How politicians force us to make a choice we should never have to make.

11 May
Ironic points of light

Ironic points of light

 

The phrase, Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite, frequently attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville but in fact coined by French counterrevolutionary Joseph de Maistre, is translated as “Every democracy gets the government it deserves.”

It’s not a sentiment with which I entirely agree: many factors are at work in a liberal democracy such as ours that bring into question the core assumption of informed choice, not least of which is propaganda distributed by media with vested interests, and its collusion with political and financial elites. This piece in Alternet makes interesting arguments against de Maistre’s maxim, describing it as a toxic idea that needs to be laid to rest. It’s worth a read.

I’ve listened carefully to all the pragmatic arguments of ALP supporters, as I have for the last seven years. I know that in almost every way an ALP government is far preferable to life under an LNP administration.

And I am enraged at finding myself yet again in a situation where I would have to endorse the torture of asylum seekers and refugees in order to have a government that we in a liberal democracy deserve. This is a choice no one has the right to force upon citizens and we need to get very angry about being put in this position. 

All my life I voted Labor, until in 2009 then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd got into a face-off with Indonesia over Tamil asylum seekers picked up by the Oceanic Viking, refusing to allow them to be transferred to Christmas Island for refugee assessment.

In 2012 the Gillard government reopened detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru that had been closed by the Rudd government in 2008, at which time Immigration Minister Chris Evans described the Pacific Solution as a “costly, cynical and ultimately unsuccessful exercise.”

In 2013, newly returned Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced, “asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia.”

The ALP lost my vote in 2009 and they’ve never got it back. It was a difficult decision: my local member was a woman I admired, and it was hard to imagine her supporting Gillard and Rudd, who appeared to be in complete harmony on the matter of torturing those who legally seek asylum in this country.

Refugee policy is one of very many issues to be considered when deciding on the government we deserve. For mine, it’s a fundamental issue: if we have as our government a group of people who take pride in destroying the lives of those who have committed absolutely no offence by arriving here on boats, indeed, who have done so in response to the invitation we continue to extend as signatories to the UNHCR Refugee Convention, we have as our government a group of barbarians who will not hesitate, should it serve their purposes, to take severe action against any other group who in some way threaten their hold on power, or can be used to shore up their grip on governance.

For the last sixteen years LNP and ALP governments have used asylum seekers as scapegoats, fuelling entirely unsubstantiated public fears about the stranger as terrorist, and pitting those fleeing the destruction of their homelands and in many cases torture and death, against disgruntled voters who are being let down and damaged not by asylum seekers, but by their elected representatives.

Asylum seekers have proved and continue to prove infinitely useful to both major parties, as distractions from their own failures, inadequacies and corruptions. This is the moral calibre of our politicians: that they will actively or passively engage in and perpetuate this torture of waterborne asylum seekers for their political gain. There is not one of them, LNP or ALP, that I wish to support in their vile exploitation of human beings.

The Pacific solution uses cruelty as a deterrent to asylum seekers, and in so doing, compromises every single voter in this country, and ensures we are complicit. Every time we agree to pragmatically compartmentalise, we agree to the ongoing torment of refugees and asylum seekers. In this sense we do get the government we deserve as we agree to the ongoing torment of human beings by both major parties, in order to create for ourselves the life to which we feel entitled.

This is a piece written by a young friend starting out on his career as a journalist. It’s his perception of Manus Island and Nauru, together with information on what can be done to assist refugees. Cameron’s article  brought to mind some lines from W.H. Auden’s poem, September 1, 1939

Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages…

There are among the young ironic points of light, exchanging messages in this stuporous world. In them I trust, because I have lost all faith in the adults who govern us.

 

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105 Responses to “How politicians force us to make a choice we should never have to make.”

  1. townsvilleblog May 11, 2016 at 9:34 am #

    So Jennifer, are you a “Greens” voter?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson May 11, 2016 at 10:11 am #

      Nope, not necessarily. There’s limited choices in my electorate & I’ve yet to work out how best to use my vote.

