keywords: Diplomacy

  • AUSTRALIA

    The public, the Church, and asylum seekers

    • Frank Brennan
    • 13 August 2013
    1 Comment

    'Like many Australians, I had hoped that the dastardly plan announced on 19 July would stop the boats in the short term, as a stop-gap measure. It is dismaying to learn that appropriate consultations had not occurred with Indonesia with the result that the very people who were to receive the shock and awe message are yet to receive it. There’s only one thing worse than shock and awe; that’s shock and awe that doesn’t work because you haven’t done your homework.' 43rd Barry Marshall Memorial Lecture, Trinity College Theological School, 14 August 2013.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    PNG move proves Australia is not special

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 July 2013
    35 Comments

    This bold move might stop the boats in the short term. If it does, we need after the election to recommit ourselves to providing better regional upstream processing and protection for asylum seekers stranded in Indonesia and Malaysia. Let's hope that whoever is in government after the election can call a truce on the race to the bottom and commit to the hard diplomatic work that is needed.

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  • RELIGION

    Time to draw the line between Australia and Timor Leste

    • Frank Brennan
    • 14 May 2013
    27 Comments

    Australian governments of both political persuasions have reassured the Australian public that they are decent and special when it comes to dealing with the Timorese over disagreements in the Timor Sea. Time for such special pleading is over. For the good of ongoing relations between these two unequal neighbours, it is time for Australia to commit to negotiating final maritime boundaries.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Downer and Costello's murky world of political lobbying

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 April 2013
    8 Comments

    In days past the 'consultancy' activity of former senior politicians was cloaked in respectability and not perceived as being at the hands-on end of lobbying. That pretence has now ended and Alexander Downer and Peter Costello are good examples. It is an unhealthy development with plenty of room for conflicts of interest.

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  • RELIGION

    Contemplating Fred Hollows

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 February 2013
    9 Comments

    'I have been asked to provide a spiritual reflection for Fred who was not always given to spiritual conversation. I find the Old Testament prophecy of Isaiah helpful. He came to bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives, bring freedom to the oppressed and sight to the blind. Fred did all these things, sometimes brusquely.' Frank Brennan on the 20th anniversary of Fred Hollows' death.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia and other arms rogues

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 06 August 2012
    4 Comments

    A long-standing principle of arms control is that some regimes deserve lethal weapons, and others do not. But who is or is not a desirable dealer is often an open question. Australia adds to the confusion: one Brisbane weapon-maker's claim to fame is the creation of an electronic gun capable of firing a million bullets a minute.

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  • EDUCATION

    50 years since Australia's 'most poisonous debate'

    • John Warhurst
    • 09 July 2012
    10 Comments

    Labor speechwriter Graham Freudenberg observed that ‘the oldest, deepest, most poisonous debate in Australia has been about government aid to church schools’. The most dramatic episode in the history of church state relations in Australia was the Goulburn schools strike, which took place 50 years ago this month.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A tale of two refugee movement speeches

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 01 May 2012
    23 Comments

    Tony Abbott did not mention the term 'human rights' in his 3000 word speech to the Institute of Public Affairs on Friday. 'Illegal' appeared 11 times and 'asylum' once. In February, Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees gave a 3000 word speech to the Lowy Institute. A search of that speech finds 'human rights' five times, 'asylum' 21 times and no use of 'illegal'. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Benefits of Australia's UN Security Council bid

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 07 March 2012
    5 Comments

    Critics of Australia's bid to join the UN Security Council have either a narrow view of what constitutes Australia's national interest, or a view of Australian taxpayers as shareholders who should expect a financial return on every investment.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Friendless' Iran loves a fight

    • Shahram Akbarzadeh
    • 10 November 2011
    2 Comments

    Iran's Islamic regime has been showing signs of fatigue. But threats of sanctions and military action by the international community, prompted by reports that Iran has been designing nuclear weapons, could be its saviour. The regime thrives on this kind of tension.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Peace in Syria will stop the boats

    • Michael Mullins
    • 27 June 2011
    3 Comments

    The international community tends to back 'democratic' revolutions, rather than national unity, in countries of the Middle East. This is good for majority populations, but Christians and other minorities can be the losers. If they're forced to flee, they become part of the 'refugee problem'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Obama's Libya dilemma

    • Tony Kevin
    • 01 April 2011
    2 Comments

    Obama knows the mood could sour quickly in the Middle East and Arab world if the US goes into Libya with ground forces. Yet if the war drags on, Obama will face increasing domestic criticism. Americans are anxious to see stability restored to their oil supplies.

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