taken money and resources out of the mental health sector. Now, we have a ballooning crisis that disproportionately affect women, the poor, the young, and homosexual men and women.
Treatment, not prison: Australians now firmly reject the war on drugs. Many powerful interests – police drug agencies, mafias, bikie gangs, law-and-order politicians – base their business models on continuing the war on drugs. Voters, though, have a different idea.
The loneliness of the long-distance health reformer: Stephen Duckett on politics, bureaucracies and the pandemic. Anyone who still thinks Australia’s health system is fit for purpose really hasn’t been paying attention.
Thousands dying. A whole economy in chaos. Hospitals in pandemonium. Why won’t our governments do their bloody job? Almost everyone now knows that living-with-Covid isn’t working. Everyone, that is, except the people we have elected to run the country.
Census delivers a big budget windfall to the small states. Almost $900 million will be transferred this financial year from the biggest states to the smaller jurisdictions. And Victoria will lose the federal seat it recently gained.
How will we survive this cascade of crises? Around twice in every century, an old era ends and a new one begins. The Global Financial Crisis. Climate change. The precipitous decline of the United States. China. Ukraine. The pandemic. No wonder we’re feeling depressed.
No God, please, we’re Tasmanian. Tasmania has become the first – and only – Australian jurisdiction in which the majority of people no longer believe in God. According to the census, 54% of Tasmanians have no religion. That’s 11% higher than the national average.
Labor’s plans for a whole new health system. Starting with Curtin and Chifley, every federal Labor government has redesigned the nation’s health system. Based on what they’ve said so far, this government will do the same.
Money can’t buy you love – but it can buy you life. Have you ever wondered why the British royals last so long? It’s not about genetics. Not “breeding”. It’s about a healthy, controlled lifestyle – and the most rigorous, attentive and stupendously expensive health care anywhere.
Labor wins friends with cost-free policies. It can't last. Here’s a list. The Uluru statement. The Biloela family. Corruption commission. Wages. Republic. Arts. Robodebt royal commission. Climate. Support for the ABC.
Tasmania’s disastrous health budget. During the internal discussions for the 2014 state budget, the Department of Health put a business case for upgrading the health system’s creaking and outdated computer systems.
Why Labor failed in Tasmania. Two weeks before the federal election, there was another vote that was little noticed in Tasmania and ignored entirely everywhere else. As omens go, though, this one was a doozy.
Wear a mask and save the economy. Covid lockdowns and border closures were necessary at the time, but they caused a recession. Quickly, we went from one extreme to the other – from lockdowns to let-it-rip. Political leaders promised a sunny outlook.
Crimes against aesthetics: architectural adventures in Hobart. Less is more, they said. Form follows function. A house is a machine to live in. And so, a hundred years ago, led by Le Corbusier and the German avant-garde, architecture began its journey into the dark tunnel of modernism.
Universal health care is the cheapest option. Anything less costs more. Starving the health system of money and resources is the economics of stupidity. Any savings are soon eclipsed by the massive cost to the economy, to the society and to government budgets.
A colossal all-party health FAIL ! Every element of the Australian health system is in deep dysfunction. Hospitals in every state are in greater disarray than ever before. Emergency department overcrowding alone is killing as many people as the road toll.
Budget cuts loom as Frydenberg ramps up debt-and-deficit. Here’s why it’s bullshit. It’s time, declared the Financial Review , to start budget repair. “The budget is spinning out of control.” It’s code, of course.