The Australian Right's major think-tank, the Centre for Independent Studies, celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. The event passed without notice for most people on the Left and progressive side of politics.
Populism can be a dirty word. But rather than associating it with demagoguery and exclusion, might populism be harnessed as a positive force able to thrive in difficult times?
Australia’s dirtiest habit is its addiction to coal. But is our dependence on it a road to prosperity or a dead end? Are we hooked for life? And who is profiting from our addiction?
Discussing Murdoch at the Commonwealth Journalists Association in London, with Nick Higham, from the BBC, in March 2013.
At a conference in honour of Professor Robert Manne - (left-to-right) Ghassan Hage, Carmen Lawrence, David McKnight and Clive Hamilton.
When Rupert Murdoch called, Prime Ministers and Presidents picked up the phone. David McKnight exposes Murdoch's unflinching use of his media empire to further his political agenda over decades.
IF THE Cold War was a clash of ideologies, the new global conflict is about values. In the US, neo-conservatives argue that Western values are threatened by terrorists and postmodernists. In Australia, the Prime Minister, John Howard, argues that better proficiency in English and a knowledge of history and civics are needed to combat a threat to Australian values.
Those of you who watch this blog site will have noticed that your ability to post comments is now restricted.
This has been due to an unprecedented amount of spam directed at the site -- reaching 400 messages a day, all of it advertising Viagra, porn, poker, and many other things.
So the comment function has been switched off, except for the most recent articles.
The site will continue to publish articles and talks by me, around the theme of my book Beyond Right and Left'.
You can still contact David by email.
The following article appeared in the Autumn 2006 edition of 'Green' magazine, the publication of the Australian Greens. It argues that free market economics is a radical not a conservative idea. The true conservatives are those who want to conserve communities and the environment, not destroy them.
In May 1965 the Director General of Security, Sir Charles Spry ,and the newly appointed General Manager of the ABC, Talbot Duckmanton, sat down to dinner in Sydney. At the dinner, which had been arranged two months earlier, the two men discussed matters of security affecting the ABC including ASIO's regular liaison with the ABC at state leve
Chapter 19, 'Australia's Spies and Their Secrets' (David McKnight, Allen & Unwin, 1994)
On a quiet Sunday morning early in 1972 three ASIO officers stood in the nondescript office of a fly-by-night mining company, Kalamunda Mineral Reserves, above Flinders Lane in the city of Melbourne. The main sound apart from the odd distant car was the distant, insistent hymn singing of a religious sect who occupied rooms below and the occasional squawk of a walkie-talkie held by one man. From another man, hunched over a desk with a small box of tools by his side, a metallic sound rasped through the room
From : Australia's Spies and their Secrets (David McKnight, Allen & Unwin, 1994)
On Saturday 17 March 1973, the day after Murphy's raid on St Kilda Rd, the revolt in ASIO against the Whitlam Government began in earnest. A group of senior ASIO officers clandestinely visited the Opposition leader, Billy Snedden, and appealed for help. They told him that 'Barbour had gone to pieces and would not be reliable' . Instead of accommodating Murphy he should have defied the Attorney and the Commonwealth Police.
From 'Australia's Spies and Their Secrets' (David McKnight, Allen and Unwin, 1994)
A man is walking briskly down the footpath beside Goulburn Street in Sydney in 1964. A careful observer would notice that he walks with a slight limp, his finger are stained with nicotine and his hair is greying, parted in the middle. He turns abruptly into a side entrance of the Sydney Trades Hall, an architectural oddity being one of Sydney's few multi-story Victorian buildings built almost entirely of brick. As he walks familiarly down one of its ill-lit, high ceilinged corridors he acknowledges a brief, knowing nod from an official of a minor right wing union.
From Chapter Five
Espionage and the Roots of the Cold War (Frank Cass, London, 2002)
In the 1920s the repression faced by newly created Communist Parties demonstrated the need for the clandestine techniques developed in Russia before the Revolution. In the following period, which began when the ultra-leftist 'Third Period' coincided with the 1929 Wall Street crisis, another expression of konspiratsya made itself felt in the West. Soviet intelligence began to recruit middle class American, German and British communists/