Just in case….

… you wanted to know, which it is fairly clear some of you don’t, here are some of the bits of me you choose to bury beneath a label:
– I like crosswords. And sudoku, but mostly crosswords.
– I am, as a rule, shy to the point of paralysis.
– I write because it makes me happy, and because I enjoy sharing. And by writing rather than speaking, that paralysis is almost avoidable.
– I read. Endlessly.
– I used to sing. A lifetime ago. And I adore music of all genres.
– I have almost more godchildren than I can count.
– I have family. Small. But family. We argue. I occasionally wonder how we are even related until I see a look in an eye, a tone in a voice. And then it is abundantly clear where to find my family.
– Mostly single. Except when I’m not.
– Type one diabetic, with the added bonus of a chronic nerve disorder. But alive. When I very nearly wasn’t. And possibly should not be now.
– An ankle made of titanium. But you probably knew that.
– And I am far more than a job. And I’ll thank the world outside to remember this. I love the world of wine. It frustrates me endlessly, and is a great portion of my life. And I am very good at what I do, which brings me here:
     ● I am more than entitled to voice an opinion, without being relegated to being a ‘marketing’ voice. Not that the role of ‘marketing’ when done right merits denigrating.
     ●Marketing? A part of what I do, and a part of which I am very proud. It is NOT a dirty word, and in a largely populated wine shelf, a necessary part of the business of wine. And for that, I refuse to apologise.
     ●Because I talk to consumers at pretty much every level of wine purchase and consumption, and listen to them, I feel like these words have value in discussions about wine. They may not be popular. But, being the words of every day consumers? So very valid. Popular or not.
    ●Shrouding these as the opinions of a ‘marketer’ when that term is patently meant to be derogatory, is dismissive of the opinions of the people buying our wines. It elevates some wines over others, and dismisses the work of many.
     ●I never invited those of you dismissing my wines into my winery. Not this one. Not the last one. So you are welcome to your opinions, but kindly resist the desire to pigeonhole wines as being of poor quality, or produced under poor practices when in truth you have no idea of how the wines are produced.

Choose your words with care. This industry builds itself up as much as it issues casual backhanders. And often? Often people seem to forget that the consumers, our fans, our people, are right there. Within earshot. Listen to the consumer. Work with them. Enlighten rather than dictate. Engage.

ENGAGE.

People are individuals. With lives. With things going on you have no right to know. Just treat them as people. Not customers. Not targets. PEOPLE.

You know it. We know it. So let’s fix it.

Digression into politics follows. Apologies. Normal ranting transmissions to return shortly.

But. Something MUST be said.

The asylum seeker situation as it stands in this country is just not right. You know that slightly off-kilter feeling when you read about this? That would be the innate knowledge that it is not right.

I get that there needs to be a way of preventing boats. The boats themselves are not an option. They are dangerous, and cater to criminal activity. By which I in NO way mean those seeking asylum.

They are people. People whose situation has become so bad that they choose to leave their homes, their families, their work, their lives and undertake dangerous journeys in the hope that somewhere else it will be better.

What would it take for you to find leaving EVERYTHING you know and EVERYTHING you own, let alone the everyone you love, to seek refuge in another country? How desperate might your circumstances be that this becomes an option? Don’t. You can’t. In your world, this is not an option. It is beyond conception. Outside the bounds of your imagination.

So don’t you dare dismiss out of hand the travails of the people in this position. Don’t you dare file them away as economic migrants, or queue jumpers, or ‘illegals’. I don’t question your right to an untrammelled existence on the basis of your faith or lack of it. Don’t you dare use such an arbitrary concept to judge the rights of another human to a safe life.

Line up your excuses to deny people a place in this country which would benefit from hard working people who spend in their community, and support those around them. Go on. I cannot wait to shoot them down.

Who are these people who deem themselves arbiters of the rights of others? These commenters. These voices. Not in my name. Never in my name.

Our politicians are game-playing. Saying that stopping the boats is only about stopping the deaths at sea. Congratulations. Job well done. Except they haven’t. They have been diverted. Sequestered. Contained on islands not Australia. Camps. Without adequate healthcare. Or schooling for children. Or education that they might assimilate WHEREVER they end up. This technique has rapidly filed these people – valuable, worthwhile people – as “not-our-problem”.

But they are.

And not a problem, so much as an opportunity.

Not an invasion, a plea for help.

Not an imposition. Not a threat. Not a danger.

Just people. People in need.

Why is this so tremendously difficult to just understand?

And do not get me started on this appalling new position of refoulement. Messers Morrison and Abbott – how does this sit with your Christian beliefs? How do you reconcile this abhorrence with the basic tenets of humanity? I’m not accusing, nor berating. I actually want to know. Saying this is saving people from dying at sea makes no sense. Sending them back to unquestioned imprisonment by a regime the world does NOT endorse is malicious. We know little of what occurs when they are returned. But what we know is reprehensible.

Dear Australian government: kindly stop. This is not right. This is not good. This is no way a positive action. You must find another answer.

And the fact that the majority of polled people seem to think that we are not being harsh enough? I do not even know where to begin. We are better than this.

I KNOW we are better.

Hey, Labor party? I know much of this was incited by you. If not begun, then at the very least endorsed and pursued by the party last year. You excised AUSTRALIA from AUSTRALIA. And you know this is wrong. Now is the time to stand up. Admit you were wrong. And work toward an alternative. Be the Opposition a desperate nation craves.

Be better.

Oh please. Be better, Australia. This is not the country in which I was raised. This is not my religion, my ethos, my sense of right.

This is wrong. Even those endorsing this have that nagging, contaminated feeling.

We can be better.

We used to be better.

We are a better people shouting “NOT IN MY NAME” to this travesty.

Don’t make me a liar.

13/3 update from the UNHCR: http://www.unhcr.org/53b550239.html