Constructing a narrative: the CFMEU protest and the far right

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Article
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Far right

It’s into this toxic political environment that the far- and extreme-right attempts to insert themselves, simultaneously denouncing unions for their presumed complicity in the denial of the right of workers to sell their labour in the ‘free’ market and presenting themselves as the workers’ champions against tyrannical government control. Insofar as unions such as the CFMEU are understood to be in the pockets of a Labor government responsible for implementing some of the most severe and longest lockdowns in the world, they will become a lightning rod of dissent.

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Article
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Deaths in custody
Policing

Support Fella's Bill and #BanSpitHoods

Until Fella’s Bill is law, the use of spit hoods is dependent on ever-changing government policy and the good faith of police and prisons. The current operational ban in South Australia means that at any time the ban on the use of spit hoods could be reversed. Without legislating the ban on spit hoods by law, the use of these devices could be re-implemented and strengthened with the flick of a pen.

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Article
Category
War

The war is over, long live the war

Just like with Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003 respectively, people calling for peace will inevitably be labelled as unwitting (or even witting) supporters of the Chinese government. This has always been a strange accusation, but seems even more misplaced now. As Afghanistan clearly shows, war very rarely punishes the guilty or benefits the innocent.

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Article
Category
Consumerism

‘Your feedback is important’: the fetish of customer care

Couched in the hollow language of customer care, consumer surveys are just one aspect of the all-pervasive feedback systems and practices that flourish in the digital realm and are embedded into the fabric of our everyday lives. Ultimately, their semblance of care for the customer benefits the corporate bottom line while diverting attention from the interests and welfare of workers.

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Article
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Culture
Friday Features

Witches, scandals and sham guilt

How permanent are the puritanical elements of our society? Where did our sense of enchantment go? What does it mean to be magical? Rivka Galchen’s latest novel Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch (2021) and Shola von Reinhold’s debut novel LOTE (2020) are semi-fictional revisitations of historical records that spill into these questions of our present moment.