Monday Mourning


frozen heart

Frozen Heart of the Australian Government

This weekend has been a strange one for me.  Reading the reports on the changes to our freedom of information act, the undemocratic gags being placed on social media and listening to our government justify gutting funding to groups who are advocacy based fueled my anger and left me burning with a sense of injustice BUT just like that it went and a bone shattering cold wind swept through me.

Going over the findings of the Human Rights commission report regarding asylum seekers in detention, especially as it pertained to children froze my blood as I read what is tantamount to federally funded child abuse at best and crimes against humanity at worst.  The Sydney Morning Herald wrote about the affect of reading the findings:

It was sickening to hear Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs report this week that nearly all the 174 children on Christmas Island were sick, depressed, self harming, having nightmares, swallowing poisons, wetting beds, wandering aimlessly behind barbed wire. It was chilling to hear babies were not crawling.

Image courtesy of SMH

Image courtesy of SMH

Watching Scott Morrison launch a witch hunt at the people who had resigned from the department and acted as whistle blowers instead of immediately stepping in and addressing the mental health issues of over 100 children shocked me deeply.

As I spent more time following one article to the next, going back to the government site for their responses and tracking the desperate attempts to block the UN [twice in the past month] from visiting Australian asylum seeker detention centers I was faced with the horrible conclusion that this is not my country anymore. Australia, and the idea of what we are ‘supposed‘ to represent is dead or at the very least on life support.

Watching this government scurry to shore up any leaks rather than address the issue, accuse the Human Rights Commission of lying and doing everything within their power to clamp down on any form of dissent be it legislative or policy has left me sick to the stomach.  What is happening here is Orwellian in nature and utterly terrifying and I truly don’t think for one minute that I am overstating the problem.

ripI’ve been putting together the material from a number of different sources and will proceed with a more thorough explanation as to why I believe RIP should be listed over Australia on a world map but I needed just a moment to express my shock and anger that this could happen.

What is worse is facing the fact that the LNP is in government because the majority of Australians voted for them in the first place.  I doubt many saw where it would lead but their racist, xenophobic campaign to ‘stop the boats‘ and the vitriol they aimed at their opponents should have given people an idea of just who they were electing.

australias shameIs this man and his party the future of Australia? A country that takes from those who have the least to provide more for those who are not struggling.  A country that hides behind ‘national security’ and refuses to acknowledge the rights of our population to disagree with it’s government AND SAY SO and a country the builds detention centers to keep those fleeing atrocities from receiving aid?  

This is NOT my country and this is not the country our grandfathers fought for or migrants from all over this world built. It is certainly not a country leaving behind racism.  In fact this is now a country that embraces all the worst parts of our history and is doing its best to destroy all that we have gained in the past 50 years. Deny the facts all you want, pretend the issue is being exaggerated so that you can sleep at night but at some point everyone must ask ourselves how will we be judged for what we did and did not do in the face of brutality and oppression because this is real and it is happening as we speak.

24 thoughts on “Monday Mourning

  1. I think most people in Australia considered themselves to be rather well off and therefore voted for the coalition who promised to look after Australia’s prosperity. Well, there is still plenty of prosperity for at least one third of the country, isn’t there? More and more people from the so called middle class or the lower classes find that the going gets unbelievably tough under the present government. Dear Jenni, I do share your concerns.
    Thanks for doing all this research.

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    • The prosperity is being directed at 0.05% of the population who pay minimal tax, receive subsidies on fuel and energy and are so wealthy that they are listed in the the business guides around the world. The rest of us are just there to make sure their businesses get what they need – we don’t count as anything more than human atm machines for this government to tax to provide for those who need it least. While that is happening they are stripping us of our ability to protest it and acting in ways so morally reprehensible in regards to asylum seekers that they have tainted the name Australia in the eyes of the UN and the other nations around the world.

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    • Welcome to the patriot act… Talk about the worse or the worse.. Now they call it something different there…

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      • By whatever name it’s purpose is oppression – I just can’t believe that we are seeing here. They’ve gone to far and they have to be stopped before we lose everything.

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  2. I’m so sorry. The feelings you express remind me uncomfortably of how I felt during the presidency of George W. Bush in the US. I’m hoping for the sake of Australia that the next election will give you a sea change that will put you back on track as a nation. I’m hoping that you don’t wind up heading into the horrible government dysfunction that we have in the US now, with one major party refusing to do their elected duty to co-operate in governance.

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    • The real problem is that the LNP have the power in both the upper and lower houses federally and this means that they can force most things through the senate. I think it will mean a change in government next election but I’m so very worried about the damage done and damage to come before we get there.

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      • Yes, I understand the systemic problem is different. Australia needs to elect enough members from opposition parties in individual districts to force the LNP out of power. I hope you don’t have the same dynamic that we tend to have here, where people are upset with the federal legislature in general, but think that their own representative is okay, which just leads to the perpetuation of the same old problems.

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  3. At the end of last week the Times here in London had a leader in praise of the Abbott government for its economic policies, the gist of which was it had bitten the bullet to stop spending when the budget was in surplus unlike the Labour government here which just went on spending and contributed to the 100% debt we now have as a Nation. Nothing about human rights and eroding civil liberties of course. This obsession with National Security as an excuse to remove the fundamental right to object to our government across the developed world is appalling and I see nowhere, save possibly in one or two Scandinavian countries where it is being resisted from the top. Keep kicking the stone down the road Jenni. As Hillel the Elder (made famous by Primo Levi) famously said, ‘If not you, who; if not now, when?’

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    • It’s about to get worse I think – the latest coming out of mental health services is the deprivation etc is deliberate and an attempt to make people go back to their own countries. The previous director of the department has resigned as is giving statements to the Human Rights Commission etc about torture both mental and physical. How could this happen.

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  4. Jenni, I have been scared since election night at the direction Abbot would take Australia and it is increasingly apparent I was justified in that feeling. I too feel that RIP should be placed on our maps and admit that I am ashamed to call myself Australian. I do believe however that there is the beginning of a groundswell against these policies but the damage he can do in the next two years is huge. Sadly there are many ignorant people who accept through fear of the unknown what is happening. Whilst this is the case policies are not going to change and I don’t know how you can educate that we are all people who want the same things – safety, love etc. What we are doing to these children is abominable. What we are doing to all the refugees is causing an already vulnerable group of people to develop more mental illness and engendering a hate where there could be a love, such as there was with the refugees who came as a result of the problems in Europe around the two world wars.

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    • I think the feeling is there – the need to change but so many are confused as to how to go about it. The government is also moving swiftly to make protest more and more difficult but I do believe that they are done I’m just scared of the damage they will do on the way down.

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