Posts Tagged ‘Scott Morrison’

The Virginia Creeper will just have to sustain us now.

May 19, 2019

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Virginia creeper.

All our communal town-houses were originally planted with gardens which included the Virginia-Creeper shown in the above photo. This creeper grows very fast, mainly at night when everyone is sound asleep or if not sleeping, at least inside their dormitories. Originally, our townhouses had a united garden which included the Virginia Creeper. Sadly though, all Virginia creepers were taken out with the excuse that they are known to be destructive. A falsehood was spread that those fast growing climbers would by assaulting and climbing over everything, strangle brick walls and block our much revered and beloved guttering. We, against all advice and scorn of neighbours, held onto our Virginia for dear life, and even if it succeeds in strangling us and our town-house, so be it. It is amazing how gardening is so often seen as OK or mere tolerable as long as it doesn’t take over or threatens our own homes and ‘investment’ as one of our neighbours once uttered.

With last night’s defeat in Australia of the Labor Party to the Liberals against all odds, and the best of News Polls, and predictions, this contemplation of the Virginia-creeper might just have to sustain us for the near future. The near future is not to be taken in vain or too lightly. Perhaps a better phrase might be ‘our twilight years’ as both of us are nearing the eighties and for some things, time is becoming more of the essence. It would have been so nice to  have witnessed an Australia finally coming of an age where change for the better, would override the endless ennui of more of the same. How much longer can we look forward each morning to an Australia where Taxation cuts, Border Controls, sticking to contemplating the past, and Queen Victorian Gun boat diplomacy has to sustain us?

Just think how it now must feel to have for another three years a Scott Morrison as Prime Minister. A man who has on numerous occasions highlighted his belief in Christian faith but at the same time was almost manically keen on locking up for indefinite detention thousands of people who have done no wrong except for trying to escape from wars and bloodshed and look for a safe refuge in Australia. I wonder how those refugees on Manus and Nauru, now well into their sixth year of detention, are feeling today, hearing how their tormenter has been chosen as leader of Australia for another three years?

So much hope was invested in a change of leadership that would finally allow Australia to progress to a more just and fairer society. A society that would be leading in climate change and care for the environment. Today is a day where we celebrate the standing still of Australia. When will we ever learn, that change ought to be embraced even if change might at times fail? It is always better to have tried than not at all. Why is Australia often celebrating the fondness for looking back and clinging to the past? My parents who came here from Holland in 1956 would not be proud today of Australia. They wanted a better future for their children. My wife,  from a very progressive Finland and I with Dutch genes, are almost tempted to book a return to Holland.

We don’t have to look at Holland or Finland for examples of progressive countries. Just look a bit to the side and look to New Zealand. They have a leader that seems to thrive on progress, especially on a social level. Why don’t we look to our Eastern neighbours instead of our much beloved Western US, a nation that is being headed by a morally bereft President man heading his country knee-deep in a moral morass?

It has been New Zealand who offered  several times to take the refugees from Nauru and Manus. Our Australian Prime Minister with his Christian Faith held high on Pharisees  sullied sleeve, heartlessly refused each time. We will just go outside and look at our Virginia creeper. It will have to sustain us till the next time!

My poor country, Australia.

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Gentle rain and Islamophobia.

May 3, 2019

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Jessica Whelan with Australia Prime Mister, Scott Morrison.

Our garden is getting a whisper of rain, gentle caressing the leaves and growing grasses quenching their thirst after a long and hot summer. The sky above is grey and coloured  lead with the promise of more to come. I can’t say that I dislike rain. It lifts the spirit of future growth and beckons the first of spring growth already noticeable amongst the withering Japanese windflowers. They are the Irises’ spikes that appeared  overnight when I wasn’t looking. We are having a most unusual autumn that so far has been more like a summer.

Between the gazing at our patch of growing and withering garden, and with the Manchurian pear now serious in dropping their crimson gold-leaf edged  foliage I undertook the task of cleaning our windows. It is not my most favourite domestic task which still is cooking of food. Mind you, with all the medical appointments, root canal treatment, hearing tests and cardiac investigations, we are now more likely to eat out somewhere. It seems appetites too get less with age, and with a lunch- out we might just forego a cooked dinner and instead have a salad with a piece of fish backed up by some crackers with Boursin before the comforting embrace by doona with pillow.

