Dear Tony Abbott,
Unless you have no respect for human life, especially for those who attempt to escape from their miserable existence to take ‘illegal’ refuge in this country, you should be saddened by the deaths that occur in our northern waters of those very people who seek a better life in our free land. But apparently you aren’t:
One well-placed Liberal source told The Australian that Abbott would rather see Labor continue to bleed politically with ongoing boat arrivals. If that means deaths at sea continue, he said, so be it.
Doesn’t that haunt you?
It is disgraceful that your hence blame the Government for these deaths. It is gutter politics. Crocodile tears are shed for ‘illegal immigrants’ who die in rickety boats, while knowing full well that it is favourable to your political fortunes to have them drown at sea. And why is it favourable? Because your words endeavour to make it so, that’s why. This recent piece in The Guardian, “Is the asylum problem a ‘national emergency’, as Tony Abbott says?” hardens my glare at you.
This “crisis”, in Abbott’s opinion, involves the tens of thousands of irregular maritime arrivals and hundreds of deaths at sea under the Labor government, described by Abbott as a “national emergency” during the policy announcement.
I’m perplexed that you are outwardly so concerned about the number of íllegal immigrants’ dying at sea. The number of deaths aren’t small, yet they are small compared to the number of deaths suffered by ‘ordinary’ Australians for which you have not one policy to address. Perhaps it’s because you can’t grab some political mileage from them, which is the purpose of this letter. Here are some examples.
Over 2100 Australians commit suicide each year. How many of these people were ignored, neglected or marginalised by society? How many were the result of bullying? How many were due to a mental illness? Mr Abbott, do you have any policies to address this, or don’t you care? Please let us know either way.
Over 1000 Australians a year die due to illicit drug related incidences. Tony Abbott, do you have any policies to address this, or don’t you care? Please let us know either way. And should you care to follow the link just provided you’ll notice that there are also 19,000 deaths that are associated with tobacco use. Unlike the asylum seeker deaths I doubt this will concern you. Your objection to plain paper packaging of cigarette packets is well-known. Could it be because between 1998 and 2011 your party received over $3 million in donations from tobacco companies? Personally, I find this a bit odd given you were the Minister of Health in the Howard Government. There wouldn’t be a health professional in the world who disputes the dangers of smoking and I have difficulty comprehending your stand stand when considering your portfolio background and ‘headlining’ commitment to your own good health.
I’m not expecting any of these to be addressed as it will actually mean that policies will need to be formulated or services promised. As Minister for Health under the Howard Government you had no hesitation to heartlessly rip $1B out of health care funding without a single thought of the consequences. You even tried to justify your actions. Now all of a sudden you are concerned about the deaths of refugees and I doubt that these concerns are genuine. Really, you have no compunction about these people dying in their own country. You might remember you belonged to a government that was quite happy to take the war to them.
Take a look at what’s happening in your own backyard; people are dying from preventable deaths. Is it too much to ask to stop and think about these? What’s going to happen when and if you are Prime Minister of this country? Turning boats around so the refugees can die somewhere else is an act of neglect. Coming up with nothing to stop the deaths from those cited above is also an act of neglect.
I would be thrilled if you were to show some genuine passion for the victims of tragic deaths in this country. Show us you care by showing us a policy. Forget about chanting “Stop the boats”. Focus on trying to “Stop the deaths”.
Face the truth, refugees will continue to die and it won’t be your fault or Labor’s fault. Stop blaming someone else all the time. Remember how you blamed the Government for those four unfortunate deaths under the Home Insulation Program? Might I ask what policies have you implemented to create safer work environments or reduce shoddy work practices? I know the answer: absolutely none. While you can gain political advantage out of people dying you see no incentive whatsoever to come up with a remedy. These deaths are a convenience for you. I find that pathetic. Over 200 Australians a year die because of industrial deaths. How many were the result of unsafe work practices? Mr Abbott, I ask again, do you have any policies to address this, or don’t you care? Please let us know either way.
You are a person who says everything and does nothing.
Not everybody dies at sea. Or in a ceiling installing insulation for that matter. Rather than trying to gain political traction over select deaths, show some concern about those deaths that you cant use for political mileage.
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