Oh dear, the predictability and monotony of The Australian‘s whining about the ABC was taken to new heights this week on two fronts: firstly, the revelation that the national broadcaster has to pay market rates for its premier on-air talent and, secondly, feigned moral outrage that the ABC would cover the very newsworthy disclosure that the Defence Signals Directorate wanted to listen-in on the phone calls of the Indonesian President and his wife.
Any reasonably briefed chimpanzee would be able to write the coverage of these issues for the News Limited papers. There’s a template, a formula and a draw full of boilerplate copy that oozes vitriol, arsewipe and stinking double standards.
The politics of Kevin Rudd’s lurch to the right on asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat are horrible and predictable from a desparate man who wants to wedge his political opponent and neutralise a damaging election issue.
That @KRuddMP is a hypocritical piece of racist shit goes without saying, but it’s worth saying anyway.
In 2010 he rightly criticised Julia Gillard for a proposing rightward shift in an attempt to appease the horribly racist core of Australian voters who think refugees are stealing jobs, etc. In a bid to hang on the Prime Ministership at that time, this is what Rudd had to say:
In 2010, Mr Rudd called a press conference after former Prime Minister Julia Gillard tapped him on the shoulder for a ballot.
His speech was his plea to caucus to keep him, and the main point he made was: “this party and government will not be lurching to the right on the question of asylum seekers as some have counselled us to do”.
After spectacularly promising that there would be no lurch to the right and after calling for a more humanitarian approach to asylum seekers, Rudd has done a 180 degree ‘pivot’ on the issue so that disaffected Labor voters who might be toying with voting for the #Abbocolypse because of the Mad Monk’s cute little three-word slogan “STOP THE BOATS” would think again. He is now saying he won’t “lurch to the left”.
What the PM has done is launch a cynical attack on potential refugees — he called them a “scourge” this week — knowing full-well that no matter how much it upsets and alarms refugee supporters it is not going to make them vote for the coalition. Any protest vote we make to the left of Labor will eventually flow back in preferences.
Rudd knows this and so in his maniacal and overwhelming desire to regain and hold onto the Prime Ministership he is prepared to abandon every principle he ever had.
We should not be surprised by this. Rudd is like all the other creatures in the Parliamentary wing of the ALP — including the fake lefts Kim Carr and Albo, Cameron, etc — he is a careerist and an opportunist and, it seems, a heartless bastard to boot.
Not one of the left-bum-cheek excuses for a Labor Party caucus member, not even the caring and sharing women, will dare to say anything against this travesty and denial of what they claim to stand for. Instead, they will sit quietly and look away, pretending it’s not about them and silently praying that this monster will deliver them another four years on the Treasury benches.
As a piece of political theatre Rudd’s ruthless demonising of Iranians, Iraqis, Afghans, Sri Lankans and other asylum seekers was brilliant. But, it won’t stop the boats. As many have pointed out, dealing with the causes of the exodus from source countries requires more aid and more humanitarian policies.
It might also require an admission that Australia’s role in the global (and laughable) “war on terror” and decade long occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan might have something to do with the humanitarian crisis that causes global population flows (‘refugees’, if you like). None of that is likely from KRudd and his spineless caucus colleagues.
I think that the real target of Labor’s new slogan: You won’t be settled in Australia, is not asylum seekers waiting for the next leaky boat in Indonesia and it’s not Iranians contemplating leaving Iran because of political persecution (Rudd’s so-called ‘economic’ refugees — at this point I need to expel one almighty “GET FUCKED!” in his direction).
The real target of the reactionary and inhumane slogan – which incidentally breaches just about every UN protocol on the treatment of refugees – is Australian voters.
It has to be. How else can you explain the decision to spend a boatload of cash on placing full-page advertisements in the Australian national press this weekend.
