Power & Privilege

There are 26 posts in this category

Hovering over the opt-out button on “My Health Record”

October 11th, 2018   

It’s a lifesaver, so the politicians say, spruiking My Health Record (MHR), the centralised electronic health database. I have my doubts, and this webpost burrows below the political spin. My number one critic says it should come with a TLDR alert (at 4896 words), but I’m hoping you stay with me, consider your options, and add your comments.

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In defence of universities…under fire from left and right

March 24th, 2018   

Universities are under fire from both sides of politics. The right complain they fail to meet the needs of employers. The left argue they legitimise the ‘meritocracy’ and hence fuel inequality. Both arguments can be co-opted by governments intent on cutting funds. In this post, I respond in defence of universities.

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Getting angry (or not) about abuse, injustice, illness

July 22nd, 2017   

I get angry about abuse and injustice, but (so far at least) not so much about my own illness. Friends are surprised by my apparent complacence. I’ve been surprised by their surprise, intrigued by my own inconsistencies, and curious about triggers for other people’s anger.

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No excuses for “crimes of the father”

May 19th, 2017   

There are no excuses for child abuse, and Tom Keneally makes none in his novel about pedophilia in the Catholic Church. Keneally’s insights into the perpetrator mindset are disturbing and he also illustrates why it was never going to work for the Church to investigate itself. His narrative seems a plausible fit with reality, although views on this may differ depending on personal experience.

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Wealth Inequality – from Daniel Blake to Robo Debt

April 28th, 2017   

I recently watched “I, Daniel Blake” and “The Founder” in a single viewing, immersed in the story of wealth inequality unfolding between their extremes. These films, closer to fact than politicians care to admit, reflect the lived reality of punitive welfare systems on the one hand, and unfettered plutocracy on the other. They have close parallels in current Australian society.

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What role for ridicule in resistance movements?

March 17th, 2017   

Ridicule works, the meme claims. But to achieve what, I wonder, raising seven questions about the effects (and effectiveness) of ridicule when the aim is non-violent resistance against abusive forms of power.

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Why can’t we learn some Finnish lessons? The Minister explains

May 7th, 2016   

Why can’t Australian education be as good as the Finnish system, a teacher of 40 years recently asked, answering his own question by highlighting the politics of education, and particularly of standardised testing. I put his question to the Minister for Education, and this post records the response. It didn’t satisfy me, but would be interested in other views.

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The writing on the wall for public education

April 5th, 2016   

The neoliberal behemoth hovers over education. Saving our public system is not so much about changing our Prime Minister as about unravelling the mindset that has taken occupation within, across, and beyond party lines…A job for the people…Joan Beckwith.

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“JOURNEY” – Propaganda extravaganza to deter asylum seekers

April 3rd, 2016   

“JOURNEY” is a government-funded movie intended to deter people from seeking asylum in Australia, and is part of a $70.7 million dollar budget allocated for the purpose over a six-year period. It is a sadistic piece of work to my eyes (despite virtuous spin about “saving lives at sea”) and this post provides a record of the grim political times that give rise to such a movie…Joan Beckwith.

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Social justice – under the neoliberal table

January 8th, 2016   

I used to believe it was possible to work for social justice by working against discrimination, and that economic justice would follow as a corollary of social equity. This now seems naive. The influence of neoliberal ideology on Australian politics has turned the fight for economic justice into a priority and prerequisite. In this post I talk about my own awakening and the need for interdisciplinary thinking…Joan Beckwith.

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