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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Danna Valle fights back

Danna Vale is fighting back. "My comments were clumsy" she says. True, you could have said it better, Danna. But you could also have thought things through better and your fight-back piece could be thought through better too. True, you were the victim of media who want only a 30 second grab or a quippy headline. But Danna you are paid for the position you hold and - surely it is not too much to expect this from your ministerial experience - part of the skills of the job is to learn not to get yourself into situations such as this. On the other hand, what happened to you can happen to people with greater skills than you. Costello is getting similar treatment from some quarters over his multiculturalism statements.

I think, Danna, from what I see at a distance, that you have a good heart. However, your expression of your good heart is let down because the intellect does not sustain a good argument or rationale. This can be rectified. It depends on the level of advice you get either through staff or through more informal channels such as knowledgable people to give you sound advice.

I think the nub of your argument is fair comment. In modern Australia when the national birthrate among those of European descent is declining, the birthrate among some groups subscribing towards more traditional/conservative mores remains steady or is increasing. You are right to point out that this is a legitimate concern of government and therefore needs to be considered in government policy. You have also pointed out that some people in Australia are more accustomed to exerting their political and social views with violence rather than through the ballot or through other democratic institutions. Danna, leave behind excuses of political correctness. Even if accusations of 'political correctness' have some validity - which I doubt - you have to work in this situation and get your point across without having to call foul.

Can I draw your attention to a couple of areas relating to the issues you are trying to highlight? Look at the female kangaroo. She controls her fertility to a greater extent than the human female. If drought and bushfires - two constants on the driest continent on earth - leave insufficient sustenance, the kangaroo will not breed. She will defer breeding. I think it is like that with the human female. If she is insecure, she will defer breeding or fail to breed. The options she has include contraception and abortion. In some ancient societies, human females also used infanticide. So how secure are things for the female of breeding age in Australia? Relations between men and women are not good. Commitment and stability in partnerships are difficult to carry out in practice. In many relationship breakdowns, economics plays a significant part. Economic security is declining. Increasing casualisation and underemployment are not the economic foundations for raising children. Workforce discrimination with regard to age and gender has not been eliminated. The cost of higher education for job advancement is increasingly locking Australians out. Public primary and secondary education is underfunded to miserable proportions and private primary and secondary education is unaffordable for large sections of the population. Childcare is difficult and, with the assistance of government subsidies, Australia has bred a globalised corporate childcare provider of monopolistic proportions who is now in the courts trying to avoid the prospect of litigation and foist it back on to the individual employee. If all this is not difficult enough, should you be the parent of a child with special needs the difficulties are magnified. So there's a huge agenda for you, Danna: fair and equitable access for all to education from childcare and pre-school through to university; job security and fair and equitable access to jobs irrespective of age, gender and other discriminatory processes.

Then you might turn to the political processes of this nation. Surely your own experience has shown you that entry to and advancement in the political processes of our democratic institutions are easier if you are a male of European descent. If you are a university educated male, particularly with a law degree, then it is even easier. We have large groups of Australians who are not represented significantly in our national parliament - and certainly excluded from the cabinet table. Aborigines? Muslims? Muslim women? Creatives? Youth? Women are getting there but at an excruciatingly slow rate - and they hit the glass ceiling more often than not - and the men tell us to have three kids including one for Australia. How arrogant and impertinent!

So if you are serious about being taken seriously, Danna, there's your agenda. Security, real security, in daily life - not making us feel terrorised by Muslims one minute and telling us how great things are the next; and giving Australians truly representative government, not just the suits.

God go with you, Danna - and watch your step!

Friday, February 24, 2006

A broader perspective than Danish with your cartoons

If all the furore about some recent Danish cartoons has left you non-plussed to say the least,
a broader perspective came into view on The Religion Report this week.
A reasoned exposition of the portrayal of the Prophet Muhammed in many periods and places. Let's all have a cup of tea, a Bex, and a good lie down while we have a think about it.

Mushy, misguided multiculturalism

Further to Peter Costello's rant on mushy, misguided multiculturalism, comes a timely article, The Uses and Abuses of Multiculturalism: chili and liberty, by the Nobel Prize-winning Amartya Sen. He covers the problems comprehensively.

