The Looking Forward Podcast
The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 89: Brutal Lockdowns Redux: SA Cut

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 89: Brutal Lockdowns Redux: SA Cut

November 19, 2020

Now it’s South Australia's turn for lockdown hell for at least six days, and Daniel Wild joins the panel live from Adelaide to report on the chaotic decision making behind the Government’s draconian measures. 

Apparently the coronavirus spread by failure in Hotel Quarantine - who would have expected THAT! Seriously, are our Governments incapable of learning and preparing, and delivering a decent test and trace system?

Meanwhile, the Fatwa issued by Kevin Rudd against Rupert Murdoch gained support from Malcolm Turnbull and the ABC, and now the Senate has launched yet another inquiry into ‘media diversity’. How real are the claims made about Murdoch’s influence, and what does that really have to do with the state of media in Australia? Is this just setting us up for Finklestein Mark II, with government licensing of media outlets and journalists?

We then move on to discuss our culture picks for the week including Daniel’s Australian Prime Ministers by editor Michelle Grattan; Chris’s Netflix original TV series Stranger Things by Ross Duffer and Matt Duffer, which he recommends to anyone looking for an absurd, high quality production with amusing cliches; and Scott’s TV series The Crown by Peter Morgan which Scott enjoys but critiques for its pushing of political agendas and subtly supporting the aristocrats' snobbish view of Margaret Thatcher.


Culture Picks:

Australian Prime Ministers; Michelle Grattan

Stranger Things; Ross Duffer and Matt Duffer

The Crown; Peter Morgan

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 88: Just Another High Vis Election

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 88: Just Another High Vis Election

November 12, 2020

It's a global High Vis vest frenzy, because whether or not he’s President going forward the global legacy of Trump is a realignment of politics, with heartland conservatives switched on and centre-right parties around the world looking for blue collar voters. To what extent can this be said about Australia and can it explain what's happened this week in the ALP as the Shadow Cabinet dissolved into a brawl over climate versus coal?

This realignment in the USA brought populist policy change on trade, taxes and social security, but  could anyone other than Trump have withstood enormous media pressure surrounding the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as getting through the deregulation and massive tax cuts that he did? Can we ever imitate this in Australia or is our political system too dissimilar to America’s? Did State LNP organisations blow themselves up chasing populist positions? What will the Biden administration look like for the future of the USA and the rest of the world?

Joining Scott and Chris in this week’s episode to discuss these riveting questions is IPA Director of Communications, Evan Mullholland. 


Culture Picks this week include Chris’ Children of Ash and Elm by Neil Price about Vikings; Scott’s podcast, Noise Before Defeat by Senator Jim Molan about Australian national security; and Evan’s pick of the American, deep-state action-thriller series, Condor by Tom Katzberg, Ken Robinson and Jason Smilovic.

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 87: Trumpism in a Post Trump Era

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 87: Trumpism in a Post Trump Era

November 5, 2020

There’s some grieving from Gideon on the Podcast as indications are that Joe Biden will be sworn in as President, though his fabled ‘blue wave’ failed to eventuate. Trump confounded the polls and energised a mass base of Americans in a way that suggests his political legacy will live on. Is this at the expense of the right’s traditional free market values - or was there a fusion? Did Trump really divide America, or was he just the first to be honest about the social and economic division and the nature of the ruling elite?  How can the claim still be made that Trumpism is all dog whistle racism when the GOP made further gains amongst Latinos and other minorities? Trump has permanently flipped the world’s view of China but what now is the future for trade and tariff policies? Will Biden have Australia’s back during any further bruising retaliations by China? 

Guests Gideon Rozner and Morgan Begg join Scott and Chris to answer these questions and also share their culture picks, which include Chris’ highly recommended Netflix TV series, The Queen's Gambit by Scott Frank and Allan Scott; Morgan’s documentary series on Netflix, High Score, stemming from his interest in the history of video games; and Gideon’s rerun of his favourite childhood TV show, 7th Heaven by Brenda Hampton.

