Power & Politics

There are 16 posts in this category

Cold indifference – new normal for community services?

December 6th, 2019   

“I’ve seen a lot in my thirty plus years as a social worker, and have some scars to show for it,” writes Dr Lorraine Harrison in this guest post for 2020socialjustice.
Lorraine refers to the “cold indifference” of funding-driven organisations in community services in which “the number of clients who pass through the service seems more important than whether they are helped” and workers are treated as “dispensable human resources”.

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Why wouldn’t we have Jacinda-envy?

May 9th, 2019   

Of course we have Jacinda-envy. Why wouldn’t we? When you look at the prime ministerial revolving door in Australia over recent years. Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, with Peter Dutton lurking in the wings, provide miserable substitutes for Jacinda Ardern, prime minister of New Zealand.

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Spirit-Sickness and Values through an Atheist’s Lens

September 1st, 2017   

As an atheist who believes in spirit-sickness, and the importance of strong values, I find myself having interesting conversations about how that can be. What does it mean to believe in the spirit if you don’t believe in God, one friend asked. How can disbelievers suffer spirit-sickness? Where do values come from in the absence of a received framework (such as can, for example, be provided by religion)?
I’m interested in other people’s experiences and moral journeys.

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TALKING ABOUT POWER with Penelope Fowler 2020socialjustice student award-winner 2015

March 11th, 2016   

We met – to talk about power – on a beautiful summer afternoon when many others would have been at the beach. We did not previously know each other, but Penny Fowler is the 2015 winner of the 2020socialjustice student award, and this post is a Q&A with her in four areas of Indigenous families, mental health, fathers in family work, and the challenge of balancing support and monitoring dimensions of social work roles. We would greatly value your comments and feedback.

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“Australian leader eats raw onion whole” and other gems from a jaw-dropping era

November 8th, 2015   

Tony Abbott’s parliament (18 September 2013 to 15 September 2015) got above the radar for cringe-worthy reasons including praise of coal as good for humanity, and criticism of marriage equality as a threat to cattle exports. This post includes media headlines from the era, sampled from a compilation by Evan Williams…Joan Beckwith.

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New, far-right, anti-Islam political party “AUSTRALIAN LIBERTY ALLIANCE”

August 5th, 2015   

New, far-right, anti-Islam political party “AUSTRALIAN LIBERTY ALLIANCE” officially launches on 20 October, 2015. Current Abbott-government politics create an environment in which such a party can flourish, and its international connections may also give it more ballast than previous far-right parties.

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Freedom of speech? Not if it offends the boss!

May 3rd, 2015   

Freedom of speech is always a hot topic, particularly in relation to the media, and particularly on “World Press Freedom Day” (3 May) the theme of which for 2015 is “Let Journalism Thrive”. Given that, today seems a good time to talk about Scott McIntyre, who was sacked as a journalist for tweets reported to his boss by an MP. No ‘thriving’ for Scott, and not for journalism either, under such circumstances, would you think?..Joan Beckwith.

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“TRUST US” on metadata retention has a hollow ring for whistleblowers

April 3rd, 2015   

Whistleblowing is not for the fainthearted and the new metadata retention laws in Australia add another layer of potential intimidation to an already precarious undertaking. Framed as making us safer from criminals and terrorists, they will have the effect of making us less safe from abuses of power by governments and other institutions. The pool of whistleblowers willing to report such abuses is unlikely to increase under conditions of mass surveillance…Joan Beckwith.

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Why should we care? About the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

January 11th, 2015   

There are many reasons to be concerned about the TPP, and perhaps the most concerning is the secrecy. At a time of low confidence in government, there is growing need to know what is happening behind the closed doors of international negotiations that will undoubedly affect everday life…Joan Beckwith.

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NEW YEAR MESSAGE FOR TONY ABBOTT Social Justice Wishlist 2015

January 1st, 2015   

I GUESS YOU MUST KNOW BY NOW that your government is seriously on the nose – and not just with latte-lefties. As a way of helping turn things around, I asked people what was on their social justice wishlist for 2015. They came up with heaps of stuff you seem pretty clueless about, so I’ve cut it down to byte-size chunks. You can follow the link to see the ideas, and make comments. Everyone is welcome at 2020socialjustice BLUE-TIE-FREE ZONE…Joan Beckwith.

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