Sunday, June 01, 2003

Ruddock “good for migrants”

With his persistent lack of action over sex slavery in Australia (not to mention any number of other human rights faux pas), Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock may be reasonably assumed to be subject to the odd crisis of personal conscience and/or spiritual belief.

Which perhaps explains the mutual enthusiasm between himself and the Buddhist religion. I’m no expert on the latter, but from what I gather, it seems to be a religion that rather handsomely trumps fundamentalist Islam’s insistence on the non-negotiable absence of a separation between church and state. Buddhism achieves this glory, it seems, by having an utter lack of separation between church – or matters spiritual – and money.

While I have no problem, per se, with a religion that is co-terminant with hyper-capitalism (if only because millions of middle-class Australian women already practice such a faith, otherwise known as “shopping”), I do find it hard to reconcile monks, monasteries, and the ascetic rest of it with the habit of throwing money around like you’re at a casino’s high roller room.

Granted, some Christian monasteries on the Continent long ago made themselves into model capitalist corporations, dealing in alcoholic substances that some believe should be purely the domain of mammon, if at all. But all this pales beside the Buddhist monastery that topped the donations league table for the NSW Libs in 2000-01.

Monasteries may generally be forgiven for the sometimes crude and worldly businesses they run, all so as to sustain a life of simple purity on the inside. However, selling Philip Ruddock some peace of mind and/or temporal (= electoral) comfort – and perhaps worse, giving him an obsequious complement on his government’s immigration policy and practices – is unfit for contemplation; quiet and quite.

Phillip Ruddock Update 3 June 2003

Dear, oh dear, Mr Ruddock.

While the ongoing awkward questions being asked in Canberra about alleged links between Buddhist monk donations and Buddhist monk visa preferment are probably just part of the ordinary rough and tumble of life inside the parliamentary bubble, this set of allegations in today’s SMH seems to be a wholly new, and already more serious bushfire:

On the ‘Paul Watson PR-Bushfire Scale’, this one achieves an instant “red-hot” rating, because of its rare quality of being divisible by half, and yet losing none of its heat. In other words, the Philippines stuff can be left out completely.

After all, Mr Ruddock’s well-known roseate views on matters international – such as certain mid-eastern countries being immediately suitable for the forced return of asylum seekers – should here be allowed their full, boomeranging karma. In other words, if Mr Ruddock says “Philippines – NFI, mate!”, I am quite prepared to believe him.

But, as I said, even without the colour of Liberal party-donor Dante Tan’s alleged Philippines exploits, there is quite enough shade, and then more shade, in Mr Tan’s Australian activities, residence, and citizenship. Dante Tan is a millionaire Australian citizen, businessman and gambler who apparently lives at Crown Casino Melbourne. With high-rolling friends like these, who needs humble Buddhist monks cracking open their temple’s poor box to help get Mr Ruddock over the line on election day?

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?