      Liked by 1 person

    • silkworm May 11, 2016 at 10:46 am #

      Townsvilleblog has been caught out with his racist comments at the AIMN.

      Like

      • townsvilleblog May 11, 2016 at 10:51 am #

          silkworm commented: “Townsvilleblog has been caught out with his racist comments at the AIMN I am not a rascist

        Like

        • paul walter May 11, 2016 at 8:47 pm #

          More a rascal than a rascist

          Liked by 2 people

          • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 10:06 am #

            Bugger, I’ve been seen through by Paul, I love to play devil’s advocate to strengthen my own arguements on different subjects, and seeing how you all defend this subject has been a real education to me, thanks again.

            Like

    • Geoff Andrews May 11, 2016 at 10:59 am #

      The same impertinent question can be asked of you.
      Do you support the bigger bastard or the lesser bastard?
      I know you’ll ask, so where there are N candidates, I vote
      ((1 to (N-3)) Any Independents with an IQ>100
      (N-2) Australian Greens
      (N-1) ALP (the lesser bastard but bigger hypocrite)
      (N) LNP (the bigger bastard but lesser hypocrite)
      The LNP is the lesser hypocrite because selfish, anti-societal, sharp-elbowed behaviour is in their genes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn May 11, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

      So what if she is, the Greens are not baby trading, torturing cowards like the major parties. Now you might think no torture is enough for ”muslim’ refugees but 1,000 or more of the refugees being tortured on Nauru and in the illegal Manus prison are Christians persecuted in Iran and Iraq.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. fnpneytiri May 11, 2016 at 10:26 am #

    Wow Jennifer you’re in cracking form this week – this is a well argued, fast paced, compelling and altogether excellent piece of writing – as always, thankyou.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Geoff Andrews May 11, 2016 at 11:01 am #

      She not only hit the spot; she removed it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • townsvilleblog May 11, 2016 at 11:15 am #

        Fortunately Jennifer it won’t change the view of millions of Australians. The LNP and the ALP would not have this policy if nobody wanted it, you must concede that at least lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        • silkworm May 11, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

          There’s that racist pandering coming to the fore again. LOL.

          Like

          • Jennifer Wilson May 11, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

            Unfortunately, Silkworm, it’s true that the majority either approve of the policies or don’t care, otherwise neither paryy would adopt them.

            Like

            • Marilyn May 11, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

              I think it’s the other way around, there has never been protests in the streets demanding we traffic and torture and murder innocent people but a hell of a lot demanding that we don’t.

              I think the racists in the ALP under Hawke liked it and then the media told us we did as well.

              Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson May 11, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

          I absolutely concede that, Townsville.

          Like

      • Jennifer Wilson May 11, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

        🙂 If only…

        Like

    • townsvilleblog May 11, 2016 at 11:13 am #

      Well written Jennifer

      Like

    • Jennifer Wilson May 11, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

      And thank you, fnpneytiri, for that terrific feedback. Much appreciated.

      Like

  3. Marilyn May 11, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    I was one of millions caught up in they wonder of It’s Time, I sang along with Little Pattie and Col Joye and others to get rid of the repressive thugs in the Menzies party that had been around my whole 19 years at that point in time.

    I voted for Gough at the next election when I was 20, the next time for ALP was 1983 to get rid of the repulsive Malcolm ” like wasn’t meant to be easy” Fraser. True story about Mal – he had given his promises, promises speech and a friend of mine had an old Falcon that only worked sometimes, so we called it Malcolm. I have called Falcon’s Malcolms to this day.

    I digress, in the 1987 DD I got a job with Doctor Coulter of the Democrats, that DD was about ridding the ALP of democrats and not much else, because Hawke sold the nation to Murdoch.

