“It’s clear to me, that for too long, we have given those who might be a threat to our country the benefit of the doubt.
We are a free and fair nation. But that doesn’t mean we should let bad people play us for mugs, and all too often they have: Well, that’s going to stop.”
When I heard Tony announce this I thought here we go, he has finally realised that he is not up to the job and is going to step down.
Tony was of course talking about the terrorist threat from asylum seekers, immigrants and the unemployed.
“There’s been the benefit of the doubt at our borders, the benefit of the doubt for residency, the benefit of the doubt for citizenship and the benefit of the doubt at Centrelink.”
Considering we are spending billions on it and being asked to give up some of our most basic freedoms, just how big a threat does terrorism pose to the Australian way of life? Crikey reveals some pertinent facts.
As of September 4 2014, since the 1978 Hilton Hotel bombing in Sydney, there had been 113 Australian victims of terrorism. That includes Australians killed overseas in terrorist attacks as well as non-Australians killed here, such as the Turkish consul-general murdered in Sydney in 1980.
During the period 2003-12, between 700 and 1000 women and children have been killed by their partners or parents in domestic homicides. There have been over 22,800 suicides in that time and around 66 deaths of indigenous people in custody.
In the same period, nearly 1700 indigenous people died of diabetes at a rate, on average, about seven times higher than non-indigenous Australians. If we’d invested a little of the money we spent going to war in Iraq or inflating the budget of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation on programs that lowered indigenous diabetes to just twice that of non-indigenous Australians, around 1200 lives would have been saved, or around 10 times the death toll of terrorism.
The real threat to this country is not from terrorism. It’s from politicians who choose to reward their donors and put their party in front of the people’s best interests. It’s from economic illiterates who think a surplus is a political goal within itself.
Inaction on climate change is a real as opposed to imagined threat that will cause enormous hardship and suffering if not addressed immediately.
Cutting money from health, education and research is a real threat to our future prosperity and well-being.
Ignoring domestic violence, defunding support groups and preventative initiatives will see this scourge continue to destroy families and take lives.
Defunding indigenous programmes will see the gap widen rather than close.
Rescinding gambling reform laws will contribute to the tragedy of family breakups and suicide. Gambling addiction was a contributing factor in nearly 130 suicides in Victoria over the past decade, according to figures released by the Victorian coroner – more Australian deaths in one state than have been killed worldwide by terrorism. Yet dumping reform was one of the first acts of our previous so-called Social Services Minister.
Despite obesity being a growing problem, this government fights against food labelling laws. It resists taxes on alcohol and anti-smoking campaigns. Just whose interests do they represent?
In a time of supposed debt and deficit disaster, Mr Abbott is spending hundreds of billions of dollars to keep us all afraid whilst ignoring urgent issues that will save many lives.
It is you Mr Abbott that is playing us for mugs and you are right, it’s going to stop. You have asked your party to give you the benefit of the doubt that you wish to deny all others but it will not save you. Whether by your own volition, at the insistence of your party, or through the electoral process, we will remove this clear and present danger to our country.