  • Lord Tebbit's cricket test - identifying belonging and assimilation with what team one cheers for.
  • The distinction between multiculturalism and what may be called "plural monoculturalism".
  • While religion or ethnicity may be an important identity for people (especially if they have the freedom to choose between celebrating or rejecting inherited or attributed traditions), there are other affiliations and associations that people also have reason to value.
  • The growth of religion-based schools.
  • Faith and reason.
  • A real need to re-think the understanding of multiculturalism, so as to avoid conceptual disarray about social identity and also to resist the purposeful exploitation of the divisiveness that this conceptual disarray allows and even, to some extent, encourages.
  • Gandhi's farsighted refusal to see a nation as a federation of religions and communities.

Valuing our birthright

Peter Costello is to-day sounding off about Australian values and citizenship. There is much in what he says - but it has a singular point of reference: those who do not accept the secular rule of law in a pluralist democratic society. Costello says, amongst other things:
No one is going to respect a citizenship that is so undemanding that it
asks nothing. In fact our citizenship is quite a demanding obligation

I think this is the heart of the matter: that by and large there has been little or no respect in Australia for citizenship - and I am not singling out terrorists or any ethnic group. I just do not believe we truly value what we hold. Look at the track record: the number of people who live here as permanent residents, who could take out Australian citizenship, who reap the benefits of living here and expect to cherry-pick what they want from our society - but they don't take out citizenship. How many British and New Zealand citizens are in this group? Look too at the teaching of civics in our schools. Look at the erosion of so many things that we have taken for granted:

  1. The attempts by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, Nick Minchin, to take away compulsory voting. Does he really want Australia to be like the USA where the President almost never receives the votes of the majority of Americans?
  2. Attempts - and in some areas of the law this has already occurred - to do away with trial by a jury of twelve with unanimous verdicts to supplant it with hearings by a judge or a jury of fewer people or majority verdicts.
  3. The rights of all citizens to access the law - when access to the law has become more a right of the rich.
  4. The right to have government assistance when abroad. Things may have improved in this regard but it is still a hit and miss afair and if you fall foul of the politics of the Australian government as David Hicks has done, forget it. Blair and the Brits can extricate their citizens from the madness of Guantanamo Bay, the US takes umbrage if any of their citizens are threatened, and yet we leave a young citizen to rot with none of the legal rights that Australians take for granted - and certainly no access to rights under the Geneva Convention.

We Australians also need to recognise our historic exclusion of people - Aborigines from civil rights until 1967, selectivity in immigration under the White Australia Policy, and continuing selectivity by herding some immigrants into concentration camps known as immigration detention centres. We are happy to control and/or manipulate access of some to Australian law.

Our right to free speech and the democratic hallmark of transparent governemnt is limited when major social organisations in Australia are forced, if they want to receive any government funding, into silence as a condition of funding and when governments can indulge themselves in secret dealings of dubious nature and claim commercial-in-confidence dealings.

Lastly, we won't look to closely at flawed business and educational immigration programs where we have been only to happy to sell our birthright for a mess of pottage allowing criminal elements to infiltrate and unqualified people to conjure up Mickey Mouse courses while our own students are increasingly priced and placed out of university places.

Citizenship. I'm in favour of it. I am a sixth, possibly seventh, generation Australian. I am proud of the place. I just wish I saw governments, both state and federal, value it as much as I do.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

...and bloggity blog at

I think trying to have an objective view of current blogging is a bit like viewing a marathon race somewhere just after the half way mark. The runners tend, by this stage, to be well established in packs or groups. There is the lead pack. Then there are other packs staggered back through the field. Occasionally, a runner will break out of a pack and race to position themselves in the pack ahead. The NYM articles give a predominantly U.S. view of the blogging field. Over at, there is a view from the outside - a European view. Only thing is - it's written by an American, Trevor Butterworth. Butterworth's piece is a good read coming after the NYM stuff. I'm not saying the NYM stuff is unbalanced. It's not. But Butterworth's piece gives a counter-balancing perspective, a reality check. The blogosphere is not the b-all and end-all. The professionals still dominate in set-up, writing style and hits and the good writers have found blogging a stepping stone to another life and leave professional blogging behind. I love this part:

blogging in the US is not reflective of the kind of deep social and
political change that lay behind the alternative press in the 1960s. Instead,
its dependency on old media for its material brings to mind Swift’s fleas
sucking upon other fleas “ad infinitum”: somewhere there has to be a host for
feeding to begin. That blogs will one day rule the media world is a triumph of
optimism over parasitism.

