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Day to Day Politics: Her ignorance is really showing.

Monday 30 January

1 Australia Day has come and gone and many have made their annual contributions to the appropriateness or otherwise of 26 January as our national day.

This year we celebrated it under a cloud of far right nationalism that is threatening our way of life. At least we didn’t have Abbott screaming at us that ISIS is on its way to get each one of us. My own observation was that there was increased interest in our National day but for the majority the melancholy of it is firmly entrenched in its own awkwardness.

It doesn’t capture the imagination of Australians who have a natural disposition to sport and a disregard for authority. Other nations are more disposed to nationalist fervour than we.

America has just consigned theirs to a president who wants to take the country back to a La La Land that doesn’t exist anymore and probably didn’t anyway.

The Essential Poll published last week posed this question:

“Thursday 26th January is Australia Day. Will you personally be doing anything to celebrate Australia Day or do you treat it as just a public holiday?’’

Most people recognised the holiday but only a third of us said we would actively celebrate the occasion.

For most it’s just another holiday and they don’t get too fussed about the reasons behind it.

Just what the future of the National Day is, is anyone’s guess. Probably it will just linger on in its present form until a catalyst presents an opportunity to give it sincerity and integrity.

Such a time may very well be when we become a Republic. When we have cast away our final ties to the motherland, without a Union Jack on our flag, and we can declare that we have arrived at our adulthood, with one of our own as head of state. Australia Day would then have all the necessary ingredients for a national day of celebration. So I declare that Australia Day should be moved to the date on which we become a republic and cancel the Queen’s birthday holiday.

2 Shane Crocker is a Facebook friend and drives a taxi in Townsville Queensland. Like most drivers he likes a chat. His hobby is science and is extremely well-informed on the subject. On Sunday he made these observations.

For non-Australians the statement “Australia Day celebrates the landing of Captain Cook” needs clarifying. The far Right Australian politician, Pauline Hanson also made this statement on Australia Day (January 26) last week.

James Cook landed at Botany Bay (now a part of the city of Sydney) on April 19, 1770. Australia Day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet of British ships on January 26, 1788.

Pauline Hanson, like many Right-wing populist politicians, is profoundly ignorant and made a fool of herself by confusing the two events.’’

These are actual statements made by taxi customers in Townsville.

“Not all of them are rednecks. The comment about the Jews bringing the Holocaust on themselves was made by a professional person”.

Things I’ve recently heard around the place from people in Townsville, Queensland, Australia:

”One Nation is going to wipe the ALP off the map.”

”Maybe fascism is what this country needs right now.”

”Gay marriage would bring down society as we know it.”

”God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

”The answer to the crime problem is to bring back the death penalty.”

“Australia should free up the gun laws so we can protect ourselves.”

”The right to keep and bear arms is in the Australian Constitution.”

”The Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves.”

“Muslims should be banned from coming to Australia as well.”

”Refugees get everything for free.”

”Australia was established as a Christian country.”

”Australia Day celebrates the landing of Captain Cook.”

”A lot of people just say they’re Aboriginal so can get everything for free.”

”It should be illegal to speak any other language than English in public.”

”It’s a criminal offence to burn the Australian flag.”

“Hitler had the right idea, his only mistake was to have a war with England.”

The only thing missing from that lot is that the Australian Constitution guarantees freedom of speech.

An observation.

”Today the characteristic that most defines modern Australia is diversity. In all its forms, together with multiculturalism it defines us as a nation. People of my generation and later should divest themselves of their old and inferred racist superiority”

3 In the month of September rumour has it that Christian Porter will replace George Brandis as Attorney-General who in turn will replace Downer in London.

4 Trump’s public endorsement of Fox News over cable news rivals is something extraordinary. He’s really acknowledging that Fox is now state TV.

5 On this day in 2016 I wrote:

31 January 2016

The Coalition regrets having to announce that good government has been further delayed. At least until after the next election. Circumstances beyond my control.

Authorised by Malcolm Turnbull. Canberra.”

Malcolm Turnbull is facing flak from the Abbott conservative forces within his government. There is hardly an issue of any substance where he is showing quality leadership. The issue is again in the headlines with conservatives saying they will not abide by the outcome of the proposed plebiscite on Gay Marriage. In fact they are lining up to say they will vote against. We pay for good Government and expect it from day one. Tony Abbott said that we would get it 12 months after the ball had been bounced. Even then it didn’t happen. We are still waiting for Turnbull to stop talking about it and start delivering. By the time the election comes around the electorate will be entitled to ask whether the Coalition can ever deliver on it.

