Search Results: Andrew Hamilton

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Easter's April Fools

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 01 April 2015
    8 Comments

    Jokes are also part of the story of Jesus’ killing. They are not harmless, but are bitter mockery. After Jesus is sentenced he is mocked by the bored soldiers guarding him. As he hangs writhing on the cross, the bystanders and the local authorities also mock him because he claimed to be the Son of God. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mannix, master conjurer in the cause of the underdog

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 March 2015
    15 Comments

    Daniel Mannix, who was Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne 1917-63, knew how to control an audience and shift the perception of events. He argued fiercely against conscription in the 1917 Referendum, and railed against the exploitation of struggling workers. On finishing his new biography, I imagined a meeting between him and Pope Francis, both masters of public symbols with a disdain for church clericalism and sanctimonious speech.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Confessions of a grumpy old man

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 March 2015
    18 Comments

    It is becoming common to describe people who offer political, economic and cultural comment in the mainstream media as Grumpy Old Men. It is a nice insult that warms the hearts of those of us whose commentary is confined to the fringe media. 'But, wait a moment', my inner self interrupts, 'Are you really so very different?' To blot out the sound of silent scepticism, I rush on, 'There is Grumpy and grumpy. There is surely a difference ...'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Medicare co-payment failed to understand illness as a relationship

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 March 2015
    8 Comments

    The Medicare co-payment was not accepted because it was seen as an altogether naked attempt by the Government to control health expenditure without concern for people and their relationships. Chronically ill people move from ordinary human society into the impersonal world of medical science and health bureaucracy, and their condition involves testing changes in relationships, both at a personal level and with institutions.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Intergenerational fairness goes beyond economic competition

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 March 2015
    14 Comments

    'Intergenerational' goings on are stirring public consciousness. On Thursday, Federal Treasury publishes its five-yearly Intergenerational Report. It provides a framework within which legitimate questions about winners and losers can be addressed, by including action on climate and narrowing wealth and international cooperation, rather than viewing society as merely the playground of competing individuals.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What drives young Australian Muslims to join IS

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 February 2015
    41 Comments

    I fear for those Muslim young people driven into the arms of ideological extremists so unnecessarily. I'm prompted to recall my school years, when Soviet troops were invading Hungary to put down the brief revolution. I wondered uneasily whether it was not perhaps my duty to go to Hungary to fight for freedom there. For an idealistic young man whose Catholicism was tightly intertwined with anti-communism, the thought was natural.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Allow Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumuran to flourish

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 February 2015
    21 Comments

    While people are alive there is the possibility, admittedly sometimes remote, that they will respond by reflecting on their lives, becoming deeper and more generous as human beings, making connections with others and contributing even in small ways to the happiness of others and to society. Capital punishment brutally excludes possibility and leaves all of us the smaller for it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Chris Kenny's Don Quixote moment

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 February 2015
    20 Comments

    Columnist for The Australian Chris Kenny's insistance 'that Tony Abbott has provided the best 16 months of government Australia has seen in more than seven years' evoked the image of a captain on the bridge, proclaiming the sea-worthiness of his ship, and saluting as the sea rises to meet his nose while the lesser mortals below die into silence. Such magnificent gestures of defiance are not to be despised.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Government's mixed report card on taking responsibility

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 February 2015
    19 Comments

    Last week two reports exposed the limits of Australian responsibility to people who have suffered as a result of historical or present Government actions. The Closing the Gap Report revealed more failures than successes, and Tony Abbott's response to the Report was exemplary in taking responsibility. Not so with the Human Rights Commission Report into children in detention. He denied responsibility and accused the messenger of deliberately distorting the facts.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Strong' leadership misses the mark

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 February 2015
    19 Comments

    Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman prided themselves on strong leadership. They assumed voters would think the country was in good hands if it was ruled by a strong-willed leader who gives priority to pushing through programs rather than signalling, explaining and defending them. A more effective way forward in politics could be to forget slogans and will-power and instead give priority to communication and action that is based on reason.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis as media role model for Tony Abbott

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 February 2015
    23 Comments

    Our unpopular politicians have not been served well by advice that they should be 'on message' - more controlled and less quirky in their dealing with the media. Pope Francis, whose approval ratings are off the scales, takes the opposite approach, famously engaging the public imagination with symbolic gestures that embody his program.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The view from outside glass house Australia

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 28 January 2015
    24 Comments

    Complaints about hypocrisy are rarely edifying. But it’s not so easy to dismiss the charge of a Jakarta Post opinion writer that Canberra is trying to save Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan from the firing squad ‘while slowly disposing of “abject bodies” it does not want through inhumane detention camps or returning them to foreign regimes that will probably finish the job for them’. 

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