Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Human rights in Australia - 'punish the victim' still alive & well in Coalition's refugee lexicon

Last night's Insight on SBS again showed up the nastiness inherent to the Coalition's approach to asylum seekers. Stone and Andrews were harking back to the good ole times when TPVs kept refugees in their place. They have a tenuous grasp at best of the humanitarian underpinnings of the Refugee Convention.

The token troglodyte in the audience represented the cheer squad for the 'punish them all' brigade that come out of the woodwork whenever this issue is raised in public fora. Throw in dollops of 'Islam-phobia' and we get a heady concoction of half-truths, sloganeering and open racism over the plight of some of the most desperate people on the planet. Forget the fact that we have contributed militarily to the mess in many of these countries, and have been an active player in conflicts that have led to displacement throughout the region. If you read through some of the comments on the SBS website you'll get the picture!

The walled city shone in the glow of dusk,
and the people closed the gates as visitors arrived,
"This is ours", they said, "you can't have what is ours".
Beyond the city, beyond the refuse dumps, and the hovels of the poor,
Where the roads are dirt tracks and the common tongue is not heard,
Some people sit, around a fire,
wondering whether they should have had walls......

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