Vol 27 No 15

30 July 2017


The high political stakes of same sex marriage

15 August 2017 | John Warhurst

John CoatesThe same sex marriage postal plebiscite will be as intense as most referendum and election campaigns. Indeed, the special characteristics of this subject, advanced by the government as the reason for going beyond parliamentary means to resolve the issue, mean that the campaign may be more intense than most referendums have been.

What Philippines' president Duterte is telling us about China

15 August 2017 | Daniel Kleinsman


xxxxxReckless machoism is the trademark of President Rodrigo Duterte. He has vowed to stop at nothing in his bloody war against drugs and dissidents, and is unapologetic about increasing casualities incurred. Meanwhile, he demonstrates a terrifying disregard for anyone who opposes his agenda, and he delights in doing so.


The rationality of Kim Jong Un

14 August 2017 | Justin Glyn

xxxxxThe ongoing talk of war with North Korea and the threat of nuclear weapons has everybody dusting off their copies of Dr Strangelove and rewatching that classic black farce of innuendo, misunderstanding and paranoia in an age of Mutually Assured Destruction.


An Indian tale of parallel worlds

14 August 2017 | Tony Herbert

xxxxxIt’s Monday, 24 September. The equinox passed a few days ago; the last of the monsoon showers seems to have gone. After Mass on my pre-breakfast walk, I notice the difference: the air fresh without the monsoon humidity, the lush green paddy crops, the dappled green and yellow of the early morning sun on the Sal trees. Out beyond the back of the parish is an unsurfaced road, good for stretching out. I first pass the houses of some of our Catholics, pukka, brick and cement, the fruit of their hard work and years of government employment.


Solitaire and Some souls

14 August 2017 | Margaret Quigley and Edith Speers


Were I to call

Were I to stumble 

Or even fall 

Would you hear me? 

Would the constant babble 

Of texts and tweets and twitters 

Silence my helpless cry


White is the new black

1 Comment
14 August 2017 | Fiona Katauskas


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


Confessions of a literature addict

13 August 2017 | Gillian Bouras

xxxxxWas Harry Potter’s 20th birthday to blame? Or the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death? Or merely the ageing process? It’s hard to decide, but in a life quite possibly ruined by literature, I have started remembering some of the books I read in childhood.



Using ignorance to know if mandatory drug testing laws are sound

13 August 2017 | Daniel Fleming

xxxxxSometimes ignorance can be a virtue in political decision-making. The great 20th century political philosopher John Rawls had a thought experiment called the “Veil of Ignorance” which he suggested should be applied to any political decision to test whether or not it is just. 

What's a little lie between friends?

10 August 2017 | Barry Gittins

truth lie‘Would I lie to you? Would I lie to you honey? Now would I say something that wasn't true?’ The Eurythmics’ hit from 1985 has been played repeatedly in my head of late as I negotiate life as a Dad.


A world of majesty and cruelty

10 August 2017 | Catherine Marshall

xxxxxWe have just taken off from Dubai for St Petersburg. My son is marvelling at the immensity of Dubai’s airport—now officially the busiest in the world. We have stood on a bus—stifling, cramped—and boarded our air-conditioned connecting flight with a deep sense of relief. We have watched the planes lining up behind ours on the shimmering tarmac, and have noted the outside temperature flashing on the screen: 44 degrees Celsius. Thank God we’re getting out of here. 


The empty moral calculus of Turnbull and Trump

09 August 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

xxxxxThe Turnbull-Trump tapes took one back. For some, it was back to the Watergate Tapes and the innocent years of Richard Nixon. For those of us of a certain age and faith, it was back to the primitive and unenlightened world of Abraham.


The inconvenience of being doomed

09 August 2017 | Megan Graham

xxxxx'The evening news has become like a nature hike through the Book Of Revelations,' says Al Gore, the politician-cum-climate activist who made waves with his Oscar-winning 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth.


The cruelty at Manus Island

08 August 2017 | Ann Deslandes

Dom Hélder CâmaraAs I write, staff of the Australian immigration authority and their security contractors are working hard to close the detention centre on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea, where Australia has held over 900 refugees for the last four years.


What writers festivals say about culture

07 August 2017 | Tseen Khoo

xxxxxThe Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF) starts on Friday 25 August. It’s a good time to consider what such a festival says about our local cultures, as well as being a perfect time to think about how you relate to that culture. 


Asylum seekers cartoon

07 August 2017 | Fiona Katauskas


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


Seamus Heaney's poetry workshop

07 August 2017 | Peter Gebhardt

John Clarke

I found years on that my Birth Certificate

And Christening Documents spelt out a nominal fate

Of which I was totally unaware,

Dragging in English, Irish, German lines of past blood,

Like good stock,

Corriedales and merinos of good fleece.