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Articles by Bernard Keane

Another disappointing Closing The Gap report confirms need for change

Yet again a Prime Minister has risen to announce that we are not on track to close the gap between the health and educational outcomes of Indigenous Australians and the rest of us.

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Whoo boy, trade agreement to save Australian business a whopping … $150k

The government’s “analysis” of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is sloppy and embarrassing — and actually confirms that there will be little benefit for Australia.

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Essential: voters even more confused than the government on tax

Voters are confused about what exactly the government is trying to achieve on tax reform, but it hasn’t tarnished Malcolm Turnbull’s popularity with voters, today’s Essential Report poll reveals.

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Ruddock’s record on rights makes a joke of his retirement gig

Philip Ruddock’s time in public life has been devoted to undermining human rights. His appointment as an envoy on the issue is ludicrous.

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Self-serving Business Council targets Turnbull after GST retreat

Retreating from lifting the GST will calm Malcolm Turnbull’s backbenchers but annoy the powerful business lobby. And it leaves the government without any tax reform story to convey.

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UN panel the choice of the West — until it sides with Assange

Western countries are normally happy to invoke the authority of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention — until its inconvenient ruling on Julian Assange.

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UK, Sweden fast running out of excuses to detain Assange

A UN panel finding that Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained shines a light on the deliberate strategy of the UK and Swedish governments to leave him in legal limbo.

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Govt has mangled its moral calculus on asylum seekers

By adopting an unnecessarily punitive policy of detention, the government has created a self-perpetuating problem of what to do with the victims of “offshore processing”.

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UN likely to call for Assange’s freedom

The sabotage of the investigation of allegations against Julian Assange by the Swedish and UK governments could provide the basis for a UN committee decision about his detention.

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Does construction need a watchdog with security agency powers?

The evidence justifying the draconian powers of the proposed re-established Australian Building and Construction Commission is thin on the ground, despite the government’s claims.

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Why we’re groping in the dark on political donations

The state of our political disclosure regime means that we’re only getting part of the picture on who is trying to influence our political parties.

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Essential: Aussies don’t want King Charles

Support for a republic is down, and voters are unenthusiastic about other changes like the flag or Australia Day, today’s Essential Report reveals.

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Miners vanish from donor lists as commodity prices bite

As commodity prices have collapsed, mining companies have vanished from the list of political donors — but the finance sector continues to pump money into political parties.

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Toxic Tony cost federal Libs as state fundraising soared

While Tony Abbott’s debacle of a Prime Ministership sliced deeply into the Liberal Party’s revenue, its state branches led the fundraising charge in 2014-15, new data shows.

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Gonski reforms are vital to our ‘agile’ future

Maintaining Gonski reform school funding beyond 2017 is crucial to improving our educational performance. It’s easy economic reform, but necessary.

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Nats mull more ‘draconian’ content rules in the bush

The last time the Nationals were allowed to regulate media content, Labor had to fix up the resulting mess. Now they’re at it again.

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Govt to store a trove of highly personal data, putting you at risk

The ABS has rejected advice from a decade ago not to keep names and addresses from its national census, creating a data trove that future governments may find too tempting.

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Essential: support for greater Syria role plummets

Support for a greater role in Syria and Iraq for Australia’s military has crashed according to this week’s Essential Report, with a third of voters wanting us to reduce our role.

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Abbott confirms himself as the new (internal) opposition leader

Unsurprisingly, Tony Abbott will remain in politics, and his formidable fighting skills will be directed at Malcolm Turnbull.

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Turnbull’s reform agenda: business profits first, national interest second

The Turnbull government has no economic reform agenda — just a big business wishlist to improve profits rather than addressing reform priorities.

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Speaking power to truth in the Briggs affair

Protecting the anonymity of whistleblowers is critical. Malcolm Turnbull’s failure to conduct an inquiry into the Jamie Briggs scandal rewards those who have used their power against a public servant.

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The year of deep obsessions and the deep state

Courtesy of Tony Abbott’s profound flaws, in 2015 we had a glimpse of how the real exercise of power in Australia is disconnected from democratic accountability.

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Liberals keen to avoid the toxic politics of penalty rates

While the Productivity Commission has backed cuts to Sunday penalty rates, the benefits are minimal and the costs potentially very great for the government.

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Industrial relations report reveals the deep delusion of business

The business community’s reaction to the Productivity Commission report on industrial relations demonstrates the profound denialism and greed of that sector.

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Who backdoored the backdoor? The perils of undermining encryption

A key US government IT security provider has revealed a major security breach in its products — but was the US government itself to blame?

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