- Mothers Day Thoughts (wellcallmecrazy.wordpress.com)
Dear Mr Abbott
I met you a few years back at the Sydney Writers Festival.
I'd just sat through your session with Annabelle Crabb in conversation with you about Battlelines. You spent the first few minutes at the lectern in the Sydney Theatre Company delivering a paid Liberal Party advertisement. Problem was it was everyone in the audience, like me, who'd funded it.
Strewth! Stone the flaming crows!
It’s bloody hard to be a racist in this country or what?
I mean just the other day I was listening to the radio. And one of those shock jocks and his politician mate was sayin’ stuff about those illegals that come here by boat ‘cos they want to take all our benefits.
And just then I got on the train. And I saw one and his family. Just knew it was them. Don’t care whether they have wet feet off the boat or got off the plane with dry feet. I gave ‘em all what for. Mate you should’ve seen me!
Told ‘em how my granddad fought to keep youse people out of this country. And I then I really gave him what for. Just the same as what I heard on the radio.
And yesterday my boss called me in. Been carpeted for my racist rant. Hell I was just sayin’ what was being said wasn’t I? I mean we all think it, don’t we?
And now it looks like it might be up for that racial vilification thingy. The cops called me next. Didn’t even think such a thing could exist? I got my free speech haven’t I?
And now people are writing stuff about how we’re racists and how we should be nice to the immigrants. I mean they’re all the same to me. Don’t care whether they’re off the boat or on the tram. That’s what the shock jocks and pollies are tellin’ me.
Jeez its getting harder to be a racist in this country!
Here ‘s how to make him stay. Don’t ask about:
- James Ashby and Mal Brough.
- Afghanistan and Mark Riley.
- Peter Slipper.
- Peter van Onselen and Dr Mark Roberts.
- Sydney University allegations.
- One Nation and David Ettridge.
- Direct action details.
- Gonski details and LNP Education Policy.
- Barry O’Farrell.
Of course this is not an exhaustive list!
Of course, it will be added to to ensure that Tony Abbott does stay and does answer questions.
Nicole Mockler, University of Newcastle & Greg Thompson, Murdoch University
Last week on Radio National, Shadow Education Minister Christopher Pyne gave us a glimpse of the Coalition’s vision for education should the Coalition win government.
He focused on two specific areas, school funding and "teacher quality", specifically on teaching methods.
He said, "we would immediately instigate a very short term ministerial advisory group to advise me on the best model for teaching in the world, how to bring out more practical teaching methods based on more didactic teaching methods, more traditional methods rather than the child-centred learning that has dominated the system for the last twenty, thirty or forty years..."
Despite learning about Anzac Day all my life, it wasn’t until recently I found its meaning to me.
As a child, I did attend Dawn Service with my Dad. I tried my best to stay awake and not appear bored.I remember reading the plaque which had far too many names for a small country town. But it held little impact.
At school, I learnt all the history. The First World War, the enlistment of the Anzacs, the training in Egypt, the failed attack on the Dardanelles, the Anzac landings, withdrawal, the trench warfare in France. But history much like news only happens to other people. It had little meaning to me.
But at secondary school, my attitude changed some more. As part of a team working on the school magazine, a debate arose over what to write about the school’s Anzac Day commemoration. Should we put the Ode of Remembrance or something else?
In the end, I lobbied to have the last two verses published. Reading those last two verses as a boy of 14 or 15, about young men going to war and dying really hit home. I felt sad for their loss and thought that but for a mere few decades I could have been at Gallipoli.
The next shift occurred while reading my family tree. Several great-uncles had lost their lives in the First World War, at Gallipoli and France. I absorbed the information and accepted it. After all a family tree is names on a page.
But there I was standing in our street in Footscray talking to our neighbours about its history. After the First World War, many houses were simply vacated as fathers, brothers and sons did not come back home. I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t. Here was the emptiness of war.
The Dawn Service that I had attended with my spouse (her grandfather was in Changi) the year before suddenly had new poignancy for me.
You are now living in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours…
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace, after having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”