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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MUKGA?

26/07/2019

Make the UK great again – it doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as MAGA. But, new PM Boris Johnson is keen to channel his inner Trump populism by promising this elusive greatness. Perhaps they can find it behind all of those austerity measures… or in the biscuit tin of a racist grandma…

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Revising History the Right Way

23/07/2019

The idea of historical revisionism is something that is brought up a lot, by everyone, for many different reasons. When you hear the phrase ‘rewriting history’, it tends to conjure up murky and Orwellian imagery, a world where fact is replaced with a manufactured conception of the past. To the contrary, I would argue that historical revisionism should be encouraged – so long as it is done correctly.

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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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Be Sceptical, But Be Sensible

11/07/2019

In the past week or so, I’ve watched a few videos and read a few articles about flat earth theories, climate change denial, and other assorted ‘conspiracies’ that are out there. In the vast majority of cases, scepticism is something I would encourage, but are there limits to that? Is it healthy scepticism to question something that can easily be proven, and has been proven multiple times? If done right, then sure.

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Silencing Powerful Voices

07/07/2019

When I say “powerful”, I don’t just mean people in positions of actual political power. I mean powerful in the sense that the words of these individuals, or groups of people, have immense weight. Whether it is a single person or a population, many powerful voices are being silenced, and it’s up to the rest of us to ensure they are heard again.

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Ideas, Individuals, and… Nationalism?

04/07/2019

We’ve all heard the saying: “If you don’t love it here, leave!” The irony of those kinds of statements though, usually disseminated online towards ‘leftists’ of various sorts (whether on cultural or economic concerns), is that the people who most often assert them are the ones with gripes over their country’s wellbeing. This inconsistency can reach comical standards at times, and also helps reveal other hypocrisies.

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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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US 2020 Election Prediction

28/06/2019

Making predictions of what will happen in the future, be it tomorrow, this year, or further into the future is, I believe, a worthwhile task. I wrote about this before, in disagreement with E. H. Carr, professor and author of the book What Is History?. For me, the idea of ‘predicting’ what will happen is an academic exercise – you don’t know for certain, but with the facts and circumstances surrounding the issue you can make a reasonable guess. Whether you’re right or wrong, you learn to analyse events with a keener eye. So, my US 2020 election prediction? Trump.

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An Unholy Union: The Privatisation of War

19/06/2019

After asking a friend to choose one of three topics, the next book I am delving into is the world of mercenaries – investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill’s Blackwater. I am aware of Blackwater, now Academi, and of Erik Prince (brother of Betsy DeVos), but I am sure this book will bring much more to my attention. If ever there was a hell on Earth, where the world of business amalgamates with war would be at its core.

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