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Im not sure what to call Malcolm Turnbulls latest spray at the Labor Party projection, cognitive dissonance, gaslighting? Malcolm Turnbull said Labor was in disarray, focusing on its internal problems rather than sensible economic reforms. Theyve not only got backroom buffoonery, theyve got front-of-stage economic idiocy from their leader, the Prime Minister said. This
Given the high comedy of the likes of Hannity on Trump News - he
didn't do it, maybe he did, oh look over there, a car crash - the
pond has a deep and abiding pity for local reptiles.
How can they possibly match their American cousins?
But this being Sunday, and in lieu of a meditation, the pond would like to mention valiant local warriors who try to keep up in their own way ... including Bernard Salt, out of the gates on the weekend, with a spiffing reference to "virtue signalling" ...
January 26, 1788, the day the British Empire jacked an entire continent; the day that marks the beginning of a 230-year reign of terror on the Indigenous peoples of this land we call Australia, which continues to this day. read now...
The problem with politics' negative image is that it discourages people from having a go when there is so much political work to be done, writes Barry Hindess.
IN ONE of his most popular books, In Defence of Politics, the late Bernard Crick argued that, while it is tempting to take a cynical view of politics, with all its betrayals, back-stabbing, broken promises, compromises and power struggles, it remains the most promising way of maintaining more or less peaceful co-existence within large and complex communities. The only practical alternative to politics, he suggested, was government by straightforward coercion.
We can get a sense of what concerned Crick by considering Linda Burney's observation, on ABC's Radio National, on January 17, that, while she was sympathetic to the idea of changing the date of Australia Day, the Greens' adoption of the issue risked turning it into a political issue and that this would involve a narrow view of Indigenous affairs. As a good Labor parliamentarian, she stuck to the Party line, pointing out that there was no current Labor proposal to change the date and adding that we should also be talking about the Uluru Statement. In this case, the suggestion by a professional politician that it was not a good thing to turn something into a political issue seems just a little strange.
Ms Burney's comment can be understood in terms of a persistent ambiguity in our usage of "politics" and related terms. In Australia and many other countries, people operate with diverse understandings of what politics is. It can refer to the conduct of international affairs and, within Australia, to conflict within and between the parties represented in Australian parliaments or, more broadly, to attempts to influence the conduct of Australian Governments at local, state or national levels. Politic...
A good salesperson will tell you that every sale, be it a house or car; even something as seemingly simple as a particular brand of breakfast cereal, is made on emotion. When we choose that new car, we are actually buying comfort, reliability and peace of mind. Or sex appeal, status and prestige. Negative emotions
Thank the long absent lord that's all over.
At last that day is behind us ...
Now the reptiles and the pond can get back to doing the things that matter ... you know, dinkum Aussie clean coal, oi, oi, oi; how wretched are electric cars, or what; aren't wind farms the ugliest things on the planet; why did South Australia wreck the electricity grid - are croweaters full of spite; and the latest news from Lloydie, fresh evidence that climate alarmism is alarmist ...
And there's even more fun to be had elsewhere, finding good in the Donald, and bemoaning the greenies, and salivating over the splendid insights of the forward-looking onion muncher and ....
Saturday 27 January 2018. These are extracts from my writing in 2016: 1 I was writing about truth in politics and quoted this as the greatest lie ever told by an Australian politician. One of most important moments in the life of Menzies must have been when, on 28 April 1965, he lied to the
Trump declares the U.S. is open for business in Davos, as he tells global bigwigs America First does not mean America alone. Speeches on the vid begin around 4:45 in. PDT at around 8:30.
- President Donald Trump defended his aggressive trade posture before world leaders and business moguls in Davos
- He declared the U.S. open for business
- Trump also tried to explain how he would cooperate with other nations
- Trump has said hell withdraw from global climate pacts and trade deals
- I will always put America First. Just like the leaders of other countries should put their countries first also
- Pitches investment in the USA
- America is roaring back and now is the time to invest in the future of America
- Says hell denuke the Korean peninsula
- Hails retaking ISIS territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria
The words in the heading are from the President of the World Economic Forum.
