Old loyalties are being tested
MAY 2, 2020
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Welcome to Crikey Weekender.

Australia’s lead role in the international push to find out exactly how the COVID-19 pandemic started is opening up multiple fault lines, some domestic, many international. Loyalties are being tested.

The recent ambush of federal Health Minister Greg Hunt by billionaire Twiggy Forrest is a stark example of how important Chinese money is to key Australian businesses and their leaders, while the hot public words by China’s ambassador about Australia’s desire to discover how the pandemic began in Wuhan serve as a reminder about how high the stakes are.

This week, Crikey has come to this issue from several angles, hoping to shed more light than heat on what is going on. We’ve also examined the government’s COVIDSafe tracing app — and the moral shaming being used from the PM down to get us all (well, at least 40% of us) to download it. Also on the slate, two issues close to our heart: democracy and media freedom.

Please enjoy, and as always we’d be interested to know what questions you have. Send your thoughts to [email protected].

Have a great weekend,

Peter Fray
Editor-In-Chief of Crikey

 
Old Hu’s ‘gum’ attack on Australia a clear sign of China’s global mindset

JOHN FITZGERALD 5 minute read

When the anti-Australia writings of a once-disregarded columnist are in lockstep with the Chinese government, Australia should be worried.

‘Twiggy’ Forrest and Co give the government a lesson in loyalty

BERNARD KEANE and GLENN DYER 4 minute read

The mining magnate — who's hooked up to China like no other business figure — is one of several powerful business people giving a concerted effort to skew debate in favour of China.

Beware of billionaires bearing gifts: Twiggy’s ambush a long time coming

JANINE PERRETT 4 minute read

Critics of 'Twiggy' Forrest's 'ambush' of Health Minister Greg Hunt need to realise that this is nothing new for the billionaire.

What would a Chinese boycott of Australia mean for our economy?

KISHOR NAPIER-RAMAN 3 minute read

A fundamental shift in Australia’s economic relationship with China is potentially dangerous, and it may be on the way.

COVIDSafe?

The tracing app isn’t a huge threat to privacy. But from past experience, the government is

BERNARD KEANE 4 minute read

The coronavirus tracing app represents a relatively limited threat to privacy. It's the government behind it that's the problem.

COVIDSafe: moral shaming a nation is unAustralian, isn’t it?

MICHAEL BRADLEY 4 minute read

The prime minister and health minister are going to have to hone their skills of persuasion and pull back on using ridiculous and insulting threats.

The big nudge: here’s how the government could spread its coronavirus tracing app far, fast and wide

DAVID P. BYRNE, RICHARD HOLDEN and JOSHUA B. MILLER 3 minute read

How can the government incentivise people to download its coronavirus contact tracing app?

 
Parliaments must reopen to debate the reopening of Australia

GUY RUNDLE 4 minute read

Executive action was necessary for the lockdown. Now, the way forward needs the legitimacy of debate and democracy.

Turnbull, Rudd and others on the right must make a stand for Assange

GUY RUNDLE 5 minute read

The Wikileaks leader is threatened with a torturous 175-year sentence for practicing journalism. This needs a new level of opposition. If not now, when?

‘Why does our government listen to experts about the virus, but not climate?’

JORDYN BEAZLEY 4 minute read

A young journalism student writes about what has changed during the time of coronavirus, and what it means for her future.

Free advice from a young ‘un: tax the rich when the COVID-19 ‘war’ is over

BENJAMIN CLARK 4 minute read

We will need innovation, growth and spending power in our recovery period. It's not a time to be frugal.

The right’s attacks on Victorian health official show their failure and desperation
The pandemic has reminded us of what matters and doesn’t, and ensuring key medical staff have right-wing politically correct views about James Cook absolutely doesn’t. — Guy Rundle

The attack on Dr van Diemen is a new low in destructive character assassination, driven by bitterness at their own irrelevance.

Morrison trashes the arts to save decaying media empires

CHRISTOPHER WARREN 3 minute read

This government has run to the rescue of News Corp, Seven West Media and Nine, while the arts industry careens toward a cliff.

Oil over water: what is behind Angus Taylor’s $94 million US stockpile deal?

GEORGIA WILKINS 3 minute read

With Australia's precarious fuel reserves suddenly set for a boost, questions remain about Angus Taylor's oil deal with the US.

 
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