The following was broadcast today on ABCTV1:
Can vulture capitalism be stopped?
That’s the question put up by Antony Loewenstein in his last book ‘Profits of Doom: How vulture capitalism is swallowing the world’.
He’s a writer, photographer, blogger, doco-maker and always a provocateur. He’s in conversation here with Chip Rolley, editor of the ABC’s The Drum.
The focus of this exchange is the implications of privatising prisons, detention centres, aid and security in this country and on a global scale.
To put this conversation in context, it took place at the Perth Writers Festival right after the riot on Manus Island and the death of refugee inmate Reza Barati.
I appeared on ABCTV News’s24′s The Drum last Thursday talking about changes in the Murdoch empire, the ethics and politics of changing the racial discrimination laws and why unions are in such dire trouble in Australia:
I was interviewed by Melbourne’s Triple R radio this week:
On, Michelle Bennett talks to author, journalist and activist Antony Loewenstein about Western hypocricy and “peaceful citizen’s arrests”. In a column he wrote recently [for the Guardian], Loewenstein put forth a discussion-provoking argument for greater accountability of Western leaders, including pushing for a serious enquiry into Australia’s involvement in the Iraq War.
In 2012 I wrote for the Guardian a column about the lunacy of the “war on drugs” and the need to decriminalise or legalise many drugs.
Last week I was interviewed by one of Australia’s more popular radio presenters, Neil Mitchell, about these issues and why it’s becoming increasingly mainstream, especially in the US, to discuss them (my interview starts just after the one hour mark):
The issue of the Sydney Biennale receiving financial support from Transfield, a company profiting from running detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru, has troubled many artists and activists (my recent Guardian column examined it).
I appeared last Friday on ABCTV News24′s The Drum and we discussed vast human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, highlighted by the Commonwealth meeting in Colombo, and Australia under Prime Minister Tony Abbott turning a blind eye to Sri Lankan torture and abuse in the name of stopping people getting onto refugee boats.
With the privatised nature of Australia’s immigration system, I raised issues covered in my book Profits of Doom about the inevitable problems with under-staffed and under-trained employees work in remote detention centres.
During my Profits of Doom book tour last week in Western Australia, I was interviewed by one of the major commercial stations, 6PR, and its morning host Paul Murray. It was pleasing to hear robust criticisms of the British multinational Serco:
I was interviewed this week by ABC Radio Perth’s Afternoon presenter Russell Woolf about my book Profits of Doom, Israel/Palestine and ethics:
A major concern with the Australian aid program is that it favours commercial interests in aid delivery. The commercialisation of aid often results in ‘boomerang aid’ – where aid ends up funding private Australian companies, consultants, advisors, and goods and services, bypassing those who need it the most and returning large economic gains to Australia. The rapidly expanding areas of public-private partnerships demonstrate a commitment to assisting Australian business.
Commercialisation of aid is concerning because of the lack of transparency, public oversight and accountability in aid provision, and because contracts are often bound by commercial-in-confidence agreements.
AID/WATCH invited guest speakers Wendy Bacon and Antony Loewenstein to discuss these issues and the impacts on targeted communities.
Wendy Bacon is an investigative journalist and Professor of Journalism at the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, who has investigated and written about Australian corporate interests and the foreign aid program. She discusses ‘Tracking Corporate Aid’.
Author and journalist Antony Loewenstein discusses aid and development in the context of vulture capitalism, the topic of his latest book, “Profits of Doom: How Vulture Capitalism is Swallowing the World.”