Keywords: John Howard

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    In the shadow of SIEV-X

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 01 November 2021
    26 Comments

    Two decades ago, an Indonesian vessel given the name SIEV X sank with loss of life that should have caused a flood of tears and a surge of compassion. Instead of being seen in humanitarian terms, the deaths of 353 people became a form of rich political capital, placed in the bank of opportunism to be amortised at a federal election.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Your guide to the federal government’s climate spin — before it’s announced

    • Greg Foyster
    • 18 October 2021
    15 Comments

    In July this year the UN ranked Australia dead last out for climate action out of more than 170 countries surveyed. Yes, our federal government’s climate policies are literally the worst in the world. But while Australia is a global laggard in reducing pollution, we’re something of a leader in covering up this failure and getting away with it.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Tampa legacy 20 years on

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 07 September 2021
    23 Comments

    It took 438 desperate human beings upon the overladen wooden fishing boat, the KM Palapa, to present Australia’s Howard government in August 2001 with an electoral opportunity. At first, there was feigned ignorance from Canberra about any signs of desperation. The vessel, lacking power, lay some 100km off Christmas Island. Despite a coast guard plane noting men jumping up and down on the roof in a frenzy, nothing was initially done.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Civilization as intervention

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 August 2021
    10 Comments

    The New York Times editorial on 15 August was all about tragedy in describing the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. ‘Tragic because the American dream of being the “indispensable nation” in shaping a world where the values of civil rights, women’s empowerment and religious tolerance rule proved to be just that: a dream.’

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Tying off the threads of doubt

    • Brian Matthews
    • 05 August 2021
    4 Comments

    In times of unexpected or inexplicable crisis, humans all over the globe regardless of race, religion, lineage or historical evidence, will often turn to myth, the occult, each other, to their until then untested and unimpressive leaders, or to a hoped-for apparent miracle to explain what seemed otherwise beyond explanation.

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  • EDUCATION

    What's the point of schooling?

    • Tim Hutton
    • 29 June 2021
    62 Comments

    The question being asked, however, is one that puts the cart before the horse. The question of ‘What do you want to see in the national curriculum?’ presupposes the answer to another question: What even is the purpose of schooling?

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  • ECONOMICS

    Our economy needs democratic oversight, not the unleashing of animal spirits

    • John Falzon
    • 06 May 2021
    23 Comments

    In a recent speech to business leaders, Prime Minister Morrison made the remarkable claim that ‘we are going to meet our [climate change] ambitions with the smartest minds, the best technology and the animal spirits of capitalism.’ This is straight from the neoliberal playbook, the doxa that the role of government is to get out of the way to make room for those animal spirits so as to pander to the fantasies of the wealthy few.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The shadow of responsibility: Australian war crimes allegations in Afghanistan

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 November 2020
    21 Comments

    The discussion in Australia as to how such atrocities are to be approached is telling. The call for responsibility has varied by degrees. Most tend to some variant of the rotten apple theory: a few particularly fruits that may be isolated and extruded from the barrel. Culpability can thereby be confined, preserving the integrity of other military personnel and, importantly, political decision makers.

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  • RELIGION

    Susan Ryan, John Fahey and the Catholic story

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 October 2020
    39 Comments

    Recent weeks have seen the deaths of former NSW Liberal Premier and federal Finance minister, John Fahey, and former Labor federal minister, Senator Susan Ryan. They were both exemplary public figures who not only made a major contribution to Australian public life but did so in a way that drew praise from all sides of politics.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Saving lives means saving culture

    • Brent Riley
    • 25 June 2020
    10 Comments

    People ask why it took the death of George Floyd to make so many Australians stand up. His experience mirrored that of so many Aboriginal people who have died while in custody. His dying words ‘I can’t breathe’ echo through our hearts, because this isn’t the first time a Bla(c)k man has uttered those words while being brutally arrested for a crime most white people would get a slap on the wrist for.

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  • CARTOON

    Hitting the (far) right note

    • Fiona Katauskas
    • 05 May 2020

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Solidarity in the face of a neoliberal inferno

    • John Falzon
    • 03 March 2020
    27 Comments

    The Morrison government despises the working class. There is no other explanation for its behaviour. For all the ‘lifters and leaners’ or ‘workers and shirkers’ guff that we’ve seen over the years from this and past governments, the truth is that, according to the neoliberal worldview, whether you’re in paid work or on social security, you’re despised unless you belong to its own big money elite.

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