News

Jan192018

The search for truth: Why Google is a 'police state'

In the age of globalism and the “anywhere” millennials, companies are the new nations. They have turnover that dwarfs the GDP of mid-size countries, are active players in geopolitics and command loyalty that, among some staff and devotees, is more powerful than patriotism.

So it is no surprise that independent and critical minds are also judging these companies by the same standards expected of responsible nations.

Writer Robert Tracinski this week published a swipe at …

Jan192018

Tax attacks: Business leaders need to fight for lower corporate rates, says Spiro Premetis

Australian workers will have higher wages if company tax is reduced. As we’ve seen in the US, companies, which have their employees' interests at heart, immediately pass on some of the benefits of the tax cuts in the form of higher wages.

However, for this policy to be fully implemented in Australia, it needs to be more overtly supported by corporate leaders. Our rate is 27.5 per cent for small companies and 30 per cent for large. In 2026-27 the lower rate for small …

Jan192018

Hidden value of Bitcoin: Why cryptocurrencies are more than an investment fad, by Nick Cater

Bitcoin. Don’t leave home without it.

Crypto-currency is more than just a speculative commodity. In many parts of the world it is being used to buy and sell things - just like real money.

During a break in Argentina over the new year, I discovered to my great surprise that Bitcoin is a practical and relatively cheap way for an Australian traveller to exchange cash while avoiding heavy charges.

At least it is in Argentina, which is somewhat challenged, to put it mildly, …

Jan192018

Debate and tackle: A TV interview with Jordan Peterson illustrates the lamentable battle line of the culture wars, says Fred Pawle

“So you’re saying…” This is how high-profile Channel 4 journalist Cathy Newman begins many of the questions addressed to Canadian author and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson in a half-hour interview for Britain’s Channel 4 this week.

Peterson’s replies invariably begin with: “No, that’s not what I’m saying at all…” followed by a calm and rational explanation of his views on sexism, success, relationships, power and the structure of social …

Jan162018

Why Shorten doesn’t begin to fill Bob Hawke’s shoes

Nick Cater writes in The Australian:

It has been a turbulent, volatile and unpredictable year, to use three of the lamest adjectives in the journalist’s playbook. Some might even call it a rollercoaster ride of fortunes, or emotions, or a rollercoaster ride of both fortunes and emotions, which it was for Nick Kyrgios, or so we read at the weekend. Not surprisingly he wants to get off.

No journalist, as we know, has yet applied the giddying fairground metaphor to Bill …

Jan112018

John Gorton: a rugged Australian idealist

Original article published in The Spectator:

Following the death of Sir John Gorton on 19 May 2002, Christopher Zinn wrote in the Guardian that “Gorton left public life to become the most forgotten and unappreciated Australian leader”. Half a century after he assumed office as Australia’s nineteenth Prime Minister this week in 1968, it is timely to remember the ideals and legacy of that larrikin, craggy-faced World War II fighter-pilot who occupied …

Jan092018

No rainbow dance for rabble without a cause

Nick Cater writes in The Australian:

The similarity between the words “progress” and “progressive” is one of the great curiosities of modern politics. Could perchance the two be related?

The meaning of the noun progress is clear enough, having served as a statement of political intent since the dawn of democracy. Progressive, on the other hand, is an adjective struggling to give coherence to a succession of exotic causes, many of which are likely to send us …

Jan022018

Words of 2017: charge your shoeys and toast our kidult runchers

Nick Cater writes in The Australian:

Before bidding an indifferent farewell to 2017, let us ponder what is meant by “youth-quake”, the Oxford English Dictionary’s word of the year, and some of the other ­neologisms of the past 12 months.

A youth-quake, we are told, almost cost the Conservatives power in last year’s British general election when restless millennials voted for Jeremy Corbyn, an ageing muddle-headed mugwump, to borrow Boris Johnson’s sobriquet. …

Dec262017

Grey day for Christmas haters

Nick Cater writes in The Australian:

The spirit of Christmas has survived another year, much to the annoyance of its critics.

Mindful of the forbearance one should show in this season of goodwill, we should not dwell on their miserablist, misanthropic intolerance of a festival that ordinary people enjoy. Let us reflect instead on the pain they must feel as the rest of us celebrate almost everything they hold contemptible.

“It’s impossible to ‘do’ Christmas …

Dec192017

Keneally was selling Shorten, but the deal fell through

Nick Cater writes in The Australian:

If there is a case for making Bill Shorten prime minister, Kristina Keneally didn’t make it in one of the lowest-rent Labor campaigns it has been our misfortune to ­endure.

Keneally stuck mechanically to scripted sound bites in the Bennelong by-election, planting the ­unnerving thought that the replacement of politicians with ­robots might not be far away.

In one sunlit press conference after another she accused Malcolm …

Dec162017

Harold Holt united Liberal values with a changing world

Nick Cater writes in The Australian:

Who should we blame for making impatient Australian radicals wait until December 1972 for their It’s Time moment?

By then the US civil rights movement was so old school it had been usurped by Black Power. The radicals at the barricades in Paris in 1968 were settling into a comfortable bourgeois professional existence. Harold Wilson, Britain’s Gough Whitlam, had been an ex-prime minister for more than two years.

The significant role …

Dec152017

Deep divisions: Shark mitigation report highlights the difference between our east and west coasts

 Last summer, in the space of a few weeks, I visited Perth and the Gold Coast and noticed an astonishing contrast. Swimmers at Perth’s Cottesloe and Mullaloo Beach (where a skier was attacked in 2012, a young man mysteriously disappeared in broad daylight in 2013, and near where a diver was fatally attacked last year) barely dared to enter the water past shoulder height, and even then only briefly.

On the Gold Coast, kayakers practised their racing techniques …

Dec152017

A year of learning ambitiously: How a series of bold experiments reminds us that schools can still aim high

Learning to draw portraits, play guitar or speak a new language are daunting if you believe pop-psychologist Malcolm Gladwell’s famous dictum that it takes 10,000 hours to master a human skill.

Gladwell’s finding, from the book Outliers (2008), was meant to demystify success, revealing it as accessible to anybody prepared to put in the time. It was corroborated by another book that same year, Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin, who argued “deliberate practice” …

Dec152017

It’s time to remember Harold Holt for his achievements

Who should we blame for making impatient Australian radicals wait until December 1972 for their It’s Time moment?

By then the US Civil Rights movement was so old school it had been usurped by Black Power. The radicals at the barricades in Paris in 1967 were settling into a comfortable bourgeois professional existence. Harold Wilson - Britain’s Gough - had been an ex-prime minister for more than two years.

The significant role of Harold Holt in the conspiracy to …

Dec122017

Paul Keating thinks Australians are stupid

Nick Cater writes in The Australian:

Paul Keating is at his least appealing when he strays into the history war, a topic he approaches with the intellectual rigour of ­rottweiler with a diploma in postcolonial studies.

In 2013 he chose Remembrance Day, an occasion to honour the courage of our forebears, to tell us that their sacrifice in World War I was pointless. The Diggers were mere “cannon fodder” in “a war devoid of any virtue”, driven by “the whim of …

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