Julie Bishop and the empathy deficit

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Julie Bishop’s status as the rising star of the Abbott government was enhanced in the popular media this week when she toppedWho magazine’s list of the “most intriguing people” of 2014, just one month after our ownGood Weekend magazine pondered in a cover story whether she might one day be prime minister. Brisbane Times – Michael Gordon, Political editor, The Age In ... Read More »

Post Sydney siege idea over gun laws is absurd

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Editorial If the government cannot protect individual Australians from evil acts of the sort that occurred at Sydney’s Martin Place on Monday, then it ought not to stand in the way of a rational discussion about the practical right to self-defence, Senate crossbencher David Leyonhjelm said on Thursday. The liberalisation of Australia’s gun laws, for that is what Senator Leyonhjelm ... Read More »

On guns, David Leyonhjelm is neither a champion nor a villain. He’s a libertarian

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How can David Leyonhjelm support marriage equality on one hand and want us all to be armed on the other? His libertarian world view is alien to most Australians The Guardian - Eleanor Robertson Australian progressives tend to have a love-hate relationship with Senator David Leyonhjelm, a “purist libertarian” who won his Senate race thanks to enviable luck and the psephological ... Read More »

Time for debate on tougher bail is over

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TOUGHER bail laws will apply across NSW from next January, when the state government’s new bail legislation finally comes into effect. This is not soon enough. Following Man Haron Monis’s Martin Place siege, which resulted in the tragic deaths of two innocent people, there is now an overwhelming case for the immediate introduction of tougher bail laws. The Daily Telegraph ... Read More »

Slashing funding for human rights watchdog is dangerous for human rights and democracy

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Today’s announcement that the Australian Government will slash the Australian Human Rights Commission’s funding by around 30% over the next three years has been denounced by the Human Rights Law Centre. “These cuts will significantly weaken the Commission and reduce the government’s accountability on human rights at a time when rights are being severely threatened, in particular by harsh migration ... Read More »

Churchill’s point reinforced by release of torture report

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Torture, Sir Winston Churchill observed in The World Crisis,  is, like cannibalism, an expedient of “doubtful utility”. The Canberra Times – Editorial His point has been soundly reinforced by the release of, and subsequent debate over, a US Senate report on CIA interrogation and detention programs in the wake of the September 11 attacks. While the extent of the abuses, ... Read More »

The road from torture to shame

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Learned helplessness. The phrase has a benign harmlessness to it, yet it has come into focus this past week in the most depraved sense. That is, of torture. The Age – Editorial  Last Tuesday, the veil was lifted on a recent episode in American history that brings neither glory, honour nor vindication. The report – or more precisely the 500-page ... Read More »

Online Learning: It’s Time To Pause And Think

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The move by higher education institutions towards online learning is not the panacea many believe, writes Richard Hil. Techno-centrism, techno-imperialism/colonialism, digital chauvinism – call it what you will – today’s universities are in the grip of planners and administrators who insist that the old didactic order is fast giving way to a new era of virtual higher education. Online platforms, ... Read More »

Letting Turkey into the EU Would Be a Disaster

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So much for the Prime Minister demonstrating he is serious about reforming the EU! David Cameron has announced it is still his ‘long-standing goal’ to bring Turkey into the European Union – despite the complete disaster this would be for Britain and many other EU Member States. Breitbart – Luke Stanley Turkey is not politically, economically or culturally prepared to join the ... Read More »