Be well!! Be safe!! Be kind to one another!! (even if it’s just for a day)
Lots of ♥ from Jennifer, Mrs Chook & The Dog.
Tags: Holidays, Kindness, Love
Merry Xmas to all Sheepers, and may the holidays be fun, safe, happy and for those with children relatively restful
Thank you zero!!
Merry Christmas to all. For once resist putting the prawn shells behind the hub caps of your enemies cars. Drive safely and switch off the mobile.
Oh wow, I hadn’t even thought of doing that till you mentioned it.
So, instead of prawnshells. Invite the neighbours and play them this;
That really is lovely, Gerard.
Back at you. May 2013 be a great year for everyone.
It’s an election year, it will be fireworks!!
Compliments of the season to you Jennifer, and to all the non-sheep!
Douggie tells me I was very stroppy last time I was here, and he wore the flak.
Apologies for misbehaving, ladies and gents, sometimes I forget I’m not using “David” to stir the cunts over at Catallaxy files.
Merry Christmas to all!
Well, I don’t expect everyone will always agree here at Sheep. Something would be wrong if that was the case. I’m all in favour of a bit of cheerful rudeness, it seems to be vanishing in the actual world with everyone getting into rages and suing everyone else till nobody dares say anything. Happy holidays, Macabre, and thanks for being part of the blog conversations
Health and good times to all.
Here’s a couple of gifts showing how close we are (politically) to our beloved in-laws.
Let’s end on a positive…
Baaaah Rum Bug to All, and for The Dog, Bach!
Happy Xmass and prosperous new year to all sheep, even those who have the temerity to disagree with me.
Jennifer, whatever you think me, I applaud you and your project, building an environment where people can come to discuss public affairs with others who have also outgrown their Batman comics.
This despite a year where things got difficult for you also.
Paul, I think a great deal of you, and am so glad you are here.
Season’s greetings, everyone!
I made nice bright red Chinese influenced curtains over the hot weekend to brighten up my life.
And bright red cushion covers to match.
It was nice to sew in peace under the aircon. on such a stifling day.
It was not a donkey which brought this family together but a plane
arriving in Melbourne at 2.30 in the morning. A young father stood at
the rail in the arrivals hall anxiously
watching the doors until his wife and little boy emerged. Three years
wait for this moment when this little family held each other in silent
joy. Not much luggage but they have each other.
The father a refugee already at 4 years old, fleeing the Bamiyan
massacre of Hazaras as a small boy with his parents across borders, was
His wife survived the same massacre by fleeing with her family to a
neighbouring country where both survived with no legal status or rights.
In the end the struggle was too much and the young father fled, seeking
safety from the police and soldiers who would throw him back across the
border to likely death. Their little son faces a better future now that
his parents will be able to call Australia home.
His father has travelled across mountains and borders on foot, by air
and by sea in a leaky boat through detention and refusal to find the
safety he gives the son who this morning, shyly takes his hand. Not yet
21 but with years of struggle and survival behind him.
Our last view of the three of them walking hand in hand along the
footpath at Tullamarine to start a new life together in a country where
no can kill them for their ethnicity or their religion.
Surely this is the real Christmas story- a journey of hope, love and family.
Yet if he came today this same young man would be separated from his wife and child for 5 more miserable years because two white racist politicians think that it should be so.
I’d like to wish you a 2012 with much better outcomes for you personally, and for your heartfelt passion.
You ( and your fellow advocates) are making a real difference, and that’s a priceless gift. Let’s hope next year is a year of ‘awakenings’.
Yes, Marilyn, that is real Christmas story. And one we are not likely to see repeated in the forseable future.
Have a happy post-Mayan apocalypse, everyone, and may your Xmas be karma-free.
I already have my Xmas present this year. It’s Justice Rares’ judgment against James Ashby, with the prospect of an Abbott-free New Year.
Submission to the People of Australia
A Message from Manus Island
We write to the people of Australia.
We write this with tears, having come to your country with so much hope and expectation, only to find a policy that treats us unjustly and unfairly, without compassion or respect for our individual situations.
We are so far away here, living on a remote Island, unseen, without permission yet to leave the small compound where we live.
We ask the people of Australia, do not forget us or abandon us.
We respect your values, your laws and your defence of the right of freedom for all people. We want that for ourselves and our children. It is why we undertook this journey.
When we arrived in this place we were so distressed and upset we decided to not eat or take anti – malarial medication to demonstrate our protest at this treatment. But our new friends here have helped us to understand that in Australia people are free to protest and speak out and voice discontent about decisions and policies that they feel are unfair and unjust. It is everyone’s right to do this. And others will listen.
We are not used to having this freedom. So we choose to use it. We have decided not to go without food or put our lives at risk. We have decided to use our intellect and our humanity to appeal to all people who care for justice and fairness to hear our stories and support our cause.
We have given up voluntary starvation as a sign of our respect for the democratic processes of Australia, and we put ourselves in the hands of these processes.
Who we are and Why we came on this long and dangerous Journey to Australia
Hello I’m Zohreh Yousefian. I was born in Abadan, Islamic Republic of Iran. My family experienced war when I was just four years old.
We migrated to Shiraz. I started studying and even as a woman I graduated from University after 4 years of study as a Bachelor of Accounting .
Then I began teaching in college and have continued this for 11 years. During this time I also completed an acting certificate from Farhang & Ershad(Iranian Department).
I come from a country which does not respect basic woman’s rights. In comparison with males, females haven’t equality in having access to jobs or equal salaries. Woman have no chance to become a singer or to do simple things like going to the stadium or motor biking. No make up in the street is allowed and they have to wear HEJAB because in Islam it’s Haram(must do that).
As an example I gave up my job after eleven years with no insurance or guarantee for the future.
In Iran men have all the rights in a divorce. For example, most ladies who decide to leave their husbands after a long time of suffering and even sometimes violence, have to give up all their rights to property, support and often even their children, when they sign the divorce papers. Unfortunately there is no protection for females, even after separating.
In such a Muslim society women have to tolerate discrimination and being looked down on and judged. Divorced women also are often misused and treated very badly. It is therefore common to find women hopeless and with no confidence.
Faced with this situation I decided to leave everything behind and undertake a journey to a place where there would be peace and freedom, and to do this even though I was afraid and didn’t have any certainty about my future. This was better than what i was experiencing in my country.
This discrimination, oppression and unfair laws effect many young people in my country. I lost my brother at the age of 28 because of these disasters. That is why I decided to run away from Iran with my only brother that I have. We hadn’t time even to say good bye to friends. We risked our life in the hope of having freedom, safety and tranquility and living in peace.
Just remember I’m a human like you, and I have my own rights in such a short life, to live like a free bird.
Hooshang and I got married 21 years ago and our daughter (Hediye) was born three years later. She grew up in a society where there was no freedom, justice or safety. As a mother, I was always looking after her. My daughter was born Muslim, but three years ago she said, “I want to be an agonistic.” I was worried about her, that she may get in trouble because of her beliefs and political views. I saw lots of boys and girls arrested by the government and never returned back to their families. I didn’t want anything to happen to my daughter. She is my everything. My husband and I really love her. We didn’t want to lose her like other parents, who lost their children and weren’t allowed to speak about their loss. We left everything behind in search for freedom, justice and safety. As parents, we were looking for a safe place for our daughter but we didn’t find it in our country.
For 37 years I lived in Iran. I’ve never been respected as a woman. There was always some differences between men and women. In Iran women are like entertainment. Women have no custody of their children. There is no one at the back of a woman; women have no support.
My husband was exposed to dangerous chemicals many years ago, in the war between Iran and Iraq. After this, he started losing his hair. He lost his eyelashes, eyebrows, and all the hair on his body. He became depressed and he stayed in the house for 6 months. After that, he was mocked in society. He was ignored by the government.
Our family is looking for safety, justice, freedom and honesty. We want to live free. We want to live with peace of mind.
This is Aghil Yousefian. You can call me Aria.I was born on 28 July 1984, in a family that experienced war. I had to start working when I was 8 with my father selling clothes. I grew up in a country which is Islamic Republic where everything is judged by religion.
