Category: refugees

21 Sep


A funny thing happened on the way through Upton Park



I was inspired partly by an exchange of well-made points on my Facebook wall between two great friends Jay and Paddy. But the main reason for taking time out to write this on a sunny Sunday morning in east London is because a funny thing happened on my way home last night. I really hope […]

15 Jul


Brutal asylum policies & the Left’s ‘blame voters’ moralism


An ‘election ploy’, but is it effective?

In New Matilda today I have a major piece rebutting the dominant Left explanation for Australia’s brutal asylum seeker policies: That such policies are “poll-driven” in that voter attitudes on the issue are enough to swing elections. It is mainly a response to two NM articles last week written by their main political writer, Ben […]

15 Mar


Some thoughts on the Biennale boycott and the state



It would be churlish to thumb one’s nose at the successful artist boycott of the Sydney Biennale, which cut the Biennale’s partnership with Transfield over the latter’s participation in the federal government’s border protection regime. A new tactic within the mishmash of often mutually hostile campaigns in support of asylum seekers, its triumph certainly brightened […]

20 Nov


We need to talk about Indonesia


The not-so-special relationship

I suppose we’ll never know if when Kevin Rudd dropped the word “Konfrontasi” into the pre-election debate on Tony Abbott’s “turn back the boats” policy he was merely stirring up his Coalition opponents or whether he was directly aware of the depth of contempt Indonesian elites had towards the Coalition’s sabre-rattling. The term certainly had […]

08 Oct

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Athens anti-fascist conference: a milestone for the Left



By KEVIN OVENDEN This piece is a follow-up to “Greece, the state & anti-fascism”, which was subsequently also posted at Socialist Unity in the UK and Socialist Worker in the US. The anti-fascist conference in Athens last weekend hosted by the Greek anti-fascist/anti-racist coalition KEERFA was a major step forward. About 600 people, from a broad spectrum […]

25 Sep


Declaration Antifascist Meeting 2013, 5-6 Oct Athens


new photo

From ΚΕΕΡΦΑ / KEERFA- Movement United Against Racism and the Fascist Threat. The cold-blooded murder of 34 year old artist Pavlos Fyssas in Keratsini by thugs of the Golden Dawn in a Nazi ambush has sent shockwaves through millions of people, not only in Greece but around the whole world. Eight months ago, it was a […]

31 Jul


Opinion polls, asylum seekers and Rudd’s strategy


Rudd in charge

My latest piece at The Guardian, on how polls and public opinion have little to do with Rudd’s quest to establish political dominance: Again, the refugee issue clarifies Rudd’s approach. Central to his strategy is the use of regional (international) statecraft to establish authority. By having Indonesia expose Abbott’s plan to “turn back the boats” as a dangerous […]

22 Jul


Making things happen: race, borders & the state



One of the most striking things about the mainstream media coverage of Kevin Rudd’s “PNG solution” is how the discussion is mostly framed by ideas, policies and language that are increasingly relics of a past phase of the interminable “border security” debate. By outmanoeuvring opponents to both his Right and Left on this issue, Rudd […]

20 Jul


Turning point: Asylum, Rudd’s realpolitik & the Left


Because all aspiring boat people have the Fairfax newspapers home-delivered

Some moments have “turning point” written all over them. So it was when Liz and I started Left Flank three years and two weeks ago, when we highlighted a speech by Julia Gillard justifying her “lurch to the Right” on border security, and compared her language with that of John Howard — defending Hansonism — from 1996. […]