Football, meat pies, kangaroos and ……………?

The Australian identity has drawn a blank
The Australian identity has drawn a blank


22 December 2013

Men and women of Australia

“We love football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars”. (YouTube) So went the famous 1970’s Holden advertising jingle. A patronisingly corny attempt to beholden Australians to their remarkably unsophisticated sense of national identity. Holden was after all ‘Australia’s own car’.

Sadly, for thinking Australians, it was an extraordinarily successful campaign, which served to demonstrate our collective gullibility for national identity gibberish. The advertising ‘geniuses’ behind this campaign clearly recognised that Australia’s sense of itself was so shallow that it could be capitalised on. And that they did with zeal.

The first car to be wholly manufactured in Australia was the Holden, launched in 1948. If Toyota quits Australia, it could be the second last. The first Holden design was based on a post-war Chevrolet proposal previously rejected by General Motors. Faint praise indeed for Australia. ‘Australia’s own car’ was an American reject and as disingenuous as a shrimp on the Paul Hogan’s barbie. ‘Australia’s own car’ was a myth.

That awful jingle is tantalisingly ironic though. Did vegetarians decide not to buy Holdens? Were rugby followers turned off because the advertisement deemed football to be Australian Rules. And the fact that the great Australian meat pie often contained kangaroo meat, just added to the irony. Besides, kangaroos and Holden cars did not get on well – they had a habit of colliding on country roads.

But the irony was lost on most. The hypnotic jingoism won the day – nationwide.

Apparently, we had not progressed in self-definition since Henry Lawson’s pieces in The Bulletin espoused our then collective colonial identity to be the ‘spirit of mateship’, as characterised in his poems on life in the bush. Interestingly, ‘mateship’, by definition, excluded women from this pseudo sense of nationalism.

The majority of Australians lived in the major cities. How could a national identity be based on a minority of Australians, living in the bush – a place most city folk had never experienced?

This does however beg a reasonable question? Did mateship live in the cities? Doubtful! Historically, city dwellers have been predominantly more concerned with materialism than any altruistic notions of ‘mateship’ or, in the urban context, ‘love thy neighbour’.

To add irony to irony, The Bulletin which was supposedly the ‘great levelling’ journal, would have perished if it did not achieve significant urban circulation. It was as geared towards those of a materialistic bent as much any other section of society.

Nevertheless, the romanticism of the notion of ‘the great Australian spirit of mateship’, was so appealing that it was embraced with fervour across all sections of society.

Banjo Paterson’s ‘Waltzing Matilda’ (YouTube) captured – and still does – the collective imagination with its melody and romanticising of the bush. But the content beggars belief. Our much-loved ‘unofficial national anthem’ is based on a mythical homeless transient who stole a sheep and committed suicide to avoid arrest. It’s enough to make you cringe – and that is something Australians have always been good at – cringing.

Apart from, in my opinion, ‘Waltzing Matilda’, what caused the much-discussed Australian cringe? Was it borne of fear that we are unworthy of comparison with other nations and civilisations?

Who knows? But despite all the theories, one thing is certain – we have always been highly dependant on international approval in order to feel good about ourselves.

It is as if we are a newborn – desperate for oxygen in the form of international approval. We are apparently not willing to have the umbilical cord cut – living and breathing in our own right, and standing on our own two feet seems too daunting.

After all, we still have the flag of another nation in the corner of our own. Yet ironically, we have become as Americanised as Uncle Sam’s index finger – “I wanted you. I got you” – perhaps!

Did we ever have a realistic, intelligent sense of identity? No! It has always been self-delusional. Myths, paradoxes and conundrums have always abounded.

By the time Ned Kelly was hanged in 1880, he had become a legend in his own right. He still is today. Along with his gang, he had stolen horses, robbed banks and killed three policemen. Kelly’s Jerilderie letter shed light on his indignation at the oppression of the Irish and his under-dog status. The Australian psyche, with its love of the underdog, shifted from seeing Kelly as a murderous outlaw to folk hero of mythical proportions. How’s that for a mystifying conundrum? Had Kelly been acquitted and become a wealthy property developer, his status would have shifted from underdog to tall poppy. Paradoxically, Australians love the underdog, but if he or she dares become too successful, they will turn nasty.

