Australia. uncaring racist nation?

Yesterday evening I attended a lecture by Jonathan Holmes at Curtin University. I left feeling very depressed. The reason for my depression at Jonathan Holmes’ talk and the discussion that followed were general comments about how low the interest in politics and other issues were in Australia.

I did agree that it unrealistic that our media should be unbiased and the best we can have is that we have a diversity of bias. As I understood the conversation the opinion was that there is little hope that the Murdoch press can ever be broken up and true diversity re-established in Australian MSM because who in their right mind own a newspaper? Also if the current trend continues Murdoch and the ABC would be the last two MSM entities standing. Although it was not part of the conversation I did wonder how unbiased the ABC can be when it relies on government funding? This is not just under an Abbott government but also under any government.

Apart from the issue of the improbability of returning to any form of diversity in print media there was this issue of whether or not Australians cared about any real issues at all.

Figures where not quoted, only a general trend. It seems that now there is a reasonable on line presence of media across all spectrums of our society it is possible build up a picture of what our society is interest in.

Politics just doesn’t rate as an issue of interest on the internet. Nor do stories about Aboriginal issues rate in any form of media. The case was cited in MSN where the West Australian ran a photo of an Aboriginal elder on the front page and circulation dropped by twenty thousand. Staff members had warned the editor that it would happen but the photo was run anyway and the prediction proved to be true.

The general picture that I took away from the talk was that Australia was racist, sexist uncaring place where self-interest ruled supreme. It is place where anyone with a real interest in exploring issues of inequality or oppression would not be heard because nobody is interested. This was the reason for my depression after listening Jonathan Holmes and others. It is not that inequality and oppression exists, that was apparent to me before yesterday evening. The depressing thing was that my suspicions that nobody cared were confirmed.

So why do those who do care blog about political and social issues? The only reason I can think of for all of us who do want to make a difference is that we can do it for the good of our own soul in the vain hope that sometime someone might listen.

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Lets do the Time Warp with Tony

A prediction I made in December last year Tony Abbott Santamaria’s Ghost, is coming true. Australia is heading straight back to the 1950’s. The words are slightly different. It isn’t “reds under the bed” but Islamic phobia and the terrorist threat.

Instead of the marauding yellow peril in our North we have a few refugees arriving in leaky boats to bring back the old cry of “Border Protection.” Women have gone from the cabinet back to the Kitchen sink because they are ‘equal but different’ and should not worry their little heads about things like politics. Men take care of the important things and women take care of the cooking and cleaning.

We don’t have to take care of the environment the sky is big enough to handle all the pollution we can produce. Don’t worry about anything we will give you a short briefing once a month on what we want you to know. Control by ignorance and fear is back.

It’s all back to the days of B.A.Santamaria and the democratic labour party when politics as much about religion as it was running the country.

I used to see Murdoch and Abbott as an evil pair of dysfunctional  ignoramuses’ intent on destroying Australia. I now see them as  as time travellers from the 50’s stuck in an age they do not understand and try desperately to get back home. Fortunately the times are not a-changing: they have already changed. It is a different world and fugitives from the past cannot survive for long.

This is part of what I wrote in December.

Tony Abbot was a pupil of B.A.Santamaria for 22 years, and once described Santamaria as ‘The greatest living Australian.”

Santamaria was a extreme Catholic radical who said that all private and public policy must be according to strict Catholic doctrine. Basically Santamaria wanted Australia to be governed as a Catholic theocracy.

In an interview on Radio National (March14, 2001) Fr Bruce Duncan  said of Santamaria.

“I don’t think he went out of his way to mislead and misinterpret events, I think he was just so convinced of his ideas that he automatically kept reinterpreting things to mean the exact opposite of what they had originally intended to mean.”

The same might be said of Santamaria’s pupil, Tony Abbott.

Looking back at B.A.Santamaria is a way of understanding Tony Abbott and why I think that a vote for Tony Abbott is a vote for Santamaria’s ghost.

Tony’s new uniform. Blue tie with little pink pigs.

I have not seen any real evidence, academic or otherwise that suggests there is any general difference in intelligence or ability between men and women. If a group was form from a population based on intelligence and ability the numbers men and women in that group should be roughly equal, allowing for a small statistical error.

How can the Abbott government claim to represent when the only woman in the cabinet is someone who has survived several leadership changes by being willing to be whatever the leader wants her to be and hold whatever policy view the leader holds?

Some see the Abbott cabinet as being an insult to women. I see it as an insult to Australia. Julia Gillard’s summation of Abbott’s attitude to women was spot on.

If the labour side of politics is examined there is a genuine attempt to have people of ability in leadership roles regardless of sex. Julia Gillard and Nicola Roxon are a great loss to Australian politics. Tanya Plibersek is fortunately still with us and I hope to see her as Prime Minister one day.

There are also talented men in the Labour Party. That is the way it needs to be. I cannot understand how in the 21st century why we still has such a sexually based disparity of representation in government. A male dominated cabinet is obscene and belongs to the days of Gladstone.

Unfortunately Abbott has not only selected his cabinet on outdated sexual attitudes but has also done the image of men in our society enormous harm. I hope women understand that not all men are little Abbotts.

Does sexism only effect woman?

The political chatter about sexism in Australian politics leaves me cold. It is all about how us sexist misogynous men are so mean and cruel to women.

What about the million men who victims of on-going domestic violence? What about the sexist family courts who make wild discussions, such as the women being the natural parent, based only on completely sexist attitudes? Sexism against men goes way beyond calling people names and making judgements based only on genitalia.

Sexism against men is enshrines in our legal system from the attitude of our police to domestic violence, the support and welfare available to women but not men through to the totally sexist family courts.

No-fault divorce is a nice concept but in practice it does not allow men to say what is really going on in a marriage. Men are not allowed to say that they are married to a violent alcohol and they fear for their children. Not allowed.

So the courts give custody of children and strip men of their assts so that the societal myth that some how violence, and a multitude of other sins are gender based.

Before I get the usual hate mail from the Feminist Mafia (masquerading as feminists) I will state my position again. I am for equality. Real equality where nobody is judged solely on his/her sex. I am for the concept that there are some nice people and some not so nice people ‘out there.’ Some are women and some are men.

So please Ms Gillard, if you want to spray about misogyny please look at the reasons why some men can be excused for hating women. I don’t agree with them but until there is real equality in our society and under the law, and ‘equality’ does not translate to feminist superiority it is going to continue.