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Author Topic: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0  (Read 6038 times)

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Anonymous

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[2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« on: April 22, 2020, 08:00:09 pm »
+6
Australia's offshore detention regime is a brutal and obscene piece of self-delusion

Ben Doherty and Helen Davidson

Thu 30 Nov 2017

The billions spent on an armada to Australia’s north and west is stopping people smugglers, not the government’s needlessly cruel stance

The most dangerous mistruth in current Australian politics is that in order for lives to be saved at sea, other people – accused of no crime – must be indefinitely and arbitrarily punished offshore.

Asserted with increasing confidence as fact, this unproven link is used to justify Australia’s brutal regime of offshore detention as a necessary condition for a policy that, however harsh, ultimately serves a greater good.

The need to be seen to be “tough on borders” has outweighed all other considerations, pushing successive governments towards increasingly extreme positions, grotesque cruelties and risible rhetorical contortions in insisting their actions are reasonable, legal, or morally defensible.

Since its inception the policy has been roundly and repeatedly criticised – but mostly outside Canberra. Failure, scandal, abuse and death has occurred under the watch of both main parties. In recent weeks the world has watched aghast as the Papua New Guinea arm of the policy lurched towards its bitter end, driven along by swinging metal bars and the enforced thirst of hundreds of men.

Reduced to its basest element, Australian government policy is to begrudgingly treat those who legally sought its asylum – by one mode of transport, by boat – with axiomatic cruelty, in order to discourage others from paying people smugglers and hopping into leaky boats across south-east Asia. This policy saves lives, they say, because it deters others.

But it’s not this policy that’s stopping the boats from reaching Australian shores. Australia has spent billions of dollars putting an armada to sea in the waters to the country’s north and west.

Asylum boats continue to ply the waters of the region and attempt to reach Australia. They do so in much smaller numbers now because they are intercepted, boarded and their passengers and crew forcibly turned around. Protection assessments are conducted at sea – a policy considered illegal under international law by almost every expert opinion, including that of the United Nations.

But were Nauru and Manus to be emptied tomorrow, Australia’s “ring of steel” – in immigration minister Peter Dutton’s phrase – would continue to stop boats.

When Australia abdicated responsibility for its detention centre on Manus Island, withholding food, water and electricity, hundreds of men stayed in the centre they loathed. They felt – and had evidence to back their claims – that they would be unsafe on alternative sites in the main town of Lorengau.

The Guardian reported from the detention centre on what Australia’s policy had become reduced to: the poisoning of wells and the gouging of water tanks, police destroying food supplies and using metal batons against refugees whom Australia is legally required to protect.

Among the refugees holding out there – drinking dirty water and rationing their dwindling food – there was defiance amid the decay, and a solidarity born of new agency. After four-and-a-half years of having to line up for every meal, of having to fill out a form to request medical treatment that might never come, of being corralled and quarantined behind high steel fences and sequestered into smaller and smaller cells, the men on Manus were briefly back in charge of their lives. Each night, the refugees took great ceremony in locking the main gate to the detention centre. They were guards of their own prison but it was they who were in control.

Throughout the standoff, practical solutions were proposed. Australia’s top medical professionals offered to arrange and conduct medical assessments at their own cost if the Australian government could help with their visas.

New Zealand offered – again – to resettle 150 people, only to be rebuffed once again. When that was refused, New Zealand offered cash to improve conditions on the Papua New Guinea island. That too was refused. The Australian government says the New Zealand offer dilutes the “stop the boats” deterrent, at the same time as continuing to prosecute its plan to send even greater number of refugees to the US. The same rules seemingly do not apply. The argument that refugees who resettle in New Zealand could not, then, be prevented from coming to Australia is hopelessly flawed: there are already New Zealand citizens Australia prevents from travelling to Australia.

