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No place to put your feet

It’s something we take for granted isn’t it? That each of us has a country – a place to put our feet – on a planet where 71% of the surface is covered by ocean. Like having air to breathe, we assume that having somewhere to stand, to walk – is a basic right of existence. Our bodies aren’t exactly ocean-friendly – not for anything longer than a shortish swim in any event. And without a place on this planet to safely put your feet so that you can find shelter, get food, water and continue to breathe air – you die. It’s as simple as that. That truth was brought home this week by the image of that little drowned boy’s sneakers as he was carried off the beach by a policeman. And he’s not the only one at risk. More than half of all refugees are children. Right now, the humanitarian crisis – the number of people with no permanent safe place to put their feet – is larger than any other time since world war II. And not just in Europe. There are more refugees in Asia Pacific than in any other region.

Around 70 million people have no safe permanent place to put their feet

According to various UN agencies, at the end of 2014 there were 69.4 million people who have been turfed out of or had no choice but to flee their homes. That’s approximately 138.8 million displaced feet around the world – attached to people who don’t have a safe piece of land to even temporarily put them on. Definitive numbers can be hard to come by, as there is no single body that affected people apply to or register with. The following are UN estimates at the end of 2014 – but they are likely to be understated: DisplacedFeetInfoGrapicUNHCR There are many different reasons that people end up with nowhere to call home – but pretty much all of them involve violence, war, destruction and/or terror. And the vast majority of those that are impacted are women and children.

It’s unlikely to get better any time soon

According to the UN, conflict is the main reason that so many people today have no safe place to put their feet. Whether it’s a full-scale war, battles over who has rights to a particular piece of land or ethnic disputes – as a race we are good at fighting and not so good at making peace. In the words of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres:
“Peace is today dangerously in deficit.”
This is not a new phenomenon – as far as we know, humans have always fought, and there have always been victims of war and persecution. But here’s three reasons why the number of people with displaced feet is so high now and why it’s likely to keep growing for the foreseeable future:
1. There are so many more of us
Up until the last century, the world’s population had been growing steadily, but slowly. But over the last two hundred years, the combination of scientific advances in the fields of medicine and agriculture has meant that the world’s population has skyrocketed, as is shown below: HistoricPopulationGrowth And it’s not stopping there. According to the UN, our population is likely to reach between 11 and 17 billion by 2100 – only some 85 years away. (There is an outside chance that population levels could stay at their current levels – but that is considered to be by far the least likely scenario.)
2. There will be less land, not more
Thanks to climate change, and the melting of HUGE masses of ice around the world, the oceans will soon be taking a greater share of the earth than the 71% that they already claim. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, even the best case scenario has us losing 26,000 square kilometers of coastal and low-lying land within the next 100 years. Whole island nations – like Kiribati, the Maldives, the Seychelles and the Solomon Islands will simply disappear. Countries like the Netherlands and Bangladesh are at risk of losing up to 80% of their habitable land if they can’t control the impact of floods with levees. And then there are a number of key cities around the globe that – without some serious levees – will also be heavily impacted. Cities like New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco and even London. Australia doesn’t escape the change in sea levels either – with so many coastal cities, some of our major population centres will be seriously impacted. This reduction in the amount of land we have to live on will lead to…..
3. A whole new category of displaced feet – Environmental Refugees
If you think the number of refugees is bad now, Climate Central have estimated that by the end of this century, the best case scenario sees 147 million people displaced, and up to just under 650 million. Further, eight out of the ten most significantly impacted countries are our neighbours in Asia.
Burmese refugees in KL, Malaysia (http://www.pleasedontsaymyname.org)

Burmese refugees in KL, Malaysia (http://www.pleasedontsaymyname.org)

