The former Commissioner of Australia Border Force, Roman Quaedvlieg, took time out of pouring petrol on the au pair scandal last week to pen his reflections on a far bigger scandal that is somehow not really a scandal at all. Initially self-published, then re-posted on Meanjin, Quaedvlieg wrote about a trip he took to Nauru in the second half of 2015.
When the ‘state of exception’ comes to shape normal political discourse.
At the first major policy announcement of his tenure, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s rhetoric echoed that of John Howard: violence against women, he said, needs to be seen as ‘unAustralian’.
But Australianess is a fluid concept that means different things to different people — for example, the republican Turnbull’s conception of it is fundamentally different to the constitutional monarchist Howard’s.
This suggests that one’s sense of what it means to be Australian entails selecting only certain elements of our past. Often, it means taking the good and ignoring the bad.
Israel’s Netanyahu government isn’t just focussed on the oppression of Palestinians. Tim Robertson reports on the ongoing treatment of African refugees.
Last month, revelations made in a Senate inquiry by Transfield Services, the company contracted to run the Nauru detention centre, illustrated how the Australian government’s callousness and immorality on the issue of asylum seekers is beginning to infect the national consciousness.