Two Futures: Clare O'Neil and Tim Watts

It was six o’clock on a winter’s night in Melbourne. I entered the Trades Hall and climbed the stairs. The bluestone steps were worn concave from a million workers trudging there before me. The place was dingy, deliberately so, as though it had not changed since the Depression, conveying a message that the workers were still downtrodden. Halfway up the stairs was a large poster of Gough covered in lipstick kisses. I entered Bella Hall and joined a throng of young middle class professionals sipping champagne and beer, and eating sushi. Clare O’Neil and Tim Watts were launching the book they had written on the future of Australian politics. Both of them had been elected at the 2013 federal ele

Visiting the Mises Institute

Last April, Jill and I participated in an ASA Literary tour of the Southern States of the USA with 24 other Australians. The party was led by Susannah Fullerton who is famous for her work on Jane Austen. We were introduced to many southern writers, saw the homes where they lived and the places and the cultures they had written about. There were writers we were familiar with such as John Berendt , Margaret Mitchell, Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams, Joel Chandler Harris, and Harper Lee; and others not so well known such as Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright, Greg Isles and William Faulkner. The tour began in Savannah in Georgia and travelled through Alabama, Mississippi, an

Respectful Debate

As a matter of principle, I think we should not denigrate people because we disagree with their views. Formerly, many societies shared common cultural and religious beliefs. Nowadays most societies are pluralist. The political culture of such democratic societies is marked by a diversity of opposing and often irreconcilable, religious, philosophical and moral disciplines. It is important to realise and accept that such views can be reasonably held. Tolerance becomes a most important virtue. For example, on the subject of abortion, some would contend that life begins at conception, others at birth, yet others somewhere in between. All views need to be accommodated. I do not contend that thi

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Peter Francis Fenwick       Writer      Melbourne     Australia