So Australia – we’ve got a decision to make

The stark reality in our planet’s future is that there will be less land, a lot more people and an increasing number of displaced feet that need to find a country they can live in. There’s already a crisis – but it’s only going to get worse. So what does this mean for us? It means that we have a choice to make. Do we think that everyone who is born on this planet, and who through no fault of their own has found themselves without a place to put their feet, deserves the right to find one? Or do we think that it’s OK for people to drown because no country will give them a permanent home? Because there are NO other options – they either:
  • have a safe place on land OR
  • they risk death – either by staying in an unsafe place or by drowning.
That’s it. Those are the only options. One means life, the other death. We can’t have it both ways. We either agree that as a bare minimum, human beings deserve the right to have a place in a country which is relatively safe – in which case we need to do our bit, and take our fair share of displaced feet – which we don’t. OR we say that we are happy to let people like that little boy this week drown as they flee for safety. (This is arguably pretty much what Abbott did recently when he said ‘Nope. Nope. Nope‘ to helping out the stateless Rohingyas who were floating in boats up in the Andaman sea, looking for someone to let them land.) So Australia, we need to decide – what kind of a nation are we? Are we truly the generous, kind people that help out a mate, that believe in letting others have a fair go? Are we the nation that Malcolm Fraser thought we were when he set up the program which took 90,000 Vietnamese refugees in the 70s and 80s? Or are we a ‘brutal’ ‘inhumane’ nation, as described by the New York Times editorial this week. We, as a nation, either need to come to terms with the fact that we are part of a global community, and that just as we would hope that if we were displaced, that another country would take us in – that we need to do our fair share to help out others who have been displaced. Because if we don’t, we’d better baton down the hatches, because it won’t be too long before we truly become international pariahs.

Don’t we already do our fair share?

Nope. Nope. Nope. We don’t. So it won’t surprise you when I tell you that yesterday, Minister-for-saying-We’ve-Stopped-The-Boats Peter ‘PDuddy’ Dutton put out a press release claiming that: “On a per capita basis we are the most generous refugee resettlement nation in the world.” He told The Australian newspaper a similar thing last month, also adding that:
“The average taxpayer is sick of the Labor Party and the Left advocate groups making us feel guilty about the number of refugees we settle in our ­country.” (Peter Dutton, 8 August 2015)
Tony Abbott too, this morning said in a press interview:
“We are a country that takes our international obligations seriously, on a per capita basis we actually take more refugees and humanitarian entrants than any other country.” (Tony Abbott, 5 September 2015)
Here’s why this is such a gross and insulting misrepresentation of the truth….. As I mentioned above, getting exact numbers of displaced people can be difficult. They often flee their homes without papers and don’t have to register with any single agency or government. Further, while they can claim for refugee status through the UN, many also apply directly to a country like Australia, Canada, Germany or the US and don’t go anywhere near the UN. Even within the UN there are different agencies – meaning that you can see different numbers of refugees on different UN sites for the same period. That said, we can be fairly certain that the numbers we do have are minimums and not overestimates. So let’s break down the numbers we do have to test out PDuddy’s claim:
  • There were an estimated 19.5 confirmed refugees at the end of 2014
  • Many refugees are just waiting and hoping to return home – they aren’t looking to be resettled, they just need a place to live until they can hopefully return to their home country. Most are based in huge refugee camps, often in a neighbouring countries, the vast majority of which are in developing nations. Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon and Iran between them host a third of the world’s unsettled refugee population – or 5.2 million people – mostly in large refugee camps. By contrast, we have just over 3,000 asylum seekers in Australian detention facilities – and the government recently cut funding to the UNHCR.
  • There were a total of 3,368,157 refugees who were recognised and resettled globally during 2014. Of these:
    • Only 105,197 refugees (3.1%) were resettled by the UN – and we took 11,750 (or around 11%) of this subgroup, and per head of population, we were the country who took the largest number of this group.
    • The balance – some 3,262,960 refugees – applied directly to the countries they were resettled (or recognised) in. We took only 2,780 of these, or 0.09% of them
  • When looked at as a whole, here’s how we really rank when compared with other countries in regards to resetting refugees:
    • 23rd overall,
    • 27th per capita, and
    • only 46th relative to our national GDP.
In a move worthy of the ‘Magic with Numbers Snoutie’ award winner Joe Hockey, both Abbott and PDuddy has taken the tiniest subset of resettled and recognised refugees – the 105,797 refugees resettled by the UN – and claimed that because we took 11% of the tiniest subset of refugees, that somehow we are the most generous nation in the world. That is not only a gross misrepresentation of the truth, it is insulting to the many countries around the world who are actually bearing the brunt of this humanitarian crisis.

What would it mean to start pulling our weight in the region?