6 Only in America. Both the President and the Vice President have made it very clear that the next appointee to the Supreme Court will be an anti-abortionist. I would have thought that the first attribute of a judge of any court anywhere would be impartiality. To appoint people who will do your bidding is tantamount to rigging the judicial system.

7 The way Theresa May looked at the President and repeated what they has discussed looked to me like she was wanting it confirmed publicly.

My thought for the day.

“For the life of me I fail to understand how anyone could vote for a party who thinks the existing education system is adequately funded and addresses the needs of the disadvantaged”.

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  1. Terry2

    If you were a refugee on either Manus or Nauru would you be celebrating the apparent agreement by Donald Trump to honour the Obama/Turnbull agreement to resettle you in the USA ?

    I think the young Iranian man who escaped Australian/PNG detention on Manus and made his way to Fiji where he sought asylum had the right idea.

  2. Steve Laing -

    Ignorance is strength. That little ditty seems to be working perfectly for One Nation right now, and right wing politicians everywhere seem somewhat disinterested in changing that. Right wing media are happy to reinforce it. Keep the proles ignorant and they are easier to manipulate.

  3. jim

    Good post again, well now, here’s me thinking religion and politics are separated by law so why then do we have G. Pell attending IPA meetings, and why do we have Right Wing Christians governing us aka Mrabbit and Little Jonny Howard,…..The Christian right has been a notable force in both the Republican party and American politics since the late 1970s, when Christian leaders began to urge conservative Christians to involve themselves in the political process.No doubt it’s the same for Australia.and I do remember at church the sermon went “so let us all pray for Mr howard”.

    Another failed LNP criminal case is the fifth arising out of the trade union royal commission and its associated police taskforces. costing taxpayers $60 milloin +.
    As of March 2016, only one conviction has been attained, while five other union officials have either had their charges dropped, or were found not guilty.

  4. Phil

    The Townsville cabbie’s list of utterances from some of hispassengers sums up the ON Party. There’s no way that such entrapped minds can ever be rescued. Could it be that the Queensland heat and humidity has addled the interior of so many white skinned heads?

    We are seeing today the seeds of global war germinating on fertile ground tilled by totalitarian dreamer Trump – he is setting the world up – anticipate widespread sabre rattling toward military conflict as highly likely within six months. With the hapless LNP incapable of managing our nation under benign conditions, we can expect some very, very scary times under their calamitous rule in wartime.

  5. Steve Laing -

    The only way that Trump might be discouraged is if all his peers are prepared to stand together against him. I’ve read that Merkel gave him a “briefing” on the Geneva Convention – but I expect he will pay no attention, unless their is collective action.

    Unfortunately I see the UKs Theresa (or is it now Teresa 😉 May and our own spineless Malc, willing to make deals to protect their own political skins, and so appeasing the worst of Trumps excesses. This idiot truly shoots from the hip, and I’m sure Hanson would be the same. These people seem totally incapable of understanding the consequences of their actions, and through their ignorance are completely unable to consider similar historical events and their inevitable outcomes. World War 3, here we come! At least then we won’t have to worry about Climate Change killing us.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Two US Senators issued a statement about Trump’s executive order saying there was no consultation with the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, and Homeland Security. Trump thinks he is a dictator – no experience no impediment.

    Phil, the conflict has already started. One US soldier dead in an attack in Yemen along with lots of women and children according to medics on the ground.

  7. Terry2

    Steve and Kaye

    The Republican dominated Congress made it clear that they would not cooperate with Obama on anything, even on things they supported (probably where Tony Abbott got it from). So, it would be very strange if the Congress now became just a rubber-stamp for Trump.

    The real winner in all this is Rupert Murdoch and Fox News, once again.

  8. helvityni

    Steve Laing, all that eagerness of Mal and May (Theresa/Teresa) to make friends with the big Bully is not very clever, I expected better, at least of Ms May.

    Kindergarten stuff…

  9. wam

    great suggestion lord but the day is, for the majority, just a day off add fri sickie so an early easter for many. To give it an all round meaning the 1st Jan 1901 seems close to ticking the box. My selection is 27th may.

