Author: Ray Cassin

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  • MEDIA

    No moral mystery to 60 minutes child snatch disaster

    • Ray Cassin
    • 26 April 2016
    10 Comments

    There have been attempts by some in the media to mount a moral justification of 60 Minutes' actions. At least they were trying to do the right thing, by helping a mother who would not have been denied custody in Australia But that opens another slimy can of worms. Do we think 60 Minutes would fund a child abduction in Australia, rather than a Muslim country with religious courts, however much the parent they were purporting to help might seem to have been denied custody unfairly?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Anzac myths beyond the Alan Bond test

    • Ray Cassin
    • 23 April 2014
    14 Comments

    In 1983, when his yacht Australia II won the America's Cup, Alan Bond hailed the feat as the greatest Australian victory since Gallipoli. His ludicrous misspeaking shows that by the 1980s the mythmakers' interpretation of the significance of Gallipoli was dominant. But the notion that the Diggers of Gallipoli and their successors in subsequent wars are somehow the paramount exemplars of Australian virtues does not survive scrutiny.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palmer power! Lessons from the Senate by-election

    • Ray Cassin
    • 10 April 2014
    2 Comments

    The most insidious outcome of the WA Senate election is the bargaining power it has delivered to Clive Palmer, the Queensland mining magnate who dominates the party on which he has bestowed his name. He massively outspent all his rivals, raising yet again the question of whether limits should be placed on private financing of political campaigns. It is a question that, because of his newfound clout, will not be answered anytime soon.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    It's hip to be a bigot in radical Abbott's Australia

    • Ray Cassin
    • 27 March 2014
    23 Comments

    The Howard Government's radical-right tendencies emerged gradually. By contrast, the Abbott Government has already sent multiple signals that it is intent to radically remake the political fabric. While the restoration of knighthoods to the national honours system is merely a wacky emanation of the prime ministerial psyche, the proposed amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act are corroding basic principles of constitutional democracy.

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  • MEDIA

    Turnbull's bone for the News Corp behemoth

    • Ray Cassin
    • 23 March 2014
    17 Comments

    Malcolm Turnbull is unusual among Australian politicians in having a keen regard for the role of journalism in a democracy. That makes his blithe disregard of the prospect of handing Rupert Murdoch even greater influence over Australian politics all the more puzzling. It is unsurprising that some observers see the foreshadowed change to media ownership laws as a pay-off for News Corp's support of the Coalition in the 2013 election.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Toxic politics endure as Morrison gets nosy with the Navy

    • Ray Cassin
    • 18 February 2014
    22 Comments

    Scott Morrison is the first Immigration Minister to inspect ADF facilities. There has always been cooperation between the Defence Force and other government agencies, but Operation Sovereign Borders has radically changed the playing field. Indonesia's politicians might relish the irony of seeing in Australia an increasing interpenetration of military and civilian hierarchies — something that Australians used to see as a fault in Indonesia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Economists undaunted by car industry canning

    • Ray Cassin
    • 11 February 2014
    18 Comments

    Malcolm Turnbull assures us that something will come along to fill the gap left by the demise in Australia of Toyota and SPC Ardmona. But new sources of employment do not magically appear because they have been foretold by economic doctrine. Only about a third of those who are about to lose their jobs in car making or food processing are likely to find new jobs on equivalent incomes. Another third will probably never work again.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fawlty thinking about the aftermyth of war

    • Ray Cassin
    • 28 January 2014
    15 Comments

    'Don't mention the war!' admonishes John Cleese as the hapless hotelier Basil Fawlty in the classic television comedy series Fawlty Towers. With a string of war-related anniversaries to take place over the next four years, beginning this year with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, we may soon find ourselves sharing Fawlty's sentiments.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Best of 2013: The unknown unknowns of the sexual abuse royal commission

    • Ray Cassin
    • 12 January 2014
    3 Comments

    It can't be denied that the chief impetus for the creation of this royal commission has been the appalling record of concealment of abuse in Catholic institutions. If that record did not exist, the royal commission would not exist. And Catholics — especially bishops and major superiors — cannot evade this fact by complaining.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Who killed the car industry?

    • Ray Cassin
    • 12 December 2013
    33 Comments

    The immediate responsibility for this looming economic disaster rests with the Abbott Government, and not merely because of its use of a bullying speech in Parliament by the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, to goad Holden into announcing a decision that its masters in Detroit had probably already taken. In the longer term, this should be seen as a bipartisan disaster. What happened this week was the culmination of a process that began under Hawke.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    They call him backflipper, but Gonski's still sliding

    • Ray Cassin
    • 03 December 2013
    9 Comments

    The Education Minister Christopher Pyne has spun the latest developments on education funding reforms as having saved Gonski and achieved what Labor could not. But it is an achievement derived from surrendering oversight of how the money will be spent. If public schools continue to be the losers in the battle for funds, the reversals of the past fortnight will be remembered as the start of a slow burn for the Abbott Government.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    JFK and the myth of American innocence

    • Ray Cassin
    • 21 November 2013
    10 Comments

    The assassination of John F. Kennedy 50 years ago elicited a particular quality of grief. It was not only a matter of mourning the violent death of a world leader who, at the time, was much admired. The notion also stuck that something called innocence had been lost because of what had happened in Dallas. That sense has withered under reassessments of Kennedy's character and record in office but it has never been extinguished entirely.

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