If we had a government who dealt in truth instead of truthiness, a government who understood that actions speak louder than words, a government who recognised that Australians really do want to be good global citizens – then perhaps we could be a leading nation in Asia Pacific to come up with a regional solution. A solution that shared the burden of this humanitarian crisis fairly across the region and looked at providing refugees with a way to seek asylum that doesn’t involve risking their lives in boats. If we had a government who focused more on solutions that achieved real outcomes instead of political ones, then we could take the ridiculous sums of money we keep spending on keeping refugees out of Australia into actually solving the problem. As was reported recently, we spent over a billion dollars in the 12 months to June 2015, keeping just over 3,000 asylum seekers in limbo in mini-Guantanamos on Manus Island and Nauru (not including the $55 million we spent sending 4 of them to Cambodia). This is FIVE times more than the UN spends on refugee camps in South East Asia looking after “over 200,000 refugees, half a million internally displaced people and nearly 1.4 million stateless persons“. Imagine what we could do if we took the money we spend on not helping refugees, and worked with the UN on a solution that actually helped refugees, perhaps one similar to what Julian Burnside has suggested.

What if we don’t start pulling our weight?

I don’t know what the solution to this problem is globally – but I do know that in Australia, politicians are pretty much the only ones getting mileage out of our current solution. Asylum seekers are still dying at sea – although probably not in our seas – and our current policies are already turning us into an international pariah. Here’s what the New York Times had to say about us yesterday (in case you somehow missed it):
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has overseen a ruthlessly effective effort to stop boats packed with migrants, many of them refugees, from reaching Australia’s shores. His policies have been inhumane, of dubious legality and strikingly at odds with the country’s tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution and war.
Much of the rest of the world is looking at how they can come up with plans to help these people with no place to safely put their feet. The EU is looking at coming up with a regional plan. In Germany, they have set up a website for people to offer asylum seekers their spare bedrooms. Sweden has offered to take as many Syrian refugees as it can. But all our Prime Minister can do is to keep on repeating his tired old “we’ve stopped the boats” phrase and continue to blame the problem on people smugglers – continuing to claim that turning back boats saves lives – which it quite clearly doesn’t. The truth is that Abbott’s ridiculous ongoing rantings about people smugglers being the cause of deaths at sea are so short-sighted and inaccurate, it’s a wonder he’s not been declared legally blind. If we don’t start pulling our weight on this front and on other fronts like climate change – if we continue to shirk our duties as a global citizen, then at some point in the future we will lose more than our reputation. At some point, the international community will impose sanctions on us, and then all those precious trade agreements will mean nothing. The world is becoming smaller and smaller – and if we want to continue to be seen as a leader in the world, then we need to act like it. The world has a problem. And as a part of the global community, we can either help to solve that problem, or continue to make it worse. It’s time to Aussie-up Australia and do the right thing. It’s time to take our fair share of displaced persons, and give them somewhere safe (and a little bit sandy in places) to put their feet. This article was first published on ProgressiveConversation  

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26 comments

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  1. Matters Not

    Haven’t completed reading your article. Only got to the point:

    69.4 million people who have been turfed out of or had no choice but to flee their homes. That’s approximately 138.8 million displaced feet around the world

    While I know that a number of ‘refugees’ have lost limbs, including feet, I think 138.8 million displaced feet is a little on the high side.

    Just sayin … (Sorry about that.)

    Back to the reading.

  2. Kate M

    They’re reattached now…..

  3. Matters Not

    Great article. As for:

    When looked at as a whole, here’s how we really rank when compared with other countries in regards to resetting refugees:
    23rd overall,
    27th per capita, and
    only 46th relative to our national GDP.

    While most have heard the saying: There are lies, damned lies and statistics , the government has taken it to a new (lower) level. If it’s scientifically ‘black’, then simply assert that it’s ‘white’. They recognise that saying it once is never enough. It must be repeated again and again. And then, again and again.

    I well remember the times when politicians were advised before a press conference, you only have three messages (maximum) to make today. It’s your job to work out the many different ‘ways’ you can, to keep the interview going, while confining the messaging to three main points. Now they seem to have dumbed it down even further.

    The sad part is that it works.

  4. Robert Lane

    What a ” Beat-up Long Winded Load or Drivel” .. as; “Half these Photos and Following Professional Opinion Pieces” have been “Proven as CRAP.!”.!! I wonder how you have been Duped by these “heart wrenching stories???” or have you now?? Do you receive added funding from the “Australian Bunch of Fascists??” …We do not need extra : ” Muslim Nazi Political Party Terrorists”… in this country ..!! Keep these “So Called Refo’s at Arms Length!”…!!

  5. mars08

    If you look at the “wealth” of a country as the GDP per capita… Australia rates 43rd globally… for the number of recognised or resettled refugees in the past decade.

    Surely we can do better!

