What depth we have plumbed as a nation
By Sir Scotch Misery
Perhaps the Sydney Morning Herald has not seen just how ironic today’s story of the little Syrian boy lying dead on the beach really is.
We have sat and listened and watched as mainstream media over the past several years, 15 if you want to be completely accurate, has been complicit in the development of our island nation into something that it really never has been – an insular, self-absorbed group of afraid conservatives, scared witless of reaching out to anybody who is not white, preferring instead to remain separate, aloof but probably more importantly, uncaring.
One is forced to wonder what depth we have plumbed as a nation in refusing to not only accept these people, a few thousand a year at best, as Germany opens the doors to 800,000 and hungry inserts a barbed wire fence to keep them out. Italy week after week, brings in thousands. Our elected representatives, on our behalf decided that we didn’t want “those people” coming to our shores and screwing up our society. Not for us the multicultural premise on which Australia was built since the 1950s, rather this nation of “I’m alright Jack” and not so much a mention of the people affected by the wars which are prime ministers have taken us to since Gulf war 1 and the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan and anybody else who has natural resources that America wants.
We are not that country. We are not those people who are being held up as exemplar in turning back the boats. In spite of a fair bit of research into the subject it appears our process with regards to refugees is driven by the elderly and the usually long-term unemployed of Western Sydney.
Even here on independent media not everyone agrees that Australia should make a place of these people. Likewise, we have people who will tell you that the Alternative Liberal Party is the only alternative to the LNP, when we know that with a little effort that is absolutely not the case. Try looking back to the after-effects of the Vietnam imbroglio, that first undeclared war, and the thousands of migrants who took to the seas escaping the violence of what was left of their country. No opportunity for advancement, no jobs, no public faith in the new leadership, and all as a result of America deciding they needed to invade to protect “us”. What mindless bullshit.
I presented an award as part of one of my other hats last year, at an all girls school here in Brisbane, in recognition of the results of an essay competition. The winning entry looked at Aboriginal soldiers and how they were treated after the war when they came back. Nothing much has changed since 1919. We as a nation are still a bunch of racists laughing and pointing at the Northern Territory and Western Australia again as exemplar is of the Australian redneck, and then sitting down and ripping off a letter to the editor about how dreadful it is that all these boats are allowed to arrive, or how wonderful it is that the Englishman who currently poses as our Prime Minister, is tough on these “illegals”.
I enjoy moments when Australians say “I’m not racist, but …”. I enjoy them because people don’t realise the depth of their lie.
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Sadly, with the lying, toe rag, flat earth, right wing, tea party, conservative Tony Abscess as our “captain” we are! SACK THE LIBERALS!!
No. Unfortunately it began along time before tony, shoulda been aborted, abbot. abbut is an expression of australia as it is.
Refusing to give up on the myth of this country… the author has a bet each way:
“…the development of our island nation into something that it really never has been – an insular, self-absorbed group of afraid conservatives, scared witless of reaching out to anybody who is not white, preferring instead to remain separate, aloof but probably more importantly, uncaring.” … followed by…
“Nothing much has changed since 1919. We as a nation are still a bunch of racists…”
The unpleasant fact is that, in the 21st century, our loathsome politicians and clueless media have chosen to revive what was always just below the surface. Their lies and fear-mongering only succeeded because so many Australians really, really wanted an excuse to release their nastier side in public.
I have been bleating to family, friends and online about their inhumanity in not recognising what it takes to leave all that you know and love with merely what you can carry, to give up all the money you have left, to board a boat when you have never before sighted the ocean, to head for a country you have never been to, whose language you do not speak, whose customs are far removed from your own!!!! How many dead children on foreign beaches will it take for Australians to recognise the monstrous nation we have become. And in the name of what??? Those fleeing terrorism are portrayed as terrorists by a man who never lets a day pass by without terrorising the gullible of this nation that “Daesh are coming for us!!” That only he can protect us by being complicit in the death by self righteous ignorance of others. What would it take for you to risk your son, daughter, wife, husband, brother, sister, niece, nephew, mother, father on a voyage where no one cares, to a country where no one cares???
