Search Results: Michael Mullins

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis and the power of tears

    • Michael Mullins
    • 02 June 2014
    4 Comments

    The Pope says we have 'forgotten how to weep'. The most potent moments in current affairs television occur when a person is shown to cry, yet we're taught to believe that 'breaking down' means that we're not in command of the argument. Julie Bishop could not have been unmoved if the jostling Sydney University students had instead wept over the lost educational opportunity in the Federal Budget.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Letting Australian industry die promotes workplace slavery elsewhere

    • Michael Mullins
    • 26 May 2014
    9 Comments

    The Australian Government needs to be less cavalier and reticent to subsidise local manufacturers, who are obliged to be transparent about their work practices and bear the costs of this. When our politicians praise workplace efficiency in other countries, they are promoting manufacturing processes that often exploit workers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Budget points to new sectarianism

    • Michael Mullins
    • 19 May 2014
    6 Comments

    When Tony Abbott reintroduced knights and dames back in March, critics said it was a sign he was 'stuck in the 1950s'. Another characteristic of 1950s Australian society was the sectarianism that bitterly divided the nation along religious lines. There are echoes of this in last Tuesday's Federal Budget announcement that schools will lose the option of appointing non-religious welfare workers under the national school chaplaincy program.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The theology of Chris Lilley

    • Michael Mullins
    • 12 May 2014
    12 Comments

    The jury is out on whether Chris Lilley's new ABC1 comedy Jonah from Tonga gives a free kick to racism and other forms of discriminatory behaviour. The prejudices in Lilley's Jonah are depictions of the wounds of Australian society, not the attempt of a far-right ideologue to promote a stratified nation based on race.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What Pope Francis thinks about Abbott's Audit

    • Michael Mullins
    • 05 May 2014
    17 Comments

    The National Commission of Audit believes spending cuts that produce a balanced Budget will make us all better off because we will have a stronger economy and more jobs. But Pope Francis is skeptical about such 'trickle-down' economic theories, which express 'a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    South Sudan warning for Australia's hate speech champions

    • Michael Mullins
    • 28 April 2014
    9 Comments

    In South Sudan, hate speech broadcast on a local FM radio station earlier this month led to the slaughter of hundreds of innocent civilians in a massacre based on ethnicity. Local UN officials are now calling on authorities to 'to take all measures possible to prevent the airing of such messages'. Meanwhile in Australia, the Government is attempting to give legal sanction to the kind of hate speech that incited to the South Sudan massacre.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The people power of Game of Thrones pirates

    • Michael Mullins
    • 14 April 2014
    3 Comments

    Last week's Game of Thrones series four premiere revealed Melbourne as the pirate capital of the world. The downloaders make a 'people power' claim to moral legitimacy because they think pay TV provider Foxtel's business model undermines the access they believe they are entitled to. Stories are not a cultural form of terra nullius, and human nature will not allow them to be wholly appropriated by business interests.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The GST and Abbott's fair go for all

    • Michael Mullins
    • 07 April 2014
    7 Comments

    Federal Treasury secretary Martin Parkinson has called on the Government to increase the GST. In isolation this would hurt the poor and benefit the rich. But it could help the common good if it is part of a tax reform package that cuts tax avoidance strategies for high income earners, including superannuation concessions, negative gearing and trusts.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's killing the charities regulator?

    • Michael Mullins
    • 31 March 2014
    5 Comments

    The Federal Government is moving to abolish the body set up to protect and regulate the non-profit sector. Vinnies CEO John Falzon describes the action as 'ideological', while Melbourne Catholic education chief Stephen Elder sees it as an opportunity to spend more time raising money and delivering services. The Government must explain the policy imperatives driving it to dismantle such an extensively considered piece of legislation.

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  • MEDIA

    Too soon for MH370 punchlines

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 24 March 2014
    5 Comments

    There is little doubt that it is too soon and the story too tragic to be the butt of jokes. But the fact that such responses exist speaks to the ways in which this story has permeated the public imagination in unhealthy ways. The engagement is frequently marked by genuine concern, but also contains a deeply voyeuristic fascination that is divorced from the humanity of these events. People love a mystery, and an unhappy ending even more.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bullying artists and the art of conversation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 17 March 2014
    6 Comments

    Arts minister George Brandis has accused artists of 'bullying' corporate heavyweight Transfield. The artists' recent ultimatum to the board of the Sydney Biennale threatens to kill the event and possibly the entire model of arts sponsorship in Australia. Both sides of the dispute have lost sight of the opportunity that networking between artists and sponsors offers for civilised conversation that leads to a better world for all.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Empowered shock jocks must also be accountable

    • Michael Mullins
    • 10 March 2014
    9 Comments

    The Federal Government plans to change the Racial Discrimination Act to give preference to free speech over protecting individuals and groups from vilification. It is not surprising that there is strong media support for the changes, as they will give investigative reporters and shock jocks alike the legislative freedom they need to do their job. But the Government must include robust legislation to penalise those who get their facts wrong.

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