  6. H. Dessert

    What about the Arab (Muslim) countries taking in their own. They have taken NONE! There is also the condom to help stop the rise in population, although the Muslims don’t use them. I do not want fundamental, heavily biased Arab religous people who think it is right to subject their women to genital mutulation and considering all other Australians to be ‘infidels’ to be in my country.. All other races and religions eventually meld into this country and become Austrliands, but that simply doesn’t happen with the Muslims.

  7. Kate M

    MN – agree completely. It’s appalling that they get away with continually repeating these lies.
    Mars08 – indeed

    “Robert” “Lane” – I’d suggest you read my article on Facism: https://theaimn.com/so-how-fascist-is-australia-right-now/
    and my one on racism: https://theaimn.com/aussie-racism-its-time-to-stop-think-respect/
    Not necessarily in that order. I’m sure you’ll “love” them equally as much.
    H. Dessert – I think you might enjoy those articles a well. Feel free to add your “unbiased” comments to them as well

  8. Kaye Lee

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates 612,700 asylum claims were received in 44 developed countries in 2013.

    UNHCR reports that the developed countries which received the most new asylum claims onshore were Germany (109,600), the USA (88,400), and France (60,100). In 2013, Australia received 24,300 applications for asylum.

    Although difficult to pinpoint a final figure, current spending on offshore detention for the 2014-15 financial year based on Senate estimates is comfortably over $1 billion while the UN’s budget for the South East Asia region is $US157 million in 2015 – we are spending more than five times the United Nations refugee agency’s entire budget for all of South East Asia on offshore processing of asylum seekers.

  9. Kate M

    Indeed Kaye! And there were 1.7 Million claims in 2014 – nearly three times as many. Here’s the excerpt from the 2014 report:

    “A record high of nearly 1.7 million individuals submitted applications for asylum or refugee status in 2014. UNHCR offices registered 245,700 or 15 per cent of these claims. With 274,700 asylum claims, the Russian Federation was the world’s largest recipient of new individual applications, followed by Germany (173,100), the United States of America(121,200), and Turkey (87,800).”

    http://www.unhcr.org/556725e69.html#_ga=1.249360517.323672897.1439283726

    The problem is just going to keep growing. If only we were spending our billion plus on helping instead of hindering….

  10. Matters Not

    What about the Arab (Muslim) countries taking in their own. They have taken NONE!

    I am sure that your bullsh@t will be met with the disdain it deserves. Heard of (Arabic) Jordan, with a population of approximately 6.5 million? It has taken more than 600 000 refugees. Heard of (Arabic) Lebanon with a population of 4.5 million? It has taken in more than 1 million refugees? Can you do the ‘sums’? Jordan increases its population by about 10% while Lebanon accepts more than 20% of its population.

    Please tell me what it’s like to live with such ignorance?

    As for the not ‘fitting in’ nonsense. Try Ahmed Fahour (the Head of Australia Post), Ed Husic (the punters keep electing him), John Ilhan (Yes he’s a bit of a Crazy), Captain Mona Shindy (In the Australian Navy – possibly a plant), Anthony Mundine (No comment), Waleed Aly (well we know he’s a person of ‘dangerous ideas’) and then there’s Sabrina Houssami (you can Google her yourself.

    Every day I understand how Abbott’s dog whistling works, at least among the wilfully ignorant and the congenitally stupid.

  11. king1394

    So many refugees are fleeing conflicts, many of which are fuelled by western nations trying to impose their notions of democracy and Christianity, and particularly the capitalist economic system. There is so much money to be made from generating and maintaining wars, it’s not called the military-industrial complex for nothing. Capitalism thrives on the arms trade and all the spin-offs from building planes and ships and moving soldiers and supplies around. And funny enough, all of these activities are inimical to controlling the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change.
    Maybe western countries need to attack the problem at source, and cease to promote warlike activities around the globe. Australia’s plans to ‘assist’ the situation by bombing Syria would be a case in point. .

  12. Kate M

    MN: [giggles]

  13. Kate M

    King1394
    “Maybe western countries need to attack the problem at source, and cease to promote warlike activities around the globe. Australia’s plans to ‘assist’ the situation by bombing Syria would be a case in point. .”

    That’s a very good point. Certainly the UN say that conflict and war are THE main source of displacement right now. Not to mention the untold levels of death an destruction.

    Listening to Abbott’s press interview this morning, I was struck by his invocation of our need to be a good global citizen when it came to committing to sending planes into Syria. We all know it’s a done deal. He’s already said yes. The ‘discussions’ this week are just protocol.

