Policy

Should Australian progressives pay attention to George Lakoff?

We live in a post-fact world. I assert this for two reasons. Firstly, because it crystallises the conservative approach to public discourse, which is largely exemplified by lying, lying loudly and lying often. Secondly, because increasing scientific research demonstrates that most people don’t use facts and evidence to form views and attitudes, or influence behaviour….

It’s time to move to genuine carbon emissions trading

My latest article for The Guardian is now online and you can read it here. I have republished it below. [hr] Over the weekend, there has been widespread reporting that returned prime minister Kevin Rudd is contemplating moving the carbon price from a fixed price to floating price for emissions permits. The Age reported that…

The NT Intervention: a case study in dog whistle politics

I wrote earlier in the week that dog whistle politics is about saying one thing that is interpreted differently by a specific, targeted section of the community to the rest of the community. In 2007, the Howard Government was hemorrhaging support to Labor from its traditional “base” in the mortgate beltways. The Rights At Work…

Was Work Choices a Roadblock to Productivity?

A critical assessment of the Work Choices laws in addressing its stated aims and objectives The 2005 legislation, Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act represented one of the most fundamental shifts in industrial relations laws and Commonwealth-State relations since Federation. With the principle aim of Work Choices to “unleash a new burst of productivity growth”,…

We need strong action on emissions trading

The Garnaut report released earlier this year made the case for a robust emissions trading scheme. If Australia is to combat climate change, Federal Labor needs to take immediate action to reduce the amount of carbon put into the atmosphere. As activists, we have a duty to lobby senior Ministers in parliament to do everything…

Australia needs strong collective bargaining

The right to collectively bargain was gutted by the Howard Government… unfortunately it looks like the Rudd Government may squib at fully restoring that right. Under the WorkChoices laws, Australian workers have no enforceable right to collectively bargain. Employers can indefinitely delay collective bargaining, denying their employees rights. Collective bargaining at a workplace level is…