    1983 was the last time I trusted the ALP on anything but over the TAMPA and kids overboard I won’t give them credit for anything much at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gorgeousdunny1 May 11, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

    I’ll try to give an explanation of how it all reached this point. White Australia was part of our Anglo-imperial heritage. Inevitably it involved racism as did most imperial activity. Working class hostility was the most visible, because employers imported scab labour to undermine wages and conditions. As far back as the goldrush days, even self-employed diggers felt threatened by the more resourceful Chinese coming here, as seen in Lawson’s stories.

    The WWII aftermath, with so many homeless and stateless refugees, led to the first changes. We needed more people. people needed a home and opportunity. The migration for the first time strayed from the British path, firstly to take in so many Baltic countries people, and then to Mediterranean countries, albeit still white.

    The reforming policies of Whitlam and Dunstan, joined in by small ‘l’ Liberals led to a gradual easing of White Australia policies. Prior to them Chifley and Evatt had been big UN supporters, as was Menzies, and readily committed to UN refugee conventions.

    The end of the Vietnam-Indochina wars led to the first waves of Boat People. Whitlam was not keen to help because he feared another Baltic situation where most migrants associated Labor with communism. Fraser did respond when he was PM, and he sought and obtained Whitlam’s cooperation on humanitarian grounds.

    In writing of it, Fraser was very clear in stressing how vital Whitlam’s support was. Both parties research showed that Labor supporters were hostile. It would not have succeeded without Whitlam’s support. Fraser carried his own party along, the only opposition coming from John Howard. Howard did try to float opposition to it, as did Geoffrey Blayney, who feared loss of cultural identity. They were easily headed off by the Hawke-Keating government in the 80s.

    Labor did sense some unrest over it in the 90s, however, and quietly established screening internments in WA, quietly sweeping the issue under the carpet. The rise of Hanson and Howard, combined with a tabloid newspaper and talkback radio beating up of the issue.

    Howard, who had always been an electioneering nerd, knew he was on a winner in pursuing race politics because it would divide and erode Labor’s traditional support base. With the accidental support of 9/11, he was able to ambush Beazley with the Tampa arrival turning it into a crisis and then the Pacific Solution. Beazley caved, which led to many like me and my friends leaving the ALP.

    It’s been an evil genius on the Liberals part to turn it into an ‘all Labor’s fault’ type of issue. Abbott revived the strategy as a way of mustering his own base and hurting Labor. Labor is caught in a bind that they cannot run with a fully humane policy without destroying any chance of winning office.

    Gillard was struggling in a minority situation to work towards an offshore screening, which would have taken the heat out of the issue locally. Malaysia was the first step, but first the courts and then the Senate, defeated it. The Greens refused to compromise their opposition to offshore while the Liberals would have lost their major plank against Labor if Malaysia had worked.

    Publicly nothing can be done this side of an election. But there is a chance post-election if Labor wins and is brave enough. Personally I’d give Plibersek, who has already shown her beliefs Minister for Immigration as well as Foreign Minister, with the aim of (1) having some offshore queuing and screening and (2) internment for full eligibility in regional Australian community hostels.

    Only trouble is, they can’t campaign on it. Aside from the humanity demanding such a solution, Labor must defuse the whole issue so that politics can focus on bona fide issues.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jennifer Wilson May 11, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

      It’s very hard to trust that the ALP will take positive action if they win the election, but I see where you’re coming from, Dunny. I don’t know if I can enough faith…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn May 11, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

        I suggest you read Klaus Neumann’s book Across the seas, the racism is deeply ingrained in the ALP and always has been.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 7:28 am #

          Yes, however like any organisation there are those who disagree & while currently their disagreement is useless, at least they exist. I won’t vote Labor, because I’m tired of waiting for those who disagree to find a voice in the ALP. It will take decades.

          Like

          • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 9:59 am #

            Though Australia continues to accept them through the front door, while refusing them at the back door.

