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Tag Archives: South Korea

Open letter to Simon Birmingham

The Weasel often writes letters to elected officials… as the dictum goes: If you smell something, say something.

The most recent pronouncement by our erstwhile federal education minister that creative careers were a lifestyle choice had a particular odour. The lack of response from the reigning opposition parties also left much to be desired. So while the intended recipient for below missive was originally for Mr Birmingham; I encourage you, good reader, to freely appropriate the text and send to all those elected officials you believe would benefit from my educational inquiry.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dear Minister Birmingham  [or insert name of senator or MP here]

I am writing to you regarding recent comments [by the Federal Education Minister] that described creative careers as a lifestyle choice.

I would like to enquire why the government of the day is ignoring the actions of most other technologically developed nations. In the UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030, creative industries are identified as key drivers in revitalising manufacturing sectors, and on-shoring production or services that in previous decades been shifted to less expensive markets.

The U.K., France, South Korea, and Germany all have policy that explicitly links creative industries to programs designed to build or enhance innovation; and gain competitive advantage in the shift to Industry 4.0. Many countries now have dedicated creative industry hubs to create and enhance networks and connectivity between creative professionals and other industries.

To state that creative careers are a lifestyle choice ignores the essential function of cultural events in our society. It ignores the economic contribution. It ignores the contribution to the expression of the Australian character by thousands of actors, painters, dramaturges, designers, editors, architects, writers. Finally, it ignores the contribution that trained creative’s deliver in innovative thinking to thousands of Australian businesses. You can read more about how vibrant and vital creative professionals are on the AusTrade website.

If the current government is truly serious about innovation, then engagement and investment in creative careers and industries is essential. Design thinking is inherent in all creative pursuits, and those are exactly the structured innovative skills Australia needs to regain economic strength.

In the new knowledge economy, superior creative thinking can conquer limitations of scale or distribution. The emerging decentralised, interconnected, and data-rich manufacturing landscape has opportunities waiting to be discovered and exploited; and it is creative professionals who are best positioned to think outside the box, make use of limited resources, and take advantage of connectivity to drive innovation.

In light of all this, I would like an answer to the following questions:

Why does the Education Minister consider creative careers non-essential to the Australian economy?

How does the government plan to succeed with an innovation agenda without using design thinking, or input from creative professionals?

I have included links to some of the sources to which I refer in this letter. I encourage you to investigate them further.
I look forward to your reply

Yours Sincerely

The Weasel

 

austrade.gov.au: Creative-Industries

thecreativeindustries.co.uk/

creative-industries-worth-almost-10-million-an-hour-to-economy

Deutschland creative industries

UNESCO Science report: creative industries driving innovation

https://en.unesco.org/USR-contents

forbes.com: what everyone must know about industry 4.0

War games

Photo: www.news.com.au

Photo: www.news.com.au

From the very beginning, Tony Abbott has been even worse on the world stage than we could have possibly imagined.

Everyone is our bestest friend ever.

Stick to the economy saying how bad the previous government was but avoid discussing any action with anyone other than the Murdoch press.

Small talk is excruciating.  Body language is just wrong.

Trying so hard to take a stand then quickly changing as he looks over at what the other guy is doing, unless it’s about climate change, in which case we can’t see you.

And my personal favourite, though it was hard to choose what with climbing mountains and scaring French children, only agreeing to talk about climate change if it’s called “energy efficiency” instead.

But as he barrels around the world having his photo taken with his “best friends”, what is Tony actually doing, other than scoping out new casino sites for James Packer, since he doesn’t bother taking any expert advisers with him?

In the latest news, it appears we are going to become arms dealers for Stephen Harper.

Reading an ABC article I came across this line

“Canada wants Australia to help it engage in security issues in Asia.”

In trying to find out more about this I came across this article from 2011.

“Finally the government released its latest deeply-flawed report on Canada’s military exports between 2007 and 2009.

