Saturday, September 12, 2015

This is Prattling Polonius's happy face?

Okay, the pond admits it.

Fair cop. The only reason we paid attention to prattling Polonius this weekend was so we could run that meme ...

As for the actual content of Prattling Polonius's posting, we'd already covered that in another meme summarising a Bolter rant:

But there's a price to pay for being flippant, and here it is:

As always, the glib sophistry of Polonius hides a couple of interesting facts to be discovered by reading history interested in history and not ideological point scoring - including the way mandatory detention was voted in with bipartisan support, and the reality that mandatory detention was there in all but name under the Hawke government:

The enactment of the Migration Legislation Amendment Act 1989 introduced changes to the system of processing boat arrivals and allowed officers to arrest and detain anyone suspected of being an ‘illegal entrant’.
Although detention was still discretionary and not mandatory until 1992, the changes made in 1989 effectively introduced a policy of ‘administrative detention’ for all people entering Australia without a valid visa, or any others present in the country unlawfully (i.e. without a valid visa), while their immigration status was resolved.
The ‘second wave’ detainees were held in (unfenced) detention in Villawood: The next wave of boat people, mainly from Cambodia, began to arrive in Australia from 28 November 1989. Passengers on the first of these boats (Pender Bay) were held for a period of three weeks at a holding centre near Broome normally used for illegal fishermen awaiting trial. They were subsequently moved to the Westbridge (now Villawood) Migrant Centre in Sydney. As in the case of the earlier Vietnamese boat people, they were detained in an unfenced area, but were not permitted to leave the Centre and had to report daily to the Australian Protective Service.
However, most of the second wave of detainees were not processed quickly and all remained in custody for the entire period of their refugee determination process.
Between November 1989 and January 1994, eighteen boats arrived carrying mostly Cambodians, Vietnamese and Chinese nationals, with one third remaining in detention until the end of this period (some of whom were in custody for over four years).
In response to this second wave of boat arrivals the Port Hedland Immigration Reception and Processing Centre opened in 1991 in order to accommodate some of the (mostly Cambodian) asylum seekers.
The removal of asylum seekers to this relatively isolated centre on the site of a disused mining camp in north-west Western Australia attracted criticism from the Refugee Council of Australia amongst others. (much more here, with footnotes).

It's not that the pond intends to defend Robertson, a man almost as unbearably pompous as Prattling Polonius himself, so much as to note that Hawke's government should be entitled to the credit, for credit is due, for its share in the bipartisan inhumanity of Australia's response whenever a refugee crisis has presented itself over the past few decades ...

But back to Polonius, because being a sectarian of the first water, what's the bet he'll now lead with a sectarian ploy?

Of the 'won't someone think of the Christians kind?' that's been out and about for the best part of the week, and finally Polonius has caught up ...

And there you go. You can see how that meme of the Bolter column also summarised the essence of Polonius's vicious sectarianism, a most peculiar situation given the way that 'sectarian' is one of Polonius's favourite terms of abuse.

Speaking of sectarian, as the pond does around Polonius, it wasn't just Jon Faine implicitly having a go at the Catholics.

There were others who had a go, and as a result things got weird. How weird did it get? Well, who could imagine the pond quoting angry Sydney Anglicans approvingly?

Australian Christians feel a particular heartache at the fact that those we consider as family, our brothers and sisters in Christ, have been singled out for persecution in Syria and Northern Iraq. Nevertheless, we would be very reluctant to see an expanded refugee program that uses religion as a discriminating factor. This is antithetical to the love of God for all people and the unmerited and non-discriminatory grace and mercy that is at the heart of the Christian gospel. 
The parable of the Good Samaritan is an incendiary critique of discrimination based on race, ethnicity and religion. Listening to the story for the first time, many would have been incensed that Jesus had used the word "good" to describe a despised Samaritan. Yet it never crosses the Samaritan's mind in the story to ask about the religion or background of the man he finds beaten and dying on the side of the road. His response is immediate, generous and unquestioning. 
As for who should or should not be included in an increased number of refugees from Syria, it makes no sense to be discriminatory. Some minority groups have been specifically and systematically targeted by Islamic State. These include, but are certainly not limited to Christians. There are also Yazidis, Druze and Mandeans targeted, along with Shiite Muslims. IS show little fear or favour and even Sunni Muslims who do not share their view of the world are just as likely to bear the brunt of their displeasure. 
Our ability to show love and mercy and provide a warm welcome to anyone in distress, regardless of their faith, must serve as a counterpoint to the brutality of IS. Our response needs to be immediate, generous and unquestioning regardless of race, ethnicity or religion. (more here).

It reminded the pond of that old saw that Catholics don't have much use for Christ's actual words, thoughts or deeds ...

Meanwhile, life goes on for Polonius's battered heroes:

What's that? Fairfax has only just now discovered George Christensen is a moron?

The pond could have filled endless posts demonstrating that Christensen is a moron, but only at the risk of turning the site even more deeply moronic than the reptiles of Oz daily manage to make it, and only by way of feeding the Christensen troll, who loves the attention ... his Twitter feed is full of abuse directed at him, because that's the way he rolls ...

Now please, last drinks, are there any other morons in the house?

Oops, the pond apologises for asking...

And so to a cartoon, and more Moir here ...


  1. Oh, prattling Polonius, won't someone think of the Rohingya...

  2. Hi Dorothy,

    Henderson, Bolt et al, may not find their fellow Christians from the Middle East quite as tolerant and keen to integrate as they appear to assume.

    In William Dalrymple's excellent "From the Holy Mountain", a travelogue and history of Eastern Christianity, he visits the Monastery of Mar Saba in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.....

    'Look at it!' Said Fr. Theophanes, the monastery's tall, gaunt Guest Master, waving a hand at the dark rocky gorge beneath us. 'There it is: the Valley of Doom. The Valley of Dreadful Judgement.'

    Below us the monastic buildings of Mar Saba fell away in a ripple of chapels, cells and oratorios, each successive layer hanging like a wasps' nest from a ledge on the rock face. Opposite, the top of the cliff wall had turned an almost unnatural shade of red in the last evening light. The rock was pitted with caves, each formerly the cell of a Byzantine monk. All were now deserted.

    'It's very beautiful,' I said.

    'Beautiful?' Said Fr. Theopanes, rustling his robes in horror. 'Beautiful? See down there at the bottom? The river? Nowadays it's just the sewage from Jerusalem. But on Judgement Day that's where the River of Blood is going to flow. It's going to be full of Freemasons, whores and heretics: Protestants, Schismatics, Jews, Catholics...More ouzo?'


    The monk paused to pour another thimbleful of spirit into a small glass. When I had gulped it down, he continued with his Apocalypse. 'At the head of the damned will be a troop composed of all the Popes of Rome, followed by their deputies, the Vice-Presidents of the Freemasons...?'

    'You're saying the Pope is a Freemason?'

    'A Freemason? He is the President of the Freemasons. Everyone knows this. Each morning he worships the Devil in the form of a naked woman with the head of a goat.'

    'Actually, I'm a Catholic.'

    'Then,' said Theopanes, 'unless you convert to Orthodoxy, you too will follow your Pope down that valley, through the scorching fire. We will watch you from this balcony.'


    1. Great stuff DW, what a wonderful tale to tell ...

  3. Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of UK Labour. Wait for the howls of outrage from the reptiles.They can't stand the thought of some real opposition. I predict a huge swing to the Greens in Canning, as Shorten is such a wimp and the LNP is now unelectable.


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