Time past and I got my Diploma and graduated high school. I started kick boxing. After two years I went to Compulsory Military Service. During this time I won silver medal in National Championship. After end of Military service I graduated with a referee certificate, and coaching certificate of martial arts. But none of them were useful for finding a job or helped me go to college or gain a scholarship.
Another tragedy occurred in my family. My brother died of a heart attack, caused by the stress and pressure of his life
I have always loved music as long as I can remember. I started playing drums in Heavy Metal style which is my passion. In the last 4 years before I came to Australia this became very dangerous for me. I did playing with lots of difficulties. Because Heavy Metal is completely prohibited and illegal in Iran, and as I mentioned before because of the religion and misjudments, it’s known as “Evil Music.” Government officials and the Religious who are in charge will arrest you and take you to Intelligence Department and anything can happen to you then.
Musicians are therefore doing their music underground. Many teachers are not allowed to teach in Institutes. You must have a certificate and be doing Iranian Classical and Pop. No Concerts, no nothing. We couldn’t even record our covers in studios because the owners were scared of doing that. The place we were practicing and training was completely secret, except for two teachers of mine and close friends who trained with me.
But everything became worst than before. In an underground concert more than 60 fans were arrested, charged and locked up. Players were taken to Intelligence. Two teachers of mine were arrested also.
After those happenings, I changed my job to plumbing in the country side. I sold my Drums, changed my place, changed my mobile phone, and had no contact with anyone but family. I became depressed, lost weight , from 88 kg to close to 70-2 kg. I deleted every history of my music from my life because of my fear of being arrested by the government who were intent on stopping this music. During this time 6 musicians that I knew were arrested in their training place. After that no one contacted each other, even on Face Book.
If you want to be employed in a company, you have to be Muslim and pass an interview first. if you want to be a professional Musician or even hold musical performances, you have to have permission of the Religious, who are in charge. The type of music I practiced and enjoyed would never be allowed or tolerated. Women are not allowed to become a singer because in Quran it says women’s voice is HARAM(not accepted in Islam Religion)
Can you imagine what it’s like living in a country that has oil, gas, mines, long history more than 5000 years, but no freedom or safety, no respect and equality for females?!?!?!?!??
However brave or gutsy you are, you still cannot say your opinions, because of the Death Penalty and the fact that executions in Iran are as common as eating a piece a cake.
The reason why my sister Zohreh and I ran away to Australia , is because we think everything is the opposite here to what we experienced there.
Aria 9/12/2012 Quarantine, Manus Island , Papua New Guinea
We are Hemat and Khadijeh. We are a very young couple and we are targeting freedom and to be safe. We have been in so many difficult situations to achieve our goal.
We left Iran because of racism to Kurdish people. In Iran there is no no respect or fair treatment for us. They stop us from achieving our goal of freedom and safety. In Iran there is no voice for the Kurdish people.
We have no freedom to marry. The government controls our life. There is no freedom to make decisions about our life or choice. The government decides everything.
• Marriage – you can only marry a Kurdish person , you have no choice in your partner
• Kurdish people are limited to maximum diploma level education
• Sometimes are girls forbidden to work
• There is no freedom to practice religion other than Muslim
• There are many things you cant discuss if your a girl, and girls are not treated with respect
• To be a woman in Iran and Kurdish is very very hard
• Jobs are hard to find and there is no equal access to technology or training or education. We had very little money and it was very hard to make a living. There is no future, opportunity or life in this country.
We left for safety and to find freedom. This is no way to live. We chose to leave.
We were hurting so bad we didn’t think about the ocean and death because freedom was more important for us. We would choose death rather than live like this.
We arrived in Australia but have found only a life like what we had. Our opportunity, our hopes, our goals we were looking for seem to be gone, to be dead. All hope is dead in our heart.
Why have we been bought to Manus Island?
It feels like we are at the end of the world. We are thinking this is not life, death is better than existing like this.
It is a big world but it feels like there is no place for us. Why is there no justice anywhere in the world for us? We are not guilty of anything but wanting freedom and safety.
