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News Commentary

The nanny state: taking liberties
It should be clear by now that the Rudd Government is not a government full of civil libertarians. A potent combination of enthusiasm for regulation, an obsession with security, an aging health and welfare system, and unlimited political faith in technological solutions to public policy problems are undermining privacy and eroding civil liberties.

Abandoning Andy Muirhead: ABC's act of betrayal
The ABC's reaction to the news that one of its employees Andy Muirhead has been charged with an offence allegedly involving child pornography is disturbing on a number of levels. The broadcaster's statement on the issue reflects poorly on the ABC's sense of responsibility to those who work for it. The ABC appears to have put its commercial interests unambiguously ahead of a moral obligation to support one of its own when they are facing the most serious of personal and career threatening allegations.

Of blockades and blockheads
Why are supposed human rights activists so quick to attack Israel but never make a squeak against the anti-peace Hamas regime? Why does the Gaza flotilla bloodshed automatically cancel out the moral and legal imperative of maintaining Israel and Egypt's blockade of the Hamas-ruled Strip? These are the two questions that must be answered by those seeking to rollback the internationally sanctioned blockade of the Gaza Strip of materiel that can be used for military purposes.

Australia's responsibility to seek and save the lost
This week's Herald/Neilson poll suggests that nearly two-thirds of voters would be happy with a return to the Howard government's handling of asylum seekers. In other words, a return to a policy that, according to the Refugee Council of Australia, does obvious harm to vulnerable children, women and men fleeing persecution, torture and violence.

Labor faces another Latham moment
In December 2003, the Australian Labor Party faced a choice between Kim Beazley and Mark Latham. It was a choice between safety and risk, between known and unknown, between control and panic. And by a margin of 42 to 40, they got it wrong. This week Labor faces a similar decision.