Posts tagged ‘Australia’

Liked “Is Aussie rules booming at rugby’s expense?”

Original post found at: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/afl/australian-rules-football-is-booming-in-sydney-is-it-happening-at-rugby-s-expense-20210416-p57jtz.html

Blacklock recalled an old story from a friend, whose son - a Swans and Waratahs fan - was turning 10. He contacted both clubs to see if they could send him any memorabilia.

“The Waratahs sent out a couple of posters and a signed footy. The Swans sent out two injured players to his birthday party,” he said.

Liked “If Australia was more democratic, would its economic policies be better?”

Original post found at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-11/if-australia-was-more-democratic-would-its-economic-policies-imp/100060786

Was a bit nonplussed about the beginning of this article which holds up Ancient Athens as a model of democracy (it’s not like women or the large slave population got to participate in that, after all) but after that it gets better. It makes the point that:

Australia’s economic policy settings are controlled by a small group of elites drawn from politics and the bureaucracy and ‘independent’ bodies such as the Reserve Bank.

The priorities of this elite are completely out of step with the interests of the majority; as the article points out, they have presided quite deliberately over a steep rise in wealth inequality and feel no shame about the existence of poverty, which they could eliminate overnight if they wanted to.

It goes on to ask, But what if Australians had the opportunity to vote on individual policies, like the Athenians? How would we, the majority, structure our economy? I mean, this is the power that real socialism aims to put in our hands. But even without acknowledging that, I feel like this article does a good job pointing out that if power was actually in the hands of the masses, we could make our lives so much better. And the fact that they’re not demonstrates, as this article does acknowledge, that Australia is not very democratic after all. Which is a rare thing to see admitted in a mainstream outlet like the ABC!

AstraZeneca, blood clots and Australia

Australia has followed the lead of a few European countries in curtailing the rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines, due to the extremely low, but still existent, risk of dangerous blood clots. Last night the government announced that it would now be “recommended” for under-50s to get a different vaccine instead, of which Australia had only ordered Pfizer, and only enough to partially cover …

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Melbourne Time

Tonight we set our clocks back to return to standard time, and as such here’s a discovery I made through Twitter: according to this tweet, it’s only in 1895 that Melbourne joined Sydney on GMT+10, which is indeed Sydney’s “true” time zone (GMT+10’s central meridian, 150°E, runs through the middle of Sydney). Before that, Melbourne time ran 20 minutes behind …

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The Evolution of Canadian, Australian and NZ Englishes

On Quora, I once answered a question about why Australian and NZ English sound more like “British English” (really, the questioner meant the accents of southeast England) than Canadian English does. At the time I answered, a lot of the other answers were along the lines of “Canada is sooooo diverse and Australia isn’t so that’s why”, even though in reality the …

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Bookmarked “Australian politics should be as diverse as its people”

Original post found at: https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/australian-politics-should-be-diverse-its-people

This line stood out to me: The image that Australia wants to project – of being the most successful multicultural country in the world – is shattered by a simple look at Australia’s parliament. It’s not like Canada is a paradise completely lacking in racism either, but the very idea (that our politicians cling to) that Australia is “the most successful” in a world where Canada exists is uh… implausible.

Anyway, obviously racism would not be magically fixed just by having a more representative parliament. That requires a much larger, wide-ranging struggle. But it is emblematic of the racist nature of Australia and should be called out and challenged alongside perhaps more pressing issues (racist policing, wage gaps, land rights…). So to that extent this is a good article, even though it’s a bit too concerned about Australia’s reputation and not like… racist oppression. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Bookmarked “The Australian-born children the government wants to deport because they have a disability”

Original post found at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-22/australian-government-deporting-children-because-of-disability/100018362

The Department of Home Affairs makes it clear Kayaan's disability is the only reason the family cannot stay.

In a rejection letter sent last month, it said it estimated Kayaan would cost taxpayers $1.23 million over 10 years, which “would be likely to result in a significant, undue cost to the Australian community in the areas of health care and/or community services”.

This shit makes me absolutely livid! Everyone, Australian citizen or not, should be entitled to the exact same standard of medical care. It is inhuman to be like, “Look, your condition will cost a lot of money for taxpayers like your parents to treat, so we’re going to deport you back to your ‘home country’ where this treatment is not available and let you suffer and maybe die.” And this naked attempt at sowing division:

In a statement, a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said not all people with disability were rejected for permanent residency, and individuals were assessed based on the cost to the community and whether it would prejudice the access of Australian citizens and permanent residents to services in short supply.

Absolute bullshit. Whose fault is it that services are underfunded so much as to be in “short supply”? Yup, the same government trying to convince us that deporting non-citizen disabled children is a tragic inevitability. It is not a tragic inevitability; it is a deliberate and cruel choice. I fucking hate our government.

Liked “If Australia’s Unions Don’t Organize Unemployed Workers, They’re Digging Their Own Graves”

Original post found at: https://jacobinmag.com/2021/03/australia-labor-movement-unemployed-workers-unions/

This is suuuuch a good article about workers' struggles during the depression of the 1890s. Then, as now, there was an inclination to blame unemployed people for their own predicament, and a reluctance to acknowledge that the interests of those with jobs and those without are bettered by both groups uniting in a common struggle. Plus, the history is very interesting.

photo 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.