The main political events this week had a common underlying theme: craven politics barely hidden behind a tattered moral veil. Whether it was the Slipper/ Ashby saga (no links provided), asylum seekers or the future of Fairfax, those who made the loudest claims to integrity were often the ones most blatantly pursuing political ends.
The links provided this week on asylum seekers cover a broad range of considered pieces exploring the dilemma, while other links explore why Fairfax matters, the tricky concept called public interest, and a media owner’s right to set editorial policy.
Finally, there’s a preview from George Megalogenis on the carbon price, which comes into force on Sunday.
It was a fascinating week for those of us interested in the future of the Australian media. Collected here are quality pieces on what the changes mean for News Ltd, Fairfax and print media more generally.
Also collected are pieces on the Coalition’s political strategy, how the Prime Minister is faring, and the Rio+20 meeting.
After the excitement of last week’s unexpectedly positive economic news, this week political writers returned to pondering the community’s distinct unwillingness to be heartened by them.
Colebatch remained pessimistic, Grog gave an insightful retrospective of the economy 40 years ago compared with today, and Pollytics updated his seminal work on the Great Unhinging. Poss also produced a great piece on the internal inconsistency that bedevils community opinion.
Kelly said it was time to lower the public’s expectations, while Grattan pointed out that trust had a lot to do with their unhappiness and Dunlop explained that it should be attributed to their lack of civic engagement and sense of powerlessness.
Kenny and Elder kept the light firmly fixed on Abbott’s negative campaign, while a small war broke out over blogging versus journalism.
The week was all about the numbers; first the polls, then the economic indicators.
Pollster John Stirton explained that the ALP is not yet unelectable, Mumble explained what the polls were really saying and Carney reminded us how difficult it is to implement major change. Be sure to sneak past the Australian’s paywall to read Kelly’s excellent piece on the poisoned chalice.
Most of the economic pieces celebrated the robust economic indicators released this week, although Colebatch reserved his delight. Grog and Irvine explained skills and the housing problem to us non-economists.
Finally, don’t forget to check out former editor Michael Gawenda’s piece on newspapers needing to getting back to their core business.
Ironically, in a week where little of substance happened politically, we’ve been treated to high quality pieces on bigger picture issues.
LaTingle talks education while Irvine and Mega give us our weekly dose of plain english economics. Probyn and Eltham explain the Roy Hill saga while Grog shows us the illusion that is the middle ground on IR. Carney, Kitney and Oakes consider the sustainability of Abbott’s negative campaign. And there’s a suite of links on parliament and the media that are best read together.
Finally, don’t let the 20th anniversary of Mabo pass on Sunday without reading the three excellent pieces offered here from Marcus Priest and Peter Lewis.