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Refugee Insanity: The Crippling Cost of Australia’s Cruelty…

There is no arguing, Australia’s policies for dealing with refugees cost us a fortune. Off shore detention costs about $3750 per day, per person. Disposable orange life boats cost us a fortune, (about $7.5 million). To put that in a budget context that’s over $3billion of savings we could make right now, and that’s before one even begins to calculate the resettlement costs promised to Papua New Guinea or Nauru for taking on our responsibility.

But for all the talk of the persecuted innocents incarcerated or tax dollars squandered, there is a cost to us, as Australians, that is rarely spoken of; the cost to our collective humanity. The stories a nation holds about its self are a powerful force. It’s how we define our identity; it’s who we are as a people; and like most stories, tales of national identity usually contain a small grain of truth, mixed with a hefty dose of myth, metaphor and allegory, all neatly tied together with a sparkly bow of pure fiction.

While most of our stories are rousing, feel good little fables like, “Aussies believe in a fair go”, “Australians are great sports”, or “Aussies are an honest, down to earth, no bullsh*t lot”; many of our more common, jingoistic spiels are notedly less charming, such as; “asylum seekers are criminals”, or “asylum seekers are queue jumpers”. (These examples come courtesy of google auto fill).

Asylum seekers

Very rarely do we question where these ditties actually come from; they seem to just mysteriously appear in zeitgeist as fully formed epithets of some larger, unassailable truth. Without a second thought we attach them to our national identity and begin repeating them amongst ourselves ad nauseam. And what’s more, we are very attached to our little yarns abo­ut who we are and how it is; in fact a quick glance through history would suggest that we humans can be willingly led to the depths of hell in defence of our precious national narratives.

But every now and again some nebulous, imperceptible thing shifts; a tipping point is reached, and even the most rigidly defended of our stories give way to a new paradigm. It’s as if the vast majority suddenly wake up one day to realise the world is not as they thought it was; and they are not who they thought they were. This is rarely a pleasant phenomenon; for most nations it is usually the crystallising realisation that they are, (as a nation), significantly less good and right than they thought they were. Admittedly this doesn’t happen often, (most countries would rather wage bloody wars of attrition than accept that they may be on the wrong side of a long held ideology), but when it does happen its effect on the national psyche can be both persistent and profound.

To me Germany is one the most fascinating examples of this. In the early 2000’s I spent a few months writing in Berlin, and was really struck by the enduring resonance of WW2, a war that had ended some 58 years earlier.

200px-kaiser-wilhelm-memorial-church-2006

While cities like London have long since cleansed all traces of the war from their streets, Berlin -with an unassuming humility- bares her scars for all to see. From the holocaust photos on the remnants of the wall to the bombed out remains of the Kaiser Wilhelm Church, from the Jewish war museum to the rebuilt synagogue of the infamous crystal nacht, from her ubiquitous machine gun scars to check point Charlie, Berlin – for all her art and culture- provides her citizens with a constant, sobering reminder of the darkest aspects of their human potential.

Even though most Germans today where not even alive at the time of the holocaust, the war seems to have infected their national narrative with such a deep and abiding shame, (and the subsequent need for redemption) that their national discourse still remains largely dominated by ethical and moral imperatives.

And then there’s the USA. It’s over one hundred and fifty years since slavery was popularly considered a good idea, and yet the American story remains blighted by its legacy. To this day the anguish of slavery stalks the American psyche like a cancerous shadow that can never be fully excised..

While many Australians feel personally distanced from the stain that is the Tasmanian genocide, or the stolen generation, (probably because the vast majority of us are not actually descended from those responsible); I sense that we, as a nation, are starting to wake up to the fact that we can not shield ourselves indefinitely from responsibility for what is happening to innocent, persecuted refugees on our watch.

Asylum-seekers-fenced-in-400x229

I feel the worm is starting to turn and it will not be long until we reach the tipping point. Our rhetoric is changing. Even the most fearful and ignorant among us are starting to realise that the callous disregard with which we treat our refugees is extracting a price so high that it can not be measured or quantified; a cost far more profound than dollars spent, or the blow to our international reputation, (although that is undoubtedly taking a pummelling).

As the government’s veil of secrecy is slowly being prized off we are now starting to hear of our wilful neglect of sick children, of babies kept in scorchingly hot dormitories with not even enough room to learn to crawl, of the removal of medicines, spectacles and hearing aids, the reports of rape, torture, piracy and imprisonment in inhumane conditions.

