Unleashing the Reptile

“The freedom had two sides to it. Sometimes a heavy, reptile hostility came off the sombre land, something gruesome & infinitely repulsive.”
– DH Lawrence, ‘Kangaroo’

At what point did Australia’s light on the hill become a rising stink from the basement?

Of course, there’s always been a whiff of bigotry and intolerance here. No country is immune from that. And few of us can claim to have never prejudged another on the basis of race. But recent events are genuinely disquieting for many people, particularly those from minority ethnic groups. Continue reading

The Australian Asylum

The Rudd government’s new PNG solution to the asylum seekers problem is aimed at shutting down a filthy trade run by cynical and low-rent opportunists who exploit the hopes and fears of the most marginalised for commercial gain. Yes, we’re talking about tabloid editors.

There are two dimensions to the refugees issue. One is managing the problem itself – a relatively marginal one for a rich economy that leads the developed world on most economic metrics. The second dimension – and the trickier one – is the theatrics around the issue, a charade kept alive by attention-seeking sections of the news media and the frightened politicians they goad into one piece of policy knee-jerkery after another. Continue reading

Damned Lies and Journalism

man with a knike nailed in his tongue

“Oz polls show nothing can save this miserable govt. Election can not come soon enough.People decided and tuned out months ago.”
— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) May 19, 2013

‘The nation is drowning in debt. The federal government has lost control of public finances. The NBN is a disaster. Business is struggling because union thugs are destroying productivity growth. We are being overwhelmed with illegal boat arrivals. Refugees are living on welfare and bleeding us dry.’ Continue reading

Deep Throaties

It’s 9pm in the Daily Telegraph bunker and Gemma Jonestown is screaming herself hoarse.Her nationwide scoop about fatcat asylm seekers scoring free taxpayer-funded microwaves to heat up their 2-minute noodles is held up in production.

“For chrissake, Woodward and Bernstein would KILL for this story,” she screams, between hurried sips of her Hungry Jacks large chocolate shake, “It’s only a photo illustration, mate!”
Continue reading