            Liked by 1 person

      • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 10:02 am #

        Deputy ALP leader Tanya Pleb vowed this morning to double the refugee intake from the refugee camps, I’m stumped now.

        Like

        • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

          No reason to be stumped, the ALP is refugee shopping, seeing where the best discount might be.
          I think I have finally succumbed to complete cynicism.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marilyn May 12, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

            We only want the richest and best

            Liked by 2 people

            • townsvilleblog May 13, 2016 at 8:33 am #

              Marilyn, the rich and the best sounds typical of tory politicians.

              Like

    • Marilyn May 11, 2016 at 8:12 pm #

      Why do you continue the nonsense of human trading to Malaysia, it was and is illegal, immoral and disgusting that people keep claiming the Greens should have compromised away the lives of hundreds of human beings for blood sport.

      Give it a fucking rest.

      Like

      • gorgeousdunny1 May 11, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

        Last I’d heard, SH-Y was sounding out that possibility.

        Like

        • Marilyn May 11, 2016 at 9:19 pm #

          No she was not. We accept UNHCR referrals through 36 embassies and then we decide who to accept. We have done that for decades.

          This is not the same thing as letting people get to Australia then trading them to force to camp in Malaysia. Honestly you should stop reading Peter Wicks anti-greens rants.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 7:24 am #

            I thought Malaysia was a terrible option. I still do.

            Like

            • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 9:56 am #

              Jennifer at least Malaysia is a Muslim country, they should fit right in there, from what I read they still practice Sharia law in Western Sydney and West Melbourne, please enlighten us why Malaysia would not be a suitable option for these refugees?

              Like

              • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

                So all Christians should only live in Christian countries? I don’t agree with that argument, Townsville. And we have good communities in Australia made up of many religious faiths.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Marilyn May 12, 2016 at 9:27 pm #

                So what? The majority of refugees on Nauru and Manus are Christians.

                Like

              • Moz of Yarramulla May 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

                > from what I read they still practice Sharia law in Western Sydney

                Could you narrow that down to a slightly smaller region than 4 million people? Specific information is always handy before getting up in arms about specific things.

                I live in Lakemba and the only indication I’ve managed to find is a few people who choose to use their Imam to settle disputes. If that counts as “living under Sharia” then Eastern Sydney is under Jewish Law (probably quite strict with the eruv and all). But “Sharia” in this case amounts to choosing mediation, which I hear is actually recommended by the Australian legal system (OMG, does that mean… Australia supports Sharia law?)

                Like

        • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 7:22 am #

          SH-Y has been refused entry to Nauru by Dutton throughout the election campaign.
          Not sure how caretaker government can do this…

          Liked by 1 person

    • doug quixote May 12, 2016 at 8:47 am #

      That is a reasonable summary, gorgeousdunny1.

      Labor is trapped in the zeitgeist, and the narrative created by and dominated by the conservative forces in this society.

      But they are the only hope for progress on this issue. The Greens are too unelectable, their representatives too pie in the sky and dopey to even be considered as worthy of a vote.

      A vote for Labor is the only way forward.

      Liked by 2 people

      • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 10:31 am #

        I agree wholeheartedly with you on “all” counts Doug.

        Like

      • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

        Labor co-created the zeitgeist, DQ they aren’t victims of it.
        There are plenty of conservative forces within the Labor party with their damn pro life faction and their anti marriage equality faction and their bloody religious zealots.
        It wasn’t always thus.

        Liked by 1 person

        • doug quixote May 12, 2016 at 4:51 pm #

          Regrettably, it was always thus.

          But society has moved on and the Right in both Parties has not.

          I was hoping they might die out, but the perversions to the education system has created young fogeys to replace the old fogeys.

          But the ALP is moving, ever so slowly. Same-sex marriage will be legislated into law under a Labor government.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

            I’m going to talk to Janelle.

