Blog highlights, week six

Here we go again: weekend reading in the shape of a selection from this blog’s history, embracing domestic and world issues with continuing relevance.

News Limited still at it ten years on (March 2013). From Iraq to media regulation: how News Limited always appears to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

Federalism and local government (May 2013). The Gillard government wants the constitutional power to fund local government directly. Here’s why that’s a bad idea.

Iran and the resonance of the past (August 2013). Sixty years on from a coup that poisoned Iranian-US relations, the CIA has come clean about its role. It may be a small step forward in a difficult process of reconciliation.

Death of a warmaker (January 2014). An obituary for Ariel Sharon, who ended his active career by apparently repudiating the things he had previously been most known for. Did he really mean it?

Turkey and Russia: compare and contrast (April 2014). Turkish local elections give its ruling party a vote of confidence, doing little to allay fears of growing authoritarianism. Vladimir Putin’s Russia looks increasingly like a role model.

OK, let’s talk about free speech (January 2015). It’s human rights commissioners at twenty paces, as Australia argues about the meaning of free speech and the local implications of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.

The strange intensity of Turnbull-hating (September 2015). No doubt you can make legitimate criticisms of Malcolm Turnbull, but “socialist”? Really? What’s going on with this strange worldview from the right?

Thoughts on a three party system (March 2016). Talk of “neoliberalism” obscures the existence of actual liberals, just at the time when we need them most.

Australia’s missing conscience (February 2017). The Australian government baulks at condemning Donald Trump’s barbarism, for fear that its own barbarism should be undermined.

Poland and populism (July 2017). Anti-government protests in Poland offer a window on the difference between liberals and conservatives, and also an opportunity to think about whether the authoritarian right deserves the label of “populist”.

Happy birthday, Dr Marx! (May 2018). Karl Marx turns 200, and the debate over his legacy is as lively as ever.

Mr Corbyn goes to Liverpool (September 2018). Britain’s Labour leader, much against his own inclinations, seems destined to lead the resistance to Brexit.

A “libertarian” goes down (April 2019). Final results from the New South Wales state election show the Liberal Democrats missing out on an upper house seat, for interesting reasons.

Stalin’s choice (August 2019). An ominous anniversary in Europe, in a year rather full of them. There may still be lessons to learn.

What hath Boris wrought? / Back on the Brexit countdown (October 2019). The Brexit saga reaches its culmination as Boris Johnson reaches an agreement with the Europeans, and depends on general fatigue to get it through parliament.

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