Posts Tagged ‘Abbott’

In a blaze of Patriotic fervour.

June 14, 2017

 

 

IMG_20150430_0001

Our arrival in Australia 1956

 

You would have to feel sorry for our Prime Minister. Ever since he took over from the previous PM, Tony Abbott, because of an endless row of negative Polls, Malcolm Turnbull’s popularity is worse, obstinately stuck in the same drift sands of his predecessor. No matter what the policy, or how he twists and turns, it all turns to an uninspiring porridge of lukewarm indecisions. The light is slowly being turned off.

His latest attempt to pull his Government out of the never never of political defeat, he  turned once again to his voters assuaging the idea that we need all to become far more “patriotic’, far more ‘Real Australian.’ In this endeavour he is clearly appealing to the largest denominator, grabbing some good old fashioned Aussie values. The values that stood the test of time. Bradman Cricket, Phar Lap, the Mother tongue of English language, the spirit of Anzacs and standing up for flag and National Anthem. Oi, oi oi, Aussie, and all that stuff.

There is now feeling of desperation seeping in. With latest poll showing our Turnbull to be seven point behind the opposition, he wants to take the wind out of his adversary, Tony Abbott’s sails with a good old fashioned appeal to ” True Australian Values.” and sharpening this by making the rules of obtaining citizenship harder.  Migrants will need to wait for a number of years and have a good grasp of English together with doing a test on a suitable understanding and uncritical acceptance of all things “Australian,” before they can apply for citizenship.

It will also make a handy appeal to the One Nation Party of Pauline Hanson and possibly filch voters away. I feel this latest from Turnbull is racially tinged, and aimed at making migrants feel inadequate or less than equal by hinting that Australian values are somehow so much better and, that any feelings by migrants of their homeland’s cultural values ought better be left behind.  We need you to totally fall in line with us, or go home, is what our PM. Turnbull seems to be saying.

When we arrived none of us spoke much English, and it took a while to realise that English was even spoken in Australia. It took persistence to accept the foreign slang as actual English. It wasn’t all that rare even then, that in public, migrants were told to speak English only. My father was told in the bus once to stop talking in yabba, yabba, yabba (Dutch) and  speak bloody English. My parents never lost the love of their home-country. How could anyone even loose it? They always felt that Holland was their home-country but they also accepted Australia as their new home. It takes time. When my father retired they decided to go back home. Why not? Don’t many Australians make England their new home or Holland, the US? Over a million Australians live permanently overseas.

The appeal to becoming Patriotic is just silly and will make Australia look even less tolerant. One wonders what the loyalties of the only real original Australians , the aboriginals, ought to be pitched at, their killer overlords?

How we still cling to those Anglo ideas of the past, loyalty to a foreign Queen, despite most of us now having been born elsewhere. Why are we still a monarchy?  What is it about the ‘value of fear’ that we so love? What about encouraging change, move forward? Future Australians are now coming from everywhere, including The Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia. They too, in time will also become ‘real Australians’ and add to this wonderful mixture of all that we call home, Australia. I can’t wait for their national dishes to appear in our Cafes and restaurants. Do people still eat that soapy Kraft Cheddar embedded in silver foil, or Tasty cheese, Heinz tinned spaghetti?

How much better if our Prime Minister had used the opportunity for ‘tolerance, acceptance, and greater empathy towards others, instead of this silly national pitch for drum banging and ‘patriotism’.

 

How sweet the fore-skin!

September 22, 2015
Our kitchen of 'give and take'

Our kitchen of ‘give and take’

The country was mesmerised. There was to be a ballot. Our Prime minister was to be challenged and it was on TV. We put on the kettle, settled on our divan and watched it all unfold. Scurrying politicians were seen running along the corridors of power at our Parliament.  The King rat at front, the V shaped tribe following. It was all at fever pitch, 54 to 44 in favour of the challenger Malcolm Turnbull. Abbott was seen afterwards followed by his tribe. Malcolm graciously praising Abbott about his past leadership but glowing at his own success.

It was as good as Shakespeare. A  human drama of huge proportions.  Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Goal also came to my mind.