Last week the joint PNG police and immigration operation changed its code name from “Helpim Friends” to “Klinim Base” and officers moved in, clearing the site in less than two days. The journalist Behrouz Boochani, a regular contributor to the Guardian, was hunted, arrested and beaten. Médecins Sans Frontières was denied access to the men. After five days of asking politely the humanitarian medical aid group went public. MSF rarely goes public with complaints or criticisms, preferring to maintain relationships with host countries and continue their work with patients, but felt it was warranted in this instance.

 The Australian government says the New Zealand offer dilutes the 'stop the boats' deterrent.
Australia said little. The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and Dutton parroted the line that the men had accommodation to go to and were simply trying to pressure the Australian government.

Speaking through the safe mediums of Twitter and Ray Hadley’s radio show, Dutton furiously declared it was everyone else who was wrong. Dutton said he knew the truth of the lies spread by detainees, advocates, the United Nations, Amnesty International, Médecins Sans Frontières, the Australian Council for International Development, the Australian Medical Association, the Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Watch, the New Zealand government, PNG’s supreme court, PNG’s grand chief, Sir Michael Somare, multiple member nations of the UN, Australian voters, even the front page of News Corp’s Daily Telegraph.

Whether a symptom of the post-truth era or simply stubbornness, the government dismissed eyewitness accounts and even pictures and footage that clearly showed only one of the three alternative accommodation sites was fit for habitation.

There has always been a disconnect between the frustrated self-defence of the Australian government and the accounts of refugees, human rights groups, independent observers and foreign governments, but it has never been more stark than the past month.

With the scant faith in the US deal waning still further among refugees, the government’s ideal resolution is that the men give up, settle in at East Lorengau transit centre where the conditions are good or in one of the two unfinished places if they were unlucky enough to end up there, and stop complaining. Alternatively, the hope goes, the men could be resettled away from Australia or repatriated, and Australia and PNG could declare the centre closed.

The government throws money at its problem, but this issue requires fewer dollars and more imagination. Thousands more will be spent to coerce people to return to the known dangers of their homeland; some $250m has been earmarked for Manus Island alone this year.

An alternative to Australia’s current regime would be that people seeking safety by dangerous boat journey were intercepted – even rescued – and taken to a place of safety. These people can be processed and resettled to third countries where possible. This new regime would need commitments of money, of expertise, and political capital. It would, like any system, be imperfect and a small minority would seek to exploit it.

But the guiding principle must be: do Australia’s actions increase the amount of protection in the world for those who need it? Australia’s current arrangement categorically fails this fundamental question.

Stopping boats at sea does not necessarily mandate that those stopped must then be punished, month after month, year after year, in indefinite and arbitrary detention. The two are not linked.

That’s why the current suffering on Manus is especially confronting: it is unnecessary. There has been no war, no natural disaster. It is a catastrophe of conscious and political creation.

Anonymous

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2020, 08:28:23 pm »
0
Hi there :)

Was wondering if you would be able to post the link to the article?

J_Rho

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Anonymous

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2020, 09:54:13 pm »
+2
Here's a body paragraph! :D

