THE BLACK COUNTRY ORIGINS & Write to Federal MPs about refugee policy – Written by JULIAN BURNSIDE

Jewels from Oz:

Australian Refugee Policy has been part of my hole in the soulful travail.

I spent my first 14 years in Birmingham, England, a multi-cultural society: Catholic Irish neighbours, Indian, Cypriot, West Indian/Jamaica, German, Pakistani and all of the Commonwealth melting pot.

26 Exeter Rd Selly Oak
Ready for school 1972 Sophie and I with twins.

My first shocks of racism were from my own parents who were unconcerned by putting down the lazy Irish or blackies. More horrifying was hearing Wolverhampton Conservative MP Enoch Powell in Dudley, what is called the ‘rivers of blood’ speech. 1969. I was 6, listening to diatribe, not knowing the word, RACISM.

Ironically, this man was speaking from what is colloquially called THE BLACK COUNTRY.  As a kid I thought that was where Black People came from…but it was where my Nail Making/Coal Mining ancestors worked on a pittance during the Industrial Revolution.

When the industries died they came to Selly Oak a few miles down the Roman road circa 1900. In Australia they would have been called ‘blow-ins’. Of course the Tories were still benefitting from their occupation and profits from the British Empire years.

MP Wolverhampton - Conservative Party UK
MP Wolverhampton – Conservative Party UK

Mandela on poverty

Now I live in the Land of Oz , my somewhere Down-Under, but I didn’t learn about THE WHITE AUSTRALIA POLICY which was the first law of the 1901 Federation.

Walpiri girls socialising on our families artist-in-residence(puppetry) sojourn.
Walpiri girls socialising on our families artist-in-residence(puppetry) sojourn.

I believe it is the racist culture which has the upper-hand of Refugee policy today. If they were white Christians coming in a boat from Indonesia there would be a hand-out, and up, wouldn’t there?

Originally posted on winstonclose:


Labor and the Coalition are both going to turn back refugee boats.

By doing so, they will (incidentally) be committing the crime of people smuggling, contrary to section 73 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. But who cares if we engage in criminal offences in order to close our doors to refugees?

The trouble is that a lot of MPs simply do not understand what they are going along with.  I urge you to write to Federal MPs to see how much they actually know.  If they don’t answer, you can assume they don’t know.  They probably will not answer.

Here is a discussion about the letter-writing experience of a very dedicated person from Niddrie.  It is really useful to get this sort of information, so please let me know how you…

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‘My whole time is given to the service of my fellow citizens’ – the first women elected to Birmingham City Council

Jewels from Oz:

The double-edged sword of the world wide web of instant knowledge sharing is a Diversional Stimulus – I started off looking for information on daggers and swords relevant to the character in my novel set during the English Republic, and found myself learning about women in local politics where I grew up in Selly Oak Birmingham!
I am going to save this, and come back again another day. I hope I live a long time to write and research these stories of our commoners development.

Originally posted on The Iron Room:

As we look towards International Women’s Day and the forthcoming national and local elections, it seemed a timely moment to revisit the Library’s wonderful, but surprisingly little-used, collection of election literature for evidence of the first women elected to the City Council. Although limited parliamentary suffrage was not granted to women until 1918, they had been able to vote and stand for election in local political contests for some time as members of School Boards, Poor Law Guardians and local councillors.

Birmingham Municipal Elections Literature, 1909 - 1911.  Municipal Election 1911, Edgbaston Ward, Mrs Ellen F Pinsent and two other Unionist Candidates.  [LFF35.2] Birmingham Municipal Elections Literature, 1909 – 1911. Municipal Election 1911, Edgbaston Ward, Mrs Ellen F Pinsent and two other Unionist Candidates.
[LFF35.2] In 1911 two women were elected to serve on Birmingham City Council for the first time. Before this, a few women had served on City Council committees as co-opted, unelected members, particularly committees concerned with education, and the health and welfare of women and children. This had…

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Excuse me for feeling a failure, mixed feelings about signing on to Disability Support Pension for a psychiatric condition which limits the chance of being given a job and staying in job.

Assessment for DSP takes longer, so I have been put on the lower New Start – suddenly I feel like it was back in 1982, but thankfully I have my own roof over my head now instead of having rental stress.

To show how it was back then for me, and how it is still like this for lots of Australians despite the passage of years, link to my political blog: WELFARE FOR THE COMMON YOUTH

alternatively we could cheer up with some SATIRE on a very miserable topic of how we treat asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.

Want a job that pays good money? Join the immigration department! | First Dog on the Moon | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Crikey dog


A SUPERSTITIOUS AGE, encouraged by JAMES V1 Scotland and 1st of ENGLAND. He Wrote and Reigned by Fear and Favour, 1597-1625.bonfire nightGunpowderPlot WP_Fax_of_a_Woodcut_in_the_Cosmographie_Universelle_of_Thevet_in_folio_Paris_1574 In 1597, James published Daemonologie, his rebuttal of Reginald Scot’s skeptical work, The Discoverie of Witchcraft, which questioned the very existence of witches. Daemonologie was an alarmist book, presenting the idea of a vast conspiracy of satanic witches threatening to undermine the nation. In 1604, only one year after James ascended to the English throne, he passed his new Witchcraft Act, which made raising spirits a crime punishable by execution.

