Articles in the Columns Category
When it comes to the alcohol industry and the public interest it seems fair to say never the twain shall meet. The alcohol industry, which encompasses what is rather euphemistically known as the hospitality industry, exists to manufacture and sell alcohol. As far as this industry is concerned, the more we drink, the better.
The industry is keen to remind the community, and especially their critics, that millions of Australians enjoy alcohol and that the industry employs many thousands of men and women and pays several billion of dollars of tax …
What to do about e-cigarettes is currently an extremely controversial issue in the areas of public health and addictions policy.
There is no doubt that Action on Smoking and Health Australia (ASH) and some tobacco control advocates, who were remarkably effective in reducing smoking in Australia, have been deeply traumatised by Big Tobacco’s unscrupulous behaviour.
Although ASH Australia, a national health group established in 1994 to reduce diseases, disabilities and premature deaths caused by tobacco products, closed in 2013, it continues to rally support through its website.
In May this year, Celeste Poulton, …
As someone involved in academia for a number of decades, I hold our universities to the highest standards. And we all should.
Universities have existed for hundreds of years representing the very best of human civilisation. They represent research. They represent learning. They represent fundamental human values.
The decision of Sydney University to divest stocks in resource companies is, at its worst attacking one of Australia’s most successful industries. At best, it is rank hypocrisy.
The Australian National University kicked this so-called “ethical divestment” of resource companies policy off last year, and Sydney …
The hypocrisy of federal Labor in recent weeks is breathtaking.
For years in government, Labor talked about the importance of free trade. The party told us free trade wasn’t just a desire but a necessity — and, most important, it told Australians that, because of our geographic location, we must embrace free trade, not fear it.
It said we were living in the Asian century and we should take advantage of it.
Oh, how times have changed.
The behaviour of the puppet masters — the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and the Electrical …
Abortion is an issue that deeply divides many in the community. To put it in proper perspective, it divides the less than 20 per cent of people who do not support abortion from the more than 80 per cent who do.
The recent introduction of an abortion-related private member’s bill in the Victorian Parliament brought forth some interesting strategies and alliances. At the same time, it demonstrated the changing nature of gender politics.
The bill was introduced into the Victorian Parliament by Sex Party MP Fiona Patten. It …
Smoking rates are declining in Australia, but not in one community — our prison system. As well as being used for their mood-altering effects, tobacco and other drugs are also widely used as currency in our prisons.
As well as prisoners, other disadvantaged groups are overrepresented among smokers, in particular indigenous people, the mentally ill, and alcohol and drug-dependent people.
While most prisoners already have serious physical and mental health problems, in Australia 85 per cent of prisoners also smoke, even though at least half would like to stop, especially when released …
For the first time in 15 years, tonight Collingwood will head to the SCG to take on the Sydney Swans.
ANZ Stadium has run its course as an AFL venue for Sydney.
The fans don’t like it. The Swans — fresh from signing a 30-year deal with SCG Trust — have fallen out of love with a stadium at which Collingwood has regularly beaten the Swans.
That’s not to say ANZ Stadium hasn’t been a good thing for the promotion of Australian football.
The Swans’ use of the stadium has been an important part …
At the beginning of this year, if you stood up in the local pub and suggested the Abbott government would have a chance of winning the next election, you might well have been met with some raised eyebrows by punters before they went back to their game of pool or downed another beer.
Now, only months later, if you did that, many more people might say, “You’re probably right” and possibly even engage you in conversation. If the punter were a tradie, the talk might well turn to how they were …
It looks like the Central Queensland University – the official name of the university as constituted by the Queensland Parliament Central Queensland University Act 1998 – is up to its old tricks again.
Back in 2006, CQU students complained about being treated as “cash cows” and former Victorian premier John Cain agreed. He said the university’s Melbourne city campus did not have appropriate facilities for a tertiary institution. “The university is detached physically by some thousands of kilometres from its base, giving its name and blessing to the courses but the …
Article 18 is a section of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed by every member of the UN in 1948. Written just after World War II, it attempted to find a form of words that would help ease the traumas of global friction. Its terms are included in many treaties, declarations and bills of rights.
Attempting to deal with the belief and religious dimension of that friction, article 18 states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his (sic) religion …
Review of The Bandar Log: A Labor Story of the 1950s
By Alan Reid
Edited by Ross Fitzgerald, Connor Court, $34.95.
Towards the end of The Bandar Log, Macker Kalley (“Machiavelli”), the fictional character resembling Alan Reid himself, muses on the role that jealousy plays as a “driving force” in history: “If Stalin hadn’t intrigued Trotsky out of the party he’d never have had supreme power … that simple act of jealousy changed the entire course of the Russian Revolution. And yet we persist with the myth that it is always impersonal …