I received a phone call the other day from the Liberal Party asking if I was happy with my membership. I haven’t been as active a member as I’d like, or planned to be, but anyone who follows us knows why! There are not enough hours in the day at the moment. That doesn’t mean I don’t keep my eyes on what is happening in my country.
There seems to me to be a code of silence about our leader. For overseas readers, in simple terms the Australian system is such that the elected representatives of the people within each party choose a parliamentary leader from amongst themselves. If the party is in power, that person is Prime Minister – if not, the person is the Leader of the Opposition. Currently we are in opposition.
I have pleaded many times for our politicians on both sides to stop using asylum seekers as a political football. It is inhumane. Today I even found myself agreeing with Chris Bowen, something I have to say I never thought I’d do.
Recently, Malcolm Fraser wrote an article published in The Sydney Morning Herald. Malcolm is a past Liberal Prime Minster of Australia.
How can you ”restore integrity” to the policy affecting asylum seekers when the proposals embraced are based on falsehoods, misinformation and a blatant playing of politics with the lives of vulnerable people? This is the opposite of integrity. It is inhumane and demeans Australia. Is this the basis on which Abbott will operate if he, as he believes he will, becomes prime minister?
Let us be very clear here – this is a past Liberal Prime Minister describing the “evil” work of the one who would like to be the next Liberal Prime Minister. To put it in an American context, it would be Clinton describing Obama but in the Republican camp. Our Liberals are our conservatives. I know, very confusing to Americans!
Back to the phone call I received. I explained my current state of time bankruptcy. I also said one thing I was not happy about was our leadership.
“You mean the State Premier?”
“No, I mean the federal leader. He is an embarrassment to the party and to Australia. Surely we have someone better to lead the party?”
The young man sounded a little shocked. Perhaps not what he expected from a member. I call it how I see it. It seems most of the members of the house of representatives are bullied into towing the party line set by the “leader”, so it is up to the members to speak up and assure our elected representatives that we are not happy. Not happy at all.
I will accept that I am probably a little biased. I am married to a man who was for many years an asylum seeker. A man who slept in a staircase in India. Who had one set of clothes and wrapped himself in a towel when he washed and dried that one set of clothes. Who was so thin when an old school friend ran into him, the friend thought he was dying.
Thankfully, I can put aside my fears of being biased because other people don’t like Abbott’s stance either.
Two interesting news reports came out today. The bad was this:
One well-placed Liberal source told The Australian that Abbott would rather see Labor continue to bleed politically with ongoing boat arrivals. If that means deaths at sea continue, he said, so be it. Perhaps Abbott thinks such tragedies reflect more badly on Labor than his own side because the government appears responsible for the mess courtesy of changing John Howard’s asylum-seekers policies in the first place.
To even think that, let alone say it, indicates a man after power at ANY cost. A man, I also read today, whose parents manipulated the system to become “ten pound pom” immigrants. A man who professes very strongly to be a christian!
The good was (same article as link above):
Yesterday senior moderate Liberal MP Russell Broadbent joined colleagues Mal Washer and Judi Moylan in calling for an entirely new approach to processing and policing asylum arrivals.
FINALLY some sanity from my party!
The history of Abbott is not the history of a man we should even remotely consider as a possible leader of this country. If anything, based on the fundamental principles of the Liberal Party, he should not even be a member.
Published university reports show that after a narrow defeat in the university senate elections in 1976 – Mr Abbott’s first year of an economics-law degree – he kicked in a glass panel door.
In the ensuing two years, he was repeatedly accused in the university paper of being a right-wing thug and bully who used sexist and racist tactics to intimidate his opponents.
Read the article: it is an eye-opener! How did he even get elected? A leopard doesn’t change those spots.
It is thought in many quarters he lost the last election for the Liberals because women didn’t like him. As a woman, I suspect there is a reasonable amount of the truth in that. I haven’t liked him since the day he first opened his mouth as the “leader”. I had very grave concerns about him being Prime Minister at the last election and having watched him in full flight since, I have even graver concerns now.
To my fellow Liberal members I say this: wake up before it is too late. Oh, we may win the next election, but as Prime Minister, Abbott will do us so much damage we will be lucky to hold power again for twenty years.
I also saw an interview with Scott Morrison on the topic of asylum seekers yesterday. I was horrified. Watch the interview: Scott Morrison on ABC and make up your own mind.
We need a new, innovative plan to deal with people smugglers. Like prostitution, this is a very old profession and unlikely to be stamped out unless there is a GLOBAL approach to resettling displaced people in a more timely fashion than is currently the case. Make no mistake, some people smugglers actually believe they are doing a great thing. Many are just after the money. I personally know of at least one person in an entirely different part of the world who would never have managed to get back to his homeland without the people smugglers in that part of the world. Yes, what is happening in this part of the world is horrific: 200 people on overcrowded and under crewed boats risking dangerous seas. Many drown. Rolling out 10 year-old policies that didn’t work when they were in place is a stupid suggestion, even without all the other issues mentioned above.
Many, many people experienced in the field of processing asylum seekers suggest many alternative approaches. When is someone going to listen?
When is Abbott going to put the lives of innocent people before his own grandiose plans for power? From my observations, he won’t.
Remember this man is against personal freedoms, not just stirring up moral panic about asylum seekers who arrive in boats. While asylum seekers is the current topic, look deeper. This is not a leader. I care about Australia’s democracy and I care about the reputation of the Liberal Party. Don’t stand by in apathy.
It is said we get the leaders we deserve. Let us stand up and be counted NOW: it will be too damn late after the event.
My thanks to Russell Broadbent, Mal Washer and Judi Moylan for having integrity: the sort of integrity the Liberal Party was founded on.
Overall, I have been disgusted with Australian politics generally of late. We have people behaving like children in Question Time, Slipper-Pyne Gate, Thomson Gate, Jackson Gate and that’s only what we know about! What don’t we know about?
Can we please have some mature adults running this country?
Related articles on this site:
- Australia’s refugee intake – Budget 2012
- Asylum Seekers in Australia: more of the same
- Detention centres dysfunctional
- Ranjini needs our help to encourage the government to find a better way
- Unbalanced article fuels moral panic
- Malcolm Fraser speaks – please listen
Related articles elsewhere:
- Abbott slammed over asylum seekers (bigpondnews.com)
- Abbott’s asylum position untenable: Bowen (news.theage.com.au)
- Are LNP members breaking ranks against Tony Abbott’s deadly boat refugee policy? (turnleft2013.wordpress.com)
- Abbott’s asylum position untenable: Bowen (news.smh.com.au)
- Abbott’s Politburo Propaganda (newmatilda.com)
- Boat people un-christian? (abc.net.au – Julian Burnside)