Saturday, March 2, 2013

Australia: stop being ugly

Dear Australia,

Please stop breaking my heart. Well, actually, scrap that because this is not about my heart ... this is about violating all that is best about Australia and being all that is ugly... and it is not about me because I went and fucked off to another country, an economic migrant if there ever was one.

I'll tell you who aren't economic immigrants: refugees. And I'll tell you who are: immigrants who arrive in Australia on airplanes with visas sponsored by their employers or enough cash to qualify for a rich person's visa. People like me but in reverse.

So obviously I am disgusted by Scott Morrison's vile utterances in regard to refugees and anybody with a pulse and a conscience that operates above the level of a cockroach is too. But we can hardly claim to be surprised.

(Just in case you missed it, or are a reader from outside Australia wondering what the heck I am ranting on about: essentially Scott Morrison, Australia's Federal Opposition Minister for Immigration recommended that  when refugees move out of detention and into the community - yes, we imprison those legally seeking asylum in Australia violating god knows how many human rights conventions, including children - they be treated in terms that are most often proposed for pedophiles, a sort of Megan's Law but for people who are not criminals but refugees.)

What sickens me more is what @crazyjane13  points out in her excellent post here: the deathly silence from the leaders (and wannabe leaders) of both major parties, including those we hoped were better than that. PM Gillard: nothing; her real or media-imagined rival for the leadership, Rudd: nothing; and the thinking LNP voter's fantasy leader Malcolm Turnbull: nothing.

How about Anthony Albanese, the member for the seat I will be voting in at the upcoming Federal election? As far as I know (and I hope I am wrong): nothing (and whispered asides to appeal to your base don't count). And the nail in the coffin as far as any lingering loyalty I feel towards the ALP: both major parties colluded to shut down Green's Senator Sarah Hanson-Young in her attempt to bring a motion in the house against the vilification of refugees.

I am disgusted. I am heartbroken. I am completely convinced that the ALP has no interest in my vote, or more likely take it completely for granted. Well fuck that. I will be voting Green at this election and my vote does count because this is a marginal seat that might very well tip Green.

Australia, you can do better than this. Clearly our leaders have no interest in taking the high road, or even a middling one. Our policies on refugees are an absolute disgrace, making us every bit the international pariah. We like to think of ourselves as a friendly egalitarian nation, but as things now stand this version of who we are is so far from being the truth it doesn't even qualify as spin.

Cheers,

Michelle


Aside from @crazyJane13's post (link above) I recommend you take a look at @nancycato1 in fine form here and Yvette Vignando's post on the impact that the way the media and politicians talk about refugees has on children's understanding.


2 comments:

  1. It's been this way since 2001 and 'The Tampa election', when Howard, Reith & the crowd (including Abbott)found that vilifying boat people was a vote winner. The Coalition know they're on a winner, appealing to the worst of human nature, aided and abetted by the complicit Murdoch press. The Labor Party, running scared about electoral oblivion, are also complicit of course. Like you, I wish that more politicians would stand up and say enough is enough, but I will still vote for Mr Albanese as he has shown integrity on other matters.

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    1. I hear you. I have a lot of time for Albanese too but am really disappointed and still hoping to be proven wrong. I want to know if he finds his voice on this.
      Michelle

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