and this:

Blogging will no doubt always have a place as an underground medium in
closed societies; but for those in the west trying to blog their way into viable
businesses, the economics are daunting.
The marathon of the blogs continues. The winner/s of the race is/are not yet clear. Will enthusiastic amateurs, even those earning a reasonable income, remain ephemeral also-rans? Will the race go the swift, the powerful, the well-connected, and the talented as remains the case for the mainstream media? Will the blogosphere become a true democracy, a talented meritocracy of lifestyle and opinion? Is good grassroots blog writing sustainable in a commercialised, globalised democracy or can it only be sustained in censorious nations like China and Iran? The finishing line is a long way off.

I reported on John McIntyre's Episcopal Ordination here. On Saturday 18 February 2006, John was installed as Bishop of Gippsland at St Paul's Cathedral in Sale. Above is an album of photographs of the whole thing. There are quite a few.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Leunig hoax Cooke-d up

The deed has been done. The name has been named. The perpetrator of the Leunig hoax is Richard Cooke of The Chaser. Now The Chaser has definitely been hanging around the Federal Parliament for far too long - it has picked up the knack of deniability. Of not letting your right hand know what the left hand is up to. Instance, the Howard Government and the AWB. Similarly, The Chaser and Richard Cooke. Cute! Don't believe ya! In fact, that's the Cooke-d goose at the right. Clearly, there is a desire to use someone else's name one way or another. Read what he has to say about that here.
Photograph by Stephen Bacon
Published by The Sydney Morning Herald

Deals are done: industrial relations insurance policies

It is clear from what is outlined here that major employers have been willing to do deals with the union movement ahead of the introduction of the Howard Govt's draconian IR legislation. Kevin Andrews excuse for the upsurge is rather weak.

Surprise, surprise, the whitefellas got the money!

Can I have a balance sheet please? One that shows how much money designated for aboriginal people has gone into whitefellas pockets. We blame aborigines for wasting money. We disband ATSIC because of perceived insufficiency of accountability in relation to funding. (We don't disband Parliament because ministers and members of parliament rip off their travel and accommodation entitlements.) And this government is ignorant and unprepared to learn from the experience, both black and white, of those who have gone before. They are doing their dough in administration costs. Small amounts of money are outweighed by huge administration costs. How many aboriginal people and how many white people were involved in the administration?

I never agreed with the establishment of ATSIC. This was a Clayton's form of power - the power you have when you don't have any power. It was also a vehicle for a more sophisticated form of government handout. For what the administration of ATSIC cost, I wonder what effect that money would have had if it had been invested in electoral education for aboriginal people and in encouraging existing political parties to install aboriginal candidates in winnable seats. And I do not agree with some aboriginal people who want a guaranteed number of seats as in New Zealand.

In the massive swing to the right in the Liberal Party some years ago people, like Fred Chaney, who had some knowledge of aboriginal affairs were stymied. Where does sound knowledge of Aboriginal affairs lie in either the House of Representatives or the Senate? Certainly aboriginal representation in the major parties is conspicuous by its absence.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Quaker Peace Testimony

The Quaker Peace Testimony expresses best my own anti-war beliefs.
We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fighting
with outward weapons for any end or under any pretense whatsoever,
this is our testimony to the whole world...
...The Spirit of Christ by which we are guided is not changeable,
so as once to command us from a thing of evil
and again to move us into it,
and we certainly know and testify to the world
that the Spirit of Christ which leads us into all truth
will never move us to fight and war
against any man with outward weapons,
neither for the Kingdom of Christ
nor for the kingdoms of this world...
therefore we cannot learn war any more
from a Statement by the Quakers to King Charles II (1660)

I told them I knew from when all wars arose...and that I lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars; and that I was come into the covenant of peace which was before all wars and strife.

George Fox, founder of The Religious Society of Friends (1650)

Leunig unloved? 4

Leunig has been held up as an anti-semite in some quarters - and quite recently here in Melbourne. The problem is not with racism nor with bigotry nor anti-semitism. The cartoons in question portray an anti-war sentiment.

