‘They’re dead to me’ Peter Dutton, 2018 – ‘Song of the Deadz’, a poem I saidz in reply from below, but read on …
They sailed away, for a year and a day
to the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
with a ring at the end of his nose. (Edward Lear, 1871).
Once upon a time, it would have been a sin to elope, unless you were honest, wealthy and wise, with plenty of honey wrapped up in a five-pound note and a runcible spoon and a boat! Ah yes, I am hitting it off with, ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ one of my favourite nonsense poems, which Edward Lear wrote in a less flamboyant version for little Janet Symonds just before Christmas in 1867; not published till 4 years later in ‘Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets’, in the fabulous form and three verses we know today. One hell of a honeymoon, wouldn’t you say?
‘Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense’ by Jenny Uglow, 2017 I have been reading, a gift from two friends, Louise and Jean (not the same Jean or my Jean’s Puzzle in ‘Smile I am doing you a favour’ that came to me from the Sun Herald via the AIM Network), but worlds apart and an ocean in between. Did you know that Mr Lear was a most accomplished artist – painter? And not all his poems were nonsense and limericks for which he is so well known today. The book like the man himself is fascinating and imaginable, a narrative into a bygone century, where in a beautiful pea-green boat… hand in hand, on the edge of the sand we can dance by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon; if we want to, even if it wasn’t quite like that. A marriage of fantasy, sail away …
And now that our overture is over we come to the monster under our bed – ‘Monster of Home and Inhuman Affairs (Song of the Deadz)’. I have re-worked Lear’s whimsical poem to satire as Lear possibly might have done in one of his many a ridicule limerick, alas may my sin be forgiven.
A moment to ponder where we have come from while Dutton has been in the job. We now have a monster of a minister and monster department of inhuman affairs where all matters of security, intelligence, police, border control, immigration and citizenship are under one roof and one man, Dutton. We lock up legitimate ‘humanitarian’ refugees who come by boat, who fear for their lives and have broken no international or Australian laws. We let others with money and the right coloured skin come to Australia by air, the real ‘economic migrants’ and those who stay illegally get ‘processed’, and of course Dutton, Pezzullo and his senior Border Force sycophants will not tell us how many tens of thousand of these there are, slipping under our highly selective radar. There is the systemic abuse of refugees, children in detention, billions of public dollars spent on ‘unmanaged’ contracts for rogue private security companies to provide non-existent services, particularly offshore under a wall of government and corporate secrecy. There are a suite of toxic radical conservative Bills charging through Parliament that strip away everyone’s civil rights and freedoms, not just refugees. Our very own ABC public broadcaster has been muzzled and increasingly become yet another one band government mouthpiece as Dutton and his associates increase their grip and attacks on both the ABC, and that other independent constitutional pillar, the Judiciary.
Those who are stupid enough to listen to Dutton waxing and whining ‘unlyrical’ with infamous talk back radio hosts such as Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt on 2GB will note all the insults, gaffs, propaganda and verbal diarrhoea that comes out of his mouth, and of course the sewerage flows out everywhere. Here’s just a few on public record:
Dutton’s critics, March 2018 – ‘they’re dead to me’
White South African farmers, March 2018 – ‘they need help from a civilised country’
African gangs, 2018 – In Melbourne ‘the reality is that people are scared to go out to restaurants at night because of African gang violence’
Immigration and Nauru, September 2017 – ‘somebody once said to me that we’ve got the world’s biggest collection of Armani jeans and handbags up on Nauru’
Immigration and Manus Island, April 2017 – ‘there was concern about why the boy was being led or for what purpose he was being led away back into the regional processing centre …’
Same-sex marriage, March 2017 – ‘… shouldn’t shove their views down our throats’ and ‘publicly listed companies [should] stick to their knitting’
Lebanese immigration, November 2016 – ‘it was a mistake by the Malcolm Fraser administration to have admitted Lebanese Muslim immigrants’
Text message to political columnist, 2016 – ‘mad fucking witch’
Illiterate migrants, 2016 – ‘many … won’t be numerate or literate in their own language let alone English’ and ‘these people would be taking Australian jobs’
The rising seas joke on Pacific Island nations on an open microphone, September 2015 – ‘Time doesn’t mean anything when you’re, you know, about to have water lapping at your door’ (no laughing matter for some including Nauru).
Immigration, spying on senator Sarah Hanson-Young while she was conducting an investigation on systemic child abuse and rape in Nauru, June 2015 – ‘she’s written to me on some issues which are completely fanciful when you have a look at the facts and she’s got a track record of making these things up’ and ‘what Sarah Hanson-Young is about is publicity. She loves the camera and she loves to see her own name in the paper. That’s the start and finish of Sarah Hanson-Young’ – Spying claims on a senator were later confirmed, as was the systemic child abuse and who more than Dutton lies, makes things up and soaks up the publicity.
