The Invisible Refugees

Day 21

3 weeks since that fateful election…

This should be the time when a quick recap is done…not tonight though.

The thought is too depressing. We all live in a nation which has voted in a political group which campaigned on negative slogans demonising asylum seekers, denial of climate change, and hitting the incomes of the poorest and most vulnerable in order to give more to the wealthiest. Yet they won comfortably  ! The shock and horror over this still has not worn off. 3 weeks and there is much worse to come after all we have 3 years until the next election. The awful thing is, how bad will it need to get before people realise they batted for the wrong team. Which is hat it seems to be for most people. Choose a side and support them thick or thin. Whatever happens if its bad its someone else’s fault. Only a terrible shock will change people’s mind, or a single-minded and dedicated media bias as we have seen.

What I have noticed

people don’t care about asylum seekers apart from knowing the “boats have stopped”. An impossible reality hence the Libs banning the news about them

people don’t care about the NBN, as its such a long term project that no one can imagine needing faster internet in a decades time !

people don’t care about education as they managed fine back in the day…and look where they are now

All people want is to not have to think about anything beyond themselves and their small world

which is where climate change is the elephant in the room

how is it possible that the worlds scientific evidence is derided as mere opinion and something akin to a belief ? Is this a medieval mindset in play ?

People are comparing science to politics and religion where an opinion is justified.

The fact that the stakes are so high…in fact the stakes couldn’t possibly be higher, namely the future of the planet and the inhabitants, should at least cause people to pause.

No way ! People don’t seem to want to think about it…if its a global issue its up to the rest of the world right ? Sure we should do something about climate change…but if it means having to pay anything to fix it then no way.

Sorry but we are doomed.

In many ways I believe the human race deserves it. There are good people and compassionate people, but the reality is they are the minority. the vast bulk of humans are a terrible blight on the planet.

 

I was hoping that writing this blog would help to work through the angst and sadness. It doesn’t…at times all it does is concentrate the pain into one place. I have to remind myself that the blog isn’t going to help at all. Rather it is here simply to try and record some part of this point in history. The part I play to prevent this is minimal. Almost powerless in a way.

I have to view this blog as an apology to those in the future. I am here living through the steps to their suffering and powerless to do anything.

Day 20.

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There is no budget crisis, no illegal boat people invasion, no climate change, and no Prime Minister.

Day 19

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s plan to stop the quotes is classic media management. But politicians that can’t talk to the press upfront will talk more behind closed doors

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/09/26/comment-tone-it-down

“Where are the policies that will take Australia forward into a prosperous future? There were no policies during the election and it appears they have none now. It seems they will implement those policies of Labor’s that had popular support. But probably framed in their own image. But do they have any ideas of their own. What is Abbott’s vision for the country? Is it just a return to the Howard’s relaxed state of political bliss? And please don’t give me this crap that he has only been in power for a short time. He has had four years to put together a positive agenda. Could it be that he spent so much of that time being negative that positive thoughts became dead, buried and cremated?”

http://theaimn.com/2013/09/26/afterthoughts-of-an-abbott-victory/

“The Defence Minister did not call back yesterday about reports that   the three Australian soldiers murdered in Afghanistan were victims of   incompetence.

The Foreign Minister didn’t react to questions about Steve Bracks.

It is one thing to demand discipline from ministers, that is ok, and it is not their job to feed a voracious media.

After all we are all sick of the sight of them but at times the public demands and deserves information; information that can only come from government.

They can’t dodge that and if they try, it won’t work.

It will only build bitterness and suspicion.”

http://www.3aw.com.au/blogs/neil-mitchell-blog/abbott-government-already-lacking-transparency/20130926-2ufyd.html

“The solution to Australia’s woes: persuade people that there is no crisis

Just as it did with asylum seekers, the Liberal party has relentlessly inculcated a sense of economic crisis and emergency where none exists.”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/26/australia-happiest-wealthy-nation

“FARMERS and environmentalists protesting Coal Seam Gas drilling have been removed from a NSW government energy summit in Sydney. ”

http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2013/09/26/584375_national-news.html

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Banning Boycotts and Education- LNP style

Day 18

The LNP’s “calm methodical” destruction is now being directed towards Higher education. According to Christopher Pyne, Universities are far to egalitarian. Poor people are able to go to universities in larger numbers. That’s bad according to the LNP.

“Education Minister Christopher Pyne has also opened the door to re-introducing  caps on university places, warning any loss of quality would ”poison” the  sector’s international reputation.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/christopher-pyne-reveals-university-shakeup-20130924-2ucag.html#ixzz2ft2t0jnF

It is poisoning the reputation of Institutions. Seems the LNP is true to their form and consider that only the wealthy should have easy access to university. What is more this seems to be a clear broken promise by Pyne

Of course there is nothing in the media crying foul over a broken promise…

On another level this is a personal issue for Abbot…

For Pyne and Abbott, this issue is personal. University politics was a proving ground for both. As far back as the 1970s, Abbott was campaigning against mandatory student union fees. At the urging of BA Santamaria, he took control of the student representative council at the University of Sydney and set about running it into the ground. Against a backdrop of violent student politics, he called for the slashing of student numbers and cuts to university funding.

