In today’s political climate, there’s an ever increasing trend “to
personalise and even presidentialise electoral
politics,” and with leaders moulded into celebrities, party’s make
grandiose statements critics aren’t able to attack because they never
actually promise anything, says Graeme Orr in The Age. But it’s gained traction, because today, “the politician who
excels as social commentator scores a variety of advantages over
the earnest policy wonk.”

“While many Australians overlook the Government playing fast and
loose with the truth, some in intelligence find that a stimulus to
betrayal,” says former ASIO officer Warren Reed in The Sydney Morning Herald. “When a government repeatedly lies and flaunts the fact that its
political survival is more important than the truth, even than the
national interest, a fundamental compact with the intelligence
community is broken.” And ultimately “history will hand down its final report:
unclassified and available for all to read,” says Reed. “The shelf life of all
lies, as with secrets, finally runs out.”

The factional fighting over Crean was more Crean’s doing than he’s letting on, says Michael Costello in The Australian. But the problem with the ALP “is that the course adopted during the
past several years, including by Crean, is going in exactly the wrong
direction.” Instead
of this factional “obsession with keeping people out, the Labor Party
should have an obsession with bringing people in.” The
question is: “do people really want Labor under Beazley to win the next
election?” The polls show they can, but if punching on about party
reform is the best challenge they can mount, they may be in opposition
for another term.


“Will globalisation turn out to be another concept that has been
mis-sold to the same old group of decent, unremarkable people whom you
never hear about until they get shafted by a system they trusted?” asks Camilla Cavendish in The Times
(UK) – because the globalised economic models sold to us aren’t
working as well as we were told. As previously forgotten countries like
India and China grow to become full of intelligent, well-educated
global citizens, mixed with a growing underclass, “the stage is set for
an ugly clash within countries, as well as between them.” Economists
need to ask some hard questions, because at the moment “our political
discourse seems strangely complacent.”

The
US President’s Indian gamble is a dangerous one, says The
Economist
. And “in his rush to accommodate
India, Mr Bush is missing a chance to win wider nuclear restraint in
one of the world’s tougher neighbourhoods.” North Korea has broken
almost every single rule of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but
you don’t hear much from Bush about their nuclear problems – lately
anyway. India may not have signed the NPT, but the US has, and in doing
so it’s agreed to not help any other countries in their
“nuclear-weapons tinkering”. America and India have a lot to give to
each other, “but assisting India’s nuclear weapons ambitions ought not
to be in Mr Bush’s gift.”

Worth reading Highly recommended

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW