Friday, November 18, 2005

the mood worsens

I’ve been sunk in a stupor, as it sinks in that the case has been adjourned for another two months or more, that it seems neverending, that nobody seems interested in uncovering the truth, that the method of handling claims such as these is as bad as it could well be, that my life is in limbo until the matter’s resolved, etc etc. I try to seek solutions. One possibility is a letter, perhaps to the boy’s father, explaining the situation, demanding a response, demanding action to stop this farce from proceeding. This would not be illegal (I’m not supposed to approach the boy, as part of my bail conditions), though I doubt if my lawyer would approve. He seems to want me to sit tight, speak to nobody, and let him take care of everything. So I’ll have to back my own judgment on this. Still deciding.

My mood wasn’t improved when I switched on the radio this morning and heard Gerard Henderson speaking to Fran Kelly about Australia’s ‘importance in the world’ compared to that of New Zealand. This, he ‘explained’, was why Australia had a free trade agreement with the US while NZ had no chance of getting one in the current climate. He cited, as evidence of Australia’s importance in the world, only two matters – Rumsfeld’s attendance at meetings in Adelaide and Condoleeza Rice’s intended visit here in January. This, together with the FTA was apparently enough to prove that Australia was a big player on the world stage while NZ was on the outer. The fact that Henderson constantly talked about ‘the world’ or ‘the world stage’ testified, IMHO, to the complete dishonesty of his argument, an argument essentially – indeed totally – about ties with the USA, and this US administration in particular.

The fact is that this US administration has been the most divisive, quite possibly in US history. And when I say that, I’m only talking about US domestic attitudes, for the rest of the world isn’t divided, but overwhelmingly opposed, especially with regard to the foreign policy that our federal government has endorsed. Here’s a survey of European attitudes – it’s certain that attitudes outside of Europe would be much more negative.

It’s reasonably clear that the FTA, which in any case isn’t so favourable to us as it might be by all accounts, was largely enabled by the cosiness of our government’s ties to the Bush administration, especially regarding the invasion of Iraq. You could call it a reward for services rendered. Blood money. However, there are times when standing up for principles is more important than seeking financial gain, as last night’s ABC program Political Football stirringly suggested. Meanwhile, Henderson’s lack of integrity rankles.


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