From the outset, the authors establish the Australian government's archaic, regimented mindset as a barrier preventing them from assimilating with the current negative views held towards Australia's detention policies. This notion is upheld by referring to the current detention policy as a "piece of self-delusion" in the article's title. This demonisation lures the reader to impugn the policy's brutal and unforgiving nature towards those "accused of no crime"; implicitly capitalising upon an individual's propensity to care for another to induce sympathy in the readership. Doherty and Davidson's description of "indefinite" and "arbitrary" offshore punishment conjures images of prolonged suffering of innocent, undeserving individuals, which is a direct attack on politicians, who are in turn represented as an unfeeling, apathetic outgroup. This distinct dichotomisation may intend to foster a sense of solidarity amongst those who are not excluded – members of the readership who are encouraged to repel offshore detention. This therefore induces a strong sense of acrimony and repulsion towards the Australian government, whose endorsement of such "grotesque cruelties" only furthers this distinction. Analogous to this, the alliteration present in the phrase "roundly and repeatedly" draws the reader's immediate attention to the pervasive excoriation of this policy, as the harshness of the 'r' sound resonates with the unforgiving reality Australian politics blatantly refuses to acknowledge. As a result, the reader is positioned to lambast the government's inability to consider the "axiomatic cruelty" they unashamedly display towards "those who legally [seek] asylum" and instead echo the sentiments the authors hold. Furthermore, the authors vacillate between an abrasive and vexed tone to one that is condemning and disappointed. This exacerbates their overt disapproval towards the Australian government's current decisions regarding the establishment of "an armada [at] sea". Whilst this "armada" connotes a sense of danger and fear, it also represents a myriad of warships that have a sole purpose to attack. This conveys a sense of urgency that is embedded throughout this article, which highlights the exigence of the situation and the powerlessness of those in jeopardy. Additionally, Doherty and Davidson's reference to Australia's responsibility to "legally... protect" those on Manus Island adversely exhibits the politicians as distancing themselves from their duty and responsibility towards their country. The authors therefore attempt to appeal to the reader's innate sense of patriotism as an Australian and direct their outrage towards the politicians repeatedly attacked throughout the article. Indeed, the authors endeavour to galvanise their readership into standing by the moral imperative - which is to profusely reject the present "obscene" offshore policies and instead protect those seeking asylum.

Any feedback would be much appreciated! <3

Anonymous

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2020, 11:09:24 am »
+1
I honestly think this is an excellent analysis. You've covered so much ground and did really well on exploring authorial intention. The analysis is in-depth and interesting, and the effect on the reader is discussed really well.

I don't have much advice to offer since it is so good already but here are a few suggestions

 - how does the author establish the government's "archaic, regimented mindset'?
 - where is the "distinct dichotomisation"? Be clear and explicit about the two groups contrasted.
- tone: you say tone vacillates. How? Where?

Clarity:
 - some word choices are a bit awkward and some sentences are very long. Have a read through and consider how you can convey your ideas more clearly.
for example: "Doherty and Davidson's description of "indefinite" and "arbitrary" offshore punishment conjures images of prolonged suffering of innocent, undeserving individuals, which is a direct attack on politicians, who are in turn represented as an unfeeling, apathetic outgroup." You try to connect multiple ideas here, and it makes your ideas a bit complex and hard to follow. It may be better to break this into smaller portions and instead of having one sentence maybe have 2 or 3 that are interwoven, it might make it easier to read
- " implicitly capitalising upon an individual's propensity to care for another to induce sympathy in the readership" again is very complex, and could be phrase far more concisely.

structure:
- a stronger division of the different arguments the authors make may help with structure and clarity (but isn't too big a deal considering you do connect your ideas well)

This is a really, really good analysis and I'm definitely struggling to find points to give feedback on. Awesome job! :)

Thanks so much for the feedback! I'll definitely incorporate it within my next analysis for next week's article ;)

Anonymous

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2020, 11:21:57 am »
+1
Just realised I can't edit my post since I'm anonymous! Rip

I was wondering what you mean when you say
- tone: you say tone vacillates. How? Where?

- a stronger division of the different arguments the authors make may help with structure and clarity (but isn't too big a deal considering you do connect your ideas well)
Would a simple 'the tone vacillates from x to x at this point in the article' type of signpost be okay?

And what do you mean by a stronger division of different arguments?

J_Rho

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2020, 11:35:17 am »
+1
I was wondering what you mean when you say Would a simple 'the tone vacillates from x to x at this point in the article' type of signpost be okay?
Yes, I think so. Just make sure you are really specific if you say the author does something explain where and how it's not enough to just say they do something you need to explain how they do it. A good way to make sure you're fully exploring what the author is using the When, What, How, Why method - when the author does something, what they do, how they position readers/how they do something, why they do it/the intended effect

And what do you mean by a stronger division of different arguments?
You join your ideas really well so this isn't a huge thing, what I mean by stronger division is being really clear about each argument and be clear about moving through the piece and differentiating each argument form the next.

