Skip to content
Jun 3 15

Live at the Jazz Apple 23 May

by Ben
Original songs, old folk, trad folk, folks eating great food, candles. Two guitars, one beard.
Jun 3 15

Reclaim Your Voice – CD Launch (Feb 2015)

by Ben

This saturday evening I will be performing my song ‘The Wild Unknown’ at the second launch of the compilation CD Reclaim Your Voice: Stopping The Punishment of Aslyum Seekers. The project doesn’t take political sides – instead it aims to put forward the simple message that any action by the Australian government (Liberal or Labour) towards asylum seekers must be founded on compassion and humanity. Failing to treat people in this way is never ‘good policy’, and is never necessary or justified.

With the release of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention this project is more relevant than ever.

https://www.facebook.com/events/629445800511350/?fref=ts

Reclaim Your Voice: Stop the Punishment of Asylum Seekers – Blue Mountains CD launch

21 February at 16:00

Presbyterian Church Hall 160 Macquarie Rd Springwood

Feb 22 15

Your Letter Just To Hand now available online

by Ben

Your Letter Just To Hand is now available on Bandcamp, iTunes, Google Play and Spotify. Visit the link below for details and for reviews and samples of the album.

Feb 22 15

Reclaim Your Voice: Stopping The Punishment of Aslyum Seekers

by Ben

This saturday evening I will be performing my song ‘The Wild Unknown’ at the second launch of the compilation CD Reclaim Your Voice: Stopping The Punishment of Aslyum Seekers. The project doesn’t take political sides – instead it aims to put forward the simple message that any action by the Australian government (Liberal or Labour) towards asylum seekers must be founded on compassion and humanity. Failing to treat people in this way is never ‘good policy’, and is never necessary or justified.

With the release of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention this project is more relevant than ever.

https://www.facebook.com/events/629445800511350/?fref=ts

Reclaim Your Voice: Stop the Punishment of Asylum Seekers – Blue Mountains CD launch

Yesterday at 16:00

Presbyterian Church Hall 160 Macquarie Rd Springwood55 people went

Nov 11 14

Upcoming gigs

by Ben

A few gigs around greater Sydney and the Blue Mountains:

1 September – Dinki-Di Acoustic, Camelia Grove Hotel, Alexandria
16 October – Jazz Apple Cafe, Glenbrook
31 October – Jazz Apple Cafe, Glenbrook
7 November – Illawarra Folk Club, Diggers Club, Wollongong
15 November – Album Launch, Hotel Blue, Lurline ST Katoomba 4-6pm
22 November – Jazz Apple Cafe, Glenbrook

Oct 3 14

Mr Shorten’s Email

by Ben

Every once in a while I receive a spammy email from the Labour party because I once ticked a box somewhere. Today’s email was (supposedly) from Bill Shorten crowing about their actions in (quite rightly) blocking changes to the pension. This was my response. I don’t expect one in return.

That is all very well Mr Shorten, but I must ask you, where was Labour when Tony Abbott exploited, and massively enhanced, the fear of terrorism in the community, handing ISIS a huge and breathtakingly saddening victory? Labour should have provided a voice of reason, a reminder to Australians to tread a path of calm, of enacting rational, considered policy and named Abbott’s insulting, ridiculously over-hyped, contrived climate of fear for what it was. Labour should have pointed a finger at the sickening sight of machine guns outside parliament house, supposedly placed there as a result of a terrorist threat which was dealt with under existing laws, and could have been done so without hype. Labour could have exposed those guns as an example of Tony Abbott’s short-sighted idiocy on the issue. Why did you not act Mr Shorten?

Oh yes, but you did act didn’t you? Your singular response was to rush to support a bill which quietly ripped away many of the civil liberties that Australians have until now taken for granted. How did Labour come to the conclusion that a slightly increased terrorism threat as a result of events in the middle east was justification for making ASIO outside the law, immune to prosecution and unable to be reported in the press? The existing laws have not been shown to be inadequate by current events. There has been no rational justification put forward for such an extreme act.

Your email spoke of standing up for the most vulnerable among us. This bill has succeeded in making everyone vulnerable to Abbott’s new secret police, but the opportunity for you to show leadership on this issue has passed. The bill has passed both houses with Labour waving it through all the way. In doing so, Mr Shorten, the ink with which it was printed has stained your hands. You and Labour have demonstrated that you are not able to provide an alternative vision to Abbott’s cruel, narrowed, elitist Thatcherite Australia. You have made yourselves part of the problem, not the alternative to it.

 

Jul 10 14

‘Your Letter Just To Hand’ almost to hand…

by Ben

The new Ben Scott and the Flash Coves CD Your Letter Just To Hand is now being replicated and will be ready in a few weeks time. It has been a huge effort with help from a large number of people, including (or course) Phillipa Freitag, Paddy Connor, Rita Woolhouse, Kate Bain, Chris Gillespie, Andy Busuttil, Rowley Holmes, my wife Lisa Scott and kids Liam and Grainne.

Stay tuned for album launch details, but in the meantime you can hear samples and read lyrics here.

Jan 30 14

Some positivity for our Tony

by Ben

So Mr Abbott, you want to hear more positive news about the country from our media, and in particular the ABC. My question to you is how?

