Australian Politics & History

Your number one choice for subpar analysis and commentary for everything going down under.

The Coalition Government today announced plans to honour the life of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam with a range of educational policies.
Education Minister, Christopher Pyne went on to say that there were obvious parallels between Gough Whitlam’s and his own Government’s vision for education in Australia:
Gough made university education free for all. And, fittingly, we’re now making university education a free-for-all. Gough valued education. And so do we. At around $35,000 a year, in fact

- The Shovel

I have often thought it fitting that Gough Whitlam was Australia’s 21st Prime Minister. Because with Gough as Prime Minister, Australia came of age. An Australia that once thought small was asked to think big.
An Australia, once closed and inward-looking, opened to the world.
Gough rejected those old ideas of what Australia should be and led us to what Australia could be. My friend and comrade, rest in peace.
Tanya Plibersek.
Comrade. Labor brings back the Communist revolution.

Comrade. Labor brings back the Communist revolution.

RIP Gough Whitlam.

He brought in the beginning of land rights, the Racial Discrimination Act, ended the White Australia policy, promoted multiculturalism, introduced free tertiary education, brought in Medicare (Medibank), fought for equal pay for women, fought for greater environmental protection, created Legal Aid and so much more. He was a man who believed in a Australia that had compassion and a vision. 

Truth.

Truth.

I thought back to the idea that asylum seekers should be grateful to be in Nauru. This attitude overlooked the fact that the majority of the men had left families behind in danger. It overlooked the fact that many of the men had spent all their money trying to get to Australia. Now all they had was a dim hope that their families could hold on for who knew how long while they wallowed in a Pacific jail. I didn’t think there were many men grateful to be in Nauru.

 Mark Isaacs, a former Salvation army worker in Nauru, addressing the argument that if these men were genuine refugees they should be glad to be in a place like Nauru.

A professor who contributed to the national school curriculum review that calls for a greater emphasis on ‘western civilisation’ is being investigated over racially derogatory emails.

In one email he wrote: “One day the western world will wake up, when the Mussies and the chinky-poos have taken over”. In another he described Tony Abbott as an “Abo lover” for allowing Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu to perform when the royals visited Australia.

(X). What a surprise.
The Hazara man above was reportedly kidnapped and tortured after being deported from Australia in August. Despite this Scott Morrison says he will not intervene in the further deportation of ethnic Hazaras. Words cannot even describe how angry I am. News like this should not be a blip on the news cycle. This should not be seen as the norm.
We need to change the conversation.  Person by person dispel the malicious rhetoric and myths surrounding asylum seekers. We need to arm ourselves with facts. The arguments for a compassionate asylum seeker policy are overwhelming:

Over 90% of asylum seekers coming by boat are found to be genuine refugees and not economic migrants. We spend over 3.5 billion per year keeping them away when it would be cheaper to welcome them with open arms.We are not being flooded with refugees coming . More than 32x the number arrive by plane claiming asylum than by boat. Over 2013-14 we received 7,000 asylum seekers by boat. For Syrian war refugees alone, Turkey took in 1.6 million, Lebanon took in 1.17 million , Jordan 606,000, Germany 40,000, Sweden 17,000. Gaza decimated by war and poverty took in 1000 refugees. Australia gets nothing in comparison to the rest of the world.
Asylum seekers are not country hopping for refuge. Transit countries like Indonesia and Malaysia are not signatories to the Refugee convention. Living in these places are hell. They could be returned back at any time, they are not allowed to work and only receive support from charities that are already overworked and under-resourced. Many stay for years in a state of limbo and fear unable to support their family. Refugees are not a security risk and they all undergo a security clearance before becoming a part of our community. Refugees do not cause problems nor will they threaten our way of life. History shows us that each generation of refugees, from the Italians to the Vietnamese, integrate successfully into our country. Nothing is better for our country than a group of resourceful and resilient people who want to make a better life for themselves.

 I know our country can do better because its has done so before. Our response to Vietnamese refugees in the 70s was not to close our borders but bipartisan support from both the major parties to settle refugees. It was not the vote grabbing xenophobic cruel policy it is today. Shitty cruel policies do not have to be the status quo.

The Hazara man above was reportedly kidnapped and tortured after being deported from Australia in August. Despite this Scott Morrison says he will not intervene in the further deportation of ethnic Hazaras. Words cannot even describe how angry I am. News like this should not be a blip on the news cycle. This should not be seen as the norm.

We need to change the conversation.  Person by person dispel the malicious rhetoric and myths surrounding asylum seekers. We need to arm ourselves with facts. The arguments for a compassionate asylum seeker policy are overwhelming:

Over 90% of asylum seekers coming by boat are found to be genuine refugees and not economic migrants. We spend over 3.5 billion per year keeping them away when it would be cheaper to welcome them with open arms.We are not being flooded with refugees coming . More than 32x the number arrive by plane claiming asylum than by boat. Over 2013-14 we received 7,000 asylum seekers by boat. For Syrian war refugees alone, Turkey took in 1.6 million, Lebanon took in 1.17 million , Jordan 606,000, Germany 40,000, Sweden 17,000. Gaza decimated by war and poverty took in 1000 refugees. Australia gets nothing in comparison to the rest of the world.

