Keywords: The Shire

  • RELIGION

    Wherever faith resides

    • Julian Butler
    • 29 April 2021
    103 Comments

    Even as it is an ‘inner light’, illuminating all else, having faith isn’t without critical reason. Philip’s ‘appreciative but never uncritical’ approach to faith might be said to characterise the approach of a growing number of young people, too.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human rights in a pandemic

    • Cristy Clark
    • 30 July 2020
    9 Comments

    The need to contain the spread of COVID-19 has led to a raft of emergency laws that have challenged us to deeply consider the appropriate balance between community and individual rights. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    We get the leadership we settle for

    • Jeremy Clarke
    • 16 March 2020
    10 Comments

    Since late 2019, both President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Scott Morrison have come under fire for their shortcomings in times of national crisis. China as a hotspot of COVID-19 and Australia with the quartet of severe climate change, a lengthy drought, an horrific fire season and the inevitability of the coronavirus crashing onto our shores.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    A view from Africa of Australia burning

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 14 November 2019
    10 Comments

    As fires obliterated large swathes of Australia, I was largely oblivious to the news — though tenuously connected to events as I travelled through oven-hot, tinder-dry national parks in Southern Africa. It was only when I reached the airport in Johannesburg that the extent of the catastrophe became apparent to me.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Ways out of the capitalist rabbit hole

    • David James
    • 21 October 2019
    5 Comments

    Recognising that financial systems are a human creation rather than natural systems governed by 'capital flows' would be an important step to conceiving a more robust and equitable system. To ask what kind of society we want and only then work out what we want money to do for us is to put the horse back in front of the cart.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Swearing? Won't have a bar of it

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 September 2019
    9 Comments

    Those were the days when children could expect to have their mouths washed out with soap and water if they uttered certain words. Fast forward quite a few years: once I got the hang of Greek swear words and realised my children were using them, I rejected the idea of soap and water, but began a system of fines.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    An Orwellian view of climate change

    • Brian Matthews
    • 12 July 2019
    6 Comments

    By 'belly to earth', Orwell meant not only the uncomplicated, hands-on approach he threw himself into at Wallington. It also denoted a quality of engagement with the natural world that he saw to be threatened by the nature of what he considered to be the 'evil' times in which he lived — a feeling familiar to many in 2019.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Boris, Brexit and taking it up to political bull

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 03 June 2019
    2 Comments

    An enduring memory of the 2016 Brexit campaign was the claim by pro-leavers that the EU was extracting some £350 million a week. The claim, ignoring EU subsidies, returns and contributions to Britain, was so outrageously proud and inaccurate, it stuck. Which leads us to a novel citizen's experiment on the issue of lying in politics.

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  • MEDIA

    Dissecting Australian media's Trump moment

    • Eliza Berlage
    • 22 May 2019
    5 Comments

    Morrison heralded his win as a 'miracle' and the media ran with it, leading to headlines like 'Messiah from the shire'. But while it was unexpected to those reporting on it, a look at deeply divided and change-averse Australia makes the Coalition win seem less remarkable.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    My moments with catholic Les Murray

    • Tracey Edstein
    • 02 May 2019
    3 Comments

    I asked Les then what he anticipated at the end of what was for him a very earthed life. Les was phlegmatic — he imagined a reunion with his parents (his mother died when he was 12) but was content to 'wait and see ... we are on certain post-mortem promises after all'.

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  • RELIGION

    Prayers of connection and disconnection

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 06 March 2019
    12 Comments

    I've recently been reading about people who disconnect in radical ways, or else manage a balancing act between connection with society and disconnection. The recently deceased Sister Wendy Beckett was one such. So too is Brother Harold Palmer who, like Sister Wendy, began his seclusion in a caravan.

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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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