I keep telling myself it won’t get worse, and then it does

23 Mar

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We were all sitting around the table just now, the mister, the lads and the I, eating our lunch and the conversation was civilised, but stilted, because we all had our heads in books or screens. Some of us were reading Asterix, some were clicking through their blackberry, and I was flicking through news from home, and I was all, ‘Listen to this’ and ‘Can you believe?’ and then I saw that photo.

Seriously, Tony Abbott, how dare you take democracy and do that to it? Especially now, while so many people in so many places are sacrificing so very much for democracy. How dare you? We go to school every day with families whose hearts are heavy with fear and uncertainty, but also burning with hope. I check my email constantly for messages from friends in places I’d rather they weren’t. And while they are doing these things, showing courage beyond imagination, this is your contribution.

‘Look at this,’ I said to the mister when I first saw that photo, and I turned the screen his way.

‘Can I see?’ Eldest lad asked, but I said, ‘No,’ and turned it around before he could see. I don’t actually shield my children from much of the news. We don’t watch graphic images on the television, but we talk to them about most things.

But not that, I’m not letting them see that, because I come from a time and a place where such attitudes need not be explained. I come from a time and a place where our leaders respect women, respect people, respect democracy and take the responsibilities of freedom of speech seriously.

Eldest said, ‘Mum! Don’t cry! Think of a happy thing.’

Right now I can’t.

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4 Responses to “I keep telling myself it won’t get worse, and then it does”

  1. Ali March 24, 2011 at 2:37 am #

    It’s appalling BUT one hopes that this sort of incident really constitutes Tony shooting himself in the foot. He’s showing his true colours and the majority of Australians have to be appalled by what he is showing. I hope. Also, Bob Brown’s response. Awesome.

  2. Mary Bennet March 25, 2011 at 5:46 am #

    I missed all this because I was away in a place without Australian news. On the plane back from Brisbane where I’d left my small child who had finally fallen asleep after hours of excitability from seeing me again, I glanced at the report in the national newspaper I try not to read often because it makes me so cross. The older man sitting next to me looked over my elbouw and expressed some firm views about it all being a good thing and because he had been tolerant, even appreciative , of the earlier excitability, I swallowed my gorge and changed the subject.

    Appalled.

  3. blue milk March 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Yes, wasn’t this just vile?

  4. Michael O'Brien March 31, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Tracy, you shouldn’t just assume that because the media chose to include that sign in this photo that it was Tony Abbott’s stance. It was poor form of the liberal minders to allow that sign to remain behind Tony as that is definitely not his stance. He has three lovely daughters and I know his stance towards calling a women a b…. is the same as yours.

    That day in Canberra there were some three thousand people demonstrating. Most signs were civil. Two were not. The media has chosen to concentrate on those two. It is not a fair representation. Please do not be sucked in to the media that wants to portray this man in that manner. He is better than that and we need to be smarter this.

    PS My compliments to you and the mister

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