THE ABANDONED ANZACS

Posted by SCA on  October 24, 2019 |
|
0

24 October 2019

AN OPEN LETTER VIA ELECTRONIC DELIVERY

Senator Jacqui Lambie
Australian Senate

.

Good day Senator Lambie,

In recent remarks to the media, you expressed very real disgust over the treatment of Anzacs in Australia.  I applaud your comments and acknowledge that under clearly segregationist policies, there now exists a legally enshrined and indisputable form of caste system in this nation.  A system that makes people like us, less than second-class citizens and actual non-classed citizens in Australia, for the course of our lives; an outcome that would have been thought impossible and repellant in a liberal democracy like Australia – that too few people fully understand these facts is both distressing, heartbreaking and something we can change, together.  This very real and ongoing tragedy is a national disgrace and a gross dishonour to Anzac service personnel, like my grandfather, pictured herein, who defended the integrity of Australia every bit as much as New Zealand.  The outcome in Australia upon Trans-Tasman families today is not simply a death of the fair go but is, in our case, quite literally tearing our family apart and pushing our lives far beyond breaking point. You can be the difference, Senator.  We are all, of this Commonwealth, made poorer, by the absence of anything resembling a field of fair play made too long fouled by John Howard and left to rot by successive governments.

I know this issue of the Anzacs matters to you, as I also know politics can be trench warfare. You may have been considering a good lead, with which to charge on this matter, where one otherwise risks being cut down before significant advances are made.  It is my frank and earnest position that our family’s story is precisely the kind of sharp instrument that pierces the other side’s defences and cannot be casually extinguished by rebuttal returned by opponents of the issue; adversaries who have no ambition to discuss merit but only seek to terminate debate.  In short, our story cuts through the noise and can land this issue hard and fast in the public square, parliament and media.  People, like our house and so many others need a voice.

Anzac families who exist in a nation for life should be either permanent under law and land or not upon law and land – anything else is unmistakable abuse and clear exploitation of people.  Where this is happening in Australia is disgraceful and contrary to any semblance of democratic principles and an unforgivable dishonour of the Anzacs.

This nation is our home and our family have served it with only respect for the land and people – over centuries.  I had hoped that the modern Australian nation had learned from past historical cruelties, where a cohort of people fairly and genuinely on the land were made dispossessed from equality of place.  The policies segregating us show that too little has been learned about broader merit or considered reflection upon the value of descendants and elders within this continent – Government’s often crafty signalling, messaging, distraction, distortion, obfuscation and cynically crafted policy law notwithstanding.  Civilisations are built upon more than base monetising metrics and should never be constructed upon the segregation of people.  Full stop.

The story of our family and many others is a story made honourable by its integrity and truth.  An outcome restoring equity of equality would see wins for an issue close to your heart; for Anzac families and for Australia – because no nation can segregate a growing cohort of people like this forever without it coming to an eventual critical mass and rendering the nation in disrepute.  On a personal note, the resolution of such disgraceful policy law also means our two children will know hope, certainty, belonging and identity – bound in a future – for the first time in their very Australian lives.

Those two children, our beloved Maya and Dylan, have been profoundly abused by these policies and they shall, under the vagaries of nuanced but perfectly allowable policy law, face effective deportation when I die (in Dylan’s case, because he is disabled, he’ll be allowed to remain in Australia as an adult until my life ends) and in Maya’s case, not long after the age where she becomes a legal adult, even where I remain alive (she’ll be allowed to exist under one last indignity that sees her branded as a “foreign student” and made to pay grossly inflated fees to service treasury and economy).  This is their fate, barring change, despite Maya and Dylan knowing no other home and continuously residing in the Australian nation from ages 1 and 2, respectively.  In respect of your time, I refer you to broader details around the children’s inevitable deportation, which are available at the website devoted to our case: www.methinketh.com and wish to affirm that I am only too willing to provide answers to any and all questions you may present to us.  That our son Dylan was actually born on Anzac Day – 25 April –  is itself just one more factual layer of dark and cruel irony where we are so overtly segregated by policy law.

