Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Dear Prime Minister.
Your government is balanced on the most precarious of knife edges. And well you might ask: how did your party go from the sweeping triumphalism of K-Rudd's landslide victory to this scary, skin-of-the-teeth sort of grip on governance? What did Labor do that almost made Australians willing to vote for a Tony freakin' Abbott government?
I'm sure there's a list. (And I'm pretty sure that dumbfuck Conroy and his buttwrenchingly stupid Internet Firewall are on it.) But most important of all, I suspect, was the overwhelming sense of betrayal and letdown.
K-Rudd promised us change. A lot of it. And after fifteen sphincter-puckering years under Howard and his team of Neo-Victorian cretins, we desperately wanted that change.
Now sure, I understand there was a global meltdown in the financial sector. But you know what? I don't fucking care. Because there are changes that could have been made, should have been made, would have been made in a fundamentally decent society, that would have cost pennies. In fact, they might even have been revenue-positive, once the costs were all totted up.
And they would have made K-Rudd's government look like it was actually trying to achieve something other than bullshit and arsecoverage.
So here's my suggestion for you. You want us to believe in your shiny new co-operative nice-guy government? Show us some fucking action.
Here's my suggestion, first up: get the refugee kids out of mandatory custody.
I'm not one of those who's taken potshots at you for not marrying and having kids. I figure it's your choice. But if you can read that article, and you've even the slightest touch of humanity about you, then either you will act to help these people -- or you really do hate kids and families, as your opponents have slyly suggested.
Ms Gillard, the Australian society is famously laid-back, relaxed, and egalitarian. We're not a bunch of pre-Nazis, just waiting for the right Hitler to come along with a racist agenda to turn us into a nation of slavering, xenophobic killers. This is the land of the 'fair go', the place where trust between friends and neighbours has built a society that, for all its flaws, remains one of the most open-hearted in the world.
We are not a country that needs to imprison children who have committed no crime against anyone. And indeed: in this country, children who have committed crimes worthy of detention get better treatment than these frightened, scarred, damaged, and utterly blameless children who have done nothing worse than flee some of the most horrifying and repressive places on earth.
A lot of us voted Green this election, Julia. Did you notice? A whole fucking lot more of us than ever before. You and your government have lately been led around the garden by a couple of ex-rightwingers who now claim to be independent -- but you are every bit as dependent on the support of the Green faction, and I really think you need to remember that.
Let the children go, Julia. It's the right thing to do. It's the Australian thing to do. It's what a true leader of a decent Australian society would do.
Let the children go.