THE ENGINEER OF HUMAN SOULS
Apologies to Josef Skorevcky.
I went back up to Sydney on the weekend for my mother's birthday. I got to see my little 3 week old nephew, who I did get to see for 2 days before I moved. I don't think there is anything more beautiful than a baby, and nothing more relaxing than nursing a sleeping baby. He has spends more and more time awake, no doubt trying to make out exactly what this world he now lives in is like.
In Australia we will be having a federal election before the year is out. What fear will Howard play on? What do I mean? Well in 1996 he played on the fear of native title and of people losing their homes to Aboriginal land claims (even though people losing their homes in such a way could never happen). In 1998 he didn't need to play up any fear, because his majority was so large - still he did lose a lot of seats, so he knew he would have to go back to playing on people's fears. In 2001 it was the fear of asylum seekers and refugess being terrorists. In 2004 it was interest rates. In 2007? Well it seems to be Islam and the loss of jobs and economic prosperity (at least for the wealthy minority - the number of people living in poverty is inceasing in these "prosperous times) if Workchoices is overturned.
Faced with this, we have the alternative of a Kevin Rudd led ALP government. The lesser of two evils. The only problem with this is that you are still voting for an evil. Where has the ALP been on the issue of Indigenous rights since 1996? MIA. On refugess? Well they support the government's attacks on asylum seekers (Kevin Rudd particularly) because, well, they introduced the policy. Interest rates? Well they don't want to abolish one of the major causes of high house prices (which makes interest rates such an issue), negative gearing. Islamaphobia? Morris Iemma matches Howard and co on this any day. Hell, they won't even undo all of the Workchoices legislation, let alone the WRA 1996. Oh Peter Garrett, he's a right-to-lifer, a Christian Fundamentalist - as it appears is Rudd. The ALP, a good alternative? What a sick joke. Yet sadly this is what most people will think are the only alternatives, ALP and Liberal, Howard or Rudd.
What has happened to us? Why are we so selfish, so xenophobic, so bigoted that we have become this way, so full of fear, that we not only ignore human suffering, or encourage it, but actively engage in the activities that cause it? Why and who has engineered our soul in such a way?