” He did not wear his scarlet coat, For blood and wine are red, And blood and wine were on his hands When they found him with the dead, The poor dead …”

In front of our town-house we have two cane chairs on which we sit in the late afternoon, usually after all the house-hold chores have been done. We are in the habit of a glass of red and either talk a bit or just look out at the snippet of garden that is facing us at the front. Of course , ‘after all the household chores are done’ seems to suggest waxing of furniture, scrubbing the doorstep, peeling potatoes and polishing the silver. That’s just nonsense. It means hours of pouring over the computer, dragging a mouse across and wishing for the day to pass at greater speed so we can get to the wine-reward a bit quicker.

On the ABC Drum has been a raging debate on Female circumcision, or better known in its abbreviated form of FGM. ( female genital mutilation)  A flurry of responses by men defending or attacking the cutting of the fore-skin in men’s genitalia soon followed. So typical of men hijacking the debate. I was most guilty of it.

Race and religion, the pro and anti fore-skin defenders, it all came to fruition in over  two hundred responses so far. The story was written about the practise of female mutilation in some sections of the community. A court case is ongoing at the moment of two little girls allegedly having undergone this practise. Two doctors have testified that no mutilation could be detected. The defence is arguing  that the operation was  ritualistic and did not  include any cutting.

Hereby my contribution to the debate  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-22/ferrari-fgm-in-australia/6794278

“Circumcision on the male is a cruel practise. The foreskin is meant to give increased pleasure during sexual congress by facilitating the penis to move freely up and down protecting it from a too vigorous thrusting.
To take that away diminishes the intensity felt during sex.

Of course, when men get old and reflect (while nodding in a comfy chair at the ‘Fair Haven’ retirement home)) on all that relentless up and down moving, might well come to the conclusion; is that what it has all been about? Is this what has driven me?

Was it all worth it?”

Fore-skin is raising its ugly head at this hour of 7.30 in the morning. Isn’t there something else you can write about? Well, yes but there has to be something else besides Abbott. We had two years of shade and darkness. People need to have a letting off steam. I can’t wait for the afternoon and getting outside on our cane chairs. Bask a little in spring sun. A glass of Shiraz and partner

. A hoorah on life. What’s wrong with that?

The architect of Manus and Nauru is now our treasurer.

September 21, 2015
 Morrison and Abbott. Alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

Morrison and Abbott. Alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

The smiling architect of the horrors of Nauru and Manus, Scott Morrison, made Malcolm Turnbull Australia’s new Prime Minister. I don’t often write about politics. It is a too depressing subject. He gave his support to Turnbull for which in return he was made treasurer. A Machiavellian turn of events. It was Scott Morrison whose ‘creative bend’ conjured up the evil of what will eventually be seen as one of the worst acts against refugees.

During the Abbott’s regime the boats who did make it anywhere near Australia’s coastline were intercepted by Australia’s defence force. A clamp on all news about boat arrivals were put in place as secret ‘operational matters’. All questions about refugees were left unanswered by simply referring them to ‘operational matters’ and people were referred to as ‘illegal maritime arrivals’.

Those refugees that did make it were shipped over in secret to the islands of Nauru and Manus island and put into detention. It was with great fanfare and drum-rolls that ‘the boats had been stopped’ and from then it became a mantra repeated over and over again by a glowing Tony Abbott. He would face the camera, and after due licking of lips, would announce  ‘we have stopped the boats’.

While the Manus and Nauru centres were set up well before Abbott’s and Morrison’s collaboration. The  suicides, sewing of lips together, and crimes of rape,and sexual abuse  by guards that have finally been coming to the attention should have ensured their immediate closure. There was never a clamp down on journalists trying to find out the fate of thousands of refugees locked up in indefinite detention during the days of ALP Prime ministerships.

The following from Wikipedia:

Australian immigration detention facilities comprise a number of different facilities throughout Australia (including one on the Australian territory of Christmas Island).[1] They are currently used to imprison people who are detained under Australia’s policy of mandatory detention, and previously under the now defunct Pacific Solution.[2] The facilities are currently operated by Serco, and were previously run under G4S who used to be named Global Solutions Limited (GSL), under contract from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).[3]

Pacific Solution facilities[edit]

Manus Island regional processing facility (Image by DIAC)

Since the implementation of the Pacific Solution Australia also funded immigration detention centres on:[citation needed]

Controversy[edit]

The facilities have been a source of much controversy during their time of operation. There have been a number of riots and escapes,[13] as well as accusations of human rights abuses from organisations such as refugee advocates, Amnesty International, the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations.

