d e a n   f o r b e s                                                                  w a l k i n g ,  n o t  r u n n i n g . . .
  1. E P H E M E R A L  

  2. Random Thoughts, Irritations and Speculations

This year is shaping up as difficult. The ramping down of government support to businesses and many in the community is going to be stressful. China is asserting its increasing international activities and causing many countries to review their strategies and consolidate their links with like-minded countries. Adding to the to the tension is the need to speed up the distribution of COVID vaccinations in Australia and supporting neighbouring countries needing help.              

14 March 2021

The Myanmar military coup was a shockingly crude grab for power.  Worries about China’s aggression towards India and Taiwan is a regional and global concern. The Indo-Pacific region must lead the way towards a stronger and resilient rules based approach to the region.          

6 February 2021

Politics is re-emerging from the politically less frenzied Christmas New Year. I want to think that we will have a  greater wisdom in the decisions of our politicians, a more constructive voice coming from our civil society, and a steady growth in the economy and the way in which that wealth is distributed.      

23 January 2021

A few challengers are ahead. A successful inoculation program against COVID-19. Recovery of the economy and employment. An improvement of Australia-China relations. The USA returns as a positive contributor to global politics and economy.  

5 January 2021

COVID-19 returned in Sydney, beginning with a hotspot on the northern beaches. It rapidly led to states imposing tough travel restrictions for NSW people. As an optimist I am hoping interstate road travel will be allowed by Christmas.

22 December 2020

Australian foreign policy will need to adjust to a world without Trump. The major western powers are relieved, but know the many challenges from China, Russia and other countries. At least there will be a coherent contribution from the USA.   

10 November 2020

In Bob Brown’s lifetime (he is 75) the global population has grown from 2.5 billion to almost 8 billion. Could humans continue to thrive at that rate of growth or will they need to seriously agree on strategies to collectively manage population growth ?  

18 October 2020

Many people feel depressed and overwhelmed by COVID-19. Not surprising if you are ill, suffer hardship or lost a job. Others like me sense a slowing down and acquire an increased sense of uncertainty.  

16 October 2020

Sunshine, some stability and fewer new infections are encouraging. More airline traffic and less control of vehicle traffic helps. But the political and community response as the government reduces financial support will cause ructions.  

3 October 2020

COVID-19 continues to shake us yet so far we have held together as a series of multi-connected communities. The politicians are showing signs of fragmenting but thus far the violent extremists have had little or no impact.   

5 September 2020

Expectations of a pill able to safely prevent COVED-19 infection is gaining momentum. Yet it is not likely to become available for 1-2 years, or even longer. In the meantime, understanding the full medical impacts of the virus on humans needs to be better understood.  

20 August 2020

The USA Presidential election is getting closer. Trump’s support has weakened and Joe Biden is doing well including in some Republican states. There is concern that if the vote is close Trump could try to intervene in the voting count.   

31 July 2020

Globally COVID-19 is energising governments trying to avert the worst of the pandemic. China is particularly active in its domestic and international strategies raising concerns in Australia, the US and most Indo Pacific countries. 

26 July 2020

The research groups working on a COVID-19 antidote includes teams at Flinders University and UQ. I have confidence in the global researchers, but less so in the companies and governments that will seek to leverage power and influence and extract excessive profits.

15 July 2020

Media focus has shifted from COVID-19 to the economy. The ABC is attracting significant interest, especially from its staff. The universities were briefly on the front pages. But national concern is most needed on the small and medium enterprises and the shifts need to succeed in a post COVID-19 world.

  1. 24 June 2020

  2. While Australia has done well to manage the Coronavirus, the need to control the virus, rebuild the economy and deal with a spike in community demands and expectations will challenge national and state governments.

  3. 18 June 2020

  4. Surely Trump’s inept management of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the street riots of the last few days, and his ineffectual international presence, will have a big impact on the coming presidential election.

  5.   4 June 2020

  6. The global politics surrounding Covid-19 is hotting up. China is active, along with Russia. The USA under Trump is prone to shallow and occasionally loopy statements. The world needs a fair and productive global response. Who are going to be the leaders?

  7. 20 May 2020

  8. Australians look hopefully for a successful three stage opening up of activities and with it growth in employment. But most are wary of hot spot Covid-19 break-outs. The libertarians arguing against the strategy are unconvincing and have no impact.

  9. 14 May 2020

  10. The balance is shifting with more concern about the economy despite the government’s significant financial inputs to businesses over the next few months. The risk of a second peak in infections is not being taken lightly.

  11. 28 April 2020

  12. A turndown in the numbers of new Coronavirus infections in late March indicated Australia, along with Japan, South Korea and New Zealand are coping, just. Ensuring the economy is functioning well in the circumstances is another huge issue.