A Royal Headache
King James 1st Stuart King of England, b.Edinburgh 1566-England 1625 . Married to Anne of Denmark and blamed witches of Berwick for their stormy voyage from Norway, overseeing torture and trial and execution of over 70 “witches” 1590-1592.
St Catherin's
Home Territory of the Clark & Cannaday families.

Wapping wallSTEPNEY ACKERSJohn Clark Ratcliff 1554clarke will 1666


IT WAS THE DAY PATRICK DIED – and no doubt went straight to Heaven to be with the One God which became the Bishop’s Feast Day. The pagan folk may have seen him as another kind of Druid. Patrick had an understanding of the customs and language of the Irish people because he had been kidnapped as a boy by Niall of the Nine Hostages.

The War Lord and High King from Ulster had a big litter – resulting in half of Dublin being direct descendents of, and according to Y-DNA my husband is not from the seed of Rob Roy…He’d always thought he was Scottish, but the science proves his great grandaddy had many roots in Ireland.McNeill emblem

Patrick eventually escaped guided by Godly visions. My Grandmother gave my mother a very Irish name as the Birmingham Blitz of bombs fell from the Nazgull. JRR Tolkien went to the Oratory Church in Ladywood where new-born Kathleen Patricia was taken to be baptised.

Patrick had established the early Celtic Church in Ireland, though I don’t think the leprachauns and fairy folk were allowed in, and there would have been some who resisted.

luck of the Irish

If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me.” -Saint Patrick


4000BC – the sacred site of the ancient rulers of Ireland was the Hill of Tara.

THE PAGAN PHALLIC STONE OF DESTINY  is said to have been touched by the 100

High Kings of Ireland (before the revels), guided by Druids.

Procreation of Celtic genes
Hill of Tara, County Meath, Ireland

Adjacent to this hill-top on the hill of Thane in 433AD Patrick lit an Easter fire to challenge the power of the old religion.

Challenging the pagan status quo, Patrick lit an Easter fire (Pascal). 433 AD
Challenging the pagan status quo, Patrick lit an Easter fire (Pascal). 433 AD

1970’s Birmingham UK. What do the Irish mean to me? During my Brummy childhood most of my neighbours were Irish Catholics who migrated in the early 1950’s. Mum’s Avon Lady would turn up with talcum powders and little bottles of holy water from her trips to Lourdes.

‘I’m not Catholic, ‘said my mother. ‘I’m not Irish, my mother was Scottish, ‘she said. Well now we know she is both Scots and Irish = Celtic

I knew my friends went to a different school and learned Latin, were proud of their communion dresses and accessories, plus I walked to St. Edward’s RC Church on Raddlebarn Rd as she had to confess to the priest every week. The kind of things she said, like not eating chocolate at Lent didn’t sound like a sin to me. It was alien to me.

I also accompanied my friend Pauline from across the road to Irish dancing class and taking down the numbers for a lottery fund-raiser at St Edward’s hall. Like my Mum’s mum who married a Polish post-war Catholic, Pauline’s mother Mary met and married a Polish Catholic man too…but mine married a Brummy Protestant which is why I was christened at St Wulstan’s Church of England conveniently on the corner of Exeter Rd.

I don’t remember any St. Patrick’s day parades or celebrations – probably because there was a lot of I.R.A. activity. For more info link to:

My Mum, Kathleen enjoyed any time with  an Irish whiskey and a sing-song somewhere in a Birmingham club or pub! Always she would sing her sentimental favourite:

On her second wedding night at the ex-servicemans club, Selly Oak, Birmingham
On her second wedding night at the ex-servicemans club, Selly Oak, Birmingham

BUT SHE WASN’T IRISH, even though she had red hair and was dragged up by Nuns…and then recently she met Patrick her adopted brother who had been kept secret. He was born on St. Patrick’s Day 1944 in Ladywood or what the locals called “Little Rome”.

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Climate projections show Australia is heading for a much warmer future

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Jewels from Oz:

my brain-wave was Tory Tony getting kicked out, replaced by Malcolm Turnbull and a bi-partisan agreement to create a solar – geo thermal – beautiful Utopia…I want the best of all possible worlds for my grandchildren.

Originally posted on News @ CSIRO:

Beach scene Future Sydney? Climate projections show Sydney’s climate could end up more like Brisbane’s. Image: Kevin Gibbons/Flickr, CC BY

By Kevin Hennessy, CSIRO and Penny Whetton, CSIRO

Australia is on track for up to 1.7C of warming this century if the world curbs its greenhouse emissions, but under a worst-case scenario could see anything from 2.8C to 5.1C of warming by 2090, according to new climate change projections released by the CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology.

The projections are the most comprehensive ever released for Australia. They are similar to those published in 2007, but based on stronger evidence, with more regional detail. These projections have been undertaken primarily to inform the natural resources management sector, although the information will be useful for planning and managing the impacts of climate change in other sectors.

Possible futures

The new report draws on climate model data used by the…

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