Some of these goals he achieved as a minister in the Howard government. The rest, yesterday’s announcements suggest, he will achieve as PM.”

http://www.themonthly.com.au/politicoz/latest

Dark times ahead for education in Australia.

Combine this with the steady bludgeoning Public schools will receive and the picture is clear. A dumbed down, uneducated mass who are easy to manipulate. The LNP know that only the rich and the stupid vote for them. Since they don’t want too many rich people, the best way forward is to increase the numbers of stupid.

I noticed a few days ago a plan by the Libs to outlaw the ability for anyone to organise a boycott against another company if they consider a product by that company to be unethical, unsafe or dangerous to the environment.

Exactly why this is such a terrible thing as deemed by the Libs is a mystery. Unless you consider the obsession with corporate power and money over consumer rights and individual choice.

“the Coalition government is considering changes to Australian law to prevent “secondary boycotts” of companies by environmental and consumer groups. This would significantly impede such groups trying to highlight bad business practice. ”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/25/consumer-boycott-ban-does-senator-richard-colbeck-hate-orangutans?CMP=soc_567

“Under the proposed law, it would be illegal to call on another individual or company to boycott a product because it was unsafe or destroying the environment. It’s explicitly designed to silence groups like Greenpeace and SumOfUs — with Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck saying that he is “very concerned” about what environmental groups were doing, and wants to stop them. Landmark campaigns like those that have saved Tasmania’s forests and challenged live animal exports would suddenly be illegal.”

http://action.sumofus.org/a/abbott-boycotts/

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Culture Wars 2

Day 17

A fight back of sorts is beginning. The Climate Commission which was recently scrapped by the Abbott environmental vandalism has been reborn as the Climate Council. This time with private sponsorship and public funding.

The council will act “largely in the same way as the commission” according to Flannery, with a remit to inform the public of the impact of climate change. Instead of government funding, the organisation will be supported with donations from the public, with each of the former climate commissioners working pro bono.

The first donation came at midnight last night, a sum of $15 from “James of NSW”, Flannery said, with a further 1,000 donations since then. Nearly 4,000 people have signed a petition calling for the work of the Climate Commission to continue.

Details have not been released of other donors, although former Defence Force chief Chris Barrie has confirmed he has provided funds, calling the work of the commission “fantastic”.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/24/climate-council-faces-titanic-struggle?CMP=soc_568

Abbott and his stooges may yet still be held to account ! They may not listen but the Australian people will !

“this morning’s announcement of the rebirth of the Climate Commission as the crowd-funded and independent Climate Council is a straw in the wind. Only days after its abolition, Flannery and his colleagues at the Commission have reconstituted themselves with the help of a groundswell of community support. As independent analysts, they loom as far more effective critics of Greg Hunt and Tony Abbott’s risible Direct Action policy than they would have been while still formally part of the government.”

https://newmatilda.com/2013/09/24/abbott-has-got-culture-war-he-wanted

The internet and social media is allowing people to come together, get mobilised and organised to fight Abbott in a way the conservatives fail to appreciate. There is hope yet for democracy in Australia. Despite the control of the media under Murdoch and the ease with which Abbott is able to lie and manipulate the media and broad population, the truth will find a way !

http://theaimn.com/2013/09/24/an-open-letter-to-greg-hunt/

Its a small light in the darkness, a mere glowing ember, but there is a wind blowing to fan it.

The truth is Abbott won on a slender margin, a mere 30,000 votes and Abbott would be history.

“Fifteen of the Coalition’s new seats are held on very thin margins. Eleven seats have margins of less than 4000 voters”

https://newmatilda.com/2013/09/24/thirty-thousand-votes-and-abbotts-gone

To add to this Abbott and his band of under-performers are lurching into tougher times.

“This raises question about what promises we can expect politicians to keep. In particular, it raises questions about what promises a new Coalition government can be expected to keep and what we, as the public, will give it permission to get away with. The Coalition campaigned heavily in opposition on the basis of trust. Now, the Coalition government is only a few weeks old, and already we are witnessing it shift from its promises.”

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/09/24/comment-when-broken-promise-broken-promise

Abbott is going to be held to account, not by the Murdoch propaganda machine of course, but by we the people.

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Operation Mushroom

Day 16

There is a trend emerging underneath the silence of the media.

We have the coalitions decision to stop announcing when asylum seeker boats arrive. Seems we no longer need to know about this, for “military” reasons.

