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  • ECONOMICS

    On banks and bonuses

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 16 January 2019

    One of the issues raised at the royal commission into banks was the size of salaries and bonuses paid to senior staff. Subsequent discussion has tripped lightly around the issue. The larger question is whether it is in the best interests of financial institutions to offer to its senior officers huge salaries and bonuses.

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  • ECONOMICS

    What it will take to redeem the banks

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 December 2018
    8 Comments

    Now that the royal commission hearings have finished, people are asking whether things will change. There are grounds for both cautious hope and pessimism. Hope is based on the expectation that the exposure of greed, complacency and lassitude in institutions, boards and regulators will lead them to hunger for a better reputation.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    James and the four eggs

    • Julie Perrin
    • 05 December 2018
    11 Comments

    James had come to the maths coaching because he'd been in trouble at work. He had to stack crates to a certain level at the workshop but was unable to count them, making the unloading impossible for people without his height and strength. He needed to learn to count.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Elegy for Sisto Malaspina

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 15 November 2018
    2 Comments

    What is so urgent here is not a sense of being morbid. Nor, in the main, was there even a vengeful note. This was unalloyed grief, unimpaired by manipulation and political exploitation.

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  • RELIGION

    Seeking a plenary council fit for purpose

    • Frank Brennan
    • 14 November 2018
    77 Comments

    What we need is a listening and inclusive Church — a plenary council at which the clergy and the laity have a proper place at the table, at which the voices of the ‘rusted-on’ and the ‘cheesed-off’ Catholics are heard and at which the bishops are respectfully listening as much as speaking. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The worst may already have happened

    • Fatima Measham
    • 24 October 2018
    6 Comments

    Under such conditions, it is hard to get people to concede that what they believe might be incomplete. No one wants to give anything up. This is an attempt to get people to give something up. Here is how to do it: ask what is the worst that can happen. Then accept that it may have already happened. But not to you.

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  • EDUCATION

    Homophobic prejudice casts a long shadow

    • Barry Gittins
    • 17 October 2018
    7 Comments

    Next month, it will be two years since Tyrone Unsworth took his own life. He was 13. What makes his case stand out is that his suicide followed years of homophobic bullying, and occurred in the midst of the same sex marriage debate and conservative attacks on Safe Schools. Suicide does not occur in a vacuum.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    More lies about imaginary Mexico

    • Gabriella Munoz
    • 15 October 2018
    3 Comments

    The more than 53 million people living in poverty in Mexico are being insulted in every episode of the new Netflix reality show Made in Mexico. Nine socialites of Mexico's one per cent are the protagonists of a reality show that can only be described as a mishmash of The Real Housewives and Beverly Hills 90210, catty moments included.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A night at the theatre

    • Ardakh Nurgaz
    • 22 August 2018

    An actor is holding a skull in his hand. Life has nothing to say. Someone is waiting to disembark from a bus. The stage is holding its breath.

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  • RELIGION

    An atheist's take on the virtue of forgiveness

    • Ben Pobjie
    • 03 August 2018
    41 Comments

    I am not a fan of Christianity. For years I have been what some might call a 'militant atheist': the type who is far more likely to catalogue the pitfalls of faith than to highlight the benefits. But more and more I am enamoured of one element of Christianity that I consider its most striking, and most laudable, feature.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Greeks pull together in the face of fire

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 30 July 2018
    11 Comments

    Greece is a fire-prone country, and climate change has meant an extremely hot summer. In addition, the austerity forced on Greece during recent years has meant a reduced fire service, with not enough firefighters and no money to buy the latest equipment. Even so, it is heartening to see the reaction of the Greek public to the fires.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    No substance to Trump-Putin show

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 18 July 2018
    4 Comments

    Such gatherings only serve to feed the display of power and displace reality. In truth (dangerous word to use these days), the gathering was treated with an unwarranted seriousness that gave it a credence it never deserved.

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