Our story is painfully true and will, as they say in the fourth estate, that is the ever-expanding media landscape, “stand up” to every scrutiny, analysis and challenge.   In this modern political landscape it is not enough to have right on your side – policy must protect and be firmly in place – at present such attendant policy is broken, segregationist and frankly, punitive.  Your position in the Australian Senate makes you a kingmaker and our integrity is not sufficient force in a parliamentary battle when we have no power and so yes, I am directly asking for you to bring to bear an authority you singularly possess and which we, and hundreds of thousands of good Anzacs who genuinely make Australia home, are in urgent need of defence.

This house should be the very epitome of 21st Century Australia and a shining example of modern Anzacs – we are instead amongst its most legally discriminated.  A multicultural, multiracial, multilingual, multinational family with deep, true and verifiable roots into this continent’s ancestral soil, left dispossessed, would be inconceivable were it not incontrovertibly true.

Our family have been present, rarer still, in both New Zealand and Australia for centuries – a point of once great honour.  But where our family have existed in both nations, the Howard policy of 2001 means that our New Zealand born mum, despite living continuously in Australia for over a quarter century, sees my anomalous birth in Canada and my son’s in the Philippines simply destroy this family in ways even the greatest cynics in Howard’s Government could not have imagined. That we have always been honourable people across both nations makes our treatment by the successive modern Liberal led government that crafted such policy that much more obscene.  My Canadian born father long departed this world and my Australian-Kiwi stepfather living continuously in Australia since the 1960s.

Much of our family’s blood is in the soil of New Zealand and Australia.  In New Zealand we’ve had two members of parliament, Sir George McClean and the Honourable Mathew Holmes, both of whom, to continue an intertwined family Trans-Tasman narrative, lived many years of their lives in Australia.  As I informed David Coleman at 15 August, and you may quote me, “Over the centuries our family have operated shops in service to the legions who came to seek their fortunes in the multiple Australian gold rushes, we have clothed this nation as garment makers, we have provided them accommodation and comfort as hoteliers, we have fed this nation as farmers and graziers and we have provided financial services to the emerging nation as bankers and financiers. All verifiable facts. We have in short, helped nurture and develop the very nation that now leaves this house, and more pointedly, our children – abandoned.”

As a family that reflects the principled lights of Anzacs, I cannot imagine the Government of the day telling anyone that we – and so many other Anzacs – possess no merit of inclusion.  The outcome is more than shambolic, it is an injustice and one that is quite literally destroying lives – good, honourable and hardworking families.  We are bit sick of people treating us as little more than analytics, spit out of some Home Affairs computer matrix that excludes us from permanent legal inclusion, even as such system itself is so frequently rorted; tick boxes and basic formula application entry so much easier to defeat than genuine broader merit review – but the time costs of computational systems are cheaper to run… at least in the short term; and so government chose efficiency over broader concerns for humanity or even morality of people being quite casually discriminated against under policy law.

Our disabled son Dylan, so much the central actor in this ongoing tragedy was, as noted, born on Anzac Day, 25 April.  Dylan, a child denied even the simple dignity of a Medicare card, is refused any hope of inclusion upon the lands of his ancestors by policy introduced by John Howard in 2001 – and let to stand by his three successors to the leadership; Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison.  People who exist in a state of genuine permanence within Australia, especially where they make home nowhere else, should never have been made to be branded “temporary forever”.  Where this fate has befallen the Anzacs, with ties to country as close as states within a federation and forged in blood and by family, such segregation should be a disgrace worn by every member of the Government who have done nothing to end such foul policy outcomes.  Where our family have always reflected only honour and respect such outcomes, like those visited upon us, should be called out for what they are – a national disgrace.

The Liberal leadership of today will proclaim that their quest for a balanced budget flows from their capacity to manage money wisely.  Where the Anzacs are involved, they just took advantage of vulnerable people who didn’t have a large enough voice to speak back, and how could they – they have been disenfranchised and denied even the vote under John Howard’s policy deeds of 2001 – an outcome that now sees hundreds of thousands cast out in a condition of disenfranchisement within country last known under the White Australia policy.  An absolute abomination.

