I pledge allegiance
I was reading a post from Geekergosum – who incidentally seems to think starting a blog post with ‘I’m’ is lazy – about the daily post. I think I may have posted on the subject of the daily post only once before, but I thought, what the hell. The girls have firmly planted themselves in my lap and I’ll let them enjoy cuddletime for a bit longer since they have managed to do it today without impeding access to laptop! So off to the daily post I go, only to find that the prompt of the day is “Are you patriotic? What does country mean to you?”
Firstly, I think it’s a little unAustralian to be overtly patriotic but secondly, we are in the final stages of an election campaign so it’s bloody hard to feel good about much country-wise.
Take this for example – our two major parties are trying to out-tough each other on the subject of people arriving by boat and then claiming asylum. All the figures show that the number of refugees Australia takes in from boat people is small comparative to other countries. More people arrive by plane and overstay on their visa than arrive by boat. Yet I don’t hear anyone crying ‘stop the planes!’ while ‘stop the boats’ has become a tiresome mantra of both parties. Has anyone in politics considered recently that how they got to Australia? I’m pretty sure that Tony Abbott – our probable next PM – came here by boat as a 10 pound pom. My ancestors ALL arrived by boat – at least one of these was at her majesty’s pleasure (a convict who arrived in 1814) and the rest were ‘free settlers’ arrived throughout the 1800s. Of course, the traditional owners of this land we now call Australia didn’t invite any of these boat people but no one is talking about that right now.
Meanwhile, one of our smaller political parties which sits on the left of the political spectrum, is campaigning for a more humane approach to people seeking asylum in Australia. In doing so, they seem to have lost all sense of logic, as they are reportedly directing preferences to the Palmer Australia Party. For my overseas readers to give you some context, this party – the Greens – has as a key belief policies which benefit the environment. Palmer Australia Party is founded, and led, by Clive Palmer, a man who has made his money from coal. Palmer was a member of our conservative party for decades. According to Wikipedia – the gospel truth – Palmer supported the campaign to have Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen elected as Prime Minister of Australia. Sir Joh was a long serving premier of Queensland who, was finally forced to resign amid corruption allegations. Gee, wouldn’t he have made a fantastic PM?
So in answer to the daily post’s question – am I patriotic – today, the answer is definitely no. I have decided that Australia’s politicians have all gone barking mad!