Weekly roundup Saturday 15 January

Think of something

Aspen Island, Lake Burley Griffin. On New Year’s Day, Morrison announced that Aspen Island will be renamed “Queen Elizabeth II Island”, “in recognition of her many years of service to Australia”. Really? She is monarch of a foreign country, and is no doubt loved and respected in that country. Is Morrison confusing Britain’s interests with Australia’s interests? If so, does this explain his enthusiasm for the AUKUS deal and his rush to conclude a UK-Australia trade agreement?

Weekly roundup of links to articles, reports, podcasts and other media on current political and economic issues in public policy.

That bloody virus – it ain’t going away;

Anecdotes, speculations, forecasts, scenarios about Omicron’s infectiousness (it’s very high) and virulence (it’s not as deadly as Delta). In Australia the numbers are scary, but that’s only because we’re not counting them all and Morrison is adding to the confusion. Vaccination boosters, nursing homes, RAT tests, vaccination for kids – there’s a disconnect between people’s experience and Morrison’s assurances.

Australian politics (other than Coronavirus stuff-ups)

Will the Australian Open be shifted to Nauru to appease Serbian outrage? The easiest job on the public payroll with generous fringe benefits. Stuart Roberts decides we don’t need to fund research on sissy humanities. Morrison takes comfort in finding he is more respected than Boris Johnson.


Sick people don’t make good workers. Liberals wage war on the owners of corporations. Why bankers and the rich love loose monetary policy. Prudent consumers and investors are undermining capitalism. Another ten years of congestion and unaffordable housing.

Politics in the rest of the world

Human Rights Watch reports on the democratic deficit. USA remembers January 6, 2021 and wonders if Trump is its only problem. Putin yearns for a return of the good old days of the USSR. Chile moves left.

Covid-19 will find you

Neither an old homestead in Yarralumla nor a mansion in Kirribilli offer a safe refuge from Covid-19.

If you have feasted yourself on this selection, Australian websites with regular comment and analysis on economic and political developments include The Conversation, The Grattan Institute, Inside Story, The Lowy Institute, Michael West Media, Open Forum, Pearls and Irritations.

If you have comments, corrections, or links to other relevant sources, I’d like to hear from you. Please send them to Ian McAuley — ian, at the domain name ianmcauley.com