Australia? Not For Much Longer if Abbott stays in Power


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This is me trying to put into words what I’ve been thinking.

How do I begin this post? I typed introduction after introduction and each left me feeling at a loss.  It wasn’t until I took a step back that I realized that the issue wasn’t that I didn’t know what I wanted to say it was that I didn’t know how to say it without resorting to some fairly inappropriate language, which while satisfying would not do my argument any favors. So I decided to start with what I find so reprehensible that it has kept me at a loss for words for over a week.

The Abbott Government is destroying Australia and by that I do not mean wood chipping, dredging, logging and the variety of other issues that I will be laying at their door as I go on.  What I mean by destroying Australia is that our country is supposed to be more than its resources, borders and laws it’s an idea and they are crushing it.  All that makes this country great, all that gives us pride and they don’t care, in fact I’m not sure they even understand what it is they are killing.

So much of what makes Australia special is fragile - shouldn't we care for it.

So much of what makes Australia special is fragile – shouldn’t we care for it.

We are not perfect, we’ve had issues with racism, discrimination and the lack of equality between people and some of those we are still fighting. I’m not trying to paint a rosy hands around the world image here but we have been fighting it, working to create a country where a person can have choices in life and opportunities not found elsewhere.

The origin of these changes of the past decades have sprung from the idea of what Australia is meant to be.  A country that cares for its people when they cannot care for themselves, a country that respects those who sacrifice and a country determined that each generation has the chance to learn and to grow regardless of their economic, religious or ethnic backgrounds.  Australia is supposed to be a place where those who have more help those who have less and do so because it is the right thing to do, the fair thing to do, the Australian thing to do. It’s such a little thing, so fragile and yet we should hold carefully as it is our greatest treasure.

It won't be much longer unless we do something about it.

It won’t be much longer unless we do something about it.

The release of the budget last week makes a mockery of all that we have been, all that we are and all that we could still become.  It is so strange that I never understood how much I took for granted the Australian ideal until it was shredded with every word that Joe Hockey spoke.  We’ve all come to expect some level of disingenuous behavior from politicians during elections but in this case there is no grey area left for this government to fade into.

By breaking specific promises in regards to health, education and the pension [along with many others] Abbott and his cabinet has crossed a line that has their own members outraged.  There has also been a meeting or war council [according to the Sydney Morning Herald] of premiers in Sydney, incensed by the budget’s projected withdrawal of $80 billion over the decade for health and education, and by a series of “bust the budget” rallies around the country. At one in particular, Greens deputy leader Adam Bandt revealed his party would try to force a new election, arguing Mr Abbott has breached his mandate. [ Petition to force a new election ]

Mr Abbott has tried to ‘dance a little side-step‘ by saying last Sunday on the ABC’s Insiders program, that he had let voters know what was coming, even before the election, saying:

You might remember the mantra – it was stop the boats, repeal the carbon tax, build the roads of the 21st century, and get the budget back under control

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Pinocchio has nothing on this guy.

That however does not cover the main election platform which he placed on billboards in every city in Australia declaring his promises regarding the other issues, as you can see by the image here.  As for the issue regarding Asylum seekers or Stopping the Boats as he prefers to say it, more money has been spent on this issue [including the 8 new Poseidon jets from the US and our brand new Australian Border Force] than is reasonable especially considering the fact that seeking asylum in Australia is NOT ILLEGAL, not since 1958 when it signed the Refugee Convention.

His plans for higher education leave me feeling worried about the future of tertiary learning here in Australia.  In actual fact considering his own background it reeks or hypocrisy as Abbott, not even an Australian citizen at this stage, received a FREE education. He only took up citizenship at the age of 24 so that he could receive a passport to take up his Rhodes Scholarship [honestly a man who earned that level of qualification should be able to see what a mess he is making of this country].

They have paid taxes all their lives and this is how they are repaid.

They have paid taxes all their lives and this is how they are repaid.

His attack of the provision of care for those who need it most is unconscionable especially set beside billions of dollars being spent on planes to keep asylum seekers from our shores along with the enormous cost both economically and morally for the illegal detention of these people for indeterminate periods of time.

