• Feature Article

    There's no shame in minority government

    1 Comment
    John Warhurst |  When the big parties condemn the idea of a hung parliament it is just self-interest, as when both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten expressed their horror at the prospect of any sort of alliance with the Greens. It was surprising that Shorten missed the opportunity to defend the legacy of the Gillard government, a successful minority government which executed a considerable legislative program. If he allows 2007-13 to be portrayed as disaster years it will hurt his chances of becoming prime minister.
  • Feature Article

    Positivity key to the new Shorten's rise

    4 Comments
    J. R. Hennessy |  Labor has built a small poll lead over the Coalition as led by the eminently more marketable Malcolm Turnbull, and in this case the commentariat are willing to give Shorten and Labor the credit. They're the ones controlling the policy conversation and setting the agenda, and it feels like the government are just responding in turn. Who is this Bill Shorten? This is someone who even a few months ago would be largely inconceivable in the top job, but now seems at the very least plausible.
  • Feature Article

    Laughing in the face of climate change despair

    6 Comments
    Fatima Measham |  People understand that some of the solutions for the problems faced by current and coming generations are likely rooted in decisions made now. Future-proofing is not merely anticipation, but intervention on a scale that goes beyond households. It involves design and culture. It demands an international rather than insular outlook. Perhaps this is why gallows humour has seeped into my conversations about the future. I no longer expect our leaders to do something worthwhile about it.
  • Feature Article

    Calculated risks, incalculable rewards in India

    3 Comments
    Catherine Marshall |  In 2013 I attended an event so exclusive, so unique, it wouldn't happen again for another 144 years. It was the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, where, over a six-week period, an estimated 120 million Hindu pilgrims converged on the banks of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Sarasweti Rivers in order to perform puja, or the cleansing of their sins. If we're open to what travel seeks to teach us, we'll gain from it the most superior of educations, and the most profound lessons in humility.
  • Feature Article

    Good leaders need the confidence to listen

    12 Comments
    Esther Anatolitis |  Universities and the CSIRO are attacked and funds cut while the government promotes an 'ideas boom'. Creative industries and the Australia Council are diminished and investment slashed while the government talks of an 'innovation agenda'. It takes confidence in your own skill as a decision-maker to recognise the expertise of others as something you don't share but can benefit from. Instead we see nervous leadership, too anxious to trust in those who can build that future.
  • Feature Article

    Engaging with Dutton's rhetoric is a slippery slope

    32 Comments
    Somayra Ismailjee |  The irony of trying to negate these stereotypes is that in doing so, we are still cheapening asylum seekers to political tools, stripping them of their humanity and multiplicity. Aiming to counter such rhetoric as Dutton's with stories of high-achieving refugees plays into a toxic game that legitimises the same negative stereotypes by engaging with them. Just as invisibility dehumanises asylum seekers, so does the hypervisibility we attribute to a select few stories.
  • There's no shame in minority government

    1 Comment
    John Warhurst | 31 May 2016

    Julia Gillard graffitiWhen the big parties condemn the idea of a hung parliament it is just self-interest, as when both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten expressed their horror at the prospect of any sort of alliance with the Greens. It was surprising that Shorten missed the opportunity to defend the legacy of the Gillard government, a successful minority government which executed a considerable legislative program. If he allows 2007-13 to be portrayed as disaster years it will hurt his chances of becoming prime minister.

  • Positivity key to the new Shorten's rise

    4 Comments
    J. R. Hennessy | 30 May 2016

    Bill ShortenLabor has built a small poll lead over the Coalition as led by the eminently more marketable Malcolm Turnbull, and in this case the commentariat are willing to give Shorten and Labor the credit. They're the ones controlling the policy conversation and setting the agenda, and it feels like the government are just responding in turn. Who is this Bill Shorten? This is someone who even a few months ago would be largely inconceivable in the top job, but now seems at the very least plausible.