On January 2014, the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens accused the government of a cover-up over a violent clash on 18 October 2013 at the Manus Island facility between the Papua New Guinea army and the Papua New Guinea police mobile squad hired for the facility’s security, leading to Australian expatriate staff being evacuated, while local staff and asylum seekers remained.[14] On 5 May 2014, it was reported that several Salvation Army staffers had alleged that refugees were regularly subjected to beatings, racist slurs, and sexual assaults within the facility.[15]

In March 2002, Irene Khan, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, said:

It is obvious that the prolonged periods of detention, characterised by frustration and insecurity, are doing further damage to individuals who have fled grave human rights abuses. The detention policy has failed as a deterrent and succeeded only as punishment.
How much longer will children and their families be punished for seeking safety from persecution?[16]

The paint job and appearing ‘beige.’

September 17, 2015
Bali (Ubud)

Bali (Ubud)

The perennial  popularity of the colour crème has started to wane.  One can tell when being accused of being ‘beige.’ It is not meant as a compliment. Waiting at the bus-stop, I overheard a bearded lady sniping,’ oh he is so boringly beige’. Of all the things one has to consider, who would have thought that being beige is now to be avoided. I gave up smoking. Isn’t that enough? What does it say about us when our lounge walls are painted beige. Does it hint at being uncaring, unresponsive, insensitive? Who would have thought?

In any case, beige is out and white is in. That’s why the decision was made to paint our lounge-dining-kitchen and bedroom all white. The white emulsion paint from Germany was on special at Aldi’s together with a paint roller with tray, assortment of brushes and even a stirring stick with holes in it to better stir the paint with.  You can trust the Germans to outdo the rest of the world and despite paying some of the highest wages and absorbing hundreds of thousands of refugees, still competitive enough for their manufacturing business to out-trump China.

We hope that with all things in white we will avoid the tagging of being beige. I would not want a bearded lady at a bus-stop to refer to the Oostermans being beige. I know that painting walls and ceilings white is  the external thing of beige-hood. It is really the soul that needs whitening. At our age though, it isn’t easy to move colours around within our character. So much of beige-hood has been gone through, that whitening at our age is going to be tricky. We stick to our opinions. It feels safe and solid. It seems that shifting around at this stage might have been left too late.

Helvi is resolute. “I don’t want to move again”  . “I have just unpacked from our move from the farm”  . “I am still chucking things out,” she added. Perhaps, unwillingness to move is the prerogative of getting older. You might notice my diplomatic ‘older’ not ‘old.’

The problem we face is that life after the NSW’s Fair Trading triumph hasn’t made for a more convivial community in our compound. There is clearly a divisive and opposing mood, darkly coloured in mauve or even purple. People now stalk hurriedly past our place, eyes downcast and hurried. That is apart from the communal gardens massacred on the altar of revenge and blossoming spite.

On a vacant bit of land, next to our town-house, there are some slatted timber seats and even a barbeque. It was meant for the residents of this compound to get together, exchange small talk and put prawns on the Barbie.  Even a laugh or two. At least, that was our intention.  I am not sure we will now ever reach that level of communal interaction. It seems that individual differences stick obstinately like sh#t to a wet blanket.

Logic, common sense, and accepting that life in the kitchen of give and take work the best, are becoming increasingly rare. It prevents benevolence and caring. At first there were a few tentative cup-o-teas and a hesitant couple of words. One mustn’t give too much away! I am sure that in suburbs of xenophobic and staunchly held opinions with preferences for the Abbotts, it would be a mammoth task to get some semblance of mutuality. Of course, it could also be that I am just incurable tainted a crème beige. The coup of finally getting rid of the Knighthoods giving Abbott did not go down well here. However, we don’t smirk or revel in the change of Government. We are considerate and wait till things have calmed down somewhat before starting any sentence that includes the dreaded P for politics.

I am having a good morning.

On the ABC Drum: Gerard Oosterman

We might feel relieved, hopeful, optimistic and so much more, but…staying on the same dismal trajectory as Abbott we might just as quickly swap towards feeling, dismal, disappointed, even outraged.
Come on Mr Turnbull, let’s hear about the Republic , SSM and above all do something about the urine soaked refugees on Nauru, the self harm of children in detention.
Show your mettle on the un-humanity of what Australia is doing to refugees on Manus and Nauru.

