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Articles by Bernard Keane

Essential: voters harden their hearts on the budget

Voters are increasingly opposed to key budget initiatives but the government’s primary vote is staying in touch with Labor’s, today’s Essential Report shows.

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Keane: why the War on Terror gets a blank cheque but we ignore bigger threats

Australia’s governing class views terrorism as a more immediate threat than other, more important problems of which it has little experience.

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‘Burqa’ debacle shows Abbott lacks Howard’s political smarts

The government’s stumbles over the “burqa” issue reflect a lack of political intuition that enabled John Howard to deftly exploit social issues.

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My lunch with George: Keane and Brandis’ freedom ride

It’s all about freedom, George Brandis insists, as he goes about establishing ever more stringent security laws.

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Should Labor have backed Clive’s War on Campbell?

Labor’s support for Clive Palmer’s inquiry into the Newman government is a politically rational response to the Coalition’s behaviour.

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Korea’s ‘free trade’ commitment to keep Australians out

Australia’s “free trade agreement” with South Korea establishes a remarkable disparity between Koreans working in Australia and Australians working in Korea.

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Napthine faces voters with a struggling economy

The Napthine government will go to the polls with the worst-performing major state economy.

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Essential: voters want security over liberty

Voters agree that some freedoms should be sacrificed in the name of security, but are growing more concerned about climate change. And the government is yet to benefit from the relentless focus on terrorism, today’s Essential Report shows.

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More Australians are dying at work while we chatter about terrorism

Workplace deaths are on the rise in Australia, even though we know concerted action can reduce fatalities.

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Stay calm on terror laws — the worst is yet to come

The national security laws passed last night have problems — but they’re not the huge threat some have made them out to be. That threat is coming, and hysteria now won’t help to fight it.

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Targeting of Muslims risks the exact terror threat we claim to oppose

The constant focus on the Muslim community risks prompting exactly the kind of terrorist threat we are supposedly working to prevent.

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How ABC and SBS could save millions without touching programming

It’s traditional for new governments to look at reducing ABC and SBS’s tremendous transmission bills. But as a new player puts up its hand to bid for the contract, things could be different this time.

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Keane: Harper’s review suggests (gasp!) an economy to benefit consumers

The draft review of competition policy by Ian Harper presents the Coalition — and all politicians — with a challenge of reforms long ignored by governments.

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Abbott’s (and Shorten’s) lies lead Australia to a sinister place

The government has based its extensions of national security powers, and its involvement in Iraq, on lies. And they will damage us like the previous Iraq war damaged us.

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Essential: voters back Iraq action — but think it will increase terrorism

Voters are backing the government’s decision to return to the Iraq War, but they believe it will make them less safe from terrorism, despite what the government says.

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Brandis concedes some ground on terror laws

The government has given some ground on anti-terror laws, in a move designed to head off criticism of some of the most draconian aspects of its current package.

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AFP gagged, state agencies run for cover on terror-Iraq link

The government won’t allow the Australian Federal Police to comment on whether its decision to go to war in Iraq has increased the risk of terrorism in Australia.

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Terror raids a media spectacle, but it’s war that puts us in danger

While we reap the consequences of returning to Iraq, it’s clearer than ever that the campaign against ISIL will struggle to be effective.

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Key issues around security laws likely to get lost in the terror noise

Who gets to sign off on important new ASIO powers is an issue that should be carefully debated, but it will get ignored as fear of terrorism ramps up.

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Committee recommends (marginally) reining in new security laws — but media still face jail

A parliamentary committee has signed off on the first set of national security reforms, but wants some tightening on controversial proposals.

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Ken Henry urges a new, more compelling economic narrative

Australia needs to reframe its approach to economic policy, former Treasury Secretary Ken Henry urges, in one of the most insightful economic policy speeches of recent years.

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Brandis goes Left Bank in his search for terror hype

Using words like “existential” to describe terrorism is part of a lengthy, and wholly absurd, tradition of hyping it.

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Iraq debacle complicates Johnston’s tenure at Russell Hill

The demise of inept defence minister David Johnston may no longer be so imminent given we’re now at war… or something.

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Essential: Coalition struggles on the most basic issues

Voters believe the government isn’t performing well on the most important issues that shape electoral judgements, today’s Essential Report shows.

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Abbott, the nervy pugilist who may or may not have taken us to war

Tony Abbott’s eagerness to get involved in the “war” against Islamic State obscures how little we know what we’re doing in Iraq, or with whom we’re doing it.

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