Monthly Archives: May 2011

The absence of Obama

A long, angry article by Robert Fisk—the most experienced historian of the contemporary Middle East—on how the United States’ has ensured its irrelevance to the future of the region.Obama’s failure to support the Arab revolutions until they were all but over lost the US most of its surviving credit in the region. Obama was silent […]

Necromancy and negotiation

Some things, like kings, crucified gods and Norwegian parrots never die. The WTO’s Doha negotiation may be the latest candidate for mythic resurrection (I hope not). But for now, the elders of the church of multilateralism over at are preparing for a burial service that they expect to take place at the WTO’s planned […]

One thousand ppm might be better

The Australian government is bent on enacting a carbon-emissions tax that has no responsible justification other than recently re-hashed advice designed to justify an emissions tax. Little wonder, then, that polling shows voters are strongly opposed to the tax, despite widespread their apparent conviction that the climate is warming and their acceptance that warming is […]

A great big banana tax

$5 for a banana? At $12 per kg. they’re already $3 a piece. “Australian Banana Growers Council chief executive Jonathan Eccles said yesterday heavy rain and a cold snap since Cyclone Yasi wiped out 75 per cent of the crop in February had slowed banana growth and cut production. “We’ll certainly see wholesale prices increase […]

Multilateral misalignment

Over at the Lowy Institute, Michael Wesley has opened a debate on the multilateralism with a brief dyspeptic review, characterising multilateralism as the “copper wire” technology of international relations. Professor Nick Bisley from La Trobe joins the chorus and no doubt others will follow. I’ve been puzzling about the shortcomings of multilateralism for some time. […]

Apocalypse post-Doha?

I’ve been in the Middle East and Europe and am just catching up with a few things: such as the pamphlet produced by Simon Evenett, Richard Baldwin and a host of illustrious cheerleaders for the WTO entitled: “Why World Leaders Must Resist the False Promise of Another Doha Delay” The collection of brief essays—prises de […]

EU tax on airline CO2 emissions

The EU has been threatening since at least 2007 to impose an emissions tax on all airlines landing in Europe. They’ve postponed the tax at least once (to 2012) and may be forced by the strong opposition of the international airlines “club” (IATA) and foreign governments—not to mention by the doubts of the EU Commission […]