• Feature Article

    Legislating for human dignity without being misty-eyed

    4 Comments
    Kate Galloway |  I have often wondered at the likely success of entreaties to compassion for asylum seekers. This is not because I do not personally feel compassion for these people. And it is not because I do not believe that it is morally correct to show compassion, including through government policy. Rather my response is partly a factor of my training as a lawyer. Through my legal eyes, I can see little hope for appeals to politicians to show compassion. My conditioned response instead is to appeal to law.
  • Feature Article

    Face to face with the dark side of paradise

    2 Comments
    Catherine Marshall |  It can be a dangerous thing, travelling to paradise. Those turquoise lagoons and white beaches and lush hills often conceal a more sinister side, a Mr Hyde to the brochures' bright-and-shiny Dr Jekyll. So it was on Samoa this week, when Cyclone Amos skirted by. We were told it was headed for Samoa's main island, Upolu, where we were staying. Still, we felt calm, for there wasn't a breath of wind in the sky. Later, at the height of it, I stood up in the dark, opened the curtains and looked outside.
  • Feature Article

    Cheque book solution on asylum is unconstitutional

    27 Comments
    Frank Brennan |  A bench of five justices of the Supreme Court of Justice, the highest court in Papua New Guinea, has unanimously ruled that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is unconstitutional.Yet again, Australia has been complicit in its Pacific neighbours (PNG and Nauru) prostituting their Constitutions and undermining the rule of law in exchange for a fistful of dollars, with hapless asylum seekers, most of whom are ultimately proved to be refugees, being left to languish.
  • Feature Article

    Negative gearing is the end of the Australian Dream

    8 Comments
    Kate Galloway |  Historically, having a largely home-owning population has ensured both the social benefit of housing, and an economic benefit through enforced saving with long-term growth. In contrast, the negative gearing push splits the cultural and economic meaning of home ownership, because it focuses on investment. Negative gearing promotes property ownership but not home ownership. Thus the social benefits of home ownership that we have come to expect give way to bare economic indicators.
  • Feature Article

    What does $20 billion worth of subs look like anyway?

    18 Comments
    Frank O'Shea |  What is the biggest number you can visualise? You can probably picture a crowd of 100,000, either because you were once part of such a crowd or have seen shots of a full MCG on Grand Final day. But what about ten times as many, or 1000 times ten times? Now we are talking billions, and your mind has likely gone into what computer programmers call overflow. So when we read that the cost of replacing our six subs with 12 new ones will be $20 billion, it means little to us: it's just a number.
  • Legislating for human dignity without being misty-eyed

    4 Comments
    Kate Galloway | 02 May 2016

    Peter Dutton on Sky NewsI have often wondered at the likely success of entreaties to compassion for asylum seekers. This is not because I do not personally feel compassion for these people. And it is not because I do not believe that it is morally correct to show compassion, including through government policy. Rather my response is partly a factor of my training as a lawyer. Through my legal eyes, I can see little hope for appeals to politicians to show compassion. My conditioned response instead is to appeal to law.

  • Channel 7 needs to get with AFL's non-violence program

    Garry Westmore | 02 May 2016

    Alex Rance hit on Jack WattsArguably, as a society, Australia's tolerance for violence is waning, and both the AFL and the NRL have been proactive in diminishing the prevalence of deliberate and reckless violence that might endanger players' safety. Unfortunately, despite the AFL's desire to stamp out the more dangerous incidents, many televised football commentators are hindering the cause by making excuses for players, playing down the severity of their actions, and failing to condemn them.

  • Face to face with the dark side of paradise

    2 Comments
    Catherine Marshall | 29 April 2016

    Samoa cyclone skyIt can be a dangerous thing, travelling to paradise. Those turquoise lagoons and white beaches and lush hills often conceal a more sinister side, a Mr Hyde to the brochures' bright-and-shiny Dr Jekyll. So it was on Samoa this week, when Cyclone Amos skirted by. We were told it was headed for Samoa's main island, Upolu, where we were staying. Still, we felt calm, for there wasn't a breath of wind in the sky. Later, at the height of it, I stood up in the dark, opened the curtains and looked outside.

