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Fixing Australia

Australia is broken. Democracy has holes in it, cracks in it, and it needs fixing. Since the 2004 Federal election we know that our government is not going to fix it. I think we need to do that fixing, and this blog is a start of getting some ideas together.

Monday, November 08, 2004

We are just being born...

'We must accept finite disappointment; but we must never lose infinite hope' -Martin Luther King-

At first it seems that something may have died within us on October 9th. This is reflected in the quietness that has descended. There is an inability to talk about the depth of despair we feel, as the reality of the democratic verdict is too painful. The 'side' we wanted to be defeated, has won. Now November 2nd has also come and gone. Again a triumph for those who trumpet division and hatred; a win for those who use words which appeal to the darker side of the human soul.

Is it going to keep us down? Is the solution to look for some other place to live? Do we truly think we'll find another place where the darker side will not surface, as it surfaced unexpectedly in the Lucky Country on 26th August 2001? Are we to simply give up? Give up, on what we believe! Did we truly think that this was a sprint, and not a marathon? Do we have the stamina to stay the course? The walk we are on, is not a Sunday afternoon's protest march. It is a road that many inspirational people have trod. Think of Mahatma Gandhi, of William Wilberforce, of Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, and of Nelson Mandela... It is a long road. We have 'miles to go, before we sleep...' Have we the capability, and the heart?

We have only to think back to those days of 'Post Tampa Australia', when we felt so helpless and impotent against lies being used for political gain. The majority's silence made us feel then that the flames of prejudice would burn the soul of this Great South Land. Instead of engulfment, the flames only served to heat the crucible of Australia's soul. And from within it, there emerged a precious core. A core made up of people all around the country, in its cities and bush towns, from all walks of life. Refugee Action Committee, Rural Australians for Refugees, A Just Australia, Circle of Friends .. and many more.

These spontaneous community based organisations that sprang up, are a testament to Australia's true national character. We've got to draw strength from one another, and continue the journey together. There are so many dedicated hearts and minds to inspire each other to the great tasks that lie ahead.

Arundathi Roy said it best on 'Enough Rope' on 18th October -".How do you define a battle that's lost and a battle that's won? It's a very, very complicated thing... you still see that what has been won is a tremendous spirit among the people? They're not broken. They're just being born, in a way .... Whether we win or lose is a separate matter. On which side will we fight?"

So it appears, that we are just being born, ... and the pains we've experienced are the pangs. We may have done some kicking before birth. Let's show Australia, and the world, that we've plenty of kicking left in us!

"..I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only
finds that there are many more hills to climb...."
- Nelson Mandela


  • At Monday, November 08, 2004 7:20:00 PM, Blogger Project_SafeCom said…

    Thank you Ranjan, it makes me want to challenge a debate: shouldn't we in the refugee movement link arms with the other issues? Didn't Howard get his way with refugees through manipulation of public servants, by taking 8 years, with the help of Max "the Axe" Moore Wilton, to stack the public service with those prepared to cower to his political agenda?

    And, what about the links between Howard's Australia and Dubya's role in the US, especially after the 2 November elections? It's the issue of refugees in Australia - because it needed lies and manipulation of the Australian electorate, the NAVY, the Army and the media - the same issue as what's going on in Iraq's Abu Ghraib torture house, where the US needs to indemnify itself from UN Conventions, and have embedded journalists, and a press dominated by the Murdoch press, in order to get away with the hijacking of Iraq - because it wants the Oil?

    It's it time we all, all of us who claim to want to also want policy change because of our care for refugees, open our eyes, and join into a broader movement around Australia and see the connections with what's happening in the USA?I bet you, Ranjan, some of the refugee groups, also those who are in the forefront, may soon never be present again. If they vanish, they have failed to make the links, and they have pottered around in the kitchen to prepare the meal, without realising that the gas was disconnected!



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