    And yet former ADF General Peter Gration came out yesterday and said that Australia joining the conflict would be a disaster:

    “I believe this would be a strategically bad decision; in fact I would call this strategically dumb,” he said.

    “To commit us to what is complex and confused war with a centuries old religious conflict between the Sunnis and the [Shiites], the underlying issue, I think is really inviting disaster.”

  14. mars08

    H. Dessert:

    What about the Arab (Muslim) countries taking in their own. They have taken NONE!

    You are a worthless moron!!!

    Developing countries host over 80% of refugees worldwide!

    Turkey (1,633,560)
    Pakistan (1,594,000)
    Lebanon (1,172,753)
    Iran (982,000)
    Jordan (655,650)
    Ethiopia (629,718)
    Yemen (257,645)
    Sudan (139,415)
    Egypt (132,375)

  15. diannaart

    @mars08

    Thank you. Why does bigotry make people so farkin’ stoopid? (rhetorical)

  16. Matters Not

    Just noted that the NSW Premier has ‘awoken’.

    In an emotional Facebook post, Mr Baird said although “the crisis unfolding in Syria has been apparent for a while”, the disturbing images of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose body was found washed ashore on a Turkish beach this week, moved him to think “surely we can do more”.

    While some may congratulate Baird for his urging ‘to do more’, one wonders as to what finally pricks the conscience of our ‘leaders’? Does it really take just a single photograph for them to understand what is going one? Yesterday, today and tomorrow, most certainly? Really, moved him to think ?

    How intellectually and emotionally ‘dumb’ can one be when it takes just one photograph to cause a ‘thinking’? Imagine if he watched a series of photographs, with explanations? Otherwise called a documentary. Then his thinking might actually proceed from armchair ‘musings’ to real action? But perhaps not.

    He goes on:

    “That photo isn’t just a story of one tragedy. It is the story of thousands of real people in a fight for life itself.”

    Yep! But then he fu#ks up and reveals his base political motives.

    Mr Baird said he was encouraged by the Federal Government’s commitment to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake.

    Really? While at the same time, he keeps quiet as to further bombing(s).

    One imagines that there are any number of opportunities to take equally shocking photographs on Nauru but that doesn’t happen, for operational reasons.

    Where’s the outrage Mike?

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-05/australia-should-be-doing-more-to-help-syrian-refugees-baird/6752792

  17. Anon E Mouse

    Where is Bill Shorten in this discussion.
    Labor needs to grow a heart.

  18. Matters Not

    Where is Bill Shorten in this discussion

    At the same place Labor has been for years. Always ‘politically’ focussed on the ‘tactics’ (read short term) and ignoring the ‘strategy’ (long term), to put it simply.

    While the tension between (political) ‘tactics’ and ‘strategy’ is always a grey area, the difference between an obvious ethical stance and the absence of same is somewhat clearer.

    The difference between ‘right/wrong’ and ‘good/bad’ ethical positions is, as always, on display.

  19. Matters Not

    Note also from the above link:

    In jubilant scenes on the border, hundreds of migrants bearing blankets over their shoulders to provide cover from heavy rains walked off from buses and into Austria, where volunteers at a roadside Red Cross shelter offered them hot tea and handshakes of welcome.

    In Australia of course, we offer them a ‘sentence’ of choice, either on Nauru or Manus.

    Those nasty Europeans simply don’t understand how to treat … As always Australia shows the way.

    Personally I am pleased that our example is not being followed. (At least for the moment).

  20. PC

    The whole country would be indebted to the people of Canning if they exorcise Australia of this morally bankrupt Abbott. At the very least, the removal of this disgusting creature would have Australia on its hands and knees rather than face down in the putrefied mud where we currently find ourselves now. Randall’s wish was to get rid of Abbott and now Canning have the chance of making his wish come true.

  21. philgorman2014

    Have we not eyes to see? Have we not ears to hear? Have we not hearts to understand? Have we not mouths to speak?

    It would be horrid to think that a heart rending image by-passing the mass media filter has merely triggered a seventy two hour burst of conscience. How long before we look away to the next distraction?

    Could it be that the world has been doing its best to ignore the suffering unleashed by the hubris and folly of “The Leaders of The Free World”? Is blood for oil a good bargain? Could it be that we have been duped into believing the corporate lie that aspiration means wanting more money, more oil, more coal and more stuff. Australia certainly has, and we’re the poorer for it. We have become greedy, narrow minded, mean spirited and fearful. We don’t see “the other” as being us in different clothing.

