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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
Theres been a fight at a Liberal Party branch meeting in Arncliffe tonight. Allegations elderly women were abused and a man assaulted. Democracy at work guys. @9NewsSyd #auspol pic.twitter.com/P77ptrLCseChris O'Keefe (@cokeefe9) June 18, 2018
TRUMP on Kim Jong Un (note the final two sentences): "He's the head of a country, and I mean he's the strong head. Don't let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same." (via FOX) pic.twitter.com/ed9AMRl9nyKyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 15, 2018
An article in the AFR today by Gareth Evans, the day-before-yesterdays man and then some, writing on How we should manage Donald Trumps meltdown world. But what he most clearly gets across is what a breath of fresh air PDT is and why you cannot trust the ALP. This is how he starts:
The assumptions that have sustained and underpinned Australian security and economic policy for decades are in meltdown.
Oh dear, please tell us more.
The post-Second World War global order an open, rules-based system underpinned by a robust network of security alliances, and by effective multilateral institutions in which rules could be agreed and norms reinforced is the only one we have known in our modern history. Its maintenance has depended more than anything else on American belief in the liberal norms laid out in the San Francisco peace treaty and the Bretton Woods organisations.
You mean the peace treaty that ended World War II in 1945? You mean the Bretton Woods agreement that was signed in 1944? Breaking down are they? How about a bit of clarity over just which issues are so important and at risk. Its about Donald Trump, of course. And what is he doing now, you might ask?
He is walking away from painfully negotiated international agreements above all the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accords in a way that has left Americas word in doubt and its soft power in tatters.
Doesnt seem such a worry to me, but lets continue. What about Korea, for example; that went from flaming volcano to the most quiescent period in our relations with the communist north in seventy years?
Even when this President does the right thing as with the circuit breaking Singapore summit with Kim Jong-Un it is manifestly with such superficial understanding of the issues, indifference to process, and fragility of temperament that it is hard for anyone to be confident that the ultimate outcome, which will necessarily involve protracted multilateral diplomacy will be triumph or disaster.
Yes, all his predecessors built such a solid foundation before PDT got there which gave no one any confidence at all, but which apparently, in Gareths view, the current President has now put that nuclear house of cards in tremendous jeopardy. Could be, but this is mere assertion from someone who thinks process is what matters and not results.
And with that same President involved in a global power display of American might in every part of th...
Tom Switzer and Charles Jacobs have a somewhat depressing op-ed in The Australian this morning:
According to a Centre for Independent Studies/YouGov poll, 58 per cent of Australian millennials those born between 1980 and 1996 have a favourable view of socialism, with only 18 per cent having an unfavourable one. They believe government should have more control of the economy.
That 62 per cent of millennials believe Australian workers are worse off today than 40 years ago is in direct contradiction of all available economic evidence
While the wickedness of Mao, Lenin and Stalin is unknown to these youthful idealists, they are well schooled about the wickedness of the extreme right: 73 per cent of them are well aware of Adolf Hitler and his iniquities.
CIS Paper here.
Now Tom and Charles blame the education system as does Janet Albrechtsen:
We are funding our own demise. A country that is the product of Western civilisation has a death wish when it sends billions of taxpayer dollars to a swag of fancy universities, few of which teach students the tenets of Western civilisation. Each year the federal government meaning we taxpayers sends $16.8 billion to universities because educating the next generation is a fine way to spend our money. Except for this: a detailed history audit conducted last year by the Institute of Public Affairs found that few Australian universities teach the core subjects about the history of Western civilisation.
More university subjects cover the history of film than democracy, more focus on identity than the Enlightenment.
This is all true but also misses an important point. I learned more about WWII at home than I did at school. I learned more about the evils of totalitarianism and authoritarian government at home than I did school. My children too have learned more about the evils of government and social engineering a...
Thanks to everyone who commented on the first twelve chapters of my book-in-progress, Economics in Two Lessons.
Heres a draft of Chapter 13 on Redistribution
Comments, criticism and praise are welcome.
