Author: Michael Mullins

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Eureka Street's journalism of empathy

    • Michael Mullins
    • 21 September 2015
    12 Comments

    It's about eschewing hard facts and egocentricity to imagine the world through other people's eyes. I was prompted to think about empathy by the Abbott Government's decision to take 12,000 Syrian refugees. Whether or not the motivation was political, it's actions that count. Which was indeed the case with the Minister Dutton's display of negative empathy in his joke about the precarious climate plight of Australia’s friends who live in Pacific Island nations. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Judging Eureka Street

    • Michael Mullins
    • 14 September 2015
    46 Comments

    After almost ten years, I'm into my final week as editor of Eureka Street. It's pleasing that we were successful in the Australasian Catholic Press Association 'industry' awards announced in Broome on Thursday evening, where we were named Best Online Publication and Publication of the Year for 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fossil fuel divestment economics in line with morality

    • Michael Mullins
    • 01 June 2015
    3 Comments

    The Norwegian Parliament has just ordered its $A1.15 trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund to divest from coal. This represents the largest single divestment from fossil fuels in human history, and our biggest sign yet that the age of coal is over and the financial case for investing in fossil fuels is likely to disintegrate. Australia will crash and burn both economically and morally if we do not follow suit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    PM's super pitch needs solid policy foundation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 25 May 2015
    1 Comment

    Tony Abbott has warned voters that Bill Shorten has his eye on their retirement savings. He once praised the Nationals' Barnaby Joyce as a 'uniquely gifted retail politician'. But more attention to wholesaling - i.e. policy resources - would help to get both pensions and super concessions on to a more sustainable footing.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Joe Hockey's 'better bang' foreign aid cut delusion

    • Michael Mullins
    • 18 May 2015
    38 Comments

    As a nation, we have demonstrated to the world that we have no shame when it comes to the treatment of asylum seekers. Now it's as if the aid cuts are being worn as a badge of honour. Joe Hockey talks about the 'targeted outcomes' philosophy of the cuts, 'build[iing] the prosperity and assist[ing] with poverty alleviation in our region', in order to get 'better bang for our buck in foreign aid'. But leading aid economist Stephen Howse argues the opposite.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Will new Greens leader Di Natale do a Pope Francis?

    • Michael Mullins
    • 11 May 2015
    9 Comments

    The Greens' leadership transition is seen as a switch from hard-line ideology to political pragmatism. Previous Greens leaders have been fond of judgmental rhetoric, somewhat foolishly referring to those in the high-level carbon emitting legacy industries as 'polluters'. Perhaps Richard Di Natale will give such counter-productive personal abuse a rest. Showing mercy to the polluters' may yield surprising turnarounds such as AGL's recent moves from coal to solar energy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Complicity in Turkey's wilful forgetting of the Armenian Genocide

    • Michael Mullins
    • 27 April 2015
    11 Comments

    The British commanders used the Australian troops who landed at Gallipoli as cannon fodder. The Turkish Government is doing something similar with the Australian visitors whom it is welcoming with open arms, in that it is using them to help smother the memory of the Armenian Genocide, which also occurred 100 years ago this week. In connection with Genocide, Pope Francis said recently that ‘concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it’.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The last Anzac's bullshit detector

    • Michael Mullins
    • 20 April 2015
    26 Comments

    We can judge the exuberance of the Anzac commemoration against the nonchalance of the last Anzac Alec Campbell. He said he went to Gallipoli for adventure and, to him, 'Gallipoli is Gallipoli'. John Howard argued Anzac defined our 'sense of self', although he did acknowledge that Anzac is something that was made up. It's better to let historians rather than politicians select events that define the nation, even if they opt for the frontier wars of the 19th century that depict white Australians as violent and racist rather than heroic and virtuous.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis' public shaming strategy

    • Michael Mullins
    • 13 April 2015
    10 Comments

    Francis is always ready to criticise unbridled capitalism, but he makes a point of not shaming particular tax dodgers or profiteers. Targeting individuals has become a thing in the age of social media, but those who are left alone are more likely to come forward and join the public conversation. Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest persons, did this when he declared that he paid less tax than his employees, and that he and his wealthy friends have been 'coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Netflix and Fairfax in an uncaring new media environment

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 March 2015
    4 Comments

    Netflix 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.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia no longer a global Good Samaritan

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 March 2015
    6 Comments

    It'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.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why Indonesians joke about our Chan and Sukumaran clemency pleas

    • Michael Mullins
    • 09 March 2015
    31 Comments

    President Joko Widodo has appeared consistently unmoved by Australia's pleas on behalf of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. Many Indonesians look upon Australian protests – especially those of our PM – as a joke. They would take us more seriously if we gave a thought to the nationals of other countries who are also on death row, and made it clear that we are not disingenuous when we talk about the moral abhorrence of the death penalty.

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