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Archive for the 'politics' Category

A Brave Simple Cure for Tasmania’s Housing Crisis

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018

Before you even read about the question or the constraints I’ll give it to you here. For free. Start building new affordable housing targeted at the young families who want and need to buy into a property future. There. Was that so hard to digest?

OK, the problem is more complicated. In the short term, people need shelter and security. And we should do that like it was a State emergency; we should be activating our situation room as though a suburb burned to the ground last week and we need to house and feed everybody who lived there. But we won’t. We would, as decent human beings, except consecutive governments have gone down the road of vilifying anybody who is unemployed and/or homeless as burdens in our society. Giving the poor too much of a leg up out of the gutter just won’t happen… too many Tasmanians would complain.

So, while you’ll see a lot of meetings and discussions in the public sector, it will always end in croissants at noon and everybody back to their safe warm office buildings by afternoon tea. Public servants and their masters just don’t care about the homeless. Not enough to fix the problem. However convincingly their tears.

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Jamie McCrossen Should Be Released

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

The incarceration of Jamie Gregory McCrossen for a quarter of a Century is an indictment on the Tasmanian prison system and the legal framework that supports indefinite sentences to prevent possible crime in the future.

Jamie has served longer in a Tasmanian prison (to prevent any chance he might commit another crime) than the average murderer would serve without bothering to apply for parole. Had he been the average convicted murderer, Jamie would have already served his sentence in full, be a free man and live without supervision. That’s the everyday reality of most murderers. Sentence, parole, release… time served. Very few murderers get Life maximum sentences in Tasmania.

But Jamie isn’t a murderer. Not even close to it. He’s been a lot of things, but not a murderer or rapist. We need to keep that in context.

The down side of the Dangerous Criminal legislation is that fundamentally Jamie’s indefinite incarceration is about the possibility of committing a future crime. It’s incarceration as some perverse prevention measure. Because Jamie threatened a witness in the very early 1990s at the age of 20 while in prison for a robbery he committed 2 years earlier.

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It’s Time to put an end to Prison Slavery

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

Most people don’t realise that when Abraham Lincoln pushed through the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, passed in 1865, there was one crucial exception to the end of slavery. There are still slaves in the United States of America and there will be slaves for a very long time.

The Thirteenth Amendment states that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude… shall exist within the United States.” But adds the exception that slavery remains legal “as a punishment for a crime.”

Even fewer people realise that September 9th was the forty-fifth anniversary of the infamous riots in Attica Prison where inmates called for the end to this slavery, for freedom of political expression and better living conditions. Those initial riots in 1971 at Attica Prison cost the lives of 29 prisoners and 10 hostages.

Yet, nearly half a century later, there are still modern slaves in the United States of America. And most Americans don’t see a problem with it.

In Australia we have the same situation (albeit without directly referring to slavery). But there is no other way to view the exploitation of human beings for profit. Whether the punishment is designed to incorporate slavery; whether it’s what we’re used to throughout our lives in this country; or, whether as long as the sun rises and the sun sets there is no sympathy and can be no sympathy for the plight of a criminal. Our society has long incorporated slavery in the penal system.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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