Ain’t No Room For Racism

‘In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an Australian and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an Australian, and nothing but an Australian. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an Australian, but something else also, isn’t an Australian at all. We have room for but one flag, the Australian flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the Australian people.’ – Edward Barton, 1907

Below is my response to this quote that was posted on Facebook by a friend along with an image of the Australian flag with an essence of some sort of patriot righteousness. No. This statement is extraordinarily racist and should be identified as that straight up. Australians enjoy over seven and a half kilometers squared of land… It may be a stretch but I think we might have enough room for an Indigenous flag or two.

My Response:

But what does ‘Australian’ even mean? If you’re talking about the adapted British/American culture the settlers brought with them 300 short years ago, you perhaps shouldn’t adapt the ‘be western or die’ philosophy. Australia is a multicultural country and we should not discriminate against immigrants who are not western because western does not equal Australian. Westerners are immigrants too. This outdated (1907!) statement initially comes across as considerate and honest but is in fact intrinsically racist and reflects the same ideology that allowed the Stolen Generation to happen. It ends here, now, with me.

Seven Points Against This Enraging and Shallow ‘Political’ Image That’s Going Viral

Seven Points Against This Enraging and Shallow 'Political' Image Going Viral

1. Julia was elected to her position in a completely legitimate way under the Australian system.

2. As was the Labor party, just in the form of a minority Government.

3. The Liberal party also needed the Greens and Independents on their side, but they chose to side with Labor instead! Doesn’t that tell you something!

4. Julia HAS volunteered her whole life in fact, just in a unionised capacity. Abbott only did those things for show any way. Who’s the better politician? One that volunteers just to be seen to volunteer or one who refuses to participate in such political theatre and would rather focus on running the country?

5. She’s a politician, not an economist. Why on earth would Gillard need an economics degree?

6. I don’t know why Gillard’s marital status, lack of children and religious faith is being used against her. Honestly, why don’t we vote for who is actually going to provide the best advancements for the next few years (of which the Liberal Party has scarcely provided) then squabbling over who conforms more readily to right wing’s strict, backward ideals.

7. This image is full of misunderstanding and misrepresentation of facts. Any document that compares ‘wife’ to ‘de-facto’ as if one is better than the other is not worthy of my full attention.

P.S. If all the Liberal Party can do is criticise Gillard for being unmarried, I think it should be obvious which party is the better candidate for office.

The University of Queensland Dissatisfied With UQU

Another article from the University of Queensland, but this one is a bombshell. Let’s hope we see some action!

 

We take very seriously all complaints and concerns and have initiated steps to gain further clarity on the governance and processes within the UQ Union.

– Professor Mike McManus, you are my hero.

 

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UQU 2011 Financial Statement Released

Click here for the UQU Financial Statement of 2011

Summary:

  • More the 7 million dollars spent on ’employee benefits’
  • The principal activities of the Union are to:

– represent the students of the University in matters which may concern them:
– maintain communication between the students and other sections of the University community, and
– provide a range of services to the student body.

 

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A Comment So Wonderful, I Made It A Post

There is clear evidence now that on the 10th of August, 2012, the UQ Union held an ‘emergency’ meeting in which part of section 105 of their electoral regulations was repealed. This section protected the names of political parties for 10 years – including names such as the former main opposition party ‘Pulse’. [I note that the regulations and constitution for the Union only became available on their website late yesterday afternoon.] After this protection was repealed, the name ‘Pulse’ was taken by a group of students who are closely associated with the current incumbent party ‘Fresh’. For instance, Mr Colin Finke’s (the current UQU ‘Fresh’ President) brother, Mr Kelvin Finke, is registered on the ‘Pulse’ ticket as running for the administrative committee (http://i50.tinypic.com/vxegk.jpg). Further, the UQ Skeptics have shown the close relations on Facebook between Colin Finke and Rohan Watt (the Fresh Presidential candidate for this year): http://i50.tinypic.com/110isy8.jpg.

Notably, almost all of the members of the current ‘Pulse’ (fake) ticket attend either with Cromwell College (with Mr Finke) or St John’s College (with Mr Watt). Further, in an MX article earlier in the week (http://i48.tinypic.com/nl5z83.jpg) Mr Finke stated that he had never heard of one of the other ‘Pulse’ candidates, Mr Zac Draheim, despite Mr Draheim also attending Cromwell College and despite them both being Facebook friends and there being photos of the two together (available on Facebook). Mr Finke has refused to answer questions related to his involvement with the Pulse ticket, as reported by Crikey (http://tinyurl.com/ccc249m).

One student, who was put down on the ticket as ‘Pulse’ Treasurer – Tristan Black of St John’s College – has said that he was tricked into signing up by a Fresh member. You can see a screenshot of his statement on Facebook here: http://i48.tinypic.com/24y91ma.jpg . It is quite clear that Pulse this year is a fake ticket created by students associated with Fresh, after they removed the electoral regulation protection of the name. This is supported by the fact that the people who are on this ticket have not come out and campaigned in the election at all.

‘Fresh’ and the UQ Union are now posting a lot of spin on social media about the decision of the Electoral Tribunal (established under the UQU Constitution) on the evening of Thursday the 23rd of August which held that Fresh had not acted in breach of the regulations. This is 100% true in a legalistic sense. However, contrary to how Fresh and the UQU are portraying the ruling, this does not clear them of wrongdoing. It does not address any of the concerns which I outlined above. The Tribunal found that Fresh had not breached the electoral regulations – but that is because they set the electoral regulations to suit themselves. This does not mean that there will be a free and fair election.

There are also serious concerns about the transparency of the review process. Currently there is no publicly accessible information as to who is on the Electoral Tribunal or how to contact them. There is no information about how one can make a complaint. And there are no details posted about when and where any hearings are held. Further, in relation to the Returning Officer for elections (currently a gym owner from Caboolture), they can be appointed with the approval of only a few of the inner cadre of party members. They are not truly independent, as they should be – given they oversee the conduct of elections.

There are also a lot of false information flyers that have been strewn around the university. One claims to be from a 5th year student who is independent from any of the parties and merely wishes to inform students that the new Pulse ticket (despite the evidence I outlined above) is really just a factional split. The source of these flyers is not identified. There is a real concern that this – and other campaigning activities of the Union – are paid for out of university money. There are currently no publicly available audits of the Union or information as to what it’s money is being spent on. The Union’s current status as an unincorporated body means they are not subject to the same strict accounting measures.

– Rebecca commenting on my ‘How Far Can FRESHs Corruption Go?‘ article.