“I would find it absolutely remarkable that there could be a policy that would seek to prevent 2,000 Australians on Christmas Island talking about what happens here,” Mr Stanhope said.

A former Christmas Island administrator, Brian Lacy, meantime has labelled the decision to only provide weekly updates on asylum seeker arrivals as “puerile.”

Mr Lacy says withholding information does not make any impact on the actions of those seeking asylum.

“There’s simply no measure of deterrents that we could introduce that will stop these people fleeing the persecution and the brutality of their homeland and braving the elements for a better life in Australia or anywhere else for that matter,” he said”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-23/detention-asylum-seekers-border-control-sovereign/4974016

Those who don’t get some sort of chill from this are akin to the worst of ignorant civilians and potential sociopath. The defense of the average German after the WW2 was that “we didn’t know…nobody told us…”

The alarming aspect of this can be considered if the LNP are able to control the media to such as extent over asylum seekers, what else will they decide needs to be taken off the news. Something very bad is occurring here and to pretend otherwise would be very dangerous.

“The first duty of the public service will not be, as its name implies, to serve the public; it will be to serve the government of the day, to look after its interests by whatever means are necessary.”

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-23/maccallum-out-with-the-bold-and-in-with-the-subdued/4974562

“The Coalition is returning Australia to a culture of government secrecy,  according to Member for Fraser Andrew Leigh.

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/back-to-the-old-days-of-govt-secrecy-andrew-leigh-20130923-2u9at.html#ixzz2fh0Hyi1O

Add to this and the combined assault on climate change, environmental protection, and the go ahead being given to big business and mining corporations.

“A Queensland government plan to open up Cape York to development is “insane” and risks destroying landscapes that are currently being considered for world heritage listing, environmentalists claim.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/20/cape-york-development-world-heritage

This is damage which can not be undone.

The attack on the workers has also began…

“The Coalition promises to return to the draconian powers of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. But the basis for that promise doesn’t add up.”

http://www.crikey.com.au/2013/08/28/the-shaky-foundations-of-the-coalition-abcc-promise/

Even as Abbott steam rolls climate change into the fringe and the media turns its baleful lies onto scientists and journalists, we are being told time is running out. We are effectively 5 minutes to midnight.

So it seems Abbott is setting our demise into stone. The LNP stance is akin to a victim of lung cancer doubling their cigarette intake and scoffing at the medical reports. They wake up everyday still alive and figure a cough is nothing unusual.

On another crumbling front we have the final days of the NBN. the board has offered their resignations. The reasons it seems are more profound than a simple glance reveals. By adding competition to the NBN network it opens up profit and loss for companies. The cities will be the most profitable and easy to connect. The rural areas and hard to reach parts of the country ? Well why bother even going there as it won’t afford a profit. Seems to me that the Nationals have once again sold out the bush. Once the NBN is finished in a decade when we all have our street cabinets on every corner and 2nd rate internet speeds, who will people blame ? The wealthy will be fine of course. With $5000 connection fees fibre to the home will be another status symbol. The rest of us, the poor masses, will be left behind as usual.

Yet under the heading of Competition, the Coalition’s broadband policy says this: “Competitive and free markets have driven innovation and cost reductions in telecommunications since the early 1990s. The Coalition will remove or waive impediments to infrastructure competition introduced to provide a monopoly to Labor’s NBN …”

Unhappily the policy leaves it at “will”, and does not employ the “will investigate…” of the cautious policy statement. This is in keeping with other incautious Coalition policies (“we will stop the boats, scrap the tax” etc).

If David Teoh is allowed to have the apartment buildings in the cities, then the Malcolm Turnbull/Ziggy Switkowski NBN will simply be an unprofitable competitor on price in the cities and an unprofitable, supplier of fibre to the node services to rural Australia.

It will, in short, be a donkey, a money sinkhole, a political noose, and an end-of-career nightmare for a mild-mannered nuclear physicist who might end up wishing he’d stayed at the opera.”

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/9/23/information-technology/nbn-board-has-run-away-why

Where do we go from here ? It seems all we can do is fight where we can. Keep fighting them on social media, keep blogging, keep sharing information.

http://theaimn.com/2013/09/22/opiate-of-the-masses/comment-page-1/

1. The world is not as stable and prosperous as Australia and Abbott has to be able to negotiate through it. If the rapidly unfolding mess with Indonesia is anything to do by he won’t be very calm about this.

2. Economic stability is also dependant on the rest of the world. There is nothing Abbott can do to prevent another GFC type scenario  from unfolding. Nor even a steady decline in fossil fuel exports. Once the economy starts to falter Abbott will no longer be able to rely on the foundation Labor has given him

3. He has overspent in terms of promises and commitments. Where is all that money coming from ? It might seem insignificant to cut back on services here and funds to minority groups there, but the big money is in the mainstream cuts. People will start to wonder why electricity isn’t coming down. They will wonder taxes have increased and their standard of living is lower. Once they have to start cancelling that annual trip to Bali, Abbott’s pain will begin.

