10.2.05

Saga of Cornelia RaU cont'd
There is to be a private enquiry into the holding of her in both prison and in the Baxter Detention Centre. This was announced by Senator Amanda Vanstone, the minister for Immigration, who controls detention centres. She announced it would be a private enquiry to protect the privacy of Cornelia Rau.

I had to listen twice to that bit. This from the minister whose detention centres use surveillance cameras constantly in rooms such as the one where Cornelia Rau was held so that absolutely everything she did was observed as the light is on at night as well as during the day.

I am feeling cynical today. I wonder if just perhaps there might be one or two other reasons Amanda Vanstone wants a private enquiry?

I rather liked Moir's cartoon of yesterday. He's portrayed the senator as a mother hen before and the likeness is amazing.

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8.2.05

The Tattoo's sub-title was "A salute to Australia." As such, there were several versions of Waltzing Mathilda, I still call Australia Home, We are Australian.

It was as the audience was singing the last song that I paid some attention to the words. We speak with one voice.." Not really so. It seems that the governemnt speaks with an entirely different voice to many of the rest of us.

A horrifying story broke this week of a mentally ill woman who was either imprisoned and also shut up in Baxter Detention centre. Her crime? She was mentally ill and spoke with a foreign accent. Therefore she was a danger to all. She had schizophrenia and was also bipolar. She had been reported missing by her family and little effort seems to have been made by the authorities to trace her background.There are conflicting stories about her but many state that her illness was obvious.

Amanda Vanstone, the Minister who has jurisdiction over such matters again demonstrates that she apparently has not one iota of compassion in her. She appears to think that such treatment for ten months is perfectly acceptable. It seems that we do not all speak with one voice. Many of us disagree with her.

Personally I find this a frightening tale. I do not really hold fears for my son, but can see how this could have happened to Cornelia Rau. My son has bipolar himself and sinks into some very deep holes at times. At the same time he is exceptionally intelligent with a far out sense of humour, a born mimic particularly of accents. Put all these things together and have some paranoid person hear him and what happens? As I said,I do not really have fears of the sme thing happening to him,but I can certainly understand what happened.

What is shameful is that it seems that when prison authorities had had enough, it was an easy matter to transfer her to the detention centre. Bad enough for so-called refugees who should never be there.

I am ashamed.

Some sites:
'It's torture, it's sheer torture' - Immigration - www.smh.com.au

Former police chief to head Rau inquiry. 08/02/2005. ABC News Online

Rau inquiry behind closed doors: Vanstone - National - www.smh.com.au (free registration required for this site)

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nostalgia
My son rang lateish yesterday afternon with the offer of a ticket to the
Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Would I like to go? What a silly question. I used to attend the Australian Military Tattoos with my grandmother many years ago, but this one was special. It is only the second time in its history that the Edinburgh Tattoo has left its home city. I'd wanted to go, but ruled it out because of the prices and here he ws with three free tickets, courtesy of his work.

I had a ball. The seats were wonderful. I couldn't quite place them on the box office plan, but they were good ones. View was good and sound was well done with a great mix. I would have liked more pipes and missed Flowers of Scotland but I enjoyed all the performances. I was brought up loving brass bands so thoroughly enjoyed the massed bands. Part way through the performance, I realised how incongruous and inconsistent I was being. Here I was lapping up the pipes which initially were to strike terror into the enemies' minds. I've been fairly vocal around here about my oppposition to the Iraq war and our participation in it. I'm not a pacifist so settled myself with that though.

A good night.

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