Dealing With Some Unpalatable Truths


they will call us crazyI’ve been at a loss recently as to what I wanted to say or to write.  It wasn’t, in this case, a matter of being too busy or there being a lack of things on which to comment [or rant about as is often the case].  In a way it was quite the opposite, so much has been happening here in Australia and so much of what has been going on is worrying at best and horrifying at worst.

As each day passed I’ve become more and more disturbed and it’s had the most paralyzing effect in that it has had me questioning things that I have taken for granted or seen as a truth for most of my life.  It’s tempting to give in to the inertia and let what is happening just slide by.

After all those of us who tilt at windmills are often called crazy, conspiracy theorists, a rabble rouser a never-ending list of slurs all aimed at silencing dissent but I guess I’m just stubborn enough [crazy enough] to get back up and join the fray yet again.

So where to begin, because somehow I need to cut through this fugue like state and try to find a point from which to understand just what is happening to my country before I simply give up on trying to fight the decline of all that I believed was possible for us as a nation and a people.  As many of you are no doubt aware Australia is in the midst of change and those changes are so unsettling that I think many have just stopped paying attention in the vain hope that it will somehow work out for the best.  I have a great deal of sympathy for that state of mind, it’s not one I would endorse as particularly healthy or useful but I understand the desire not to see what is happening around us.

richard flanaginA great deal has been said about the recent changes to our countries policies on asylum seekers, the issues of the offshore detention camps and the new maritime laws regarding those attempting to reach Australia by boat.

Even more has been written about the incredible abuse and disregard for international law and human rights that those who are currently being held in mandatory detention by our government or by the Nauru government at the behest of ours.  The cost of these policies to the tax payer has grown from $118 million by the previous government to $3.3 billion in slightly over 12 months, an increase of 129%.

As for the moral cost, well that is something I don’t believe possible to calculate but it’s something that should concern each and every one of us.

Even more recently there has been both National and Global condemnation against the Australian governments policy to force the closure of 150 Indigenous communities thereby creating a possible 20 000 refugees within our own borders and from amongst our own population.  Protesters in the thousand have stood up to condemn this action with marches occurring in every major national city in Australia as well as numerous smaller communities around the country.  Support and protests on May 1st closed down our capital cities as well as others around the globe and STILL this the government seems relatively disinterested even in the face of nearly 10 000 people in Melbourne alone coming out to protest.

hands off the reefWhilst all of this has been going on we are seeing a startling increase in the amount of land grants made to large mining corporations for the purpose of Fracking as well as open cut mines in nearly every state in Australia.  The Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, is being exposed to dredging in order to facilitate the expansion of coal ports along the coast of Queensland.

Environment funding and support of Renewable Energy markets has all but disappeared and massive tax cuts and subsidies to Fossil Fuel companies have been increased.  All of this is done in the face of massive community protest, legal battles and intervention from the World Heritage Association.  The icing on this particular cake is the recent advice given to the PM by his adviser Maurice Newman that Climate Change is a Hoax perpetrated by the UN to inflict totalitarian laws around the globe.

Funding has been stripped from services in Health, Education and Welfare.  Support services for the disabled, war veterans and domestic violence victims have been gutted and funding reduced to an all time low.  All of this is despite the massive rise in unemployment, increased fuel and food costs as well as the ever-growing cost of housing.

This, all of this, has happened in such a short period of time, a little more than 18 months and most of us have been helpless to do more than raise our voices in protest.  It’s exhausting and more than that it’s soul-destroying.  I’m being forced to ask myself is this really who we are as a nation?  Is this really a representation of our communities or is it [and I hope so very much that this is true] merely the agenda of those with the power to pass legislation, those with the money and the power to push policies that benefit no one but the top 1% of our population wealth holders?

Murdoch press headline for May 1 protest.

Murdoch press headline for May 1 protest.

Does the average person really believe what they see on the nightly news or read in the Murdoch press? Do they swallow the carefully edited and cleverly structured production to keep us afraid of those who are different, hold in contempt for those portrayed as leaners or bludgers that take advantage of our hard-earned tax dollars and anger at those who the mainstream media class as selfish rabble?

I think what has had me frozen in place recently is that I’ve come to believe that people are just refusing to see that which would make them feel guilty, that which would make them look small and as such are prepared to accept a great deal rather than look closer at the very obvious cracks in the display given to them by the Murdoch media and the parliamentary spin doctors [which in some cases are one and the same].