  13. 5 April 2020

  14. It is Sunday and there a few on the streets. COVID - 19 is taking a toll. Small higher education providers are struggling just as are other businesses. It will test our resilience like never before.

  15. 22 March 2020

  16. The intensity and focus of Australia’s response to COVID - 19 is impressive. Trump’s comments on the virus were rambling and incomprehensible. An embarrassment.      

  17. 16 March 2020 

  18. Crikey, COVID - 19 is making its mark globally. After a sluggish start the Australian government is listening to the health experts. The next three months are crucial.    

  19. 14 March 2020

  20. Remember Barry McGuire’s 1965 song ‘On the Eve of Destruction‘? It’s on my mind. But despite global warming and the Coronavirus I don’t think we’re on the path to destruction. And I’m not stock-piling toilet paper.    

  21. 6 March 2020

  22. Shops are selling out of sensible products like hand cleansers, but why the rush on toilet rolls? Sydney’s response to the Coronavirus threat at the local level will be interesting to follow.

  23. 4 March 2020

  24. It is increasingly evident that the Morrison government has lost momentum. Does it have the skills, or the desire, to rejuvenate as it shuffles towards the political centre?    

  25. 29 February 2020

  26. Male violence against women and children in family relationships is cowardly, disgusting and far too frequent. Our failure to protect vulnerable women and children requires a new approach.    

  27. 22 February 2020

  28. Australia’s travel bans on Chinese students due to concerns about the coronavirus may well have long term financial consequences. There is growing concern because of the potential impact in higher education institutions.   

  29. 19 February 2020            

  30. China’s threats to Taiwan are increasing and becoming more belligerent. They pose a threat to peace and economic growth across the Indo-Pacific region.   

  31. 12 February 2020

  32. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo is visiting Australia. Will it significantly improve connections between the two countries? Could Scott Morrison achieve what other PMs have been unable to?  

  33. 10 February 2020

  34. The moronic responses to climate change concerns by some senior government figures and the (mostly Murdoch) media gangs is an embarrassment. We need more deep and coherent media discussion, not rants from egotist.

  35. 5 February 2020

  36. The loss of life due to the coronavirus is mounting. For higher ed providers, especially high ranked universities, the financial fallout will also have a huge impact on student revenue.

  37.        3 February 2020

  38. Prime Minister Scott Morrison is struggling to recover his mojo. After an impressive start last year he is less convincing and not reading the mood of the middle class.

  39.        30 January 2020

  40. Weather is not the same as climate. Too many activists are not aware of the difference and hence weaken the case for a long term climate change strategy.

  41.        23 January 2020

  42. The media’s attention to the plans of a minor English royal and his family is depressing. Even the ABC is drowning us in the coverage.      

  43. 21 January 2020

  44. The enormous cost of addressing climate change is seldom canvassed. Activists ignore it and so does the press. We need to know the likely impact on our economy and standard of living.    

  45. 8 January 2020

  46. Climate change and insufficient attention to reducing under growth in high risk forests may have contributed to the ferocity of the fires. An informed investigation should be able to provide a clear and unbiased assessment of all the key factors.    

  47. 5 January 2020

  48. The persistent bush fires have caused much angst and suffering. It is irritating that too many commentators have used the situation to push their ragged views on climate matters   

  49. 20 December 2019

  50. Jeremy Corbyn was not expected to win, but few anticipated such a trouncing. Labor/Labour in Australia and the UK need to shape 2020 versions of the strategies of Tony Blair, Bob Hawke and Paul Keating. 

  51. 15 December 2019

  52. Originality is talent. Talent is originality. Making profound statements is banal. Banal is responding to profound statements. 

  53. 8 December 2019

  54. Interested in contemporary art? You must see Sydney Central Coast artist Marionne van Katwijk’s new website. Two of my favourites are Fleurieu (South Australian’s will recognise this) and Night Ride. Hint - search in Canvas.

  55. 15 November 2019

  56. Newstart payments have not changed since 1994. They should increase at the rate of inflation. It might be necessary to have a di     

  57. 7 November 2019

  58. In the 18th century the word ‘trump’ was slang for fart.     

  59. 31 October 2019

  60. Congratulations Adelaide United on winning the Football Federation Australia Cup, with a 4-0 victory over Melbourne City. Their third success having defeating Perth Glory in 2014 and Sydney FC in 2018

  61. 23 October 2019

  62. The California Institute of Technology received $1.12 billion for climate change. It re-affirms the seriousness of the situation and how costly it will be to have an impact.    

  63. 11 October 2019

  64. Isn’t it irritating that the winners of two of the major football leagues played their grand finals in their home cities. Why can’t the grand finals be held at a neutral venue? .    

  65. 8 October 2019

  66. The Weekend Australian’s obsession with letters denying climate change science while providing no credible evidence or references to scientific sources is a disgrace.    

