1. You don’t need enemies when you have friends
You’ve probably been living under a log if you haven’t seen this photo:
They say Trump does not like G-7 meetings because they are short on people who massage his ego.
According to this account the photo was released by Angela Merkel’s office. Trump looks like a naughty school boy, recalcitrant and unrepentant. The bloke behind him is John Bolton, the National Security Advisor. Not sure what he was doing there.
After the G-7 summit host Justin Trudeau was asked about Trump’s new tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum.
- “It’s kind of insulting,” said Trudeau, noting that many “Canadians fought side-by-side with American soldiers.” He explained that “with regret,” Canada will impose “equivalent” retaliatory tariffs on the U.S., effective July 1. “Canadians, we’re polite, we’re reasonable, but we also will not be pushed around,” said Trudeau.
Trump was reportedly infuriated by Trudeau’s comments during the news conference. He has directed U.S. officials “not to endorse” the G-7 joint statement, and personally insulted Trudeau in a series of Twitter posts.
You know the rest. Trudeau was called “very dishonest and weak” and was accused of of “stabbing the US in the back”. Trump’s trade adviser said “there is a special place in hell” for Mr Trudeau.
Krishnadev Calamur at The Atlantic says Trump Always Wanted a Trade War—and Now He’s Got Several:
- Trump really does seem to believe that “trade wars are good, and easy to win.” His priority is not negotiating, but fighting.
His adversaries in a trade war will direct pain at people who tend to vote for him.
2. Comedian Eurydice Dixon murdered in Melbourne park
Talented young Melbourne comedian Euyridice Dixon was murdered this week, walking home from a gig across a soccer field.
- Premier Daniel Andrews described Ms Dixon’s death as “a terrible, terrible tragedy and such a waste, such a senseless, thoughtless, evil act”.
A 19-year-old man from Broadmeadows turned himself in after it became known that police had some CCTV images of interest.
- Police believe that she did not know her alleged killer, 19-year-old Jaymes Todd, who has been charged with one count of murder and one count of rape.
According to his lawyer:
- Mr Todd has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and was ‘socially regressive’.
So, what is to be done?
I think it helps if there are cameras everywhere and everyone knows they are there. Dashcams and body cams would help.
However there was a deluge of criticism on social media when police warned women to take care where and when they walked.
- Please stop victim-blaming by telling women they need to change their behaviour to avoid rape and murder. Tell men to change theirs. Tell men to talk to their friends and peers, tell parents to talk to their sons, teach boys from early childhood about consent, respect and equality. Ensure boys don’t grow into men who believe women’s bodies are theirs for the taking. Violence and abuse starts with disrespect. Call it out at every opportunity. Don’t suggest women hide away and live in fear; support and empower them. Walking safely alone is not a privilege for women, it’s a basic human right. Fight for that.
Yes, all of that, but you still have to take care when and where you walk, and police would be derelict in their duty if they told you otherwise. Police say someone else, still unknown, sexually attacked a 21-year-old woman in Parkville in the early hours of March 28.
What Sargeant Stamper said was:
- “My message is that people need to be aware of their own personal security and just be mindful of their surroundings,” he said.
“If people should have any concerns at any time about their personal security, call triple-0.”
Autism provides particular difficulties, but more generally commenting in Deep origins: patriarchy on the situation in 19th century England as seen by the Earnest Englishwoman’s modest proposal for women to aspire to the status of animals under the law, I said:
women had become commoditised in their role of producing and raising the next generation, as well as providing sustenance and pleasure to men.
That happened seven maybe ten millennia ago. There has been progress, but:
- Although the social sediments of patriarchy developed over the last 10 millennia persist, the making of a truly egalitarian society along the dimension of gender should not be beyond us, as there are no longer any fundamental impediments. Egalitarianism along the dimensions of wealth, power and class may take longer.
We need to work on this together.
Bianca Fileborn, Lecturer in Criminology, UNSW makes considered and informed commentary. She says safety “advice” is at best redundant.
Then we have Man arrested for alleged sexual assault of 11yo girl in Adamstown heights, Newcastle. Taken at knife-point in broad daylight and held for five hours.
Again cameras helped. Statistically such events are rare and statistically girls and women are safer in open air than at home. We have a way to go.
Ramsay Health Care is a multi-billion dollar publicly-listed enterprise with hospitals and health care facilities in Australia, the UK, France (where it is the market leader) and Malaysia. It was founded by Paul Ramsay, who died in 2014 leaving around $3 billion to found The Paul Ramsay Foundation where he “wanted a significant part of his personal fortune to be spent on funding an academic centre to revive the liberal arts and humanities”.
A degree in Western Civilisation was proposed at the Australian National University.
- published an article in Quadrant about the proposed degree. Most people latched on to his comment that the centre was “about Western civilisation but in favour of it”.
But what got up the nose of ANU vice-chancellor, and Nobel laureate, Brian Schmidt was Mr Abbott’s line, “a management committee including the Ramsay CEO and also its academic director will make staffing and curriculum decisions”.
When Nobel laureate ANU VC Professor Brian Schmidt queried this with Ramsay Foundation chair, one former PM John Howard, he was told he would have to “suck it up”. The course looked innocent enough:
but Schmidt took a taste and spat it out.
- ANU had a core set of principles, “These include retaining, without compromise, our academic integrity, autonomy and freedom.”
Free and proud of it.
Three academics have argued:
- The way “gig workers” are paid and protected might be about to change, as a result of legal proceedings brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman. The Ombudsman alleges that food-delivery platform Foodora underpaid three workers by A$1620.74, plus superannuation, in a four-week period.
The Ombudsman argues that while Foodora engaged these workers as independent contractors, they were in reality employees. If the action succeeds, it could be positive for the underpaid workers, but it could also drive down working conditions.
The food-delivery platforms have stated they would be willing to give their workers more benefits, such as training. But not at the cost of workers being classified as employees. If the Ombudsman’s case succeeds, it could cause gig platforms to offer fewer protections in order to ensure workers are classified as contractors.
This could not only disrupt the food-delivery sector, but have a broader impact on the gig economy, restaurants, customers and workers.
- The Fair Work Ombudsman’s decision to intervene in the food-delivery sector might be a response to poor working conditions for gig workers. But the decision to go after Foodora specifically could dissuade rather than encourage other platforms to improve working conditions.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s decision to target Foodora may be counterproductive because:
- It sends the signal that the better you treat your workers, the more likely they are to be classified as employees, the more expensive your labour costs will be and the more inflexible your operation will become.
That’s the argument. We await the recommendations of the Senate Select Committee on the Future of Work, due on June 21.
Thanks to John Davidson for bringing this article to my attention.