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Monday, January 4, 2010

Dying for the farmers of Australia

Peter Spencer, an Australian farmer is high up on a pole on his property near Canberra on his 43rd day of a hunger strike. Australians don't normally go on hunger strikes, it's a bit daft really, but this man has been to court so many times without success, he saw no other option. He says Australia has claimed 22% carbon emissions reduction under the Kyoto Protocols but to get that 22%, government regulations have locked up farmers' land under the native vegetation clearing act, so he can't cut down his trees. In other words, confiscation without compensation for the farmer.

At long last, today farmers are driving across the country to Canberra to lobby the Prime Minister on Peter's behalf, he says that all he wants is for Kevin Rudd to come and talk to him.
People wonder why his supporters haven't pulled him down from there before now, after 43 days, I'm surprised that he's still alive but he has begged everyone to stay out of it and leave him be to finish what he started, one way or another, he's quite prepared to die for his cause. How this impacts on his family is hard to understand.

How will this story end, will he become a martyr for Australian farmers, I hope not. Mr Rudd went to church yesterday, could he not show some compassion and spare a few minutes to talk to this desperate, ill and confused man?