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Link: “Why is Australia's parliament so white?”

Original post found at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-61432762

Good article from the BBC here. Australia’s ethnic diversity is not at all well represented in our parliament, and the article points to the recent cases of Kristina Keneally sidelining the already-preselected Tu Le in Fowler, and Andrew Charlton pre-empting a preselection vote at all in Parramatta, as examples of how diverse representation is a very low priority for Labor (but not at all a priority for the Libs).

Link: “British Police Have Disturbingly Deceived Many Activists Into Romantic Relationships”

Original post found at: https://jacobinmag.com/2022/05/metropolitan-police-undercover-relationships-romance-spying/

Article about the British “spycops” scandal, and how the British state is still prioritising the cops’ “rights” over their victims’. Quote from the article:

“It’s always about their dignity and their right to family life and their right to privacy” — versus its care for those they have manipulated and emotionally tortured.

Link: “The time SUSE, the German Linux company, banned mentioning Jewish holidays.” by Brian Lunduke

Original post found at: https://lunduke.substack.com/p/the-time-suse-the-german-linux-company

To me this is a genuinely shocking story of anti-Semitism, mostly because it’s all so petty. Like, telling the social media guy to keep up the posts wishing everyone a happy every-other-religion’s-holiday but delete the Jewish ones? And immediately firing anyone who points out how dodgy this is? Then purposely scheduling your annual conference during the High Holy Days when there were other days that would’ve worked better anyway? Like, FUCKIN’ WHY? It’s so bizarre. My sympathies go out to any Jewish person who had to work in that environment (not that I expect any of them to read this, but just in case, hah).

Link: “Want to make art? You better be rich: how Australian culture locked out the working class”

Original post found at: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2022/may/16/want-to-make-art-you-better-be-rich-how-australian-culture-locked-out-the-working-class

There are cultural, financial and emotional gaps that exist between working-class creative people and the affluent, networked and mostly private school-educated gatekeepers of Australia’s arts and culture. There are extra hurdles faced by people of diverse gender, sexuality, ability and race, and by those living outside the major cities – leading to an entire creative culture that, to an outsider, looks largely monolithic: a lot of white, wealthy people who seem to already know each other.

Such an important (and true!) article. Another part (in addition to the quote above) that stood out to me was this about average wages earnt in the arts, showing just how likely you are to be able to make a living off them (particularly as a writer) if you do not come from a wealthy, well-connected, private school background:

In 2017, in the last major study done on the issue, the Australia Council found that artists made on average of $18,800 a year from their creative work. For writers it’s a lot lower, with nearly 50% earning less than $2,000 a year according to a survey run by the Australian Society of Authors in 2020.

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.