I am a dual national – one advantage of which is that I cannot ever sit in the Australian Parliament – but nothing can stop me from being as critical of government in Australia as I am of the UK government.
Both suck – big time!
Because both follow inhumane neoliberal policies.
Having been here for almost 50 years, I find it impossible to remember how much I knew about Australia before I came, as compared to how much I now know.
I am fairly sure I knew about Australia having begun its life, as part of the ‘Western’ world, as a penal colony – or series of colonies – which has led to its current fractured government systems.
The prison hulks in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations alerted me to that unsavoury beginning, just as Dickens’ books – a full set of which lived on the mantlepiece in my bedroom while growing up – generally alerted me to the needs of the poor and the arrogance of those who regard themselves as born to rule.
I learned about the corruption in the NSW colony, and corruption was still really out there in Queensland, courtesy of Joh, when I arrived.
That political parties and corruption are bedfellows is daily detailed in the national press!
We kid ourselves when we try to persuade others that many other countries have corrupt governments but we are above all that.
Power corrupts – wherever.
I learned about Australia’s shocking treatment of its First Peoples quite rapidly, living, as I do, in the Northern Territory, which has the highest proportion of any state or territory of these indigenous people, many of whom prefer to live on country and try, against the odds, to preserve their culture and native languages..
Growing up in a Christian household, I have ethical standards which I do not see echoed in many of those in power in Australia.
I am now an agnostic, sharing the view that there is no way any worthwhile god could exist, which was omnipresent and omnipotent and yet unwilling to allow mankind to be denied the right to free will.
Man has developed god in his own image – and that god is not benevolent.
In fact the human race has given Planet Earth its most despicable and dangerous predators.
If I did not have grandchildren and great grandchildren, I would seriously welcome the world’s being rapidly overtaken by global warming, as, given our failure to protect the planet as carefully as would our First Nations, the rest of life on Earth might be able to recover some balance without us.
I write this as an optimist in the hope that enough other people might realise the urgent need for action to completely change course.
Everything is valued in dollar terms.
Wealth is put ahead of quality of life.
The economy is our master – not our servant.
The immigration policy which has evolved under the Coalition is cruel and capricious.
Reading about Australia’s early settlement, we read of a level of cruelty which still underlies government policies today.
I am sure our current government ministers feel very negative towards the Prime Minister of New Zealand because she makes them feel inferior in their standards – and they are!
She cares for her people and behaves as any caring parent does.
I cringe every time I hear people like Peter Dutton and Christian Porter – not to mention Scott Morrison – bleat on about Australian values.
If Australian values existed in any acceptable form, those three and their loyal cohort would not be in power!
We now have legislation which says, among other things, that a dual national, who commits a crime which warrants incarceration for 12 months or more, is liable to be deported.
[As an aside, there is a right of appeal against being deported or removed from Australia under existing legislation, but, during their time in power, the Coalition has stacked the AAT with many who do not even have the necessary legal qualifications, to an extent that significantly reduces the likelihood of a successful appeal.}
In recent years, a considerable number of New Zealand citizens have been found to not meet the Character Test requirements and they have been deported to New Zealand, irrespective of however long they might have lived in Australia.
Jacinda Ardern has, on more than one occasion, objected to this practice.
The just-completed trial of an Australian terrorist in New Zealand has resulted in his being given a life sentence with no parole.
Several relatives of victims of this terrorists actions have asked that the man be required to be returned to Australia to serve his sentence there, as has Winston Peters, the NZ Deputy Prime Minister..
New Zealand is a much smaller country than Australia, and the cost of life-long incarceration would be proportionately greater to them than to us – PLUS we send back to NZ a significant number of its citizens who have committed offences in Australia.
To date, both our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and our AG, Christian Porter, have shown a degree of reluctance to consider any request.
In view of the low level of integrity which both have displayed in relation to the secret trials of Witness K and Bernard Collaery – when everyone who seriously examines the facts would accept that the secrecy is designed, not to protect national security issues, but to reduce embarrassment to past and present government Ministers – it would be unsurprising but totally in character if the request were to be denied.
Jeez! They make it hard to be proud to be Australian!
I end as always – this is my 2020 New Year Resolution:
“I will do everything in my power to enable Australia to be restored to responsible government.”
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