Empires survive on militarism - the American Empire of the USA no less than the British Empire or the Empires of other European nation states. Anti-war sentiment has never been welcome in the polity of empire and becomes punishable in many, if not most, societies in time of war. Australia is at war within the American hegemony. Israel is always at war with the Palestinians and watchful to the point of paranoia for anti-semitism and anti-zionism. Into this tangled web of paranoia, militarism, and misplaced ideology Leunig has fallen because of another's dishonesty and treachery. Anti-war sentiments and movements rarely find official acknowledgment. There has been no equivalent of the welcome home march for those who protested against Australia's participation in the Vietnam War. Yet this anti-war movement was significant for those who participated. It transformed my generation. It produced a generation of politicians many of whom are still scattered around the Parliaments of Australia. And, if this was not enough, many of us continued into the anti-apartheid movement to battle the Springbok tour of Australia and organise boycotts of South African products. I have never felt the need to read Mandela's biography - the anti-apartheid movement lived and worked in the shadow of his presence. Everyone loves Mandela to-day it seems yet few were around when the campaign was on. These two movements were and continue to be significant - yet little understood by the powerful in society, in a society dedicated to consumerism, material gain, and stratification by wealth and education.

It should be remembered there is, arguably, only one war in the last century which did not generate a widespread anti-war movement nor produce significant anti-war literature. This war was World War II. In this war, the evil and the enemy was clear from its political antecedents through to its conclusion. The anti-war literature of World War I is particularly significant from that of Vera Brittain through to Siegfried Sassoon. People of those generations felt like they had been hoodwinked. Young idealists had gone to give their all for their country only to see hundreds of thousands of young men used up as cannon fodder. While the anti-war movement of World War I was not replicated in World War II, war weariness was evident in the post-war election in the United Kingdom where renewal was at the heart of a nation who kicked out a victorious war Prime Minister in Churchill and sought a new world in the Britain's first Labour Government - a government which implemented the Beveridge Plan and introduced the Welfare State to the world.

Through our society runs the thread of anti-war sentiment which seeks to emphasise the productive and creative elements of the pursuit of peace and life in a humane society. It should not be misunderstood - nor should it be gainsaid. Nor should dishonesty and misrepresentation be allowed to bring it into disrepute.

Leunig unloved? - 3

A clarification on yesterday's post. When I posted yesterday, it was not clear that the cartoon entered in the Iranian competition was an authentic Leunig cartoon. The fraud I outlined is in the fact that someone other than Leunig - and without any authorisation or participation by him - entered the cartoon purporting to be Leunig in an accompanying note.

Crikey has just dropped its afternoon missive in my email which confirms that an unknown website writer for The Chaser has fessed up and apologised to Leunig. The clever dicks at The Chaser say they knew nothing about it and the proof that they knew nothing is that if they did do it or have knowledge of it is they didn't take credit for it.

"It's not a really Chaser style stunt.
We always try to claim credit for our stunts. He [the hoaxer] has spoken to Mr
Leunig and apologised. We certainly didn't intend for this to be reported on CNN
and Reuters. In general if The Chaser pull a stunt we'll be out there taking
credit for it from the word go, being the shameless publicity seekers that we

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Leunig unloved? - 2

Michael Leunig, one of Australia's favourite cartoonists, has been the victim of a cruel fraud. Recently published cartoons originating in Denmark, which have drawn the ire of Islamic communities, were initiated to test freedom of speech issues. In return, an Iranian newspaper is now calling for cartoons denigrating the holocaust to test freedom of speech issues in Western nations. Someone fraudulently posted a cartoon purporting to be by Leunig. It is now reported that this cartoon has been withdrawn. Needless, to say Leunig is upset about this 'set-up' and is feeling rather wounded. Some people say they don't get Leunig, don't understand some of his stuff. Clearly, there are people who do - and don't like it and can't stand him, to put it mildly. I can't help wondering if the fraud is some sort of fall out from the Jewish hatred of Leunig expressed recently which I posted about here.

