I didn't set out to write a post about Senator Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment & Women. All I knew about her was the Hair, the Gear, and the hots for Thatcher. There was no reason to inquire further. What I knew was bad enough. But then I read about the case of Tahira Sajid:
"Single mother and asylum seeker Tahira Sajid is battling ovarian cancer while living in abject poverty in Sydney's southeast. But that is the least of her worries. 'My claim has been refused so I have to go back to Pakistan with my daughter by the end of next month, where I will have no support or protection,' the 45-year-old said. 'I will face harm if I go back.'
"When Ms Sajid's husband was threatened by the Taliban, the couple fled with their 8-year-old daughter Malaika to Australia in 2012. Ms Sajid said that she was then pressured into agreeing to a divorce.
"'Tahira has no financial support from her ex-husband or any other relatives and has the responsibility of taking care of her daughter and school expenses,' friend Fukher Batool, who has helped out with her rent and groceries, said. The parents have lived apart in Australia on consecutive bridging visas, but with Malaika they have been refused permanent residency and will be forced back to Pakistan, unless Ms Sajid's pleas are heard by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. 'If I go back to Pakistan, my ex-husband will take Malaika away. I don't have protection from anyone or the law there,' Ms Sajid said.
"Louisa McKimm of the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre represented Ms Sajid and her daughter until their case was rejected by then assistant immigration minister Michaelia Cash, on September 18, before Senator Cash changed portfolios following the leadership spill. 'It was the saddest day of my career telling Tahira that she was refused,' Ms McKimm said.
"Less than half of Pakistan's women were literate and it was unlikely that Malaika would receive schooling if she returned because she was female, she said, which meant Australia had obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to protect her right to education...
"Tahira is not of a high class; we are dealing with a woman who is going back to Pakistan single, her parents have passed away, she doesn't have a great education and she is very weak physically from the cancer battle,' she said. After surgery and an intensive course of combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Westmead Hospital, the ovarian cancer has been held at bay, but Ms Sajid said she would not get follow-ups if she left Australia's well-equipped healthcare system. As for Malaika, there's no doubt what she wants. 'I don't want to go back,' she said. 'I want to stay and learn'." (Cancer least of the battle for outcast Tahira, Gina Rushton, The Australian, 12/10/15)
Shit! Rejected by... Michaelia Cash. Is the woman human, I thought?
Then I read this:
"A new agreement with Australia will allow Israelis to work Down Under, Dave Sharma, Australia's ambassador to Israel, announced on Wednesday. 'Aus just signed work and holiday visa arrangement with Israel,' Sharma tweeted. 'Young Israelis can now work + travel in Aus & vice versa.' The agreement provides for 500 work-travel visas to be awarded annually to Israelis and Australians between the ages of 18 and 30 for one another's country, Ynet reported Thursday..." (Australia & Israel sign mutual travel-work visa deal, Haaretz, 22/10/14)
As indicated, the Haaretz report didn't end there. It went on to say this:
"Criteria to receive such a visa include having done military or national service, according to Ynet..."
WTF is going on here? Kick arse in Palestine, then R&R in Australia. Bombs away in Iraq and Syria, then R&R in Israel? The mind boggles.
And then, as I stopped shaking my head and resumed reading, there it was - that bloody name. Again:
"The deal was signed between Senator Michaelia Cash, Australia's assistant minister for immigration and border protection, and Shmuel Ben-Shmuel, the Israeli ambassador to Australia."
Following which, I read this from Cash's (Iron?) maiden speech:
"As a Liberal I believe in minimal government interference and that the role of government is to create and maintain a regulatory and taxation environment conducive to allowing the private sector to get on with the job." (2/9/08)
OSFBB: Open Slather for Big Business! Cash by name, cash by nature.
Then, finally, there was this, which took me back to poor little Malaika:
"Celebrating International Day of the Girl Child with our young female leaders@girlguidesaust" (The latest Michaelia Cash tweet)
International Day of the Girl Child... just 23 days after giving Malaika and her mother the flick.