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 86: Australia’s Coronavirus Endgame

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 86: Australia’s Coronavirus Endgame

October 29, 2020

Scott Morrison’s mid-year plan for a COVIDSafe economy is back on track having been derailed by Victorian bungling, but with vaccines uncertain and international borders closed, what is the outlook for Australia’s coronavirus Endgame?  Can services like education and tourism ever rejoin king coal and iron ore as the foundations of our prosperity, at least any time soon? Why would any business invest when Governments can shut you down at any time?

Scott and Chris are joined by Andrew Bushnell to answer those questions and also focus on our first COVID State election in Queensland, which also looks like a post-economics election, with ballooning debt and public service payrolls barely even mentioned (except by the IPA!). It’s the clerisy’s business model at work…

And the other election coming up is in the USA - and it seems Trump’s comeback has made it once again too close to call (except by the panellists). The call is made on Florida and the Latino vote. Both candidates played to their strengths and strategy but only one can be vindicated. 

Culture picks (53:28-1:05:43) look at streaming services La Révolution and the disappointing Brave New World, while the coverage of the AFL Grand Final gives Bushnell a chance to wax lyrical about Richmond FC.


Show Notes:

'Enough is enough': Gladys Berejiklian calls for states to open borders, pull their weight on hotel quarantine; Jodie Stephens


Budget 2020: When will Australia re-open its borders?; Mosiqi Acharya


Still the Sunshine State? (IPA Review)


New IPA Research Proposes Models For A Queensland Upper House


Culture Picks:

Brave New World (TV Series 2020)


La Révolution (TV Series 2020)

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 85: Global Progressives Unhinged By Jacindavirus (ARDERN 20)

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 85: Global Progressives Unhinged By Jacindavirus (ARDERN 20)

October 21, 2020

Gideon Rozner joins the panel to compare world leaders’ various responses to coronavirus and how this links to politically polarised ideals of “leadership”. If leadership for progressives just means technocracy and more lockdowns, is that why Gideon’s labelling of Jancinda Adern as “incompetent” saw much frothing and outrage across domestic and global media?
We highlight the various leadership styles of Saint Jacida, Chairman Dan, the Donald and others, and ask what can be made of their approaches to gaining followers or popularity through the crisis? And we explain the difference between the errors of State leaders Daniel Andrews and Gladys Berejiklian.

The big question is why should performative leadership’ be rewarded while sheer managerial incompetence is ignored; and whether leadership and management can even be meaningfully separated? 

In the USA President Trump aims to buck the media and the consensus of negative polls; but are those polls really reflective of the likely Electoral College outcomes? Will Americans vote on the virus, or economics and other themes that favour Trump? (37:06-52:40)


Culture Picks this week include American historical legal drama film, The Trial of the Chicago 7, written by Aaron Sorkin; Sally Rugg’s book, How Powerful We Are: Behind the Scenes with One of Australia's Leading Activists; and Apple TV series, Ted Lasso, Created by Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Bill Lawrence. (53:00-1:06:24)

Show notes 


From ‘beacon of hope’ to ‘incompetent’: world media on Jacinda Ardern’s big election win; Toby Manhire


Thirteen Days – A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis; Robert F. Kennedy

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead; The Editors/National Review

Culture Picks

2020 American historical legal drama film, The Trial of the Chicago 7, written by Aaron Sorkin


2020 TV series, Ted Lasso, Created by Brendan Hunt, Joe Kelly, Bill Lawrence


Book by Sally Rugg, How Powerful We Are: Behind the scenes with one of Australia's leading activists


The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 84: The Belated Collapse of Lockdown’s Justifications

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 84: The Belated Collapse of Lockdown’s Justifications

October 14, 2020

We may look back on this as the week when the global wave of coronavirus lockdown hysteria recedes, as more sensible voices and experts come to the fore, including a key WHO adviser condemning the use of lockdowns as a primary means of control for the coronavirus.

The historic Great Barrington Declaration led by Professor Sunetra Gupta (Oxford) and Jay Bhattacharya (Harvard) replaces lockdowns with “focused protection” to protect the most vulnerable people from the virus, while allowing those at much lower risk to work and/or return to school and life generally. How well does this map in Australia’s unique context to IPA Research calling for a strategy based on “Medical Capacity”? Report co-author Asher Judah joins regular panellists Scott Hargreaves and Chris Berg to discuss.