UPDATE: The text of Remarks by President Trump to the World Economic Forum.
By Barddylbach Would you celebrate Earth Day after an invasion by Alien Boondoggles from Alpha Centauri who declared Earth Terra Nullius because we didnt have any interstellar sailing ships, planetary engineers, psychohistorians, blue skin and we thought hermaphrodites were just exceptionally rare freaks and common snails? Would you fire up the barbecue, drink boiling purple
The post Celebrating V-Day with Boondoggles, Turncrites and Duttocides Lessons from the Milky Way appeared first on The AIM Network.
It wouldnt be Australia Day without a story about Andrew Laming, the federal member for the seat of Bowman, located in the eastern suburbs of Brisbane, who spends the day crashing parties with a tray of lamingtons and skolling beers whilst doing a handstand in an effort to impress and engage with young people. Yup,
The post Andrew Lamings $20,000 family holiday at your expense value for money? appeared first on The AIM Network.
whatever issue on which I want to avoid justifying my firmly held, but indefensible, position.
One of the rhetorical tricks Ive noticed becoming increasingly common (though I may just have been sensitized to it) is opposition to some proposal, based on the claim that there are more important issues to discuss. Heres a typical example from right wing culture warrior, Kevin Donnelly, campaigning against equal marriage in the leadup to the recent postal survey. Before commencing a lengthy diatribe against gay activism, Safe Schools, alcoholic and abusive parents, surrogacy and so on that barely mentions the topic of marriage, Donnelly says
about 98 per cent of Australians identify as heterosexual and according to the 2011 census figures only 1 per cent of Australian couples are same-sex, with surveys suggesting only a minority want same-sex marriage. There are more important issues to worry about.
If Donnelly believes the issue is unimportant, why is he writing about it? Why not just leave it up to the good sense of the majority of Australians, as the rhetoric of the plebiscite suggested? Why not focus his attention on problems like protecting children from the effects of alcoholism and domestic violence.
The answer is, of course, that Donnelly has no case, or none he is able to make publicly, but nonetheless is very concerned to stop equal marriage. In the absence of a case, he must resort to diversions. So, rather than explain why gay people should be denied the right to marry, he starts off by saying the issue is too unimportant to bother with.
Of course, there are plenty of questions that are too trivial to bother with, and the sensible response is not to bother with them. If pressed, one could reasonably respond this issue isnt worth my time, Ill just go with whatever the majority decides, but this is hardly ever done.
The only case where this trope is at least possibly justified is as an admonition to political allies not to be diverted into big efforts on trivial issues, when there are more important problems to deal with. Again, though, this only makes sense for someone who is themselves indifferent regarding whether and how these issues are resolved.
Don Aitkin is a national treasure and I hope everyone looks at his site and signs on to get a heads up on his columns. Today he posted on the way the universities have become slaves to research grants and they way this played out in the obscene treatment of Bob Carter and the threat to Peter Ridd at the James Cook University.
On this occasion, Professor Ridd decided he had had enough, and launched his own court case against the CEO, claiming conflict of interest, apprehended bias and actual bias. It happens that the Universitys Vice-Chancellor is a director of AIMS, which produces an obvious conflict of interest. The University then told Ridd he was not to disclose or discuss these matters with media or in any other public forum. His lawyers pointed out that either the University was incompetent or it was guided by bias, which the Universitys lawyers denied.
Peter Ridd was kind enough to write to me about the alleged misconduct involved in talking to the media about the misconduct allegation, and later alerted me to the fact that there was deemed to be further misconduct involved in writing to me! I wish him well in all of this, which is so unnecessary, and so inimical to the cause of scholarship, argument and the advancement of knowledge.
