Oz Blog News Commentary

Articles from Inside Story

Farewell, Sylvia

November 9, 2017 - 16:28 -- Admin

Some writers find their voice early. Reading back through the film reviews Sylvia Lawson wrote in the early 1960s for the fortnightly magazine Nation feels much like reading her reviews for Inside Story, published between early 2009 and September last year. They’re lively, vivid, often acerbic, and the insights are conveyed with verve and conviction. Semicolons suited her particularly well; they allowed ideas to be juxtaposed in provoking ways.

Six propositions for Gonski 2.0

November 9, 2017 - 12:20 -- Admin

The issues paper released in September by the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools began with an undertaking to “focus on practical measures that work,” but continued to pose much broader questions. What should success for schools and students look like? How can funding be better used at the school or classroom level? How can we support ongoing improvement?

Trouble in paradise

November 7, 2017 - 11:39 -- Admin

At around 5 am Sydney time yesterday, a coordinated news story began to roll out across major media outlets around the globe. By the time most Australians were starting their day, the hashtag #ParadisePapers was running hot, with links to a plethora of news outlets.

Private gains and social losses

November 6, 2017 - 11:01 -- Admin

Global finance has been interesting for all the wrong reasons over the past few years. This new book by journalist Nicholas Shaxson aims to shed light on a key, but generally overlooked, facet of the system: tax havens, also known as offshore financial centres. Rather than seeing tax havens as obscure curiosities at the margins of the global economy, Shaxson forcefully argues that “offshore” is in fact the essence of the modern, finance-dominated economic system.

The cruellest option

November 6, 2017 - 09:26 -- Admin

In her first meeting with Malcolm Turnbull on 5 November, NZ prime minister Jacinda Ardern behaved with admirable tact and diplomacy. She offered the Australian government a partial way out of its self-made disaster on Manus Island, and when her proposal was instantly put on ice by Mr Turnbull, she expressed understanding for his position and assured Australia that the offer was still on the table. Such are the diplomatic courtesies of meetings between heads of government.

Another reason why I won’t stand for parliament

November 3, 2017 - 17:57 -- Admin

I’m fortunate to have never contemplated nominating for elected office. But, like many Australians, the recent debate has caused me to ponder my own status under section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution. Despite being born in Sydney and long assuming that I was exclusively an Australian citizen, my eligibility for election to my own nation’s parliament proves to be quite a puzzle.

A small cedar box

November 3, 2017 - 16:28 -- Admin

On Christmas Eve, 1940, soon after my tenth birthday, my grandmother gave me a small wooden box with a lock and key. There was nothing inside it, and as far as I can remember she didn’t explain it. I’d been expecting a book: that was what she always gave to me and my brothers and sisters, and our cousins. I still have a later gift: Wilkie Collins’s classic detective story The Moonstone, given when I was fourteen.

Triple-century challenge

November 2, 2017 - 18:42 -- Admin

West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle’s defamation win against Fairfax this week shows why, despite the Harvey Weinstein–generated tsunami in Hollywood, public allegations of sexual misconduct are relatively rare. Fairfax had alleged Gayle exposed himself to a female massage therapist in the changing room at a training session at Drummoyne Oval during the 2015 World Cup. He sued, and this week the jury backed his claim that the incident never happened.