Tag Archives: Labor Party

At home with Julia: where’s the respect, eh?

8 Sep

Well, that was weird, I remarked to Mrs Chook as the credits rolled. I didn’t laugh. I couldn’t see the point of the show. The arguments about why it should never have been made are funnier. The outrage at how disrespectful this show is to the office of Prime Minister is especially laughable given the disrespect the Prime Minister showed to the office when she knocked Kevin Rudd out of it without so much as a thank you for trusting me and giving me all those portfolios and making me your deputy. No, all he got was, it’s time for you to shove off now, tosser, I’m taking over.

I don’t know that we’ve got much respect for the office of Prime Minister in this country, unlike the Americans who insist that no matter what idiocies are performed by the incumbents, the office of President is still deserving of their respect. No matter how inept, immoral and inane a President might be, the office is above all that and remains untainted by the antics of the mortal. It’s a nice idea, but what’s the point of it?

The cast of At home with Julia looked as if they were imitating marionettes. You could almost see the strings lifting their limbs, and manipulating their facial expressions. It was like one of those children’s movies where humans are filmed and then made to look like cartoon figures. The only convincing sentient being was the dog. Perhaps this was intentional: a clever comment on…something or other that happens in Canberra.

It’s a mystery to me how anybody could expect to make anything funny and interesting out of Julia Gillard’s private life. I mean, hello. As a friend of mine said the other day if they had to knock off Kevin, couldn’t they at least have replaced him with someone with a bit of charisma? Well, not unless they brought in someone from overseas, they’re a bit light on charisma in the Labor Party at the moment. No charisma at all, but on the other hand, what good did a charismatic politician ever do anybody?

Right now I’d settle for some signs of intelligent life.

It did occur to me that it’s interesting how when Kevin was thrown out, everybody complained about how awful he was to work with but we the general population were unaware of that fact and were very surprised to be told of his intolerable idiosyncracies and foul mouth. Now the general population is overwhelmingly disappointed with Julia, and everybody in the government is telling us how marvelous she is to work with and how warm and funny she can be at dinner parties.

Whatever happened to the rubbery figures? Now that worked. Can we get them back, Auntie?

Politicians’ racist refugee policies revealed yet again.

28 Feb

by Pigeon Poo via flickr


In his interview on ABC radio’s Counterpoint on February 28, former immigration minister Philip Ruddock unintentionally revealed the racist platform on which the coalition’s asylum seeker policies, like the government’s, uneasily sit.

When asked why asylum seekers who arrive by plane are not held in detention, he explained that they usually have a place to stay, and so there’s no need to go to the expense of detaining them while their claims are being processed.

The Counterpoint interviewer didn’t point out that there are boat arrivals who have family already in the community, and could very easily stay with them while their refugee claims are being processed. Just like the plane people.

Instead, they are held in indefinite mandatory detention. There is no mandatory detention for the airborne.

What is the difference between the waterborne asylum seekers and airborne? Most of the waterborne come from the Middle East.

The Coalition’s refugee policies are allegedly built on giving preference to deserving as opposed to undeserving asylum seekers, that is, they allegedly favour accepting those who are in most need.

This doesn’t include boat people because they have enough money to pay their way, and they take refugees places from those without the means to do that.

Ruddock doesn’t have the same attitude to asylum seekers who arrive by plane. Unlike boat arrivals they have visas, he says, and have been “vetted.”

However, they still take places from those refugees without the means to get visas, and without the means to pay airfares.

The Counterpoint interviewer neglected to point that out, as well.

There is no apparent reason  to treat waterborne and airborne asylum seekers differently. As the former are without visas, it is sensible to detain them for an appropriate period while they undergo health and identity checks. They can then be released into the community, as are the plane arrivals.

The punitive criminalizing of boat arrivals makes no sense in any terms other than racist. It’s very likely that they have fled more difficult circumstances than those who arrived by plane, from countries where it is still possible to obtain visas and engage in regular travel.

Indeed, plane arrivals are more likely to be making immigration choices, as opposed to seeking asylum.

Circumstances in Iraq, for example, are horrific. SBS Dateline, Sunday February 27 ran a piece called Nation of Tears that eloquently portrayed the life Iraqis have to live.

As a member of the Coalition of the Willing who illegally invaded that country, we bear our share of responsibility for the on going chaos and death. Yet we imprison those who flee that nightmare, while allowing those who arrive from functioning countries,with visas, to live free while their refugee claims are assessed.

This hardly sounds like a policy of attending to the most in need.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for the coalition and the government to deny their inherent racism. No matter how hard they try it keeps on erupting, as it will when it’s so deeply ingrained.

If Chris Bowen and Scott Morrison have an explanation as to why there is such on going discrimination between asylum seekers arriving by boat and plane, why don’t they reveal it, and put paid to the inevitable allegations of racism against themselves and their parties?

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