Vol 21 No 21

23 October 2011


Gillard's grotesque people smuggler sledge

03 November 2011 | Binoy Kampmark

SledgehammerSo-called people smugglers are often penniless teenagers who are simply a link in the chain for those who are seeking legitimate asylum. The Government's new retrospective law will punish such individuals for an act that was legal at the time it was committed.


Bringing poetry back to politics

03 November 2011 | Peter Kirkwood

Bringing poetry back to politics

03 November 2011 | Peter Kirkwood

Words'The failure of the Rudd and Gillard administrations', said Paul Keating last week, 'is the lack of an over-arching story.' Eureka Street poetry editor Philip Harvey believes poets have a role in articulating a sense of meaning and direction that is lacking in politics and the media.


Sharing the journey with agnostics and Qantas

02 November 2011 | Andrew Hamilton

Qantas planesThe Pope believes agnostics and Christians are on a shared journey, committed to peace and human dignity. The concept of the shared journey has consequences for the life of the Church, as in the Bishop Bill Morris saga, but also for events such as the Qantas controversy.


Attack of the killer Jews

1 Comment
02 November 2011 | Tim Kroenert

Ron Perlman in DriveNino and Bernie are nasty pieces of work. They preside over criminal activities with arrogance and amorality, and substantiate sinister personas with easy violence. In a post-politically correct world, it's okay for Jews to be bad guys, too.

Ghosts of children passed

01 November 2011 | Alison Sampson

Child's coffin'Did I have a brother once?' asks a little boy, no longer sure. His mother's eyes fill with tears. 'Yes, darling. A long time ago, you had a baby brother of your own.' He shouts triumphantly, 'I did have a brother!' and runs off. We mothers glance at each other, then look away. There are no words.


Wreckers at work in leaky Labor

01 November 2011 | John Warhurst

leaky tapThe Gillard cabinet leaks are a sure sign of government instability. The worst aspect of the leaks is the likelihood that they are the product not just of understandable policy differences, but of leadership destabilisation.


Turbulence ahead

01 November 2011 | Fiona Katauskas

'Turbulence Ahead', by Fiona Katauskas


Liturgy translation prophecy

31 October 2011 | Marlene Marburg

Raw side

Two blessings, one resurrected, one still in the tomb. We are not pre-Vatican. We think whole, body and soul ... We are not parrots in a pew trembling. 


What matters in Qantas confrontation

31 October 2011 | Brian Lawrence

QantasThe Qantas industrial dispute is likely to make a major contribution to the history of Australian industrial relations. The important issue is whether Qantas should have been required to threaten substantial damage to itself and to the national economy before it could gain access to arbitration.

Gillard's gambling problem

30 October 2011 | Michael Mullins

Poker Machine

Care for problem gamblers needs to be balanced against care for workers whose jobs are threatened by proposed reforms. Otherwise, the Gillard Government is open to the accusation that it is putting its own political survival ahead of the wellbeing of these workers.

Bringing civility back to the parliamentary cockfight

30 October 2011 | Tony Kevin

RoosterMany Australian politicians who should know better give the people and the media exactly what they want: rancorous confrontations and barbed insults. The 'tough' way in which Australian politics is played corrodes civility and potentially erodes our democracy.

Australian larrikinism is a royal myth

27 October 2011 | Ellena Savage

JokerThe fact the Queen is a very nice lady doesn't negate her inherited privilege, her arbitrary powers, and the fact her reign isolates many Australians. There is a myth that Australia is a larrikin nation. But we are a nation not of provocateurs, but of conformists.

Self-interest as a path to Aboriginal flourishing

27 October 2011 | Dan O'Donovan

Noel Pearson

Noel Pearson sees self-interest as key to the flourishing of Aboriginal communities. But traditionally self-interest did not occur to the Aboriginal mentality. In the pre-'scientific kinship system, everything was inter-related and inter-dependent. Can the concepts co-exist?

CHOGM and the Common Good

27 October 2011 | Jack de Groot

CHOGMIf every economic decision has a moral consequence then the voice of the most marginalised should be amplified in economic discussions. CHOGM provides an opportunity to devise new solutions based on justice and compassion. 


Australia's child abuse parable

26 October 2011 | Tim Kroenert

'The Slap' by Christos TsiolkasAt its heart is an act of violence against a child. But on the whole The Slap stands as an epic parable of middle class Australia. The tagline 'Whose side are you on?' is a furphy: it is impossible to wholly sympathise with any character. 


Putting the faith back into development

26 October 2011 | Duncan Maclaren

I heart IslamThe development theory of 'modernisation' taught that old traditions, including religion, had to disappear for people to be 'developed'. This purely Western model is now seen wanting. All faiths put the human person, not economic theories, at the centre of development.

Depression treatment beyond Jeff Kennett

26 October 2011 | Lyn Bender

Beyond BlueThe problem with the prevailing notion of depression as a disease to be eradicated is that it sidelines the 'human factor'. After ten years of good groundwork, we need something new from key mental health institutions such as Beyond Blue.


The Queen's tour of duties

25 October 2011 | Fiona Katauskas

'The Queen's tour of duties', by Fiona Katauskas


Love the monarch, spurn the monarchy

25 October 2011 | Moira Rayner

Queen Elizabeth IIIn a simpler time a visit from our head of state seemed to make us feel better about ourselves. Like many Australians, I hold dear the old lady, but have no fear that democracy will shatter when her life and the monarchy slowly come to their natural end.

Roasts and race in segregated South Africa

1 Comment
25 October 2011 | Cecile Yazbek

Roast chickenAnthony cleans gutters. Some people give him money. When he has enough he buys himself a piece of chicken. 'Where is your mother,' I wonder, 'who roasted fat chickens in our oven, and cooked giant pots of meaty bones for our dogs, her brown arms pitted with burns from our kettles?'


Farmed out

24 October 2011 | Helen Hagemann

Cuddle debts

He drew fear from flood and seedless sun. She traded contradiction for curves and valley hips, verdant sod of earth, reckless drift of goats. When the bailiff came, the end of lamb and beef, she clung to rock and let the salt erupt ...


Closing the case of Bishop Bill Morris

24 October 2011 | Andrew Hamilton

Bishop Bill MorrisThe issues raised by Bishop Bill Morris' dismissal were not about the Pope's right to act, but about the transparency of the process. The Australian Bishops' letter about the matter is an act of closure. But troubling questions remain. 


Even Gaddafi deserves compassion

23 October 2011 | Michael Mullins

Gaddafi undoubtedly suffered from some form of mental illness that had unspeakably tragic consequences for the people of Libya. The jubilation of Libyans is understandable, but the country will not prosper while Gaddafi supporters remain antagonised and the country divided.


Reuniting church and state

23 October 2011 | Gary Bouma

Multi faith AustraliaThe biblical injunction that Christians 'Give to God the things due to God and to Caesar the things due to Caesar' does not legitimise the separation of church and state. We live in a time when religious voices have returned with greater strength to the arenas of civil discourse.