How many copies of The Australian, the SMH, the Daily Telegraph, the Age and the Herald-Sun are sold in Jakarta, Colombo, Kabul, Baghdad and Teheran? “Diddly-fucking-squat minus infinity” might be the right answer.
Of course News Limited and Fairfax Media give away hundreds of papers each day to the airlines so maybe the idea behind publishing the offensive ads was to make sure that the low-paid cleaners who service Qantas flights in far-away airports might pick up a discarded newspaper and show it to family members of friends thinking of making the perilous journey to Christmas Island by boat.
It is sure to change their minds.
Incidentally, now that this new ‘policy’ (excuse me while I barf copiously and wipe up the vomit with my Kevin 07 T-shirt) is in place and going forward, try Googling Immigration Department Australia, it is an interesting exercise:
The paid-for Google listing
The top-ranked hit is a paid-for spot and the link takes you straight to this.
I haven’t seen a television commercial carrying this message yet in Australia, but it can’t be far away.
And it won’t be tagged with “authorised by the Australian Labor Party, Canberra.” It will be badged as an “Australian government” ad, just like the others that are cloggiing up our TV screens at the moment, for the NDIS, the NBN and family payments.
I bet we won’t be seeing ads for the removal of FBT benefits for people who salary sacrifice cars though. This is a very unpopular policy and it seems to be the direct cause of hundreds of clerical workers losing their jobs in the novated lease industry.
Fucking great KRudd, you’ve staggered so far to the right that now middle income Australians who get a small tax break for buying a new car on a novated lease are being demonised as ‘fat cats’ by your government.
Next thing you know, anyone who complains about the disgusting, vile stinking mess that the modern Australian Labor Party has become, or who dares to remind people that it once had a strong working class ethos and actually defended the rights of workers who were fighting bosses for the eight-hour day, or that Labor fought racism to unionise the Chinese furniture makers of Melbourne, will be carted off to Manus Island and resettled in Papua New Guinea.
Lucky for us, KRudd regards that basket case as an “emerging democracy”. I, for one, can’t wait to enjoy my future there.
I know, this is an angry post, it needs to be. Sometimes it is good to get stuff off your chest.
In the end, I can always calm myself down. This time it might take a dose of jumping around the kitchen, singing loudly.
This is a story that just won’t go away. Thirty years ago, on October 16 1975, two Australians, two Britons and a a New Zealander were murdered by Indonesian soldiers during that country’s invasion of East Timor. The five, reporter Greg Shackleton, 27, sound recordist Tony Stewart, 21, cameraman Gary Cunningham, 27, cameraman Brian Peters, 29, and reporter Malcolm Rennie, 28 were in the town of Balibo when the Indonesians attacked. They were shot in cold blood. There’s always been a suggestion that the then Labor government, led by PM Gough Whitlam, was complicit in the Indonesians’ bloody take-over. I wonder if Gough can remember what happened back in 1975. He’ll certainly never forget November the 11th,the day he was sacked by the Governor General, but will he be able to recall any meetings with Indonesian and American officials at which the decision to chop off any chance of East Timorese independence was relayed to him? If I was Gough, I’d be claiming Altzeimer’s has finally taken its toll. That would be consistent with the various memoirs he’s written and his constant denials of Australian knowledge.
Read more at the SMH Online and this background piece at Scoop which covers some of the ‘untold’ story about a high-level cover-up. the case has been in and out of the spotlight for many years. Reporters Without Borders recently reported on secrecy surrounding the coronial inquest when it began in February 2007. Greg Shackleton’s wife, Shirley, has fought tirelessly for the true story of her husband’s murder to be told. Here’s a grab of a story from the Dart Center for journalism and trauma, from October last year:
Shirley Shackleton—whose husband, Australian journalist Greg Shackleton, was murdered in East Timor in 1975—has been asking the same question for 30 years: “I want to know what happened to my husband and his colleagues,” she says. “Why were these people murdered in cold blood?”
A very good question, it’s about time someone was held responsible.