Andrew Bolt and free speech

Eureka Street

Melbourne Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt's appearance in the Federal Courts this week has posed questions about eugenics, identity, race, free speech and welfare fraud.

Greens don't share Australian values, says Julia Gillard

Herald Sun

Bob Brown today said Julia Gillard had insulted 1.5 million people and was being "divisive'' after she said the Greens do not share the values of everyday Australians and don't understand the importance of a strong economy. As the Prime Minister warned households to brace for "some pain'' in the May 10 Budget, she ramped up criticism of her minority Government partners after constant attacks by the Opposition that she is too close to the Greens and Bob Brown is the "real Prime Minister''.

Christian schools seek full public funding


The federal government will review a proposal to adopt a controversial school model in which privately run schools operate wholly on public funds.

Gillard a winner in Labor's NSW catastrophe

ABC Unleashed

The primary paradox of the shredding of the Labor brand at the weekend's NSW state election is that it will enhance Julia Gillard's position as party leader and Prime Minister. The secondary paradox is that the Greens failure in NSW will do exactly the same for the leadership of Bob Brown but for entirely different reasons.

If freedom of religion is the question, secularism is the answer

On-line Opinion

Towards the end of 2007, the Australian Human Rights Commission put out a call for public submissions on the subject of Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century. The level of public concern surrounding this issue was revealed when the AHRC was overwhelmed by nearly 2000 submissions from religious institutions, non-religious organisations (atheist, secular, rationalist and humanist) and from many individuals.

Shrunken Christianity becomes more militant

On-line Opinion

Christianity is much in the news lately, especially with our Prime Minister's need to reassure Christians in this country of her being savvy with the Bible and of its thematic permeation throughout Western culture. Religion can rest assured of its value to society and to the Labor Party. We wait expectantly for a photo opportunity of our Prime minister flanked by Fred Nile on one side, and George Pell on the other, a rebuffed Tony Abbott caught somewhere in the background. Good times.

'Unproductive burdens' still have a right to live

On-line Opinion

There was a moment during the last national debate on euthanasia that deserves to be revisited by a new generation of legislators, a moment that crystallised fears that the so-called right to die would come to be felt by the frailest among us more as a "duty to die".

Green slip shows they’re no compulsory third party

The Punch

He will use the live broadcast to outline his party’s vision for that historic moment on July 1, when his party holds the exclusive balance of power in the Senate.

Government extends $1.1 million in anti-terror grants

Big brother-style community programs and interfaith projects at schools could get up to $100,000 from the Government to help stop violent extremism in Australia. A new round of anti-terror grants open today because of concerns about potential attacks in Australia, the Herald Sun reported. The Government's community resilience program has already doled out $1.1 million for youth-specific projects, including where young Muslims are hand-picked to divert people "at-risk" of extremism. Attorney-General Robert McClelland said terror was still a real concern in Australia, and "overwhelming interest" in the Government's youth mentor program meant the new round of funding was necessary. "Communities have told us that they are prepared to play a more active role in countering violent extremism," Mr McClelland said.

Bob Brown warns Julia Gillard's attacks on Greens are 'divisive'

Greens Leader Bob Brown today attacked a "poorly advised" Julia Gillard for her savage dismissal of his party and warned her comments could be "divisive" for the agreement supporting minority government.

Violent video games: parents must decide

Herald Sun

Video game controllers that look and feel like real guns risk sending the wrong message to children. The sub-machinegun lookalike allows players to shoot down on-screen enemies in games such as Killzone 3. Parents will need to decide if this is safe for their children. Psychologists argue that "reality" technology can desensitise the very young to violence.

Pathological sickness grips heart of Labor's NSW Right

The Age

In the middle of 2003, John Howard, in his eighth year as prime minister, was travelling well. Having increased his majority at the previous election, he was facing his second Labor opponent as prime minister, Simon Crean, for whom things were going poorly. The Labor leader was not popular with voters and the man he'd replaced, Kim Beazley, was agitating to return to the leadership. Although Crean was in trouble, the federal caucus was reluctant to remove him without giving him the opportunity to lead the ALP to an election, so there was a chance he might survive to the 2004 poll. But from the moment he had taken over as leader in late 2001, Crean had some important enemies within the Labor Party.

Bob Brown puts Greens Left on notice

The Australian

Bob Brown has moved to assert control over the Greens, carpeting hard-Left senator-elect Lee Rhiannon over her radical anti-Israel stance as he attempts to shift the party towards the political mainstream at the expense of Labor. But as the Greens leader rejected Julia Gillard's attack on the party as extremists who do not share the values of everyday Australians, he faced a barrage of accusations that the party was being hijacked by socialist ideologues. Former prime ministers John Howard and Bob Hawke, former NSW premier Bob Carr and Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd all yesterday denounced Ms Rhiannon's renewed call for a trade ban on Israel.

Gillard wakes up to long-term threat

The Australian

Bob Brown wants the Australian Greens to be a mainstream political party. The long-term Green dream is to shift from power-sharing with Labor in government to supplanting the ALP. Julia Gillard, after entering a formal alliance with the Greens to form a minority government, has realised, in the wake of the NSW electoral disaster for Labor, that the Greens are a threat to her short-term credibility and long-term political appeal.

How I lost faith in multiculturalism

Greg Sheridan - The Australian

In 1993, my family and I moved into Belmore in southwest Sydney. It is the next suburb to Lakemba. When I first moved there I loved it. We bought a house just behind Belmore Sports Ground, in those days the home of my beloved Bulldogs rugby league team. Transport was great, 20 minutes to the city in the train, 20 minutes to the airport. On the other side of Belmore, away from Lakemba, there were lots of Chinese, plenty of Koreans, growing numbers of Indians, and on the Lakemba side lots of Lebanese and other Arabs. That was an attraction, too. I like Middle Eastern food. I like Middle Eastern people. The suburb still had the remnants of its once big Greek community and a commanding Greek Orthodox church. But in the nearly 15 years we lived there the suburb changed, and much for the worse.

Andrew Bolt court case 'a test of clashing rights'

The Australian

The Federal Court action against Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt has been described as a question of "balancing freedom of speech with freedom from discrimination". Nine fair-skinned Aboriginals are suing Bolt and the Herald and Weekly Times under the Racial Discrimination Act. The plaintiffs, including activist Pat Eatock, former ATSIC member Geoff Clark, artist Bindi Cole and academic Larissa Behrendt, claim Bolt implied in articles and blogs they were "professional Aborigines" who self-identified as such to gain financial and other benefits to the detriment of less-advantaged Aborigines. Bolt's defence barrister, Neil Young QC, concluded Bolt's articles were likely to offend the plaintiffs only on matters of contradiction rather than race and they didn't approach the "racial hatred" intention of the act. The plaintiffs' case suggested that racial discrimination rather than the freedom of speech provision would be their focus.

Radio host Jackie O's tears at slur over return to work post-baby

The Australian

Syndicated radio host Jackie O broke down in tears after a newspaper gossip columnist published comments that "made me feel like a second-rate mum". Jackie O yesterday used her live breakfast show to hit back at The Daily Telegraph's Annette Sharp who, in an open letter published yesterday, questioned why the broadcaster would return to work only "a few weeks" after the birth of her baby, Kitty, in December. In a tearful rebuttal yesterday, Jackie O told listeners she felt positive about her choice until she opened the newspaper that morning. "I'm trying the best I can. It is hurtful," she said.