So I waited, waited to see what would happen when the abuse of asylum seekers was disclosed by numerous sources, some of which belonging to the government themselves.  I’ve waited to read about the effects of stripping our countries first people’s of their lands AGAIN and I’ve waited to hear about the outrage of the enormous amounts of money being spent to honor Anzac’s in the form of a museum/learning center in another country while so many of our veterans are currently homeless.

stillWaitingAnd guess what – I’m still waiting.  There is a lot of talk about balancing the economy, tightening of belts, cutting of waste, lots of talk about targeting welfare cheats and tax dodgers, but not those who are in the top 1%.

From both sides of the political fence I’ve heard a great deal about greater good, balancing compassion with economic management and a rather horrible form of tough love that has our government being proud of making it so horrendous to seek asylum in Australia that it is better to risk torture and death in their own countries.

So, now I have some questions.  They are questions I would like to ask those in power but even more, they are questions I would like to put to each and every member of the voting public.

  1. Do you condone the physical, sexual and psychological torture and abuse of men, women and children? 
  2. Do those who are born with less, albeit it physically, mentally, socially or financially,  automatically become less worthy than those who were not?

If your answer is yes then, well then I guess I’m deeply sorry for you because you are certainly lacking that which makes you human.  If your answer is no then you have some thinking to do and some choices to make.

right and wrongLife isn’t black and white, I know this.  Life is full of choices and sometimes none of them are good and one can only make the best choice available at the time based on what you do or do not know.

HOWEVER there are some things in this world that are simple, that are as basic as right and wrong with no middle ground open for debate.  The abuse of children in particular is one of them.  There is no grey in that choice, there is no extenuating circumstances nor is there any greater good in the act.

Once you KNOW that this is occurring, and it is don’t kid yourselves it’s happening as we speak, there is only one choice to make and that is to do something about it.  There may be little you can do but you can reach out to your local member to voice your concern, you can join with those who protest this treatment and push for the government to change its policies to ensure that such things cannot happen.

What you CANNOT do is to vote for that government again.

You cannot say Oh I’m unhappy about this but I’ve always voted LNP/Labor and despite what people say I like their economic policies.  

If you do that, if you cast your vote for either party, knowing their stance on this issue then you are saying that it is acceptable to abuse people and more than that, by casting your vote with this knowledge in mind you become equally responsible for each blow, each rape and each loss.

choices1Sounds harsh, you’re right it is harsh, doesn’t make it any less true. Unpalatable truths are truths nonetheless and to think otherwise is denying what you know in your heart to be right.  We are at a turning point in our history and the decisions made in the next years will determine the face of Australia for generations to come.  What would you have us be?

40 thoughts on “Dealing With Some Unpalatable Truths

  1. Whew. That’s incredible Jenny. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I hope you, personally, are OK. It sounds like you country is going through some bad times. I hope the people stand up for what is right and fight against the bad policies.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You provide a clear voice for reason. While Australia’s struggle with the issues you present seems unique to Australia, I’ve noticed the root causes of these issues in most of the leading nation’s of the world. Conflict, poverty, disaster, and unrest erupts on every continent and uproots millions. The response has always been to sow the seeds of revolution and war instead of enduring solutions and peace. It is very troubling and we can no longer view these issues from an insular point of view because what happens in Australia affects the entire globe as well as the interactions in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas to name only a few. These are scary times we live in. And as for the 1%, they enjoy their position on the backs of the 99% and history has very clear and concise examples of what happens next.

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    • I know and as a student of history, especially political history I grow more and more concerned about the world wide trend toward profit over people. We choose, or I should say our governments choose, agressive policies that only seem to widen the gap between those who have and those who have not. The further removed from the populace that 1% is the easier it is for them to see them as numbers, statitisc or values in a ledger that require balancing.

      History has shown us over and over again that the path this leads onto is paved with the broken and the dead.

      For a long time I felt that Australia, due to it’s multi-cultural heritage and geographical isolation would follow a different path. One that led to a broader understanding of what it is to be a community but we have drifted further and further to the extreme right and I don’t know how at this point we can go back without much upheaval.

      I won’t stop hoping or doing what I can when I can but there are time when that hope is hard to sustain in face of such relentless pursuit of an agenda designed to cow the population, confuse and blind the populace and in the end divide us one from the other.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think you key in on the reasons a majority of people seem to ignore the truth. Many are overwhelmed by what they see and it is much more pleasant to look away. Unfortunately, unity of purpose is the only way to effect positive change and looking away doesn’t support that option. We must hope and do our part.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Agreed, as I said I understand the why of it but that doesn’t change the fact that to do nothing is to be complicit in what is coming. After all what are windmills for if not for tilting.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. If only more people were as aware and caring as you are. And yes, it is frightening that harshness and cruelty of thinking and action seem to constitute a worldwide phenomenon. I must cling to my belief that the point will be reached where it produces a powerful movement in the opposite direction.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So do I – there are so many good people who continue to raise their voice in protest and do all they can that I do have hope that eventually it will tip the other way. What worries me is what price the world will have to pay before that happens. But yes I agree with you that it’s important to remember the good but at the same time not to ignore the bad.

