Sunday, October 6, 2013

A letter to the Prime Minister

I encourage all Australians to write to our Prime Minister.

The Government, in their wisdom, as set up a "Contact your Prime Minister" website for all questions.

For those who have questions, please, I impore you, go to and ask him what you want to know.

Here is my submission - though I will not be holding my breath for an answer.

Also be aware that this was sent in with my actual name, address and phone number on the form. I write under a pseudonym and do not publish my contact details here, however, I'm not ashamed or afraid to put my real name to these matters. I never have been and never will be.

From Pandora Behr
Richmond, Victoria, 3121

To: Mr A Abbott
Canberra, ACT, 2600

Dear Sir,

A couple of things.

Firstly, I am ashamed to be an Australian at the moment. I have been since the 7th of September when you and your cronies took office. There are plenty of things that you could do help stop me feeling like I live in a backward, bigoted, selfish, uncaring, money-driven, science-denying, illiterate breeding, white Australia of the 1950's - but somehow, I don't think you will.

But here are some questions that you can get back to me on - and I would thank you to do so:

1. Why is there no Minister for Science? Why is sport seen to be more important than science in your cabinet?

2. When are you going to appoint a Minister for Women who actually gives a toss about women think and believe?  We do have thoughts and beliefs of our own, you know? The current situation is not acceptable - especially as Michaelia Cash is the helper for the Minister for Woman - as it says on her door. Which woman? Gina Rinehart? Julie Bishop? Mrs Mirrabella? Please let us know which woman you're talking about.

3. When are your representatives going to get in an editor so that the grammar and spelling used by your party doesn't make a disgrace of you? You have some "cereal offenders" out there - you're a Rhodes Scholar - spelling and grammar errors make you and your party look like cretins.

4. When you going to stop calling asylum seekers "illegal". International Law states clearly that it is not illegal to seek asylum.

5. While we're on the last point, when are you going to look at some sensible options in regards to asylum seekers - including publishing numbers of home many boat arrivals are coming via Christmas Island. The guy on Twitter is doing and admirable job, but surely Mr Morrison should be open and honest about these numbers. The buy back the boats policy was a crock - I'm sure Pickles Auctions are not set up to sell leaky Indonesian fishing boats.

6. When are you and your team going to pay back all of the rorted travel expenses that are now coming out in the mainstream press? Why has it taken this long for these indiscretions to come out?

7.  When is the Freedom of Information request from Margo Kingston in regards to who dobbed Mr Slipper in the Australian Federal Police going to be answered? this is a legitimate call. We'd really like to know who started the witch hunt, thank you.

8. When are you and your team going to firm up foreign ownership of the Australia Media so that they can no long have a monopoly. The current situation is not only ridiculous but frankly untenable.

9.  As you claim you are the "Infrastructure PM" when are the following going to be classed as infrastructure? The NBN? Suburban Train Lines? House Prices? Set ups for the ageing population?

10. When are you going to stop seeing the weather as an "Act of God" (okay, it may be) and look at the scientific evidence? The Climate Change evidence is agreed on by 97% of thousands of really smart people, who have been through the universities that you claim are not going to study things you don't want them to. When are you going to start DEMANDING that our companies start reducing carbon emissions and taking extreme care of our environment? The science is there. It's time to do more.

11. Are you going to stop Campbell Newman and Ms Rinehart in their desire to bugger up the Great Barrier Reef? It's in enough trouble - it doesn't need any more.

12. What else are you going to sell off to get the country back in the black? According to most economists, we were in great shape compared to the rest of the world. Why have you suddenly gone quiet on the economy?

13. When are you and your team going to apologise to Ms Gillard for the frankly appalling behaviour to which you, Mr Pyne and a number of others subjected her to over the years? Seriously, if one of your daughters who was getting that sort of treatment you would be after the perpetrators with a baseball bat before calling the police and demanding that they be put up on harassment charges.

14. When are you and your team going to start complying with the fact that the Church and the State are separate? This tenet goes back to Henry VIII. We like it like this - long may it remain.

15. Lastly, for the moment, when are we seriously going to look at overhauling our tax and voting laws? The tax system is stupidly over-complicated and really, compulsory voting - why can't we have a system that makes those that don't give a toss not have to vote? Because, seriously, if you don't care, or don't want to care, why vote? Wouldn't that be more democratic than being forced to turn up to a polling booth? It works in the US and the UK. If you want to say something, you vote. End of story.

Thank you for considering my questions.

Yours truly,

Pandora Behr

Go on, get to it. Be polite, rational and reasonable. Don't swear. Don't ask things like when is Andrew Bolt going to be lynched or when he's going to remove his lips from the genitals of Rupert Murdoch. Just start asking questions. Relevant, sensible, considered questions.

And post on your answers.

And encourage more to do the same.


Kath Lockett said...

Brilliant. And if you receive an answer, I'd love to see it!

Anonymous said...

Panda, throwing a tantrum and not even putting your real name to it, that in itself is the kind of disrespect you allege in your letter. Real criticism isn't born of emotional outbursts, it is created by careful thought and articulation backed by fact. By the way if you are going to pick people for their grammar make sure yours is spot on.

Pandora Behr said...

Dear Anonymous,

This is copy of the draft sent, with my name, address and phone number. And it was tidied up for grammar and spelling before sending.

I will put my name to everything I say here, unequivocally and passionately, because I truly believe, with all my heart, that our current federal Government are heartless, cruel and regressive and I will say this, repeatedly.


Elephant's Child said...

It is brilliant - but I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for an answer. Which some lucky public servant, probably from Prime Minister and Cabinet, would have to draft. And redraft. And insert more weasel words. And redraft again.
And I understand that one of the things (such an important thing) occupying the public service time and energy at the moment is changing the word Program to read Programme in all official documents. Guess whose preference?

Jackie K said...

It's a good list of questions, but I don't think you are seriously expecting an answer on most of them are you? More like a list of the things that are appalling you, and there's nothing wrong with that.
Look, I voted for them this time(ducks for cover...) and I'm not happy with any of the three parties at the moment. And from what little the new govt has done so far I'm a bit dismayed. But I'm withholding full judgement to give them a chance and see how they go. Tony Abbott has surprised everyone with getting this far, and he's managed to curb the worst aspects of his past, so he might even do OK. Labor did great things the last 6 years but I do believe the constant scrapping and instability was causing damage and wasting everyone's time and energy - they needed a time out, to regroup and change tack. The Greens annoy me a bit as they have no opinions or ideas for anything except their core areas.
Sigh - these are dark days. Hopefully will all soon start to improve.

Pandora Behr said...

True, it's a list of what I am appalled by, however, I could see the small-mindedness and hypocrisy that is coming out now - and it's up to everybody to keep them accountable. I don't expect an answer.

I don't bear grudges against people who voted for them in the last election, but I do expect those people to shout long and hard when they see things that they don't agree with. The Libs, in their less extreme form, are fine. I just can't abide by the current lack of forward thinking, compassion and accountabiliy. Give them a chance - only when they start to take account for their own actions. Until then, I'm joining the Labor party (or Greens) and will continue to agitate.

Jackie K said...

Good answer!