Here I give you, ladies and gentlemen, the grand vision that was used to chose our present government on. Experts on elections now all agree that it was this simple (ton) message that made Tony Abbott our Messiah for Australia’s Golden age that now awaits us.
We had aspirations once for a country that included a fair go for all, a genuine care for the underdog which had a modest Harry’s café at Woolloomooloo catering for the down and outs and others not so out. Drop in centres for the lost and forlorn at Kings Cross, the Wayside Chapel. The vision of a man who walked at night and scribed a magic “Eternity” on street corners. A mad Beatrice Miles catching taxis while shouting loud her real or imagined protestations. Eccentric soap box orators at Hyde park and above all, a wish to better ourselves for all. Students and their professors would hurl rocks and insults to stuffy unyielding Prime ministers. We held strong views and ‘opposed’. They, the ratbag politicians at the time, retaliated by ‘drive over the bastards’. We held our course and kept our passion. We opposed.
We were much more inclined fighting parochialism, mediocrity and opposed the Vietnam war even though we also had a history of racism, the White Australian Policy. But… also finally accepted, albeit with some reluctance, non-British migrants even if they had a darker skin and smelled of garlic and ate funny food. We followed this with outdoor-footpaths dining and women were allowed in pubs, amazingly, just as likely to enjoy a drink as men. We accepted Vietnamese boat people by the tens of thousands and opened our doors to new ideas and had foresight. We had the musical ‘Hair’ and became tolerant of differences and those that spoke different languages. We were not mediocre then.
And now? We are back at this!
1, Stop the Boats
2, Stop the Carbon Tax
3, Build the Roads
A country that plays as its background a continuous ruthless policy of humiliating and punishing boat people, a people that have done nothing wrong, will never have a ‘grand vision’ of itself. We have in place a ‘no comment will be given’ policy that will not allow even the mentioning of boat people’s arrivals. All now must be kept hidden. At no stage of our history has so much xenophobia been whipped up over such an issue of desperate people risking lives to escape the horrors of war and upheavals. We used to be generous.
One of the most compassionate and staunch supporter of boatpeople and refugees, Julian Burnside, wrote this on our National ABC The Drum.
Just read some of the responses. It is frightening isn’t it?
Australia has so much space. It is the space in our minds that has shrivelled and is now all desert. It is not our country of Australia that is dry and barren.
What happened to you Australia?