Dr Peter White's Blog

Thoughts and comments from Dr Peter White -- political, philosophical, spiritual, musical and more

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I am retired from the Uni. of Queensland, and have numerous interests inside and outside of the uni. I play classical, bluegrass, country and folk guitar (hows that for a mix?) I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and am currently branch secretary of the Mt Coot-tha branch. I'm also involved in developing virtual reality builds and websites. Never bored!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

When will they ever learn?

Well, this week has been a sad one in the realm of international relations -- and for that matter, national relations in the Land of Oz.

First, we have a pope who harks back to the middle ages to dump on one of the world's largest religions, Islam, thereby alienating decades of careful work between Catholics and Muslims to generate some sort of peaceful dialogue. Well done, Benedict! It take sheer genius to drag humanity back to 1194AD.

Then we have the wondrous Land of Oz, where our current government led by the intrepid Mr Howard has followed Benedict's footsteps to declare that citizenship in this fair land must be preceded by competency in English. Generations of migrants from all over the world have made Australia their home without the benefit of English when they came and have become excellent citizens and builders of the nation.

Well done John and company! You have dragged the nation back to White Australia days in the blink of a 30 second sound bite. Excellent work!

This same mob lead by the same leader has also refused point blank to heed the messages about global warming, even though a former Vice President of the US of A is here to discuss it, as he has throughout the globe.

Bravo chaps!

And to top it all off, we have the industrial deform laws (see previous posts) whose draconian impact is beginning to be felt all over the nation. The latest related issue is the issuance of 'guest worker' visas, where people can come here and work in sweat shops for minimal wages and minimal conditions. If they complain, they are shipped out.

Another Web forum asked my opinion of this. I replied:

What is the difference between 19th century blackbirding (where unscrupulous business people recruited Pacific Islanders to work in the sugar cane industry and then treated them and paid them atrociously), and the current 'guest worker' laws?

Answer: the date...

Excellent. Way to go guys.

Need I go on? Let's just say that our leaders -- and I use the term very loosely -- through intransigence and self-inflicted ignorance, are busily condemning us all to repeat the tragic lessons of history.

Perhaps -- just perhaps -- this may be the last gasp of the old order. Let us pray it is so, and let us also pray that its demise will allow humanity and the planet to survive just that bit longer...

PB White