Part Three of a history of European occupation, rule, and brutal imperialism of Indigenous Australia, by Dr George Venturini. From terra nullius to Mabo It was only the 1992 Mabo judgment which finally freed the continent of terra nullius as a legal doctrine. Anti-Aboriginal sentiments resurrect the idea from time to time, however. The manner
This is based on a comment I made here.
A counter-argument raised against such citing is that those walls are much smaller than the Trump proposal. It is true that the US-Mexican border is 3,201km long, while Israel has 1,004km of border barriers (708km on West Bank, 245km on Egypt border and 51km on Gaza border) and the Hungarian border barriers are 523km (175km on Serbian border and 348km on Croatian border)actually, slightly less if one includes natural barriers.
What is missing in this simple comparison is relative populations. Israel has 1,004 km of border wall with a population of 8.5m, so 8,500 people per km of wall.
Hungary has 523km of border wall with a population of 9.8m, so 18,700 people per km of wall.
The US-Mexico border is 3,201km long and the US has a population of 325.7m, which would be 101,800 people per km of wall.
Given that Americans are also, on average, richer than Israelis and Hungarians, the proposed Mexican border barrier is, in fact, smaller with respect to population and GDP than either the Israeli or Hungarian cases.
Another argument sometimes mounted against border barriers or border enforcement is that a significant amount of illegal immigration...
Look Im not jealous, BUT Why are there never any tradies given the gong for job well done when it comes to recognition of ones efforts? Why is a fast runner, a media queen, a diligent scientist or even a bee-keeper held in higher esteem than your local honest tradie OK, OK
Today in The Australian
Modern Australias success is built on enterprise and hard work
With the politics of envy in full swing, it is worth remembering that the millions who came to these shores since the First Fleet arrived 230 years ago were driven not by the prospect of living at other peoples expense but by the aspiration to forge a better life for themselves and their children.
How are human rights enforced in New Zealand? For a lot of them,
such as the right not be discriminated against, or the right to
privacy, it is done via the Human Rights Review Tribunal (HRRT).
Except the HRRT is so underfunded,
it can no longer do its job:
A tribunal set up to hear breaches of human rights has become so overworked and underfunded it can't even schedule a phone conference to plan a hearing, according to an email sent by a staff member.
The amount of work handled by the Human Rights Review Tribunal has doubled over two years even though funding and staffing levels remain the same.
It has meant huge delays for those bringing complaints of discrimination, harassment and privacy breaches.
And for those who have brought cases, the Herald has learned of two that have had a three-year delay in having decisions delivered.
An article in The Spinoff yesterday accused the New
Zealand Taxpayer's Union - a National Party front group featured in
Dirty Politics - of
wasting public money by using the OIA and LGOIMA. According to
the article, the NZTU was responsible for 5% of all LGOIMA requests
to the Auckland Council, at an estimated cost (repeated
uncritically by The Spinoff) of $39,100. Which is apparently
a Bad Thing. Why, the Auckland Council could buy a whole centimetre
of road for the cost of the time wasted by this organisation!
Sure. And how much could they buy if they stopped answering OIA requests from Greater Auckland? Or The Spinoff. More generally, what could the government afford if it refused to answer OIA requests from Greenpeace, the media, or the opposition?
Because that's what The Spinoff is inviting them to do. And by doing so, they buy fully into the bureaucratic narrative that transparency and the ability of citizens to hold government to account is "waste", rather than a core function.
I reject that narrative. Transparency is a right. Public servants work for us, are accountable to us, and must be transparent to us. And that applies regardless of who is asking the questions - whether its the good guys at Generation Zero, or the hacks at the Taxpayer's Onion. Trying to cost-shame your political opponents over transparency falls into the same category as trying to cost-shame people over the cost of elections and referenda: its anti-democratic idiocy. And as a media organisation, The Spinoff should be ashamed they published it.
