December 12th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: The challenges facing Tony Abbott

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Abbott's victory took media by surprise

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Senate committee recommends against same-sex marriage

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Euthanasia bill defeated in SA

ENVIRONMENT: UK's climate research centre discredited

ECONOMICS: Birdsville Amendment stops fuel predatory pricing

ENERGY: Time for a new Coalition emissions policy

THE MANHATTAN DECLARATION: U.S. Christian leaders draw a line in the sand

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: Women's health risk ignored by Rudd Government

UNITED STATES: Health care reforms unleash passionate debate

RUSSIA: Medvedev's desperate drive to modernise Russia

EDUCATION: Whatever happened to adult authority?

SCHOOLS: Are independent schools enemies of social cohesion?

Westmore has not read my report: Fr Frank Brennan

Morally handicapped politicians

Market economics misunderstood

Surafend massacre


CINEMA: Dickens' Christmas tale brought to life A Christmas Carol (rated PG)

BOOK REVIEW: FIRES OF FAITH: Catholic England under Mary Tudor, by Eamon Duffy

BOOK REVIEW: THE REVOLT OF THE PENDULUM: Essays 2005-2008, by Clive James

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Westmore has not read my report: Fr Frank Brennan

by Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO

News Weekly, December 12, 2009

Peter Westmore describes how, in his opinion, "the national human rights consultation was hijacked" (News Weekly, October 31, 2009). He has obviously not read the report.

Could I provide just one correction which will be obvious to anyone regardless of their political views on a human rights act?

Mr Westmore highlights interesting anomalies in our report including: "The web site contained a photograph* of former Labor Minister Susan Ryan seated beside a man at the committee's hearings. The caption on the photo was, ‘The Hon Susan Ryan AO puts the case for an Australian human rights act'. What was not mentioned is that that man shown next to Susan Ryan is former NSW Labor Premier, Bob Carr, who at the committee hearing and elsewhere has strongly opposed a human rights act." News Weekly reproduces the photo at p.265 of our report in the chapter entitled "The case for a human rights act".

I can only presume that Mr Westmore failed to read the next chapter entitled "The case against a human rights act". At p.281, there then appears another photo of Carr and Ryan, this time with Carr speaking. The caption reads, "The Hon. Bob Carr puts the case against an Australian human rights act".

An anomaly, or just even-handed treatment of competing views? I commend the entire report to your readers.

Fr Frank Brennan SJ AO,
Yarralumla, ACT

* Editor's note: the original article at has now been corrected.

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