Roaring at the man drilling tattoos into my sensitivities

Survivors of Unthrown Children - 2001

Survivor Family of Unthrown Children – 2001

By Nancy Cato
March 3, 2013

At my usual early hour on a sunny Melbourne Saturday, I pushed back the covers along with the urge to go back to sleep and wondered why I felt discomforted.

I’m a happy soul, usually.

And then I remembered; the images of Scott Morrison’s many interviews the day before on his pea-sized understanding of the asylum seeker debate were drilling tattoos onto my sensitivities.

Before I had much chance to let my brain catch up to my outstretched hand. I’d sent out this message via Twitter for all to see:

Your words @ScottMorrisonMP have punctured my skin, entered my bloodstream & sadly for you, boosted my adrenaline levels. #fightnotflight

 I stand by them.

Mother Nature knew what she was doing when she equipped us with the instinct to take flight or stand and fight when sensing danger. The animals of the wild also know it well, and you Mr Scott Morrison have turned me into a wild Mother Lion today. A very wild one.

You see, Mr Morrison, I have two tiny granddaughters. They’re innocent, loved and free and I want them to remain that way, at least while I’m around to tear anything to pieces that would destroy their rights or foul the very air they breathe.

That’s just what you’re threatening to do, Mr Morrison. Do you realise that? Do you have the faintest idea of the impact your words have the minute they settle somewhere, anywhere?


Of course you don’t. You’re far too busy stirring your inner crucible aren’t you. Let’s take a look in it shall we? I hesitate, but see it for what it is we must.


It’s bile. It’s slimy and deep. Look, I can see the ingredients that refuse to integrate: superiority, affluence, ambition, greed, power and opportunism. And what’s that down at the bottom? Ah yes. Hatred, all fine-tuned to the latest recipe of racist thought your alignments dictate.

Can you see what your words turn into, the minute they leave your mouth and mix with the hot air you’ve summoned around you Mr Morrison?

No? I’ll tell you.

They become as blowflies. Each one blowing in the wind to settle and leave its new hatching to poison and rot the environment we love and care about.

Oh yes, I’m a Mother Lion today but not just for my grandchildren. I’m roaring in rage for all the children who hope to grow up in this beautiful country of ours, free from the despicable discrimination that you wish to impose on their thought. And I’ll tear into you as much as you deserve – albeit just with my words.

You do not seem to understand, Mr Morrison, that it’s far too late for you to pretend that this society of ours is pristine white and problem free. Like it or not we already are a Multicultural Society with skins ranging from black through red and yellow to white.

Like it or not, in our grab for this land we originally were boat people – mostly crims and sundry others – who imposed themselves on our indigenous folk and started a crime rate that continues today.

Like it or not we already have disadvantaged and marginalised people.

Like it or not, some of our citizens already live in fear and struggle to be accepted.

Do you really think that giving a few asylum seekers from across the seas the chance for a peaceful new life will make one jot of difference to our lives? Do you really think that by helping a few, we’re endangering the lives of those of us already here because the crime rate will suddenly skyrocket? Shame on you.

Look at our children. We have privileged children, but we also have terrified children, different-coloured children, hungry children, spoilt children, disabled children, disorientated children, fleeing children, abused children, children in despair… They all look different, they all come from a multitude of backgrounds, they all  behave according to their upbringing or circumstances. You insult every one of them and us with your insinuations that ‘one who looks different’ is certain to commit a crime.

I have forebears from all over the world and live with a disability. I too, am different. Am I likely to commit a crime? Should I have been thrown overboard from the birthing table?

We get one go at life Mr Morrison. We can choose to do the very best we can to advance the society in which we live by the way we live, or we can choose to soil our nest.

You’re not advancing our society, Scott Morrison. You’re peeing on it.


Credit Alan Moir - Fairfax

Credit Alan Moir – Fairfax

Read More: The new terrorists

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  1. Well said Mig. We said! This needs to be written in indelible ink on the inside of that fools eyelids …

  2. Joy Cooper says

    Well said, Nancy. What is even more disgraceful with Scott Morrison’s vicious vilification of asylum seekers is that he is allegedly a proudly committed Christian of the happy-clapper Pentecostal type where gaining wealth is considered good but being different isn’t. He has long ago forgotten the parable of the Good Samaritan if he ever lived by it.