With the UNHCR up in arms over such barbarity – even China is waving a disproving finger at our flagrant disregard for human rights and international law – the reality of what we are doing is starting to feel deeply and profoundly wrong, even to the most ignorant and cruel among us.

922428-refugees

photo by daily telegraph. christmas island

Never in my life have I heard so many people declare that they are ASHAMED to be Australian, although this is hardly surprising. Given our current treatment of refugees there is no measure by which we can convincingly place ourselves on the right side of history/humanity, and deep down we all know it. People are waking up to the fact that we have, with our unbridled selfishness and cruelty, stabbed deeply at the heart of our nation; and in so doing we have inflicted a wound so egregious that our national sense of decency is now slowly bleeding out.

What both Abbott and Shorten fail to realise however, is that their current refugee policies are firmly aligned with yesterdays spin, a story born of Howard’s post 9/11 political opportunism, and supported, up until now, by fear mongering, ignorance and misinformation. But the tide is turning, today that story is vacillating, tomorrow it will be outright rejected for the shamefully barbaric atrocity that it is.

boat count

While I hold little hope that the coalition will shift on this issue, there is still time for Labor to cast a finger to the wind and feel the coming change in public sentiment. I for one hope that Labor can find the courage to come out swinging with a strong policy that favours decency, coupled with a powerful rhetoric that dispels the fear and economic irrationality that has surrounded the issue.

 

31 comments

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  1. kerrilmail

    Some time ago I emailed a number of Labor politicians invoking the old Gough Whitlam campaign motto of “It’sTime!!!” To ask them to see the writing on the wall and to step further away from this cruel Government. To take a clear path back to Labor’s fundamental principles of caring about people.,just as Gough stepped far away fromthe right and embraced the principle of people first, Shorten et al need to put ALL people first.
    Now, more than ever……
    IT’S TIME,!!

  2. John Fraser

    <

    Fcuk the ALP.

    Go with the Greens.

  3. Kaye Lee

    The secrecy with which this government has cloaked all information about asylum seekers is proof that their actions do not bear scrutiny. How can Morrison, off his own bat, make all decisions with no oversight? The man has clearly lost perspective but is allowed to continue on with no accountability to other members of parliament, the United Nations, the Human Rights Commission, the Refugee Council, legal representatives for asylum seekers – let alone us, the people in whose name this is done, the people who foot the bill and bear the backlash to our reputation, the people who feel the anguish and guilt of being impotent to stop this inhumanity.

    Joe Hockey had a 2 hour meeting with Jacqui Lambie where he buttered her up no end – even a kiss for the cameras. Just to add to our international efforts, Jacqui suggests we should cut all Foreign Aid. So we stop the persecuted being able to flee, even to the extent of arming their oppressors, then cut all aid to war torn and impoverished nations.

    Add this to our backward steps on climate change and the environment and it is us who should be having sanctions imposed on us.

    When did we become so selfish?

  4. Letitia McQuade

    I hear you John Fraser, but without Labor on side I fear the issue will not be resolved…

  5. Jason

    Excellent article. Thanks Letitia and AIMN.

    @kerrilmail – I suspect you may be indulging in some convenient revision of history in claiming Gough as a paragon of humanitarian virtue. Great bloke, no doubt, but was completely indifferent to what occurred in East Timor. He was also the leader of the ALP (the party that gave Australia the White Australia Policy in the early part of the 20th century) and was reluctant to take too strong a public stance on immigration and refugees. That’s not necessarily an indictment on Gough but does reflect the pragmatics of Australian politics and the views of the mainstream voting populace.

    There was a great documentary on SBS a few years back called ‘Immigration Nation’ that looked at these issues.
    http://www.sbs.com.au/immigrationnation/

  6. Jason

    @John Fraser

    Spot on!

  7. David Stephens

    ‘Without a second thought we attach them to our national identity …’. Someone (EM Forster?) said, ‘only connect’ and it is important to do so. Nick Bryant , ex BBC man here, has noted recently that Australia has a high level of low level racism, ie lots of us are a bit racist.. That level of racism is quite compatible with the uttering of fair go type slogans but can be stirred up very easily by dog whistles about boat people. Speaking of only connecting, would love to see a thoughtful attempt to tie together the following drivers of our national identity: fear of outsiders, racism, class, misogyny, inferiority complex, skiting and Anzackery. Would even publish it on honesthistory.net.au !

