Can we really support the existence of laws that allow arbitrary immigration decisions to be made in certain situations, but decry their use in another? The law exists to be used at the minister’s discretion. Not only is section 501 the same law used to sanction both Allen and refugees the minister determines have stepped out of line, the entire immigration framework and the way it treats access to Australia as a reward and punishment mechanism cannot simply be shoved to the side and ignored.
Consider, then, a team environment encased in the monolithic corporate structure of the AFL. In 2011, Essendon had a cash turnover of $5.2 million, net assets of $22.7 million, as well as 50,271 paid-up members. Only a couple of years later, the average salary for an AFL player was $265,179, with many players receiving in excess of $500,000. There is also the constant glare of the media spotlight, ever angling for the first flash of scandal.
Recent news out of Finland that has caught the attention of global commentators. The small Nordic country is currently drafting plans to replace their welfare system with a UBI, which would see every citizen get an allowance of €800 (AU$1125) per month without restriction.
Since 1 January, there have been calls to close the borders, end all German intake of refugees and asylum seekers, and immediately deport any non-German found guilty of sexual harassment. These calls have been echoed across the political spectrum. In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a politician who has not made some sort of public statement on ‘Cologne’, including the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose portfolio does not usually include sexual assault and petty theft on the streets of Cologne.
It is an unusual artist who will take their own death and turn it into a performance piece. It’s an act of someone who is either unusually narcissistic, or very ruthless, and in David Bowie’s case I’m inclined to go with the latter. The Guardian’s music editor cautiously asked last night whether Bowie’s last album, Blackstar, released on his birthday four days ago, possibly referenced his own impending death, which just goes to show that music critics are often as thick as they come. If a black star isn’t an obvious enough symbol of death (as well as a possible musical reference to the Clash’s strange track ‘Death is a Star’), then an album written and recorded by a man who was dying, released as close to the day of his death as he could manage, on what he knew would be his last birthday, is probably a clue.