Posts Tagged ‘Aboriginals’

Australia Day.

January 24, 2019

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The 26th of January is the day when Australia celebrates its beginning or birth as some might call it. As the years go by, more people than ever want the date changed as a way in considering that it was also a date that started the beginning of a dreadful time for the indigenous people that lived here for tens of thousands of years. Captain Cook did not ‘discover’ Australia. Today, indigenous people still die earlier, are likely to be imprisoned at far greater numbers, and have much higher rates of suicides than white people. Their plight is still steeped in so much misery, and all that after so many decades of neglect! It is not surprising they see the celebration on 26th of January as an insult and couple it to a date that they see as an invasion of their country. Captain Cook did not ‘discover’ Australia. He merely started Australia as a penal colony for the British and from then Australia gave the aboriginals a terrible time.

It is also not surprising that our present PM Mr Scott Morrison, will have nothing to do to with changing this date that both, the white ‘invaders’ and the original Australians might agree to. Mr Morrison is now trying to whip us up in a national frenzy of flag waving and car tooting horns. He is proposing to spend millions of dollars to get a copy of the Captain Cook’s boat and sail it around Australia. He is hoping to revive national pride and a rise in his flagging popularity that will transcribe in a vote for his Liberal- National party at the next election in May.  Photos are now distributed of him surrounded by aboriginals all decked out in black and white and Mr Morrison holding a spear. He is currying favours showing he is a good friend of the aboriginals.

His hope in reviving this form of nationalism is in direct opposition of warnings that the world should concentrate on global issues and not go the way of the US in withdrawing from a global world and revelling in making a nation go in reverse, to make it ‘great again’.

If we go on celebrating this Captain Cook event, lets reflect that it was the Dutch that landed here before captain Cook and before the Dutch there were traders from other countries as well. If we are celebrating anything we should reflect 1973 when Australia finally discontinued with a ‘White Australian policy’ it was as racist as it could be. We barred coloured people from permanent residency till that date. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Australia_policy

Even today we still hold thousands of refugees in detention. If I had to nominate any one for honours on the 26th of January I would name Julian Burnside, the QC who has worked tirelessly in freeing the refugees on Nauru and Manus. He fights for Human Rights and Refugees.

What do you reckon, dear readers?

 

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In a blaze of Patriotic fervour.

June 14, 2017

 

 

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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’.