Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Australia - still xenophobic and easily influenced by refugee fear campaign

The sudden fall in Labor's primary vote is not due to concerns over the GFC but is solely due to fears whipped up by the Coalition and media outlets.

It is a sad commentary on our insular body politic that small numbers of vulnerable asylum seekers can have such an impact on public opinion. For those of us who have tracked the politics of division and fear associated with border protection postures this will come as no surprise. The primary vote numbers identified by Newspoll are probably a little inaccurate, but they still tell a story of xenophobic knee jerk reactions to fear mongering by Turnbull et al.

I don't believe Coalition apologists who claim the fall is a response to Labor's deficit budgeting. That is patently wishful thinking by the permanently credulous crowd who don't seem to understand that there has to be a shift away from the notion that surplus budgeting is always clever. In an economic climate that will see the ranks of the disadvantaged rise, it is essential that governments invest in human capital and essential infrastructure.

Beware of the propaganda machine that paints a more humane approach to asylum seekers as weak and soft on border protection. This is a lie and is motivated by political opportunists prepared to play to xenophobic and racist tendencies in the Australian electorate.

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