Author: Tim Robertson

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  • AUSTRALIA

    We are all neoliberals now

    • Tim Robertson
    • 19 April 2017
    13 Comments

    One of the challenges for progressive parties is to look beyond the existing neoliberal framework for solutions to the current malaise. Labor is so steeped in neoliberal orthodoxy that, even if it was willing to evolve, it's likely incapable of doing so. And while much of the intellectual heavy lifting in forming a picture of what a post-neoliberal future may look like will be done outside organised politics, Labor remains completely unengaged with almost all of these debates.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hansonism is normal and everything is not fine

    • Tim Robertson
    • 16 February 2017
    10 Comments

    This is not the beginning of the normalisation of Hanson and One Nation: it's the end. In a piece for The Monthly, Dominic Kelly highlighted how large swaths of the rightwing commentariat have embraced the 'more mature', 'disciplined' and 'principled' Hanson 2.0. Despite this rhetoric, for the Right, appeasing One Nation has always been a balancing act. They're guided by one question: How much racism is permissible before it has to be condemned?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Conversations with homeless protesters

    • Tim Robertson
    • 22 May 2016
    8 Comments

    I asked John, a tall, articulate man with long hair and well-maintained hipster beard, if he'd had a chance to read the most recently published Herald Sun think-piece arguing that what they are doing is not a demand for help, but a political protest. He smiled wryly, expelled a couple of bursts of laughter and said that that may be their most accurate reporting of the unfolding situation to-date: 'This has always been a political protest ... that's always been our intention.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Malcolm Turnbull's confidence trick

    • Tim Robertson
    • 24 November 2015
    17 Comments

    The vitriol with which much of the liberal mainstream media responded to Tony Abbott's Margaret Thatcher memorial speech last month confirmed what many rightwingers have been claiming: that Abbott's problem was not his policies, but his inability to sell them. As communicators, he and Turnbull are poles apart. To date, the most striking achievement of the Malcolm Turnbull confidence trick is that he's rewarded for his apparent progressivism, even when he speaks explicitly against it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    If only gender-based violence really was unAustralian

    • Tim Robertson
    • 12 October 2015
    11 Comments

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared that violence against women needs to be seen as 'unAustralian'. But sexual violence against women was part of the colonial experience for the Indigenous population, and continues to be a symptom of the punitive measures enacted against asylum seekers that we have a moral and legal obligation to protect. Violence against women is very much 'Australian', and will be until the institutional violence that has defined our past is owned and redressed.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why calls for compassion for refugees don't work

    • Tim Robertson
    • 08 September 2015
    3 Comments

    Writing in The Australian this week, Chris Kenny declares: 'Emotion, moral vanity, political posturing and good intentions won't be much of a guide when it comes to making the right decisions and delivering the best results'. He and like minded opinion writers get so much traction because they're essentially correct. Compassion alone is not enough.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why we aren't more shocked by Nauru revelations

    • Tim Robertson
    • 04 August 2015
    13 Comments

    The politicians have an excuse: they have vested interests. But what about the rest of us? Has the rape and torture of asylum seekers, many of them children, in institutions established at the behest of Canberra, become so commonplace that it no longer shocks? It's not that empathy is an emotion particularly lacking in Australia. But there remains a disconnect between 'us' and asylum seekers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Foreign fighter with the 'Anzac spirit'

    • Tim Robertson
    • 12 July 2015
    7 Comments

    It's hard not to admire Reece Harding, whose sense of social justice, idealism and internationalism led him to take up arms against an organisation he seemingly believed lived up to Tony Abbott's characterisation as a 'death cult'. The Federal Government has warned Australians against travelling to the Middle East to fight on any side. But these calls are drowned out by decades of contradictory rhetoric that has seen the Anzac legend placed at the fore of our history and culture.

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