    He has done a Howard whereby he has made it ok to malign & attack asylum seekers or anyone who looks different from the idealised white Australian. The only ones of us whose forebears didn’t arrive by boat or plane are Indigenous Australians. Even Tony Abbott came to this country by boat as an assisted immigrant.

    The Liberals continue in their usual manner in stirring the unthinking, unconnected populace’s basest fears encouraged by the worst of the shock jocks & News Ltd.. Despicable.

    • Thank you for your response to my piece, Joy. I learn something every day about the awful situation facing our Asylum Seekers and your comments have added value to my store.

  3. The more we hear from that man, the more we are tainted, until we read the cleansing words of one such as Nancy Cato!

    • What a beautiful comment, Carolyn. Thank you! You have just provided me with an Anti-Taint Recipe: replace the Taint in consciousness with the Truth and Bingo! it disappears.

  4. You speak for many of us, thank you lady :)

  5. Nancy
    I too despair for my grandchildren’s future with all this vilification of ‘others’. All I can do is explain to them the right and wrong and hope they will be immunised against this vileness that the LNP are perpetuating.

    • Oh gravel3…my heart goes out to you. Being a Grandmother is such a joy but not without its responsibilities. No…I speak not of baby-sitting (which I happen to love) but of sharing the wisdom inevitably gained over the years. I am so happy for YOUR Grandchildren.

  6. World Day of Prayer 2012 was Friday, 1 March ….. the theme this year was “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” with a focus on migration. I can only assume Mr Morrison was too busy vilifying refugees to participate at his local church.

    • Enter a crowded room not knowing a soul and the one thing you seek (except perhaps a drink) is a welcoming face. “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” is something most of us can relate to in everyday life, Bimmer. How magnified must the feeling be for Asylum Seekers. Thank you for your response.

  7. Geoffrey P says

    Sadly, Morrison is using the Pauline Hanson/John Howard/Tony Abbot manual to incite and confuse, it got them elected.

    • Just as uncertain cooks use only tried and true recipes, so too does the coward hide behind someone else’s words. Thank you for your perceptive remark, Geoffrey.

  8. Lynn Walsh’s response to Morrison and co –

    ‘Whenever I attempt to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard to express my horror, I feel lost for words. As a human being (one of billions on this planet) I just do not get the deliberate inciting of prejudice by so-called community leaders and representatives. I do not understand the uninformed acceptance of media grabs, devoid of facts and ignoring the complexity of issues, designed to ramp up people’s fears. I find the peddling of racism and homophobia and any other ignorance-driven behaviours very difficult to understand.’


  9. LindaDom says

    Makes you wonder how low they can go.
    Only positive on this is, give them enough rope…….
    Unbelievable how this issue has become so politicised and the demonisation of people seeking our help.
    Interesting the stats of politicians and criminal convictions compared to refugees.
    Thankyou Nancy.

    • Oooo I’m so glad you’re with me on this, Linda. Would sure hate to have you as an adversary. ;0D
      P.S. The stats you mentioned would make fascinating reading.

  10. Today’s effort on the Insiders sum it up. I have never seen the man so much on the defensive. Did not like criticism and had problems containing his anger.

    Why is he not asked, why the present policy, a harsher version of the Pacific Solution is not working. Followed up by the question, “What are you going to do about it?”

    Then he could be asked if he is willing to work with the government in a biparsan manner to move on to putting into place the Huston Plan.

    At least he was challenged this morning on what he is saying. Unable to give answers.

    • I share your frustration, Fed up. But I must confess, I didn’t watch the last ‘Insiders’ show; I threw my shoe at the telly during the last one and am awaiting the repairman. However – your suggested questions are valid and deserve an answer.

  11. Nancy Cato, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • Wow Fiona! I just took a look and found a heart paved with the golden softness of human kindness. More than happy to sit amongst it. Thank you!

  12. Reblogged this on AZIAZONE.

    • Dear dyollo9
      You must forgive this old dear for not being entirely sure what you’ve done with my piece…but I can sense that it’s a good thing and I trust you implicitly. Mind you…I intend to research AZIAZONE and look forward to being further educated. Thank you! ;0D

  13. Very well said what the less articulate amongst us is feeling

    • Hello Les…and thank you for your very kind words. I am grateful that instead of ears I was given an urge to interpret the spoken word via the vibration of feelings.

  14. Maureen Searson says

    Thank you Nancy for the necessary compassion, absent in the MSM, that we need to hear in the media on the asylum seeker issue.

