Posts in ‘Society’

The boundaries of legitimate protest

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

As far as I can tell from the news reports, Julia Gillard wasn’t subjected to any actual violence today (unless you count being dragged to the car by her coppers), but we’ve never seen a Prime Minister being dragged by security like that before.  It is reasonable to infer that there was a serious risk […]

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Posted by Nick at 7:26 pm | Comments (41) |

Occupy – a vacant lot

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

If a field full of Irishmen is called a Paddy field, what do you call a field full of Australians? A vacant lot. Boom boom. It’s an old joke and it’s what comes to mind when I see reporting of Occupy Melbourne, or Occupy Sydney, or Occupy Wherever. They’ve had over a week to work […]

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Posted by Graham at 6:37 am | Comments (28) |

Freedom of speech, freedom of expression and the Bolt decision

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Those in doubt that the Andrew Bolt case is about free speech need only think about the contortions of logic necessary to dismissing the proposition that it is about free speech. On his blog, my friend Mark Bahnisch says that “free speech is not at issue here” before observing that “[f]ree speech, as the judgment […]

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Posted by Nick at 3:27 pm | Comments (10) |

And God created Italy…

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

What would Italy be like if the Christian religion had forbidden the creation of paintings, frescoes and statues that tell its stories? And why did they build so many churches when the population  must have been so small? By chance, I read Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth my first two weeks here, which gives […]

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Posted by Ronda Jambe at 12:04 pm | Comments (5) |
Filed under: Society,Uncategorized

Still Creamin it in Canberra

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

It’s winter, some days the temperature doesn’t go much above 12C. There is a lot of plodding, as I’ve rejoined the work force, yet again, for a little while. And on a sunny day, rugged up against the blustery wind, there is still a mild exhilaration in being a public servant in the capital of […]

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Posted by Ronda Jambe at 5:48 pm | Comments Off on Still Creamin it in Canberra |
Filed under: Society

Racial attitudes in Australia

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

My friend Andrew Leigh is doing research on racial attitudes in Australia, along with his colleague Alison Booth. If you’re interested in helping out you can take their quizz at I just have, and am quite pleased that I appear to show little or no preference one way or the other. It won’t take […]

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Posted by Graham at 11:58 am | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Society

…not to shine in use…

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

When I came to Australia as a five year old there were a few continuities in my life apart from the language. One of those was Alistair Cooke and his “Letter from America”. It was broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, I think on a Sunday afternoon. The ABC broadcast it as well, just after […]

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Posted by Graham at 4:38 pm | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Society

Have We Hit Peak People?

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Something seems to have happened since I last did a stint in the public service, nearly 5 years ago. Back then, managerialism was still in vogue. There were silly obsessions about performance, and group gatherings to build morale that actually helped to break it. That’s because the highly paid facilitators always steered the team to […]

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Posted by Ronda Jambe at 11:24 am | Comments Off on Have We Hit Peak People? |
Filed under: Society

Putting a vorpal blade to the Neo-Calvinists

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Censorship laws in Australia seem to have reverted to something pre-Don Chip. Although in the bad old days it was Queensland that had problems with naked women’s breasts, including a visiting islander troop that had to dance wearing bras! Not New South Wales. The Age bravely reproduces the image that has got Bill Henson into […]

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Posted by Graham at 8:52 pm | Comments (2) |
Filed under: Society

You’ve got to feel sorry for Harry

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

I always thought that one of the best arguments for a republic was that the monarchy is cruel to monarchs, or at least their families. Common law forbids slavery, but if you’re born a Windsor, short of abdicating, you’re tied to a particular job for the rest of your life. It’s one thing to live […]

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Posted by Graham at 2:39 pm | Comments (6) |
Filed under: Society