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”We should not only do our best to keep the bastards honest but also ourselves” - by Dinos Toumazos

Αρχική | Ειδήσεις | Κόσμος | ”We should not only do our best to keep the bastards honest but also ourselves” - by Dinos Toumazos

“What would you do if…’’

 

There are less than 24 hours left before tomorrow’s Federal Election in Australia, and some voters remain undecided on who to vote for.

Apart from those who will vote for the existing government or for the opposition for ideological reasons, it appears that there is a growing number of people who are dissatisfied with the performance of both the government and the opposition.

 

There is a long list of important issues concerning the Australian public, including the economy and social welfare, but there is one topic that both parties are concentrating on in the last hours before the election which is critical to the future of our society and country.

Both the conservatives and the newly appointed prime minister and her colleagues are competing to attract votes from the basket of the undecided.

The well known rhetoric from the days of the Howard, Ruddock and Downer government towards the refugees and asylum seekers, which successfully re-elected their government by taking advantage of a well promoted xenophobia, is now matched with a new rhetoric by the Labor government. The vocabulary and terminology have changed but the aim is the same.

Instead of challenging the nation’s conscience by using words such as ‘illegal’ and ‘queue jumpers’, the PM and her party are using terms like ‘sustainability’ and others less harsh but equally as provocative as their predecessors.

As Australia is a country comprised primarily of immigrants, one would expect that there would be more sensitivity and understanding towards those in need.

After all, Europeans invaded this country some centuries ago, others were banished here, many have applied to migrate here for their own betterment and a small number have been accepted on humanitarian grounds.

All these people have managed together to occupy the land of the indigenous population against their will and are now the owners of this land.

It took more than two centuries to formally admit the crimes committed against the original owners of this land and take more seriously the issue of their welfare. It seems that a substantial number of those of us who arrived here in one or another way still suffer from amnesia.

We have very short memories and we forget or refuse to remember that we are here for very similar reasons to those who are desperately arriving at our doorstep, asking for help, support and protection.

One of the most admirable citizens of this country, Julian Burnside AO QC, when asked at a recent forum what we should ask a candidate in a swinging seat, replied that we should ask only “What would you do if you were in these peoples’ ( the asylum seekers ) situation? What would you do if your father was beheaded or executed in front of you by taking out his eyes and then throwing him in boiling oil? Would you wait in queue or jump on a boat?”

We should ask ourselves this question also before heading to the polls tomorrow, if we are really concerned about our future and if we are really interested in a sustainable society.

A major factor in achieving sustainability for our community lies in the morality of our laws and the tolerance exhibited towards our fellow human beings;  that is,  in the fulfilment of our moral obligations.

Otherwise, we are building on sand, without any structure and foundations.

Everyone is urged to repeat Julian Burnside’s question, not only to candidates standing for election but also to themselves, and to vote accordingly.

It seems that we need not only do our best to keep the bastards honest but also ourselves.

We can only keep them honest if we elect candidates who are prepared to commit themselves to act ethically, either from within the main parties or, alternatively, as independents and environmentalists who will control the new elected government by sharing the balance of power.

agora

 





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