© Neil Spark

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29 Jun 2017

Germans got a prelude to the madness in store for them on 29 June 1934. Between 6am and 7am that morning, the Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, weapon drawn, charged up the stairs of the Hanselbauer Hotel in Bad Wiessee. His quarry: the head of the Nazi party’s paramilitary storm troopers, Erns...

24 Jun 2017

An apology is better late than never. But sometimes the damage done wouldn’t have been as great if the apology had been earlier. Three Australian Government ministers apologised yesterday for egregious comments they made on 13 June about judges of the Australian state of Victoria’s high...

8 Jun 2017

She’s Brenda from Bristol. She became an internet sensation thanks to British Prime Minister Theresa May. “You’re joking, not another one,” she told a BBC TV reporter when asked her reaction on 18 April to the snap election. “There’s too much politics going on at the moment. Why does sh...

3 Jun 2017

Investigative journalists are justice crusaders. But they’re in danger of becoming victims of traditional media’s decline. And if it’s allowed to happen, one of democracy’s pillars will be weaker.Sydney Morning Herald journalist, Kate McClymont, is one of those crusaders. Her work led t...

8 May 2017

New French president Emmanuel Macron has won the election. Let’s hope he wins forthcoming challenges as convincingly. They include:

  1. Fighting apathy. Thirty percent of the electorate didn’t vote. It was the lowest turnout in more than 40 years.

  2. National Assembly elections next mo...

4 May 2017

Australia’s second biggest media company dealt a blow to democracy on World Press Freedom Day.

The next day, 4 May, Facebook announced its revenue for the quarter to 31 March rose 49% to $8.03 billion.

The sacking of 125 journalists by Fairfax Media is the latest in a plethora of edi...

17 Apr 2017

Democracy is the worst form of government, British statesman and war-time leader Winston Churchill said, “except for all the others.” Democracy died in Turkey yesterday. The yes vote in the referendum to extend presidential powers was won 51.3% to 48.6%. But it was much more than that....

22 Mar 2017

A devastating blow was dealt to Germany’s fledgling and fragile democracy on 24 March 84 years ago. The German legislature voted away its power by supporting the Law to Remedy the Distress of the People Bill (Enabling Act). The law caused devastating distress. It gave the Chancellor, Ad...

25 Feb 2017

Imagine the Capital building in Washington on fire. Or Westminster in London. Or Parliament House in Ottowa or Canberra. Imagine the enormity of it. Germans waking up on 28 February 1933 didn’t have to imagine it.

The Reichstag was on fire. That was the message the Berlin Fire Departme...

24 Feb 2017

The President of the United States’ latest threat to democracy: journalists should have to name sources. Not long before he made the comment in a speech, his staff briefed journalists on the condition of anonymity to discredit a New York Times story about contacts between Trump’s campai...

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