I have discovered that the spraying of the windows by the blue glass cleaner and wiping the glass with a soft cloth does a much better and quicker job than using the window wiper and bucket of water. Helvi swears I should not wash the windows with a sun bearing down on the glass. I refute that claim and reckon it is just an old house-wife’s tale. I proved it by blatantly (without further ado) cleaning a set of double glass doors in the full sun and they looked so sparklingly clean afterwards. No ovation from Helvi though. Does ageing make for better marital accords or do we become more entrenched in our believes, including prejudices?

Talk about radicalisation of our politicians. Who is responsible of the radicalisation of so many politicians who vent their hatred of Islam. We had this dreadful act of terrorism in New Zealand, killing 51 people and injuring hundreds, all of the Islamic fate… And yesterday the rant of a Liberal candidate in Tasmania. I am talking of Jessica Whelan.

Here some of the anti-Islam comments she made on Twitter and Facebook. “Round them up Donald, cut their clitoris’ off & sell them to Muslims in Muslim countries & cancel their passports. You’ll make a mint,” it stated.

Here another one of Jessica Whelan posts.

One called for a national vote on banning Muslim immigration and the other argued Tasmania should not accept refugees from Syria and Iraq. “Don’t bloody send them to Tasmania. We don’t want them,” it said.

And then there were those two men from One Nation Party, Pauline Hanson, who ventured to America to wax favours with the NRA in order be ‘donated money’  from the NRA in order to weaken Australia’s very effective gun laws while also making derogatory comments about Sudanese refugees raping and clubbing ‘decent’ Australians.

The question has to be asked who radicalised those politicians into this dreadful Islamophobic stance? Was it Dutton or Abbot with a nudge nudge from our PM Scott Morrison? It doesn’t come from nowhere. Who is behind it all and is it being investigated?

It seems the Liberal Party is riddled with Islamophobics and hatred.

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?

 

Next time you buy ‘fashion’, look at how and where it is made.

December 7, 2018

 

Most Fashion items are made in third world countries. I have also been guilty of buying items and not looking at where they are made. Worse is, often we buy goods made using child labour. To add to the misery we end up choosing a Prime Minister who delights in locking up those that are trying to escape the misery. Even when Australia is finally turning a corner and most of us want the refugees freed from detention, Scott Morrison our PM, is going nuts and will do ‘Anything’ to prevent the legislation from changing that would alleviate their misery. He is a true hater of compassion and a fervent believer in his brand of Christianity!

A nervous heart.

October 27, 2018

Our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison is now comparing setting sick children free from detention with talking to people smugglers. Talking to doctors about the trauma of suffering children, and setting them free is negotiating with people smugglers. “We don’t negotiate on that issue”, he said with a broad smile. In the meantime his hatred is growing fatter.

I am feeling a bit tired and listless of late. I normally don’t gravitate to doctors. Helvi insisted I should get a check-up. “Every time I come downstairs you are sleeping,” she says. It started to get on my nerves. It reached a stage whereby I would quickly get up, when or if, I could hear her coming down. She had warned me she doesn’t want a sleepy husband. She would then hum a Dutch nursery rhyme, ” Slaap kindje, slaap. Sleep child, sleep.” Here it is. It has over 5 million hits. Helvi sings it perfectly. Not a child in Holland would grow up without that little song being sung to lull him or her to sleep. That’s why the Dutch are always on the yearly list of  ‘happiness’.

 

I went see the local doctor who referred me to get an X-ray and blood test done. Lungs are good and apart from an upward adjustment for my thyroid medication the only other problem was that I might have had a heart attack. Another referral was written to see the cardiologist. The same one that deals with Helvi’s heart after it was damaged through her chemo treatment. I went last Thursday. I was told to do a stress test. I very much looked forward to this. Nurse told me to undress and this was followed by getting lots of wires attached to my chest and back. I was put on a tread-mill.  It must have been a ridiculous sight. I was glad Helvi wasn’t there to see her husband struggling on this treadmill. Her Don Juan reduced pitifully. Old age does that.

The outcome was a script for a box full of medications. They all have impossibly difficult and lengthy names. I have an abnormal heart-beat rhythm and strange pulse. This too has a difficult name. I think it is non-valvular ATRIAL Fibrillation. I have five different tablets. Each morning I get up and together with Helvi attend to our medications. The humming of blood pressure machines before breakfast. The updating of charts etc is now common routine.  There is a box of Pradaxa, Candasan or Dabigatran etexilate and many others now. A couple of them are to extract fluids. The toilet is a hive of activity all day. Lucky we have three toilets. The prescriptions are handwritten and I don’t know how the Chemist can make sense of them. The Doctor’s account is crystal clear though.