  8. David Linehan

    I hear a whisper from within the halls of decision making. Labor will wait until much closer to next election before making a firm decision on their Immigration Policy. It will be strongly influenced by public perception indicated by National and their own polling.
    I suppose certain aspects of that are logical if lacking in strong commitment, Regrettably it has no determination to throw off the Rudd/Gillard shackles ‘now’ and show the country the Morrison crimes are not acceptable.
    Currently Labor is a ‘we agree with the Govt’ Opposition, as their Shadow Minister Richard Marles either bows to his bosses instructions, or agrees and avoids the hard answers.
    I accept Oppositions shouldn’t oppose for the sake of opposing. However when a Govt policy is cruel, demeaning, harsh and illegal, particularly savaging young children, it is time to take courage and act as decent caring responsible people.
    That’s what the Labor I joined, used to do.

  9. bobrafto

    It’s people like you Letita with your writing flair that will help turn the tide of public opinion. Well done!

  10. mars08

    When did we become immune to empathy?

    If there’s one issue (although I’m not sure that’s the correct word) that is causing me to withdraw further and further from my fellow citizens… it’s this one. I’m becoming a recluse over this. I have lost friends, and avoided social contact over this. I am more dispirited and dejected with every news story. My soul is crushed by the silent consent of the average Australian to this cruel treatment of innocent, powerless, vulnerable human beings. I am demoralised by the relentless ignorance, fear and blood-lust of those around me.

    Oh, I know I’ve got my own issue going on here! I really shouldn’t be focused on this grotesque farce EVERY SINGLE DAY. I really shouldn’t compare the day-to-day dramas of my peers to the horrors we are forcing on the asylum seekers. I really shouldn’t ignore the fact that there are many decent Australians who are dismayed at what’s being done in their name… But I just can’t let it go! I can’t help feeling that almost everyone around me is a heartless, knuckle-dragging bigot without a shred of morality. And I don’t want anything to do with them.

  11. Matters Not

    (as a nation), significantly less good and right than they thought they were. … To me Germany is one the most fascinating examples of this. In the early 2000′s (sic) I spent a few months writing in Berlin, and was really struck by the enduring resonance of WW2, a war that had ended some 58 years earlier.

    Reminders of what happened in World War 11 are virtually everywhere in Europe, particularly eastern Europe. No matter whether you’re in Minsk (totally destroyed), Budapest, Prague, Warsaw and the like, reminders dot the landscape as it were.

    What I find strange, and somewhat disturbing, is the theme that it wasn’t the Germans who committed the atrocities but the Nazis. And this ‘explanation’ isn’t confined to Germany, but shared widely, even in nations that had been devastated. It wasn’t the Germans, it was the Nazis.

    It is as if Nazism had nothing to do with Germany and its ‘people’, broadly defined to include culture, society, history and so on, but something completely alien. It is as if Nazism didn’t come from ‘within’.

    Yet if one travels around Germany today, (and I am a regular visitor) one can see plenty of evidence of ‘racism’, naked ethnocentrism, (often violent) against people who look ‘different’. But then again you don’t have to go to Germany for that. It’s in our back yard as well.

    I just wonder in decades from now, will we say the treatment handed out to refugees, wasn’t due to Australians but to … Hang on, the majority of Australians don’t think the treatment is harsh enough. We’ll have nowhere to hide.

  12. Jeanette

    Could not agree more, yes we have allowed fear by dogma and spin blur our judgement

  13. mars08

    Huh. … So now the bureaucrat want to single out individual asylum seekers just so they can make a special example of them… to subject to ever harsher treatment as a WARNING to others. We are a truly stuffed up nation… no doubt!!

    QUOTE:

    My responsibility according to this phone call was to select the children that looked the youngest,” he said.

    Mr Lake resigned from his role as director of processing and transfers at Nauru in April 2013.

    He told the inquiry the language used in the detention centres – such as calling people “clients” and referring to them by identification numbers rather than names – had a dehumanising effect on asylum seeks.

    “The language is not a strategy in and of itself but it is definitely part of a broader intention to dehumanise,” he said.

    “The way that immigration detention centres are run, particularly now under a deterrent framework, is designed to construct an environment where people are used as examples to say `you’re subject to this – it’s going to be worse for you to be in Australia than it as to be where you came from’…”

    http://bmag.com.au/your-brisbane/daily-news/2014/07/31/young-looking-refugees-sent-offshore/

  14. charybds

    mars08
    I know exactly how you feel. I found myself today meting out a ferocious lambasting to a quite old friend over a racist FB post.
    I can’t help the feeling that ‘mainstream’ Australia is in fact the monster it appears to be. It certainly isn’t the mythical land of the ‘fair go’ we like to pretend it is.
    I have an increasingly sick feeling that we do in fact have the government we deserve.

