Aime Mentoring-Jack Manning Bancroft

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Summary: current issues-an ongoing section

Disclaimer: School by Design receives and presents comments and links as resources for schools. We do our best to check material but we do not guarantee any sites as suitable. Teachers as usual will need to pre-check links and ideas for suitability.

List of current or ongoing issues

Indigenous Issues

'Uluru statement from the heart'

Should young children be imprisoned?

'Black lives matter' classroom resource

Coronavirus and coronavirus Victoria

Victoria's dramatic spread of coronavirus.
'Blame' responses
Underlying Issues
Lockdowns-suppression or elimination
Masks

Hong Kong visas

Are visas appropriate/not appropriate?
Is the purpose to provoke China, support Trump (and perhaps get a seat in G7)?
Is the purpose to show compassion and/or take a principled stand against an imperialist force?
Is the policy consistent government policy or inconsistent?
How does this policy sit with the current refugee issues in Australia?

Australian refugees

Queue jumping issues and other issues-see refugee resource package

China

General Chinese/Australian relations

Gender

Climate change

Climate change

The Uluru Statement from the Heart. This section will encompass related issues such as Reconciliation, Bridging the Gap and Closing the Gap.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart is a major issue with wide ranging implications. A curriculum project is our goal but ongoing comments and links should help students begin their own research.

(This section is in progress. Links to 'Bridging the Gap' and 'Closing the Gap should be up shortly.)

Youth Detention

Youth Detention is another topic with extensive implications. The excerpt below is a good place to start for an introduction to the issues. The topic has particular relevance to 'Bridging the Gap' as a result of the historical and ongoing treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and their children.

Links

  • 7/5/2020 Queensland Family and Child Commission 'Kids and the justice system in Queensland' 'The MACR is the minimum age at which children can be arrested, charged and convicted of a crime. The MACR in Queensland is currently 10 years. The United Nations recommends the MACR be at least 12 years.

The Age of Criminal Responsibility in Queensland information paper (PDF, 1.83MB) encourages Queensland to consider these reform options:

the MACR be raised to 12 years
children aged 10 to 12 years cannot be sentenced to youth detention
youth justice conferences be mandatory for children aged 10 to 12 years.

The coronavirus Victoria Australia.

The coronavirus has spread dramatically in Victoria Australia in spite of one of the more rigorous and cautious state political approaches to dealing with the pandemic. One major break-out appears connected to the contract-hire security arrangements made for supervising hotel accommodation of returned travellers placed in isolation. Other contagion has occurred amongst security personnel across the country but these outbreaks do not seem to have had such extreme consequences.

This crisis has raised many issues that may have been long in the making.
Privatisation of essential services has been a trend since Margaret Thatcher UK and Ronald Regan USA.

Another issue seems much more slight but is central to the way we receive information and make wise decisions. Blaming of individuals is both a political and social issue and is central to media responsibility.

The issues of to lock-down or not; to suppress or eliminate the virus; the freedom of the individual or otherwise to wear masks are other issues that have been in the news.

Blame issues

Blame has a nasty ring to it. Accountability on the other hand, or holding leaders to account for mistakes or worse, sounds highly reasonable. The media frequently talks about its role as holding politicians to account. While blame seems a simple issue it may be a lot more complicated. A dominant media message of several years has been that the public has negative views of politicians as a group. Many politicians are appalling but when SBD looked at this issue in a Q&A episode it found it was more complex than it seemed.

Who holds the media to account?

Is 'blame' the same as 'accountability? Critical thinking about the causes and effects of political actions is a good thing. 'Blame' however, might be unreasonable or unnecessarily unpleasant but is 'blame' just a different tone?

Has a 'blame' culture expanded in Australia and if so, where has it come from? Many media organisations talk critically of how politicians have been using the 'blame game' but their own headlines can blame someone or other every other day.

Journalists often seem to 'egg' on politicians to create or give the impression of a verbal fight. Reasonable political comments can be exaggerated beyong measure. Was Scott Morrisson's description of a 'Victorian' wave of the coronavirus blame or a fact? Did Daniel Andrew's response blame anyone at all?

If blame becomes an everpresent part of a society's culture it is likely to have ramifications. The practice of 'blaming' can spread through families and schools, instagram and facebook. Might this have already happened?

Some 'blame' of people in charge seems reasonable if they are at fault or make a mistake. Many citizens however have been irritated or concerned about the constant 'haranguing' of Daniel Andrews, the Premier of Victoria. They suggest that the criticism from some media organisations and his opposing politicians has not stopped since the last election and suggest its tone is ugly and inappropriate.

