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Showing posts from 2022
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.
A new arms race and nuclear Armageddon: UN chief’s grim warning. “Humanity,” said António Guterres in Hiroshima, “is playing with a loaded gun.”
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.
Climate change is already turning Australians into refugees. But it's only the beginning. Over the next couple of decades, hundreds of thousands of people will have to find somewhere else to live.
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.
‘The economy exists within society, not vice-versa’: Saul Eslake on the GFC, debt-and-deficit and why we need to pay more tax.
  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.
The Renegade: Greg Barns on law, prisoners, a republic – and fleeing the Liberals. Even now, Greg Barns insists he’s still a liberal. Small l. That’s a bit surprising, when you think about it.
Russian oligarchs, sanctions, money laundering – and the art market. If you had a lazy $280 million just lying around, you could buy 199 average-priced houses in Sydney, or 396 in Hobart.
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.
Does the Liberal Party have a future? If these were ordinary times, if it was only about one election result, the question would not need to be asked. These are not ordinary times.
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.
A nine-year fight against a government’s inhumanity. In 2013, when Hugh de Kretser became CEO of the Human Rights Law Centre, Labor was still in power.
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.
Don’t expect Nirvana; or, how to avoid being disappointed by a Labor government.     Whenever a Labor government is elected, its supporters expect the world to change. They are always disappointed.
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.
There’s only one way to save private hospitals.   Neither party wants to talk about it, but the crisis facing private hospitals – which provide one bed in every three in this country – is a time-bomb waiting to explode under the next government.
Wages from Howard to Morrison (and the $80 billion a year deficit).   Since the Howard government was elected in 1996, there has been a massive transfer of wealth from wage-earners to the owners and managers of capital.
Peerless, priceless and neglected: Tasmania’s heritage crisis. More colonial buildings have survived in Tasmania than in any other state. But no state has had successive governments which care so little about this heritage or do as little to preserve and promote it.
For Australia’s sickest hospital system, is there finally hope? The nation’s smallest state has its sickest population and its worst hospitals. There’s a reason for that, of course: it has a government which has never demonstrated it could actually give a damn.
Drug companies prevent poor countries getting vaccines. This is how they do it. Back in the 1970s the big American drug companies, led by Pfizer, were seriously worried about their continued ability to set prices for their products around the world.
Will an Albanese government fix the mess in health? Or not? Some things we know. We know the whole health system has moved beyond crisis to an apparently permanent state of declining function.