The consequences of John Howard’s handiwork thought little of equity, honour or merit but only the short-term benefit to the fiscal year’s GDP numbers, government budget or treasury’s coffers.  The policy shortcomings pushed through by Howard, fail to realise that when you segregate people, under law, in the way hundreds of thousands of Kiwis have been done over, the nation also kills aspirational possibilities.  One can only wonder at the losses, even as one imagines what greater gains could have been made – lost in turn to short sighted greed that dishonours and disempowers as it dehumanises – where people were granted a fair position to compete within country.

Today the visa system in Australia is not simply broken – it is shattered; made absurd in its expression where more than 100 different visas now obscure any chance of public understanding on the subject; even as such visas have been rorted time and again in this century as immigration work arounds – in plain sight – where they provided much short-term capital dividend to government.  So much of this debacle can be traced directly to John Howard, who is responsible for the fundamental and unilateral mistreatment of Anzacs in Australia – horrors that have been visited with particular cruelty and consequence upon our own house and the children therein.

The government barracks its “strong borders” dog whistle as an easy distraction and means of obfuscation, even as it has lost control of not just meaningful but often meritorious migration; in which misconduct flies below the radar of simple analytical checks and can find both award of permanent residency (with ultimate citizenship) where a host of visas find flawed open doors to rorting, abuse and simple purchase (where you have $5 million – 1.5 million if you’re willing to do points system); as every major media entity in this nation has already highlighted – and continues to expose.  But where liquidity flows to treasury there is little government outrage.  That such a visa system has overtly discriminated against Anzacs, even as it singularly segregates them as a cohort within Australia, renders a sober cynicism on both the visa subset and the immigration system itself.  The need for change is clear to any one with open eyes – who wishes to see.

Long after our genuine settlement, upon land if not under law, we learned of our son Dylan’s disability.  We would never dream of betraying him or abandoning him – but for the sins of our sacrifice and under these Liberal crafted policies we have been made outsiders in ways many of our fellow disenfranchised Kiwis don’t even experience – we are effectively left amongst the most segregated houses in this nation.  My fighting Anzac grandfather would be enraged, heartbroken and disgusted at our treatment.

As you can by now full well appreciate, we are hardly fair-weather Kiwis, surely not, as I hear too often from government; the “newly minted” variant who use New Zealand as a backdoor to Australia – this frequent dispersion intoned by the Liberal led governments who invoke such rhetoric for great affect.  People don’t drill down too deep too often and sometimes yelling the political equivalent of “fire” is all it takes to scatter people and leave them asking nothing more of the truth.  The government knows the value of clouding an issue and let’s such nuancing of facts keeps people from too much debate in the public square.

And if you’re looking for a closer link to lineage – my twin brother lives down the road in Brisbane with his Australian family.  How two twins, much less two brothers, can be made to be so different under Australian law is stunning, where being Kiwis now only counts towards lawful permanence in country when they are coupled with Australians.  The dishonour is a betrayal to Anzacs as it is a very real division within our own family.  The fact that New Zealand continues to grant Australians full equality (and never responded with a bilateral degrading of Australians rights across the ditch) says as much about one nation’s honour as it does to the stain now cast upon the other.

The LNP Government of the day will undertake to obfuscate and otherwise distract from the issue and proclaim that they’ve made it all “so much fairer”, by virtue (that is far more vice) of lobbing yet another confected visa into the mix, even as they do so with the attendant integrity of a carnival barker.  Behold! I give you, the Skilled Independent 189 (New Zealand) Stream visa – rolled out by Malcolm Turnbull in 2016 – another cynical ploy affected by a finance man who knew how to divide (both people and money) as a means by which to conquer said people and their money. Divide and conquer may be the formula for riches but can also make for a pretty poor nation.  The “SINZ-189-visa”, as I call it, is little more than a “pay-to-play-buy-in-scheme” that further divides the Anzac block that is a clear voting force – where they find that inclusion of permanent residency cum citizenship.  The more the Kiwi block can be broken up, the less Government has to worry about them as a concerted force to reckoned or otherwise be granted consideration.