As a nation we were egalitarian, multicultural, friendly and welcoming for a short period in our history. Abbott and the extreme right are not only destroying our democracy, bringing out the latent racism and bigotry which we though was only a minority; but they seem to be trying to reclaim the “white Australia”. All the “white” obsessed bigots have been given a voice by Abbott. He and his family came to Australia on a boat, as did the majority of Australians. Will we ever be able to reclaim our “fair go for all” multicultural, peace loving society?
Kerri, thank you. Your comment encapsulates in 200 (without specifically counting) words the malaise in much of our community with regard to refugees. Your question “what would it take… ” is one we should all ask ourselves, and then should ask our politicians. I am haunted by the picture of that small boy. And our hypocritical, sanctimonious, fear-mongering prime arsehole tries to make a virtue of our disgraceful actions on this issue. Not believing in God, how do I say “God help us all with him in charge?”
So so sad, your heart just aches,where has our compassion gone ,our caring for one another.we have let the Abbott government drag us down into the gutter with him,
This is what war does, and Abbott wants to drop more bombs on Syria,
It is time to rise up Australia make your voices heard.
For the last 15 years, I’ve watched this country grow colder faster than this planet is heating up.
Sadly left and right.
Sadly all those Obama liberals here don’t want to acknowledge who has created this mess. I have been ranting and raving ever since I came on here the what and why of Syria and I have always felt many of you have dismissed me as a crank. Changing the figure head of Empire doesn’t change empire and if the top man was a republican I am sure you would all be barking mad too but your petty white middleclass mentality prevents you from seeing what is really happening.
Harsh? Not fecking harsh enough imo.
” I enjoy moments when Australians say “I’m not racist, but …”. I enjoy them because people don’t realise the depth of their lie.””””” Question, what would the story be now if Abbott lost the last election? Good post but did the Scotch get to you as I was wanting some LIeberal bashing heck Abbott deserves it in all a good post thanks,
We have country towns dying because of dwindling populations and folk declaring that ” we’re full. We have farmers unable to get the workers needed to bring in the harvest, and brought in hundreds of thousands of backpackers. Pretty sure we have elegant solutions at hand, but lack the political will.
I suspect the anti-halal loons wouldn’t want their properly Australian farm produce handled by Muslim labourers….
This little boy died because of geopolitics and resources. The United States, Britain, Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia are responsible for the creation funding and maintenance of ISIS and the Syrian Rebels. Abbott and Shorten are both fully aware of this! Many more children like the little boy who drowned will die unless Australian’s wake up to the fact that your Politicians lie to you daily and that Australian Parliament is a charade you have choice you don’t. A shadow government call the shots and Abbott and Shorten are just puppets just like British PM David Cameron who put on a Hollywood Production for the media and pretended he was a dad and cared about the little boy who drowned. He doesn’t, Cameron is a psychopathic war criminal and liar, look what they did to Libya recently and they don’t give a shit, just like his predecessor Blair and no different to the spineless cowards we have for politicians in Australia like ignoramus Dan Tehan who says bomb Syria. Bomb and how many more kids will die while he is sitting on his shiny arse 10 000 km away! Dickhead and he doesn’t even have a clue. The fat cats that control these gutless kowtowing politicians will not even blink an eye at this little boy’s death because they are disgusting human beings!
Equally, if not more impressive is the Liberal, National and Labor party’s legislation that will strip citizenship rights from Australians. Presumably also from those who (like or unlike its own Prime Minister) may (or may not) have formally renounced citizenship in the country that they (or their parents) were born in.
This made even more impressive by the Liberal, National and Labor party’s eager (or especially in the latter party’s case, cowardly) embrace of long discarded Medieval doctines such as ex post facto laws (restropective penaties), corruption of blood (sins of the father will be visited on the children) and wholesale denial of due process (what’s known here- equivocally, as “natural” justice).
