A factional brawl has erupted within Labor after an attempt to hand its top national party post to a former staffer of Julia Gillard who honed her political skills with the NSW Right faction. The push to appoint Amanda Lampe as ALP national secretary comes only two weeks after voters handed Labor a caning in the NSW election and 10 weeks after Ms Lampe left the Prime Minister's office amid criticism she put media management ahead of policy work. But the plan was slapped down by Right faction leader and national executive member Joe de Bruyn, who said Ms Lampe was inappropriate as she had no experience in the federal secretariat; other powerbrokers weighed in to pour scorn on the idea.
Come July this year the Gillard government was hoping that it would finally get all states and territories to agree to a national classification system for video games. Up until now it had been thwarted by the Christian lobby groups’ favourite son, South Australian Attorney General Michael Atkinson. But just when it seemed the coast was clear, Atkinson has been replaced by the equally conservative Robert Clark from Victoria who announced on the weekend he didn’t like the idea of some games being available that showed civilians shooting police. Both Clark and Atkinson miss an obvious point – that no censorship regime can hope to ban video games and therefore to refuse to sign off on a national scheme that provides certainty for the video game industry, suppliers and users is simply a case of putting religious fervour before reality.
Women's rights activist Dr Leslie Cannold delivers a passionate argument in the Pamela Denoon memorial lecture for why Australian laws relating to abortion are confusing, outdated and in need of reform. Cannold doesn't subscribe to the adage "If it ain't broke, don' t fix it" when it comes to abortion laws, which is why she and other abortion rights activists campaign for change."In most states in Australia," she says, "including the populous states of Queensland and NSW, women do NOT have a right to choose. They are not lawfully empowered to decide for themselves if they will continue or terminate their pregnancy.
The Tasmanian State Government was thrown into crisis last night as Labor Premier Lara Giddings tried desperately to ward off a yawning gulf with the Tasmanian Greens. An anxious Ms Giddings warned that the future of the fragile Labor-Greens minority government was at stake, with an early state election a serious possibility. A deal was being thrashed out last night between Labor and its Greens partners to avert a confrontation in Parliament today over the future of Children's Minister Lin Thorp.
A woman who attacked an $US80m ($77.5m) painting by French impressionist Paul Gauguin at the National Gallery in Washington wanted to destroy it because she said it showed nudity and homosexuality, a US court has heard. "I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it's very homosexual," the woman was quoted as telling security officers who detained her after she tried to rip Gauguin's Two Tahitian Women from the gallery wall and beat it with her fist. The suspect, who was identified as Susan Burns in the detaining officer's statement, said she thought the painting should be destroyed.
Does society ignore the pain abortion causes women? Or do we prefer not to hear the truth that what a great many women feel about abortion is blessed relief. The later is not popular with so-called right to lifers. It goes like this - human life is sacred, so to terminate the burgeoning of that life is to commit a heinous crime. The only way this can be justified is with the satisfaction of knowing that the woman doing so will suffer for the term of her natural life. If not beyond. Many years ago, I wrote a newspaper column saying that the women who get upset after abortion are the ones who choose to get upset - probably because they really did not want to have an abortion in the first place. However, a great many others – for whom abortion was their choice, for whatever reason - accept their decision, are relieved by it and move on.
It's not often Michael Kirby is described as a conservative, but when it comes to all things royal, the former High Court judge, known for being a reforming lawyer, is to the Right of long-time friend Malcolm Turnbull. Launching a biography of Justice Kirby yesterday, Mr Turnbull described him as a paradoxical and fascinating character with "the heart of a lion". But while Justice Kirby made a name for himself as a reforming lawyer, Mr Turnbull -- the former head of the Australian Republican Movement -- said the retired judge was decidedly conservative in his attachment to the monarchy, even though Justice Kirby admits that intellectually he is a republican.
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