Earlier draft chapters are available. These arent final versions, as I am now editing the entire manuscript, but you can read them to see where the book is coming from.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ao6s4jaejbrzap1/QuigginChapter1Revised.pdf?dl=0>Chapter 1: What is opportunity cost?
https://www.dropbox.com/s/r1k8iqcpeboosbh/QuigginChapter2Revised.pdf?dl=0>Chapter 2: Markets, opportunity cost and equilibrium
https://www.dropbox.com/s/x4umnbwj4kmihd6/QuigginChapter3Revised.pdf?dl=0>Chapter 3:Time, information and uncertainty
https://www.dropbox.com/s/s2fkdwmbmje6fdo/QuigginChapter4Draft.pdf?dl=0>Chapter 4:Lesson 1: Applications.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/pmml30mkozzj9j5/QuigginChapter5Draft.pdf?dl=0>Chapter 5: Lesson 1 and economic policy.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/44bvl01adcv2fte/QuigginChapter6Draft.pdf?dl=0>Chapter 6: The opportunity cost of destruction
As I mentioned a while ago, after years of having the blog managed for me by Jacques Chester (thanks again!) Im now out on my own. Im working through WordPress.com. A reader has mentioned that the process of commenting has become burdensome, something Ive noticed with the default WordPress setup. Ive tried to fix this by removing the requirement for an email address.
Id appreciate it if readers could comment on what happens when they try to post a comment. If you cant comment at all, please email me at email@example.com
On May 30th, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced a momentous shift in American global strategic policy. From now on, he decreed, the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), which oversees all U.S. military forces in Asia, will be called the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM). The name change, Mattis explained, reflects the increasing connectivity between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, as well as Washingtons determination to remain the dominant power in both.
What? You didnt hear about this anywhere? And even now, youre not exactly blown away, right? Well, such a name change may not sound like much, but someday you may look back and realize that it couldnt have been more consequential or ominous. Think of it as a signal that the U.S. military is already setting the stage for an eventual confrontation with China.
If, until now, you hadnt read about Mattiss decision anywhere, Im not surprised since the media gave it virtually no attention less certainly than would have been accorded the least significant tweet Donald Trump ever dispatched. What coverage it did receive treated the name change as no more than a passing symbolic gesture, a Pentagon ploy to encourage India to join Japan, Australia, and other U.S. allies in Americas Pacific alliance system. In Symbolic Nod to India, U.S. Pacific Command Changes Name was the headline of a Reuters story on the subject and, to the extent that any attention was paid, it was typical.
That the medias military analysts failed to notice anything more than symbolism in the deep-sixing of PACOM shouldnt be surprising, given all the attention being paid to other major international developments the pyrotechnics of the Korean summit in Singapore, the insults traded at and after the G7 meeting in Canada, or the ominous gathering storm over Iran. Add to this the poor grasp so many journalists have of the nature of the U.S. militarys strategic thinking. Still, Mattis himself has not been shy about the geopolitical significance of linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans in such planning. In fact, it represents a fundamental shift in U.S. military thinking with potentially far-reaching consequences.
Consider the backdrop to the name change: in recent months, the U.S. has stepped up its naval patrols in waters adjacent to Chinese-occupied islands in the South China Sea (as has China), raising the prospect of future clashes between the warships of the two countries. Such moves have been accompanied by ever more threatening language from....
and we need as much as ever to understand what is happening and how to defend our basic freedoms.
Who would have thunk that a man concerned about basic freedoms was so skill full at taking them away.
PS this same article referred to Swans presidential tour to campaign for the presidency of the Labor party. And who paid for this tour?
Media Release It is worrying that the latest death on Nauru and the circumstances relating to this event have not been broadcast by the ABC*. Have these events become too commonplace or is the national broadcaster underfunded? Perhaps parts of the ABC (and all its editors) have already been sold. The ABC was informed of
The post Activists Call for Mass Medical Evacuation from Manus, Nauru appeared first on The AIM Network.
The European Union is
founded on values of "respect for human dignity, freedom,
democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights,
including the rights of persons belonging to minorities". Those
values are under threat from several of its members. In Spain, the
government has unleashed state violence against those who
peacefully advocate secession. In Italy,
the government wants to deport Roma, an ethnic minority who
were targeted for extermination by the Nazis. And in Hungary, the
racist government has just
made it illegal for lawyers and NGOs to help refugees claim
These actions clearly contravene the EU's fundamental values. They may also explicitly contravene European law and the European Convention on Human Rights, and look likely to result in court cases. But more than that, they require political action from other EU nations to enforce the Eu's values. These are not things civilised, democratic countries which respect human rights should be doing. And insofar as a government by its actions consistently fails to meet that standard, the EU should be looking at suspending or even revoking membership. If Hungary and Italy want to go back to being 30's racist shitholes, then they can do it without belonging to the EU.
