Loyalty, treachery, experience, rejuvenation, thuggery,
bullying, factionalism, rank-and-file preselection, party bosses – it’s “all
being cried from Victorian rooftops,” says Michael Costello in The Australian.
Must be preselection time again. But “this is politics as normal in all
democracies and all political parties.” Simon Crean says he’s being stitched up by a
factional deal. Yet his entry into Parliament in 1990 was “itself a classic
factional deal.”

The Shariah is one of the
world’s great legal systems, and the “sole living survivor in the modern world
of a legal system based on religion,” says Jamila Hussain in Online Opinion.
This itself is enough to condemn it in the eyes of those who regard “any
convergence of religion and law as anathema.” But in Muslim countries, where
religion is generally held in higher regard than it is in Australia, the religious basis of the law is
accepted and, indeed, “regarded by many as essential.”

It’s enough to make you weep, says Boris Johnson in The Spectator. Here we are, a nation
that once led the world in scientific discovery – before she became a
politician, it was Mrs Thatcher’s proudest claim that she had revolutionised
the composition of Mr Whippy ice cream, so that it contained more cold air bubbles
per quart of vegetable fats – but the awful truth is, the birthplace of
Newton, Boyle and JJ Thomson can’t even build its own nukes any more! Which is a worry, because if we have to rely
endlessly on the Russians for our gas, and on the Arabs for our oil, then no
nukes will be bad nukes.

It’s a strange time. Ever since the news that a company
owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would manage terminals in several US
harbours, Democrats have been screaming about Arabs taking over US
ports. And George W Bush has been warning about anti-Arab racism. “I can’t
explain it,” says Peter Beinart in The New Republic. But luckily, Walter Russell Mead can – in his 2001 book titled Special Providence, in which he argues that four traditions comprise US foreign policy.

Worth reading Highly recommended

Peter Fray

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