What will the British election mean for Brexit?

Britain’s next leader will have the difficult task of deciding on concrete outcomes for populist platitudes in relation to Brexit.

Voters will go to the polls on June 8 for a general election that will decide which governing party will negotiate Brexit. It comes almost a year after the referendum in which the British people voted to leave the European Union.

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Hope for the body

Day began with lighthouse flashes: warmth is coming. Hope whispered through young bodies, semi-conscious.

Strung out on cold coffee and saturated with imagined danger, we lay guts-down in a shallow trench on an ancient, untrodden hillock.

Failed to Fragile to Non-existent: The endangerment of Australian foreign policy

A popular account of modernity is that we in the West have replaced our culture with economy. This view is a scathing indictment of privatisation for privatisation’s sake, installation of ‘price signals’ in medical care, fatalism regarding environmental destruction, and defunding the arts to claw back immaterial tax savings. According to this view, we are in the process of selling our cultural assets in pursuit of material wealth. Thankfully, this charge is hyperbolic.

The Sanders Revolution after New York and hopeful signs in the global Left

The New York Democratic Presidential primary last month likely terminated Senator Bernie Sanders’ chances of taking the White House. Nonetheless, Sanders defeated Clinton on Tuesday in Indiana’s Democratic race, reviving hope of a victory. Though still trailing behind Clinton in the polls, his platform has found resonance with disenfranchised progressives, and could catalyse a new epoch in American politics.

The Dirty Establishment War To Stop Bernie Sanders

You know you’re doing something right when special interests try to shut you down. In the Democratic Party presidential primaries, Bernie Sanders and his platform are routinely transfigured into straw men and pummelled by the punditry. And yet his following just keeps on growing.

Revolution in New Hampshire and Australia’s Forgotten People

The New Hampshire primaries raised the spectre of a socialist America that “feels the Bern”.

A self-contradicting megaphone of a man trumped the Republican field. That is how deep twenty-first century anxieties have riven the American Dream.

In Australia, our upcoming federal election has been largely spared the existential angst that comes with waning geopolitical supremacy. Quite the opposite: the two major parties are squaring up to for a staid competition along familiar but faded battle lines.

Rorschach

Andrew stoops down and picks up a forlorn pile of envelopes. They have been forgotten by the world and he empathises. The paper is coarse, crackling from a day on the doorstep in the blazing sun. He balances the pile on his palm while he journeys: up two flights of stairs, through an open door,…

Bedevilled (Idle hands and the endless economy)

I am a circulating particle in the Australian east coast ‘knowledge economy’. The Wizard of Id armed with arcane knowledge of Microsoft suite. I have no name. I am the annoying man with a clipboard in fading suit pants interrupting your online poker game. Tell me why you have painstakingly organised everything just so. Then I…

Freedom Fights Equality and Green Shoots of Democracy

Two excellent articles penned for New Matilda by Drs Bueskens and Jackson in recent weeks have called for the new Liberal Government to follow the ideas of historical liberal thinkers.

These analyses focussed on ways in which classical liberal tenets might inspire a move away from the harder edges of Abbott’s conservative agenda. However, in focussing on the Liberal Party and thinkers of the 18th Century, both articles missed an opportunity to reflect on the contemporary democratic conditions within which the ship of the Liberal Party is listing.

Culture versus utopia: effectively answering ISIL propaganda

The way that Curtis Cheng was murdered outside Parramatta police station, Sydney, Australia, is shocking. In the wake of this tragedy, Islamic community leaders and the Australian Federal Government presented a united front in condemning violent extremism. Unfortunately, they were preaching to the choir. United advocacy in the wake of terrorist actions is important, but…

Australian Republic: Disrupt the Constitution to enable social innovation

Anthropologist John von Sturmer, speaking last month at the Institute of Postcolonial Studies, made one of many salient observations: it would be a mistake to pursue a referendum on constitutional recognition of Indigenous peoples before a successful referendum on the Australian republic. It would obfuscate meaningful reconciliation.

A way to fall

Once—

My younger vessel was

Strong in sensation and

Overbearing in thought:

My fresher self wanted

And willed, and strove, and felt

Deeply the wrongs and rights

Of the world he received.

Dreamscape for infinite human worlds

Professor Arturo Escobar has a dream to share with us. But, in the same way that freedom and oppression are symbiotic, you can’t fully appreciate dreams without first understanding nightmares. So Escobar’s works stand as an intellectual signpost in a branched road, one arm denoting the nightmare of society’s power over the individual, the other pointing towards the ubiquitous technology that could free us.

Four hour pilgrim

Have you ever been driving at night, with only the headlights for company, and thought to yourself … just a nudge to the left?

Just a nudge to the left and the punctuation to my life would be a bright-burning fireball; metal concertinaed against a pole, maybe severing the power to the nearby town or the city. All those people, left in darkness. Just a nudge. Then, quick as the rain against the tarmac, the next thought: the ending would be more memorable than the life before. All those people left in dark—the widest ripple I can send out.

Forced borders: the fallacy of scientific government

  The western worldview is underpinned by post-Enlightenment, scientific thought. Accordingly, western nations tend to be governed by technocratic public servants that reduce the art of government to the science of policy outcomes. This pattern is understandable. It is a very human activity, in that it attempts to sever human messiness from that most innately…

By the sea, alone

The pebbles in sun on shore-side shine, and tell

Their truth as crushed old mountains meeting deeps

That smashed them slowly, aeons ago, without

Any pity or knowledge. Forever they whisper;

Whisper to victims mute, and softly speak

Of mysteries, endless shifting places, so far

From warmth and light that darkness turns grey-green.

My Moby

I’m a poor man, born to riches unearned

And fate unasked; to years unsubtle, burnt

With the burden of dreams imposed by

Thousands that dream asame because we live

Asame: under a sky that tightens daily.

Seekers

At least twenty seekers have joined the vigil. Their silhouettes are spread around the rooftop, between the metal piping and exhaust fans. They stand or sit in small groups or alone, as their motives dictate. Most wear masks—some matte black and some individuated like Syrinx’s.

Syrinx and I go our separate ways amidst the gathering. She initiated me, but she is not my keeper. Up here, we have no keepers.

The Royal Commission into Trade Unions and the limits of justice

Ultimately, the best lesson that can be learnt from this affair is that justice is not as simple as the ‘fairness’ we think it to be: it is either a massively complex social equation weighed from within society, or else it is a tremendously simple, logical conclusion reached from outside of society.

The Eleventh Sun God

I go over to the door and lock Jim and me into my coffin-width apartment. Jim’s sitting in his fat armchair, sipping from his flask. Staring at his finger—at the wedding ring he still wears. I pull out my watch and count the seconds. Because that’s how you pass time on duty. Tick by tick. Tick by tick. And then: Boom.

Numbers games: an argument for quotas

Representativeness – like freedom and honesty and other virtues – is hard, painstaking work. It is a numerical ideal, a perfect reflection of society; the wellspring of legitimacy in a modern democracy. Insofar as we privilege vague claims of ‘merit’ over this ideal, we enshrine antidemocratic tendencies in the heart of our parliament.