More so still, even setting aside this decidedly undemocratic vulgarity that brings money into a right to permanence towards citizenship (better suited to countries often held in contempt of democratic and human rights), the fact is indisputable that our son’s disability means no matter how much money we earn and no matter how  profound our suffering, the Commonwealth under the grotesque 21st Century Howard and Turnbull policies have quietly but purposefully segregated and punished this Anzac family – and many others – for not simply fulfilling, but often exceeding, what we’d expect of any citizen.

David Coleman has waved off our concerns and has undertaken to obscure the fact that we cannot even submit an application for this SINZ-189 visa. It’s true. We literally cannot even submit the application because it’s been weaponised under an online only submission process.  The analytics of this online only application process – literally – stop you from proceeding forward with the 19-page online application; where your answer doesn’t comply with the narrow analytics of the programming you don’t proceed. All this detail is on our website (please see my essay on at methinketh.com entitled, “No Guidance; Death by Error Message”).  A very personal letter to David Coleman seeking basic submission of our application, in service to a ministerial prerogative to attend statutorily allowed discretion, was answered by a junior staffer who informed us only that an “error message” was detected in our application “as a result of incomplete data entered.” I invite you and staff to visit the site www.methinketh.com to learn more, as the full reply to Mr. Coleman can be found there, as well as copy of the letter issued under his authority.

What is happening to this house is more than disturbing.  The kind of mechanisms being used to block even a submission reflects a denial of due process, undertaken by a government that has its eye on making inclusion impossible, where they think someone won’t be of greater short-term benefit to federal earnings.

These are foul and cynical policies and they need to be terminated as efficiently and expeditiously as possible. Scott Morrison knows many Australians are too tired to deal with the dust up and its complicated and so the Morrison Government lets people, like us,  languish in a misery we’d have thought the stuff of tin pot dictatorships.  You hold a unique power Jacqui and we desperately need you to consider bringing its force to bear against what is, quite without exaggeration, a national shame already let to languish for far too long.

I don’t agree with you on everything but to be fair, my wife and I don’t even agree on everything and that hasn’t stopped us from having a deep and meaningful relationship year after year – it’s probably helped fulfil such ambition and outcome. I can appreciate that you talk like you shoot – straight – and you now have a lot of power in your hands. The numbers in a federal vote can see your seat make or break legislation and that’s genuine influence and real power. You are indeed a kingmaker in a parliamentary castle where Government will only bend or bow to great pressure. Congratulations – you hold real agency.  Please use it wisely and in defence of the segregated Anzacs abandoned in Australia.

I have sent profoundly personal, detailed, verifiable and lengthy submissions to our Federal MP Andrew Wallace, Immigration Minister David Coleman, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Prime Minister Scott Morrison over the years.  They know we have no power and only to power shall they respond.  We need a battler who can bring a fair fight to the Government, against whom our own earnest pleas have fallen on deaf ears or otherwise been batted away with all the attendant concern of a crumb on collar.  The Morrison Government has shown us no genuine consideration and affect, at best, only tacit agreement to let this segregation continue to destroy lives where we are considered only as digital numerics in their self-interested, deeply flawed modelings and financial schemes of the modern government.

The visa policies dudding Kiwis are very finite policy attachments, first in 2001 and again in 2016, quietly affixed to the 1958 Migration Act, the original 1958 legislation now heaving with attachments of such complexity and breadth, often heavily nuanced in expressions, that the original Act is so bloated it fills an entire wall of a book case in our house – literally; where once it was but a single volume it would now require a platoon to carry the act, its policies and its other attendant concerns. The members of both the Liberal Executive and its broader party room passively endorse agreement to policies like those segregating our house and others where such policy has been weaponised for profit to treasury, even as it dishonours human lives and real Anzacs. It is a disgrace let too long to languish upon this nation.

