Updates, asylum seekers & the Australian left’s favourite American

It’s been a while between drinks, blog wise (not literally, of course, oh no) so thought I’d make a few comments & give a few updates to ensure this space doesn’t feel too lonely. Oh I just used the word space. I hope that didn’t sound too pretentious. Oh, I just referred to my internal thoughts self reflexively. Oh… shit. Never mind.

I was recently invited to give a reading of two poems for the Coriole Vineyards Poets & Pizza evening on Friday 9 September at their McLaren Vale winery. The night was very enjoyable, helped along by wood oven pizza & generous servings of Sangiovese, Coriole’s staple table wine, & the readings of four recognised local poets. I was on at half time and managed to restrict myself to three glasses before venturing up, so my two poems came across, I think, as well as could be expected. As for the others, I was particularly fond of Ken Vincent’s work, which managed to effectively blend humour & observational insight with darker themes gathered from the author’s time as a social worker in outer suburban Adelaide.

Aside from that, there’s also my ongoing campaign to engage with the plebeian discourse through letter-writing. In this case, it was a response to one of the more outlandish comments published regarding the ongoing refugee debate, generally referred to by the great unwashed as “border protection” (comment on why such a term is opportunistically misleading and completely inappropriate when discussing asylum seeking arrivals on boats was, admittedly, also published in The Advertiser letter pages, right above mine).

Kristina Keneally

I was thus pleased while catching up on Monday’s episode of Q&A to find former NSW premier Kristina Keneally, now free of the requisite hard line approach – towards, well, anything – expected from serving political leaders, espousing a very confidant, articulate and compassionate (in the best Catholic tradition) approach toward refugees. Admittedly she did fudge the question of actually being in favour of on-shore processing by saying she supported Gillard’s aim of getting legislation through that would restore the serving government’s ability to make whatever asylum-seeker policy it liked, on seemingly technical grounds that she supported the maintenance of executive power in such matters generally. However, I think we can all forgive Australia’s most charismatic blonde American for such trifling gestures toward party line solidarity, similar to how we forgive Malcolm Turnbull supporting his party to-the-letter using only facts & selective comments, all the while making it clear to anybody with even half a brain what he really thinks. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more of these two…

(…and she’s lengthened her locks out while he’s lost weight, clear evidence according to the tabloids that returns from both are imminent. Woot!)

There’s a few more things going on too but I’ll save them for next time. But yes, they do involve Gail Dines. As we all know, she’s always got things going on…


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