1901 saw federation. To this point, the island continent had consisted of a bunch of city-centric, disconnected colonies, with rivalry-driven differences over trade, tariffs and even rail gauges. The rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney over becoming the national capital was so intense that a brand new conundrum was born – Canberra.

Bulldust, the great Australian euphemism for bullshit, seems to be the substance on which the nation had thus far been built.

But blind allegiance to that grand old euphemism, ‘Mother England’ was, and still is the greatest conundrum of all. Certainly a euphemism for Barry McKenzie who hated the mother country, describing the English as “rotten pommie bastards”. (YouTube)

In the film Barry McKenzie Holds His Own, the ever-erudite Bazza on British-Australian relations said:

Look, let me out of here. I mean, there’d be no Mother England if it wasn’t for Australia. Our fighting men came over here when you Poms were ready to throw in the towel. Musso and them slimy yellow nips would’ve flattened this dump if it hadn’t been for me uncles and their superlative fighting spirit. I mean the game was nearly up for youse poms, no risk. And if it hadn’t been for Australia, Musso and them slant-eyed pricks would’ve strung every white kiddie up by the pills and gone chocka-block with all the nurses and bus conductresses. Oh look, let me outta here you ungrateful Pommy bastard!

Bazza was in rare company amongst ‘notable’ Australians who dared to challenge the motherland.

Similar sentiments, though more eloquent, were expressed by Paul Keating who, whilst Prime Minister used parliament to lambast Britain for its abandonment of Australian forces when Singapore fell to the Japanese in World War 2:

I was told that I did not learn respect at school. I learned one thing: I learned about self-respect and self-regard for Australia – not about some cultural cringe to a country which decided not to defend the Malayan peninsula, not to worry about Singapore and not to give us our troops back to keep ourselves free from Japanese domination.

John Curtin, who as Prime Minister during World War 2, had the courage to stand up to the Churchill, and brought troops back from the fronts of the Middle East to defend Australia against the Japanese. Churchill was furious – apparently Australia mattered less.

According to johndotcurtindotedudotau:

In early 1942 Curtin clashed with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill over the use of Australian troops overseas. Curtin’s insistence that his troops return home to protect Australian soil was seen as a brave stand against a powerful ally. His personal anguish over the safety of the returning troops has become part of Australian folklore.

Australia as a nation is said to have been born at Gallipoli. Quite strange that the birth of a nation is perceived to have emanated from a monumental loss of life, created by a massive tactical blunder made by the top brass of in London.

Historian Jonathan King wrote in a recent article in The Age:

But having just published accounts by the last 10 Gallipoli Anzacs who I interviewed for my latest book – Tall Ships and Tall Tales – and also for a TV documentary funded by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, I cannot hold my tongue.

These last eye-witnesses all pleaded for us “not to glorify Gallipoli” because it was such a disaster and there was little to celebrate. I thought they were brave, but none were upbeat about their “heroic” achievements. Sydney’s Corporal Ted Matthews, the world’s last survivor of the landing, told me on camera, “Gallipoli was a failure because the British mucked the whole thing up.” His comrade Trooper Len Hall said, “Oh yes, it was a terrible mistake altogether.” Melbourne tunneller Roy Longmore said, “They landed us on the wrong beach.” Sydney’s Private Frank Kelly said, “It was ridiculous. The ridges we had to climb went on and on and got higher and higher. Anybody who tried to capture Gallipoli would have to have been mad!” They may have been disgruntled but they spoke the truth – hundreds also died of diseases in the dirty, overcrowded beachhead because leaders failed to provide sanitation or enough clean water or edible food; incompetent English high command appointed via the “old boy network” sent thousands of Australians “over the top” to certain death; the Anzacs only captured a small area and all had to retreat.

Australia’s efforts in World War 1 to save the mother country, came at a huge human cost – 61,966  lives. And financial cost! Not only did Australia have to repay Britain for the cost of artillery and ammunition, it was expected to pay interest on the loans.

But Australians never wavered from their subservience and adoration of the mother country. In fact, Robert Menzies stated that it would be better that all Australians starve rather renege on repayments due to Britain.

The absurd immorality of this was lost on the majority. Delusional royalists believed that the sky would fall in if Australia dared any challenge that might upset the motherland.

