Category: Independent Commentary

Recent Independent Commentary

Poor Cocky

My mother worked as a servant girl at the station on the Murray where this event took place … She heard it told by the station owner to a guest one night after dinner. Those stations in those days were almost like miniature kingdoms on their own. It is one

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Sunday environmental round up, 25 October 2020

The absorption of solar energy by the earth is getting faster and faster. This is having dramatic effects on the dynamics, chemistry and life of the oceans, and bringing ‘Hothouse Earth’ closer. Over half of residents of the USA are … Continue reading →

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Homily to Susan Ryan

As we gather here in the Lady Chapel at Newman College, people are gathered in socially distant numbers at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney for the state funeral of Susan Maree Ryan. Susan was a good friend. At the funeral … Continue reading →

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More Independent Commentary

Pope Francis’s rejection of ‘neoliberal’ economics

The new social encyclical of Pope Francis is a cry for those oppressed by poverty, hunger and exclusion, protesting against the injustice in a world with so much wealth. Not surprisingly Francis drew from the parable of the Good Samaritan: … Continue reading →

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Poor Timing: Cartier meets Australia Post

Watch brands do not tend to circulate as discussion topics in the Australian federal parliament. Time watching is a more functional affair. But Australia Post’s Chief Executive Christine Holgate gave politicians their chance to shine on October 21 in what can only be described as a mauling. In Senate Estimates,

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Worrying Aspects of Climate Change

By Keith Antonysen   There is one thing that those sceptical of human caused climate change get right, they say the climate has always changed. Except, that is not the end of the matter; the irony being for sceptics that greenhouse gases have been the reason for climate changing in the past. Please

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What Divides Us Is Class, Not Race

Black lives matter. It’s become a rallying cry for those seeking social and racial justice. These three words express the idea, symbolized by the death of George Floyd, that race defines the fault line fracturing our society. Racism doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It always has an economic context. When

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Of Eugenicists, Oligarchs and Psychopaths (part 5)

Continued from: Of Eugenicists, Oligarchs and Psychopaths (part 4) By Outsider   After the second world war, the practice of “imposing measures intended to prevent births within [a national, ethnical, racial or religious] group” fell within the definition of the new international crime of genocide, set out in the Convention on

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Triumph of the Greens

The Greens had luck running their way. Sometimes everything just comes together: you play the perfect game, cook the perfect meal or make the perfect coffee. In the ACT, the Greens just had the perfect election. They went in aspiring to treble their representation from two members to six in

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Saturday’s good reading and listening for the weekend

What people in other forums are saying about public policy The budget Uninspired, unimaginative and unworthy At his National Press Club Address on 14 October, commenting on Frydenberg’s budget and on the Coalition’s economic policies more generally, Labor’s shadow treasurer … Continue reading →

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Federal Integrity Commission: Yes, no, maybe, too busy

The Prime Minister is never short on confidence, but mostly it borders on arrogance. This was on display in Question Time this week when Scott Morrison tried to defend his lack of progress on a Federal Integrity Commission. “Where the bloody hell is it?“ boomed Albo’s voice last Wednesday during

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Integrity, transparency, honesty – and ethics

In addition to studying ethics as part of my law degree, I have also served on two university ethics committees, the second one as the required legal member. The material detailing the requirements of those serving on these committees, which has to be read and responsibly applied, should be required

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Time for a haircut and catch-up

Read moreOct 24, 2020NewsTime for a haircut and catch-upRick MortonAmong all the hardships of Melbourne’s lengthy Covid-19 lockdown, not being able to get a haircut has been rated by many as one of the most psychologically taxing. With salons now reopened, a palpable sense of purpose and identity is returning

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Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry

Read moreOct 24, 2020NewsVictoria’s hotel quarantine inquiryRoyce KurmelovsWhile Victoria’s hotel quarantine inquiry has been marked by the poor recall of some politicians and senior bureaucrats, the seeds of disaster were likely sown several governments ago.

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Failures of the criminal justice system

Read moreOct 24, 2020NewsFailures of the criminal justice systemMike SeccombeAs politicians play a tough-on-crime game to win votes, pushing Australia’s incarceration rates ever upwards, an initiative led by high-profile patrons aims to reform the justice system and end a narrow-minded reliance on prison sentences.

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Probe into Western Sydney airport land deal

Read moreOct 24, 2020NewsProbe into Western Sydney airport land dealKaren MiddletonA scathing audit of the Infrastructure Department’s purchase of land for the Western Sydney airport has led to an AFP investigation. But this is only the latest controversy in a long history of scandals relating to the Badgerys Creek site.

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What went wrong inside Australia Post?

Read moreOct 24, 2020NewsWhat went wrong inside Australia Post?Rick MortonThe mail carrier’s chief executive has been asked to stand aside after revelations of luxury watches gifted to executives, but the company is facing much deeper crises.

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Same stripes, no new tricks

Thanks to new rules and deft moderating by Kristen Welker, the second presidential debate was nowhere near the debacle of the first, but it still did little to enlighten viewers about the policies and programs each candidate would take into their presidency next year. Like tigers, Trump hasn’t changed his

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Presidential countdown

Twelve days from the presidential election, leading American polling analysts at FiveThirtyEight give Joe Biden a ten percentage point lead over Donald Trump, 52.1–42.2. The other leading aggregator, RealClearPolitics, has the race somewhat closer, 50.6–43.0, giving Biden a still-comfortable lead of just under eight points. Neither site has detected anything

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The China syndrome

There has never been a better demonstration of how corrupt, complicit and hypocritical government institutions have become in their dealings with China than what has gone down with Crown Casinos, writes Suzanne James.

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Nine Simple Steps to Better Schools

Published in London in 1975 as a critique of progressive, New Age education and edited by C.B.Cox and Rhodes Boyson, the publication Black Paper 1975 The Fight for Education should be compulsory reading for anyone with an interest or involvement in education and schools. If ever there was a panacea for

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