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 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.
I appeared last Friday on ABCTV News 24’s The Drum (video here) talking principally about the reality of asylum seekers and why Australia’s policy towards them is based on cruelty and not compassion. In summary, I’ve long argued that Australia, as a rich nation, is making a choice to punish refugees in remote detention camps or on Pacific islands instead of taking responsibility for the relatively few people who arrive here by boat.
Personal, economic, geopolitical security – this is the panel discussion from the Melbourne Writers Festival.
Who gets to make the decisions in these arenas? And why are we so damned anxious and insecure in this continuing period of affluence? Why are whinging when we’ve had 23 years of uninterrupted growth?
And why is it happening in this country that boasts an anti-authoritarian persona, but in reality, has a very obedient streak?
The panellists who raise these questions are: writer and filmmaker, Antony Loewenstein; Brendan Gleeson, professor of urban planning at Melbourne University; Desmond Manderson from the College of Law at the ANU and George Megalogenis, political journalist and blogger with The Australian. Julianne Schultz, founding editor of the Griffith REVIEW is the moderator.
So, insecurity, national anxiety, secularism, cowardice, conformity, why we’re saddled with dud political leaders; they’re some of the issues in this discussion, along with a good dose of anarchism.
What an interesting morning. Today all us writers of the For God’s Sake book appeared on Channel 7’s Weekend Sunrise program. It was strange watching this segment back and noticing that under my name on the screen it read, “Jew”. It was a unique opportunity to explain that Judaism and Zionism aren’t the same thing and increasing numbers of Jews worldwide oppose Israeli apartheid against Palestinians:
I appeared on ABCTV News24’s The Drum on Friday night (video here).
We discussed the foul use of vulnerable asylum seekers as a political tool in Australia, claiming those coming from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Sri Lanka or elsewhere are just economic refugees. The facts are the complete opposite.
I strongly defended the importance of NSA contract whistle-blower Edward Snowden to reveal the surveillance state set up by the US and backed by far too many nations around the world. The vital role played by people like Bradley Manning and Snowden, along with Wikileaks, goes to the heart of how a democratic society must work. Those opposing the leaks on “national security” grounds either have too much faith in the state or fear challenging its power.http://antonyloewenstein.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/DRMs_Program_0507_512k.mv4
The importance of leaking to ensure transparency in a democracy is something we should never forget.
The great Al Jazeera media program The Listening Post this week tackles Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and Wikileaks. They asked me to comment on the ways in which the Snowden story unfolded in the press. My clip is at 10:28. Previous contributions here:
Last night I appeared on ABC TV’s The Drum (video here) on the 10th anniversary of the 2003 Iraq war.
We discussed the appalling legacy of the Iraq invasion, the massive loss of life and continued chaos of the country. Accountability, in the political or media elites, is far and few between.
Finally, the idea that big media players in Australia, including the Murdoch empire, shouldn’t be regulated in any way is laughable and goes against what the general public wants in survey and survey. Bullying is what media owners do before breakfast. Free speech in a democracy means transparency towards journalists and owners has to include ways in which citizens can get answers from wayward outlets.