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Australian Politics

A Casual Conversation about Politics in Regional QLD

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This is just a recount of a casual conversation I had about politics the other day when a friend asked me what I thought of Pauline Hanson. 

I had a casual conversation with a lady yesterday. She asked me what I thought about Pauline Hanson. I said “Hate her guts, why do you ask?”

I then said, “I’m quite involved in politics and I vote Labor, I’m not interested in Hanson, she tries to pit group against group and make us hate each other.”

She then said, “Oh I dunno, It seems wrong to me that only white people can get sued if they say something wrong and it isn’t fair that people come here and try to change our laws. I mean they come here from other countries and try to change Australian Laws.”

I said “Which ones?”

She said, “That we can’t have Christmas.”

I said, “But who or what group have gone to the courts to do this?”

She said,  “I don’t know but they do it.”

I looked at her quite confused and said, “Are you talking about Muslims.”

She said, “Yes, they come here and try to stop us from having Christmas.”

I said, “Have you seen any family in the news who can’t have Christmas because of Muslims? Surely that would be big news.”

She said, “No, but they try to say we can’t.”

I said, “Have you heard anyone on the news demanding that Australians can’t have Christmas? Surely that would be big news, if someone made a demand like that.”

She said, “No I haven’t.”

I said,  “Well….you do know that people just make things up on Facebook. If it is something big like that, it will most likely be on the news, not just on Facebook.”

She said, “Yeh I suppose”

(But seriously you could see she was not convinced. What is happening to people? This lady was in her 50s and quite well to do, and intelligent, I would describe her as.)

I then said, “Did you know that there are lots of religions in Australia and they all celebrate their own festivals, but they don’t say we can’t have ours. In fact some other religions collect gifts for kids and stuff for kids at Christmas, although they don’t even have Christmas. I’ve seen that on the news, not just on facebook. Did you see that?”

She said, “Oh I didn’t think they did that.” She then said, “but they all just come here.”

I said, “Yeh they do, like my ancestors did from Germany and Prussia, Ireland and Wales, like your ancestors did we all just come here.” I said, “Every country has immigration. We are not special.”

I said, “Look around this town, when you go to the bulk billing clinic, the emergency ward, the dentist, the supermarket, have a good look around. Not everyone is white Australian or Aboriginal. Do you think because these people just “come here” that we have problems here? We don’t.”

I said. “I can guarantee that there are Doctors and Dentists and Lawyers and shopkeepers who are all Muslims that you think are just fine.”

She said, “Yes I suppose. “

Then we started talking about something else and that is where it ended.


I just want to share this with people to show that many people have an irrational fear of other people for absolutely no reason, and with no evidence whatsoever. I wanted to show that this woman is not uneducated, she is not ‘bogan’ or racist, but is taking in information that is not true and believing it to be true. This is a huge problem – particularly when that information can make other people feel not welcome in our communities. That makes me feel very sad.

I would like to encourage people to think about if this escalates further. If the fear people have of others continues to be even more ingrained and more urban myths are taken as verbatim. Our kids all have to go to school together. What type of playground do we want for our kids?

This is my plea to everyone below:

Start judging people as individuals and treating them like they treat you. You might even make a new friend. This horrible “this group or that group are all horrible people and we should be scared of them” really has to stop.

We are supposed to be the laid back country. We don’t have a bloody class system in Australia. Lets keep it that way.

*I just want to put into context my local newspaper pushes Hanson a lot and she received around 10% of the vote for the senate in my electorate. She has been back to visit four times including the media circus/stunt at Great Keppel Island the other day; so she is quite a topic of conversation or on people’s minds.  I live in regional QLD.

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About trishcorry

I love to discuss Australian Politics. My key areas of interest are Welfare, Disadvantage, emotions in the workplace, organisational behaviour, stigma, leadership, women, unionism. I am pro-worker and anti-conservativism/Liberalism. I am a proud member of the Australian Labor Party and you will find my blog posts written from a Laborist / Progressive Slant.

Discussion

25 thoughts on “A Casual Conversation about Politics in Regional QLD

  1. Yes, agree.
    One comment though: You say we all have to go to school together, and I wish that were the case, but the ever increasing private school sector is often divides us and I see that as a major part of the problem. If you don’t meet ‘the other’ until after you leave school seeing them as kindred is much more difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Elizabeth | November 27, 2016, 9:57 am
  2. Well said, Trish.

    As for religions dividing us, since time immemorial, (actually that is a specific date in the 1300’s so scratch that). More specifically since Henery the Eighth and his creation of Protestantism, we have had wars and school indoctrination between the Catholics and the Proddys.

    That still goes on although the Proddys have split into fundamental and ‘normal’. We now have Muslim and Bhuddist schools. Oh Shock Horror! Education is being used to divide us. Why can’t we go back to the old system where we were all one?

    RIIIIGHT! Back to before ‘Enery!