  • Laughing in the face of climate change despair

    6 Comments
    Fatima Measham | 30 May 2016

    Drying cityPeople understand that some of the solutions for the problems faced by current and coming generations are likely rooted in decisions made now. Future-proofing is not merely anticipation, but intervention on a scale that goes beyond households. It involves design and culture. It demands an international rather than insular outlook. Perhaps this is why gallows humour has seeped into my conversations about the future. I no longer expect our leaders to do something worthwhile about it.

  • Calculated risks, incalculable rewards in India

    3 Comments
    Catherine Marshall | 27 May 2016

    Maha Kumbh MelaIn 2013 I attended an event so exclusive, so unique, it wouldn't happen again for another 144 years. It was the Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, where, over a six-week period, an estimated 120 million Hindu pilgrims converged on the banks of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Sarasweti Rivers in order to perform puja, or the cleansing of their sins. If we're open to what travel seeks to teach us, we'll gain from it the most superior of educations, and the most profound lessons in humility.

  • We need a grassroots revival to save the reef

    11 Comments
    Jeff Sparrow | 27 May 2016

    Franklin dam protestMany people have hoped that when global warming manifested itself as a concrete threat, politicians would be forced into action. Yet it's becoming horrifyingly clear that the political class is quite willing to let the Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world, slowly die. If we want to save the reef, we're going to have to do it ourselves. The Franklin dam blockade of 1982-1983 transformed the political climate and preserved an iconic river. We need to recapture that energy.

  • Not-so-nice guys have sexist cake and eat it too

    Tim Kroenert | 26 May 2016

    As is the time-honoured tradition of Hollywood PIs, Holland has long bound the wounds of some unresolved grief in alcohol and cynicism. Notwithstanding individual tastes that are by no means aligned with gender, this is the kind of movie that can tend to appeal to puerile male interests while diminishing respect for women. In this regard Shane Black, a mainstream filmmaker who is more self-aware than most, tries to have his cake and eat it too, by both drawing and subverting the objectifying male gaze.

  • SA Premier coopts democracy for nuclear nefariousness

    16 Comments
    Michele Madigan | 26 May 2016

    Maralinga Painting, by artists Mima Smart, Tjunkuna Rita Bryant and othersJust how strictly controlled the process is becomes obvious when it emerges that the task of the 50 member Citizens' Jury will be to produce 'a short independent guide to help every South Australian understand the recommendations raised' by the report. ABC news has dubbed this whole process the Premier's 'public relations exercise', and surely they're not wrong. He is urging all South Australians to remain 'open' about the proposal. But are they, including the Citizens' Jury, allowed to be open to refusal?

  • Banking royal commission is popular, not populist

    7 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 25 May 2016

    Australian banks logosThe evidence of misbehaviour by banks has become public at a time when the underlying ideology has also been criticised. The inherent unlikelihood that an economy based on individual greed will benefit the whole of society is now patent. It is seen as much more likely that unregulated competition for material gain will lead to the concentration of wealth in the hands of the wealthy and powerful. Evidence now suggests that inequality hinders the economic growth it was presumed to nurture.

  • Good leaders need the confidence to listen

    12 Comments
    Esther Anatolitis | 24 May 2016

    Expert offering adviceUniversities and the CSIRO are attacked and funds cut while the government promotes an 'ideas boom'. Creative industries and the Australia Council are diminished and investment slashed while the government talks of an 'innovation agenda'. It takes confidence in your own skill as a decision-maker to recognise the expertise of others as something you don't share but can benefit from. Instead we see nervous leadership, too anxious to trust in those who can build that future.

  • Rumours of thylacines and distant barbarians

    Shane McCauley | 24 May 2016

    Perth skylineHere in this weather-beleaguered outpost there are so many rumours - thylacines, panthers, wagyls even that in the distant east are barbarians ... But separating deserts might as well be galaxies, and we are self-contained, and even like those theoretical others have our contentments - blue sky, blue sea, and even now the sun's great wintery eye. Hidden as we are however we hold our heads high, perhaps would not be ashamed one day to be discovered ...

