New Australians

Liar, liar, Australiar

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by Tess Lawrence

Contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence says we should stop live export from Australia now — of all creatures great and small.

Stop live export now. Of asylum seekers. Of all creatures great and small.

Our Government should be stood down. It is guilty of gross moral turpitude.

Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison was absolutely right to join the blood clots on the exporting of asylum seekers to Malaysia with the torturous botched executions of our poor betrayed Australian cattle exported to Indonesia.

Even terrorists who behead their victims on Facebook or YouTube have the indecency to at least sharpen their swords and prove their boast of being able to decapitate their victims in a single slice.

I can hardly write this. It is all I can do to stop from vomiting out of horror and fear.

The Australian Beef Association was also absolutely right to shirtfront Meat and Livestock Australia and LiveCorp over what has happened to the $3 million worth of levies they collect annually from ABA's 1,000 members. It is supposed to go towards ensuring that atrocities like those featured on the courageous Four Corners program should never happen.

Special mention must be made of the individual courage of former policewoman now Chief Investigator and Communications Director for Animals Australia, Lyn White, whose shocking footage filmed in Indonesian slaughterhouses bears forensic testimony to the complicity, incompetency and utter indifference of our own regulatory institutions. If Lyn White is not a candidate for Australian of the Year, I don't know who is.

It is an utter nonsense for either our Government or these institutions to claim ignorance of these longstanding and daily atrocities inflicted overseas upon animals born and bred on Australian soil and under our guardianship.

When will the Boards of MLA and LiveCorp be investigated over these atrocities? The notion that we have no responsibility for animals once they are offshore bears frightening portent to what the Government and assenters are doing, and have already done, to refugees and asylum seekers.

There has been much discussion about the fact that Australians seem to have reacted more to scenes of cruelty towards animals, than express concern for refugees and asylum seekers.

If our media featured the brutal judicial floggings that, according to a report released by Amnesty International late last year, has now reached epidemic proportions in Malaysia, I feel sure Australians would be even more repulsed at the notion of despatching unaccompanied children to Malaysia — and unaccompanied adults for that matter.

Next month, it will be the 25th anniversary of the hangings in Malaysia of Australian drug traffickers Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers.

And I'm so disinterested in any notion that we are not supposed to become emotional or anthropomorphic about any of these issues. Bullocks.

It wasn't that long ago in Australia that we would light fires under the low stomachs of poor Bullock teams to make them move faster as they hauled megatonnes over the harsh Australian landscape.

Their stomachs would sometimes explode from the heat. Sometimes the sheer impossible weight of their burden would cause organs to burst and implode and they would bleed from every orifice. And sometimes their eyes would explode and pop out because of the intolerable pressure and strain. No single country has a franchise on cruelty to people or animals.

I want no part of the Brand Australia that Julia Gillard and her tribe represent.

The constant lies, deception and hypocrisy, not only from our Government but from the Supposition as well, is fed to us with such alarming regularity that it is almost pro-forma.

We have just lost another Digger in that unwinnable war. And I heard The Australian's Foreign Editor, Greg Sheridan point out on the Jon Faine show this morning that the death of our fourth Digger in just over a fortnight, has failed to elicit even a single question from ANYONE in parliament about the war in Afghanistan.


Our Government sent our kids to Afghanistan. Not the Taliban. And I expect our Government(s) and Opposition(s) to continually justify, defend, question and explain its reasoning and its reasons. And to keep us – that is, we the Australian people – fully informed of the progress and end game.

The sands of Afghanistan are drenched with the blood of soldier and citizen alike.

None of this means that we don't grieve for our dead Diggers — or that we don't empathise and feel that enduring ache in our hearts for their families and friends. They are from our community, remember. They are of us. They are our brothers.

I heard Prime Minister Julia Gillard say that she couldn't promise that there will be no more hard days in Afghanistan. Well, we know she can't promise anything. Even when she does, she breaks them. So promissory notes promising no promises don't wash.

Whatever we're doing, it's not working.

Someone needs to take the initiative and call for a moratorium, a ceasefire, a cessation of hostilities and invite the Taliban and other leaders to participate in even an online symposium.

Don't dismiss this idea out of hand. Anything is better than this senseless and endless killing.

I don't buy the notion that to talk peace displays weakness.

And while we're at it, could we create another Ministerial title. Minister for Peace.

I know I'm not alone in feeling despair about the war in Afghanistan. Afghans despise their Government. It is riddled with corruption. It certainly does not have the trust of its people. In this, our countries share a common theme.

Consider the months of wasted opportunities in our Federal Parliament. Where is an overall vision for Australia? We haven't lost our moral compass because we never had one in the first place.

We might have had one once, but it has been misplaced, displaced, in recent times.

But hey, who cares? Our parliamentary dudes have seriously important State business afoot.

Like trashing one another and keeping an eye on the polls, and I'm not talking Herefords.

Meow has just as many vowels as Moo. Remember all that nonsense? Nice work if you can get it.

All you have to do is turn up. Clock in. Shout an obscenity or two at your opponent. Get nearly chucked out by the Speaker. Get recorded in Hansard. That's all the proof you need. Collect the moolah on your way out. Bob's your Aunty.

I think we should form a Shadow Government and a Shadow Opposition formed by us, we the people. And that we should abide by the Parliamentary timetable and Rules and Regulations and debate and pass bills.

We wouldn't be sending unaccompanied children to Malaysia. What were/are you thinking Julia?

And Chris Bowen — you're the Minister for Immigration. Do you have any jurisdiction over your own portfolio?

Sending people to a country that canes people - when did that become acceptable?


Malaysia itself is in too much of a politically precarious position at the moment for us to be  trafficking our asylum seekers to them.

On the Malaysian street is talk of students mobilising and organising more cohesive public protests.

Let us hope that the Malaysian regime allows these kids their democratic right to protest.

Australia might find itself in the ironical position of being inundated with Malaysian nationals seeking asylum here, fleeing from their own regime.

Then what do we do Julia. Send them back with a $5 Levy gift voucher from Meat and Livestock Australia and LiveCorp?  
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