Monthly Archives: May 2016

Bad Foundations, Bad Economy

Media Inequality

House FoundationsA house with bad foundations is a bad house. I don’t care how nice the hedge is out the front, I don’t care if it has air-conditioning, polished floorboards or, for that matter, an industrial-sized $6,000 toaster. If the foundations haven’t been built solidly, everything on top of those foundations is bad and liable to fall down at any minute. I don’t want to live in a house with bad foundations.

This example shows the nonsensical myth that underpins political commentary, and in turn, voter perception, and is spouted around the place like Gospel with no-one questioning its very premise. This myth was once again trotted out by John Hewson this week when he compared the Liberal’s ‘jobs and growth’ slogan with Labor’s ‘we’ll put people first’. Hewson wrote ‘Perceptions about the two major political parties are well entrenched in the electorate psyche. The Liberal/National Coalition is consistently seen in…

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This is not a rape.

Rape is an abhorrent act that needs to be punished more severely that it currently is.

No Place For Sheep

Monsters under the bed

Monsters under the bed

The representation and simulation of rape has existed in many cultures, from the time humans first learned to make art. Sadly, none of these thousands of years of representation and simulation have done anything at all to prevent sexual assault.

So it is with some cynicism that I read artist Sophia Hewson’s explanation of her latest work as an attempt to bring the rape of women to our attention in the hope of subverting patriarchal notions of female victimisation and self-sacrifice, thus turning the trauma of rape into the liberation of empowerment.

While it is true that a raped woman need not remain forever a victim, and that the recovery of empowerment post trauma is indeed a real possibility, I’m at a loss as to how a video of a simulated “rape” scene will in any way assist the difficult progression from victim to empowered survivor.

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Left vs Right – where we come from

Media Inequality

In an interesting article in the Global Mail, Labor MP Andrew Leigh argues that Labor is the true ‘liberal’ party in Australia and that the Labor party should embrace this ideal as a way to reconnect with their traditional base. This suggestion got me thinking, as I often do, about the true differences between left wing and right wing political ideology. In Leigh’s article he states:

In my first speech to parliament, I argued that the Labor Party stands at the confluence of two powerful rivers in Australian politics. We believe in egalitarianism: that a child from Aurukun can become a High Court justice, and that a mine worker should get the same medical treatment as the mine owner. And we believe in liberalism: that governments have a role in protecting the rights of minorities, that freedom of speech applies as much to unpopular ideas as to popular ones, and…

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Breaking the Dog Whistle

the LNP will play dirty if they think they are losing.

Media Inequality

Karl StefanovikYou can’t blame the Liberals and their communications strategists for believing the demonization of refugees is a vote winner. The rise of Pauline Hanson, who stole votes from the Liberals, Howard’s success with Tampa and ‘children overboard’ in 2004 and Abbott’s ‘stop the boats’ election win in 2013 have given the Liberals a sense of security in their boat-people-threaten-national-security narrative, which they roll out whenever they have poll-insecurity.

We saw Peter Dutton do this yet again on Sky News on Tuesday, with a dog-whistle that was more like a fog-horn, claiming refugees would both simultaneously steal people’s jobs, presumably cat-burgling them from under their noses while they sleep whilst also languishing on the dole, costing respectable-tax-payers their hard-earned-money and contributing to the ‘debt-and-deficit-disaster’ in a neat little package tying refugees to all voters anxieties all at once. Both Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull had opportunity to repudiate Dutton’s statement, but…

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It is true that “jobs and growth” are important.

It is true that “jobs and growth” are important factors in the coming election. That said, there are many other important issues that all Australians are concerned with. Issues like water security, domestic violence, public health and public education and negative gearing. Regarding the LNP government’s cuts to all these services including public health and education. Further important concerns exist on the payment of multi-national taxes as Australia hosts these companies to boost revenue to this country (which is not happening). The cuts to family tax benefits for families in the working poor category while well paid workers gross pay packets get tax cuts $80,000 and above limits the aspirations of poorer families to educate our children, which in turn limits our children’s hope for a better life. These LNP cuts are badly affecting the working poor and the poor such as pensioners and the 75% of the workforce who earn under the $80-87 thousand mark per annum.

It’s time we as a community rejected our current circumstances, and I note due to public pressure on social media the LNP have suddenly dropped  their planned charge on individuals making us pay for our pathology tests, X-Rays, Pap smear tests, Cat scans etc. from July 1. No lowly paid working family can afford these changes to pathology, and we suspect that the payment plan is only on hold until after the election, the LNP hoping that they will win which judging from social media reaction, the re-election of the LNP looks very unlikely.

Whilst the LNP would like to keep a narrow focus of “jobs and growth” for the election, we, the general public do not appreciate our concerns being ignored by the LNP, especially the LNP approach to the system of NDIS and tax cuts for those who do not need them, while other families are in a desperate need.


An Open Letter to Peter van Onselen

Media Inequality

PVOTweetDear Peter

On Monday you asked this question on Twitter and seemed quite flabbergasted about the situation, so I thought I’d do you the favour of writing to you with some answers so you don’t do what you threaten and completely give up. Because we need you!

‘How in the name of God is it sustainable that half the working population don’t pay any income tax… I completely give up.’

Firstly, as you were told in response to this tweet, in fact the figure isn’t half, but more like a third,  outlined by Greg Jericho on Thursday. So why don’t a third of the working population pay any income tax? If you think hard enough about this question, the answer might come to you but I’ll just tell you to save you the mental energy: it’s because a third of our working population don’t earn very much money.


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Let them eat toast

No Place For Sheep

Class War

By now, you’ve probably all heard the tale of Duncan Storrer, the man on $20,000 a year who asked assistant treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer on Qanda why people much wealthier than him are getting tax breaks and he isn’t.

Let them eat toast, replied O’Dwyer, but those mofos can cost up to $6000 so two good people began a fund-raising campaign for Mr Storrer to get himself a toaster bigger than his very kitchen because this is class warfare and it’s time to pick your feckin side.

Newscorpse immediately launched a savage attack against Duncan, despatching Princess Caroline Overington to find Duncan’s estranged son who when found had nothing good to say about his dad so obviously, dumbo, Duncan had no right to ask his question because his son hates him. No, I’m not linking to Overington’s piece of trash.

Chris (doglover) Kenny’s son  has also publicly proclaimed his hatred for his…

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