Tag Archives: Afghanistan

How to stop the boats

18 Feb

Three children wounded by US bombs in Nangrahar Province, Afghanistan

 

I‘ve said it before and brought down a load of trouble on myself, but I’ll say it again.

Australia is entirely responsible for boat arrivals. Doesn’t matter which political party’s in ascendency.

Because we are signatories to the UN refugee convention, we are known in  the world as a country that accepts asylum seekers for refugee assessment and resettlement.

Domestic law supports  the Convention. Australia invites anyone anywhere to claim asylum here, and seek refugee status.

No one who does this is acting illegally, no matter how they arrive, and whether they have papers or not.

Therefore, they come. Of course they do. Wouldn’t you in their place?

They have done nothing more than accept our invitation.

God help them.

Reading the comments on various articles the last few days, I’m pretty sickened by the overwhelming number of callous posts, blaming the asylum seekers for coming here in the first place, and blaming the government for not stopping the boats.

The answer is simple. We withdraw from the Convention, which we are not upholding anyway, and we change domestic law.

We then cease to be a country known for accepting asylum seekers, and asylum seekers will not endanger their lives trying to get here.

To continue to issue the invitation, and then to treat  those who accept it as sub humans, reveals a worrying sadistic streak in the Australian psyche. Clearly, we are not in the least hospitable towards those arriving in boats, yet we keep on inviting them.

Why?

If we aren’t prepared to withdraw from the Convention and change domestic law, then we obviously are  prepared to keep on extending the invitation.

Basic rules of human decency require that we treat those we’ve invited with hospitality and respect. We’re inviting them into our home.

What kind of host holds the guests in mandatory detention?

If nothing else, can we at least be honest about what we’re doing? Can we at least come clean about our two faced duplicitous position? Can we at least own up to the fact that we’re solely responsible for the situation, and not the asylum seekers?

They don’t know we don’t mean what we say.

It’s time to make a decision. It’s not rocket science. Get in or get out. But stop pissing about complaining, and tormenting our invited guests while we’re at it.

Of course, then we’d have to find somebody else to despise.

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