    I cannot express my deep concern and anger, at the thought of a political party who engaged in scandal – the unresolved Ashby/Brough/Lewis affair- with the help of the Murdoch media, to destroy one man – Peter Slipper- who’s hoped for political destruction, would end the Gillard government and, who may end up governing this country.

    What a disgrace and a threat to democracy!

    • Maureen – You speak of Compassion for Asylum Seekers, Truth in the ‘Ashby Affair’ and the Threat to Democracy. I see your words clearly and share all of your concerns. Thank you for contributing to this Comments section.

  15. Nancy!…Beautiful Nancy!… Today was my Birthday. Wont say which ( cos ladies don’t tell ) at least in public forums. I watched you as a little kid on telly and i loved you then as i do today! What instinct you have. An instinct that can detect the smell of a predator from a mile off! Scott Morrison and ilk are not Politicians. They are predators hunting out hatred with the lure of the rotten flesh of prejudge and fear. Thank you for making my day!

    • How wonderful…a birthday! A very belated but heartfelt ‘Happy Birthday’ Kerry. A birthday celebrates the day you joined other members of the human race to try to make this a better place…just when, is irrelevant. Thank you for your beautiful words.

  16. Hi Nancy,
    A beautiful piece on such an ugly topic. I found it difficult to put my feelings into words.
    Thank you for solving the problem for me.
    Scott Morrison is a disgarce, as is anyone else who spreads this poisonous rhetoric.

    • Ah! But you are far from ‘Whitless’. You have instinct and a sense of justice; you have expressed gratitude and outrage. Takes wits to do all of that. Thank you!

  17. Wow! Thank you for that impassioned response. I loved reading it.

  18. incredulous says

    i expect this sort of stuff from these moral vacuums but what angers me is the silence from the religious section of society whenever this kind of outrageous and despicable comments are made.what do they stand for if they let this stuff go without challenge?

    • I cannot pretend to be on top of commentary on this subject, Incredulous. One would hope that people generally, regardless of religious affiliation or not, would object to these tactics. Thank you for your comment.

  19. Woodypear says

    I hope that the words of Nancy break through the shell of fear that has been created by poisonous people like Scott Morrison. Some great points made here. I particularly like the question about the church’s opinion about Morrison’s position. Do they agree?????

  20. Joy Cooper says

    Good point, incredulous & Woodypear. The resounding silence from religious spokespeople about Scott Morrison’s reprehensible statements re asylum seekers quite frankly, beggars belief. It is disgraceful

  21. Joy Cooper says

    Thank you Nancy for taking the time to read our comments & for your wonderful, kind individual responses. It is very much appreciated. :)

    • Thank you Joy, but the thanks really should go to Margo and Tony for giving me this opportunity. I believed very early on in my career, that communicating with people via any form of media was a great privilege. But It’s one that also comes with a responsibility; that is, to have the preparedness to follow up and be answerable for your words or actions. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to do that.

  22. Liam O'Neill says

    Spot on Nancy. Politics in this country was never so vile and despicable. But though it started with Children Overboard it was hard to imagine then how the Coalition could sink any lower. The other day Scott Morrison showed the way.

    • Yes Liam…in this instance I am sad to say I think you’re right. We all know that the infamous ‘Children Overboard’ episode was allowed to be perpetuated by the withholding of vital information from the public. Involvement in politics should never be seen as an individual’s right to incite hatred or peddle fear. Thank you for taking time to comment.

  23. The NLP just cannot shake off its old habits, can it?
    Straight out of Ruddock’s vilest manual of division, hysteria, xenophobia and dog-whistling.
    It’s an old tried and tested technique that can lead to…
    Go Nancy. And where are the other voices of leadership?

    • It beggars belief that in this day and age, were still seeing these shameless tactics being used, Cliff. It is said that politics can de-humanise an individual and this is one of the classic examples. I’ve also seen it in Local Government where people become statistics or numbers or an alphabetised entry and are treated as such. In this case it’s racism; there’s no principle, dignity, decency or compassion in any of it and we must call it out for what it is, whenever we see it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  24. Robert Bettinzoli says

    A beautiful piece of work Nancy,a beautiful piece of work.What else can I say.THANK YOU.

    • Your words are more than enough, thank you Robert. I’m very touched by them and am so happy – delighted even – that you liked the piece.