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Archive for the 'politics' Category

Alexander Pearce was not a Tasmanian

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Peter Whish-Wilson (a Tasmanian Greens Senator) and Scott Stringer (a West-Coast Councillor) want to bring the skull of the infamous Irish cannibal convict Alexander Pearce back to Tasmania. Apparently they believe this is his home. The skull was sold by a surgeon to the American Natural Scientist Samuel George Morton after Pearce’s execution at Hobart Gaol in July, 1824.

There are a number of problems that I can see with this endeavour. And all of them stagger belief that they weren’t already identified within the political backdrop of the Greens Party or the relevant West Coast Council.

The Irishman was a Convict

First and foremost there is the question of Alexander Pearce’s posthumous right to be buried in his native soil. That native soil would not be Tasmania.

Pearce was sentenced to seven years at Armagh, Ireland in the year 1819. He escaped in Van Diemen’s Land (present Tasmania) in 1822 and was sent to the notoriously hard penal colony of Sarah Island in Macquarie Harbour on Tasmania’s West Coast. Pearce’s escape from that colony involved the cannibalisation of other prisoners and this infamous convict story has become part of our penal history.

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Prisons are full of Naughty People

Monday, April 18th, 2016

The go-to political and media punching bag has long been our prison system. Escapes have a certain glamour. Crime is rating high on the Idiot Box. There are people in prison extorting, getting drunk, corrupting guards, raping, bashing and stealing. Riots. Hunger strikes. You name it, the prison system is a microcosm of the outside World without that ethical signature we think of as civilisation.

That’s the real trouble with all these stories. The latest article about Risdon Prison this last week was the shock horror front page revelation that prisoners are using an illicit mobile phone network within the prison to send out selfies that other people post on Facebook pages in the prisoners’ names.

Oh, for fuck sake. The headline should have simply read “Breaking News: Prisons are full of Naughty People”.

Considering the Australian prison system houses over 30,000 inmates and releases 50,000 inmates a year back into society; considering those inmates have friends and family that visited them (or forgot to visit); and considering this country has 24 million residents, of which only half a million live in Tasmania – it’s probably not much news to anybody that Tasmania’s prisoners use illicit mobile phones.

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Post-Diversity & Missing the Diversity Dividend

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

In these days of ultra-right-wing politics and the proud bigotry of a rebranded National Front it shouldn’t be surprising to find business jargon like post-diversity in serious conversation. Post-diversity is the idea that we’re past diversity; that we are beyond paying attention to equality of pay, conditions and opportunity for groups perceived as disadvantaged.

What post-diversity means is that an organisation with post-diversity values will employ people who are a cultural fit. People with the same values, who look and speak the same language.

By a cultural fit they often mean – white, entitled and probably young. What cultural fit means is educated like us and thinks like us and comes from where we arose.

In everyday application, this post-diversity recruitment landscape dictates that non-normative prospective employees (ethnic, indigenous, female, or other group outside the cultural fit), with the same qualifications or greater, will be intentionally passed aside for a normative prospective employee who fits a predetermined cultural image that matches existing employee profiles.

Here’s the hard truth about post-diversity. OK, there may be a small benefit to having everyone in an organisation belong to a certain cultural fit. These employees like the same things and share common fundamental values. They go to the same church; or not. And they are cultural clones of each other. However, any small benefit of hiring to a cultural fit is so infinitesimally small that it’s hardly worth mentioning. Let’s say, at best, it’s not a direct negative if all the employees get along.

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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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