Saturday, 21 January 2012

The national conversations: given over to Abbott, shock jocks & the bigots: or can Australia bring new ideas to the discourse

Intolerance is the way!

Over at Ash Ghebranious's blog, Ash's Machiavellian Bloggery, he is saying it all for me on Tony Abbott's policies and attitude to refugees and asylum seekers.  With words and pix, Ash has got stuck into the nay-saying Abbott.

Sometimes, we don't think carefully enough about what people ARE saying and what they COULD be saying.  Abbott has been indulging in negativity ever since Gillard came to power.  The LibNats told themselves that the hung parliament could not last and that before 2011 was out, there would be another Federal election. How wrong that political judgment turned out to be.  There was no election and, if Gillard and her advisers remain as singleminded and pragmatic as they have been so far, the Gillard government could well go its full term.

But back to what COULD be said.  While Abbott has pursued a policy of across the board negativity, he has not been doing Australia any favours at all.  On the issue of refugees and asylum seekers, now is the time for unifying the nation, demonstrating compassion, ditching old ideas and seeking new ones.  Everytime a hardline government or opposition policy is touted, it heightens intolerance and gives confidence and comfort to the racist and intolerant among us.

Is intolerance to become the hall mark of our national conversation, indeed of our nation? Self-interest and sectarianism are doing quite well for themselves at the moment so we add racism and intolerance to the mix ...and what comes after that?

Where is the Australia we once knew, were proud of, and felt comfortable with?  Have we really given over our national conversation to the shock jocks and the bigots?  If so, we will not only change our national conversation but the face of Australia as well --- as surely as corporations and gambling have changed the face of football and cricket.  Is this what Australians really want?

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