keywords: Secrecy

  • AUSTRALIA

    My intersex wake-up call

    • Barry Gittins
    • 16 June 2014
    10 Comments

    Friends of mine had their first child recently and my first, 'obvious' question — 'Is it a boy or a girl?' — was answered by a jubilant father: 'It's a girl!' Life is complex, however, and our all-too-human desires for normalcy and 'simplicity' (embodied in my automatic query) are sometimes revealed to gleam in the light of unintended prejudice. The reality for some Australians is that my question isn't always as easily answered.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What's killing the charities regulator?

    • Michael Mullins
    • 31 March 2014
    5 Comments

    The Federal Government is moving to abolish the body set up to protect and regulate the non-profit sector. Vinnies CEO John Falzon describes the action as 'ideological', while Melbourne Catholic education chief Stephen Elder sees it as an opportunity to spend more time raising money and delivering services. The Government must explain the policy imperatives driving it to dismantle such an extensively considered piece of legislation.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rhyme and ruin in Tony Abbott's court

    • Brian Matthews
    • 28 March 2014
    11 Comments

    Thomas Wyatt, poet and prominent figure in the court of Henry VIII, found life there not only perilous but repugnant and dreamed of escape. There is much that Wyatt would recognise in the court of Tony Abbott: the obsessive secrecy, the suspicion of foreigners, the cruelty, the ecclesiastical connections, the dames and knights, the aggressive Anglophilia. At least he wouldn't have had to encode his unease in poetry.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cardinal Pell at the Royal Commission

    • Frank Brennan
    • 28 March 2014
    82 Comments

    As an institution, the Catholic Church has been dragged kicking and screaming. Cardinal Pell has been put through the wringer, though admittedly nowhere near to the same extent as was John Ellis when the Church decided to unleash the legal attack dogs on him in litigation which was euphemistically described as vigorous and strenuous.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Sex, lies and political theory

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 20 March 2014
    3 Comments

    A new film follows the experiences in 1961 of German-American Jew and political theorist Hannah Arendt, who coined the phrase 'the banality of evil' in relation to Nazi 'desk-murderer' Adolf Eichmann. The cerebral nature of Hannah Arendt provides a counterpoint to another current film about a strong, flawed woman: Gloria is remarkable for the way it unabashedly honours the emotional and sexual lives of its older characters.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott pays a heavy price to stop the boats

    • Tony Kevin
    • 28 January 2014
    34 Comments

    It is now weeks since any asylum seekers arrived in Australia, and under the Abbott Government there have been no reported deaths at sea involving Australian border protection interception action or failure to act. This is a striking improvement on the high death rate under the Rudd and Gillard governments. Tony Abbott has kept his pre-election promise to stop the boats, but at what huge cost!

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The war on asylum seekers

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 January 2014
    32 Comments

    The current dispute with Indonesia over border incursions by the Australian Navy is symptomatic of a deeper problem — the militarisation of political discourse. Von Clausewitz famously claimed that 'war is politics by other means': in other words, that military force is employed in service of political ends. In Australia, as elsewhere in the West, this is being taken to an extreme not previously seen outside authoritarian societies.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Spies like us

    • Bill Calcutt
    • 25 November 2013
    6 Comments

    The recent observation by a close Asian ally that 'spying on friends is amoral' belies an apparently growing gap between the illusion of civility and honesty and the reality of our suspicious relations with 'foreigners'. While the justification for the development of ubiquitous electronic surveillance capabilities is counter-terrorism, the greatest beneficiaries may be private business interests gaining a competitive advantage in a global free market.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The ethics of spying

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 November 2013
    12 Comments

    A minor diversion in the disruption of Australia's relations with Indonesia has been the entanglement of political commentators. Many have wriggled on the hook of their conviction that international relations are an ethics free zone in which the only guiding star is national self interest. But that does not stop them from launching a raft of ethical judgments. It is worth considering on what ethical principles international and national politics might rest.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Victoria's path to child sex abuse prosecution

    • Ray Cassin
    • 14 November 2013
    10 Comments

    If the Catholic Church is mentioned frequently in the report of the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into the sexual abuse of children, Catholics and their leaders can hardly complain. Among the churches scrutinised by the committee, only the Salvation Army has an even remotely comparable record of abuse. The Napthine Government should implement the inquiry's recommendations — with one exception.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Making a mess of civil rights history

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 24 October 2013

    The idea of viewing the American civil rights movement through the eyes of an African-American butler, ensconced for decades at the White House in the service of eight different presidents, is tantalising. How disappointing then that The Butler is such a sloppy, soppy mess. And with all due respect to Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey is a big part of the problem.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Blessed are the whistleblowers

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 02 October 2013
    12 Comments

    The International Day of Non-Violence on 2 October coincides with the birthday of Gandhi, who pioneered the concept of political non-violence and the notion of passive resistance, and paid the highest price for his moral choices. A great many people, like Gandhi, desire a non-violent world, in which whistleblowers and thoughtful, idealistic individuals are honoured rather than punished.

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