You know what? If the Libs win the election on Saturday, this country is going to hell in a handbasket. It really is. People think it will be all beer & skittles and not-much-will-change-day-to-day and sure, they may notice very little difference initially, but it will creep up on them like a disease. A disease called Tony Abbott.
Not since George W Bush has there been a (so-called) world leader so evil and stupid and self-serving (although at least we were never subjected to pics of W in budgie smugglers).
The Libs have only just released their policy papers (2 days before the election, mind you - like a uni student rushing to submit their term paper before the deadline and hoping it'll get lost amongst all the other papers so we won't look too closely at the fine print), yet within hours were backtracking on some of their plans.
However, the two issues that are really irking me tonight, are Joe Hockey's plan to cut $4.5bn in foreign aid; and the attitude to refugees of both the Liberal and Labor governments. When did we become such a heartless nation? When did we forget about the line in our national anthem that claims: "For those who've come across the seas, we've boundless plains to share"? When?
Earlier today, I was catching up on Jon Stewart's return to The Daily Show (god, I've missed him); and his first interview back was with Andrew Harper, who is Head of the UN Refugee Agency in Jordan (and from his accent, I'm guessing an Aussie). If you can get hold of the interview, I'd highly recommend watching it. Here's the link to the extended interview, but depending on where you are, you may not be able to watch it (I have a sneaky over-ride program that lets me watch US content on my laptop. Shhhh! Don't tell Malcolm!).
Anyway, the work Andrew Harper does is awesome and some of the facts and figures he was providing in his interview really made me sit up and think. For instance:
Jordan has a population of 6 million. So far, they've taken in 2 million Palestinian, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and 500-600,000 Syrian refugees. That's roughly half their population. Of the 500-600,000 Syrian refugees, they've absorbed 200-300,000 into their homes and communities and they only built camps for them because they couldn't absorb any more refugees any other way. Camps were their last resort. They're not "turning them back", they're welcoming them in. To quote Andrew, Jordan is just one of several middle eastern countries that are:
"... often struggling to provide support to their own communities and their own populations, but what they do have is wonderful traditions, wonderful cultures of providing support to those fleeing conflict."
These people have very little themselves, yet are opening their arms to the poor, the persecuted and the displaced and helping them build new lives. It's truly humbling. Meanwhile, our government bitches about bringing in 1/1000th that number and instead send out bullying messages that "you're not welcome here" and diverts refugees to offshore processing centres where the conditions are on a par with third world prisons.
I mean, seriously.
When did we become such a heartless, self-serving, ungenerous, selfish nation? When? And how can these people call themselves Christian when their attitudes are anything but?
As for Joe Hockey's reason for cutting $4.5bn in foreign aid? Well:
"We can only be a more generous nation to the rest of the world if we have a strong Australian economy and so we are reducing the growth in foreign aid by $4.5 billion over the forward estimates to fund essential infrastructure here in Australia."
He goes on to state that the money will instead be spent on infrastructure projects, including $1.5 billion on Melbourne's East West Link, $1.5 billion on Sydney's WestConnex and another $1 billion on an upgrade to Brisbane's Gateway Motorway.
Right. Just what we need in Australia. More fucking motorways so entitled cockwombles driving their gas-guzzling dickmobiles to and from their cushy corporate jobs won't have to sit in traffic on a Monday morning when they're returning from their weekenders in the country.
Hell in a handbasket.
I'm going to leave you now to work on my application for a Swedish visa. If the Libs get in, that's where you'll find me living for the next decade until Australia gets its head out of its collective arse and learns some humanity.