Latest articles

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison reacts to questions during question time at Parliament House (Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)
    australia

    The myth of polarisation in modern Australia

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 10 December 2018
    1 Comment

    Why do so many pundits decry the divisions in Canberra at a time when, objectively speaking, the parties have never been closer? The short answer is that they're responding to a genuine polarisation — not between Labor and Liberal but between both parties and the rest of society.

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  • Statue Of Lady Justice Against White Background
    australia

    UN human rights declaration turns 70

    • Frank Brennan
    • 10 December 2018
    2 Comments

    It is appropriate to affirm the worldwide amplification system for the 'still, small voice' of conscience speaking to power, even when that voice of conscience maintains a religious tone, while the power of the state is increasingly secular and the tone of society more stridently secularist.

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  • Independent Kerryn Phelps (Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)
    australia

    Kerryn Phelps' middle-class populism

    • Osmond Chiu
    • 05 December 2018
    4 Comments

    At first glance, the move towards electing independent MPs seems to be a repudiation of attempts to mimic right-wing populism and a vote for small l liberalism. But it shares more with populism than many care to admit.

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  • The migrant caravan crosses into Mexico (John Moore/Getty Images)

    The migrant caravan was born of calamity

    • Ann Deslandes
    • 03 December 2018
    4 Comments

    When government corruption is chronic and the streets are ruled by armed gangs, there are no collective funds for quality health care or education. The thousands of migrants at the US border are fleeing the effects of climate change, wide-scale government corruption, brutal state violence, and flourishing non-state gang rule.

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  • Camilo Catrillanca

    Mapuche murders not just a right-wing issue

    • Ramona Wadi
    • 27 November 2018
    1 Comment

    Catrillanca's killing, like those of other Mapuche murdered by the Chilean state, is not just a question of targeting the indigenous population. It is part of a broader framework that eliminates perceived obstacles to the neoliberal politics espoused by the government and receives tacit support across the political spectrum.

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  • Smartphone shows Facebook app (Pixabay)

    Will Facebook own up to Myanmar?

    • Erin Cook
    • 20 November 2018

    Social media drove the Arab Spring, the story goes. If it weren’t for viral posts in Tunisia setting off a cascade of dominoes across the region change would never have arrived. For a brief period, the arrival of social media giant Facebook in countries with low connectivity or strict freedom of the press and internet meant change was afoot.

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  • Cartoon by Chris Johnston

    We still need libraries and book stores

    • Mary Dalmau
    • 07 December 2018
    7 Comments

    While it is said we read to know we are not alone, it is also true that libraries and bookstores are communal places, providing a safe environment for all and filling vital, societal roles. Of all my interactions over the years with readers, customers and library patrons, two instances remain strong in my memory.

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  • William Cooper

    William Cooper set the pace for social justice

    • Michael McVeigh
    • 05 December 2018
    4 Comments

    Eighty years ago today, 77-year-old Yorta Yorta elder walked ten kilometres to deliver a letter to the German consulate protesting the attacks on Jewish people during Kristallnacht nearly a month earlier. Despire the dire circumstances faced by Aboriginal people at the time, Cooper's conscience couldn't ignore the suffering of others.

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  • Chris Johnston cartoon

    Australia's migrant labour pains

    • Rosie Williams
    • 30 November 2018
    3 Comments

    That up to one in ten Australian jobs are now performed by temporary migrants demonstrates a continuation of our past abuse and commitment to privileging capital over worker rights. Coupled with the rise of temporary and insecure work, our reputation as a human and labour rights leader is now under threat.

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  • Philip Wilson

    Philip Wilson's dead letter day

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 December 2018
    22 Comments

    The show trial of Archbishop Philip Wilson has backfired badly causing hurt to many people, most especially victims of child sexual abuse who thought the law was being rightly applied to put an errant Catholic bishop in the frame. Section 316 of the New South Wales Crimes Act is a dead letter and it causes nothing but trouble to everyone involved.

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  • Pope Francis

    Softening the pontifical secret

    • Kieran Tapsell
    • 19 November 2018
    14 Comments

    It is understandable that canonists would try to find a kinder interpretation for the pontifical secret, given that the cover up caused more children to be abused, but in the canonical system, you cannot get away from the plain meaning of the words and the interpretation placed on them by the Roman Curia.

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  • Pope Francis at Vargihna

    Seeking a plenary council fit for purpose

    • Frank Brennan
    • 14 November 2018
    67 Comments

    What we need is a listening and inclusive Church — a plenary council at which the clergy and the laity have a proper place at the table, at which the voices of the ‘rusted-on’ and the ‘cheesed-off’ Catholics are heard and at which the bishops are respectfully listening as much as speaking. 

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  • Main image: Smoke billowing from pipes (Depositphotos)

    The inequity of this silent killer

    • Cristy Clark
    • 26 November 2018
    11 Comments

    Airborne pollution is an issue of environmental justice, because it disproportionately affects those with the least capacity to move — the poor, the marginalised, and those, such as Indigenous peoples, with a significant relationship to place.

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  • Climate protest in London, sign reading There is no Planet B (Garry Knight/Flickr)

    Extinction Rebellion taking bold action

    • Kate Galloway
    • 21 November 2018
    12 Comments

    The movement is not secretive: it declares itself publicly, and openly. It announced in advance to police and emergency services: 'We are bold. We will not hide. We are all in open rebellion.'     

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  • Rooftop solar installation with Shenzhen downtown skyline view as background, China (Getty)

    Climate change is here, now we need to adapt

    • Cristy Clark
    • 26 October 2018
    7 Comments

    We are already suffering from the effects of global warming and the intensification of extreme weather events, and things are going to get worse. The question now is what we do to both limit the damage and adapt to the inevitable. Fortunately many of the actions that we must take will actually make our lives better.

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  • Four eggs in a nest

    James and the four eggs

    • Julie Perrin
    • 05 December 2018
    7 Comments

    James had come to the maths coaching because he'd been in trouble at work. He had to stack crates to a certain level at the workshop but was unable to count them, making the unloading impossible for people without his height and strength. He needed to learn to count.

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  • pocket watch

    Not even with time travel

    • Earl Livings
    • 03 December 2018
    3 Comments

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  • Overhead view of ensemble dancing in Climax

    A bad trip to the pits of human experience

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 29 November 2018
    3 Comments

    The cast of mostly unknowns is multiracial and spans the spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities. Not long ago that might have seemed transgressive, but these days it seems like the least that could be hoped for from a piece of mainstream entertainment.

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