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Scotland's brave quest for self-determination

15 September 2014 | Duncan MacLaren

Child with Scotland face-paintPrime Minister Tony Abbott’s remarks on the Scottish independence debate were front page news in Great Britain. If Mr Abbott had actually visited Scotland rather than follow the advice of the British PM, he would have seen that the whole debate had centred on the kind of society we wanted – one where social justice is paramount, our National Health Service is not privatised and rights are built into a written constitution.

Two state solution does not depend on words

07 July 2014 | John Kilcullen

'Two state' ribbonThe recent controversy about whether the Australian government regards East Jerusalem as Occupied, occupied, or disputed, at least made it clear that the Australian government still supports the ‘two state solution’. Now is the time to do something positive to bring the second state into existence.

Thai coup more of the same

25 May 2014 | Michael Kelly

Tank and monks in Thai coupThe cycle of election, opposition protest, social and political instability that provokes a royal approved military intervention underlies how immature democracy is in Thailand. Unfortunately, in the medium term — the next five years — it will be 'same, same' unless there is a circuit breaker. That may come with the next trigger to instability which has to be set off sooner rather than later: the death of a very frail royal person.

Best of 2013: Losing Chavez the indispensable

07 January 2014 | Antonio Castillo

Hugo Chavez in uniform, waving regallyWith Hugo Chavez's death Latin America has arguably lost the most influential political leader of the last two decades. Chavez was one of those men that Bertolt Brecht called the 'indispensible ones'. He has been the champion of the socially and economically marginalised since he came to power in 1999.

Best of 2013: Watching as Iraq crumbled

06 January 2014 | Donna Mulhearn

Donna Mulhearn in BaghdadI sat with my Iraqi friend in his photo store. I was his last customer, he said; the bombs would begin tomorrow. And then he began to weep. I remember thinking that his life, and the lives of others like him, would not be given a second's thought once the invasion started. The next day, the bombs began.


McGuire ape gaffe exposes Australian tolerance as myth

30 May 2013 | Ruby Hamad

Adam Goodes in actionThose who object to Indigenous people being called 'apes' and to white men painting themselves black are dismissed as being politically correct and denying free speech. But how can Adam Goodes choose not to be offended by comments conceived for the very purpose of justifying crimes against the racial group to which he belongs?

Hope for a Malaysian Spring

1 Comment
28 April 2013 | Lily Zubaidah Rahim and Sven Schottmann

Najib Razak looking thoughtfulAmid democratic transitions in Asia and protest movements in the Middle East, a growing number of Malaysians are unwilling to countenance any further their government's paternalistic politics. Whoever wins next Sunday's election will have the task of forging a new consensus on what it means to be Malaysian. 

Real men don't rape

22 April 2013 | Andee Jones

Predatory sharkA recent study of sexual violence in six Asia-Pacific countries revealed that one in every four men had committed rape. When men who don't rape tell the violent minority that they have no such right, the dreadful statistics will start to plummet. 

Maintaining empathy as Boston mourns

17 April 2013 | Irfan Yusuf

Woman grieves following Boston Marathon bombingThe image of the face of eight-year-old Boston victim Marty Richards will touch the hearts of all. Yet in his name, and depending on the outcome of the investigation, we might see calls for invasions of other lands. Such actions are hardly representative of the express wishes of terror victims and their families.

Taking the Mickey out of North Korea

15 April 2013 | Duncan MacLaren

Mickey Mouse earsWe seem to think it is okay to publish pictures of Kim Jong-un with Mickey Mouse ears or refer to his late father Kim Jong-il as a 'pygmy'. Insulting a proud people, no matter how weird we think the regime is, does not win friends. The west would do well to remember this if it is to engage the regime in meaningful dialogue.

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