Australian policy needs consistency
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.
We also now have a character test under which people may be arbitrarily removed from Australia, such as New Zealand citizens who have some reciprocal rights relating to residence status.
[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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I think NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern may get some payback when she ”requests” Australia to accept the return of the Australian citizen convicted of committing the Christchurch mosque murders and properly sentenced to life without parole.
There is much about the Scummo Sacked from Marketing COALiiton misgovernment that can only be rectified y Australian voters electing an alternative government in 2022. Their successors will have a busy time.
The New Daily has an article explaining why, at present, there is no legal basis for Australia taking this bastard back, but I think Morrison missed an opportunity to show some statesmanship, not to mention humanity, with his response to the suggestion. It is right and proper that Australia find a way to bring this bastard back and incarcerate him for life, with no parole. While not directly applicable, our willingness to deport Kiwis would seem to have some relevance.
Scummo’s somewhat dismissive response only adds to the reasons why we need to ensure he and his cohort of derelicts need to be sent packing at the earliest opportunity. Let’s hope that hubris, in the form of a misguided belief that HE has appropriately handled the Covid19 response, leads him to seek an early election.
An early election? Why? So motormouth and his cohort of corrupt cunning stunts romp home in a landslide? In a way, may be a good thing as it might force labor to wake the fuck up, realise me too albanese is past whatever prime he may have had, the greens may see their future as not so much bashing labor and siding with this travesty of a government, pigs may fly, the fairies at the bottom of my garden come to lunch and all is well. Our only hope, or curse, is that climate change, which appears to be exceeding expectations, wake us all up, bring a little clarity, a little realisation of how badly we have let this situation become, what a shameful mob of braindead shits we have become. There is no hope that politicians playing their warped political games have the will, the integrity, the vision to make the radical changes necessary.
Technically,l I could be considered a dual national, as both my parents were Polish and children of Poles are given Polish citizenship automatically, regardless of place of birth. Never mind that I was born here, have never been to Poland and speak only a small number of words (mostly obscene) in that language.
It’s quite tempting to consider breaking a suitable law just to see if they try to deport me …
Each person is a product of his or her environment so it stands to reason the terrorist should be returned to the country of his social attitude education, Australia. NZ had little or nothing to do with the actions of a gun nut using people in places of worship as target practice.
Are you sure? Is it that simple? Then why do we have so much ‘difference’ among and between so many from (relatively) the same ‘environment’? Are people simply the same ‘product’ just like bricks out of a kiln? Don’t individual people make individual choices? Why don’t people accused of crimes blame it all on their background (environment)? No ‘free will’? etc etc
Matters Not, I caught 10 minutes of 4 Corners this week https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-25/four-corners-mental-health-system-homicide-investigation/12560686?nw=0
The part segment I watched concerned a Tasmania man who used a car to kill a pedestrian. The reason as given by his sister was that he went off the rails (PTSD) after having been assaulted recently and was not getting proper followup treatment. With your comments, are you trying to say PTSD is not a thing? Ever met or worked with a frontline war veteran? Are you trying to fool an audience into believing that all people experience “the same ‘environment” and that we should all therefore behave exactly or “(relatively)” the same? I’m looking at the world and see vastly differing exposures to violence, here and abroad. Are you trying to be disingenuous or is this what you believe, your truth if you like? Your question “Why don’t people accused of crimes blame it all on their background”, I don’t know, why don’t you interview them? Maybe you are right, there is no such thing as insanity and PTSD is a conspiracy theory, but I doubt it.
PTSD is undoubtedly a real thing. But surely nobody who joins the armed forces voluntarily can be unaware of what being a soldier entails these days. It is almost possible to assume that it is the very horror of frontline combat that appeals to them.
But I agree with Craig, to some extent. I think your early environment defines you. But it does not CONFINE you. No matter how squalid the background, it does not dictate what you what to become.
Jack, yes I agree “early environment defines you”, at least up to the point that an individual reclaims as much of original functionality of mind prior to any early distortions by unskilled programmers. This may take years or a lifetime of struggle to resolution. For some, traumas will likely never be resolved and maybe the best they can hope for is resignation to the fact that what is, is. Fighting the past is a foolish game, as is doggedly living in some imagined future that will never happen. To be fair to those who take up arms on our behalf, it’s probably the case they believe the outcome of their career decision will be a string of positive experiences outweighing any chance of personal destruction/PTSD. But life happens as it happens and all it ends up being is a learning experience from what I see.
Only if that’s your choice! Education ought to be about escaping the limitations of one’s background. That’s the ontological task.
I disagree that some people ‘…take arms on our behalf.’ The only soldiers I have ever met who were not conscripts were pigshit-thick bullies and thugs. I admit that 3 is not an adequate control group. But tv newsreels of battles and carnage are seen every day, and nobody could possibly assume that enlisting would not entail disturbing sights, particularly when our boss ally is ALWAYS at war, and we are ALWAYS with them. I don’t think professional soldiers take up arms one our behalf, they do it for the thrill of it.
Insofar as the environment is concerned,
I was raised in Liverpool, which. In 1964, had 80,000 dwelling which were deemed unfit for habitation. In city of maybe 600,000. That meant that perhaps three-quarters were living in squalor or surrounded by it. I was raised in that kind of neighbourhood. Most of the people I grew up with rose above that environment, but are also proud of their heritage. While it defines them; it did not confine them.
When I say ‘most’, that does not mean all.
Jack, Michael and wam will agree with me:
The Labor Party needs Big Charlie!
Albanese is just like Taylor ‘Captain Invisible’ Walker: shows up, does nothing, goes home with fat paycheque.
Rinse and repeat.
I guarantee the Crows will but lose this weekend.
Jack, they have a bye. It’s their saving grace.
That’s such a pity about the bye, as I do enjoy watching them lose.
Big Charlie in the ALP. 😳 Geezus, the LNP will be too scared to show up.
Oh, hang on… they already are. 😂
Your point about Taylor Walker is spot on. Two weeks ago Charlie had only three possessions but he had three men on him all the game. Walker had three touches last week but was free all afternoon. He just cruises around doing nothing…
One of Walker’s better games, hey Jack?
The problem with the federal ALP is that Albo, like Taylor Walker (‘Tex needs to recover his ‘leap’) cannot get off the deck.
There is, in my opinion, no federal ALP at the moment, and no Whitlam or Dunstan (or even Wran) in the wings. In fact, I’m hoping for a decent independent in my electorate next time (although a parliament full of independents would result in no policies whatsoever). I might ask the truly independent MP for an adjacent state seat – formerly long term Labor MP until shunted aside for a RW Labor candidate and then creamed the ALP by standing as an indi – if she knows any potential indies for my state and federal seats.
So true, Jack.
I live in a Liberal stronghold and neither Labor or an independent look like unseating the sitting Liberal. The electorate is so damn right-wing they’d even vote for Taylor Walker if he ever ran locally.
The new ICAC in South Australia is Ann Vanstone QC…
The ICAC investigation against corruption (principally Liberal MPS rorts) has stalled pending her arrival (tomorrow, I think.)
Her name and the last boundary adjustment that she oversaw (four seats ‘given ‘ to the Liberals ) does not inspire me.