Keywords: Shorten

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pragmatism: obscuring ideology in Australian politics

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 09 February 2021
    30 Comments

    The celebration of pragmatism in Australian politics obscures the role that ideology has always already played. In fact, one of the more stealthily ideological moves in Australian politics, generally made within that swirl of commitments people call ‘centrism’, is the de-politicisation of policy — the attempt to present policy as responsive to natural imperatives rather than to specific values and ideals.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Eighty years of tarnish

    • B. N. Oakman
    • 29 September 2020
    1 Comment

    The river flooded during the battle, surging so wide, so deep, that two days of eager slaughter were postponed. I won't polish away 80 years of tarnish. The brass cartridge still grips its bullet just the way you found it while walking your dogs. A misfire.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Angry poets society

    • Barry Gittins
    • 16 July 2020
    11 Comments

    Identifying the true nature of things, and capturing their horror or charm? Let’s give it a crack. I recognised and recognise still that there are few humans who will ever approach Les Murray's heights of linguistic mastery and vision of life. But one thing I felt I had in common with Les, apart from our shared rustic heritage, was anger.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Going big picture with Malcolm Turnbull

    • Barry Gittins
    • 22 May 2020
    17 Comments

    As the small-l Liberal who attempted unsuccessfully to stare down the right-wing of the Liberal Party, known to his enemies as ‘Mr Harbourside Mansion’ or as the best Labour Prime Minister to ever lead the Liberal Party (2015-2018), Malcolm Bligh Turnbull was a man who dreamed, spoke and spent big.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Let's not snap back but spring forward

    • John Falzon
    • 10 April 2020
    25 Comments

    Already the ideological die-hards of neoliberalism are working out how the pandemic might be manipulated to lower wages and to snap back to the old economic normal. So now is when collectively we need to take over the framing and the forming of the future. Not to snap back but to spring forward.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Conflict in Middle East continues to heat up

    • Justin Glyn
    • 05 February 2020
    3 Comments

    The multi-front war in the Middle East continues to heat up. After the American assassination of Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and the deputy leader of the Iraqi military’s Popular Mobilisation Committee at the start of the year, and the subsequent refusal of the US to heed the Iraqi Parliament’s request to end its occupation, the focus has recently moved back to the Syrian front.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dickens and Christmas as we grow older

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 13 December 2019
    5 Comments

    Dickens was a prolific writer, and one of patchy quality: the threat of sentimentality was never far away, so that this brief work is not one of his best. But in this consumer age it is salutary to have his definition of the Christmas spirit, which is one 'of active usefulness, perseverance, cheerful discharge of duty, kindness and forbearance'.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Climate crisis spawns clowns not statesmen

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 09 December 2019
    29 Comments

    If the dark days of 1940 provided an opportunity for a chancer and publicity hound like Winston Churchill to emerge as an inspirational leader and reputed giant of the 20th century, why hasn't the catastrophic breakdown of the natural world done something similar for the likes of Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Scott Morrison?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Labor pain and uncertainty

    • John Warhurst
    • 11 November 2019
    10 Comments

    The Labor Party's dismal performance this year has been bookended by May's election loss and this month's campaign review report. As it reflects publicly on the devastating election loss, discussion has also begun among Labor supporters about whether it has chosen the right leader for the future in Albanese.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Class and climate drive Melbourne Cup hostility

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 06 November 2019
    27 Comments

    I can't imagine how anyone could look at the Melbourne Cup and see a vision of the 'fair go'. On the contrary, much hostility to horse racing — this year's Cup attracted the smallest crowd since 1993 — stems from a perception that its rituals celebrate grotesque inequalities.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Sympathy for the poor or bunyip aristocracy

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 17 October 2019
    9 Comments

    Adam Smith wrote 'no society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable'. Poverty and inequality lead to non-participation in work and inhibit social mobility, which negatively affects economic growth. The concentration of economic power is bad for democracy.

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  • RELIGION

    Child safety reforms still progressing slowly

    • John Warhurst
    • 14 October 2019
    8 Comments

    The royal commission concluded that child safety, in all its organisational ramifications, raised questions of culture and governance for the church. If the Plenary Council 2020 doesn't take such issues seriously then it will be one indicator that the momentum around last year's official national apology has slowed.

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