As our illustrious leader what positives do you think they should take to the world from the fact that you have sold the Great Barrier Reef up the river, providing approval for 3 million cubic tonnes of seabed dumped onto it?

How best should the ABC shed light on your pledge to tear up the Tasmanian forest agreement, endangering 170000 hectares of forest, despite both the conservationists and the timber industry asking you to leave it alone?

And the wonderful way you have fostered relationships with Indonesia, perhaps the only country that can assist us in finding an effective, but compassionate solution to the problem of asylum seeker deaths at sea. How should they report that?

And, Mr Abbott, perhaps you would like the ABC to wax lyrical to the poorest, driest nations of the world about the delightful way you have waged war on climate science – the abolition of the Climate Commission, the snub at CHOGM and the UN climate talks, the attacks on the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the scare campaign against the carbon price.

They could go on to mention how wonderful it is that you have pulled the funding out from under the Environmental Defenders Office, and perhaps expand it into an interest piece in support of your efforts to undermine free speech in Australia – including your bumbling, insultingly condescending attempts to withhold information about boat arrivals and turn-backs from the Australian people.

And when they combine all of those things with the happy knowledge that your cruel and inhuman treatment of asylum seekers in the name of Australian sovereignty, you are right, Mr Abbott. In hindsight, the Australian press should have no cause at all to criticise you or your government.

Jan 13 14

Musical Happenings

by Ben

A few things on the go at the moment music-wise:

I am writing and recording a song for the “Reclaim Your Voice: Stopping the Punishment of Asylum Seekers” CD project initiated by Andy Busuttil of Blue Mountains Sound. A very worthy project and one that is attracting a fair bit of attention at the moment, highlighting the dissatisfaction that many Australians feel about the major parties’ inhumane approach to asylum seeker policy. The song is called ‘The Wild Unknown’ and is based on the story of the group known as the MG99, who escaped persecution in Vietnam in 1981 in the wake of the Vietnam War. The compassionate way this group, and many like them, were dealt with by Australia contrasts starkly with the vicious condemnation and treatment handed out by the Australian government today to those who find themselves in a similar situation.

I am finishing off the mix of my new CD “Your Letter Just To Hand”. I will be very happy to have it finally finished and in my hands, ready to launch later in the year.

Over the last few years I have contributed some small pieces of music to documentaries created by Blue Mountains filmmaker Rani Brown of Frogmouth Films. It is wonderful to be involved (in a small way) in these artworks. If you want to find out more about Rani’s work see the links below:

Throwing Out The Lies With The Birthwater
Being With Her
Knitting Nanas

Knitting Nanas has been accepted into the GreenFlicks, Programme at Flickerfest and the Byron All Shorts Northern Rivers Short Film Festival this year.

Jun 12 13

The game is clearly up for the coalition on asylum seeker policy

by Ben
Labour has implemented all but one of the key planks of Howard’s ‘deterrence’ approach to this issue, namely: incarceration of asylum seekers, including women and children, in overcrowded offshore detention centres with no knowledge or understanding of when they will be processed, until they break. Until they sew their lips together or attempt suicide, or simply lose all hope.

In fact, not only have labour gone as far as bringing back temporary protection visas, but they have taken those Howard-era measures one step further, and have stopped processing asylum seeker claims from boat arrivals altogether.

Yet, there have been more arrivals than ever. Labour have clearly demonstrated that deterrence does not stop the people smugglers, because people who need asylum are still willing to face death at sea or mental decay in detention.

Meanwhile the coalition sticks to the only real policy difference they have left as the policy that will be effective. ‘Surely’, they say, ‘the key is to turn the boats around’. That is the deterrent that labour are missing from their plan.

But.. on monday night Malcolm Turnbull clearly demonstrated that this is a policy option that does not exist. Firstly, the Indonesian government is not interested in such a policy, which would mean the only proposition is to try to tow boats to the edge of Indonesian waters and hope they head north, rather than south, something that Turnbull admitted may not be feasible. Secondly, Turnbull admitted that in all of Howards years, they only managed to turn back a grand total of…

6 boats.

He said it in passing, as if to say ‘we rarely managed to turn them back anyway’, so what is there to worry about?’. Clearly, Malcolm, this will be a highly effective policy.

When will the major parties stop making fools of all Australians? Show compassion, and have the intelligence to use its increasing financial and political influence more sensibly. There is no easy solution I admit, but my suggestion is as follows:

1. Put greater effort and resources into influencing the governments in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and elsewhere into clamping down on the people smuggling trade, and to address the issues which cause people to leave their country in the first place.
2. Immediately begin transporting would-be asylum seekers directly from Indonesian and Malaysian shores to Australia, charging for the privilege where appropriate. This would put the people smugglers out of work overnight.
3. Invest the massive resources currently being thrown away on offshore processing into rapid asylum processing and rapid return to their home countries of non-genuine refugees.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-11/abbott-brushes-aside-turnbulls-comments-on-boats/4746116

Abbott brushes aside Turnbull’s doubts on turning back boats

www.abc.net.au

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has brushed aside questions about his policy to turn back asylum seeker boats after his frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull said it may be unsafe to do so.