MPs Fears about the Economic Impact of ‘No Deal’ Make No Sense

Those MPs supporting Parliamentary efforts to prevent a ‘No deal’ Brexit largely avoid talking about democracy, independence, and sovereignty, where they are on weak ground. Instead they focus on the “catastrophic” economic damage they expect the UK to suffer if it leaves without a deal. But here too all the evidence suggests they are on equally weak ground Firstly, we…

The EU: No Friend of Workers’ Rights

It has become a mantra, endlessly repeated by Remainer trade unions: “Workers must not pay the price of Brexit.” What price would that be? And how about acknowledging the price to workers of staying in the EU? On 6 July 2017 Michel Barnier, the EU Brexit negotiator, addressed the EU’s Economic and Social Committee. His words were noted and passed…

Teacher Education Degrees Should Face Scrutiny

Australian teachers are underprepared for the classroom compared to those in other countries, according to a recent global survey. The result indicates initial teacher education in Australia often isn’t up to scratch. The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) asked teachers around the world how prepared they were after completing their teacher education degrees. And on almost every measure — including…

A New Tory Project Fear

Mr Philip Hammond on Tuesday stated in the House of Commons that a “No Deal” Brexit could cost the country £90 billion. Mr Jeremy Hunt — supposedly prepared to preside over a “No Deal” if necessary — nevertheless warned that it could do economic damage equivalent to the 2008 Financial Crash. Both these forecasts are at the most extreme end of…

Israel Folau: Moral Compass All Askew as Virtue Is Eclipsed by Values

Unease is growing in Australia that something has changed for the worse in our live-and-let-live culture. The seismic shifts giving rise to this pervasive anxiety seem to have been coming in cumulative waves. Free speech has given way to the drive to eliminate “hate speech”; bonds of trust have broken in commercial life — especially in our financial services sector;…

Six Ways We Can Be Sure Boris Is Serious

It seems increasingly likely that the next leader of the Conservatives, and UK Prime Minister, will be Boris Johnson. On the face of it, this looks like good news for supporters of Brexit given Johnson’s record on this issue and his recent statement that the UK will leave the EU by October 31 ‘do or die’. Yet given the history…

The EU Will Reopen the Withdrawal Agreement

The EU and its apologists insist that it will not ‘reopen’ the WA. There are weak legal and political grounds for such a stance, whereas three strong political incentives exist within the EU to reach an agreement – and soon. But Britain’s new prime minister must convince the EU that he is determined to leave on October 31 if it…

The EU Is a Doomed Empire

European tensions are growing. There is Brexit, a directionless and over-extended Germany, an ambitious but weak France, and a growing regional divide. But the main danger to the European project is democracy. What is the European Union? The closest concept I can come up with is that of a liberal empire. An empire is a hierarchically structured block of states…

Prorogation: The Historical Case for Constitutional Innovation

Should the prorogation of parliament be a possible course of action for a government? Is it an outrage against democracy and the constitution?  Rory Stewart threatens direct action, and Matt Hancock declares that such a thing “goes against everything those men who fought their way up those [D-Day] beaches died for.”  A leading constitutional historian looks here at the facts behind the…

Cherry-Picking Freedom

The AFP raids on the ABC and a News Corp journalist are alarming, but the discussion needs to go beyond press freedom. We must examine how we can better protect the fundamental freedoms of all Australians. These raids have generated a tremendous response, and after being live-tweeted by an ABC journalist, were picked up in international media. A meeting to discuss the…

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