For months the IPA has been pointing to harm and suffering caused by the lockdowns yet the Victorian government is only beginning to admit this, and that “roadmap” goals are unachievable.  As we survey the destruction of the State’s once great health system, its economy, and its people’s mental health, is there finally scope for a U-turn?

This week’s culture picks include four-part docuseries, Before the Web by Jim Epstein; The IPA’s Climate Change: The Facts 2020; and George Friedman’s novel, The Storm Before The Calm. (45:08-59:15)



Show notes:

The Great Barrington Declaration


Reaching Immunity | A Private Summit of Epidemiologists Against Lockdowns; AIER


Medical Capacity: An Alternative to Lockdowns; Daniel Wild and Asher Judah


Support for eased restrictions grows as Melburnians reach breaking point (IPA Research), Shannon Deery


The Australian Century, Asher Judah



Culture picks:

Before the Web: The 1980s Dream of a Free and Borderless Virtual World, Jim Epstein


Climate Change: The Facts 2020 (Chapter 19); IPA


The Storm Before the Calm, George Friedman

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 83: Trump’s COVID: Halo or Catastrophe?

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 83: Trump’s COVID: Halo or Catastrophe?

October 7, 2020

Trump has tested positive for COVID-19 less than one month before the US election. What will this mean for the politics surrounding the upcoming election and could this revelation play for or against Trump’s faltering campaign? (1:59-21:45)

Trump has also received a kind of ‘cocktail’ of medication in response to contracting the virus, not all of which is available to the common American citizen. In the spirit of Right to Try, should this accelerate clinician’s access to beneficial drugs rather than just waiting for a vaccine? And are lockups and the wait for a vaccine just making people’s health worse? (21:45-35:59)

We discuss last night’s budget and our sudden emergence as a big-State social democratic country with a small state low(er) tax revenue base. Will this Keynesian but pro-business budget lift us out of recession, or is it time to look at productivity? (36:00-50:31)

Culture picks this week include Musical label, Cryo Chamber; Aeschylus’ play, The Eumenides; and a two-part TV series by Billy Ray, The Comey Rule. (51:29-1:04:21)


Show notes:

“Effect of calcifediol (Vitamin D treatment; M Castillo, et al


Is it wrong if I ask for the same?; Tyler Cowen


Donald Trump takes zinc. Maybe you should too; Allysia Finley


Why Human Challenge Trials Will Be Necessary to Get a Coronavirus Vaccine; Alex Tabarrok


All the president's medicine: How doctors are treating Donald Trump; Sascha Pezenik, Sony Salzman and Dr. Divya Chhabra


Debt To Hit $2.05 Trillion, 60 Years To Pay Off; IPA


Culture Picks:

Musical label, Cryo Chamber


Play, The Eumenides, written by Aeschylus


‘Ah, how miserable! Three New Oresteias’; Emily Wilson, LRB


TV series by Billy Ray, The Comey Rule

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 82: Pollies’ Prison Prospects: Stunning Own Goal

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 82: Pollies’ Prison Prospects: Stunning Own Goal

September 30, 2020

Victoria has been electrified by the prospect that politicians and public servants from the Premier down could be charged and even jailed for deaths attributable to the Hotel Quarantine fiasco, under tendentious new industrial manslaughter laws only recently enacted by the Andrews Government. Governments must be held to account, but is this the job of the courts, or Parliaments and voters? If we start jailing politicians for incompetence, where will it end? (33:25-44:59).

Scott Hargreaves and Chris Berg are joined by Research Fellow Morgan Begg to discuss this and also the litany of civil rights violations justified in the name of pandemic. Where have been the institutions meant to defend our freedoms, and what precedent does this rampant State create for our future? (1:50-17:59).

