>

The Aridity of the Settler Imagination

Queensland "Climate Science"

On Hearing a “Friend” has Voted for Hanson

You’ve never met a single Muslim
yet automatically you despise them,
your putrid tick for racist Hanson
betrays a guilty, greedy voice within.

What’s the bloody difference
between yours and Toadball’s border defence?
It’s vapid new age love you spout
and you want to keep those Muslims out.

How can I keep loving you
when you’ve embraced her scumbag spew,
imagining Muslims a sub-human race,
high on hate, you’re off your face.

You’re scared of non-European culture
but it’s you who is the savage vulture
picking at this country’s bones,
land thieved by England’s brutal throne.

July 2016, Post Federal Election.

Related Links

Excellent article – How we stopped Pauline Hanson last time:

Howard had toned down his anti-Asian racism in deference to business concerns. But Hanson helped create a climate that enabled him to carry out policies in the interests of the ruling class that meshed happily with his own prejudices and which he would have pursued anyway: the attacks on land rights and native title; the abolition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC); cuts to immigration, especially family reunions; the ramping up of Islamophobia using the pretexts of “border security” and the “war on terror”.

Howard’s attitude to Hanson eventually changed for two reasons. First, he was the target of sustained criticism from sections of the media, the small-l liberal middle class and even some ruling class figures – prominent businesspeople and Liberal politicians like Victorian premier Jeff Kennett – for not taking a stronger stand against Hanson. This was a product of their concern about Australia’s international image. Hanson was receiving a great deal of media attention in Asia, and as with Howard’s anti-Asian comments in 1988, they were worried about the potential damage to Australia’s business interests and ability to play a dominant role in the region.

Second, and probably of greater concern to Howard himself, Hanson began to cohere a movement and set up an organisation, the One Nation party, that posed an electoral threat to the traditional conservative forces.

Mick Armstrong’s detailed, booth by booth analysis of who actually voted for One Nation in the Queensland election further erodes the notion that her support came mainly from the blue collar working class. He found that One Nation’s support was strongest in what had been National Party strongholds in south-east Queensland – polling 43.5 percent of the vote in Barambah, once the electorate of the right wing Premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, and over 30 percent in 11 other seats in this area, compared with a state-wide average of 22.7 percent. Moreover:

South-east Queensland has a high concentration of small farmers, and numerous small towns with a large number of small businesses – newsagents, petrol stations, real estate agents, pharmacists, accountants, farm equipment suppliers – but very few large workplaces with concentrations of unionised workers.[25]

The general pattern was that Labor did better in the bigger towns but One Nation overwhelmed them in the smaller centres. So the core support for One Nation was the “small town middle class, not – as so many commentators repeat ad nauseam – ‘ignorant’ workers.” Actually, very few blue collar workers defected from Labor to Hanson. Overall, 80 percent of the Hanson vote came from conservative parties and 20 percent from Labor. In addition, while its highest votes were in rural areas, One Nation polled better in affluent middle class areas of Brisbane and the Gold Coast than in poorer working class areas. Armstrong concluded: “It was not the ‘enlightened’ middle class that most strongly rejected Hanson, but unionised, traditional Labor-voting urbanised workers.”

The role of mass protest in the decline of support for Hanson, however, has been understated if not completely ignored. Indeed, there has been no account that I have been able to find of what was one of the most militant and sustained protest movements of recent times. Yet it was an important factor, playing a crucial role in preventing the growth and organisational consolidation of One Nation.

There was widespread opposition to Hanson from the outset. Many in the business community were alarmed by Hanson’s anti-Asian policies – not because they opposed racism, but because it was bad for business. This became clear when the Business Council of Australia, along with the Council of Social Services, religious leaders – and, disgracefully, the ACTU – issued a joint statement which condemned her stance on Asian immigration but ignored her equally vile racism towards Indigenous people. This was no oversight: anti-Aboriginal racism was the basis of the business community’s campaign against native title. Small-l liberals generally saw Hanson as dangerous. But they too were more concerned about the national interest and Australia’s international image than with the impact of racism on immigrant and Indigenous communities. Like Tony Abbott in more recent times, Hanson was considered to be an embarrassment.

But there was also a groundswell of revulsion and opposition from what Robert Manne might call “ordinary people”. From the moment Hanson made her maiden speech, people started mobilising against her. Everywhere she went she had to run the gauntlet of protesters.

Elites

Meditation

 
You market racism
inbuilt in capitalism
you sell division
you hawk your tools
so i can on-sell
fear’s smell
complicit with
your smug, private
accumulation
stolen nations
down the multi-level
marketing pyramid
intimate and bigoted
this colonial poison
mass death enjoyment
this ponzi scheme
which only benefits you
i refuse to shill
your septic poo
drowning the planet
in trickling inequality
your squalid legacy
and strategy.