            Like

            • townsvilleblog May 13, 2016 at 9:02 am #

              Jennifer, if she is a “leftie” you know she is trying to change the ALP policy from the inside, which is really all she can do.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Jennifer Wilson May 13, 2016 at 9:40 am #

                Yes, that’s true, Townsville, & she is a leftie.

                Liked by 1 person

                • townsvilleblog May 13, 2016 at 11:41 am #

                  Jennifer, in that case that will bring you as close as you can get to a resolution on the refugee matter, good luck. As I said earlier I like to play devil’s advocate to see the strength of the argument, and also to get opinions I might not otherwise have gotten.

                  Liked by 1 person

          • townsvilleblog May 13, 2016 at 8:50 am #

            I agree Doug, anything worth fighting for takes time, it will all happen eventually when people of all races, colours and creeds learn to live together in peace. Take the Irish for example, in Australia there is no continuation of the religious war that happens in our homeland.

            Like

  5. paul walter May 11, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

    I can understand the underlying quandary Jennifer Wilson is facing..that if Labor fails on certain key issues, what guarantee have we that they won’t on other things.

    Labor, like any soc dem formation, is not funded by the big end, who get their objectives secured through Tory parties.

    All Labor can offer is integrity then it follows privitisations and other neolib nostrums, civil liberties tamperings (including refugees) and infrastructure cutting for tax dodging at the top end, it will not last more than a term and be pitched in the same inglorious way it was tossed three years ago.

    In the end the ordinary people have no more than a hope at this point in time.

    The Coalition offers even less and no one experts better of them, but the public wants better from the ALP, who always seem to have a better appreciation of what’s needed yet so often failed to deliver for fear of offending really big interests. If they raises people’s hopes then they must fulfill those raised expectations, otherwise its exile will become permanent.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 7:26 am #

      Our only hope is minority government/shared government. I think that’s the future and I look forward to it. It seems highly democratic to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • doug quixote May 12, 2016 at 8:50 am #

        Best of luck with that, but Labor will have to win 15 seats to make it happen. Get with the program! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 9:51 am #

        Jennifer, DING THE BALANCE OF POWER IN THE Senate.eens holding the balance of power in the Senate.greens holding the balance of power in the Senate.greens holding the balance of power in the Senate.

        Like

        • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 9:52 am #

          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-17/almost-600-companies-did-not-pay-tax-in-2013-14/7036324 apologies my computer link is cutting in and out this morning.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

          Oh Christ.
          I’m over the bloody Greens
          In fact I’m entirely over the whole effin lot of them & will attack every party for as long as I feel like it about anything I want.
          *Spits dummy*

          Liked by 1 person

          • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

            Jenn who will you vote for?

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 4:23 pm #

              I haven’t decided yet, Townsville. There’s not a lot of choice in my electorate. I’m waiting for a brilliant Independent to turn up on a white horse.

              Liked by 1 person

              • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

                I am definitely voting Labor this time, a first in 12 years.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

                  Janelle Saffin is standing again in my electorate. I always voted for her until Rudd & then the Nationals won her seat

                  Like

                  • townsvilleblog May 13, 2016 at 8:53 am #

                    Jennifer which party does she represent? If she is in the “left” of the ALP you can bet she is fighting internally for the refugees, it is the right wing of the party who (unfairly) control the party who currently decide what policies the party will run with.

                    Liked by 1 person

                  • doug quixote May 13, 2016 at 9:26 am #

                    Hi Jennifer. I just googled Janelle, and read her bio. She seems like a fine person and a good one to return to parliament.

                    My seat of Barton will be contested by Linda Burney, a vast improvement over Robert McClelland and over the candidate last time around, who saw 12% – yes 12% – informal votes, and lost by a few hundred to a lazy no-name do-nothing called Vavaris.

                    I can’t wait to get her elected and get the shemozzle of this Keystone Kops government out.