… and Turnbull’s repeated performance evaluation – ‘an outstanding immigration minister’.
But an ‘outstanding’ solution might look something more like this:
- Bring our off-shore and onshore detention programs to a close, an amnesty and stop the wasteful economic and shameful demonising of refugees, especially who seek asylum on humanitarian grounds whatever the mode of entry.
- It is time for a Bill of Rights to ensure a future government can no longer capitalise on this in electoral matters, removing these partisan and bipartisan interests.
- Human rights are not nor should they ever be for sale or an electoral matter for majority vote, they are a legal and constitutional responsibility of a democratic, civilised and free society, and all human beings should have basic rights, protections and equal access to the law and judicial system regardless of wealth, status, politics, religion, ethnicity and origin.
- The same protections are required for all Australians so the poor, homeless and minority groups cannot be exploited and neglected by the whim of a majority, nor hold a majority to ransom; this needs to be reflected in Parliamentary behaviour – It is a balancing of rights and responsibilities.
‘They’re dead to me’ said Dutton, if that is so what does this mean for Australian democracy, constituency, elections, free speech and the role of a government minister, and a department so large and secret, it might even put Harry Potter to shame?
A marriage of fantasy, sail away …
It is no sin to elope today with who ever you want, man or woman, and it’s not illegal to sail away to the shore of another country if you are fleeing from tyranny, but no one told Dutton that! But one thing hasn’t changed, if you are wealthy and have plenty of money wrapped up in a visa and come by jumbo or cruiser, and if you speak English or Afrikaans and especially if you are white, you will most certainly be welcome and Dutton will lift the gates of hell with his evil smile, trumpet and fanfare. If you do as Pussy and Owl did, you will surely end up in the bowels of PNG and Nauru, where the Turkey and Billy Goat will dine on your mince and slices of quince with no runcible spoon in sight; just polequin cups, mad fucking witches and a devilish mutton-head minister’s whim.
Monster of Home and Inhuman Affairs
(Song of the Deadz)
The sheep and a billy goat short of a cobby,
White as an Afrikaans farm,
they went to bed for hell and a hobby;
dead squats in a ‘straylian barn.
The sheep with a tag and peculiar dag, flag and visa bizarre;
for shag and a wag with the gun lobby,
‘Oh what a mutton-head, Dutton, you are,
What a mutton-head, Dutton, you are!’
Billy goat bellyaches, scowls of an alley cat,
spud on a broomstick what a galah!
Rat on the razzle with a muzzle of gat
stalking th’ deadz like a ‘straylian tzar.
Billy goat, billy goat, cactus on sand,
land where the billabong hangs from a gum tree;
what desert can ever be flatter than that?
But sheep and mutton-heads, ‘deadz to me’,
deadz to me,
deadz to me,
What a mutton-head, Dutton, you are!
Dilly-on Dutton, bills, squads an’ scams,
monster of home and inhuman affairs.
Bring on the bans and chop off their hands
for we ‘straylian citizen millionaires.
Company money, bears in the honeypot,
ministers’ airs out of polequin cups;
those mad fucking witches and African gangs,
Oh what a mutton-head Dutton shut ups,
What a mutton-head, Dutton, shut ups!
Links and References
ABC and Guardian ‘dead to me’, says Dutton after South African visa criticism – The Guardian, 22 March, 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/22/south-africa-risks-food-shortages-if-white-farmers-go-to-australia-nationals-mp-says
‘They’re dead to me’: Peter Dutton lashes out at media critics over white farmers – Brisbane Times, 22 March, 2018 https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/federal/they-re-dead-to-me-peter-dutton-lashes-out-at-media-critics-over-white-farmers-20180322-p4z5m6.html
Critics ‘dead to me’, says Dutton over South Africa farmers row – SBS News, 22 March 2018 https://www.sbs.com.au/news/critics-dead-to-me-says-dutton-over-south-africa-farmers-row
‘Dutton in Bed with the Gun Lobby’: Stop the Gun Lobby – GetUp, 22 March 2018 https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/gun-violence/stop-the-guns-1/stop-the-gun-lobby?t=WOkkmNs10K
Court orders that boy, 10, at risk of suicide on Nauru be treated in Australia – The Guardian, 21 March, 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/21/court-orders-that-boy-10-at-risk-of-suicide-on-nauru-be-treated-in-australia
Peter Dutton in talks to create gun lobby ‘council’ to change firearms laws – The Guardian, 15 March 2018 https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/15/peter-dutton-considering-request-for-gun-importers-to-review-rule-changes
Mr Lear: A Life of Art and Nonsense – Jenny Uglow, [First Edition] Faber & Faber, 2017