Banerji and the Threat to Free Speech

14/08/2019

The High Court has ruled that Michaela Banerji’s sacking from the (then) Department of Immigration and Border Protection – Home Affairs sounds much nicer for the PR – was legitimate. This ruling has (to borrow the frequently used phrase from everywhere) rather chilling effects for democracy and free speech, and also has implications for other areas as well.

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Quick Quips: To Protest Is Your Right

01/08/2019

Nothing that benefitted any oppressed or supressed demographic was gained by doing nothing. Every major movement of the last century or so, from the black rights’ movement to the #MeToo movement, Union actions to revolts against autocratic governments, environmental and anti-war causes – all of these have involved some form of protest.

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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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Is the Invasion of Iran Confirmed?

24/07/2019

With the ascension of yet another Western example of absolute buffoonery – yes, I mean Boris Johnson in the UK – the question of an invasion of Iran becomes even more troubling. Tensions have been rising between the US and Iran’s regime, an escalation one can hold the US solely responsible for, but which Iran has acted increasingly authoritarian in response to (it’s almost like there are similarities with the situation in Venezuela, where the US tries to stir civil unrest to ‘justify’ toppling governments…). So why is the UK leadership important?

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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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“Deeply Concerned” Hypocrites

15/07/2019

Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Marise Payne, added Canberra’s voice to a letter to the UN regarding China’s human rights record in Xinjiang. For a few years now, attention has been brought to the over 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim groups being held in what have been described as detention centres by human rights bodies and ‘re-education centres’ by the Chinese government. Payne’s signing of the letter might’ve been worth looking favourably on, if Australia didn’t have its own detention centres.

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Australia Could Learn from Costa Rica

08/07/2019

When I think of Latin America, the first thing that comes to mind is the political turmoil infecting most of the continent. That’s a large step away from many of the people I know who would say they’ve never heard of Nicaragua, or my brothers who know Peru because they’re big fans of llamas. But it’s the small country between Nicaragua and Panama, surprisingly devoid of most of their neighbours’ strife, that all of us could learn a few things from – Costa Rica.

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Quick Quips: I’ll Drink to That

03/07/2019

“If you voted Greens then get out of the house!” Thankfully, I didn’t get drunk that night, otherwise there may have been quite the political hurricane amid the reserved celebrations of the evening. Head down, amiable but fake smile, avoiding the gaze of my chuckling friend as the older man praised “ol’ Trumpy”. Some whiskey and a nod later, crisis was averted – a friend’s birthday saved. I’ll drink to that.

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Defending the (Bottom) Line

27/06/2019

I have written before about the revolving door between politics and the private sector, as have many others with a much wider breadth of knowledge regarding specific cases. One, at the time of writing my piece, was former NSW Premier Mike Baird, working comfortably at NAB during the RC into the finance sectors. (Notably, I wrote at the time that NSW was feeling buyer’s remorse for having re-elected Baird and being given Berejiklian – boy was I wrong, the media narrative shifted drastically). This week’s contender? Former Defence Minister Christopher Pyne.

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