What we expected to find when we reached Australia
We are people who deeply desire freedom. We left behind a country where this was not available, where your life was at risk if you sought to practice or believe things that were different to what the rulers tolerated or allowed.
Most of all we believed Australia would be a country where freedom was valued, protected, and available.
We believed Australia would be a country where equality was valued, where people no matter their race or background or circumstances would be given equal treatment.
We believed Australia was a place of compassion , that extended support and care to those who need help. We think of Australians as warm, kind people with big hearts, who treat others with respect.
We believed Australia was an open society, where there is truth and honesty, and where we would be provided with information about the processes ahead of us and what would happen to us.
We saw Australia as a land of opportunity, where our dreams that had been buried and almost destroyed could come alive again.
We believed Australia was a country where there would be Justice, where the rights of people to fair, equal treatment, was vigorously defended. This is something we have never experienced in our own country. We expected it to be very strong in Australia.
We expected a country free of racism.
We expected that there would be a proper and detailed process that we must participate in with honesty and cooperation to prove our claims for asylum. But we also expected that we would we able to immediately commence the process to submit our refugee claims and evidence, and that this process would be transparent and available.
We expected that our claims for asylum would be individually evaluated, and decisions about us would be based on the individual qualities of our character and our individual experiences.
We expected that in a country like Australia politics would not interfere with our basic human rights to seek asylum.
We expected a country where there was peace and respect for law and order and where we could one day live with our families in safety.
We expected a country that would welcome those who came to contribute. We do not want to live on welfare or be dependant on the government or anyone, but to work hard, and make a contribution to society.
We expected a country where women would be treated with equality and respect and experience safety.
What we have experienced on our journey
We understand that not all the policies, treatment and experiences we have experienced are reflective of the people of Australia.
But we share these examples to show how different our experience has been to many of the ideals we had believed about this country.
On Christmas Island we experienced attitudes and comments that made us feel that we were not good people simply because we were from Iran. For example, when I asked for clothes that we needed because we had lost most of our own clothes on the journey to Australia, I was told by an officer “Get someone from Iran to send some to you.” (Iranian man)
I was made to feel guilty because I was asking for clothes. The officer said to me “You have things, these people have nothing ” referring to the Sri Lankens who were also receiving clothes. (Iranian woman) We were surprised to come across these attitudes, that seemed to judge us by our race , rather than our individual circumstances or needs.
Most of all nothing has occurred to help facilitate the reason for our journey, to claim protection and asylum from Australia, and to have the opportunity to start a new life. We are now in another country, PNG, and we appreciate the need for assessment, security and health checks, but we can’t understand why it takes so long for this process to begin. We feel the government has forgotten us, and feel they do not care about the very real and important reasons why we made this journey.
Perhaps the hardest thing to understand about this situation is the lack of fairness and justice we are experiencing, from a country that we believed models this to the world. For political purposes, Australia seems to be sacrificing its great values.
How is it fair that we have been sent here, to a remote hot island with hot, harsh climate and little infrastructure, with no freedom to leave this Centre or follow our own life plans, while others on the very same boat, who travelled with us, are now in Australia, being released into the Australian community, and are free to live where they choose, to go where they want, to follow their own life plans. There were 114 who travelled on our boat to Australia, and only 7 have been sent to Manus Island.
This week I received a message on Facebook from a friend I met on my boat journey to Australia. He had posted a series of maybe 20 – 30 photos on Facebook. He listed his address as Melbourne Australia, and there were photos of him exploring his new city. They showed him at the beach, swimming in a pool, sitting in Santa’s chair at a department store, at the park, at nightclubs – his arm around a group of friends, holding a range of drinks, in his new house sitting in a comfortable lounge with a flat screen TV in the background.
This man came on VERY SAME BOAT as me, fleeing the same country, for the same reason, and yet the outcome is so different. I am facing unrelenting heat, water restrictions are on at the moment, I am surrounded by gates and fences and guards and not allowed to leave the Compound. I have no freedom. I am not allowed to drink alcohol or able to choose and cook my own food. I live in a tiny half a container with my parents that still has no door on it. (Iranian woman)
This seems to us so unjust and so unfair. We are constantly thinking about why we were chosen to be sent to this place and not have opportunity to be processed in Australia. What have we done?
