Author Archives: Don Arthur

A campaign strategist complaining about short attention spans?

After decades of listening to jingles, slogans, and scare campaigns, it’s odd to hear a political campaign strategist complain about short attention spans. But in Monday’s Financial Review Mark Textor grumbled that the "the collective attention deficit disorder of those … Continue reading

Posted in Politics - national | Leave a comment

How Nick Cater misunderstands the debate over racism

Nick Cater is sensitive about accusations of racism. In his book The Lucky Culture he writes: To judge someone as prejudiced is character assessment; to call them racist or, even worse, a racist, is character assassination. One can be a … Continue reading

Posted in Politics - national, Society | 48 Comments

What kind of bias is Rebecca Weisser worried about?

In Saturday’s Australian, Rebecca Weisser argues that the ABC is biased. To fix the problem she suggests creating "a commission of inquiry to rework the charter so that it stipulates that balance in programming is fundamental to the operation of … Continue reading

Posted in Media | 20 Comments

Missing in action: Nick Cater and the failure of Australia’s conservative intellectuals

Australia needs intellectuals, says Nick Cater. In his new book The Lucky Culture he writes: A nation is entitled to look to its intellectuals to articulate its common purpose, to pull together loose strands and write a narrative that says … Continue reading

Posted in Political theory, Politics - national, Society | 25 Comments

The revolt against the elites

It’s always been hard to pin down who ‘the elites’ are why we are supposed reject them as un-Australian. A new book review by Tony Abbott offers some clues. It also hints at why attacks on ‘the elites’ are likely … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Political theory, Politics - national, Society | 61 Comments

Putting the ism in Thatcherism

During the mid 1970s Thatcher was listening to a member of the Conservative Research Department staff explain why the party should take a pragmatic ‘middle way ‘ between left and right. But before he could finish Thatcher reached into her … Continue reading

Posted in Political theory, Politics - international | 14 Comments

Does radical welfare reform require cultural change?

"Hostility towards benefit claimants is founded upon a moral instinct", says Chris Dillow. The instinct is the norm of reciprocity. According to this norm, people are entitled to the community’s help when they need it, but must also contribute in … Continue reading

Posted in Political theory, Politics - international | 35 Comments