keywords: Spies

  • MEDIA

    2015 in review: Australia's film industry boys club

    • Rochelle Siemienowicz
    • 13 January 2016

    The success of the Australian comedy The Dressmaker is thrilling to those watching the local film industry. There's more to cheer in the fact the film is proudly female in both story and production. We're not as bad as Hollywood, but even in Australia, there are not enough films for women, about women and by women. Since the 1970s male directors have been responsible for more than 85 per cent of the feature films made. Why does it matter? Because women are more likely to tell stories about women.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Gospel stories of the security state

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 17 December 2015
    19 Comments

    The pastel coloured domesticity of the images of Jesus' birth does not do justice to its context. Herod's sending out first his spies to find where the Messiah was to be born, and then his soldiers to eradicate the threat the child posed to national security, may not appear on Christmas cards, but they frame the story of Jesus' birth. The disjunction between the tenderness of the Christmas stories and the brutality of their public context is mirrored in the conflict between the humane values of the Gospel and the harsh instrumental values of the public world in any age.

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  • MEDIA

    Australian film industry boys club needs redressing

    • Rochelle Siemienowicz
    • 23 November 2015
    10 Comments

    The success of the Australian comedy The Dressmaker is thrilling to those watching the local film industry. There's more to cheer in the fact the film is proudly female in both story and production. We're not as bad as Hollywood, but even in Australia, there are not enough films for women, about women and by women. Since the 1970s male directors have been responsible for more than 85 per cent of the feature films made. Why does it matter? Because women are more likely to tell stories about women.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Self-absorption dressed up as romanticism

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 02 October 2014
    2 Comments

    It is almost impossible to sympathise with Aidan and his flailing ‘dream’. He decides to take the kids’ education into his own hands. He calls this ‘home schooling’, but it pretty much consists of taking them for trips into the desert or conning the salesman at a luxury car dealership into letting them take a car for a spin, while spouting trite platitudes about life, death and the getting of wisdom.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The unjustified secrecy of the Abbott Government

    • Jack Maxwell
    • 11 August 2014
    17 Comments

    Liberal democracies keep secrecy in check. Where secrecy is justified, this justification should itself be public. The Abbott Government has withheld important information from the public on questionable grounds, and it has shielded itself from criticism by stifling debate on whether that secrecy is justified.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    ASIO's economic espionage

    • Justin Glyn
    • 06 December 2013
    15 Comments

    The recent revelations that ASIO raided the offices of Timor Leste's lawyers and detained its star witness just before its case against Australia highlights, once again, the question of the linkage between national and commercial interests. ASIO's governing statute does not permit it to engage in economic espionage. Unfortunately, the distinction between government and commercial interests is growing increasingly hard to draw.

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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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott's spy games

    • Tony Kevin
    • 20 November 2013
    36 Comments

    Tony Abbott's reply in Parliament to Adam Bandt may have seemed a balanced, well-crafted answer but it was way too clever. Indonesian anger against Australia continues to grow. These events will harden already strong views in Jakarta of Australia as a false friend to Indonesia, as a nation whose only true affinities are with its four fellow members of the five-power Anglo-Saxon club.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Torn by Chopper's inner torment

    • Barry Gittins and Jen Vuk
    • 23 August 2013
    3 Comments

    Chopper's a racist, self-billed sociopath with acknowledged mental and physical health issues and a highly evolved if bizarre set of moral principles. A raconteur ever-ready to discuss the robbing, bashing, torture, murder and disappearance of various peers and colleagues. Yet he is also a man who recognises the damage done by the spiritual, emotional and physical abuse he took as a child.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Pilgrim's misguided tilt at TV fame

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 27 June 2013

    Luciano pleads with two startled widows at a funeral, who reassure him that he is on the right path to getting into 'the house'. While they think they've offered comfort to a troubled seeker, he thinks he's received an inside tip from Big Brother's spies. The dissonance between his pursuit of fame, and the comfort found by others in religious faith, is profound.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The rise of global surveillance anxiety

    • Ray Cassin
    • 21 June 2013
    7 Comments

    Unease about the Australian Federal Police obtaining phone and internet records without a warrant coincided with a greater, global anxiety about the more troublesome surveillance activities of the US National Security Agency. The Obama administration's defence of the NSA has been as lame as Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus's defence of the AFP.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why we didn't stop the war

    • Justin Whelan
    • 20 March 2013
    9 Comments

    Iraq was the first war in history to be declared unjust by the people and by almost all Christian leaders in the West before it had started. One poll found that 90 per cent of Australians opposed the war without UN authorisation. Yet under John Howard's leadership we went to war anyway. Where did the anti-war movement go wrong?

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