• Feature Article

    The General of the poor and the Iron Lady of industry

    5 Comments
    Barry Gittins |  Former Australian Salvation Army world leader General Eva Burrows, who died on 20 March, tried in vain to engage the former British PM in making the preferential option for the poor. ‘Margaret Thatcher was a disappointment,’ the General said. ‘I felt she didn’t have a deep, true feeling for the poor. I invited her to come out on the soup run indirectly and said it wouldn’t be a media event, we’d go incognito, but the answer was no.’
  • Feature Article

    The death penalty is always political

    Frank Brennan |  Some of the Australian commentary on the Indonesian justice system has been understandably very critical. But living here in the USA for a year, I have come to realise that the death penalty infects every justice system no matter how good and robust it is. In the end, the death penalty is always political. That’s why I am very grateful to Pope John Paul II who changed his position.
  • Feature Article

    Indigenous youth pay price for ’get tough on crime’ election promise

    Mathew Drogemuller |  The WA premier plans to increase mandatory prison sentences for burglars. Mandatory sentencing regimes fail to take into account the underlying causes of the crimes they seek to punish. They remove a judge’s discretion to avoid a sentence of imprisonment, and fail to address the reality that such crimes reflect social problems that ensue from racial discrimination and colonial dispossession.
  • Feature Article

    My Christ is a raw object

    Marlene Marburg |  i am small and lowly at the feet of my Christ. my hair is sharp like needles on his skin. my tears wash the dirt stuck to his wounds.
  • Feature Article

    How super hurts the poor and middle income earners

    4 Comments
    Brian Toohey |  Although the age pension will cost about $49 billion in 2017-18, it is means tested. In contrast, superannuation concessions are heavily biased in favour of high income earners. Both sides of politics pander to the wealthy and the cosseted finance sector, which want certainty that nothing will stand in the way of their super bonanza.
  • Feature Article

    Cricket's assault on Australian racism

    8 Comments
    Brian Matthews |  During the West Indies 1960-61 tour of Australia, Frank Worrell and his predominantly black team transfixed Australians from coast to coast and, without any missionary intent, struck a resounding blow at the White Australia Policy, which was still in place. This jubilant, exciting story prompts questions about today's masses, who enthusiastically support harsh, and arguably racist, treatment of asylum seekers.

Women are not responsible for violent crimes against them

Maureen O'Brien | 01 April 2015

Jill MeagherJudgmental attitudes towards women who are victims of male violence are never far from the surface. A crass example occurred recently when a priest suggested to his congregation that if rape-murder victim Jill Meagher had been more ‘faith-filled’ she would have been home instead of out late on the night when she was raped and murdered. There is greater public moral outrage when acts of violence are committed against women considered 'virtuous' than others such as sex industry workers.

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  • The General of the poor and the Iron Lady of industry

    5 Comments
    Barry Gittins | 01 April 2015

    Maggie Thatcher caricatureFormer Australian Salvation Army world leader General Eva Burrows, who died on 20 March, tried in vain to engage the former British PM in making the preferential option for the poor. ‘Margaret Thatcher was a disappointment,’ the General said. ‘I felt she didn’t have a deep, true feeling for the poor. I invited her to come out on the soup run indirectly and said it wouldn’t be a media event, we’d go incognito, but the answer was no.’

  • My Christ is a raw object

    Marlene Marburg | 31 March 2015

    Crucifixi am small and lowly at the feet of my Christ. my hair is sharp like needles on his skin. my tears wash the dirt stuck to his wounds.

  • Indigenous youth pay price for ’get tough on crime’ election promise

    Mathew Drogemuller | 31 March 2015

    PrisonerThe WA premier plans to increase mandatory prison sentences for burglars. Mandatory sentencing regimes fail to take into account the underlying causes of the crimes they seek to punish. They remove a judge’s discretion to avoid a sentence of imprisonment, and fail to address the reality that such crimes reflect social problems that ensue from racial discrimination and colonial dispossession.

     

  • Triumph over forced adoption practice

    5 Comments
    Kate Howarth | 30 March 2015

    Cover of Kate Howarth 'Settling Day'I was sent to St Margaret's Home for Unwed Girls, and when I didn’t buckle to pressure to surrender my son for adoption, I was tossed onto the street. I went from rock bottom to rise to the top of my field, only to have everything pulled from underneath me. I managed to get back up again and realise my childhood dream of one day becoming a writer, lending a voice to tens of thousands of young women who lost their children in what is now known as 'forced adoption'. 

     

  • Netflix and Fairfax in an uncaring new media environment

    2 Comments
    Michael Mullins | 30 March 2015

    Border Mail front pageNetflix and the Daily Mail are not concerned about whether people in a local area get safer roads or a new cancer treatment centre. Nor, it seems, are Fairfax and Newscorp. There was a time when nearly all media outlets were independent of each other, and locally owned by proprietors who cared as much about the welfare of their regions and cities as they did their own bottom line.

