Sunday, June 28, 2009

Auburn Councilors’ demands: laughable arguments to justify greed!

We do not believe that any reasonable stable person would make comments or conflicting decisions as the Auburn councilors made lately. The council affairs have started to be not just a matter to be laughed at - but to be disgusted by too.

The councilors, especially the alliance of the left and far right (this is by itself is matter for deep disgust), were demanding changing the classification of the job they are doing. In simple words, they demanded a pay increase of 100% (Councilors put out hand for rise http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_24_2_09/page_5.html.)


But then, and after they discovered that we are having deep financial troubles and a practical recession and that the council budget is in red, the same alliance demanded an increase of the residential rates by 7.2% (Council applying for residential rate rise http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_14_4_09/page_1.html)

Then and before the Minister for Local Governments decided on changing the classification of the job to grant them an increase of 100%, they met and granted themselves a pay increase of 2.5% (Pay rise for council http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_09_06_09/page_3.html).

The joke did not stop here. One of the newly elected councilors who ran his election campaign last September on representing the “community’s needs” was quoted stating that an increase of his pay by 102.5% is good to stimulate local economy (Pay rise is good local investment http://www.torchpublishing.com.au/read/index_assets/review_16_06_09/page_4.html).

The biggest joke is that we are talking about Auburn council, and not Woollahra or Manly. We are talking about one of the poorest areas in Australia, with one of the highest unemployment rates in Australia.

The joke goes on and on unchallenged. The councilors think that residents either do not read English so they do not know what these councilors are doing. Or that the residents are too stupid to understand their (I mean the councilors’) greed.

The most shameful part of this saga is that it comes from councilors alleging themselves to be progressive who won their seats on promises to fight for a better life for area residents.

All that we are seeing from these councilors since the election is:
1- Bid to close community centres that provide food vouchers to the most needy.
2- Bid to increase rates on residents.
3- Bid to increase salaries to themselves to more than double.
4- Bid to introduce meters to parking in the streets (unlike all neighbouring councils)

Yes, the council is in red, because of mismanagement and many other reasons including the global recession. But addressing this cannot be achieved by squeezing the poor rate payers on one side to inflate the pockets of councilors with allowances they do not deserve.

At the end, they were elected to do this job for this designated allowance. Anyone who thinks that they cannot do this job for this low payment, they also most welcome to resign.

We are watching closely the situation which is no more than cheap jokes. But we will have another say at the next election.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The solution for Australian historical racism

The attacks on Indians in Australia were not the only racist discriminatory event that had happened in the last few weeks. Despite the persistent denial from the authorities and the counter insistence of community leaders and members, the facts are clear.

It was not only Indians who were discriminated against during the last few weeks.

Last month, it was the Hispanics in the form of “Adios” to Sol Trujillo. Also during the same week it was Muslims in Camden, where the whities claimed that “we are not racists” but “we do not want Muslims here in our area”.

The only strategy put by government to fight this escalating racism was the denial. Kevin Rudd claimed that he was not racist. But he was caught on all media outlets around the world laughing with his “adios” attitude.

And in Camden, the council was in full denial mood. The councillors had no Anti-Muslim discrimination, though the court had dismissed all council’s arguments as baseless. Then the judges were in full denial after they took decision outside their authority. It was not about discrimination, they just wanted to stop “them” coming to the area.

And now all officials are claiming that Indians are not targeted. And when they were enforced to admit that the Indians “maybe” were targeted for racial reasons, the police leaked unconfirmed information that it was not whites who attacked them, but the Lebos. So it was not white racism. This is what Paul Sheehan said.

What a shameful joke.

Can we ask few questions here?
1- Was this the first time some Australians showed racism, while other Australians suffered from racism?
2- Why are the government and its arms of bureaucrats and security agencies “impotent” to take any action but denial?
3- What to do to address this issue and convince Indigenous, Hispanics, Muslims, Indians, Africans, Arabs… that racism is not flourishing in Australia?

What amazes all of us that the organisations that were established to fight for human rights and for multiculturalism were also ‘impotent” in the new continuous wave of racism. Their full denial of existence of racism in Australia was sending wrong message to the racists. These organisations were indeed complacent in the new racist wave, by offering blanket cover for the racists. It was very clear that they became part of the problem, and not part of any solution.

Instead of playing the role of multiculturalism defender, the commissioner for Community Relations was in full denial of any racism in Australia. He insisted that we are the ideal society that knows no racism or discrimination. Many other officials who were assigned to watch the situation of human rights, racism level and multiculturalism were also in full denial, stressing that Australia is one of the best multicultural countries in the world.

And this is the irony and the cause of all historical racism this country suffered since the invasion more than 2.5 centuries ago.

In a country where 98% of its population are from migrant background and where there are more than 150 different ethnicities, only one colour is dominant in its decision making bodies. This is why this one ethnicity would do everything they can to maintain their grip on power - even if this would mean deeply dividing the society, by spreading racial hate and fear.

We believed that the new government of Mr Smiley would take actions to stop (or at least reduce) racism. Instead, he was embroiled in racial slurs.

And where are the “progressive” small parties? Maybe they are not in full denial state, but they are definitely in either a full sleeping, full cowardliness or full agreement (with racists) state.

With a quick look at the composition of our parliaments (Federal and ALL states), we can discover the reasons for our long racist history.

Yes, we are in deep troubles. The troubles could get uglier if there will be no serious steps to counter the close - mindedness of our oldest migrant ethnicity. They should understand that Australia in 21 century is fundamentally different from Australia in the 18 – 20 centuries. Demographically it is fundamentally different too.

Our political class is shamefully very white. This is the root of all our troubles. And the first step is to challenge the colour of our decision-making class.

Without this, these white politicians will invent new Cronulla every year to keep their seats and their absolute grip on power.

But can Australia afford this?