Monday, 10 September 2012 By Max Gross

Australians all let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil;
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in nature’s gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In history’s page, let every stage
Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.

In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia Fair.

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Right. That's it. That's our glorious national anthem.

Girt by sea. Joyful strains. And the real kicker, which would be ironic if it wasn't just patently false:
For those who’ve come across the sea, We’ve boundless plains to share.

In a desperate attempt to knock the wind out of psychopathic blowhard Tony Abort's tattered sails, PM Julia Gillard has adopted a core (as opposed to "non-core") element of ousted Germ Howard's Tory government's war on asylum seekers.

Image PreviewThe notorious abandoned - and by now dilapidated - concentration camps on the bird-shit island of Nauru and Papua New Guinea's Manus will be rebuilt and reopened. It's a done deal between Australia and the two corrupt, barely functioning governments.

Signed, sealed and dumped.

The latest frightened asylum seekers picked up and dropped off on Australia's Christmas Island gaol will now be shunted off to these isolated limbos far from public or independent scrutiny regardless of the fact that the old infrastructure has ossified, the buildings are in ruin, support staff non-existent and the entire concept is a practical and moral failure before it even restarts.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen looked decidedly queasy as he announced today that asylum seekers WILL be transferred to Nauru by the end of this week. I suspect he would rather have been doing something else. Like swallowing razor blades, sniffing petrol and shoving a screwdriver into his ear.

So here we are again. Unbelievable? No, not given the rank, irrational state of what passes for political discourse in our wide brown turd... er, um, I mean land... not unbelievable but inevitable. Pragmatism, they call it.

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I call it bullshit.

As vile a policy as anything Germ Howard could manufacture out of Australian parochialism, timid NIMBY-ism and the innate, senseless fear of Asian hordes lusting after our deserted deserts, piss-stinking beer barns and unique Kulcha (aka “the Australian way-of-life”, amen).

First it was the Chinese – the “Yellow Peril”! Then it was the Italians and Greeks - “wogs”. Then it was the Vietnamese - “gooks”. And then it was Muslims - “rag-heads”. And now... It's anyone and everyone desperate enough seek asylum here by trying to reach our precious shores by boat.

The Labor Party has finally fully committed political sepukku, buckling to the vitriolic rhetoric of Opposition Leader Tony Abort, his grotesque Shadow Minister for Immigration and the entire, tone-deaf Fiberal Party chorus. The abasement of a party once proud of its moral and social compass is now complete.

The compass is broken. The edge of the world is the only remaining direction but not even daring Capt'n Jack Sparrow can save Australia from this abyss.

The purported purpose (Try saying that six times quickly!) of Gillard' betrayal of Labor's debased heritage is to frighten prospective asylum seekers away from the mere notion of making their way Down Under via clapped-out, barely seaworthy fishing boats sourced in Indonesia.

Cock it!
Image PreviewThe actual reason is to deny the Nopposition Lib-Gnats their political weapon of choice in the run-up to the 2013 federal poll. Not to mention the vain hope of putting a muzzle on barking Br'er Abort's favourite three-word slogan: “Stop The Boats!”

Lies, fear and smear continue to justify cruel and pointless policy responses to a negligible problem.

But the bottom line? The boats will continue to head our way as long as regional conflicts and instability abound. Especially with our complicity in US military adventurism, as in Afghanistan and Iraq - where in recent days up to 100 people were killed and 350 people injured in more than 20 bomb attacks.

Mission accomplished, eh, Dubya! Yeah right! Peace in our time!

But, hey, "expert panel" or talk-back radio babble, we all know this renewed assault on asylum seekers is all about votes and the next federal poll.

Gillard's Labor minority government hoped to cling to a fig leaf of assumed credibility by setting up a panel of review to tell her what she wanted to hear so that she could claim NOT to have merely cracked under the strain of the relentless, bloody-minded and hateful humbug bellowed by Phony Tony Abort and his cynical castrati.

Image PreviewSo people seeking our help will continue to be treated worse than convicted criminals. Australia is a disgrace. Labor is a disgrace. The Lib-Gnat coalition apparently have vexatious bullshit in their DNA. And Abort is a vile, cruel opportunistic extremist who, if elected prime minister, will turn Australia into Monstralia. Again.

The Howard Era Mark II. With bells on!

It will be even more interesting to see how Br'er Abort manages as "leader" of a minority government when - and if - he scrapes into the PM's role late next year. Oh, and I can't wait to see him telling the Indonesian government to accept our navy towing refugee boats back! Why should we, Bambang will muse? And the petulant Pontiff Downunder will declare: because I say so!

The fact is that Indonesia has made it clear that it will refuse to accept rescued refugees Australia wants to return to Indonesia.

And just how keen is Indonesia on rescuing asylum seekers at sea?

In the past four years the Indonesian rescue authority, Basarnas, has rescued just one distressed asylum boat, and that was with the help of the Australia's broadcaster ABC, which told them where to look.

One vessel rescued by Indonesia's rescue authority in four years.

Image PreviewNobody can "stop the boats" while refugees flee conflict, oppression and danger to life and limb.

In Sudan alone there are 3 million refugees.

The UN refugee agency says 100,000 refugees fled Syria in August, the highest monthly total since the uprising there began.

A UN spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming, said the rise in people seeking asylum in neighbouring countries brought the total of Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration with her agency to more than 230,000.

And, according to this weeks' Melbourne Age broadsheet, some 2000 people have arrived by boat since the Gillard government's August 13 announcement reinstating offshore processing.

Wow, this re-jigged “tough” policy works a treat!

Image PreviewSickeningly, it's a policy Labor once condemned as inhumane but has now embraced.

I can just imagine the horrid grin of satisfaction on disgraced former PM John W. Horror's face.

When Aladdin Sisalem heard that the Howard Era prison camps were to be reopened he was appalled. Eight years ago, he was held for 18 months on Manus Island - 10 in isolation – enduring both physical and emotional torture in a 20-metre-by-20-metre compound.

For almost a year, he was the sole occupant, apart from a handful of staff. Alone. Abandoned. Forgotten.

To this day he has post-traumatic stress and crippling anxiety. Like so many others, his imprisonment ruined his health and caused permanent mental harm.

Convicted murderers in our privatised prisons are not treated this badly.

Image Preview"The main thing is the uncertainty, that you don't know what will happen," says Ali Hussaini, who, with his family, spent the longest time on Nauru before his claim for refugee status was accepted. "A person can commit a crime and the judge sentence him to 10 years or 20 years, and he knows how many years he will spend in jail. But for us, we don't know how many years we have to be there."

Once again, innocent asylum seekers will be incarcerated out-of-sight-out-of-mind as a perceived political expedience. Once again, imprisoned families will watch loved ones break down, self-harm and grow increasingly ill. Once again, indefinite detention will be used to punish those seeking only our help.

And the ramshackle boats will keep coming, crewed by impoverished Indonesian kids, aided and abetted by corrupt Indonesian authorities. And desperate men, women and children will continue to drown at sea for no reason other than their yearning for somewhere safe to live and survive. Fair go, mate!

For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.

Image PreviewHard to say what's worse about our worthless national anthem: the dismal tune or the reeking hypocrisy of the lyrics.

Do us a favour, Tony. Next time you want to intimidate a woman, don't just punch the wall, head-butt the damn thing with all your strength. And keep doing so until the light comes on in that thick simian skull!

This was Max Gross for XENOXNEWS.COM, cracking the shits, cracking a cold one and taking a deep, deep breath before going outside to count the stars in the sky.

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