Politics + Society – Analysis and Comment

Mutual admiration between big businessmen like Alan Bond (left) and the Labor Party was a double-edged sword for Bob Hawke in the 1980s. AAP/NAA

Book extract: The Eighties – The Decade That Transformed Australia

In the 1980s Australians grappled with the challenges of living in an era that brought together boom and crisis, nationalism and globalisation, confidence and anxiety, and conservatism and exuberance.
Young drivers are at high risk of fatal crashes, but it’s wrong to just blame the problem on youth ‘recklessness’. AAP/Julian Smith

Young driver crashes: the myths and facts

It is widely believed that youth recklessness is often the cause of young driver crashes, but is this simply a myth?
Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has flagged concerns about how the extra 12,000 refugees chosen for resettlement in Australia will be picked. AAP Image/Paul Miller

FactCheck: how are the 12,000 extra refugees coming to Australia chosen?

When asked about a plan to resettle an extra 12,000 refugees in Australia, Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi said that the UNHCR determines who is going to be sent to Australia or not. Is that right?
The bouquet held by Bolshy Divas member Jackie Softly represents the people with disability whose accounts of violence and abuse the Senate inquiry heard in Perth, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. AAP/Sarah Motherwell

We count what matters, and violence against people with disability matters

Accountability for the violence and abuse that people with disability experience begins with recording the offences. In fact, we have long ignored crimes against vulnerable members of our community.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to elevate Mal Brough to the ministry threatened to come at a high cost this week. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Grattan on Friday: Brough’s baggage creates mess for Malcolm

Malcolm Turnbull, having briefly touched home base, is back on the summit round, leaving behind a rather messy and smelly little scandal, the first to hit his ministry.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter Lukas Coch/AAP

Politics podcast: Christian Porter on domestic violence

Christian Porter on domestic violence.
Michelle Grattan speaks with Social Services Minister Christian Porter about the government's moves on domestic violence, his thinking on welfare reform and his support for making adoption easier.
What distinguishes Australia is the extraordinary extent to which people of different cultural backgrounds work, play and form families together. AAP

Australia’s multicultural future is a story in three parts

The story of Australia’s multicultural future needs to be informed by an understanding of the past. Those who do not know history’s mistakes are doomed to repeat them.
City residents are embracing the bike as the fastest, most convenient transport in areas like Brunswick, yet an apartment building has been blocked for not providing car parking. flickr/Takver

Nightingale’s sustainability song falls on deaf ears as car-centric planning rules hold sway

It's up to state governments to ensure urban planning rules properly reflect both the desires of residents in the 21st century and the principles of sustainability.
In Egypt, the Great Pyramid was illuminated with the French, Russian and Lebanese flags in solidarity with victims of terrorist attacks, but most of the focus in the West has been on the victims in Paris. EPA/Khaled Elfiqi

Solidarity after Paris means being more attentive to suffering elsewhere

Selective sympathy raises troubling questions. If you neglect suffering in other places, it is much more difficult to mobilise political actors to take it seriously.