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Articles by Bernard Keane

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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Turnbull and Morrison are disconnected from tax reality

The government’s already inept prosecution of the case for tax reform may be crueled by its lack of understanding of voter anger about multinational tax avoidance.

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Memo to white men: Abbott’s bigotry and inflammatory language not a free speech issue

The head of ASIO is accused of harming free speech with his anodyne observations about demonising Muslims. But his critics weren’t too worried about free speech under Tony Abbott.

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No profits or tax, but plenty of money for political parties

While they were unable to turn a profit or pay tax, some of Australia’s biggest companies had enough money to donate to political parties — and one party in particular.

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Attacking industry super an irrational bloodsport for union-haters

The industry super sector again finds itself the target of a campaign — one in which the real nature of the sector is studiously ignored.

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The 2015 Crikeys: Turnbull the standout after sweeping away Abbott’s duds

After another disjointed political year, Bernard Keane examines the successes and failures in Canberra in 2015.

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Beleaguered Morrison stuck repeating fiscal history

Scott Morrison faces the same challenge on revenue as Wayne Swan, but Swan was able to cut spending well below current levels.

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More red ink as Morrison unveils another MYEFO write-down

As expected, the mid-year economic update shows another revenue writedown, a larger deficit and poorer growth - but it’s not all bad.

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Essential: year ends well for Turnbull, and Greens = Grinches?

Voters end the year more optimistic than over the last two years, and the Coalition rounds off 2015 with a sound lead, Essential report shows.

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Chainsaw gets chopped down, but more climate quarrels beckon

The failed defection of Ian Macfarlane is a win for Malcolm Turnbull but will exacerbate what will be a difficult relationship with the Nationals over climate policy.

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Debunking the ‘coal will rescue the world from poverty’ lie

The claim that coal is crucial to rescuing hundreds of millions of people in developing countries from poverty is now a key argument of the coal industry. It’s a lie.

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The powerful backbencher giving Turnbull cover on national security

Australia’s only genuine national security accountability mechanism is being undermined by its chair’s habit of appearing to initiate laws his committee is charged with vetting.

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Good news on the employment front … if you’re in NSW

Continuing problems with the ABS jobless numbers can’t disguise that an improvement in unemployment is underway, Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane write.

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Morrison finds a way to kill off a politically inconvenient GST rise

With Scott Morrison flagging a GST rise can only be used by the Commonwealth, not the states, the point of tax reform is becoming even less clear.

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Tony Abbott’s alliance of interests with Islamic State

Tony Abbott’s attacks on Islam and demands for more military intervention in the Middle East reflect how advocates of the War on Terror have the same agenda as the people they want to fight.

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Joe Hockey, anti-diplomat

New Ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey has a history of gaffes on international matters almost as good as on domestic matters.

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How far does risk-taking go in the Turnbull era of government?

The government’s fascination with innovation is in marked contrast to its treatment of the internet — and is it necessarily all good when we have a nimble bureaucracy?

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Essential: Tony Abbott — should he stay or should he go?

Voters want Tony Abbott to exit politics, and Bill Shorten has slipped behind not one but two of his colleagues as preferred Labor leader, this week’s Essential Report shows.

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Innovation! Turn to the left. Innovation! Turn to the right …

Innovation policy” is a big challenge for policymakers. And they tend to let their ideology dictate how they approach it.

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The gloss is vanishing quickly from Turnbull’s shiny new government

New governments always lose their sheen, but Malcolm Turnbull’s paintwork has been battered by problems that aren’t going to go away soon.

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Brough’s woes deliver some schadenfreude for Abbott’s little band

Mal Brough’s troubles are playing out against a broader backdrop of a destabilisation by Abbott loyalists within the government.

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Failure to debate Syria undermines our politics

The failure of federal parliament to debate what we’re doing in the Middle East both leads to mission creep and further widens the gap between voters and their ostensible leaders.

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