Let’s not worry too much about definitional matters- whether bashing a wheely bin or protesting a coal mine- or coal seam gas in prime farmland might (or would) be considered “terrorism.” That’s hardly the poit as we descend onto a slippery slope where time honoured, bright line principles ought to be a barrier to even broaching the topic.
Oh, and lest I be remiss: let’s not leave the NSW Greens and David Shoebridge out. Double jeopardy apparently means little, even though one might easily predict that allowing the crown, with all its resources, several (or more) “bites at the prosecutorial apple,” will (as history shows) be a two edged sword. One that comes back to slash the very groups of people- Aboriginals and other traditionally disadvantaged and disfavoured minorities- that he, for one horrific case, seeks to vindicate.
We need a BILL OF RIGHTS to ensure that the fascist trend is halted and help us to recognise that rights and responsibilities go hand in hand.
The saddest part of the story of the little boy is, that Canada now welcomes his father. Yes they want the father to join his sister in that country.
In Hungary, government is providing no aid at all. No food, no shelter. The general public has filled the void, finding food to feed these people.
Does one realise only those who are able to get their hands on money, are the ones that are escaping. Most are struck back in the war zones. Many more have gone over the borders to other countries in the middle east. such as Turkey and Lebanon. War along the borders has cut their escape route off over land. They are left with crossing a few miles water as the only option.
They would be aware that the camps across from their borders are full. No future there, no where to go.
Europe for them would be the last options. Many seem to he heading for countries where they have relations.
No Mr Abbott stopping the boats doesn’t make them safer, unless you replace them with something that eases their plight.
Mr Abbott proudly says we are taking more. 6000 I seem to recall. 6000 taken from that 13,700 total he sees as generous.
I think you will find the poor farmers crops are now harvested mostly by machines. Try ensuring fair wages in the industry might solve their labour problems. Not ripping off those here on temporary visas.
When one comes up with taking say, 100,000 at least. The people on the road appear to be the cream of the countries they are fleeing from. Young highly educated your people, both single and with young families.
We need a greater workforce to support the baby boomers, who are now retiring. To me, it would be a win win situation.
Since the end of the last great war, every wave of refugees coming to this nation has contributed to its wealth.
None were welcomed.
I moved to Australia in 1969 and was shocked to find such racism here. “Wog” was the word de jour. Seems to me, Australia has always been a racist nation. I thought we’d moved on a little until more recent years when we began getting hand-fed racism from the Howard Govt. It’s simply got worse and will be continued by the Labor Party after the election. This sets us apart from the progress made in the rest of the world, including New Zealand.
According to the line of reasoning espoused by Abbott in his mitigative view of Nazi atrocities, Ivan Milat would be considered less evil than Martin Bryant, because Milat made serious efforts to conceal the murders he committed.
I despair that so many people continue to make apologies for the inept and corrupt words and actions of Tony Abbott.
Immoral morons are well represented.
nevk knows and do many others http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n24/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin
What can we do to help? Tell me and I’m in.
Beth start by reading the article that mark delmege provided a link to. It will open your eyes to the dark world of geopolitics where civilian deaths are just annoyances to the disgusting rapacious criminals that run the wars that shape our world. The way these bastards operate is if there is a Government they want to overthrow (Gadaffi and Assad) they fund and train an ethnic, religious or criminal group that opposes the legitimate leader and when the leader like Gidaffi or Assad fight back to protect the legitimate Government the West will accuse the leader of killing his own people. Sound familiar. Then of course the intelligence services of the west will conduct covert terror attacks and blame the leader then flood the media with lies and propaganda that he must go. So the first thing Beth is to be fully aware of the lies we are told on a daily basis by our spineless politicians, secondly don’t vote for the major political parties they are totally controlled by the fat cats. The problem is that these fat cats have so much power that if you try to stand up to them they will first try to by your arse and if that doesn’t work they will destroy you. Look at Malcolm Fraser, he was starting a new political party that opposed the Australian kowtowing to the U.S. and he was a fit 84 year old and now he is dead. Make your own conclusions. These bastards are evil. Look at Israel killing 450 children in Gaza last year along with 1500 adult civilians with impunity. Joe Hockey is Palestinian and said nothing. As they say if you want to know who rules you look at who you cannot criticise! We need a new political party/ies or system that is fairer and cannot be bought that represents the people and not vested interests but there will be some kicking and screaming. The current political system is a joke and I refuse to vote for these spineless cowards. These poor unfortunate souls like the little boy who drowned will continue until ordinary people stand up and say enough is enough no more lies and stop the wars in our name.
