Why are we are so timid over rights and freedoms, but so over-zealous when it’s repression? With refugees, we have struck upon a crude, cruel way to discourage asylum seekers. Now, a new law is taking the barest minimum steps to try to help 21stC slaves. With more slaves in the world than ever before, it was time our parliament enacted robust legislation with teeth: instead, we’re getting a Modern Slavery Act as flakey as a gummy shark.
Do shop assistants demand your personal details when you are paying by cash? Just before Christmas 2017, I attempted to make three rather minor purchases – in Myer, Harvey Norman, and The Good Guys. All the items were small and portable and I was paying cash. In all three cases, the shop assistants refused to proceed with the sale unless I handed over personal details – name, address, phone number, and email address. In the case of Myer, much more was demanded (for the purchase of a cup and saucer!).
DNA testing has reached a level of popularity that ensures that many of us have parts of our genome available online, even if we’ve never spit into a test tube ourselves. And the decisions on who gets access to that data may be in the hands of family members we’ve never spoken to – or didn’t even know existed.
The criminalisation of homosexuality under the Indian Penal Code is fundamentally a remnant of Victorian moral values that filtered into Indian society as a by-product of British Colonial rule, in the form of s 377 of the Indian Penal Code.
The expert panel inquiring into religious freedom should be very clear exactly what ‘freedom of religion’ means in Australia, CLA says in its inquiry submission. The notion includes the rights of atheists, no mandating of ‘religiosity’ in schools, and no promoting of religion by the state. We should also have protections as constant benchmark comparators, such as those contained in the Bill of Rights Australians should have to protect ongoing individual freedom of choice.
Australia’s federal MPs are for sale to foreign buyers…for very little, if the Senator Sam Dastyari purchase is representative. Prof George Williams comments it’s time to Act.
‘An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind’, said Gandhi. Taking a life in revenge or bloodlust demeans any state or society, Kay Danes argues. 2 Aug 2016
People will be surprised to learn that, in two major Australian states, abortion is illegal. It’s time to end the subterfuge, and makes sure the law allows women choice. 14 June 2016
Why does a first-rate – in terms of bounty and beauty – nation like Australia have second-class liberties when it comes to police, privacy and the personal values we should cherish? 24 Feb 2016
A same-sex marriage plebiscite could confirm an already-passed law. That way would give the national vote real bite when we cast our ballots, says Tim Vines 24 Feb 16