keywords: Tony Smith

  • RELIGION

    Why I still love the Catholic Church

    • Frank Brennan
    • 15 July 2013
    6 Comments

    Sean Faircloth, a US director of one of the Dawkins Institutes committed to atheism, raised what has already become a hoary old chestnut, the failure of Francis when in Argentina during the Dirty Wars to adequately defend his fellow Jesuits who were detained and tortured by unscrupulous soldiers. Being a Jesuit, I thought I was peculiarly well situated to respond. I confess to having got a little carried away.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's ten wasted years of war

    • Tony Smith
    • 19 March 2013
    14 Comments

    Gone are the days when Australians believed everyone deserved a fair go: the principle that 'might is right' has replaced the ideals of equity and justice in the national psyche. It is not surprising that after engaging in costly military actions over a decade Australians are more fearful now than when we invaded Iraq in 2003. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Trust is shot for cynical NSW Premier

    • Tony Smith
    • 28 February 2013
    8 Comments

    Political trust is fragile and can be destroyed in many ways. The O'Farrell Government's environmental credibility has been forever undermined by its decision to let hunters loose in national parks. More than that, this arrogant and disrespectful act can only lead to the further destruction of public trust.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    NSW Labor's diseased ethics

    • Tony Smith
    • 06 February 2013
    11 Comments

    The Labor Party's ethical problems are deep seated. Once it adopted pragmatism as its first principle, policy debates lost meaning. The ideological vacuum was filled by enslavement to poll driven politics and media images. The Left struggled to retain its influence and Labor's heart vanished. We should expect much more from our politicians.

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  • RELIGION

    What gay parents are worth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 June 2012
    135 Comments

    When Joe Hockey said on Q&A that the 'very best circumstances' for a child entailed having 'a mother and a father', Penny Wong, who has a child with her partner Sophie Allouache, replied 'I know what my family is worth.' It was a galvanising moment in the same sex marriage debate, which is not going away.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bringing civility back to the parliamentary cockfight

    • Tony Kevin
    • 31 October 2011
    14 Comments

    Many Australian politicians who should know better give the people and the media exactly what they want: rancorous confrontations and barbed insults. The 'tough' way in which Australian politics is played corrodes civility and potentially erodes our democracy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ricky Ponting's dignity

    • Tony Smith
    • 01 April 2011

    As some recent Australian elections have shown, leaders do not always let go in time to avoid embarrassment. Retiring Australian cricket captian Ricky Ponting usually behaved with dignity. But there are moments he'd no doubt prefer to expunge from the record.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The NSW democracy deficit

    • Tony Smith
    • 10 March 2011
    8 Comments

    If voters are disappointed with Labor now, they could be positively angry after the election. Because the Coalition is a shoo-in to win, the public is showing little interest in policy debates and the media have brought little pressure to bear over policy details and likely costs.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    WikiLeaks and artistic freedom in China

    • Tony Smith
    • 14 December 2010
    6 Comments

    While WikiLeaks' exposures of US government secrets have created a media storm, the case of Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei, which reveals much about the authorities in China, has attracted little comment. China has moved towards capitalism but not democracy.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Kristina Keneally's rational Catholic conscience

    • Tony Smith
    • 15 October 2010
    39 Comments

    Traditionally, Catholic-Labor links have been so strong that wits described the Church as 'the Labor Party at prayer'. NSW Labor Premier Kristina Keneally represents a growingly assertive Catholicism which might be described as progressive, rational and independent.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    All MPs have Independents envy

    • Tony Smith
    • 26 August 2010
    10 Comments

    Since both major parties wasted their chance to secure a clear mandate, the Independents have been treated by the media as opportunists and vengeful egotists. By making Parliament complex, the rise of Independents complicates the lives of political hacks.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A Shakespearean view of Australian politics

    • Adrian Phoon
    • 26 July 2010
    2 Comments

    Malcolm Turnbull recently compared Kevin Rudd to the Shakespearean character Coriolanus, a reviled control freak. Politicians sometimes invoke Shakespeare to flatter their own cause. But this is fraught with dangers: they can come off sounding pompous, or their analogies may backfire.

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