September 3, 2016

Last week, when Senator Sam Dastyari admitted error in accepting payment for his travel expenses from a Chinese company with links to the Chinese government, discussion centred on the appropriateness of our politicians accepting payment from foreigners.

Which foreign countries might one accept bribes from? Certainly not China nor Russia nor Zimbabwe. But maybe it was a lesser problem if it came from Sweden or France or Britain!

No-one seemed concerned that accepting the payment was wrong per se.

The payment had been declared back in October 2015. Does no-one review this register for appropriatene...

August 27, 2015

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 h...

April 18, 2015

If we work, rest and pray solely with friends who live in the same neighbourhood, we develop fears and prejudices about outsiders. But if we develop multiple associations, if we mix with people from different backgrounds, we soon realise that they too are all right. Our prejudices dissipate.


It is one hundred and fifty years since General Sherman burnt Atlanta and the American Civil War ended. Over a million lives had been lost and the Southern economy was devastated. Abe Lincoln had achieved his objectives: the United States remained one nation; amendments to the constitution ended slavery an...

March 22, 2015

I wonder why the focus of our solutions for social problems seems to be to ask strangers to deal with them and government to fund it.

 

The incidence of family violence in Broken Hill is met by calls to restore funding of a legal aid facility. The incidence of vandalism by 12-year olds in Kununurra is met by calls for improved juvenile detention facilities.

 

In both cases, attention to the root causes of the problems might be more effective – minimizing or preventing the problems rather than treating the consequences. In both cases, one wonders what family, friends, neighbours and workmates were...

Please reload

October 17, 2019

September 11, 2019

February 21, 2018

Please reload

Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Featured Posts

The Rape Culture in Australian Universities

August 31, 2017

1/4
Please reload

Archive