keywords: John Howard

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Cheque book solution on asylum is unconstitutional

    • Frank Brennan
    • 28 April 2016
    33 Comments

    A bench of five justices of the Supreme Court of Justice, the highest court in Papua New Guinea, has unanimously ruled that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is unconstitutional. Yet again, Australia has been complicit in its Pacific neighbours (PNG and Nauru) prostituting their Constitutions and undermining the rule of law in exchange for a fistful of dollars, with hapless asylum seekers, most of whom are ultimately proved to be refugees, being left to languish.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    The boat people from paradise lost

    • Lyn Bender
    • 23 April 2016
    7 Comments

    Ursula Rakova told how the sea that had been the friend of her people, was turning against them. It had crashed through and divided her island in two. Coconut palms were collapsing at the new shoreline. Food gardens were lost, as the soil was increasingly rendered infertile by salty tides that washed over them. The land that had been handed from grandmother to daughter, would bequeath no legacy to the granddaughters. The homeland of generations was disappearing before their eyes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    New radicalisation on display at fundraiser protest

    • Lyn Bender
    • 13 April 2016
    27 Comments

    The chants were thunderous and sustained, as the suited and elegantly coiffed guests began to arrive for the Liberal Party fundraiser at Docklands. Initially there did not seem to be a significant police presence, as if the need for security was not considered high. As the chanting rose to a crescendo, chaos ensued. The mounted police arrived; but there seemed no plan of crowd control. It was a small protest but it was locked into a contained area with only one entrance. Then the wounded started to emerge.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't fall for Humpty Dumpty politics

    • Justin Glyn
    • 11 April 2016
    10 Comments

    We got a lesson in the art of language from the Minister of Immigration, Peter Dutton, whose redefinition of the word 'detention' was reminiscent of Humpty Dumpty's remark in Alice Through the Looking Glass: 'When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.' We are social creatures who make real decisions based on the representations of others. Once we know we cannot expect the truth from each other, especially those who govern, society can no longer function.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bob Ellis the gifted troublemaker

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 05 April 2016
    7 Comments

    Ellis' work is a prime example of the notion advanced by the French existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre: that committed literature, and the act of writing, are political and ethical acts. Even in a film script, one can ponder social political change. Always of the left, but never formally the structured party man of faction and following, the dishevelled, sometimes wild Ellis proved contrarian even to Labor stalwarts. There were never pious reflections, or unqualified praises.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The value of protest lies in ritual not results

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 March 2016
    5 Comments

    The Palm Sunday Refugee Marches have come and gone; the travails of people who seek asylum continue. In a recent article that reflects her rich experience, Moira Rayner was right to say that marches are not effective in changing policy. Where they are, as in the Vietnam War marches in Australia or in Manila under Marcos, the fortress was already crumbling. Yet even when they are not effective, marches are not a waste of energy. Their value lies not in their effectiveness but in their ritual.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Alice Springs is still a contested space

    • Mike Bowden
    • 29 January 2016
    9 Comments

    The Northern Territory News and the ABC reported this month that the Central Australian Affordable Housing Company had been unsuccessful in its tender for continuing tenancy services to the Town Camps of Alice Springs. Despite being a product of the Intervention, CAAHC had developed a powerful model of community housing and had the support of the Central Land Council and the wider Aboriginal community. It appears that these are not attributes the NT government admires.

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  • MEDIA

    Battered broadcaster's Bolt delusion

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 27 January 2016
    13 Comments

    Josh Bornstein compared the ABC to the victim in an abusive relationship, desperately trying to ward off the next blow by anticipating the criticism of its enemies. Certainly, enlisting Andrew Bolt to participate in a documentary on Indigenous constitutional recognition seems like a pre-emptive defensive move against the accusations of bias that are routinely levelled against the national broadcaster. For Bolt the arrangement is win-win; for the ABC it's yet another example of self-sabotage.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mixed loyalties don't negate Australianness

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 25 January 2016
    11 Comments

    I arrived in Australia at the ripe old age of five months. I learned Australian values by a process of gentle osmosis. Many Indigenous Australians learned these values in a less gentle fashion. Today, many Australian Jews show a strong loyalty to the world's only Jewish state. Others combine loyalties with other ancestral homelands. Australian Muslims, Catholics, Buddhists and Hindus have similar broadened loyalties. Exactly how such loyalties make them any less Australian beats me.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cuts leave two-parent families in the cold

    • Marcelle Mogg
    • 17 December 2015
    9 Comments

    Children in two-parent families don't deserve government support. That's the message the government sent last month when they passed legislation to cut family payments for two-parent families, while other families still get cash payments. One of the problems with recent policies is they increasingly see families as part of the market rather than fundamental building blocks of our communities that need to be supported. Families and communities are in fact undermined by the market.

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  • RELIGION

    Discerning the place for the churches in the great moral questions of the age

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 November 2015
    2 Comments

    'The crisis of child sexual abuse in our societies has required that our institutional procedures be more transparent and that we learn from the ways of the world in exercising power openly and justly. This means we have to restructure some of our church arrangements so that power is exercised accountably and transparently. All of us who have positions of influence and power in institutional churches need to be attentive to the voices of those who have suffered within our institutions.' 'Discerning the place for the prophetic voice and pragmatic cooperation of the churches in the great moral questions of the age', address to the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania conference, 26 November 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Contours and prospects for Indigenous recognition in the Australian constitution

    • Frank Brennan
    • 16 October 2015
    2 Comments

    I acknowledge those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who insist that they have never ceded their sovereignty to the rest of us. I join with those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who hope for better days when they are recognised in the Australian Constitution. As an advocate for modest constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians, I respect those Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders who question the utility of such recognition. But I do take heart from President Obama's line in his Charleston eulogy for the late Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney: 'Justice grows out of recognition'.

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