Billy Bragg Fight Songs

Folk Music, Five Years & Funding

Published: 23/10/2012   by: http://www.abc.net.au

Folk Music, Five Years & Funding



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Discuss the Questions

Here are the questions our panel faced this week.

DEMOCRACY AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Dominic Wright asked: At the height of Thatcherism, Billy Bragg sang that:

When one voice rules the nation
Just because they're top of the pile
Doesn't mean their vision is the clearest
The voices of the people
Are falling on deaf ears
Our politicians all become careerists

Do you Billy (and the panel) feel the balance has shifted with social media and the “Occupy” movement, or are the voices of the people still falling on deaf ears?
What do you think?


PROTEST SINGERS

Michelle Slater from Macclesfield, VIC asked via video: There appears to be a lack of young political singer-song writers in the Australian music scene. Music, especially folk music, is the voice of the people and provides an avenue for dissent. While we can name current musos like John Butler providing that voice, where are the young Gen Y protest singers? And why aren't they out there?
What do you think?


FIVE YEARS ON NAURU

Abdul Karim Hekmat asked: Scott Morrison, you said recently that asylum seekers coming by boat could spend at least five years on Nauru under a Coalition government. As a refugee from Afghanistan I have friends who spent years on Nauru under your government and still have not recovered from the long term incarceration. Can you explain, what would be the financial and human costs of those who will be detained on Nauru for five years?

PUNISHING REFUGEES

Abdul Alizada asked: I am a refugee activist from the Hazara community. I spent time in a refugee camp in 1999 and now run my own successful business. My question is: why punish refugees who are desperately seeking safety, rather than the people smugglers?
Isn’t that the same as punishing homeowners who are burgled, rather than the actual thieves?

TOW BACK AND INDONESIA

John Black asked via web: Where are we up to on the "Tow Back the Boats" Policy? What progress did either you or Julie Bishop make with your Indonesian counterparts?

DEMOCRACY IN BROOME

Jan Lewis in Broome asked: In several parts of the world people are fighting for democracy. Here in Broome, in several surveys, more than half and sometimes over 75% of people polled have been against plans to build a huge gas plant just north of our town. Yet our state and federal members refuse to represent our views to government. Is this how democracy is supposed to work?

GONSKI FUNDING

Tony Di Quattro asked: Peter Garrett: Exactly 7 months ago you were asked by a SMH reporter, when your government would commit to funding the Gonski reforms. And you said, quoting your words "A new schools funding formula would first need to be properly developed".

Has the funding formula been developed or is it in development stage and if so when will it be ready?

INDIGENOUS EDUCATION

Alison Hiscocks in Broome asked: The intention of the Gonski report is to “level the playing field in education” How does the government intend to make this a sustainable reality for Indigenous Australians when the funding rules keep changing and indigenous education programs come to an end due to lack of recurrent funding?

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