When I was a child, “In the olden days” as my children when younger used to say, Robinson’s jams had a Golliwog emblem and I had a golliwog to play with, as well as traditional dolls.
I also read Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
A decade or so later, my sister was studying medicine in London and brought home a lonely (black) African fellow student to share Sunday lunch.
About this same time, I was reading ‘Cry, the beloved country’.
Learning is not confined to the classroom, and, over time, through expanding our knowledge and understanding, we are offered the chance to cast off prejudices, respect difference and accept that change is a continuing feature of our existence.
That is perhaps an idealised expectation. Not all avail themselves of that choice.
When I was a teenager, homosexuality was a criminal offence throughout the British colonised world, as well as among those of other faiths. In the British context, this was largely a result of the translation of certain passages in the Bible – which was, itself, penned in more ignorant times.
My mother, a dedicated Christian, who was brilliant in English grammar and arithmetic, but totally ignorant of more than basic science, firmly believed in the Genesis story of creation.
Ignorance of scientific discoveries is no excuse for ignoring them once they have been bought to your attention. There is no place in a changing world for ‘believing’ something which has been shown to be false.
It is a fact, which is still being denied by the intransigent, that mankind’s addiction to increasing use of fossil fuels, with the concomitant increase in polluting emissions, is a major contribution to accelerating global warming.
It is a fact that we are running out of time to take the steps necessary to drastically reduce the level of emissions and the damage being done to our oceans by plastic pollution.
Too many wars and conflicts are already occurring around the world, and the expansion of global corporations, encouraging the greed and selfishness of shareholders, are all features contributing to a refusal by a majority of governments to accept the massive task of declaring war on climate change.
Governments think in terms of winning the next election in 3 – 5 years’ time.
This myopic approach denies them the vision of how their current policies will impact the next generation – or they do not care about others enough to think it worthwhile.
When it comes to politics, I sit on the fence.
No one party has all the answers and the way European governments form coalitions from a wide range of parties is, in my opinion, a far healthier way to achieve consensus and develop policies which are not too biased.
The current ‘Coalition’ government in Australia is setting itself up to develop a police state. The AAT is being progressively politicised by appointing liberal members, many with no legal experience and little in the way of other special and relevant expertise.
Our disgusting treatment of refugees and asylum seekers – worse treatment than is handed out to those condemned of serious criminal offences – even Ivan Milat’s cancer was given more medical attention than are the severe traumas inflicted on those confined to Manus and Nauru.
We have a Minister in Peter Dutton who seems obsessed with sadistically inflicting pain and suffering. The Biloela family could have stayed at home, contributing to the community while all their matters went through the courts.
Instead, two innocent little girls have been treated so badly that we have almost certainly breached our obligations under the UN Convention on Children, while they have probably been as traumatised for life as have the victims of institutional sex abuse.
And the cost to the taxpayer has been exorbitant – certainly more than enough to settle all the excluded refugees in jobs and contributing to the economy!
Australia – the Lucky Country? – I don’t think so!
Australia – the land of the Fair Go? – Only if you are white and wealthy!
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