Is it because we have no family already in Australia? This was one question they asked us when interviewing us before we left Australia. Why does having no relatives in Australia make us any less worthy or in need of Australia’s protection and help. How is it fair that this should be the deciding reason.
“Do you need wheel chair” was another question they asked. Is it because we are healthy?
While waiting in Christmas Island we tried so hard to show that we are good people, with honest hearts and intentions. We tried to help in any way we could. We were always cooperative and didn’t cause any trouble.
We volunteered. I sorted clothing. ( Iranian woman)
I helped by interepting for the Serco officers. They called me their “favourite interepter” (Iranian man)
In contrast there were others on Christmas Island from the same boat we were on, who behaved badly, who caused trouble, or who were at times aggressive to officers or spoke badly to women.
Yet these people are still in Australia, with the opportunity to live and be processed in Australia. it seems the nicer you are, the more respectful and compliant and helpful you are, the more likely it is that you will be sent from Australia to be processed off shore.
How can this be fair or just? How can you treat the same people in the same situation in such different ways, How can this be called justice?
The process of being removed to Manus Island was also traumatic and filled us with fear and emotions we did not expect to experience again after we had left Iran.
At 6.30am in morning they came to take us to a “meeting.”
I didn’t have time to brush my hair or change my sleeping clothes. We were taken to a room where there were a large number of Serco officers. They were big, muscular men who looked intimidating, carrying sticks and spray. They were different to the officers we had come to know while at Christmas Island. They told us nothing, but did body checks and then put us on a bus. (Iranian woman)
There were other people on bus. We still knew nothing about what was going to happen to us. It reminded us of Iran. We wondered what there intentions with us were.
We thought “Is this Australia?”
The bus took us to another area we think were Immigration offices. There were Sri Lanken people there also and we were separated into ethnic groups. We were told by a man with a big smile on his face we would be transferred to PNG. “I will never forget his face and his smile as long as I live.” (Iranian woman)
We didn’t even know where PNG was. We were not allowed to ask questions. This was such bad news for us.
We were told Serco would pack all our things and they would be sent with us to PNG.
We waited a long time. Later, after about two hours someone came and spoke to us individually in family groups. Several guards were with us. We were told because we were healthy and had no family in Australia we were being sent to another country. We were not allowed to see any of our friends to say goodbye. I was asked if I had any fears about going to PNG, I replied I was very scared about this. I was scared for my daughter. (Iranian woman)
We were searched again, even under my tongue, my hair, behind my ears, our belongings were packed. We never returned to our room. ( Iranian woman and man)
Our property was not treated with respect. Clean things were thrown in with dirty things. Some items, important to us, were lost, and never arrived in PNG.
After many hours of waiting, we were put on another bus and taken to the airport. The cruel treatment continued. We felt like criminals.
There were now many other officers, we think they were Federal police. They took video footage of everything that was done. They sat near us and stared at us constantly the whole trip. Even if we went to adjust our belts to make them more comfortable we were told not to.
The temperature was very cold. No blankets were provided for the trip and when we asked for one we were told they were not allowed to give it to us. We were on the plane for many hours, and received only one small sandwich and water.
When we used the toilet on the plane we were accompanied by a guard and the toilet door was not allowed to be fully shut. This was humiliating for us and again made us feel like dangerous criminals, who were guilty of some serious crime.
When the plane finally landed at PNG we were marched out of the plane one by one by the officers. I wanted to walk out with my daughter. I was so scared. They wouldn’t let me. (Iranian woman)
No information was given to us on the whole trip. We became even more scared during this trip and wondered where we were being taken to.
We left Iran because of our fear of the unjust, cruel, inhumane way people are treated. We never expected to have those feelings of fear again. There were times when because of this treatment and the lack of information we wondered if our lives were under threat, what are they going to do to us?
