Having seen my child’s education



Letter to the Editor

Having seen my own child’s education fall short due to ‘a special needs’ child’s disruption of the classroom and threats to her person I find myself in the very uncomfortable position of having to agree with Senator Hanson on the matter of segregation of autistic children from regular classrooms.

Teachers are in an impossible position these days, not being able to control students as no discipline exists with which to punish unruly students. My daughter has been subject to flying chairs and desks launched by an autistic ‘special needs’ child who managed to completely disrupt the class. Queensland Education ‘special needs’ students need more supervision than the everyday child in all situations including education.

The ‘special needs’ child who disrupted my daughters classes has gone on to a career of crime, appearing recently in the Townsville Bulletins pages after assaulting a ‘friend’ of his.

Congratulations must go to the Turnbull LNP government


Letter to the Editor

Congratulations must go to the Turnbull LNP government on their ‘jobs and growth’ strategy, the latest figures from Roy Morgan Research says that our unemployment and underemployment number has risen appreciably from 2.2 million to 2.6 million that is 2.6 million Australian households under severe financial pressure. We heard from ACOSS in January that Australia had passed the three million mark of Australians living below the poverty line, goodness knows what that figure must be today.

Opening new coal mines is a 19th century answer to a 21st century problem, the greenhouse gases produced from continued coal mining will destroy our Great Barrier Reef and the 70,000 jobs that our reef supports, leaving Queensland destitute for jobs and Australia even more destitute for ‘jobs and growth’ this failure can only be placed at the feet of the federal LNP government who have occupied the federal government benches for four long years.


Shaun Newman

13 Laura Court, Deeragun

Townsville, North Queensland, 4818

Ph: 0747516184

Email – sne35565@westnet.com.au

Gees I feel embarressed

Gees I feel embarrassed for and on behalf of some North Queensland residents, knowing so little about politics that the One Nation vote has gone as high as 20.9 per cent in some areas of North Queensland. The absence of knowledge about politics sees many disillusioned people turning to the proxy Liberal Party which is One Nation.

One Nation voting history in the Senate has agreed with every piece of controversial piece of LNP legislation that the tory government has raised, including the cut to ordinary pensioners, who have worked all their lives on lousy wages and who have had to struggle to survive on the pitiful amount of pension payment handed out by this anti-people government.

How ordinary people can turn on their own kind and approve this punishment of the poor is beyond me, it’s time people woke up and smelt the roses and began giving a bugger about their fellow Australian and kicked ‘all’ of these conservative parties, including One Nation out of our parliaments.

Now that President Trump


Letter to the Editor

Now that President Trump has placed the Earth on a collision course with dangerous Climate Change by reneging on the USA commitment to tackle the warming of the Earth and to try to restrict that warming to under 2 degrees.

The United States is responsible for 16 per cent of Earths total carbon pollution so if they walk away from this Paris agreement, hopefully the other 195 countries, will apply sanctions to the United States to put political pressure on them to reengage and take responsibility for the carbon pollution that they produce.

Thankfully some of the states within the United States are pressing ahead with their own climate change measures which will be a significant move in assisting the global community to deal effectively with the ever present menace.


Shaun Newman

Labor is good for the economy, stupid.

Australia urgently needs a fairer redistribution of wealth the past four years have seen the tory redistribution of wealth away from the people and into the foreign corporations.

Queen Victoria

Fair. As soon as Turnbull started peppering every statement about his 2017 Budget with the word fair, it was obvious he was responding to focus group results which said the main problem with the previous three Liberal budgets were that they were not fair. And, like an ideology that has sprung a leak, the Liberals were suddenly framed as ‘Labor-lite’, as if saying ‘we are fair’ and actually being fair were exactly the same thing. They aren’t.

I argue that the fact that the word ‘fair’ conjures a Labor frame is a bad thing for Labor and for this reason, Labor should stop using it. There are two reasons the word ‘fair’ needs to go. The first is that ‘fair’ means a completely different thing to each individual. Its subjectivity makes it a nice idea in theory, but a hopeless adjective in practice. The other reason is that the idea…

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On cultural appropriation

No Place For Sheep

I spent a considerable amount of time today arguing that cultural appropriation is not necessarily the same thing as fiction writers creating characters, and that it’s a disservice to everyone for the two to be conflated. Good arguments on this topic are explored here and here:

It is no longer enough to say that you merely disagree with something. Rather, the author must be stigmatized as a sort of dangerous thought criminal.

That being said, there are writers who use stereotypes. This is offensive, hurtful and likely harmful. It is also bad writing.

However, all fiction writing cannot be dismissed or forbidden because of bad writing. The task of the fiction writer is to walk a mile in another’s shoes. Indeed, fully realised fiction is an act of humanity: it demonstrates the all-too-often forgotten human capacity to empathically inhabit, and then convey difference. There is nothing, in my view…

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A Different Strike Story

Queen Victoria

Since I’m currently researching trade union narratives, you can imagine my ears pricked up when I heard the news today that Fairfax journalists were again going on strike. This time the strike is for a week, in protest against more staff cuts, and will likely mean it is pens down for reporting the 2017 budget. So, no small fry industrial action.

Apart from being sympathetic to any group of people who are having such a shit time at work that they have to stop work in order to show their bosses how unhappy they are, I was interested to know how journalists framed this strike, in comparison to how they frame strikes in industries other than their own.

In fact, I happen to know quite a bit about how industrial action is reported in the news, since it’s the topic of my research. As I read stories reporting the Fairfax…

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It seems that if speculation


It seems that if speculation by political pundits is correct our working class bright students will be deprived of a university education by cost and the situation will return to the 1960s where only children of the very well-off were able to further their education to tertiary level. It is being mooted that Treasurer Morrison’s May budget will contain further government funding cuts to universities so in turn the universities will use this as an excuse to increase student’s fees by up to 25 per cent instead of looking at their senior management salary levels of payment for savings.

The DNA of privilege runs through this LNP government’s veins, so the rise in fees will not affect their families, so the return to university qualifications being only for the wealthy will suit this government as they endeavour to restrict professional graduates to the ranks of the wealthy only. One of the problems with this policy is the smaller cities like Townsville and Newcastle who relies on local and overseas students to boost their cities economy and to fill unpalatable jobs i.e. midnight shifts at petrol stations.

Of course there will be the usual social problems associated with bright young people having to take menial work when they might have used their intelligence in much more productive ways.  When is all said and done this federal government has shown by example that it cannot manage Australia’s economy well, and it continues to worsen.