Some one(s) clearly has/have a vested interest in discrediting Leunig. What better way to do it? Clearly, those who wield the pen are not necessarily sissies but frequently exhibit a great strength. They have the ability to affect the minds and opinions of people. To his great credit, Michael Leunig does just this. Even his own newspaper, The Age, finds him a bit much at times. Leunig discussed this last year at Writers at Como. As he pointed out then, there are those who take bulldozers to mow down ancient forests. He uses a pen to express thoughts and ideas and they think he's a bit much! Leunig is clearly effective. His humanitarian, peaceful, spiritual, and anti-war, anti-consumerism stance is hated and unwelcome in some very powerful quarters. This sort of treatment has always been meted out to the prophets.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The House of Reps vote on RU486

The Age has a list of how women members of the House of Representatives will vote on the Therapeutic Goods bill when it comes to the House this week.

Remembering Keynes and The General Theory

John Maynard Keynes painted by his friend, Duncan Grant

In 2006, some people are remembering the 250th anniversary of the birth of Mozart.
Some of us are remembering February 1936.
In February 1936,
The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money was published.
The General Theory is generally regarded as the masterwork of
John Maynard Keynes.
It impacted greatly on world events in the 20th century after the first world war.
In fact, in my view
John Maynard Keynes, through The General Theory,
has had an impact beyond that of any other economist.
And that includes Adam Smith!
His impact has been great on the economy of Australia.
Nugget Coombs in his biography Trial Balance
speaks of the wonder and novelty
on first reading The General Theory.
This influence was with Coombs at the Commonwealth Bank
and is in the The White Paper on Full Employment.
Post 1945 Australia would not have been the same
without Keynes or Coombs.
 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 12, 2006

How the Senate voted on RU486 - 2

Andrew Bartlett has done an analysis of the Senate vote to make RU486 available without ministerial veto.

The Prayer of Jabez and a dream held forfeit

Is praying a prayer formula to the Judaeo-Christian God to obtain material blessing superstitious? I think so - and, at the very least, the act of praying this type of prayer displays a shallow understanding of the Creator and his creation. The Prayer of Jabez by U.S. author Bruce Wilkinson is a best-selling book encouraging such a prayer formula. Bruce Wilkinson, it seems to me, is an example of how culture can imprison a person. You can read some of my thoughts on culture and religion in the comments on a Willzhead post at

Bruce Wilkinson went to Africa with, not only his cultural baggage, but he was unwilling to invest the time or practice the humility to learn from Africans. The Christian church across many denominations has sound inculturation experience. Bible colleges and theological colleges teach it. Bruce Wilkinson didn't bother to listen, it appears. David Batsone reflects thoughtfully on the issue at Sojourners.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

John McIntyre was made the Bishop of Gippsland to-day

John McIntyre to-day was made the Anglican Bishop of Gippsland in a powerful and inspirational Service of Episcopal Ordination at the Metropolitical and Cathedral Church of St Paul in the heart of Melbourne. For John, it is a return to Victoria where he studied and initiated his ministry - a ministry that is noteworthy for an inclusive attitude to those marginalised by poverty, race, gender, or sexuality. For the last fifteen years, he has been the rector at St Saviour's, Redfern in the inner city of Sydney. Redfern is a suburb characterised by Housing Commission towers, a significant Aboriginal population, and increasing gentrification as the middle classes move in to restore nineteenth century terraces or take up an urban lifestyle in a Meriton apartment. John McIntyre and the St Saviour's congregation are well known identities in Redfern. If ever a church was immersed in a community, it's St Saviour's. John and the congregation have initiated many progressive programs for revitalising the community. St Saviour's does not dominate, nor does it run everything. But it is involved - it has set up organisations - as well as a community garden - and provides on-going support in a variety of ways. Church members may be on various community committees but if not they still know what's happening because of their community knowledge and friendships. John himself does not rely on people coming to him. He goes to them - even if it means propping up the bar at one of the locals for a while. An Aboriginal church is part of parish life on its own premises in one of Redfern's major streets. He takes his guitar and conducts services at Missionholme - an aged person's hostel run by Mission Australia. The same guitar is in evidence at Sunday morning services and Jan McIntyre, John's wife, is also part of the music support with a Celtic drum. The children's program always involves John and his guitar - and if I could have 'improved' to-day's service then I would have had John on his guitar and Jan on her drum. I spent three months on a ministry placement with John at St Saviour's. John is one of those rare creatures - an enabler. I'm not sure that the word 'no' is part of his vocabulary. With John, as with his God, all things are possible. If they don't happen to-day, that's OK. Just believe and you will see them happen. Reality bore out his faith. As full of praise as I am for John and Jan (by the way Jan's hospitality is legendary), I am amazed and curious about the people of Gippsland who want John as their bishop. You see John's style and the people he draws into the centre are not everyone's cup of tea. Yet Gippsland has chosen this man with a rare vision and style to lead it. This I know. Gippsland's (and the McIntyre's) journey to Christ and those whom He loves will be a story worth the telling.

