1. ‘African gangs’
Here’s what started the whole business according to Margaret Simons’ report Looking for trouble in May:
- Victoria Police executive director of media and corporate communications, Merita Tabain, wrote a confidential email to the editors of Melbourne’s main media outlets expressing concern that aggressive behaviour by journalists might “exacerbate the current tensions.” She used the incident at the Tarneit shopping centre as an example.
The incident, she said, had been provoked by the photographer’s decision to “move in to take close-up photos of a group of African teenagers socialising.” The teenagers, she went on, “had been doing nothing of public interest prior to the photographer’s decision to move in and take the photos and [the group] reacted to the photographer and what he was doing. This led to police being called in and a scuffle ensued in which police were spat on and arrests were made.”
The photographer had apologised for provoking the incident, Tabain reported, but the published article makes no reference to this.
Andrew West spoke to Nyadol Nvuon, lawyer and writer, and Margaret Simons on Tuesday 24 July, 2018 on Late Night Live.
The troubles appear to stem from South Sudanese youth from Tarneit, 25 kilometres west of central Melbourne, where:
The dominant ethnic group is not Africans or Sudanese, but Indians, who make up about 23 per cent of the population. After Australians and British migrants, Filipinos come next, at 4 per cent of the population, closely followed by Chinese. From there the ethnicities are more or less even in proportions — Italians, Irish, Maori, Maltese, Punjabi. Sudanese are the biggest African group and well down the list of population groups, at just under 2 per cent, or about 500 people at the last census.
We are talking about a couple of dozen kids or young men in a locality which has 162 nationalities. They may act in groups, but not in ‘gangs’ and mostly not in a planned way. Basically it’s young men, many born here, who are having trouble fitting in and making their way.
Andy Park’s Backstory and 7.30 report segment Lost boys: who are the African youths behind the headlines? takes us into the heart of the problem.
People have had enough.
There was dog-whistling before the super Saturday byelection. Turnbull, Dutton and other Commonwealth ministers should stay out of an issue which is for Victoria to deal with. Here’s Moir:
We were told on Insiders that 40 people have died from domestic violence this year.
2. Medical records
Some of the following comes from a conversation I had with my doctor.
On the advice of my cardio I carry a list of the medications I’m taking, plus major operations. Any medico with half a brain could tell from that my main chronic health issues in a far more readily accessible way than my medical file, which is voluminous.
Many medicos are opting out because a doctor has to be a ‘fit and proper person’ in the eyes of the AMA. Doctors are human and suffer from conditions like depression too. A big problem, however, is being vulnerable to foul play, even identity theft. IT experts tell us the bigger danger is from within, from people who have keys to the system, and mean harm for whatever reason.
I’m told that the data is not always accurate, with a 39-year old finding his record showed him with a heart condition he did not have. Doctors are worried about the technical competence of the government, given ABS and other stuff-ups.
Then there is the matter of insurance companies, especially in relation to mental health.
In the SMH, Dr Kerryn Phelps agrees as:
- The number of Australians choosing to opt out of My Health Record could run into the millions, as criticisms of the scheme continue to mount and doctors threaten a boycott to protect their patients’ privacy.
A simple list of medications, chronic conditions, allergies, operations and indications of the existence of health directives which we could opt into might be the go.
Norman Swan put a powerful case in favour of staying in on RN Breakfast this morning (link not up yet). Better for us and the whole community, he says, pointing out that we can edit the entry and prune out the bits we don’t want there. We can learn from Canada, he says, and if we lived in Scandinavia we would be more relaxed about this kind of thing.
3. Richard Walsh on Nine swallowing Fairfax
Paul Keating said it was all wrong – Nine has ethics of an alley cat.
Richard Walsh says Keating doesn’t realise that the world has moved on, and what else was in prospect for Fairfax except dying a slow death? Walsh says Nine would be mugs to spend a few hundred million on assets and then trash them when the value of the assets is in the quality journalism.
A large part of the problem, however, is that for a long time Fairfax was run by mugs.
Walsh says there is now more diversity than ever with Crikey, The Conversation and the Australian edition of The Guardian. He could have mentioned also The New Daily, I understand owned by the industry super funds, Inside Story, The Monthly, The Saturday Paper, New Matilda and others.
Walsh is a book publisher, and I’d have to say does not show the insights of Katharine Murphy. I’ve heard her several times, but not the podcast On Disruption with Michelle Grattan. She is worried. The world has changed in ways Walsh does not seem to understand.
Part of the reasoning was to bulk up into financial heft. I think the company is worth about four billion, which in international terms is small. It’s less than AMP has lost in recent months to remain at around $9.6 billion.
The Washington Post is now owned by Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon and personally worth about $US143 billion. He seems to let them run themselves, unlike uncle Rupert. The Guardian is owned by Scott Trust Limited, which exists to secure the financial and editorial independence of The Guardian in perpetuity. That may be our best bet in retaining quality journalism.
4. What’s going on?
Most days during the week Climate Plus gets about 30 visitors through link referrals and internet searches. On the weekend those stats went down, as they usually do.
However, hits or ‘views’ on non-current posts reached 64 different posts in the archive on Saturday, and 75 on Sunday. Someone is rummaging around in our innards. I hope they like what they see.