Team Australia Strikes at Democracy

The nastiness of Abbott’s and Morrison’s Team Australia

rabbott01When the Australian Government’s spokesperson, Tony Abbott announced in August, that we all had to be part of Team Australia, we all knew what it meant. From his perspective, you were either with ‘us’, or you are against ‘us’. This government is about inequity and being plain nasty to anyone it deems not to be part of their agenda – Team Australia.

This is a huge change for Australia. Here are several stories that make the point.

hqdefaultBack in 1988-89 many Chinese were in Australia as students. I knew a few of them and they were so glad to be here. They had stories to tell on how they had survived the cultural revolution, how they had avoided being killed by the Red Guards, and how their families had been sent from the cities to the country.

Then came the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

The students knew that they were in trouble as they were due to return to China quite soon. Then the Australian Prime Minister showed leadership and announced that thousands of Chinese students would be allowed to stay in Australia. The Cabinet Papers have just been released on this – click here.

This is the Australia I was very proud to be part of in 1989.

But it is now interesting to read that the bureaucrats were not happy with the Prime Minister’s decisions. They did not want so many Chinese to be allowed to stay. They really wanted to keep alive the infamous White Australia Policy. The Prime Minister won the day and the country benefited from all these people becoming Australians. They enhanced our way of living in many many ways.

So we fast forward to 2014. The government is punishing people who have left their country and have come to Australia seeking refuge and safety. The Minister for meanness and cruelty, Scott Morrison, is so full of hate for these people that he would do anything to stop them. If that was not enough, he wanted more power in late 2014 to be allowed to do what he wanted to anyone and everyone. He blackmailed some senators to give him these unchecked powers by blackmailing senators about the plight of children in the imprisonment camps on Christmas Island. click here.

But he’s an example of the true Scott Morrison. Very late in 2014, he set out to bully the Mayor of Moreland in Victoria. She is refusing to agree to read out a Minister’s statement during the coming Australian Citizen ceremony. The Minister has threatened to take the power of bestowing citizenship away from the local council unless they heed his ultimatum (blackmail again) to read his statement on immigration and asylum seekers.

We can imagine how nasty a message he wants to have broadcasted. At the time of writing the stand-off continues. The mayor is feeling the full heat of the Team Australia! This is not a country I am proud of anymore.

But I am proud of the mayor who is sticking to her refusal. Click here.

Currently it is not only the Minister and the elected politicians that are the problem. A culture has developed within departments such as Immigration that works against assisting people who are refugees. Too many of our bureaucrats have become part of the meanness that works to stop these people and to make life very nasty for those who do make it here. This is not a country I am proud of in 2014/2015.

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Paul Costigan

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