The latest concern in Victoria is an “Omnibus Bill”, allowing government appointed ‘authorised officers’ to arrest and detain individuals just on the suspicion of intent to break rules. Is this necessary or just a left-wing Government’s adaption the Police State/‘law and order’ playbook formerly used by the right? (18:00-33:25).

Culture picks this week include the new Netflix film, Enola Holmes by Harry Bradbeer; Karl Ove Knausgaard’s book on Edvard Munch, So Much Longing in So Little Space; and a Netflix documentary by Jeff Orlowski, The Social Dilemma (44:59-1:04:55).



Letter to WorkSafe Referring Ministers for Investigation; Ken Phillips


Four Victorian ministers, 16 public servants may face prosecution over alleged OHS law breaches; Robert Gottliebsen


Picnicking rule-breakers face $5000 fines with police to blanket parks; Simone Fox Koob


Regulate? Innovate!; Chris Berg on social media regulation


Covid Totalitarianism; Morgan Begg


Culture Picks:

Enola Holmes


So Much Longing in So Little Space


The Social Dilemma

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 81: RBG & After, Plus: Who’s Replacing Nettle?

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 81: RBG & After, Plus: Who’s Replacing Nettle?

September 23, 2020

This week saw the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and immediate controversy about who will replace her on the United States’ Supreme Court, as the Democrats invent reasons to stall the process. The panellists reflect on the career of a remarkable advocate and jurist, and examine how the Republican push in the Senate to confirm a Trump nomination as replacement will affect the election. If even Mitt Romney wants to do it, what’s stopping them? (2:12-35:50).

Likewise, Australia’s High Court also has some looming vacancies, due to the 72-year age of ‘statutory senility’ enforced on Justices of the High Court, with Justice Nettle soon to step down. Why aren’t Australians more interested in the choice of replacement shortly to be made by the Morrison Government, and – in light of controversial decisions such as Love/Thoms - do we need more scrutiny of the process for nomination? (35:50-56:32).

Culture picks this week include BGG cold war board game, Twilight Struggle; Elena Ferrante’s novel, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay; and Taylor Sheridan and John Linson’s TV series, Yellowstone season 3 (56:41-1:08:02).


Show notes

Courting Calamity; Morgan Begg (IPA Review, Winter 2020)

Porter kicks off search for next High Court judge; Robert Pelly, AFR

Save the Vote, Save the Court; Adam J White, The Bulwark

Looking Forward Ep 74 Review of RBG biopic, On the Basis of Sex; Scott Hargreaves


Culture picks

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

Twilight Struggle

Yellowstone; Season 3

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 80: Tear Down That Wall

The Looking Forward Podcast Episode 80: Tear Down That Wall

September 17, 2020

There are hard borders with no sign of let up across Australia, as State Premiers spuriously justify all decisions as being on the basis of medical advice while enjoying the populist support for supposedly keeping out the virus. But they can only do so because in our crazy fiscally frazzled federation the Feds pick up the bill for the economic costs. And why can actors and footballers cross borders when ordinary people can't?
What will be the effects on our economy and indeed our nation; as we revert to self-contained colonies and the ties of family and work across borders are severed?
And for that matter, what of the tens of thousands of Australias stranded overseas because State Government failures mean they cannot be safely returned, as Australia joins North Korea in banning travel from Australia without a permit?
Evan Mulholland joins Chris Berg and Scott Hargreaves to discuss problems and possible solutions, and also look at the battle being waged by tech giants Google and Facebook as they fight moves by Australia's relative media minnows to grab a share of revenue, egged on by the ACCC (33:38-46:06). Just one part of a global war in which Australian consumers could be the loser.
In the regular Books and Culture segment (46:07-58:33) they look a Tim Wilson’s new book on Australia's social contract, the Netflix series Away, and the latest surrealist escapade form Charlie Kaufman, I'm Thinking of Ending Things.


Show Notes:

A big decision is due today in the Clive Palmer vs WA border row — here's why it matters

This is why it is so difficult for Australians to get home


Culture Picks

The New Social Contract; Tim Wilson

Away; Andrew Hinderaker

I’m Thinking of Ending Things; Charlie Kaufman

Play this podcast on Podbean App