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  4. Thank you for this important post. It is so disturbing that your country is dealing with this level of human rights disaster and all the governmental/media garbage. While the specifics here in the US are different, the underlying problem is the same and I appreciate the two questions you ask. All people of good will have to keep making our voices heard – and voting for appropriate candidates – so that we can turn things to a positive direction.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Dealing With Some Unpalatable Truths – Jenni / 2 days ago | winstonclose

  6. A very thought provoking post. The economic development at what cost and for whom…the questions remains and it keeps coming at us and we don’t have the right answer. The inequality in development and rising unemployment, the social disorder and so much injustice…we all have to come together and each one us raise his/her voice. But it is not easy…but at the same time we can allow to go haywire, there has to be restrain and there has to be prudent in overall development.
    Indeed very seriously and strongly oppose to any form of physical, sexual and psychological torture and abuse of men, women and children.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “Does the average person really believe what they see on the nightly news or read in the Murdoch press?”

    Yes, or they wouldn’t pay for it.

    Since morality of the type we typically use is so flexible as to be useless, people can and do morally believe anything. This is why I generally don’t care very much when someone gives an impassioned speech about moral good or bad.

    So, if I’m right, and these well meaning people honestly believe the protesters are ungrateful hippies (not hard to do, by the way) and that blocking immigrants is vital to preserving Australia’s “beautiful and delicate culture,” (I’m highly skeptical of the beauty and delicacy of any culture, but that’s another matter), what to do? Yelling at them with a different but equally subjective morality – where human rights are more important than cultural preservation and hippies are better than bankers – isn’t going to help.

    I suggest appealing to self-interest – which unlike morality is nearly universal – and, considering how much money countries can make off of low skilled immigrants, that isn’t even very hard to do.

    Anyway, something to think about.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks Jenni. You are expressing the angst that many out here feel, and feel powerless to change. I have always believed that the world would continue on a slow progression towards the betterment of humankind. But lately I wonder whether the world is undergoing an inexorable swing back towards the leveraging of the values and ideas of Middle Ages (anti science and pro-religion, repression of women etc ) to create a new feudalism. The general population are blinded to what is going on, brainwashed by the consumerist propaganda and media to think that this is a normal state of being. Marx called this ‘false consciousness’.

    We are seeing these value and ideas used to victorious in the Western world, including the UK, USA, some parts of Europe, and now in Australia.

    The power and concentration of the media has much to do with it, together with the political influence of vested corporate interests.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. You say, dear Jenni, that we have drifted further and further to the extreme right and and that you don’t know how at this point we can go back without much upheaval.
    Yes, unfortunately it seems we are drifting more and more to the extreme right. One consolation for me is that so far we are still able to say what our concerns are without being put into jail for our views! However I am fearful that maybe there are going to be more and more constraints on “free speech”. In the end even the internet could be censured!?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What really worries me is how our privacy has been taken away from us so easily and no one has really said anything about this problem. It is a big start to having no free speech at all. The way new laws can be made without us being involved is very frightening. Our rights are disappearing though new policies and there is so little that we can do about it. How can the government just “close down ” even more indigenous communities, thus creating even more homelessness is beyond me. I am frightened at how our nation is being run, and the lack of people power to stop anything they do is just criminal.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Join the club – I’m in a little of a writing rut because every day I’m seeing more and more that scares me and how easily it is being incorporated into our lives. It’s a little overwhelming to try and pick out an issue to write about when every day offers so many different problems.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Well done Jenni, this is spot on. I am so tired of this daily outrage. I am so angry, partly for the fact that so few seem to care. Most i work with seem oblivious! I’m really starting to believe that- “Does the average person really believe what they see on the nightly news or read in the Murdoch press? Do they swallow the carefully edited and cleverly structured production to keep us afraid of those who are different, hold in contempt for those portrayed as leaners or bludgers that take advantage of our hard-earned tax dollars and anger at those who the mainstream media class as selfish rabble?”- yes they do. They do actually think the tv tells them the truth. What other means of info do they get? Most don’t use internet to check facts. The “opposition” is weak at best and combined with media control will most likely give them the next election. Bush won a second term under a scarily similar situation. I’m sad because I used to love this country and now find myself angry at aussies for letting this happen. How could we put this country into the hands of a madman and co.? – I knew and thought this before the election, I did not have to wait for them to prove it.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Hi Jenni,

    Great post.