Then a character called Jack Lang emerged. As Labor Premier of NSW, perceived by the right as a dangerous socialist, he was hell-bent on the completion of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, despite the depression, which had put huge pressure on the state budget.

Lang did the unthinkable. He reneged on the payments. His bridge workers and his beloved working class were more deserving. He dispensed with the tradition of royalty, or its appointed Governor of NSW, doing the honours, and decided to open the bridge himself. King George V was outraged.

More outraged were the extreme right royalists of Sydney. The New Guard was formed and Lang feared for his life. In fact, civil war was feared. But Lang proceeded with his intention to open the bridge. However, Captain de Groot of the New Guard stormed through the crowd on horseback to cut the ribbon with a sword. The ribbon was re-tied and Lang cut the ribbon with scissors.

This unparalleled display of extreme royalism and devotion to Britain is the most significant in Australian history. But there is little in Australian history to demonstrate much British devotion to us.

Britain had established an outpost at Sydney Cove in 1788 to rid itself of undesirables and lay claim to a hitherto land seen as inhospitable. Its other intention was find new timber for masts for its naval fleet. An empirical convenience at the time – no more, no less.

‘Rule Britannia!’ – and rule it did, expecting and receiving hypnotic servitude. No Australian Prime Minister was ever more mesmerised than Robert Menzies.

Per se, here is Menzies’ public announcement in 1939:

Fellow Australians. It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war.

That’s right! He actually said “As a result Australia is also at war!” And Australians dared not dispute the lack of logical subsequence, because subservience to Britain was second nature, as it was to all other members of the British Commonwealth. Now there’s a misnomer – ‘British Commonwealth’!

Whilst on the subject of Menzies, consider his announcement regarding Australian involvement in the Vietman War:

The Australian Government is now in receipt of a request from the Government of South Vietnam for further military assistance. We have decided – and this has been done after close consultation with the Government of the United States – to provide an infantry battalion for service in South Vietnam.

This was a lie. No such request was ever received from the Government of South Vietnam.

It is highly probable that Menzies would have followed this course of action in any case. But why did he lie? Whatever the reason, it just serves to compound the fact Australian history has been deeply flawed by falsehoods on a grand scale.

At this point, let’s not forget the genocide and maltreatment inflicted on the Aboriginal population – our original inhabitants who worshipped the land that our predecessors desecrated.

However, Australians have done many great things in science, literature, the arts in all its forms, sport and a plethora of other fields. Why can we not be an enlightened nation with a belief in our true identity, based on our many real accomplishments? A robust, multi-cultural and humanitarian society, taking pride in its unique place in the world.

Why can we not be a republic with an Australian head of state?

The next in line to the British throne is an adulterous man known as Charlie. His taped phone conversation with his mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, whilst married to Princess Diana, included a wistful remark that he would like to be his lover’s tampon.

Just the sort of person we need as our next head of state!

That illegal taping was first released by New Idea, the Australian women’s magazine then part of Rupert Murdoch‘s media empire, in January 1993.

And there’s conundrum wrapped in a paradox – Rupert – who holds more power and control over Australia through his media influence than our ‘democratically’ elected Prime Minister, who co-incidentally and ironically got the top job thanks to Rupert himself. Murdoch’s influence, particularly through Sydney’s Daily Telegraph’s blatant and bizarre pre-election anti-Labor bigotry-come-propaganda, was influential in winning the all-important Western Sydney vote in determining the 2013 national election result.

There was a popular saying when I was a kid at school if, for example, anyone dropped an easy cricket catch. It went: “Wake up Australia, the country needs you”. Little did I realise that in later life I would come to realise the true significance of that epithet!

Indeed! Wake up Australia, the country needs you. But you appear to be anaesthetised. A good opportunity for some radical surgery!

In conclusion, I repeat: Why can we not be an enlightened nation with a belief in our true identity, based on our many real accomplishments? A robust, multi-cultural and humanitarian society, taking pride in its unique place in the world.

As John Lennon sang: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” No, I am not the only one. There are all of you here tonight, who I am confident agree with me wholeheartedly.

Thank you to all five of you for attending the Annual General Meeting of A.N.A.E.S.T.H.E.T.I.C. – the Australian National Association for the Eradication of Sociopolitical Heedlessness of Enlightened Thinking Intelligent Citizens.

