Search Results: The Nationals

  • 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

    Xenophobia threatens Mandela's vision for a diverse South Africa

    • David Holdcroft
    • 20 May 2015
    3 Comments

    South Africa has again experienced the ravages of xenophobic violence. The official response reflects a fearful government that needs to resort populist scapegoating that stigmatises migrants. It has found itself incapable of creating the inclusive narrative that was evident 18 months ago when the country came together to mourn Nelson Mandela. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The operational matter of sending Australians to their execution

    • Justin Glyn
    • 06 May 2015
    17 Comments

    While the AFP are clearly right to argue that they need to cooperate with Indonesia – it is, after all, Australia's biggest neighbour – the police's understanding of their role seems absolutely extraordinary in the light of the Extradition Treaty. The implication is that, although Australia is absolutely forbidden from extraditing a person to Indonesia to face the firing squad, the police are entitled - as an 'operational decision' and, if the police are to be believed, with no reference even to Cabinet guidelines - to hand someone over to be executed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's low road to the Security State

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 April 2015
    33 Comments

    Only extremists regard Muslims as enemies. But if a populist and incompetent government were to scapegoat them and declare them to be enemies, as was done to asylum seekers, it would be a short step to build on the laws already introduced with further discriminatory legislation. That in turn would lessen the protections under the law that other groups would enjoy. Of course, this could never happen in Australia. But that is what they once said in Germany, Chile and South Africa.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Indonesia shows its ugly side with regressive executions

    • Pat Walsh
    • 29 April 2015
    16 Comments

    Indonesia is a country of great promise with a significant, maybe crucial, contribution to make to our troubled world. As a very large, pluralist, Muslim-majority democracy it offers a template for other societies in transition. President SBY was acutely aware of this opportunity and through his democracy forums and other initiatives did much to re-brand Indonesia in this positive light. All this good work is being undone by the anal, small-town thinking the executions represent.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Give sporting politicians a sporting chance

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 April 2015
    7 Comments

    Despite often treating sports people uncritically as celebrities, Australians are ambivalent about their place in public life. Former Howard government minister Peter Reith launched an unfair personal attack on former champion Canberra Raiders rugby league forward Senator Glenn Lazarus after he defected from the Palmer United Party. The general lesson from the example of Lazarus - who is actually quietly capable - is that he is as well suited as the parliamentarians who have been lawyers, blacksmiths, builders, business and army people.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Stepping on to mandatory data retention's slippery slope

    • Fatima Measham
    • 25 March 2015
    6 Comments

    Mandatory data retention was a bad idea when it was originally floated during a Gillard Government inquiry. It is a worse idea now, and is set to become law for political reasons, not because it has been properly scrutinised. There are important questions that we should be asking, and we should not let ourselves be put off from doing this if we don’t know the difference between data and metadata (there is none).

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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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Nice guy Jokowi a death penalty strong man

    • Pat Walsh
    • 04 February 2015
    17 Comments

    The execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran is expected to take place on Nusakembangan, a prison island off Central Java. Visitors there are greeted by a sign which translates: 'They are not criminals, just lost people, and it is never too late to repent'. To be executed after you repent, however, is certainly too late. It also diminishes Indonesia. But let’s not write Indonesia off.     

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Going to war is a decision for parliament

    • John Warhurst
    • 30 September 2014
    11 Comments

    The difference between the approach by the British and Australian governments is striking. In Britain, Prime Minister Cameron, despite having a large majority, made the parliamentary debate in Westminster central, while in Australia Prime Minister Abbott spoke only of 'updating' the Parliament on his return from New York. There should be greater involvement by Parliament in Australia for reasons both of substance and symbolism.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hervey Bay boat arrival from Ireland

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 September 2014
    5 Comments

    Considering my indebtedness to the two Aborigines who met [my family's ship arriving in Hervey Bay from Ireland] 151 years ago, I owe it to all my fellow Australians to agitate these issues of law, morality and politics here in Ireland so that back in Australia, the homeland which, in my religious tradition, was known as the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Low fat food products are a con

    • Mike Foale
    • 05 August 2014
    15 Comments

    The medical researcher who developed the saturated fat theory was Ancel Keys, who had cherry-picked data. He achieved celebrity status in the media through aggressive promotion of his theory. Credible science journals have lately been publishing robust reports that saturated fat is not implicated in heart disease, much to the chagrin of manufacturers of low fat processed food products. 

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