    I suppose each nation and region has its own challenges and history is witness to the fact that come a real crisis, Man’s intrinsic ability to adapt and create, does always lead to solutions. Even though, folks who live in that moment or too close to the ground, may fail to recognise the emerging trends. And many times, the movement towards a solution might be circular, creating the perception of no upward progress.

    History has also shown another aspect. Time and again, it is the peaceful and hard-working majority in the society which is taken hostage by a strident few with radical and extremist agendas. So it happened in Germany with Hitler, so it is currently playing out in the middle east with the likes of ISIS.

    Shakti Ghosal

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never understood how people can ignore history, ignore all the warning signs that what has happened before is starting again and simply follow quietly down the path until it is too late to turn back, too late to open their eyes to the fact that the path they walk is paved with the blood of innocents. The smashed dreams of peoples and the loss of freedoms they never appreciated before losing. Still there are those who see and remember and they will be there when it all falls apart and we need to rebuild yet again. They’ll be hailed as heroes until safety gives complacency and people want forget the past so they dismiss the lessons learned and the cycle starts again.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Dear Jenni, I have only now seen your cry from the heart. Nothing has changed since May. In fact, it has got worse. The frustration with the Abbott government in the country is great.

    You say, “…it has had me questioning things that I have taken for granted or seen as a truth for most of my life. It’s tempting to give in to the inertia and let what is happening just slide by.”

    I know what you are talking about. We came from Germany, a country that went through a similar transformation during the thirties; from a civilised country to a hotbed of barbarism. We are not far off here now. This government has given up on fact-based decision making.”Our captain” is making decisions on the run.

    The news from Nauru is bad. Luckily the people involved, looking after the asylum seekers, are not deterred by the two years jail term awaiting them.

    The government will give a shameful account of Australia at the Climate Conference in Paris in December. We would be the laughingstock of the world if it wasn’t so serious.

    The government has gone to sleep and there is no legislation before the parliament.

    But we will soon start to bomb another country. The immorality knows no borders. In fact, that is exactly what our foreign minister said. If they others don’t respect borders, neither will we. This applies to physical as well as to borders of morality. Barbarism has arrived in Australia.

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    • I know and it scares me to death – I was at the rally here in Mackay where a federal MP was a guest speaker at a Reclaim Australia rally – those who believe that all Muslims are evil etc.

      The willingness of the crowd to vilify people they’ve never met and a religion they don’t even understand shocked me in a way I no longer thought I could be.

      There were those like me who stood against them and what scared me most was that the police were more interested in what we were doing [standing there holding signs] as opposed to those who were trying to engaged us in violent conflict. We learnt from what happened in Melbourne – we did not interact, we did not respond but we also did not go away. But it was clear they were hoping for a clash and it was also clear that the police were there to protect those hate filled people and not there to keep the peace.

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      • No – they really didn’t appreciate the signs from the indigenous Australian groups which all said ‘NOT YOUR TO RECLAIM’. It was one of the few funny points to see them get all hot and bothered. The other was when this woman was making a speech about Halal food labeling being a secret terrorist attack on all non-Muslims and I got this image in my head of being chased down the street by a food sticker. I wanted to ask if she thought that eating gluten free labeled food would make her a celiac but decided against it as it would have been a tad hard on the woman as she wasn’t the brightest spark.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Dear Jenni, please have a look at this link that I did get from Dr.Stuart Bramhall:

    In New Zealand we’ve started a Facebook campaign of Kiwis who have agreed to take refugees into their homes. Thus far 2493 households have volunteered: https://www.facebook.com/events/1627768584139099/1629314473984510/

    I have two questions:

    Are Australians in a position to be allowed to take in refugees?
    Is there a chance that these refugees will be allowed to do some kind of work in Australia and that they can then look around for suitable accommodation of their own?

    You can find Stuart’s comment here:
    http://auntyuta.com/2015/09/06/a-candle-in-the-window/#comment-8993

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately our PM has decided the best way to help is to drop more bombs on Syria. He may be forced by his own party to bring in some refugees but he’s already saying they should be Christian Syrian’s. At the same time he’s been forcing those in detention here in Australia and offshore to return to Syria a fact that has recently come to light and is causing a huge wave of protest.

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    • Thank you so much – it’s been a truly horrible 12 months between one thing and another. Michael was so unwell but things seem to be picking up so I should be back in the game soon. Strangely enough I rather miss you acerbic wit. Take care and best wishes to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for lending such a strong voice to this cause. While I am in the United States I am still deeply saddened by what is happening. I can only say keep shouting, screaming and fighting against the regime that is trying destroy both of our countries. I keep hoping the 1% will find their conscience but if they don’t do it on their own I’ll lend my voice to remind them.

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