1:42 May 15th, 2013 | 1 note
Get your mind out of the gutter, Oxford Dictionaries, I’m writing about sovereign wealth funds.
8:29 May 7th, 2013 | 4 notes
Normal people get tshirts with bands on them. Not me.
8:37 Apr 19th, 2013 | 2 notes
The President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, three days ago delivered a speech to the European Parliament passionately defending the European Project, while at the same time excoriating the EU for drifting from its moral purpose during this current crisis.
Watch this speech, for I believe (or at least hope) it will be recalled many years from now as a defining text of this period of the Union’s history.
Here is an excerpt of the speech:
Full text available here
5:44 Apr 19th, 2013 | 1 note
Over the Love - Florence + The Machine
From the soundtrack of The Great Gatsby
6:41 Apr 14th, 2013 | 1 note
Students in Australian have to pay triple what their American counterparts do for a digital subscription to The Economist.
Seriously, that’s insane.
9:34 Apr 4th, 2013 | 1 note
A timely excerpt from the article, “Europe’s Adventure Begins” - The Economist, January 2, 1999
NTEU and CPSU: Time to stand down12:00 Mar 26th, 2013 | 8 notes
The strike action currently taking place at Sydney University is futile, selfish, and irreparably damaging the image of the labour movement as a whole. In a year where the federal Labor Party is sure to be wiped out at the September General Election, scenes of police arrests and raging socialists are doing nothing but further degrading the image of its union base, who are already facing dwindling membership and claims from all sides that they lack relevance in our modern economy.
It is only 10:30am, yet already today students have been arrested inside lecture theaters and on the busy thoroughfares of the University. Chants of “Cops off campus” and the waving of red socialist flags have done little to improve the scene in the minds of the hundreds of onlookers walking past the chaos. The strike does not end until tomorrow afternoon.
As a card carrying member of the Labor Party and coming from a union family, I am appalled by this strike action not only for its spectacle but for its purpose. Reading through the list of demands from the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), it is hard to conclude that this strike amounts to anything but overreach and self-indulgence. By all measures, Sydney University staff already get a sweet deal: fifty days paid sick leave a year, seventeen-percent superannuation (way above the current mandatory nine-percent), four weeks of paid annual leave, and a 37.5 hour working week. Additionally, the NTEU’s reach into University administration and bureaucracy is mind-boggling. By their own account, the NTEU already has office space within the University (paid for by the University), access to internal University systems, and the right to challenge some University management decisions. The University must also consult the NTEU on all University policy coming out of the Management and Staff Consultative Committee, and several “review committees” exist at the behest of the NTEU.
These are benefits that other public sector workers can only dream of, yet on top of this pile of decadence, the NTEU and CPSU are demanding a seven-percent pay rise every year for the next four years. Let’s make one thing clear: this is more than double the average wage increase in Australia last year.
The University staff may feel like they are the inheritors of the spoils “won by generations of staff who have worked hard to make this university what it is,” but those generations were from a different age. Times have changed, for better or for worse. It is concerning that as unionism declines across the country, those remaining are intent on further smashing away at the collapsing foundations of their own movement. As I look on at this industrial action with nothing but frustration and despair, I dread to think what my 50,000 peers must think.
To the NTEU, CSPU, and University staff: change, evolve, and adapt. It is time to accept that the workplace you demand belongs to a bygone era. Many of your students will be entering the world of casual and contract employment you fear, myself included. If other professional services can survive the transition, so can you. Regrettably, You have also so far failed to win the hearts and minds of your students. Doing so should be your first priority, as without them your cause is lost.
To the socialist students who have joined the protest: your movement is useless and your ideology, a failure. You are irrelevant. The best thing you can do to further the plight of those you support is to get out of the way.
To the students of Sydney University: I am sorry it had to be like this. It is moments like this that one must remember that the story of the union movement is, at its heart, the story of the Australian middle class—it is the constant endeavor for a freer and fairer society.
And as society changes, so must the goals of the union movement. I pray that the NTEU and CSPU come to acknowledge this fact, for their sake, and ours.
4:04 Mar 14th, 2013 | 20 notes
The Daily Telegraph, whom yesterday ran a front page story comparing the Federal Communications Minister to a slew dictators, today printed an apology to Joseph Stalin, who the paper argues at least “was upfront in his efforts to control the media instead of pretending he supported free speech…”
The apology goes on to say, “We also note that despite his well-documented crimes against humanity, Stalin at least managed to hold a government together for more than three years.”
To anyone with any sense of decency, this piece of writing fails to be funny or provocative. It is distasteful pure and simple. Forgive me if I “can’t take a joke”, but in this case I am happy to be called a wet blanket when that “joke” is carried on the shoulders of a man responsible for the death of 15 million people (Conquest, 2007, xvi).
3:30 Mar 13th, 2013 | 2 notes
I’m also quite proud of the fact that only about a handful of those are reblogs :)
9:00 Mar 13th, 2013 | 7 notes
The Daily Telegraph, a conservative Australian tabloid, has compared the Federal Communications Minister to Stalin, Mao, Castro, Kim, Mugabe, and Ahmadinejad, in response to newly proposed media market reforms.