And also:

gerard oosterman:

18 Sep 2015 7:34:38am

It seems absurd to bomb people who are fighting Assad’s regime when Australia is also fighting to get rid of Assad.
We ought to heed the Syrian foreign minster asking Australia to help Syria to defeat Isis. Russia and China are both far more logical in their approach.
Syria is a modern country with a well educated population. The Syrian refugees resulting from all the mayhem is a result of a terrible war which we seem to enhance and encourage by our bombing.

Reply Alert moderator

Who knows?

The ‘Greening’ of Australia

March 31, 2015
My grandparents house in Holland.

My grandparents house in Holland.

If greening means anything al  it should at least include the colour green. Gardens that are filled with concrete and pebblecrete are often seen as lacking in some growth of  an organic nature. The inner city suburbs that now exclude anyone without a spare couple of millions, were the first to be bought up by migrants from Italy ,Greece and later on from the  former war torn Yugoslavian countries. While many liked their houses to have some garden, many did not.  Some felt it was a sign of prosperity and of having ‘arrived’ not having to grow vegetables on every square inch of land anymore like back home. Concrete was easy and cheap and it would keep the car parked very nice and clean as well.  They did not migrate to Australia having to continue growing tomatoes, potatoes and zucchini like back home just to stave off hunger and bendy legs. They were now well beyond poverty that they had left behind. A clean start with a concrete yard was the aim of many.

With time passing and migration from Europe slowing down the inner city suburbs with the concreted-over yards became fashionable as the original migrants got old, and as is the norm, ended up below some green grass despite their fear of it. Fading plastic flowers now biding time and keeping watch over the many Luigi’s , Nestors, Marias and so many black cladded eternally mourning Donnas.  .It has come to pass even to the best of them, irrespective of a green or grey priority. We will all end up bleached boned and push up cheerful  nodding daisies. A new and far more moneyed class are buying up the inner city houses, pushing up prices to unbelievable levels. Two million dollars for a 2 bedr. worker’s cottage is now the norm. Those poor Sicilians leaving Messina for Leichhardt or Balmain could not have foreseen that the  $ 600.- back in 1950s would turn into a couple of million some sixty years later.

A different greening is now beholden of so many. No more apparent than at last Saturday’s voting for a state government. The same party did not get booted out as was hoped as they should have, but the Green party with future more in mind than all the others combined gave some hope for this voter. As a member I had volunteered to hand out how to vote for the Green party. After arrival at 8am sharp a Green member was unfolding a little table on which to spread out the literature of what they stand for; anti coal seam gas extraction (fracking), anti coal mining and anti selling the ‘poles and wires’ leases  for 49 years. And for me their main stand on humane handling of refugees.  ‘Fracking’ seems to give the game away just by sheer use of that unknown verb. It is not even in the dictionary. That says a lot already! I mean, how can a worker get home and tell his loving wife; I have done some good fracking today dear, while taking his boots off.

I had a very social time and all the volunteers seemed a happy lot, no matter what party or creed they stood for. We soon crossed over and started talking and…get this…a Liberal party member volunteered to get coffees from the local café just around the corner from where the voting took place. There was not a hint of animosity or rancour. We were all joking and laughing, bonhomie galore. It makes one think that on a level of just ‘normal’ people  getting together there are no problems that could not be solved over a friendly latte, but once they form into different and separate groups and parties, the rot seems to set in.

It might be too simplistic a notion but would banning political parties ( except the Greens)make things better or at least ban Prime Ministers like Abbott or Howard?

Australian Human Rights.

March 21, 2015
Nauru refugee camp

Nauru refugee camp

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-21/australian-bid-for-un-human-rights-council-under/6337616

Australian bid for UN Human Rights Council under scrutiny over asylum seeker policyLawyers are urging the UN Human Rights Council to consider Australia’s current performance on human rights issues as the nation bids for a council seat in 2018. The Human Rights Law Centre delivered a statement to the Council in Geneva overnight raising concerns about the Federal Government’s policies on asylum seekers and its attitude to the UN, claiming the Government’s stance on human rights at home is incompatible with its pronouncements on the world stage.

Moss review heard evidence of sexual abuse

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-21/moss-review-confirms-forgotten-children-report/6337576

The Moss review heard evidence of rape, sexual assault of minors and guards trading marijuana for sexual favours.

Former integrity commissioner Phillip Moss detailed allegations that at least three women had been raped inside the centre and he raised concerns that assault was likely to be under-reported because detainees were worried about their refugee status.

Mr Moss detailed one allegation that a female asylum seeker was asked to expose herself in return for longer showers.