Perhaps the events in our family a few years ago have overwhelmed. It might not have helped good health. Even so, together we laugh and live off the good memories. The sun still shines.

View from inside.

October 10, 2018

 

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The view from inside.

This photo was taken from inside our home through the open sliding glass doors. So, no matter how the outside world sometimes seems, the real world is how we deal with the chaos. No better way than to look at a garden. It brings back the importance of  things that matter. It cannot but lift the spirit. Talk about spirit. Our PM Mr Scott Morrison claims to be a spiritual man. Yet, he had no hesitation to promote Sydney’s Opera house to be used as Australia’s biggest billboard. I don’t understand how such a self proclaimed Pentecostal spiritual  pious and religious man can have no qualms about assaulting such an important spiritual cultural Icon. One wonders if he ever contemplates the beauty of a garden or listens to music, read a book! There has to be a hiatus there. Something us missing. Something is wrong!

You know the ducks know a thing or two. One seems to be looking at one of the clivias. The other one, his mate, is looking direct at my camera. On top of the little table is a plate with mixed seeds that the birds flock to. It really is a world on its own. The Alyssums do help create magic together with the Mock Orange, the Spathiphyllum  and white Cyclamen.

Here is a beautiful piece of magic singing. One of my favourites. It never fails to bring tears to my eyes. I don’t know why.

 

Chickens.

August 25, 2018

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Rain with joy.

The Canberra’s writer’s festival would not have been happy with the latest political turmoil. Right bang in the middle of Canberra too. A most astonishing election for a new Prime Minister. Life is never dull. We were drawn to the Telly like horse-flies. Crackers and Boursin cheese at the ready.

Our neighbour also happen to be the Artistic Director of the Canberra Writers Festival. https://www.canberrawritersfestival.com.au/what-canberra-writers-festival

They kindly asked us to feed their three chickens and cat named ‘Brambles’ while they were in Canberra. The chickens have names but I can only remember just one, a white chicken ‘Blanche’. So each morning and afternoon I go and feed their animals. In return we get the eggs. I am astonished how prolific egg layers the chickens are. Blanche is the only white one. The other two are brown. There is something so beautiful about feeding chickens. A primeval call to what we perhaps ought to enjoy as part of normal living. Tending animals is of course an activity that most people were engaged in during past centuries.

Even in my birth city of Rotterdam and later on The Hague, it was fairly common to hear chickens cackling. Even highly urbanized cities in Europe still clung to people having chickens. Egg were shared.

In our everyday life we never chuck out food. We always eat leftovers. The Dutch hunger winter of 1945 taught us never waste food. However, the last few days we have given our scraps to the chooks. I don’t know, but Blanche must have laid two eggs in one day! I assume the brown eggs are laid by the two brown chickens and the white Blanche laying white eggs. Yesterday there were two white eggs! I felt like clapping.

The rain has come as well. It pelted down and gutters overflowed. One could hear the garden drinking. A standing ovation from jonquils, daffodils and burgeoning Japanese windflowers. Sighs of relief from the clivias. Everyone is hoping the farmers will get a bucketing and green returning to bleached baked paddocks and water flowing into barren dams.

As for our New Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. He is the architect of Nauru and Manus island torture centres. Let’ not go there.

Let’ not spoil the delights of the chickens.

 

Will Australia finally face its own trial over refugees?

April 27, 2017

The court decision to award damages to a girl held in detention on Christmas Island when she was just five years old must send panic through our Government. The fact that the Government offered compensation on the first day of the trial speaks volumes. The Government must fear that many now will also seek compensation for having been held in detention. The case of the girl started as a class action but the Court refused on the grounds it was lacking in common or shared issues.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-26/iranian-asylum-seeker-wins-payout-detention-christmas-island/8472718

For some years now the Australian Government has been accused of criminal neglect in keeping asylum seekers in detention under harsh conditions. The UN and the UNHCR have repeatedly warned Australia it was in breach of Human Rights. All to no avail. This Government stubbornly sticks to its mantra  that;

1. It is all the fault of the opposition the Labor party, in setting up the detention centres in first place.

2. To stop the boats coming and prevent drownings we need to give a good example to those that are contemplating escaping the horrors of war.

It seems that those that did not drown are now being punished. The refugees are in their fourth year of detention!

