In reference to that boat people image with the tallship from a few years ago, I’d like to propose a new t-shirt:
If you can’t see the image above, it’s a photo of young Australian sailor Jessica Watson with the words “Boat Person” over the top in black lettering.
All this scare-mongering about “boat people” is making me sad. It’s like having Howard back in office. I am so disappointed that Gillard’s government is doing the ‘tough on refugees’ thing. Actually, disappointment is a massive understatement. But I am having trouble expressing just how angry I am about the way Australian governments continue to treat asylum seekers. I’m fed up with the way asylum seekers and refugees are demonised, while the racist, ignorant and fearful sections of our nation are pandered to by both major parties in the lead-up to the Federal election. It’s fucking disgusting.
For more information on this topic:
* Hoyden About Town has an Asylum Seeker Fact Sheet and Myth Buster.
* The Refugee Action Coalition has a number of campaigns and rallies.
* Archived online resources can be found at Refugees Australia.
Some commentary on this issue:
* Barrie Cassidy at The Drum writes, Gillard, asylum seekers and more appealing logic.
* And I love what John Birmingham had to say at his Blunt Instrument blog:
I know I am totally in the minority on this. That Gillard, and Abbott for that matter, are actually speaking to, and for, the majority on the boat peeps issue. But you know what? The majority can kiss my arse.
EDIT: I just found this piece in the National Times by Associate Professor Jane McAdam: Gillard’s asylum policy smacks of ‘burden shifting’.
She writes, and I agree wholeheartedly:
True leadership is not about pandering to insecurities based on ill-informed assumptions and fears, lurching from poll to poll. It is about transcending the chatter to educate, enlighten and take the nation forward through meaningful, informed conversation.