Friday, 09 November 2012 07:56
Speech to the Henry Jackson Society, London UK
It’s an honour to be asked to address this distinguished gathering today, under the auspices of the Henry Jackson Society.
I was a great admirer of Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson. He was a Cold War Democrat in the best sense of that term. He favoured a combination of liberal domestic policies, a strong military and a robust foreign policy in defence of freedom around the world.
We can only speculate on how different the course of both US politics and world events would have been had he won the Democratic nomination in 1976, instead of Jimmy Carter. I suspect it would have been not just different, but much better.
Friday, 26 October 2012 00:00
During his most recent tour of China Alexander Downer recounted a thigh slapping dinner he’d had with the Chinese foreign minister at the palatial St Regis hotel in Beijing. There, old chums enjoyed recounting “the good old days”, when he (Downer) signalled that Australia might not support the US in what in ‘97 tensions between Taiwan and the PRC. Howard slapped him down. History doesn’t recount whether he enjoyed that or not. Downer’s astonishing disingenuousness and parroting of the China line can be seen in his repetition of the Bejing mantra “China wants security within its borders, which it defines as including Tibet and Taiwan. It also wants to be able to keep its vital sea lanes open. And certainly, it and Taiwan maintain their historic claims to much of the South China Sea”.
Friday, 28 September 2012 04:37
Times up for Bernie Ecclestone and the Melbourne Grand Prix, State and Federal MPs Martin Foley and Michael Danby said today.
“The Grand Prix continues to be a drain on Victorian tax payers and we still don’t know what Bernie Ecclestone’s fee for the race is”, Mr Danby said. Mr Danby’s comments follow revelations in the Herald-Sun that the GP cost the Victorian Government $57 million.
Mr Danby agreed with recent a newspaper editorial calling on Mr Ecclestone’s fee to be disclosed by the State Government.
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 05:54
Tony Abbott's warning to his front-bench team to stop freelancing on policy questions was correct. There's no "I" in team, but it has seemed lately the Opposition Leader has needed eyes in the back of his head to make sure the colleagues are behaving.
With Cory Bernardi talking about gay marriage leading to bestiality, Barnaby Joyce and Joe Hockey in a public slanging match over Cubbie station, Ron Boswell saying gay marriage will create parents who can't tell the difference between right and wrong and won't be able to take kids to footy training, and the young and the restless like Kelly O’Dwyer demanding more “flexibility in the workplace” (code for making it easier to sack you) the Coalition's fruitcake is chock full of nuts.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 03:40
At the end of the last sitting period in this debate on what to do about asylum seekers and the recent upsurge in drownings off Christmas Island, I stated that I was wrong—wrong not to have previously supported an element of offshore processing, wrong not to recognise the potential for a humane regional processing of asylum seekers, as former prime ministers Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke had done following the Vietnam War. Now the opposition are trying to seek a political benefit from this report and this legislation, which we both agree on and which seek in a decent and humane way to deal with these dreadful problems of asylum seekers being lost at sea—67 recently in a boat which has been lost without trace. It is a tragedy for those 67 people and their families.
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