'Blame' is also used as a tactic in a different way. If a politician suggests some members are the public are the cause of a problem, he/she can be taken to task- usually by another politician or a supportive media organisation. How dare 'so and so' criticise the public?

What might be the purpose of this kind of comment if a persuasive tactic?

Links

  • 05/08/2020 The Guardian First Dog on the Moon (Cartoonist Andrew Marlton) has a very scathing approach to the blame issues and the underlying causes of the spread of coronavirus.
  • 31/07/2020 The Age David Crowe thinks blame is overstated. His article is something like a defence of journalists criticising politicians. Article
  • 09/07/2020 SMH Catherine Bennett (Chair in epidemiology at Deakin University 'Melbourne has nothing to apologise for..'

compared to...

  • 11/07/2020 The Guardian Gay Alcorn, ...As Covid-19 cases rise in Victoria, Daniel Andrews is fighting to keep the trust of the people-bad practices at hotels-use of private security firms.
    compared to...
  • 20/07/2020 Media Releases, Michael O'Brien Liberal Party, Opposition Leader Victoria. "Disgraceful Andrews blames Victorian families for his COVID incompetence"
    "In a new political low, Daniel Andrews has sought to blame Victorian families for his own incompetent mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Under Daniel Andrews, Victoria is the COVID capital of the country. For Daniel Andrews to blame that on Victorian families – rather than his own incompetence – is an absolute disgrace.

Daniel Andrews encouraged 10,000 Victorians to protest two weeks ago by promising that they would not be fined for attending.

Now we see the consequences of Andrews’ hypocrisy and double standards.

For Andrews to fail to mention the impact of his 10,000 people protest on the spike in COVID-19 cases demonstrates his culpability.

Victorians believed Daniel Andrews when he promised them his harsh lockdown restrictions would ease on Monday. Now Daniel Andrews has broken that promise and he has betrayed Victorians.

Labor’s sudden backflip will cost jobs. It will kill small businesses that will never recover. It will mean that more Victorians will face unemployment. It will ruin many families’ plans to safely gather at home.

Regional Victoria, where there are hardly any COVID-19 cases, is being unfairly punished by Labor’s Melbourne-centric focus. There is again a strong case for an easing of restrictions in country Victoria that enables people to safely get back to work.

Victoria has laboured under the harshest lockdown laws in the country, but they’ve failed to protect Victorians’ health.

Daniel Andrews has spent more time this week focussing on his corrupt Labor Government than on COVID-19.

Daniel Andrews is a hypocrite and has now misled Victorians over his COVID restrictions.

To blame Victorian families for his betrayal of them shows that Daniel Andrews is simply not fit to lead Victoria.

Underlying issues highlighted by pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some of the major political/economic trends of recent decades. These trends are sometimes called neo-liberalism or extreme capitalism but previously they were almost always called economic reform, free market reform, Thatcherism or Reganism. Free trade and globalism can be included in some of these trends.**

The major element has involved cutting back the public sector by selling off national banks, selling off energy companies- privatising electricity or prisons. In this time of pandemic, it can be referred to in practices such as 'outsourcing', 'privatisation' and 'casualisation' of the work force. The term 'insecure work' describes one effect. In other words, many workers are now under short term ('flexible') contracts rather than job security. Private Aged Care Homes have flourished in recent decades as costs have been kept down by using untrained or cheaper staff. Staff may now spend a couple of hours at one aged care facility then wait several hours before going to another in the late afternoon where previously, they may have had a permanent job.

The articles below are about the benefits or otherwise that have resulted from privatising prison systems.

Links

  • 05/08/2020 The Guardian First Dog on the Moon (Cartoonist Andrew Marlton) has a very scathing approach to the blame issues and the underlying causes of the spread of coronavirus.
  • 06/06/2019 Private prisons: Are they really cheaper, better and more accountable?
    "To summarise, Victoria is spending more and more on a prisons system in which rates of imprisonment continue to rise, and the prisoner population is increasingly characterised by mental health conditions, drug and alcohol issues, chronic illnesses, and over-representation of young prisoners, prisoners with disabilities and prisoners of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. In this ever more challenging and complex correctional environment, we simply do not know with any certainty if Victoria’s part public/part private prison system is cheaper, better and more accountable than it would otherwise have been, and we won’t know until all relevant data are made publicly available."
  • "Victoria's prison system: rising costs and population, little accountability"

China's relationship with Australia

It is easy to point to some highly disturbing Chinese policies and practices but this article looks at details regarding the banning or distrust of Chinese companies that give food for thought.

Links

Climate Change issues

The following court case may have major implications for climate change.




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