Friday 26 January 2018 This is a post that attests to the character of Rupert Murdoch. He has recently been knocked back, in the public interest, in his attempt to purchase the remaining 65% of Sky News he doesnt own. I really dont know that I am qualified to write this. I know little of
Now I realise that immigration is a bit of hot topic because its one area where people dont fit into the predictable normal left versus right viewpoints. Some lefties will favour increased immigration; others will argue that it threatens Australias sustainability. Right-wingers have those who are concerned that immigrants will take our jobs opposing those
The post People Seem To Have Missed The Obvious In Tonys Tweet appeared first on The AIM Network.
Literally blowing up their power stations. Richly symbolic!
For about $8 million a year over three years, they could have kept some coal power going and wouldnt have needed to spend $400 million on emergency diesel generators they dont want to use, and over $100 million on a battery that can supply 4% of the state for one hour. They also wouldve paid less than $120 million for two days of electricity last week.
I always read the comments and usually learn a lot from them but this seems a lot more informative than usual and with a very unusual take on things. From John Smith 101 discussing Why isnt this reported as the scandal it is?. The above, via Leo G, is also from the comments.
Mueller is working for Trump and has been all along re the Russia connection. Mueller has been handed a get (or rather a stay) out of jail card by Trump. Mueller is implicated in the 9-11 psyops as well as signing off on the Uranium 1 scandal whereby HRC and the Clinton Foundation sold about 20% of the US uranium to a Russian company, Rosatom. Mueller was threatened with death if he spoke out about 9-11/Uranium 1. Mueller is basically a good guy (white hat) in the wrong place.
The Trump Russia collusion supposedly being investigated by Mueller is actually a ruse to, firstly, out the Deep State (certain members of the FBI, CIA, congress members, business leaders, globalists, etc) leakers seeking to disparage or remove Trump from office this outing has occurred, with great success, over the past 12 months. The leakers (not necessarily all Democrats but also RINO Repubs) have now exposed their connections to the Deep State. Secondly, Mueller has exposed these principal players/leakers and their role in the treasonous act of wiretapping a presidential nomination (ie Trump) through illegal means incorporating a number of leading figures in the FBI and the Democrats, reaching all the way through to Lynch, Obama and HRC.
There are many reasons why the Deep Staters/globalists wanted/needed to wiretap Trump in the lead up to, and beyond, the 2016 elections. Some of these reasons include corruption and some extremely heinous crimes (think Madeline McCann), which will become clear in the coming days, weeks and months. In fact, as of yesterday, Obama has organised nine lawyers in various countries, to deal with the fallout from these inquiries. Furthermore, McCabe, a senior FBI official closely connected with the Russian dossier and the following wire tap, is, let us say, helping officials with what his, and others, roles were in this situation. Presumably he has been charged with high crimes because his interviews occurred at Gitmo.
Gitmo, in fact, is currently accommodating a number of people (more than 30 at last count), many of whom you have already heard about over the years. Anyone heard from Soros lately? Anyone noticed a diminution in Getup trolls on certain news blog sites. An...
A University of Zagreb algorithm has exposed casualty statistic misinformation about Yugoslavia's WW2 concentration camps, reports Branko Miletic. read now...
By Denis Bright In the absence of the US, China, and Russia, eleven countries are expected to sign the new Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement in Chile on 8 March 2018. This agreement must be ratified later by the Australian Senate after a likely review by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties. As reported in the
The government today announced some employment relations
reforms, including the restoration of meal breaks and the right to
collective bargaining. But they also plan to
retain 90 day trial periods for small businesses:
The Government will ban 90 day trial periods for any business with more than 19 employees as part of the overhaul.So basicly the 30% of the workforce who are most vulnerable, because their bosses are the stupidest and crappest and lack institutional expertise, will be left at the mercy of their employers. Yay Labour! Let's do this! Errr...
The controversial fire-at-will scheme, introduced by the last government, gave employers the right to dismiss workers without cause during a 90-day trial period.
Small businesses - those with 19 employees or fewer - will still be allowed to use trials.
According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the latest data from Statistics New Zealand suggests that 97 per cent (487,602) of all enterprises are counted as small businesses, but these employ only 29 per cent (599,880) of all employees in New Zealand.