According to the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) — a government-funded lobby group representing 860 member companies — Canada now exports $5 Billion to $7.5 Billion in military and so-called “security” products per year.

Despite massive loopholes in the government’s report, their data does reveal that almost all of Canada’s military exports went straight into the arsenals of about 40 belligerent nations fighting in the Iraq and/or Afghan wars, which have killed over 1.5 million people.

Few know that in 2009, Canada was virtually tied in a three-way race for sixth place among the world’s top arms exporters, right behind the U.S., Russia, Germany, the UK and China.

Nowadays, with $4 billion a year in military products streaming stateside, Canada is America’s top military supplier, and their hardware is deeply embedded in U.S. weapons fighting on three important war fronts: North Africa (Libya), the Middle East (Iraq and Israel) and Central Asia (Afghanistan). Such U.S.-led invasions, occupations, proxy wars and regime changes have long enforced unjust structures of economic control over resources in the Third World. Canadian complicity in manufacturing, exporting and deploying the instruments of war, has helped maintain their high-rank among the world’s most prosperous nations.”

Perhaps we are going to pay Canadian security firms to house refugees on an island in the Arctic Ocean.  Who knows?

Reporting about Tony’s trip to China in April, the Australian said:

“Earlier, the Prime Minister declared Australia’s “trust in China” as he outlined plans for greater defence links including joint military exercises, days after tightening alliances with Japan and South Korea.

Countering the “strategic pessimism” about security in Asia, Mr Abbott assured 1800 government and business officials in Shanghai that the rise of China could bring prosperity for all, including an Australian economy that already receives $60 billion in annual Chinese ­investment.

But in an apparent warning on China’s territorial claims, Mr Abbott said it would be “unthinkable” to put everything at risk by failing to settle disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law.”

Abbott declared at the East Asia Summit leaders’ meeting last year that Japan was Australia’s “best friend in Asia”.  Abe’s cabinet has already increased defence spending and eased restrictions on arms exports. An expert review panel is expected to recommend that Japan can exercise its right to participate in collective self-defence with its allies.

While this constitutional change is generally assumed to be referring to the US – Japan’s key ally – it could also involve Australia.  Since 2002, Australia, Japan and the US have occasionally held the Trilateral Security Dialogue meetings between their defence and foreign ministers. The ADF and the JSDF could therefore conceivably conduct combined combat operations with the US in future.

So we are forming defence links and having military exercises with China, who are in a dispute with Japan, whose side we have openly defended, even castigating the Chinese Ambassador, whilst brokering arms deals for Harper, presumably to both sides since we are ON both sides, but we are warning them to be peaceful.  But what of the US?

Just to make sure that everyone is being peaceful, we are going to send $12 billion into the US economy to keep their armament industry thriving in the hope that ten years down the track they will have worked out how to make those 72 planes fly.

In the meantime we’ll spend $4 billion buying eight highly-sophisticated P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol planes for the Royal Australian Air Force. The US-built aircraft will be delivered in 2017 to replace the Cold War-era P3 Orion aircraft. The Poseidon will come equipped with torpedoes and harpoon missiles to destroy submarines and warships.

And just to make sure American arms manufacturers have enough of our money, a report in February said seven US-made drones would be purchased for Aus$3 billion ($2.7 billion), but Abbott said the details of how many and when had yet to be finalized.

And why should South Korea be left out.  After admonishing Tony about a Gillard decision to cancel a gun order, he appears to have promised the South Koreans that we will buy guns from them too because Lord knows, we need more guns.

The Navy’s two supply ships, HMAS Sirius and HMAS Success need replacing, so the Government is buying two new ships but only two firms, one Spanish, and one South Korean, will get the chance to tender for the job.

I think that Tony is getting a tad too much of his advice from the military who seem to have an endless budget in these days of belt-tightening. The other smarter leaders are taking advantage of Tony’s enthusiasm to make friends, sign free trade agreements, and play with army stuff.  That’s not fair guys, picking on the dumb new kid.

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