This experience was more traumatic for us than the boat trip we undertook to reach Australia. Then, our life was in the hands of nature. But here in Australia, where we expected just treatment, our lives were in the hands of people who made a choice to treat us in this cruel and demeaning way. This is very hard for us to understand. I was thinking all the time I didn’t want to bring my daughter to this. This is why I left Iran. (Iranian woman)
Regardless of Australia’s policy on asylum seekers there must be a better way to treat human beings than this.
We have never committed a crime. We have always sought to help others and be cooperative and to show we are good people who can contribute to Australia. We are just people seeking a life free from persecution and fear.
What we desire
We still desire what led us to take this dangerous journey – freedom and justice.
We have come to understand more about why Australia is doing these policies, but we plead do not make us the victims of politics like happens in Iran.
We ask simply that our basic human rights be respected and that we have the opportunity to present our case and show who we really are, why we need asylum, and what we can contribute to Australia.
We ask to be treated fairly, and be given the same opportunities and treatment that the people who came on the same boat we were on are receiving.
We ask not to be forgotten, for people to come and meet us and hear our stories and get to know us as real people, not as boat numbers.
Most of all we have the same desires as you have, to be happy, and live in a country where there is freedom, respect for human rights, safety and respect for the law, and opportunities through hard work and good character to have a good life.
That is all we seek and ask for.
Happy Christmas Jennifer. And all the best for 2013. Keep those feisty arguments coming
Sod it, lost another comment- idiot typist you are Paul.
Marilyn’s post has me in mind of the hidden (suppressed) history theme developed by people like Anne Summers, Henry Reynolds, Gary Foley, Edward Said and others, as with aborigines, women, immigrants and “other others”.
It reminded me that the problem is with us rather than Iranis, Sri Lankans etc. We are like kids waiting to be soothed from our night terrors, but the very people who could have dispelled such fairy tales of racial and cultural purity are the ones who have spent such time and effort convincing us of a threat and ramping up our delusions, like medieval priests working on a village mob.
The asylum seekers are PEOPLE and reserve to be treated as such, they ought to be treated better than cattle or Oz sheep…..or stranded whales….they are human beings.
European countries are being entered by refugees on trains, boats, swimming ,walking and heaven knows what else, even in containers, ’refugees sans frontiers’, they could be called. They enter by the tens of thousands, weekly. There are very few isolated European islands that boat people can be isolated on and forgotten about. The obstinacy by our politicians on having blown this up by the hysterical ‘border protection’ mantra is now costing hundreds of millions for just a few thousand.
At least most European countries have been canny enough that the might of the millions of refugees from war torn countries is best handled by, at least making the best of a bad thing, and treat them humanely and, after due process, let them work and pay tax. Howard’s refrain of “we will choose who come here and the method by which they come” could not possibly work there.
Neither does it work here. They come, no matter what obstacles are put into place, not even the risk of getting smashed against rocks deters the helpless refugee. They have nothing to lose. Some of the boat-people haters say, they are filthy rich which seems odd; why risk getting smashed onto rocks or drown from leaky unseaworthy boats?
I feel sorry for Chris Bowen. He tries to be, unconvincingly, unyieldingly hard like the rest, steely and feigning resentment against those more humane. His heart isn’t in it. Hopefully his wife will whisper kind words when he is tossing and turning during guilt ridden sleepless nights. He looks quickly sideways whenever he has to give an expected heartless comment about ‘deterrent’ or ‘no advantage’ to journalists. A shocking portfolio.
The opposition has no such trouble; full blown hatred against refugees comes fluently natural and so does their concrete determination to do all in their power drunkenness to show, and straight into the camera, unflinchingly, as much empathy as the ‘arbeit macht frei’ consortium some seventy years ago at Auschwitz.
Morrison’s, C. Pine’s and Abbott’s public resentment against refugees is genuine and without artifice. They all seem to have ‘against everything’ in their genes. The headmasters must have given them more than just the strap on their backsides.
Julia will have to consider, after getting re-elected and with a mandate, change our position, process all boat people on-shore, give them permission to work and pay tax. This world is different now. We can’t forever thump our noses at the most unfortunate and UNHCR.
The neighbours might talk.
As we sit down to enjoy family company at Christmas dinner today- spare a thought for these carefully chosen child victims of Australia’s brutal off shore policy.