Labour had campaigned on allowing trial-period workers to challenge a dismissal, which would then be decided by a referee service within three weeks, with a $5000 payout cap and no right of appeal.So there you have it: worker's rights, which Labour wanted to ditch, were protected by Winston. Something is seriously wrong with the Labour Party when that happens. But that's what happens when you have a party which fundamentally stands for nothing.
Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said that would no longer be the case.
"What we will announce will be quite different to that. That's a result of our negotiations with NZ First."
I tell you what, if you go down the pub and you talk to small business people, theyre not talking about econometric models, said our Treasurer Scott Morrison when asked about modelling to justify his legislated and proposed tax cuts. He may well be right, but, personally, I would prefer our economic policy to be
By Anthony Andrews When you hear or read the term hunter-gatherer do you automatically think of cavemen and dinosaurs? I do. Primitive man My apologies for using male dominant language but, equality between the sexes is still a relatively new concept in our society, although I suspect women have been fighting against male domination for
Spartacus loves Canadia. Not as much as he loves Australia or the US, but still. Canadia is a wonderful and beautiful land. But this assessment of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is just magnificent. Truly.
Here are some highlights, but Cats must read for themselves.
In a Toronto Sun column, Lorne Gunter wrote everything Trudeau does is done because he is nave. The major problem with the columnists thinking is he is being too kind to the selfie-taking Sock Boy. As far as naivet goes, Trudeau is looking at it in the rear view mirror. The reality is he is simply not bright enough to hold any job requiring more intelligence than his work experience before entering politics required; part time drama teacher, snowboard instructor and bouncer.
It is much easier to label Trudeau as a liar with evil intentions. But like the child he appears to be, his words and actions can simply arise from a person who is not intelligent enough to do the job he has been elected to do.
Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Despite the emphatic assurances of the Treasurer, a lower Australian corporate tax rate is unlikely to drive investment. read now...
Cape Town, a city of 4 million people, is
about to run out of water and turn off its municipal supply.
They've been in
drought since 2015, and they've underinvested in infrastructure
over the last 20 years. The net result is that the dams are almost
empty, and they're going to have to turn it all off:
Cape Town residents may lose piped water to their homes within two months if they do not act to counter the effects of the worst drought to hit South Africas second city in almost a century.
Local authorities have warned its 4 million inhabitants that if they do not reduce consumption by day zero 12 April they will have to queue at 200 standpipes for daily rations of 25 litres (6.6 US gallons).
What could go wrong?
Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, an expert in misinformation at Bristol University, said MPs could bring in laws to prevent anything that amounted to hate speech a move already undertaken by law-makers in Germany.
And guess what? Facebook hired the people to make that happen.
Yes, lets look at Germany. In 2017 the government slammed a 50 million Euro fine on social media companies for libel, slander, defamation, incitement, and they only have 24 hours to remove it after a complaint, regardless of whether the content is accurate.
Judith Bergman tells us the effect:
This state censorship makes free speech subject to the arbitrary decisions of corporate entities that are likely to censor more than absolutely necessary, rather than risk a crushing fine. When employees of social media companies are appointed as the states private thought police and given the power to shape the form of current political and cultural discourse by deciding who shall be allowed to speak and what to say, and who shall be shut down, free speech becomes nothing more than a fairy tale.
Meanwhile, the district court in Munich recently gave a German journalist, Michael Strzenberger, a six-month suspended jail sentence for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a senior Nazi official in Berlin in 1941.
The court found Strzenberger guilty of disseminating the propaganda of anti-constitutional organizations. While the mutual admiration that once existed between al-Husseini and German Nazis is an undisputed historical fact, now evidently history is being rewritten
Lewandowsky plan: Censorship, 1: Truth, 0.
By Cally Jetta There are a few dates in the calendar that I admittedly dread. Invasion Day is number one. ANZAC and Remembrance Days also. Dont get me wrong I honour the fallen and pay my respects and in no way are my aversions about them. Its more the fact that I really feel
The post There are a few dates in the calendar that I admittedly dread appeared first on The AIM Network.
