Australian crimes in Afghanistan

Louise O’Shea Australian troops are being investigated for war crimes in Afghanistan, the ABC has revealed. The investigation, being undertaken by the inspector general of the Defence Forces, is looking into a number of cases of unlawful killing carried out by Australian special forces between 2009 and...CONTINUE READING

The problem with identity politics

Louise O’Shea The label “identity politics” is applied to a range of positions and practices, the key unifying features of which are sectional approaches to challenging oppression and the prioritisation of subjective experience. These can be highly theorised or simply reflect a common sense based on wha...CONTINUE READING

The Australian values myth

Louise O’Shea If any further proof were required that conservative politics has nothing to offer people but virulent racism and jingoism, Malcolm Turnbull and immigration minister Peter Dutton’s joint press conference on citizenship changes would have to be it. Their proposal to significantly increase t...CONTINUE READING

How the 18c debate restored my faith in parliament

Louise O’Shea Political service is well known for attracting the best and brightest of each generation. Nowhere was that more evident than in the Australian Senate during the debate on amendments to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. The debate’s participants are a credit to the private schoo...CONTINUE READING

Why the ‘free speech’ right sook like babies

Louise O’Shea Object to the bigotry of a right wing politician or commentator and the cry will inevitably ring out: “My free speech! Oh, unbearable persecution!” It’s the political equivalent of Cristiano Ronaldo hitting the grass clutching his ankle because someone ran between him and the goal. In this...CONTINUE READING

An International Women’s Day to remember

Louise O’Shea International Women’s Day hasn’t always been about corporate lunches and worthy pontificating by stuffy politicians. One hundred years ago, it started a revolution. Not a revolution in anti-ageing cream or stain remover like the sort we’re used to, but a generalised uprising of workers and...CONTINUE READING

What better time to demand the impossible?

Louise O’Shea “Be realistic, demand the impossible”. So went the slogan of the insurrectionary Parisian students in May 1968. It beautifully captured the mood of the time: the collective rejection of the stultifying parameters of capitalist normality and the boundless optimism that a better world was po...CONTINUE READING

The system that produced Trump

Louise O’Shea US capitalism was a disaster for the majority of the country’s residents, and for the majority of the world’s population, well before Donald Trump came along. And now it’s about to get a whole lot worse. Four decades of ruling class attacks have created one of the most unequal societies in...CONTINUE READING

Bill Leak is a racist, but pursuing him under 18C is a mistake

Louise O’Shea In what must be an answer to the right’s prayers, a complaint has been brought against the Australian under Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. The complaint concerns a cartoon by Bill Leak, which depicts an Aboriginal father, beer in hand, unable to remember the name of his chil...CONTINUE READING