Thursday, February 18, 2021

Governor General's staff to be asked to do woke 'privilege walk' so they can identify how entitled they are

Encouraging humility in people is fine and dandy. It's an important part of Christian teachings. But centering it on race is obnoxious. It is our personal characteristics we need to feel humble about. Making us feel humble about our race is a distraction. Like people, races can have both their good and their bad sides but no individual is responsible for either

It seems like only yesterday that Leftists were loudly condemning racism. Now they seem determined to bring it back. Condemning a person solely because of his/her skin colour was always stupid and obnoxious and it still is, whether the colour is black, white or brindle

The bureaucrats have been signed up to do bizarre activity which may require them to identify how privileged they are, but it has been criticised by previous participants as being too personal.

The exercise will require staff to step forward or backwards depending on their answers to prompts such as whether their parents have been arrested or addicted to drugs.

The training is run by Charles Sturt University (CSU), with over 330 staff at the Australian institute completing the exercise in 2019 and offering mixed feedback, reported The Daily Telegraph.

One participant remarked 'facilitators need to acknowledge some people may find the issues raised in the privilege walk (and open disclosure) too personal'.

Another said 'I think the walk of privilege needs more work - questions should be contextualised a little more'.

Some staff members described it as 'confronting but valuable', 'very effective', and 'interesting and revealing'.

In variations of the activity, attendees have been asked whether parents told them they were 'beautiful, smart, or successful', if they feel comfortable with others knowing their sexuality or if they worry about crime or drugs in their neighbourhood.

Questions around family may include whether parents have been incarcerated, been addicted to drugs or alcohol or are still married.

The exercise was developed from a 1998 essay by academic Peggy McIntosh titled 'White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack'.

The article used a backpack full of tools and maps as a metaphor for the advantages Ms McIntosh said white people have over others.

Psychologist Michael Mascolo wrote in Psychology Today that the activity can backfire and make people at the front of the 'privilege line' feel defensive.

He said while some people 'experience an enhanced awareness and appreciation of how they have been advantaged' others are offended and feel 'personally blamed'.

The exercise is one component of unconscious bias and inclusivity training run by CSU.

A spokesperson from the Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General told The Daily Telegraph the 'training is not mandatory.'


Another woke joke: Furious fans slam 'Kaftan Queen' fashion designer Camilla Franks' latest clothing collection featuring the Union Jack because it 'glamourises colonialism and genocide'

Fashion designer and self-confessed 'Kaftan Queen' Camilla Franks has come under fire for incorporating the Union Jack in her latest collection, with fans blasting the fashion icon for 'glamourising colonialism'.

Some of Australia's biggest influencers packed the opulent launch of the Mad Manor collection on Monday, including Tammy Hembrow, Ruby Tuesday Matthews, Tegan Phillipa and Nikki Westcott.

Photos and Instagram Stories show Franks donning a Union Jack blouse, with Union Jack bunting lining the walls of the Gold Coast luncheon.

But social media users were quick to call out Franks for using British themes in her garments, accusing the celebrated designer of disrespecting the plight of Indigenous people.

The launch was held just two days after Australia's National Sorry Day, which commemorates former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's apology to the stolen generation.

Reality TV podcast 'So Dramatic' posted a screenshot of a now-deleted post by @wethe_wildones, run by influencers Lucy Kate Jackson and Nikki Westcott, posing in Union Jack-themed garb and captioned 'back to our roots'.

'Influencers at Colonial-themed party with Union Jack clothing on Stolen Land, one day after the the national apology is not a vibe,' So Dramatic captioned the screenshot.

The gossip podcast's call-out post kicked off the wave of criticism, with hundreds of fans slamming not only Franks, but guests who attended the event.

'There's a lot of cultural borrowing from this brand, it's just tone deaf. How can they be inspired by African tribal and Native influences while holding onto a vision that represents British imperialism?' Said another.

The party was held on February 15, just two days after Australia's National Sorry Day which commemorates the day former prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the stolen generation.

The Mad Manor collection is described as where 'social worlds collide', combining 'ethereal dames, posh aristocrats, counter-culture icons'.

'Each dressed with particular aplomb, this season we explore all the eccentric characters so intrinsic to the English narrative,' the Camilla website states.

The 44-year-old designer was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer in 2018, just three months after welcoming her first child Luna.

In an emotional Instagram post shared in October 2019, Camilla said her battle with the disease left her in the loneliest place 'she has ever been'.


Jobless rate continues to tumble despite COVID lockdowns

The normal Australian rate is just over 5% so 6.5% is remarkably good

Australia’s jobless rate fell to 6.4 per cent in January as 29,000 jobs were created across the country to start the new year despite a string of state-based COVID lockdowns.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday reported the jobless rate edged down by 0.2 percentage points, with solid falls in the nation’s two largest jobs markets, NSW and Victoria.

Economists had been expecting an unemployment rate of 6.5 per cent.

The ABS said full-time employment jumped by 59,000 while part-time jobs dropped by 29,800.

Over the past year, full-time employment is still down by 62,900 while part-time is up by 17,300. Part-time employment now accounts for almost 32 per cent of all jobs.