The tradition is represented as noble, the confiding link between confessor and penitent, a bridge never to be broken, even under pain of death. Taken that way, the confessional is brandished as the Catholic Churchs great weapon against the wiles and predations of secular power. The State shall have no say where the priests confidence
The post The Catholic Church in Resistance: Priests, Child Abuse, and Breaking the Seal of the Confessional appeared first on The AIM Network.
After decades of pleas from those in need, a raise in the Newstart Allowance has finally had a much-needed boost of support, writes Pas Forgione read now...
That's the only way to describe
events in Parliament last night. Faced with the opposition
filibustering two time-sensitive bills, the government
moved urgency, then attempted to
amend the instruction to the committee to prevent any debate on
what was being voted on. The urgency isn't problematic - the
bills are time-sensitive, and need to be passed this week if
they are to come into force on time on July 1. They could have been
completed under urgency with the budget, but the government
unusually didn't take that opportunity at the time (something which
I was happy to see, but it did set them up for this problem later).
But the motion to forbid debate was an affront to our democracy.
While it was
withdrawn this morning - saner heads having prevailed - the
fact that it was moved at all is obscene.
Oppositions exist to oppose. This will be inconvenient to the government, and that's the point. The way governments respond under this pressure illustrates their character. And Labour has exposed itself as authoritarian and intolerant of dissent (who'd have thunk it) - not values I want to see in a government. Chris Hipkins' childish tantrum actively undermined our democracy and the stature of our Parliament. And someone who does that is not fit to be Leader of the House.
Not much of a surprise really, since they prefer Canada First policies, though why they elected Justin Trudeau if that was in their minds is beyond me. Via my refugee ex-mate from communist Hungary, who is now more socialist than the communist leaders when the soviets ran the place: Canadians overwhelmingly disapprove of Donald Trump, poll says. Not quite, since the article is about trade alone, but why expect a journalist to get things right?
Four out of five Canadians disapprove of U.S. President Donald Trump in the wake of an escalating trade war with Canada, a new poll has found.
The Campaign Research survey also found 72 per cent believe Trumps protectionist policies have harmed the Canadian economy, while only three per cent said they have helped.
It may come as a surprise that it is not the role of the United States government to put the interests of non-Americans ahead of the interests of Americans. Although when you watch the Democrats dealing with their border wars to the south, you have to wonder if the media and the Dems even know what Americans own interests are.
Aspiration is the latest buzzword of the Turnbull Government. They used it so much in Parliament this week, it started to sound like desperation. read now...
The Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) continues to grow. Figures for this financial year to the end of April 2018 show 6,573 SWP visas have been approved. This compares with 6,166 visas approved in total for the full 2016-17 financial year. Moreover, most workers do very well under the scheme. When the World Bank asked 400 Pacific workers how satisfied they were with the SWP, the average score was 8.6, on a scale of one to ten. Similar smaller surveys of Timorese workers found that 96% were satisfied, with 68% very satisfied. In Vanuatu, a survey of 100 returned workers showed that all of the women and 91% of men were satisfied.
That said, this is no time for complacency. It is not clear that arrangements that support a few thousand workers will support the much larger number that could enter Australia both under the Seasonal Worker Programme and the much larger Pacific Labour Scheme. Moreover, while some countries are doing very well under the SWP (Vanuatu, Tonga, Timor-Leste), others are missing out (PNG, Solomon Islands).
The SWP also continues to be subjected to both generalised and specific claims of exploitation in the media. There are also complaints about recruiters in sending countries scamming potential workers. These incidents undermine the development benefits of the scheme, as well as wider community acceptance of the value of the SWP in Australia and in sending countries.
In responding to these problems, so far the focus has been on compliance across the horticultural industry, which is appropriate given the higher number of backpackers working on farms, and their greater risk of exploitation. Victoria, Queensland and South Australia are all introducing labour hire licensing.
There are also SWP-specific responses. One recently-announced reform is the piloting of a 24/7 information line for seasonal workers. It success will depend on how well the information the hotline receives is processed and acted on.
These are all positive moves, but what more could be done? A recent book Merchants of Labor: Recruiters and International Labor Migration by Professor Philip Martin reviews the global experience of the approximately ten million workers who cross international borders...
