Search Results: Nelson Mandela

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Truths for Trump on South African farmers

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 27 August 2018
    2 Comments

    In the 17 years since, farm murders have dropped dramatically. At face value, this is a triumph in the fight against violent crime, and a resounding riposte to people like President Donald Trump and our own Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott, who have seized on the issue in order to sow racial hatred among their own constituents.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Voting yes to black and gay rights

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 05 October 2017
    3 Comments

    One of the first votes I ever cast was the one in which I got to help decide whether a marginalised group of people should have the same rights as me. It was March 1992. I was a young, white, enfranchised South African working as a journalist. The referendum was one of the methodical steps taken by F. W. de Klerk in the dismantling of apartheid.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    History comes to strife in Stratford-upon-Avon

    • Patrick McCabe
    • 28 November 2016
    3 Comments

    Someone I read in high school, so probably Shakespeare, once said 'The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.' Well, whoever it was clearly hadn't been to Stratford-upon-Avon (so maybe not Shakespeare then). Here, you truly can visit the past, without a passport. As one peruses the shops, houses, supermarkets and ATMs, one cannot help but speculate as to the links between Shakespeare's works and what must have been the commonplaces of his everyday life.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    We are links in the chain of asylum seeker cruelty

    • Rod Grant
    • 17 November 2016
    18 Comments

    Having a sense of something as right or wrong, good or bad, is the essence of humanity. We get it from home, from education, religion, friends, the media. It's the sniff test or the pub test or the gut feeling or the Bible or Quran or Torah. We all have it. And just as people have a sense of right and wrong, we also have a very good humbug detector, and it's clanging loudly when politicians unctuously claim all their 'stop the boats' strategies are driven by desire to prevent drownings at sea.

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  • EDUCATION

    Jostling for justice on school funding's contested ground

    • Michael Furtado
    • 03 November 2016
    12 Comments

    Amid the furore surrounding Minister Birmingham's disclosure of figures showing massive discrepancies in public funding between some independent schools and low-SES schools, some facts need scrutinising. Systemic Catholic schools draw for their enrolment from lower-SES postcodes than independent schools. Postcodes being an indelible predictor of the educational chances of Australians, balancing systemic school funding against that of independent schools is politically and ethically problematic.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    SA Premier coopts democracy for nuclear nefariousness

    • Michele Madigan
    • 25 May 2016
    19 Comments

    Just how strictly controlled the process is becomes obvious when it emerges that the task of the 50 member Citizens' Jury will be to produce 'a short independent guide to help every South Australian understand the recommendations raised' by the report. ABC news has dubbed this whole process the Premier's 'public relations exercise', and surely they're not wrong. He is urging all South Australians to remain 'open' about the proposal. But are they, including the Citizens' Jury, allowed to be open to refusal?

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Adjustable ethics at the wheel of a self-driving car

    • Patrick McCabe
    • 22 November 2015
    1 Comment

    The safety features of self-driving cars could save many lives. But driving also involves making decisions, including ethical ones. Imagine you're in your self-driving car, travelling at speed on a highway. Suddenly an oncoming road train swerves into your lane and thunders head-on towards you. You may just be able to swerve, but unfortunately five men are standing on the side of the road, and you will surely hit them. Should the self-driving car kill five people, or stay the course and kill you?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Border Force Act's disquieting parallels

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 July 2015
    32 Comments

    On July 1 the Australian Border Force Act 2015 became law. Detention centre staff are now forbidden to speak about human rights abuses, with a two year jail penalty applying. It is perhaps appropriate to recall the secrecy of the security apparatus of Stalinist Russia, Apartheid South Africa, and Chile and Argentina under the Generals, where victims were denigrated and information prevented from leaking out.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Xenophobia threatens Mandela's vision for a diverse South Africa

    • David Holdcroft
    • 19 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The General of the poor and the Iron Lady of industry

    • Barry Gittins
    • 31 March 2015
    15 Comments

    Former Australian Salvation Army world leader General Eva Burrows, who died on 20 March, tried in vain to engage the former British PM in making the preferential option for the poor. ‘Margaret Thatcher was a disappointment,’ the General said. ‘I felt she didn’t have a deep, true feeling for the poor. I invited her to come out on the soup run indirectly and said it wouldn’t be a media event, we’d go incognito, but the answer was no.’

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Hillary Clinton's bloodless memoir

    • Barry Gittins
    • 03 July 2014
    2 Comments

    This was akin to reading a carefully vetted resume. An intelligent and formidable first lady, senator and Secretary of State, and no shrinking violet, the author presents a largely passionless, desiccated record. There's the odd poignant reflection. Absurd depictions of Mel Brooksian secure rooms (and the reading of documents with a blanket over her head in non-secure rooms). But, overall, Clinton draws pictures without drawing blood.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My life as a tourist trap

    • Patrick McCabe
    • 28 January 2014
    5 Comments

    When I have achieved universal fame, they will turn my childhood house into a tourist attraction. My mum and dad's bedroom won't be of much interest to many enthusiasts, but in the lounge room, they will be excited to see the original family lounge suite. It is unlikely my Ikea bookcase will have survived, but visitors will be able to enjoy a faithful reconstruction, built by an artisan specialising in the 'Allen key' method of furniture design.

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