  67. 25 September 2019

  68. Kiribati’s decision to cease ties with Taiwan and its expected new link with China has implications for Australia. Restructuring  Pacific island links will stretch our regional capabilities.  

  69. 21 September 2019

  70. Drought, warm winter-spring weather and extensive fires in eastern Australia are an indication of continuing changes in weather patterns. Another sombre reminder of climate shifts.  

  71. 17 September 2019

  72. China’s aggression in the Indo Pacific and in Australia poses risks to our economy, security and social cohesion. Our responses must be precise and nuanced.  

  73. 14 September 2019

  74. President Joko Widodo seems committed to moving Indonesia’s capital from Jakarta to Kalimantan.   He has not given an explanation, but wouldn’t a new capital in a more central location be better for Indonesia?  

  75. 28 August 2019

  76. PM Scott Morrison was boxed into an awkward corner during his visit to the Pacific. He urgently needs to explain his stand on climate change and reinforce his Pacific island links.  

  77. 22 August 2019

  78. Reducing Australia’s annual immigration to 160,000 per year over next four years is a good move. Major cities will remain the destination of choice; regional towns are unlikely to attract many.  

  79. 8 August 2019

  80. The economics of the response to global warming are largely ignored. If Bjorn Lomborg is even half correct, current strategies will be far too expensive for countries to sustain.   

  81. 24 July 2019

  82. Government regulators are currently prominent. The banking/financial review continues and higher ed and the trade sector are active and hopefully productive. How will we know the impact?  

  83. 23 July 2019

  84. My twitter following has been around 650 for what seems an eternity. Fortunately I attract a few followers for my posts on Linked In and on this webpage. You can see why I call it ‘walking, not running’. 

  85. 1 July 2019

  86. It is eye-wateringly cold in Sydney today. If anyone says it proves global warming is not happening I will explode. The Commentary page in the WkNd Aus does, of course. But they are funsters.   

  87. 23 June 2019

  88. The way in which the police launched the raid on News Corp editor Annika Smethurst was chilling. It is not a good sign for our democracy or our freedoms of speech. We should all be concerned

  89. 8 June 2019

  90. Evolving a strong, yet nuanced, connection with China is a high priority. Trump’s foreign policy  ineptitude has to be managed.  Essential the FM Marise Payne gets this right.   

  91. 1 June 2019

  92. What comes next? The government has to set out its priorities for the next three years. They must be honest and reveal how they will address the difficult issues such as climate change.

  93. 22 May 2019

  94. I blogged through the 18 May election. It wasn’t easy keeping up. Like many I       

  95. thought Labor would win, especially with a boost in sentiment from Bob Hawkes’ passing.

  96. 22 May 2019

  97. Twitter and some other social media are in meltdown over the results of the election

  98. 20 May 2019

  99. The Liberal National Party has won the 18 May election, with a significant and unexpected win in the House of Representatives. Congrats to Scott Morrison. Labor leader Bill Shorten has resigned.  

  100. 18 May 2019

  101. Saturday is election day. Who will be the next Prime Minister? Tanya Plibersek will win the Sydney seat in the House of Representatives. A ridiculous 105 candidates for the Upper House in NSW.

  102. 15 May 2019

  103. Following senior ministerial defections, Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill will face a no-confidence vote next week. PNG needs a new leadership team. It’s time.

  104. 4 May 2019

  105. Labor will win the 18 May election with a small majority in the Reps. The Liberal National Party might have squeezed back in if it had a credible policy framework to deal with climate change.     

  106. 4 May 2019

  107. The Sri Lanka bombings remind us yet again of the dangers associated with murderous radical religious groups. More must be done by the leaders of the major religions to stop the violence.

  108. 22 April 2019

  109. Election day approaches so the media shift further to the left (the ABC, Nine Fairfax group, the Guardian) or the right (the Murdoch press and the ranting TV and radio shock-jocksI). I avoid them.  

  110. April 2019

  111. North Korea is restoring rocket sites while China’s bullish behaviour in the South China Sea continues. Trump is distracted and unlikely to have a positive influence on either situation.

  112. March 2019

  113. How can governments nullify the impact of the most dangerous incarcerated terrorists from across the political spectrum? Sadly, a viable humane strategy is urgently needed.

  114. March 2019

  115. ABC journalists’ political affiliations: Greens 41.2%; Labor 32.3%; Coalition 14.7%; other 11.7%.

  116. Not a good look, ABC.

  117. March 2019

  118. March 2019 56% in the age range of 18-24% favour a ‘mostly socialist’ system. 22% of over 65’s also. Where is this going? Harvard Caps Harris Poll.

  119. March 2019

  120. Identity politics is a growing concern. Some say it will continue to increase in importance. Will this

  121. introduce a new distortion into public policy and development?

  122. March 2019

Foreign aid. Is it of declining importance for government and the community at large?

March 2019