  • Conversations with homeless protesters

    7 Comments
    Tim Robertson | 23 May 2016

    Site of the homeless protest campI asked John, a tall, articulate man with long hair and well-maintained hipster beard, if he'd had a chance to read the most recently published Herald Sun think-piece arguing that what they are doing is not a demand for help, but a political protest. He smiled wryly, expelled a couple of bursts of laughter and said that that may be their most accurate reporting of the unfolding situation to-date: 'This has always been a political protest ... that's always been our intention.'


Featured Writers

  • Catherine Marshall

    Catherine Marshall headshot

    "If we travel merely to replicate the experience we're familiar with, there should never be any reason to leave the safe confines of our own neighbourhood."
     read more

     

  • Fatima Measham

    Fatima Measham headshot

    "It is getting harder to suppose that human efforts could long outrun the inevitable."
     read more

     

  • Gillian Bouras

    Gillian Bouras

    "There is, of course, nothing wrong with money in itself. The real problem is that many, many people have not got enough of the stuff."
     read more

     

  • John Warhurst

    John Warhurst headshot

    "When major party leaders express horror at the thought of minority government, remind them of the adverse consequences of unchecked majority government."
     read more

     

  • Justin Glyn

    Justin Glyn

    "It is hard to believe that this chilling of Storrar's free speech (and those who would emulate him) was accidental."
     read more

     

  • Kate Galloway

    Kate Galloway

    "It started with a conversation with a young Aboriginal man, a former student of mine, who was demanding treaty and who saw recognition as a trap."
     read more

     

  • 21st century binge and purge

    2 Comments
    Ellena Savage | 16 May 2016

    Beer bottle and cigarette buttsWhen my alarm goes off in the morning I reach for my phone: check mail, check ABC, check Twitter. Get up, make filter coffee, pour one. Open my diary and spreadsheet, start working. Pour my second coffee. Eat something, clock calories in. Go for a walk, pick up whatever groceries, clock calories out. Back to work. If whatever I am working on isn't very interesting, this accounting for a day, after day, after day, is fairly sad. But it's also just living a life in 2016.

  • Nuns in love

    Brian Doyle | 31 May 2016

    NunO, I had a sweetheart, sure I did, says a tiny stooped nun to me this morning. Long tall handsome man he was too. Did you think I signed up to be a nun before I could fall In love? No. I never met a nun yet wasn't in love before. It's good for you as a nun to have had your heart broken, seems to me, or to break someone else's heart. It's a way of the world. Better to know it so you can be tender when you see it later.

  • Miracle of the Andalusia schoolhouse wasp

    12 Comments
    Dan Graham | 20 May 2016

    School buildingI attempted to continue with the class but it was impossible for the children to ignore the wasp. I elected to evacuate. We had our lesson on the playground. One of the kids went home and told their mother about the wasp and that instead of class, we'd had an extra long lunch. The mother failed to appreciate the dilemma I'd faced, called my boss and asked her how I could be trusted with 20 children when I couldn't even handle a single wasp. Next week, same class, the wasp returned.

  • A righteous sermon about the haves and have-nots

    10 Comments
    Gillian Bouras | 23 May 2016

    Man in suit holding cashIn America, Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon, received a salary of more than $40 million in 2012. He is apparently a devout Christian, so I wonder whether he ever worries about Matthew chapter 19, verse 24: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God. The 400 richest Americans own more wealth than the GDP of India. In contrast, vast numbers of their fellow citizens have less than $1000 in their savings and cheque accounts combined.

  • Setting subeditors' slights to rights

    6 Comments
    Brian Matthews | 25 May 2016

    Newspaper with Correction headlineUnder election campaign pressure, some names have been misprinted. Mr Malcolm Ternble of Naracoorte wishes to point out that he has not made any public statements on negative gearing and is unsure what negative gearing means. The error was made by a Gen Y subeditor and should have read 'Prime Minister Malcolm Ternbull'. The Foreign Minister was cited as Ms Julia Bishop. The correct nomenclature is Ms Julia Bronwyn. Ms Bronwyn was inaccurately described as a part-time helicopter pilot.


WEEK IN POLITICS



Reading, writing and rhetoric

Fiona Katauskas

Young girl walks away from Peter Dutton dressed as a teacher, telling her mother he told her 'refugee' spelt 'trouble'. Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas


This week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.


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