I phoned Peter Dutton’s ministerial office (02 6277 7860) to plead for a change of heart on the men currently in dire circumstances on Manus Island. The person I spoke to heard me out and thanked me for my input. I asked if he’d written it down. Silence. I asked if any of my concerns would be passed on to the Minister. He said, ‘I have listened to you and know what you said. I won’t comment on the internal workings of this office.’ Democracy in action.
I do feel for the people who have to face the public on Peter Dutton’s behalf and hear repeatedly that their boss is committing crimes against humanity. I also feel for the members of the cabinet who are obliged to go out and spout cruel absurdities in support of their party line on this and other subjects, as in this clip from the Today Show in 10 November. Here’s a little verse in response:
Verse 5: Christopher Pyne on the TV
‘Those men on Manus now are squatters,’
he said, face straight as his can be.
‘Our government aren’t beastly rotters.
That squalid camp we now can see
has been closed down. The men have choices.
If they ignored the lefty voices
they’d pack their bags and quietly go
back home or to East Lorengau,
or to the US. World’s their oyster.
Their fate’s no longer up to us,
so, bleeding hearts, please stop your fuss.’
A saintly monk, safe in his cloister,
recites the creed, averts his eyes,
and shuts his heart, acts unco wise.