Monday, August 15, 2005

Fair Go

The question for my reflective essay at uni this semester is "What is the role of 'egalitarianism' or the notion of 'a fair go' in Australian society? What are the key debates and challenges which focus on these concepts?". Today I came across an article about refugees that Enso was in Woomera with that was all about this shit. Maybe you remember the Bakhtiyaris?

"Asked yesterday if she had read their file, Amanda Vanstone said she hadn't. Asked if she had seen any evidence that they were Pakistanis, she said she hadn't. Asked if she'd seen, or anyone had seen, their Pakistani birth certificates, she agreed there weren't any. She said, however, that they had had a "fair go" - including, apparently, 32 months behind razor wire - and that fair go was now, sadly, fading to black. She never visited Woomera and, though a lawyer, never looked at the evidence. "

Mmmmm more to come....

10 comments:

Steve Chatelier said...

It is interesting that the question is not: "to what extent is egalitarianism...?"

Instead, what role?
I would suggest that it plays a culture making role similar to the ANZAC myth...

Bonnie Conquest said...

Exactly Steve. We just watched 'Gallipoli' last week and discussed the cultural myth-making that has created the ANZAC icon. That's a well-trodden path. Um. I'm not convinced of what I want my topic to be yet.

Bonnie Conquest said...

Mmm. I think that the role of egalitarianism and the notion of a fair go are two very different things. The 'notion' of a fair go implies that it is an idea, not concrete, but malleable and mythical. Myths have high utility, they sustain people and provide meaning an identity, but they are dangerous because they are not reality, they are just an interpretion of it. Um.

Steve Chatelier said...

Sorry for insulting yours and everyone else's intelligence by stating the obvious!

they are dangerous because they are not reality, they are just an interpretion of it.

Tell me to "get stuffed" if I am unnecessarily hijacking your line of thought, but I couldn't help but get caught on "reality"...what do you mean? objective reality...does it exist? otherwise, whose reality etc??

Bonnie Conquest said...

Steve. You know I have a brutal manner. Sorry love. Yeah I don't know all the ins and out of theories on the existence of reality but personally I believe we all create the world we live in, so it it totally subjective. Culture (myths being a part of culture) is a filter that we use to interpret/understand/comprehend the world in which we live, and also comes with tools that help us respond, like language. Um. Not very articulate.

Steve Chatelier said...

Ok, so does this mean that when Vanstone says that the Bakhtiyaris had a "fair go" that this is true according to her notion of "fair go"? And if notions such as this are merely subjective constructions, does this not lead to the lazy intellectualism that says: you can believe what you want and I can believe what I want? And, therefore, Vanstone is not wrong, she just has a different notion\approach\response\filter to you or me.

Bonnie Conquest said...

OUCH!

Bonnie Conquest said...

Steve... Yes, it could mean that Amandatory Detention Vanstone really believe that. She feels (as an Australian/woman/lawyer/whatever other aspect of her cultural identity) they received a faor go. Or, she could know/feel that it is not a fair go and she's lying because she's a snakey politician. We all have to individually decide this. Political hyperbole makes it difficult to figure out what's real.

Steve Chatelier said...

I think we can assume that:
a) somewhere here Vanstone is lying
and
b) she does, however, believe that the Bakhtiyaris had a fair go (because her filters make her a cow)

However, I guess my point is: how do we judge another's perspective, decisions and actions if all is relative?

Secondly, if you have identified "fair go" as merely notion...tell me about egalitarianism...

Rachy said...

fair go my ass, but Bob Ellis has a habit of chopping and changing facts to his advantage as well as being an absolute tosser so I just can't take anything he says seriously even if he has a point. I recently read an article in a similar vein about the inefficiency of Vanstone's administration and I will try to find that for you