It appears that you have all nodded off.

I rest my case!

Good evening.


Penny Wong’s Q&A gay marriage watershed moment


In retrospect: Q&A 14 May 2012 – gay marriage watershed moment

Joe Hockey verbatim: I must confess my views have changed since I’ve had children. I think in this life we’ve got to aspire to give our children what I believe is the very best circumstances, and that’s to have a mother and a father.

Penny Wong acknowledged that comments like Hockey’s were hurtful, and concluded by calmy saying: ”I know what my family is worth.”

Sydney Morning Herald – source, video and full article

Rebekah Brooks: What, Me Worry?

Rebekah Brooks has pleaded “What, Me Worry” to charges relating to the UK phone hacking scandal.
Rebekah Brooks has pleaded “What, Me Worry” to charges relating to the UK phone hacking scandal.

6 June 2013

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has pleaded “What, Me Worry” to charges relating to the UK phone hacking scandal.

Looking up from reading a copy of Mad Magazine, the former editor of the now defunct News of the World, indignant at being interrupted, blithely entered pleas of “What, Me Worry” to five charges relating to her time running two national tabloids.

Ms. Brooks then left the court with her spiritual advisor, Alfred E. Neuman, who spoke to the awaiting media throng saying, “What, She Worry? She is planning to move to Australia to take up a prestigious position at the Poowong Post.


The Editor
Poowong Post

Dear Sir/Madam,

I wish to apply for the position of Journalist, as advertised in your esteemed newspaper.

I received a cutting of the advertisement in the mail, sent to me by a former colleague who fled to Australia seeking a better climate. You might know her; she works as a barmaid at your pub and goes by the alias of Sheila.

I am not sure where Poowong is located, but it sounds like a lovely place. According to Sheila, it is in a dairy farming district in Victoria, but I have been unable to ascertain the exact whereabouts because I donated my laptop to the police as a contribution to the Scotland Yard Christmas Raffle. Those police do such a wonderful job protecting we Brits from the low-lives who attempt to undermine the very fabric of our society, so I was more than happy to have it confiscated.

I have had extensive journalistic experience and have even been editor/chief executive of two major British tabloids. In fact, I have become quite a celebrity, but have tired of the limelight. I want to migrate to Australia with my husband to live a simple rural life and slip into obscurity.

That is not to say that being appointed as a journalist with the Poowong Post is slipping into obscurity. I believe it to be a highly prestigious position. I would be delighted to be at the forefront of breaking news in your town.

In fact, Sheila has already given me a few leads. She says that the Easter Billy Cart Derby was fixed by the local s.p. bookie, that judges of the Country Women’s Association annual cake decorating competition were bribed with cases of whisky, and that the prying telephone exchange operator is having an affair with the Catholic priest, who is enjoying three other sexual liaisons.

This presents me with the opportunity to illustrate my extra-journalistic talents and pro-activity, which I am sure you will applaud. I could bribe the phone exchange lady for all the local gossip she eavesdrops on, in return for keeping mum. I could pay the local policeman for inside information; that would be easy because it was his wife who won the CWA cake decorating competition. And as for the local bookie; well, let’s just say I am very handy with secret tape devices and could get some inside running on your next picnic race meeting. And the Catholic priest might be surprised to read transcripts of his expressions of lust, by courtesy of a device hidden under his bed by yours truly. Yes, pressing the flesh is what it is all about.

I will be the biggest thing to happen to Poowong since electricity was connected. You do have electricity don’t you?

I can guarantee that I will quadruple your circulation within a month and even turn the national spotlight on your little backwater which I would turn into a tsunami. The media will swarm like flies to a Poowong cowpat.

However, that brings a minor point to mind. A shy, shrinking violet such as myself does not desire any adulation for stirring up media frenzies. I have had enough of that. I would prefer to go by the nom de plume of Verity Virago, and not be available for any interviews, especially television.

I must stress that you should not fear for your position of editor. I am known for my loyalty and integrity; just ask any of my former employees at the now defunct News of the World.

Do not bother to reply. I will simply assume I have been successful in this application, and will be there in three weeks time to commence duties. If there are any unforseen circumstances, such as bail complications or passport seizure, I will let you know with plenty of advance notice.