    We have stopped the boats! That’s “good” because we have insulated ourselves from reality and ignored the suffering. The awful truth is that we are adding to the suffering and reality will intrude one way or another. Our insularity is a failure that’s destroying our humanity from within and unravelling our society.

    Have we not eyes to see? Have we not ears to hear? Have we not hearts to understand? Have we not mouths to speak? One might think that we are are deaf, dumb, blind, uncaring and stupid. Where have our eyes, ears and media been since we withdrew our forces from Iraq? What daily drivel captures our attention?

    Europe, excluding Russia has 50 countries and a population of 600 million with mostly shrinking and ageing populations and falling birth rates. If each country agreed to increase its population by 1 for every thousand existing inhabitants every year Europe could absorb 6 million people in the first year. Population decline would slow and the mean age of its population would be lower. There would be more people of working age to support the ageing.

    By the same calculation Australia could absorb 24,000 this year.

    Unfortunately the prevailing neo-liberal view is to regard people merely as a commodities or consumers for corporate exploitation. For them the only viable public services are the military and security forces. They don’t see the poor and deprived as anything but a drag on the economy and refugees as a liability. Is it not better to see all people as potential contributors to a better, more cohesive, happier and richer society?

    Then we might see governments once more making full employment a priority. Instead of subsidising mega-rich corporations they could directly engage in building the nation through new public infrastructure, properly funded educational and research institutions, emerging technologies and new clean industries based on our super-abundance of energy from sun, wind, rain and tidal currents. We have the talent, we have the people, we have the resources, We have ability to collectively lift ourselves.

    What we still need is the collective aspiration for a better, genuinely inclusive country. What we need is for the mighty power of capitalism to be harnessed for the common good as well as profits for the few. What desperately need is a shared vision, political will and genuine leadership. See the evil, hear the evil, understand the evil, speak against the evil, act against the evil. Speak up and vote wisely.

  22. philgorman2014

    Irregular Arrivals 2014

    It’s not my child
    struggling for breath
    through dust choked nostrils
    under the rubble

    It’s not my child
    fleeing the murderers,
    crossing arbitrary borders
    to stay alive

    It’s not my child
    under a filthy blanket
    in a dark corner
    listening for the men

    It’s not my child
    drowning in the night
    whose salt tears
    become the sea

    It’s not my child
    face down in the surf
    hair mingled with the sand
    of a hostile shore

    It’s not my child
    in the dusty camp
    blank faced
    behind the wire

    It’s not my child
    who exists without hope
    who drowns in the ocean
    of our implacable callousness

    It is not my child.
    Not yet.

  23. Nasser

    It’s a really sad moment when some people can’t see the refugees from Syria are actually fleeing war, they are not going on vacation. Its a matter of life and death. Stay and risk death to you and your family.

    By the way, many of the people running for their lives are not only Muslims, there are a lot Christians. Not that it should matter where and how they pray. What matters is they are humans in need.

    I think Abbott just sees this as a game. There is no point of air strikes. How can they target ISIS when they take control of a town and its citizens. How will the pilots know which is the real target, there is no battleground. As much as I am against war of any kind. They really need troops on the ground.
    This is simply gonna create more deaths to innocent people and more refugees.

    We simply need to accept more refugees in Australia. No ifs or buts about it. We are part of the problem, we need to be a part of the solution. 20,000 as stated by the Greens is a good START.

  24. Felicitas

    @ Matters Not, Thanks for the link.

    “German authorities are cracking down on far-right extremists using social media to stir up hatred of migrants”

    This in my birth country which was famous for its fascist actions in the early 20th Century. Would that I had never given up my nationality to become an Australian. Not that I had much choice. I, like Aylan Kurdi was a three year old child when we left that blighted country, but look how far they’ve come. And how far backwards we in Australia have slipped.

    If we want to do something, how about insisting our authorities start “cracking down on far-right extremists using social media to stir up hatred of migrants” – better still, crack down on our political and media elites who think they have the right to do likewise without considering how we would like to be represented.

    What a shame that we have no Opposition with a social conscience. Every time I see our LoO in the presence of the PM, all I see is a lowly mongrel pleading at the top dog’s table for some scraps. Thank goodness for di Natale – a sane voice within the asylum.

  25. Adrianne Haddow

    Excellent posts, philgorman.

    Is revolution around the corner? It should be.

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