Opinion

Dutton’s airport ID checks are ripe for abuse and take us closer to a police state

Police intelligence is far from 100% reliable and ethnic profiling is an obvious risk Rex Patrick The Guardian ”Your papers please!” It’s a phrase associated with the workings of a police state. It’s a trope favoured by Hollywood movies, but it’s an expression that can trigger dread for those who have had the misfortune to encounter the arbitrary power of an authoritarian government. And it’s a phrase you may soon hear when you arrive at one of Australia’s major airports. ... Read More »

Last gleaming of the liberal democratic age?

Australia’s media and politicians have eschewed the serious debates of the past to engage in an endless and senseless culture war, writes Malcolm King. InDaily The great liberal democratic experiment born from the American and French Revolutions is dying. Reason is in retreat as political chaos marches on Britain, Western Europe, America and Australia. Trust in politicians, financial institutions, the media and the church, has crumbled. We lost our vision for Australia and forgot our history – or were never ... Read More »

Putin’s Arctic land grab

How to weaken Russian expansionism and aggression in the Arctic Jed Babbin The Washington Times On Sept. 30, Britain’s Secretary of State for Defense, Gavin Williamson, announced that 800 British commandos would be sent to the Arctic for a joint military exercise with Norway next year to help stop Russia’s Arctic land grab. According to a report in The Sun newspaper, Mr. Williamson said, “Beyond the High North and Arctic we must be ready, and must show that we are ... Read More »

Why so many businesses are behaving badly

While we digest the royal commission’s evidence of shocking misconduct by the banks and insurance companies, there’s another unpalatable truth to swallow: they have no monopoly on bad behaviour. Ross Gittins Brisbane Times It seems almost everywhere you look you see examples of companies behaving badly. In a major speech he gave a few months ago, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Rod Sims, offered a remarkable list of business household names the commission was taking proceedings ... Read More »

How we can reverse rise in suicide

Twice as many people die by suicide than on our roads. Yet, like the road toll, deaths by suicide are preventable. Editorial The Age Despite greater community awareness, the suicide rate increased by almost 10 per cent in the past year, according to official figures. It is a deeply complex issue, and, as The Sunday Age recently editorialised on the basis on numerous reviews and studies in the past decade, requires, above all, a significant boost to mental health funding, which ... Read More »

Taiwan is revolutionizing democracy

TAIPEI — Compared to the established democracies of the West, Taiwan’s is still in its infancy. Yen-Tu Su The Washington Post It did not become a full democracy until 1992, and it only held its first direct presidential election in 1996. And yet, Taiwan’s young democracy has made rapid progress, through social movements, representative politics, the judicial process and now, through direct democracy. In the beginning of this year, it rolled out one of the most citizen-friendly systems for ballot initiatives and ... Read More »

Science behind standing desks was crooked all along? Sit on that

Well, this sucks. I just bought an ergonomic keyboard and before it even arrives the whole field of ergonomics is revealed to be a skeevy wangboozle as crooked as mouthful of Dickensian urchin teeth. John Birmingham The Canberra Times I don’t much care that companies and governments might be wasting hundreds of millions of dollars a year on dodgy “ergonomic chairs, keyboards and consultants”, as reported by Fairfax Media yesterday. But I care heaps that I might have just wasted ... Read More »

Can Europe save itself?

LONDON — One of the key arguments of the populists who have continued to attack the European Union’s legitimacy is that they represent the will of the people and embody freedom and democracy in a… Michael Cottakis The Washington Post While this is disingenuous, it contains a grain of truth. The E.U., after all, is not a democratic system. And while it has sought to reform for some time, those efforts tend to miss the point. One of the best ... Read More »

Britain’s Constitutional Responsibilities to the Republic of Cyprus: Past, Present and Future

Thank you for your kind invitation to this inaugural seminar, I am honoured to have been invited to such an important event in relation to the Constitutional role of Britain according to the Constitution of The Republic of Cyprus. Anna Theologou * When I entered politics 2 years ago I promised myself that I will always speak the truth and my mind and adhere to my principles even at the expense of political cost, because I was never font of ... Read More »

The Cyprus Treaty of Guarantee 1960 and the Responsibilities of the UK Government

Britain’s Constitutional Responsibilities to the Republic of Cyprus: Past, Present and Future Introduction. The Basic Documents (a) The Lancaster House Agreements  The Prime Ministers of the UK, the Kingdom of Greece and the Turkish /Republic, Harold Macmillan, C. Karamanlis, A. Menteres, on 19 February 1959 signed a Memorandum in London setting out the Agreed Foundation for the Final Settlement of the Problem of Cyprus. Dr. Christos Clerides * The representatives of the Greek Cypriot community and the Turkish Cypriot community declared that they ... Read More »

Restore the Parthenon marbles to their full beauty in Athens

Janet Suzman wants the marbles joined to their other half in Athens, Benedict Birnberg also argues for their return from London, and Pete Eiseman-Renyard reflects on their care. Letters The Guardian Re the letter from Richard Lambert, chair of the British Museum trustees (Trust us to look after the Parthenon marbles, 27 September), I understood that the museum was there for the people as well as the… As an ordinary person, albeit interested in the return of the Parthenon marbles to their original home, I ... Read More »

Forget the pledges to act – London is still a haven for dirty Russian money

After Salisbury, the Tories said we would get tough on rich Russians. But billionaires are still coming and sanctions are nowhere to be seen. Oliver Bullough The Guardian Britain, we’re told, has a new policy on dirty Russian money. We are finally pulling the red carpet from under the feet of the rich Russians who have turned London into a private members’ club. This new “hostile environment” was trailed in February after the security minister, Ben Wallace, watched McMafia – ... Read More »

Greedy banks and inept regulators but not much more

It began so well. The banks were lashed as greedy institutions focussed on gouging the living – and the dead – and anything else they could squeeze a dollar out of in the pursuit of targets and bonuses. Adele Ferguson Brisbane Times It then went on to the regulators, in particular the corporate regulator, which it eviscerated for its lack of teeth and inability to do its job and enforce the law. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) was ... Read More »

The destructive American fad Australia needs to avoid

Politics since World War II has been dominated by the ideological struggle along Marxist economic lines. The working class versus the capitalist class. In the Australian labelling, Labor against Liberal. Peter Hartcher The Sydney Morning Herald That framework is in the process of being overlaid, and even overwhelmed. Politics increasingly is becoming a clash of identities. The US is leading the way, with Europe close behind. Because there’s no American fad too stupid for Australia to ape, we’d better pay ... Read More »

The geopolitics of artificial intelligence

In The WorldPost this week, we examine and evaluate two key developments of the digital age: the emergent geopolitics of artificial intelligence and Facebook’s recent move toward “reputational scores” as a means to signal trustworthy information to users. Nathan Gardels The Washington Post In an interview, AI guru Kai-Fu Lee talks about his new book, “AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order.” For Lee, who is based in Beijing, the world of AI has become a “duopoly” in which ... Read More »

We need to talk about why men and women see equality differently

This week’s Essential poll showed even more evidence that men and women have widely different views on the progress towards gender equality. Jane Gilmore The Canberra Times No matter how frustrating this might be, it’s not really surprising. Men rarely experience sexism, so they don’t always recognise it when it’s happening right in front of them, or, even more disturbingly, when they are the ones perpetrating it. The answers to the Essential poll questions about gender equality were significantly different ... Read More »