“I don’t think the mufti did any harm, just as I don’t think he can contribute greatly [to social cohesion]. He has not the power to damage or contribute. ”
A controversial figure, Australia’s Grand Mufti is of more importance to The Daily Telegraph than he is to many Muslims.
“We have almost the reverse of the situation that occurred under Abbott, which was very little communication. And now we’re probably on the verge of having more than we need. ”
Turnbull may be cruising ahead in the polls but it’s not all smooth sailing as the PM navigates a messy senate and internal tensions.
Russia under increasing fire; Thailand’s human rights wrongs.
“While some in the party frame the contrary positions on national security as healthy policy debate, the view of that argument is pretty blunt. It was put to me as follows: ‘Bullshit.’”
An insider’s outside view
Returning for a second season
The Lucky Country is an insider’s outside view of Australia’s most important political and economic debates. Hosted by The Australia Institute’s Chief Economist Richard Denniss, The Lucky Country is a weekly podcast from Schwartz Media which applies common sense to complex issues.
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Letters & Editorial
Echoes of another postwar mistake
John Martinkus’s insightful article on the negative power-gap created by the US-led alliance following Saddam Hussein’s defeat (“What my captors wanted to know”, …
In honour of his disappeared father, artist Dadang Christanto holds forth the memory of Indonesia’s 1965 massacres, despite considerable personal risk.
Phil Glendinning steps off the pub stage to chat about tracking down Australia’s refouled refugees.
Small craft-based businesses lead the revival of a sun-bleached early ’70s classic – crocheted swimwear.
Can Australia counter its soaring obesity rates by removing hidden subsidies on soft drinks?
How an Australia Post courier got signed by the Nissan GT Academy.
Rice Bubbles. (Bonus point: Kellogg’s.)
(b) New Caledonia.
“To the childless people of Australia I want to say, on behalf of this parliament, ‘Thank you for being childless.’ ”
The senator makes his plea to Bill Heffernan’s forgotten people: the deliberately barren, the men and women with empty fruit bowls and clean shirts and uninterrupted sleep patterns.
“It is bad enough that people continue to bring wave upon wave of these little blighters into the world.”
The senator continues on this tack, making his case for welfare restrictions on those who do not immunise their children. Birth, in his mind, is a tidal phenomenon.
“The least they can do is immunise their bundles of dribble and sputum so they don’t make the rest of us sick.”
The senator confuses children with spittoons, which can get a libertarian tobacco chewer into all sorts of trouble. Also: forcing vaccinations is not very libertarian.
“Children generate great joy, warmth and meaning for their parents. They are a precious gift. What more do you want?”
The senator explains that paid parental leave should be abolished and replaced with a currency of smiles.
“It is like making people in wheelchairs pay for other people’s running shoes.”
The senator threatens to wear babies on his feet. Or some such. By this stage, it is difficult to follow his views. He seems not to understand taxation as a means of redistributing wealth.
“It would be weird to suggest that you need to pay for the upbringing and training of a baker just because one day you will want to buy bread.”
The senator lands his final blow against parental subsidies. Except, that is kind of exactly what we do: it’s badly funded, and it’s called TAFE.