    “Not all of them are rednecks. The comment about the Jews bringing the Holocaust on themselves was made by a professional person”.

    ”A lot of people just say they’re Aboriginal so can get everything for free.

    These illustrate one of the major Australian ‘ignorance’ to my mind (“A” being an obsession).
    WTF is:

    of ABORIGINAL appearance?(the last book I bought my dad was xavier herbert’s tome where a lad starts off as kyrgios down south but as the ship goes north he becomes mundine)
    of REDNECK appearance? many akubras sit on clear minds and non-red necks.

    ps the jews are the base for christians and muslims and wear their own form of a star so have been targets since those religions needed scapegoats. But they copped at lot well before that in egyptian, greek and roman times. Resilient and a good indoctrination process.

  10. brickbob

    WANTED…. One person to apply for position as President of very large country
    applicant must be caucasian,male and a christian’

    No experience necessary…. Apply within””””

  11. townsvilleblog

    Phil, I would agree with you if it were universal however the taxi driver was not affected and neither am I both he and I abhor 1 nation thinking, that party appeals to Australian apathy the candidates see a chance to have a great paying job for 3/4 years basically doing bugger all as they have no policies that I have heard of.

  12. Keitha Granville

    Trump thinks he’s a dictator. No experience no impediment

    I am sure he believes that it’s the same as being president of a company as that is the only experience he has – you tell people what to do, if they don’t you sack them. And if it all goes pear-shaped he probably thinks he can just declare the country bankrupt and start a new one.

    Heaven help us.

  13. Diana Lea

    John Lord: I read and love all of your AIM blogs, agreeing with 99% of your comments. Same for today, except for one little thing….you saying “Change the date of Australia Day to the date that we become a Republic”! Not a bad idea if you truly still advocate a Republic when you see the calibre of our elected Politicians as it stands today! I think we are still far too backward to know how to put ourselves in that position. Oh yes, and if you say, like I have had it said before “Oh the President won’t rule the Country, he/she is in name only. We will still be ruled by elected Politicians”. So, I ask, what would be the point of all the money it would take to become a Republic? At least, not until we grow up!

  14. Phil

    townsvilleblog – very true – I cast my net far too wide – the by-catch was unintended – I retract. I will refine my nets.

  15. Ella Miller

    Diana Lea …perhaps we need a bill of rights first.

  16. jimhaz

    [So I declare that Australia Day should be moved to the date on which we become a republic and cancel the Queen’s birthday holiday]

    Yes, a week ago I was thinking along similar lines.

    Too many people like the January holiday as it comes not long after the hassle of going back to work and occurs just before schools return. To carry on about invasion Day I find is pointless – it just makes the far right angrier and gives them more ammo to stir up moderates. People celebrate Australia, not some distant event of the past – so to me the date is irrelevant and invasion Day is a just a power play.

    ”Australia was established as a Christian country.”

    It is a form of bigotry to deny this. It is what a majority of people with multiple generations within Australia see as their heritage – in the same way an aboriginal wishes to support the retention of the aboriginal culture.

    Same, same but different.

  17. Kaye Lee

    jimhaz, I will refer you to our Constitution. Australia has no official state religion and the Australian Constitution protects freedom of religion. It was NEVER established as a Christian country at all. It is a secular nation. You are talking about majority, an entirely different thing that is evolving as our nation evolves.

    Over the last four decades, the number of Australians selecting “no religion” on the Census has more than tripled from 6.7% (1971) to 22.3% (2011) of the population. I will be interested to see the results of the last census if they ever get around to releasing them. I would imagone no religion is on the rise.

  18. jimhaz

    [It was NEVER established as a Christian country at all]

    A meaningless technicality only. It was established primarily by Christians, so therefore that is what it was.

    I’d also imagine the Australian Constitution protects freedom of religion because at the time they were only thinking of the different forms of Christianity, and never thought mother England would fall in power so much.

    I’m not supporting Christians, I’m 100% atheist – just suggesting there is a valid justification for the statement. In a way many aren’t really talking religion in any case – but what they see as the effects of Christianity were the old “fair go”, “respect for others”, “a lack of extremism”….and respect for their parents and grandparents.

    The catch all “secular” is only fine if you don’t have excessive immigration or if you have selective immigration policies.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Actually it was peopled by those whose spirituality was expressed in the Dreamtime. That majority changed.

