Labor ideas for a better Australia

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Catch up with our latest musings, hot off the desks of our ED and other regular contributors.

Things don't always get better

I'm showing my age - and an embarrassing musical collection - but for a moment on Tuesday night we were back in the mid 1990s. At the heart of Scott Morrison's 2017 budget was a promise of "better days ahead", unconsciously referencing pop group D:Ream's 1993 anthem 'Things Can Only Get Better'.

Howard's children

Among the commentariat there has been a tendency to regard Australian federal politics as having never escaped the events of mid 2010. According to this narrative, our elected representatives are playing out a Canberra-based adaptation of Groundhog Day.

The transformation of Mark Latham

How did the former Labor Leader end up as one of Australia's most conservative commentators?

Pauline is no friend of the workers

Pauline Hanson is fond of styling herself as a plain-speaking, truth-telling anti-politician. Salt of the earth. Standing up for ordinary, so-called battler Australians. Sticking it to the "elites". The latest opinion polls appear to indicate that a sizeable chunk of the electorate, particularly in regional and outer-suburban seats, are attracted to her anti-mainstream party message.

Self-regulation is dead. We need a new way to rein in excessive executive pay | Nick Dyrenfurth

Mitbestimmung. It's trickier to pronounce than my tongue-twister surname. But this German word is one Australians should learn as we navigate the complex policy challenges of 2017. The national economic outlook remains weak. Full-time jobs disappear daily in favour of casual and part-time work.

How Property Addicts Have Locked Young Australians Out Of The Housing Market

The 'American dream' is about getting a shot at making it from rags to riches. The 'Australian dream,' on the other hand, has always been both more humble and more universal: the expectation that everyone who wants to should be able to get a job and own their own home.

Corbyn's anti-Semitism row: a warning for Australian Labor | The Spectator Australia

If there is a distinction to be made between British Labour and Australian Labor, it can be seen no more clearly than in the pallid discipline imposed by the British upon Ken Livingstone for transparently anti-Semitic comments. The Guardian itself has editorialised against Mr Livingstone's comments, recognising them for the offensive mistruths they are.

The tragedy of Mark Latham

On 26 August 2002, an ambitious, outspoken federal Labor shadow minister rose in the House of Representatives to rail against "the new political correctness" of the "conservative establishment". He went on to decry "the hide of these people - the old money interests, the conservative think tanks, the Tory MPs and their fellow travellers in the commercial media".

It's the mandate wot lost it

With mates like Tony Abbott, Cory Bernardi and George Christensen, who needs enemies? 2017 has begun awkwardly for Malcolm Turnbull. The internecine warfare between him and his predecessor shows no signs of abating. Turnbull's near 18-month regime lacks governing purpose.

Rinse, repeat

Cliché alert. The definition of insanity, Albert Einstein reputedly said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Whatever its veracity, this rule is one that appears more apt as regards the workings of Malcolm Turnbull's federal government. In Turnbull's case, his administration's insanity is its fetish for a policy reset.

Howard's children

Among the commentariat there has been a tendency to regard Australian federal politics as having never escaped the events of mid 2010. According to this narrative, our elected representatives are playing out a Canberra-based adaptation of Groundhog Day.

Once were conservatives

'PM's crusade for free speech'. 'Change was won the day Bill died'. 'Mission founded on Liberal values'. Three headlines on Malcolm Turnbull's legislative attempts to water down section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act that bellowed from the front page of yesterday's print edition of the Australian - and perhaps the reason the Turnbull government is heading for defeat.

Losing focus

Breathless. It's the only word that adequately sums up most of the press gallery's reportage of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's withering, highly personal attack on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in yesterday's parliamentary question time. Turnbull has his "mojo back" is the basic refrain, a repeat of the trend among the commentariat that I identified writing here last year.