  15. mars08

    Sadly, we also have the opposition we deserve….

  16. Anne Byam

    First … thank you Letitia for an outstanding article. It really tells all. Very much appreciated.

    @ mars08. When I read your first post, I thought – “oh here’s a person with his / her own big problems ” and then I read it again – honestly this time. Sadly I have to say that to varying degrees I have had much the same experiences. A member of my own family who is blue ribbon, blue tie Liberal and won’t hear of anything else, I now have very little to do with. I made the decision – in the interests of peace and harmony … because believe me, I would let her have it in no uncertain terms, at the mere mention of her beloved ‘party’. And that would end up in a verbal brawl … something I will not sink to. So I have chosen to not speak personally by phone or attend a family function, where this matter could raise it’s ugly head. I do keep in touch with light small talk emails from time to time … all very correct in language – and never is politics mentioned. And she replies in kind. But to HAVE to think of doing that shows where we ( or rather I ) am. And apparently many of us are feeling the same way. This is the divisiveness that this ghastly Government has produced with it’s cruel and inhumane measures – to refugees, and to the underprivileged, young, sick, elderly and needy in OUR country. It is a calculated and deliberate attempt to bring our beautiful country to it’s knees. To degrade it.

    I read a list of the heinous and sneaky things this Government has done in it’s short history to date, from an ultra-reliable source. I felt nausous – I could not continue reading all of it – ( but will do so when I can ) … and while I WAS reading it, the nausea was so strong I really thought I would vomit. THAT’s how it affected me … and I have no doubt others would react the same way. My husband and I ( we are NOT on opposite sides in politics ), have decided to stop talking about it all. His opinion is “what can we do about it – nothing” … my opinion is the opposite – we MUST do something about it. And that can lead to some hefty and confrontational ‘debates’ (?) … so we have both agreed not to talk politics. And, as he has said – he ” doesn’t like to see me get so upset by it all “. I take that as a caring statement.

    Divide and conquer … that’s the basis of any dictatorship. Spread fear on a daily basis – get them all under the thumb.

    Are we going to let this Government perpetrate this situation – and continue with more crimes than those they’ve already committed ?

    I am hoping not. I am praying not. There MUST be a way to stop them. I rather suspect that Bill Shorten is not saying much, in the belief that the people will speak out … and that, given enough rope, Abbott and his Government will truly hang themselves. Hope I am right.

    @ Matters Not. Ref : “It wasn’t the Germans, it was the Nazi’s”. In one sense that is true. It wasn’t specifically the German people, but what the Germans DID do was – precisely NOTHING to stop what they could see was happening. They allowed the Nazi’s to instil fear and dread, they allowed the Nazi party to divide them – and thus conquer their sense of right & to become impervious to the wrongs. SO many years later, they are still ashamed of themselves, for allowing it to happen. ( see Letitia’s article ) Sure, there would be some arrogant and racist peoples there – ( they are everywhere in the world ) …. but the Germans have spent a lot of time now, trying to make some amends for what they ALLOWED to happen 58 years ago.

    Do we want this ? No. Emphatically …… N O !!

  17. mars08

    Divide and conquer … that’s the basis of any dictatorship. Spread fear on a daily basis – get them all under the thumb.

    Are we going to let this Government perpetrate this situation – and continue with more crimes than those they’ve already committed ?

    I am hoping not. I am praying not. There MUST be a way to stop them…

    But that’s exactly why I’m feeling more overwhelmed by the day… That’s exactly why I now avoid people rather than openly express my disgust… There MUST be a way of stopping them? Really??? How is that supposed to happen when “them” is us? The hostile attitude towards asylum seekers is endorsed by both our major parties and the media, it is intergenerational… and it has become ingrained in our culture. It is now part of who WE are. I fear this will just keep getting worse.

  18. John Fraser

    <

    Labor & Shorten didn't get the message at the last election.

    The way things are going a double dissolution looks like a possibility.

    Abbotts gang are paralysed, bogged down, and know that if they try to bypass the Senate it will cost them even more …. perhaps an even bigger swing against them than Labor copped at the last election.

    Palmer knows it and all he has to do is keep saying things that support the average Aussie and he will have his people in Parliament.

    Probably not with the power they have now …. but certainly revenge on Abbott, and then he will turn his attention to newman ….. AND Murdoch !

  19. Matters Not

    Anne Byam supposedly cited in reference to my earlier post:

    “It wasn’t the Germans, it was the Nazi’s”.

