- Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein accepted the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize on November 11, delivering a searing speech that reflected on Donald Trump’s presidential victory in the United States and the factors that allowed it to happen.
“If there is a single overarching lesson in the Trump victory, perhaps it is this: Never, ever underestimate the power of hate, of direct appeals to power over the ‘other’ … especially during times of economic hardship,” said Klein, whose books include The Shock Doctrine and This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate.
Calling Trump the “demagogue of the moment,” Klein went on to identify other lessons to “take from our barely three-day-old reality”.
One, she said, is that “economic pain is real and not going anywhere — four decades of corporate, neoliberal policies and privatisation, deregulation, free trade and austerity have made sure of that.”
Another, she continued, is that “only a bold and genuinely redistributive agenda has a hope of speaking to that pain and directing it where it belongs — the politician-purchasing elites who benefited so extravagantly from the auctioning off of public wealth, the looting of our land, water and air, and the deregulation of our financial system.”
Just for the record, One Nation, David Leyonhjelm and Jacquie Lambie voted with the LNP in favour of the plebiscite. NXT and Derryn Hinch voted against along with WA Liberal Dean Smith, Labor and the Greens. Leyonhjelm tweeted that the LGBTI community should “harden up”.
- Penny Wong spoke passionately about the long and personal route she’d taken to cementing her opposition to the plebiscite.
“We do not want our families and our children publicly denigrated,” she told parliament.
“This hate speech is not abstract, it is real, it is part of our daily life.”
“Speaking personally, I do not think the God of my faith would be affronted by who I am, my relationship, or my family.
“Australians overwhelmingly support marriage equality yet now Malcolm Turnbull is asking them to do as opponents of that equality demand, to take a path he did not support.”
This is how it’s shaping:
If an election was held last weekend, Labor would have 82 seats, the LNP 63, and five ‘other’.
Labor is up one on the primary vote to 38%, with the Coalition and Greens steady on 39% and 10%.
Newspoll didn’t track One Nation directly, but this news item from 17 October says:
- A Newspoll taken between 6 and 9 October and released on Monday shows One Nation would win 6% of the national vote in the House of Representatives. That compares with 2% in a Newspoll in late August and 1.3% at the 2 July election.
I did see an item in the CM saying that ON is at 16% for a Qld state election.
Essential Report also has Labor up 53-47. In primary votes it’s the LNP on 38%, Labor on 37%, the Greens on 10%, One Nation on 6%, and the Nick Xenophon Team up a point to 3%.
Of course everyone here is saying they’ve learnt the lessons of the Trump victory.
4. Asylum seeker news
As far as I can make out, the only real source is Twitter, but there are reports of a deal with the US:
- THE Turnbull government will make an announcement on an asylum seeker deal with the US tomorrow, according to Sky News.
Canberra and Washington are expected to announce an immigration arrangement that could clear up to 1800 refugees from Nauru and Manus Island.
It comes after the PM announced in September Australia will take refugees from Central America as part of its annual intake.
It’s hard to see how this deal could be contingent on legislation to ban asylum seekers coming by boat from ever setting foot on Australia, even for a visit, without ministerial approval. Shorten is right, it’s being done to appease the hard right in the LNP.
If you want to know what a hell holes we are holding these people in listen to Richard Fidler’s conversation with psychologist Paul Stevenson.
The conditions are meant to mimic those in a camp in Jordan, Pakistan or wherever. So the live under canvas, with a dirt floor, and eat food similar to what they would have got in the first camps they lobbed into.
There is one difference – they are to be totally bereft of hope.
Stevenson says the treatment breaks down the functioning adult personality, so relationships break down and parents can’t care for themselves, let alone their kids. It’s worse than a prison by far. They had 600 ‘police’ for 1200 asylum seekers, mainly to deal with self-harm.
Stevenson was meant to provide support to employees of the contractors, but if an employee was seen going to his office they would be terminated as obviously weak and unsuitable.
5. Plenty other stuff going on apart from Trump
- Attorney-General George Brandis has preempted his opponents in the Senate by rescinding his controversial direction that all requests to the Solicitor-General for advice must go through him. The Senate will probably cancel the direction formally, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- Gillian Triggs has been scrapping with Malcolm Turnbull over his misleading statement on the HRC.
- Gillian Triggs is facing possible defamation action from two Queensland University of Technology students who had been accused of racial vilification. Triggs herself says that the HRC should have greater discretion on dropping fairly trivial complaints and is up for a change in wording of Section 18C.
Yes, and Paul Keating says Australia is a better and fairer place than the US, and should pursue an independent foreign policy. His approach contrasts with John Howard’s who positioned himself as a barnacle on George Dubya’s bum at the time of the Iraq invasion.
Good to see Bill Shorten not backing down on calling Trump “barking mad”.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.