Author: Michael Mullins

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fitzgerald's proof that politics can make a better world

    • Michael Mullins
    • 20 August 2012
    5 Comments

    On Friday evening, Eureka Street's inaugural Discerning Conversation took place between former prime minister Kevin Rudd and Fr Frank Brennan. It was the end of a week during which federal Parliament enacted legislation for offshore refugee processing. But the Rudd-Brennan conversation began with the recollection that Queensland politicians rejected individual greed following the Fitzgerald Inquiry in '89.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Olympic torch should shine on athletes not nations

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 July 2012
    14 Comments

    Nationalism is the scourge of the modern Olympics. We slide too easily from speaking of 'how our athletes are doing' to 'how we are doing'. We should consider discontinuing national anthems and medal tallies and even introduce a fixed host city.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Only good policy will save Labor

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 July 2012
    7 Comments

    The passage of time has shown that it has not made a great deal of difference whether the ALP leader was Gillard or Rudd. In all likelihood, it doesn't really matter who leads Labor to the 2013 election. What is more important is that they are able to demonstrate good policy achievement.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sin, spin and sex abuse in the church and military

    • Michael Mullins
    • 16 July 2012
    16 Comments

    Church leaders are often criticised for putting the reputation of the Church before the needs of victims. Last week the Australian Defence Force faced similar criticism following the release of a damning report on sexual abuse. There are lessons for Defence in Pope Benedict XVI's 2010 admission that sexual abuse reflects 'the sin inside the Church'. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    News and entertainment a difficult mix

    • Michael Mullins
    • 25 June 2012
    6 Comments

    Many Fairfax readers will miss the familiarity and romance of print. But more disturbing is the likelihood that the dignified authority of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age mastheads will be lost when the more ephemeral, entertainment-oriented electronic edition is all we have.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coalition of the willing targets messenger Assange

    • Michael Mullins
    • 04 June 2012
    14 Comments

    The US pursuit of Assange is being played out with the cooperation of other western democracies. Last week a British court rejected his appeal against extradition to Sweden. The UK government could overrule this, as it did for Chilean dictator Pinochet in 1998. But it looks as if they won't repeat the favour for Assange.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mob rule on Craig Thomson

    • Michael Mullins
    • 28 May 2012
    22 Comments

    Migrants and refugees find Australia attractive because the rule of law generally functions well. If mob rule prevails, as is threatening to occur in the case of Craig Thomson, Australia will lose its lure and the politicians could finally have their wish because the boats will stop.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Give circumcision inequality the snip

    • Michael Mullins
    • 21 May 2012
    63 Comments

    Everyone is entitled to bodily integrity, but they also have a right to the best possible health outcomes. When it comes to circumcision, the experts can't agree and infants can't decide, so it's up to parents to make a responsible choice on behalf of their infant sons. But only if they can afford it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    East Timor's independence is from Australia

    • Michael Mullins
    • 18 May 2012
    12 Comments

    With East Timor marking ten years of independence on Sunday, it is relevant to ask which nation in particular it is celebrating independence from. In one sense East Timorese value independence because it is a reminder that they do not hold ties and obligations to Australia, which might have become their neo-colonial master.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hockey and Thatcher's 'no entitlement' is bad economics

    • Michael Mullins
    • 14 May 2012
    15 Comments

    Joe Hockey provoked outrage with his recent suggestion that we should rely on families rather than the state for social welfare. His premise that high social spending leads to debt and decline reflects the GDP fetish of fundamentalist economists that Joseph Stiglitz blames for Europe's current economic problems.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Big media's NBN convergence challenge

    • Michael Mullins
    • 07 May 2012
    2 Comments

    The end of big media businesses such as Seven, Nine, Ten and the newspapers would be bad for media proprietors like Kerry Stokes and Rupert Murdoch, but not necessarily a great loss for the rest of us, given the NBN's empowerment of small media enterprises and the diversity that implies.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rupert Murdoch an example for older Australians

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 April 2012
    20 Comments

    There is a lot not to admire about the business practices of Rupert Murdoch, but he stands tall as an elder who is able to maintain his stature in the face of great challenge. The Federal Government's new aged care blueprint has the potential to ensure that more Australians will retain their dignity in old age.

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