• Feature Article

    Greg Hunt and the Sheikh Back-Scratching Theory

    Greg Foyster |  It would have made a great April Fools joke, if it wasn't February. On Wednesday, we woke to the news that Greg Hunt, environment minister in the most anti-environment government in Australian history, had been awarded 'World's Best Minister' at an international summit in Dubai. But maybe the award had nothing to do with Hunt's track record at home. In the grubby way of politics everywhere, maybe it is a favour returned. A thank you from an oil-rich nation for making it look good in the past.
  • Feature Article

    Ruddock appointment thumbs nose at human rights

    1 Comment
    Justin Glyn |  If Phillip Ruddock's appointment as Australia's first special envoy to the United Nations on Human Rights is about demonstrating the worthlessness of current international human rights protection structures (and the consequent hollowness of their criticisms of Australia), it is a rather short sighted one. Appointing a person with a weak record of upholding human rights in the area where Australia itself is weakest sends the unmistakable signal that Australia is no longer committed to the human rights project.
  • Feature Article

    #LetThemStay reveals the political capital of compassion

    5 Comments
    Somayra Ismailjee |  Since the first churches offered sanctuary to the refugees facing deportation to Nauru, a steady stream of voices have joined the call for compassion. As a political language, compassion is itself a reclamation of power. Extending safety, resources, or even a mere welcome to people in need proves that we have something to give. Strength is embodied by a capacity to aid and assist, rather than in cruelty. Empathy, care and compassion appeal to us on a level of emotion that runs deeper than mere rhetoric.
  • Feature Article

    Electing a president in an age of superheroes

    5 Comments
    Jim McDermott |  Many Americans want a President who speaks to their deepest dreams and ideals. A champion. Trump's vision of reality is the polar opposite of Obama's, a hellscape where foreigners, the unemployed (and women) are eroding society. But, like Obama, he has positioned himself as a champion of those filled with frustration, insisting it doesn't have to be this way. Bernie Sanders is in many ways the Trump of the left, a political outsider who says what progressive Americans have long been thinking.

Greg Hunt and the Sheikh Back-Scratching Theory

Greg Foyster | 15 February 2016

Greg Hunt receives awardIt would have made a great April Fools joke, if it wasn't February. On Wednesday, we woke to the news that Greg Hunt, environment minister in the most anti-environment government in Australian history, had been awarded 'World's Best Minister' at an international summit in Dubai. But maybe the award had nothing to do with Hunt's track record at home. In the grubby way of politics everywhere, maybe it is a favour returned. A thank you from an oil-rich nation for making it look good in the past.

Support us

Eureka Street is completely free of charge – however it costs a significant amount of money to provide our unique content.

If you are a regular reader and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation.

Donate »

  • Ruddock appointment thumbs nose at human rights

    1 Comment
    Justin Glyn | 15 February 2016

    Phillip RuddockIf Phillip Ruddock's appointment as Australia's first special envoy to the United Nations on Human Rights is about demonstrating the worthlessness of current international human rights protection structures (and the consequent hollowness of their criticisms of Australia), it is a rather short sighted one. Appointing a person with a weak record of upholding human rights in the area where Australia itself is weakest sends the unmistakable signal that Australia is no longer committed to the human rights project.

  • A train traveller's view of life on both sides of the track

    Catherine Marshall | 12 February 2016

    Crossing the tracks in BangkokMy little sisters and I stand at the window and stare out at the passing world. The youngest is not yet two, and though she will grow to be six feet tall one day, for now she must stand on tiptoes to take it all in. We see children running beside the train, laughing and waving. My mother throws them the sandwiches left over from yesterday's lunch. Railway lines take the path of least resistance and the routes of most gain, and so they bring us right up close to the people who live alongside them.

  • #LetThemStay reveals the political capital of compassion

    5 Comments
    Somayra Ismailjee | 12 February 2016

    #LetThemStay rallySince the first churches offered sanctuary to the refugees facing deportation to Nauru, a steady stream of voices have joined the call for compassion. As a political language, compassion is itself a reclamation of power. Extending safety, resources, or even a mere welcome to people in need proves that we have something to give. Strength is embodied by a capacity to aid and assist, rather than in cruelty. Empathy, care and compassion appeal to us on a level of emotion that runs deeper than mere rhetoric.

  • Notes (in Latin) on a football scandal

    1 Comment
    Brian Matthews | 10 February 2016

    Domesday BookEslingadene/Isendene/Essendon was its quiet and bucolic self when Richard Green, one of its respectable citizens, farewelled it in the 1850s, migrated to Australia, settled near Melbourne and, honouring his home village, called the area Essendon. Like its northern hemisphere namesake, Essendon does not appear in the Domesday Book, but Macbeth-like vaulting ambition, disjoined from care and humanity, has enrolled it in a modern Doomsday register and stained its name ineradicably.

  • Nuclear waste danger knows no state borders

    6 Comments
    Michele Madigan | 10 February 2016

    Map of Australia with green blotch spreading from South Australia to other statesThe South Australia Royal Commission into the nuclear fuel cycle will give its interim report at the Adelaide Town Hall next Monday. It is likely the Commission will recommend that the South Australian Premier's plan to import international high-level radioactive waste proceed, despite obvious risks and clear dangers. It would be a mistake for anyone living outside of South Australia to think that this is just a South Australian problem. Transport and containment risks are hugely significant.

  • Fleeing Syria's pious knights

    2 Comments
    Geoff Page | 09 February 2016

    Refugees welcomed at Munich StationThere were some cheers in Munich station but not all Eden proves to be so free with food and toys. There's something deeper in the blood. They have that sense of deja vu: horsemen, pikes and princes ... The pious knights of 1640, those fine sectarians, who charged for thirty years across the northern sweeps of Europe, are born again in Syria with new nomenclatures; so once again the hapless foresee it's time to move.

