Australia’s disgrace (in which others rant better than I)

So I’m not really back, and not really having a rant. Not here, anyway.

I had a little rant in the comments section of my friend Naomi’s latest blog. She wrote a heartfelt and intelligent piece about the recent shipwreck tragedy that stole the lives of a boatful of asylum seekers. And I agreed with every word she wrote. The comments, as you will see, were mostly sympathetic for the loss of life. While acknowledging this, I went for the political side of it. My rant was short and only scratched the surface, but I needed to get at least some of it out. I didn’t even get started on the media side of it, which is just as well, given there’s another lengthy rant in that.

In my comment I also missed the opportunity to make a scholarly and relevant reference to George Orwell. I had planned to, but when I finished it wasn’t there.

Now go and read this. And the comments too, if you want to read my contribution. But first and foremost, read the article, think and feel, and share it.

A response to Christmas Island by Naomi Pritchard-Tiller

While you’re at it, read these other blogs and articles, which Naomi has been gathering links to and I have shamelessly stolen to share here. Naomi and all of the writers below articulate themselves far better than I could on this tragedy and the issues surrounding it:

Boat tragedy: How Australians became complicit in the horror of Christmas Island by Richard Flanagan, writing in the UK’s The Guardian.

10 things you need to understand about asylum seekers by Rick Morton, via Mia Freedman at Mama Mia.

How Labor wedged itself into a bad policy on boat people by Joe Hildebrand at The Punch, about the government’s lack of backbone.

Are your hands clean of blood, Andrew? by John Birmingham, writing in The Brisbane Times about the filthy hypocrasy of right-wing Herald-Sun & Daily Telegraph “journalist” Andrew Bolt. I referred to Bolt on Twitter as a motherfucker, and I firmly stand by that statement.

Here’s Bolt’s own article about it in the Herald-Sun, Blood on their hands. Yes, it’s the government’s fault, but it’s not all on Gillard’s shoulders, Andrew. Your hero John Howard doesn’t just have blood on his hands, it’s all over his suit. Blame him, too, for the appalling heartlessness this country has adopted.

There is bound to be more written about this, which I might post in updates here. Please read and THINK about it and TALK about it. We should be better than this.

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