Asylum seekers are not country hopping for refuge. Transit countries like Indonesia and Malaysia are not signatories to the Refugee convention. Living in these places are hell. They could be returned back at any time, they are not allowed to work and only receive support from charities that are already overworked and under-resourced. Many stay for years in a state of limbo and fear unable to support their family. Refugees are not a security risk and they all undergo a security clearance before becoming a part of our community. Refugees do not cause problems nor will they threaten our way of life. History shows us that each generation of refugees, from the Italians to the Vietnamese, integrate successfully into our country. Nothing is better for our country than a group of resourceful and resilient people who want to make a better life for themselves.

 I know our country can do better because its has done so before. Our response to Vietnamese refugees in the 70s was not to close our borders but bipartisan support from both the major parties to settle refugees. It was not the vote grabbing xenophobic cruel policy it is today. Shitty cruel policies do not have to be the status quo.

A racist, a misogynist and a homophobe enter a bar. The Bartender asks “What are you having today Mr Abbott?

Lets not pretend that the vast support for the war in Iraq is humanitarian when our response to those who flee these wars and seek refuge in our country is to demonise and imprison them.

The truth should be told about what we did to Indigenous people, but also the truth about the benefit of civilisation

Christopher Pyne last year. It echoes Tony Abbotts comment on Indigenous people on Q&A back in 2010:

Now, I know that there are some Aboriginal people who aren’t happy with Australia Day. For them it remains Invasion Day. I think a better view is the view of Noel Pearson, who has said that Aboriginal people have much to celebrate in this country’s British Heritage’

It is no surprise that the review commissioned by Christopher Pyne recommends a greater focus on Western civilisation and scaling back emphasis on Indigenous & Asian history.

Our current educational system is already a racist anglocentric account of Australian history that sanitises the invasion and colonisation of Australia. Australian textbooks still refer to white colonisation as a settlement and not an invasion. It still ignores the armed resistance of Indigenous tribes. It is light in recounting the wars that were fought. Most Australian students are still painfully unaware which tribe has ownership of the land that they reside on. Many are incapable of identifying an Aboriginal language. A sizeable proportion of the population are completely unaware of racist laws such as the Flora and Fauna Act that identified Indigenous people as flaura and fauna and not people as recently as 1967. First nations lives lost in the Frontier wars are still not honoured or recognised on ANZAC day. I don’t think its possible to sanitise or further ignore Indigenous history and culture than we already do, white history is still front and centre of our current curriculum, the achievements of ‘white civilisation’ still exalted. If Australia wants to embrace its march towards a prosperous multicultural modern nation it needs to reflect on the racist and violent roots that have borne untold misery and torn Indigenous communities apart, not ignore it. 

(via progressiveauspol)

progressiveauspol:

The armed struggle

If you think Australian history is boring, its because you are being taught from sources that sanitise Australian history, ignoring the numerous wars and guerrilla insurgencies fought by our First nations people. Accounts of these wars go contrary to the white narrative that portrays history as a settlement and not an invasion that murdered and displaced our Indigenous people. These wars, ranged from as short as a few weeks to decade long wars. Some of the wars  included the:

Hawksebury and Neapean Wars

Pemulwuy’s War

Tedbury’s War

Bathurst War

Black War

These accounts also fail to tell the story of brave Indigenous warriors like Pemulwuy (of the Bidjigal Clan) who against insurmountable odds, waged an insurrection against White invaders, defeating the British army through speed, avoided capture for over 12 years as well surviving two near fatal attempts on his life (including one where his skull was cracked open). Nor does it mention that his son continued the war after his death, proving a constant thorn for the White invaders.

It is important we paint a more complex and truthful narrative of Australia. One that recognises that convicts and squatters were not stepping into an uninhabited world, but rather a complex world, where various tribes had lived there for 40,000+ years, resisted White invasion, fought tooth and nail for their land, and to this day struggle for recognition.

Image Sources: (X) (X) (X)

Voters in electorates held by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Treasurer Joe Hockey and senior government ministers Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull will be the least affected by the federal budget by 2017-18, a new analysis shows. Fifteen of the 16 hardest hit electorates, meanwhile, are held by the Labor Party, with low and middle income households in western Sydney and the outer suburbs of Melbourne overwhelmingly the worst off. In other news water is wet. 

There are 6.5 million internally displaced in Syria, with the number globally climbing past 50 million + . A brutal sadistic organisation controls large swathes of Iraq and Syria killing thousands and plunging the West into another irretractable war. Ukraine and Russia are at loggerheads. The Ebola crisis is steadily picking up victims wreaking havoc in West Africa.  We had not one but two Malaysian airline planes go down. China has been clamping down not only in Hong Kong but the Uighur provinces. Violence has flared up again in South Sudan and the Central African Republic. After the hope of the Arab Spring, democracy is being strangled in both Libya and Egypt. The world has always been shit, but this has been a particularly dark year.