Abbott: Labor made me do it.

15 Dec

article-5898-hero Independent Australia

Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised this prior to gaining office :

…and the commitment that I’ve been giving to the Australian people is that there’ll be no surprises and no excuses under a Coalition government.

Source: May 21, 2013 – Joint Doorstop Interview, Bundamba, Queensland

It was, of course, a ludicrous promise to make. There is nothing as constant as change, and any credible adult government must deal with change that may at times cause decisions to be reviewed, and commitments to be re-assessed. The Abbott government has spectacularly failed to demonstrate this fundamental adult coping skill, not least in Abbott’s fantastical undertaking to protect us from the inevitable surprises of inevitable change in the first place.

No surprises

While on the one hand using that refuge of scoundrels the old “situations change” line to excuse broken promises and commitments he never intended to keep, Abbott continues to cling to his no surprises and no excuses mantra. He can’t have it both ways. If he wants unexpected situational change (surprise) to explain his backflips, he can’t have a commitment to no surprises as well. Hell, he needs surprises to explain his changes, because nothing else credibly achieves that.

Promising citizens there will be no surprises is elephant excrement, unless we’re all about to die, in which case we can reasonably expect there likely won’t be anymore surprises, not in this world anyway.

Annabel Crabb noted that in the first three months of Abbott taking office his party could well be renamed “The Surprise Party.” The broken promises and unexpected decisions just keep on keeping on.

No excuses

If he wants to continue to claim that his is a “no excuses” government, Abbott is going to have to stop blaming the ALP for every difficulty the LNP encounters. They’ve been in office for over twelve months now. No government can blame its predecessor indefinitely, otherwise political rhetoric will come to consist entirely of what they did made us do what we did, or some infantile variation on that tiresome theme. Anyone involved in the management of children knows the old he/she started it is a path to hellish infinity that endears the instigator to nobody.

“The ALP made me do it” is no way to run a country. If you are making changes because a situation has altered since you took office, how is that the responsibility of the previous government? If these changes are genuine, why not clearly explain them? Any other approach is an excuse that insults the intelligence of all thinking people.

LNP narrative consists almost entirely of unpleasant surprises and excuses for them, or really only one excuse: the ALP made us do it.  Did this government know nothing before it was elected? Was it so naive, so ill-informed, so out of touch that it took office as if newly born into political life? Doesn’t it know every government has to deal with the decisions of its predecessor and that we don’t actually care about that, it’s part of their job description and we expect them to stop whining and get on with it?

This government urgently needs to grow up and understand the serious responsibility they have towards the  citizens of this country. We need a government that has at least achieved tertiary standards of development, and not one that is still toilet training in day care.

Too little, too late, Prime Minister

12 Dec

Abbott on Women's Work

 

 

Prime Minister and Minister for Women Tony Abbott yesterday claimed that criticisms of his Chief of Staff, Peta Credlin, are “sexist.” His observation followed reports that relations between Ms Credlin and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have soured, leading to them being described by one frontbencher as “two Siamese fighting fish in the same tank.”

The frontbencher didn’t mention the gender of the fighting fish.

It’s hilarious to hear Tony Abbott accuse his own party of sexism. It can’t even be taken seriously enough to be given the label hypocrisy. It’s a blatant attempt to adopt principles the man simply does not have and never will. Abbott has still to grasp that he has no credibility, and no amount of politically correct language co-option is going to give it to him.

There’s nothing he can say about finally contributing to the UN Green Climate Fund, “sweating blood” for constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians, or protecting women from sexism that will provoke anything in the community but scoffing guffaws.

Abbott has left his run for decency far too late. His dire unpopularity seems to be causing a spin-doctored rethink in his politics, however, it’s painfully evident that any rethink is not a change of heart, but a superficial shift of attitude designed to haul his sorry arse out of the sinkhole of public contempt in which it has become increasingly mired.

So he can try to sell it again, one presumes.

 

Abbott on women

The Erotic II

11 Dec

auguste-rodin

 

(This post is part of the longer story Infidelity at the top of the home page.)

 

“The erotic has often been misnamed by men and used against women. It has been made into the confused, the trivial, the psychotic, and plasticized sensation. For this reason, we have turned away from the exploration and consideration of the erotic as a source of power and information…” Audre Lorde

“As often as not, it seems to be assumed that man has his being independently of his passions. I affirm, on the other hand, that we must never imagine existence except in terms of these passions…” Georges Bataille

∫ 

 Oh, Jen, your breasts are talking to my cock. Make them shoosh for a while, I have to do stuff.

I desire your breasts so much. My mouth and my hands yearn for them.

I woke up picturing holding your breast on the palm of my hand and feeling its weight.