                    Liked by 4 people

                    • Jennifer Wilson May 13, 2016 at 9:39 am #

                      Hi DQ, I had a brief chat with her a few weeks ago, she came to a talk I gave on International Women’s Day. We agree on many things.

                      Liked by 1 person

          • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

            welcome to the club

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

              I don’t know if anyone else feels as bad-tempered and fed up as I do with the current political situation but last time it was this bad I left to live in Mexico.

              Liked by 1 person

              • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

                We poor people don’t have the “Mexico option” so we just do our best to find a political party out of those available, for me it will be Labor after 12 years of voting for The Greens.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

                  It cost a lot less to live in Mexico than here.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • townsvilleblog May 13, 2016 at 8:57 am #

                    It depends how you value cost of living, two Aussie backpackers found out the hard way recently that it was a very high cost of living for them, when they were found murdered, it are relatively luckier in Australia in that respect, although the decades of yank influence has seen Australian culture turn more violent.

                    Liked by 1 person

          • doug quixote May 12, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

            Spitting the dummy is not a good look for a woman of mature years, Guinevere.

            Put the dummy where it belongs, in fools who want to vote for the Party which had Abbott as its leader for two years!

            LOL

            Liked by 1 person

            • silkworm May 12, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

              Won’t someone moderate this sexist, ageist prick?

              Liked by 1 person

              • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

                No worries, Silkworm, DQ isn’t my enemy.

                Like

              • doug quixote May 12, 2016 at 4:45 pm #

                I got heartily sick of your ill-tempered and ill-mannered comments on the late Bob Ellis’ blog. There never seemed to be a chance of getting Bob to moderate you out of existence, but Jennifer is a very different person.

                If you can’t tell the difference between harmless banter and sexism and ageism, perhaps you should consider a less intellectually challenging pastime.

                Like

            • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

              In that case I’ll just spit.

              Like

              • paul walter May 12, 2016 at 5:03 pm #

                Jenny, I have a mental picture of Pebbles from the Flintstones dummy-spitting.. don’t do it!

                Ok, so we find ourselves at the usual impasse and that impasse is to do with the normative ideal or correct response in conflict with realist or pragmatist day to day politics.

                I do agree with DQ’s conclusion that Labor is trapped by the zeitgeist, yet Wilson is correct to question whether a negative or slightly Abbottist reactionary modernist claque within has driven the ALP off-course.

                As usual, I find myself at mid point between DQ on the one hand and Marilyn and JW on the other; DQ is right to expect that context be taken seriously here yet less expediency and pragmatism from the ALP also, eh? They have played along too much when they should have challenging assumptions.

                Labor’s real mistake in Beazley backing Howard on Tampa and Kids Overboard. He should have kept aloof and let the government swing on its own petard. In validating Howard he consigned the ALP to an endless headache with little room formovement, by legitimising the violent, arbitrary means Howard
                employed

                Liked by 2 people

                • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 9:41 pm #

                  Yes, PW, your last para.
                  And I’m sick of hoping they’ll grow some balls.

                  Like

                  • townsvilleblog May 13, 2016 at 8:42 am #

                    Jennifer I doubt that politicians of any creed would grow a set of balls, each party represents a slice of the community, and at this stage the community has been frightened by several hijinks from Islamic Australians, and both the major parties are using the situation to their advantage as you would expect them to. In my humble opinion I would not expect any change from the major political parties for another two generations at least. The prejudice was held against my maternal grandfather for years when he and his family arrived in the 1940s.

                    Like

                • townsvilleblog May 13, 2016 at 9:36 am #

                  Paul, I agree with you on Beazley but the thing to remember is that the leadership (unfairly) always goes to the right wing of the ALP. THERE IS LITTLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE RIGHT WING OF THE ALP and the right wing of the LNP, the difference occurs at the Left wing of the ALP and the extreme right wing of the LNP. iN MY HUMBLE OPINION AT LEAST.