 Morrison and Abbott. Alleged  perpetrators of  crimes against humanity.

FRTL Morrison and Abbott. Alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

Of Motions and Spills.

February 9, 2015
The geranium

The geranium

I am not sure where the present obsession of motions and spill originate from. I could google it but at my age I have enough on my plate.
I know that moving motions is the essence of getting on with the business of governing but how politicians can keep a straight face in Parliament while sitting on private motions is tsunami causing hilariously funny. Is that why the English speaking world has produced so many top comedians? How did the word ‘motion’ ever come to be part of parliamentary language as did ‘spills’? Another type of moving motions is the intestinal one, at times far more urgent and necessary. When you look at that coterie of politicians sitting there in rows it might help to see them in their other ‘motion moving’ role as well. It helps to give perspective.

With the latest spill being defeated, our PM can again walk tall, more likely stumble on. He must restrain his habit of rashly following his scattered urges and the flowery repetitious language. His wife ought to take the pictures of Queen and Country away from his bed-side table, replace them with a picture of Erasmus of Rotterdam instead. For his daily drink, give him Billy Tea instead of Earl Grey. It might also help for Mrs Abbott to tie him to a plank to stop him from his obsessive and continuous genuflecting motions whenever he thinks of Australia as living at the feet of Queen Victoria and glorious Beefeaters.

I don’t know what holds the future. Will it be a continuation of what we have now? I feel somewhat deflated with the prospect of seeing the Abbott spectacle for some time yet on TV. I do have the option of switching the thing off.

I remember well the excitement of the new. With age comes repetition of events and the edges less sharply defined, a dulling of experiences, the sun a bit less yellow. But whatever the future holds, I will never give in to the brutality of what our leaders have meted out towards the asylum seekers. That will keep me on edge as nothing else will. Oh, and the silly knighthoods, moving motions and all the rest of absurdity of life…

We mustn’t take it too seriously. Go and get a laugh.

The possibilty of ‘fracking’ Governments.

October 4, 2014

etching 'couple'

etching ‘couple’

They, many eminent scientists say that when you put pressure on something the results is often a release of pent-up energy. It is now used to release gas locked up in rock formations. It is called fracking. Geologists come home tired and their wives now ask; Did you do some good fracking today dear?

Go and ‘frack’ yourself is an expression waiting to raise its head in parlance of the progressive world of slinky board riders and depressed gloomy hoodie wearers. I bet you it will take over from the ‘awesome’ and ‘oh, my god’. I think ‘stuff like that’ has now sunk into the furnace of lost expressions, the same as ‘bodgie and widgie’ did some many decades ago. It was used during the period when as a teenager I used to linger around Parramatta Delinquent Girls home. Friday night was ‘curler-night’. I remember seeing girls in trains wearing curlers! Men used to perve on Pix magazine girly photos showing knees and total naked feet.

I have just brushed up my very limited knowledge on Islam and ISis with all that goes with it; I can’t say I am much wiser. Previous knowledge did not go much further than Ali Baba and forty thieves. On the way over from Holland our boat stopped at Port Said where we all went off the ship. I was fifteen then and bought a fez and a small whip used for camel driving. I kept those mementoes for years. Now they are lost the same as those past popular expressions. Forever gone!

I do know that bombing always ends up killing. With the latest be-heading no doubt the reaction will be more bombing more killing and more incomprehension by many, not least myself. Isis seems to have unlimited funding and an expert PR machinery going for it. Perfectly English translations of their web-sites and IT magazines beamed and downloaded all-over. It is there within seconds as did the latest beheading video, done by the same man speaking in a thick London accent.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-24/analysis-campaign-against-is-could-take-years-or-decades/5764828
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-16/what-is-islamic-state/5748646

I don’t know what goes on. The last major conflicts in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan were all undertaken at the behest of the US. All three conflicts seemed to have achieved nothing but hordes of refugees and endlessly ongoing murderous campaigns. We were lied to by our governments as never before. Vietnam did not result in hordes of yellow peril. Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. Afghanistan with the Taliban were Americas friends during that period they were fighting the Russians.

And now…again, Australia goes to another war. And talking about expressions, our Government calls this…not going to a war but… ‘a humanitarian MISSION’! Can you believe it?

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-03/war-not-a-mission-abbott-incorrect-on-iraq-action-fact-check/5772316

Governments need fracking I reckon. Get fracked Mr Abbott.

