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.
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