How can we have a government that has a simultaneous eye for the curse of sexism and of institutional sexual abuse, but then resorts to cruelty as its response to equally desperate and determined asylum seekers?
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Accumulation of psychological problems could begin to undermine national reconstruction and development, say health workers.
'The fear of suicide bomb attacks, roadside bombs, and the overall level of violence in Afghanistan - of which civilians bear the brunt, with the number killed rising in 2011 for the fifth straight year to more than 3,000, according to the United Nations - can lead to anxiety, panic and obsession.
"The physical aspects of war (last) for a limited time, but the psychological aspects of the war extend for many years. Day by day the mental health problems caused by the war are increasing," said consultant psychiatrist Said Najib Jawed.
Just as socially damaging is the risk of a generation for whom violence has become the norm.'
The expert panel on asylum seekers has made 22 recommendations, including the establishment of a capacity for processing asylum seekers in both Nauru and Papua New Guinea, in a report expected to define…...
'The expert panel on asylum seekers has made 22 recommendations, including the establishment of a capacity for processing asylum seekers in both Nauru and Papua New Guinea, in a report expected to define the government’s future policy on asylum seekers.
The report, which the panel described as “hard-headed but not hard-hearted” and “realistic, but not idealistic”, also recommends the government continue to build on the current arrangement with Malaysia.'
Some responses to the report:
'The late Fred Daly, the Labor MP, once said governments ought not to have inquiries unless they know what the outcome will be.'
'......their tag line ‘hard headed not hard hearted’ is a reasonable summary' of what they’ve achieved.
'The government has managed to snooker itself once again.'
'Even though Houston said over and over it’s not a political document he did say also it was a realistic document.'
'A very serious examination of the psychological dynamics that are associated with the asylum seekers process in order to ensure safety is really important.
In the dynamic of safety seeking once you sink your capital into the people smuggler loop you’re stuck there, there’s no capacity outside that to escape it.'
'Labor is being accused by Tony Abbott of waging class warfare through the Budget. He is on dangerous ground. All the signs are that he and Joe Hockey are preparing to revive much of the policy agenda of the Howard Government and go a few steps further to the right. Hockey is arguing that it is time to dismantle the Australian welfare safety net. They both continue to draw unwelcome attention to the former government's disastrous WorkChoices policy by attacking the Fair Work Act and Fair Work Australia - an opportunity that Julia Gillard relishes. The Prime Minister is always at her best when she has a Coalition industrial relations policy target to aim at.'
'Australian politics is entering a new era, a more uncertain era where the protest vote has the potential to make and break governments more regularly than it has in the past. Both Labor and the Coalition have to grapple with this reality and growing disillusionment with party politics'
Philip Tetlock’s 2005 book Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? demonstrated that accurate long-term political forecasting is, to a good approximation, impossible. The work was a landmark in social science, and its importance was quickly recognized and rewarded in two academic disciplines—political science and psychology. Perhaps more significantly, the work was recognized in the intelligence community, which accepted the challenge of investing significant resources in a search for improved accuracy. The work is ongoing, important discoveries are being made, and Tetlock gives us a chance to peek at what is happening.
Daniel Kahneman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics, 2002, is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology Emeritus at Princeton University and author of Thinking Fast and Slow.
'With its revamped Pacific Solution, the Australian government has decided to make the choice to take a boat to Australia more horrendous in its implications, by increasing the likelihood of disasters at sea, and then punishing those who manage to survive the crossing.
But nothing has been done on two critical fronts – addressing the conditions that create refugees; and providing alternatives that break the incentive cycle promoted by the government and opposition, and facilitated by the people smugglers.
The application of some cognitive theory and economic choice theory may help understand what is really going on; and why government and opposition are playing a doomed game they cannot win.'