The result of the Greek referendum surprised many: elections fought in the shadow of financial crises are usually won by the champions of ‘sound finance’. The first great example was 1896 in the United States when voters rallied to the gold standard and the Republicans, who stood against the Democrats’ populist advocacy of free silver and price inflation.
Taking the delivery of funding away from the Australia Council and giving it to a government department represents a radical politicisation of arts funding and the overturning of the basic principles of arms-length public funding for the arts that were established and have worked very well, with bipartisan political support, over more than forty years.
Overland and the National Union of Workers are very pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural Fair Australia Prize, all of whom will be published in Overland 220, a special extended edition to be launched in Melbourne in late August.
Child abuse thrives in conditions of secrecy and cover-up. Disclosure is perhaps our greatest weapon in the limited armoury we have against it. Yet as of the 1 July 2015, the Border Force Act imposes a two-year prison sentence for any ‘entrusted person’ who makes a record of or discloses ‘protected information’. As there is no explicit exclusion of health workers reporting on child abuse, World Medical Association leaders have said they must assume that this ‘extends to doctors working in refugee centres who report on their observations arising from their work.’
As is frequently the case in these matters, I wonder idly how Gramsci would feel about his writings being used as articles of faith, as opposed to starting points for a critical engagement with the present. Were he alive today, I like to think that he would search for new answers to some of these old questions, or at least attempt to reframe them. For the problem of how to enforce party discipline in the age of social media is not the exclusive preserve of democratic centralists.