Episodes
Joe Biden picks Kamala Harris for Vice President If Joe Biden wins the US election he will be the oldest person ever to make it to the White House. His age at swearing in would be 78 – older than Ronald Reagan was when he left office. Not surprisingly, Biden has said he wanted a running mate who is capable of taking over the job at a moment’s notice. This week, he announced Kamala Harris as his running mate, making her the first black woman on a major-party ticket. Does she have what it...
Published 08/13/20
Defending the right to offend China on campus Last week, Human Rights Watch Australia Director Elaine Pearson was interviewed by the media department at the University of New South Wales about the human rights implications of Hong Kong's new national security law. Her comments on Hong Kong new national security legislation upset some students. They claimed article caused offence to China and demanded the university remove the article. The university temporarily removed the article, but...
Published 08/06/20
All way with DJT? This week Defence Minister Linda Reynolds and Foreign Minister Marise Payne flew to Washington to attend the annual Ausmin talks. The backdrop to this year’s talks is a series of escalating events and rhetoric on Hong Kong’s new national security laws, ownership of the South China Sea,  cyber-attacks and theft,  and the closure of consulates in the US and China.  But the deeper issue on the agenda was a choice. The US was hoping Australia would throw everything in with the...
Published 07/30/20
Liberals pushing back against cancel culture in the US Some people call it cancel culture because it is based on mainly online activism aimed at 'cancelling' or withdrawing support from a celebrity or public figure. But in the last few years it has extended away from pop culture celebrities into academic institutions, writers festivals and even mainstream newspapers like the New York Times. Advocates argue they are righting wrongs and correcting fundamental injustices in the system....
Published 07/23/20
UK update with Isabelle Oakeshott Boris Johnson was elected in a landslide to get Brexit finalised. But his mishandling of the Coronavirus crisis has his approval ratings in free fall. Meanwhile, Britain’s exit from Europe has fallen off the front pages and Labour’s new leader is gaining ground. Also, will Putin be president for life? Vladimir Putin recently secured constitutional changes that may allow him to rule for another sixteen years. Most Western analysts see the move as a power...
Published 07/16/20
China — the unnamed adversary in Australia’s defence review Last week the Morrison government launched its Defence Strategy and Force Structure Review, promising $270 billion over the next decade to enhance Australia’s defence capabilities. But is the money too much, or not enough?  Is it going to all the right places? And will it do enough to safeguard Australia from China’s increasing aggression and its rapidly growing military capabilities?  Also, Remembering Srebrenica In 1995 the...
Published 07/09/20
Vale Owen Harries Welsh-born Owen Harries was one of Australia’s most significant foreign-policy thinkers. A conservative and realist, he battled the doves during the Vietnam era and the hawks during the war on terror.  From his editorial post at the National Interest magazine he played an influential role in US foreign policy circles, earning respect and admiration from the likes of Henry Kissinger and Francis Fukuyama. Harries died this month aged 90. Also, what does the Hamilton musical...
Published 07/02/20
Border tensions between China and India The Himalayan border region between China and India has been in dispute since 1962. This month, a violent clash between troops resulted in twenty Indian and an unknown number of Chinese deaths. Will the recent escalation push India away from China for good?   Also, the Gillard leadership coup ten years on This week marks the ten-year anniversary of the Labor Party coup to replace Kevin Rudd with Julia Gillard. What is its legacy for Australian politics?
Published 06/25/20
Preserving the past Geoffrey Blainey — who coined the term ‘the tyranny of distance’, is one of Australian’s most prolific and well known historians.  He discusses Australia’s record on race relations and the removal of historic statues.  Also, the geopolitics of Coronavirus conspiracies What do state actors like China and Russia hope to gain from spreading disinformation on the virus? And how do fringe domestic groups like QANON and anti-vaxxers fit in?
Published 06/18/20
An anti-China alliance? The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China brings together politicians from liberal democracies including Canada, Norway, Germany and the US. Labor Senator Kimberly Kitching is the Australian Co-Chair. But as Australia heads into recession, and China increases it's restrictions on Australia trade, might this just make things worse? Also, do America’s mounting domestic woes spell electoral trouble for Trump? This month the US has been beset by trifecta crises....
Published 06/11/20
Australia's balancing act: Constraining, not containing China
Published 05/21/20
Who is going to come out on top in the post-COVID world order: China or the US?
Published 05/14/20
Published 04/30/20
How do we revive the economy once the pandemic passes? Coronavirus has Australia headed for a deep recession, so what can we do now to plan our way out of it? Is the answer more government intervention and state planning? Or, is now the time to launch a new reform agenda that sharpens the incentives to work, save, invest and hire? And, Alexander Downer: “I don’t know what China’s problem is” Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for an investigation into the origins of the virus. But...
Published 04/30/20
How do we revive the economy once the pandemic passes? Coronavirus has Australia headed for a deep recession, so what can we do now to plan our way out of it? Is the answer more government intervention and state planning? Or, is now the time to launch a new reform agenda that sharpens the incentives to work, save, invest and hire? And, Alexander Downer: “I don’t know what China’s problem is” Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for an investigation into the origins of the virus. But...
Published 04/30/20
Weighing up Turnbull’s legacy This week, former Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull published his memoir A Bigger Picture.  In it he settles old scores with colleagues over his 2018 ousting, which he describes as an “act of madness.” What is his legacy, and how will history judge our nation’s twenty ninth Prime Minister? Jacqueline Maley, columnist at The Sydney Morning Herald. Jennifer Oriel, columnist at The Australian   And, the death of a führer April 30th marks seventy-five years since...
Published 04/23/20
What impact will Boris’ bout of COVID-19 have on his leadership and the nation’s fight against the virus?  His former boss, political columnist Charles Moore weighs in. Later in the program Moore discusses his best-selling three volume biography of Margaret Thatcher. Was the Iron Lady really an eco-warrior? Would she have supported Brexit?
Published 04/16/20
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has told the army to shoot to kill anyone who violates strict COVID-19 lockdowns. Has he gone too far, or is this just more of the strong-man machismo that made him so popular? We talk to Sheila Coronel, Professor of Investigative Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School. Also, why don't Australian prime ministers leave quietly? Australia has had 30 prime ministers since its Federation in 1901. According to political historian Norman Abjorensen...
Published 04/09/20
Hear from the chair of Infection Control at the National University Hospital in Singapore, who says home isolation is impossible to enforce, and everyone who tests positive for coronavirus should be isolated in hospitals or in designated hotels until they recover. Plus, veteran British historian Max Hastings discusses his new history of the World War Two Dambusters raid.
Published 04/02/20
Is the government pulling the right levers to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19. How long can the Australian economy survive shut downs before we tip into irreparable damage? 
Published 03/26/20
How the US and China have handled the coronavirus contagion and the secret history of Labor's election debacle.
Published 03/19/20
Kishore Mahbubani says COVID-19 won’t put dent on China’s ascendency, and the US should work out a more thoughtful, long-term strategy for managing China’s rise.   Kishore Mahbubani, Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, author of Has China Won? The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy
Published 03/12/20