  • Hope lies beyond latest climate shock therapy

    9 Comments
    Lyn Bender | 09 February 2016

    Climate Emergency bannerNews about climate change can be depressing. But it was downright shocking to learn that budget cuts to CSIRO have led to the decimation of the agency's climate science. Australia is one of the worst global emitters, yet Australian citizens have outsourced responsibility for climate protection, as they have for refugees. The ease of bipartisan agreement on such crucial dilemmas confirms the point. A dormant electorate creates a negligent, sleeping, self-satisfied and corrupt government.

  • Electing a president in an age of superheroes

    5 Comments
    Jim McDermott | 08 February 2016

    Donald TrumpMany Americans want a President who speaks to their deepest dreams and ideals. A champion. Trump's vision of reality is the polar opposite of Obama's, a hellscape where foreigners, the unemployed (and women) are eroding society. But, like Obama, he has positioned himself as a champion of those filled with frustration, insisting it doesn't have to be this way. Bernie Sanders is in many ways the Trump of the left, a political outsider who says what progressive Americans have long been thinking.

  • No retrospective fix for traumatised refugees

    6 Comments
    Kerry Murphy | 05 February 2016

    Refugees Are People, Love Makes A Way protestor placardsThe practice of governments using the Parliament to change the law in order to win court cases is unfair, as only one party to a court case has the power to do this. The M68 case decided on Wednesday, which challenged the detention and transfer to Nauru of asylum seekers, was effectively won by the government because they changed the law retrospectively to make sure they would win. No retrospective fix will be possible for people who fled persecution only to face a punitive and hostile policy.

  • The Bernie Sanders Factor in US and Australian elections

    8 Comments
    Fatima Measham | 05 February 2016

    Bernie SandersThe Bernie Sanders phenomenon in the US, like Corbyn in the UK and Podemos in Spain, demonstrates the rhetorical potency of renewal; of politics not as usual. It is the sort of thing that resonates with disaffected young people. While it is not entirely sensible to extrapolate developments in the US to Australia, it is worth speculating on the impact of our own changing demographics. Are the major parties equipped to take advantage of these shifts? Are they appealing to a new Australia that is already here?

  • High Court not the answer to Nauru depravity

    24 Comments
    Frank Brennan | 04 February 2016

    ABC report on Nauru storyFollowing Wednesday's High Court decision, the moral depravity of Australian funded offshore detention of asylum seekers, including children, is to continue. There is no joy to be found in our High Court applying a Constitution even more bereft of human rights protections than that of Nauru. It's time for our politicians to address the political and moral question: what purpose is actually served by sending this mum and her baby back to Nauru, when the boats have already stopped and will stay stop?


  • When it's right to break the law

    1 Comment
    Andrew Hamilton | 18 February 2016

    Bearded protestor at #LetThemStay rally in BrisbaneIt is common for people to break the law. People fail to move on when instructed by police, evade tax, drive too fast, keep silent about abuse, trespass on military facilities, and drive when drunk. Many people assert that it is never right to break a law duly enacted by the government. From this principle it follows that anyone offering sanctuary to people who seek protection in Australia is acting wrongly. This blanket condemnation of law breaking runs against our inherited moral tradition.

  • Gospel brutality reborn in our harrowing of refugee children

    11 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 11 February 2016

    #LetThemStay rallyThe High Court decision on detention in Nauru came down just before the Christian season of Lent. It left the government free and determined to deport many young mothers and children to Nauru. For the mothers and children deportation will bring new trauma with renewed threat to their already precarious mental health. For the Australian public it again makes us ask what brutality, even to children, we are ready to tolerate. The savagery of this treatment is a suitable subject for Lenten reflection.

  • Puppets' portrait of privilege and pathos

    Tim Kroenert | 11 February 2016

    As screenwriter for comic such oddities as Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, Kaufman delineated a particular type of over-educated, middle-class, white male character. His protagonists are artists whose alienation and self-loathing is at odds with their social privilege, and whose creative drive entails a winnowing for authenticity or immortality that leads them inexorably down the rabbit hole of their own navels: the search for meaning as the ultimate act of self-absorption.

  • Turnbull's techno-optimism is a tad hasty

    Ketan Joshi | 17 February 2016

    Wind turbinesA government campaign declares 'we've always been good at having ideas. Now we need to get better at innovation: turning ideas into successful products and services.' The message is that we are on the brink of a technological revolution, driven by government. But really we've some way to go. As we have seen with wind turbines, the communities that host new technologies can react with anger and fear. If they are left out of the process, visions of grand, sweeping change can be undermined.

  • Offers of sanctuary brighten Australia's refugee dark age

    16 Comments
    Justin Glyn | 08 February 2016

    Gosford Anglican Church sign offering sanctuary to asylum seekersChurches across Australia have made headlines by offering sanctuary to those who stand to be returned to Nauru following the High Court ruling, including 37 babies and a raped five-year-old whose attacker still resides there. In doing so, they have been rediscovering an old concept and reminding the government what refugee law was for in the first place. As in the Dark Ages, where the organs of the state are unable or unwilling to protect the vulnerable, it is the churches who are speaking out.


WEEK IN POLITICS



Child abuse double vision

Fiona Katauskas

People react with shock to headlines about clergy sex abuse and acceptance of headlines about Nauru sex abuse. Cartoon by Fiona Katauksas


This week's offering from Eureka Street's award winning political cartoonist.


» View full size



Trending on Eureka Street


Eureka Street Radio