There was a 34,300 drop in the number of unemployed people to 877,600. Total unemployed is up by 156,000 over the year.

Scott Morrison believes the economy is rebounding despite concerns over what will happen when government assistance runs out at the end of March.

Youth unemployment was unchanged at 13.9 per cent while the participation rate edged down by 0.1 percentage points. The national underemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 8.1 per cent and is now lower than before the pandemic recession.

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said seasonally adjusted hours worked dropped 4.9 per cent between December and January due to more people taking annual leave over the Christmas and new year period.

“After a tough 2020, more Australians than usual took leave in the first two weeks of January, particularly full-time workers,” Mr Jarvis said in a statement.

“This fall in hours worked is different to the falls across April and May 2020, which resulted from the restrictions in the labour market, rather than people taking leave.”

There was a fall of 86 million hours worked over the month, or about 5 per cent, over January.

Mr Jarvis said this figure “reflects some ongoing effects of recent lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne”.

Across the country, the jobless rate in NSW fell by 0.3 percentage points to 6 per cent while it slipped by 0.2 percentage points in Victoria to 8.3 per cent. There is now a large gap in the participation rate in the two states, with Victoria’s rate 1.4 percentage points higher than NSW.

The biggest fall in unemployment occurred in Tasmania, dropping by 1.1 percentage points to 5.9 per cent.

But it jumped by 0.7 percentage points in both South Australia (to a national high of 7.1 per cent) and in the ACT which still has the country’s lowest jobless rate of 4.4 per cent.

There were 3.7 million employed people who worked fewer or zero hours due to annual leave, holidays or other leave arrangements in January.

But there were also 102,900 employed people who worked zero hours for economic reasons. This was down from 766,700 at the height of the pandemic in April.

In December, there were 64,700 workers who had zero hours of work over the month for the same reason.

While there were shutdowns over the Christmas and new year period and restrictions on travel, the ABS said the 40,000 rise was in line with what was seen in January 2020 before the pandemic.


Liberal party frustrated as National party's energy revolt gains another backer

A Nationals revolt on climate change has gained support from the party’s Senate team in a challenge to Prime Minister Scott Morrison on whether to allow a new $1 billion fund to invest in coal and nuclear power.

Nationals Senate leader Bridget McKenzie is joining the push to amend the government bill to set up the fund, arguing the law should be “technology neutral” rather than limiting options.

The move throws support behind former party leader Barnaby Joyce, who infuriated the Liberals on Tuesday night by preparing an amendment in the lower house to allow the fund to invest in high-efficiency, low-emissions coal-fired power stations.

Senator McKenzie told Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack of her plans on Tuesday night and has support from upper house colleagues including former resources minister Matt Canavan.

The Nationals senators were preparing to make their move on Wednesday to test the government on whether to allow the changes to a bill that has been planned for months, but the divisions forced a delay in the debate.

The government withdrew the bill from debate and is considering whether to bring it to Parliament in weeks or months to come, with some backbenchers speculating it could be delayed until May.

Liberal MPs are privately fuming at the Nationals’ move, arguing federal funds should not be put into new coal-fired power stations, but are avoiding public comment on the grounds a stoush would hurt the government.

Senator McKenzie said the government amendment needed to be changed. “The amendment is too narrowly focused, backing only one energy source for emission reduction,” she said.

Mr Joyce opened the policy dispute by lodging a formal amendment in Parliament to use a $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund, administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, to build a coal-fired power station.

Mr Joyce said his bill did not compel the CEFC to fund coal power but removed a restriction which prevented it from backing the energy source. “It’s not an obligation to do so, people can make a choice,” Mr Joyce said of his coal amendment. “But it shouldn’t be ruled out.“

Mr Joyce’s amendment would permit high-efficiency low-emissions coal plant projects to apply to the fund, which he said would boost greenhouse gas reductions. “Our largest sale as a nation is fossil fuels, like it or not, and I can’t see anything to change that,” he said. “The greatest thing we could do for emissions reduction is devise a technology for efficient use of coal.”

The bill the Nationals want to amend was brought to Parliament in August by Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor.

It would enable the CEFC to administer a new Grid Reliability Fund, which he said was needed to develop new energy projects and support reliability in the electricity network.

Mr Taylor told Parliament the bill would “not divert the CEFC’s existing $10 billion allocation” but would create a “trusted counter-party to investments, allowing the CEFC to support private sector involvement” in energy generation.

The CEFC welcomed the proposed changes, saying “critical infrastructure could be funded through the fund to improve the energy grid’s generation capacity and reliability”, and noted gas investments “may be technically eligible for funding” even without changes to legislation.

Labor climate change and energy spokesman Chris Bowen said delaying the bill was a “humiliating backdown” for the Morrison government.

“This now means the government is divided over exactly how many fossil fuel technologies the Clean Energy Finance Corporation should support – just gas, as proposed by Taylor, or gas and coal,” he said.

“The government announced the Grid Reliability Fund 15 months ago. Now, let alone deliver reliable cheap energy for Australians, the government can’t deliver a debate on the fund in the Coalition-controlled House of Representatives.”




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