Yours sincerely,

Rebekah Brooks

PS: Does Poowong have mobile phone reception?


Rupert Murdoch

James Murdoch

David Cameron


Coverage by ABC Online: 

Rebekah Brooks pleads not guilty to phone hacking charges

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to the UK phone hacking scandal.

The former editor of the now defunct News of the World entered pleas of not guilty to five charges relating to her time running two national tabloids.

The 45-year-old is charged with offences including conspiracy to hack phones, conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The scandal led to the closure of the tabloid, and eventually to the Leveson inquiry into press standards in the UK.

She is due to stand trial in September.

Her husband Charlie Brooks also pleaded not guilty to allegations of covering up evidence.

Other senior staff, including the tabloid’s former managing editor Stuart Kuttner and former assistant news editor James Weatherup, also pleaded not guilty to charges related to phone hacking, while her personal assistant pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice.

Brooks was arrested in July 2011 along with other members of staff over charges related to the unlawful interception of mobile phone messages to generate front page news stories.

The scandal, which prompted the closure of the mass-selling News of the World and a year-long public inquiry, sent shockwaves through the British establishment as it revealed the close ties between the country’s media, police and politicians.




With apologies to John Wayne
With apologies to John Wayne

25 January 2013

John Wayne often portrayed larger than life cowboy characters who were quintessential heroes in white hats. Wayne was known for his conservative values and repeatedly expressed a personal distaste for homosexuality.

Kind of brings Bob Katter to mind doesn’t it? Although the hero aspect is highly questionable. We can ascribe his larger than life status to his boofhead. “If I wasn’t a boofhead, no one would know who I was” are indeed Katter’s own words as cited in a Sydney Morning Herald column by Phillip Thomson.

In this column, online opinion writer Tory Shepherd is quoted: ”Bob Katter wants a return to some mythical Wild West frontier land where decisions are made at 10 paces, gays are chased out of town with their pants around their ankles, and they kindly let the natives work the plantations”

Kind of reinforces the parallel, doesn’t it?

On 24 January 2013, following comments equating homosexuality with pedophilia made by two dumped Katter’s Australian Party candidates, Bob Katter appeared on Network Ten’s The Project. When pressed by host Charlie Pickering for his views, Katter unskilfully shirked and sidestepped the issues.

The Australian, 25 January, reported on Bob Katter’s appearance on The Project and also gave some Katter background snippets.

Enter John Wayne, aka Rooster Cogburn from the 1969 western film True Grit, with some of his notable quotes from that movie.

Are you ready Rooster? Here we go …

BOB Katter has refused to repudiate comments equating homosexuality with pedophilia made by two dumped Katter’s Australian Party candidates.

The normally outspoken federal MP has refused to say whether he agreed with Bernard Gaynor and Tess Corbett, whose KAP memberships were yesterday suspended for arguing gays should be banned from working with children.

Rooster Cogburn: So I won’t shoot my foot off.

“These issues are not relevant to what I am about in politics,” he told Network Ten’s The Project last night.

Rooster Cogburn: Young fella, if you’re looking for trouble, I’ll accommodate you. Otherwise, leave it alone … you get cross ways of me and you’ll think a thousand of bricks have fell on you!

Mr Katter said “I don’t know and I don’t care” when asked about the future of Mr Gaynor, who was vying for a spot on KAP’s Queensland Senate ticket for this year’s federal election.

Rooster Cogburn: I ought to paddle your rump!

He said he was concerned by the problem of suicide by farmers but clashed with interviewers when he played down the issue of suicide by gay and lesbian Australians.

“I am not aware of a single person of that persuasion committing suicide amongst the people in Queensland,” he said.

(Even Rooster Cogburn would have been speechless at the insensitivity of this.)

At the time he was interviewed, Mr Gaynor’s KAP membership was still current. Victorian candidate Tess Corbett had earlier withdrawn her bid to run in the House of Representatives seat of Wannon.

Rooster Cogburn: By God. She reminds me of me.

The party later issued a statement saying it would not be used by candidates to talk up their “personal preoccupations”.

Rooster Cogburn: I never shot nobody I didn’t have to.

Mr Katter is on record as being anti-gay, once saying he would “walk backwards from Bourke to Brisbane” if a homosexual could be found living in his north Queensland seat of Kennedy.