I love that we can express any desire at all and know that the other will share it. So extraordinary.

Oh, love. We are so in tune with one another.

There are so many things I’ve only done or talked about doing with you…it all adds to the richness of us, to have so many firsts. My love.

 

She wants to feel the weight of him on her. She wants him to hold her down with his body on hers. I will be too heavy, he tells her, but she doesn’t think so, what she thinks is that for years she has been waiting for the body that will hold her in place and it is his. Finally, he lays himself naked the length of her, propped on his elbows to spare her his weight. She says no, all of you, all of you on all of me, and he gently lowers himself, his chest against her breasts, his belly on hers, his cock hard against her mound. Keep your legs closed, he tells her, don’t let me in yet. His thighs rest on her thighs. She raises her arms and lays them either side of her head. She lifts her pelvis to his. He grabs her wrists and holds them. He breathes softly into her open mouth his face so near his features are indistinguishable, his eyes holding hers in their close gaze. Don’t come, he whispers into her mouth. You mustn’t come. His gentle breath in her mouth is almost too much, she feels desire overwhelm her and struggles to keep it in check. Then she feels the tip of his tongue stroke hers. Hold still, he breathes. Don’t move.

 

Sex is a deep search to uncover everything that is hidden. She shows him what he wants to see. She takes him where he wants to go. She lies on their bed, her legs slightly bent and open. She takes the outer folds of her sex in her fingers and holds open her secret place. He gazes upon her. Then he looks at her face. His gaze travels between her cunt and her face. He shakes his head in amazement and disbelief. You doing this, he says, it feels like the most natural thing in the world that you should lie here like this and show her to me, how can it seem so natural? I don’t know, she tells him. They are now sharing the intense gaze they’ve perfected. I don’t know how I am doing this. I only know I want to. Do you like her? Oh, god, he groans. Oh god, she is the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen! She is pink, and glistening, and plump, oh god, she is everything I imagined she would be.

They don’t touch. They call it their fierceness, this desire they have to be in one another, this desire that transcends the physical, this desire of which physical expression is only one small part. He calls it their “psychic sex,” a merging of energies that doesn’t require his cock in her cunt, but is at its strongest when their tongues meet, and their eyes. They discovered it by accident, in a situation where fucking was impossible, and it is their favourite thing, the thing that binds them irrevocably, that is particularly theirs, that they can have even when separated by thousands of kilometres.

She learns how to feel his absent hips nestled between her thighs; she learns how to move her cunt as if around him, and when he takes out his cock it is her hand that holds him, even though a vast distance physically separates them. Once, after they have been interrupted by some domestic matter in his household, he writes: this psychic sex is so strong that my cocked twitched for ages and my balls ached, just as if we had been physically interrupted. What is this love we’ve made together?

I don’t know, she tells him. I don’t know.

Neither of them knows where the fierceness might take them when they are physically together. He writes of how he wants her to use him, to take everything she wants from him, he won’t stop her and when he’s exhausted, she must take even more. They agree that in no other parts of their lives do they desire fierceness, only in this mutual intimacy do they want to break through their learned limitations, the abstract restrictions of taboo, the pointless inhibitions life has instilled in both of them.

Your nipples are beautifully designed for my mouth. And somehow my cock seems to have been made for your cunt. Am desperate for your body. Every part of it. Every part. Does that frighten you?

Yes, she tells him. But being afraid doesn’t stop me. With you, I will go anywhere.

Aaaaaaah. I will tell you what to do? You will obey me?

Yes, she says. I will.

 

 

“The very word erotic comes from the Greek word eros, the personification of love in all its aspects – born of Chaos, and personifying creative power and harmony. When I speak of the erotic, then, I speak of it as an assertion of the lifeforce of women…  Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. And this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe.” Audre Lorde

Morrison now seeks sole authority over citizenship decisions.

10 Dec

Diagram_of_citizenshipThe Department of Immigration and Border Protection, under the authority of Minister Scott Morrison, is in the process of seeking amendments to the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 that will give the minister draconian powers over not only asylum seekers, but  anyone who has become or wishes to become an Australian citizen.

The Australian Citizenship and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014, will give Morrison the power to set aside decisions made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on the character and identity of those applying for citizenship or who have already received it, in a public interest test determined solely by the Minister.

The DIBA submission to a Senate committee argues that an elected member of parliament and minister of the Crown has gained a particular insight into the community’s standards and values. This particular insight therefore qualifies Morrison to overrule AAT decisions. It is the bill’s intention to grant a minister, in this case Morrison, the power to determine an individual’s “good character” or otherwise, regardless of any ruling made by the AAT. Morrison’s decision will be unchallengeable.

