November 26, 2020
The allegations of serious war crimes by Australian special forces contained within the Brereton Inquiry report mean some change is necessary even as justice takes its course. But should Parliamentarians involve themselves more in Defence and military oversight, as Andrew Hastie MP suggests, or could this politicise the military and cast it into the culture wars? Could adverse findings about a ‘warrior culture’ lead to something useless in its place? And could a ‘black armband’ view of our country and its military record imperil the venerated place of the Australian War Memorial in Australian life and remembrance?
Co-hosts Scott Hargreaves and Chris Berg are joined by former Defence Department employee, Andrew Bushnell, for this discussion. They also revisit the omnishambles that is South Australia’s response to its ‘pizza box’ coronavirus cluster. What does the panic tell us about Governments’ capacity to manage science, public health and known unknowns?
The panellists also discuss their culture picks, including the disappointing Hillbilly Elegy on Netflix, Gotham, the monumental history of New York’s early years, and Based on a True Story, the new and brilliant ‘memoir’ by SNL alumnus, Norm McDonald.
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.
Australian Prime Ministers; Michelle Grattan
Stranger Things; Ross Duffer and Matt Duffer
The Crown; Peter Morgan
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.
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.