I wrote this for elsewhere but it fits here too
I was accused recently of politicising the refugee discussion by accusing certain parties to the war in Syria and the cause of all these refugees – but that’s just what needs to be done. Our media will spend untold hours NOW talking about the plight of refugees but wont discuss the whys. It’s why the MSM is fooked and irrelevant to any real understanding of the situation. I’ve run many dozens of stories here on the background, daily events, plots, plans and reverberations in the region over the years. Most stories will be dismissed by the Obama Liberals, suckholds and the ignorant as biased but that’s really only because those people still trust the likes of the ABC, BBC and other MSM outlets.
The same people behind this war and others are the same people many of the above would criticise as representing the interests of the 1 % but they somehow can’t join the dots.
Long held partisan lib/lab dem/repub lab/conservative beliefs get in the way of a clearer vision for these people on what is happening in the world. Political allegiances blind them to the games being played.
Even the anarchists who reject all parties often can’t seem to get their heads around the evil being perpetrated in the world today – somehow thinking that a fight against the State must be by definition a just and worthy cause.
None of this should blind us to the crimes of any state but at times sides need to be taken against a greater evil. I make it a point to not talk up military victories by any side though I welcome them. But all at a cost of lives to innocents and belligerents alike. To me – war is the ultimate crime, the kicking open of the doors to hell and you can be certain crimes will be committed by all sides in their desperation to win. Sometimes truly great crimes will be committed before a conflict can end. It’s a sad fact of life and not to be taken lightly.
In any event social progress will inevitably be sidelined during conflict and most likely be delayed or set back by a generation or more. Those that initiate wars are the real criminals in all this. The grunts on the ground are just doing what they are told or surviving as best they can. Tomorrow they might be your friend but today they are the enemy and must be killed – that is the logic of war.
Oh come on mister. We are not responsible for the loss of this man’s wife and children. Stop putting the guilt trip on Australia. No one is to blame except the husband and father. Yes it a very tragic event and this is going to happen over and over again but this is nothing to do with Australia. The people have to learn that they can only change their country’s political system is standing up and fighting not run away and expect other countries to take countless thousands of people in. It’s not fair on our country or any other country. You think these people have problems in their homelands, what do you think our countries are going to have when all these races take over our counties? It’s not going to stop the killings or the hatred.
How quickly they forget. Remember that in 2003 Australia along with the United States and Great Britain provided troops to invade Iraq. It was an illegal invasion undertaken on the pretext that Iraq had nuclear weapons. It was that invasion and subsequent turmoil that eventually gave rise to ISIL.
Sorry it has much to do with Australia.
I think they said the same about the Italians, Greeks and Vietnamese. Remember almost 60 000 Vietnamese came to Australia.
‘We’ll all be rooned’, said Hanrahan.
Wonderful to note your thoughts Mars08. I look forward to achieving your level of perfection.
I would also point out, I’m not a misery at all.
I can tell you are not a misery at all… because it seems to WANT to believe one of the myths about Australia. That probably makes you an optimist. These days we need more people like that.
Many years ago I came to the conclusion that the opposite of love was not hate but indifference. I wish I could be indifferent to Abbott but I loathe him so very much. Also a few have posed the question of “When do we rise up?” When indeed…………
@Unhappy you silly little fellow, seriously, have you been listening to Cory Bernardi again.
Did you enjoy the latest LNP newsletter as well?