The bill also aims to give Morrison the right to determine “fraud” or “misrepresentation” in applications for citizenship. In such instances Morrison can revoke papers regardless of whether or not the individual concerned has been convicted of either offence. 

That is, Morrison or the minister concerned has the power to determine “guilt” outside of any criminal proceedings, denying individuals the presumption of innocence.

The notion that anyone has particular insight or is entitled to absolute power because he or she is an MP and minister of the Crown is extremely dangerous. It is confusing the office with the human being who holds it. High office does not automatically endow its holder with integrity or insight. We are all too familiar with “killers in high places who say their prayers out loud” as Leonard Cohen puts it.

Morrison’s ongoing lunges for absolute power must be challenged. This is a liberal democracy. We do not have ministers who overrule the expert opinions of experienced tribunals. We do not have ministers who are above the rule of law and entitled to deprive any human being of the presumption of innocence. We do not have ministers who are answerable to nobody, whose decisions are unchallengeable, and who are allowed to carry out their department’s business in absolute secrecy. No, we do not.

Pyne’s advertising campaign is long-term LNP propaganda

9 Dec

anti_public_education_propaganda_by_8manderz8-d5xz1cjOnly days after the education reform bill was defeated in the Senate, the government has launched what it describes as an “information” campaign, funded by tax payers, that claims to educate the public about the failed proposed reforms to higher education.

The campaign to promote understanding of the failed bill is funded by taxpayers. The Abbott government justifies this by claiming the campaign meets all necessary guide-lines to qualify not as political advertising, but as information that is in the public interest. Obviously, the campaign was prepared in anticipation of a Senate defeat.

Shadow Education Minister Kim Carr claimed this morning on ABC Radio National’s early AM program that the advertising is deliberately misleading, and falsely claims that the government will pay “around half of your undergraduate degree.” Carr has fact checked this claim with universities in Western Australia and Queensland and depending on the discipline, students will pay between 57% and 88% of the costs of their degrees.

This is a job for the ABC’s Fact Check unit, if it still exists.

The government’s goal is to create a narrative in which the LNP is struggling to introduce reforms that are positive for students financially (good) and is being thwarted in its efforts by an uncooperative opposition and minor parties (bad). In other words, the Abbott government is striving to gives us what’s best for us against a relentless opposition that doesn’t care about us.

Their goal, I imagine, is to ignite resentment and discontent in the electorate towards an obstructionist ALP and minor parties, a narrative we can expect to see strengthen in the next two years as we approach the next election.

The fact that this is a dud reform quite rightly prevented from realisation is irrelevant. There is also no mention of proposed cuts to universities in the campaign.

Tony Abbott, his ministers and backbenchers take every opportunity to persuade us that all their troubles are the responsibility of the previous Labor government. There is only so long a government can use this tactic to distract from its own incompetence. I’d suggest the Abbott government has long since passed that time limit.

The government is engaged in an ongoing election battle that began years ago when Abbott became LOTO. This most recent taxpayer-funded “information campaign” is yet another sign that Abbott is not so much concerned with good governance as he is with winning the next election. The education reform bill advertising is long-game propaganda, and contributes to Abbott’s over-arching narrative of governmental good intentions thwarted both by Labor’s legacy, and its alleged ongoing obstruction.

 

 

Morrison’s powers: nobody will know who he’s sent back to be killed

7 Dec

scott morrisonMinister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, is the only minister who is not answerable to anyone for his decisions, with the exception of the decision to take us into war, which can be made by the Prime Minister alone.

New legislation passed this week gives Morrison unprecedented, unchallengeable and secret powers to determine the futures of those who come to Australia seeking sanctuary from homelands that are no longer hospitable to them. This includes the practice of refoulement, the ability to return asylum seekers to situations that are hostile and in some instances deadly without first determining if they are at risk, a practice that is inconsistent with international refugee law: Section 197 gives the government express permission to engage in refoulement irrespective of whether there has been an assessment of Australian obligations to that person. 

Morrison is not required to determine in advance what risks an asylum seeker will face in being returned to the country they’ve fled, therefore, he has the power to send human beings to endure torture and death, and nobody will ever know he’s done it.

Within his area of responsibilities, Morrison is now a dictator. In the midst of a government determined to be as small a government as possible there is a department with a dictator at its head, whose control over some human beings is absolute.

In principle giving any politician, or any human being for that matter absolute power over anything, cannot be good. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Why is it necessary?

Of course, it isn’t necessary in any way other than the political. It serves the government’s purposes to cloak the fates of asylum seekers and refugees in secrecy. It doe not make our borders any more secure, it does not prevent us from being attacked by terrorists. What Morrison’s new dictatorship does do is fly in the face of the tenets of our liberal democracy, specifically its opposition to: suspicion of concentrated forms of power, whether by individuals, groups or governments.