The racist methgoblins of the True Blue Crew (TBC) are holding another flagwit parade in the Melbourne CBD this Sunday. There theyll be joined by a range of other right-wing cranks, including Soldiers of Odin, neo-Nazi Lads, Timmeh! and The Continue reading
The margin between what is a human right as an inalienable possession, and how it is seen in political terms is razor fine. In some cases, the distinctions are near impossible to make. To understand the crime of genocide is to also understand the political machinations that limited its purview. No political or cultural groups,
The Australian Electoral Commission released the final decisions for the Victorian federal redistribution earlier today. Most of the changes were very minor, with no seats experiencing a large change in margin. The switch of Dunkley from Liberal to notional Labor has been maintained.
We have seen two changes in seat names. The seat of Cox has been restored to its previous name of Corangamite. While they noted the concern about the double-entendre in the name, the decision has supposedly been made due to the longstanding use of the name Corangamite.
The AEC is also renaming the seat of Batman in Melbournes inner north to Cooper. This name honours early 20th century Aboriginal leader William Cooper. The report specifically mentions his role in founding the Australian Aborigines League in the 1930s, and his protests against Nazi Germany in 1938. This is the culmination of a long campaign to abolish this seat name.
Overall we will see eight new seat names at the next federal election. Batman is not the only seat named after an early white settler to be renamed in part due to that mans genocidal history the seat of McMillan in eastern Victoria has been renamed Monash.
The announcement today just included descriptions of how the boundaries have been changed since the first draft. There are no maps and no data. So its possible there might be small errors in my margin calculations. I will put together the updated map over the weekend, although Ill double-check the boundaries when the official map is released on July 13.
I also expect well be getting the final boundaries for ACT and South Australia over the next week.
The table below the fold lists the margin in every Victorian seat, before the redistribution, on the draft boundaries and on the final boundaries. I discovered a small bug in my margin calculation code so there may be some small changes (around 0.1% in most cases) even where boundaries havent changed, but Ive included the previously-published margins for transparency.
|Seat||Pre-redistribution||Draft boundaries||Final boundaries|
Jane Salmon was assaulted as a young girl. She shares her very personal response to the murder of young comedian, Eurydice Dixon. read now...
Language is a organic thing. Words evolve and words disappear, and they disappear from the lack of use. So it is important for all of us, that when certain words that used to be often used start disappearing, that we all join together to keep them alive. This is part of the reason for this post.
Yesterday, the NSW Government delivered its 2018-19 budget showing a $3.9 billion surplus. For those who live outside NSW, a surplus (pronounced sur-pluhs, -pluhs) is when the Government plans to spend less money than it collects. A novel concept for most Australian, but as shown in NSW, it is more than a theoretical possibility.
Any Canberra residents out there reading this, please repeat after Spartacus:
Not surprisingly, the NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet has been out selling and promoting the budget.
Spartacus has not be following particularly closely where the Treasurer has been, but one imagines that he needs to speak to informed and ill-informed citizens. And on the theme of the ill-informed, Treasurer Perrottet popped in for a chat with the geniuses, the Apostles of Emma-nomics at the ABC.
Interviewed this morning by the leading minds of Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck, came the following observation from Buck:
The Treasurer Dominic Perrottet is with us this morning. Of course he handed down the state budget yesterday. There was a lot of money being thrown around, although not a great deal of money it appears being thrown it into climate change relief.
Yes. You read that correctly. The ABC journalist, whose salary is paid by the tax payers, observed that there was not a lot of money thrown into climate change relief as part of the NSW budget. Buck then followed with the following quality question:
Can I ask you straight up, do you believe in climate change?
Without transcribing Perrottets exact...
Unfortunately behind a paywall but sent to me by my moronic former mate who now breathes the air in Silicon Valley and drives three Mercedes and a Porsche. The article is also from the Financial Times in the UK which, as we know, is a model to us all.
Matteo Salvini, Italys interior minister, has provoked outrage across Europe with his refusal to let the Aquarius, a rescue ship carrying hundreds of migrants, dock in an Italian port. The Spanish government has had to step in to give the boat a safe harbour.
Mr Salvinis move has been described as unprecedented. But for watchers of Australian politics, it is alarmingly familiar. During a tumultuous Australian election in 2001, a Norwegian freighter, the MV Tampa, rescued more than 400 distressed asylum seekers in international waters. John Howard, the then prime minister, refused the captain permission to enter Australian waters, and ordered special forces to seize the vessel when he did so anyway.
The Tampa affair stands out as a moment when Canberra explicitly adopted the view that Australia could no longer afford to observe humanitarian norms. Within a few months, the first elements of the Pacific solution, which involved forcing boats back to Indonesia and detaining asylum seekers in Nauru, an island nation 750 miles offshore, were in place.
