21 July 2013 - 'BOAT PEOPLE' - A BLOODY DISGRACE! - (1788 - 2013)

BOAT PEOPLE? - 1788 - 2013
G'day folks,
Yesterday, politicians in this country stooped to an all-time low - yes, the current government and the opposition. No, it was nothing to do with their gratuitous pay rises or conditions. It concerns desperate people - asylum seekers. All asylum seekers arriving by boat, after Mr Rudd, Australian Prime Minister, and Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, signed an agreement at 4.30 pm on Friday, are subject to the new rules.  What does it mean? Well, here is a direct quote from our Prime Minister:
“As of today asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia” 

They will instead be sent to Papua New Guinea for processing and, if found to be refugees, will be resettled there - NOT AUSTRALIA!

Many followers of this blog do not live in Australia and may not know what all the fuss is about.  Simply, Australia was founded and settled as a penal colony on the 26th of January 1788 - what is now called 'Australia Day'. So, the first white inhabitants of this massive continent arrived by boat - eleven boats called hulks. That's historical fact. My big question in all of this is - why are so many people 'hung up' by those who come here by boats? It has almost become a national disease, fuelled by sensational reporting from the press who have fallen into the hands of the politicians, whom by the way, are paid by we the people.

In recent decades, refugees / asylum seekers, have been referred to as 'boat people'. They, men, women and children, have been arriving here in ever-increasing numbers, risking life and limb from an array of war-torn countries in often un-seaworthy vessels.

What's the big deal you might ask? Good question. The real facts are that the current government (Labor) and opposition (Liberal / National Party coalition) are using the arrival of these people as a political tool. We have a federal election looming after several years of bitter wrangling after a hung parliament and, like many worldwide politicians, ours are desperate to either hold onto power or gain power. Puerile, but true.

 At present, both major political parties favour the use of punitive measures that theoretically stem the arrival of boat people. This theory supposedly creates the facade that if Australia purports a harsh enough regime, hypothetical arrivals will cease, seeking instead their chances with the Taliban. In any case, it's not the Australia we should strive for.

The debate about asylum seekers was poisoned from the beginning by the Howard (Liberal) government, which spoke ominously about “border control”, and referred to boat people as “illegals” and “queue-jumpers”. By that bit of dog-whistling, then Prime Minister, John Howard, conveyed the idea that boat people were a risk to our community: that they had committed an offence by coming here and that they had behaved with some degree of moral obliquity.

 Asylum seekers do not commit any offence by coming here. Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every person has the right to seek asylum in any territory they can reach. So, referring to these people as 'illegals' is a blatant lie. 

Not so sure? Check the following article that appeared on a previous post on this blog. It will spell it out loud and clear:

The 30 Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

'Border protection' is a grossly misleading term used by both major parties in Australia. It implies that these refugees are a threat to us. They are not. They need to be protected from their persecutors. 

 Some reading this will think: "Well, they should wait their turn." But what would you do? If you and your family faced persecution at the hands of the Taliban, would you wait in Kabul for a bullet; or hide in Indonesia for years on end waiting for another country to offer you protection? Or, would you run for your life, and do whatever it took to get you and your family to safety? I know I would get to safety by hook or by crook. And if I got to a 'convention' country, I would ask for protection.

Ask our politicians what they would do if they faced the same choice? Look them in the eyes as they answer ... if they answer you.

Mm ...  it would seem that these politicians will do anything to gain, or retain, power and it would appear that this issue will become a major issue in the coming federal election - not health, transport, infrastructure, obesity, the economy, youth suicide et al.

I've always said that there is a fine line between destitution and prostitution. Well, it would appear that our politicians have prostituted whatever values, ethics, morals and integrity they had when it comes to humanity; especially in regard to the destitute. This decision is political expediency at the expense of humanity. The current government has made this decision to gain a political edge on the opposition in the coming election campaign. The opposition has been highly critical of the government's current policy because of the massive increase in boat arrivals. Trust me. It has nothing to do with a humanitarian policy. Shame on them.

Quotes by others on this issue:

Refugee advocates say they will be examining the legality of Mr Rudd's changes, despite Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus' assurances the changes abide by the refugee convention.

Jana Favero, a spokeswoman for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, said the new hardline rules went against the spirit of the convention because Australia was now ''outsourcing [its] obligations''. Asylum seekers in Australia already faced tougher conditions than under John Howard, she said.

Greens leader, Christine Milne, said it was ''absolutely immoral'' for a rich nation to ''dump thousands of vulnerable people into an impoverished country''.

Julian Burnside QC, lawyer and human rights advocate, "Why further punish an already vulnerable minority for their actions – when those same actions simply reflect our shared sense of humanity and our fierce instincts for survival."
 Addressing hordes of protesters huddled on the steps of the State Library on Swanston street, Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said she was “heartbroken” by Mr Rudd’s new policy. “It was an absolute lurch to the right. A lurch in a rush to an election and a rush to cruelty on refugees.

“I am desperately heartbroken, incredibly disappointed, and I know that many people around this country are as well.” Ms Hanson-Young said the policy enacted “cruelty on the some of the world’s most vulnerable people”, who would now be “dumped on one of the most vulnerable communities and nations in our region”.

A similar protest was staged in Sydney today, with demonstrations in Adelaide and outside Mr Rudd’s electorate office in Brisbane to follow tomorrow.

* Clancy's further comment *

After decades of travelling around the world, especially in third-world and emerging countries, I find it selfish of us to abbrogate our responsibilities in regard to the OTHERS who have not had it as lucky. Australia is a massive continent of 23,000,000 people. Yep, that's all we have, and it would not be where it is today had it not been for migrants, refugees and millions of folks who came here on boats - like my grandparents in 1926, and the parents and grandparents of many guests who have been on this blog.

Not only but also, Australia has signed the Refugee Convention and is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. So, what's that mean in regard to this decision? Bugger all I guess. A waste of ink?

Sure, we must deal with refugees, whether they arrive by aircraft or boat. However, let's be humane and act like true Australians, offering a fair go to all in a fair and reasonable manner.

This is a sad and pathetic day in the so-called 'LUCKY COUNTRY'.  Another step backwards. But, I guess we cannot expect much better from our paid politicians, considering the number of Aboriginals who were killed in our wars - soldiers who have never been 'officially' recognised. (No official records were kept during World War 1 or World War 11 to recognise their contribution within the Australian Defence Force.) And don't forget! It took 179 years for Aborigines to gain an 'official' vote in this country. 

So, bearing in mind the historical facts above, I guess this latest decision is not unexpected, eh? If they can't look after those who shared this great continent with us, the true cultural owners, how could they have the slightest whisper of humanity when it comes to those living across the shores in war-torn countries.  



I'm ... Australian and proud of it ... but not so proud of those who WE pay to make the big decisions on OUR behalf. 

Bring on the election!

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