Living the Dream – Last Drinks in (the workers) Paradise?

qld pic
State Of Queensland (Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning)

In this episode of Living the Dream Jon (@JonPiccini) and Dave (@withsobersenses) talk about the meltdown of politics in Queensland and the failure of the ALP government to carry out a coherent plan to address the decline in capital accumulation and facilitate social reproduction. Rob Pyne resigning from Labor(#corbynofcairns ?), candidates sending dicks pics and the shared anti-political language of both sides of the referendum campaign show a political class in freefall and deeply out of touch with the concerns of everyday people.

Should we care? Or just point and laugh? What is the relationship of the political to capitalism on a whole and to our struggle against it? How much of this is this a broader and global phenomenon and what can it tell us about life in Queensland?

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Articles we refer to include:

The State Infrastructure Plan

Humphrey McQueen – Queensland: a state of mind

Kathleen McLeod – “I Will Protect You With My Body” The Case For A Radical Sanctuary Movement To Protect Asylum Seekers In Australia

Andy Paine – Rewriting the political script

Chris O’Kane – State Violence, State Control: Marxist State Theory and the Critique of Political Economy

Mario Tronti – The Political (1979)

Left Flank and An Integral State

Mike Beggs – The Void Stares Back

#LetThemStay Fieldnotes 3: What happened? What were the different elements of the event and how did they fit together?



Recently I posed twelve questions to help myself understand the events of recent weeks and help think through what has happened and where we are all going. This is my first attempt to answer them. I doubt I will answer – in writing – all twelve.

The answers I provide are necessarily subjective and partial. I only attended the vigil twice. I welcome disagreement and corrections. However I think that subjective and qualitative reflections on collective experience are a vital part of how we understand them.

I think there were three separate elements: the decision by staff at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital to not discharge Asha on the basis that Nauru didn’t qualify as somewhere safe to return to; the vigil which became a blockade of sorts faced with the possibility of Border Force taking Asha; and the wave of symbolic actions and stunts where people proclaimed #LetTheStay with the aim of generating and circulating imagery in the media (social and otherwise).

Continue reading “#LetThemStay Fieldnotes 3: What happened? What were the different elements of the event and how did they fit together?”

#LetThemStay Fieldnotes 2: Updates and Meeting reflections

Courtesy Kara Burns 凯拉 @karaburns (used without permission)



Since the announcement that Asha would be placed in community detention, to return to Naura at some future moment, Peter Dutton stated that ‘over the last couple’ of weeks another boat had been turned back to Sri Lanka and Julian Burnside has reported another example of the violent abuse of asylum seekers by guards on Nauru . This news of business as usual should steel us about the nature of the terrain we are on; and sharpen our diagnosis that the mandatory detention of refugees as part of an aggressive process of reinforcing the border is (rather than simply a moral failing of conservative politicians) structural and systemic to the order of society itself. (My comrades who read Agamben often quote him that the camp is the ‘biopolitical nomos of the planet’)(2000, 45).

The latest news I have heard (so it might not be true) is that Asha and both her parents are now in transitory accommodation whilst community detention is being organised. The government has also made an undertaking that for at least the next month it will provide 72 hours’ notice to lawyers before any of the 267 are deported. St John’s Cathedral is shoring up its commitment to providing sanctuary with Love Finds A Way providing non-violent direct action training on Wednesday 2nd March from 7pm-10pm at the Cathedral.

Continue reading “#LetThemStay Fieldnotes 2: Updates and Meeting reflections”

#LetThemStay Fieldnotes 1



The decision by the Lady Cilentro Children’s Hospital to not discharge the infant Nepalese refugee Asha back to Nauru and the emergence of a vigil in solidarity was an important and inspiring event. The experience of it was radically different from the protest-politics-as-usual that typify the activist repertoire in Brisbane. Now that Asha has been discharged into community detention, and is facing a very uncertain and probably deeply unpleasant future, there is a desire to make sense of what has happened, what is going on and what does it mean?

Continue reading “#LetThemStay Fieldnotes 1”

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