Author: Andrew Hamilton

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Disruption of government business as a good

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 November 2014
    15 Comments

    President Obama stole the G20 show with his mesmerising Queensland University address, after having dominated APEC with Xi Jinping and their climate change agreement. Such unrelated events challenge the belief that agendas can be centrally controlled, and that good governance is constituted by discipline and sole ownership of the agenda. More recently, the Senate has managed to call the shots and give priority to human good over ideology.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis celebrates a homeless man's 50th

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 19 November 2014
    29 Comments

    Last week the Pope's almsgiver installed showers in St Peter's Square, for people who are homeless. This followed his meeting a homeless man, discovering it was his 50th birthday, and inviting him to dinner in a local restaurant, only for the man to decline on the grounds he smelled. The gesture was seen to have Pope Francis’ finger prints all over it, and it illuminates the differences of perspective between him and other church leaders.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope's G20 hospital pass to Abbott

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 November 2014
    18 Comments

    The news that Pope Francis has written a letter to Tony Abbott makes one pause. It is usual for Popes to write such letters, and luckily this one is no shirtfront. Instead it will probably be treated as a hospital pass. The trouble with swerving away from hospital passes, though, is that the watchers may see you as cowardly.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Slain El Salvador Jesuits paid price for their advocacy

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 November 2014
    13 Comments

    Before the killing of five Jesuits and two of their employees in San Salvador exactly 25 years ago, the Jesuits had been advised to hide from the death squads. They decided it would be safe to stay at the University because it was surrounded by the army. But it was an elite army squadron that had been entrusted to kill them. The Salvadorean defence minister later described the decision to kill the Jesuits as the most stupid thing the Government had done. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    There's more to identity than flag-waving

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 November 2014
    8 Comments

    In anxious times, people often think about identity in a way that is limited and excluding. But our identity is actually layered, and may include regional, religious, philosophical, professional, sports, social, racial, sexual, and more. If we isolate ourselves in homogeneous and non-interactive groups, any larger national identity we have will be brittle.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Weighing ANU's coal play

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 October 2014
    11 Comments

    When the ANU sold its shares in coal companies recently, it received a mixed response. Critics said investment decisions should be made solely on financial grounds. But investing is done by human beings, who should be guided by their effects of their investment on other human beings, not simply by the profit it brings them. 

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  • RELIGION

    Pope warns punishment is not a way to peace

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 26 October 2014
    6 Comments

    Pope Francis warns perceptively that the urge to create peace by punishment leads to the search for more targets. The best way to peace and security is not to wage war on people but to be curious about them – what leads them to criminal acts, and how we can intervene to help them make good connections with society.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cash for refugees shames both Australia and Cambodia

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 October 2014
    24 Comments

    Cambodia's agreement with Australia to receive refugees from Nauru is moving to implementation. The UN and other critics are saying it breaches Australia’s responsibility to provide protection for refugees. Clearly the Australian Government is doing it for the political benefit and Cambodia is in it for the money. It can be compared to surrogacy agreements in which poor Asian women are paid to bear children for wealthy Australian couples. 

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