GLOSS Issue 21 APRIL 2015 - Page 38

Collusion Rather Than Collaboration: WHY FLAT DOES NOT YET EQUAL LEVEL Adrian Morgan Over the last few months the Australian headlines have been dominated with the news of the impending executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran for drug-related crimes in Indonesia. Our Prime Minister and our diplomatic staff have been making “representations” at the “highest level” for the freedom of these two Australians on death row, however, these have not been responded to favourably; and by the time you read this it is likely that they may either have had their sentence carried out, or their appeals for clemency will have been turned down at the highest and most final appeal stage. According to Amnesty International there are around 24,000 people on death row worldwide, but I bet our prime minister doesn’t know their names. I would suggest he has not been making these representations to the other 65 countries in the world on their behalf to let them spend their lives in jail rather than be executed. Chan and Sukumaran get special treatment because of their place of birth. Nothing more, nothing less. Because these drug dealers - and yes, they are drug dealers, and they have never claimed not to be, irrespective of their acts of rehabilitation within the jail system - have an emu and a kangaroo on their passports, the wider Australian community reacts the way it - we - does. I think about this often - the value in the world of being Australian. I think about it when I see thousands of Australians protesting the state based executions of ‘our’ drug smugglers in Indonesia, yet not seeming to care about people fleeing IS as refugees, whilst thousands more are being executed. The contrast in humanity for people due to their passport is incredible. Thomas Friedman wrote a book called ‘The World Is Flat’ referring to the level playing field of commerce where geographical divisions are increasingly irrelevant. Friedman’s book is written from a western perspective that can exploit the wage differences between countries, with technology closing the barriers to location. When the location of your birth continues to have such a huge impact on one’s opportunities and the increasing inequality of wealth distribution, it seems to me that whilst the world may be becoming more flat, it certainly isn’t more level. If you add being a woman into the locational equation, the world is even less level. Think on this; women in Papua New Guinea on death row for sorcery. Boko Haram executing women for the ‘crime’ of daring to become educated. Whilst there has been a significant progress in many countries for the rights of women, there are still so many atrocities occurring every day. Recently we were faced with the tragedy of the terrorist at