  • Cricket's assault on Australian racism

    8 Comments
    Brian Matthews | 27 March 2015

    Frank WorrellDuring the West Indies 1960-61 tour of Australia, Frank Worrell and his predominantly black team transfixed Australians from coast to coast and, without any missionary intent, struck a resounding blow at the White Australia Policy, which was still in place. This jubilant, exciting story prompts questions about today's masses, who enthusiastically support harsh, and arguably racist, treatment of asylum seekers.

  • How super hurts the poor and middle income earners

    4 Comments
    Brian Toohey | 27 March 2015

    Suited coin snatchers graphicAlthough the age pension will cost about $49 billion in 2017-18, it is means tested. In contrast, superannuation concessions are heavily biased in favour of high income earners. Both sides of politics pander to the wealthy and the cosseted finance sector, which want certainty that nothing will stand in the way of their super bonanza.

  • Mannix, master conjurer in the cause of the underdog

    14 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 26 March 2015

    'Mannix' cover imageDaniel Mannix, who was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne 1917-63, knew how to control an audience and shift the perception of events. He argued fiercely against conscription in the 1917 Referendum, and railed against the exploitation of struggling workers. On finishing his new biography, I imagined a meeting between him and Pope Francis, both masters of public symbols with a disdain for church clericalism and sanctimonious speech.

  • Protestant and Catholic corruption in 1971 Belfast

    2 Comments
    Tim Kroenert | 26 March 2015

    Jack O'Connell in '71At the height of the Troubles in Belfast, a young British soldier becomes separated from his unit and spends a night lost in one of the city's most dangerous locales. The city is fractured along numerous lines: it's not merely Catholic versus Protestant; the radicalised youths of the Provisional IRA are at odds with their established forebears. Rarely have the Troubles been so grippingly portrayed.

  • Stepping on to mandatory data retention's slippery slope

    3 Comments
    Fatima Measham | 25 March 2015

    Malcolm Turnbull introduces Bill in Federal ParliamentMandatory data retention was a bad idea when it was originally floated during a Gillard Government inquiry. It is a worse idea now, and is set to become law for political reasons, not because it has been properly scrutinised. There are important questions that we should be asking, and we should not let ourselves be put off from doing this if we don’t know the difference between data and metadata (there is none).

  • Behind Pope Francis' teaching about the poor

    7 Comments
    Peter Kirkwood | 25 March 2015

    A hallmark of Francis' papacy has been his calls for 'a Church which is poor and for the poor'. He has given new currency to the sometimes controversial concept 'preferential option for the poor', which has strong associations with Liberation Theology. Sydney theologian Rohan Curnow recently completed his PhD thesis and a book on the history and application of the 'preferential option'.


  • Australia no longer a global Good Samaritan

    6 Comments
    Michael Mullins | 23 March 2015

    Vanuatu Cyclone Pam destructionIt's a pity that Australia's ongoing emergency aid to other nations was tainted by the Prime Minister's suggestion Indonesia should grant clemency to Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran because Australia had provided $1 billion after the 2004 tsunami. Now that Vanuatu has been devastated by Cyclone Pam, its people and government might wonder what we expect in exchange for our $5 million initial commitment and promised follow up assistance in the form of medical staff and rescue personnel.

  • The enigma of Malcolm Fraser

    17 Comments
    Frank Brennan | 23 March 2015

    Malcolm FraserThrough the rough and tumble of politics, Fraser helped the country find true north on issues relating to race and human rights. His friendship with Gough Whitlam has been one of the great signs in Australian public life that human decency and shared commitment to noble ideals can transcend even the most entrenched political animosities cultivated across the despatch box. May he rest in peace.

  • Inside the head of an IS martyr

    13 Comments
    Ellena Savage | 20 March 2015

    Jake BilardiThe language of martyrdom is being used to recruit young Australians to brutal stateless warfare. Because martyrs are morally superior to suburban burnouts. IS propagandist Abu Ismail described Melburnian Jake Bilardi as 'a lion on the battlefield although he was at a young age and with a weak body'. So, Bilardi was a weak young lion and therefore ripe for battle. How obscene!

  • Emboldened Netanyahu maintains hard line against US-Iran deal

    6 Comments
    Tony Kevin | 20 March 2015

    US-Iran talksIn coming days, a major US-Iran negotiation will conclude in success or failure. As long as the US and Iran remain opposed, the US is much less effective in working for peace and inter-communal harmony in Iraq and Syria. Israel is indifferent to these wider concerns and, fresh from this week's convincing election vistory, a newly invigorated Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to stress that the Iranian nuclear issue is ‘existential’ for Israel.

  • Ode to the death of hippie idealism

    2 Comments
    Tim Kroenert | 19 March 2015

    Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent ViceIn 1993 Joaquin Phoenix's brother, River, died of a drug overdose, in front of a club owned by Johnny Depp. Depp later starred in an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's drug-addled Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, prompting one film critic to wonder how Depp could see much humour in the material. One might now be tempted to ask the same question of Phoenix, who was present during his brother's fatal overdose.


WEEK IN POLITICS



The burials

Fiona Katauskas

Fiona Katauskas' cartoon shows the Moss Report being buried in the shadow of Malcolm Fraser's burial

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