There are worrying signs beyond the eerie Aquarius-Tampa parallel that the EU is heading down a similar path. Last year, Emmanuel Macron, the French president, floated the idea of keeping migrants away from Europe by creating hotspots to handle asylum requests in north Africa. The German interior ministry has also mooted the advantages of eliminating the prospect of reaching the European coast.
The temptations of such a policy for European politicians are clear. A steady stream of refugees to Europe has fed the rise of populist parties, including Mr Salvinis League and Alternative for Germany. Meanwhile, Australias policy has largely achieved its objective: to stop the boats. European leaders are drawn to the humanitarian defence for this hardline approach: that stopping the boats means fewer drownings.
They should resist. Australias refugee policy has become notorious for its brutality. The Nauru detention centre has seen hunger strikes, suicides and hundreds of accusations of abuse. A separate centre on Manus Island last year had its water and power cut off. Amnesty International has called the policy a human rights catastrophe.
Few in the EU would defend the extreme brutality of Australias system but in 2001 not many Australians would have either. The logic of deterrence naturally escalates: Australia introduced mandatory detention of unlawful non-cit...
At the moment, the USA is separating children from their parents
and putting them in concentration camps. This is utterly abhorrent
to most New Zealanders. So what is our government saying about it?
Winston Peters is coming under pressure from the Government's support partner, the Green Party, to speak out about the United States' separating children at its southern border from their non-documented migrant parents.
The Greens want Peters, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, to protest to US ambassador Scott Brown about the treatment of children.
Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis and National leader Simon Bridges yesterday joined an international chorus of opposition to the current practice, saying it was cruel and inhumane.
The closest Peters got to criticism was saying New Zealand would not do what the US did but said he wanted focus on what was happening in New Zealand, while he deputises for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on maternity leave, not other countries.
Snippet below as food for thought (emphasis by Spartacus). Or whole article here as a banquet for the mind.
Well, they were not Tories. I know of at least six members of the Blair cabinet who to this day would prefer not to talk much, if at all, about their days in the ranks of hardline Marxist organisations. People who now go into frenzies about the leftist past of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell have always ignored this aspect of New Labour and refuse to see any importance in it.
Canada has taken a major step towards ending America's insane
"war on drugs", by
legalising recreational cannabis use:
Recreational cannabis use in Canada is to become legal after the Senate approved the legislation.
The measure is expected to come into effect in two or three months, with the exact official date to be set by the government. Prime minister Justin Trudeau has previously emphasised that the Cannabis Act will be implemented without delay.
The landmark agreement, making Canada the first G20 country to legalise recreational use, came to pass after the Senate voted 52 to 29 to approve the legislation.
It means adults will soon be allowed to carry up to 30g of dried cannabis (or its equivalent) in a public space, which includes personal vehicles. Those caught with more than 30g could face up to five years in prison. It will remain illegal for one adult to sell cannabis to another, unless they are a licensed retailer.
Wondering whats happening with Adani? Well there have been a few developments of late. Adanis original plan was to use the coal from the Carmichael mine in its own generators at the Mundra power plant in Gujarat, India. Except Adani Power Mundra is on the verge of bankruptcy. Faced with mounting operational losses, they have
In exclusive and breaking news, it can be reported that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) will establish a new foundation, the Ultimo Centre for Intellectual Vapidity (UCIV). The ABC will seed the UCIV with an initial $20 million from savings from the axing of Peppa Pig programs.
UCIVs first investment will be to establish the School of Emma-nomics within the University of Sydney (USyd). The School of Emma-nomics will be housed within the USyd Department of Italian Studies with the object to teach students about contemporary leftist economics and mathematics. Courses such as calculating company income tax on revenue from an indigenous perspective will be offered, as will courses on how to win a debate by calling your opponent dog f**cker, Nazi and terrorist.
UCIV will fund academics and scholarships for this program. However, to avoid using the gender loaded title of Bachelor ascribed to most undergraduate academic degrees, the award for graduates of this program will be know as the Special Paper Epi Walkley (SPEW).
The inaugural head of the USyd School of Emma-nomics will be Professor Emma Alberici who has been seconded from the ABC. Professor Alberici said:
In 2001 I was a @walkleys finalist for a story on tax minimisation #justsaying. I am thus well qualified to teach and speak on Emma-nomics.
Professor Peter Van Onselen will also be delivering courses on journalism and politics.