                  Like

          • Marilyn May 12, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

            Why are you over the Greens, because Kroger lies about maklng deals that are not even possible.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 9:42 pm #

              No, nothing to do with Kroger, I actually hate all politicians right at this moment.

              Like

              • Marilyn May 13, 2016 at 12:54 am #

                No value in hating pro-human rights, pro-refugees, anti-war, pro-environment people.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Jennifer Wilson May 13, 2016 at 6:59 am #

                  LOL MARILYN!

                  Like

                • townsvilleblog May 13, 2016 at 9:04 am #

                  Marilyn, Which is why for me “climate change” is the most important issue, because without a regular climate we cannot conduct any of the other priorities such as health & education.

                  Like

  6. auntyuta May 12, 2016 at 11:27 am #

    Reblogged this on auntyuta and commented:
    “. . . . a choice we should never have to make.” To my mind
    this is exactly right.

    Like

      • silkworm May 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

        Racist gumballs.

        Like

    • townsvilleblog May 12, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

      We need to help vulnerable Australians first before we worry about others. Charity begins at home. Why is it that some Australians are dead keen on helping refugees but ignore people who are more vulnerable in their “own” country?
      http://theaimn.com/public-transport-expensive-unemployed/

      Like

      • doug quixote May 12, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

        I agree that we should clean up our own backyard, but I don’t agree that this requires us to maltreat prospective immigrants.

        The refugee advocates have a degree of tunnel vision, which extends to their blinkered outlook on politics, society and most of the issues which affect us today and in the future.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Marilyn May 12, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

          No, human rights are not disposable tissues, we believe in them for all or we believe in them for none. I refuse to compromise on that.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Jennifer Wilson May 12, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

            If it’s human it has human rights. End of.

            Liked by 1 person

            • townsvilleblog May 13, 2016 at 8:46 am #

              As I just explained “all” immigrants are greeted with prejudiced outlook at first, these refugees are no different. Remember the first Vietnamese refugees under Fraser, they got in eventually but were treated then, much like the “outsiders” when now a few generations along we see them as other Australians and are proud of them.

              Like

          • townsvilleblog May 13, 2016 at 8:36 am #

            Marilyn, where does the safety of the general public rate on your list of priorities?

            Like

      • silkworm May 12, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

        Shaun, you sound exactly like Donald Trump.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. freya May 17, 2016 at 10:05 pm #

    Beautifully written, thank you. You get to the heart of what should be said by all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sphenopteris May 18, 2016 at 4:23 am #

    Very nicely written post, as usual. Found the comments section pretty bewildering. Personally I don’t understand why anybody who had a commitment to human rights could possibly be arguing for waiting around and doing sweet fuck all until the majority of the Australian public changes their collective mind (that’s pretty much Labor policy). With that kind of argument we’d still have the death penalty. And intelligent people are still falling for the queueing argument? Or the the Malaysia solution? Malaysia’s not even a signatory to the convention! Anyway, rant over. Like I said above – nice post.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jennifer Wilson May 18, 2016 at 8:03 am #

      Thanks sphenopteris.
      And thanks for making your very valid points.

      Like

  9. myzania May 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

    I’ve battled with this too Jennifer…and still do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson May 25, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

      Yes. I’m torn about this election. Liking my ALP candidate, hating the refugee policies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • doug quixote May 25, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

        If the policies are virtually the same on this issue, which is ostensibly the case – decide on other issues.

        Education, welfare, NBN, a fair tax system, climate change, equality – there is no question Labor is better on all these issues.

        See? It’s easy. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • townsvilleblog May 26, 2016 at 8:32 am #

          Which of the two major parties will do the most on the most important issue of all “climate change” if we don’t tackle that issue head on nothing else will matter because our planet will be wracked by natural disasters.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson May 26, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

            Well, neither of them are making much of a commitment to that either…

            Like

      • myzania May 26, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

        Exactly!!!

        Liked by 1 person

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