Bali night fisherman. (C) PJ Croft 2019

I’ve been feeling sick (sakit) all week, and not from anything I ate, not Bali Belly. It’s from something I’ve been force fed until it’s made me nauseated, anxious, depressed and hollow. Another three years of this awful, loathsome government. I wrote a Facebook post about it and I’ve been flamed for it by guys I used to work with, calling it offensive. Well guys, I can’t see what you’ve got to be offended about. You voted for this nasty, cruel, corrupt, callous government, not me. I’m the one who is entitled to be offended.

I was tempted to respond and I may still do, but better to let them backslap themselves while they count their money, because that’s all it is. True conservatives, afraid of change. I’m comfortable, don’t change the system, I don’t care about anyone else, I like it the way it is, benefitting me.

In case you don’t get my problem, this is a government that:

  • uses deliberate cruelty on refugees to the extent of suicides and sending them insane (and for the 100th time, it is not illegal to be a refugee);
  • includes climate science deniers;
  • has no policy for climate gas reductions and transition to renewable energy;
  • is demonstrably corrupt;
  • practices vindictive prosecutions e.g. Bernard Collaery;
  • which is even criticised by retired judges for bias and vindictiveness;
  • is in breach of international law re refugees, and is being censured by the UN;
  • has an attorney general who cares nothing for these breaches, i.e. no integrity;
  • who are deliberately suppressing wages for ordinary workers, while at the same time awarding massive tax reductions for the wealthy;
  • who are deliberately reducing the wages of the lowest paid;
  • who have ministers who are utterly arrogant, lazy and incompetent;
  • who have alienated the indigenous people of Australia;
  • who are demonstrably racist;
  • who are out to cripple the ABC, that great Australian institution, because they don’t like being criticised;
  • who are passing laws which target freedom of speech and freedom of association, fundamental to a free society;
  • which includes members who don’t understand the distinction between ‘propriety’ and ‘proprietary’;
  • which included and defended the most biased Speaker in the history of the Parliament until she was forced out by her own arrogance;
  • which is beholden to Rupert Murdoch and will do his bidding;
  • which is backed up by Murdoch’s totally biased newspapers and journalists, the “Catholic Boys’ Daily”. Yet they accuse the ABC of bias!;
  • which deliberately crippled the National Broadband (fibre) Network to suit Foxtel and Telstra, two private companies, one owned by Murdoch;
  • which tried to do a dirty underhanded deal on East Timor, our impoverished neighbours, robbing them of $billions in oil royalties;
  • which interfered with the mail and prevented a letter I wrote to a refugee from reaching him. It is a crime to interfere with the mail, but this govt doesn’t care.

I’ve compiled this list purely from memory. I don’t need to quote anyone else here. I could go on and on; the list is endless, but I rest my case. This is hopeless. I keep thinking of new examples. People have very short memories. You would vote for a government like that?


OK, what now? I’m already putting my money where my mouth is. I donate at small scale to several activist groups; I subscribe to newspapers and magazines, I don’t just read them on-line for nothing; I belong – to Getup and the ALP; I sign on-line petitions; I inform myself so that I get my facts together and right.

But I think the time has come to do more, to become more active, because it can’t go on like this, unchallenged.

I was accused of being a “militant” last week. No I’m not! Wrong word, Wal. If I were a militant, I’d be out manning barricades, picketing, carrying placards, hurling eggs. I’ve never done that in my life, never even attended a demonstration, but this will have to change.

The first thing I’ll do is start writing letters, real paper letters, to Liberal politicians demanding answers. Tie them up, take up their time. Hold them to account.

By the way, in 2012 I had been doing just this, emailing the Liberal Minister for Health Dr Mal Washer, asking him how he could live with his conscience after swearing to the Hippocratic Oath, yet do and say nothing about the deliberately cruel treatment of asylum seekers, something as a doctor he should have been very concerned about. “First, do no harm.” Remember that, Doctor Washer? I used strong speech and the occasional swear word, I admit, but I was NOT abusive: I don’t need to be, I have enough words.

He never bothered to reply personally, but one day I got a door-knock to find two black suited police officers who said they were from the “Dignitary Protection Squad” to check up on me. His staff had sicc’ed ’em onto me!!

┬áSo much for free speech. So much for Liberal Party politicians’ ethics. (I could say a lot more about what happened, but no time. My rights were infringed, put it that way, but I was tired, a bit sick and too intimidated.)

Anyway, we True Believers now have to become more activated. Like charcoal, we have to burn! I will start attending ALP meetings, doing what I can. I’m not saying I’ll become militant, but activist at least.



This is the last week here in Sanur and it’s been very quiet but fine. Perfect weather every day, even a couple of times when it got a bit cloudy. Almost no rain, once or twice at night.

Gunung Agung erupted on Sunday night about midnight. V said she felt it a bit here, but I didn’t. There was an airport closure due to ash, but it seems to have passed. I fly out next Sunday afternoon.

We’re off to our favourite restaurant in all Bali, the Beach House but what we call Chili’s, because it used to be called the Stiff Chili. It’s right on Semawang Beach at the end of Jl. Kusuma Sari, about 10 mins walk from here. I’m a bit hot when we get there, but it’s instant relief because you get the beautiful breeze straight off the sea to cool down. Not only that, the food is fantastic, the menu extensive, the drinks cold, the cocktails strong and the prices OK. Can hardly ask for more. It’s owned by an Aussie from Melbourne and we’re regulars there now. They also have a head waiter called Wayan who’s amazing. He always remembers me even a year apart and speaks English, Balinese, Bahasa, Italian and a bit of Spanish and French. All self taught, from TV and the customers. My partner speaks passable Italian so they converse like old amicis.

It’s a Mexican night tonight and Happy Hour starts at 5.30pm, so we’ll be off soon. We tried another restaurant two nights ago called Jack Fish, down the lane, but shall I say, so long Jack. Not good enough.