So, at the last minute, Scottie our PM, graciously bestows his benevolence upon his subjects: a bulk fire-fighting package. We're talking: $$$, aircraft and personnel, all dispensed without any consultation or planning. Thousands of untrained army reserves promised --- to the alarm of the fire authorities. Imagine having all those well-meaning novices underfoot. Imagine the added responsibility for their safety. Thank you, Prime Minister. Too bad you didn't follow up the consultations requested in July.

Perhaps Scottie thinks he can take the heat off himself with this party promotional media beat-up and accompanying up-beat jingle. Or perhaps, his minders might hope to stifle the real people and issues at the heart of this social, environmental and financial catastrophe.

Scottie often touts the 'quiet' Australians, whoever they are. Maybe he should drop the megaphone himself, many of us would appreciate that. In any case, this gambit backfired and he is no doubt fretting the questions, "But what about the economy? How will we balance the books?"

Lucky man isn't he? He and his pious buddies aren’t sweating under heavy protective clothing, or braving walls of fire, or being stripped of home and livelihood. No, he, like his associates, absented themselves. They were holidaying overseas or playing cricket safely at home in Kirribilli, while the "quiet" Australians were At War with the environment.

26 million mainly 'quiet' Australians are now held hostage to this irresponsible, self-serving, manipulative government whose life-goal is: Power at the altar of the twin gods, Profit and Progress.

Our parliamentary leaders are clearly prepared to sell off and destroy all that sustains life. The massive fires, floods and environmental catastrophes of the past few years are only symptoms --- symptoms of the flawed value / economic system that is driving the decision-makers in government and industry.

Think only of the recent rorting of our precious water resources on this desert continent, which led to the mass die-off of native fish in our major river, the Murray Darling Basin. The next major drain-off will be the Adani coal mine, a Mad-Max-Mega-Mine. Using the Great Barrier Reef as its shipping route? A few fish? Pristine ocean? No probs. Signed off.

Australia's overlords have a long history in dealing out death and destruction, i.e. indigenous genocide, forced transportation, incarceration of the poor and forced labour. Even today we are second only to Saudi Arabia as global arms dealers.

A nation such as ours (or the USA) needs to confront and reflect on our destructive, blood-soaked history as Germany has done, or we will never progress or mature as a nation... or set the bar high enough for our leaders.

Our cultures and religions give us many words for describing ideology-driven action or lack thereof: "turning a blind eye" "washing your hands of it" even "the sin of omission."

In Canberra today, our leaders sit on their hands, they look away --- while this beautiful land, land that is not really ours --- turns into one massive gas chamber in which we will all be suffocated if this trend continues.

This is a crime. A crime worse than Nuremberg. Coming generations, should humans survive, will judge it as such.

"The past isn't dead. The past isn't even past."

- Christa Wolf, East German writer


January 2020 (in the actual colours)


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