There is no reason why the people of this country should be kept in the dark about our government’s decisions as to the fate of asylum seekers and refugees, or any other decision our government takes, unless it is a matter of security. No matter how hard the Abbott government has worked to frame waterborne asylums seekers  as a threat to our sovereign borders against which we are waging a war, they are not a threat and this is not a war.

The passing of the latest legislation finalises the relentless campaign conducted by both major parties to “stop the boats.” It has taken the matter of asylum seekers arriving by boat out of the public conversation. While this will come as relief to many politicians, the rest of us should be very afraid that in our treasured liberal democracy we have a minister who answers to nobody, and will conduct his nefarious business in absolute secrecy. This cannot be good for anyone.

The Erotic

6 Dec

Gustav KlimtThis post is one of the pieces in the ongoing page Infidelity at the top of the home page, and the category Adultery

 

“The whole business of eroticism is to strike to the inmost core of the living being, so that the heart stands still. In essence, the domain of eroticism is the domain of violence, of violation… The whole business of eroticism is to destroy the self-contained character of the participators as they are in their normal lives…Eroticism always entails a breaking down of established patterns, the patterns, I repeat, of the regulated social order… ” Georges Bataille

 

Without discussing it they decide that for the few hours they have together their mouths and their tongues will be all that will meet. He waits, holding himself away from her, allowing only their eyes to engage. A vibrant energy emerges from their joined, concentrated gaze. It shimmers and sways between them, a third party. As they stare, not touching, the force they’ve brought into being intensifies. What is this, he breathes. What is this? Their mutual gaze does not falter. It is the both the creator and disseminator of the energy. She lets his presence enter into her, and sees that he has allowed hers to enter into him. There is no resistance. There is only surrender and acceptance.

She knows now that when he said they are perfectly matched he knew better than her what complex intensity was growing between them. Their silent communication is perfection. There are no barriers of fear or guilt. Their hearts are at their work, naked and unprotected, and they make no effort to conceal them.

He is her perfect partner. She is his. In their lives before each other they have never known such a thing. It is fierce. It is frightening. She does not know where it will take them, and neither does he.

“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They are in each other all along.”*

 

He writes:

Of course I don’t want to leave you, how could I? Have been so sad all day, thinking I’d been so stupid I’d lost you. Are we ok again, love?

Here’s a new adventure for you to read. It’s very short

I hold out my hands to you. You tie rope around my wrists and then my ankles. I lie on the bed and you bind my wrists to its head, pulling so that my arms are full stretched upwards and then you bind my ankles to the bed’s end. I am completely helpless.

You put a blindfold on me, so I can’t see what you’re doing. Then I tell you you can do absolutely anything you want to any part of my body for as long as you like. You put a gag on me as I finish speaking.

You proceed.

 

He is enchanted by her body. As well, he is delighted by her enchantment with his. She writes of her love of his cock, sweetly at rest in his red-gold nest. Her touch on him, he tells her, is  consummately gentle, her fingertips soft with love. He wants to nourish her from his cock while he is nourished from her breasts. In this way they will nurture each other, love will in a circular motion proceed from one to the other, pleasure begetting pleasure, her joy birthing his, his delight birthing hers.

She tells him what comes from him does not make mess, as he has worried for so long. She tells him she desires his juices on every part of her, her breasts, her belly, her hands, her mouth. He writes, oh, how I love how you love my body, my cock, my semen. How I love that. Do you know how much I love how you love me?

After he’s gone and she’s alone in their bed she writes, I have wrapped myself in our stained sheets. In the night I woke and felt you leaking from me, down the inside of my thigh. You know now that what comes from you is only lovely, don’t you? And he replies, yes, you have taught me. You have given me that. Me inside you, on our sheets, on your thigh, your marvellous delight in me. You have given me that.

He writes:

You want me to mark you. I bite your shoulder and neck, and you rake my back with your nails, leaving red trails. I slide down so I can suck your nipples hard enough to leave the marks of my teeth, while you stretch up and bite my neck, and bruise me with your sucking. I want us to walk down the street, each one secretly marked by the other, glowing, hurting, aching, exhausted, bruised from our mutual pleasure. Marked. My sweet. Oh god, I want you. I know I have no right, but I want you to be only for me. No one else. Only for me. 

“The stirrings within us have their own fearful excesses; the excesses show which way these stirrings would take us...eroticism, unlike simple sexual activity, is a psychological quest…eroticism is assenting to life even in death.” Bataille

*Rumi

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