Rule of law flourishes in proud Hong Kong

MRC Executive Director Nick Cater recently visited Hong Kong and was hosted by the Hong Kong Government.

There was pessimistic mood at the bar of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club on the night of the handover to China.

Few of us imagined the plan for “one country, two systems” would survive for 18 months, let alone 18 years.

Yet the prosecution of former Hong Kong chief executive Donald Tsang this week inspires an uplifting thought. In defiance of our cynical, San Miguel-fuelled expectations, the common law system is thriving in this fortunate enclave …


Selective Multiculturalism in Australian Society - From Many: One

Ian Goodenough is the Liberal federal member for Moore, Western Australia

Selective Multiculturalism in Australian Society - From Many: One

In my maiden speech to the Australian Federal Parliament I addressed two contemporary issues confronting our nation - the notions of reconciliation and multiculturalism in present day society and the struggle to reach a common resolution within the Australian mindset. 

At the time I said that the processes of reconciliation and multiculturalism are two-way streets – that there must be a degree of give-and-take to achieve harmony.  The challenge for us as …


Refugees, Human Rights and the Destruction of Citizenship

Nick Cater writes in the October edition of Quadrant

Refugees, Human Rights and the Destruction of Citizenship

The tide of humanity rolling north across Europe evokes pity and dread in equal measures. On television the pity prevailed. Images of anxious faces, children being passed over the heads of adults on railway platforms, and of course that body, invited only one response: for mercy’s sake, let them in.

Discordant evidence was left on the cutting room floor. As downtrodden masses go, this one was relatively well heeled. It was also somewhat picky about the safe havens for …


Progressives on the case of ‘retirement rorters’

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

Readers of The Age were greeted with an improbable splash on Friday. Malcolm Turnbull, they were told, was declaring war on the wealthy.

The new Prime Minister had “reached in-principle agreement with unions, employers and welfare organisations to reduce a raft of tax breaks, including negative gearing and superannuation concessions, that primarily benefit the rich”.

It was an example of what comedian Steven Colbert calls “truthiness”, a story …


Mathias Cormann: Heading in the right direction, much more work to do

Senator The Hon Mathias Cormann, Minister for Finance, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, Address to the Sydney Institute, 28 September 2015

The Liberal-National Party Coalition has been in government now for just over two years.

Looking back, there is no doubt that we have made significant progress in putting Australia on a stronger more resilient economic and fiscal foundation for the future.

There is equally no doubt that there is much, much more work to be done.

It is a matter of historical record, not political interpretation, that when we came into government, we inherited a weakening economy, rising …


Josh Frydenberg: Our democratic capitalism model under challenge

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia, Address to the Cranlana Programme Alumni Speaker Series, 29 September 2015

The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

It is a great pleasure to be invited tonight to participate in the Alumni Speaker Series here at Cranlana.

The previous speakers form an illustrious group of eminent Australians and I feel humbled to be in their company.

The promulgation of ideas is not only noble but critical to the advancement and health of our society.

I would also like to pay tribute to the Myer family for their unrivalled good citizenship. Their unswerving commitment to philanthropy has bettered the …


Finding consensus after the National Reform Summit

PM Malcolm Turnbull galvanises leaders to discuss shared reform priorities

Menzies Research Centre Executive Director Nick Cater will join corporate, community and trade union leaders this week to brief the Prime Minister on the outcomes of the National Reform Summit.

The summit began as a Menzies Research Initiative in cooperation with The Australian and The Australian Financial Review aimed at finding common ground for reform.

Cater, a co-convenor of the summit in August, welcomed Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to consult with summit …


Welfare system reform must be clever

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

“Single-parent families are now the fastest growing family type in Australia,”The Daily Telegraph reported matter-of-factly on ­Friday. It was an old story. The number of single-parent families has been growing steadily for decades; since the early 1970s, in fact, when Gough Whitlam introduced the sole-parent benefit.

In 1971, one in 16 families with dependent children was a parent short of a couple. Now it’s one in six. Surely not even the most steadfast …


We haven’t turned Left on the road to Shangri-La

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

The Brits are leaning further to the Left, we are told. Austerity and rising inequality have moved the centre of political gravity.

In May, two months after the NatCen Social Research unit delivered its finding, voters showed their disdain for conservatism by sending David Cameron back to No 10 Downing Street with an increased majority.

Locating the political centre in these fractious times is a difficult task, particularly if you’re unfortunate enough to be …


The righteous overlook our generosity

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

One can only assume James Carle­ton had missed the Zaky Mallah memo cautioning against putting dangerous radicals to air. That’s assuming of course that ABC management sent one.

“Ewen Jones, welcome to Breakfast,” said Carleton. “Nice to have you on the program. For the first time I think?”

“Yes,” the Townsville MP replied. “My first time on Radio National and I don’t get Fran Kelly.”

It is an open question whether Kelly would have risked …


Wowsers under the microscope

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

It’s a measure of progress for the Abbott government that, for the first time in decades, the moralisers are in retreat. Through the years the creeping fingers of the state have insinuated themselves into parts of everyday life where they have no business. Now they are being slapped back into place.

The defunct National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health is missed by no one except the professional do-gooders who were dipping into its $370 million honey …


Bill Shorten’s Labor has no use for Bob Hawke and Paul Keating

Nick Cater's weekly column in The Australian

It is quite a feat for a Labor leader to address a conference on reform without mentioning Bob Hawke or Paul Keating, but Bill Shorten managed to do so last Wednesday.

The leader of a party that likes to celebrate its history may have been expected to bask in the ­reflected glow of his reforming predecessors.

Yet Shorten chose not to do so in his speech to the ­National Reform Summit save for an oblique reference to the spirit of 1983.

You have to scroll back through …


Bread and Circuses: Why Europe Failed

Nick Cater reviews 'Why Europe Failed' by Oliver Hartwich

Bread and Circuses: Why Europe Failed

The extract from Oliver Hartwich's confronting essay on European decline published this weekend barely mentions Australia, yet the sub-text is clear. If we can't stop the relentless expansion of government, Europe's malaise offers a glimpse of Australia's future. 

Why Europe Failed is published this week by Connor Court and extracted in The Weekend Australian

In Europe, says Hartwich, we are staring at 'the dying embers of a past world behemoth.' 


Dominic Perrottet MP: Efforts to shut down free speech are increasing and must be resisted

By Dominic Perrottet MP

Dominic Perrottet MP: Efforts to shut down free speech are increasing and must be resisted
As a general rule, a conservative’s success on Q&A can be measured in direct proportion to the degree of Twitter outrage it causes: the greater the Twitter meltdown, the better the performance.
Let’s call it “Brendan’s Law”, because after Brendan O’Neill’s performance last week, it’s safe to say Twitter wasn’t happy.
Some of the more pleasant “feedback” saw him labelled “a patronising lightweight”, “an outright fascist”, …

Analysis on the National Reform Summit

We need to agree on what reform is for
Australia and NZ-image for NRS-770W

Nick Cater comments in The Australian on the National Reform Summit. 

Read Henry Ergas' comments on the Summit here.

The DIY reform summit, as Gary Banks described it, was an experiment in public policy formation that was clearly worth the investment.

In an era when civic conversation often appears to be conducted in silos, it was refreshing to hear such a wideranging conversation from contributors across the policy spectrum …

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