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POETRYETC  2002

POETRYETC 2002

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Subject:

Re: Ah well

From:

"[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Poetryetc provides a venue for a dialogue relating to poetry and poetics <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 15 Feb 2002 09:07:38 +1100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (112 lines)

HI Alison,
           You are right Alison, what a few do/think makes no
difference at all, Australians have always had to be led, and if we had
a Politician with any knowledge about the Australian psyche, they would
know that and act upon it, but when this pathetic bunch, can only now
in 2002 see that one of the most basic functions of life, breast
feeding, is something that needs not to be discriminated against in the
work place, what hope do refugees or anyone else have.

See attached articles from today's Sydney Morning Herald.

www.smh.com.au/news/0202/15/national/national18.html


Best

Rob

----- Original Message -----
From: Alison Croggon <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Friday, February 15, 2002 6:58 am
Subject: Re: Ah well

> At 9:33 PM +0000 14/2/02, Jill Jones wrote:
> >But how disgusted do we all have to
> >get?
>
> We can get as disgusted as we like, and it will make almost no
> difference at all.  If the ALP changed its policies, it might... but
> I don't think they will, though there's perhaps the beginning of a
> shadow of a chance.  Too little, too late...  We can vote for the
> Greens who will be able to voice our disgust in Parliament.  We can
> go to demonstrations and show our disgust in public.  And all these
> things are worth doing, they are certainly worth more than nothing...
> but until you get the good citizens of Wangaratta and Woop Woop doing
> the same, nothing will shift...
>
> the cynicism of Australian politics is bottomless.  I'll never
> forget, many years ago under the Hawke government, the quote from a
> government minister asked for an opinion on a hot topic (I can't
> remember what it was).  He wouldn't say because, he said, he didn't
> know "what the current political reality" was today.  And he was
> prepared to be quoted on that.  When I was reporting on industrial
> affairs (back in those days Simon Crean was a mere deputy secretary
> of the ACTU) I was shocked by the corruption and dealmaking in the
> union movement and the ALP - the culture was one of branch stacking,
> intimidations, fake ballots, back room deals and so on.  Any honest
> politician - like Pete Steadman (remember him?) - simply didn't
> surivive the party machine.   All the unions were thoroughly
> corporatised in the 80s, when they were amalgamated into larger
> unions through the ACTU, and although the ACTU represents an
> important voice for dissent still, it is more and more powerless -
> and if the Howard Government gets its "workplace reforms" through
> that will merely continue.  Perhaps we could launch a takover of all
> the media outlets (ha!) which ensure that public debate is
> practically worthless, because it's is so ill informed.  And this
> despite having the best tv station in the world, SBS!
>
> It matters that the favourite right wing term of abuse is "cultural
> elites", meaning that those who seek to introduce complexity into any
> debate are "chardonnay socialists" or whatever.  I guess I'm one of
> those, though I don't drink chardonnay, I don't have a well-paying
> job, I don't own a house... but the mindset of scapegoating is
> endemic.  The "cultural elites" are spongers, whingers, bleeding
> hearts, un-Australian; they reject rural, White Australia, they hug
> trees, the don't know anything about what Boongs are really like,
> they want to get rid of the flag.  And out of this deep well of
> resentment which is especially rural Australia, but also the deep
> suburbs (do any politicians travel on trains, I wonder? always
> interesting, especially late at night: a much more unsafe feeling
> than the Underground or the Metro) rises in place of thought these
> bogeymen: the terrorists, the rich elites, anyone who is different,
> who thinks they're "better".   The same thing happened in the 30s,
> when the White Army (100,000 strong) was formed: bank policies caused
> enormous hardship in the country, but were the banks blamed?  No way
> - it was the unemployed, the Bolsheviks, the Catholics, a great mass
> of violent revolution which was going to slaughter hard working
> Protestants in their beds... My mother routinely votes Liberal,
> though it's the Liberal policies of privatisation which have made it
> almost impossible for her to get a phone, although it cost her
> thousands to get an electricity connection, although they mean that
> she cares for her ill daughter at home with very little support; and
> when she complains about these things, and I point out the illogic of
> her support for the Liberals, she talks darkly of Others and simply
> does not connect the dots.  And she is typical alas of many country
> people.  What stops her thinking?  Fear - fear of being poor, of
> getting sick, of being invaded by Indonesia, of something...  Fear,
> says Ryszard Kapuschinsku, is the mindset of the colonist, the
> unacknowledged bad conscience which stirs in the psyche like gas
> rising from a rotting corpse.
>
> Hansonism isn't new, that's all - it's as old as Australian politics,
> and it's now the paradigm of it.  Again.  "Are you xenophobic?" --
> "Please explain?"
>
> Best
>
> Alison
>
> .
> --
>
>
> Alison Croggon
>
> Home page
> http://www.users.bigpond.co
>
> Masthead online
> http:
>

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