Jinjirrie,
May 2016

How to Grow a Garden – World Poetry Day 2016

It’s not that one has been forced to silence, rather that words have tumbled elsewhere than this blog for a while. Here’s a good excuse to restart this blog – commenting on the imprisonment of Palestinian poet, Ashraf Fayadh, jailed for “apostasy” for eight years and 800 lashes, his beheading sentence commuted by the vicious, tyrannical Saudi oilagarchy, best mates of the US empire and Israel, connivers in the oppression of the region and in particular, occupied Palestinians.

How to Grow a Garden

Mulch the Saudi princes,
jumped up hereditary popinjays
presiding over the ineffable infinite
as if they know it all by divine right
and can take it with them.
May the Saudi princes,
enemies of poets and truth
be deposed and decomposed,
words choking their greedy mouths.

Jinjirrie, March 2014

From Ashraf’s latest poem, written since he was jailed.

“I saw my father for the last time through thick glass,
then he departed, for good.
Because of me, let’s say.
Let us say because he could not bear the thought
I’d die before him.
My father died and left death besieging me
without it frightening me sufficiently.
Why does death scare us to death?
My father departed after a long time
spent on the surface of this planet.
I didn’t say farewell as I should have
nor grieve for him as I should have
and was incapable of tears,
as is my habit, which grows uglier as time passes.

The soldiers besiege me from all fronts
in their uniforms of poor color,
laws and regimes and statutes besiege me.
Sovereignty besieges me;
its highly concentrated instinct
cannot be shaken by living creatures.
My loneliness besieges me,
my loneliness suffocates me,
I am choked by depression, nervousness, and worry,
remorse, that I’m a member of the human race,
kills me.”

………………………………………..

For Fayadh from Gaza, Haidar Eid performs “Thirsty for Freedom,” adapted from a poem by the late legendary Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm.

………………………………………..

‘There are two ways opposite to each other, one leading to the house of freedom, the other to the house of slavery. Lead the people on the road that goes through courage and harmony; avoid that which leads through strife and ruin.’

Delphic Oracle (circa 7-9C BC)

………………………………………..

How many couplets do you recognise?

How many of these poets were oppressed for their visions and lived in squalid unhappiness?

Don’t wait till they are dead or imprisoned, treasure your local poets today!

………………………………………

Long Division

racist brands take a stand
with oppression hand in hand
capitalist charities affirm disparities
freedom and the bantustans
the moneygoround grinds
in sordid imperial embrace
and your silence is assent
your bullying, self-defence
while others realise dreams
resist the Beast’s foul schemes
and your wall’s stacked
solid with sycophancy
praising white supremacy
your struggle, your sacrifice
brandished wares to sell
a Great Man or two
say they’re worth a look
have you read the book?
on besieged Gaza beach
a young boy flies a kite
unseen above, Israel tests
new drones for the US
and its predatory National Interest

July 2015

Ali Abunimah On Gaza and BDS, 1 Year After Israel’s Last Massacre

At present, Ali Abunimah is in France, speaking in Paris, Bordeaux, Montpellier and Lyon, marking 10 years since the advent of the 2005 BDS call and “the first anniversary of the beginning of Israel’s 51-day assault on Gaza that killed more than 2,200 people and devastated the territory”.

Ali Abunimah speaks on why there has been no reconstruction in Gaza, about the total impunity Israel enjoys, highlighting that there are no consequences for Israel’s continued blockade because of almost no pressure from outside world.

Here’s some points which Ali made in the interview.

“It’s very easy to criticise the inmates of a prison for their behaviour within the cell.”

“As there has been no reconstruction, many Palestinians have died in the Mediterranean trying to flee the devastation in Gaza.”

“Israel with total impunity continues to take land, build illegal settlements.”

“Palestinians have a right to resist military occupation, whether they are from Hamas or other as the French resisted in World War 2, as others have resisted, Palestinians have a right to resist.”

“People say “you should not launch rockets” …the point is that particularly Europe, is treating Palestinian resistance as if it’s illegal.”

“The point I’m making is that when you talk about a people living under occupation as ‘terrorists’, and you greet the occupiers, the oppressors, at the Elysees Palace or in Buckingham Palace, you are sending a moral message that occupation and apartheid is OK.”

“I don’t recognise that any state, whether it’s Israel or France or a future Palestine, has a right to discriminate against people based on their religion or ethnicity, so I don’t recognise any legitimate Israeli claim Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state because that is by definition discriminatory against Palestinians.”

“The reason Israel is talking about the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement as a strategic threat is because Israel recognises that the movement pushing for equality, for a fundamental change, is going mainstream.”

Video first posted at Electronic Intifada