NSW Penal Colony Establishment Day? Managing editor Dave Donovan proposes a name change for the January 26 public holiday, so Australians know exactly what it commemorates. read now...
Thursday 25 January 2018 I often say to my grandkids that folk of my generation have seen more change than any other. They ask why conservatives are so opposed to it and I try to explain by saying that it is a state of mind, one that longs for a bygone era. An era when
The post Day to Day Politics: Are they all raving lunatics? Bloody conservative bullshit. appeared first on The AIM Network.
Corbett, J 2017, Australias Foreign Aid Dilemma: Humanitarian aspirations confront democratic legitimacy, Routledge, New York.
As someone who is still in the early stages of self-education about Australian politics and political history, this book has helped fill in some very significant gaps in my knowledge. It has answered some key questions and raised others.
Corbetts central thesis is that the varied trajectory of Australian aid policy and practice is explained by politics and very little else. Building on that he presents the concept of court politics as the paradigm in which the history of aid in Australia must be based if we are to understand its past and present. Whether it helps us predict or even influence its future remains open to question.
One of the most useful things this book does is provide a very clear and thought provoking history of the aid program in Australia over an extended period of time. The author identifies key events and influencers from the post-war period up until the current day. Although the book was published after the merger of AusAID and DFAT during the period of the Abbott government, this does not receive a great deal of attention, given that it was too soon to assess the impact of this development at the time of publication. In addition, Corbetts chronology is helpful in putting this development into context alongside other (equally or possibly more) significant occurrences such as the establishment of the Australian Development Assistance Agency (ADAA) by the Whitlam government in 1974 or the abolition of the Development Import Finance Facility (DIFF) during the Howard government era.
Corbett rightly identifies that the lack of political investment in Australian aid policy and practice is a reflection of shallow public support. He posits that the ramification of this is that the major drivers of how Australian aid has or has not developed are located within the realms of executive discretion. He points to and illustrates attempts to enhance the significance of the aid program by seeking to establish one or more of: policy legitimacy, technical legitimacy, or administrative legitimacy. He defines policy legitimacy as stemming from the alignment of the agencies capabilities with the priorities of key stakeholders (p.7). In this context, this refers to demonstrating that the use of aid supports Australias vision of itself as an international actor. Technical legitimacy derives from how valuable key stakeholders consider the expertise of agencies to be. This indicates a growth in professionalism and technical expertise, drawing on global best practice, academic research and the influences of relevant NGOs. However, it is not without risk:.....
Watching this unfold, with the united actions of the FBI, CIA, the media, the Democratic Party and even some Republicans, and then realising that none of this happened under Obama, the conclusion is that Obama and his cohorts represented, in their entirety, the values of the deep state. That is, Obama represented the values of the governing elites of the United States which completely includes 90% of the media. Why isnt this reported as the scandal it is? That is why. This is what they want and who they are. Without the internet, you would not know a thing.
The Guardian, 23 January 2018:
Michael Wolff says
Donald Trump doesn't like his job.
Author Michael Wolff said in a new interview that he believes President Trump does not want to be the president.Matt Drudge read this and leapt to the president's defense:
"There is nothing to indicate that ... Trump is going to find his footing as the president of the United States, that he's going to be able to put a staff around him ... that knows what they're doing and a staff that he listens to," Wolff told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation....
"In the end, I think that the real truth is he does not want to be the president the president of the United States," Wolff said. "He wants to be, instead, Donald Trump."
Drudge Reports Matt Drudge said in a rare tweet Tuesday that President Trump loves his job and is already talking about his 2020 re-election run. ...I don't know if either of these guys is telling the truth, but they both could be mostly correct. I'm sure Trump did tell Drudge that he's psyched about his reelection bid -- Trump has been running for reelection literally since the day he was inaugurated. It's been argued that this is a way for Trump to drum up money, but it's also obvious that nothing about being president could ever be as awesome for Trump as running for president was -- all those cheering deplorables, all that adulation. It's probably killing him that he has to wait a couple more years to run again.
