Compare the two phrases: ”asylum seekers” versus ”illegal maritime arrivals”.

The conjoining of ”asylum” and ”seeker” is evocative. Who seeks asylum? A human in danger, distress and despair; someone who is hoping to survive on the lee shore of kindness. ”Illegal” + ”maritime” + ”arrivals” = the draining of the human. It is using language to drive and empower ideology. Language shapes public policy and discourse.

By changing the terms of reference, Morrison is trying to control the debate. Kon Karapanagiotidis, chief executive of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, believes the change in terms is ”profound” and that Morrison is ”deliberately trying to dehumanise asylum seekers by making them less than human”.

Warwick McFadyen | Calling as it is: the minister for debasing the language | Published on The Age on 26th October 2013


"When I first became Prime Minister, I thought to myself then I don’t need to put in the foreground being a woman. Of course I want to speak for women, of course I want to govern for women, of course I want to do good things for women, but I didn’t think I needed to put it right in the foreground because it was just so obvious, and you know it was gonna be commented on and it was gonna be so much of what came to define my prime ministership without me constantly pointing to it. Then as the days in office went on it just seemed to me increasingly I was getting the burden of this, that sort of you know misogynist underside, and really none of the benefits that could come with being the first female prime minister because I wasn’t putting it in the foreground. So all of this sort of swirled round, obviously I did want to speak to women and we did some policies which were terrific for women, equal pay, social and community services workers and the like. But this was all in and around me, in my head, in the environment, in our politics. And then we got to that parliamentary debate and, I must admit, it was sort of a track point in my thinking, that I thought after everything I’ve had to see on the internet, after all the gendered abuse that I’ve seen in newspapers, that has been called at me across the despatch box, now of all things, I’ve got to listen to Tony Abbott lecture me about sexism.”

- Julia Gillard former Prime Minister of Australia on how her now famous speech on misogyny spontaneously came about. (x) (x)

Reblogged from Cat Politics


Young Iranians combat Netanyahu with ‘jeans protest’
October 6, 2013

One of the crowning glories of Benjamin Netanyahu’s “media blitz” last week, following his speech at the United Nations General Assembly was an interview with the BBC’s Persian service. In an attempt to characterize the interview as historic, the prime minister’s bureau pointed out that this was the first time Netanyahu had given an interview to a Persian-speaking media outlet, addressing the Iranian people directly.

The prime minister’s bureau marketed the interview aggressively. In addition to text messaging journalists direct quotes from the interview and sending out detailed press releases, Netanyahu’s spokespeople circulated video clips from the interview to the Israeli television channels, posted parts of the interview on YouTube, tweeted on it and shared it on Facebook.

To be honest, I was surprised by this initiative. Netanyahu has been giving fiery speeches about the Iranian nuclear threat for 18 years and only now has he found it appropriate to address the Iranian people or try to speak to Iran over the ayatollahs’ heads. But it’s better late than never.

The interview with Netanyahu wasn’t really in Persian. Most of it was simultaneously translated in subtitles. In fact, Netanyahu said about two words in the Iranian’s language: “harf-e pootch,” which can loosely be translated as “nonsense,” and “Sadeh-lowh” - “sucker.”

According to one of the announcements made by the prime minister’s bureau, some 12 million Iranians watch BBC Persian every week. Netanyahu’s words were received loud and clear on the other end, although instead of eliciting positive reactions they spurred antagonism and fury, especially among Iran’s liberal youth who voted for Iranian President Hassan Rohani en masse in the last election.

The young Iranians were not angry over Netanyahu’s strange choice of Persian expressions, rather a single, ridiculous sentence that he uttered in English: “If the people of Iran were free they could wear jeans and listen to Western music.”

Over the past 24 hours, dozens of young Iranians responded to Netanyahu with a “jeans protest” - tweeting pictures of themselves in jeans. Some of them mocked Israel’s intelligence agencies, saying they were so busy with the surveillance of the Iranian nuclear program that they neglected to update Netanyahu on fashion trends in Tehran.

“2day I’m wearing jeans, I can send my photo 4 Netanyahu if his spies in Iran didn’t see people who wear jeans and listen to Western songs by their Iphone!” Sadegh Ghorbani, a young journalist from Tehran, posted on Twitter.

Mohamad Nezamabadi, a student at Tehran University, was even more cynical. “Not only we wear jeans, but also listen to the foreign language musics! I bet he thinks that we ride horses instead of cars!” he tweeted.

It is not clear who advises Netanyahu on Iran’s internal politics, the attitudes of its young or the daily life in Tehran or Isfahan. 

In conclusion, if Netanyahu is interested in contemporary fashion in Teheran, he can enter an album titled “Tehran Street Style" on the image-sharing website Imgur. 


Reblogged from Mohandas Gandhi


Clarke and Dawe - Immigration (by ClarkeAndDawe)

Reblogged from Devil's Avocado
Politicians are not being held to account, facts are not being reliably reported, extremists and morons are being provided a platform to sell their messages, and our entire society is approaching an election with very little idea of what they are voting on. Lowered standards and growing anti-intellectual sentiment along with a sustained obsession with political correctness are the real destroyers of fact. The truth is, the media needs to forget the adage “everyone has the right to an opinion” and instead adopt “everyone has the right to the truth”.
The Death of Journalism, and the rise of The Newsroom. | The Left Right Think Canvas, 22nd July 2013.