Ray Cassin | 04 December 2013
The Education Minister Christopher Pyne has spun the latest developments on education funding reforms as having saved Gonski and achieved what Labor could not. But it is an achievement derived from surrendering oversight of how the money will be spent. If public schools continue to be the losers in the battle for funds, the reversals of the past fortnight will be remembered as the start of a slow burn for the Abbott Government.
John Warhurst | 03 December 2013
Governor-General Quentin Bryce's brief interventions on same sex marriage and the republic, though careful and aspirational, may submerge her earlier thoughts. She may come to regret not delaying them until after she leaves office. But more attention has been focused on the monarchy-republic issue when really the more instructive issue for the office of governor-general is the same sex marriage question.
Barry Gittins, Michael Sharkey and Chris Wallace-Crabbe | 02 December 2013
The diggers' catchcry, liberty, saw fascism a'yawning/ enfranchisement followed suit, with racism adorning/ its streamlined passions for the cause — White Australia Policy a'borning.
Michael Mullins | 02 December 2013
English batsman Jonathan Trott was pilloried in some media comments because he abandoned his team because he felt 'stressed'. We should be celebrating the fact that a high profile male sportsman finds that he can declare he has a stress-related illness and then seek help for it.
Dean Ashenden | 02 December 2013
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne is correct in saying that the Gonski scheme is a mess, but culpably wrong to use that fact to ditch the whole idea. The Gonski mess shows few of the actors concerned in a good light, and some, including Pyne himself, in a very poor one. Pyne's contribution to this debacle was to act as spoiler from the day the Gonski report was released. In that role he has so far adopted no less than four positions.
Walter Hamilton | 29 November 2013
The ABC does not have a special responsibility to be 'diplomatic' in deciding what to report and what not to report. It does not have an obligation to adjust its news judgments to implicitly support government policies, or to weigh up what the majority of the public might think to do in such a situation. It must only exercise its professional judgment as to 'news value', and be accountable for it.
Brian Lawrence | 29 November 2013
In his recent address to the Yarra Institute about Christian social thinking, Fr Frank Brennan expressed the view that 'Christian churches are all but absent from the economic debate other than making the occasional, predictable utterance about ensuring that no one is left worse off as the result of new policy measures'. This seriously understates the public advocacy of the Australian churches and does a disservice to many people and organisations.
Tim Kroenert | 28 November 2013
Police detective Bruce Robertson is corrupt, violent, misogynistic, and a depraved drug addict. But he is not entirely inhuman, and Filth spends much frenetic energy trying to map the ghastly inner wounds that bleed greenly into his outer corruption. But just how do you build sympathy for a character whose near-to-first on-screen act is to sexually assault the underaged girlfriend of a murder suspect?
Andrew Hamilton | 28 November 2013
El Salvador is a small, largely agricultural society, with one of the highest population densities in the world. A largely Australian owned mining company proposes to mine for gold there, at great social and environmental cost to the local population. In Australia the wellbeing of people in areas affected by mining is central in the granting of permits. Are we willing to accept a lowering of standards for the overseas operations of Australian companies?
Stephen de Weger | 27 November 2013
Is there an agony in the garden of Catholicism which has yet to be faced — the dark figure of clerical sexual misconduct involving adults? From my research into this issue, two aspects have become quickly apparent: that it is a 'known unknown' within Catholic life, and that it is a very complex issue. That it occurs is not in doubt. More often than not, the victim is blamed.
Prue Gibson | 27 November 2013
The car park is a concrete cave, a holding cell, a sarcophagus. From the outside, it looks like other buildings, but inside, there are darker, deeper modalities. I wind down to sub level four. Free spaces, empty rows: I savour the desolate and bare space. 'Hey you,' shouts someone from up ahead. A man, in well-groomed suit pants with a snappy vest, strides towards me. I glance around at level four. There are almost no cars to be seen.