Australia is now trying to trade with the US administration some of the refugees still held in Nauru and Manus Island in exchange for some Latin American refugees held in the US. It is all shrouded in secrecy. Donald Trump said the deal  ‘was the worst he ever heard of.’  The obvious solution is for those refugees to be accepted in Australia. This is being fought tooth and nail against by the architects of indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru, Scott Morrison and now Peter Dutton. Our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is whipping us into a nationalistic fervour. ‘We must all stand-up and defend our ‘unique Australian Values’ . ‘He goes on about ‘the fair go and respect for law.’ The hypocrisy is just dripping so copiously from him it is actually showing.

I have reached the stage I try and not show my Australian passport. How can I keep my head up high?  How can I be proud of a country that has done such a terrible deed  and continues to do so, on the most vulnerable?

I hereby copy a recent post on my Oosterman blog by a man who worked as a guard on Manus;

Beau Mitchell Says:

“It is not a military run operation although its no coincidence that the vast majority of the workers, including myself were ex military and like myself ex special forces. unfortunately you can mistreat people like this when its off shore like this. There have been 2 companies that worked in Manus G4S and Wilson Security, I worked for both. This ABC story was the 2nd story I actually spoke to 10 Eyewitness news first. There was a media injunction slapped on me within 48 hours of speaking to 10 and in that 48 hours I spoke to ABC with the above report. No we do not have freedom of speech in Australia, you have watched to many American TV shows if you think this. in the event this message gets traced back to me I face up to 15 years in a federal prison for the crime of empathy. On Manus the Security company Wilson is the Judge, Jury and Executioner when it comes to discipline of the refugees located there. In the event a refugee does something wrong there is a make shift prison made from shipping containers, there is no trial or interaction with the local police, Wilson management makes the decision on the punishment one particular incident I recall a refugee lost his temper and started trying to hit people with a lump of wood (did not actually hit anyone) his punishment was a week in the Chauka (name of secret prison) where he was beaten each night (6 times in total) until unconscious during this time period, I was given the task of guarding the prison, I was posted at the main gate, and did not go in the Chauka. The smell was terrible of human feces and urine but being that I was on the outside I did not know why. I eventually saw”

LikeLikeBeau Mitchell Says:

 

 

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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]

Don’t shout ‘Ali Babi’ too loud or drink ‘Arabic’ coffee.

December 17, 2014

Nauru

Nauru

It was many years ago when friends used to sit around the fondue set, proudly announcing that some of their best friends were gay. They are just normal people ,you know, adding, just like all of us. A glowy feeling of inclusiveness would permeate the group and the chocolate dipped strawberry tasted even nicer. Afterwards, Zorba would be put on while the Coolabah cask was squeezed to its very end.

With the latest on terrorism and ramped up fear we no longer sit around fondue sets. Fondue sets are now facing customers scrounging bargains on St.Vinnie’s shelves together with the discarded type-writers or dented aluminium pots. If group discussion take place, heads are most likely lifted up from Moses’ Tablets or promised Lands of IPhones.

As a reffo from the fifties I remember the fear of passengers on buses when a whiff of Euro garlic announced itself. People would gather their belongings and stiffen up. A dago was near! My dad with his attaché briefcase was tolerated mainly because he was pale looking and free from garlic odour. We as children soon tried as quickly as possible to lose our guttural Dutch accent and accentuated Australian lingo to extremes. Even today, I notice ageing reffos still being and acting more Australian than the local born ones. It seems to have stayed with them. A supreme sacrifice and surrender of ethnicity in return for approval and acceptance. Some carry this even further. The recent disapproval of anything brown and middle Eastern, worse, Arabic, is often met with more vehement responses from those of the same background than locals.

This is why we need leaders that try and at least encourage acceptance of the foreign or different. I can hear people re-hashing the same things that occurred decades ago. At local dances I used to be so keen to be an Australian. I was fifteen and my accent stubbornly never surrendered. At least I was able to give a reasonable impersonation of Seventy Seven Sunset strip character in the hope of getting A Pride of Erin in. You wonder with what enthusiasm people get accepted with Arabic backgrounds. The dreadful media focus on extremism and the ramped up fear of refugees.

At least in the Chocolate shop it was a delusional individual who managed ramp up fear and xenophobia. Scott Morrison is not delusional. He is in full control of his senses and deliberately doing his evil work in setting up people against those from war torn countries. He is sane, worse he is so utterly and devastatingly sane, it is frightening. He does it all with a smile. Illegal Maritime Arrivals he calls them. Yet, with the stroke of a pen he could set all boatpeople free to be assessed on-shore and able to work, earn a living and restore dignity. It is not in him though. And we think that the Chocolate shop man was evil.

Don’t shout Ali Baba too loud now!