The Royal Commission was big news this week, with some suggesting the debate over the confessional was an unnecessary distraction. The Australian’s Paul Kelly criticised it for focussing only on institutionalised child abuse, when so much of it occurs within the home. Elsewhere, Irvine and Jericho did their best to improve our economic literacy, Dunlop and Green continued their dissection of the media, and some writers lifted their eyes past Christmas to the 2013 federal election. Also included is a longer read from Linda Jaivin on writing.
There was much to mull over this week: an interest rate cut, a Twitter uprising against Alan Jones, continued public appearances by Kevin Rudd, and signs that Tony Abbott’s poor rating with female voters is beginning to bite. Links to quality pieces on all of these – and much more – can be found below.
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.