F.I.R.E., Life Hacks, politics, Uncategorised

Free speech in Australia.

I was having a conversation with the adonis who I train with recently. He was talking about how we have freedom of the press and freedom of speech in Australia, and how that was great.

I was interested in this because I disagree that we currently have those freedoms.

Change is possible

Yes, I’m aware of the irony of sitting in a comfortable Sydney home, on the internet, writing that we don’t have freedom of speech or freedom of the press in Australia.

But you don’t know what I would be writing about if we did have those freedoms.

This week Australia’s High Court made a decision that means that any company in Australia that has an internet presence, is liable for the comments on their social media accounts or website.  

One of the consequences of this is that ordinary people who do try to speak out about the things going wrong in Australia may well be moderated out of the discourse.

Australia updated secrecy laws in 2018, making it illegal to talk about certain things, either in Australia or overseas (if you’re interested, read part 5.6 of the federal Criminal Code (1995)).

This year Australia appointed a High Court judge Justice Simon Steward who stated that freedom of speech and freedom of political communication are not “settled law”.

This is part of a long term trend in Australia to pass laws that punish or criminalize people for having opinions, exposing government wrongdoing, and speaking out in the public interest.

So? What can you do?

Here’s the problems, what are the solutions?

  • Write to your local member, asking for more political freedoms and asking them to uphold your right to political communication and freedom of speech
  • Write a blog post about your thoughts
  • Write something on social media about freedom of speech in Australia, tag your local member, the Attorney General’s Department and the federal parliament
  • Write to the editor of your favourite newspaper
  • Read and share blog posts like this one
  • Participate in public discourse– bring it up at dinner, bring it up at a public forum, talk about what’s going on
  • Start or sign a petition asking for change like this one asking for the right to protest.
  • Start a T-shirt Campaign
  • Make Art about it
  • Write a story about it
  • Express yourself through poetry
  • Make some rocking music
  • Put your thoughts into photos
  • Meditate on healing the world
  • Send good wishes into the lives of other people
  • Connect with people in your community so that we can lift the cohort
  • Get a qualification or do a short course to keep yourself fresh and keep your brain working
  • Meditate on having love in your heart
  • Learn a language
  • Become F.I.R.E so you’re not a slave to a job any more.

It might not think that these will change things politically, but every time you lift yourself out of fatalistic, nihilistic depression, you remind yourself of the truth:

You have power. You have creativity. You can do something. Change is possible.

Remember: Always be kind.

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This blog is fiction. By reading this blog, you agree that you read it under your own risk, and Gill’s Practical Bookkeeping is in no way responsible for any harm or prejudice to yourself, your business, or any fictional examples above.

I am not a financial advisor. I do not have an AFSL. I am a chick who likes to read, think, write, and has access to google. You should treat this blog with the same seriousness that you would treat anyone whose main qualification is access to google. This blog is for entertainment purposes only. It’s a little like watching Big Bang Theory for nerds or artists.

Anything you take from this blog is your responsibility. Nothing in this blog, even if you are mentioned by name, address, and telephone number, pertains to your personal situation. Anything you agree with, or disagree with, you are welcome to comment on, but your opinions belong to you. You are responsible for your comments. If they are offensive, I will remove them.

http://www.nuancedtruths.com

https://www.patreon.com/gillspracticalbookkeeping

Life Hacks, Uncategorised

10 times Arguing Enough has changed the world.

My family had a zoom on the weekend. Everyone sat around chatting, spending time with each other, hanging out.

It was fun.

One thing my nephew said struck me—we were talking politics, and he was annoyed by people who “think if they just argue enough they can get whatever they want”.

It’s an interesting point. Basically the premise is that people are powerless, and we have no right to want things to be different.

I think this is wrong.

So, for anyone feeling fatalistic or powerless out there, this blog post is for you.

It’s 10 examples from my life and history where arguing with politicians has changed the world.

  • Backpaid Rent

In 2014 I lived in a rent-controlled apartment. My rent went up unfairly and stayed up for too long. I contacted my landlord, who did nothing. I then contacted the Mayor of the city I live in, who was kind enough to write to my landlord. My landlord reduced my rent, and back-paid me 6 months of rent at the reduced rate. Win!

In the 1990’s a park close to where I live was going to be turned into apartments. Many people were distressed by this. The community got together and protested, and protested and protested. We won. Those parks are still parks, and there’s a plaque on them celebrating the community.

We are so lucky
  • Law Changed Due to Suggestion

My Mother-in-law’s local member was having a question and answer night in the local RSL. She went along and suggested a tweak to a law that was currently being debated. The local member heard it, thought it was a good idea, and my Mother-in-law’s tweak was included in the law.

In 1965 a group of Anglo-Saxon and Indigenous Australian students rode through country towns of NSW trying to highlight racism and put a stop to it. This played a role in the 1967 referendum where Indigenous Australian’s were included in the Constitution as citizens of Australia with the right to vote and were no longer considered flora or fauna.

In 1997 my whole science class wrote to our local members, asking for Dugongs to be protected. Over the past 20 years, a lot of other people have done the same. Until 2017 Australia had a National Dugong and Turtle Protection Plan. Most Dugongs living in Australia live in marine parks (restricted boat speeds, and mesh net fishing restrictions).

In 2017 Australia voted to allow gay and lesbian people to marry. This followed a long running campaign of activism and public education about gay people.

Between 1976 and 1991 all Australian states changed their Marital Rape laws to mean that if one member of a partnership forced the other to have sex, they were criminally liable. This followed a long campaign of activism by feminists and other groups.

One of the most beautiful people I know

In Australia we have Work Health and Safety Laws. These provide Workers Compensation for any workers who get injured, and make managers criminally liable for the safety of staff. These were brought in after a long campaign by Unions and other groups.

In 1948 Australia brought in the 40-hour work week. This followed years of Union campaigning. Since then, we’ve introduced a 38-hour work week. There is work to be done here, though, as many salaried workers hour’s are much higher.

In the years leading up to 1215, a group of Barons threatened to rebel against King John I in England. In 1215, John created the first elements of English Democracy. He gave some of his powers away to the Barons and gave them the right to make some decisions through a council. This eventually (with much work) lead to the Democratic processes we have today.  

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By reading this blog, you agree that you read it under your own risk, and Gill’s Practical Bookkeeping is in no way responsible for any harm or prejudice to yourself, your business, or any fictional examples above.

I am not a financial advisor. I do not have an AFSL. I am a chick who likes to read, think, write, and has access to google. You should treat this blog with the same seriousness that you would treat anyone whose main qualification is access to google. This blog is for entertainment purposes only. It’s a little like watching Big Bang Theory for nerds or artists.

Anything you take from this blog is your responsibility. Nothing in this blog, even if you are mentioned by name, address, and telephone number, pertains to your personal situation. Anything you agree with, or disagree with, you are welcome to comment on, but your opinions belong to you. You are responsible for your comments. If they are offensive, I will remove them.

http://www.nuancedtruths.com

https://www.patreon.com/gillspracticalbookkeeping