Analysis

After Commissioner Kenneth Hayne released the banking royal commission’s interim report in September, many of the headlines and takeaway quotes focused on its claim that banks “put profits before people”.

 “Why did it happen?” the report asked. “Too often the answer seems to be greed — the pursuit of short term profit at the expense of basic standards of honesty. How else is charging continuing advice fees to the dead to be explained?...

It is not unusual to hear someone blame the crisis in affordable housing and healthcare or the very expensive tertiary education system on Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946-64. Gayle Burmeister and Mary Merkenich take aim at this mistaken argument.

Celebrating January 26 is a state-sanctioned exercise that rubs salt into the wounds of Indigenous Australia. It proclaims, “You lost, we won. Know your place.”

But the desire for an honest conversation about modern Australia's origins in the violent and ongoing dispossession of Indigenous people is not going away.

Across the country Invasion Day marches were both bigger than ever, and took place in many more places. More local governments have dropped their January 26 activities and finally the ABC allowed Triple J to shift its Hottest 100.

Australia’s super-rich keep getting richer.

A new report from Oxfam has found that the top 1% of the country’s plutocrats now own more wealth than the bottom 70%.

There has also been a record rise in the number of billionaires — from 33 to 43 — with their combined wealth now at almost $160 billion last year.

Politicians and bureaucrats have launched endless inquiries in an effort to appear to be dealing with the water crisis in New South Wales. Yet these same bureaucrats have been very slow to implement any of the recommended reforms and few steps have been taken to deal with the mismanagement, water theft and corruption that led to this crisis, writes Elena Garcia.

During 2018, a number of hate preachers had uninterrupted access to Australian media outlets to spread their messages of hate and intolerance far and wide. These preachers were able to do so because of the active complicity of sections of the political and media establishment, writes Rupen Savoulian.

If you want to celebrate January 26 by all means do: just be clear that you are celebrating those with so much wealth power that they will never need, nor want to, invite you to feast with them.

The hysterical backlash from the right against Proctor & Gamble’s latest advertisement for Gillette razors, which urges men to be “The best they can be”, has been nothing short of comical. But there is a serious side, writes Pip Hinman.

A collective of alt-right and neo-Nazi groups organised what they called a “political meeting” at St Kilda beach on January 5. It came a week after the neo-Nazi Neil Erikson led a group of acolytes down to the same beach to harass and film African Australians in an attempt to incite violence.

In recent years there has been an important revival of Invasion Day marches on January 26. Together with the issues of Aboriginal sovereignty and ongoing injustices against First Nations people, Raul Bassi writes that a focus of this year’s protest will be Black deaths in custody.

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