I am very sick of being told there is nothing that can be done by the very people who affect tacit agreement to let inequity prevail under policy that they proclaim is law, as if such diminished policy reflects all the integrity of the constitution.  The Immigration Restriction Act 1901, expressed as the White Australia policy, was once law too; as were the Nuremberg Laws in another nation’s parliament – sometimes hiding behind odious and fouled but perfectly legal parliamentary authority is hollow authority indeed.  I can’t find a single politician, who’d dare to endorse such laws, even as such laws enshrined the public declaration that  “no one was above the law.  I reckon that today – and to a person – we’d hear politicians say they’d fight with every fibre of their being to end such overtly disgraceful laws. I am left to conclude that integrity and morality surely slumber hard and long in this Government because no one has risen to the fight or shown more than the most fleeting and condescending consideration regarding the lawful prejudice set upon us and other Anzac families.

A democratically elected government should never be let to find form as thugs, who undertake the overt exploitation of a group within the state, even, and especially where they define such right of deprivation under law.  Majority rule should never be let to find expression as tyranny of the majority – at least not in a truly democratic nation.

Withholding or otherwise legally denying people, whose genuine home is Australia, from even the basic dignity of the vote and other basic civil equities, even as that group have no other home; and even as that cohort expense all of their earnings into economy simply to survive, results in a most disturbing and un-Australia story.  A painful and quite literally destructive outcome to families, where such fate was let to find dark allowance under John Howard and allowed to echo through the years by his successors.

This is what has happened in Australia – not some distant land or regrettable historical memory from Australia’s own sometimes troubled past – it is happening today in the Commonwealth.  And no amount of obfuscation, distortion or distraction from the Morrison Government can make this fact other than what it is – a policy instrument to achieve lawful segregation of people – good people, honourable people, hard working people who wanted only to know that home was truly a place to be called home.  I would only wish to see our experience be lived by any politician who has the temerity and hubris to say they disagree with the contextualisation of my comments or that I am otherwise being disingenuous or hyperbolic.  I would also invite any of them to debate me openly and publicly on the matter.

The ongoing Morrison Government’s declaration that, “No one is above the law” starts to sound not a little like, “We were just following orders” especially where such policies embrace neither a sense of fair play or morality – compliance with institutional “codes of ethics”, notwithstanding.  The announcement that “no ethics code was broken” simply another distraction from the truth that codes often have little to do with moral imperative or moral authority.  We have been too long denied the legal right to call Australia home or invoke any rights as Australians – and we did not come broken but have been made sick by law and by country.

Simply because the law allows the destruction of lives should never allow the Government the moral audacity, framed as authority, to hide behind policy that is not simply unfair – but patently offensive to any notion of the equality or the fair go and is utterly and completely un-Australian in its expression.

We rise every day before the sun and retire long after it sets; often, where our disabled son’s needs dictate, sleep may not come at all.  We sacrifice all in paid work and unpaid service.  We help drive this economy with 100% of our earnings and never see a dividend or any hope of reciprocal equity in country or a genuinely aspirational future.  I cannot imagine any family or business in Australia watch as every year returned neither hope, dividend or even respite and find a single politician who’d call such state sanctioned cruelty fair or even allowable – and yet this is the case for families, like ours.

We are Anzacs.  We are also Australian by home, greater family and ancestry – shut out by policy law even as we are very much within our home under every rational, reasonable and fair measure.  The little known but profoundly exclusionary Howard policy and the additional Turnbull visa fiat, deny the simple dignity of our place, and many other Anzacs within this nation of genuine home, even as the Government of the day appear quite intent on the maintaining the discriminatory status quo.  Where Government hold power by such a slim position and affect such capital benefit, it is no wonder they don’t want to rock the boat or their electoral base – even if it means human beings are denied any chance of a fair go or hope for a future they deserve and have earned.

We who live, work and die in this nation are all Australians and should be recognised as such, at law and under legislative authority.  Where much has, and shall be sacrificed, for and on behalf of Australia, a basic honour of equality before law is a profoundly modest proposal and honours those who came before us and who gave so much.  Lest we forget.

 

Tendered with humility,

Scott Anderson

24 October 2019

LEAVE A COMMENT

Please wait...