I thought my first post back after my accidental hiatus /
Would be full of funny musings, an update on my life’s status./
(Free from uni, qualified at last, job hunting and house-move planning set my time steadfast.) /
Or, perchance, a recipe post, I’m overdue for a few of those; /
Plenty of good meals I’ve made in the past two months or so.
Instead, today, I share a rant of politics and power, /
And how a scummy gov’ment contrived to shorten the hour/
And day of parliamentary dismissal,/
To ensure they wouldn’t lose a vote on the floor; no it’s not apocryphal.
Bad enough the week before, they ignored the message sent /
By striking students out to plead and shake some common sense /
Into the minds of climate-change-denying politicians, who are proving remarkably dense. /
This week’s fight was for a different cause, another long-fought war;/
Of words and desperate actions to free those forbidden from our shore; /
Their only “crime” to have fled for their lives, to a safer haven/
Through a dangerous voyage not lightly undertaken. /
A passage that’s NOT illegal, despite what some may say,/
All they want is hope, and we’ve taken it away. /
For six long years, they’ve languished in island hellholes;/ it’s made many sick, with malaise physical and of the souls. /
They’ve bled and struggled and DIED there, out of sight and mind, /
Of the Aussie gov’ment, who are wilfully blind, /
To the cries of anguish from detainees and friends; /
Willing to #bringthemhere and let their trauma end.
And what about the kids? The nation began to ask. #kidsout became the rallying cry; was that too much to ask?
Momentum slowly built, then took off with a rumble; /
When a new independent stood and declared her trouble,/
With the current practices, and made her stand clear. /
“Support my Bill, it’s past time now to bring these people cheer/
And the medical attention that they so sorely need. /
The gauntlet thrown, the players aligned themselves one-by-one; /
Amendments saw Labor at LAST stand up strong. /
For a moment, we felt the gasp, of fresh clear air, /
Heralding a new way forward, the day was nearly here. /
But before we could release our sighs of relief, /
The government went and slammed the door, a thief!/
They knew they’d lose a vote but fought it all the same; /
Continuing their endless turn of passing the blame. /
They trotted out the tired lines of “stopping the boats” and “protecting borders”, /
Ignoring how we all know how they’re false orders,/
Designed to give a reason to an unreasonable crime,/
Of locking up the innocent, for fear and power sublime. /
Yet they call themselves Christian? That I don’t understand, /
When the foundation family once sought refuge in other lands. /
Today’s government has cognitive dissonance of the highest order, /
Drunk on power and influence, and an imaginary world order.
A fact they forget, or they’re choosing to ignore,/
Next year is an election year when we can settle the score. /
They’re on the nose already and can only delay so much,/
When their time’s up, it’s up, regardless of what they do to try to keep in touch, /
Their fake promises and tax cuts will be seen for what they are,
And if they try the racist dog-whistle, well it won’t get far – /
They tried it at a local level last month and it was found quite bizarre./
So angry people discouraged by the latest conservative gasp, /
Let’s follow the State example and chuck them out on their arse!
Thursday 5 May 2016 11.11 AEST
Peter Dutton, what do you do between the hours of midnight and 5am? Do you sleep? If so, I really must ask – how can you?
Dozens of Australians sit up all night, every single night, comforting asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. You don’t have to, therefore the task falls to the advocates.
Let me tell you what this entails, since your statement blaming advocates for suicide attempts – of actually encouraging self-harm – suggests you are clearly unaware.
It is mind-blowingly hot on Manus and Nauru during the day, so our friends there try to sleep. We, safely onshore, sit tensely in the evenings, watching for the little green light that signals people have come online. When someone doesn’t show up, there is a flurry of frantic calls between advocates; when did you last hear from them? What did they say? Are they in danger of self-harm? Who do you know in the same compound? The result of these calls can be anything from relief upon locating our friend, safe and sound, or that which is becoming more common – they’ve harmed themselves and are in International Health and Medical Services, or have been beaten by guards and thrown into solitary confinement.
We cannot sleep, Mr Dutton. We can close our eyes, but the horrors we are witnessing don’t go away. And on the rare occasions we actually do get to sleep, we know there are no guarantees that our loved ones will be unharmed when we wake.
I will never forget the last night I actually slept for eight hours – it was in September last year, and I woke to discover one of my dearest friends on Manus had stabbed