Political Public Relations is A Form of Propaganda

13/10/2019

My political communications lecturer was at pains to differentiate between propaganda and political public relations, but even using the definitions provided to us and the reasoning for it, I’m not sold on it. It’s the only unit I’ve actually done on a political topic, and I am already starting to see how universities frame this kind of content to fit the mould that the mainstream media and academics slowly adjust to. It actually makes me interested in doing further study into it just to observe how a course on these issues is carried out.

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Politics and Human Rights Are Not Markets

07/10/2019

I haven’t posted much recently (except for the 1-year piece) because I spent a week visiting a close friend interstate. While it wasn’t my intention to be inactive and not write, it was good to take a break, and it let me have time to read and actually finish reading a book and get back into another university reading, Introduction to Political Communication by Brian McNair. After reading the chapter on political advertising, my stance only consolidates – political advertising should not exist.

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The Lewis Powell Memorandum: How We Got Here

17/09/2019

It was only recently that I found out this document even existed. Almost half a century after it was written, it is certainly an interesting read – with the benefit of hindsight, it is obvious just how successful the ideas of this small memorandum have become. Much to the detriment of the average person, of course.

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Blockchain Technology Can Reshape Work

11/09/2019

I have been reading Blockchain Revolution by Don and Alex Tapscott recently – at an admittedly slow pace, I’ve had a lot of reading to get through for university – and researching blockchain elsewhere. It’s a bizarre read, not because I don’t understand the concept of blockchain, but because the authors appear pro-capitalism while so many of the benefits they have talked about so far lend themselves more towards abolishing it piece by piece.

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Another Plebiscite? No Thanks

30/07/2019

Pauline Hanson has made headlines – again – for saying something controversial and obviously not grounded in reality. She put forward, in the Senate, to have a national plebiscite on the number of immigrants coming into the country, asking people whether or not they believed the current number was too high or not. She was soundly defeated when it went to a vote, but of course it’s now made the rounds through the media – the idea is there.

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Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs: A Reflection

29/07/2019

Despite having two other books to read for university and a topic to read up on for an upcoming internship role, I impulsively bought Refugee Rights and Policy Wrongs and read it within a few days because bookshops are a (wonderful) trap. I am glad I did get it, though, because while my knowledge of international and Australian law is passable (read as: probably not great, but most people I know, in the nicest terms, don’t have a clue so I appear intelligent), there is always more to learn, a fact to add to your arsenal. When the topic is humanitarian issues, the outcome literally means life and death.

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Not to Say, “I Told You So”, But…

28/07/2019

… I told you so. It’s beyond the realm of predictive speculation – what the current government has done, or been tangled up in, has been blatantly obvious since the beginning. If people paid any attention or read into policies and the like, maybe they wouldn’t be so dismayed and shocked when certain stories break in the media. Although granted, the media is half to blame for most of this ignorance. There are countless examples that could be used, but here are four (mostly from this month).

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Consumerism Vs Participation in Politics: The Silent Majority Exists

20/07/2019

For an upcoming university unit, I have two books as prescribed core reading: An Introduction to Political Communication by Brian McNair, and Reporting Elections: Rethinking the Logic of Campaign Coverage by Stephen Cushion and Richard Thomas. While I have, I’d say, a reasonable knowledge and understanding (as well as some strong opinions) on those topics – I have, obviously, written (much less professionally) on them myself – it’s always enlightening to read more about the things you think you know. Even if many of the conclusions match previous ones, the difference each time is perspective.

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Quick Quips: What’ll We Lose First, Money or Sanity?

15/07/2019

  • As if anyone cared what her opinion was, Pauline Hanson has pitched in on the Uluru climbing debate. She doesn’t see the ‘cultural sensitivity’ seeing as people ‘have been climbing’ it for years. Reality check – yes, it has been a culturally sensitive issue all those years too, but finally Indigenous voices are being listened to. Just don’t climb Uluru – it’s that simple.
  • Can the media please stop asking Hanson what she thinks?
  • For Australians talking about ‘raiding Area 51’, we have a perfectly good US intelligence base near Alice Springs that could do with some dismantling.

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Democracy for Sale: Donations

14/07/2019

It is the unfortunate truth that nowhere in the world has democracy been properly and fully implemented, and that under the current system it is unlikely that it ever will. Even in the apparent birthplace of democracy – Ancient Greece – participation was limited to very strict demographics. Today in Australia, while things have improved on the participation front – although some demographics, such as prisoners, are unable to vote, and the debate about dropping the voting age to 16 continues – true democracy eludes us. As it turns out, you can just buy it.

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