Rooster Cogburn: Backward. I always go backward when I’m backin’ away.

But he tempered his position last May, telling the Sydney Writers’ Festival that he regretted the KAP had run anti-gay ads during the Queensland election. Mr Katter’s gay half-brother Carl condemned the campaign ads as offensive.

Rooster Cogburn: (Brother), I was born game and I intend to go out that way.

Question: Bob Katter – TRUE GRIT or NITWIT?

Answer: If you live in Katter’s electorate of Kennedy, the answer is apparently: TRUE GRIT


In distress – Labor and asylum seekers

The dire straits of off-shore Australia
The dire straits of off-shore Australia

26 November 2012


This is Captain Chris Bowen, Immigration Minister speaking. We have made serious navigational errors and it seems to be internal polling that has wrecked our moral compass. The party engine room is philosophically defunct – it could not cope with the force of our sudden shift to the right.

Here we are, drifting aimlessly, lurching from side to side as the backlashes from our political opportunism rock us to our core.

Here we are, just a hull of our former glory.

Here we are, trying to heed polling, trying to be seen as trying to be tough in trying to stop refugees from trying to reach our shores. It’s a trying exercise.

Polling indicates that Australians don’t want us to be soft. They are afraid that the whole country will be overrun by hordes of asylum seekers who could threaten their way of life. Even worse – there could be terrorists amongst them. It’s all about fear (and racism, but we cannot ever admit that!)

Trouble is, the Coalition stirred up all this fear, and it’s us who have to deal with it. We have to look as if we’re more right wing than they are.

As you would expect, Amnesty International and refugee advocacy groups – even Malcolm Fraser – call us inhumane.

We know that most of these asylum seekers are desperate men, women and children fleeing persecution, torture, murder and war. But if we soften, we’re sunk.

We can’t go back on our policy of off-shore processing – that would make us the laughing stock of the nation.

Trouble is, we already are the laughing stock of the nation.

Talk about being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea!

It seems that nothing will deter asylum seekers from trying to get to Australia.

Would-be refugees won’t buy our propaganda that we don’t want them to drown by taking risky voyages in leaky boats at the hands of people smugglers. They know we don’t care about them. They see the way we treat them if they don’t drown. Many detainees wish they had drowned rather than be treated like animals.

And they know that this rhetoric is mainly intended for the ears of the Australian electorate. Unfortunately for us, they are not stupid and they are desperate.

We thought that the Houston Report would be the silver bullet. But that hasn’t worked, even with the ‘no advantage rule’. Fortunately, Mr Houston dismissed on-shore processing because that encourages people to get into boats. Bravo!

Now that we have moved to the ‘Pacific Solution Mark Two’, re-opened Nauru and opened Manus Island, we still can’t cope with the growing numbers. Sure, we are impressing the electorate by sending ‘economic refugees’ back, but they are the tip of the iceberg.

Now that the facilities are overflowing and we can’t cope, we have been forced to introduce on-shore processing using bridging visas, which are embarrassingly like Howard’s Temporary Protection Visas. What a back-down!

Now that we are being accused of creating a poverty stricken underclass in our own society, we are really looking vulnerable. We are locked into Houston’s ‘no advantage rule’ and there is no way out.

Now that emotive poll-changing terms are creeping into the media – terms like women and children, self-harm, hunger strikes, psychological disorders, inhumane conditions, suicide – we could be expected to soften. But we can’t. That would make us look poll-driven – even hypocritical.

This is a humanitarian disaster, which is a public relations disaster for us. Poor us!

Uhh ohh! We are lurching to the left. It’s our dissident Left convenor Doug Cameron who is asking what steps have been taken to implement a regional framework and “how we can fashion processing to ensure those without genuine claims are quickly sent home and those with genuine claims are treated with humanity.” He reckons, “Our policies are being determined on the basis of narrow domestic considerations, when this is a huge geopolitical issue” and “With the number of people that are looking to move around the world seeking refuge, you’re always going to have a situation that boats will come to Australia. I don’t think you can stop the boats. I think that’s rhetorical nonsense.”

That sort of wisdom could be the end of us!

Related items:

Sydney Morning Herald

ABC News

ABC Radio – PM