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The beloved countries are still crying

22 August 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

xxxxxSeventy years ago Alan Paton wrote Cry the Beloved Country. His novel opened many Australians’ eyes to the wounded South Africa that lay behind its colonial surface. His elegiac conclusion was prescient of the two generations that followed.

Why musicians are the canaries in the coal mine

20 August 2017 | Terry Noone

xxxxxTo get a good idea of where employment practices are headed, a good place to start is the music industry. Musicians have been the canary in the coalmine. The gradual removal of their work place rights, and even basic remuneration, points to what happens when there are no effective constraints on employers’ behaviour. Instead, they are being offered ‘exposure’—and, as one muso quips, ‘you can die of exposure.’

The twisted priorities of the same-sex marriage vote

20 August 2017 | Rohan Salmond

ABC logoSame-sex marriage, the government tells us, is not a first-order issue. And yet it has grown to become a controversy so monumental it has overshadowed even the prospect of nuclear war with North Korea.

Why the seal of the confessional will remain

19 August 2017 | Frank Brennan

xxxxxThe Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published a 2000-page three volume Criminal Justice Report. One of its recommendations is that the states and territories 'create a criminal offence of failure to report targeted at child sexual abuse in an institutional context'.

The lessons learned from charitable work

18 August 2017 | Mariana James-Techera

xxxxxWe students go to school to learn. But one of the best learning experiences for me has happened outside school: helping the less fortunate by serving them food at the Sacred Heart Mission and collecting food necessities for the charity.

Getting some perspective on Charlottesville

16 August 2017 | Fatima Measham


Instead of refining his initial remarks about a Nazi rally in Charlottesville, which brutally claimed the life of a counter-protester, Donald Trump has doubled down. At a heated news conference in New York, he demanded that journalists define 'alt-right', invoked the idea of an 'alt-left', and lay blame on 'both sides'.

The renewables debate is won, but we may still lose the war

16 August 2017 | Greg Foyster

xxxxxIn the last few years, vested interests have changed their strategy for opposing action on climate change. Where they once focused on denying the problem, they’re now putting their efforts into sabotaging the solutions. Instead of funding fake experts to say the ‘science isn’t settled’, fossil fuel companies and their political backers have been running a smear campaign against renewable energy technologies like wind turbines, solar panels and batteries.

What Philippines' president Duterte is telling us about China

15 August 2017 | Daniel Kleinsman


xxxxxReckless machoism is the trademark of President Rodrigo Duterte. He has vowed to stop at nothing in his bloody war against drugs and dissidents, and is unapologetic about increasing casualities incurred. Meanwhile, he demonstrates a terrifying disregard for anyone who opposes his agenda, and he delights in doing so.

The high political stakes of same sex marriage

15 August 2017 | John Warhurst

John CoatesThe same sex marriage postal plebiscite will be as intense as most referendum and election campaigns. Indeed, the special characteristics of this subject, advanced by the government as the reason for going beyond parliamentary means to resolve the issue, mean that the campaign may be more intense than most referendums have been.

Of murderers, bastards and inequality: neo-liberalism's failure

15 August 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

xxxxxCometh the hour, cometh the third murderer. So now inequality is in the spotlight and is being booed off the stage. It is blamed for the rise of populist politics, and more fundamentally for economic stagnation. The economic neo-liberal orthodoxy, that so implausibly claimed that economic competition unfettered by government regulation would benefit all of the citizens, has produced the gross inequality that hinders economic growth. 

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