Hopefully, this made sense :)
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 11:42:35 am by J_Rho »
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Anonymous

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2020, 11:52:19 am »
+1
Yes, I think so. Just make sure you are really specific if you say the author does something explain where and how it's not enough to just say they do something you need to explain how they do it.
You join your ideas really well so this isn't a huge thing, what I mean by stronger division is being really clear about each argument and be clear about moving through the piece and differentiating each argument form the next.

Hopefully, this made sense :)

Thank you :). I often forget to substantiate tonal analysis with direct evidence, so thank you for pointing that out! Yeah - I think I have a problem with jumping around a bit too much around the article, but I'm not sure how to fix that - I'll see for next time though!

J_Rho

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2020, 11:57:33 am »
+1
I think I have a problem with jumping around a bit too much around the article, but I'm not sure how to fix that
I'm not sure how you analyse and move through your article, but you could break your article up into Beginning, middle and end or by paragraphs and structure your analysis around the sections (Para 1 is on Section 1, para 2 is on section 2 etc)

Idk if that'll help you but that's what I've been told over the years :)
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Anonymous

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2020, 02:14:30 pm »
+2
Seems like you've got a great foundation to work with!

Some of your phrasing choices seem unnecessarily archaic and verbose to the point to the point where fluency is reduced. Having an extensive vocabulary should be used to refine word choices  and not just to be there for the sake of it.  E.g. "implicitly capitalising upon an individual's propensity to care for another to induce sympathy in the readership."

Anonymous

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2020, 02:30:59 pm »
+1
Seems like you've got a great foundation to work with!

Some of your phrasing choices seem unnecessarily archaic and verbose to the point to the point where fluency is reduced. Having an extensive vocabulary should be used to refine word choices  and not just to be there for the sake of it.  E.g. "implicitly capitalising upon an individual's propensity to care for another to induce sympathy in the readership."

Thank you! For this part:
"implicitly capitalising upon an individual's propensity to care for another to induce sympathy in the readership"
Would it be better if I instead wrote:
"capitalising upon the human tendency to care, which induces sympathy within the readership" or is that still too convoluted? I'm stuck on how to word it so that it doesn't lose its meaning due to simplicity, as well as the meaning not being obstructed by useless flowery language.

Anonymous

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2020, 02:39:35 pm »
0
Thank you! For this part:
"implicitly capitalising upon an individual's propensity to care for another to induce sympathy in the readership"
Would it be better if I instead wrote:
"capitalising upon the human tendency to care, which induces sympathy within the readership" or is that still too convoluted? I'm stuck on how to word it so that it doesn't lose its meaning due to simplicity, as well as the meaning not being obstructed by useless flowery language.

I think what you've written here is better :)

Anonymous

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2020, 04:50:48 pm »
+1
Hi :). I wrote an improvement paragraph - an indication of whether this one is better or not would be sufficient (I understand it takes a long time to write feedback, as well as a lot of effort, and you've already done this!)

