Michael Mullins | 02 March 2015
The Prime Minister has been forced to announce a proposal to toughen food labelling laws after the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A was linked to 'Nannas' imported berries. This goes against his resolve to remove red tape that represents 'unnecessary' compliance costs for business. The government has fervently derided red tape and presented regulation as the enemy, without distinguishing between regulations that are redundant and those that are needed to protect the consumer.
Brian Matthews | 27 February 2015
Call me paranoid if you like, but as I walked away, affecting a nonchalant strolling gait, I knew, I just knew, that she was a climate change denier and was daring me to argue the point. Had I hesitated one more moment, I would have been regaled with statistics about the mild coastal summer and other utterly benign climatological phenomena.
Stephanie Dowrick | 27 February 2015
The Prime Minister's choice of Rosie Batty as Australian of the Year is wholly admirable. Her advocacy about domestic violence following the tragic murder of her son by his father has been passionate and effective. But the praise heaped upon Rosie Batty is meaningless, even insulting, while support services are diminishing or disappearing for all the other women and children in need of immediate protection.
Andrew Hamilton | 26 February 2015
I fear for those Muslim young people driven into the arms of ideological extremists so unnecessarily. I'm prompted to recall my school years, when Soviet troops were invading Hungary to put down the brief revolution. I wondered uneasily whether it was not perhaps my duty to go to Hungary to fight for freedom there. For an idealistic young man whose Catholicism was tightly intertwined with anti-communism, the thought was natural.
Tim Kroenert | 26 February 2015
Snowden is both passionate and highly articulate, wanting nothing less noble than to see the delineation between those with power and the people over whom they wield it redrawn. The real meat of the matter is not the revelations themselves, but how in their light governments and societies desiring security will move to decide just how much freedom they are willing to surrender in order to acquire it.
Justin Glyn | 25 February 2015
Sri Lanka's new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has claimed Australia's silence on the country's appalling human rights record was the price for its government taking extra measures to prevent people fleeing the country and arriving in Australia on boats seeking asylum. This is a problem on many levels, including our government's seeking to remove human rights issues by reframing them as national security ones.
Gillian Bouras | 25 February 2015
Children have always suffered and been exploited. Only recently have been regarded as being children at all, rather than mini-people. Reformers like Dickens raised consciousness beginning in the 19th century. Bombs are raining on children in Syria and elsewhere. Not so Australia, but many are being damaged nonetheless. The Australian Human Rights Commission is having to defend its report on Immigration Detention from critics that include the Prime Minister.
Marjon Mossammaparast | 24 February 2015
How many times rooted are we to earth, though we would reach away from it, lifting our arms like trees? My stem, yielding to the fashioner’s knowing hand? I am not after all ephemeral. No petals of a flower.
Tony Kevin | 24 February 2015
On Monday, Tony Abbott made his finest speech as prime minister. Yet it was also scare-mongering, heavy handed and intimidatory. It reminded members of the Muslim Community that the Australian Government has the power to control and punish them. It may be a vote winner for a while, but for long term effect it’s worth contrasting it with the British Government’s successful calming messaging during the 1969-97 terror campaign.
Daniel Read | 23 February 2015
Britain's recent drive to establish a naval base in Bahrain has only widened the rift between the UK's foreign policy and its respect for human rights. Bahrain will now potentially play host to a British military presence for the long-term, despite the Gulf state's brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protests over the past several years. This may be yet another instance of political expediency taking precedence over all else.
Andrew Hamilton | 23 February 2015
While people are alive there is the possibility, admittedly sometimes remote, that they will respond by reflecting on their lives, becoming deeper and more generous as human beings, making connections with others and contributing even in small ways to the happiness of others and to society. Capital punishment brutally excludes possibility and leaves all of us the smaller for it.