  20. jimhaz

    [Actually it was peopled by those whose spirituality was expressed in the Dreamtime. That majority changed.]

    True….and they fight the progressive takeover…like Hanson supporters do.

    [but what they see as the effects of Christianity were the old “fair go”, “respect for others”, “a lack of extremism”….and respect for their parents and grandparents]

    btw…there does not have to be anything special to Australia in this regard, such as other countries having the same or better values. What matters is what emotionally believe to be true.

  21. John Lord

    The next census will undoubtedly show that for the first time there will be a majority of people of no faith than with. And I suspect in a majority of states.

  22. Kyran

    “This year we celebrated it under a cloud of far right nationalism that is threatening our way of life.”
    For what it’s worth, tens of thousands of Australians embarked on protest marches on their ‘day off’. From any of the reports I have read, the marches were conducted as a reminder that the injustices suffered by our First People two centuries ago are still being suffered, albeit under the disguise that we are now imposing the injustices to ‘help’ ‘them’. The choice of date and the description of it as a ‘celebration’ is nought more than a distraction.
    The Melbourne march was, apparently, three times bigger than the official ‘Australia Day Celebration’. In my ignorance, I was unaware that such a protest had been planned, so can only go off what I’ve read.
    Discussing the date is, yet again, a needless distraction until such time as ‘Close the Gap’ is a genuine aspiration as opposed to being an annual report explaining our inability to address the issue.
    With regard to stupid remarks made by ignorant people, I can only quote Philippe Geluck.
    “When you are dead, you don’t know you are dead. All of the pain is felt by others. It is difficult only for the others. The same thing happens when you are stupid.”

    An observation.
    ”Today the characteristic that most defines modern Australia is diversity. In all its forms, together with multiculturalism it defines us as a nation. People of my generation and later should divest themselves of their old and inferred racist superiority”

    You must have foreseen the ‘Christian’ question. As Ms Lee pointed out, Sect 116 excludes any such consideration. Out of that same census, 61.1% identified as ‘Christian’. Of the 25.3% who specifically identified as ‘Catholic’, less than 1/3rd identified as ‘practicing Catholics’. Applying the same ratio to ‘Christians’, one can only assume that appalling is one of the 2/3rds of ‘Christians’ who, clearly, don’t practice.
    Just out of curiosity, Terry2, where is he seeking asylum from? Presumably, he has already been declared a refugee from Iran. Fiji is a member of the UN, since 1970. Fiji has had a few problems of recent years, in terms of democracy and human rights. Remember bishop lecturing them? Is he now seeking refuge in Fiji from Australia or PNG?
    Thank you Mr Lord, and commenters. Apologies for the rant. In my defence, it was mostly on topic. Take care

  23. Steve Laing -

    Terry2 – what a great article. What a resourceful young man. With skills and determination that will never get a chance to be used to the benefit of Australia. I hope he spills the beans on all the vile abuses that have been going on under our countries name, and perhaps we can get some real justice.

  24. Kyran

    Terry2, with the greatest of respect, Mr Sawari was already defined as a refugee. That he had to seek asylum in Fiji, a country with its own problems, due to our inability to grant him asylum here, is an indictment on us. My curiosity was purely along the lines of ‘who is he now seeking asylum from?’ The implied question is, as a defined refugee from Iran, is Mr Sawari now seeking asylum in Fiji as a refugee from Australia, or our minion, PNG?
    Your link was very good. We just need to do it 2,000 more times. Thank you, take care

  25. helvityni

    …and our Teflon coated PM does not do commentary, nor do his closest disciples, Dutton and Morrison. He is tight-lipped, he does not care, he doesn’t have compassion.

    All the best Mr Safari, our very own refugee, a refugee from Australia.

  26. wam

    Wow, Terry2:
    The dumptons make sure we believe these asylum seekers have jettisoned their ID and I, for one, believe that is a legitimate reason for detention.

    Time to admit my political status on boat people::

    baa baa bbaa,

    The requirements of Article 27 would also be satisfied if a refugee possesses a valid travel document other than a Convention Travel Document, such as an aliens passport issued by another State.

    Brexit means Theresa needs America and Donald needs a few friends. Who else needs both??

    ps we have unloaded our fixed, rather than ‘inferred’, old and racist superiority making it a young racist superiority.

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