Written in 2011
I live in a place called Redneckistan*
where the mean, the greedy and ignorant rule
where the obscene, the sleazy and perverts drool
where politicians are lacking an attention span.
Where there’s no room for honour, justice or truth
where many are unpleasant, uncaring, uncouth.
Asylum seekers coming by boat are detained
our reputation for fairness is deeply stained
where the rights of the first peoples are often abused
whilst the rich and the tricky are easily amused.
Where the miners are billionaires putting on airs
whilst the poverty of Aborigines daily despairs.
Where the unemployed, the sick and those with disability
are daily berated to find productive utility
where they’re forced to survive below the poverty line
whilst the high and the mighty pretend everything’s fine.
Where the Racial Discrimination Act can be suspended
and social security payments are quarantined or ended.
When asylum seekers are exported like cattle
where people are seen as a commodity or chattel
put in detention and indefinitely detained
then the quality of mercy is grossly strained.**
*Adrian Bain, St Leonards, Sydney Morning Herald 16 or 17/9/11 in “Letters to the Editor”.
** “the quality of mercy is not strained” from William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
Copyright © 2021 John Tomlinson