4. The decline of the newspapers and mainstream media will start biting. Right now the internet and alternate news sources is still on the fringe. But its free and its diverse. The NBN is whatever guise will hasten the ease of accessing internet news and alternate media broadcasts. People won’t be as reliant on the idiot box for their daily sound bites.

5. The future beckons. LNP voters are getting older, they are set to die off. maybe not all within 3 years time, but there will be a new crop of young voters. An inactive, staid Abbott Government isn’t going to influence the votes of the next generation who have very real future concerns. Concerns which Abbott isn’t interested in.

6. The revitalised Labor. If all that was holding back Labor was its perceived leadership issues, now that this is on the mend, its only a matter of time before the alternative looks much better than the do nothing Abbott. Abbott even for all his back pedalling and hands in the air approach, remains deeply unpopular. Especially amongst women and the young.

7. Finally the future of this Abbott term will reside in how he deals with the senate. Its hardly a easy popular assortment of senators holding the balance of power. These people are by and large fringe dwelling fundamentalists. Abbott will have to do deals with them. Deals which will make him look weak and make him appear extreme and hence unpopular. Abbott isn’t renowned for his negotiation skills. We can’t expect finesse here. The details will be ugly and brutal. The media might try to cover it up, or make Abbott appear the innocent one, but at the end of the day, he is accountable. Whatever happens from now on, Abbott stands to lose or gain. There is a hell of a lot Abbott stands to lose. He is after all standing in a position which if it weren’t for the media and if it weren’t for Labor’s leadership mess, he would never be in.

These are the dark days. It will get darker before the dawn breaks, and I shudder at what damage the light of day will reveal.

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Day 15

Reading a lot…

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day 14

I will come out the other side of this of course !

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Day 13

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Day 12

Something which I am finding difficult to really cope with is the growing anger at what the coalition are going to do with the power they have gained. It is almost like a physical pain to read the countless news articles, some of which seem to gloat on the LNP actions.

Worse this is just the early days ! I accidently typed in Day 123 just now and it stopped me to pause and think…what of day 123 of an Abbott government ! What national disgraces will have been committed and future disasters set in stone by then.

Already we have the stage set for worse diplomatic relations with Indonesia, a decline in

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The war on climate change asylum seekers…

Day 11

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/18/tony-abbott-womens-minister-portfolio

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/18/mcgowan-blamed-lack-women-cabinet

Day 10

The alternate media is full of condemnation for Abbotts misogynist front bench. Though I for one don’t know why anyone is surprised…It was never going to be an equal cabinet. Abbott simply doesn’t see women that way.

What’s more alarming in terms of deep social damage is the removal/merging of key ministries. It does not bode well for the future to remove the ministry for climate change and merge the ministry for science into the ministry of Industry. The agenda being set here is very bleak in terms of the next generation and the planet.

Today though the Abbott-Murdoch coalition shone their baleful light upon their evil little plan for asylum seekers. Howard had his “war on terror” to scare and herd the population into submission.

Abbott has his war on asylum seekers. Not quite the same thing, but it would appear he certainly enjoys it.

“Major General Campbell will promoted to a three-star general and will coordinate the 16 departments and agencies that will come under the Operation Sovereign Borders policy.

He will have the powers to bypass normal Defence Force command structures and will report directly to incoming Immigration Minister Scott Morrison….

Special Operations commander Major General Peter Warwick Gilmore will be his second in command.

Major General Campbell has been the commander of Australian military operations in the Middle East and has served in East Timor.

He has also served as deputy national security adviser.

Major General Gilmore was commander of the Special Air Service Regiment in 2001 and 2002 and led the first Australian Special Forces Task Group into Afghanistan.

Mr Abbott has said Operation Sovereign Borders will have an immediate effect once it begins.”

http://au.news.yahoo.com/latest/a/-/latest/18977528/tony-abbott-appoints-angus-campbell-to-lead-operation-sovereign-borders-policy/

It goes without saying that this line:


He will have the powers to bypass normal Defence Force command structures and will report directly to incoming Immigration Minister Scott Morrison….”

is one of the more dangerous boasts by an Australian politician in memory. They are using this as selling point…the problem is why stop at asylum seekers ? Once they learn to keep this out of the news they can apply it to anything they like.

Meanwhile on Abbotts other battlefield, the war on climate change, or rather the war on those who accept climate change. It would appear the tactic will be to discredit climate change science as a rule, but also to actively remove climate change scientists and organisations. Hell, if there is no one left to say its happening, its much easier to deny right ?

http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/tony-abbotts-business-advisor-attacks-myth-climate-change-53017

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