#AllOurRights

One of the pillars of an open, democratic society is a free Press, however that freedom has two parts: the freedom to investigate has to be matched by an obligation to publish. Otherwise it’s not a free Press, it’s an organ for personal, corporate or state propaganda. The Press is talking loudly at the moment […]

Wiping up another Dutton smear

On Wednesday the Minister for Home Affairs did what he and the Prime Minister have consistently claimed, and complained, he couldn’t do.[1] He blocked a medevac transfer, using the medevac law he and the PM had previously sworn made it impossible for him to block transfers. Apart from the stunning hypocrisy and barefaced lying this […]

Is it a cat, is it a window, is it a brand? No, it’s DUTTON

Look, down in the gutter, is it a cat, is it a window, is it a brand? No, it’s PETER DUTTON! Recently the Minister for Home Affairs, the Honourable Peter Dutton, suggested that certain protestors should have their welfare benefits cut, face mandatory jail sentences, and be publicly shamed. Even for Dutton this seemed pretty […]

We are all equal under the law

Or – a dam doesn’t care where the river starts In a secular society like Australia the source of an individual’s moral code should be irrelevant; what matters is their behaviour. If the law says you may not throw stones at people, then if two individuals both throw stones at someone, one of them isn’t […]

Estate Sale – Lot #4

The Unsung Heroes Of Election ’19 Just as the automobile displaced the horse and buggy, so too assembly-line car workers displaced the craftsmen who made buggies and buggy-whips, and as their profession died out, with it sadly died the skills and knowledge of their craft. Today we’re witnessing another such extinction: journalism. This piece is […]

Arguing with a tornado, 6,000 times

You don’t reason with a tornado. It’s not a sentient being. You don’t reason with toddlers. They haven’t developed the capacity for logical thought. Even in adults, reason is pointless against grief, rage or belief, because they’re not based on logic or rational thought. They’re supported by emotions and values, not logic and facts. Which […]

Lies, Damn Lies, and Wishful Thinking

Death of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation greatly exaggerated. Writing about the Queensland election results I am struck by the similarities with the press coverage of the 45th Presidential elections in the U.S.A. which I wrote about previously. Here, as there, there have been multiple, almost 180 degree shifts in predictions about the election result. Here, as […]

The Alexander Gambit – how to resign in five moves

MP John Alexander resigned his seat in parliament on Saturday, five days after Fairfax Media revealed that it was highly likely he was a dual citizen, and nearly four months after the issue of dual citizenship became front page news with Scott Ludlam’s surprise resignation. While I’m not John Alexander, here’s my attempt at what […]

A Regrettable Want Of Candour

Poor George. All his life he has aspired to gravitas but has never advanced beyond turgid, pompous and, in this case, petulant. You would think that after a 7-0 thrashing in the High Court a responsible Attorney-General would bow graciously to the collective and unanimous wisdom of the highest court in the land, say a […]

Liberals Embrace Science? Yeah, But No

Senator Sinodinos – the Minister for Industry, Innovation, and …  whatsitsname? Oh yes, Science – said in a recent speech to the Press Club: [I]ncreasingly, there has emerged a lack of respect for the scientific method in some quarters. We see the conclusions of experts being cast aside, in favour of ideological positions and selective use of […]

Freedom: Of Speech, Religion, & Discrimination – Or – In The Language Of Flowers, What Does A Pineapple Signify?

Can a florist refuse to sell flowers for a couple’s wedding because the wedding is against the florist’s religious beliefs? The answer to that question took me on an interesting journey through the Australian Constitution, the High Court, Australian Standard 1266.0 (2011), the language of flowers, the Australian Human Rights Commission Act and the Sex Discrimination […]

Reporting the Trump of Doom and the Doom of Trump

I have read quite a few opinion and analysis pieces about the presidential race in the U.S.A, which chronologically could be grouped into three phases: Phase 1 “Why Trump can’t win”; Phase 2 “Why Trump is winning”; and Phase 3 “Why Trump won’t win”. I find these pieces fascinating. Not because of their patent inaccuracy, […]

One-term-Tony turns out to be .666-term-Tony

How appropriate. I doubt anything else will change – the destruction of R&D, the tearing down of renewable energy, the attempted removal of the CCA, the homeopath’s NBN – half the network for twice the price,the attempt to create a two-tier education system, a two-tier health system, the wholesale defunding of women’s shelters, aboriginal support […]

Kevin Andrews and I agree on something

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT Department of Social Services Has absolutely nothing to do with this PRESS RELEASE Like Kevin Andrews, I will not be opening the World Congress of Families. Like Kevin, I have decided to issue a Press Release to explain my decision. Like Kevin, I have decided nonetheless to publish the speech I would have […]