Author: Dr_Tad

04 Dec

10 Comments

Abbott & the auto-unravelling of the Right

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Grown-up government

For some time, this blog has insisted that an Abbott government — far from getting a smooth ride, even with a big parliamentary majority — would most likely face “crisis and volatility” at least as much as the ALP had over the last few years. By way of contrast, the rapid accumulation of problems for Abbott in […]

20 Nov

12 Comments

We need to talk about Indonesia

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The not-so-special relationship

I suppose we’ll never know if when Kevin Rudd dropped the word “Konfrontasi” into the pre-election debate on Tony Abbott’s “turn back the boats” policy he was merely stirring up his Coalition opponents or whether he was directly aware of the depth of contempt Indonesian elites had towards the Coalition’s sabre-rattling. The term certainly had […]

20 Oct

5 Comments

Now it’s their turn: Political crisis & the Right

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Tony Abbott with Don Randall

Marking pro-Liberal commentary over the last four years was the repeated occurrence of flashes of lucid insight into the nature and dimensions of the crisis of Laborism. Whether it was the hollowing out of Labor’s social base, the destructive actions of the factional power system, or Gillard’s inability to revive the party’s fortunes with appeals […]

Filed under: Featured

11 Sep

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Caught up in Labor’s crisis: The Greens in 2013

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Bandt

My post-election analysis, including the contradictions of the Greens vote, went up at the Overland website on Tuesday. Lots of good discussion and debate in the comments, also. The Greens’ entry into the alliance was made possible because it took advantage of the rejection of both major parties in 2010, but with the ALP in […]

06 Sep

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The Left, the Greens and the crisis (from Overland)

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Peak Greens?

My long-form essay on the trajectory of the Greens since 2010 is now up at Overland Journal‘s website, and will be in the print edition due out next week. No comments option at Overland, so feel free to comment below. The rise of the Greens represented a historic realignment of the Left of Australian politics, […]

31 Jul

2 Comments

Opinion polls, asylum seekers and Rudd’s strategy

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Rudd in charge

My latest piece at The Guardian, on how polls and public opinion have little to do with Rudd’s quest to establish political dominance: Again, the refugee issue clarifies Rudd’s approach. Central to his strategy is the use of regional (international) statecraft to establish authority. By having Indonesia expose Abbott’s plan to “turn back the boats” as a dangerous […]

22 Jul

7 Comments

Making things happen: race, borders & the state

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QLD_CM_NEWS_RUDD_19JUL13_

One of the most striking things about the mainstream media coverage of Kevin Rudd’s “PNG solution” is how the discussion is mostly framed by ideas, policies and language that are increasingly relics of a past phase of the interminable “border security” debate. By outmanoeuvring opponents to both his Right and Left on this issue, Rudd […]

20 Jul

29 Comments

Turning point: Asylum, Rudd’s realpolitik & the Left

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Because all aspiring boat people have the Fairfax newspapers home-delivered

Some moments have “turning point” written all over them. So it was when Liz and I started Left Flank three years and two weeks ago, when we highlighted a speech by Julia Gillard justifying her “lurch to the Right” on border security, and compared her language with that of John Howard — defending Hansonism — from 1996. […]