    In my defence, can I point out that what I actually wrote was:

    It wasn’t the Germans, it was the Nazis.

    Spot the difference? And the underlying logic?

    Why would I add an apostrophe to what is just a simple plural? ‘Nazis’, as I used it, is not a contraction nor is it as a possessive.

    Please explain?

  20. clara

    They could stop human trafficking easily wold wide. If they want they drive it. If you could set on a boat rist your life and pay 10000 against getting a visa you would get a visa. If you can not get a visa because there seems to be no refugee visa as such then I guess you would take the boat. The traffickers are just doing business because they can So buy running it this way the Governments are complicit in human trafficking. Incarcerating people will not stop people getting on a boat or crossing a border. So there needs to be a refugee type visa and then maybe these people could be members of society rather than held as prisoners there are a huge about they could do. How they spend that much on jail makes you wonder what sort of budget the workers there get paid while the people are prisoners. It does not go on their quality of life in metal sheds. A disgrace to Australia.. Makes a very unhealthy next generation. They will wonder why so many people have become damaged.

  21. Möbius Ecko

    John Fraser the pay off for Palmer in an early election are not just more Senate seats but lower house seats as well, and he knows it, but the Liberals and Labor know it as well.

    As you state the current inept government has gotten itself bogged down and must either moderate and capitulate, which is what it appears they’re doing, or bluster to a double dissolution. Abbott’s signatory policy, the only fleshed out one he took to the election and the one he stated his entire reputation stood on, PPL, has now been put on the never never. A sure sign of capitulation, and many other policies, like the GP co-payment as just one example, look like being wound back, sure signs of moderation.

    Abbott should get hammered over his capitulation on PPL as it more than any other policy, more so than getting rid of the carbon tax, is what by his own words has defined him. He refused to back down on it, even under the real prospect of a back bench revolt and protest by senior colleagues. That he has now shelved it should be getting widespread denunciation even if he’s saying he will still bring it in on some future date. The fact is that it’s been taken out of the budget and the policy has been shelved, that’s a broken promise no matter how it’s dressed up.

  22. mars08

    Matters Not:

    It is as if Nazism had nothing to do with Germany and its ‘people’, broadly defined to include culture, society, history and so on, but something completely alien. It is as if Nazism didn’t come from ‘within’.

    Yet if one travels around Germany today, (and I am a regular visitor) one can see plenty of evidence of ‘racism’, naked ethnocentrism, (often violent) against people who look ‘different’. But then again you don’t have to go to Germany for that…

    Good point. Let’s explore that a bit more…

    Do we imagine that the average German was cackling with joy at the rise Nazism? Did they delight in the emerging horror? Did Helga and Hans openly applaud the concentration camp guards? Did they absorb every detail about how the camps were being run?

    I suspect the average German didn’t give it much thought at all. They simply believed that the nation faced an insidious, existential threat… and that their leaders had found an efficient solution. And they accepted that certain steps needed to be taken.

    All quite boring really…

  23. Dan Dark

    mars08August 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm
    When did we become immune to empathy?

    “If there’s one issue (although I’m not sure that’s the correct word) that is causing me to withdraw further and further from my fellow citizens… it’s this one. I’m becoming a recluse over this. I have lost friends, and avoided social contact over this. I am more dispirited and dejected with every news story. My soul is crushed by the silent consent of the average Australian to this cruel treatment of innocent, powerless, vulnerable human beings. I am demoralised by the relentless ignorance, fear and blood-lust of those around me.

    Oh, I know I’ve got my own issue going on here! I really shouldn’t be focused on this grotesque farce EVERY SINGLE DAY. I really shouldn’t compare the day-to-day dramas of my peers to the horrors we are forcing on the asylum seekers. I really shouldn’t ignore the fact that there are many decent Australians who are dismayed at what’s being done in their name… But I just can’t let it go! I can’t help feeling that almost everyone around me is a heartless, knuckle-dragging bigot without a shred of morality. And I don’t want anything to do with them”

    I am the same Mars08 you are not alone in isolating yourself from fellow Aussies, I have been doing it for years now you get used to it, the lack of tolerance, understanding and compassion is something I am used to in this country, so what they are doing to asylum seekers does not surprise me now at all but has caused me to disown liberal party voters that were friends and family since the election. I never thought I would say this but I hate this country and how people have become, it’s shameful that’s for sure and history will judge this country and selfish lot of morons who voted this lot of lying rabble in badly,
    everyday I am looking for a way to get away from this country I used to be proud of…..

