Category: Tony Abbott

07 Apr

4 Comments

WA result: Normal (anti-political) programming resumes

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Ludlam Milne Siewert

For most of the Left the re-election, on a big swing and record vote, of Greens Senator Scott Ludlam will be the most cheering news from the WA Senate special election. The Greens campaign was carried out with a large army of enthusiastic and youthful volunteers — door knocking and staffing phone banks (the latter […]

15 Mar

18 Comments

Some thoughts on the Biennale boycott and the state

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invasion

It would be churlish to thumb one’s nose at the successful artist boycott of the Sydney Biennale, which cut the Biennale’s partnership with Transfield over the latter’s participation in the federal government’s border protection regime. A new tactic within the mishmash of often mutually hostile campaigns in support of asylum seekers, its triumph certainly brightened […]

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 […]

23 Sep

25 Comments

The modern crisis of Australian Laborism (Part 2)

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What happens now?

By MARC NEWMAN This article continues the analysis of Labor’s crisis — especially in terms of its meaning for trade unions and social movements — begun here. Despite the defeat of the ALP, the election was not a crushing victory for the conservatives. Fewer seats fell than expected, and some of the LNP gains in the lower […]

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 […]

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. […]