When has the suspension of the rule of law ever been a win for humanity? asks Fr Rod Bower @FrBower

A version of this piece first appeared on Anglican Parish of Gosford Facebook page. There is a great evil being perpetrated in the name of the Australian people and up until this point in time, with the compliance of the majority. That popular amenability must now quickly become a minority if Australia is not to be considered among the ranks of international pariahs and rogue states. States from which refugees flee seeking protection from countries with compassionate and decent governance. The recent ABC 7.30 Report identified the trauma caused by the policies executed by successive Howard, Rudd, Gillard and Abbott Governments. Australia’s detention of refugees, including children, is ‘cruel, inhuman […]

Seeking a Fair Go in a ‘World of Pain’ by @sarah_capper

It’s hard to fully comprehend, but just eight months after being elected, the Coalition-friendly News Limited broadsheet ‘The Australian’ ran with the headline, ‘Coalition in World of Pain’ emblazoned across its front page early this week. Sure, it was selectively quoting Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who had used the expression in justifying why the Government needed to make “tough” decisions in handing down its first budget, but nonetheless the Oz chose the headline to correspond with a story reporting the dismal Newspoll results in which voters declared it to be the worst budget in 20 years, and which gave Labor a 10 point two-party preferred lead over the Government. In […]

Restoring integrity in politics: @Sally_Owl on what citizens can do

Integrity, Decency, Transparency and Accountability Four words that mean the difference between goodies and baddies, to put it into terms our Prime Minister will understand. So what do these four words that motivated 100,000 people to March in March really mean? Integrity is the adherence to moral and ethical principles.  It is demonstrating a sound moral character.  It is being honest. Decency is about being worthy of respect.  It is a reflection of adequateness and fairness.  Decency is kind, obliging, generous – suitable and appropriate. Transparency is showing how everything really is – see through, nothing hidden – everything there for all to see. No secrets or lies. Accountability is […]

#MarchinMarch Katoomba report by @bluntshovels

By El Gibbs  @bluntshovels 17th March 2014 Over 700 people gathered in front of the historic Carrington Hotel in Katoomba on Sunday to protest against the Federal Government, spilling out onto the street. Many hand-made signs featured, with slogans such as “What happened to taking care? Of ourselves, each other, our country”, “It’s not money trickling down”, “Peace off, Abbott” and many against coal seam gas developments. Absolutely chockablock full here at #MarchInMarch Blue Mountains pic.twitter.com/bmnaytKq1L — Annette Bennett (@abennett41) March 16, 2014   The clouds gathered but so did the crowd! Estimate 1000 #nofibsmim #marchinmarchbluemtns pic.twitter.com/sd6VB0aPsu — Amanda Carr (@amandalacarr) March 16, 2014   The local organisers, in consultation […]

Cory’s book: Part 2 of a blow-by-blow fact check series by @adropex

[clear] [clear] By Lesley Howard @adropex 19 January 2014 In Chapter 2 “The First Pillar: Faith” Bernardi presents a strong and considered study of the historical contribution Christianity has made to Australia’s national development and how this heritage is represented in the laws and moral codes of Australian society today. Bernardi proposes that faith is fundamental to a healthy and hopeful society and provides the “common thread through which our laws, our instinct and our social fabric are entwined.” Faith provides us with a set of values, moral guidelines in which we can trust and a framework for decision-making. Bernardi goes on to discuss how he believes individuals develop faith. Some people […]

Emerging democracy and the No Fibs Vision: @stephaniedale22 reports

By Stephanie Dale No Fibs – we’re a citizen journalism experiment emboldened by the success of our coverage in the 2013 federal election campaign. And we’re turning our attentions to the robust CSG movement that has emerged along Australia’s east coast. It’s true. We’re upstarts, punching above our weight. During the recent election we had around 25 citizen journalists – CJs – covering their local electorates around the nation. We were the first media to understand that the Voice for Indi campaign, an organised, strategised community-driven bid to unseat the sitting Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella, was on the verge of success. Being community-driven ourselves, we recognised our own. Numerous No […]

The intellectual grunt behind @Indigocathy Indi victory: @sarah_capper report

[clear] By Sarah Capper Sheila’s editor 20 September 2013 When Jeff Kennett lost the “unlosable” Victorian election in 1999, the Victorian Women’s Trust’s Mary Crooks wasn’t overly surprised. In the years leading up the state poll, in her new role as Executive Director of the VWT, Crooks designed and led the ‘Purple Sage Project’ – which involved a community ‘kitchen table’ dialogue process with some 6000 people across the state. During this time, over 600 female and male group leaders (76% were women, all of whom had been taken through briefing sessions, many in country Victoria), met in their own groups of up to ten people. These individual groups met on […]

The sociology of how Cathy won Indi, by @ktbar0

[clear] By Kate Sleeman 12 September, 2013 Life in regional cities and towns is often perceived by our city cousins to be a step back in time; dull, slow, backward and socially conservative. However the election result in Indi has hopefully changed their perceptions and highlighted the power of real communities. They are beginning to wonder why the Cathy McGowan campaign has been so successful. Even current and past campaigners are at a loss. This quote from the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg may help explain the Cathy McGowan phenomena: “A movement starts because of the social habits of friendship and the strong ties between close acquaintances. […]

#CSG – a statement of sovereignty by Pilliga reporter Iris Ray Nunn

  By Iris Ray Nunn I believe the most important issue emerging from the coal seam gas invasion is not necessarily the water, the air or the land as such, it is about changing the law of this land. Too long we have seen the law – that we are meant to obey and respect – serve the interests of a few while many, many more suffer. This law is not fair and just, and neither does it care for all of life. The truth is, there is only one law on this good Earth: do no harm. People speak of sovereignty. What does this mean? I am beginning to […]

Sexism: I’ve had a gutful

by Fiona Armstrong June 17, 2013 Growing up in rural Queensland during the 70’s, I have been exposed to more than my fair share of sexism. This was the era of Joh Bjelke Peterson after all, and women were largely invisible in public and political life. Insulting women on the basis of gender was a national sport, and attitudes to women in that state at that time was in part responsible for my decision not to return to live there following my first overseas trip at age 20. Sexism was an ever present issue for the period of my professional life spent working as a registered nurse and – during that period […]