  • Paying for stopping the boats

    6 Comments
    Kerry Murphy | 29 April 2016

    xxxxxThis week we learnt that the human rights protection for asylum seekers in our former colony Papua New Guinea are more protected by the PNG constitution than they would be in Australia. The PNG government has quickly moved not to change the law and constitution, but to make arrangements to close the centre and ask Australia to take back the asylum seekers. Already PNG lawyers are talking about claims for compensation for the unlawful detention, and rightly so.

  • Cheque book solution on asylum is unconstitutional

    27 Comments
    Frank Brennan | 28 April 2016

    Placard reads Close Australian Concentration CampsA bench of five justices of the Supreme Court of Justice, the highest court in Papua New Guinea, has unanimously ruled that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is unconstitutional. Yet again, Australia has been complicit in its Pacific neighbours (PNG and Nauru) prostituting their Constitutions and undermining the rule of law in exchange for a fistful of dollars, with hapless asylum seekers, most of whom are ultimately proved to be refugees, being left to languish.

  • Negative gearing is the end of the Australian Dream

    8 Comments
    Kate Galloway | 28 April 2016

    Greg Foyster cartoon shows cross-stich house and motto Tax Break Sweet Tax BreakHistorically, having a largely home-owning population has ensured both the social benefit of housing, and an economic benefit through enforced saving with long-term growth. In contrast, the negative gearing push splits the cultural and economic meaning of home ownership, because it focuses on investment. Negative gearing promotes property ownership but not home ownership. Thus the social benefits of home ownership that we have come to expect give way to bare economic indicators.

  • No moral mystery to 60 minutes child snatch disaster

    9 Comments
    Ray Cassin | 27 April 2016

    Tara Brown on 60 MinutesThere have been attempts by some in the media to mount a moral justification of 60 Minutes' actions. At least they were trying to do the right thing, by helping a mother who would not have been denied custody in Australia But that opens another slimy can of worms. Do we think 60 Minutes would fund a child abduction in Australia, rather than a Muslim country with religious courts, however much the parent they were purporting to help might seem to have been denied custody unfairly?

  • Domestic violence is more than an attitude problem

    3 Comments
    Kristin Natalier | 27 April 2016

    Still from anti DV adThe federal government's new ad aims to 'stop violence from the start'. It sends a strong message that violence is never acceptable. But it firmly positions domestic violence as a problem of individual attitudes of perpetrators, not the social and economic vulnerability of victims. Envisaging an end of domestic violence achieved through 'starting conversations about respect with boys and girls' sidesteps the need for the material resources necessary to stop violence when it happens.

  • No wonder the warrior-dead still weep

    1 Comment
    Peter Gebhardt | 27 April 2016

    Military hat and poppiesThe children are in the park today, running, skipping and laughing. They slide down the cannon, polishing the past with freshly-pressed pants, a mother's delight. 'Always tell the truth,' the mother says, 'If you lie, you'll burn.' ... The day is closing, patient and gentle in its suffering, but the great lies will not lie down. Lies breed lies like flies on dead sheep and the masquerade of maggots makes its creep.

  • Anzac Day and just war scepticism go together

    24 Comments
    Andrew Hamilton | 25 April 2016

    Australian Soliders marchThe classical arguments originated at a time when casualties were suffered mostly by soldiers. In modern warfare, civilians overwhelmingly suffer. Just war theory is used as spin to give specious justification to military campaigns in whose devising ethical considerations played no part. Wars that governments wage are just; those waged by their enemies are unjust. By joining in such debate churches are co-opted into playing an intellectual game designed to make legitimate killing and destruction.

  • The boat people from paradise lost

    7 Comments
    Lyn Bender | 23 April 2016

    Lyn Bender and Ursula RakovaUrsula Rakova told how the sea that had been the friend of her people, was turning against them. It had crashed through and divided her island in two. Coconut palms were collapsing at the new shoreline. Food gardens were lost, as the soil was increasingly rendered infertile by salty tides that washed over them. The land that had been handed from grandmother to daughter, would bequeath no legacy to the granddaughters. The homeland of generations was disappearing before their eyes.


