Blog highlights, week seven

For those just joining us, the idea is that each week I’m putting together a package of past blog posts, stretching back to the beginning of 2013, to provide some interesting reading. Each list is supposed to cover a diversity of times and topics, focusing on stories that might best outlive their particular occasion.

Self-determination in the South Atlantic (March 2013). A referendum reveals, as expected, that the Falkland Islanders want to stay British, and Britain still seems happy to have them. So does anyone else get to have a say in this?

Boat people turn out to be genuine – what a surprise (May 2013). Nearly all the asylum seekers arriving by boat in Australia turn out to be genuine refugees. Equally unsurprising is the fact that the government wants to have it both ways on the issue.

Do teenagers count as people? (June 2013). The New South Wales government plans to (yet again) treat young people as second-class citizens, this time with high-frequency sound that the rest of us are too old to notice.

Please don’t feed the beast (August 2013). Unnecessary military spending is a cancer on democracy, but it takes a case like Egypt to show the real damage that it can do.

Liberalism, Thatcherism and coalition (March 2014). Britain’s history of coalition politics is a fascinating one. It also helps in understanding where the Liberal Democrats are coming from.

Atheism and Islam (April 2015). It’s hard to credit that Saudi Arabia has proportionately as many atheists as the United States, but it’s a question that quickly runs into terminological problems.

Fascism on both sides of the Atlantic (December 2015). An interesting discussion commences on whether to call Donald Trump a fascist, a debate that has particular resonance with the rise of the National Front in France.

And the winner is: Tony Abbott (June 2016). Despite the advent of Malcolm Turnbull, the Liberal Party’s war against modernity continues – as shown in its strange obsession with the Greens.

Death of a dictator (November 2016). The death of Fidel Castro would be a good opportunity for reflection on some serious issues. Instead, many on both sides embarrass themselves.

A Weimar reflection (September 2017). Some thoughts on the problem of political extremism, from the birthplace of German republicanism.

Cambodia goes rogue (July 2018). Cambodia’s autocrat Hun Sen predictably wins an “election”, but the international community shows little interest.

Australia Day? (January 2019). The nature and significance of Australia Day has become an intractable problem.

Election preview: Australia / Editorial (May 2019). After six years of Coalition government and three prime ministers, Bill Shorten is favored to lead Labor back to power. Why they deserve support.

China, seventy years on (October 2019). The Chinese Communist Party celebrates 70 years of power as perhaps the most successful totalitarian movement of modern times.

Two concepts of progressivism in Iowa (January 2020). All eyes are on Iowa, with a lot of attention paid to the two candidates on the left of the field. But are they on the same “left”?

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