Thursday, September 10, 2020
A friend just texted to ask RUOK? reminding me that it is RUOK day in Australia, a day meant to promote mental health by asking people to reach out to see if others are ok.
The first item I heard on the radio this morning was an interview with Suzanne Smith who wrote the book The Alter Boys . It is about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in NSW and Suzanne's stories have left me wondering how anyone who lived through such trauma can be okay. Homosexuality was illegal so it is no wonder many homosexual men were drawn to an organisation which forbade heterosexual sex. The shame was that this sect had no accountability under the law, and still hasn't under most jurisdictions.
Then on the news I hear that the National Party of NSW is threatening to split from the ruling Liberals because they want developers to be able to bulldoze koala habitats for housing. Poor Koalas, if the fires don't kill them, the developers do.
In Australia at the moment the stand-out politician for ethics and responsibility is the Victorian Premier Dan Andrews. His daily press conferences have become a 'must watch' and are a real eye opener for those of us who don't habitually have access to such events. Day after day we listen to Murdoch Press journalists ask questions that can only be designed to catch him out. Andrews stymies them, giving patient, thoughtful and honest answers. Andrews has become so popular there is a trending #IstandwithDan hashtag on twitter. After he outlined his strategy to get Victoria Covid free there was such a combined Murdoch Press and ruling Liberals/National Party pile-on that you wonder how politicians are ok in Australia at any time. There is pervasive talk of PM Morrison being so jealous of Andrew's popularity that he would stop at nothing.
Internationally there is Trump, Boris, Bolsanaro, Xi JinPing.
I don't know. Are we OK?
Addendum: today the Australian newspaper attacks Andrew's wife. Gutter politics, gutter journalism.