From the outset, the Australian government's archaic, regimented decision to be "tough on borders" is regarded as a barrier preventing them from assimilating with the widely expressed negativity towards the nation's detention policies. This notion is upheld by referring to the current detention policy as a "piece of self-delusion" in the article's title. The use of this disparaging epithet lures the reader to impugn the policy's brutal and unforgiving nature towards those "accused of no crime"; capitalising upon the human tendency to care for others, which induces sympathy within the readership. Doherty and Davidson's description of "indefinite" and "arbitrary" offshore punishment conjures images of prolonged suffering of innocent, undeserving individuals, which is a direct attack towards Australian politicians. As a result, Australia's government is represented as an unfeeling, apathetic outgroup who are thoroughly demonised. This distinct dichotomisation between the defined outgroup and the readership may intend to foster a sense of solidarity amongst those who are not excluded – readers who are encouraged to repel offshore detention. Therefore, there is an invitation to direct a strong sense of acrimony and repulsion towards the Australian government, whose endorsement of such "grotesque cruelties" only furthers this distinction. Analogous to this, the alliteration present in the phrase "roundly and repeatedly" draws the reader's immediate attention to the pervasive excoriation of this policy, as the harshness of the 'r' sound resonates with the unforgiving reality Australian politics blatantly refuses to acknowledge. As a result, the reader is positioned to lambast the government's inability to consider the "axiomatic cruelty" they unashamedly display towards "those who legally [seek] asylum" and instead echo the authors' sentiments. Furthermore, the authors vacillate between an abrasive and vexed tone during the beginning of the article to one that is condemning and disappointed. Evident through the implicitly incensed undertones in the phrase "this policy saves lives… because it deters others," the authors then segue into disappointment when describing Australia's "abdicated responsibility." Consequently, their overt disapproval towards the Australian government's current decisions regarding the establishment of "an armada [at] sea" is exacerbated. Whilst this "armada" connotes a sense of danger and fear, it also represents a myriad of warships that have a sole purpose to attack. This conveys a sense of urgency that is embedded throughout this article, which highlights the exigence of the situation and the powerlessness of those in jeopardy. Additionally, Doherty and Davidson's reference to Australia's responsibility to "legally... protect" those on Manus Island adversely exhibits the politicians as distancing themselves from their duty and responsibility towards their country. The authors therefore attempt to appeal to the reader's innate sense of patriotism as an Australian, and direct their outrage towards the politicians repeatedly castigated throughout the article. Indeed, the authors endeavour to galvanise their readership into standing by the moral imperative - which is to profusely reject the present "obscene" offshore policies and instead protect those seeking asylum.

Anonymous

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2020, 05:18:54 pm »
+1
This dichotomy between the defined outgroup and the readership this could only be the case if readers were averse to the government’s policies, and the effect on the audience hasn’t been addressed all too much before this sentence.
Thank you for the feedback, it is greatly appreciated. I'm a little confused by what you mean here, though.

Quoting directly from my paragraph:
Quote
As a result, Australia's government is represented as an unfeeling, apathetic outgroup who are thoroughly demonised. This distinct dichotomisation between the defined outgroup and the readership may intend to foster a sense of solidarity amongst those who are not excluded – readers who are encouraged to repel offshore detention.
I state here - represented as an unfeeling, apathetic outgroup who are thoroughly demonised
Are you saying that I should follow this sentence with an intended effect? E.g. ...represented as an unfeeling, apathetic outgroup who are thoroughly demonised, thus positioning the reader to regard these politicians and their policies with distrust. Then go on to the stuff where I talk about the distinct dichotomisation?

Thank you ;D

J_Rho

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Re: [2020 LA CLUB] Week 0
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2020, 05:59:21 pm »
+1
Thank you for the feedback, it is greatly appreciated. I'm a little confused by what you mean here, though.
My apologies, when I was making feedback earlier i was writing into the essay and didn't realise I copied and pasted the whole thing into the quote box oops. this is what its supposed to say, let me know if that makes sense :)
This dichotomy between the defined outgroup and the readership
try to expand upon how this dichotomy is formed, rather than saying that one just exists.
is the "defined outgroup" the politicians? perhaps need a little more clarity

Quoting directly from my paragraph: I state here - represented as an unfeeling, apathetic outgroup who are thoroughly demonised
Are you saying that I should follow this sentence with an intended effect? E.g. ...represented as an unfeeling, apathetic outgroup who are thoroughly demonised, thus positioning the reader to regard these politicians and their policies with distrust. Then go on to the stuff where I talk about the distinct dichotomisation?
I personally think it would be beneficial to follow that sentence with intended effect, in my understanding whenever you say something is done or use/refer to evidence you should always follow it with intended effect on readers (and how it supports the contention) as LA is basically how an author writing affects the readers to think, feel or behave a certain way. If I'm wrong with this, feel free to let me know!! (after all, I very well could be!)
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Bachelor of Nursing @ Monash
Bachelor of Counselling & Psychological Science @ ACAP