The lack of respect given to the pensioners in this budget makes my skin crawl as they now have to bear future increase in medical, energy and fuel bills on a more restricted budget and risk being forced to sell their homes to eke out their income so as not to be one of Joe Hockey’s leaners. Coming from a man who is the richest Treasure since Edward Theodore in the 1930’s [Hockey worth over $10 million] I find this type of attitude deplorable.  Our seniors have been the back bone of this country for the past decades and while Tony Abbott spends 4.4 million dollars renovating Kirribilli House [residence of the Prime Minister] he has the audacity to suggest lowering the means test so that more and more pensioners will be forced to sell their homes or not receive an income.

As for this governments attitude toward the environment I think a sentence from the Prime Minister himself in March 2014 says more than enough about their plans for the protection of Australia’s environment:

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This is the Florentine Valley, in the ‘degraded’ area Abbott wants to delist – Image courtesy of Australian Conservation Foundation

Why should we lock up, as some kind of world heritage sanctuary, country which has been logged, degraded or planted for timber? Why should we do that

The governments ongoing steadfast denial regarding alternate energy sources, funding for the environment and upholding our World Heritage listings are beginning to make us look much more than foolish on the world stage.  Australia will still be pursing a bid to strip areas of Tasmanian forestry of their world heritage listings despite a report released on Saturday by they IUCN [who advise UNESCO’S World Heritage Committee] stating the it should be rejected outright. [Sydney Morning Herald] Greens Senator Christine Milne spoke about the report findings with the Herald saying:

The expert bodies that advise the World Heritage Committee have condemned the Australian government for failing to provide any evidence of their claim that large parts of the forest are degraded. Instead, they’ve ordered the Australian government to get on with giving the world heritage area a high standard of management and cultural interpretation.

Hugo-quote

What do you say – play by the old rules or let’s go make some new ones?

I think Australia is facing a very important crossroads. How we respond to this budget and the other ongoing issues in regards to Asylum seekers, Social Welfare, Indigenous Affairs and the Environment [to name just a few] will shape the future of this country for years to come. However for the first time in history the average person has access to information usually carefully selected by mainstream media and the government of the day and this access has changed the rules of the game.

True pressure can be bought to bear and social media has proven that it offers more than just personal interaction it can also be a tool to refute, protest and drive public opinion of those in power. In previous times of flux throughout history the populace was hampered by the difficulties of amassing enough support on a regular basis to make a difference. Now that is not the case and the cliché of information is power is truer than ever before.  It can be as an effective, if not more so, weapon than money, in the hands of the public, should we choose to utilize it as such. We have a choice to make and dice to roll with the future of the next few generations as the stakes in this gamble. But you know what – I think Abbott might just have thrown Snake Eyes.

Well would you look at that, after being unable to start it seems I am now at the opposite end of the spectrum and need to wind things up before this piece can be divided into chapters. After watching the incredible ducking and weaving, interlaced with smirking, from our Prime Minister and his cabinet this week I can think of no better way to end this post by providing the most concise picture of Tony Abbott and his cohorts that has ever been put to song.

The funny thing is that this piece came out in the seventies and is a wonderful parody of the side-stepping politician in the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Charles Durning as the slippery Governor in Texas.  But for those who haven’t seen this fancy piece of footwork enjoy the song because it was the mold from which Abbott was cast.

21 thoughts on “Australia? Not For Much Longer if Abbott stays in Power

    • I think they didn’t have any real idea of what the public thought – it’s been knocked back at the referral stage but Abbott is still going to proceed to a full hearing. Personally I think he’s going to deeply regret doing that as he hasn’t fulfilled the requirement of working the indigenous groups there as requested by the world committee. Someone may be in for a public scolding – I for one won’t be sad to see that happen. Thanks for link – I like to keep a track of current articles but there are so many out there it is easy to get behind or miss some. Jenni

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      • It caught my eye as even though I’m in the UK my Dad is an Aussie so news stories about Australia catch my attention, especially environment themed ones.

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      • We’ve been making the international news lately and not for the best of reasons. I get so angry at this government and their lack of care for a country that has such a unique environment that deserves protecting.