  24. mars08

    …has caused me to disown liberal party voters that were friends and family since the election. I never thought I would say this but I hate this country and how people have become…

    It’s not just narrow-minded, self-absorbed “liberal party voters” that I’m avoiding….

  25. halsaul

    Dan Dark & others, I completely empathise with what you say. I personally feel this Abbott Gov. is like a social experiment to ascertain how much foul policy and breaking down of the rule of law the average Australian will tolerate. At what point will they say “no more!”. Dispirited by the cruelty and ignorance of so many in society, media and members of parliament. Like Germany pre world war 2 ? We shall see.

  26. Bandicoot

    Right now, if any Australian says they don’t know what’s happening on the offshore detention centres, it’s only because they DON’T WANT TO know.

  27. Matters Not

    It would seem that the Minister who speaks in tongues has a new problem.

    As many as 25 African delegates who were in Melbourne for the 20th International AIDS Conference are in crisis accommodation after refusing to leave Australia.

    Well we do know that some delegates who were bound by plane for this Conference were blown out of the sky and were rightly the subject of much public and government sympathy. But what about those who were successful in arriving by plane, and are now fearful if they return home by plane, and then may be blown away, so to speak.

    Perhaps we should load them on those orange lifeboats which seem to be the cure all?

    I’m sure Morrison will find a simplistic solution to a complex problem. If not, then the Bolts of this world will.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2715303/Delegates-AIDS-2014-conference-seek-asylum-Australia.html

  28. Linda M

    That young Indian or Sri Lankan girl with the doctor’s prescription must have had her identity papers intact for her to be able to fill her prescription for asthma. We know who she was and she had committed no crime.

  29. Matters Not

    With reference to: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2715303/Delegates-AIDS-2014-conference-seek-asylum-Australia.html

    Yes it will be a problem for Morrison the glossolalia advocate (sometimes refers to xenoglossy) to solve this ‘illegal’ immigration issue. Who were the ‘people smugglers’ involved in bringing these ‘illegals’ to our shores? The Conference organisers? Including those good guys ‘blown out of the sky’? Or perhaps the airlines? By now you would have to be dumb, deaf and blind not to realise that more ‘illegals’ come by the ‘air’ than ever come by boat.

    Yes it’s a ‘wicked problem’ but when will all sides of politics treat us as adults? But perhaps we don’t deserve to be?

    For those interested in wicked problems. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_problem

  30. David Linehan

    As soon as I heard the delegates to the aids conference wished to stay in Australia, my thoughts went immediately to the face of the man who will decide their fate, Morrison.
    I recalled his previous actions when desperate people threw themselves on his mercy, his decency, his happy clappy Christianity, his compassion, love of his fellows. I recalled how he lied, ignored, turned his back, was merciless, clapped in hate, indecent in his responses, compassionless as he loved ‘not’ his fellows,

    I wondered, given his previous treatment of asylum seekers, his utter contempt for anyone living outside his own bigoted version of life, I wondered..”what chance these compassionate, decent, loving, caring folk who spend their lives supporting aids sufferers, but live in fear of retribution for doing so, what chance this grub of a Minister would look kindly on their pleas for Asylum?

    Morrison will not pursue a Manus Is. murderer, he sends children to hot, filthy, unhealthy conditions in atrocious conditions, turns them away on the high seas, what chance he regards Aids as abhorrent and sinful, those who care sinners?
    What chance that will decide his judgement on the next stage of the lives of these compassionate people?
    To my mind, without doubt every chance.

  31. Anomander

    I am utterly sickened at the state our our nation and how insular so many of us have become. For a people who take such pride in expressing the ethos of “looking after your mates” or how Australia is a nation of fairness – it appears a large percentage of the population are anything but.

    For months, I have been sharing AIMN stories and other links on Facebook, only to be swamped by nasty comments from supporters of this government. Even people I thought were quite intelligent or progressive in their thinking delivered disparaging remarks.

    “Why must you be so negative all the time?” or “Your posts attacking the government are driving me mad.” or “Do you want us all overrun by foreigners?” or “Stop supporting those dole-bludgers who only sponge on those of us who pay tax”, are just a few of the more sedate comments, some others were more confronting, bordering on abusive.

    Seems to me many Australian’s like to bullshit to themselves about being egalitarian and the home of a fair go, but under the surface they are nothing but petty, self-absorbed consumers, caring only for the things that immediately affect them, but scant regard for the wider community and the state of our society.

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