Australia

A Less Crowded Planet

20 July 2020 If you wanted evidence that reasonably competent government – not great, not corruption-free, just not awful – produces good results in the end, here it is. Back in 1971, when the two countries split apart, Bangladesh had 65 million people and Pakistan had 60 million. By the end of this century, Bangladesh …

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The Australian Sickness

I happened to be in Canberra last Friday, speaking to a room full of journalists at the National Press Club, when the news came in, halfway through lunch, that Australia had a new prime minister. The moderator pointed out that the year is already two-thirds gone and it is “only three prime ministers till Christmas” …

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Universal Health Care

Nothing is perfect, and that definitely includes health care. On the 70th anniversary of the first full-coverage national health care system that is ‘free at the point of delivery’, Britain’s National Health Service, English people have been marching in the streets demanding better funding for the NHS, and Donald Trump naturally got the wrong end …

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Qatar Quarantine

Public-spirited businessman Moutaz al-Hayat is flying 4,000 cows into Qatar from the United States and Australia to boost milk supply in his country, which is being blockaded by most of its Arab neighbours in the Gulf. It will take sixty flights, and is definitely not cost-effective. But that may not be his biggest problem. Ninety-nine …

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Making China Great Again

“Passing the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is as important to me as another aircraft carrier,” said former US defence secretary Ashton Carter two years ago, as the negotiations on the huge new free trade organisation were nearing completion. Given that the United States already has twice as many aircraft carriers as all the rest of the …

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