Releasing refugee policy in Adelaide

Some OK articles in some of the papers about the Press Club speech, although nothing to suggest there’d been any major shift of consciousness in journalist land about the urgent need to give greater attention to the potential Senate outcome. Totally atrocious coverage in one paper who shall remain nameless and none at all in another.

Stopped into a Sanity CD store with my staff person so they could buy a Jeff Buckley CD who they’d just discovered. No copy of Rock Against Howard in sight!! Hard to believe, either it’s a slack store or they are selling heaps of copies! (should have gone to Big Star records down the road).

I don’t know much Jeff Buckley stuff – I know enough to know he’s dead though – but I really like his version of Hallelujah. I happened to mention this to my staff person, along with the fact that it is originally a Leonard Cohen song, which was something they didn’t know. Upon discovering that the existence of Leonard Cohen himself was also something they were unaware of, I did an impulse buy of a Cohen compilation containing the original version of the song.

I’ve got every Cohen album, plus one of his earlier compilations. This was a 2CD effort which I hadn’t heard of but which is a new one, containing 31 tracks from each of his 10 studio albums except the Phil Spector produced one, which seems to be universally regarded as a disaster (it’s a pity some of those songs weren’t re-recorded without the unwieldy production, although a couple of them scrub up OK). Another example of my building my CD collection with stuff I’ve basically already got, rather than expanding my horizons with new music.

Anyway, I lent it to my staff person straight away so they could compare the original Hallelujah with the later one.

Released our package of refugees measures – nothing dramatically new, but a reminder about the suffering still being endured by a group of people who were the central attack targets of the last campaign, but all but forgotten in this one. I discovered John Howard had just gone into at a function across the road at the Hilton. I guess if I stood outside and blew a raspberry at him I’d get on the news – something I doubt will occur from me having done a press conference on the continuing suffering of refugees.

I was with our SA State MP, Kate Reynolds, a really effective politician who also shares some of my community development perspective on how politics could and should work, and we bumped into an Iranian couple we had visited at Baxter detention centre a few months earlier. It was wonderful to see them and their young boy free in the middle of town. We went around to the local refugee legal centre and saw another couple and their gorgeous 15 month old girl who had been released just the week before. Again they were very happy to be free, but they all are still faced with immense uncertainty, released on Bridging Visas which give them no support and no security. They’ve been released from one form of torture into another.

I had a free hour near the end of the day and rang a friend of mine to see if they were free to catch up. It turned out they were waiting outside the Hilton Hotel for John Howard to come out again with some people protesting about live animal exports. By the time I got there, John Howard had left, with about 20 young Greens and socialists chanting abuse at the police for reasons which weren’t particularly clear to me. My friend was nearby, trying to catch their breath after being crushed in the sudden rush as the above mentioned protesters charged forward when the PM came out.

Also there was Lucy the sheep who has featured in some of the TV news broadcasts over the last few weeks. I took the chance to get a few photos taken, which may appear on my site sometime soon. Definitely a cute sheep, although it’s a bit dangerous for her to hang out outside ALP and Liberal functions, they’ll grab her and stick on one of those death ships if she’s not careful.

Had a good chat with my friend (who now that I think about it, I’ve probably only met about 5 or 6 times in my life over about 5 years, but it’s still a good enough description for me). They seemed to be exuding general wellbeing – I must find out the secret sometime – so I absorbed some of their positive life force to help give me an extra boost as we hit the last 10 days.

Jumped on another plane (have I mentioned how much I LOATHE flying?) – doing an event focusing on multiculturalism tomorrow and will probably announce a couple of other things too.

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  1. Funny how much people relate to music – I think more meaningful things are said these days in music than talked about… People don’t seem to talk about meaning much, mostly just talk about solving problems.
    Not that it matters much.

  2. Hey Andrew, I have a quick question for you. I’m going to do today’s blog on “trust”, and as a politician you must have to deal with that pretty often – both as having a position of responsibility, and also being distrusted because of being in politics. Without painting you with any kind of brush, I’d be interested in hearing what your thoughts on “trust” are… Feel free to make it a personal response, and I don’t mention sources directly on my blog unless they ask for it. I just think you’d have a good perspective…

  3. Trust? These deep and meaningful questions are so much harder than questions about my views on legislation dealing with excises on Paraquat Dichloride.
    One of my favourite movies is called Trust. According to one of the characters in that, admiration, respect and trust equals love. Not sure I’d agree with that 100%, but I don’t disagree with it 100% either (probably about 78%). It does provide a few good intermingling concepts to chew over in your mind, though.

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