Published in Overland Issue 213 Summer 2013 · Uncategorized Editorial Jeff Sparrow Last night to the flicks. All war films. One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean. Audience much amused … That’s from Winston Smith’s diary in Orwell’s 1984. The idea that misery inflicted upon refugees might be paraded for public approval no longer seems particularly fanciful, not when an immigration minister boasts about his willingness to intern children with disabilities. Politicians invariably attribute their most reactionary idiocies to the population. They are, they say, merely reflecting the electorate’s wishes. But the most recent elections revealed little positive enthusiasm for the conservative program. A survey immediately after the poll showed that respondents expected the new government to make matters worse rather than better on job security, workers’ rights, the environment, public services and welfare. Remarkably, more people thought that, under the new government, their own financial situation would decline rather than improve. Voters elected the Liberals through gritted teeth – not because they wanted Abbott but because they could no longer support Labor. That does not change where we are. But it does suggest a popular mood closer to sullen acquiescence than any genuine enthusiasm for Abbott’s cruelties. Let’s not forget how Winston’s diary continues. [A] woman down in the prole part of the house suddenly started kicking up a fuss and shouting they didnt oughter of showed it not in front of kids they didnt it aint right … It’s hard, sometimes, to be the first to kick up a fuss. But there are many, many people who think what’s happening in Australia now ‘aint right’ – and we won’t find each other unless we are prepared to speak out. Jeff Sparrow Jeff Sparrow is a Walkley Award-winning writer, broadcaster and former editor of Overland. More by Jeff Sparrow › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 4 December 20234 December 2023 · Climate politics Where is the Australian climate movement’s solidarity with Palestine? Alex Kelly Let this be a line in the sand. Let us learn our history. Let us listen to liberation movements around the world. Conflicts for land and water will shape the decades to come. Showing up for each other and building power to demand justice is our only hope for a humane future. First published in Overland Issue 228 1 December 20231 December 2023 · History ‘We’re doing everything but treaty’: Law reform and sovereign refusal in the colonial debtscape Maria Giannacopoulos I coined the concept of the colonial debtscape while working to understand the relation between debt and sovereignty in the wake of the 2007 Global Financial crisis. Despite the referendum held in Greece in 2015 where the people voted against austerity, austerity as punishment, was imposed anyway. As this was a colonising move, that is, the imposition of an external and foreign law on local populations against their will, it was to Aboriginal scholars here that I turned to begin to put the pieces together.