Category Archives: Political thoughts

Philosophy/ what has happened to our kind society?

Dream Teacher
You can choose any person from history to teach you any topic you want. Who’s your teacher and what do they teach you?
(thanks Mati Serrano for inspiring this prompt). Ben Huberman.

Turning away from religious icons of the past, mainly because of wars and pedophilia being perpetrated in the name of religion; I would prefer to choose a teacher who is more human. This would be someone who would talk philosophically with me and encourage deep thoughts and allow my brain to develop critical thinking. Humour is another prerequisite, as life would be very dull without it.

Many authors come to mind but, in reality, writing is something I must do alone. There are people I admire who are out there attempting to change the wrongs of this world. I can see a big need in our community for such activists. I shall include details about a meeting to be held in Dalesford, Victoria, Australia where such ideas and ideals will be discussed, just in case there is anyone able to attend. I have not included contact details, but if anyone is interested, please contact me and I can e-mail you the details.



Where & When? Saturday, 9th August 2014, from 2pm to 4.30pm
At the Daylesford Town Hall, Vincent Street, Daylesford

Who can attend?
This is a free public forum open to all ALP members and all members of the Public who wish tocontribute to a discussion & possible re-shaping of the ALP Policies relating to Asylum Seekers.

· Richard Marles*, MHR for Geelong and ALP Shadow Minister for Immigration (* awaiting confirmation from Richard)
· David Manne, Lawyer & Public Advocate assisting Asylum Seekers
· Julian Burnside, Lawyer & Public Advocate assisting Asylum Seekers

· Current ALP policies on Asylum Seekers will be explained
· Each Speaker will then present their view on the adequacy or suggested changes to the ALP policies
· The audience, guided by the Chairperson, Dep. Mayor Cr. Kate Redwood, will have the opportunity through a Q&A format to express their views or ask questions
· All attending will have the opportunity to submit written thoughts on the current policies and possiblechanges

What does the Forum hope to achieve?
· Involve ALP members in an open consultation with the wider Community on the issues
· Involve ALP supporters in an open consultation with the wider Community on the issue
· Encourage other sections of the ALP to openly debate and re-think the ALP policies and practices concerning Asylum Seekers

Warren Maloney
(contact details withheld)
Member of the ALP 1979-present (Brunswick South and Daylesford Branches)

Paul Keating: “I think Australia has to be a country which has the ‘Welcome Sign’ out.”

Budget Cuts:

The AMA has weighed in on Joe Hockey’s proposed changes Australia’s health services The Allergists voted to scratch them, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves. The Gastroenterologists had a sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought he had a lot of nerve. The Obstetricians felt he was labouring under a misconception. Ophthalmologists considered the ideas short-sighted. Pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!” while the Paediatricians said, “Oh, Grow up!” The Psychiatrists thought the ideas were madness, while the Radiologists could see right through them. The Surgeons were fed up with the cuts and decided to wash their hands of the whole thing. The ENT specialists didn’t swallow it, and just wouldn’t hear of it. The Pharmacists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, “This puts a whole new face on the matter….” The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea. The Anaesthetists thought the ideas were a gas, but the Cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no. In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the arseholes in parliament!

Help for Asylum seekers: can you write to one to give some hope?

Earlier this week, footage obtained by Fairfax media showed asylum seekers being attacked by security guards, just hours before Reza Berati was killed inside the Manus Island detention centre.1 They were attacked whilst trying to escape from the detention centre after they were told there would be no hope of resettlement for them outside PNG.

Australia is fast building an international reputation for our treatment of asylum seekers, but sadly, not one we can be proud of. While the actions of our Government fail to reflect our nation’s values of compassion and a fair go, we can lead the way in the meantime by demonstrating these values ourselves.

~ Read on for a call to action from Julian Burnside AO QC, Australian barrister and human rights advocate, on behalf of GetUp. Your details have not been shared with him or anyone else. ~


To any of you who might like to participate in this wonderful project:

In June of last year I received a letter from a courageous, young Iranian man who fled persecution in his country, which led to him being detained inside Sydney’s Villawood detention centre.

He had spent the last three and a half years of his life in detention, during which time he’d suffered more than any young man should and seen many of his friends, who could no longer bear the burden of detention, die or return voluntarily to face persecution.

He wrote asking for help. This is part of his story:
“When I set foot on Australian soil, I had felt I set foot in a land where the people there would see me as a human being who is reaching out a hand towards them for help, but… now it is [42 months]

I need help, but my voice is not reaching anywhere and I am extending my hands seeking help from you.”
This young man, like so many others who are currently detained in Australian centres, could be forgiven for seeing Australia as a country, which doesn’t abide by its international obligations under the Refugee Convention, or thinking Australians might be unwelcoming people, who don’t care about the plight of those less fortunate.

We know that’s far from the case.

On a daily basis I encounter the kind of Australians, whom I know represent this country and its values. Those with hearts as big as our land and bright as our sun. Those who embody our ethos of being the land of the fair go – a country with “boundless plains to share”.

Another letter I received from a person held in detention ended with the words:
“Please write again. Please do not forget us; we are human.”
This is where you can help. Will you be part of my letter writing campaign and show some of the world’s most vulnerable people that we’re capable of compassion and empathy?

Find out how to get involved:

In February GetUp members, along with thousands of Australians, lit a candle for all those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, under our government’s asylum seeker policies. Together, we attended Light the Dark vigils across the country and showed Australia, and the world, what we’re capable of – compassion, love and hope that we can make a difference.

Now we need to show asylum seekers that there are Australians who are thinking about them and are doing everything they can to fight these brutal policies put in place by our so-called leaders.

Will you write to an asylum seeker on Manus Island or Nauru and let them know, we have not forgotten them and we care?

In the early 2000s, I initiated a similar letter-writing campaign and it received extremely encouraging feedback, proving to be, not only valuable in helping keep up the spirits of asylum seekers, but also a great way to help Australians understand what our detention system means in simple human terms.

Will you help us do it again?

Yours in hope,


[1] Reza Barati death: Papua New Guinea nationals attacked asylum seekers on Manus Island, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 April 2014
GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations. If you’d like to contribute to help fund GetUp’s work, please donate now! If you have trouble with any links in this email, please go directly to GetUp has recently updated our Privacy Policy, to read the policy go to: To unsubscribe from GetUp, please click here. Authorised by Sam Mclean, Level 2, 104 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010.