Why do you think that the coalition always couch their legislative program with wedges for Labor? Is it their way of having fun or can they just not resist the opportunity to play politics, even with something so fundamentally important as tax policy? This week the coalition want to pass their package of personal income
The USA - which is currently kidnapping the children of refugees
and sticking them in concentration camps - has consistently
complained that the UN Human Rights Council is not fit for purpose.
For a start, it criticises Israeli human rights abuses - something
a human rights organisation should apparently never do. But the US
is also annoyed that countries which persistently abuse human
rights are regularly elected to the council. So they're
I guess they're finally admitting they're a human rights abuser, and being the change they want to see in the world.
Propaganda about an endless "war on terror" and a succession of enemies has led to the slow creep of suppression of inquiry. read now...
Speakers and activists, ranging from Socialists to Trump supporters, joined together all across the globe for a day of unity in protest of the sixth anniversary of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange entering the Ecuadorian Embassy in London seeking political asylum.
The protesters were demanding that Australia, Britain and the US abide by the UN ruling that Assange be allowed his freedom.
Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 19, 2012, where he applied for, and was granted, political asylum. Since that time, the building has been encircled by police waiting on standby to arrest him, likely to extradite him the United States where he would face extreme persecution for the crime of doing truthful journalism.
Outside the White House, left-wing activists including Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin and CIA whistleblower Ray McGovern stood alongside Trump-supporters such as Lee Stranahan of Breitbart and Sputnik News, Will Chamberlain who helped build MAGA Meetups, and myself.
He has enough support that we will protect him, McGovern said during his speech.
Benjamin expressed deep concern about the enemies that Assange has made in every administration since his organizations inception.
You know how they say you can know a person by the friends they keep? Well, you can also know a person by the enemies they make and when you look at Julian Assange hes made a lot of enemies, Benjamin began. Those enemies were in the Bush administration, the Obama administration and now it looks like hes making enemies in the Trump administration. He released critical information about what the Bush administration was doing in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo. Then, he released information about what Clinton was doing with her foundation and Saudi Arabia.
Benjamin added,now it looks like the Trump administration is pissed off at Julian Assange as well, look at the pressure they are putting on Ecuador.
In March, Ecuador caved to pressure from the United States to isolate Assange by revoking his right to have visitors, make phone calls or use the internet. With no access to the outside world or means of communication, he is now being kept in conditions worse than our prisoners in solitary confinement....
Wednesday 20 June 2017 Understanding the conservatives desire to eliminate a state-owned broadcaster is as simple as ABC. Conservatives dont believe in state ownership of anything. They believe private enterprise and competition is the best way for all businesses. Its the same with health. They believe, philosophically, that individuals should fend for themselves and pay
After her sons murder, Miriam* finally fled her village in Myanmars conflict-ravaged Rakhine State. Even as Miriam escaped, the few precious belongings she could grab were snatched from her, and she recalls how she was forced to drink water from bamboo to survive the long trek to neighbouring Bangladesh.
Of the nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees that have crossed into Bangladesh since August 2017, well over half are women and girls, and many, like Miriam, have reported grave human rights abuses.
The Rohingya refugee crisis is extreme, yet violence against women and girls occurs everywhere, in both developed and developing nations. Worldwide including here in Australia on average one in three women face some form of violence at some point in their lives. Cases spike dramatically amid emergencies, but far too often go unreported. In this, the 21st century, rape is still used as a weapon of war, and fear, shame and stigma stops many survivors from speaking out.
And for refugees like Miriam, the risks arent over when they reach relative safety. Forced to live in makeshift camps filled with uprooted, often traumatized people, exposure and the threat of lawlessness increase the risk of violence. In desperate situations like these, where people often have just the clothes on their backs, forced marriage, child marriage, trafficking, exploitation and cases of women selling sex to survive, typically rise. This is why, in any crisis, upholding the safety and dignity of women and girls who have survived violence, or are at risk of suffering it, must be front and centre in relief efforts.
As the monsoon rains set in over the sprawling Rohingya refugee camps in Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh, Miriam has finally found some security and respite in one of the special women-only spaces set up by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with support from the Australian government. For women who have lost everything their homes, families, livelihoods and not least their dignity there, they know that they are safe, that they have support and that they have each other.
Now, with the help of a trained counsellor, Miriam says shes working through the grief at the loss of her son and feels comfortable enough in the space to start putting plans together for her surviving family.
I have peace when I come here, she says. I get mental and physical support, and when I needed to go to the hospital, they referred me and came with me.
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