Posts Tagged ‘Xenophobia’

What happened to you Australia? A Grand Vision to behold

October 17, 2013

1, Stop the Boats
2, Stop the Carbon Tax
3, Build the Roads

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?

Daffodils and Go Back where you came from

June 26, 2011

The SBS program on Go Back where you come from has certainly caught the watchers by surprise, World -wide viewing by tens of millions and it even made some people change from watching Footie, Alan Jones or Derryn Hinch.

Last night’s episode was shown to even have two Australian men helping the Malaysian ‘Polisie’ ferret out some hidden hapless refugees and the Australian Girl ‘Raquel ‘waxing about how we should do the same in Australia.’ Let’s forgive and just think it was Stockholm syndrome. The same Raquel baulked at using the toilets at the African refugee camp and seemed determent not to go to the toilet for the next few days. The best of luck to her. It was riveting viewing when she was interviewed on what she actually did in Australia, “nothing”. Do you work? “No”. What do you do? “Nothing”. The interviewing UN official smiling and nodding, he fully understood.

Did anyone not feel the humaneness and warmth of those refugees in Kuala Lumpur, especially the kid’s eagerness to go and learn at schools? The place, despite the terrible overcrowding, kept spotless, kids in clean clothes and big smiles.

We have our three flush toilets, surround sound and plasma, our recycle bins full of empty wine or coke bottles just out of sheer luck of birth and that’s all that separates us from the African refugee with his hacked up face and missing limb.

Of course the program is very ‘Big Brother” and similar to the format used on many of those type of programmes, including many of those cooking competitions and seems mostly based on some form of humiliation, expulsions or put-downs. We all become in a way perverts on failures, misery and bullying.

The good thing about watching so much world misery unfolding has been the opposite of it and the joy and emergence in our garden of the bulbs which I keenly planted some weeks ago. A single jonquil has almost started to flower and at least another dozen or so are getting buds. Can you believe it? Each morning I go out and check both front and back. The back garden where we have the cloth line, I planted both tulips and Dutch Irises. The twelve Irises have all come up and I am now waiting for the tulips to poke through any day. The shortest day is now behind and already we have more sun, the volcanic ash has moved on and the carbon tax is now more likely to get the go ahead. Life goes on.

Woman Rape.

June 21, 2011

Posted on June 22, 2011 by gerard oosterman

There have been some strange News items today. One was about an Irish Lady being freed from jail after an alleged rape by her on a woman in a toilet. The mind boggles but here is the item:

I was lucky to get the article about the hospitable Turks up and running on the Drum but, gee, it was gone in a flash together with MacCullum’s piece. Many of the answers seemed to draw comfort from the fact that Turkey and Syria are neighbours and as Australia hasn’t got that problem it is therefore not a good comparison. I thought my piece was more about how Turkey declared to accept all those fleeing violence. Their minister from immigration declared. “They are human being in distress; we will not turn them away”. I might be wrong but I have yet to hear any Australian minister declare any empathy, a warm welcome or understanding of the plight of refugees.

In the face of this refugee flow, Turkey has taken action without involving international institutions in the process. However, international cooperation will be inevitable if the number grows. Large camps, mobile hospitals and residential areas have been created in response to the fundamental needs of the refugees; thanks to preliminary preparations, Turkey is now able to host 800,000 refugees. International human rights organizations welcome Turkey’s generous attitude. Despite the fact its stance will further encourage others to flee and take refugee, Turkey’s preference not to close the border is extremely humane. At this point, the people of Güveççi village deserve particular credit and thanks; they have been mobilized to help out the refugees and given away everything they had to extend support for even those who stayed on the other side of the border, teaching humanity a lesson.

It seems amazing how the issue of so few numbers of refugees in Australia have excited so many. It still remains unanswered why Australia is getting so worked up about so few that end up on our shores. We are really slack and lacking in our humanity. Perhaps it is due to our education. So many, despite many nationalities having settled here, seem ignorant of the world’s geography or different cultures.