And this PNG deal - don't start me.
Everything's about scoring the PM position with Rudd and Abbott. Whatever. It. Takes. It's sad, bloody sad, that so many Aussies get caught up in the spin and swallow the cold-blooded rhetoric our fearless leaders feed us time and again. Many Aussies really do believe that asylum seekers are (a) jumping a queue (b) a threat to our livelihood, jobs, way of life etc (c) only interested in economic gain (d) possibly terrorists and (e) going to take over Australia (as if they're aliens in a b-grade sci-fi flick). How can their minds be changed? Will they ever change?
Australia is not taking as many asylum seekers as we could. Full stop. We have room for people. Full stop. Most asylum seekers are genuine refugees fleeing various forms of persecution. Full stop.
Interestingly, and tragically, the boat that sank off Java yesterday contained human beings fleeing Iraq and Afghanistan. Australia has played a part in the rebuilding and unraveling of those two often anarchic, stricken countries. By degrees. Surely, we owe people from these two destinations empathy, a chance at a new life.
The Greens are a lone, sensible voice of compassion, deep thinking and strategy at this time (with the odd saint like Julian Burnside). They're about bringing the boats to us, processing here, working things out. UN principles, my god.
And I'll be voting for them this year. As usual.
LJ, July 25 2013.