    A quick summary. Life is change for individuals on all species. If we don’t change we go extinct! We shoud be welcoming change not trying to stop it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by archiearchive FCD | November 27, 2016, 10:35 am
    • Thanks Archie. Yes, my own Mother told me stories about Catholics and Public school kids throwing rocks at each other and I just finished Jimmy Barne’s book. He talks about this in Scotland – Catholic vs Protestant. I also like what you say about welcoming change.

      Like

      Posted by trishcorry | November 27, 2016, 10:44 am
    • What “old system” would that be, back to all being Catholics and subject to the Inquisition? Or to birth control prohibition, or being forced to stay in a violent marriage, because divorce is not possible? Or back to being Pagan, and having a plethora of deities (would be my preferred choice, if we must have religion, at least Pagans – whose very name means “of the earth” – wouldn’t be destroying the planet for personal gain.

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by Meryl Stewart | November 27, 2016, 1:25 pm
  3. The One Nation party are a group of uneducated right wing ratbags who are peddling the politics of fear, the old Liberal Party position. That the public are fearful in Queensland befuddles me completely. Why other wise intelligent people can’t see through this fear is astounding and is probably the same primal fear that drives those people to join religious cults such as the assembly of god, otherwise known as Australian Christian Churches lobby and know by several names, in Sydney as Hillsong, in Townsville as Calvary but all preaching the same message, ALP bad, LNP good.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by townsvilleblog | November 27, 2016, 11:06 am
  4. Reblogged this on Townsville Blog. and commented:
    Trish Corry as usual spot on.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by townsvilleblog | November 27, 2016, 11:08 am
  5. Geeze I have family members like that
    It`s not because they watch Kotchie at breakfast [my Labor voting darling does this as well] it`s some other “hard wiring”

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Bighead1883 | November 27, 2016, 11:35 am
    • Yep. I think what is distressing me the most is I hear and see many good people who would normally care about the welfare of others taken in by the ‘hate foreigners’ rhetoric. It is alarming. It truly makes me feel sad. We are all just people. There is good and bad in every group of people.

      Like

      Posted by trishcorry | November 27, 2016, 12:55 pm
  6. Reblogged this on Coalition of the Brave.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by carlalouise89 | November 27, 2016, 11:42 am
  7. I mostly don’t use Facebook for political purposes simply because most of my circle of family and friends aren’t interested. To them Facebook is a sort of family album and family news catch-up, which is fine. I’ve been more comfortable airing my views on Twitter.

    I’ve noticed one or two friends on Facebook do pick up on this type of dishonest mischief spread. UKIP and Reclaim Australia are part of those spreading the message. The thing about the stories is that they’re repetitive and recurring themes. And they’re absolutely false and baseless. A favourite is that we can no longer say Merry Christmas, but must say Happy Holidays. Another is that retail stores will no longer have Christmas displays or Santa.

    I’m sure it’s probably the repetition of these falsehoods that has many people terrified of Halal-certified food. Unfortunately a lot of people have links to these sites and regularly repeat the propaganda. It is Chicken Little type of stuff, presumably working on the theory that if repeated often enough, a few will believe it.

    I slap these down whenever they are aired. One friend took it a bit personally, but I worked around that with Facebook options such as excluding these type of posts from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by gorgeousdunny1 | November 27, 2016, 2:43 pm
    • Yes, i have seen all of those as well. My facebook has kind of morphed into “many political friends I’ve met online” and “friends and relatives who can still put up with my political posts” The rest have sorted themselves out. There has to be some type of strategy to combat these untruths, but I’m still not sure what that is.

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by trishcorry | November 27, 2016, 3:08 pm
      • A strategy? The only one I’ve found to date is repetition. Calling people out on obvious misconceptions, while abstaining from descending to anger. Repeating again…. and so on. Bloody hard and very tiring, but if we don’t do it, who will fight the tide of lies, fear and hatred? I go to the Murdoch media sites to do this; mostly with no evident result, but I tell myself that maybe some read and think about it. Sharing on Facebook and Twitter also reaches some.

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by aravis1 | November 27, 2016, 6:40 pm
  8. This is why it’s important to talk to people, like you did, rather than just label them as racist. If you ‘called her out’ on her clearly racist opinions, you would not have enabled her to listen to your sound logic. She would have shut down and further intrenched her thinking into the racist camp. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Ned | November 27, 2016, 3:55 pm
  9. Reblogged this on Writing Radiation and commented:
    Even though the author is based in QLD, I think the ideas here are relevant for the U.S. too. Especially in this political climate.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Ariel Lynn | November 29, 2016, 5:42 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: A Casual Conversation about Politics in Regional QLD | Townsville Blog. - November 27, 2016

  2. Pingback: The Red Window Blog – 2016 in Review | The Red Window - January 1, 2017

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Trish Corry

trishcorry

trishcorry

I love to discuss Australian Politics. My key areas of interest are Welfare, Disadvantage, emotions in the workplace, organisational behaviour, stigma, leadership, women, unionism. I am pro-worker and anti-conservativism/Liberalism. I am a proud member of the Australian Labor Party and you will find my blog posts written from a Laborist / Progressive Slant.

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