A twenty minute of fame;”a beheading video” .

September 19, 2014

photo 1

Don’t get me wrong, I would not welcome a beheading nor a shark attack or a Thai hoe attack. But the beat up about the first has now reached apocalyptical proportions. Helicopters flying over-head. Serious looking police in riot gear being interviewed , a neighbour vouching she knew the people next door being immigrants. One wonders how secret all this was when the media was all dossed out with all the right gear and journalists focussing on doors being smashed down. People with pixelated faces herded up. Hapless victims being seen on the suburban grass verge, looking as if they had been woken up from a nightmare. We now cower under our doonas.

How surprising is it that with a 14% youth unemployment we get some foolish enough to answer the call to fight for a cause, (any cause really) and fooled into believing that joining a fight against the ‘evil West’ is somehow a better option that languishing in one of our deadly suburbs? Many are totally disillusioned with their present situation, a life devoid of a welcoming, all embracing, closely knitted environment that al least would give them the opportunity and dignity to work and earn a living. Alas, we now have a form of freedom and capitalism that makes its obscene profits from employing economic scientists/gurus feverishly working on how to employ the minimum number of people.

All those arrested yesterday were Australian born citizens. Yet, the medium, including Government representatives, were howling about ‘those Afghans, the Middle Eastern swarthy looking, hinting at ‘refugees and Islamic riff raff. Ramping up the ‘marketing’ of phantom fears. Yes, their parents or their grandparents might originate from middle east, so what? Most of us have a link to some other place. The only true Australians are the indigenous and they too can vouch for a somewhat ‘disillusioned’ acceptance by us, the true invading Euro terrorists. We still have not passed that bit in our constitution accepting them as ‘the first Australians’. How can we hope to impress our young when the in(un)justice of so much prevails still in our own domain and society?

It seems to be so attractive for our political leaders to exploit easy targets, whip up fears and get the so important votes.

We cower under our doonas. I cower out of fear of Abbott and his cohorts.

The Iphone salvation.

July 15, 2014

imagesmobile

It finally had to happen. After weeks of absence in more ways than just physical, I took the plunge. I bought a ‘refurbished’ Apple IPhone from a large toy and game shop. Perhaps they were called a B and D games shop. I could look up the receipt but won’t in case I lose the impetus to go on with this tale of woe and joy.

We were overseas and as I needed to contact urgently some of my contacts by e-mail, I was looking around for a techy device I could use. Most tourists still doing the usual clicking, swiping and tweexting. Why could I not enter that same sort of world? I have a mobile phone that is a phone and doesn’t allow e-mails or give location maps.(Tweet and text) I had been warned not to get caught in an outrageous mobile bill and had taken the precaution in switching off my ‘roaming capability’ believing that I could still use my mobile but without the exorbitant high charges. It turned out my phone was switched off. It took five days for my brother in Australia to get my phone back on roaming with much relief of woe replaced with a drop of joy.

I still had more than 36 dollars of re-charge left so managed to make the necessary calls including to Telstra not to ever switch off my ‘roaming’. If nothing else, aimless roaming is the essence of life, surely! Is there any other way through life than to roam?

After our return to Aus and the grim reality and horror of Abbott’s gaping mouth on TV and the triumphant Chris Morrison regaling his killing of refugees, I took the plunge and with total disregard for the state of my future mental health bought the IPhone. It was very sunny. There was a blinding reflection from the concrete parking lot in front of the toy shop. After entering the shop one was greeted by lots of pink coloured wares. Most of the shop was bathed in a pink halo and I am sure that would have added to this lapse in my mainly purposeful directional sanity. The salesman was aware of my diminished being and knew there was the perfect customer. I had entered his lair openly and without hesitation.

He addled up to me and asked if I wanted anything. Was I perhaps after a computer game or a good game console? Do you have grandchildren, he asked sweetly? He had a broad smile and pearl white teeth, perhaps of an Afghan ascendency. I have noticed that endless wars seems to bring out the best in smiles and white teeth. No amount of indefinite detention seems to diminish their good cheer and friendliness( there is lesson for us here, surely)?

I now have the device and it works. In public I make a show of swiping and acting out the world of the esoteric and well informed, of all that is IT and has a coloured screen showing Apps. What next? Should I get a gleaming white pair of ear phones and walk past a Dick Smith store?

I am one of them now!