A smoking pyre on the Cathedral steps: Aboriginal ritual of healing and cleansing

The Chapter Procession enters the Cathedral through the Great Doors

The Acting-Metropolitan's Procession enters by the Great Doors

John responds to the Questions of Examination

Bishops gather around John for the laying on of hands

John is presented to the congregation as Bishop of Gippsland by the Acting-Metropolitan. There was resounding applause

The recession begins.

Note: John's stole with the Aboriginal flag. This was made by his mother for
NAIDOC Week 2001.

Rev Dr Bill Lawton, formerly Rector of St John's Darlinghurst in Sydney, preached the sermon.

How the Senate voted on RU486

Here is how our Senators voted to make RU486 available to Australians without a ministerial veto:

Thursday, 9 February 2006 SENATE 39
Adams, J. Allison, L.F., Bartlett, A.J.J., Brown, B.J., Brown, C.L. Campbell, G.
Carr, K.J., Colbeck, R., Coonan, H.L. Crossin, P.M., Evans, C.V., Faulkner, J.P. Ferris, J.M., * Fifield, M.P., Hill, R.M., Hurley, A., Johnston, D., Kirk, L. Ludwig, J.W.
Lundy, K.A. Macdonald,
I. Marshall, G. McEwen, A. McLucas, J.E., Milne, C., Moore, C., Murray, A.J.M., Nash, F., Nettle, K., O’Brien, K.W.K., Patterson, K.C., Payne, M.A., Ray, R.F., Scullion, N.G., Sherry, N.J., Siewert, R., Sterle, G., Stott Despoja, N. Troeth, J.M., Trood, R., Vanstone, A.E., Watson, J.O.W., Webber, R., Wong, P., Wortley, D.

Abetz, E. Barnett, G., Boswell, R.L.D., Brandis, G.H., Calvert, P.H., Chapman, H.G.P. , Conroy, S.M.
Eggleston, A., Ellison, C.M. Ferguson, A.B., Fielding, S. Fierravanti-Wells, C., Heffernan, W. Hogg, J.J.
Humphries, G., Hutchins, S.P., Joyce, B. Lightfoot, P.R., Mason, B.J., McGauran, J.J.J., * Minchin, N.H.
Parry, S., Polley, H., Ronaldson, M., Santoro, S., Stephens, U.
Campbell, I.G. Kemp, C.R.
* denotes teller
Question agreed to.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Safety is a 7.30 Report quiz

What on earth is a "backyard miscarriage" as mentioned by Tony Abbott? He didn't seem to be able to explain when pinned down by Kerry O'Brien on 7.30 Report to-night. But he told O'Brien that the only way to stop RU486 from leading to such a thing was for him to be quizzed by the 7.30 Report. Now your correspondent, dear reader, is unlikely to be in the market for the much debated RU486 but she does know a thing or two about miscarriages. One thing she can say for sure is that they are unlikely to happen in a backyard. More likely over the Royal Doulton in the WC. Tummy cramps tend to send one heading for the loo - not the backyard. But then how would Tony Abbott know - he's only the Minister for Health who wants to protect us - by means of the 7.30 Report - from the little pill that he dare not and will not trust to the expertise of science.

Vanstone confesses to 'another Rau'

Problems again: another poor defenceless person has been caught adversely in Australia's immigration laws. Vanstone is not letting us have the details. She is hiding behind procedure. Just says it is similar to the Cornelia Rau case. (Use the links on the sidebar to find out what Australian Immigration did to Australians Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez Solon.)

Trouble is Amanda - this is not just about the toxic culture at the Dept of Immigration. Your minions like to keep you happy and do your bidding. They do their best to divine your wishes and those of Downer and Ruddock and Howard and carry them out. Black letter law or a dog-whistled read between the lines, they will do what they are bid. You see, Amanda, bad law brings bad actions. Change the law, Amanda - if you still have courage in your bones.