You will notice that they are different nationalities and none are aged under 7years as a protection for the government.
It seems that some if not all are living in metal shipping containers. No windows but door removed for ventilation.
No freedom of movement, watched by G4S Guards, Salvos and Save the Children.
NO MEDIA , NO HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORS have been to see the reality of a life incarcerated indefinitely on Manus.
Christmas Message from the Children locked up on Manus Island
There are 10 children in here. They go to the classes that are in the camp. Save the Children bring teacher for them.
Maryam 10 said” here is so suffering for kids they are all suffer from this situation”.
Melika 10said “ they are killing us here”.
Ilia 8 said “here is awful that’s all”
Yasin 8 said “ i dont like here”.
Mobin 15 said “I have nothing to do around here”.
Shahin 14 said “ here is not a good situation for living and life i want to get out of this place”.
Hossien 16 said” here is awful”
Artin 7 said “here is so awful, I want to go to the Australia”.
Saghar 11 said “It seems that I’m in the middle of the hell”.
Amir Reza 9 said “ I don’t like here I want to go to the Australia”.
The children were asked what they wanted to say about life in a Manus Island Detention Centre
Three words sum it up.
Abysmal, inhumane failure.
As for the motives?
It is an abomination that both parties lie about ‘wanting to save lives’ by heading them off at the pass.This a desperate clutch at QLD red-neck votes in it’s purest form.And they hope it will draw in the other xenophobes,too.
Our ‘allocation of invaders’ is not even a drop,compared to other nations closer to the source of abject misery. A misery, in some cases,which is a direct by-product or our actions.
Peace on earth goodwill to all (some) men (women/children).
Having read the long accounts of life on offshore detention centres, it appears there are some simple aspects that can be changed to make this less inhumane. The first is fast processing of claims. Its an unfortunate fact that the government takes a very long time to process applications for residency from even so called legal immigrants (A friend waited 22 months before being approved despite being married to an Australian national and being from a country we usually accept applications from). The delay seems inexplicable unless they are truly understaffed. Simple applications from refugees or those with nothing to hide, no criminal history and the background of being welcome additions to the Australan population can surely be expedited somehow. Secondly, the type of treatment described matches what I observed in the Darwin detention centres. Serco are charged with ensuring security of those detained and minimsing trouble, they also need to maintain orderly living circumstances and provision of basic needs. This they manage to do onshore but it sounds like the same doesnt occur on offshore centres and there is really no reason for this. There is an element of heavy handedness which might be appropriate for those who are suspect or give reason to beleive they are less than “above board” about there claim, but to apply this to all is unnecessary and coercive. The mentality seems to be wrong however Serco does tend to recruit from those with a prior security, military or police background and this will no doubt appear from officers on the job. A suggestion – it might sound patronising or belittling but what do NPFS readers thnk of creating some kind of sponsorship program where a group of Australian nationals choose an individual or family group to take special interest in and act as a civilian buffer. Profiles can be published similar to the above, needs expressed and volunteers called for from the Australin population. I know it sounds a little like the zoo’s “adopt a pet” or UNICEF’s overseas child programs but its got to be better than what they have now and it gives an official opportunity from those Australian’s who think this whole situation is wrong the opportunity to do something positive about it rather than just express their dislike in the MSM and on blogs like this one. Better ideas also welcomed.
Thought it was about time I added to this thread, seeing I’m sitting here bored at work, safe from revellers but a little envious at the same time…
Happy 2013 everyone and hope it’s better than the sack of shit 2012 was for some of us, or indeed for those among us who always have it worse, many of them pointed out here if not enough in the MSM.
Coffee’s still pretty drinkable here in Melbourne, Jennifer, if you’re around. Reckon I might not be in a month or two (here, I mean, not drinkable) – I have an urge to annoy some Sth Americans with my crap Spanish. It’s gotta be better than hanging around here battling with this f*cking woeful work computer (can’t even read what I’m typing!) and some fulla shit staff.
Happy happy joy joy…
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©Jennifer Wilson and No Place for Sheep 2011.Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Wilson and No Place for Sheep with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.