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    • The politicians are not meant to serve the people living here. They swear to serve Her Majesty. British subjects were sent here to asset strip the place for the good of empire, and just in case you hadn’t noticed, Mr Abbott is giving us a good reminder that we are only here to steal the wealth from the First Nations.
      .

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      • I have to agree, his budget cuts to indigenous affairs and his attacks on health and education significantly impact on original Australians especially the younger members.

        More his blatant neglect to follow the directions of UNESCO to have the indigenous residents in Tasmania work on the World Heritage forests to provide a take on it’s history that would enhance the experience for those who visit these sites is deplorable.

        He has also failed in delivering the Millions promised to fund the project itself despite being cited a number of times by the world body, the most recent of which was only a week ago.

        It is more than obvious that he cannot be trusted to keep his word on ANY issue that does not benefit that top 1% of the socioeconomic groups in Australia and multi-national corporations world-wide. He treats the resources of this country as if they were here to provide nothing more than profit for those who already have more than the majority of the world.

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  1. You’ve said all the things I fiercely believe and wish I could say somewhere where it might be heard as a shout.
    I might try posting a blog on the same lines if that’s OK with you – although it will make far less impact as I don’t have as many followers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Feel free and let me know when you do it and I’ll re-blog it here to send some readers your way.

      Glad you appreciate the sentiment behind the post – I’ve actually been depressed I think since listening to the budget. It was like a weight just dropped in my stomach and it’s taken awhile to shift. I’m passionate about politics etc but I’ve never been quite this affected or as angry even in my student days.

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      • Thanks, Jenni – and believe me, I certainly wasn’t looking for a reblog. (far too blog-naive, which is probably why I’m largely invisible.)

        I’m usually far too cynical to be passionate about politics these days, but this time, I’m a toxic mixture of rage and depression. Not because of how it will affect me (beyond making tight tighter) but because it will wipe out so much of what Australia stands for, and negate so much of the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into making it what it is. As you say, not perfect, but at least with some semblance of an egalitarian ideal.

        http://helenmeikle.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=730&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

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      • I can understand how you feel. I feel strongly about certain issues but I’ve never felt the utter rage combined with a sick sinking feeling before.

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  2. I basically, agree with everything you say, Jenni. I used to be a bit proud to be Australian, now I feel a sense of shame that our country is revealing such a lack of compassion to disadvantaged, marginalised groups. My only hope is that the mooted changes will be rejected by the Senate and that this callous government which is only ruled by economic rationalism, is thrown in…what is it 2 years and 4 months?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m hoping for a forced election if they can’t get the budget through the house. Currently Abbott and his government are so far behind in the polls that it is unlikely that they will recover even if we have to wait for the full term to be filled.

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      • Yes, that concerns me too. Hope Shorten and the Greens can get their image up and running if a double dissolution is called. The Murdoch press is against them though (did you see today’s headline, by any chance? Horrendously biased!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I did – BUT I also noticed that there a number of other papers that were giving Hockey in particular a VERY hard time.

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  3. Thanks for this well-written post and all the links. I read resentment is when you feel a wrong-doing has been done by someone higher than yourself, anger when the wrong is done by an equal, contempt when done by someone lower; and disgust when the action itself is so completely repugnant everyone is sickened.
    I am feeling disgust at this government. Anger is not descriptive enough to describe how I feel.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Wake up and smell the stinkweed | helen meikle's scribblefest

  5. Not sure about why anyone would care for the flag depicted above and captioned ‘Don’t you think it is something worth caring for..’ The flag is a symbol of the invasion that occurred in this country and of the ongoing war that has never been addressed. Long over-due treaties and a NEW and meaningful flag which truly represents a people who’ve lived on and cared for country for around 60,000 years may see many people actually feel pride in their country and its flag.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was meant to show how easily crushed a country can be when the hands who hold it do so without care. However I concede your point but I couldn’t find the image at the time with the indigenous flag in the corner replacing the UK section but still keeping the southern cross stars. I do have a new image to insert that I wish I’d had at the time but am editing in now.

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