Featured Writers

  • Catherine Marshall

    Catherine Marshall headshot

    "The cyclone arrived at 2.30am on Sunday morning. The wind blew like a freight train, loud and relentless. We lay on the bed, fully dressed, rigid with terror."
     read more

     

  • David James

    David James headshot

    "It has been a world-wide power grab that has created a new form of serfdom."
     read more

     

  • Ellena Savage

    Ellena Savage headshot

    "Sometimes in neighbourhoods like these it's hard to remember that their popularity has stemmed from the grit of their radical and disadvantaged histories."
     read more

     

  • Fatima Measham

    Fatima Measham headshot

    "The Coalition government has been remarkably tone-deaf to the zeitgeist, possibly at its own peril."
     read more

     

  • Frank Brennan

    Frank Brennan headshot

    "Australia should cut its losses now, rather than waiting for a royal commission to lay bare the long term cost of what has been done in our name."
     read more

     

  • Kerry Murphy

    Kerry Murphy headshot

    "The former colony of PNG has better constitutional protections of human rights than that of their former colonial master."
     read more

     

  • Francis in Lesbos confronts the unforgivable sin

    10 Comments
    Gillian Bouras | 19 April 2016

    The Power and the Glory by Graham GreenPope Francis recently visited the island of Lesbos, another scene of immigrants' dire suffering, and surprised the world by taking 12 refugees back to Rome with him. Bernie Sanders asserted that the Pope, in his gesture of hope, is surely the greatest demonstration against a surrender to despair. I am still partly persuaded by Graham Greene's view of despair as being the unforgivable sin, but I'm also giving some thought to the distressing matter of indifference.

  • Singing and subverting White American history

    1 Comment
    Tim Kroenert | 14 April 2016

    Lin-Manuel Miranda in HamiltonThe show's implicit subversiveness runs deep. It is embodied in the fact that its cast consists of mostly Black and Latino performers portraying White characters, using a vernacular and musical styles popularly associated with these cultural groups. It thus stands as a riposte to the history of black/brownface and whitewashing in popular entertainment. Crucially, in a show about 'founding fathers', it is the story's women who not only provide its emotional core but are also the most fundamentally heroic.

  • Homeless Persons Union holds state to account

    2 Comments
    Ellena Savage | 15 April 2016

    Homeless Persons Union houseWhen we talk about the 'housing crisis' we are often referring to the plight of young working people and migrants struggling to tap into a property market that has been made a prestige market. This has been incentivised by tax breaks for investors, and is symptomatic of the culture of hoarding family wealth for the purpose of passing down class privilege. The Bendigo Street occupation reminds us that the 'housing crisis' is one and the same as the homelessness crisis; not a crisis of scarcity, but of policy.

  • Queer experience is not limited to trauma

    24 Comments
    Ellena Savage | 18 March 2016

    Young black queer woman, photo from Safe Schools Story Project 'Coming out' is a gesture specifically, politically required of queer people but not of straight people. Another statement demanded of queer people is that they are injured and traumatised by the fact of their sexuality or gender. But why call on individuals to testify when the statistics are heartbreaking enough? This demand on queers to continually deliver narratives of oppression limits their social roles, and even invalidates their voices on matters other than their sexualities and genders.

  • My heroic, dyslexic son

    20 Comments
    Tony Thompson | 08 April 2016

    Simulated dyslexia fontThe school has been supportive, but in this data driven age even the finest teachers are compelled to teach to the vile Naplan tests. Dyslexic kids are put through unbelievable stress with these tests. If deaf kids were compelled to do listening examinations, there would be an outcry. I'm not sure if there's a difference. I'm also not sure if the ever narrowing scope of education can still accommodate students like my son, despite all the talk about diversity and differentiated learning.


WEEK IN POLITICS



Little 'bull

Fiona Katauskas

Malcolm Turnbull shrinks as he becomes less impressive and trustworthy. Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas


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


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