Time to call out Michael Wolff and his fabricated bullshit! Drudge tweeted. I had dinner with the president a few weeks ago and he was in fine form. He was optimistic, engaged, on top of the world, loving the job. And already talking about his 2020 re-election run!!
Matt Drudge went scorched earth on author of Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff, Tuesday over what the media icon describes as fabricated bullshit about President Trumps reported desire to no longer be President of the United States.
Time to call out Michael Wolff and his fabricated bullshit! I had dinner with the president a few weeks ago and he was in fine form. He was optimistic, engaged, on top of the world, loving the job. And already talking about his 2020 re-election run!! Drudge tweeted.
Drudges comments were in response to The Hills coverage of Wolffs interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where the author claimed Trump doesnt want to be President.
The Hill reports:
Author Michael Wolff said in a new interview that he believes President Trump does not want to be the president.
There is nothing to indicate that Trump is going to find his footing as the president of the United States, that hes going to be able to put a staff around him that knows what theyre doing and a staff that he listens to, Wolff told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
He added that it seems clear Trump will never settle on attainable goals.
In the end, I think that the real truth is he does not want to be the president the president of the United States, Wolff said.
President Trump has been highly critical of Wolff, branding the author a mentally derange,...
Labor has ruled out recreating AusAID to run Australian aid. According to Shadow Foreign Minister Penny Wong, in her November 2017 speech to ACFID, you cant unscramble an egg, and Labor will work with the changes that have been made.
But if Labor wont recreate AusAID, what should it do, if elected this year or next? How could it still achieve its goals also articulated in the same speech of giving aid more priority within DFAT, of rebuilding skills, and a greater emphasis on aid effectiveness?
It depends, for a start, on what Penny Wong meant by her announcement. What the Coalition abolished in 2013 was an Executive Agency, of which there are only a handful within government (essentially a residual category: neither a department, nor a bureau/agency of a department, nor a statutory agency). AusAID had been an Executive Agency for only three years, having been made one in 2010.
For most of its almost 40-year existence, and prior to 2010, AusAID (and AIDAB, and ADAB, to use its earlier acronyms) was in fact part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. It was an agency or bureau within DFAT, headed by a Director General who had Deputy Secretary status and direct access to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is an arrangement that was put in place by Fraser and his Foreign Minister Peacock in 1976, after they themselves abolished what was then a statutory authority for aid, ADAA. The aid bureaus independence from DFAT was partial at first but grew over the decades to become almost but not quite complete.
This Fraser/Peacock model was referred to as an arrangement of semi-autonomy you can find out more about it by reading Chapter 2 of Jack Corbetts history of Australian aid, Australias Foreign Aid Dilemma. According to Corbett, it was a model accepted by Peacock in part because of Sir John Crawfords urging. Crawford a former Trade Secretary himself and very interested in aid was concerned in particular with the issue of building staff expertise.
When the Coalition announced that it was abolishing AusAID, Robin Davies, veteran Australian aid bureaucrat, academic and commentator, advised it to recreate AusAID within DFAT, that is, to go back to something like the 1976 model. His advice was ignored.
Responsibility for various aspects of the aid program can now be found across all five DFAT groups (each group is...
Tonight, Ill be hosting a live YouTube stream with Davis Aurini, the Bechtloff and Artistic Layman assessing President Trumps first year in office, the FISA memo scandal, and our thoughts on the coming year in American politics. Well also be taking your calls. The show will begin at 7pm EST (6pm CST/4pm PST).
You can watch the stream when it starts by using the window below, or you can click here to watch it on YouTube and join the chat. You can also use the window below to watch a recording of the stream after it ends.
To call into the show when I go live, dial (641) 715-0872 if youre in the U.S. or Canada and use access code 497702#. International callers, please use the following numbers:
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