At the outset, I want to be honest. I know that there is no prospect of an international coalition once again embarking on a grand project of transplanting democracy into the rugged soil of Central Asia. There is no political capital, no enthusiasm, and dare I say it, no confidence in our own democracies to think it sensible to try to propagate the same unto others. Our leaders, and many of us in the chattering classes, will wring our hands and rend our garments, but ultimately Afghanistan’s fate is now out of our control. We are not going back.
Currently, the riots in the United States are being called the ‘George Floyd Protests’, but I wonder if that name will persist. Obviously, the straight-up murder of a citizen, on film, by the very people who are supposed to protect them from the same, is evil, despicable and traumatic. However, it is quickly becoming clear that these protests are about much more than this single event.
Again, to be clear, I don’t want to diminish the tragedy that occurred in Minneapolis last week. The facts are that Officer Chauvin, a policeman with a history of misconduct, killed George Floyd, a…
I’ve been watching TV lately.
Usually, this is something I would feel guilty about: I was brought up Protestant, so watching TV often summons a visage of my grandmother, scolding me for being so frivolous and lazy. “How can you watch an episode of Archer when your kitchen looks like a f***’n Jackson Pollock?” she asks, displaying a somewhat artistic bent she never had in life.
However, in these quarantined times, I have an excuse: What else can I do? (Apart from, you know, assignments, exercising, or pursuing the personal self-improvement I probably need…)
So, to that end, here are…
Editor’s Note: This article discusses the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world, and in Queensland specifically. To make sure you get the best information, consult the resources available from the Australian Department of Health and the World Health Organization.
I find epidemics interesting.
Indeed, epidemiological history arguably plays a much larger role in the course of human civilisation than most people realise. The waves of disease that swept Eurasia are arguably responsible for triggering the westward migrations of the Gothic, Slavic and Hunnic peoples, and at varying times, also responsible for halting them.
It is not possible to be a good politician and a good parent.
It’s sad, but they are both absolute vocations, requiring absolute commitment. To be a good politician, nothing can come between you and public service (or at least the illusion of it), and naturally, a good parent prizes nothing above their children’s welfare.
I’m sure that most politicians don’t consciously make this choice, but even the most blissfully unaware of them would have to realise that these two demands are in tension. They tell themselves that they can juggle, that they can do both, but they will always…
Senator Romney must have known he would be walking into the firing line alone.
I’m certain that he hoped, as many did, that Senators Murkowski of Alaska and Collins of Maine (or indeed, the other 50 Republican senator-jurors) might back him up, but when he voted against his party to impeach President Donald Trump, he must have realised, as he walked into the Senate chamber, that there would be no reinforcements and no political cover.
I’m certain that many Fox news anchors will say that he was motivated by a desire to get his name back in print, and portray…
Comparing Brexit to a divorce isn’t new, or particularly inventive. And that’s because it’s so apt.
Much like a disillusioned spouse, the UK is facing down the barrel of significant economic costs. It is trying to reinvent itself as an independent entity. It’s attempting to ‘get back out there’, and meet new partners, only to find a very different ‘dating scene’ to the one it remembers and expected.
Firstly, let’s talk about the money.
There has been much made of the economic promises and warnings from both sides. The simple truth is that no-one can know how much GDP growth…
It’s that time of year again; the Jacaranda’s are blooming, UQ ads targeting school leavers are absolutely everywhere, and the politically inclined students have gone absolutely f*#$%ing bananas.
Why, you may ask? Because it’s University election season, with UQ Senate races, Clubs & Societies’ AGMs, and the student union’s own elections for executive and council. The fact that everyone has a million assessment pieces due in October is simply fuel on an already crackling psychological fire.
For the readers who are not fortunate enough not to attend our fair St Lucia campus, I will briefly describe the sort of madness…
“I’m goin’ to change my way of livin’, and if that ain’t enough,
Then I’m gonna change the way I strut my stuff!
’Cause nobody wants you when you’re old and gray,
There’ll be some changes made…”
-Benton Overstreet and Billy Higgins, 1921
I am not a union man. I have never been part of a trade union, and neither has any member of my immediate family; my ancestors were pastoralists and small business owners since before they arrived in Australia. …
“Oh, you’re studying! Where do you go?”
Please don’t ask.
“Oh, UQ. That must be nice.
Don’t you do it…
“So, what do you study?”
I’m sure every student gets asked this question, and I’m certain that nobody enjoys answering it (except, perhaps, especially smug medical students), but it presents a unique horror for PPE students. In replying,we have a range of equally unenviable options.