keywords: Labor Leadership

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  • Reshaping the public space: Lessons for Australian refugee, Aboriginal and climate policy

    • Frank Brennan
    • 18 September 2015

    Pope Francis's concerns are not narrowly dogmatic or pedagogical but universally pastoral. He knows that millions of people, including erstwhile Catholics, are now suspicious of or not helped by notions of tradition, authority, ritual and community when it comes to their own spiritual growth which is now more individual and eclectic. He wants to step beyond the Church's perceived lack of authenticity and its moral focus on individual matters, more often than not, sexual. He thinks the world is in a mess particularly with the state of the planet — climate change, loss of biodiversity and water shortages, but also with the oppression of the poor whose life basics are not assured by the operation of the free market, and with the clutter and violence of lives which are cheated the opportunity for interior peace. He is going to great pains to demystify his office. He wants all people of good will to emulate him and to be both joyful and troubled as they wrestle with the probl

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How Abbott was defeated by his own pugnaciousness

    • Andrew Thackrah
    • 15 September 2015
    24 Comments

    After Malcolm Turnbull announced on Monday afternoon that he was challenging Tony Abbott for the LIberal leadership, commentators were unanimous in their speculation that Abbott would not give up the prime ministership without a fight. The pugnaciousness that characterised his political style was similarly part of the playbook of Canadian PM Stephen Harper, who was also seen to base his interaction with political adversaries on their 'standing' rather than debating policy. In Abbott's case this turned out to be a fatal flaw.

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  • The politics of popular evil and untrendy truth

    • Frank Brennan
    • 01 September 2015
    1 Comment

    If you want to form government in Australia and if you want to lead the Australian people to be more generous, making more places available for refugees to resettle permanently in Australia, you first have to stop the boats. If you want to restore some equity to the means of choosing only some tens of thousands of refugees per annum for permanent residence in Australia from the tens of millions of people displaced in the world, you need to secure the borders. The untrendy truth is that not all asylum seekers have the right to enter Australia but that those who are in direct flight from persecution whether that be in Sri Lanka or Indonesia do, and that it is possible fairly readily (and even on the high seas) to draw a distinction between those in direct flight and those engaged in secondary movement understandably dissatisfied with the level of protection and the transparency of processing in transit countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The popular evil is that political

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  • The insights of Pope Francis in shaping Catholic health and aged care

    • Frank Brennan
    • 26 August 2015
    7 Comments

    When addressing Italian doctors last November, Pope Francis quoted St. Camillus de Lellis who suggested that the most effective method in caring for the sick was simply to 'Put more heart into those hands.' Let's do something to change the market settings and political settings here in Australia to modify the behaviour of all Australians in the future, and let's attend to our own Franciscan interior ecological conversion with our care for the vulnerable.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    UK Labour's hysterical power struggle

    • Daniel Read
    • 18 August 2015
    12 Comments

    The ongoing drama over leadership of the UK Labour Party is raising the possibility of further fractures in the politics of austerity, not just in Britain, but across Europe. The entire political edifice of British politics has shifted so far to the right that even a somewhat inoffensive endorsement of state ownership, anti-austerity politics and trade union support, alongside scrapping the UK's nuclear deterrent and questioning our continued membership in NATO, can appear dangerously radical.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Kickstart our dire democracy by giving teens the vote

    • Clancy Wright
    • 17 August 2015
    17 Comments

    Sixteen and 17-year-olds shape society and culture through language, music, sport, arts and fashion. They challenge boundaries and push cultural trends up through our social fabric. They engage with technology and future ideas in a way that many older generations would fine overwhelming and confusing. We need this enthusiasm, this creativity and proven inclination to take risks in order to question our society's established methods and bring colour and life back to the broader political debate.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The ins and outs of a regional solution for refugees

    • Samuel Tyrer
    • 06 August 2015
    21 Comments

    The Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers of 2012 said 'a regional cooperation and protection framework' should shape policymaking. Support for a regional solution also exists among academics and NGOs such as the Refugee Council of Australia. So what would such a framework look like? And when the time comes, will Australia be prepared to lead the way by increasing resettlement numbers?

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  • A trinity of questions about Laudato Si’

    • Frank Brennan
    • 06 August 2015
    3 Comments

    Pope Francis is not the first pope to address a social encyclical to everyone. But in comparison with his predecessors, Francis has been more inclusive in the process of writing the encyclical and in the final content of the document. He quotes from 17 different conferences of Catholic bishops. He is at pains to indicate that he is collaborative and that he takes the principle of subsidiarity very seriously. Being the final redactor of the text, he has felt free to interpolate some very folksy advice from time to time. He has also taken the liberty of inserting some very blunt, evocative images of environmental and economic devastation.

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  • The challenge of education for social justice

    • Frank Brennan
    • 08 July 2015
    3 Comments

    I suspect Pope Francis had some of our Jesuit alumni in mind when he wrote in his encyclical Laudato Si: 'A politics concerned with immediate results, supported by consumerist sectors of the population, is driven to produce short-term growth... True statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good. Political powers do not find it easy to assume this duty'.

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  • Frank Brennan, Ambassador from the Republic of Conscience

    • Kristina Keneally
    • 04 June 2015
    12 Comments

    'As a legislator and a Catholic, I often felt gratitude for Frank Brennan's ambassadorship from the republic of conscience. I found the need to weave, this need to take 'data points' from many places and form my conscience. I regarded Frank as a bit of a hero.' Kristina Keneally launches Fr Frank Brennan SJ's book Amplifying That Still, Small Voice at Our Lady of the Way Parish, North Sydney, 2 June 2015.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fossil fuel divestment economics in line with morality

    • Michael Mullins
    • 01 June 2015
    3 Comments

    The Norwegian Parliament has just ordered its $A1.15 trillion Sovereign Wealth Fund to divest from coal. This represents the largest single divestment from fossil fuels in human history, and our biggest sign yet that the age of coal is over and the financial case for investing in fossil fuels is likely to disintegrate. Australia will crash and burn both economically and morally if we do not follow suit.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    PM's super pitch needs solid policy foundation

    • Michael Mullins
    • 25 May 2015
    1 Comment

    Tony Abbott has warned voters that Bill Shorten has his eye on their retirement savings. He once praised the Nationals' Barnaby Joyce as a 'uniquely gifted retail politician'. But more attention to wholesaling - i.e. policy resources - would help to get both pensions and super concessions on to a more sustainable footing.

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